It’s hard to believe it. The new year is upon us and my wish is that it will bring peace and healing for all of us.
The past year has been a crazy one. There were so many stories around the world to follow, but the stories that really left the strongest impressions on me happened closer to home.
Tomorrow marks the one-year anniversary of the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, a story I followed obsessively beginning around 10pm on January 2nd, 2016. I’m still obsessively following the ongoing outcomes of that event, and maybe one of these days I’ll write down some of my reflections on it all.
Two more stories that crossed my radar as a result of the Malheur occupation are still unfolding. One is the proposed national monument to protect the Owyhee Canyonlands. President Obama just declared two new monuments, Gold Butte in Nevada and Bears Ears in Utah. The other story is the implementation of Oregon’s greater sage-grouse management plan, and the decision by some Oregon ranchers to file a lawsuit challenging aspects of the plan.
One more story that I have written about is another example of the justice system gone wrong. Benjamin Cunha was given a six-year sentence, most of which was suspended, for arson. He served a year in prison and five years on probation, then moved on with his life, only to be sentenced again, this time by the federal government, to a five-year sentence, eight years later. I’ll be posting an update on his story soon.
While following these stories and writing about them, I’ve been fortunate to meet a lot of great people. I am grateful for all my new friends, and thankful for all the help they have given me. In spite of all the negativity in the world around us, these people have given me hope. I welcome 2017, and will keep doing whatever I can to make this world a better place. So here’s to a happy New Year, for everyone!
I have just one resolution for 2017…I will finish my novel!
Photo courtesy of pixabay.com