Oral Histories

Bill Meador


Bill Meador

Q: Do you feel that the BLM leaned in favor of the money and the miners, the potential there, versus the previous users, the grazers, and the stockmen?

A: I think the BLM and the Forest Service, the agencies, per se, have always swung with those who make the greatest amount of noise. Regardless of whether it’s the cattlemen or the bikers or whomever, that’s human nature. The agency is saying, “If there are more bikers using this piece of ground than cattlemen, we’ve got to look at the majority.” Democracy is supposed to be based on majority so I think more than saying at this time if miners swayed the BLM, they probably did because that was what was taking place in big numbers and important numbers. Later that would change. I think we are in the last days of open range for cattlemen. At some point we are not going to have permits issued to use the range. I think that is just going to be a lost cause. Economically it’s not the best thing in the world now. I think the agencies catered to a degree and examined policies on who was making the big noise; who was in power at the time and what was going on. I’m not sure it was ever a conscious thing to swing one way or another.

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