Militants are raising an old issue by taking over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon. Back in the late 1800s the newly created Yellowstone National Park was being ravaged by poachers, ranchers and miners. Though deemed a national treasure, there was no law enforcement to stop the continued destruction of Yellowstone or other lands until Theodore Roosevelt. If it weren’t for law enforcement, Yellowstone would be ruined.
Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is not as well-known as Yellowstone, but it is important in the same ways that Yellowstone is important. It sustains the ability of wildlife to exist and flourish in America, and it preserves a beautiful area of land for the enjoyment of the public. As citizens, we should all be outraged that a militarized group of people are fighting for privatization of land when so much of America is already developed. Just look to Europe and see what privatization and no protection has done to their wildlife.
People visit America for our natural wonders, and Malheur Refuge is for many Americans more glorious than the Eiffel Tower or Big Ben. Let’s protect our lands as if someone was trying to occupy any other of our public treasures.
Kevin Kelley, Boise