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Government's Shocking Interference in Rancher's Life [from 2013]
Heritage Foundation ^ | June 11, 2013 | Hans von Spakovsky

Posted on 04/19/2014 2:51:49 PM PDT by 1rudeboy

A startling decision on government wrongdoing by a federal court in U.S. v. Estate of E. Wayne Hage gives credence to those who say that the federal government is engaging in a “war on the West” that is hurting rural communities. It is a stark reminder of how powerful our federal government is today and how it can ruin the lives and businesses of American citizens.

The 104-page opinion by U.S. District Court Judge Robert C. Jones on May 23 in Nevada tells a sordid and infuriating tale of a two-decades-long conspiracy among federal employees of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) of the Department of the Interior to deny the grazing rights of a Nevada ranching family, interfere with their water rights, and destroy their cattle business by scaring away their customers.

The case has long, complicated procedural history, but in essence, the federal government in 1991 refused to renew a grazing permit that the Hage ranch had held on federal lands for a very long time. The government also interfered with the Hage family’s water rights, which pre-dated the implementation of the grazing permit system in 1934, by restricting their access to various streams and wells. The BLM seized the Hages’ cattle and filed a civil trespass action against Hage, at one point even building fences around waterways to keep thirsty cattle from getting water, a scene right out of a 1930s Western movie.

Judge Jones did not mince words: “[T]he Government’s actions over the past two decades shocks the conscience of the Court.” The judge concluded that the government denied the renewal of the Hages’ grazing permit for a “nonsensical” reason that was “arbitrary” and “vindictive.” The employees of the BLM “entered into a literal, intentional conspiracy to deprive the Hages not only of their permits but also of their vested water rights.” Some of the Hages’ “vested stock watering rights” on local streams and wells dated back as far as 1866 and 1874; most of them had been established by late 1800s and early 1900s.

The court did award the government $165.88 for the grazing of the Hages’ cattle on federal land after the permit was denied, quite a recovery for the Interior Department in a 20-year dispute (there is no telling how many millions the government spent pursuing this case). But the court held that the government had abused its discretion “through a series of actions designed to strip the Estate of its grazing permits, and ultimately to strip Defendants of their ability to use their water rights, for reasons unrelated to the appropriate use of the range or ensuring that historical grazing use is respected.”

Judge Jones issued an injunction against the federal government interfering with the Hage family’s water rights and ordered it to grant a grazing permit in accordance with the “historical usages and preferences” in that area of Nevada. The judge said he was restricting the government’s “normal discretion” in “this extreme case because of the conspiracy…and the obvious continuing animus against Hage by” government officials. Two government employees were held in contempt by the judge for sending trespass notices to people who leased or sold cattle to the Hages in order to “pressure other parties not to do business with the Hages, and even to discourage or punish testimony in the” case. The judge referred them to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for “potential prosecution for obstruction of justice.” That is quite an indictment of the Interior Department and its employees.

Sadly, Wayne Hage, the patriarch of the Hage family, did not live to see his eventual triumph over the Interior Department. His son, as the executor of the estate, carried on the long and expensive fight against the federal behemoth. But the Hage family fight shows just how dangerous the power of the federal government can be in the hands of bureaucrats who don’t respect the ranchers, miners, and farmers who settled the frontier and who still live and produce there today.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Extended News; Government
KEYWORDS: blm; bundy; ewaynehage; govtoversteps; hage; waynehage

1 posted on 04/19/2014 2:51:49 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: 1rudeboy
ALL of the government employees (at every level) who participated in harassing this family should be in prison...or deported.
2 posted on 04/19/2014 2:59:12 PM PDT by hal ogen (First Amendment or Reeducation Camp?)
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To: hal ogen

Deported! A story I remember from grade school IN THE GOOD OLD DAYS. “A Man Without a Country”. Give each a copy on the way out.


3 posted on 04/19/2014 3:05:46 PM PDT by wastoute (Government cannot redistribute wealth. Government can only redistribute poverty.)
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To: 1rudeboy; sauropod

BUMP


4 posted on 04/19/2014 3:08:13 PM PDT by cyn (Benghazi.)
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To: 1rudeboy
at one point even building fences around waterways to keep thirsty cattle from getting water

So the stuff the new HHS Secretary did during sequester, like preventing people from looking at Mt. Rushmore and only letting illegal aliens visit the outdoor monuments or not letting people drink out of water fountains in public parks, isn't really all that new to our public SERVANTS.

And then there's Lois (we NEVER lose) Lerner... It still astounds me that the government employees followed these orders.

5 posted on 04/19/2014 3:25:41 PM PDT by Aria ( 2008 & 2012 weren't elections - they were coup d'etats.)
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To: cyn

BTTP


6 posted on 04/19/2014 3:27:11 PM PDT by B4Ranch (Name your illness, do a Google & YouTube search with "hydrogen peroxide". Do it and be surprised.)
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To: 1rudeboy

It would be nice if some people were fired and lost their pensions over this.

Yeah...I’m dreaming...


7 posted on 04/19/2014 3:28:34 PM PDT by Aria ( 2008 & 2012 weren't elections - they were coup d'etats.)
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To: 1rudeboy

American Rancher Uncut Interview Pt 1, Wayne Hage at Pine Creek 2005

http://vimeo.com/8520897#at=0

Part two

http://vimeo.com/9776367

more recent House testimony

http://naturalresources.house.gov/calendar/eventsingle.aspx?EventID=355977

Note, in part two of the Hage interview at around 13 minutes he describes how the feds, with armed agents, snipers and video cameras tried to provoke him into a shooting battle.


8 posted on 04/19/2014 3:35:25 PM PDT by Zeneta (Thoughts in time and out of season.)
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To: 1rudeboy

So uh...lemme see now.

In 2004, the so-called “republican” party had the house, the senate, and the white house.

They could have easily put the BLM out of business back then as Mr. Hage’s wife, Helen Chenoweth, had advocated at the time.

At the very least they could have started the process of returning the hostage land to the states for sale to the citizenry.

What did they do?

Spent themselves silly on their buddies, pushed through more police state BS that has turbocharged nonsense like this, and generally did nothing to reverse the statist insanity pushed by the watermelon crowds.

Which led to Barack Obama because the American Right just said...why bother?

As long as old guard garbage like the Bushes, Boehner and McConnell reap the benefits of hard line broken glass activists, this will continue.

Cruz, Lee, Steve King, Sessions...we have leaders.

Let them lead. End this madness.


9 posted on 04/19/2014 4:03:00 PM PDT by Regulator
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To: 1rudeboy

nice catch


10 posted on 04/19/2014 4:35:21 PM PDT by First_Salute (May God save our democratic-republican government, from a government by judiciary.)
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To: Regulator

good points


11 posted on 04/19/2014 4:35:34 PM PDT by First_Salute (May God save our democratic-republican government, from a government by judiciary.)
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To: Anybody

Question for anyone that has an answer or opinion.

How did the Federal Gov’t obtain ownership of the lands? I assume that as territories in the west
the feds claimed ownership of lands not owned by private entities or some similiar entitey. Thus
when a state was set aside and became a party to the United States the Feds kept for the feds all
non privately owned lands.

In Texas that was different in that Texas was a Republic and when they joined the Union they retained
ownership of all none private lands. The feds owned nothing in Texas and what they own today
was purchased or donated by the state to them.

In the orginal colonies/states how did this evolve. Any comments or info about the federal ownership is welcomed.


12 posted on 04/19/2014 5:12:09 PM PDT by deport
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To: deport

Lay of the land: who owns the West?


13 posted on 04/19/2014 5:31:15 PM PDT by deport
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To: wastoute; hal ogen

> Deported!

The proper term for someone who is a citizen is “exile”.

And I agree with the sentiment, but only after a solid dousing of tar and feathers.


14 posted on 04/19/2014 8:06:51 PM PDT by Westbrook (Children do not divide your love, they multiply it.)
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To: Regulator
Couldn''t have said it better myself.
15 posted on 04/19/2014 8:10:30 PM PDT by Westbrook (Children do not divide your love, they multiply it.)
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To: 1rudeboy
The Hage family, including Wayne's second wife, Helen Chenoweth, are simply the definitive westerern ranch family. Hardworking, honest, and never give up. Great family.

Sadly, after a judge awarded the family over $14,000,000 in damages, the gov't got an appeals court to overturn the award. So they get nothing for a debilitating 40 year fight that they won.

Just damn.

16 posted on 04/19/2014 8:15:18 PM PDT by diogenes ghost
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To: 1rudeboy

Bump


17 posted on 04/19/2014 8:15:38 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar (Resist in place.)
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To: 1rudeboy

Hage was on a FNC Special last Saturday and his story was explosive. I guess every other talking head at FOX was to busy to watch this great show, because none of them mentioned it.


18 posted on 04/19/2014 11:50:22 PM PDT by itsahoot (Voting for a Progressive RINO is the same as voting for any other Tyrant.)
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