To begin with, the Bundy supporters are lying when they say that Recapture Canyon is inaccessible. It is closed to motorized vehicles, but not to hikers. For someone like your humble blogger, that renders it inaccessible, but I’m not a robust hiker, and don’t plan to be one. It doesn’t make me rabid about opening the land to motorized vehicles. When you have an archaeological site that is littered with pot-shards, just one stupid bust-head on an ATV can ruin what may be an extremely valuable piece of the historical puzzle. But – they don’t give a damn.
“…Part of a broad backlash against federal land management across the West, the ATV protest has attracted out-of-state activists eager to denounce federal authority over public lands. Some came decked in military camouflage and sidearms slung on their thighs. Militiamen approached by The Tribune declined to be interviewed.
Others protesters argued that BLM caved to special interests, like wilderness proponents and preservationists, in closing the canyon at the expense of the public, especially those who have trouble walking.
But the canyon offers a window into how ancient Native Americans thrived for centuries in an arid, rugged land, according to Jerry Spangler, of the Colorado Plateau Archaeological Alliance.
“Damage to archaeological sites is permanent and the information about our collective past is then lost forever,” Spangler said. “It is sad that irreplaceable treasures of importance to all Americans would be sacrificed on the altar of anti-government fervor. It is worse that protesters would be so blinded to their own insensitivity as to what others consider to be sacred treasures of their past.”…”
This is the story that just won’t go away. If it were only about Cliven Bundy, the national spokesperson for free-loading libertarians everywhere, we could let the story rot. Unfortunately, this is not about Cliven Bundy, but a wholesale plan to literally force the federal government to give up land that belongs to each and every one of us, to states and cities, so they can sell that land to the highest bidder. Let’s face it, the Brother’s Koch come to mind, immediately. There’s a good reason for that – they are the ones promoting what can only be seen as an attempt at revolution.
Once again, we see the finger-prints of libertarianism, and Christian Reconstructionism. From a SPLC report:
“…The militant anti-abortion movement is driven by three different but overlapping theologies that motivate violence: Christian Reconstructionism, Christian Identity and apocalyptic Catholicism. To understand this movement’s increased militancy and its goal of instituting a theocracy — a goal that by definition means ending democracy — it is necessary to examine these three ideological strands….Reconstructionism, which arose out of conservative splinters of mainstream Presbyterianism (Orthodox and Reformed), proposes contemporary use of the laws of Old Testament Israel, or “biblical Law,” as the basis for “reconstructing” society under an explicitly theocratic government. High on the list of capital crimes, Reconstructionists say, is abortion, along with homosexuality and the “propagation of false doctrines.”
The defining text of Reconstructionism is Institutes of Biblical Law, published in 1973 by Rousas John Rushdoony. In the 800-page explanation of the Ten Commandments and the biblical “case law” deriving from them, Rushdoony declares: “All law is religious in nature, and every non-Biblical law-order represents an anti-Christian religion. Every law-order is a state of war against the enemies of that order, and all law is a form of warfare.”…”
From there we get a harmonic convergence of the Kochs, militias, anti-abortion terrorists, far right politicians, Sovereign Citizens, tea parties, far right talking heads, and, most importantly – ALEC. Yep, ALEC is behind all of this. There’s a good reason. The Kochs are involved. It is their agenda. What ever Charles & David Koch want, Charles & David Koch get, including the wholesale, illegal actions demanding access to public lands, valuable archaeological sites, and thumbing their nose at Native American traditions. Let’s face it, one of these days they’re going to demand land deeded to various tribes be given back to the states, so they can buy it and frack for oil.
“...The entitled lowlifes at the Bundy Ranch are back at it again, and this time gathering 300 strong to ride roughshod through the Four Corners region that is home to ancient dwellings and other cultural resources to the Ancestral Pueblo — because the White man cannot do enough damage to Native American history, he also has to run ATVs through historically important land as well.
The local sheriff had armed policemen on horseback to monitor the ride through the ironically renamed Recapture Canyon, as about 60 ATVs set off down a closed trail. The ride was a protest against federal indecision to keep the trail closed following the BLM shutting it down in 2007. The reason cited was the discovery of an illegal trail and the damage to artifact sites. The BLM has been slow in opening the canyon back up, evaluating the offers made by Utah state for seven years.
San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman, who organized the ride, said,“After seven years, it’s become apparent that they are not earnest in doing what they said they were going to do.” He added that he was well aware that he could be arrested or fined for breaking the law….”
This brings us to part two of our little saga. San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman is part of a growing list of elected officials who have sold themselves to the Kochs. Their agenda is to steal what belongs to We the People and give it to We the Billionaires. They are part of what is now called Bundy’s Buddies. Duly elected whores who are on the Koch payroll.
“...Matt Shea, a Republican state representative from Washington who thinks the government is moving to establish concentration camps after forcibly disarming citizens and wants Tea Party members to stockpile ammo for the country’s “inevitable collapse,” led a delegation of state lawmakers to Nevada last month to support anti-government rancher Cliven Bundy.
In an April 26 interview with Gun Owners for America director Larry Pratt, Shea compared the fringe element supporting Bundy to the American colonists who revolted against Britain. He added that when it comes to the Bundy situation, Americans are divided between “patriots and loyalists”: “Are you a loyalist or are you a patriot? Are you a god-fearing, self-reliant, freedom-loving American, or are you a government-dependent, Constitution-ignoring socialist?” “I don’t think it’s hyperbole or exaggeration to compare this to colonial America,” he said….”
Don’t get me wrong, I would love to be able to go into Recapture Canyon and photograph the ruins. But, I’m not willing to break the law to do so. I also think some of the rules are draconian, but are necessary evils to protect our precious archaeological heritage from what the late, great novelist (and my literary idol) Tony Hillerman called A Thief of Time.
“…San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman ultimately urged riders to avoid illegal portions of the land Saturday, arguing that the ride had achieved its goal in raising awareness. Still, a bunch of ATV enthusiasts flouted federal trespassing laws and ventured into banned areas.
Juan Palma, Utah director of the BLM, said agents noted the illegal activity on the closed ATV trail and the agency will pursue applicable charges.
“We know from the archaeological record left behind in Recapture Canyon that the area was previously occupied for at least 2,000 years,” Palma said in a statement. “Illegal ATV use within Recapture Canyon may have damaged many of these archaeological resources — all of which hold the history and tell the story of the first farmers in the Four Corners region.”
The ride was organized by Lyman in protest of what he says is the agonizingly slow decision-making process of the BLM. The county is seeking right-of-way for a recreational trail in Recapture Canyon — a process that began more than seven years ago.
“People are hugely frustrated,” said San Juan County Commissioner Bruce Adams. ATV trail closures, the threatened listing of the Gunnison sage grouse and a county with only 10 percent of its lands in private or state ownership is leaving residents and officials feeling pinched by the federal government at every turn, he added….”
This country has an amazing archaeological heritage.
“…Environmental groups, including the Durango-based Great Old Broads for Wilderness and the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, fear any encroachment of motorized users in the canyon. The Navajo Nation isn’t happy about ATVs rolling through the artifact-rich area where Navajos currently hunt, hold ceremonies, and gather wild roots, berries and medicinal herbs. “I call it our grocery store,” said Willie Grayeyes, chairman of the Utah chapter of the Navajo Nation. “We don’t want it to be disturbed and invaded.”…”
The problem is, due to the prejudice against Native Americans, most people refuse to recognize how great this treasure is. It doesn’t help when a bunch of bust-heads decide to ride ATVs around an area where they could damage sites yet to be discovered. They are stealing from us all. But, from what I gather, that’s the whole idea, we’re dealing with a bunch of selfish jerks who want everything for themselves. I gather they don’t recognize the fact that the needs of the many out-weigh the needs of the few.