I swear I’m going to explode! I am incensed by the recent actions of right-wing cuckoos Cliven Bundy and our own homegrown commissioner from Southern Utah, Phil Lyman [“Land Justice,” May 22, City Weekly]. How can these two gentlemen stand themselves? First, let’s look at Bundy, a cattle rancher from Nevada. As a Utah boy raised by cattle ranchers, I have a unique insight into Bundy’s “plight.” Poor guy, jus’ try’n to scrape by and the big ol’ fedral guv’ment is forcing him broke.
Bundy does not own the land that fattens his cows every year. But for the federal government and the taxpayers of these great United States, he could not make it in his industry, period. All in all, he has it pretty good, even if he did pay his fees.
Pennies on the head is what the guv’ment charges Bundy for grass all summer or winter. He doesn’t have to feed his cows: We do. Then he sells some for a nice profit and uses the ones left to make another herd. No wonder he can afford a nice new truck and those expensive hats.
Bundy, just think for a minute how things might work without that big bad federal guv’ment. There would be no dollars for your rural schools, public roads or food programs.
By the way, these publicly funded entities are where the bulk of rural jobs are. Only a few job opportunities exist on the ranch, and they go to people named or married to Bundy. Bundy would have no range land—it would all be owned by some person or mega corporation. Take just a few minutes to consider how unsustainable your lovely rural homestead is without “city folk’s money.” Yeah, you might just have to move to a city and take a minimum-wage job.
Oh, and then let’s take the same look at Lyman. Most of the counties in Southern Utah—like Kane, Iron and San Juan—have so many ATV and Jeep routes that they can’t even use or upkeep them all, especially without federal dollars. Same story again: But for federal dollars and management of the lands around your community, all of the resources that you say would sustain your way of life would have been gobbled up decades ago. You, too, would be living in a city, making the minimum.
I find it doubtful that you are unaware of the impact federal dollars have on your community. Please don’t forget that the national parks bring money in the form of visitors to your part of the world, without which you would shrivel up and die. I say we take it back and spend it on health care. How about them apples?
To the feds: Arrest Cliven Bundy and his band of militiamen misfits. They are making a mockery of our laws and the very system set up to benefit Bundy and his contemporaries. At the least, they are inciting a riot. Confiscate Bundy’s cows and sell them so that I can recoup my money. Bundy should not “enjoy” the use of my land for free. Ticket Mr. Lyman and his friends and give them the good ol’ lifetime ban from using public lands.