|04-12-2012, 09:07 AM||#26 (permalink)|
Join Date: Apr 2001
Member # 3975
|04-12-2012, 08:50 PM||#27 (permalink)|
Join Date: Apr 2001
Member # 3975
Changes to grazing rules for public lands contemplated
Changes to grazing rules for public lands contemplated
By ROB CHANEY of the Missoulian | Posted: Sunday, April 1, 2012 10:30 pm |
Cows chewing grass may look boring, but grazing has become a major driver of America’s public lands management.
Last week, Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., co-sponsored a bill that would double the length of grazing leases on federal land from 10 to 20 years. The week before, Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., introduced the Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act, which guaranteed grazing access as a major component holding its coalition of ranchers, environmentalists and conservation groups together. And Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., sponsored Forest Jobs and Recreation Act, which made several changes to accommodate grazing leases in proposed wilderness and recreation areas.
The Grazing Improvement Act of 2012 is needed, according to Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., because ranchers need protection from activists trying to block public-land grazing.
“The (Bureau of Land Management) and Forest Service simply cannot keep up with required (National Environmental Policy Act) analysis due to limited funding and a backlog of lawsuits by the anti-grazing, pro-litigation groups,” Barrasso said at a Senate subcommittee last week. He claimed family ranches were being forced out of business by those groups.
“That would be us,” said Tom Woodbury of the Western Watersheds Group in Missoula. “That’s who he’s talking about.”
And the reason, according to Woodbury, is that public-land grazing makes no sense in arid mountains and prairies like Montana.
“It takes so much land to feed a cow in the West compared to more humid parts of the country, it’s became a huge land issue,” Woodbury said. “They needed all that space to maintain their herds.”
In 2012, the whole United States had 90 million cows, of which 2.5 million were in Montana, according to the 2012 cattle inventory from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The top cattle producers were Texas (13.3 million), Kansas (6.3 million), Nebraska (6.2 million), California (5.2 million) and Oklahoma (5.1 million).
Of those top states, all but California have no BLM grazing. California’s BLM grazing supports $5.1 million worth of cattle, compared to Montana’s $32.9 million, according to Department of Interior statistics. The total value of the U.S. cattle and calf production in 2010 (the latest year available) was $37 billion.
The unaccounted cost, according to Woodbury, comes in ruined stream courses, weed-infested meadows, displaced wildlife and the loss of an ecosystem that used to dominate Montana’s landscape.
“We have almost no knowledge what a healthy sagebrush steppe looks like,” Woodbury said. “It’s been grazed for 100 years. Even our parents don’t have a memory of what these lands are supposed to look like.”
Montana has about 4,000 ranchers with grazing leases on BLM land. Another 1,000 lease Forest Service land. A few hold rights with both agencies.
At the hearing, BLM Deputy Director Mike Pool acknowledged his agency was behind on about 4,200 grazing lease renewals nationwide. Few, if any of those are in Montana, according to Jay Bodner of the Montana Stockgrowers Association.
“It’s very critical these producers have that ability to graze on private and federal land, and they take that responsibility very seriously,” Bodner said. “They have a responsibility to manage those lands similar to what they do on their private lands. We have close to 90 percent of allotments meeting standards. That’s a very good reflection that ranchers are doing a good job of managing the land.”
The congressional bill sponsored by Barrasso and Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, in the House would extend grazing leases from 10 years to 20. Although critics of the measure said it makes no sense to give 20-year leases when the federal agency land management plans only have a 15-year lifespan, Bodner said the stability was necessary.
“If I’m a producer with grazing allotments, doing a good job, I should be able to renew that without a tremendous amount of paperwork and hassle,” he said. “There’s still an allowance for corrections to be made to take care of the resource. What it boils down to, is the bureaucracy has become so dominated by writing the (environmental impact statements) that rangeland techs spend all their time doing paperwork instead of being on the ground.”
That didn’t mollify either the BLM’s Pool or Leslie Weldon, deputy chief of the U.S. Forest Service. Both testified in opposition to the bill as written. Pool said his agency couldn’t support its automatic permit renewal provision without better assurances permittees were meeting the land-use standards. He also said the bill would limit public involvement in environmental reviews.
Weldon wondered how the bill’s new appeals process would match the Forest Service’s shift to an objection-based system.
BLM has 17,750 grazing leases covering 160 million acres and 12.3 million cow-calf pairs. The Forest Service has 6,800 leases on 94 million acres, supporting 8.3 million cow-calf pairs.
A crucial factor in these calculations, according to Arizona University Law School professor Jay Feller, is the relative cost of state and private grazing land. Federal grazing leases cost $1.35 per animal-unit month. That’s the value of how much grass an adult steer or a cow-calf pair eats (which is around 36 pounds a day, according to Ranch Resource Magazine).
By comparison, private grazing land costs about $18 per animal-unit month.
“In a wilderness area, you can’t drill for oil or other commercial activities, but we allow grazing,” Feller said. “That tells you the hold on the political system that ranching has. Every other activity – mining, gas drilling, logging – is more productive on public lands, but grazing is the one that gets the pass.”
Read more: http://missoulian.com/news/state-and...#ixzz1rtAOLwan
|04-12-2012, 11:11 PM||#28 (permalink)|
Join Date: Sep 2005
Member # 53528
using a good cause to fool us all and take away what they think is theirs
|04-12-2012, 11:46 PM||#29 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2005
Member # 58929
Location: Queen Creek, AZ
I probably should crawl back in in my hole, but before leaving...
why should "cattle ranchers" get really sweet deals on grazing rights on public land, the same public land that "they" are trying to restrict our access to ? Any chance the ranchers are complaining about OHV ?
Here in AZ cows are "land maggots" destroying native grasslands and spreading predatory plants. I love beef, especially if it's raised in a 4X8 pen, but I don't understand why they are getting a gov't subisdy to use public and that I can't wheel on...
JPCooler - The only cooler for your Jeep, Buggy, SXS or Boat !
|04-13-2012, 12:45 AM||#30 (permalink)|
Join Date: Aug 2010
Member # 167404
Location: Las Vegas
First, from what I understand he ain't getting government subsidy. second, I'm wheeling on the land, reference the picture of a cow I took 50 feet from my jeep. there's hundred of miles of dirt roads to explore out there. No restrictions that I know of.
But at least in this case, probably most of the roads in the Gold Butte area only exist because of this guy and his family, his family was there even before the gold butte mine town(1905-1910) or any of the other mines in the area.
If the cows aren't there, those retard wild burros will expand to use the same resources. Sorry I'd rather see eatable beef than worthless donkeys.
And in this case, why should "public" land managers get really sweet deals on ranchers land? Read the articles, this guy's family has been there for 135 years.
Even though this is one of my favorite places to go hunting and wheeling in Clark county, I'd gladly give it up to see powers like this taken away from BLM.
BLM exists to manage worthless land. The kind of property that's not even good enough for national forest service. This man's family has been using this land longer than the BLM's existance. BLM has no right to the area.
Last edited by SC Rednek; 04-13-2012 at 12:47 AM.
|04-13-2012, 10:39 AM||#31 (permalink)|
Join Date: Mar 2000
Member # 347
Location: Fair Oaks, CA
The latter story may not pluck as well at the heart strings, but makes more sense and addresses the issues better than Bundy, who worked the process, lost, and quit working the process... and has been bucking the law since.
I understand that the agency has problem completing all the NEPA, but *THAT* is the problem, not the underlying activity that requires it. I wish Bundy had the Sheriff more on his side, it would give him a more legitimate fight, something beyond 'I've always done it, we've always done it.'
Yes, grazing and ranching is a tradition, but it creates relatively few jobs, so lumping it in under the Forest Jobs and Recreation Act seems a bit ingenuous. In the Eldorado, it produces very little money, and I'd bet that it costs the Forest more to permit, even without extensive studies, than it brings in. I'm not sure what cash value to set on keeping the undergrowth down, tho.
If'n we're going to subsidize an Old West activity, let's at least be honest about it. I do think that ranchers need protection from activists trying to block public-land grazing... but the ranchers IMHO need to do it honestly, through the front door, instead of sneaking it in on a jobs and recreation bill, or plucking at the heart strings of wanna-be-cowboys across the land.
The Western Watersheds Group doesn't sound like something I want to support, but I'd like to base my detraction on something more than knee-jerk.... I need to research this a bit more.
Buried in the story is perhaps the biggest concern:
[quote]Weldon wondered how the bill’s new appeals process would match the Forest Service’s shift to an objection-based system.[quote]
The anti's have done very well working this USFS system against whichever other use they are focusing on at any given instant.
|04-13-2012, 10:39 AM||#32 (permalink)|
Roundup called off !!!!!
Roundup called off
Bunkerville rancher Cliven Bundy describes the fight to graze his cattle. / Mike Donahue, Desert Valley Times
I'm writing that man a letter, thanking him for his courage and resolve.
Damm this is sweet!
Last edited by Bebe; 04-13-2012 at 10:42 AM.
|06-11-2013, 11:27 AM||#33 (permalink)|
Finally - a victory for Wayne Hage (deceased).
(Judge Jones hold 2 BLM employees in Contempt)
Government’s Shocking Interference in Rancher’s Life
|06-11-2013, 04:22 PM||#34 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2001
Member # 8227
Location: San Fernando Valley, California
That is a damn shame. I'd like to see them try that shit in Nye County.
He has got water rights going back to 1886. His family must have been the first Euro-American (er...whites) that settled the area. Wow. I wonder if the old schoool house now Called Mount Trumbull (fomerly Bundyville) is named after them--must be.
As for the college-educated folks have all the answers, read up about Kirsten Berry and the desert tortoise. She decided as part of a study to fence off a mile square are in the desert to monitor the torts. Well, the ravens thought the fence posts made bitchin perches to watch for torts stacked up against the fence........an easy meal...oophs. Links to info are very hard to find, I saw it referenced on another board.
Last edited by J-Bone; 06-12-2013 at 10:37 AM.
|04-07-2014, 08:59 AM||#35 (permalink)|
Confrontation between ranchers, federal officials ends in arrest
|04-07-2014, 09:08 AM||#36 (permalink)|
Join Date: Feb 2010
Member # 154115
Location: The Woodlands
This is whats wrong with our govt. The Bundy's don't seem to have been doing anything wrong and the BLM responds with sniper teams and overwhelming force. This is pathetic and we shouldn't stand for this type of action
|04-09-2014, 07:28 AM||#39 (permalink)|
Land Use Zeus
Join Date: Apr 2001
Member # 3982
Location: Mokelumne Hill, CA, USA
Cow Resources -- Ranching and Grazing
I rely on RANGE magazine for most of my "cow" stuff -- ranching, grazing and the western way of life. It's an awesome resource if you want to learn more.
Home on the RANGE
A lot of off-road landuse folks have been trying for years (I think my efforts go back 15 years or more) to get ranchers to get in the landuse game more, especially with us (off-roaders); but in truth, they mostly didn't want to be in bed with off-road, any more than hunters do. It's an image thing; and many ranchers have a bad taste over both off-road and hunters. Yikes...
Here's a piece I did on Cowboys and Coalitions a long time ago when I was making a personal concerted effort to bring them to the landuse table:
Cowboys and Coalitions by Del Albright
It's a crying shame to see the western way of life, and a family's livelihood get tromped on. And I still believe that state-wide coalitions, or regional coalitions of multiple use folks working together to keep lands open (and freedoms alive) is the one solid solution for starters. If folks won't come to the same table, it's hard to play cards together.
BlueRibbon Coalition Director of Operations
Co-Founder, Friends of the Rubicon (FOTR)
Building an Access Army to Fight Back -- SOLDIER UP
|04-09-2014, 08:31 AM||#40 (permalink)|
Join Date: Apr 2001
Member # 3975
Rancher’s son Describes Arrest in Protest of Federal Cattle Roundup
By HENRY BREAN and BEN BOTKIN
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL
BUNKERVILLE — A cheer erupted from the cowboy-hatted crowd early Monday afternoon as Cliven Bundy’s youngest daughter delivered the news: Davey had been set free.
“They gave him lunch and let him out,” Stetsy Cox, 21, told the assembled group of relatives and sympathizers at a rally for the embattled ranch family near the banks of the Virgin River.
In downtown Las Vegas a short time later, Dave Bundy spoke to the media about his arrest the day before in the federal roundup of his father’s cattle from public land 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas.
The 37-year-old said heavily armed federal agents roughed him up and arrested him for exercising his constitutional rights on a state highway in northeast Clark County on Sunday.
“They got on their loudspeaker and said that everyone needed to leave,” Dave Bundy said during an impromptu news conference alongside his father outside a 7-Eleven on Las Vegas Boulevard. “I stood there and continued to express my First Amendment right to protest, and they approached me and said that if I didn’t leave, they’d arrest me.”
The younger Bundy said he was taking photographs and protesting peacefully at the time.
Natalie Collins, a spokeswoman for the Nevada U.S. attorney’s office, said Bundy was cited on misdemeanor charges of “refusing to disperse” and resisting arrest.
Earlier, BLM spokeswoman Kirsten Cannon said Bundy was taken into custody to “protect public safety and maintain the peace.”
“The Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service support the public’s right to express opinions peacefully and lawfully. However, if an individual threatens, intimidates or assaults another individual or impedes the impoundment, they may be arrested in accordance with local, state or Federal laws,” Cannon said in a statement.
Cliven Bundy viewed his son’s arrest differently.
“What’s happening is they had stole cattle from me, and now they have taken their prisoner,” the father said. “Davey is a political prisoner. That’s what you want to call him — he’s a political prisoner.”
That sentiment appeared on several handmade protest signs at Monday’s rally, which drew more than 100 people to a tract of private ranch land next to the Riverside bridge on state Route 170.
The crowd gathered in response to an announcement Cliven Bundy sent Sunday night, after his son’s arrest, promising a range war and inviting the press to come cover it.
But Monday’s event wound up looking more like a barn-raising.
After a prayer and some speeches, the group walked up a nearby hill and gathered along the highway on land owned by one of Bundy’s neighbors. There they erected two 50-foot flag poles topped with metal script letters reading “We the People” and strung with a huge banner, the American flag and the flags of Nevada and Clark County.
They plan to use this spot as a rallying point for daily protests.
As they worked, cattle trucks escorted by BLM patrol vehicles kicked up dust along dirt roads in the distance.
Federal agents and contract cowboys — both on the ground and in the air, with at least one helicopter — expected to spend the next month or so rounding up Bundy’s herd, which could include more than 900 animals scattered over a remote, 90-mile swath of mountains and desert south of Mesquite.
The BLM and the National Park Service have closed off public access to almost 600,000 acres of federal land for the roundup.
Bundy considers much of that public land to use as he sees fit, but the BLM canceled his federal grazing permit 20 years ago after the rancher refused to accept new land-use rules for protecting the threatened desert tortoise and stopped paying his fees.
In the decades since, Bundy has challenged or ignored repeated directives from the government to remove his livestock from public land.
Two federal court orders issued within the last year authorized authorities to impound the “trespass cattle.”
The operation got underway Saturday morning and brought in 234 head of cattle through Monday.
Dave Bundy showed a Review-Journal reporter his scratched face and swollen, scraped hands while describing his arrest.
“Without any further questions, two rangers surrounded and a third one approached me, and they all jumped me, pulling different directions. And then a couple other guys jumped in, and they took me to the ground,” Dave Bundy said.
He said, “One ranger had had his knee on my spine, and the other one was on my head with his knee on the side of my head and his other knee on the back of my neck.”
Dave Bundy maintains his arrest was improper because he was standing along the side of Route 170 in a state right-of-way. BLM officials said the right-of-way is under their jurisdiction and within an area their agency had closed to the public.
When asked about Dave Bundy’s allegations of mistreatment, federal officials pointed to the charges for which he was cited, including resisting arrest.
Cliven Bundy was in Las Vegas early Monday to meet with Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie, but it had nothing to do with his son’s arrest. Gillespie said their meeting was arranged on Saturday.
Bundy wanted contact information for Metro supervisors in his area, Gillespie said, and the sheriff provided him the information. But Gillespie reiterated that the Metropolitan Police Department has no plans to involve itself in the roundup.
“This is strictly a federal operation,” he said.
In a statement released Monday, the Nevada Cattlemen’s Association also distanced itself from Bundy and his livestock, noting that it supports effective range management and cooperation among agencies to balance ranching and the conservation of wildlife.
Though “sensitive and concerned how the Bundy cattle confiscation situation has evolved,” association leaders want no part of the dispute between the rancher and the federal courts.
“Nevada Cattlemen’s Association does not feel it is in our best interest to interfere in the process of adjudication in this matter,” the association said.
Back at the rally, Bundy’s immediate family members served Sloppy Joes for lunch and supplied their supporters with cold drinks and popsicles. No firearms were spotted in the crowd.
Margaret Houston, Cliven Bundy’s younger sister, drove up from Logandale, at the southern edge of the temporary closure area, to take part in the protest. She said she hates to see the federal land outside her back door closed to the public while her family’s livelihood is gathered up and trucked away.
“I grew up on this ranch. This is what we knew,” she said. “It’s got nothing to do with the cattle and the tortoises. It’s about taking our rights — power — and it’s wrong.”
A few miles up the road, a “First Amendment Area” the BLM set up for rallies like this stood empty, save for a few signs attached to the outside of the orange plastic pen.
One of them read: “1st Amendment is not an area.”
As for Dave Bundy, he was kept at the Henderson Detention Center overnight, then released late Monday morning with his misdemeanor tickets in hand.
“They came in, wrote these citations, gave me a sack lunch and turned me loose,” he said.
Inside the sack he found a tuna sandwich.
“It wasn’t poison, I just ate it.”
Review-Journal writers Jeff German and Mike Blasky and photojournalist John Locher contributed to this report.
|04-10-2014, 10:26 AM||#43 (permalink)|
Join Date: Sep 2003
Member # 23188
Location: Discovery Bay, CA
Blog Entries: 1
Can someone please explain to me when and WHY the BLM....... "LAND MANAGERS"
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|04-10-2014, 10:43 AM||#44 (permalink)|
Join Date: Apr 2001
Member # 3975
I Keep Firearms at My Ranch
Last edited by LYIN' KING; 04-10-2014 at 10:47 AM.
|04-10-2014, 12:25 PM||#45 (permalink)|
Join Date: Apr 2001
Member # 3975
Coalition of State Legislators, Sheriffs, and Veterans Stand Vigil
Coalition of Western State Legislators, Sheriffs, and Veterans Stand Vigil in Support of Embattled Nevada Rancher, Cliven Bundy ‘To Prevent Another Ruby Ridge or Waco'
A Delegation of state legislators, lead by Washington State Representative Matt Shea, along with a delegation of current serving Sheriffs, lead by Sheriff Richard Mack of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, and military and police members of Oath Keepers, are converging on the site of a stand-off between federal law enforcement and Nevada Rancher Cliven Bundy, to prevent bloodshed and to stand in defense of hardworking rural Americans who are under assault by a runaway federal government.
LAS VEGAS, NV, April 10, 2014
The Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA.org), led by retired Arizona Sheriff Richard Mack, and the Oath Keepers organization (oathkeepers.org) are assisting Washington State Representative Matt Shea in organizing a delegation of current serving Western state legislators and Sheriffs to travel to the site of a tense stand-off between Bunkerville, Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The delegation is traveling to Nevada to support a coalition of current serving Nevada legislators being organized by Nevada State Assemblywoman Michele Fiore, of Las Vegas, to stand vigil at the Bundy ranch to prevent Federal Government provocation of violence resulting in another Ruby Ridge or Waco type incident. They also hope that their example of oath-sworn public servants defending the rights of the people will prompt Clark County, Nevada Sheriff Douglas Gillespie and Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval to honor their oaths of office by taking real action to defend the rights of the Bundy family, the rights of all Nevadans, and the sovereignty of the State of Nevada.
Yesterday, April 9, 2014, Nevada State Assemblywoman Michele Fiore served the first watch in this vigil shortly after Cliven Bundy’s son, Ammon Bundy, was tazered by BLM “Rangers” during a heated confrontation. The video of that confrontation can be seen here:
Ranch Riot!! Bundy Ranch Protesters Tasered by Federal Agents and Attacked by K9's. - YouTube
The courage and resolve displayed by Ammon Bundy and his relatives is inspiring, and may well go down in history as a watershed moment – a turning of the tide. But the above video also amply demonstrates the heavy-handed behavior of the BLM that risks escalating an already volatile situation into open bloodshed, that, once begun, may spiral out of anyone’s control.
It is necessary that current serving public servants step in-between the protesters and the BLM, to protect the rights of the people and to prevent violence against them by the militarized federal law enforcement that are massing near the ranch to continue the forced confiscation (theft) of Bundy’s cattle, while they also restrict all access to huge tracts of public land, and attempt to restrict the free speech of protesters with their absurd “First Amendment Area” (which the protesters are ignoring, to their honor).
The Oath Keepers organization, comprised of 40,000 current serving and former military, police, and first responders, is also calling on its members and all other patriotic Americans to join the vigil at the Bundy ranch under the leadership of the current serving legislators and sheriffs. The goal is to have at least one current serving state legislator and at least one sheriff on the ground at all times until this is over. And they will be backed by a large number of military and police veterans, as well as dedicated patriotic Americans from all walks of life, to interpose and defend the rights of the protesters and to keep an eye on the actions of the BLM and any other federal law enforcement present, to prevent a recurrence of the horrid abuses seen at Ruby Ridge and Waco, and to hopefully pressure the Clark County Sheriff and the Nevada Governor to step up and do their constitutional duty.
Regardless, please tell everyone you know to be praying for a peaceful resolution to this situation and for the safety of the brave patriots headed there and on the ground there right now.
As Assemblywoman Fiore said yesterday during the launch of her vigil, “we are here because the Governor is not.” And she will remain there until Governor Sandoval steps up to do his job, by defending the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Nevada, as he swore to do when he took office. And Assemblywoman Fiore will not stand alone. Other brave public servants will honor their oaths by standing with her, and there are thousands of Americans now on their way to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them. Governor Sandoval did at least, finally, state the following:
“Most disturbing to me is the BLM’s establishment of a ‘First Amendment Area’ that tramples upon Nevadans’ fundamental rights under the U.S. Constitution. To that end, I have advised the BLM that such conduct is offensive to me and countless others and that the ‘First Amendment Area’ should be dismantled immediately. No cow justifies the atmosphere of intimidation which currently exists nor the limitation of constitutional rights that are sacred to all Nevadans. The BLM needs to reconsider its approach to this matter and act accordingly.”
But the Governor needs to take the next step and go there in person, as is his duty, and order the Nevada Highway Patrol to actively interpose and stand between the people and an out of control BLM, to make sure the BLM actually reconsiders its approach to this matter and acts accordingly. And he needs to speak out directly on the issue of federal subversion of what were supposed to be state lands, and the intentional destruction of rural America. Silence in the face of tyranny implies consent. Governor Sandoval needs to be sure he is not silent.
This is not about cattle. This is about power, and the trampling of rights. It’s about a systemic power grab and abuse of power by the federal government as it runs roughshod over the rights of honest, hard-working rural Americans and over the rights of all the Western states. This is not an isolated incident. It is but the latest in a long train of abuses aimed at subjecting rural Americans to absolute despotism while destroying the property rights, economy, and independence of the rural West, in particular, and eventually wiping out all of rural America. This is an attack on all of the West, which is why patriotic legislators and lawmen from all over the West are answering the call to defend it.
And it is not just ranching that is under attack. It is also mining, farming, logging, fishing, oil and gas, and any other industry that uses natural resources or the land. This is a full spectrum, frontal assault on the rural West. Ultimately, it is about bankrupting and impoverishing independent rural Americans to bring on a planned depopulation of the West.
This is truly a range war, and it is being waged by all three branches of the federal government, including complicit federal judges who “make it legal” through their willful rulings that strip away any meaningful redress or shelter for ranchers and farmers who have worked the land for generations only to now be told that they can no longer do so because of one endangered species or another. Entire regions of the West are being shut down and impoverished using this tactic.
In this case, the Bundy family has run cattle on that same range since 1877 and they used to have fifty-two neighboring ranchers who did the same. Now, using the Desert Tortoise as the weapon of choice, the federal government has run all the other ranchers in Clark County, Nevada out of business, and Cliven Bundy truly is the last man standing. And it is also about all Nevadans being “prohibited” from using their own “Public Land” and the fact that the Feds were imposing their will over the state and it’s people at gun-point.
Unless We the People begin to take a meaningful stand now, in full support of our patriotic state public servants who are willing to lead us, the domestic enemies of the Constitution will not stop until the West is a land of ghost towns, devoid of people, and we are all crammed into city slums, totally dependent and weak, with no protection of our rights, like third-world urbanized peons under the arbitrary and capricious control of corrupt dictators. Remember the immortal words of Frederick Douglass:
Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.
Under the Founders design, the states were to control their own land, unless, and until, the federal government purchased a particular piece of land, with the consent of the state legislature, for a fort, magazine, arsenal, dock-yard, etc.
As Article One, Section 8, Clause 17 states, Congress has the power:
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.
When did the Federal government purchase the millions of acres in Nevada it claims to own? When did the legislature of Nevada ever consent to it? Where are the forts, magazine, arsenals, dock-yards, and other needful buildings on that land? Where in the Constitution does it say the federal government can keep 80% of a state when it is admitted into the Union? Nowhere. And yet the federal government totally ignores the limited powers of Article I, Section 8, Clause 17, doctrine of equal footing, whereby new states admitted to the Union were to enter it on an equal footing with the original states. Why doesn’t Virginia have 80% of its land claimed by the federal government? Why doesn’t Ohio? It is only in the West that this absurdity exists (and it is not just in Nevada. Similar abuses are seen in the rest of the West).
And now, the federal government is not even content with that. It wants to control all of the land, and stop all beneficial use, by having complicit federal judges use the catch-all “commerce clause” to turn the Constitution on its head, inventing a general police power of Congress to regulate anything and everything, which is the basis for the entire modern regulatory leviathan that is now strangling and stomping rural America into the dust in the name of the Desert Tortoise, the Spotted Owl, the Delta Smelt (used to deny water to California farmers) and even prairie dogs (with Utah farmers who have farmed for generations told by the EPA that they could no longer till their land because it is now “prairie dog habitat”).
We must stand now, or see our children impoverished and enslaved in their own country.
As Thomas Paine said: “If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.” That is a timeless truth that we must accept and embrace, lest we be cursed by future generations as cowards who sold them into slavery for the sake of our own fleeting comfort. As Paine also said, “those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it.”
It is vital that the Western States stand up now for the rights of their people and in defense of their state sovereignty. As Thomas Jefferson and James Madison taught us in 1798, in the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, when the federal government violates the Constitution by claiming powers never granted, it is the duty of the states – all three branches of the state, and at every level, from the Governor down to the local dog catcher – to nullify and interpose to protect the rights of the people and to defend the dual-sovereignty design of this Republic.
In contrast to Sheriff Gillespie, who is truly AWOL in his failure to defend the people of his county, there have been Nevada Sheriffs who take their oaths seriously, such as the legendary Sheriff Jones of Eureka County, Nevada and Nye County Sheriff Tony De Meo, who successfully defended rancher Wayne Hage against BLM abuse.
We wouldn’t even be in this confrontation at the Bundy Ranch if Gillespie took his oath seriously, but even without him, it is time to get it done, and with Nevada State Assemblywoman Fiore and her brave coalition of Nevada legislators leading the way, and joined by a growing coalition of staunch constitutionalist public servants from many states, we will defend the West.
We therefore call on all liberty-loving Americans who can possibly make it to Bunkerville, Nevada to join us in this vigil, NOW, in direct support of oath-keeping Western lawmakers and lawmen as they stand guard over the rights of the people and begin to push back against federal abuse. Come take a meaningful stand, in a real fight where it counts the most – in our states. This is far, far more important than any trip to Washington D.C. to wave signs and yell at a deaf and blind Congress, White House, or Supreme Court. This is where the real battle is, and where you belong. This is where you can make a real difference, and begin the restoration of the Republic, from the bottom up.
Last edited by LYIN' KING; 04-10-2014 at 12:39 PM.
|04-10-2014, 02:58 PM||#46 (permalink)|
The CBD is forcing the BLM to protect a Tortoise who has been co-habitating with the Bundy's Cattle (whom I'm sure we all enjoy) for over 100 years. The CBD is using the legal system to force the BLM's hand into enforcing the revised Grazing orders from 1993, which were BS back then, lacked any scientific fact and showed no basis for the revised fee's which were exorbitant to say the least. (For those of you in the know - remember how Cost Recovery fees have skyrocketed in the last few years).
Supposedly this Rancher owes a Million Dollars in Grazing Fees and "Fines". Right
The CBD wins a lawsuit in Federal Court forcing the BLM to remove the Cattle and shut down his operation. If the BLM were on the side of the Public they serve - in any way shape or form, they would refuse to enforce. And tell the CBD to get off their asses and do it themselves.
The BLM, The Unconstitutional Sheriff of Clark County, need to support this Rancher. The Federal Judges in this Country have their pockets lined by the CBD/ Keiran Suckling pig. Say no to Corruption!
BLM and the Sheriff can refuse to act on the Judgement....they have discretion. It's up to them to enforce, they can choose not to.
We need to put pressure on the BLM and the Clark County Sheriff by supporting their decision to refuse to enforce the Court Order.
BLM Southern Nevada District Office : email@example.com 702-515-5000
Clark County Sheriff Douglas Gillespie: firstname.lastname@example.org 702-828-3394
Blow up the Inbox - keep the Phones ringing
|04-10-2014, 04:56 PM||#48 (permalink)|
Join Date: Apr 2001
Member # 3975
Add This Puke to Your Hate Mail List
STEPHENS WASHINGTON BUREAU
WASHINGTON – Neil Kornze, a Nevadan raised in Elko, was confirmed on Tuesday to become director of the Bureau of Land Management.
The U.S. Senate voted 71-28 to approve Kornze, who had been leading the agency as principal deputy director since March 2013. Before joining the BLM in January 2011, he was senior public lands adviser to Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev.
“Neil is just perfect for this position,” Reid said after the vote. “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. I have every bit of confidence that Neil Kornze will be the best director we have ever had at BLM.”
Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., voted for Kornze, 35, but 28 other Republicans voted against him. At a confirmation hearing last December, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., challenged Kornze’s experience compared to several previous BLM directors who each logged 30 years as land managers before ascending to the director’s job.
Kornze becomes the second consecutive BLM director with ties to Nevada. Bob Abbey, who retired in 2012, was the agency’s state director in Nevada for eight years ending in 2005, and became BLM national director in 2009.
The BLM manages 246 million acres of public land, mostly in the 12 western states. At 48 million acres of BLM-controlled land, Nevada ranks second to Alaska.
Contact Steve Tetreault at email@example.com or 202-783-1760. Find him on Twitter: @STetreaultDC.
|04-12-2014, 08:53 PM||#49 (permalink)|
Join Date: Apr 2001
Member # 3975
BLM releases Bundy cattle after protesters block southbound I-15
Posted April 12, 2014 - 9:33am Updated April 12, 2014 - 5:58pm
BLM releases Bundy cattle after protesters block southbound I-15
Armed crowd mobilizes to free cattle caught in Bunkerville...
BUNKERVILLE — More than a 100 head of Cliven Bundy’s confiscated cattle were released from a corral outside of Mesquite after angry ranchers and and other supporters, some of them armed with pistols and rifles, descended on the pen Saturday afternoon nearly 100 miles northeast of Las Vegas.
The mid-afternoon release by the Bureau of Land Management, hailed as a victory among Tea Partiers and Contitutional rights activitists, after hundreds of them started to worry sheriff deputies and federal agents, leading the Nevada Highway Patrol to shut down a portion of southbound Interstate 15 so that law enforcement vehicles could respond to violent outbursts.
The BLM, upset that Bundy has refused to pay federal grazing fees for two decades, had seized at least one-third of his cattle earlier this week in a raging debate that has captured national attention and whose purpose was also to protect a critical habitat of the endangered desert tortoise.
But on Saturday the BLM decided to halt the roundup, fearing for the safety of its agents, the public and the non stop amassing of protestors who were showing up with firearms on the doorstep of the open range, invoking the Second Amenment more often than the government wanted to hear.
Bundy, who owes the government, at the very least, $1 million, was overcome with joy earlier Saturday by BLM’s decision to pull out, which was quickly seen as a setback among environmentalists, who called Bundy supporters “anarachists.”
Bundy’s enthusiasm was catching as he addressed a cheering crowd just outside his ranch, yelling — “Good morning America! Good morning world! Isn’t it a beautiful day in Bunkerville?”
Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie served as a negotiator between Bundy and the BLM late Friday night.
But neither said they anticipated protestors to suddenly make a beeline for the pen.
Gillespie just moments earlier had told Bundy supporters to remain peaceful. It’s something he’d been saying all week as a fraction of Clark County’s countryside, known as Gold Butte, suddenly became fodder for conservative talk show hosts. The fued was held up as just another example of how the federal government takes its actions to an extreme, infringing on landowner rights — “come hell or high water,” noted Cody Stewart, a 24-year-old taylor who traveled to Nevada from Portland.
“I can’t believe there’s this ‘no fly zone” and all of these government agents out here,” he said.
But in Gillespie’s short speech to the crowd on the banks of the Virgin River, where Bundy’s cattle once gazed, but were not visbily absent, Gillepsie failed to elaborate on what federal agents planned to do with the penned up cattle, all told 170 head in a field of some 500.
So after reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and singing the National Anthem and saying a few prayers, they took matters into their own hands and mobilized in an attempt to free them. But they were kept at bay by sheriff deputies and an array of federal agents in what turned into a tense standoff for more than an hour, with reports that officers were yelling from a bullhorn to keep away or they’d be shot.
“There have been no shots and nobody has been injured and my men are working real hard to keep the calm,” Gillespie said by telephone from the scene. “But emotions are high, and we’re going to make sure that it ends peacefully.”
Protesters’ actions cap a weeklong fight that has pitted armed federal agents against Bundy, a 67-year-old rancher who claims the land is either his for his cattle to graze on or it belongs to the state of Nevada. But it certinaly doesn’t belong to the federal government.
Bundy’s son, Ammon, 38, eventually got caught up in the mantra and on the wrong side of a stun gun earlier in the week in a scuffle that broke out between Bundy family members and federal agents, who, themselves fearing for their welfare, had to hold German shepherds back from a crowd of protesters six miles outside of the Bundy ranch.
The video, which documented the standoff for more than five mintues, quickly circulated on YouTube and the story exploded.
“I don’t think the federal government is liking social media all that much these days,” quipped Sheri Olson, 51, who made the journey to Bunkerville from Portland, Ore., with her daughter, Breanna, 24, to support Bundy.
Theresa Casella, who came to Nevada from Phoenix to protest, said she couldn’t believe that the Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service were pouring millions of dollars into impounding Bundy’s cattle, which is, for all intents and purposes, his livelihood, she said.
“Wasn’t that a hangable offense back in the day?” she said, half jokingly from the passenger seat of her pickup. “And now we have the federal government doing it? Back in the day, that was called rustling, I think.”
And this so called “cattle rustling” in what the federal government has referred to as “trespass cattle” was occurring in Southern Nevada in an area that spans 1,200 square miles in Clark County. The land is so sparse of forage that an estimated 900 head of Bundy’s cattle have had to roam far and wide to nourish themselves in a desert climate that isn’t the ideal location for grazing. Especially if there’s no water.
Moved to tears, Ammon Bundy told hundreds of supporters Saturday how federal agents used backhoes to dig up important water lines. The end result is that cattle and calves were deprived of water in a tactic that was designed to make the round up easier, he said.
But it came at a cost of the federal governmrent turning the landscape into nothing short of a military zone, he said.
“We the people in this area have nothing to fear,” said Bundy, wearing a cowboy hat and a T-shirt bearing his family name. “We can carry our weapons if we like because we have Second Amendment rights, and those are God-given rights. Those Second Amendment rights are our rights. But, and I say ‘but,’ because we don’t have to carry them right now because we’re afraid. I’m telling you that right now. Because there’s been a lot of people who’ve been afraid, and I know that feeling. Just yesterday evening I was really afraid. ….Today, we have been confirmed by our creator that we do not have to be afraid.
“This is his battle. This is his battle.”
For its part, the BLM released very little information once the round up got underway a week ago Saturday, and mostly it did so on its terms, often canceling press conferences at the last minute. Mostly the message was the same: it was seizing Bundy’s cattle because it has tried time and again to get Bundy to pony up his debt or suffer the consequences.
It’s tried time and again to resolve the matter with Bundy, both “judicially and administratively,” but to no avail.
Cathching wind of the fight between the lone rancher and the federal government, protestors started showing up in legions to voice their support. Some of them carried pistols in holsters. Others carried rifles. Many dressed in camouflage in a scene that could have been mistaken for a Third World country.
The Bundy ranch itself, whose cattle operations have existed since the late 1800s, became a fortified compound overnight, courtesy of militias who came from Montana and the greater Rocky Mountain West to protect Bundy from what they perceived as “government tyranny.”
Locals who make a living on the range and own horses showed up on horseback.
Nearly all of them defended Bundy’s actions and spoke about how tired they were of the federal government micromanaging the ways of the people, including passing too many regulations, not just in Nevada but across the country; not just in cattle ranching, but in all facets of life, from Obamacare to the too meticulous Environmental Protection Agency.
Brent Mackelprang, 58, a cattle rancher from Arizona, said the government’s decision to seize Bundy’s cattle in the name of protecting “the supposedly endangered” desert tortoises, was a mere excuse “to go in and grab land from the people,” including Bundy, who’s long claimed that the land belongs to his family and the state of Nevada — “certainly not to the federal government.”
Mackleprang said the government’s conservation efforts are “nothing but a lie.”
“It’s not about the turtle, or the cactus or the spotted owl. This is all about the federal government overstepping its bounds like it always does and thinking it owns the world,” Mackleprang said. “Well, we’re here to say that it doesn’t. But if you’re a rancher and you’re living on the Colorado Plateau, then you’re going to need some luck to make a living.”
Environmentalists, who have worked years to get Bundy to pull out his cattle, were disheartened by BLM’s decision to pull back and cede to protestor demands.
Rob Mrowka, an ecologist with Nevada’s Center for Biological Diversity, said Bundy has been hurting the desert tortoise and living free off the land for decades. It was Mrowka’s organization that ended up suing in federal court to kick-start the government into protecting the land and the turtle.
He said the government is now giving in to “an armed anarchist group.”
The Gold Butte land is supposed to be for the tortoises, who have been displaced from their natural habitat by development in the valley, he said.
“He’s got his cows trespassing,” he added.
Mrowka feels for the frustrated federal agents with whom he has talked.
“They’re trying to uphold the law and do what’s right for the land, but their leaders have pulled the carpet out from under them again,” he said.
Gillespie, flanked by several deputies, announced the BLM deal breakthrough to hundreds supporters Saturday morning.
“The Gold Butte allotment will be reopened to the public,” the sheriff said, referring to the land. “And BLM will be removing their assets here in Clark County. What I would hope to sit down with you and talk about is how that is facilitated in a safe way. We may not have always agreed, but we have been respectful of each other’s opinion and to the process. And that’s why I’m here: to start that with you and to advise you of that.
BLM Director Neil Kornze said in a statement Saturday, “Based on information about conditions on the ground, and in consultation with law enforcement, we have made a decision to conclude the cattle gather because of our serious concern about the safety of employees and members of the public.”
Just afterward, rancher Bundy demanded that Gillespie disarm all National Park Service employees who work on federal lands, saying that the land belongs to the people and that they should not have to endure federally armed agents while enjoying tourist sites such as the Red Rock National Conservation Area.
He gave Gillespie one hour to comply with the orders, telling the sheriff he would like to see the federal workers’ firearms brought to the rally, then dumped underneath a giant U.S. flag that waved in the wind no more than a quarter mile west of the Virgin River. Gillespie didn’t comment on the request.
Some called out political figures for not being present. “Sandoval, Reid, Heller, Heck — who do you support?” one sign read, referring to Gov. Brian Sandoval, U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev.
Sandoval released a statement Saturday morning via email saying safety was his highest priority and that he appreciated the BLM for listening to people’s concerns.
Many people in the crowd gathered in Bunkerville were demanding to know where the 500 already-gathered cattle were. Ammon Bundy, Cliven Bundy’s son, was near tears as he described how BLM agents came in, took backhoes to the land and shut down water lines to prevent the cattle from drinking.
He said that a possible deal to stop the roundup for good wouldn’t be a possibility had it not been for the people.
“The people have the power when they unite,” Ammon Bundy said. “The war has just begun.”
Ammon Bundy said he was tased by federal agents earlier in the week. He said there were snipers in the hills and armed guards all around, but that the people successfully pushed them back. “We sent them packing.”
Reporter Wesley Juhl contributed to this report. Contact reporter Tom Ragan at firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact reporter Annalise Porter at email@example.com or 702-383-0391.
SOURCE w/ Pictures and MORE . . .
Last edited by LYIN' KING; 04-13-2014 at 08:55 AM. Reason: Broken URL
|04-18-2014, 09:26 AM||#50 (permalink)|
Join Date: Apr 2001
Member # 3975
The Long Fight Between Cliven Bundy and the Federal Government
By Jaime Fuller
April 15 at 12:20 pm
Updated at 2:15 p.m.
The case of cattle rancher Cliven Bundy burst into the national news cycle over the past week, captivating conservative media outlets with its protagonist, a firm believer of states' right with an armed group of supporters backing him. The stand-off between Nevada rancher and federal government officials trying to push cattle off of protected federal land has paused for now, but officials plan to renew their efforts soon.
This most-recent skirmish is only the latest in a decades-long fight between the federal government and Cliven Bundy, however. Here's a timeline that proves just how complicated this case is — as well as the power that the media still retains to elevate a local political issue into a national one.
1989: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lists the desert tortoise as an endangered species. A year later, its designation was changed to "threatened."
March 1993: The Washington Post publishes a story about the federal government's efforts to protect the desert tortoise in Nevada. Near Las Vegas, the Bureau of Land Management designated hundreds of thousands of acres of federal land for strict conservation efforts. "Among the conservation measures required," according to the Post's coverage, "are the elimination of livestock grazing and strict limits on off-road vehicle use in the protected tortoise habitat. Two weeks ago, the managers of the plan completed the task of purchasing grazing privileges from cattle ranchers who formerly used BLM land."
Many people were not impressed by the new conservation plan. "Cliven Bundy, whose family homesteaded his ranch in 1877 and who accuses the government of a 'land grab,' are digging in for a fight and say they will not willingly sell their grazing privileges to create another preserve." People who use the desert to prospect for minerals and to race motorcycles and jeeps also feel shortchanged. "'It was shoved down our throat,' said Mark Trinko, who represents off-road vehicle users on the committee that oversees the plan."
Bundy has repeatedly been fined for grazing his cattle on the protected land, fines he has not paid since 1993. The Bureau of Land Management, which oversees about 800 grazing areas in Nevada, responded by revoking his permit. Bundy has not applied for a new one.
April 1995: The fight between the Bureau of Land Management and the ranchers who want to use the federal land without fees or oversight is growing more tense, according to a story published in USA Today.
Thursday evening, a small bomb went off in the U.S. Forest Service office in Carson City, Nev.
Though no one has taken responsibility -- and no one was injured -- it has sent chills through government agencies involved in Western land management.
"If it was sent as a message," says Forest Service spokeswoman Erin O'Connor, "we got it."
Ultimately the issue will be settled by the courts, but ranchers who say they can't afford to raise livestock without greater access to public land are taking matters into their own hands -- setting up what some officials fear is an inevitable and dangerous confrontation.
The situation is becoming so tense that federal workers now travel mostly in pairs and are in constant radio contact with district offices.
"I'm concerned about the safety of my employees," says Jim Nelson, Forest Service district manager for Nevada. "They can't go to church in these communities without having someone say something. Their kids are harassed in school. Stores and restaurants are not serving them."
Nelson, who oversees 7 million acres in Nevada, says his agency is just doing its job, which is to ensure that land remains healthy and viable for ranchers and any others who wish to use it.
That goal, he says, is hindered by unattended, free-ranging cows that degrade the state's precious springs and stream banks.
The battle is being called Sagebrush II, a sequel to a 1970s movement that sought a state takeover of federal public lands. Today, many ranchers, miners and loggers argue the federal government never had a legitimate claim to the land.
The reason that things were ramping up? Counties were starting to challenge federal ownership of land. In 1991, Catron County in New Mexico passed an ordinance that claimed state ownership and local management of public land in the state. Thirty five counties followed suit. Nye County, Nevada, became the first to act on its legislated threat. The county commissioner bulldozed his way down a closed national forest road. Forest rangers soon followed, who the county commissioner threatened to arrest if they interfered.
At this point, Cliven Bundy had racked up $31,000 in fees for grazing on federal land without a permit. Helicopters often hover over his herd, counting up the cows so he can be fined appropriately. "They've taken their authority and abused it," Bundy said. "I'm not being regulated to death anymore."
Bundy's neighbors were also angry.
"The federal government just wants control of us. But I'm not going to be controlled," Keith Nay says.
But those seeking greater access to federal land deny they are looking for an old-West shoot-out.
"Do you want to see my weapons?" asks Norm Tom, a Paiute Indian and Nay's son-in-law, who runs about 100 cows on range adjoining Bundy's. He pulls out two copies of the Constitution, one pocket-sized, one full sized.
March 18, 1996: The federal government, which owns 87 percent of the land in Nevada, is still worried about potential violence if they try to remove illegally grazing cattle from protected land. Two more pipebombs had exploded in Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management offices in the past two years. The Justice Department has 12 lawsuits pending against Nevada cattle ranchers. A federal court in the state struck down the Nye County ordinance that caused trouble the year before. Not that ranchers took that as reason to stand down, however. One local resident told USA Today,"A single district court decision in one district doesn't settle it. It's just a single day in the year of a revolutionary war. We're going to continue on with the fight." Bundy is also continuing to graze on federal lands. "I'm still saying the state of Nevada owns that land, and the federal government has been an encroacher. I'm not moving my cattle. We have ... rights."
Bundy states that his rights derive from the fact his Mormon ancestors were using the land far before the federal government claimed authority over it. One Elko County rancher, Cliff Gardner, has decided to take his case to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing that states' rights mean the federal government has no authority over the land where his cattle graze.
1998: A federal judge issues a permanent injunction against Bundy, ordering him to remove his cattle from the federal lands. He lost an appeal to the San Francisco 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. He represented himself.
March 2002: Cliff Gardner is sentenced to a month in a Reno halfway house, along with a $5,000 fine and a year of probation. He has been under house arrest for the three previous months for not taking his cattle off of federal land. When his sentence — which affirmed the U.S. Forest Service's authority over the disputed land — was announced, more than 50 states' rights protesters were in the courtroom with him.
Three were dressed in white wigs as American Revolutionary War patriots and another wearing a wig and red coat said he was England's King George. "Has the West been won, or has the fight just begun?" read a banner at a rally outside the courthouse where 15 protesters on horseback carried signs while children waved the Nevada state flag. "This court has tried to intimidate the citizens of Nevada by attempting to make an example of Cliff Gardner," said Cliven Bundy, a Clark County rancher.
July 2009: The federal government is still fighting with local ranchers. They have signs posted all over the public land, stating that it is off-limits for grazing.
Some signs have been chain-sawed down; others have been filled with bullet holes. “There haven't been any confrontations out there, but we have to be careful,” says Gail Marrs-Smith, who manages the area for the BLM. “We travel in pairs.” Cliven Bundy, a local organic melon farmer, is one of those who resent the changes. To protect an endangered tortoise, Clark County has set aside habitat by buying and retiring all of the government grazing leases in Gold Butte. But Bundy still runs his cows through here, even though since 1993 he has been ordered to desist because he has no permit. Bundy says that his family has grazed here since the nineteenth century and that he doesn't recognize the authority of the federal government. He has threatened resistance if anyone enforces the court order to remove his cattle from the wilderness. “It's so blatant,” says Rob Mrowka, a conservationist who works for the Center for Biological Diversity, in Las Vegas. “Anyone can go out there anytime of the year and see cattle. BLM employees trying to protect sensitive plants and animals are very frustrated. It's a problem that's been going on and on.”
April 2012: The BLM plans to round up Bundy's cattle. After several threats, these plans are abandoned. The Center for Biological Diversity files an intent to sue against the BLM for canceling their plans.
May 2012: BLM files a complain in a federal Las Vegas court seeking an injunction against Bundy.
February 2013: After endless complaints from ranchers and hunters, Nevada Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval demands the resignation of Kenneth Mayer, director of the Nevada Department of Wildlife. One of Mayer's biggest projects was deciding whether to add another Nevada animal to the endangered species list, the sage grouse. He had mapped the best places to mark as protected sage grouse habitats in the state, and the best places to encourage environmentally safe economic development.
Ranchers thought his conservation efforts were misplaced. The president of Hunters Alert told the New York Times, “What did Ken Mayer do? Nothing. Just habitat, habitat, habitat, which is a terrible thing for a person in his position to do. You get instant results when you poison a raven or shoot a coyote.” Hunters also prefer predator killing because of its effects on the deer population. Scientists counter that ecosystem preservation is a far better way to stop extinction than predator management. Gerald Lent, a former chairman of the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners called these findings, backed up by extensive research, “voodoo science.”
Cliff Gardner reappeared during this fight, writing frequent letters to the editor to the Elko Daily Free Press about Mayer's eventual replacement. “I’m sure most of the people being considered for his job graduated from a college. These people are the cause of the destruction of wildlife.”
August 2013: A court order says Bundy has 45 days to remove his cattle from federal land.
October 2013: A federal district judge court tells Bundy not to “physically interfere with any seizure or impoundment operation.”
March 15, 2014: After nearly 20 years, the Bureau of Land Management sends Bundy a letter informing him that they plan to impound his "trespass cattle," which have been roaming on 90 miles of federal land. BLM averages four livestock impoundments a year, usually involving a few dozen animals.
March 27, 2014: The BLM has closed off 322,000 acres of public land, and is preparing to collect Bundy's cattle. Bundy files a notice with the county sheriff department, titled “Range War Emergency Notice and Demand for Protection." Bundy also says he has a virtual army of supporters from all over the country ready to protect him. He also has Gardner. “I think Cliven is taking a stand not only for family ranchers, but also for every freedom-loving American, for everyone," Gardner said. "I’ve been trying to resolve these same types of issues since 1984. Perhaps it’s difficult for the average American to understand, but protecting the individual was a underlying factor of our government. ... My support is that I am determined to stand by the Bundy family in any fashion it takes regardless of the threat of life or limb."
Clark County Commissioner Tom Collins also supports Bundy. “The U.S. government has perpetrated a bigger fraud on people over those tortoises than Al Capone did selling swampland in Miami."
April 1, 2014: Bundy's 14 children and 52 grandchildren are all bunkered down at his house waiting for the BLM to arrive. Bundy is giving constant interviews and making constant calls to local and state officials. BLM has set up two "First Amendment areas" in nearby Bunkerville.
April 2, 2014: Around 30 protesters line up outside the Livestock auction house to protest the sale of Bundy's cattle. If Bundy doesn't pay the fees he's accumulated, his cows could be sold to another buyer.
A group of local conservationists sent a letter to local officials demanding that they support BLM's actions. One of those people was Bundy's cousin, Terri Robertson. They've only met a few times, and only at meetings about the federal lands. “He’s just in a world of his own. I don’t think he’s working on all four cylinders,” Robertson said. Bundy retorts that his city slicker cousin doesn't know what she is talking about. “My cattle are the kind of cattle people look for at Whole Foods.”
April 5, 2014: After decades of trepidation, federal officials and cowboys start rounding up what they think are Cliven Bundy's hundreds of cows. The operation was going to cost $1 million, and reportedly last until May. BLM contends that Bundy owes $1 million in fees, and will also have to pay the round-up expenses. Bundy — who retorts that he only owes $300,000 in fees — says the city folk are only hurting themselves by taking his cows. He told a reporter from the Las Vegas Review Journal that there would be 500,000 fewer hamburgers per year after his cows were towed away; “But nobody is thinking about that. Why would they? They’re all thinking about the desert tortoise. Hey, the tortoise is a fine creature. I like him. I have no problem with him. But taking another man’s cattle? It just doesn’t seem right.”
He also thinks the co-habitating cows and tortoises could have a beautiful, symbiotic relationship if the government would let them. “The tortoises eat the cow manure, too. It’s filled with protein.”
April 6, 2014: Cliven Bundy's 37-year-old son is arrested for "refusing to disperse" and resisting arrest. He was released the following day. His face is covered with scratches from fighting the feds. Before he left the detention center, authorities gave him a tuna fish sandwich. "It wasn’t poison," he said. "I just ate it.”
The Nevada Cattlemen’s Association distances itself from protests over Bundy's cattle. “Nevada Cattlemen’s Association does not feel it is in our best interest to interfere in the process of adjudication in this matter."
April 9, 2014: Two of Bundy's family members are injured in a confrontation with federal officials. One of them was Bundy's son, tasered after he kicked a police dog. "I'm almost getting mad enough to swear," Bundy says. "The one thing we're going to do is stay cool and we're gonna fight."
April 10, 2014: A protest camp has formed. There is a sign at the entrance that reads, "MILITA SIGN IN."
Traveling from as close as St. George — and as far as Montana — a mix of characters waved picket signs at an encampment just before a bridge over the Virgin River, protesting the BLM’s campaign.
“This is a better education than being in school! I’m glad I brought you. I’m a good mom,” said Ilona Ence, a 49-year-old mother from St. George and Bundy relative who brought her four teenage kids to the ranch. “They’re learning about the Constitution.”
... Jack Faught, Bundy’s first cousin, drove his forest green 1929 Chevy truck from Mesquite loaded with water and Gatorade.
“It’s not about the cows,” he said. “It’s about the freedom to make our own choices close to home.”
Polo Parra, a 27-year-old tattoo artist from Las Vegas, even showed up with two of his friends to support the rancher. Dressed in baggy clothes and covered in tattoos, the group carried signs that read “TYRANNY IS ALIVE” and “WHERE’S THE JUSTICE?” in red spray-painted letters.
One of Parra’s friends, who would not share his name, had a pistol tucked in his waistband.
“I think it’s bull, and it really made me mad,” said Parra, who decided to make the trip when he heard about the violence that broke out on the ranch. “This isn’t about no turtles or cows.”
One protester, a former Arizona sheriff named Richard Mack, told Fox News about the militia's plans if violence broke out in Bunkerville. “We were actually strategizing to put all the women up at the front. If they are going to start shooting, it’s going to be women that are going to be televised all across the world getting shot by these rogue federal officers.”
April 12, 2014: BLM decides not to enforce their court order: "Based on information about conditions on the ground, and in consultation with law enforcement, we have made a decision to conclude the cattle gather because of our serious concern about the safety of employees and members of the public."
The Bundy son who was tasered said, "We won the battle." He told another outlet, “The people have the power when they unite. The war has just begun.”
April 14, 2014: BLM also pledges that this isn't done. A spokesperson for the bureau said this Sunday, "The door isn't closed. We'll figure out how to move forward with this."
Some of Bundy's neighbors aren't impressed by his actions. "I feel that the rule of law supersedes armed militias coming in from all over the country to stand with a law-breaking rancher, which is what he is," one person told a local TV station.
Wild horse advocates are getting angrier, saying that the roaming cattle are ruining their habitats. Other scientists argue that the wild horses and cows alike are ruining habitats for other animals.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid tells a local news outlet, "It's not over. We can't have an American people that violate the law and then just walk away from it. So it's not over."