Monday, January 18, 2016

Debate on who owns the land won't end when Bundys leave Oregon

I am quoting this as an example of the kind of expectations that the standoff in Oregon may have awakened. I can't say if this has happened, but what we are looking for here is exactly this. Supporters of land transfer like Dahl are clearly hoping to take advantage of the publicity achieved by Bundys. Moreover, by distancing themselves from Bundys, they have proved that they are loyal law abiding citizens and this is one more reason for a proper attention to be awarded to their cause.

Reality of course is exactly the opposite. And out of this gap between reality and the expectations, something vastly more massive than the takeover in Oregon may be eventually produced.

By Ben Botkin (Las Vegas Review-Journal, January 17 2016) {

Supporters of turning federal lands over to states and counties have blasted home their message with dramatic activism — staring down federal agents in Bunkerville and holing up in a wildlife refuge.

Yet across the West, the movement has mostly played out in statehouses, albeit without success.

Well before the Bundy-led group squatted in the refuge, Ammon Bundy and his brother Ryan Bundy were in the Nevada statehouse.

In the 2015 session, Ammon Bundy testified in favor of Assembly Bill 408, which Assemblywoman Michele Fiore, R-Las Vegas, sponsored and which challenged federal control of public lands in Nevada. About 85 percent of Silver State land is managed by the federal government.

The bill died.

"We can lose 1,000 federal court cases but the fact remains the same — the land and the resources belong to the people," Bundy said March 31, according to meeting minutes. "Furthermore, I reference an even greater authority. For the record, let it be known that I believe in God."

For Fiore, the issue remains important. She's running for the GOP nomination for the open congressional seat of U.S. Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nevada.

The BLM, Fiore says, is "lawless" and commits "bureaucratic terrorism." Nevadans, not bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., need to be in charge of the state's lands, she said.

Of the BLM officials, she said, "They don't know their ass from their elbow."


Debates over land management won't end if, or when, Bundy and his armed self-styled militia supporters finally pack up and leave the refuge.

The Oregon standoff put some supporters of federal land transfers to states in a delicate position: They gently criticize the Bundys for making a mistake, but add that the standoff has put a spotlight on their broader cause.

The standoff both "helps and hurts" the cause, said Demar Dahl, an Elko County commissioner and rancher who led a state task force that examined land management.

"What Bundy did by going there, I thought that was a mistake," said Dahl, who supports transferring land to the state.

"What came from that was the light was really shown on what was going on over there."

Source = Who owns the land? Debate won't end when Bundys leave Oregon }