What I feared would happen when the Bundy's and their fellow travelers occupied Federal property has started to.
This isn't going result in the land "going back" anywhere.
It's instead revived a semi-dormant "kick the ranchers off the public land" movement.
I've seen one article in a Californian newspaper, one major syndicated columnist argues for this, and one column in the always greenish High Country News argue for this.
All suffer from an understanding of the true nature of the leasing of the public land, which is not "welfare" in any sense. I'll revisit that later. But the delusional illegal and now bloodstained occupation of a wildlife refuge by the Bundy’s has revived the cries of "welfare rancher" and "get the ranchers of the public lands".
Thanks, Bundy's. You delusional bunch if ignorant fools.
Ranchers in the West went through this before. This line of thought was popular in the 1980s with there being many "environmental" organizations that have, as core tenant that the Federal domain should not be leased and basically should not be used. They're as delusional about the impacts of their argument as Bundy and his fellow travelers and understand very little about the nature of what they propose. In fact, the Federal domain is that because it was the land not worth homesteading prior to 1932 when all Federal land was withdrawn from that use, but it's always been land that has been grazed. The overwhelming majority of ranchers today do not abuse that land in any fashion and in fact they typically make improvements to it that benefit wildlife as well as their own livestock. And, if the ranchers weren't grazing it, more often than not the ranches themselves would become ranchettes and housing developments, which are the death of the wild. True environmentalist ought to be lauding ranchers rather than condemning them.
But that's hard when you have a bunch of delusional people like the Bundy’s who are supported by people who are hostile the United States and who would "take back" what they never owned. Right now, this group of delusional people seems to include the Republican legislators of Utah.
Well, people who start wars cannot control where they end up, and people who only listen to their own propaganda rarely are aware of how much in a minority they are. In this country in this day and age most people are not in agriculture and making an enemy of them, which is what the Bundy’s and their buddies are doing, ends one way, and that's not the way anyone who is involved in Western agriculture wants it to end. Seriously, did the Bundy’s think that they were going to achieve anything?
If they did, they should have been made to live in New York City for a year. Maybe a tour of the East would have the same eye opening effect on them that it did on Red Cloud. I.e., "we aren't going go to win this fight."