Tense Land Fights Prompt New Group

Acoalition created to counter the increasing use of intimidation to protest public policy announced its formation Tuesday.

The whole point is to raise public awareness of extreme militant groups that resort to intimidation and use of weaponry to interfere with normal government processes to address grievances, said Rose Chilcoat, associate director of Durango-based Great Old Broads for Wilderness.

“They’re acting like bullies in a schoolyard, and they’re getting away with it,” Chilcoat said. “You can’t take the law into your own hands.”

The coalition began to coalesce, Chilcoat said, before the most recent display of bravado by a militant group, the heavily armed Oath Keepers, who are keeping government officials and the public away from the Sugar Pine Mine near Grants Pass, Oregon. The owners of the gold mine are locked in a legal battle with the Bureau of Land Management over mining practices.

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