Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Law West of the Pecos

Jay Meehan, Park Record columnist

Philosophically, I don't see where the judiciary of the West has changed all that much since Judge Roy Bean spent his free time slugging down Red Eye and fantasizing about Lillie Langtry.

...It's just that when it comes to climate justice and environmental concerns, the scales often seem "tipped" in favor of those deep-pocketed individuals Ed Abbey once referred to as "diggers, drillers, borers, grubbers, asphalt spreaders, dam builders, overgrazers, clear cutters, and strip miners."

To check the validity of my theory, I'll be keeping close tabs on the sentencing of San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman and Monticello City Councilman Monte Wells this Friday following their misdemeanor trespassing convictions for ramrodding the May 2014 Recapture Canyon ATV protest ride in Southeast Utah.

I mean if Tim DeChristopher served two years for disrupting a bogus oil and gas lease auction, the willful and unlawful desecration of archeologically-rich ancestral lands should be met with at least sufficient jail time and fines to not only fit the crime, but also serve as a deterrent.

Of course, we have yet to mention the elephant in the room, the biggest problem confronting Western justice.

That would be the Cliven Bundy "standoff" outside Mesquite, Nevada against Bureau of Land Management law enforcement during the spring of 2014. 

...Will history look back at this as a time when the "Sagebrush Rebellion" exploded or imploded? Will bands of militias roam the west taking back what is "theirs?" The public lands debate certainly separates those on each side of the issue. Myself, I could never trust western state governments to be proper stewards of public lands.  

                                                      READ ENTIRE COLUMN   

For some reason he's left out the Hammond's case, where two ranchers received 5-year sentences as "terrorists".


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