WATCH – State Senator Jennifer Fielder Responds To Fatal Shooting In Oregon Following Missoulian Editorial
State Senator Jennifer Fielder, author of a guest commentary in the Wednesday, January 27 Missoulian, spoke with KGVO News following an officer-involved shooting in Burns, Oregon that killed spokesman Robert Finnicum representing protesters who had taken over a wildlife refuge.
"It's very sad that a life has been lost as a result of the way these federal lands are being managed," Fielder said. "I think that's the crux of what's occurring, in that we're seeing confrontations all across the west. People are being squeezed off the land, whether it's recreationists, ranchers, loggers, the access is being shut down. As a result, we're seeing these catastrophic wildfires, and the federal government won't go in and put them out when they're small, and they won't allow the state of Montana to put them out. Meanwhile, our forests and wildlife are being destroyed, our air and waters are being polluted. It's because the decisions are being made in Washington D.C. by representatives who really don't have these issues."
Fielder responded to the criticism that people who want control of federal lands returned to control by the states, that the states will then simply sell the public lands 'to the highest bidder'.
"The truth is, that the federal government is the one that has bills in Congress to sell the land to highest bidder, that's where that language is coming from," Senator Fielder continued. "The states want these lands controlled by the will of the people and the states. Here in Montana, we love our public lands and we just want them managed better instead of having these nameless, faceless bureaucrats and politicians from Washington, D.C. making decisions that should be made locally."
Fielder's fear is that a similar confrontation between federal authorities and local citizens could occur in Montana.
"The boiling point is very high, and I'm very concerned about that," she said. "I'm trying to work on lawful solutions to restore the people's voice in these land management situations so that these frustrations don't boil over and become dangerous.I think if our government begins operating more in concert with the people, we'll see these things resolved peacefully and lawfully, but right now that's just not occurring. There's just an awful lot of tensions boiling up all throughout the west."
The YouTube video above, provided through Senator Fielder's Facebook page, and used with her permission, purports to show federal workers 'burning cows alive, torching homes and imprisoning ranchers'.