by William Perry Pendley
April 30, 2014
For many or maybe even most Americans, reports that a rancher in Clark County, Nevada, was at odds with federal land bureaucrats might have come as a surprise. But Westerners—especially rural Westerners who make a living on the federal lands that predominate beyond the hundredth meridian, by logging, mining, ranching, or developing energy resources—were not surprised at all. In the late 1970s, President Carter’s “War on the West” spawned what came to be known as the Sagebrush Rebellion. The uprising was spurred by the fact that, more than any other region, the American West had been victimized by the environmental policies implemented—utterly regardless of their destructive economic and human consequences—during the previous two decades. Talk of another Sagebrush Rebellion should not surprise. Westerners know that they and their states can be better stewards of their land than federal bureaucrats.