Monday I had a planned trip down to Steens Mountain. Now it is abruptly canceled because of a takeover of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge Headquarters orchestrated by welfare cowboy Ammon Bundy, son of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, aided and abetted by self-proclaimed “ militia patriots.” [“Armed standoff at wildlife site over land rights,” Page One, Jan. 4]. This is no act of patriotism; it is an act of intimidation and domestic terrorism.
I take photographs of wild mustangs, coyotes, mule deer and pronghorn antelope. I spend time on the Malheur Wildlife Refuge, which is paid for by my tax dollars, to witness the beauty of Oregon’s magnificent wildlife. Theodore Roosevelt, a Republican president, had the great vision to set aside these “public lands” as protected acreage in a world where habitat destruction continues to accelerate.
For the record: Public lands are often not the “sacred” and “protected” lands that most think. In this arid area of Oregon, wild mustangs see a decreasing range to graze on as a special-interest group (grazing of cows) gets first priority.
To Bundy and boys: You are not patriots; you are thugs. You cry patriotism as an excuse to shield your true intentions, which could be to turn over our public land jewels to special interests.
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John F. Borowski, Philomath, Ore.