Rebellion Turns to Insurgency: Behind the Discontent in the West

 

Paonia, CO - Events like the January 2016 standoff at the Oregon Malheur Wildlife Refuge are becoming more commonplace in the West, amid hidden connections between the economic downturn, anti-government sentiment and a sprawling network of organizations, actors and movements.

For the past six months, High Country News has been investigating this broader network, and has now issued a special report, Inside the Sagebrush Insurgency, along with a new App and e-book. The special report includes several investigative pieces on the West’s growing and changing Sagebrush Rebellion, detailing the rising prominence of the Oath Keepers in Western public lands disputes, especially the Sugar Pine Mine, in Josephine County, Oregon.

“Whether it’s the Bundy Ranch stand-off, Operation Gold Rush, or the Malheur occupations, today’s Sagebrush Insurgencies are ‘radicalization nodes,’” Daryl Johnson, a domestic terrorism expert and former Department of Homeland Security employee, tells HCN editor and writer Tay Wiles.

The Sagebrush Insurgency comprises militia members, rural law enforcement officials and local and state politicians, who gather at events or as members of organizations, forming shifting alliances around ill-defined aims. While the insurgency has not fully resolved into a single movement, it is becoming stronger and more organized.

Perhaps most interesting of these actors are self-proclaimed “constitutional sheriffs,” senior editor Jonathan Thompson writes, who have align themselves with the radical right to “fight environmental regulation, run federal officials out of their counties, and, in some cases, break the law themselves.”  

The Sagebrush Insurgency remains an inchoate movement, but, as the occupation at Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge demonstrates, it is a movement that won’t, and shouldn’t, be ignored. 

You can view the full issue online by downloading HCN’s new app, available through iTunes, Google Play or Kindle Fire.

Interested in more on the Sagebrush Rebellion? HCN’s new EBook, Sagebrush Rebellion: Evolution of a Movement provides a timely and in-depth look at the decades-long political movement underpinning the occupation. Interspersing commentary with more than 30 articles and excerpts selected from 35 years of Sagebrush Rebellion coverage by the West's trusted news source, High Country News, this collection examines the roots and development of the ill-fated battle to return the West's vast, federally managed public lands to state and local control.

For more information about High Country News and the Sagebrush Rebellion, contact Brian Calvert, HCN managing editor, at 970-527-4898 or [email protected].

###

High Country News Classifieds
  • COMING TO TUCSON?
    Popular vacation house, furnished, 2 bed/1 bath, yard, dog-friendly. Lee at [email protected] or 520-791-9246.
  • DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
    Crested Butte Land Trust seeks a development director to lead its fundraising efforts. Remote and unspoiled, Crested Butte is located in one of the Rockies...
  • PRICE REDUCED $94,300 - LOT SOUTH OF MONTROSE
    5-Acre Home Site, Great Views with Spectacular Sunsets From a South Facing Home Site. Excellent for Passive Solar Design. Covenants, No HOA. Keller Williams Co....
  • CHARMING HOME/FARM NEAR CLIFF, NM
    3 bed/2 bath, detached strawbale building. 11.7 acres, barn, corrals, fenced. Wells, solar panels, greenhouses. Paved access. 575-535-2568.
  • STAFF ATTORNEY
    WildEarth Guardians seeks two public interest-focused staff attorneys with a minimum of 5 years experience to join our legal team. Experience with at least some...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF NEW MEXICO WILDLIFE FEDERATION
    The New Mexico Wildlife Federation is seeking an Executive Director, a visionary leader who is passionate about public lands, dedicated to executing an innovative strategic...
  • CUSTOMER SERVICE SPECIALIST I
    HIGH COUNTRY NEWS Customer Service Specialist I General Statement of Duties: Works closely with the customer service manager performing high-volume routine computer database work. Also...
  • FINANCE ASSOCITE
    We are hiring a Finance Associate Full time, competitive pay and benefits, based in Bozeman,MT Visit www.greateryellowstone.org/careers for details GYC is an equal opportunity employer
  • ARAVAIPA LAND STEWARD
    The Aravaipa Land Steward coordinates preserve stewardship work and general operations including maintenance and general preserve management. Implements preserve management plans, which may include species...
  • VP OF DEVELOPMENT
    seeks a talented and dynamic development professional, with a passion for protecting our natural environment, to lead our development and fundraising team.
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The Native American Fish and Wildlife Society seeks an Executive Director in Denver, CO to serve as the Chief Administrator of the national Native American...
  • DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANT
    High Country News seeks a development assistant to assist with fundraising campaigns. HCN is an award-winning, national news magazine. Strong candidates will have experience administering...
  • LAND ACQUISTIONS SPECIALIST - RENEWABLE ENERGY
    Energiekontor US seeks experienced local candidate, must reside in western South Dakota. Send resume and cover letter to: [email protected]
  • WILDLAND FIRE INSTRUCTOR
    Needed: instructor with 5 years *documented* instruction experience, current qualifications, M-410 or equivalent, and able to work as-needed for NM non-profit working with at-risk youth.
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Seeking passionate full-time Executive to lead the oldest non-profit organization in Idaho. Must have knowledge of environmental issues, excellent organizational, verbal presentation and written skills,...
  • CONSERVATION DIRECTOR
    Carbondale based public lands advocate, Wilderness Workshop, seeks a Conservation Director to help direct and shape the future of public land conservation on the West...
  • TROUT UNLIMITED BIGHORN RIVER BASIN PROJECT MANAGER
    The Bighorn River Basin Project Manager identifies and implements projects to improve streamflows, restore stream and riparian habitat, improve fish passage and rehabilitate or replace...
  • DIRECTOR OF VISITOR SERVICES & BOOKSTORE OPERATIONS
    The San Juan Mountains Association in Durango, CO is seeking a Director of Visitor Services & Bookstore Operations to lead our visitor information program &...
  • INTERNET-BASED BUSINESS FOR SALE
    Dream of owning your own business, being your own boss, working from home ... this is the one. 928-380-6570, www.testshop.com. More info at https://bit.ly/2Kgi340.
  • TRIPLEX .8 ACRE KANAB, UT
    Create a base in the center of Southern Utah's Grand Circle of National Parks. Multiple residential property with three established rental units and zoning latitude...