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Know the West

The bounds of reasonable action


I found “Defuse the West” to be quite one-sided. To add balance, it would have been good to include events such as the BLM’s commando-type raid on several citizens in southeastern Utah on June 10, 2009.  This event has received much media attention and has still not seen resolution. I would have liked to have seen some balance in the article through recognition that, at times, government agencies have overstepped the bounds of legal and reasonable action.  

Wayne Erickson
Monticello, Utah

Ray Ring replies:
Thanks for your careful reading. We share your commitment to balanced coverage of these issues. We simply think there is no excuse for angry Westerners taking potshots, throwing firebombs, assaulting and threatening federal employees in the field. Generally, these employees don’t write policies and regulations; they’re merely assigned to carry them out. As for the federal raids on pot-hunters in southeastern Utah, while some of them did seem heavy-handed, we also see the context as well, in that some Utah communities practiced and tolerated illegal pot-hunting for many decades, greatly degrading the archaeological record that belongs to the public.