Melancholic Extremes | Anti-government Extremism Behind the Growing Movement to Seize America’s Public Lands

[In the first week of August, armed members of the Oath Keepers (the same ones who appeared in Ferguson this week) and other militias arrived at a mine in Montana, posting “no trespassing” signs on public land. The operation is the latest in a string of standoffs involving extremist groups that refuse to recognize the authority of the U.S. government, including incidents at the Sugar Pine Mine in Oregon andCliven Bundy’s ranch in Nevada.

A new investigation by the non-partisan watchdog Center for Western Priorities has uncovered wide-ranging ties between those extremist groups and Western legislators involved in a coordinated effort to take our national lands from the American people. At the center of the land grab is Ken Ivory, a Utah state representative and president of the American Lands Council. Ivory has been accused of fraud in three states for allegedly scamming local governments into funding the ALC using taxpayer money.

The elected officials supporting state seizure of public lands couch their arguments carefully, using innocuous rhetoric to claim that their only goal is better land management. But in reality, these politicians are following directly in the ideological footsteps of Bundy, the scofflaw rancher who owes more than $1 million in grazing fees to American taxpayers and doesn’t recognize the U.S. government as “even existing.”

In this report, the Center for Western Priorities reveals the extremist origins and foundations of the movement to seize American lands, many of which have not been brought to light before. We describe how public lands issues attract extremists, including members of organizations like the Militia of Montana and the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association.]   Read the full story here | CENTER FOR WESTERN PRIORITIES

Read the report by clicking the image:

OATH KEEPERS

Click to read the report

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