Western Lands Resource Center…..What?

 A group of Harney County ranchers and the Western Lands Resource Center put on a BBQ on May 23rd.  What is the Western Lands Resource Center?  Besides a great meal by Merle and Windy Reid and beer courtesy of Rick Roy, I learned the following: 

Brenden Cain informed me that he was leaving the BLM as of June 30th to join the Forest Service in Illinois.  He and Teri want to be closer to their families in the mid-west.  An acting administrator will be named while the District searches for a new Director. 

Brenden explained that the Western Lands Resource Center is a new locally driven group and will be recreated within District areas throughout the west.  That is why their announcement referenced both local and national 501(c)3 status.

 The following is speculation on my part.  I believe that the Western Lands Resource Center was created in response to the formation of the local Committee of Safety.  How is that?

As everyone knows, the Committee of Safety was formed out of a meeting organized by Ammon Bundy.  He then ignored the Committee to pursue the occupation of the Malheur Refuge Headquarters.  The volunteers who formed the Committee then regrouped independently to educate themselves on what was going on within their community.

Vanessa Leathers King addressed the County Court with an impressive list of sub-committees that the Committee was forming.   But the County Court was not involved.  It is a personal life lesson that what this County Court cannot control…… they will recreate……..or try to recreate and replace. 

Tom Sharp was dispatched to hold a community meeting in Drewsey.  Dan Nichols held a meeting in Diamond.  Follow-up meetings were held in the basement of the County Court House. 

None of these meetings were advertised.  They were organized by private lists and telephone trees.  They did not feel it was necessary to announce these meetings because they were not an official County Committee.  Yet Commissioner Nichols presented a list of their concerns to the County Court to take to Washington DC.  They were a topic when Secretary of Interior Jewell visited Harney County.  Nichols asked for a special meeting between them and Senator Merkley.  Referring to them as representatives of the community!  How are they representatives of the community if their meetings are not open to the community?

Connecting the dots, is it not possible that the Western Lands Resource Center is a product of these private and mostly secretive meetings?

When visiting with one of their members at the BBQ, I asked if he was a member of the secret society.  He admitted so and named three members in his sub-group.  He said, “I do not know how secret it is, but how would we get anything done if everyone was invited?”  My expressed opinion….. ”As hard as it is to get people involved in Harney County, I doubt that their meetings would be over run.”

But my real question is, who are you really representing? 

The Committee of Safety continues to meet and work to educate themselves and others on what is coming down.  The meetings are open to everyone.  They are not cozy with the establishment, are not well funded (no paid staff) and are not controlled by the powers that be.  The only thing they have going for them is enthusiasm.  Their meeting venues do change, however, as they have been denied the use of public buildings.

 GAME ON!!!!    


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