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for people who care about the West

City Slickers, go home

  Your story, "Buying ecological leverage" is almost funny. I can just see that group of city slickers trying to run a working ranch, especially where they are going to introduce "Mexican wolves."

Seriously speaking, there is nothing wrong with governments fencing in unique natural features such as these "rock fins" on public grazing lands. There is much more wrong with the plutocracy acquiring working range for the sole purpose of removing it from production.

It is the same old story everywhere. First, reduce the economic viability of the American producer by artificial, so-called environmental reasons. Then reduce prices to artificially low levels by executing so-called "free trade" agreements with foreign feudal oligarchs. Then, when you have squeezed the hardworking rancher and farmer to the breaking point, buy up his property at a pittance and maintain it in such a way that it becomes a perilous nuisance to the neighbors. Undergraze it so it is a fire hazard, and introduce lions and wolves to feast upon the neighboring livestock. Or allow it to grow dangerous "natural" flora that will infest his crops and kill his livestock.

In the good old days, the ranchers would take things into their own hands and form a posse, and people like the "gentleman" pictured in your article would end up covered with tar and feathers and encouraged to "seek opportunities elsewhere." Would that those days return.

John Bambey
Somerset, California