Tortoises first: Bundy Ranch just a part of the Western lands in BLM crosshairs

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BLM sign at the Bundy Ranch

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., — April 21, 2014. The standoff at the Bundy Ranch in Nevada was just the tip of the iceberg—and it is a very large iceberg indeed. All over the West, the federal government is planning to take over millions of acres of land—and kick the humans off.

A case in New Mexico going on this month but attracting almost no attention, pits rancher Kit Laney against the U.S. Forest Service. The service claims Laney’s Diamond Bar Ranch in southwest New Mexico is federal land; Laney can show that his rights go back to 1883—before there was a State of New Mexico and before there was a Forest Service (1905).

Laney’s ancestors acquired the water rights and the attendant grazing rights on the land now claimed by the federal government. His full story is chronicled at WND.


READ ALSO: The Desert Tortoise, Harry Reid: Why the BLM wants Cliven Bundy’s Ranch



A 1997 federal court ruling sides with the Forest Service. In cases like this, it’s a bit like the fox guarding the henhouse. Environmental groups or federal agencies bring a case to federal court and—surprise!—the federal court sides with the federal government and orders it—in this case the U.S. Forest Service, in the Bundy case, the Bureau of Land Management—to do exactly what it wanted to do all along.

Cliven Bundy’s case is similar. His family has been grazing cattle on the land for more than 120 years. Yet in 1993, the Bureau of Land Management decreed that the land on which Bundy and his neighbors grazed their cattle was actually the habitat of the desert tortoise.

Bundy’s cattle herd size was reduced from 900 to 150 head of cattle. Laney’s had been reduced from 1188 to 300. These are two ranchers, to be sure, but others have been driven off their ranches entirely. Is it any wonder that the price of beef is today at an all-time high?

Who is behind this?

In the 1990s, Bruce Babbitt, formerly head of the League of Conservation Voters, was Interior Secretary under Clinton. George Frampton, formerly head of the Wilderness Society, became chief of the U.S. Forest Service. Just this month, former Harry Reid staffer Neil Kornze, 35, was confirmed as director of the BLM. He had been the acting director for the previous year.

Said Reid of the appointment, “Neil really understands the role of public lands in rural America, and natural resources across the West. His expertise is going to be invaluable to the Bureau of Land Management.”


READ ALSO: The Government v Bundy: Establishing the Bureau of Constitutional Erosion


We’re already seeing the effects of his expertise. The BLM seized and killed Bundy’s cattle, destroyed his water-system improvements and in the process also crushed multiple tortoise burrows with their heavy equipment. (Ironically, the Forest Service forbade the use of mechanized equipment on Laney’s land.)

What’s the point?

The turtles and the cattle coexist on the land in a mutually beneficial way, so the tortoise argument is a red herring. Some reports credit corruption on the part of Reid and his son who have in interest in building solar arrays on the land with a Chinese partner. There appears not to be an active contract at this point, but all the pieces are in place to make it happen. For an account of the mafia-like corruption of the Reid family, simply read Chapter 9 of Peter Schweizer’s book Extortion.

Yet the issue is much larger than the Reid family business in Nevada. As early as 2010, then-Senator Jim DeMint raised the alarm about a planned, 10 million acre Western land grab by the Obama administration. This was during the infamous Pelosi-Reid 111th Congress when radical Democrats ran the government unchecked.

According to the memo, around 380,000 acres of BLM and private land in Colorado would be part of the grab, subject to a “conservation designation” under the National Monument portion of the 1906 Antiquities Act. The Vermillion Basin, northwest of Craig, and the Alpine Triangle near Ouray were listed in the memo. This designation would close the areas off to multi-use activities including, mining, hunting, grazing, oil and gas development and other recreational activities.

Colorado Representatives Doug Lamborn and Mike Coffman introduced legislation to prevent the federal government from seizing these lands; predictably, the bill died in committee.

The point is not just cattle nor desert tortoises: the point is to end human use of vast portions of Western lands. Conservation in the traditional sense is not enough for the advocates of “biocentrism”; for these eco-extremists, humans and property rights stand in second place behind animal rights.

Reid said this week that it isn’t over. He called those wanting to save their property rights and livelihood “domestic terrorists.”


READ ALSO: KERNS: The Bundy Ranch beef is not over cattle, but Government control


The Wildlands Project envisions at least half of the land area of North America, restored to “core wilderness areas,” off-limits to humans. Now called the Western Wildway Network, activists envision an unbroken stretch of land from Mexico to Canada that they “are urgently working to connect.”

Ranchers like Bundy, Laney, their neighbors, their cattle and their property rights are all expendable. And if the rest of America has to pay more for beef or forgo it altogether, so be it.

 

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  • Balabanto

    See, the problem here is this. If people are ignorant of the law, there is still no excuse.

    In the case of the Bundy Ranch, this guy knew what he was doing. He had every opportunity to pay up over those years and he did not. Ergo, he now owes the government a million dollars.

    Now, if I defy the law in my state, and I refuse to pay the government whatever it is that I owe them, they have the right to come get me and force me to pay, or put me in jail.

    That’s the law. It can be a good law. It can be a bad law. It doesn’t matter. But this guy was doing it not for a week, not for a month. He did it for twenty years, and he admitted that he was doing it.

    This is open and shut. Regardless of how trivial and/or concerned for individual liberty someone may be, he’s had 20 years to pay his fines. He didn’t pay them. Now he owes them.

    What makes him so special that he doesn’t have to pay them? Quite frankly, I find it belittling as an American, whose taxes I am proud to pay because I live in the greatest country in the world, that this guy could be allowed to get away with this for more than 24 hours. What makes him so special that he gets to tell the government to take a hike?

    His whole argument is pretzel logic. He didn’t pay the fines when they were lower numbers. Now he has to pay it all. He’s lucky they didn’t charge him interest.

    • Roger Tober

      That’s 333 dollars per cow, per year. He’s the last rancher in the area because all the others were driven out of business. I don’t know how it will go down, but I really hope Harry gets kicked out of office because that’s what he deserves. Someone else would have at least tried to find a solution that protected the tortoise and allowed the ranchers to exist. The people will decide Harry’s verdict and I hope it’s out the door for good.

      • jgreencyclist

        BLM’s AUM is $1.35. That’s $1.35 per animal (or mother and calf) per month. How do you get $333 per year out of that?

        • Jim

          Your math seems off as well….$1.35 per cow per month x 900 cows is $1215.00 per month and $14,580 for a year…x 20 years the total would be $291,600. How does the BLM come up with 1 million in grazing fees? Just saying….

          • ST

            Interest and late fees? Even your cable company charges you a late fee if you don’t pay on time.

          • ST

            To the fool below, they lost court cases several years ago on this. They were on notice for a very long time that they had to pay. Their feeding costs per animal is less than $2 per month so I don’t know what bizzaro math you are referencing. The Bundies should have all their cattle confiscated to pay for their tax bill.

    • Kevin Keefer

      Actually Mr. Bundy did pay his “Grazing fees” until it became apparent the Federal dept he was paying that was supposed to be maintaining the land di nothing but continue to steal his money…so he started giving those fees to the state of Nevada and petitioned the Federal government to keep their obligations. The BLM refused to do anything except demand money and sued Bundy in Federal court making fraudulent claims against him and of course colluding with other corrupt federal departments stacked the court proceeding against his ranch. The state of Nevada has sided with Bundy…not the Feds. He owes them NOTHING…..BLM officers will be hung for causing this act of terrorism and Reid, Pelosi and anyone else involved is going to choke on their own vomit when they’re put in front of a firing squad for treason

      • freonpsandoz

        See, this post is why I’m tired of my taxes buying computers for inmates in mental institutions.

      • freonpsandoz

        “The state of Nevada has sided with Bundy…not the Feds.” That’s because their conservative leaders like causing trouble for a Democratic Administration, nothing more. If the state of Nevada really wanted to help people like Bundy, it would BUY the land from the Federal government and make its own rules for ranchers on that land.

        • James Shoemaker

          wow the trolls are out

    • zion1king

      Wow! You are a real American, so proud to pay your taxes to your incompetent, wasteful and corrupt government. Evidently you are one of the “dangerously” naive and misguided people who actually thinks that this country must be doing just fine and that anyone that dare questions the mess we are in, is somehow an unpatriotic criminal.
      You conveniently forget that this country was started by individuals that refused to obey certain laws that were not only wrong but oppressive and unjust. According to your reasoning our founding fathers that started this country that you are so proud of should have all been locked up in prison for violating the laws of the King of England!

      Evidently the fact that a law is bad makes no difference to you, as all laws must be obeyed no mater what! What a pathetically naive and dangerous attitude you have.

      You would do well living in any number of countries besides this one where blind obedience to the government super-cedes any concept of right and wrong.

      • Balabanto

        And you conveniently forget that he routinely let his animals wander onto that land that he was pretty much told to stay off of. A wooden fence would have been cheaper, more economical, and probably saved him most of that money.

        You would do well to remember that America is for all Americans, not just the one guy who casually defies the law. You seem to forget that he was doing this for twenty years. That’s a real long time. Twenty years ago, I was in graduate school. I sure don’t remember what I was doing every day, but I do know that this guy remembered and confessed to doing this for that long.

        Remember. If he doesn’t pay for it, we all have to in the long run. What makes a country run is love for it, pride in it, and desire to live in it.

        The point is that laws can be challenged, or changed. There’s a mechanism for doing this. For twenty years, he refused to use it. This is on his own head. It’s not on mine, or yours, or anyone else’s.

        90 percent of living in America is the ethic of personal responsibility. You can do whatever you want. But if you don’t take responsibility for your actions, you still have to pay the price.

        • DC SUCKS!!!!!!

          If you believe it is right to steal, yes i said steal a man’s land just because you want it, you are in luck you are in the right country! Welcome to Communist States of America. I for one will be leaving soon, you idiots can have it. You will have to find someone to actually work to give you their money like i have for a long time. Good luck with that.

          • Peter M.

            OK, bye, bye. Have good luck wherever you go because it really is not any better anywhere else and worse in many places.

          • CTMOMTXPYERNEXHSTD

            Wow
            We the people are angry.

            Reading responses to one another one here makes me think of dog fighting.
            Hmmmmmmm

          • freonpsandoz

            Don’t let the door hit you on the way out. I would even lobby Congress to approve some money to help people like you emigrate.

          • kwilson

            I wonder how the Native Americans from whom the land was stolen in the first place feel, now that the White Eyes are reaping what we sowed 180 years ago…..I’m guessing ‘vindicated’….

          • CTMOMTXPYERNEXHSTD

            Hate breeds hate

          • Laura Schneberger

            The federal agencies are still doing it to the native Amercan tribes using the exact same methodology used int he Bundy case. ESA and killing their livestock businesses. So your analogy is totally off the wall. Don’t believe me? Call of Steve Titla tribal council of the San Carlos Reservation in Arizona.

          • CTMOMTXPYERNEXHSTD

            Take me with you!!!
            I have been chatting about my American exit for 3 yrs now.

            DC has become too hollywood.
            Untouchable
            Unbelievable
            Unaccountable

        • Phillipe Violette

          yer a federalist from the 1770s era

        • Laura Schneberger

          The law is actually on his side, the state administers his rights he owns on that land but the federal agencies insist on forcing the matter into federal court. The supremacy clause doesn’t apply to prior appropriation doctrine and state administered rights on federally administered lands. He was not represented in court, even the federal judge had an obligation to protect his rights, but of course and as usual, sided with the US Justice department.

      • Matt Meskill

        You really want to start a revolution over this?

      • I am Spartacus

        Even if you can prove specific examples of incompetence and wastefulness that still doesn’t provide a valid reason for Bundy to avoid paying what he owes. He’s been earning a living on public land for over 20 years. Who out there believes there was no government waste during WWII, or that there was no incompetence in government during the Civil War, or the American revolution for that matter? This argument means nothing. Remember the old song, “When you’re running down our country you’re walking on the fighting side of me.” Time to expose tax cheats like Bundy for the poor Americans they really are. He has no more right to cherry pick the laws he will, or will not obey than any other citizen. Branding him a patriot is nonsense. He’s no patriot, he’s a dead beat who owes the government, meaning the American people, a million dollars.

        • acmaurer

          The point is that the fees were illegal in the first place. The federal government had no right to levy them which is why he had paid fees to the county but not the feds.

          • Donna Johnson

            When were the fines illegal? The Taylor Grazing Act signed in 1934 by Roosevelt began the process…in 1986, Ronald Reagan set fees/fines with Executive Order #12548. Do some research…Ronnie’s not available. And Clark County has nothing to do with grazing fees…it’s the state, which currently levies a fee of $15.50 per head, much more than $1.35 per head, the federal amount.

          • Patriot077

            One point of interest I have read a little about is that the lands were supposed to be returned to the Western states. If you look at a map of the U.S. which shows the percentage of “federally owned” land in each state, it is striking to see that from the East to the mid-West almost all land is privately owned. Only the Western states are robbed of the private ownership and use of the majority of their own lands. I don’t know much about the legalities, but something really stinks and it should make every citizen pause to consider whether the government is above board in this. I think it is an extreme land grab, myself and that isn’t even considering the abuses suffered by the Bundys at the hands of an overly enthusiastic federal agency.
            Bad laws need to be corrected.

          • I am Spartacus

            Sounds like bunk to me. Prove it.

      • JSebastian

        Yah, he scares me…like all these goosesteppers, they are the kinds of crooks who also side with “da authoraties”, generally consisting merely of a bunch of bullies pushing around the weak and defenseless .

      • CTMOMTXPYERNEXHSTD

        How dare we question DC and where the money trail leads to.
        Least we challenge our leaders~~~

    • the_bat

      While I have some mixed opinions re the Bundy case, I’ll have to say that if the Founding Fathers had your attitude, there never would have been a United States of America. Regardless of the issue over grazing fees and when they were paid and who they were paid to, what this is really about is a massive government seizing more and more control.

      • Donna Johnson

        The whole issue is ABOUT GRAZING FEES and the fact that he didn’t pay them to the federal government, which already owns 80%+ of Nevada. Looks like “they” have pretty much control and have for a long time…why do they want Bundy’s 160 acres? And any area in Nevada, other than Vegas and south, is rather questionable as to whether anyone wants it!

        • Patriot077

          What is their reasoning in other states? CO, NM, OK, TX all have actions brewing right now.

    • JSebastian

      If you are so proud to pay your taxes, why don’t you turn over all of your money to the government? Then you could be even more proud than you already are. How much tax are you proud of anyway? What are we talking here?

      Fines are just punitive BS…complete nonsense. Maybe his fees are in arrears, but we haven’t even settled the question of whether they are legitimate in the first place yet. Why does the Federal Government own 89% of Nevada? Where in the list of powers delegated to Congress is the power to own all these public lands that are not federal facilities or enclaves or necessary buildings? Hmm??

      • jgreencyclist

        “Why does the Federal Government own 89% of Nevada?” Because no one wanted to homestead it so it remained federal property, duh.

      • ConObs

        That has to be the most uninformed opinion i have seen this millennium.

        Under the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo of 1848 the (American) federal government
        agreed to leave Mexico City and other areas under American control and paid
        them 15 million in cash and assumed their debt of 3 million.

        That’s not counting the money they spent fighting the war.

        So the short answer to your BS question is simple, they paid
        for it.

        • JSebastian

          The US did pay for the land and it was a Territory by treaty and purchase, but the US government *also* have the duty to dispose of it unless they are using it for one of the enumerated purposes. The Constitution does not bestow a power to hold land for any other purposes…..this isn’t some kind of a secret or a conspiracy theory, its simply not a power found in the Constitution. Go look at it!

          They have the power to exercise exclusive legislation over the District and special Places (subject to the conditions and uses listed), *and* they have the power to regulate and to dispose of Territory and other Property (non land property), *but* no power to simply own/hold land not for one of those purposes.

          The reason for this, which is the same reason that the Enclave Clause exists in the first place, is so the Federal government couldn’t do what it has done in the Western wastelands, and create vast expanses of land that it claims ownership and authority over in the middle of the States.

          The Founders anticipated this very problem, feared that the sovereignty of the States would be diminished via federal encroachment if it were otherwise, and that is why they included the Enclave Clause with its limitations on Federal authority and land ownership.

    • DoSe420

      Why don’t the feds go raid al sharpton with guns drawn and steal his stuff since he’s owed back taxes for at least 8 years that equals more than What Bundy owes

    • Rat Pack Jimmy

      Ergo, he is fighting an unjust and corrupt government.

    • Arlene

      What makes him so special is that he realized the fees being demanded were a rip off and stood up for himself, while other ranchers did not . . . and we know how that went.

      In many areas of the prairies you nor I have to pay to walk or camp on public land, as there is a LOT of it.

      Cattle on land – he runs 600 to 900 cattle (dependent on calving season) on 600,000 acres, are actually beneficial to the land and protect it from going barren. Read – “Reversing Desertification with Livestock – Our World” if you want some knowledge on this.

      The reason WHY Nevadans and settlers in other states were allowed grazing on public lands was because it was considered a fair exchange . . until the BLM got involved.

      It still IS considered a fair exchange by anyone outside of the metropolitan areas where people have somehow grown to believe that every parcel of land should be micromanaged by an ‘official’ and a charge levied for that forced management.

      The BLM reneged on their part of the contract and did not supply the management services the ranchers were paying for. No contract – no fees should be owed.

      Studies also show that the tortoises do better on land with cattle as a co-species.

      We have large park areas that PAY shepherds for keeping animals on the land where I live as the maintenance they provide is valued.

      My question is what does the government owe Bundy in return for this service he has provided in helping to keep desert land viable for the people? Why is the value of his work and service and effort in maintaining that land not being considered into this equation?

      Bundy still owns a vested water right for the greater area that his family have been grazing cattle on since the 1870s, a water right that pre-dates statutory water law. The BLM was insisting all ranchers sign off those rights in the new contracts in ’93, which is another reason he would not sign the contract.

      A regional solar mitigation planning project was just finalized last month. One individual solar project was cancelled but the mitigation planning project is ongoing as many other projects are in the works. The Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone mitigation plan is effectively a set of regulations for all future solar projects in the Dry Lake SEZ. It is not an individual plan in and of itself.

      To offset the ecological damage solar projects do, water is a very important resource. . .

    • De

      …and the government kept raising and raising the fees till a rancher could not pay. The Bundys are the last ranchers left in Nevada. There is more to the story than not just paying the fees. The Bundys have paid the county. Look up what is happening with the BLM or Forest Rangers taking “private” land in Colorado, Texas and New Mexivo. Plus,the fees the Bundys were paing. The BLM was using against the Bundys and other ranchers.

    • De

      They did charge him interest and penalties. The Bundys did pay their taxes, which you say you are happy to pay. You are a first that likes to pay taxes.

  • flyingsword

    Just look into the Reid’s (father and son) deal with the chinese solar company. Graft and corruption at the highest levels.

    Harry Reid’s son is the business representative for the Chinese solar energy company and the BLM chief is a former Harry Reid staffer.

    The game is rigged for those inside the belt way, this time they got caught. Think about all the times they didn’t……

    • saltyseadude

      Actually this story is false. Check it out yourself.

      • CTMOMTXPYERNEXHSTD

        It’s not false
        The deal didn’t go through

        Yes
        The land was not in the same location as Bundys farm

        That doesn’t change the underhanded back door deals that they had planned on
        To line their own pockets

        • Donna Johnson

          Proof…links…anything besides your opinion?

          • CTMOMTXPYERNEXHSTD

            Do your own homework

            May I suggest you remove your political blinders err binders

            Before digging for the truth

            If the truth matters anymore

            Honestly spew away the political hate towards me and each other

            It fosters such~~~~

            Progress.

            Reminds me of ~~~~

            D.C.

          • Donna Johnson

            My, my…only asked for proof and this is what I got…guess you can’t find any, right?

          • CTMOMTXPYERNEXHSTD

            Oh my
            Self righteous much?

          • raymond

            I see no proof that this whole ranch thing is legit. None.

          • De

            Donna Johnson you are wrong and evidentially do not want the facts. There s a deal for solar energy 35 miles from the Bundy ranch and the BLM are trying to bankrupt the Bundys for the land. The abuse and killing of bulls, momma cows killed, a donkey being hit, knocked down. by a helicopter, then abused. water cut off to the animals, animals bring driven into a masses grave, destruction of the ranch, ect. She/ he is right. Do your own homework. Go on the Bundys FB page and see the graphic videos and pictures.

          • De

            Donna Johnson, also go look up what is happening in Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas. The federal government is going after ” private” land.

          • jolie

            there is so much oil under this land it is hard to imagine … google it if you don’t believe me ..

    • Chris rische

      Perhaps you ought look into that Reid/Chinese deal. Actually it was an American company backed by a Chinese company. In any case that deal went dead two years ago when they couldn’t find any customers to purchase the energy. The land that company was going to use, was 100 miles away.

  • Arezzo

    The mythical Chinese solar company is apparently the latest paranoid conspiracy theory of the far right.

    • flyingsword

      Rachel Maddow on MSNBC said it wasn’t true…

      • Elmer Goetz

        Thank goodness, I’ll take that to the bank. LMAO.

        • Rat Pack Jimmy

          Today is my lucky day. I get to keep my healthcare and my doctor if I like them and to top it all off, I got an email saying that I won the Nigerian lottery.

      • DC SUCKS!!!!!!

        Nothing on MSNBC should be believed. You may lose your land too, being naive makes it much easier for these crooked criminals!!!!!

    • seth datta

      Its all about the bankers using the US government (and others) as proxies for greater control. The financial crisis taught us bankers are immune to prosecution, apparently. People like Rothschilds, Brzezndki, Kissinger et al. control the world and will get us to figt each other and instigate martial law.

      KILL THE BANKERS. This will put an end to most wars and most human suffering.

      The warrant is out against them for their crimes against humanity, so they are wanted dead or alive, preferable dead.

    • CTMOMTXPYERNEXHSTD

      How could you be so politically blind

    • Chris rische

      Absolutely correct.. dead deal two years ago, and didn’t even apply to this land. It was 100 miles away.

  • Guest

    As long as Democrats are in office they will continue taking us down the road to Communism until we no longer have any property rights which when this happens our freedom will be gone. They want to grab all of the land so they can force us into the inner cities where we can live like sardines in crime infested bung holes like Chicago, Detroit or New York. The Democrats will cheat to win the elections so our only choice is armed revolt. It will cost the lives of millions of Americans but it must be done. We must physically remove Obama and Reid out and place them in prison. It would have been easier if the Military had overthrown Obama but that won’t happen now. Our backs are against the Wall, its time to go on the offensive.

    • Matt Meskill

      You’re loony. Seriously loony.

    • Balabanto

      Actually, Communism says that I can go onto Mr. Bundy’s land and take his cow because I have none. Not the government. There is no government except for an autonomous collective of workers that determines my needs. So if I determine that I need a cow, Mr. Bundy is obliged to give me one.

      This is the furthest thing from what you’re talking about. If you don’t know the difference between communism and fascism, you might want to consult some sort of political manual.

    • crowpies

      what you have intentionally or ignorantly omitted is that these “land grabs” by the government are not land grabs, they are and have been public recreational areas. what is essentially going on is referred to as the “tragedy of the commons,” a very basic economic principle. one person (in this case bundy) does not and should not have the right to profit from a public recreational area while impacting it disproportionately. that is what the grazing limits and fees seek to prevent – overuse and eventual degradation of a public space (and habitat for other species). The tortoise aspect has been overblown because the cattle were impacting the area far beyond what limits had been imposed to protect the area from overuse and harm. political affiliation has nothing to do with the laws set in place governing the commons. these laws have been around in one form or another since this country was founded. also, your and my rights to freedom has nothing to do with this, unless you want to argue that its not the governments right to tell people not to abuse public land to the point of ruin. in this you would have a point, but that is not the law that you and i abide by as americans. that is, by definition, an anarchist point of view. you are free to believe in this, but call yourself by the proper title: you are an anarchist, you are not a patriot, revolutionist or an american. a call to arms by the logic you have laid out before us is nothing short of embarrassing.

    • Chris rische

      I wonder if any RWers know what communism is. As time goes by, it’s looking like they have no clue.

  • Bob

    This IS Agenda 21. If you dont know what that is Id suggest you look it up. Must be stopped at all costs.

    • JSebastian

      Agenda 21 must be halted, but the only way it will be done is by exterminating every last commie on this planet. When they have all been bulldozed into their comfy mass graves, then Americans , and the rest of the people of Earth, will finally be safe.

      • jgreencyclist

        Agenda 21? You guys are funny.

      • twells

        You purport to call yourself an American, you chose to identify those who disagree with you as communists, and you support Nazi style mass execution of those whom you’ve identified as your enemies. Really. Aaannd, what part of the US Constitution or Bill of Rights supports your insane interpretation of democracy?
        Tell us the truth… you’re a writer for Jon Stewart aren’t you.

  • mcknate

    Property Rights!?? These people have no respect for property rights–they’re stealing property! These are people that–even when they have permission–make millions of dollars grazing on taxpayer land for a fraction of market lease rates. All of this land was federal property long before there even was a Nevada, or a New Mexico–there is no logical or legal claim that these freeloaders can give for their behavior–they’re just greedy, self-entitled takers. And for the beef-price claims? The entire Western United States produces less than 2% of the nations beef supply–at a cost of billions a year in taxpayer subsidy and land management, and irreparable harm to land that can not support any grazing, let alone overgrazing. Base decisions on facts, throw these scofflaws in jail.

  • jgreencyclist

    “…the federal government is planning to take over millions of acres of land…” Take over? The federal gov’t already owns it. Get a clue.

    “His family has been grazing cattle on the land for more than 120 years.” Should read “overgrazing” – that’s why they reduced the number of cows on the sensitive desert land. I’ll take indigenous tortoises over destructive cows any day.

    This article is a conservative propaganda piece, pure drivel.

    • john

      How long will u survive on eating turtles

      • jgreencyclist

        Cattle grazing on public land makes up like 3% of all cattle, I think I can easily live without those cows on our property.

  • AlanInSF

    You’d think if the Obama administration was as bad as conservatives say it is, they could find real things to object to instead of making stuff up.

    • Kevin Sirois

      I don’t understand why everyone whats to revert to the past where there wasn’t any laws and people could claim land if they had a gun to manic others with.
      It’s not very logical I think.

  • stopthinkact

    Hmm, I don’t know. I feel like the author PURPOSEFULLY left out a lot of information about the point of the wildway project. It’s also very misleading to put this on the Obama administration…here in Portland, OR the wildway was mostly developed during the bush administration.

    Decent can be admirable, but choosing to be a criminal for 20 years is not decent. That’s just cowardice. Bundy was not the hero you make him out to be.

    Maybe this was just an opinion piece? If not, I’m sorry to say you’ve done a poor job informing the reader.

  • FareedAnsari

    Bundy lost in two courts. He needs to lawyer up to forestal the U.S. Marshalls arresting him. Any Indian Treaties, Spanish Land Grants or Homestead claims get resolved in courts. So Bundy is batting zero. If his armed Rent-A-Mob think that using women and children as shields (like all good terroists do) he better look at Waco when the government moves on threats foreign or domestic. This is the big leagues and no place for any without a legal, moral or spritural purpose, without which the American public will never be on the side of scammers and tax dodgers.

  • saltyseadude

    16,000 law abiding patriotic Americans pay their grazing fees for the right to use our land.
    One man doesn’t . Who should we support?

    • bobby

      Why should anyone pay for there cattle to eat grass

      • Donna Johnson

        Check with good ole’ Ronnie (not sure where he is)…and check Executive Order #12548. Do some research on this to find your answer.

  • sam

    if you want to go back to 1800’s before the state NW was formed, why not go back to 1500’s and its all frigging belong to indigenous people. So just shut up and get out of American People’s land or give all your land to Native Americans then get out of the country.

  • keimil

    As usual, the right wing is wrong most of the time. When you leave out all of the details you are a liars and attempting to incite the pinhead trash that you focus on. Give all the details and live with the truth. You have become a “PoopChucker Site” and attempt to make up your own facts. This criminal traitor has been breaking the law for over 20 years. It is about time that you right wing extremist take responsibility for your actions and man-up to what it takes to be an American. You right wingers are pussies , liars and cowards. Is he knowingly breaking the laws of this country? Yes. Has He been defrauding the taxpayers knowingly for over 20 years? Yes. He has been to court a number of times and LOST. This is why we have a legal system. Now grow Up and speak the truth and take responsibility- pretend you are an adult.

    • acmaurer

      Nice name-calling from a person who uses an anonymous account and no picture to comment.

      • Donna Johnson

        “Now grow Up and speak the truth and take responsibility- pretend you are an adult.”

        Try that instead of reversing @keimil:disqus’s opinion by insulting.

      • Chris rische

        ditto what keimil said… only I wouldn’t use the “names”… keimil was accurate

  • Victor Grunden

    If you haven’t noticed, the United States is fast going to mob rule via demonstrations by “exercising First Amendment Rights”, although the first amendment has the phrase “legally assemble”. Land grabs have been occurring since the founding of America. When George Washington needed land to reward Continental Army officers, land was taken from those that fought in the Army of Northern Virginia that had English land grants and the Western Armies supported by Frances Vigo, a Spaniard that lent gold to America in the hopes a new country would align with Spain. Homestead lands were Indian lands. Spanish land grants were rendered null and void after the Mexican-American War. All history aside, when anyone decides to resist any law with mob action, the underlying problem never gets resolved and makes it more difficult to mobilize forces of reasoning to oppose bad laws.

    • James Hall

      The Hawaiian Islands were seized from a single family. They had a king.

    • Donna Johnson

      So this is a “land grab” for 160 acres that Bundy owns? Check out GISMO, Clark County’s site…it will give you the correct information on property owners, acreage, etc. Remember, this is PUBLIC LAND owned by the USA that Bundy is illegally using without paying a simple grazing fee for over 20 years. That is a deadbeat melon grower that is acting like a big ole’ Nevada rancher!

      • $5029363

        And look at land transfers on GISMO and see USA parcels magically shrinking.
        Then look at Bunkerville Reid acquiring land for zero dollars.
        The Reids are a small Mormon family in Nevada and they are all related.
        Dirty Harry Reid got caught with his paw in the cookie jar on this one.
        Hundreds are pouring through those records now and showing up the county clerk
        to dig deeper.
        There are also mining for gold out there, one in Mesquite is called “Congress Gold”

        Didn’t you say you were leaving? …….:)

      • Victor Grunden

        The size of the acreage is unimportant in “land grabs”. I believe for a person to be eligible for grazing rights they must own property contiguous to the grazing area and abide by the rules and regulations of the lessor. There have been many ulterior motives assigned to these most recent incidents, but quite simply this dispute is over 20 years old. Then, Mr. Bundy’s claim of Mormon ancestral rights while complaining of a current U.S.land grab is a bit ironic if you follow Mormon history from Palmyra, N.Y. to Utah Territory , the Nevada split and statehood. The “land grab”,states right issue goes back to the Civil War when it was reported that the Utah territory was considering joining the Confederacy. In most Western states, mineral rights are superior to surface rights, so the Federal government can go after any minerals without regard for the surface property owner. But, due to environmental regulations, much of this land is off limits for drilling or mining.

  • James Hall

    This website is just a bunch of lies. I hope nobody ever links to you lying bastards.

  • freonpsandoz

    “Terrorists” is too strong a word, but Bundy and his ilk are certainly anarchists. They claim to be guardians of liberty enshrined in the Constitution, but are in fact operating against it by ignoring legal notices and opposing the Federal government with armed resistance instead of fighting their battle legally in the courts and legislatures. Some Federal courts may indeed be biased in favor of the government, but the Supreme Court isn’t, and if it rules a Congressional action to be Constitutional, then so it is. A group of armed citizens with a particular ideology doesn’t get to decide for itself what is and isn’t Constitutional and enforce its own view with arms. People like the author who support Bundy’s actions should be ashamed of themselves for putting their ideology above the rule of the law and the Constitution. You can be very sure that, when the Black Panthers undertake exactly the same sort of armed resistance to a perceived injustice, the author is on the side of the law.

    • Chris rische

      Terrorist is too strong a word & anarchists is appropriate. Perhaps you should look up the definitions of both. The only person or persons that fall under either definition were the rag tag group of militia.

  • Laura Thompson

    I am in the firm belief that this is in large part the plan of Agenda 21. Progressives, and especially Obama want to get people out of rural areas and into the cities so that they can be better managed within the parameters that suit “the state” better where equal distribution can be more easily managed, resources can be distributed easier and in essence, be more controllable It is an evil scheme cooked up by the United Nations and yes, many of our nasty politicians are a party to it. Obama didn’t start it but he has kicked it into high gear and has given the regulatory czar Cass Sustein the power to go full throttle on it. Actually I think it got started under the Clinton administration. If you don’t believe me do the research yourself and read up on it. Much of it has already taken place. When Glenn Beck was on Fox he said Cass Sustein was the most dangerous man in America because he is the one who is dreaming up all the thousands, no tens of thousands of new regulations to further imprison us from leading full and happy lives. It is very scary and no one is hiding the truth, they are just not telling about it, not reporting it, and not making it headline news. Folks we have to pay attention. These progressives have people in every corner of our lives dreaming up new ways to further control us. And it is not just the democrat progressives, the republican progressives are well into it too. Why do you think these RINOS are the way they are. They have way too much to lose to be a liberty loving political party. There is nothing they love about small government. Heck that is what fills their BIG pockets! Trust no politician that has been there more than 6 years.

    • Donna Johnson

      Maybe you should check what Glenn Beck said about this before you spout off…all the conspiracy theories have been out there and you’re pushing the envelope. Bundy is a deadbeat melon grower that uses PUBLIC LAND to graze his cattle…is that clear enough?

  • Rex

    I see the right voters and left voters has made some pretty good slaves. Granddad said there was people who can’t think for themselves, now I know what he meant. These people can’t see or understand the bigger picture, nor do they care.

  • Scott Mendelson

    This rancher’s illegal use of public BLM land might be seen in a different light if he were a private logger who decided to harvest all the lumber he wanted off of BLM forest adjacent to his property. He could make millions of dollars off that publicly owned timber without paying a cent for it. This is pretty much what he is doing by grazing his cattle on the BLM land.

    • Rex

      BLM doesn’t own land, they only suppose to manage land.

      • Scott Mendelson

        Correct. They manage it for us. So it belongs to everybody, and can’t be used for an individual’s profit with the utter disregard this rancher is showing.

        • Rex

          Correct, don’t think anyone disagrees with that(except bundy). I think the problem is how the government is going about it. We have legal issue that has been ignored by both sides. BLM has no authority trying to enforce anything. This is an overreach of the government and borders on tyranny.

          • Donna Johnson

            The BLM didn’t just decide one day to go to Bunkerville…most of you don’t even know what that area of Nevada looks like. Take a drive up US95 on the west side and you’ll notice the barrenness of the landscape. The USA owns around 87% of the land in Nevada…do you know how hard it is to ranch and make a decent living in NV, unless of course, you use PUBLIC LAND without paying which helps!

            This is 20 years old and has been through the courts…no one is ignoring anything but Bundy himself and that is a payment of grazing fees to the federal governnment @$1.35 per head…he wants the state of Nevada to have control and charge him $15.50 per head? At that point, he’ll declare bankruptcy and run. He “supposedly” paid his grazing fees to Clark County which has no say in the matter and returned the payments to Bundy…and he didn’t know that would happen? That’s why he did it that way…he’s a deadbeat jerk that has caused a huge issue when all he had to do was pay the grazing fees.

          • texas_suzie

            Why does the USA own that land? Settlers moved out there in the 1800’s,settled, and built a life off those lands. Many of these rancher families have been using this same land since that time. This seems to be a missing link. It’s an honest question, and I’d be curious to understand. When Texas was settled, the settlers were given/sold grants of land by the government to be privately owned.

            Outside of two national parks, very little of Texas’ land is government owned – for now. The BLM is trying to claim some 90,000 acres left on the turn of the Red River based upon redefining centuries of standard landmark borders. That’s not flying very well here. The feds do seem to be getting aggressive about land grabbing.

            Going back to Bundy, he owns the water rights on that land the BLM is kicking him off of. I agree, he owes someone the money for grazing rights. In that part of the country, water rights are what mineral rights are in Texas. He also claims the fees collected by the BLM are supposed to go towards range management, which by all accounts, minimal range management if any is being done by the BLM. Other accounts will tell you that two pieces of property, side by side, one manged privately, the other by BLM – show a huge difference in range quality. Who is the better range manager? A rancher who has lived on the land for generations, or some overpaid college grad working out of some air conditioned office in the city?

          • Donna Johnson

            The BLM land is PUBLIC Nevada wildlands, not land that is supposed to be plowed, fenced or otherwise improved by a rancher. Since it’s public, you can go out there and ride your dirt bikes or look at the scenery or have a big party and invite all you friends that don’t understand what Nevada has been for hundreds of years and still is. Bundy has 160 acres to do with as he wants…that’s his private land.

            If you’ve ever lived in a Western desert, you would understand. There’s basically not much there and there’s also a lot of wild animals that need to live off that land. That’s one of the reasons the BLM cut back on grazing…it became overgrazing and eventually the land would be totally worthless, Bundy’s claim of poor range management comes primarily from his own use of the land and whatever other damage he’s done in the name of rights. Again, BLM is not in the business of ranching, selling cattle or watering a native desert.

          • jgreencyclist

            Those lands were open to homesteading, but people did not homestead those arid lands, most likely because of lack of water, during the decades when the Homestead Act was in force, so they stayed in federal hands. Only the more arable lands were homesteaded, leaving a lot of land unclaimed. If Bundy’s family really wanted it, they had the chance to claim it decades ago.

          • conobs

            The feds fought a war for it and paid 15 million in cash and assumed a debt of 3 million
            Proof once again that Conservatives aren’t against handouts they just think they’re the only ones that should get them.

          • texas_suzie

            They also paid for the Louisiana purchase yet don’t own 80% of those lands, now do they?

            Proof once again that liberals are just plain ignorant.

          • Chris rische

            Actually the BLM does have some enforcement authority.

        • CTMOMTXPYERNEXHSTD

          ….”””But here is where it get’s interesting. Using the public records from Clark County we disclose irregularities and anomalies in the public record of the sale prices of land surrounding the Bundy Ranch owned by the BLM, Cedar Development Corp, Zion Bank Corp, Bunkerville Compound LLC, AND Reid Bunkerville LLC who you will discover “paid nothing for the land”

          • Scott Mendelson

            Oh, I see. Since corruption is involved in the ownership of land in that corner of Nevada, then the rancher can be self-righteous about his own crime.

      • jgreencyclist

        Wrong!

      • CTMOMTXPYERNEXHSTD

        They sole it
        And they are supposed to manage it
        Which they were not doing

  • Betsy Smith

    The most dangerous people in the United States right now work for the government.

    • texas_suzie

      Political Terrorists.

      • Betsy Smith

        It certainly is Political and it is Terrifying.

  • James Shoemaker

    Denise Right ENOUGH
    OF THIS GOVERNMENT REGIME !! OUR CONSTITUTION WAS CREATED TO PROTECT
    AMERICANS FROM “LEADERS” EXACTLY AS OBAMA. . Obama, Holder and the rest
    of the corrupt officials must be impeached and prosecuted for breaking
    the SUPREME laws of the land. Not enforcing the laws of the Constitution
    is a CAPITAL CRIME:
    Article
    6 Cl. 2&3 very clearly established supremacy of the Constitution as
    written! SCOTUS is bound by the Constitution! Any deviation from it as
    written is clearly sedition! Legislative failure to enforce that fact is
    aiding & abetting sedition, not enforcing the Constitution! The
    ruling federal executive, legislative, and judicial majority is engaged
    in treason!

    Clause
    3 absolutely binds all legislators, judges (including SCOTUS),
    executives, etc, EVERYWHERE WITHOUT EXCEPTION OR IMMUNITY to the
    Constitution. Their oath/duty of office requires defending it without
    any mental reservation. Federal officials and courts (especially DOJ
    Holder) are lawlessly stepping on lower courts and law enforcement!
    State/local civil damage actions and injunctions by jury are irrevocable
    per Amendment 7! The same is true with local criminal charges &
    jury trials (breach of oath/duty, violating individual rights, etc.
    within a given district). Any official who obstructs justice joins the
    crime and liability (Obama issued immunity to Holder so he can continue
    violating the Constitution and obstruct laws of the land)! BOTH are
    committing treason!

    SCOTUS
    has usurped their powers repeatedly to pervert and destroy the clearly
    defined words of supreme law! That is sedition, breach of oath/duty, and
    treason by the definition of our language, as written. The Constitution
    is a guarantee written for the people, not for lawyers or traitors.

    Judges
    incorrectly rule on precedence, instead of Constitution and law! The
    issue is getting justice wherever damage occurs, by a
    judge
    and jury, WITHOUT federal judge and appellate court agendas that deny
    justice by delay, extreme cost, and even denying plaintiff presence! WE
    MUST FIGHT FOR JUSTICE in local affordable courts! Millions have died to
    defend our Constitution. That’s why treason (overthrowing the
    Constitution) is a capital crime!

    • Chris rische

      James this I the about Bundy – BLM issue. So far no one has tied Obama or Holder to this. Do you care to make a comment that’s actually on topic… BLM – Bundy?

  • saltyseadude

    Reid was wrong to inflame this issue but turning this into a big Obama conspiracy is silly. 16,000 ranchers pay grazing fees as required to use public lands. One man doesn’t.
    Is it really worth taking up arms over this? And if so, wouldn’t a large peaceful, unarmed protest garner more support than hundreds of men with sniper rifles hiding behind women ?

  • comeonnow

    Most of you on this forum are talking out of your rear ends…you have no comprehension of Nevada ranch law, let alone the ongoing criminality and conspiracy meted out by unelected agencies like the BLM. Do any of you honestly believe the BLM represents your interest? Many of you have no clue that the BLM turns a blind eye to the Mexican cartels who openly operated in/outside of our border. Yet many of you are okay with a militarized BLM (the contract mercs from BLM carry the profile of a special operations team – just watch the video), coming out with a massive show of force for a US citizen who allegedly failed to pay grazing fees – where did the funding come from & all of the military hardware & training….reminds me of the homeless US citizen who was hit with a stun grenade, tazer, fatally shot, bean bagged, and attacked by a dog – for “illegally” camping in the middle of nowhere, amongst a bunch of rocks. Again a full on militarized force attacking and in this case killing a citizen for a petty event…I know it’s hard, but many of you need to realize that in a country that locks up more citizens than anywhere else in the world – and a plethora of new laws that criminalize previously legal behavior – that you are also in the cross hairs & likely in violation of the endless laws that plague our prison addicted nation.

    The current battle between the Bundys and the Feds is a replay of the decades-long confrontation between various federal agencies and the late Wayne Hage, the Nevada rancher/liberty activist/scholar who won multiple court victories and landmark decisions against federal overreach. In an interview with The New American in 2002, Hage explained the important legal distinctions that govern property rights in the West, particularly as they apply to so-called public lands.

    For years, the Hage family had been subjected to threats, intimidation, and fines, and — like the Bundys — had their cattle illegally confiscated by federal agents. And, as with the Bundys, the Hages were portrayed by the Feds and their compliant media shills as scofflaws and environmental criminals who deserved to be thrown into the slammer. Last year, as we reported, a federal court once again vindicated the Hages, although by that time Wayne Hage and his wife, former Congresswoman Helen Chenoweth-Hage, had both passed away six years earlier.

    Chief Judge Robert C. Jones of the Federal District Court of Nevada issued a blistering decision that charged officials of the BLM and other agencies with malicious and criminal conduct, and actually engaging in a decades-long “conspiracy” against the Hages.

    Judge Jones said he found that “the government and the agents of the government in that locale, sometime in the ’70s and ’80s, entered into a conspiracy, a literal, intentional conspiracy, to deprive the Hages of not only their permit grazing rights, for whatever reason, but also to deprive them of their vested property rights under the takings clause, and I find that that’s a sufficient basis to hold that there is irreparable harm if I don’t … restrain the government from continuing in that conduct.”

    “In the present case,” declared Judge Jones, “the Government’s actions over the past two decades shock the conscience of the Court.”

  • David Lumin

    The problem with this whole situation is a break down in laws and
    understanding of the laws. Before the civil war, any territory bought
    by the Federal Government was turned over when the territory became a
    state, except for areas that the Government needed for forts, military,
    etc. After the Civil War, the States lost their rights to the lands.
    Many people have seen the creation of the BLM, DEA, IRS, ATF, NSA, CIA,
    FBI, etc. Several of these create their own regulations outside of
    their power. They have essentially became a 4th Branch of the
    Government. While Congress has created these bureaucracies, they have
    very little control over them, since they fall under the prevue of the
    President. These agencies can literally on their own, without
    congressional input or oversight, create regulations. The BLM has
    created its own regulations and has used its authority to do an end run
    around the Congress. The little paramilitary action they did in Nevada
    was outside of the law that Congress placed for them.

    43 U.S. Code § 1733 – Enforcement authority

    (c)

    Contracts for enforcement of Federal laws and regulations by
    local law enforcement officials; procedure applicable; contract
    requirements and implementation
    (1)
    When the Secretary determines that assistance is necessary in enforcing Federal
    laws and regulations relating to the public lands or their resources he
    shall offer a contract to appropriate local officials having law
    enforcement authority within their respective jurisdictions with the
    view of achieving maximum feasible reliance upon local law enforcement
    officials in enforcing such laws and regulations.

    The BLM did not contact the local authorities, nor did they get them involved. They
    came in with military style arms to achieve their objective without
    local involvement.

    The BLM also set up “Free Speech Zones” in a 200×200 box AWAY from the area in question. The entire United States is a free speech zone, and no federal authority can set up one. This is a violation of Constitutional Law.

    The BLM used tasers on protesters and threatened them. It wasn’t until the BLM tased the
    protestors, that the militia got involved.

    The Constitution States in Article 1, Section 8, Clause 17

    To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of Particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over
    all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;

    No where in the Constitution does it talk about parks, federally protected lands, or
    other areas in which the Government has taken control.

    There is Article 4, Section 2 which allows Congress to make rules and regulations regarding territories.

    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; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.

    The argument is whether or not, once a territory becomes a State, is if the State is able to take possession of said properties.

    In Pollard vs. Hagar 44 US 212 (1845), the Supreme Court decided that when a new
    state is formed, it must be on equal footing (the principle established in the Northwest Ordinance) and this meant that once a new state is formed from land that was a United States territory, all sovereignty turns over to the new state. Furthermore, the federal government cannot “retain” jurisdiction over land that was a federal territory and becomes a state.

    In 1864, Congress passed an act to allow the people of the Territory of Nevada to create a constitution and form the State of Nevada. They did this, but there was a catch.

    Remember, Lincoln was president and the war was going on. Congress (the Union, not the Confederacy) put in a clause that said that the people of Nevada must give up any rights to
    the land owned by the federal government within Nevada (which turned out to be over 90% of all land). But, it also said that such a condition was only valid until Congress waived it, in which case the federal government would no longer own that land.

    It has been 150 years and Congress has not released the land back to the People of Nevada, which they should have done AFTER the Civil War was over.

    Now for those who argue the Supremacy Clause, The Supremacy Clause was designed so that the the Federal Government has final say on any law passed by the States or Federal Government, as long as those laws fall within the prevue of the Constitution. The problem is that the Federal Government has used the Supremacy Clause, along with the 14th Amendment to push its agenda, Constitutional or NOT.

    However, even the federal Government does not practice the 14th faithfully, especially in taxation laws.

  • How much does the Bundy ranch charge the BLM for Fertlizler?

  • Donna Johnson

    As usual, a comment board on a certain topic has now gone to Obama, Holder and how terrible this federal government is now. Debate among yourselves…you’re not worth my time!

  • John

    Can I take a gun and collect what is owed me. Will I be locked up if I do. Just what is the law. If he owes they should collect. But we need to be real this is the USA.

  • De

    In Texas there is 90,000 acres of “private,” ranch land the BLM is after. The private land runs along the Texas, Oklahoma border. The BLM has already taken 140 acres of this ranchers land and did not pay one cent for it.

  • Laura Schneberger

    The Laney case occurred in 2004 it is not current those people were financially crushed by the federal agency and environmentalist organizations actions. It is no longer a viable ranching unit or stocked, it’s abandoned. The Laney’s no longer even own the deeded land.

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