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Wyatt Earp Never Met the U. S. Forest Service

Note: This topic was ably addressed by Martin a couple of months ago, but here is another take.

Tombstone, Arizona is where the most famous gun battle of the old west occurred, the Gunfight at the OK Corral in 1881.  The legendary gunfight featured Wyatt Earp, his brothers Virgil and Morgan, Doc Holliday, Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas (wait, those last two were just in the movie) out-dueling several outlaw cowboys.  Three of the outlaws were killed and all of the lawmen, except for Wyatt Earp, were wounded.  At this point it should be pointed out that after an exhaustive investigation by the Justice Department, Eric Holder has eagerly announced that no guns from Fast and Furious were found at the scene.

In 2011 the huge Monument Fire damaged a large area of forest land near Tombstone.  Torrential monsoon rains came and were followed by massive flooding and mudslides.  This damaged Tombstone’s mountain spring waterlines, thereby destroying reservoirs and shutting down Tombstone’s primary source of water.  The town of Tombstone thought it reasonable to try to repair the waterlines and restore water service to the town.  However, citing the Wilderness Act, the U.S. Forest Service yelled, in effect, “Are you nuts?” and is refusing to allow the town to repair the water lines if it means using “motorized or mechanized equipment”.  Such equipment might damage the wilderness and disturb endangered species.  I think the Monument fire and subsequent mudslides did plenty of disturbing, but they were neither motorized, nor mechanized.  Originally, the Forest Service even considered a wheel barrel to be mechanized.  “Wheel”, of course, is the operative word.  Eric Holder has further announced that no wheel barrels connected with Fast and Furious have been found near Tombstone.

It seems that repairing the waterlines is a larger project than planting the backyard begonias.  (Not that I know anything about planting begonias, but my wife assures me it’s not too hard.)  Gardening tools will not suffice.  But gardening tools are all the residents of Tombstone have.  Well, that and a lawsuit.

The U.S. Forest Service apparently believes that thirst is overrated.  And who needs showers anyway?  You think Doc Holliday showered?  Heck, you could smell him all over town.  Man up, Tombstone!  We’re the government, we will tell you when you are thirsty. You want a drink?  Get a Big Gulp.  This isn’t New York!  To which Tombstone says, we’ll see you in court.  Stay tuned.

Curtice Mang is the author of the new book, The Constitution – I’m Not Kidding and Other Tales of Liberal Folly. He can be contacted at, where one can also purchase his book; or contact Curtice at mangwrites at


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