The Sagebrush Rebellion and Wise Use movement were two related movements that arose in the United States during the 1980s and 1990s. Both movements were focused on challenging the power of the federal government over land-use decisions in the western United States, particularly with regard to public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service. The Sagebrush Rebellion was a movement that arose in the late 1970s and early 1980s, primarily in the western United States. It was named after the sagebrush ecosystem, which is common in the region. The Sagebrush Rebellion was characterized by a belief that the federal government had too much control over public lands in the West and that this control was impeding economic growth and development. The movement was led by ranchers, farmers, and other landowners who felt that they were being unfairly restricted by federal land-use regulations. The Wise Use movement was a broader movement that emerged in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It was a coalition of groups that shared a common belief in the importance of private property rights and the need to reduce federal control over public lands. The movement included not just ranchers and farmers, but also mining companies, timber companies, off-road vehicle enthusiasts, and other groups with an interest in using public lands for economic purposes. Both the Sagebrush Rebellion and the Wise Use movement were controversial and divisive. Supporters argued that the federal government was overreaching in its control over public lands and that the movement was necessary to protect property rights and promote economic growth. Critics argued that the movement was driven by special interests and threatened to undermine important environmental protections.
The battles over public lands in the West, particularly with wilderness designations, played a significant role in shaping the New Right movement in the United States. The New Right was a conservative political movement that emerged in the 1970s and 1980s, and was characterized by a focus on small government, free-market capitalism, and individual rights.The battle over wilderness designations also played a role in the emergence of the “Sagebrush Rebellion” in the late 1970s and early 1980s, which was a movement of Westerners who sought to challenge federal control over public lands. The Sagebrush Rebellion was driven by a sense that the federal government was imposing excessive regulations on Western land use, and that these regulations were harming the economy and infringing on individual property rights.The New Right was able to use the issue of public lands to mobilize support in Western states, and to build a broader coalition of conservative voters who shared their anti-government views. The movement was successful in electing conservative politicians who were sympathetic to their cause, and in shaping public opinion on issues related to land use and environmental policy.