Remember when Bundy cult militants took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and made a lot of noise about how they were supposedly going to put the land to better use than the federal government knew how to do?

As you probably expected, it turns out they nearly destroyed the place they were pretending to love so much.

The final cost of the cleanup is not fully known, even by officials with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. However, officials said the cost to taxpayers so far has been about $6.5 million.

Part of the cleanup process will involve the remediation of delicate, ancient archaeological items. Some were very damaged, officials said.

Safes were broken into at the refuge. Money, cameras and computers are missing and officials said that is just the beginning of the inventory.

Members of the media on tour were advised to watch their step in certain spots. After some pipes burst, officials said, militia members defecated “everywhere.”

All those ‘patriots’ who have yammered for months about the pure motives and constitutionalism which drove this group of paranoid delusional halfwits like themselves to take up arms against the Fish & Wildlife Service?

They can shut up now.

So can the entire latter-day ‘Wise Use’ movement — the advocates for privatization of public lands, wholesale evisceration of environmental laws, and the unrestricted extraction of profit from the commons at everyone else’s expense.

Apparently not everyone was sober all the time
Apparently not everyone was sober as a Mormon the whole time

Valuable things went missing while the Malheur ‘heroes’ were walking around relieving themselves in the open air and living like the unwashed hippies of a thousand right wing tropes.

Militants used the earth-moving equipment that was kept on site to carve roads through sensitive ecological and heritage areas, to dig latrine pits, and build defenses against the FBI agents who were closing in on them like the padded walls of a sanitarium.

(Am I being too harsh? Well, given all their talk of flying saucers, recreational marijuana, and violent endings, maybe mental illness explains a lot about the Bundy cultists who stayed longest at Malheur.)

After the last holdouts surrendered, structures on the premises were found filthy and strewn with trash.

Militants apparently collected trash, but did not dispose of it
The Bundy gang seems to have collected garbage, but did not disposed of it

Many elements of this saga make more sense if you regard the principal characters as a lazy bunch of litterbugs who don’t like paying fees or cleaning up after themselves.

For example, Cliven Bundy is actually a very bad rancher with very unhappy cows. From an early age, Ammon and Ryan Bundy learned to be negligent towards nature, disregarding the impact of their lifestyle or their actions on systems larger than themselves.

Their disdain for Native American artifacts is symptomatic of the heavy-footed, all-trampling lifestyle that their father taught them.

And by trying to break the relationship of local ranchers to the federal government, the Bundy brothers wanted to make the biggest possible mess out of Harney County.

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Imagine coming back to your office and finding it like this
  • muselet

    There is a straight-line connection from the Freeloader Militia, through the Wise Use movement, to the Sagebrush Rebellion of the 1970s and ’80s. The state of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge after the Bundy cultists were evicted surprises me not at all.

    Malheur tells us everything we need to know about what the people who have for decades argued for the devolution—and privatization—of public lands believe represents proper land and resource management.

    It’s long past time to stop taking these people and their policy proposals seriously.

    –alopecia