Violence vs. Employees

Programs have friends, but bureaucrats do not, so focus your fire on the bureaucrats.
— Frank Luntz, Republican political strategist and pollster

Oklahoma City federal building in April 1995

Public Employees Are Not Punching Bags
After the terrorist bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building in April 1995, many have assumed that the campaign of attacking public resource employees had ceased. In fact, violence against public servants continued unabated but it has fallen out of the media spotlight.

Ever since 1995, PEER has maintained the nation’s only database on violence against resource employees. The trend toward violence continues to grow with rank-and-file resource employees, those professionals in the field who are charged with implementing regulations and enforcing environmental laws, bearing the brunt. Across the country, those charged with protecting our environment are the victims of harassment, threats, intimidation, beatings, shootings and bombings.

Wise Use and Employee Abuse
Groups calling themselves members of the “Wise Use” movement represent landowners, loggers, off-road vehicle users, miners and other individuals who are often at odds with laws to protect and preserve public lands. The term “Wise Use” was co-opted from Gifford Pinchot, first chief of the Forest Service, who advocated the wise use of natural resources. Unfortunately, many of these anti-environmental groups see rangers, biologists and other resource specialists as barriers standing in the way to opening up public lands for extraction, unlimited “enjoyment” (a term often used by destructive ORV-abusers) and outright exploitation.

Support Your Local Public Servant
Besides documenting incidents and calling attention to the problem, PEER helps targeted public servants fight back by filing lawsuits against harassers and pushing for policies that protect the safety of government workers.