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WINNIPEG, Canada – Like many Americans, I grew weary of the city life some time ago.

I lost my taste for being a number. I don’t want to be “controlled” by government. I don’t relish being herded like cattle. I want to breathe clean air, shoot my guns when I feel like it and take care of myself and my family.

But there is an active conspiracy – yes, conspiracy – by the government to deter people like me from doing just that.

It’s called, by government and its environmentalist wacko agitators, “re-wilding.”

What is re-wilding?

Let me give you an example.

I live in rural Oregon now.

We have to be careful of bears, mountain lions and coyotes. And we have no problem with that.

But I do have a problem with the federal government re-introducing wild wolves into the area.

That’s right, wolves.

Back in the 1990s, some bureaucrats in Washington huddled together with some city-slicker environmentalists and came up with the idea of reintroducing wolves into central Idaho and Yellowstone National Park. They had been extinct in the area since the 1930s.

Of course, wolves don’t stay in one place. They tend to reproduce and spread out. And, according to at least 40 sightings of wolves in Bend, Ore., alone, they have already crossed the Oregon border and begun munching on the livestock and whatever else gets in their way.

It’s like an idea out of Jurassic Park – but this is real life, non-fiction.

And, eventually, it’s bound to mean death and mayhem for human beings – not just their pets and cattle.

But it’s not stupidity and insensitivity behind this evil plot. It’s an effort to get people like me out of the wilderness and back into the cities where we can be controlled, herded and numbered more efficiently.

The move coincides with a giant land grab by Washington – one that went into overdrive during 8 years of Bill Clinton. The federal government annexed more public lands in that time period than at any time since Theodore Roosevelt. And the swap meet continues.

Because ranchers often depend on the grazing rights to public lands, they find themselves in a bind. Do they get out of the ranching business and move back into the city? Or do they watch their cattle systematically eaten by predators re-introduced in an effort to force them to give up their way of life?

Some choice.

Don’t even think about shooting one of the critters. You see, the wolves are an “endangered species” – and heavy fines come with killing them, even in defense of your property. How heavy? Try $100,000 heavy, plus a year in jail.

The people of Idaho know what I’m talking about. Idaho is 100 percent wolf country. So, why are they still endangered? The truth is they are flourishing.

But one of the many problems with the Endangered Species Act is the unwillingness of government and their environmentalist apparatchiks to delist any critter that is successfully listed in the first place.

So, here in Oregon, the ranchers are at the mercy of the invading wolves. They don’t dare shoot them or risk losing everything. But do they dare not shoot them?

Is anyone in Washington listening? I doubt it. I doubt the pleas of a few ranchers in the West will be heard over the din as government turns its attention to fighting terrorists abroad – even while it is loosing furry terrorists on its own people in the wilderness.

Maybe you don’t care about this problem now. Maybe you don’t live in the wilderness. Maybe you are not threatened by the government’s deliberate re-introduction of wolves into semi-populated regions of the West.

But you should care. Just because your particular ox is not being gored by these wolves, your turn is coming. Believe me.

If western ranchers don’t have any property rights, guess what? Neither do you – no matter where you live.

And they’ll be gunning for you soon enough. If you want to know how, check out a column I did more than a year ago, adapted from my book, “This Land Is Our Land.”

You can run, but you can’t hide – not from the wolves in the West, nor from the wolves in Washington.

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