SIGN IN to access Harper’s Magazine
1. Sign in to Customer Care using your account number or postal address.
2. Select Email/Password Information.
3. Enter your new information and click on Save My Changes.
Subscribers can find additional help here. Not a subscriber? Subscribe today!
From accounts of threats made against employees of the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management since 2010, published in 2014 by High Country News.
On patrol near West Hopley, Montana, I noticed a Ford parked near a road closed sign. The truck was occupied by a middle-aged female with a small child and teenager. The adult would not speak to me other than to say that she did not have to put up with Gestapo government officials. I asked for her driver’s license several times. She started to scream out to her family. I handcuffed her, and while I attempted to search her for weapons, I noticed Mr. [redacted] on top of the hillside, yelling, “Hey, get the fuck away from my wife.” He repeated this several times, his rifle held at shoulder height and pointed at me.
On November 1, 2011, the White River National Forest district ranger handed me 117 pages written in cursive and signed by [redacted]. In his letter, [redacted] rambles repeatedly about murder conspiracies and refers to virtually everyone listed as “homosexual freaks” or part of a “faggot bastard secret society.” He refers to a female U.S.F.S. employee hundreds of times as “Little Smokey Bear Girl.” He repeatedly accuses the district supervisor of placing “Little Smokey Bear Girl” to entice him with her “sex” for the purposes of murdering him. I contacted Detective [redacted], who stated that he gets calls from around the country about [redacted] and his letters.
A lands and realty specialist near Elk City, Idaho, had been inspecting an unauthorized road when he was approached by [redacted], who told him, “Fucking BLM. If I see you on my property, I will kick your ass.” I contacted [redacted] at his residence and informed him that a survey crew needed to locate corners for the BLM parcel adjacent to his property. He responded, “They already been on my land, sneaking around like snakes.” I asked if he would be willing to show the crew where the corners were located. He responded that he would: “I thought you guys were here to arrest me. I wasn’t going to go easy.” The survey determined that part of [redacted’s] cabin was on public land.
At approximately 2:00 p.m., I arrived at [redacted’s] residence. He was in his shop working on a valve for his tractor. We talked about his tractor problems for a couple of minutes, then I asked if he had told a Forest Service employee’s wife that he was going to kick his ass. [Redacted] responded, “Goddamn right I did! And I will. The Forest Service needs to get their ass out of this country!” He went back to work on his valve stem. I informed him that I was issuing a notice for threatening a Forest Service employee. He stated, “I am not going to pay it.” I advised him that if he did not, a court date would be set in Rapid City. He asked if I would be there. I replied that I would. He responded, “You better have a goddamn good lawyer.”
On October 13, 2010, [redacted] entered the BLM Moab office and began asking about recent road closures in the area. He became very agitated and told one employee, “I was in Vietnam and know how to kill people. Come outside and settle this.” On October 14, [redacted] entered the Grand County Sheriff’s Department and bragged that he knew how and where to dispose of bodies so that they would not be found. He also stated that he occasionally rides his A.T.V. out on a ridge and waits with his .300 Winchester rifle for a BLM employee to drive by.
More from Harper's Magazine:
Context — March 22, 2017, 1:32 pm
Some frank reflections on what the American publishing business is about, by a young editor who has observed it impatiently for several years (and insists on remaining nameless)
Ratio of the amount of water used to make the containers to the amount of bottled water consumed:
Police in Pforzheim, Germany, detained an owl who was drunk on schnapps.
In the United States, legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act was advanced by the House Ways and Means Committee after 18 hours of deliberation, during which time the Republican members of Congress passed around candy.
Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!
"It is an interesting and somewhat macabre parlor game to play at a large gathering of one’s acquaintances: to speculate who in a showdown would go Nazi. By now, I think I know. I have gone through the experience many times—in Germany, in Austria, and in France. I have come to know the types: the born Nazis, the Nazis whom democracy itself has created, the certain-to-be fellow-travelers. And I also know those who never, under any conceivable circumstances, would become Nazis."