The Corner

The Wildlife Refuge Putsch

The federal governments policies in the West are abominable, but so are the Bundys. My column today:

The Malheur National Wildlife Refuge hasn’t heretofore been known as a locus of government tyranny, or much of anything else.

Saying that the refuge, established in 1908 by Theodore Roosevelt, is in the middle of nowhere makes it sound too centrally located. It is in southeastern Oregon, about 30 miles from the nearest town of Burns, population 2,722.

Now the Bundy family — notorious for its standoff with the feds at the family’s Nevada ranch last year — and sundry anti-government protesters have occupied the refuge and pronounced it the staging ground for an offensive against an oppressive federal government.

Before the Bundys showed up, the most notable events at Malheur were sightings of buffleheads, long-billed curlews, bobolinks, and black-necked stilts. Ammon Bundy has vowed to stay in the wildlife preserve “for years” (let’s hope for his sake he has Netflix and a really good data plan). If the protesters hold out until April, they will disrupt the annual Harney County Migratory Bird Festival — and strike a mighty blow against the region’s birders.

Rich Lowry — Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: comments.lowry@nationalreview.com. 

Most Popular

Culture

Our Cultural Crisis: A Kirkian Response

Editors’ note: The following article is adapted from a speech the author delivered at the Heritage Foundation on March 14, 2018. Few would dispute that we are in the middle of a grave cultural crisis. A despairing conservative critic wrote: “We are on the road to cultural disaster.” He placed the ... Read More
Politics & Policy

An Enduring Error

Editor’s Note: The following piece originally appeared in City Journal. It is reprinted here with permission. Fifty-one years ago, in July 1967, in response to an explosion of rioting in poor black urban neighborhoods around the United States, President Lyndon B. Johnson created the National Advisory ... Read More
U.S.

Confirm Pompeo

What on earth are the Democrats doing? President Trump has nominated CIA director Mike Pompeo, eminently qualified by any reasonable standard, to be America’s 70th secretary of state. And yet the Senate Democrats, led by Chuck Schumer, have perverted the advice and consent clause of the Constitution into a ... Read More
Culture

The Mournful, Magnificent Sally Mann

‘Does the earth remember?" The infinitely gifted photographer Sally Mann asks this question in the catalogue of her great retrospective at the National Gallery in Washington. On view there is her series of Civil War battlefield landscapes, among the most ravishing works of art from the early 2000s. Once sites ... Read More
U.S.

James Comey’s Inadvertent Admission

The good folks at the Republican National Committee awaken and realize that perhaps former FBI agents make more compelling critics of James Comey than, say, Maxine Waters. Yesterday afternoon brought the first excerpts of James Comey’s new book, A Higher Loyalty, and we were expected to run around in ... Read More