Monday, June 13, 2016

Farm bureau leader calls out feds on burn policy

OKANOGAN, Wash. — It’s “outrageous and hypocritical” that the federal government imprisoned two Oregon ranchers for a backburn that got away from them and burned a little over 100 acres of public land while federal and state agencies backburned thousands of acres of private land in Okanogan County last summer and were not held accountable, the president of the Okanogan County Farm Bureau says. Incidents like ranchers and militia occupying the seasonally closed Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns happen when people feel so “abused” by government that “they feel they have no other choice,” Kuchenbuch said. “I don’t agree with having a standoff, but they captured the attention of the United States,” she said. The resentencing of Harney County ranchers Dwight and Steven Hammond to five years in prison is just one of many examples throughout ranching areas of the West in the last several decades of the heavy handedness of federal agencies in acquiring more land and squeezing out ranches to satisfy environmentalists who want a national park from the Yukon to Yellowstone, Kuchenbuch said...more

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