First, let me give a little background. Sheriff Gower is a humble man who has quietly protected the rights of the citizens of Iron County since 2003. I first met Sheriff Mark Gower at the Oath Keepers conference in Las Vegas in 2009. He spoke about the challenges he was experiencing as a County Sheriff in southern Utah with the overreach of the federal government into his jurisdiction. Specifically the issue was a battle over an endangered prairie dog and private property rights. He came to the conference to share his experiences and he found a group of very supportive and encouraging citizens that would stand with him.
The second time I met Sheriff Gower was at the Freedom Conference in Cedar City in 2010 where he was one of the speakers and used the opportunity to hold a town hall-style meeting. Again, he was soft spoken, but spoke as a staunch advocate of the Constitutional rights of the people and was obviously respected by the people of Iron County. At the end of the conference, several of us Oath Keepers thanked him for his continued support of the Constitution and voiced our continued support for him as the model of what a County Sheriff should be.
Since that last meeting I thought it was important to once again reach out to Sheriff Gower and let him know we still stand behind him and appreciate his commitment to “honor his oath”. John Mackey and I planned a trip to southern Utah with the specific goal in mind to meet with the Sheriff. Not knowing how much time he would have for us, I would have been happy with just 5 minutes to thank him and tell him he still has many fans and supporters within the ranks of Oath Keepers. I tried to reach him by email several weeks prior to let him know we were coming through Cedar City but did not hear back. Since John and I had several reasons to go to southern Utah, we left early yesterday morning still hoping to have an opportunity to meet with him.
On the way up I called the Sheriff and told him we were coming through and hoped to stop by. He said he would be available in the afternoon and to come see him at the Sheriff’s Office. When we arrived he welcomed us into his office and spent 45 minutes talking about what was going on in his county, the challenges he and his department continue to face and sharing our concerns about some of the recent developments within the Law Enforcement community (i.e. Tucson and Quarzsite).
We had a great dialogue and were encouraged to hear that the City Council of Cedar City was starting to stand with him against the encroachment of the federal government, vis-a-vis the prairie dog, and they were making good progress in securing the property rights of the people. Sheriff Gower also expressed strong support for the “Quarzsite 10″ and wanted to join us on August 27 but can not since that is right in the middle of the Iron County Fair. We left the meeting feeling very encouraged and Sheriff Gower expressed his sincere thanks that we took time to reach out to him. We told him we would be back and he was looking forward to it.
Sheriff Gower is an oath keeper in both word and deed and should have the support of all Oath Keepers. I would encourage everyone to reach out to this “squared away Sheriff” (Stewart Rhodes’ words) and drop him an email thanking him for honoring his oath. If you find yourself in southern Utah, stop in at the Sheriff’s office and thank him and his deputies for the great work they are doing. If you have a chance, check out the Iron County Fair and you will see what a sense of “community” means.
Sheriff Gower email http://www.ironcounty.net/departments/Sheriff/email/sheriff.cfm
Iron County Fair http://www.ironcounty.net/departments/fair/