Land Grabbers Use Deceptive Video to Spread Anti-Government Hate

Rep. Ken Ivory’s American Lands Council is using a misleading video on Facebook to claim that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) deliberately started a 2012 wildfire in Oregon in order to kill cattle grazing on public land. In reality, the 161,000-acre Miller Homestead Fire was lightning-caused.

As is typical for grass fires, the fire front was fast-moving and could only be controlled using back burning techniques to create firebreaks (known as “black line” in firefighting parlance). It’s usually too slow and too dangerous to fight a grass fire directly using hand crews and bulldozers.

To add insult to injury, this bogus BLM smear video was paid for by taxpayers.

Ivory, R-West Jordan, was a co-founder and CEO of the American Lands Council, to which 47 counties in Western states spent a combined $219,000 of taxpayer money in 2014 to be members, according to the Center for Western Priorities.

The same lies were put on the Web last December by Ammon Bundy, claiming “BLM Destroying Ranches by Fire: Feds Burning Cows ALIVE, Torching Homes, Imprisoning Ranchers!” The baseless allegations against the BLM were intended to highlight alleged hypocrisy in the prosecution of two ranchers for earlier incidents of arson on public lands. A few weeks later Bundy led an armed terrorist takeover of the Malheur National Wildife Refuge on January 2.

From the official press release on the Miller Homestead Fire:

Two structures are reported lost in the incident: one, a long-abandoned, roofless mobile home, and the other a single structure within the M.S. Davies homestead (other infrastructure in this area was unharmed). It is also reported some livestock have been lost, though accurate counts have not been confirmed. All residences affected by the Miller Homestead fire have been successfully protected…

Firefighters successfully protected all residences and the hamlet of Frenchglen, but this doesn’t stop the anti-government fanatics from accusing the BLM of “torching homes”!

From the final report on the same fire:

Local Coordination – Local landowners and permittees were engaged from the initial attack on. A member of the Incident Management Type 3 Team stated, “Local folks worked well with BLM staff during those first few days. There was lots of coordination. BLM crews helped cut fences, open gates and secure cattle.” A landowner and permittee stated, “They worked with me on letting me build direct line that saved important feed from being part of a backfire. They got ideas from me for tying in black line, and it worked.”

Another said that initial attack priorities were set and communicated early with all involved.

Others noted that the Burns District tries to hire local young people for the crews when possible. This helps with knowing people and the land. One stated there is a strong sense that this is their home, and they want to protect it.

…Cattle represent a significant investment and their livelihood to their owners, and great lengths appear to have been taken to get them to safety in conjunction with fire activities.

An example of this occurred at Lone Tree Lake, a small dry reservoir. Six ranchers and a BLM law enforcement officer stayed with about 200 head of cattle while the fire burned around them. Just prior to the fire front reaching them, they burned out around the small dry reservoir to provide a black line for additional safety for the cattle and themselves. Fire managers were aware of this situation, and a helitack crew gave advice on where and when to ignite backfires.

Bear in mind that safety is always of paramount concern in wildland firefighting. Yet BLM personnel took personal risks in order to preserve property for ranchers during this fire.

More info:
Rolly: Video’s claim that BLM sparked devastating Oregon fires goes up in smoke
Inciweb: Miller Homestead Fire (2012)
Final Review Report for the Long Draw and Miller Homestead Fires (PDF)

  1. #1 by Richard Warnick on February 3, 2016 - 4:24 pm

    Grazing Fees Still a Sweetheart Deal for Private Industry, Agencies Abashed at Having to Raise It

    BOISE, ID, Feb. 3, 2016 – Amid significant recent controversy over the national public lands grazing program, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Forest Service announced today the 2016 fee for grazing livestock on public allotments. At a mere $2.11 per cow/calf pair (AUM), it is clear that the government plans to keep up the heavy subsidies for this extractive industry. Despite this ongoing giveaway, it appears this year that the agencies are trying to lay low about the fee increase and have declined to issue a press advisory announcing this year’s rates, unlike previous years when the announcement was made public in January.

    The new fee is a 25 percent hike over last year and the highest it has been since at least the early 1980s.

  2. #2 by Richard Warnick on February 8, 2016 - 3:35 pm

    Koch-backed lobbying group is spreading Ammon Bundy’s lies — misspellings and all

    The American Lands Council, which promotes legislation that would give states and individuals control of federally owned land, posted a video on Facebook accusing the Bureau of Land Management of deliberately starting fires and allowing them to burn out of control.

    The ALC video was ripped off from a misleading and “heavily edited propaganda video” that Bundy produced in December, reported columnist Paul Rolly, of the Salt Lake Tribune.

    Rolly said the videos were so similar that the ALC’s text repeated the same spelling errors made by Bundy, among 16 militants indicted last week in federal court in connection with the ongoing takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Preserve.

    • #3 by Larry Bergan on February 9, 2016 - 1:50 pm

      Very interesting article.

      The Koch brothers are famous now for weaving massive webs of deceit. The scary thing is that they don’t seem to be worried at all about the public scrutiny. Have they, directly, made promises to Cliven Bundy and all these lawmakers.

      This is ripe for a history making investigation. I hope the FBI is working on this, but then maybe enough of them are in on the gravy train too.

      Crazy times!

      • #4 by Richard Warnick on February 9, 2016 - 4:24 pm

        At the very least, a competent prosecutor could get Cliven Bundy on conspiracy charges connected with the Malheur NWR terrorist attack.

        • #5 by Larry Bergan on February 10, 2016 - 7:56 pm

          Prosecutors are just like everybody else; they don’t want to lose their job and destroy their families.

          Vincent Bugliosi – the man who prosecuted Charles Manson – wrote a book explaining how you could bring charges against our war criminals, and that book was sent to every prosecutor who could bring those charges.



          People don’t, generally, want to hurt their families or other selves. It’s understandable.

          • #6 by Richard Warnick on February 10, 2016 - 11:49 pm

            This is why organized crime is so hard to fight, both here and in countries like Mexico. But I don’t think the Bundy Gang is that tough. Tonight Cliven Bundy is calling for armed “patriots” to rescue the four terrorists surrounded by the FBI at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. I’m guessing nobody will heed that call.

            UPDATE: Cliven Bundy arrested(!) tonight by the FBI. Finally.

  3. #7 by Richard Warnick on February 11, 2016 - 10:39 am


    This about sums it up.

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