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Letter: BLM is protecting our lands
First Published May 02 2014 05:37 pm • Last Updated May 02 2014 05:37 pm

I have a difficult time with Rep. Stewart’s comments on the show of force concerning Cliven Bundy and the BLM.

He says the BLM should not have a SWAT Team. The BLM as a federal agency has been tasked with upholding the laws of the United States.

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The lands under their jurisdiction have varied purposes, including grazing , recreation and mining. In order to oversee these lands, they must deal with a multitude of users, legal and illegal. Sometimes they are confronted with drug traffickers, looters, vandals and others all of whom may be armed.

As a rule, diplomacy is always a first resort. They have received training to defuse situations and bring a peaceful resolution to the issue.

The people they were facing did not have the benefit of the training and would have reacted violently had they proceeded with the seizure. We have laws in this country we all have to abide by. I wish we didn’t have to have armed enforcement to uphold the laws, but there are always those few that will take advantage. We should be thankful that we are served by these willing and able servants.

Tod Gaarder

Salt Lake City

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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