Family of Robert “Lavoy” Finicum files wrongful death lawsuit

Katie Aguilera

Two years after Robert “Lavoy” Finicum was shot and killed by Oregon State Police officers on Highway 395 in Harney County on January 26, 2016, the Finicum family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a slew of defendants.  These include the United States, FBI, BLM, Oregon State Police, Harney County, a number of officials from those agencies, the Center for Biological Diversity, and 100 ‘John Does,’ among others.

The lawsuit was filed Friday, January 26, 2018 by lawyers Lisa Ludwig and J. Morgan Philpot in US District court in Pendleton, Oregon.

The 48-page complaint states, “the murder of LaVoy was plainly unlawful under rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and also…unlawful under other laws of the United States and the laws of the State of Oregon.  It was the result of a brutally deliberate course of action willfully set in place and caused by a small selection of county, state, and federal officials who are named as defendants in this lawsuit.  These defendants were mentally predisposed and committed to using excessive lethal force, to solve a political dispute.”

It goes on to describe the events that led to the shooting of Finicum on January 26, 2016, beginning with the Bunkerville, Nevada standoff in April, 2014.  It claims that Finicum was intentionally targeted because of his association with Cliven Bundy and family, his membership in the Church of Latter-day Saints, and his “political views and statements regarding land rights and federal government overreach—specifically, his consistent political activism and statements that were critical of the BLM.”

The complaint claims that law enforcement and the BLM deliberately mischaracterized Finicum as being a threat to law enforcement and government employees by willfully participating in the “spreading of false and maliciously inaccurate information.”  It goes on to state the BLM and FBI kept an active file on Finicum, and that “Defendant Love [Former BLM employee, Daniel P. Love] and other John Doe defendants fabricated information, edited, omitted, or reported misleading information from this file, and added misleading information to this file, for the purpose of intentionally creating the false impression that LaVoy Finicum was associated with militia and presented a risk of violence to law enforcement…”

This misinformation, according to the lawsuit, “contributed directly to the subsequent shooting death of LaVoy Finicum.”

Also in the complaint are details about the January 2, 2016 occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Harney County, Oregon by Finicum and others.  It states a meeting took place on January 2, 2016, between Ammon Bundy and others, discussing Bundy’s plan to move the protest to the Refuge in an attempt at “adverse possession.”  According to the complaint, this meeting was openly attended by a Harney County deputy sheriff.

The complaint alleges that the defendants worked to control the narrative in order to keep the adverse possession claim out of public discourse.  It states, “these defendants ignored legal advice and counsel that suggested that the appropriate course of action would be legal notice and possible trespass charge—by local law enforcement and local civil court actions.  These same defendants also ignored advice from local legal authorities, that no law had been broken by the attempted adverse possession.”

“Instead, Defendants…willfully decided to fight a public political battle, and demanded that the FBI, BLM, and DOJ take the lead and bring the occupation to a close by force.”

It goes on to point out that there were never any eviction notices or complaints of trespass during the occupation of the Refuge.  Also, that as of January 26, 2016, “there was no criminal complaint, no probable cause affidavit, no federal indictments, or any other formal proceeding to inform—let alone argue—that LaVoy Finicum or any other occupier was being accused of breaking the law.”  This includes the time of the initial January 26, 2016 traffic stop and subsequent roadblock, where Finicum was shot and killed.

The lawsuit claims that Oregon State Police and FBI agents executed a “deadman’s roadblock” in violation of police procedure and the Constitution on January 26, 2016.  It states, “the roadblock had been strategically placed so as to prevent it from being visible until impact was a near certainty for any vehicle traveling at posted speeds.”

The complaint also discusses the actions of FBI agent W. Joseph Astarita during the roadblock, who is currently facing charges for his alleged attempt to cover up the fact that he allegedly fired his weapon twice after Finicum crashed into the snowbank to avoid the roadblock.  It claims that one of these shots resulted in the wounding of Ryan Bundy, who still has a piece of metal in his shoulder that may or may not be a bullet or bullet fragment.

The shooting of Lavoy Finicum was ruled as justified by Oregon officials.  The officers involved stated that Finicum was reaching into his jacket pocket which they say they later found held a loaded pistol.  Video of the shooting shows Finicum exit his truck with his arms up, however, as he moves away from the truck he drops his arms twice, and before he is shot three times, he appears to reach for his side.

Early in the occupation of the Refuge, in an interview, Finicum had said, “I’m not going to end up in prison.  I would rather die than be caged.  And I’ve lived a good life.”

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BLM ordered to deliver a report on the dismissal of the Bundy case

Congressional hearings may follow

Katie Aguilera

Utah Representative Rob Bishop (R) has ordered Brian Steed, the acting chairman of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to deliver a report on the handling of the Bundy case.  Judge Gloria Navarro declared a mistrial in the federal case against Cliven, Ryan, and Ammon Bundy, and Ryan Payne, on December 21, 2017.  She ruled it a mistrial with prejudice January 8, 2018, dropping the charges against the men.

The Las Vegas Review Journal reports that a congressional hearing is expected to follow the BLM’s report, which Bishop ordered to be delivered by January 24.

“The failures in the Bundy case and previous cases display serious misconduct by the BLM law enforcement officials, and strongly suggest that there are systemic issues within BLM’s law enforcement operations,” Bishop said.

Concerns have also grown that the mistrial will embolden people to act violently against federal authorities in future disputes.  Arizona Representative Raul Grijalva (D) has ordered a Government Accountability Office study, which is currently ongoing, “on the scale of recent threats and attacks against BLM officials and property,” according to the Las Vegas review article.  “’You’ve emboldened people like Bundy and the way they think—that it’s OK to threaten federal marshals with weapons, to occupy an area, armed, and talk about violence and foment that,’ Grijalva said.”

The Bundys argued that the April 12, 2014 armed standoff between the family and their supporters, and the BLM law enforcement, was the result of the aggressive posture taken by the BLM during the operation to round up Cliven Bundy’s trespassing cattle.  The information the prosecution was accused of withholding from the defense in the case confirmed some of the Bundys’ claims regarding the BLM’s actions.

Currently, a bill has been introduced to the House committee on natural resources that would require the Department of the Interior to “terminate the Bureau of Land Management Office [and U.S. Forest Service] of Law Enforcement and cease using Interior employees to perform law enforcement functions on federal lands.” The bill still awaits action by the committee.

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Bundy trial in Nevada ends in mistrial

Judge Gloria Navarro declared a mistrial Wednesday morning in the Bundy trial in Las Vegas, Nevada, as a result of her concerns about Brady violations by the prosecution.  Judge Navarro described the violations as “willful” failure to turn six key pieces of evidence over to the defense that would be helpful to their case.

The withheld evidence includes verification of several things the defense has argued contributed to the actions of the defendants during the 2014 armed standoff between the Bundys, their supporters, and Bureau of Land Management and law enforcement officers.  The prosecution has repeatedly denied these things occurred.

One example was documentation of the presence of snipers near the Bundy ranch in the days leading up to the standoff.  The Bundys repeatedly claimed that snipers were there, and this was one reason people, including militia members, came to Bunkerville to support them.  Many claim that when they heard about the snipers, they feared violent action against the Bundys by law enforcement, and came to protect them.

The Bundys themselves have argued that they felt threatened because of the snipers and the aggressive posture of the authorities.  They have said the Bureau of Land Management provoked them and their supporters into the armed standoff that occurred April 12, 2014 in Nevada.  However, according to the judge, the prosecution has insisted there were no snipers present in previous trials.

Judge Navarro cited an “FBI log with entries that said ‘snipers were inserted’ and on standby outside the Bundy home. Three entries in the log mentioned snipers present, Navarro noted. Prosecutors claimed they were unaware of the log at first because it was kept on a thumb drive in a tactical vehicle.”

“The government is still responsible for information from the investigating agency. The FBI chose not to disclose it,” Navarro said.

Another example, an FBI report about a security camera, trained on the Bundy family home in Bunkerville, that was put up and monitored by the FBI.  “The government falsely represented the camera that was on the Bundy house was incidental, not purposeful,” the judge said.

Also included were threat assessments of the Bundys that stated they weren’t considered violent, and documents from the Bureau of Land Management that show the Bundy’s trespassing cattle had caused no harm to the endangered desert tortoises.

As a result of these developments, “a mistrial in this case is the most suitable and only remedy available,” Judge Navarro said.  A new trial may be held in February, but in the meantime, Judge Navarro will decide if it is a mistrial with or without prejudice.  If she rules it is with prejudice, there won’t be another trial for the current charges against Cliven, Ryan, and Ammon Bundy and Ryan Payne.

Man Arrested After Attempting To Bomb BLM Facility in FBI Sting Operation

Yesterday, June 22, 2016, the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested William Keebler in Nephi, Utah, after he allegedly attempted to detonate a fake bomb they had provided him with.  Keebler was present in Bunkerville, Nevada in 2014, at the Bundy ranch and apparently at the stand off between Bundy supporters and the BLM on April 12, 2014.  He is described as the leader of a citizen militia group, the Patriots Defense Force.

The felony complaint document states that Keebler was an associate of Lavoy Finicum, the Arizona rancher killed by law enforcement at a roadblock in Oregon during the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge earlier this year.

According to the felony complaint, the FBI had had undercover officers inside the Patriots Defense Force, acting as members and participating in various training exercises with the militia group, for several months.  The felony complaint describes several meetings over that time period in which Keebler discussed “going on the offensive” and “gathering intelligence on potential targets.”  One such meeting is described as follows:

On March 19, 2016, Keebler organized and led an FTX [field training exercise] for the PDF militia group.  Keebler described the direction the PDF was going to focus on.  Keebler said the government had been allowed to harass people, but the repercussions were going to start.  Keebler had previously said the BLM was overreaching their authority to implement grazing restrictions on ranchers.  Keebler had opined the land belonged to “the people” and could be used responsibly at the American people’s discretion.  Keebler said the PDF was going to target BLM facilities in the “middle of nowhere.”  Keebler stated the PDF was going to sneak in and severely damage vehicles or buildings.  Keebler requested a PDF member/UCE [FBI undercover employees] who has explosive materials expertise, to build an explosive device that could disable a BLM vehicle or damage a building.  Keebler made it clear he didn’t plan on blowing people up for now, but he wanted his group to be prepared to escalate things, and take people out if necessary.

On May 14, 2016, Keebler announced to the group that they would target a BLM facility at Mount Trumbull, Arizona and requested two bombs be built by the UCE, one to place at the facility to be remotely detonated, and the other for use in case they were stopped by law enforcement on the way to or from the BLM facility.

According to the felony complaint, Keebler had previously scouted the Mount Trumbull facility in October, 2015, with Lavoy Finicum, accompanied by an FBI undercover employee who took pictures of the facility.

On June 21, 2016, one of these devices was “placed against the door of one of the BLM cabins in Mount Trumbull [Arizona].  After the device was placed against the door, Keebler was handed a remote detonation device.  Keebler then pushed the detonator button multiple times in order to remotely detonate the inert explosive.”  Keebler was arrested the following morning after he had returned to Utah.

This calls several things into question for me.  First of all, who placed the bomb next to the door of the BLM cabin?  Who handed the detonator to Keebler?  Was it entirely Keebler’s idea and decision to bomb a BLM facility?  It wouldn’t be the first time the FBI has stopped  a crime that they helped to plan.

One example that most of my fellow Oregonians probably remember is the case of Mohamed Osman Mohamud who was arrested in Portland, Oregon, in 2010 for attempting to detonate a fake car bomb at a Christmas tree lighting ceremony.  The FBI had provided him the bomb after encouraging the plot.

In a September 18, 2011 Los Angeles Times Op ed, Petra Bartosiewicz writes:

The government’s marquee post-9/11 terrorism investigations, including cases such as the Miami Seven, the Ft. Dix Six and last year’s Portland Christmas Tree Bomber, have not involved real attacks but, rather, have been sting operations involving plots invented by law enforcement. New York University’s Center on Law and Security, which tracks federal terrorism prosecutions, reports that since 2009, the FBI has escalated its use of stings in which a confidential informant or undercover officer approaches a suspect and “assists him in the planning of an attempted terror crime.”

The defendants in these plots, most of them male Muslim immigrants with no history of terrorism or violence, have become unwitting actors in a disturbing theatrical performance: The FBI scripts the plot and provides the weapons, along with money, cars and any other logistical support needed to carry out the “attack.”

She goes on to discuss the argument that only the “true bad guys will take the bait” in such sting operations by stating, “terrorism stings go much further than presenting a likely bad guy with a passing criminal opportunity. The operations last for months and sometimes years, with suspects offered all manner of enticements to participate in a plot they probably would never have come up with on their own.”

I suppose that we should all feel so much safer as the FBI is so effective at stopping their own plots.  Even though they were unable to stop Omar Mateen from killing 49 people in Orlando, Florida in spite of the fact that the gun dealership where Mateen requested a thousand rounds of ammunition and body armor reported concern about him to the FBI weeks before the shooting.  And this after Mateen had previously been on the terrorist watch list and under intense investigation in 2013-2014.

Even though they seem unable to stop armed wildlife refuge “take overs” in spite of their success, as demonstrated in this case with Keebler, at infiltrating groups associated with those who did occupy the Malheur refuge.  Clearly all the surveillance and infiltrating works wonders.

UPDATE, June 29th, 2016:  According to this Salt Lake Tribune article published today,  “Lavoy Finicum did not accompany Keebler when he scouted the BLM cabins in October 2015, as was alleged in the charging documents.”  The article also states that Keebler’s federal defender said in court:

“…undercover agents proposed the explosive types, drove Keebler to the location, placed the bomb, handed Keebler a remote trigger and told him to press the button three times.”

 

 

What’s The Beef? Part One: The Anger Over Federal Land Management

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Katie Aguilera

The land out here is vast, in some places stretching as far as the eye can see in between homes, towns, any signs of humanity.  It is rugged and dry, and holds a sense of emptiness, of loneliness.  But to the observant wanderer, it is in fact a place full of life, from the twisted juniper trees to the strange-colored lichens spreading over the ground.  One can find traces of the animals that have passed through, coyote scat, rabbit tracks, the remnants of a cougar kill up in a tree, huge bird nests up in the craggy cliff bands.  And, of course, the evidence of people, shotgun shells, broken glass, old appliances, and cows.

People seem to have a habit of taking what they have for granted until threatened with its loss.  It is certainly true when it comes to land use.  We have a long history of over-use, it is evident in any industry that involves using or extracting natural resources.  It begins with discovery, then fortunes are made, and more and more people jump on board, and then, the resource begins to run out.  That is the point at which people either destroy the resource altogether, or take steps to protect and manage it.

It is undeniable that humans impact the environment, our proliferation around the world has clearly changed the land.  It is also undeniable that natural resources are required for our survival.  We need food, water, shelter, just like every species.  And this need, and all the times we’ve allowed it to devolve into excessive over-use of resources, along with the desire to protect what we don’t want to lose, has left us with a decades-old, emotional, sometimes violent debate.

Once again, this debate has exploded out of its usual confines of rural America and into the national spotlight with the occupation of the Malheur Wildlife refuge in Harney County.  Ignoring the very basic fact that nature seeks balance, the media is frantically fueling the polarizing rhetoric.  Either you are an angry, spoiled white guy with lots of guns attempting to grab all of the public land, or you are against the occupation and want the spoiled white guys arrested, maybe even bombed with drones.  Few seem willing to pause long enough in the argument to really listen to each other.  Just what is the beef with Federal land management?

The situation in Harney County presents a good starting place to look at this question because there is a long history of problems there.  Anyone who has paid any attention to the story of the refuge occupation knows that it began with a protest rally in support of Dwight and Steven Hammond, who were sentenced for arson under the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act for starting two fires on their land that spread to BLM land, burning a total of 140 acres.  The group occupying the refuge want the Hammonds freed from prison, among other things.  The Hammonds’ battle with the BLM has been going on for decades, long before they lit the two fires that got them branded as terrorist arsons.  And they aren’t alone.

Water

Many from the area claim that there have been numerous attempts to get ranchers off of their private lands over the years.  According to Ammon Bundy, some of those attempts included reducing the number of grazing permits from 53 to 21, raising grazing fees, and even deliberately flooding Malheur, Harney and Mud Lakes to force ranchers from the lands around the lakes.  The lakes did flood in the early eighties, causing an estimated $32 million in damage in 1984.  According to The New York Times:

‘Twenty-seven families have been flooded out as the lakes’ level has risen about 12 feet over the last three years,’ said William H. Beal, Harney County’s water master.

I haven’t found any evidence to support Bundy’s claim that the US Fish and Wildlife Service deliberately flooded the lakes somehow, but the solution sought by the ranchers to make a flood-relief canal to lower the levels in the lakes was ultimately dismissed.  Again from the above New York Times article:

Harney County officials want to deepen and widen the old waterway to the Malheur River and use it as a flood-relief canal, timing the releases to minimize flood danger downstream.  Mr. Beal said the canal would cost $8 million to $12 million.

The Army Corps of Engineers said two years ago that the economic benefits would far outweigh the cost of the canal.

In the end, after another study by the Army Corps of Engineers, in a reversal from their previous statement, the canal was ruled out as its benefits would not outweigh the costs of construction, or possible detrimental effects on the river from the influx of lake waters.  This study goes into much more detail about the different ideas for mitigating the flood damage and resolving the problem.  I can see why local residents might feel as though their needs, and solution ideas, were disregarded, and perhaps that has led to Ammon’s claim.

As for the Hammonds, Ammon Bundy writes this:

In the early 1990’s the Hammonds filed on a livestock water source and obtained a deed for the water right from the State of Oregon. When the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) found out that the Hammonds obtained new water rights near the Malhuer Wildlife Refuge, they were agitated and became belligerent and vindictive towards the Hammonds. The US Fish and Wildlife Service challenged the Hammonds right to the water in an Oregon State Circuit Court.  The court found that the Hammonds legally obtained rights to the water in accordance to State law and therefore the use of the water belongs to the Hammonds.* 
In August 1994 the BLM & FWS illegally began building a fence around the Hammonds water source. Owning the water rights and knowing that their cattle relied on that water source daily the Hammonds tried to stop the building of the fence.
The Hammonds did indeed try to disrupt the building of the fence repeatedly.  It resulted in a hostile showdown, angry threats made towards government employees, and the arrest of Dwight Hammond.  You can read more about that here, I recommend the read.
Land

Grazing fees are a hotly disputed issue.  The low fees charged by the federal government for ranchers to graze their herds on public lands is often described as a subsidy because it is lower than private land owners charge for grazing rights, and it doesn’t cover the costs of managing those lands where the grazing occurs.

Wildlife advocates have long criticized the low price for grazing fees on public lands, calling it an effective subsidy to a fraction of the ranching industry. Generally, grazing fees returns only a fraction of the money the Federal government spends to manage public lands grazing: less than a sixth in 2004, according to the General Accounting Office .

[Read more of that article here on the argument for raising fees.]

According to this:

The Federal grazing fee for 2015 will be $1.69 per animal unit month (AUM) for public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management and $1.69 per head month (HM) for lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service. The 2014 fee was $1.35.

An animal unit month is defined as “the use of public lands by one cow and her calf, one horse, or five sheep or goats for a month.”
It does seem like a good deal.  But the BLM itself says that “the grazing fee is not a cost-recovery fee, but a market-driven fee.”
There are several important reasons for keeping grazing fees low to consider according to this article written in 1992 by William G. Laffer III and John Shanahan.  They point out that grazing on private land typically costs more because the grazing is generally of better quality, and the property owners “provide ranchers with fences, roads, water, and protection for livestock.  Ranchers must provide these services for themselves on public land.”  Public lands are “of poorer quality, more remote, and more difficult to manage and control than private lands.”
Not only that, and perhaps even more important, is the matter of fencing.  It is no small matter.
…if ranchers are priced off federal rangelands, the government would have to build hundreds of thousands of miles of fences to keep cattle from trespassing onto federal land.  In the Eastern states, a cattle owner is responsible for putting a fence around his land to keep his cattle in, and is liable to his neighbors if his cattle escape and trespass onto the neighbors’ land. However, in most Western states, a landowner who fails to put a fence around his own land may not recover for trespass if other people’s cattle come onto his land because the landowner is legally responsible for fencing the cattle out.  Billions for fences.  No one knows precisely how many miles of fencing the federal government would have to build.  Because federal land in most Western states is interspersed with private land in a checkerboard pattern, however, the amount of fencing required would be enormous.  In one grazing district in Wyoming alone, the BLM estimates that it will have to put up 13,222 miles of fencing at a cost of almost $98 million if cattle grazing is discontinued because of excessive fees.
Remember, that was back in 1992, and the estimated cost doesn’t include the cost of surveying the land to determine actual property boundaries.  Of course, a little pressure from the federal government could certainly push states to change their laws to require ‘fencing in.’
As to the argument over whether or not cattle should be grazed at all on public lands, well, I would say that I agree they shouldn’t be allowed everywhere.  Cattle move slowly over the land, remaining in one place until they can no longer find anything to eat, and this causes soil compaction and the destruction of plants.  It is reasonable to believe this is harmful to native species, and there are studies that show how harmful.  From another perspective, however, they can be beneficial too, mowing down potential fuels for wild fires.  But regardless of what you think about the issue, the fact is people eat beef, a lot of beef, and it is no more environmentally responsible to ship our beef from far away lands.  A more reasonable approach is compromise, grazing on some lands, and cattle-free areas too.
Fire

On top of all of that, we can’t forget fire.  It’s no secret that forest fire management policies over the past century have led to dangerous conditions throughout the western United States.  The idea that all forest fires are bad, and must be extinguished immediately has left forests and rangelands loaded with fuel.  When fires start, they burn hotter and longer, causing greater damage to the land, and they are much harder to contain.  In the sweeping sage brush country of eastern Oregon, prescribed burns were used as a means to improve grazing lands and reduce Juniper trees, preventing a build up of fuel and lowering the risk of catastrophic fires.  According to this article by Carrie Stadheim:

[Erin] Maupin, who resigned from the BLM in 1999, said that collaborative burns between private ranchers and the BLM had become popular in the late 1990s because local university extension researchers were recommending it as a means to manage invasive juniper that steal water from grass and other cover

and,

‘In 1999, the BLM started to try to do large scale burn projects.  We started to be successful on the Steens Mountain especially when we started to do it on a large watershed scale as opposed to trying to follow property lines.’

Because private and federal land is intermingled, collaborative burns were much more effective than individual burns that would cover a smaller area, Maupin said.

Like the Hammonds’ fires, these prescribed burns, as well as fires lit as back-burns while fighting wild fires, haven’t always stayed within their intended boundaries.  Again from Stadheim’s article:

During her tenure as a full time BLM employee from 1997-1999, Maupin recalls other fires accidentally spilling over onto BLM land, but only the Hammonds have been charged, arrested and sentenced, she said.  Ranchers might be burning invasive species or maybe weeds in a ditch. ‘They would call and the BLM would go and help put it out and it was no big deal.’

On the flip side, Maupin remembers numerous times that BLM-lit fires jumped to private land.  Neighbors lost significant numbers of cattle in more than one BLM fire that escaped intended containment lines and quickly swallowed up large amounts of private land.  To her knowledge, no ranchers have been compensated for lost livestock or other loss of property such as fences.

Gary Miller, who ranches near Frenchglen, about 35 miles from the Hammonds’ hometown, said that in 2012, the BLM lit numerous backfires that ended up burning his private land, BLM permit, and killing about 65 cows.

Oregon Representative Greg Walden, in a strong statement to the U.S. House of Representatives after the refuge occupation began, had this to say about back-burns started by federal employees:

There was nobody sentenced under the terrorist laws there.  Oh heck no, its the government, they weren’t sentenced, no one was charged.

Good point.  Its no wonder the residents in Harney County, and Ammon Bundy, are suspicious of the motives behind charging the Hammonds for their fires by the federal government.  It really doesn’t surprise me that there seems to be growing support for the occupation on the ground as residents of Harney County, and surrounding counties and states, see an opportunity to force these issues into the spotlight.  And an opportunity to find solutions.  And I think that makes the federal government increasingly nervous, and it shows in the media narrative.

It may be that it is simply too boring to report on the people on the ground, directly affected every day by the land use debate that is more vast than the land itself.  Or, maybe reporting on their efforts to find balanced solutions to the problems doesn’t serve the purpose of the Federal government as it seeks to increase its control.  Reporting on the reality on the ground might expose a widening crack in that control as the people are re-discovering that they don’t need the federal government to solve their problems for them.

Don’t miss “What’s The Beef, Part Two:  How Lawsuits Shape Land Management Policies.”  Read it here.

Another note: just as I finished this, I learned the news that Ammon Bundy and three others have been arrested after an incident involving shots fired while they were on the way to a meeting in John Day, Oregon. 

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