No thread about the Oregon Wildlife Refuge standoff?


#1

I'm referring to this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occupation_of_the_Malheur_National_Wildlife_Refuge

Some people are urging the FBI to go in guns blazing, and I'm not advocating that, but for God's sake, cut off their internet access at least (turns out that despite their claims that they're not doing so, now they're using government computers to spread their message), if not their electricity. Yesterday some of these people went and bulldozed a length of barbed wire fence between federal land and private land, also with government equipment.


#2

This has kind of been rolled into the police being dicks thread, but I agree it deserves its own thread at this point.

The protestors are definitely total douchebags, ESPECIALLY the leadership, with folks like Jon Ritzheimer who is freaking MADE OF ASSHOLE. He is seriously one of the most worthless pieces of shit I’ve seen in recent times.

Going in guns blazing will result in a terrible mess, and make the problem worse, not better.

In terms of cutting off their internet, I’m not sure exactly how you do that, given their internet is presumably coming through things like cell phones.

In terms of cutting off their electricity, I think they already did that.


#3

There’d be fewer of these people in the world, so that seems pretty firmly in the “better” camp to me.

Sorry, had to cast off my absolutist pacifist stance briefly to let my inner raging dick-head out :)


#4

True, but if anyone wants to hack through eight pages of arguing whether or not they ought to be raided by a SWAT team…


#5

That’s the thing, if such a thing were to happen, you’d end up having MORE of those people in the world, not less. Things like Ruby Ridge and Waco didn’t reduce the number of these people, they increased them.


#6

Definitely a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation for federal law enforcement. These guys have been rifling through files, breaking into computers, and knocking down fences. They apparently now have plans to bring in some fake judge to start putting local federal wildlife officials on trial (in absentia, I presume).

But, I can see why any sort of confrontation is just a non-starter. I understand that turning off power to the main building is also problematic, because the well system is depending on the power to keep the pipes from freezing.

My hope is that the infighting escalates and everyone heads home, at which point they are served with the appropriate arrest warrants for trespassing, destruction of property, etc.

I don’t really get the disagreement at the heart of this thing. If I’m a rancher, why should my cattle be allowed to fuck up whatever land I feel like having them graze on? Shouldn’t I have to own the land they are shitting all over, or pay appropriate fees for that right? They think that citizens inherently own the land, all of it? If you’re going to give it back to anybody, then you better give it back to the folks who lived there for thousands of years before a bunch of white guys planted a flag.


#7

I don’t really get the disagreement at the heart of this thing. If I’m a rancher, why should my cattle be allowed to fuck up whatever land I feel like having them graze on? Shouldn’t I have to own the land they are shitting all over, or pay appropriate fees for that right? They think that citizens inherently own the land, all of it? If you’re going to give it back to anybody, then you better give it back to the folks who lived there for thousands of years before a bunch of white guys planed a flag.

As far as I can tell, the answer to why it should be that way is “Because that’s how it used to be.”

It used to be ok to graze on those lands, and the ranching industry built up around those assumptions. Hell, there used to be huge fights between the ranchers and the farmers because the ranchers essentially consider all that publicly owned land to be theirs, and didn’t want to let the homesteaders lay claim to it when the government opened up the west to them.

Similar to the homesteader changes, the federal government has taken chunks of public land and dedicated them to purposes like the wildlife refuge, and prevented ranchers from grazing on them.

Personally, this seems reasonable to me, as it’s public land. You don’t get a say in what the federal government does with its land beyond your ability to vote in elections. As you say, if you want direct control of land, that’s what private ownership is for.

But then again, I’m not a rancher.


#8

Yea, at it’s heart this is about the world changing and the ranchers refusing to change with it.

It is also about government changing as well though. In many areas of the west the Feds keep taking over more land and changing it’s use. Much of it is environmental in nature, whether to protect an animal, protect some vision of how the land should be or simply to end certain business interests (logging, mining, ranching etc). Where I live in California there are concerns over things the government has proposed doing.


#9

I get the feeling this is essentially an extension of the Sagebrush Rebellion, especially when considering how long the Bundys have refused to pay grazing fees.


#10

The ranchers have, in many cases, pay for and have rights to federal lands. We’retalking about an area where there’s more cattle than people, and in order for those head of cattle to be fed, especially in the winter, they need access to appropriate grazing. It wouldn’t be realistic to bring in that much cut hay, for example, to feed them all. So what do you do when you have a number of groups with conflicting rights over the same area of land (ranchers, natives, locals and fed/scientist). This happens to be a very good area for wildlife, birds it seems like.

Well this sort of issue comes up all the time here. When the Klamath Basin is low on water we have farmers, fishers and again those concerned about wildlife (aka the fish). in that case, if you don’t release the water, the crop dies. If you let the rivers run low the fish don’t spawn and then we have decades of problems with that crop and natural resource.

The problem in OR originally started with the Hammonds, but the Hammonds wound up with a fairly harsh sentence for a crime they were convicted of by a jury, their peers. And there seems to be disagreement on fire management and whether not poaching wasinvolved. The Bundy’s have a beef with the federal government in general, letting their cattle run on federal lands without paying for it for years, and decided to bring it over here… notice how the Hammonds are barely mentioned. They supposedly want the federal lands returned back to the states. I am not sure the states have the funds to actually maintain these lands, and the ranchers are not the only ones using it anyway.

Let’s keep in mind that the federal government wound up with a lot of this land because it was not good for homesteading in the first place. Everyone settled in the valleys and around rivers, but these more remote areas were just not ideal for a lot of reasons. Now there’s debate about using the land, as if hunting/fishing and science works are not using the land vs. preserving it.

There are some people who think this building and the work they do in it doesn’t matter

a shed in the wilderness, that no one gives even one single fuck about. They could actually burn the place to the ground, and…

But there is data there and the BLM-USFS spends a fair amount working these lands, including fighting very expensive forest fires, and there’s data being collected there.

I am 100% for discussing and debating these issues, just not with a gun pointed at someone and not while someone is taking it on with an armed force while damaging property. Not to mention, last checked, none of these militia members are from the state they’re occupying.


#11

God bless you people sending them dildos.


#12

The ranchers have, in many cases, pay for and have rights to federal lands.

This is the source of the original conflict with the bundy guys, right? That Clive Bundy refused to pay those fees? (and still hasn’t paid them)

While I have clearly given Nesrie the impression that I think all of this is fine, I definitely do not. I think it’s totally unacceptable for this guy to be a scofflaw just by virtue of having a few guns. But it’s also a delicate situation that we need to handle carefully from a practical perspective.


#13

The clear response to that douchebag is to send them MORE DILDOS.
Like, there needs to be a kickstarter or something for this. I will pay money to support such an effort.


#14

Yeah funny how saying a shed in the middle of forest should be just burned down gives me that impression.

But yes, my vague understanding of what the Bundy’s have a beef with is they don’t think they should have to pay to use that land. It also sounds like they let their cattle roam where they were not allowed as well. No, they haven’t paid which is why I think any fines mentioned towards this group is a joke. Fines only work because people generally pay them or are expected to pay them. This group is likely to draw a gun if you try to collect on them.


#15

Which is bullshit because it’s public land.

This is the equivalent of saying that the land belongs to the public therefore I can do whatever I want with it… personally. “But what about me?” It’s MY land. “But I’m The Public as well!?” MINE

[edit] Should point out I was referring to the Bundys.


#16

I think the challenge though is what exactly is the definition of public. Right now this is federal land, mine, yours, any citizen in the USA really. What the Bundy’s want is to bring it down to a local level, which I think they really mean states. They think the states will be more in their favor, I assume. And i think when they say local they’re thinking right there and not thinking about the large cities that are also in the state.

To me though, locations like Crater Lake National Park ares national treasures to be shared by the world. I wouldn’t want cattle there, and I’d hate to have it fall apart because the state can’t pay for it.

For the Hammonds, it kind of sounds like this refuge has been expanding around them which makes managing their lands right next to it difficult. It’s not that I think they shouldn’t be in trouble for arson and potentially poaching, I just wonder if the fact their land, what they own, and their grazing lands, what they lease, and the federal lands they don’t graze on are bumping up against each other in a way where the letter of the law and a minimum sentence might be too extreme. It’s a lot to ask for someone to sit by and watch a fire destroy your livelihood and potentially your possessions. On the other hand, the jury decided against them so it really sounds like the forced minimum sentence was the issue not the fact there was a punishment.

Now for the Bundy’s, I don’t know enough about them except they’ve raised arms twice now, and it seems likely they’ll keep doing it until the cost of doing so actually deters them from the armed path they’re on to a more civil approach.


#17

Now for the Bundy’s, I don’t know enough about them except they’ve raised arms twice now and it seems likely they’ll keep doing it until cost of doing so actually deters them from the armed path they’re on to a more civil approach.

The problem with the first case was that the feds were literally outgunned. If they had decided to press the issue, the federal agents almost certainly would have died. Like, literally been murdered.

The problem was that the government then didn’t follow up. If someone pulls guns on federal agents, THAT SHIT NEEDS TO BE ENDED.

While I’m not in favor of storming the refuge to deal with them currently, I just as strongly, if not moreso, think that the feds totally dropped the ball by not locking these guys up for directly threatening federal agents. That first case wasn’t some vague threat like the stuff folks are talking about in Oregon. They had a ton of guys with guns and snipers and shit set up and ready to fight.


#18

They had no consequences for that first encounter which emboldened them to go pick a fight instead of waiting for one to come to them. I don’t think they should have had an open gunfight, but as far as I can tell there were no consequences for that act. As for what’s going on now in Oregon… they’re getting mail shipments, going to restaurants… not only are the feds not going on, which is safe for everyone, they’re not making it difficult for them to stay. And while I appreciate chuckling over watching one of them open up a box full of dildos… why are they allowing those shipments to go in there?


#19

I live in Oregon and have been following this pretty closely. A few inaccuracies are being said in this thread. Nesrie did a good job, Let me try & put my summary together:

  1. The Hammonds set multiple fires over about a dozen years, and were convicted of the latest (132 acres, intentionally set which they tried to disavow, but actual recordings of them calling the day of kind of sealed their fate). They were given reduced sentences (9 months for Son, 3 months for Father IIRC) but then a federal attorney said that the minimum sentencing guidelines weren’t being followed and it went to an appeals judge who agreed and reinstated the 5 year minimum sentence.
    -> They leased 26,000 acres and ALWAYS PAID for the lease
    -> With the conviction, the government terminated the lease agreement this year

  2. The militia came in to give them a bully pulpit initially saying they were there for the Hammonds, but the Hammonds completely distanced themselves from the Militia and quietly returned to jail. Their leader, Bundy, has had assorted conflicts with the government over the years.
    -> The militia took over a remote building in the refuge and brought up a littany of grievances against the federal government, claiming that the government has intentionally over the years has tried to get more of the refuge under their control. They are basically trying to say the land should be returned “to the people” but we all know this is horseshit because no way you want any one person controlling the land.
    -> One of the major complaints they give is the feds intentionally flooded malheur refuge to force ranchers to sell. This is patently false. The basin / lake is only a few feet deep and easily expands 2-3x size when spring floods come after heavy snowpack or rainfall.

For a great synopsis of why the feds aren’t forcing the issue, I would suggest this article.


#20

I would assume they just have a rented PO Box (provided by the FEDS, those evil jackbooted thugs!), and they just run out to pick up their mail.

I’d like to see law enforcement block the roads and keep people from going in-and-out as they please, but I also imagine that setting up any sort of siege situation is tipping a domino that won’t end well for anyone involved.