In my opinion, the only important thing that was accomplished at Burns, Oregon was to make light of the overreach and heavy handedness of our government bureaucrats when dealing with ranchers and farmers rights. The one mistake they made was to make this stand in Oregon because of the liberal nature of their elected officials.
Overreach by the federal government agencies has been growing stronger each and every year. It becomes frustrating and down right onerous for anyone attempting to fight a government that is armed with unlimited resources financed with your tax money and has all the time in the world to fight. Most people don’t have the resources necessary to follow through in our legal justice system to win and collect their judgements even if they win.
The farmers and ranchers of this country are under siege by the federal agencies that regulate them and this incident has finally shed light on this problem. I think the government has forgotten where the food we eat comes from or maybe just doesn’t care.
There needs to be a balancing of the scales of justice back in the favor of the citizens because there always seems to be consequences for those that oppose the government but not necessarily for the government agencies overreach when they violate our civil and constitutional rights.
A perfect example is Wayne Hage and their family who have been fighting for over a decade and have won the law suit against the government only to have the government file another appeal and more motions and countersuits until they wear them down to the point they give up and never see a dime in restitution. Consider the April, 2013 incident where the U.S. Forest service ignited a prescribed burn along the North Dakota, South Dakota border in the Grand River national grasslands. They were told about the danger of doing a burn by the ranchers and ignored their warnings. The fire eventually burned 11 square miles of pastures, hay and fences, not to mention the livestock lost. The ranger apologized and admitted they were wrong. The government is still fighting a claim for 50 million dollars and just like Wayne Hage they will tie them up for years to come and there will be no justice for those people.
The problem is that there is a double standard applied. When you see the Hammonds who burnt 140 acres of federal land and are forced to serve 5 years in prison under a terrorist law which was never supposed to be used for that purpose, you have to say to yourself why would the government do such a thing? Because they can. Compare the Hammonds sentence to no judgement against the ranger who authorized a fire that burned 11 square miles destroying thousands of acres of privately owned property after being told not to do the burn. There are hundreds of stories like this all over the country where federal agencies have gotten out of control with misinterpretation of rules and regulations passing out bureaucratic fines and judgement that are totally unreasonable many times without even a hearing.
The Federal Government is out of control with its overreach and needs to be reeled in. Ultimately it is up to our Governors to stop these travesties of justice if only they were to use their power and just say no more. Governors need to start standing up for the ranchers and farmers in their states and make the Feds live up to agreements on grazing and water rights that were signed decades ago.