Skip to comments.Why You Should Be Sympathetic Toward Cliven Bundy
Posted on 04/15/2014 7:45:53 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
On Saturday, I wrote about the standoff at Bundy Ranch. That post drew a remarkable amount of traffic, even though, as I wrote then, I had not quite decided what to make of the story. Since then, I have continued to study the facts and have drawn some conclusions. Here they are.
First, it must be admitted that legally, Bundy doesnt have a leg to stand on. The Bureau of Land Management has been charging him grazing fees since the early 1990s, which he has refused to pay. Further, BLM has issued orders limiting the area on which Bundys cows can graze and the number that can graze, and Bundy has ignored those directives. As a result, BLM has sued Bundy twice in federal court, and won both cases. In the second, more recent action, Bundys defense is that the federal government doesnt own the land in question and therefore has no authority to regulate grazing. That simply isnt right; the land, like most of Nevada, is federally owned. Bundy is representing himself, of necessity: no lawyer could make that argument.
That being the case, why does Bundy deserve our sympathy? To begin with, his family has been ranching on the acres at issue since the late 19th century. They and other settlers were induced to come to Nevada in part by the federal governments promise that they would be able to graze their cattle on adjacent government-owned land. For many years they did so, with no limitations or fees. The Bundy family was ranching in southern Nevada long before the BLM came into existence.
Over the last two or three decades, the Bureau has squeezed the ranchers in southern Nevada by limiting the acres on which their cattle can graze, reducing the number of cattle that can be on federal land, and charging grazing fees for the ever-diminishing privilege. The effect of these restrictions has been to drive the ranchers out of business. Formerly, there were dozens of ranches in the area where Bundy operates. Now, his ranch is the only one. When Bundy refused to pay grazing fees beginning in around 1993, he said something to the effect of, they are supposed to be charging me a fee for managing the land and all they are doing is trying to manage me out of business. Why should I pay them for that?
The bedrock issue here is that the federal government owns more than 80% of the state of Nevada. This is true across the western states. To an astonishing degree, those states lack sovereignty over their own territory. Most of the land is federal. And the federal agencies that rule over federal lands have agendas. At every opportunity, it seems, they restrict not only what can be done on federal lands, but on privately-owned property. They are hostile to traditional industries like logging, mining and ranching, and if you have a puddle in your back yard, the EPA will try to regulate it as a navigable waterway.
That is only a slight exaggeration.
One could say that Cliven Bundy is just one more victim of progress and changing mores. The federal government has gotten more environmentally-conscious, and now we really, really care about desert tortoises. (It was the designation of desert tortoises as an endangered species that gave BLM the opportunity to squeeze Bundy in the early 1990s.) But heres the thing: the Bureau of Land Managementthe federal governmentis not necessarily anti-development. Rather, its attitude depends entirely on what sort of development is in question.
Thus, BLM has developed a grandiose plan to develop vast solar energy installations on federal land across the Southwest. Wind power projects are favored, too. In fact, the same BLM that has driven Nevadas ranchers out of business has welcomed solar projects with open arms. Some have claimed that Harry Reid is behind the BLMs war against Cliven Bundy, on the theory that he wants the land for a solar project in which his son Rory is involved, along with the Chinese. I dont believe this is correct. The solar projects are located north of Las Vegas, 30 miles or so from the area where Bundy ranches.
But the connection is nevertheless important in two respects. First, BLM has promulgated a regional mitigation strategy for the environmental impacts of the solar developments. Lets pause on that for a moment: the excuse for limiting Bundys rights is the endangered desert tortoise. But wait! Dont they have desert tortoises a few miles away where the solar projects are being built? Of course they do. Thats where they get to the mitigation strategy, which may involve, among other things, moving some desert tortoises to a new location:
The Gold Butte ACEC is preliminarily recommended as the best recipient location for regional mitigation from the Dry Lake SEZ. This ACEC is located 32 miles (51 km) east of the Dry Lake SEZ.
Gold Butte is the area where Bundy ranches. There are a few problems with the Gold Butte location as a mitigation area; one of them is that there are trespassing cattle:
The resource values found in the Gold Butte ACEC are threatened by: unauthorized activities, including off-road vehicle use, illegal dumping, and trespass livestock grazing; wildfire; and weed infestation.
So it is possible that the federal government is driving Bundy off federal lands to make way for mitigation activities that enable the solar energy development to the north. But I dont think it is necessary to go there. Ratherthis is the second and more important pointit is obvious that some activities are favored by the Obama administrations BLM, and others are disfavored. The favored developments include solar and wind projects. No surprise there: the developers of such projects are invariably major Democratic Party donors. Wind and solar energy survive only by virtue of federal subsidies, so influencing people like Barack Obama and Harry Reid is fundamental to the developers business plans. Ranchers, on the other hand, ask nothing from the federal government other than the continuation of their historic rights. It is a safe bet that Cliven Bundy is not an Obama or Reid contributor.
Solar energy projects dont draw BLM snipers.
The new head of the BLM is a former Reid staffer. Presumably he was placed in his current position on Reids recommendation. Harry Reid is known to be a corrupt politician, one who has gotten wealthy on a public employees salary, in part, at least, by benefiting from sweetheart real estate deals. Does Harry Reid now control more than 80% of the territory of Nevada? If you need federal authority to conduct business in Nevadawhich is overwhelmingly probabledo you need to pay a bribe to Harry Reid or a member of his family to get that permission? Why is it that the BLM is deeply concerned about desert tortoises when it comes to ranchers, but couldnt care less when the solar power developers from China come calling? Environmentalists have asked this question. Does the difference lie in the fact that Cliven Bundy has never contributed to an Obama or Reid campaign, or paid a bribe to Reid or a member of his family?
Based on the evidence, I would say: yes, that is probably the difference. When the desert tortoises balance out, Occams razor tells us that the distinction is political.
So lets have some sympathy for Cliven Bundy and his family. They dont have a chance on the law, because under the Endangered Species Act and many other federal statutes, the agencies are always in the right. And their way of life is one that, frankly, is on the outs. They dont develop apps. They dont ask for food stamps. It probably has never occurred to them to bribe a politician. They dont subsist by virtue of government subsidies or regulations that hamstring competitors. They arent illegal immigrants. They have never even gone to law school. So what possible place is there for the Bundys in the Age of Obama?
Why does he have no leg to stand on? He has paperwork showing that the land is state and not federal, I thought.
Except for direct crime or war-fighting departments such as Defense, Customs, FBI or Secret Service, no government agency shall maintain a SWAT, military, or police force, nor may they hold or maintain weapons above a certain caliber.
If its a national security issue, Congress should call the Army. If its a criminal issue, then authorize either the FBI to be involved, or work through the State/local law enforcement. The Federal alphabet agencies all having their own spetnaz forces is beyond the pale.
One might add that the federal government has said that it plans to euthanize a substantial number of desert tortoises soon at their Nevada conservation center, because they lack the funds to keep taking care of them.
Also, that the legal situation is not so clear as the article suggests. Yes, Bundy is likely to lose the legal battle, since the government has the big bucks and the political clout. But he has substantial arguments that, after a hundred years of family use, the land is his for grazing.
Cattle ranching is Bundy’s livelihood; it’s how he feeds his family. Even if he is trespassing his cattle, it’s not a crime — he’s doing so “out of love.”
Sorry Hindracker..sympathy is not a strategy. It is time to stand up to tyranny. If not now, when? If not there, where?
see post 7 about terms and conditions Bundy would need to sign before paying
A nice clear write-up of the situation.
Exactly! If “this ain’t the hill to die on” folks better pick another, and purity damn quick.
Let’s not forget that the many on the left believe that grazing animals contribute to global warming, meat production has a higher carbon footprint than vegetable diets and that they want us all to be more vegetarian. Driving out ranchers has an incremental effect of raising beef prices....
Looking at the picture of the “snipers”, can anyone tell me why the guy in the front is holding a paintball marker (gun)? The hopper on top is a dead giveaway. I can’t make out the CO2 tank, which is why I’m asking.
The fact that these heavily armed government agencies exist and are thriving means that congress approves of them even if they claim otherwise. Same with the despicable IRS.
Tear gas pellets?
The Bundy are like tax protesters so while they won’t win in court, we should be sympathetic to their cause. Income taxes are illegal but the government forces us to pay them anyway. We either pay or we go to jail. The Bundy are the few who are brave enough to fight back
Sympathies for the Bundy’s simply because the federal government is out of control and we are constantly losing our rights.
That FOXNEWS token lefty Bob Butwhole or whatever he goes by
keeps calling the Bundys “lawbreakers”. Of course those foreigners
who break the law crossing our national borders don’t bother
him and his ilk.
Bundy claims that state owns the land. It is also true that the Bundy
family connection to the land predates the BLM and their grazing
fee schedule which seems like it should invoke a grandfather
clause of some type.
They won’t win because the new laws have been written that ignores the old ones
There have been a lot of people criticizing Clive Bundy because he did not pay his grazing fees for 20 years. The public is also probably wondering why so many other cowboys are supporting Mr. Bundy even though they paid their fees and Clive did not. What you people probably do not realize is that on every ranchers grazing permit it says the following: You are authorized to make grazing use of the lands, under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management and covered by this grazing permit, upon your acceptance of the terms and conditions of this grazing permit and payment of grazing fees when due. The mandatory terms and conditions go on to list the allotment, the number and kind of livestock to be grazed, when the permit begins and ends, the number of active or suspended AUMs (animal units per month), etc. The terms and conditions also list specific requirements such as where salt or mineral supplements can be located, maximum allowable use of forage levels (40% of annual growth), etc., and include a lot more stringent policies that must be adhered to. Every rancher must sign this contract agreeing to abide by the TERMS AND CONDITIONS before he or she can make payment. In the early 90s, the BLM went on a frenzy and drastically cut almost every ranchers permit because of this desert tortoise issue, even though all of us ranchers knew that cow and desert tortoise had co-existed for a hundred+ years. As an example, a family friend had his permit cut by 90%. For those of you who are non ranchers, that would be equated to getting your paycheck cut 90%. In 1976 there were approximately 52 ranching permittees in this area of Nevada. Presently, there are 3. Most of these people lost their livelihoods because of the actions of the BLM. Clive Bundy was one of these people who received extremely unfair and unreasonable TERMS AND CONDITIONS. Keep in mind that Mr. Bundy was required to sign this contract before he was allowed to pay. Had Clive signed on the dotted line, he would have, in essence, signed his very livelihood away. And so Mr. Bundy took a stand, not only for himself, but for all of us. He refused to be destroyed by a tyrannical federal entity and to have his American liberties and freedoms taken away. Also keep in mind that all ranchers financially paid dearly for the forage rights those permits allow - - not rights to the land, but rights to use the forage that grows on that land. Many of these AUMS are water based, meaning that the rancher also has a vested right (state owned, not federal) to the waters that adjoin the lands and allow the livestock to drink. These water rights were also purchased at a great price. If a rancher cannot show beneficial use of the water (he must have the appropriate number of livestock that drinks and uses that water), then he loses that water right. Usually water rights and forage rights go hand in hand. Contrary to what the BLM is telling you, they NEVER compensate a rancher for the AUMs they take away. Most times, they tell ranchers that their AUMS are suspended, but not removed. Unfortunately, my family has thousands of suspended AUMs that will probably never be returned. And so, even though these ranchers throughout the course of a hundred years invested thousands(and perhaps millions) of dollars and sacrificed along the way to obtain these rights through purchase from others, at a whim the government can take everything away with the stroke of a pen. This is the very thing that Clive Bundy single-handedly took a stand against. Thank you, Clive, from a rancher who considers you a hero.
-Kena Lytle Gloeckner
“The Bundy family was ranching in southern Nevada long before the BLM came into existence”
This is a canard. The concept of federal ownership of land goes back to the founding of the USA and is deeply embedded in our history, from the Land Ordinance of 1785 and the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 on. These laws provided for the survey and settlement of the lands that the original 13 colonies ceded to the federal government after the American Revolution. From exploration to settlement, mining, railroads, homesteading, etc the role of the federal gov’t to own and manage land is ingrained in American history. The fact that the agency we know as BLM was created in 1946 through the combination of the General Land Office and the Grazing Service is beside the point.
The question is not one of whether BLM regulates federal land, or whether the federal government has a right to own land or should be acquiring more. You’d have to argue with the Founders about that.
The issue here is HOW the BLM does it’s job. Clearly they took the wrong approach and realized it before lives were lost.
Bundy can argue that he’s historically grazed these lands and has a right to do so all he wants. I’m no lawyer and can’t speak to the legalities of the issue, but I do know that laws and rules do change over time, and we have to adapt or pay the penalty. This seems to be the situation Bundy is in, but it seems to be more a contractual than a philosophical argument.
The photo of the thugs in body armor says it all actually. How have we come to a place where Americans can don this stuff HERE IN OUR HOME against US? Whatever the cause, it can’t be enough. How in the world does this happen? What kind of training does it take to turn an American into someone who would do that? I humbly submit that whatever the cause this behavior negates their desire to appeal to us as “fellow Americans”. Once you show up downrange from me dressed like that you are THE ENEMY.
ppl may call them law breakers, but so what? Ppl on the Left have no problem law breaking if they believe a law is unjust. Its called civil disobedience
Are we to bend our knees to every tyrannical law they pass?
I have a feeling that in the near future there will be many hills to choose from.
Well, now I know what is actually going on. Great post.
Very interesting and answers many questions as I consider this primary source material. Thanks.
We’re at the point where we’re ALL lawbreakers. Yes. He’s breaking the law, but the law is an ass. It’s set up so that we’re all in violation of something and we can never win.
This author was on Bill Bennett this a.m. and this subject matter came up and Bill seems rather stunned at what various agencies had including the IRS...
This was really all about power and control, as usual. (I work in healthcare and I know what the feds do when they get some power)
See the link at the post I am replying to....
Kena Lytle Gloeckner’s is most definitely a voice to be listened to.
tear gas or Pepper balls.
Or just for good old fashioned target marking (like bank dye packs)
(ignore my PM - I derped)
Point well taken.
PHOENIX (CBS5) - Members of congress and Arizona lawmakers traveled to Bunkerville, NV, this weekend in support of Cliven Bundy, a Nevada rancher involved in a heated feud with the federal government over cattle on public land.
State Rep. Kelly Townsend, R- Mesa, is driving to Bundy's Ranch overnight to join other Republicans from around the country.
"I want to go up and defend my fellow Americans. That's just my knee-jerk reaction," Townsend said. "Let me go up there and be with them and see for myself what's happening."
Bundy was met by Bureau of Land Management agents earlier this week who intended to seize nearly 1,000 of Bundy's cattle grazing on federal lands, as ordered by a federal court.
In the process of serving the court order, protesters claim they were engaged by federal agents in a hostile manner.
When agents were met by armed militia on Friday, the federal government called off its pursuit.
"What happens in Nevada today could happen in Arizona tomorrow," Townsend said.
Although the feds have retreated from the Bundy Ranch, Townsend fears the conflict is far from over and plans to take proactive steps to prevent any further escalation that could spread to Arizona.
"Ranchers in the area, all but one is left because the rest have been put out of business," Townsend said. "[Bundy] is the last man standing."
State lawmakers are already writing legislation that would allow Arizona to use federal lands. If this legislation is passed, however, it would likely be challenged in federal court.
So how deep are we in trouble anyway?
Yup, the MD angle is why they’re talking up all the people who have Obamacare but can’t find an MD who will see them. Forcing MD’s to take obamacare as a consequence of being licensed by the state medical boards is the next item on that particular agenda.
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.
Yep Just like the agreement/law giving the Chinese eminent- domain over our federal land that Hillary Clinton hand delivered in exchange for our loans. Do some more digging yourself. It’s all out there not being covered by the MSM
Feds grant eminent domain as collateral to China for US debts.
February 26, 2009
FEDS GRANT EMINENT DOMAIN AS COLLATERAL TO CHINA FOR U.S. DEBTS!
Beijing, China Sources at the United States Embassy in Beijing China have just CONFIRMED to me that the United States of America has tendered to China a written agreement which grants to the Peoples Republic of China, an option to exercise Eminent Domain within the USA, as collateral for Chinas continued purchase of US Treasury Notes and existing US Currency reserves!
The written agreement was brought to Beijing by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and was formalized and agreed-to during her recent trip to China.
This means that in the event the US Government defaults on its financial obligations to China, the Communist Government of China would be permitted to physically take inside the USA land, buildings, factories, perhaps even entire cities - to satisfy the financial obligations of the US government.
Put simply, the feds have now actually mortgaged the physical land and property of all citizens and businesses in the United States. They have given to a foreign power, their Constitutional power to take all of our property, as actual collateral for continued Chinese funding of US deficit spending and the continued carrying of US national debt.
This is an unimaginable betrayal of every man, woman and child in the USA. An outrage worthy of violent overthrow.
I am endeavoring to obtain images or copies of the actual document but in the interim, several different sources both in the US and in China have CONFIRMED this to me.
More details as they become available. . . . . spread the word ASAP.
Patrick Henry said: It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death
Cattle ranching is Bundys livelihood; its how he feeds his family. Even if he is trespassing his cattle, its not a crime hes doing so out of love.
Here's one that shows why the Sheriff of Clark County is duty bound to keep the BLM and all Federal agents from arresting Cliven Bundy.
Is there a difference between the desert turtle in the area of the Bundy ranch & the desert turtle in Death Valley?
Many acres were closed off in Death Valley National Monument to protect the desert turtle under Alan Cranston & Diane Feinstein. Access to those millions of acres no longer exist.
Now, that same department is claiming they no longer have enough money to run this agency & they are threatening to euthanize those Death Valley National Monument turtles!!!
Is there a difference in these turtles?
Can the Feds legitimately kill turtles in California & remove Bundy’s cattle 400 miles away to save Nevada turtles?
There are compound lies in all of the actions of the BLM, Harry Reid and the other Fed agencies who seem to even be at odds with themselves.
Connect the dots, people.
Sometimes, the law is an ass.
Meanwhile, the Obama administration has lare billboards facing south telling Mexicans they can have food stamps here in the USA and the Border Patrol is told not to have bullets in their guns.
Does anyone think these jackboots in these photos didn’t have bullets???
And since when does the BLM need such tactical people on their payroll?
How many does the BLM have on the payroll? Every single BLM truck I see here in N Nevada is a very new Ford, which runs about $55,000 per vehicle. They certainly are getting the very best & latest in equipment to keep the public off the public lands.
Exactly what Hitler & the Third Reich set up in the 30’s. You could not go a day without breaking a law.
Note also number 1 has a riot shield, number 2 has what looks like a bean bag gun, number 3 has a rifle. So they're ready to escalate from pepper spray balls to bullets in one little stack. This looks like doctrine, but it has serious flaws in the face of armed opposition.
I live right near the place he said that. In fact a fella that heard him from a window asked that when his time came he would be buried right there. He was.