The winter before last, emboldened by their power, California’s Representative from the Tracy area area, Richard Pombo, teamed up with Jim Gibbons of Nevada and hatch a scheme to steal the public lands under the disguise of mining reform.
In a move surprising to many, Westerners rallied against them, and before long Western Republicans who’d long had little good to say about public lands such as Craig Thomas, Mike Enzi, and even Larry Craig were backpeddling, and pledging their fealty to our birthright of room to roam, our great public land heritage. Even Butch Otter, then a member of the House who was proposing to sell off 20% of the national forests, etc. to pay for Hurricane Katrina, was quickly forced to drop his bill lest he lose his race for governor.
Of course, their conversion was “lite.”Now they are back at it, using the fires as the latest weapon against the public lands. John Miller’s article on the fire’s stirring an “ember of the sagebrush rebellion” should be a wake-up call. This isn’t really about fire. The fires are their vehicle to attack the public land management agencies, the firefighters, policies designed to elevate the importance of wildlife, recreation, and the average citizen. They mean to take it away from you.
It’s got to be once again more into the breach for the public land patriots.