The fringe element that wants to steal our shared national heritage—the lands and waters and fish and wildlife owned by us, the American people—is coming to Montana.
On Saturday, January 20, public lands abuser Cliven Bundy spoke at an anti-public lands gathering in Paradise, Mont. A group with ties to the region, The Coalition of Western Property Owners, promoted the event, which they called “Freedom and Property.” Neither is applicable to Mr. Bundy: He wants to divest us of the freedom represented by our public lands, and he’s already been stealing our property by illegally grazing his cattle.
Following the recent dismissal of federal charges, due to a major bungle by the government, Bundy and his followers walked free. (Not to be confused with other armed standoffs spearheaded by the Bundy clan, this round of litigation was in response to the 2014 confrontation on the Bundy’s ranch in Bunkerville, Nev., in which the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) seized some of Bundy’s cattle following his years of refusal to pay federal grazing fees.) Bundy has made no secret of his plans to continue undermining our American system of public lands and ultimately stealing them from you and me. His appearance in Sanders County is an attempt to advance his agenda.
Bundy shared the billing with Montana State Sen. Jennifer Fielder (R), who is also the CEO of a pro-public lands transfer organization called the American Lands Council. Fielder represents Sanders County, where Paradise is located. That an elected Montana lawmaker and head of a group that advocates for the “orderly” transfer of public lands is willing to align herself with a well-known scofflaw like Bundy should concern all of us who care about our public lands—not to mention the numerous benefits, including hunting, fishing and hiking, plus mining, logging and grazing, that these lands provide.