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Column glorified Bundy standoffs

FORUM

The Daily Sun shows its bias when Roger Harnack publishes yet another glorification of the Bundy clan’s paramilitary standoffs in Nevada and Oregon.

Most public lands ranchers are responsible business owners, which is why ranching organizations like the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association condemned Cliven Bundy and his actions. Although the Bundys racked up millions in debt over 20 years of non-payment of taxes and grazing fees, the federal Bureau of Land Management did not move to address his trespassing cattle until neighboring ranchers, the city of Bunkerville and residents of Mesquite rose up and demanded the agency take action.

There was never an attempt to kick the Bundys off their own land, but to remove the cattle that were illegally grazing on public lands. Moreover, Bundy did not stop payment due to an increase in grazing fees.

The year he stopped paying taxes and fees (1994) his grazing fees had actually gone down. He stopped paying after embracing sovereign citizen ideologies, a movement that believes the federal government is illegitimate and thus taxes, leases and laws cannot be legally binding.

Cattle ranching on public lands is already heavily subsidized with public-land grazing being 80 percent cheaper than grazing on private land. Ranching on most of public land is not economically viable without ranchers receiving subsidies — or in the Bundy case, stealing the resources outright.

So, Cliven Bundy is not a patriot but a welfare cheat. Just as Roger Harnack is not a journalist.

Ronald Fredricks

Sunnyside

Editor’s note: The letter refers to Publisher Roger Harnack’s column, “Media shows its East Coast bias,” published on Page 4 of the Dec. 1 edition of The Daily Sun. The column takes national media to task for focusing on sexual antics of millionaire politicians and celebrities, rather than news of importance to The West.

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