The Sagebrush Rebellion was a movement in the Western United States in the 70s and 80s that fought against government control of land in the West. Their main focus was having the land controlled by the state or local government. In some cases, they even fought for true privatization of the land. The name Sagebrush Rebellion was adopted due to the fact that most of the land being fought over was called “Sagebrush Steppe”. The movement slowly gained the support of those looking to use the land for resource extraction and/or livestock grazing. The Wise Use movement grew from this Rebellion in the late 80s and on. The Wise Use movement was people looking to have public control over land. They were against government control of lands and sought the expansion of public lands in the United States. Many groups were involved in the Wise Use movement ranging from agricultural industries to off-road vehicle users. Politically they were backed by libertarians and the uprising religious conservatives of the United States. The Wise Use movement also gained support from resource extraction industries looking to use the land to harvest the natural resources.
The fight over Western land in the United States sparked a realization of wanting less government control over what the people did with their land. Many people believed that the land should not be touched by the government and that it should be free for the use of the public. This fed the rise of the conservative mindset in the 80s and 90s. People did not want government control of the land and sought to fight the change that was happening in the West. The government wanted to keep the land “natural”, untouched by humans. While the citizens of those areas wanted to use it to their benefit such as collecting natural resources or letting their livestock roam. With all this control and regulation the government was trying to place on the land, the people realized that they did not like how many rules the government was trying to force. This also fueled the conservative mindset, as the people began to see that they do not like change and being under the control of the government in their everyday lives.