If you give a crackhead a pipe, don’t be surprised when they use it to smoke some rock. That’s just what co-owner Rick Barclay of the Sugar Pine Mine in Galice, Oregon, did when he invited the Oath Keepers to run security for him while in the midst of a land dispute with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
But now, according to Barclay, the situation has “taken on a life of its own,” and (surprise, surprise) the Oath Keepers are running amok like the Cat in the Hat just cut loose Thing 1 and Thing 2 – only these Things have guns, and lots of them. Now, Barclay is begging for Thing 1 and Thing 2 to get back in the box before they blow the whole Josephine County scene up-up-up with a wish (for armed confrontation).
We don’t need any more volunteers, we’re not under attack, this is not the Bundy Ranch. Please stop calling the BLM and threatening their personnel.
Surely their mothers will not mind at all if they do.
Barclay got himself into this conservative pickle when he and co-owner George Backes approached a local chapter of the Oath Keepers a little more than a week ago, after the two owners were served a notice of noncompliance by a BLM ranger and a Josephine County sheriff’s deputy. Unfortunately for the mine owners, Oath Keepers love a good pickle and relish any chance they can find to swing their boomsticks in the face of authority.
The BLM stands firm, however, in insisting that it was unaware that any mining was actually taking place at the Sugar Pine Mine, and that if the owners wish to continue to do so, they must “file a plan of operations for their mining activities or remove all of their equipment,” according to Mail Tribune. Spokesperson for the BLM, Jim Whittington, said Tuesday:
Every time a mining claim changes ownership, it resets.
Whittington said the owners have 30 days to get their paperwork in order or appeal. Instead, they got in touch with the Oath Keepers.
Why? Because Barclay argues that he and Backes own “exclusive surface rights to the claim.” Barclay says their exclusive rights date prior to 1955, when a law was passed declaring “all subsequent mining claims apply to mineral rights only.” In his eyes, that means he and his partner should be permitted any mining-related equipment and/or structures necessary for their business without having to hassle with filing pesky papers with any old, crotchety Bureau of Land Management.
Rangers and deputies poking around made the two mine owners nervous, though, concerned the BLM would come in like a gang of gremlins and destroy any and all equipment or structures before the matter could work itself out in court.
So, I went to the Oath Keepers and they said, ‘Okay.’
And if you don’t know who the Oath Keepers are, just Google the previously mentioned Bundy Ranch standoff of 2014 and you’ll learn all you need to know.
These armed “morans” started showing up last Tuesday, five days after the Oath Keepers were approached by Barclay for help. They quickly put together a camp and “staging area” on a piece of private property located on Camp Joy Road. (Oh, the irony…) Now, however, Barclay and Backes have kites bumping their mothers’ headboards, and she’ll be home any minute! LOOK! THERE SHE IS! What to do, what to do? Barclay calls it a “circus.” He said:
What you’re seeing is mostly a spectacle caused by social media and ‘keyboard commandos’ whooping it up. A lot of the stuff going around on social media is absolute bullsh*t.
Barclay, it seems, only signed on to have the Oath Keepers make sure the BLM doesn’t dismantle any of the mine’s equipment. He is far from happy about threats made to BLM personnel. That, as far as he is concerned, is not what he sought out the conservative muckrakers to do. However, he isn’t entirely sorry. Barclay said:
We are a constitutional republic – we are a nation of laws. The BLM would not be in this position had they followed the law.
Ironically, nor would Barclay.
Regardless, though, Barclay can’t wait until all of the hullabaloo is over. He stated:
As soon as I get my court arrangements made, the Oath Keepers are leaving. It’s okay. It’s going to be okay.
Maybe, but Barclay doesn’t have his arrangements made yet, does he? And Thing 1 and Thing 2 are still running around the house busting the rake and scaring the fish. Mother’s keys are jingling at the door. The kraken has been released and all that jazz.
Barclay may want to put away the pipe he dangled in the Oath Keepers’ faces, but they just might not leave until they’ve gotten their rocks and fired up, court arrangements be damned.
Time will tell.
You can read more about these shenanigans here.
Check out some of the videos from enthusiastic militia members and Oath Keepers, below: