Maybe his new moniker ought to be ‘Bundy Bob Beauprez’ because he shares at least one trait with crazy Cliven the Nevada welfare-rancher that got caught-and-released for ripping off the American taxpayer. Neither think that America’s public lands ought to belong to the American public.
PHOTO CAPTION: This Republican leader–father of America's National Parks and the U.S. National Forest Service–knew how to pose with a horse, like here on a visit to Colorado.
Now Bundy Bob might not have thought this through, threw out some red meat to the kindly crowd of wizened sagebrush veterans, but it turns out Coloradans—like most Americans—love our public lands, our Rocky Mountain and Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Parks. Our purple mountains majesty, our iconic Wilderness Areas, turned 50 this very year, our National Forests and National Wildlife Refuges. Not apparently Bob Beauprez who thinks they ought not belong to America at all, but be ‘taken over’ by the state. Go ahead, give the Grand Canyon to Jan Brewer and Zion to a committee of the Utah Legislature.
Americans hate this idea, by the way, which still seems to get recycled more than Reagan quips at a CPAC function, and polling routinely shows it. Pretty much whenever the question is asked, like here, and here, and here.
With good reason, when lands are taken out of the national estate, they no longer offer the same small ‘d’ democratic ideal of a public domain. Turns out they cost a lot of money to manage, so selling them off to private interests, developers, frackers, miners, and the like is something a cash-strapped state trying to fund tax breaks for the wealthy can ill afford to avoid. Or so it seems when one bothers to actually track down data.
<< PHOTO CAPTION: Hard-working American relaxes after earning money to have things like National Parks to visit and enjoy, looks out upon God's glorious creation at the awe-inspiring Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, designated with an Act of Congress sponsored by Republicans Scott McInnis and Ben Nighthorse-Campbell. Notorious real estate extortionist Tom Chapman once threatened to build luxury homes lining the rim of the Black Canyon. Apparently he would find a sympathetic ear with Colorado Republican candidate Bob Beauprez who wants to seize America's public lands in Colorado for unknown purposes.
As the orange men (no, not John Boehner trick-or-treaters or monarchists) appear in our woods and meadows, we can remind ourselves of the economic boon that Colorado’s federal public lands provide the state. And to the people of the state and to all the states. To all of us and our fellow Americans, that all pay for their upkeep. We can all feel pride that Colorado helps steward this part of a great American legacy–our public lands.
Bundy Bob is out-of-touch, because most Americans agree that our public lands should not be taken away from Americans. Nor should they be placed up for political chit by an over ambitious already-failed gubernatorial candidate. Because both ways means Coloradans get swindled.