In the early 1990s, Hammond repeatedly transgressed federal environmental laws, trespassed on federal lands and hurled death threats at federal wildlife officials. Little action was taken against Hammond by a timid Clinton administration. Emboldened, Hammond and some of his fellow ranchers continued over the next two decades to flagrantly flout environmental laws and harass federal officials. These activities finally culminated in an act of poaching on Steens Mountain and two arson fires. Hammond and his son were convicted in federal court and sentenced to five years in prison. That conviction sparked the armed takeover of federal buildings now unfolding in Burns. Here is our report from 1995. — JSC
Phi Beta Iota: The time has come to put the federal government — a service of common concern to the States that comprise the United STATES of America — back in the box. The federal government should not own land and should not be able to tax citizens directly — the federal government should be funded by and overseen by the STATES. It may take a Constitutional Convention — or a series of seccessions — to sort this out.