Typical recent rancher activities underscores their extremism-

Recently we reported on Arizona/Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy who thinks he doesn’t have to pay grazing fees because he thinks the federal government does not own the U.S. public lands where his grazing allotment (now rescinded) lies. He threatens force to prevent his illegal cattle from being impounded.

A casual glance through the Great Falls (Montana) Tribune shows another rancher unilaterally closing a public road (used for the last 100 years) into the Little Belt Mountains.

Yet another rancher, elected to the Montana legislature, wants to impeach Governor Schweitzer for moving Yellowstone bison to northeastern Montana’s Fort Peck Indian Reservation.

In instance after instance ranchers refuse to obey the law, block the legitimate access of Americans to their land, and harass elected officials for managing wildlife in the public (rather than in the rancher’ personal private interest).

The reason so many public land issues can’t be solved is due to just one thing — troublemaking ranchers. They never compromise. They have an unjustified sense of entitlement. They don’t think the law applies to them. They assume that they are the lawmakers (and in these sparsely inhabited areas they often are). Many average citizens of the West think there needs to finally be some equality and justice on the public lands — room and respect for the 99% who are not so overpriviledged.

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

15 Responses to Impeach Governor Schweitzer? More rancher extremism

  1. avatar Elk275 says:

    ++A casual glance through the Great Falls (Montana) Tribune shows another rancher unilaterally closing a public road (used for the last 100 years) into the Little Belt Mountains.++

    I just spend the last two hours researching this. The rancher is Zenhntner and according to the Great Falls Tribune he owns approximately 1000 acres, the Montana Cadastral says 847 acres. The land has been broken up into small parcels. One thousand acres would pasture 50 cow/calves for four months not feasible. Mr Zenhnter is a landowner/outfitter with that road he controls thousands of acres of National Forest lands. It is an outfitter blocking access to public lands happens all the time. In this case access is available by foot or horseback.

    • avatar Rancher Bob says:

      ELK
      It’s just time to blame the rancher or land barons, read Brian’s other article. All the problems of the masses can be blamed on the few ranchers plays right into the WWP plan. Every time I read a WWP article I put Jew in for land baron it’s a fun look at history.
      Enjoy Montana as only we can.

      • avatar Jeff N. says:

        Pretty sad comparison Rancher Bob. Can you provide a statistic of how many ranchers have been victims of genocide?

        • avatar Jerry Black says:

          Rancher Bob’s Quote…”Every time I read a WWP article I put Jew in for land baron it’s a fun look at history.
          Enjoy Montana as only we can.”

          Not sure I’m following you…..will you please elaborate on the “Jew” ????

      • avatar Mike says:

        ++ELK
        It’s just time to blame the rancher or land barons, read Brian’s other article. All the problems of the masses can be blamed on the few ranchers plays right into the WWP plan. Every time I read a WWP article I put Jew in for land baron it’s a fun look at history.
        Enjoy Montana as only we can.++

        WTF?

  2. avatar Jeff N. says:

    Rancher Bob equated the alleged persecution of ranchers to the genocide of the Jews. Will Rancher Bob now have big enough balls to to equate public land ranchers as socialists?

    Bob, if you are or have been a rancher who has used public lands and taxpayer money in order for you to run your business, are you a Socialist?

    • avatar Rancher Bob says:

      Jeff N
      Genocide, really that’s all you know of history, no I haven’t heard of a call to kill ranchers. Before the genocide started the Jews were blamed for all the problems in Germany, the Jews had money and assets, the masses had little. Maybe Ralph can tell you the political science term where the few are blamed for the problems of the masses. It’ a common ploy used though history.
      Socialism that’s where individuals are not allowed to own land or to profit from business, right? That’s kind of what you and the WWP preach individuals should not profit from federal land and should not have any rights of private land ownership when it comes to the public’s animals. So no ranchers are not socialist, we are capitalist.
      I am a rancher I raise grass fattened beef and feeder calves. I do not pasture federal lands I lease private land most of which is open to public use at times. I did use a federal program the helped us fence the cattle off the stream that flows though the ranch and drill a well. I paid 3/4 of the bill and us taxpayer paid 1/4. Still I own my cattle not you or the government, still not socialism.

      • avatar Jeff N. says:

        RB,

        Stop being so delusional. Nobody is is blaming stock growers for all the problems this country faces. Your analogy is a stretch….a pretty big one.

        What is pretty evident is that a minority of public land users, ranchers, have a disproportionate say in how public lands are managed.

        Regarding pulic land ranchers being capitalists……hardly. Without taxpayer subsidies and the bargain price per head of running cattle on public land; ranching is anything but capitalism…rather it’s more like “to subsidized to fail”.

        Nice try RB.

        • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

          Watched the old movie Shane the other night. The ranchers wanted to kick the homsteaders out because the ranchers had obtained a government beef contract for the Indian reservation. The movie was made in 1950 showing how far back the assumption that ranchers would have some government favor goes.

          • avatar Jeff N. says:

            The public land rancher welfare queen’s sense of entitlement and victimization never ceases to amaze me.

  3. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    Some folk wisdom : In Wyoming and Montana , we have our own breed of Sacred Cows. Some of them are even cattle.

    This day and age , while sifting the news and putting events in context in the northern Rockies and western High Plains, based on both actions and rhetoric , it is increasingly difficult to distinguish between the custom and culture autocratic Cattle Barons here and the Taliban over there.

    Stockgrowers are the American Taliban.

    • avatar Rancher Bob says:

      Cody
      I had forgotten the stockgrowers were forcing the rest of you to wear cowboy hats and boots, then all the beef your forced to eat. I must warn you I turned you in for liking wolves and bison, you should tell your family good-bye soon they will come for you.
      American Taliban, wow, cattle barons do get blamed for everything.

  4. avatar Daniel Berg says:

    The arrogance of that legislator is sickening……

  5. avatar mikarooni says:

    I’ve been told this Cliven Bundy is related to Ted Bundy. So, how close a relation is he?

  6. avatar Richie.G says:

    If you do what you say , RB lease your lands from others you are doing the right thing,as for the wolf part I do not agree. Their are many ways the state and the landowners could deal with predators. Once in Cape May New Jersey we had rabid rabbcoons. What the did was put down feed that would make the females sterile. It worked,now I just was reading the Humane Society is going to do something with wild horses out west. All I am saying their is always other answers, other than killing.

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Quote

‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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