St George News

Letter to the Editor: Bundy forfeited right to graze cattle; counter opinion, range war

COUNTER OPINION to opinion of St. George News columnist Bryan Hyde (See: March 31  Perspectives: The Bundys vs the bureaucracy– When dealing with any organization or entity in an exchange of goods or services, whether it is car insurance, a government contract, or your legal rights, you must be sure to cover all of the obligations on your end. Otherwise you risk losing something on a technicality. It all boils down to holding up your end of the bargain. As they say, ignorance of the law is no defense. Cliven Bundy made this mistake in his battle against the Bureau of Land Management to graze his cattle. He had a permit (which is a contract) with the government to graze his cattle on BLM land. That permit had requirements and benefits attached to it.

A helicopter overhead. Helicopter pilots are among the people privately contracted by the BLM to help gather Bundy's cattle, Clark County, Nev., April 1, 2014 | Photo by Dave Amodt, St. George News

A helicopter overhead. Helicopter pilots are among the people privately contracted by the BLM to help gather Bundy’s cattle, Clark County, Nev., April 1, 2014 | Photo by Dave Amodt, St. George News | Click on photo to enlarge

Under the Taylor Grazing Act, a permit system was set up that granted grazing privileges, not rights. The grazing permit is a revocable license under the law, not creating any right, title, interest, or estate in or to the land. In the early 1990s the BLM revised Mr. Bundy’s, and other ranchers’, permits to protect the desert tortoise. Mr. Bundy did not like the revision and so he made, in my opinion, a catastrophic, knee-jerk mistake when he stopped paying his grazing fees in defiance. It was catastrophic because what he did the moment he stopped paying was remove all legal standing he had. He relinquished any claim he had to graze on public land. When he did that, the BLM rightfully canceled his permit and would not grant him anymore permits.

One can sympathize with a choice that feels like no choice at all, to feel like an agency is limiting all of your options, or in Mr. Bundy’s case, taking away his right to make a living. But in reality, it was Mr. Bundy who made the choice. Sometimes we are our own worst enemy. The best course of action for Mr. Bundy would have been to keep paying his grazing fees while fighting the changes he saw taking place, and then he would have a legal leg to stand on. As it stands, he has no legal standing or rights to graze on public land; he is illegally grazing his cattle and has been for 20 years, all because of that one impulsive decision. Never hand your “enemy” the win for free. Know your rights, know the law, and know your obligations stipulated in the contract because then, no one will be able to find fault with your cause.

As it stands, there is plenty of fault to find with Mr. Bundy’s case. He did it wrong 20 years ago and is still doing it wrong today.

When the Taylor Grazing Act was passed, it was done in response to the cries and pleas of ranchers out West dealing with decades of rangeland deterioration, conflicts between cattle ranchers and migratory sheepherders, jurisdictional disputes, and states’ rights debates, who needed help; see Encyclopedia of the Great Plains Web page on the Taylor Grazing Act.

There is a theory about what happens to a resource that is free. It is an economic theory called the Tragedy of the Commons which states that individuals acting independently and rationally according to each one’s own self-interest, behave contrary to the whole group’s long-term best interests by depleting the common or shared resource. In other words, when a common good is “free,” people will selfishly use it until it is gone because they cannot self-regulate, and those who try, quickly give up when no one else does.

The Taylor Grazing Act was a system set up to counter the selfish interests of the individual for the whole by regulating grazing and land use. This government regulation was meant to ensure that the vegetation could regenerate and continue to provide productive land, further ensuring that grazing would continue into the future for everyone.

In the 1960s and 1970s, public appreciation for public lands and expectations for their management rose to a new level, as made clear by congressional passage of such laws as the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, the Endangered Species Act of 1973, and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976. Consequently, the BLM moved from managing grazing in general to better management or protection of specific rangeland resources, such as riparian areas, threatened and endangered species, sensitive plant species, and cultural or historical objects. Consistent with this enhanced role, the Bureau developed or modified the terms and conditions of grazing permits and leases and implemented new range improvement projects to address these specific resource issues, promoting continued improvement of public rangeland conditions. See the BLM’s Web page: Fact sheet on the BLM’s Management of Livestock Grazing.

BLM sign along Interstate 15. Bunkerville, Nev., April 3, 2014 | Photo by Dave Amodt, St. George News

BLM sign along Interstate 15. Bunkerville, Nev., April 3, 2014 | Photo by Dave Amodt, St. George News | Click on photo to enlarge

In other words, public lands grew to include the interests of more than just ranchers. The BLM and other land management agencies had to manage the land for energy development, timber harvest, recreational activities, education and youth programs, and for scientific research. No longer did the land belong solely to ranchers and cattle. It is hard to share when you have been using it for a long time, but share we must when it is a public good and resource. Most of the other ranchers in Nevada understood this when the desert tortoise got listed on the Endangered Species Act and complied.

In the early 1990s when this was taking place, there was a land swap between Nevada and the Federal Government where Nevada offered to buy the grazing allotments to protect the desert tortoise in exchange for desert tortoise habitat that they could destroy for development. The ranchers grazing on those allotments were offered the chance to sell their allotments and did to the tune of roughly $5 million dollars. Mr. Bundy was not given the option of a buy-out for his allotment because he had forfeited his rights to it when he stopped paying his fees. Therefore, the permit was sold to Nevada for $375,000.00. When Mr. Bundy was shut-out, he decided not to recognize the federal government’s authority over him, and started grazing illegally.

The BLM has tried repeatedly and patiently to handle this matter civilly as can be shown by their 20 year efforts to do so. They went through the courts to get court orders to have his trespassing cattle removed. The judges have continually sided with the BLM, and have issued court orders to Mr. Bundy to remove his cattle. But he has ignored them. Now it appears the Nevada Cattleman’s Association is leaning toward supporting the BLM’s removal of Mr. Bundy’s cattle because he is law breaker. While they are paying their grazing fees to graze their cattle, Mr. Bundy is stealing to graze his. It is not fair for the BLM to turn a blind eye to this or to let it go on any longer. Worse than that, however, is the fact that Mr. Bundy is grazing his cattle at the public’s expense.

We pay tax dollars to have our public lands managed, to have equal access under the law, and to have the law enforced. Mr. Bundy has made his right to graze his cattle more important than all other interests. Some might argue that this is an environmental issue, a liberty issue, or a property rights issue, but it is an equal rights legal issue. According to Mary Jo Rugwell, the former BLM Southern Nevada District Manager:

There are hundreds of ranchers that follow the rules. They have grazing permits, pay their fees and manage their cattle as they are supposed to. A lot of other users of public lands also pay for permits and follow their stipulations. It’s just not fair to all of those people that Mr. Bundy does what he wants and doesn’t follow the rules (see court orders linked on the BLM’s Web page here).

He, and others like him or supporting him, may not like the Endangered Species Act and may not like federal law or control, but not liking something does not excuse one from breaking the law. Furthermore, not believing in laws does not make them any less real, valid, or enforced.

While this is an emotional issue for many who know and like Mr. Bundy, at the end of the day, he brought this on himself. If he is a victim of anything, he is a victim of his own arrogance. He willfully broke the law and chose not to work within the confines and limits of it. He has gotten away with it for 20 years. It is time for the BLM to call his bluff and end his free grazing and law breaking now. If he wants to sue Clark County, the state of Nevada, the BLM, the cowboys who will be rounding up his cattle, or anyone else, let him do it. He does not have a case, as has been shown. His argument is weak at best. As Lloyd D. George, United States District Judge stated:

Bundy has produced no valid law or specific facts raising a genuine issue of fact regarding federal ownership or management of public lands in Nevada, or that his cattle have not trespassed on the New Trespass Lands… the public interest is served by the enforcement of Congress’ mandate for management of the public rangelands, and by having federal laws and regulations applied to all citizens equally. (Emphasis added. See also: Moapa Valley Progress article dated April 18, 2012, here.)

The BLM is not the bogeyman as many here would like to believe. It is not a nameless, faceless organization out to get one man. It is an agency filled with average, everyday people trying to do their job, and managing land for competing interests is a hard one at that. Mr. Bundy has had more than ample time to resolve this issue amicably and reasonably, it is time that he suffer the consequences that anyone else would who blatantly breaks the law. That he is seeking public support on emotional grounds here in southern Utah reveals a last ditch effort by a man who has been beaten in court because he has no case.

Submitted by Greta Hyland

Letters to the Editor are not the product of St. George News, its editors, staff or contributors. The matters stated and opinions given are the responsibility of the person submitting them; they do not reflect the product or opinion of St. George News.

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  115 Comments
  1. Arlin Hughes April 6, 2014 at 7:59 am · Reply

    If you believe this you have been brain washed! Good job big gov your subjects are beginning to respond.

    • Kent April 6, 2014 at 9:10 am · Reply

      Really Arlin? What part do you have a hard time with? That if you break the law you have consequences? Probably right that anyone who breaks the law is just a victim and should be let off the hook continually. Lets let Adam Lanza out of jail for the mass shooting in Colorado because the law doesn’t matter. Or lets lets not apply the law to people who commit crimes against Maybe you have a hard time with the fact that they are trying to keep a balance of everybody’s interest in this case and obviously Mr Bundy and Arlin Hughes Interest is the only interest one should be concerned about?

      • Quinn Sysmith April 13, 2014 at 10:43 pm · Reply

        There is no better description of the despotism of the BLM than “awing the state into undue obedience to the general government.” The federal government — and most commentators — believe that the federal government is merely exercising its constitutional right to control “public lands.” Sure, these apologists admit, Bundy is suffering personal deprivation, but that’s the price we pay for “domestic tranquility.”

        Our Founding Fathers knew better. As Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) explained in regard to federal seizure of significant land in the mountain West:

        Then, as now, we have a grave risk associated with the fact that when the federal government owns this much land, the federal government has this much power. This was on the minds of the delegates to the Convention of 1787, that one of the things they needed to protect against was the concentration of too much power in the hands of the few, especially the concentration of too much power within the federal government. They understood, and each of them had a mission to protect the sovereignty of their respective states. They understood that if Congress had too much power to simply buy up too much land in any one state, disproportionately in some states, the federal government would have too much influence within that state.

        Unfortunately for the state of Nevada, its own state constitution is little more than a paean to the unfettered ferocity of the federal beast. Section 2 of the Nevada constitution reads:

        No power exists in the people of this or any other State of the Federal Union to dissolve their connection therewith or perform any act tending to impair[,] subvert, or resist the Supreme Authority of the government of the United States. The Constitution of the United States confers full power on the Federal Government to maintain and Perpetuate its existance [sic], and whensoever any portion of the States, or people thereof attempt to secede from the Federal Union, or forcibly resist the Execution of its laws, the Federal Government may, by warrant of the Constitution, employ armed force in compelling obedience to its Authority.

        Could there be a less constitutionally sound demarcation of the spheres of power of the states and the federal government? James Madison’s allotment of authority as set out in The Federalist, No. 45, was apparently not available to the drafters of the Silver State’s constitution. Madison wrote:

        The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.

        Cliven Bundy’s family has lived on this land for nearly 140 years. The Bundys have settled and improved this property since Cliven’s ancestor accompanied Edward Bunker and a company of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints members who settled on the Virgin River, a few miles west of the Nevada-Arizona border in 1877.

        • Dixieite? May 11, 2014 at 3:10 pm · Reply

          Now that’s a bunch of lies! Bundy’s claims to ancestors settling on that territory has been proven false. Jeez…

      • TR April 15, 2014 at 11:46 pm · Reply

        It’s so typical people like you won’t let those pesky facts get in the way. Bundy is trying to change the overreach of big government. If he had done what BLM wanted, he would have been out of business 20 years ago just like the 52 other ranchers they regulated out of business. Bad law is just that bad law. And while I’m at it, fact: Adam Lanza was the Sandy Hook shooter not Colorado. Oh and he’s dead. It’s funny how facts get changed by people like you.

        • Dixieite? May 11, 2014 at 3:11 pm · Reply

          Over Reaching of government? Like your city’s government for example?

    • Kevin Randall April 6, 2014 at 9:13 am · Reply

      So Arlin since you say this is all wrong, then why don’t you provide us with the facts? You make a bold statement yet back it up with nothing. Sounds like you are brainwashed, prove me wrong!

    • Rainbowruth April 6, 2014 at 11:39 am · Reply

      Mr. Hughes the problem with this entire issue is that for too many years those who say they love freedom, their constitutional rights, and states rights have spent too little time getting involved, standing up for what they say they believe. Catch a clue, just paying dues to an out of control set of lobbying groups won’t cut it. Is it the federal grants, farm subsidies, tax breaks or property tax deductions you dislike the most? The Cattlemans Association and Farm Bureau sold you out for money. Never securing your ability to continue successfully in your efforts to provide us food, clothes, and energy. They have let the uneducated liberals take over…who is John Gault?

      • skip2maloo April 6, 2014 at 1:42 pm · Reply

        I have no idea who John Gault is. But I am somewhat familiar with a character named John Galt, and based on what I’ve read related to this recent Wild West resource dispute, not a one of us is John Galt. Some lean his direction, but most (including myself) feel the tremendously powerful weight of bureaucratic society, in whichever forms, as you allude to.

        • Rainbowruth April 6, 2014 at 5:16 pm · Reply

          John Gault is the new and improved “Rand” Galt of Atlas Shrugged fame. Gaully Andy, I figered weez the only folks who git it…

    • SON OF RANCHER April 13, 2014 at 1:31 pm · Reply

      Arlin… Greta presented the facts clearly and logically. That is not brainwashing. Otherwise you too would specifically refute her facts. There was a time when the two sides in this country could talk and compromise. We would get together, mend fences, and solve problems. Now you think yelling and intiminidating and creating fairytales solves anything ? There are some definate reasons that this is no longer happening in this country and it’s about money and corporate greed who buy our politicians and elections and media. They say anything they want and we soak it up. Parnoia is much more effecting than doing the hard work that could get done. We sure love government when we want to recreate or put our rig on the highway or turn on the tap. The BLM folks are just following the law and doing so very patiently in this case. Don’t like the law then get it changed. Oh yah that takes work. And maybe you better look at who is buying your elected officials.

    • scooder April 13, 2014 at 7:20 pm · Reply

      That’s what folks say when proven wrong. Just call names and pretend you didn’t hear it. That’s what a 12 year old might do. The adults are trying to fix this. Let them.

    • bilklyg April 16, 2014 at 12:01 pm · Reply

      http://scgnews.com/bundy-ranch-what-youre-not-being-told

    • Mike Green April 16, 2014 at 12:47 pm · Reply

      Good Left wing article. Now Report the rest of the issue. Harry Reid’s son works for a Chinese energy company who want to place solar panels on this land. Reid’s former staff member is now head of the BLM.
      So criminalize the farmer and run him off so Reid and his son can make millions.
      But I guess this is for the greater good also.

    • Dixieite? May 11, 2014 at 3:08 pm · Reply

      Are you from Dixie? If so, you are completely brain washed by the corruption and activities within your city good ole boy network. Now go watch sports or ride the carousel. That’s about the extent of response of the mindless sheeple to their good ole boys from Dixie!

  2. peter wilson April 6, 2014 at 9:19 am · Reply

    If by “brain-washed” Mr Hughes means the author is “educated”? Agreed. Or “having mutual respect for the hundreds of millions in this country and THEIR lands” (not just a few people that don’t recognize the government), then yes the author is brain-washed in that sense. If the government or its subsidiaries are interfering with a way of life you wish to partake, then be sure not to utilize and support the programs they provide – stop using the public lands, stop using roads and highways and infrastructure, stop using gasoline/oil (one of the largest of government-funded corporations), and don’t use the public schools.

  3. Kent April 6, 2014 at 9:28 am · Reply

    So Arlin what other parts of the law do you feel you are entitled to ignore? Do you figure you can commit rape and because you didn’t really mean it you shouldn’t be subject to the punishment? Or maybe we should let Adam Lanza out of jail I mean just because he shot a bunch of people in a theater in Colorado I guess he could say he shouldn’t be subject to the law anyway because well he doesn’t agree with the people making the law? Seriously what did you think was going to happen? They tell you repeatedly your going to have a problem and lose your property then a Judge rules that you are breaking the law so what would any sane person do? That’s right call their bluff Heck they won’t really do it. Besides I am above the law. I think he is finally getting what he has been asking them to do for 20 + years now.

    • skip2maloo April 6, 2014 at 1:32 pm · Reply

      Oh my! Forget the odd, if not offensive, comparison of a cattleman violating grazing laws to a rapist and a mass murderer. At least Ken could get his mass killers straight: Lanza is not in jail. He’s dead by his own sick hand. And he did not kill and wound theatre-goers in CO. He murdered 20 children and 6 adults in Sandy Hook. Oh, and his mother, too. Careful with the comparisons. And careful with the facts. Cows munching on grass that’s not theirs is hardly related.

      • Snoopkittykat1 April 14, 2014 at 12:00 pm · Reply

        I don’t think this was an analogy here, but more a long the lines of worrying that by not abiding by these laws, we are kind of weakening laws in general.

  4. John B. April 6, 2014 at 10:15 am · Reply

    Probably the best article I have read on this issue. It is unfortunate that too many are so ignorant of the purpose for laws that protect public property. Pick up a history book and read about the problems that arose in the West beginning in the 1880s-1890s with overgrazing. This is not about big government; do we blame the BLM for fire restrictions that prevent wildfires? No. We should not blame them for trying to control overgrazing. Those who break the rules, and think they are better than the rest of the ranchers who pay their fees, do not deserve the privileges of public property.

  5. Bub April 6, 2014 at 10:15 am · Reply

    ” individuals acting independently and rationally according to each one’s own self-interest, behave contrary to the whole group’s long-term best interests by depleting the common or shared resource. ”
    ,,,
    This pretty well sums up the right-wing mentality. The “me me me, it’s all about me” mentality.

  6. Mesquite-Oh April 6, 2014 at 10:40 am · Reply

    To Greta, I simply say, Amen! Thank you for providing a rational piece of writing that succinctly outlines what has been going on in Bunkerville.

  7. skip2maloo April 6, 2014 at 2:51 pm · Reply

    This most recent dust-up begs, again, the question of how we value, designate, and regulate “public” land. This is not the place to raise and discuss this complex issue, but I frequently wonder why we target desert tortoises, rare fish and flowers, and other species for preservation, a process that may not provide the best use of land. It’s only one perspective on the value and use of land. We should, I think, revisit these decisions often.
    To reference a passage above: how does this system provide for the “long-term best interests” of the “whole group” (which is a notion fraught with complexities, and one that makes me shudder) as opposed to each self-interested individual acting independently and rationally (which is a bad thing, according to the “commons” economic theory Hyland cites, and presumably a deterent to solving problems of collective interest). But for the whole group to function in some semblance of trust and harmony, the needs and perspectives of each individual rational being are paramount and not contrary to building community. People can and do regulate their behaviors; most individuals desire to see their self-interests flourish alongside those of others. Especially when the regulatory structure includes their input and is responsive to their unique interests.

    • Susie April 14, 2014 at 5:14 pm · Reply

      Why do we target desert tortoises and other species for preservation? Because someone with a lot of money went to Washington and made it so. There is no other reason for anything happening in government anymore.

      • jaydeflix April 16, 2014 at 6:52 pm · Reply

        Curious, Susie….

        Who do you think it is with a lot of money who decided that a desert tortoise needed saving and where is the evidence?

        Don’t misunderstand me, I do believe that much of what happens with regards to governmental regulations is money based, but belief isn’t proof.

        For instance, I could name the mailing agencies who convinced the Postal Regulatory Commission to quash the Full Service requirements (don’t ask, it’s horribly boring.)

        But, in the case of the the Endangered Species Act and the desert tortoise in question… who?

      • Dixieite? May 11, 2014 at 3:13 pm · Reply

        How much money do corporations give to your Senator Hatch to sway his vote their way? Hatch’s motto must be “Show Me The Money!” and you keep reelecting him for some reason.

  8. Mike April 6, 2014 at 3:40 pm · Reply

    This was well written ; a thoughful piece that took a lot of work. Well done

  9. Kent April 6, 2014 at 7:46 pm · Reply

    I stand corrected Skip2maloo but the simple fact that you can’t pick and choose which laws you decide to follow is still the same. So yes the extreme comparison was purposeful to reach the point.

    • skip2maloo April 7, 2014 at 3:33 pm · Reply

      Then just state that fact without going to extremes, which usually fall flat no matter what your position is.

  10. Billy April 6, 2014 at 7:48 pm · Reply

    The one thing I find BLM supporters lacking is in identifying that clause in the Constitution which grants the Federal government the authority to “own” or administer public lands?

    I don’t dispute that the laws says what it does. But I will argue that just b/c something is “the law” doesn’t make it right. Remember, our law and courts once upheld slavery, the bans on women voting, and a whole host of other wrongs. And civil disobedience to those laws has long been a first step towards making effect change happen.

    • Trap April 8, 2014 at 8:15 am · Reply

      If you believe that Mr. Bundy was performing some sort of civil disobedience then he can do what others who have protested, what they thought was unjust, and go to jail. Thoreau went to jail because he didn’t want to pay a tax that would go support a war. Gandhi was arrested multiple times. Mandela spent more time in jail than the amount of time Bundy got free grazing. DeChristopher disrupted a land auction and spent 2 years in jail. In DeChristopher’s case the judge sentenced him for that long to ward off civil disobedience in the future. If Mr. Bundy owes the federal government a million dollars then wouldn’t it be fair that he spends more time in jail then a kid who outbid some people for some leases?

    • Shoreline_Jim April 11, 2014 at 2:53 pm · Reply

      Article I Section 8- Congress has the power to spend money in order to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the US.

      The ability to spend for the general welfare was upheld in US v. Butler.

      Likewise, Congress has the discretion to decide what advances general welfare unless the choice is clearly wrong or a display of arbitrary power (Helvering v. Davis)
      Congress has wide discretion in this area but it is limited( at least in theory in 4 ways)
      1. must be used in the pursuit of the general welfare
      2. any conditions imposed must be unambiguous so the states may make knowing choices
      3. the conditions must be related to the federal interest in particular national programs
      4. the conditions must not be barred by other independent constitutional provisions.
      as laid out in South Dakota v. Dole

      • Janna April 14, 2014 at 9:59 am · Reply

        Article 1 section 8 deals only with state owned or private land used by the government for armaments and forts. The real constitutional amendment pertaining to the government owning land is Article IV section 3, clause 1 and 2. The property clause. Education is so very important when trying to push a point!

    • Catzmaw April 13, 2014 at 7:36 pm · Reply

      “Authority”? Good Lord, the authority of the government to take and administer public lands predates this country’s founding. We see it in the earliest days of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, when land in the center of town was set aside as “the Commons”, to be used by everyone and administered for the good of everyone. It’s fundamental to this country that there have always been lands which are specifically considered public, to be owned by the people and administered by their government.

    • Dp April 13, 2014 at 10:17 pm · Reply

      Article 4, section 3, paragraph 2: The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States;

    • Zack Lee April 14, 2014 at 1:52 pm · Reply

      And that’s the kicker these boot-licking statists can’t wrap their pea-sized brains around. The Federal government was not designed to possess land nor dictate its use. Parsing land might be allowable under state rules, but the Federal Government was never supposed to be in the landlord business. Just because the laws have been changed to give the Feds tyrannical powers doesn’t make it legal.

  11. Rob Mrowka April 6, 2014 at 10:24 pm · Reply

    Thank you Greta for penning a well thought out and constructed analysis of an obviously emotional issue.

    The simple truth is that Cliven Bundy is simply an outlaw and common criminal who is finally facing long overdue justice. His actions hurt legitimate ranchers and grazers, are cruel to his emaciated cattle, and damaging to the desert environment. Thank goodness the DOJ, BLM and NPS grew some balls and finally took action on this bully.

    • Tylek T'sarran April 9, 2014 at 10:08 pm · Reply

      What was that about balls?
      =====
      In 2008, the BLM published a Final PEIS that, in addition to expanding the acreage potentially available for commercial tar-sands leasing, amended eight resource management plans in Utah, Colorado, and Wyoming to make approximately 1.9 million acres of public lands potentially available for commercial oil shale development and 431,224 acres for tar sands leasing and development.
      =====
      I bet yours just shriveled.

  12. Dean April 7, 2014 at 6:21 pm · Reply

    As I understand it, Bundy and his family have been grazing his cattle there for many decades, certainly before the BLM was created. If the Feds didn’t pay him fairly for the restriction of access to those lands, they have violated the Takings Clause of the 5th Amendment in a way quite similar to the theft of egress, music or intellectual property.
    ——————

    As I understand it, Bundy and his family have been grazing his cattle there for many decades, certainly before the BLM was created. If the Feds didn’t pay him fairly for the restriction of access to those lands, they have violated the Takings Clause of the 5th Amendment in a way quite similar to the theft of egress, music or intellectual property.
    ——————
    “A man’s admiration for absolute government is proportionate to the contempt he feels for those around him.”

    “Democratic institutions strongly tend to promote the feeling of envy.”

    ― Alexis de Tocqueville

    • KevDog April 14, 2014 at 12:41 pm · Reply

      Ummm….no. The land wasn’t Bundy’s to begin with, so no taking took place.

    • Doc444 April 17, 2014 at 10:17 am · Reply

      Try to understand he never owned this land he just used it so you don’t pay someone that has been using you property to get them to give it back, and lets not forget the fact the the Fed gov is us the people of this country. Or does land use go to the ones that have the most guns?? either way he will lose.

  13. Ed April 9, 2014 at 10:52 am · Reply

    Billy: The BLM does have Constitutional authority to manage the Public Lands. Read the “Property Clause” of the U.S. Constitution.

  14. B Right April 9, 2014 at 3:32 pm · Reply

    If anything really matters, this article is just opinion and not an actual argument based on constitutional fact. It’s pretty obvious most of you here care more about a tortoise that has coexisted with Bison and now Cattle for years even before there was a BLM, or an Environmental group to observe and legislate upon the activity. I don’t see anyone actually showing respect for a way of Americana life that has been around since before most of us were born, let alone respect for a man who has the decency to rebel against what he feels is right. Even though I don’t agree with most of you on here, I would certainly defend your ability to use land as how you see fit. Also, many of us don’t live near this rancher, and to those who don’t live near this guy and want to dictate how he should live his life, let me dictate how laws should be applied in your area. I could easily complain about a dog you walk that doesn’t affect me one bit, or the fact you smoke. Can we agree just to live and let live? Or do you feel that because someone rebels, and you don’t have the courage to you should feel upset and complain that someone isn’t following rules. We’re Americans first and foremost, don’t forget that! At least if you don’t agree what he’s doing don’t come up with arguments validating a governments action to claim land. This could easily happen to you.

    • Emily April 13, 2014 at 2:09 pm · Reply

      Those lands he’s letting his cattle graze on are PUBLIC LANDS. Gold Butte is a beautiful area that is meant to be open to the public for 4×4, hikes, and various other forms of outdoor recreation. There are pictographs and historic remnants that can also be enjoyed. Long before this recent standoff Bundy has continually threatened to shoot anyone who trespasses on “his” property. It’s not his property. It’s all of ours, and we are entitled to enjoy the many natural beauties that exist within that land (many of the flora have been destroyed by his cattle, sadly). You would have no rights to “dictate how laws should be applied in [my] area” because I don’t live on public land. That is the difference.

  15. Doctor Reno April 10, 2014 at 2:34 pm · Reply

    No, Bundy is correct, in that:
    1. The constitution does not grant the feds the right to grant any responsibility for or against Americans which is not specifically granted within the specific wording of that document.
    2. Most, if not all, laws the feds enact for the purpose of funding their own operation (federal tax of any kind whatsoever) is contradictory to those terms set down in the original document and cannot be adjudicated by any court as valid.
    3. The supreme court does not acquire any power not specifically set down in the constitution especially where those powers are self aggrandizing, i.e., no branch may cede unto themselves power that is not granted to them by constitution provision.
    In short.
    Any government agency which operates according to their own enactment/provision is acting extra-judicially (a well known example would be the IRS writing their own tax law, tax code, which grants them authority not authorized be legislation, treaty or legal mandate), part of that particular lunacy is the “tax courts” the IRS sets up to illegally “adjudicate” their own illegal tax code.
    Therefore
    A. BLM is under no constitutional protection of legal right in their activities.
    B. The BLM has no authority, nor does any agency, within a sovereign state. Meaning that any authority not specifically granted to the federal government under the ARIZONA CONSTITUTION has NO legally binding authority over any person or property within the state of Arizona.

    • RobtBrk April 11, 2014 at 7:58 pm · Reply

      You said:
      The BLM has no authority, nor does any agency, within a sovereign state. Meaning that any authority not specifically granted to the federal government under the ARIZONA CONSTITUTION has NO legally binding authority over any person or property within the state of Arizona.

      Sorry, that simply isn’t true. We live in a federal union, not a confederacy, and Federal law, and the US Constitution as interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court, has supremacy over any State law or Constitution.

    • KatieAnnieOakley April 14, 2014 at 9:40 am · Reply

      Ronald Reagan signed Executive Order #12548 – Grazing Fees.

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, and in order to provide for establishment of appropriate fees for the grazing of domestic livestock on public rangelands, it is ordered as follows:

      Section 1. Determination of Fees. The Secretaries of Agriculture and the Interior are directed to exercise their authority, to the extent permitted by law under the various statutes they administer, to establish fees for domestic livestock grazing on the public rangelands which annually equals the $1.23 base established by the 1966 Western Livestock Grazing Survey multiplied by the result of the Forage Value Index (computed annually from data supplied by the Statistical Reporting Service) added to the Combined Index (Beef Cattle Price Index minus the Prices Paid Index) and divided by 100; provided, that the annual increase or decrease in such fee for any given year shall be limited to not more than plus or minus 25 percent of the previous year’s fee, and provided further, that the fee shall not be less than $1.35 per animal unit month.

      Sec. 2. Definitions. As used in this Order, the term:

      (a) “Public rangelands” has the same meaning as in the Public Rangelands Improvement Act of 1978 (Public Law 95 – 514);

      (b) “Forage Value Index” means the weighted average estimate of the annual rental charge per head per month for pasturing cattle on private rangelands in the 11 Western States (Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, and California) (computed by the Statistical Reporting Service from the June Enumerative Survey) divided by $3.65 and multiplied by 100;

      (c) “Beef Cattle Price Index” means the weighted average annual selling price for beef cattle (excluding calves) in the 11 Western States (Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, and California) for November through October (computed by the Statistical Reporting Service) divided by $22.04 per hundred weight and multiplied by 100; and

      (d) “Prices Paid Index” means the following selected components from the Statistical Reporting Service’s Annual National Index of Prices Paid by Farmers for Goods and Services adjusted by the weights indicated in parentheses to reflect livestock production costs in the Western States: 1. Fuels and Energy (14.5); 2. Farm and Motor Supplies (12.0); 3. Autos and Trucks (4.5); 4. Tractors and Self-Propelled Machinery (4.5); 5. Other Machinery (12.0); 6. Building and Fencing Materials (14.5); 7. Interest (6.0); 8. Farm Wage Rates (14.0); 9. Farm Services (18.0).

      Sec. 3. Any and all existing rules, practices, policies, and regulations relating to the administration of the formula for grazing fees in section 6(a) of the Public Rangelands Improvement Act of 1978 shall continue in full force and effect.

      Sec. 4. This Order shall be effective immediately.

      Ronald Reagan

      The White House,

      February 14, 1986.

      [Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 10:32 a.m., February 18, 1986]

      http://www.reagan.utexas.edu/archives/speeches/1986/21486b.htm

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      Deal with it.

    • KevDog April 14, 2014 at 12:43 pm · Reply

      ” The constitution does not grant the feds the right to grant any responsibility for or against Americans which is not specifically granted within the specific wording of that document.”

      This is patently incorrect. Strict constructionism is a philosophy, not a requirement.

    • Susie April 14, 2014 at 5:19 pm · Reply

      Nevada GAVE the feds the responsibility for the land in question. Here’s the judgment on another farmer who challenged it in court…

      http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=15831637732276368134&q=bundy+v.+united+states+BLM+nevada&hl=en&as_sdt=40000006&as_ylo=1997&as_yhi=1999&as_vis=1#7

  16. ksg0 April 12, 2014 at 12:03 am · Reply

    Leach. Typical repub wanting something for nothing. He had plenty of time (20 yrs?) to correct but now wants a gunfight. I hope he gets it. …
    Ed. ellipsis.

  17. Liadan April 12, 2014 at 2:46 pm · Reply

    Bundy has been stealing from Americans for years, and he’s treated like a hero instead of the criminal he is. Why does the Right always idolize the wrong guys? Other cattlemen paid their fees, why is he such a special snowflake?

    • Russell April 15, 2014 at 8:32 am · Reply

      Why were our forefathers heroes? THEY FLED BECAUSE OF INTRUSIVE GOVERNMENT. This isn’t about some land deal or even the fees; it’s about the government changing laws to punish those that don’t capitulate. He paid his state taxes. It is not about paying taxes; its about taxation without representation. That’s something that George Washington might know something about.

  18. kiddgunin April 12, 2014 at 4:50 pm · Reply

    What other Cattlemen liaden there is none because they can’t make a living anymore due to rules and regulations.

    • Ed April 13, 2014 at 5:54 pm · Reply

      Kiddgunin: Do you really believe “There is none” cattlemen left because of government rules and regulations? Come on! Approx. 16,000 Western ranchers have permits to graze on BLM administered land, and the vast majority of them are honest and pay their lawful fees.

  19. BillC April 13, 2014 at 11:03 am · Reply

    So, the Bundy family gets grazing agreements long before BLM is even a cold thought. Those didn’t have any fee agreements with BLM because there was no BLM.

    The government creates BLM to collect fees from the family changing the terms of their agreements.

    Harry Reid’s son wants the land for solar so, Harry has them reuse the worn out Turtle excuse. That fails to work and he’s under a tight timeframe so, he goes after all the ranchers. One fights back. The other 51 were fraudulently deprived of property under lies by our government.

    This all comes to a close immediately when it is revealed that Harry Reid, his son and a Chinese solar company are behind the land grab.

    Tell me again how the Bundy family was wrong.

    • Emily April 13, 2014 at 2:12 pm · Reply

      Tell me where you get the idea that this land is going to be given to solar panels? You all watch the same right-wing conspiracy theory news, then blindly repeat the mis-information.

    • Quinn Sysmith April 13, 2014 at 10:47 pm · Reply

      here’s the confirmed Reid/Chinese connection for the sadist statists who defend the rogue criminal federal government. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/31/us-usa-china-reid-solar-idUSBRE87U06D20120831

      • TLC April 14, 2014 at 9:06 am · Reply

        actually, before making yourself look stupid, the property that bundy is using is nowhere near where the solar deal is being discussed. might want to check your facts before making ignorant statements.

        on the other hand, yes, reid is a crook.

    • TLC April 14, 2014 at 9:07 am · Reply

      but the fact still remains that he paid the fees up until 1993. and his family paid them before that. so, what’s your point?

  20. cattletracks April 13, 2014 at 1:05 pm · Reply

    Grazing fees are nothing short of a bargain. The Bureau of Land Management grazing fees for 2014 is $1.35 per animal per MONTH. Assuming one files income tax, grazing fees would be a tax deductible expense of doing business. Given that Bundy told the Las Vegas Sun, “I abide by almost zero federal laws,” one would question if he even reports his income.

    A 1980 estimate that a standard cow weighs in at roughly 1,050 pounds, the cow is estimated to eat about 26 pounds of foliage a day, which works out to 780 pounds of salad bar per month. For $1.35 a month, your cow gets her fill and kids (or calves) eat free.

    That said, cattle have increased substantially in size since 1980. An average bovine in 2013 weighed 1,333 pounds at slaughter, according to the federal government. That’s a significant increase in size, and presumably in the amount of public lands vegetation consumed over the course of the month. The fee has been largely unchanged since 1978.

    Now tell me, how much does it cost to feed your dog or cat per month? And needless to say, I don’t have to tell anyone that they can’t claim their pet on their taxes. But for business purposes? For an operation of 1000 head of cattle? Most certainly, unless you don’t file income tax.

  21. Patrick April 13, 2014 at 5:01 pm · Reply

    George Washington had a problem like this during his Presidency, when whiskey distillers in Pennsylvania defied federal authority and refused to pay taxes. Washington sent in an armed force to make them obey the law. Bundy deserves the same treatment. That’s the way our country has operated since its inception, and if you don’t like our system, you’re welcome to go live in Yemen or North Korea.

    • Russell April 15, 2014 at 8:25 am · Reply

      He also fled Britain due to abusive government. What if he just stayed and capitulated? This fight is all about government abuse; not a land contract. If you don’t agree with this administration, expect an IRS audit. I don’t care as I have meager earnings that are below the radar. Let’em come!

  22. Ed April 13, 2014 at 5:48 pm · Reply

    Billy challenges the right of the Federal Government to “Own” and manage public land, and asks where its authority is to do so. He might read the Property Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which clearly gives the U.S. Government this right. The author of this letter is right, Bundy voided his grazing contract with the BLM when he made the decision to stop paying his grazing fees. Then he compounded his mistake by ignoring and defying several court orders to remove his cattle from land he doesn’t own. He has resorted to mob rule to maintain his unlawful use of Public Land for private financial gain. The BLM backed off because Bundy’s false cause attracted crazies from across the country, and somebody would have gotten hurt or worse. However, it will be a relatively easy matter for the Government to place a lien on Bundy’s 160 acre ranch in lieu of the $1.1 million he owes the U.S. taxpayers.

  23. Ed April 13, 2014 at 5:51 pm · Reply

    Billc and several others: Are you so uneducated in elementary biology that you don’t even know the difference between a tortoise and a turtle?

  24. Caro April 13, 2014 at 6:35 pm · Reply

    Greta, Have you considered figuring out how to boycott Clive Bundy’s Beef? I presume they are beef cattle.

  25. Rancher & FACTS April 13, 2014 at 7:59 pm · Reply

    Let me obliterate a bit of confusion here: the Obama administration attempted to go to war with a rancher in Nevada. Let me amplify a little bit of truth: They tucked tail and have returned home. And let me add a bit of clarity: they had no choice!

    As the nation began to become familiar with the plight of the family of Cliven Bundy, many of us harkened back to another standoff in which the Federal government attempted to bully it’s outcome: Waco, Texas and the Branch Davidian massacre.

    It is telling that in the Nevada case the feds pulled out so quickly, given all they had indicated they were willing to do to resolve the matter to their satisfaction. They had set up a perimeter around the Bundy’s family land, ranch, and home. They had brought in extra artillery, dogs, and snipers. They were beginning the process of stealing more than 300 head of cattle that did not belong to them.

    They did so–or so we were told–for the reason of protecting the desert tortoise. But then it was revealed that the Bureau of Land Management had shot far more desert tortoises than the Bundy cattle had even possibly destroyed. We were told they did it because the Bundys had broken federal laws by not paying what amounted to retroactive grazing fees to the federal government. But the Governor of the state of Nevada told us that Bundy had paid every ounce of state tax, met the state requirements, and their family had been improving the property more than 100 years previous.

    Finally we were allowed to know the connection between a communist Chinese wind/solar power plant and its connection to that senator named Harry Reid. Evidently a plan had been hatched to use the Bundy property for a solar farm and instead of paying the Bundys, someone, somewhere in the administration believed it was easier to just take what they wanted.

    That approach is at least consistent with the readily documented abuse of eminent domain where the government for any number of reasons–few of them valid–have taken to taking what doesn’t belong to them. Americans then watch as it gets handed over to some multi-national corporation for the “cause” of the “greater good.”

    There were a few specific reasons why the feds chickened out in the Nevada desert though.

    1. Technology – As the Bundy family members were abused, cameras captured it. Not television network cameras, but dozens of cell phone video devices that gave witness to a Bundy aunt being shoved to the ground, and a Bundy son being tazed. All of this while threatening protestors with dogs, brandished weapons and vehicles was captured, uploaded and made viral to the watching world.
    2. States’ Rights – As the drama unfolded it became clear that the Governor of Nevada, and the Sheriff of Clark County knew that Cliven Bundy’s family had not only not broken any state law regarding the land, but that they had gone to the enth degree to insure compliance with Nevada laws on the property. The Governor and the Sheriff, to their credit, did not favor the feds as a more powerful party in the conflict. Though there must have been pressure from Senator Reid’s office, the administration via the Bureau of Land Management, and local officials who were bought and sold like the Clark County Commissioner who told those coming to support the Bundys to have “funeral plans in place.”

    3. Grassroots Response – As other incidents have transpired in the past, the amount of time it took honest information to reach the grassroots and thus the response to the action came to slow. In the massacre in Waco, most of the nation had been sold a single narrative from the limited media outlets covering the events. Similarly the events surrounding the abduction of Elian Gonzales from his family in Florida and deportation to Cuba took place in such a response vacuum that by the time Americans knew the real story, the damage was done. With the Bundy ranch, internet outlets by the dozen had competing information with the limited “official news” being released by the networks, and in most cases the alternative sources had it correct and usually a full day or so ahead of the news cycle. By the time afternoon drive hit, when the network news rooms in New York were preparing their first stories, talk radio audiences had already been dialing their elected officials in Washington demanding action.

    The majority of Americans saw through the efforts to spin the story in Nevada. Couple that with the leadership failures that the American people view the administration responsible for, from Benghazi to the Affordable Care Act, all it took was the unedited video of federal agents tazing Bundy’s son, followed by his pulling the wires from his chest and continuing to stand his ground for there to be comparisons made to the American revolution.

    It’s also important to note that merely pulling back from the Bundy property hasn’t settled the matter for the American people either.

    The feds have stolen 352 head of cattle, and will not confirm or deny if they euthanized some or all of them. Recompense must be made. And to be candid, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to see if a few ambitious law firms don’t try to convince the Bundy family of the validity of litigation.

    Fortunately for the American people, the feds were not able to ultimately bully a simple rancher, not for a tortoise, a solar power plant, or a dirty Senator and his administration.

    We owe the Bundy family a great deal of thanks for standing tall.

    For if the federal government is allowed to do it with one, then there will be nothing stopping them from doing it again.

    «
    1
    2
    »

    • gb93433 April 16, 2014 at 10:23 pm · Reply

      The city boys had no choice but to leave or shoot the cattle. Farmers know that nobody would take the risk of taking or buying those cattle. if they did others would retaliate and not do business with them and so their business would end. Someone mention about how to boycott beef. Stop buying beef for awhile. when that happens the industry would start screaming.

  26. Rancher & FACTS April 13, 2014 at 8:09 pm · Reply

    Let me obliterate a bit of confusion here: the Obama administration attempted to go to war with a rancher in Nevada. Let me amplify a little bit of truth: They tucked tail and have returned home. And let me add a bit of clarity: they had no choice!

    As the nation began to become familiar with the plight of the family of Cliven Bundy, many of us harkened back to another standoff in which the Federal government attempted to bully it’s outcome: Waco, Texas and the Branch Davidian massacre.

    It is telling that in the Nevada case the feds pulled out so quickly, given all they had indicated they were willing to do to resolve the matter to their satisfaction. They had set up a perimeter around the Bundy’s family land, ranch, and home. They had brought in extra artillery, dogs, and snipers. They were beginning the process of stealing more than 300 head of cattle that did not belong to them.

    They did so–or so we were told–for the reason of protecting the desert tortoise. But then it was revealed that the Bureau of Land Management had shot far more desert tortoises than the Bundy cattle had even possibly destroyed. We were told they did it because the Bundys had broken federal laws by not paying what amounted to retroactive grazing fees to the federal government. But the Governor of the state of Nevada told us that Bundy had paid every ounce of state tax, met the state requirements, and their family had been improving the property more than 100 years previous.

    Finally we were allowed to know the connection between a communist Chinese wind/solar power plant and its connection to that senator named Harry Reid. Evidently a plan had been hatched to use the Bundy property for a solar farm and instead of paying the Bundys, someone, somewhere in the administration believed it was easier to just take what they wanted.

    That approach is at least consistent with the readily documented abuse of eminent domain where the government for any number of reasons–few of them valid–have taken to taking what doesn’t belong to them. Americans then watch as it gets handed over to some multi-national corporation for the “cause” of the “greater good.”

    There were a few specific reasons why the feds chickened out in the Nevada desert though.

    1. Technology – As the Bundy family members were abused, cameras captured it. Not television network cameras, but dozens of cell phone video devices that gave witness to a Bundy aunt being shoved to the ground, and a Bundy son being tazed. All of this while threatening protestors with dogs, brandished weapons and vehicles was captured, uploaded and made viral to the watching world.

    2. States’ Rights – As the drama unfolded it became clear that the Governor of Nevada, and the Sheriff of Clark County knew that Cliven Bundy’s family had not only not broken any state law regarding the land, but that they had gone to the enth degree to insure compliance with Nevada laws on the property. The Governor and the Sheriff, to their credit, did not favor the feds as a more powerful party in the conflict. Though there must have been pressure from Senator Reid’s office, the administration via the Bureau of Land Management, and local officials who were bought and sold like the Clark County Commissioner who told those coming to support the Bundys to have “funeral plans in place.”

    3. Grassroots Response – As other incidents have transpired in the past, the amount of time it took honest information to reach the grassroots and thus the response to the action came to slow. In the massacre in Waco, most of the nation had been sold a single narrative from the limited media outlets covering the events. Similarly the events surrounding the abduction of Elian Gonzales from his family in Florida and deportation to Cuba took place in such a response vacuum that by the time Americans knew the real story, the damage was done. With the Bundy ranch, internet outlets by the dozen had competing information with the limited “official news” being released by the networks, and in most cases the alternative sources had it correct and usually a full day or so ahead of the news cycle. By the time afternoon drive hit, when the network news rooms in New York were preparing their first stories, talk radio audiences had already been dialing their elected officials in Washington demanding action.

    The majority of Americans saw through the efforts to spin the story in Nevada. Couple that with the leadership failures that the American people view the administration responsible for, from Benghazi to the Affordable Care Act, all it took was the unedited video of federal agents tazing Bundy’s son, followed by his pulling the wires from his chest and continuing to stand his ground for there to be comparisons made to the American revolution.

    It’s also important to note that merely pulling back from the Bundy property hasn’t settled the matter for the American people either.

    The feds have stolen 352 head of cattle, and will not confirm or deny if they euthanized some or all of them. Recompense must be made. And to be candid, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to see if a few ambitious law firms don’t try to convince the Bundy family of the validity of litigation.

    Fortunately for the American people, the feds were not able to ultimately bully a simple rancher, not for a tortoise, a solar power plant, or a dirty Senator and his administration.

    We owe the Bundy family a great deal of thanks for standing tall.

    For if the federal government is allowed to do it with one, then there will be nothing stopping them from doing it again.

    «
    1
    2
    »

  27. Rancher & FACTS April 13, 2014 at 8:11 pm · Reply

    2. States’ Rights – As the drama unfolded it became clear that the Governor of Nevada, and the Sheriff of Clark County knew that Cliven Bundy’s family had not only not broken any state law regarding the land, but that they had gone to the enth degree to insure compliance with Nevada laws on the property. The Governor and the Sheriff, to their credit, did not favor the feds as a more powerful party in the conflict. Though there must have been pressure from Senator Reid’s office, the administration via the Bureau of Land Management, and local officials who were bought and sold like the Clark County Commissioner who told those coming to support the Bundys to have “funeral plans in place.”

    3. Grassroots Response – As other incidents have transpired in the past, the amount of time it took honest information to reach the grassroots and thus the response to the action came to slow. In the massacre in Waco, most of the nation had been sold a single narrative from the limited media outlets covering the events. Similarly the events surrounding the abduction of Elian Gonzales from his family in Florida and deportation to Cuba took place in such a response vacuum that by the time Americans knew the real story, the damage was done. With the Bundy ranch, internet outlets by the dozen had competing information with the limited “official news” being released by the networks, and in most cases the alternative sources had it correct and usually a full day or so ahead of the news cycle. By the time afternoon drive hit, when the network news rooms in New York were preparing their first stories, talk radio audiences had already been dialing their elected officials in Washington demanding action.

    The majority of Americans saw through the efforts to spin the story in Nevada. Couple that with the leadership failures that the American people view the administration responsible for, from Benghazi to the Affordable Care Act, all it took was the unedited video of federal agents tazing Bundy’s son, followed by his pulling the wires from his chest and continuing to stand his ground for there to be comparisons made to the American revolution.

    It’s also important to note that merely pulling back from the Bundy property hasn’t settled the matter for the American people either.

    The feds have stolen 352 head of cattle, and will not confirm or deny if they euthanized some or all of them. Recompense must be made. And to be candid, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to see if a few ambitious law firms don’t try to convince the Bundy family of the validity of litigation.

    Fortunately for the American people, the feds were not able to ultimately bully a simple rancher, not for a tortoise, a solar power plant, or a dirty Senator and his administration.

    We owe the Bundy family a great deal of thanks for standing tall.

    For if the federal government is allowed to do it with one, then there will be nothing stopping them from doing it again.

    «
    1
    2
    »

  28. Woody April 13, 2014 at 8:57 pm · Reply

    I am an outdoor person, I have a little knowledge on what’s happening at the Bundy Ranch.
    In 1937 Teddy Roosevelt singed into effect the “Taylor grazing rights act”
    You folks that don’t live in a rural environment where there’s cows Grazing on land, the Rivers run wild and the many joys of not putting up with any Neighbors Don’t have a clue what’s going on in the Western U.S..
    Instead of writing a long bunch of language I’ll Paste from the official acts information.
    “This came from the BLM website.The Taylor Grazing Act of 1934 (43 USC 315), signed by President Roosevelt, was intended to “stop injury to the public grazing lands [excluding Alaska] by preventing overgrazing and soil deterioration; to provide for their orderly use, improvement, and development; [and] to stabilize the livestock industry dependent upon the public range” (USDI 1988). This Act was pre-empted by the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA).”

    There’s more to read on their site.
    This isn’t new and all the Cattle owners I know have been going along with this act “Law” for many years, Sure we bitch about it and the fees aren’t all that cheap but the law is the law and I agree with this act
    . for one example why1 If every Rancher could take their Cattle out to Summer grazing there would be “No Borders” to tell other Cattlemen Don’t tread here I have that right. Soon enough we would be reverting back to the O’le West, Cattle would be Rustled and “Ranchers would be in
    Ranch wars” Along with that, The property would become Privately owned and your favorite creek fishing hole would be private owned with Damned ‘No trespassing sings would be posted all over the lands. There is some very good to this act. But don’t trust what I say, I just read some guy post that he wanted to see the act for himself, Although not in those words.
    Ron, in Smith valley Nevada, This is all cattle country.one way or another. ;)

    • Woody April 13, 2014 at 9:05 pm · Reply

      IT WAS 1934 NOT 39! sorry…

  29. Tinker Toys April 13, 2014 at 9:12 pm · Reply

    Mob rule. Time to disband all forms of law enforcement and let the militias keep the peace.

  30. Quinn Sysmith April 13, 2014 at 10:44 pm · Reply

    There is no better description of the despotism of the BLM than “awing the state into undue obedience to the general government.” The federal government — and most commentators — believe that the federal government is merely exercising its constitutional right to control “public lands.” Sure, these apologists admit, Bundy is suffering personal deprivation, but that’s the price we pay for “domestic tranquility.”

    Our Founding Fathers knew better. As Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) explained in regard to federal seizure of significant land in the mountain West:

    Then, as now, we have a grave risk associated with the fact that when the federal government owns this much land, the federal government has this much power. This was on the minds of the delegates to the Convention of 1787, that one of the things they needed to protect against was the concentration of too much power in the hands of the few, especially the concentration of too much power within the federal government. They understood, and each of them had a mission to protect the sovereignty of their respective states. They understood that if Congress had too much power to simply buy up too much land in any one state, disproportionately in some states, the federal government would have too much influence within that state.

    Unfortunately for the state of Nevada, its own state constitution is little more than a paean to the unfettered ferocity of the federal beast. Section 2 of the Nevada constitution reads:

    No power exists in the people of this or any other State of the Federal Union to dissolve their connection therewith or perform any act tending to impair[,] subvert, or resist the Supreme Authority of the government of the United States. The Constitution of the United States confers full power on the Federal Government to maintain and Perpetuate its existance [sic], and whensoever any portion of the States, or people thereof attempt to secede from the Federal Union, or forcibly resist the Execution of its laws, the Federal Government may, by warrant of the Constitution, employ armed force in compelling obedience to its Authority.

    Could there be a less constitutionally sound demarcation of the spheres of power of the states and the federal government? James Madison’s allotment of authority as set out in The Federalist, No. 45, was apparently not available to the drafters of the Silver State’s constitution. Madison wrote:

    The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.

    Cliven Bundy’s family has lived on this land for nearly 140 years. The Bundys have settled and improved this property since Cliven’s ancestor accompanied Edward Bunker and a company of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints members who settled on the Virgin River, a few miles west of the Nevada-Arizona border in 1877.

    • DLP April 15, 2014 at 10:42 pm · Reply

      I concur. Good rebuttal.

  31. USCitizenAndPatriot April 13, 2014 at 11:10 pm · Reply

    If you want to know WHY patriots like us have a hard time with this type of reasoning, let us flip change 2 key nouns of this post, and let you experience the difference of feeling.

    Make this a post about illegal immigrants. Yes it’s illgeal, yes it’s against the law in every way stated. But the government can not only turn a blind eye to this, but they can go further by offering benefits and tax payers $ as assistance for these people.

    They not only CHOSE to give up their rights, but they didn’t have rights to begin with since they’re not even truly citizens. But it’s ok, and the bleeding hearts of this country will defend them until the end.

    But when a good old boy here feels his rights as a US Citizen are being taken and manipulated. He takes a stand against it, and everything is his fault.

    I guess the simple argument here is that the if the government is going to deem what is right and what is wrong, then I feel they need to stand by what our laws and rights are and they need to enforce them to EVERYONE involved.

    On top of that I don’t see how spending multiple millions to extract the cattle and go through this war is worth even the 1.2 Million they’re trying to fine Bundy. I also don’t agree with how the agents responded to the protesters. I’m sorry but a fenced off “cage” called the “first amendment zone” where people are allowed to speak their mind is in itself a disaster. Throwing old women to the ground when they take pictures is inexcusable. Tasing a man defending said woman and sicking a dog on him is a complete lack of integrity.

    To “protect” a turtle that is bred to the point they have to euthanize the excess, and the protection is scientifically flawed against the argument of cattle, and it’s failing regardless without anything to do with the cattle.

    If the law is wrong, and the law is stupid, are we all to obey it without question and bow to our new commander and king? Or do we dig into that backbone we were given and stand up for our right to say “This is ridiculous” and be heard? Do not compare yourself to this cattle rancher and say what he SHOULD or SHOULD NOT have done if you’re not in his shoes. Sitting in a comfy home, behind your computers and technology, and luxuries and comforts our nation takes for granted… That gives you NO right to judge this old fashioned man and his family. Pack up your mac book, navigate away from the Starbucks WiFi, check your “hipster” beard, jump in your nice car, drive back to your comfy living space, turn on your liberal channel of choice, and pull some steak out of the fridge for dinner. Then make sure you consider where that steak might have come from. If it came from a rancher like Bundy. He has time for ranching and working his bones into the ground, he doesn’t have time to “Google” something like “How to protect my rights from turtle protections that threaten to put me out of business”

    Anyway, longer response than I anticipated. But some of you need to reconsider your view of the world, and drop the blinds you’re hiding before and see what this government is REALLY doing to us. This stand ignites faith for me in our country, and our ability to unite together against something WRONG in our country.

    • Ron April 14, 2014 at 8:52 pm · Reply

      Support this guy if you want to, but don’t try to portray him as some back-to-the-land red dirt farmer grubbing for a living in the desert. His house is far more “comfy” than mine. He may or may not spend as much time on his “Mac book” as I do on my Chromebook. And I’ll bet he has more and better vehicles than I have. He’s living a good life and could well afford to pay the fees the government wants him to pay. You’re trying to romanticize a guy that has a gripe with the government and those fees. Why not just focus on the pros and cons of that issue instead of trying to make a Robin Hood out of him?

  32. Thommy Berlin April 14, 2014 at 4:50 am · Reply

    Sirs,
    I find it illuminating – and hilarious – that the best writing found in your publication is a submission from a reader. I would be tempted to frame this and hang it up in the lunch room.

  33. kan kan April 14, 2014 at 2:26 pm · Reply

    Can you imagine young black men in city neighborhoods objecting draconian police abuse and oppression, taking up arms, forming militias, and then getting federal government to stand down?

    In fact, that is what the Black Panther Party did. As a tactic, they were law-abiding observers of police activity, carrying legal guns, and yet the federal government waged war on them, assassinated them, locked them up on trumped-up charges, with many cases eventually decades getting thrown out because there was no crime.

    And they did not get this brutal response from federal government because they were engaged known illegal activity, they weren’t trespassing on public land, they were accused of non-payment for use of public facilities… but rather, they were violently shut down with vengeance for their politic beliefs, for what they said.

    Over the past 20 years, while Bundy grazed cattle on land not owned by him, did not pay the grazing fees and fines, and across this nation, people have been routinely locked up, fined, for small offense like, possessing and using small amounts marijuana. Also, people are routinely fined and have assets seized for not paying their property taxes, business sales taxes, motor vehicle fines. People who fish or hunt more than their limit are routinely arrested, fined and convicted.

    If any of these people around the rest of U.S. in small towns and big cities, who owed taxes, committed crimes that require fines, called up armed militia when the government came to enforce these fines, to take their assets, and those people threatened the lives of police, imagine the response of law enforcement in the rest of the country.

    I’m all for avoiding tragic confrontations, and I’m supportive of the government agencies did in this case to defuse this confrontation. Too often police are stupidly heavy handed and abusive in their enforcement of petty laws or in extra-legal abuse of power having nothing to do with enforcement.

    But I fail to see how Bundy, after twenty years of free grazing and illegal use of public lands, has a much higher claim of government tyranny and abuse the regular folks throughout this country that submit to all sorts of laws and rules and fines (with far less than 20 years of forbearance) that we may not like but we respect because of respect for rule of law, and respect for democratic processes that determine these laws.

    If we don’t submit to reasonable, reasonably decided and democratically determined laws that come with due process and such forbearance, and several federal court reviews, we may as tell everyone they can disobey any law, many of which, are for much less common public good than public land management. And if we are not bound to follow laws, how do we want to manage our affairs when people come in conflict with each other? If we don’t have rule of law and a government with the strength to enforce laws, then someone, something else will be in charge – you pick it, but abandoning rule of law leaves increasing less desirable options: guy with biggest guns and most ruthless attitude are in charge, richest guy with most concentrated wealth is in charge, etc. Democracy, laws decided via democratic processes are worthless if not enforced.

    Once upon a time in the U.S. there words “law-abiding” were considered a complement. Now one guy fighting for selfish use of land he does not own, who calls for armed militia to protect his self interest is now the hero?

  34. BigJay April 14, 2014 at 8:05 pm · Reply

    The man is running 900 head on public land in a drought year?
    If for no other reason than over grazing , he should stop now.
    (Oh and pay your damn fees that President Reagan put in place.)

    • Russell April 15, 2014 at 8:06 am · Reply

      So should our forefathers just capitulated to the out of control British government?

  35. Russell April 15, 2014 at 8:02 am · Reply

    If our ancestors just went with the British government (taxation without representation), where would we be. This incident is just the tip of the iceberg that will soon potentially start another civil war. The people DISAPPROVE of this government’s actions, and mostly inactions. THey are tired of being lied to, and coerced; threatened by the IRS if they don’t comply. SO AM I. I hope this does drive a new revolution; because what we have is at best an oligarchy. The few, privileged, and wealthy rule. What happened to a nation “Of the People, for the people and by the People”? Bundy’s case was instead of bringing the guns to his little ranch to show force; how ’bout they secure the border from drug dealers?

    For another history lesson, look at the American Indians. They continuously caved to the point where only a few reservations remain. They are the future to the people if we do not resist. The government IS NOT THE BORG. Resistance is NOT futile. We pay their salaries, so they serve AT OUR MERCY (or at least that is the theory of a democracy).

    BTW, this has NOTHING to do with race; it is about actions of our government. How is the DNC able to polarize the people due to the race of the POTUS and AG. Isn’t that AGAINST the constitution they swore to uphold? THIS is the reason for double digit unemployment in urban communities and the increase of MILLIONS on food stamps (mostly of minority). THEY SHOULD BE OUTRAGED by this government’s actions, but they are able to spin it so that it is all the “White mans'” fault for these problems; Mister President, with all due respect, With great power comes great responsibility. You have shown NONE. Admit to your lies and deception. Admit that those tightly tied to the administration used the IRS as a bully to conform for those in opposition of the current administration. THE PEOPLE ARE TIRED OF THIS; however, most of us are too poor and hopeless to fight based on principle. This is the first time that the current generation has less hope of success than the past generation, Whisky, Tango, Foxtrot. This is what the true fight is about, not some land deal. Open your eyes and look what has happened over the last 6 years. This administration supported the cartels more than securing the border (as these are likely poor people seeking government aid). Then they committed the most vile act a Commander in Chief can do; leave fighting men and women behind. I dont care who screwed up in Libya. FIX IT. Send in F15s for air support until ground forces can get in their. Instead, NO ACTION and our Ambassador was killed. Then we have the aforementioned IRS. We see Congressman Cummings’ act and then see that he was actually communicating with revenue agencies. No wonder he is against further investigation?! Here is the finale; the ACA. While it “may” somehow work out, the only way it passed was by lying and flat-out ignorance by those that wrote it and tried to execute it. The MEDIA has failed to do its service of protecting the people. They have favored BO on everything. They perpetuate the liberal agenda. If this was GWB in the white house, he would have been skewered by the press; not coddled like a two year old. IMO it is no coincidence that shortly after Leno started bashing BO with the poor ACA rollout, that he was let go. Why else would they fire him with the ratings he has? Do you need more?!?!

  36. Corndogman April 15, 2014 at 10:09 am · Reply

    I think that if the dessert tortoise tasted like steak. we’d all feel different about Mr. Bundy’s predicament. Hey it amounts to this, Pay your grassing fee, Abide by the rules, or Go Buy Your Own Land. Now I’m hungry. I think I’ll open a can of tuna.

  37. Cathy April 15, 2014 at 10:45 am · Reply

    Wonderful article. Very factual and informative. Glad to see the truth coming out.

  38. RockheadedMama April 15, 2014 at 12:31 pm · Reply

    I wonder at the Court involved in this. Why is the Court not ordering Mr. Bundy back and holding him in contempt of its Order?

  39. mageen April 15, 2014 at 2:05 pm · Reply

    Amazing! Cliven is behaving like a spoiled brat and attracting other spoiled, entitled brats to do the same! That federal land he was illegally grazing is as much mine as anyone else’s. I pay taxes so that land can exist. I insist that it be protected from over-grazing and blowing away. Hell, he was poaching! And the land he was killing belongs to not me alone but to all of us who pay taxes! Robin Hood? No way! He had better be prepared for frozen assets and legal seizures, just like the rest of us if we had behaved the same way.

  40. CHJ April 15, 2014 at 4:15 pm · Reply

    I appreciate so much this carefully thought through and accurately articulated letter to the editor. Thank you so much!

  41. Alison April 15, 2014 at 4:59 pm · Reply

    Thoughtful, passionate dialogue. Here’s what I don’t understand and haven’t heard discussed. Isn’t this another example of government mismanagement of public resources? If you hired someone to manage your rental property (as we, the people, have consented to allow the feds to manage this land) and they let someone go 20 years out of contractual compliance aren’t they the ones whose competence and professionalism should be in the spotlight, and be more newsworthy than the tenant who (as human nature can be prone to do) kept “getting away” with it? Why now, BLM? If you’ve been letting it roll for 20 years, aren’t you largely culpable if it turns into a bloodbath when you finally decide to do your job? Good call backing off of this one.

    I don’t know how this one should be resolved but I do know that most of us who are permitted for special uses on public land for legitimate purposes care ethically for the resource and provide valuable benefits to the public. And the agancies are getting more and more arbitrary on which policies they want to enforce and when. They don’t hold themselves to any type of professionalism standard and their agendas are personality driven. The agencies are full of thoughtful hardworking people with good intentions, but as institutions, their “management” is an embarrassment.

  42. BGko April 15, 2014 at 8:26 pm · Reply

    Even if this is the case, we’re losing sight of the main issue which is the disproportionate response and show of power by the federal government.

  43. Deals April 15, 2014 at 10:35 pm · Reply

    From my understanding Cliven Bundy’s grazing rights are tied to his water shares. These thousands of water shares can only be used by Cliven as long as he is grazing cattle . The minute he stops grazing he loses those x amount of very valuable water shares. From my understanding once Bundy loses those shares the BLM can then sell them not as grazing water shares but now as regular water shares… What big casino or developer or golf course has Harry Reid in their back pocket to get those shares.

    The first thing the BLM was doing to the Bundy Ranch was destroy the grazing infrastructure and Cliven’s ability to use his shares.???

  44. DLP April 15, 2014 at 10:37 pm · Reply

    What’s missing from this article? The fact that Ranchers allotments were so severely limited by the BLM they could no longer make a living and sold out for the price of there grazing fee. No money changed hands. Bundy was the last holdout and had the guts to stand firm and challenge what everyone in the west knows is a hostile takeover of land. If anyone still believes it was ever about a turtle, sage grouse or spotted owl they need to pull their heads out of MSNBC and CNN’s rear end and stop being so naive. This is not about liberalism or conservatism or left versus right. This about money and power.

  45. Joel April 15, 2014 at 11:03 pm · Reply

    Yep, those laws and rules preserved the land for future generations of ranchers. Problem is, most of those ranchers went out of business following those laws. The civil rights movement had the same daunting task most aware Americans have today. You see, restricting rights of people who looked different than the majority was law, as well. It took one woman, breaking the “law,” to change all that.

  46. plainsite April 15, 2014 at 11:35 pm · Reply

    Why Clive Bundy isn’t WRONG.

    There have been a lot of people criticizing Clive Bundy because he did not pay his grazing fees for 20 years. The public is also probably wondering why so many other cowboys are supporting Mr. Bundy even though they paid their fees and Clive did not. What you people probably do not realize is that on every rancher’s grazing permit it says the following: “You are authorized to make grazing use of the lands, under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management and covered by this grazing permit, upon your acceptance of the terms and conditions of this grazing permit and payment of grazing fees when due.” The “mandatory” terms and conditions go on to list the allotment, the number and kind of livestock to be grazed, when the permit begins and ends, the number of active or suspended AUMs (animal units per month), etc. The terms and conditions also list specific requirements such as where salt or mineral supplements can be located, maximum allowable use of forage levels (40% of annual growth), etc., and include a lot more stringent policies that must be adhered to. Every rancher must sign this “contract” agreeing to abide by the TERMS AND CONDITIONS before he or she can make payment. In the early 90s, the BLM went on a frenzy and drastically cut almost every rancher’s permit because of this desert tortoise issue, even though all of us ranchers knew that cow and desert tortoise had co-existed for a hundred+ years. As an example, a family friend had his permit cut by 90%. For those of you who are non ranchers, that would be equated to getting your paycheck cut 90%. In 1976 there were approximately 52 ranching permittees in this area of Nevada. Presently, there are 3. Most of these people lost their livelihoods because of the actions of the BLM. Clive Bundy was one of these people who received extremely unfair and unreasonable TERMS AND CONDITIONS. Keep in mind that Mr. Bundy was required to sign this contract before he was allowed to pay. Had Clive signed on the dotted line, he would have, in essence, signed his very livelihood away. And so Mr. Bundy took a stand, not only for himself, but for all of us. He refused to be destroyed by a tyrannical federal entity and to have his American liberties and freedoms taken away. Also keep in mind that all ranchers financially paid dearly for the forage rights those permits allow – – not rights to the land, but rights to use the forage that grows on that land. Many of these AUMS are water based, meaning that the rancher also has a vested right (state owned, not federal) to the waters that adjoin the lands and allow the livestock to drink. These water rights were also purchased at a great price. If a rancher cannot show beneficial use of the water (he must have the appropriate number of livestock that drinks and uses that water), then he loses that water right. Usually water rights and forage rights go hand in hand. Contrary to what the BLM is telling you, they NEVER compensate a rancher for the AUMs they take away. Most times, they tell ranchers that their AUMS are “suspended,” but not removed. Unfortunately, my family has thousands of “suspended” AUMs that will probably never be returned. And so, even though these ranchers throughout the course of a hundred years invested thousands(and perhaps millions) of dollars and sacrificed along the way to obtain these rights through purchase from others, at a whim the government can take everything away with the stroke of a pen. This is the very thing that Clive Bundy single-handedly took a stand against. Thank you, Clive, from a rancher who considers you a hero.

    -Kena Lytle Gloeckner

  47. Paul Stramer April 16, 2014 at 10:58 am · Reply

    The attitude displayed for everyone to see in the article are simply the same old collectivist drivel we are hearing over and over from the mainstream media and the Obama administration. What’s on guy or family when it comes to the “common good”?

    Then all the garbage about the “law”. That’s what the pharisees said about Christ.
    “It’s the law” “We have a law, and according to the law he must die”. Crucify Him.

    Cliven Bundy didn’t change the contract. He refused to sign and UNLAWFUL AND UNILATERAL CONTRACT OF NON LAW. In other words he didn’t get sucked in to the collectivist color of law scheme to plunder the public of their land use rights.
    He IS the public that should be protected, because he has been a great steward of that land for decades and his whole family before him.

  48. Nobody in particular April 16, 2014 at 12:56 pm · Reply

    If the grazing rights were sold by the BLM, how does it have the right to demand payment of grazing fees? How does it have standing to claim trespass? Isn’t Nevada the only one entitled to grazing fees after having purchased all the grazing rights and isn’t Nevada the only one with standing to claim trespass?

    • Chris April 27, 2014 at 1:59 pm · Reply

      Grazing “rights” do not exist in American law, and therefore, cannot be sold. Grazing “privileges” are permitted, for a fee, by the federal government on lands they own according to their own discretion. These privileges are contractual in nature and do not attach to the title to real property. Property rights such as water rights and mineral rights are an entirely different legal matter and bear no resemblance to grazing privileges.

  49. Rick April 17, 2014 at 1:15 am · Reply

    It is humorous reading these arguements about government overreach when these grazing permits on federal land amount to a government handout to a select few ranchers. This land does not belong to ranchers. It is public land. I do not care if they have been grazing it for a hundred years. That just amounts to a hundred years of freebies from the government. Cattle destroy desert range lands. The habitat has changed so drastically you would not recognize it in photos from 40 years ago. They keep speaking of rights or talking as if they have some kind of majority. There are 300+ million people in this country who are not ranchers and a lot of them believe differently. What about our rights? Don’t we have the right to go out into these lands and not have to worry about stepping in cow pies? Don’t we have the right to go out and see a flourishing ecosystem? Someone posted that desert tortoises and cattle have coexisted for 100 years. What bologna. That has worked out so well for the tortoises hasn’t it. Only 100 years for a wide ranging species to get federally listed. You are proud of that?

    • Nobody in particular April 17, 2014 at 8:58 pm · Reply

      Do you know that in California the government pays sheep herders to bring their sheep in and graze public lands to prevent wildfires? How are any of the ranchers getting a “freebie” when they should be paid to have the cattle graze the land?

      • Rick April 18, 2014 at 10:29 pm · Reply

        Did you know that even the National Forest Service recognizes the science that wildfires are a necessity for most healthy ecosystems in the west. Fire Prevention — just another made up problem to justify welfare to ranchers.

        • Nobody in particular April 19, 2014 at 8:48 am · Reply

          Yes, I do know that some species such as Ponderosa pines need fire to germinate. However, in this case grazing and fertilizing through cow dung is much more healthy for the environment.

          • Rick April 19, 2014 at 5:33 pm ·

            Good try. Cattle are a net negative to the environment. They remove tons of nitrogen, far more than the amount they leave behind in dung. The dung they leave behind is just grass that would have decomposed and fertilized anyhow. Now if you shot that cow and let it rot where it fell, then there would be no loss of nitrogen from the ecosystem. The BLM should have just shot his cows and let them rot. Would have been a good way to replace some of the energy his cows have taken from that environment.

  50. Josh Becker April 17, 2014 at 3:24 pm · Reply

    Mr. Bundy said in an interview that he fired the BLM from managing his grazing land, he even wrote the BLM a certified letter stating this. The grazing management of these public lands should be to left up to the people or a group of people in each county, throughout the entire US. Further more, ranchers are the best conservationist in the world. If they didn’t take care of the land and keep improving the land to make more grass for livestock then they don’t stay in business. They know this. Mr. Bundy has been in business managing his own ranch and grazing land for a very long time, he undoughtedly is doing a great job of taking care of this land or he would not still be in business. He has learned his area and there is no dought in my mind that he could manage this land 10 times better than the BLM. As a member of a ranching community myself and a member of the public of the United States of America I give him full permission to manage this land because he can do a better job than the BLM or the FWP.

    • Rick April 18, 2014 at 10:40 pm · Reply

      Managing public grazing lands for grazing has different ends than managing public lands for a viable ecosystem and multiple use groups. You and others here act as if this land is being wasted if not for grazing. There in lies the problem. This land belongs to the public and has many uses aside from grazing, but not after it has been deteriorated from years of over grazing by large hooved cows compacting the soil and beating down the stream beds and steeper terrain. Just because there is grass still growing on it every year does not mean it has been managed wisely for all stake holders.

  51. Julie A. April 18, 2014 at 12:58 pm · Reply

    All this bashing of the federal government (our government)enforcing (our) laws brings to mind a Monty Python quote, from the Life of Brian:

    Reg: All right… all right… but apart from better sanitation and medicine and education and irrigation and public health and roads and a freshwater system and baths and public order… what have the Romans done for us?
    Xerxes:
    Brought peace!
    Reg:
    What!? Oh… (scornfully) Peace, yes… shut up!

  52. J. April 18, 2014 at 1:00 pm · Reply

    If ranchers are the best conservationists, then why do you see overgrazed land in every direction? Nevada, most of the Arizona Strip, etc. It’s everybody’s land, and it does need to be managed for multiple interests. Thus the BLM and other land agencies will not be able to please everyone, but ranchers like Bundy do not have more rights than other land users.

  53. dlr April 19, 2014 at 9:32 pm · Reply

    we live in a desert. the climate has changed drastically from what is was 40 years ago.. the land the bundy’s cattle graze on looks no different from the land the bundys cattle doesnt graze on. its desert, is it supposed to be green and lush and full of life? Am i missing something from my knowledge about deserts? And J and rick, when is the last time you decided to go hike by Bunkerville? There is nothing out there, you must enjoy hiking in desolation I guess. I guess having paved roads more then makes up for being serfs Julie, and i guess your saying that without the government overreaching we wouldnt have any of those things? Did hitler not have all those things you mentioned? So was hitler a great guy? We stole his scientists because they had better everything then us, granted them immunity to work for us. We got our independence due to the anger of “terrorists” who later became our founding fathers. So call me a terrorist. Because I like Ronald Reagan (during campaign) am a rebel I guess. You people who vehemently argue against this will lie to your grand kids about it (because everyone will know Bundy was right and he will win in court), or else you will be proven to be inaccurate armchair socialists.. You will surely say hes already lost 2 court cases, but now he has real lawyers and public support.

  54. Nobody in particular April 20, 2014 at 3:22 pm · Reply

    I guess these clowns want to drive all the ranchers out of business so we are forced to import beef from China

    • Rick April 21, 2014 at 1:52 am · Reply

      Other habitats where they receive more annual rainfall can tolerate cattle grazing much better. I am only against ranching on deserts that are public land. Those ecosystems cannot withstand that type of grazing. If you own the land then have at it, but Bundy doesn’t own it, scoffs at the regs, and has and will lose in court. Stomp your feet, throw out useless analogies and hold your breath all you want, he will lose.

      And yes i do enjoy the desolation of Nevada. It is one of the few states left with large tracts of open land. Plemty to see in the desert except for the parts where cattle and wild horses have ruined it.

  55. Nobody in particular April 20, 2014 at 8:24 pm · Reply

    In looking at this closer, I have doubts that Bundy owes any grazing fees. I believe there is a 5 year statute of limitations on a government collection action. That means they can only go back 5 years for grazing fees. Also, because they filed an action for trespass already, res judicata may bar the government from seeking any grazing fees prior to the most recent judgment.

  56. Gene Poole April 27, 2014 at 10:50 am · Reply

    To begin with, his family has been ranching on the acres at issue since the late 19th century. They and other settlers were induced to come to Nevada in part by the federal government’s promise that they would be able to graze their cattle on adjacent government-owned land. For many years they did so, with no limitations or fees. The Bundy family was ranching in southern Nevada long before the BLM came into existence.

    Over the last two or three decades, the Bureau has squeezed the ranchers in southern Nevada by limiting the acres on which their cattle can graze, reducing the number of cattle that can be on federal land, and charging grazing fees for the ever-diminishing privilege. The effect of these restrictions has been to drive the ranchers out of business. Formerly, there were dozens of ranches in the area where Bundy operates. Now, his ranch is the only one. When Bundy refused to pay grazing fees beginning in around 1993, he said something to the effect of, they are supposed to be charging me a fee for managing the land and all they are doing is trying to manage me out of business. Why should I pay them for that?

    • Chris April 27, 2014 at 1:46 pm · Reply

      You are wrong. Bundy’s family bought the 160 acre ranch in 1948, as proven by Clark county recorder’s office records. The grazing permit to the adjacent lands was issued in 1954, as proven by BLM records. Bundy can only rightly claim that his distant relatives grazed lands nearby beginning in the late 19th century. The most important fact that few people have noticed is that the Nevada Cattlemen’s Association, hardly a left-wing group, has declined to support Bundy in this dispute. Neither have the Virgin Valley ranchers who willingly surrendered their grazing permits in return for generous buyouts from the BLM during the 1990’s.

  57. Chris April 27, 2014 at 1:54 pm · Reply

    “The Bundy family was ranching in southern Nevada long before the BLM came into existence” Once again, wrong. The Bundy family, after fleeing the polygamist Mormon colonias in Mexico in the early 20th century, settled in the Arizona strip in what would become known as Bundyville. Cliven Bundy was born there, not in Nevada. His father, David Ammon Bundy, moved to the Virgin Valley in 1948 when he purchased the ranch in question. It is true that Bundy can claim ancestry on his mother’s side to earlier ranchers in the area, but these were not Bundy’s. The ignorance of many commenters about the actual family history of Cliven Bundy is truly amazing.

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