The sagebrush rebellion has arrived in the Bitterroot at the invitation of County Commissioner Suzy Foss, who brought in Ken Ivory, a slick lawyer from Utah (see “Power grab,” Nov. 21). He delivered a barrage of words like a drone attack launched from his mouth designed to stupefy the already stupefied. It’s really not hard to see the elephant Ivory try to hide behind his mind-numbing endless veil of words.
Ivory repeatedly mentioned this state or that state that used to be “more than 90 percent public land but is now less than 5 percent.” The big elephant that Ivory doesn’t want to talk about is, what happened to the missing 85 percent of land? Answer: It was sold, i.e. privatized.
Commissioner Chilcott is also trying to hide the elephant of privatization. He claims the commission is not talking about selling public land. I’m not surprised to hear that, because privatization of public land generally means “no trespassing” signs and loss of public access, especially when it is large chunks of land. Chilcott says, “Whoever raises that issue is making it up. This is not about class warfare.” That’s right, Mr. Chilcott—it’s simply the observable truth. If it was class warfare it wouldn’t be from those raising the issue, but from those pushing the plebes out. Maybe Chilcott just doesn’t want this loss-of-access elephant to be associated with the Republican icon.
One of the many states Ivory mentions as an admirable example is North Dakota, where public land access has decreased to less than 3 percent and is still being sold off. They have about 700,000 acres left in the entire state for the public to recreate on. That is smaller than the West Fork District of the Bitterroot National Forest.
Commissioner Foss, thank you for mobilizing Tea Party opposition. Please bring Ivory back closer to election time.