- Things To Know: Oregon Legislature Roundup
- Congressman Walden: Public Lands Survey
- Oregon Standoff Is Expected to Cost Millions, and Occupiers May Pay Part of the Bill
- The Hidden Agenda in Oregon
- Commentary: Federal Land in the American West, Up Front Spindled & Mutilated
- Links – This and That
- Links – Public Lands Managed by Government Agencies
“Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual — or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.” —Samuel Adams, 1781
1. Things To Know: Oregon Legislature Roundup
2. Congressman Walden: Public Lands Survey
3. Oregon Standoff Is Expected to Cost Millions, and Occupiers May Pay Part of the Bill
BURNS, Ore. — The cost of the six-week standoff in rural Oregon will most likely reach into the millions of dollars, with local and state agencies looking to the federal government — and the arrested occupiers — to shoulder the bulk of the bills.
The total cost may not be known for weeks or months, but the remote location of the occupation, at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in the eastern part of the state, combined with the complexity of the law enforcement response, suggests an expensive operation, said Brian Levin, a criminal justice expert at California State University San Bernardino.
“When you have an unpredictable occupation like this, you have to free up a lot of personnel assets and resources,” Mr. Levin said. “The cost of maintaining a multiagency task force can get very expensive.”
The protest over federal control of Western lands began in early January and ended Thursday when the final four holdouts surrendered.
Gov. Kate Brown of Oregon is seeking up to $1 million from the Legislature to offset expenditures by counties and towns, and she said the state, in turn, would seek reimbursement from the federal government.
Ronald T. Hosko, a former assistant director of the F.B.I.’s criminal investigative division, said that he thought the agency would pay for its own personnel, but that the State of Oregon and the counties affected would more than likely be expected to cover their own costs. “It’s going to be every agency for themselves,” he said.
The governor’s $1 million figure, equal to half of the law enforcement budget of Harney County, where the refuge is, is based on the estimated cost of personnel, transportation and lodging incurred by the state’s 36 counties, which all sent reinforcements to help Harney County deal with the occupation, said Kristen Grainger, a spokeswoman for the governor.
Harney County alone spent nearly $240,000 through the end of January, the latest figures available, said Laura Cleland, who was contracted to act as the county’s temporary spokeswoman during the standoff. Ms. Cleland’s $6,400 monthly fee is included in the county’s tabulation of the cost of the standoff.
Judge Steven E. Grasty of Harney County, who also serves on the county commission, said the total cost to the county could reach $500,000. Judge Grasty said the county planned to seek reimbursement directly from the occupiers, and was prepared to take legal action.
“If you’re going to come in and undo a little a community, come prepared to pay the cost of it,” he said.
Other agencies and municipalities are also beginning to weigh in. The weeklong shutdown of public schools in the area in early January over safety concerns added $160,000 in teacher salaries and other expenses to the bill. The City of Burns, closest to the refuge, incurred costs totaling $30,000 and neighboring Hines spent about $25,000.
Figures are not yet available for the cost of repairing the damage to the refuge, a popular bird sanctuary operated by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.
On Friday, the F.B.I. said it had deployed its Art Crime Team, trained in investigations of cultural property, to work with the Burns Paiute Tribe to identify and document damage to the tribe’s artifacts and sacred burial grounds at the sanctuary, a process estimated to take weeks.
The F.B.I. declined to provide financial information on the standoff, but a law enforcement official estimated that at least 90 federal agents would have been required to staff the three checkpoints set up outside the site of the standoff 24 hours a day.
4. The Hidden Agenda in Oregon
The real story behind the headlines.
While America is tracking the events in Oregon involving the occupation of a federal facility and the unfortunate death of one of the protesters, major developments are being overlooked:
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) want the Hammond Ranch, according to the spring edition of RANGE magazine, an award-winning publication that advocates common sense solutions to problems facing people who live and work on the land. RANGE is a recipient of three consecutive Freedom of the Press awards.
5. Commentary: Federal Land in the American West, Up Front Spindled & Mutilated
By C.J. Hadley, Editor, Range Magazine
Hage. Gardner. Dann. Yowell. Colvin. Bundy. Tomera. Filippini. Borba. Hammond. Good ranchers all, cowboys and Indians who had private property rights on federal land in the American West. All have been abused by federal agents of the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service or the National Park Service. Some cattle have been taken at gunpoint, some ranch families have been destroyed, and the abuse was not earned.
The Hages—who have historic grazing preferences and property rights dating back to the 1860s in central Nevada—have been defending themselves against the government since 1979, and in court (Hage v. United States) since 1991. There have been major decisions in their favor. Judge Loren A. Smith, of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington, D.C., ruled in 2010 that the government owed the Hages $14 million (including interest) under the “takings clause” of the 5th Amendment. Three members of the family have died since the case started and when it’s time to pay up, the Department of Justice brings out a new crop of highly paid lawyers to harass the Hages again. One Forest Service ranger said in the early ’90s: “Hage can’t win. We have more money and more lawyers.” Paid for by honest taxpayers! (Go to rangemagazine.com and click on Special Info/Hage at the bottom of the Home Page.)
In a recent trespass case brought by BLM and FS against the Hages, Federal District Court Judge Robert C. Jones ruled in favor of the family, noting that two agencies of the federal government entered into a “literal, intentional conspiracy to deprive the Hages not only of their permits but also their vested water rights. This behavior shocks the conscience of the Court.” DOJ appealed and the 9th Circuit overruled Judge Jones on Jan. 15, 2016. Next step: the Supreme Court.
But it isn’t just Hage. The Bundys in Bunkerville, Nev., were the last family standing after federal agents used the “endangered” desert tortoise to pressure 50 Clark County ranch families off their ranges. Cliven Bundy’s forebears had been running cattle on that southern desert since the 1800s and in 1991 he refused to sign a BLM grazing permit that would have destroyed his livelihood. Bundy was willing to pay fees but not commit ranch suicide. Sadly, BLM would not accept his fees without a signed permit and since that time BLM has euthanized excess desert tortoises.
But don’t forget the Hammonds in Oregon. Decades of relentless harassment by federal agents have put Dwight Hammond, 74, and son Steven, 46, in federal prison for five years each for “domestic terrorism.” Their crime? A controlled burn to improve the resource and a backburn to save their ranch and range from a lightning fire. While the Hammonds accidentally burned about 140 acres of public land in both fires and damaged nothing, federal agents burned millions of acres, destroyed homes, barns, fences and range, and killed livestock, horses and wildlife, with no reprimand or jail time.
BLM and FWS want the Hammond Ranch. The agencies have blocked the family’s stock waters and access roads to their high-country grazing land, canceled their legal grazing permits, and seem determined to destroy ranch and family so that they can add that private land to the 187,000-acre Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
Besides being locked up in California, the Hammonds had to pay $400,000 by Dec. 31, 2015, for destroying federal land and were forced to give first option on their ranch to the BLM—the agency working to destroy them.
At press time, Bundy sons, Ammon and Ryan, with armed friends, were protesting the Hammonds’ sentence, holed up in the refuge visitor center “until the Hammonds are set free.” Meanwhile, President Obama has released 195,900 felons early (some guilty of homicide, rape and kidnapping) while two good ranchers are languishing in prison.
CONTACT: C.J. Hadley, Editor, RANGE magazine,
6. Links – This and That
Agenda 21 Course
Understanding Sustainable Development and How It Affects You
Hillsdale College free publication IMPRIMIS
The Generosity of America
Basic Forms of Government
It’s not the people, it’s the machine.
The world economy explained with just two cows.
President Nixon Hosts Vietnam Prisoners of War
Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
Capital Press cover construction
RealFarmacy.com – a don’t touch plant
2 NE Oregon men arrested for illegally killing livestock
The problem with socialism is that
you run out of other people’s money.
~ Margaret Thatcher
7. Links – Public Lands Managed by Government Agencies
Oregon standoff ends with a ‘hallelujah’
Feds indict nine more in refuge takeover; total rises to 25
Lavoy Finicum: Truth About BLM, Ammon Bundy, the Hammond Family and Burns Oregon
Judge Anna: An example of how the people are NOT buying the story line against the Bundy and Hammond actions.
The Rebel Madman
Oregon’s next state park will be on Oregon Coast
Groups seek court order to change Deschutes River flows
WaterWatch sues feds, irrigators over ‘harm’ to Deschutes River
Forest Access for All
BLM vs. Rancher
A note from Tom DeWeese:
The stand-off in Burns, Oregon just ended. A couple of weeks ago, one of the protestors, rancher Lavoy Finicum, was shot nine times by federal agents as he attempted to travel to a public meeting to discuss their purpose. Two others, brothers Ammon and Ryan Bundy, were arrested and put in solitary confinement. The Main Stream Media has painted the occupiers as armed militia, even using terms like “unhinged.” These labels are untrue and unfair descriptions. The truth is this is a story with a long history of abuse by the federal government, leading to numerous confrontations with ranchers who have had their livelihood and homes destroyed. In the following article C.J. Hadley, Editor of Range Magazine, outlines the long sad, frustrating, tragic story of a growing government oppression over peaceful, law abiding American citizens who have simply had enough. http://americanpolicy.org/2016/02/11/up-front-spindled-mutilated/
Breaking News: The Hidden Agenda in Oregon
Commentary: The Government Keeps the Rural West Going
Op-Ed. The War for the West Rages On
Portland’s newest park: a $15.1 million pathway to nowhere
Klamath News, A Common Sense Perspective on Economics & Government
Closed Door Deals are not the Oregon Way
Governor Kate Brown Advances Klamath Agreement
Oregon’s Socialist Legislature is Trying to Pull Several Fast Ones