Sunday, April 20, 2014

My Land

Eric Parker of Idaho points an assualt rifle at the feds. Photo courtesy of Reuters.
It seems I own a little stretch of Bureau of Land Management real estate about 80 miles north of Las Vegas. And, as luck would have it, you do, too.

Cliven Bundy owns a share, as well, although he's taking more than what's due. In fact, for the last 20 years, after refusing to pay grazing fees to the government, Bundy has been taking from my land--he's been grazing hundreds of head of cattle on my land and hasn't paid a grazing fee to do so. For perspective, the grazing fee that Bundy would owe under 2014 rules is $1.35 per animal unit (cow and a calf) per month. It's a scam--these fees have been too low for too long.

Yet Bundy can't be bothered to pay even this pittance for the use of my land. Or your land. Our land. Instead, he appealed to the extreme fringes of our society--those places on the political spectrum occupied at one time by Timothy McVeigh, before he bombed the federal building in Oklahoma City, or Ted Kaczynski, during his Unabomber spree. Or Claude Dallas, when he executed two game wardens trying to bring him to justice for poaching on public land in the Owyhees (you know, our land).

And, good grief, did the fringe-dwellers show up.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


It's not like I've just been hanging out watching on-demand episodes of Homeland or binge-watching House of Cards. I've been busy.

The day job is changing--for the better--and keeping me on my toes. And I did finish my last book for your reading pleasure. But mostly, I've just been swamped. That likely won't change, but if I've learned anything, it's that this part of my life--this little writing project that started about six years ago and never truly ended--is a necessity. It's prescriptive therapy--like an anti-depressant or a knee brace. I can function OK without it--for a time--but in the end, I'll return to it, and just as often stare into the blank space of the WYSIWYG editor than I will actually write something.

I've had a few little projects in the works--the book is one, obviously. I've crafted a few things for my friend Chad Shmukler at Hatch Magazine. And, of course, I'm spreading the gospel over at the TU blog, where we've literally been saving the world, one trout at a time. But this... this purely self-serving endeavor meant for all eyes--or none--seems to pull me back in. Even if it's just to read some previous posts or wade through the spam comments (Boost Your Bust? Really?) and delete the pablum left behind by the trolls.

I've been able to fish a bit. I hit the Henry's Fork for an afternoon a week or so ago, visited the surprisingly fishy mountain streams of north Georgia earlier this spring and I traveled south to Ascension Bay in February, where I caught my first permit. And my second. And my third.

I can't promise that "I'm back," or anything, but I'd like think I've arrived at a place in my tumultuous existence of late where I might be able to pop in--and pop off on a few issues--with some sense of regularity.

Until then, enjoy the fishing.