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Speak Your Piece: ‘Aren’t We Americans?’

[imgbelt img=LandNotForSaleFull.jpg]It seems like the federal government is waging a war on us here near the border of southeastern Colorado and New Mexico. Why do we have to spend so much time defending our way of life?

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The Trinidad (CO) Times. 

My name is Rachel Snyder and I am a full-time resident and property owner in Branson, Colorado. 

I am not a rancher, am not married to a rancher, and in fact, have no blood family in this area. Neither am I a card-carrying member of The Grassland Trust, the Pinon Canyon Expansion Opposition Coalition, or Not One More Acre! 

I moved to Branson from the Front Range several years ago — exercising my inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Against this backdrop, I now find myself eye to eye with an impossible-to-ignore, gargantuan elephant thrashing about in a very small room.

Simply put: Why is my government waging an ever-escalating war against me and my neighbors?

Why must so many individuals and families invest so much time, energy, money and heartache defending our way of life against the very people who have sworn to defend our rights at all costs?

Why the rampant marginalizing of southeastern Colorado?

Aren’t we Americans?

Had I been seeking the questionable joys of wave after wave of legal attacks, line-in-the-sand jockeying for control, obfuscation, endless profiteering by taxpayer-subsidized private military contractors, and governmental disregard of the people and places I have come to love, I may have instead chosen to take up residence in Baghdad or Beirut.

The planes, helicopters, and drones may not yet be here in full force, but the strafing has already gone on far too long.

Southeastern Colorado may not look like much on a satellite image, but this is hardly a vast and valueless wasteland. Look more closely and you can see young children riding their bikes on a school playground. Step into town on your own two feet and you’ll see chickens in the yard; elders visiting in the sun; ranchers hauling hay, water or livestock to or from their drought-stricken acreage. 

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