Barbara H. Peterson
When I first moved to Oregon I had no idea what was to transpire almost two decades later. The ranching community where I decided to settle is quiet. Little goes on around here except for the occasional cow wandering across the road, or horse escaping to the next pasture to check out the neighbor’s stud.
You see, it is open range in these parts and people understand that the critters come first. They have the right of way, and anything else is just secondary. The rancher down the road grazes his cattle on the miles of forestry land in the mountains behind his ranch. The people who lived there before him did the same. Nothing much has changed.
The ranchers that graze their cattle on these lands provide water tanks for all the critters to use. I am an ex equine endurance rider, and love the long, slow, distance rides. When I ride my horse on the dirt roads that abound in the mountains out back, I ride through the cattle. The birds flock all around the area and without the ranchers’ constant supply of water, things would be pretty dry around here. This is high desert. Water is precious. Without the water that the ranchers provide I would not be able to ride as far or enjoy the natural surroundings as much as I do. It is peaceful. Quiet. And uneventful.
And then, a shot was fired. The shot heard ‘round the world.
A rancher was hunted down and shot like a rabid dog by police in conjunction with the FBI. A rancher not unlike my neighbors around here. A rancher who just wanted to graze his cattle without the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) breathing down his neck, making it next to impossible to do what he had been doing for decades, and for what? So that the land could be used for commercial mining interests? So that the BLM could make a buck in the uranium or gas and oil trade?
While people are shouting “save public land from the cattle and ranchers” at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge, what the BLM is actually doing with some of the other public lands it is “protecting” is leasing it for the almighty dollar to large corporations for its gold, uranium, and any other precious resources that it contains. And do you really think that agency is “protecting” the land by allowing it to be raped and poisoned for profit? If you do, then you are part of the problem. You have succumbed to the propaganda. Black is white, white is black, and poisoning the earth is really protecting our natural resources.
The following picture is a portion of the decision on file for the offer of 15,831 acres of public land by the BLM that the agency is “protecting” for the exploration of its petroleum reserves, located in the Winnemucca, Nevada District. And the findings? No significant impact on the environment, so the deal goes through. The land is raped, poison dumped, and life as we know it in that public land ceases to exist.
Winnemucca is located approximately 74 miles south of McDermitt, Nevada , which straddles the border of Oregon and Nevada, where the BLM is considering leasing its publics lands for uranium mining.
A message rang out loud and clear when that shot was fired, killing the rancher who stood up for his rights. That message was – submit or die. Admit that cattle are bad, land rape is good. If you don’t, if you stand up, you will be cut down. Whatever the government says is good, no matter what it says, no matter how it says it, no matter the actions it takes, it is all good. Black is white, white is black, and you have no right to disobey or even question its authority.
But we do. We do have that right. Since when did our nation become a nation that is herded like sheep by tyrants with no other thought than to bully those who only want to live in peace and do what they have been doing for years? Since when did cattle ranching become a crime? How did we allow this to happen? And will we accept the lesson that the government is trying to force down our throats that to obey is the only recourse left to us? I hope not. I hope that each of us finds the courage to stand up for our right to not be bullied. To stand. Not cower in fear. To declare with all of our strength: I will not be moved!
May the Good Lord have our backs in times such as these. I have heard the shot that is echoing around the world. Have you?
©2016 Barbara H. Peterson
Originally published at Global Independent Analytics