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Letter: Federal agents need support, not disarmament
First Published Aug 05 2014 09:26 am • Last Updated Aug 05 2014 09:26 am

I retired from the federal government about 15 years ago after 20 years of service, the majority of it with the U.S. Forest Service. I am very disappointed in the criticism by local and state politicians of the dedicated employees of the Forest Service, BLM and other conservation agencies.

These employees are professional land and resource managers, good citizens and are our friends and neighbors. Many are native Utahns and have been educated in our universities. On their jobs they are occasionally confronted with timber thieves, cattle rustlers, poachers, marijuana cultivators and antiquity thieves. Some have of necessity been trained in law enforcement and need to be armed.

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It is discouraging to read of politicians who want to disarm the good guys but have no problem with private militias and extremists who flaunt assault rifles and ride roughshod over sensitive habitat. A wise woman once wrote, "It is not patriotic to hate your own government." These people who disparage and threaten the dedicated employees of their own government should be ashamed of themselves!

Leonard Stephenson


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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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