A Freeloader's Range War

Clive Bundy's "war" to protect his cattle illegally grazing on our public lands selfishly ignores the fact that all of us enjoy access to these lands - not just Mr. Bundy - which requires that they be managed responsibly.  No individual, company, or industry should be allowed to trample these lands, and as most readers of my blog know, my preference is to minimize our impact on wildlands.   Most ranchers grazing their cattle on public lands pay a fee like any business that profits from the destruction of our lands, yet Clive Bundy stopped paying his fee in 1993 while over 900 of his cattle mowed down vegetation and eroded stream beds on over 150 square miles of desert habitat. 

Mr. Bundy has been profiting from his illegal destruction of public lands for nearly two decades.  I  do not agree with every decision the Bureau of Land Management makes regarding our wildlands, but I don't believe that anarchy and rule breaking will lead to a better outcome.   Others that enjoy access to our public lands abide by the rules - from things as seemingly trivial as packing out their trash, to applying for permits to hold large events, or enjoying off-road vehicle recreation on designated roads or areas.  If everyone that enjoyed access to our lands was allowed to do whatever they wanted, there would be a true tragedy of the commons.  Our public lands are under enough stress as it is; we don't need people like Mr. Bundy staking an oversized claim to something we all own and must share.


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