RE: The Oregon incident: How many live and/or work in the woods?


Gold Member
Jun 9, 2014
Pinetop, AZ
The debate over the Oregon 'standoff' has many heated threads here. I do not believe that the takeover of the Malheur Refuge was correct; but I do believe that it did result in a very good thing. A discussion of how the .gov has been managing our public lands over the last decade or three. And when those down there started bringing in things known to belong to the 'sovereign citizen' movement, they further ruined IMHO any credibility they may have started with.

But that does not mean that there is still some grass roots frustrations with .gov and public lands.

So, I ask. How many live near the 'woods'? Or if you do not, how often do you visit?

I am out in the woods in Oregon or some other state any where from two weeks to a month every year. Geology is my fun, and have explored much of Washington, Idaho, California, Nevada, Utah, Montana, Wyoming. I have been all over Oregon, with Eastern Oregon as my primary focus. The fun part, what I call picking flowers, hunting attractive minerals and crystals, such as Black Opal and Oregon Sun Stone. The educational part, exploring areas like the Wallowas, Blue Mountains, the high desert from Burns south to the Nevada border. Places like the Malhuer Refuge, Steens Mountain, Catlow Valley, the Alvord Desert, the many hot springs in the area. Leslie Gulch, the Owyhee, and the Oregon-Idaho Graben.

Yes, I know the people in that area. In fact, my great-grandfather and his brother had a gold claim, the proceeds from which they used to establish a ranch in the area, in the 1860's. And that ranch was in the family until the Depression. Still have cousins with land in that area. When I retire, I plan to do far more exploration, in depth, in that area.
The ranchers, landowners, BLM, Forest Service, and Fish and Wildlife, have been working out an agreement that all are participating in hammering out. That kind of cooperation is exactly what the sovereign citizen movement feels they must stop. I think that at this point, that attempt has backfired.
Seems to me that the actual feud is-and has been-with federal agencies than just BLM. EPA, Forestry Services, TVA have been accused of over reaching with land and private property grabs.
I have been in the woods my whole life. I was born in the big city, but a few times a year, my family would go on camping trips. Hit just about every state west of the Mississippi. Once I was an adult I have moved further and further from cities my whole life. And even before, in the late 70's I used to go to Angeles Nat'l forest at least once a month. Later I lived next to the Cleveland Nat'l forest and would go into it every weekend. Later I moved to Arizona and lived surrounded by the Apache-Sitgreaves. Now I live right next to the Gifford Pinchot.

The intention of my thread was to get an idea how much time folks actually spend and then therefore know the 'woods'. Because that is the way to actually see the incremental changes that the environmentalists are forcing upon the federal agencies to change the lands from all of our public lands to something we can only view from afar.

Old Rocks, thank you for you post in #2. My list above is only about where I've lived. The 'woods' I have visited is much much larger. It does include central Oregon; Prineville, Burns, Izee, Paulina, John Day, Painted Hills, Christmas Valley, Glass Butte and more.

But two-four weeks a year IMHO does not give one the proper insight to understand the frustration that is currently brewing in the west today.
Seems to me that the actual feud is-and has been-with federal agencies than just BLM. EPA, Forestry Services, TVA have been accused of over reaching with land and private property grabs.
That's why I put USFS in the tags for this thread. Koshergirl posted a link to a great article about the environmentalist in the "A-holes" thread.

There is a nice flowery and poetic sentence in the Wilderness Act passed in 1964:
“A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.”

This is what the environmentalists want. The thing they forget is that man has been living and managing the woods for thousands and thousands of years.
I grew up in the woods, we have a cabin in the woods, and, I live in a city surrounded by the woods. Though I love the beach, I am truly at home in the woods. I sympathize with the folks of the West b/c the water and land rights laws are overbearing and often times confusing. The federal government owns 52% of Oregon but only 2.1% of my state.

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