Just heard by phone from Bob Wright on the Otero County Chainsaw Rebellion today. About 300 folks showed up to defy the Feds and the Feds blinked. Congressman Pearce cut down the first tree and then it was cut into 2" slabs and handed out to members of the crowd as souvenirs by the Otero County Sheriff Benny House.
The Feds came into town a couple days ago and threatened to arrest anybody who tried to cut down a tree. The Sheriff is reported to have said, "You do that and I'LL arrest YOU for kidnapping." The Feds made themselves scarce today, Bob reports.
From an earlier bit:
“Somebody has to draw a line in the sand, step back from the federal government’s stranglehold and take responsibility for ourselves,” Rardin said at the public meeting in Alamogordo. “We are responsible for the health, safety and well-being of our citizens, and the current conditions of the forest warrant this emergency action.”
Dr. Lawrence Garrett, former Dean of the College of Eco-Science at Northern Arizona University, testified before the commission on Tuesday that forest health conditions and fire danger in and around Otero County are some of the worst he has seen in the southwestern portion of the United States. He will work with federal agencies on behalf of the county to create the plan to allow for the cleanup of the forest areas, including commercial logging.
“We will use the approach of restoration at the watershed level,” Dr. Garrett told the commissioners. This is an extremely important period in the history of management of this forest. We must take an aggressive approach to restoration and making the communities in this area safer from high wildfire risks.”