Saturday, April 12, 2014

Frog in the Water

The recent events surrounding the Bundy Ranch in Southern Nevada and the Gold Butte region has brought the spotlight of federal lands management to a more far reaching national audience. For those of us who have lived in the Western United States dealing with the federal management of our backyards is a part of life. What the “Stand with the Bundy’s” incident has done is bring attention to a greater movement by the federal government to tighten control over these public lands to enforce a narrow vision of public lands management. 

We have all heard the anecdote of the frog in the water. If you put a frog in a pot of boiling water, it will jump out. However, if you put a frog in a pot full of room temperature water, and then turn the heat a little at a time, the frog will stay in the pot and eventually boil.

The recent exploits by the BLM were a blatant miscalculation on their part because they turned the heat up too high, too quick. The response by a large segment of people was to jump out of the pot and protest against the actions of the Bureau of Land Managing. Though my personal opinions about the Bundy cattle and their right to range are mixed, my feelings about how the operation was managed and executed are clear; it was a complete debacle and a true exercise of government overreach applied by the BLM.

Though a battle may have been won today, there is certainly still a war going on against our public lands. It is from here forward where we will be able to see if there will be long lasting positive effects from the efforts of many actively involved citizens.

For all those who showed up in protest, for all those who shared the news and story of the Bundy’s, for all those who were so vocal in various forms of social media the question now is, what will you do from here on out? Will you stay involved in the public lands issues and fight back against the slow rise in temperature of our public lands management?

Our founding fathers in effort to ratify our constitution wrote, “What is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” – Federalist Paper 51

The true preservation of liberty, against dangerous encroachments, will be when we all stay actively involved and take part in the governing process. We preserve our liberty when we make our voice known. The voice of justice is defeated when we stand idly by while the heat is turned up. “Ambition must be made to counter act ambition.” -- Federalist Paper 51

My hope and prayer is that the next time the heat is turned up, whether that be a drastic overreach of power like the confrontation we saw this week, or a more mellow dramatic display like a new designation further restricting our access to public lands, that we will all react and make our voice known in this republic in which we so proudly love and defend.