The situation in Nevada, reported yesterday by Misguidedchildren, has reportedly worsened. The federal agents who stole Clive Bundy’s 900+ head of cattle plan to sell them at auction. They have deployed snipers around his ranch. They arrested his son for taking a video of their illegal actions. With 200 armed agents in place and a defiant rancher, it’s a powderkeg waiting to blow.
Federal land, or public land? Overgrazing or not?
“Seizure,” “confiscation” of property- or livestock – is theft, any way you look at it. The fact that Mr. Bundy’s ancestors have grazed on those public lands around Gold Butte since the late 1800s doesn’t matter to the Bureau of Land Management. And the idea of federal management doesn’t matter to Mr. Bundy. The tension between what the federal government views as “theirs” and what were meant to be public lands has exploded. Both sides have hardened their viewpoints.
Mr. Bundy was told prior to 1994 when his permit to graze was cancelled, that he had to reduce the number of his cattle on the 158,000 contested acres back to 150 to preserve the land for the desert tortoise. He refused to do so because of his stand that he had the right to use the lands because of his ancestors.
The lands in question are a mix of sagebrush and grasses. The desert tortoise feeds on the grasses in the Gold Butte area. Overgrazing can cause soil erosion and the introduction of weeds like cheatgrass, and lower nutrient plants. But are those lands over-grazed? Is there documentation of that?
Federal agencies are charged with “management” of vast portions of land across America, particularly in Western States such as Nevada, Idaho, Utah, etc. Over the years, that designation has turned into de facto “ownership.” They view those lands as theirs and not belonging to the public- evidenced by the way people were treated and barred from entry to so-called “public” monuments and parks
during the government “shutdown.”
The BLM even admitted the lands were “public” when they arrested Dave Bundy, Clive’s son. Bundy was arrested “following failure to comply with multiple requests by BLM law enforcement to leave the temporary closure area on public lands.”
Ranchers who utilize BLM lands for grazing also view the land as theirs. Who is right? And does that argument give the federal government the right to use armed agents, helicopters, and theft to get their way?
TheBlaze reports that the situation in Nevada is tense. Will this be another Waco or Ruby Ridge? We can only hope it doesn’t come to that.
Ancestral grazing versus modern designation
Mr. Bundy is backed into an untenable position, and the government is rigid in their outlook. Their solution to the gridlock is surround him, and forcibly take his livestock at the point of a gun.
A cooperative plan should have been worked out to allow the ranchers to save their grazing ability. This situation now threatens to become another federal government attack on Americans, this time over a herd of cows.
“It’s a freedom issue. It’s not about cows. It’s a state rights issue. I really hope that we can learn and defend our liberties here and keep on fighting until the end. I don’t when the end is going to be, but I believe that America is the greatest land in the world and it needs to be protected. Our rights and liberties need to be protected and we’re going to stand for that.” Clive Bundy
An oath issue for the Sheriff
The County Sheriff has the power to stand against this action by the federal government and protect his constituents, but thus far the Clark county official has chosen not to intervene. The Sheriff’s office referred TheBlaze to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, who referred them to the Bureau of Land Management. In the past the Sheriff had advised Mr. Bundy on situations, and extended federal deadlines for him. Not this time. He is violating his oath by staying out of the fracas.
The right to own property
The cattle belonging to Mr. Bundy are to be sold at auction. The government calls them “trespass cattle” and says it is unfair to any other ranchers that Nevada ranchers like Bundy have been allowed to trespass on public lands for “decades.” So they are doing something about it… at gunpoint. Some other method should have been worked out before both sides became so hardened that the issue got out of hand.
The other side of “unfair” is that he can’t have as many head of cattle as he needs to survive as a rancher. He owns 150 acres, and grazes his 900 cows on BLM land. Bumping his herd back to 150 would have meant financial ruin.
Mr. Bundy and his family are in danger. The potential for violence is extreme. He has routinely been called a “bully” by government officials, and a “hero” by others. Call your representatives and make some noise.