This is a very familiar situation, and if you want to puzzle out what’s actually going on, I recommend you do one or both of these things:
Maybe you’ve already seen Shane, so I’ll just refresh your memory. A cattle baron tries to take over huge tracts of land by driving out settlers and small farmers; Jack Palance is the bad guy, working for the greedy cattlemen, terrorizing the farmers, who have Alan Ladd defending them. It’s the old range war story that has driven a lot of Westerns. You could also watch Clint Eastwood’s Pale Rider, or any of dozens of movies with that theme. Why, just last night I watched a Danish Western, The Salvation, which recycled that story: Mads Mikkelsen is the Danish settler in America, who just wants to build a little farm with his family, when he is victimized by a brutal campaign to destroy a town so rich people can seize the oil-rich lands there (this, of course, prompts prolonged violence, unfortunately, but that’s another familiar trope in these movies).
It happened and is happening all across the West. There are all these open spaces, and a few people decide that they own ALL of it, and that no one else gets to use it. Their demands are usually couched in terms of privatizing public lands, so our Libertarian-leaning compatriots just love it. Also loving it are the few rich beneficiaries of the heavily subsidized use of public lands.
Or instead of a fictionalized old movie, you could read Clarke’s article for the non-fictional details.