This interview with young Cody Parker was conducted in 2005 on Bobby Parker’s front porch in the Mojave Preserve. Bobby was trenching a new water line with his privately-owned water directly adjacent to his cabin when Ranger Dingman, with the National Park Service arrived with another ranger. Dingman demanded that Bobby stop trenching and pulled his gun out. Bobby’s adopted dad, Leo Spatziani, saw what was happening and went to his pickup truck, pulled out his rifle, held it up in the air and told the rangers to leave. A few days later, Leo was arrested for assaulting a federal officer and ultimately convicted. The then 66 year old spent six months in prison. This is an excerpt from one of the interviews with Cody recalling what had happened. The interview sound bite itself is unedited, so you hear Ms. Catania’s voice in the background.
Cindy and Tommy Mullens spent 12 years building their dream home on the New River in Hinton, West Virginia, only to be forced off when the National Park Service began seizing property along what was going to be a scenic byway.
After dozens of landowners relinquished their homes, many of the properties fell into disrepair. We noted some that were fenced in, falling down and blighted. According to the residents, some of the land that was seized was sold to a lumber company by the Park Service and private homes with new owners were rebuilt on the areas that had originally been confiscated.
This is a short excerpt (1:30) from a longer interview with Cindy Mullens. To see the longer version of her unedited interview (questions were taken out to avoid distraction, but the interview is presented as it occurred in 2005).
And here’s the full interview with Cindy:
For more information, go to http://www.sustainingamerica.com
I’ve wrestled about whether or not to publish this video, but as a journalist, I believe that all sides of a story should be told. So, you be the judge. This was filmed at a public event (Superintendent Mary Martin’s retirement from the Mojave Preserve) with government employees (most from the Park Service) so permission is not needed to publish.
Wayne Hage, Sr., interviewed here shortly before his death in 2006 at the age of 69, struggled for years to preserve his rights as an American property owner and dedicated rancher. His book, “Storm Over Rangelands,” is an important chronicle of what has happened in the West in the last three decades.
It is largely because of Wayne that I am making these films. He made me promise to tell the stories.