Public Speaker on Public Issues




Postal Rage, Road Rage, Air Rage, and now Range Rage. This last one may be new to some of you. To others of us, it is more of the same, but meaner, more hateful and certainly more destructive to our nation's economy, ecosystems and culture then at any time in our past.

Range Rage refers to the obvious hate, jealously and contempt of green agendas directed toward the ranching culture of this nation. The goal of Range Rage is the removal of all livestock grazing from public lands. One mechanism of this hate campaign is Rangenet 2000-2001, a coalition of environmental(?) organizations.

If this same public effort was directed toward getting Indians off of reservations and their public assistance programs then you can bet your sweet bippy that the ACLU, and every other human rights group within the Global Village would be screaming and running to their defense.

Why do such 'social justice' groups turn a deaf ear, a blind eye and their backs on this fundamental component of our American culture? Perhaps it's because those of our ranching culture haven't wrapped themselves in the flag of martyrdom, or cried victim or sung the song of persecution. Maybe it's because American ranchers haven't hired attorney Johnny Cochran to 'carry their water'.

The second annual conference under the Rangenet banner was held in Phoenix at Arizona State University in November. Although a smaller number of attendees then the first conference last year in Reno, a tone of outrage and uncontrollable anger seems to have again permeated the remarks of more then one speaker according to some who did attend.

The Center for Biological Diversity's Daniel Patterson took heated exception to having his picture taken by J. Zane Walley of the Paragon Foundation. I wonder why that was? Could it be that a paper trail might be more easily established later down the line? A connecting trail between people and actions? If the intent of Rangenet folks was truly good land stewardship under public laws, why would picture taking be such a problem?

The Earth First organization was there. This group, classified as an Eco-terrorist organization by the U.S. Department of Justice, added to the conference's hate message by wearing tee shirts proclaiming "Earth First! No #+#+ Compromise! Hmmm…..

Andy Kerr, career antagonist of farmers at Klamath Falls, loggers in the pacific northwest and now ranchers on all public lands, proudly promotes the efforts of the Oregon Natural Resources Council to get Congress to buyout grazing permits.

Why this life focus to 'erase anglo-American culture'? Why is it ok to graze buffalo but not cattle and sheep. Each of these lifestyles reflect mankind and its relationship with the land throughout time. That includes pimples and perfections. One is not better then the other.

One does not deserve to live and the other to die. Ranching is not about 'carnival culture' and John Wayne movies. It is and has always been a real part of what built AND maintains the spirit of this nation. It is about what was and about what is in terms of culture. It is a part of our living history.

The uninformed and mislead can say what they want about subsidized cowboys. Statements which do not hold up under honest, intellectual scrutiny. The news flash for these folks is that it is the spirit of rural America that subsidizes this nation.

Rural includes the ranching culture. It is not limited to Indian reservations, and museums that only record how anglo-culture brought cattle and sheep to the puzzle we call the natural history of mankind.

This effort to erase the grazing of livestock on public land will only diminish our cultural heritage, require more ranches to be sold for subdivisions to ensure retirement, further our dependence on imports, and disparage a part of American culture that the rest of the world seeks to keep alive in their hearts and dreams. This is the short list of negative impacts.

The legacy that these green agendas seek, Rangenet and others, through the not uncommon mechanism of saving 'the last great places' through sometimes questionable conservation easements and outright purchases, buying out grazing permits, tying up ranchers' financial and emotional resources in deliberate litigation aimed at destroying all they have worked for will have little to be proud of in the 'last roundup'. There will be less of America then when they started if they succeed.

Theirs would be a legacy of loss.

~ Rapid City Journal - November 30, 2001

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