I am writing concerning Sheriff Brad Rogers’ recent trip to Cliven Bundy’s ranch in Nevada. I feel a very important aspect of the whole situation has been ignored or overlooked by many people, and the press, which could make a difference in the attitude toward the whole case. Most of us don’t realize, or have forgotten, that the federal government owns one third of the land that makes up the United States. The majority of this land is in the West. Two thirds or more of the states of Nevada, Utah, Alaska and Idaho are owned by us (you and I) and controlled by the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service. This land is open by law to “multiple use” activities, including cattle grazing, recreation and energy and mineral development.
Here’s where the rub comes in — some environmental groups that are interested in preserving certain fauna demand that all federal land should be off-limits to any productive human activity; it might endanger turtles, prairie chickens or snail darters. So they push the Obama administration to charge outlandish grazing fees, and if the ranchers don’t pay, send the military in to confiscate the cattle.I don’t know the latest legal status of Mr. Bundy, but I don’t think he has been arrested as a lawbreaker.
Sheriff Rogers, you are doing a great job supporting and upholding the federal and state constitutions. We are proud of you and your uniform; wear it as an honorable representative from an admirable county and majestic state with dignity and pride any time, whether it be fighting for sewage rights, raw milk or rancher rights.