Sunday, January 03, 2016

more on the Harney County story

More on what's happening in Harney County and what has become an occupy movement led by another Bundy, this one the son of that Nevada rancher who wanted to graze his cattle for free. The article below gives the government's side regarding what the Hammonds were accused of in that trial, and it wasn't terrorism. It was poaching, which meant killing a herd of deer probably to get them off their land, and then using a fire to hide the evidence. There were witnesses who testified. The publicity has led to a new entrant into the story.

What bothered me was for Bundy (the Hammonds did not request the Bundy entrance into this-- It would appear that Nevada family and those gun toters saw a chance for 15 minutes more of fame) to say that for a refuge to be created is to take the American people's land, that's not so. 

Wildlife refuges are created to protect habitat for wildlife, especially migrating birds,who cannot survive if those kind of places are all gone. Migrating birds are part of an ecosystem, but I get it that some don't like that word or even understand what it means. My point is-- refuges are something most Americans approve being done. 

Furthermore, ranchers who believe they own land simply because their family settled in the area aren't exactly on the side of the American people. They are on their own side. Fair enough but don't pretend it's being done for the rest of us.

Recently I've been reading about the effort by ranchers to get all wild horses removed from BLM or Forest Service land so that the ranchers can graze more cattle there. Killing those wild horses after rounding them up is perfectly fine with those ranchers, who don't own the land but act as if they do. 

These are the same people who want no wilderness or if there is, it's accessed through their land and they charge fees to enter or hunt on it. They are the same ones who want no zoning so that mining, ranching, resorts, and any moneymaking endeavor for the local owners can be done. 

Zoning is not always government takeover (not to say it can't be sometimes). It can be what government has been directed to do by citizens, who have a differing set of values. Yes, government can overreach. It can be bought by oligarchs to take land they want. It was not though what happened in Nevada where Cliven Bundy didn't want to pay the federal government for the leased land his cattle were grazing on. Basically he was stealing it and then competing when he sold his beef with those landowners who paid for the grass their cattle ate. 

Oregon has gone through this on many levels. As ranchers ourselves, we have seen the benefit of zoning in keeping our taxes low on this place because it's taxed at farm use. Yes, it means we cannot subdivide it into multiple housing units. But it also means we can afford to continue to raise crops or in our case grow livestock providing grassfed beef and lamb for consumers and a good life for the herd and flock that we have on the land we own and that we lease.

1 comment:

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