Western Storm

It’s been over a month since it happened, and I told you, I’d give you my opinion.

I’ve written a draft and researched what I could, and guess what?  I’m NOT going to share my opinion on the Bundy Ranch problem in Nevada.  For those out of the loop, I urge you to go to Fox News and search for Bundy Ranch.  There are videos and written reports available.  Why Fox News?  They, more than any other network, followed this story.

I hope, after watching and reading, you have more questions, like me, that remain unanswered.

I could talk on many topics: politics, grazing rights, endangered species act, environmentalism, the BLM, desert tortoises, and law.  I’m not an expert at any of it, and believe me, I have an opinion on these topics!  But you know what?  Although I firmly believe in Freedom of Speech and urge anyone to freely exercise their right to use it… the entire time I was writing, I had one idea niggling at the back of my brain like a lazy trout on a hot day.

What if I say Something that Someone, Somewhere, Sometime, doesn’t like?  For reporters, or you, what are the consequences to you while you sit in your suburban house or city apartment?  You probably have nothing that directly effects you from grazing rights, ESA, environmentalism, the BLM, or the EPA.  You, indeed, would feel effects *indirectly*, but many of you already eat beef from Argentina, or Mexico, or Canada, instead of the U.S. … so no Big Deal.

To me… Big Deal.

Those topics provide us and our neighbors with our livelihood.  I love it and I want to keep it.  How could I, at some point, ever live with myself because of a little post on a little blog caused us to lose grazing rights, or be fined by the EPA, or any other myriad actions that would destroy this Wyoming Centennial Ranch?  Am I overreacting?  I would love to think so.  I would love to think my level of paranoia is unfounded.  I would love it.  What if that hook was set, and we began flopping about in governmental waters?  I could never live with myself.

There are many more similar stories out there besides Bundy Ranch.  There have been for years.  You can do your own research, and I urge you to… don’t take ANY one paper’s article or one network’s report and believe it.  Question!  I’ll give you two places to start, Range Magazine (they’ll send you a free copy if you ask), and Wayne Hage’s Storm Over Rangelands: Private Rights in Federal Lands Question these sources, too…

I apologize to my readers, because I am NOT going to give my opinion on this controversial issue.


Western Storm — 7 Comments

  1. I think you right about not wanting to comment! The internet is a great thing but some are misusing what is said through selective quotes. Let people make up their own minds about what is happening in this country. A little research and some deep reflection on this topic is not going to hurt anyone and it certainly might help.

  2. I very much appreciate your voicing you non-opinion. To me it says a LOT! Once again I thank you for sending us places to form our own opinion, and your level of “non” paranoia? It is shared by many. And it’s a sad statement about the state of our country.

    Thank you.

  3. Carol, you do it time and time again, and that is why I respect you soooo much. Me, on the other hand, my mouth gets me into trouble way to much.(hopefully I learn something from you;)..

    I just hope that people who are not ranchers or farmers, realize we love the land just as much as them, and even more. We mean no harm to any species or other animals. We are just trying to carry on family traditions and help feed the nation.

    You are amazing! Keep up the good work!


  4. There was an editorial in the Idaho Statesman (Boise) newspaper about a month ago that has helped me out a lot recently and the thrust of it was “Never miss an opportunity to keep your mouth shut.” Most people don’t need (or want) to know what my opinion is anyway.

  5. I think your instincts are 100% correct on this one. It’s easy to think our musings on blogs are fairly unimportant in the grand scheme of things, but it’s impossible to predict where they will end up.

    I guess I will have to do my own research to understand the issues!
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