About The Southwest Journal

PanThe Southwest Journal (SWJ) is a blog dedicated to capturing the vibrant, shifting, elusive – and yet determined character of the southwest through creative writing about lands, community, and the inter-connectedness of people, environment, economics, and policy.

Among the themes we hope to capture are nature, recreation, and the environment; personal narrative and stories, the American spirit, and the shifting politics, policies, and laws affecting the people and the landscape of the southwest. We seek to present diverse voices in a creative, sophisticated, and well-founded format.

This is not a news site and should not be mistaken for one. News worthy events discussed on this site will be done in either a scholarly or artistic manner, or as well-researched arguments, analysis, and opinion. We are dedicated to truth and honesty and so anything published will pass ethical standards of such. Arguments and opinions are allowed to be biased (as that is the inherent nature of both) but they must be well-founded. They are open for vigorous debate.

Our mission is the Writer’s Prayer written by Wallace Stegner:

“Lord, let me grow into such a man or woman who has something to say! Let me be one of those that Henry James speaks of, one of those ‘upon whom nothing is lost.’ Let understanding and wisdom be engraved on my mind as deep as the lines of living on a wise and weathered face. Teach me to love and teach me to be humble and let me learn to respect human differences, human privacy, human dignity, human pain. And then let me find the words to say it so it can’t be overlooked and can’t be forgotten.”

If you are interested in contributing please contact us below with your information and “Submission” in the comment section. Thanks for reading and for supporting the SWJ.

  1. Just finished reading your stories regarding the Hammond’s and the Bundy’s and the conflict with the BLM and FWS.What i find hard to understand is that if you were really telling the true story here and not slanted toward the Government you might have found that on many occasions the government has intentionally done things to grow their holdings that used to be private and adjacent to BLM or FWS you do not discuss the flooding of other ranches to force them to sell you also do not discuss the fact that the Hammond’s had to agree to sell to the BLM before being able to put the land up for sale this is the part of the picture you don’t want to showcase to show the extreme overreach .Plus you do not mention that Judge Hogan is a Federal magistrate so as with all with all magistrates they have the discretion to impose any sentence they deem fit and the prosecutor waited till Hogan retired to go after them on appeal Also the evidence of the deer poaching was presented in the 2012 trial over ten years from the actual 2001 fire how does anyone know if these individual s that provided it were not the poachers these are things that make me question your pro government perspective another key you did not mention the grazing rights were deeded grazing rights which is a common thing in Oregon as well as the state has a no fence law on the books from the 1800’s

    • Jeff,

      I am neither pro-government nor anti-government. The government does good things and horrendous things and they way to decide usually boils down to the law. I like looking at the law because it is usually the source of the problem. We have good laws and bad laws and many are subjective depending on your ideology. There is a lot that is wrong with our legal and justice systems. Unless you have proof otherwise, I think the government got it right with the Hammonds and needs to get it right with the Bundys.

      As for your claims, I don’t think the government is intentionally trying to “grow” its holdings; in fact, the evidence suggests otherwise. In most cases, the government got land that became delinquent from private land owners. If you would like to present something to back up your claim, I would be more than happy to read it.

      Are you suggesting the government flooded ranches? The only intentional flooding I know of by the government was to fill dams. The Owens Valley is a good example of the government doing something sneaky and wrong to the ranchers who lived there. I am sure there are other cases, especially on an individual level. Again, if you have some sort of evidence, I’d love to see it. I’m not sure what you are talking about when you say the Hammonds “had to agree to sell” – please elaborate.

      As for the judge, three judges over him ruled he did not have the right to give lesser sentences. When a law has a minimum mandatory, that means its the minimum mandatory. In this case, it was five years. We can talk about minimum mandatory sentences because it might be better to let juries and judges decide. What does Hammond retiring have to do with anything? I’m not following you.

      Do you have evidence to suggest the Hammonds did not poach the deer? Don’t you remember things that happened 10 years ago? I’m pretty sure I would remember seeing seven wounded or dead deer while I was out hunting. That’s an egregious offense among sportsmen, I think they’d remember. Please explain deeded grazing and what fence laws have to do with the Hammond case.

  2. Are you familiar with Wayne Hage?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: