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for people who care about the West

After Bunkerville


Thank you, Tay Wiles, for your hard work explaining the complex and tortured nature of the ongoing saga of Cliven Bundy and his family (“Celebrity Scofflaw,” HCN, 4/30/18). There is no easy answer to what should happen next to address the continued trespass, or the potential copycats. Right now, Cliven and his sons feel more empowered than ever, as evidenced by Ryan Bundy’s run for governor in Nevada. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ammon run for governor in Idaho. 

Cliven Bundy’s personal convictions mean that he’ll never willingly capitulate to the Bureau of Land Management or any other federal authority. However, it may be possible to have respected members or political leaders of the Mormon faith appeal to him directly. 

I am not a member of the Mormon Church, but I have known and worked with people of Mormon faith for over 40 years. Despite the fact that Bundy’s beliefs are not LDS doctrine, his fellow church members stand to be painted with the same negative brush in the court of public opinion. I’ve spoken with many privately, and I know they are concerned about that.

There also needs to be some legal action taken, federally or locally, to affect Bundy financially. Until then, chances are he will not agree to any recommendation — even from the LDS Church. He uses his religion when it suits him, like he does when picking the laws he follows. Still, I believe it would be worth pursuing and may represent the only peaceful and mutually acceptable outcome.

Mike Ford
Las Vegas, Nevada