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State of the Debate
George Pyle
George Pyle has been a newspaper writer in Kansas, Utah, Upstate New York, and now Utah again, for more than 30 years - most of it as an editorial writer and columnist. Now on his second tour of duty on The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board, he has also done a stretch as a talk radio host, published a book on the ongoing flaws of U.S.agricultural policy and, in 1998, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing. His most active bookmarks are Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens and Tina Brown. And he still thinks the Internet can be used for intelligent conversation and uplifting ideas.

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Range wars

More on the fuss about Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy in particular, and public lands policy in the American West in general:

Trib Talk: Western lands disputes — locals vs. feds — Salt Lake Tribune

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" ... From Iron County’s plan to take wild horse regulation into its own hands to Cliven Bundy’s crusade against grazing fees, long-standing tensions between locals and the federal government have recently resurfaced. Rep. Ken Ivory, former BLM Director Pat Shea, reporter Thomas Burr and Morgan Lyon Cotti with the Hinckley Institute of Politics join Jennifer Napier-Pearce on Wednesday to talk about the unrest and if and how the philosophical gap between New West and Old West can be resolved. ..."

Bundy doesn’t merit conservative support — Robert Robb | The Arizona Republic

" ... The amount of land the federal government retained when Western states were admitted to the union might be unfair or unwise, but the argument that it was illegal has no grounding whatsoever. To graze on federal land, ranchers have to pay grazing fees. That’s the law. ..."

Western land standoff aside, there is room for compromise with BLM — Deseret News Editorial

" ... Some of these voices want the BLM to completely step aside and give all the land back to Utah.

"Those who take this position are overlooking that state management itself won’t necessarily be all that different from federal management. Would the governor of the state of Utah, if the federal lands were under his control, allow unrestricted cattle grazing or energy exploration in sensitive wilderness areas? ..."

BLM prevented from doing its lawful work in Nevada standoff — Dennis McLane | For The Idaho Statesman

" ... The BLM has been conducting lawful cattle trespass activities since the passage of the Taylor Grazing Act of 1934. Prior to that act, grazing on the public domain lands was unregulated and free. But overgrazing, conflicts over who could graze where, and conflicts between sheep operators and cattle operators all led up to a need for Congress to act. ..."

A Nevada cattle rancher rustles up a Western land grab — Lance Dickie | The Seattle Times

" ... Bundy is the fellow the Bureau of Land Management has determined to be an aggressive freeloader, who has used federal grazing land for decades without paying fees. A string of federal court findings reached the same conclusion.

"Following what appears to be standard procedure, Bundy has made a virtue of his refusal to pay up. ..."

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