As the last of the armed occupiers left the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon this week, supporters vowed "the fight would go on." Five angry words which should serve sportsmen across the country as a rallying call to not let our guard down--to stay the fight however long it takes to insure public lands remain public and that future generations can enjoy them as we have forever.
That fact hasn’t been lost on Land Tawney, executive director of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers. “Now that the Bundys are in jail, it’s time to focus more on the politicians and fat cat industry executives bent on stealing our public lands,” said Tawney. “Those are the ones we should really go after. These people are licking their chops, looking at ways to steal our public lands so they can exploit them for their own profit. That’s the danger this really exposed.”
Those industries include the usual suspects—oil, gas coal, timber, big agriculture—that typically spend tens of millions annually trying weaken the environmental regulations that protect wildlife habitat on public lands and waters. They also pour millions into the campaigns of politicians we elect to protect our property.
On another track we need to weed out the politicians in favor of selling off public property. Here in Montana Senator Jennifer Fielder,was recently appointed CEO of the American Lands Council--
the despicable Utah group that boasts on its Web site: Our No. 1 goal is the timely transfer of federal public lands to willing states for local control…