Letter: Standoff about bullying

Dear Editor

Re: Advance …Painful Truth…”Militia fantacy is a cowboy dream”

About the Oregon Standoff, Mathew Claxton gets into a conspiracy rant of his own, paints the protesters as redneck goons…”self styled militiamen ie heavily armed anti-government whacko’s” but the real underlying story has interesting issues of government overreach.

The defiant actors in this case may may sound like they are getting instructions from ‘Jeff Foxworthy’ or ‘Larry the Cable Guy’ but it actually tells a story resembling many old western movies where corrupt authority was challenged.

Are the Cowboys the Ranchers or the Government?

The USA federal gov’t. owns a huge part of the land in the western states; 53% in Oregon; 67% of Utah; 81% of Nevada, etc.


In BC 94% of the Land is provincial ‘Crown Land’ which is managed by many government ministries and agencies.


Crown Lands are put to many uses and leased to private entrepreneurs, Agriculture, Forestry, Industrial, Commercial, Tourism, Energy production, etc.    http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/natural-resource-use/land-use/crown-land/crown-land-uses

Back to the Oregon Standoff.


There is a historical clash over the use and occupation of these USA federal lands, including complicated native and ancestral claims and inherited rights.

The land is managed by many government agencies including the Bureau of land Management (BLM), Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife, Parks, etc.

Traditionally, the gov’t leased lands to private interests for Agriculture/Ranching, Forestry, Mining etc. The BLM manages 18,000 grazing permits/leases Nationally.

Much of these western US lands were settled since the 1840s by small time farmers and cattle ranchers.

The Environmental Lobby is President Obama’s largest support group and have a lot of influence during his reign in power. (ie. Keystone XL Pipeline rejection)

In recent years the Environmental Lobby has overwhelmed BLM with new over-restrictive eco-laws which changed the rules on the Ranchers.


The environmental lobby’s goal is (as per UN, Agenda 21 Wildland project) to remove the humans from these public-domain government owned land and return the land to wilderness. Natural predators, Canadian aggressive northern wolves are being introduced in some areas, which is another irritant hurdle for farmer/ranchers.

The process is intended to make it so regulatory restrictive it’s impossible for the farmer/ranchers to survive such as restricting water rights. Labeling every stream, creek or puddle as fish bearing and preventing grazing cattle from drinking. Also using endangered species tactics to prevent human use of the land.

The farmer/ranchers are ‘cowboys’ because they herd cows, and they are fighting back against government overreach, oppression and tyrannical methods.

If you don’t think this is believable, remember the gov’t. tyranny at ‘Waco’.


The current 2016 Oregon standoff led by Ammon and Ryan Bundy is a takeoff from their dad Cliven Bundy’s 20 year protest in Nevada.

The BLM tried to run Cliven’s grazing cattle off the land with harassment tactics, stampeding his cattle with helicopters and shooting some of them.

That protest garnered volunteer supporters termed ‘militia’ from all over the country (including Alaska) who showed up armed to defend Bundy.

Confronted with such a forceful group, the BLM backed down and withdrew their harrassment. That saga continues with legal disputes ongoing.


This Oregon Standoff was partly provoked by the contrived gov’t. overreach in singling out and prosecuting a Rancher named Hammond for back-burning. They were prosecuted under terrorism laws for maliciously lighting fires to destroy federal property and sentenced the elderly farmer and his son to 5 years in jail.

The farmer/ranchers as land stewardship traditionally do what’s called ‘prescribed burns’ or ‘backfires’ on rangeland to control invasive species, in this case ‘juniper’. The BLM and Forest Service do the same thing and sometimes these burns will cross boundaries whereby in the past, they co-operated and helped each other to control the burns.

Hammonds Targeted Because Government Wants to Steal Their Land

This multi-faceted story has all the ingredients for a great western movie.

Roland Seguin, Langley



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