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Whatever it was about, it appears that the Bundy Ranch vs. the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) confrontation has reached a successful conclusion. TTAG’s man on the ground, Bryan Hyde, reports that the BLM is backing down from a battle over grazing rights on federal lands. Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie brokered a deal with the BLM to release the Bundy Ranch’s impounded cattle and allow their owner to graze the bovines on public lands again. Bryan tells us that during the Sheriff’s press conference at the Bundy Ranch to announce the deal, Bundy was surrounded by militia types in “full battle rattle.” And that the rancher isn’t satisfied with the latest arrangement. Meanwhile, a reliable source says there’s a large police staging area on Mormon Butte, just south of the Bundyville exit, with SWAT a plenty. More info as we get it.

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        • I just read the article. It is ludicrous. Comparing the Bundy’s grazing fees to the plight of indians on reservations? That is completely backwards. First off, the ranchers, including the Bundy’s, moved into land from which the natives had been extirpated by the U.S. Army. The solution of grazing leases was a solution to the ranchers’ problems, not someone else’s. The system was eagerly embraced and cooperatively joined by ranchers after persistent over-grazing broke the industry, topped off by the ferociously cold winter of 1886-87. The Open Range didn’t end because of mean greedy feds. It ended because the ranchers individually pushed too many cattle into the open range, and a ‘tragedy of the commons’ occurred. The imposition of nominal fees and exclusive grazing rights was for the benefit of ranchers much more than the people of the U.S. generally. The fees have never paid their way way for administration of the leases and repair of over-grazing damage caused by exceeding the permitted cattle assignment.

    • Well, the feds choose to back down on an opportunity for hard tyranny, preferring the softer ever creeping march that has worked so well in the past.

      This is not a victory for libety, merely a return to proven tactics by the feds. When the people awake and see a specific case that raises outrage, back away and continue the assault o the other 5,286 fronts in which they are waging battle against free people. They’ve made their point, their show of force, and have not conceded anything. Let some case law rubber stamp their disarmaments and repeat again another day.

  1. If this continues to de-escalate, there are some VERY important take-home lessons.

    The big one is the Founding Fathers had it right; their proposed system WORKS.

    In my opinion, two equal pressures are exerting themselves toward moving this to a non-militarized federal LEA solution:

    The First Amendment (in the form of on-scene cameras and blog posts, etc)

    The Second Amendment

    Non Constitutionalists can theorize over better ways all they want; practical reality has a way of asserting itself.

    • You’re correct, which I’m afraid will make the government all the more eager to do away with our 2nd Amendment rights.

    • Wait, you mean that more than the “Stay Strong, Connecticut” pictures, tweets, online petitions are required to make a difference?

  2. I hope that the deal offered by the BLM is one Bundy can accept. It sounds like there is a lot to be done in disentangling the Feds from the states.

    • The Bundy deal is a “throwaway” for the feds. They have another two years and a vast bureaucracy at their disposal. And a private, unsworn army. And support from the sworn armed forces and three-letter agencies.

  3. Given past federal behavior, I’m wondering if this isn’t a fallback, regroup and replan. This seems to solve immediate and superficial issues, but doesn’t seem to address any decades long issues.

    • Exactly. The end game is to break Bundy and steal his land. This phase of the Federal land grab may be over, but the next phase has already begun, quietly, behind the scenes.

      • If I had to guess, which I don’t, I think BLM just backed off, photos of militia in hand, and will soon appear in court to press financial claims against Bundy. The judge will be convinced BLM could not settle the arrears by taking the cattle, “I mean, look at the militia! And more were arriving every day!”

        They don’t care about the sagebrush land. They effectively already have that, but for some lawyering. They want his 160 acres and riparian rights. (Perhaps those are called ‘first appropriation rights’ in Nevada.) Break Bundy slowly. Then slap a “Wild and Scenic River” designation of that stretch of the Virgin River. Seems fairy straightforward. Time for the Koch brothers to partner up with Bundy, if you ask me.

        • The Koch Bothers? Are you being beyond facetious?

          Those guys give not two good flyins about anything but their bottom line. The only reason they would drop a nickel on the venture, was if they stood to makes thousands from controlling something themselves.

    • When you turn on the lights, the cockroaches scatter. When the lights go out, they come back. This isn’t over. Wait and see what happens when the cellphones, cameras, and supporters go back home. Also, this is campaign season. I don’t care if he was right or wrong, there is no excuse for another Waco mass killing exercise by the Feds.

    • Maybe all this time the NSA have been monitoring to produce a list of those who wouldsupprt the Constitution.

      • That’s just an incidental benefit for them, isn’t it? Everyone speaks of the cameras, but doesn’t seem to think BLM was just creating a photo op. I do. Photos of militia. Photos of people causing the reasonable expenses of the BLM cattle removal to be turned to naught. I would think the next phase is in the courts to gain a money judgement and an order to enforce it.

    • You’re correct, Gene: this is just a ‘fall back and regroup’ for the fed.
      They’ve seen what we are willing to do as Patriots to defend our country and its people.
      Now they’ve fallen back, assessed the situation, and realize they still have the upper hand.
      They’ve the man power, the time, and definitely the money to go any where and do anything they desire. Patriots are limited in all areas, especially money and time. All the fed has to do is wear us down by location-location-location… Patriots have absolutely no way to stay up with, let alone get ahead of, the fed in this regard.
      Sad but true, IMO.
      What will eventually happen is the fed will incite some hot head to open fire, then Martial Law will be the rule and the games will be on in ernest.

  4. Wait to see where this goes.

    The Feds could wait six months (after elections) while things cool down, heat up CT to distract everyone, and seize the Bundy Ranch to satisfy the judgement against them.

    • True, but we can take our victories where we get them.

      Lots of ways it can go from here, but any positive step is a positive step. (Yes, I can be irritatingly optimistic at times).

    • I haven’t heard and don’t believe that the BLM yet has a ‘money judgment’ against Cliven Bundy. I think they pursued their first remedy against trespass, which in the case of cattle means removing the cattle. That was impeded, obviously, and a court will have difficulty directing BLM to repeat that exercise. Since the trespass is ongoing and BLM has attempted to remedy it, they’ll move on to seek a judgment for fees, damages, and costs. They need to reduce their claims to a money judgment. That will take time. Then enforcement of the judgment brings other complications.

      Politics will enter the picture. How it will affect things is unclear to me. Politics really does create strange bedfellows, as they say. You never know what’s what until someone turns the the lights on.

  5. Yeah because the bundys “winning” us such a triumph over the government. /sarc
    I am not agreeing with BLMs 1st amendment zones as you should be able to practice that right anywhere, just as you should be able to carry anywhere you want. If you look at this objectively, the bundys did a lot to escalate the situation

    • Hahaha
      I lived in the desert for a couple of years. Flash floods can be rather sudden. And the rain clouds can seem very far away.

  6. The obvious solution would be for the feds to go to court, if they (feds) win, let local law enforcement pursue the outcome. Every federal agency does not need its own army.

    • It’s already been through the court, Bundy lost and ignored the ruling.
      U.S. vs Bundy, Case No. CV-S-98-531-JBR

        • Why do you call it a Kangaroo Court? Did they condone perjured testimony or ignore the weight of probative evidence in reaching their decision? Why Kangaroo?

    • From the BLM’s point of view, and a court’s, the Bundy’s have two obvious assets, cattle and a 160 acre ranch/mellon farm. Of those assets the 160 acres is the valuable asset from BLM’s point of view. A court might order BLM to accept the cattle instead. The BLM will claim debtor-induced impossibility due to unreasonable risk. They’ll ask for title to the Bundy-owned farm/ranch. I can almost see the documents. And if Bundy refuses a ‘reasonable’ settlement, all the more is the BLM set to file for recognition and enforcement of a money judgement.

  7. I don’t trust the government. Period. This is a test of the resolve of the American people. I can’t think of one good reason why the BLM moved with such a LARGE FORCE. They didn’t need to bring 200 armed agents. Give me a break!

    • because they could? Question is should they be able too? Just who are Government sharpshooters training to kill if not American citizens?

      • There are training to shoot US Citizens. Billions of rounds of ammo for the DHS. We do they thing we will wait our turn to get shot, or to get our doors kicked in? Beware CT and NY. Why would you think it will play out like Waco, Ruby Ridge or the Third Reich?

        When the shooting starts it will spread like wild fire.

        Frankly, if you are an LEO you need to be on the side of freedom.

        • Wouldn’t it be a hoot if say, one in seven rounds was defective? Perhaps over- or under-charged? Hijinks would ensue. And nobody would ever know for sure until those rounds had to be used. To snipe at Americans.

      • Who are police trained to shoot? Who, for that matter, are you trained to shoot? A ‘sharpshooter’ is nothing more than a police or federal law officer shooting from a distance. A bad shoot is still a bad shoot from five feet or five hundred. People not engaged in crime are trained to shoot those who are, and precious little attention is paid to the question “when may federal agents (or LA cops) shoot? What happens if they shoot without necessity and justification?” These questions get less attention from researchers and legislators than the well-being needs of a rare salamander.

      • guys, you started here against the British Crowns violent and arbitrary abuse of royal power over you, actions which the British Parliament had prevented in the UK. You are the sons of the “levee en masse american militia” to which the 2nd amendment of 1791 referred and which now applies to you, “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose”, are you beginning to wonder?

    • John, this large force was a test. We know the fed is monitoring all we say on line and in a decision to test the rhetoric they’ve been reading, Bundy’s was the choice of epicenter. This is far from over. BLM may not be involved, but most likely will be some form of enviro-weenie event. Patriots will be forced to react, even coerced into a violent confrontation. If the fed wins a violent encounter, we’ll hear of it on the MSM. If Patriots take the day, we’ll only hear of it on the blogs and maybe twitter, etc.
      Either way, this has been a test of the Federal JBT Testing Service… stay tuned for further testing.

  8. So let’s see how this might go. The BLM leaves. The press leaves. The militia leave. The cows go back on the range. Everything quiets down. A few months later. 3 AM in the morning. Flash bangs sound, gun fire erupts. Mr. Bundy dies resisting arrest on a warrant for (fill in the blanks). Promises of a full investigation by one or more unaccountable government agents never materialize and Harry Reid, his son, and who knows how many local officials get their payoff. The solar plant subsidized by Mr. Bundy’s heirs and the rest of us goes up. The Chinese rake in billions selling over priced green energy. Or Mr. Bundy dies in his sleep of natural causes. Or Mr. Bundy dies in a tragic car accident. You get the idea. Mr. Bundy dies and Harry Reid and his troup get their money.

  9. Even though I’m very suspicious of the feds and what there planning I’ll take this as a win. Buddy stay strong!

  10. I bet Mr. Bundy is wondering who is going to pay for all the damage the Feds caused. Livestock loss, land improvement damage, etc. You need more than just land to run a cattle operation. Who is going to pay to restore it back to what it was? Enough loss could bankrupt the ranch.
    What Feds are going to jail? Best they serve jail time than die for their crimes against the people in a “range war”.

  11. Just remember Waco people… The military and cops left when the heat was on and then when everything cooled down they came in and took over the land and waged war on an innocent family just like the Bundy’s. The militia and supporters need to stay even if the government appears to have backed down.

    • Esqueeze me? AFAIK, there were no military or police involved at Waco, it was started by the most incompetent and useless agency in our government, the ATF, and concluded (by mass murder of women and children) by the FBI. You may be confused by the tanks, which Washington ordered loaned to the FBI over the objections (read; refusal) by the commanding General at Ft. Hood. I wonder what happened to his career?! The FBI demanded that the tanks have live ammo, including for the MAIN GUN, and the general told them to kiss his ass, ordered the ammo stores guarded by armed troops. So the FBI used them as bulldozers, and Molotov cocktails were suspected but not proven to my knowledge.

      The Federal government should have fallen.

      • Actually, the US Army SFOD-D, the much fabled Delta Force had a team there. Do a Startpage search. This has been discussed widely.

  12. The action of the MLB equates to government Tyranny
    The Bundy’s stood up to the Gov WITH ARMS which is exactly what the 2nd A was designed for.

    • I think the swat should be renamed “EWAT.” Everyday weapons and tactics. “Special” gives the feeling that they are not used for everything more eventful than a speeding ticket.

  13. @ I. I wouldn’t say anyone is innocent in this. There are people on both sides that feel they are right, as above Mr Bundy doesn’t like the deal. If the feds don’t like the deal then it was a compromise, but I also agree. A compromise with the right hand while the left hand drums up some other charges to have a reason to arrest.

  14. I can’t honestly say that I understand every nuance of the situation, but I am glad the Feds were actually able to back down. I wonder what would have happened in the Bundys and company were not armed. I doubt that this outcome would have occurred. As always, an armed populace is a strong motivation for the government to at least maintain the illusion of fairness. Should the government go to far, the people maintain the right and ability to address the grievances.

    • It’s not surprising that you’re having a hard time sorting out all the details – it seems like a very messy situation. I have little doubt that there’s someone turning wheels behind the scenes – I think there is some government corruption at work here, even if it can’t be decisively proven.
      At the same time, Bundy would have been better off to take the money he hasn’t been paying for grazing fees for the last 20 years and use it to just buy his own land. Relying on the government’s benevolence is a bad idea, particularly when the government is definitely set against you, as it is with Bundy.

  15. He has gained a small victory in a battle for his livelihood and property rights, but now he MUST be willing to negotiate a compromise while the irons are still hot; once things cool down and public interest fades, the fed will harass and pick at him until the cows come home and his resources are inevitably drained

    • “.. until the cows come home …”

      Probably not intentionally funny, but how apropos! 🙂

    • The restriction is only to 3000 FT above ground level. You can still over fly the area at 3001 feet AGL legally.

      My guess is it was for the choppers they were using to drive the cattle as there is a lot of diving, swooping turning during such an operation.

      I would also expect he NOTAM to be cancelled now that the BLM has backed off. If you see the altitude restriction go to 35000 ft AGL then I would start getting jumpy.

  16. Good to know that the federal government is now negotiating with terrorists, so long as they get a bunch of other terrorists to join them.

    • Yes, because a man saying “I’m gonna graze my cows wherever I want” is more terrifying than a government paramilitary group of 200 “civil servants” with sniper rifles trained on you and your family.

    • Terrorists? Have you lost your bleeping mind? Since when does civil disobedience equate to terrorism? I can only assume all of those recently-determined-to-be-felons in CT that refused to register their legally owned property are also terrorists?

      COMMENT MODERATED – no flaming fellow commentators

      • Do you drive 46 mph in 45 mph zones? Do you cross empty streets without using a crosswalk? If you answered “yes” to either of those questions, you might be a Terrorist.

    • Uh, it’s the federal government that are in fact the domestic terrorists here.

      It’s the federal government that has lost to this very same man many, many times in the last two decades.

      It’s the federal government that claims rights to lands it never owned and could never have owned.

      It’s the federal government that is endangering the very species it claims to be trying to save here.

      No, it’s Bundy that’s the one refusing to negotiate with domestic terrorists.

      Go play in traffic, kid.

      • Republicans all loved all of this “America/Cops, right or wrong” stuff when Bush was in office. Now that we have a different figurehead, it’s suddenly ok to speak out against the government.

        • You use the term ‘republican’ to broadly. Within the group that probably voted republican in 2000 and 2004 there were several large splits in point of view. These grew steadily. Yet voting libertarian leads to worse outcomes in many states, so within the republican electorate still there are large disagreements.

          One of those large disagreements concerns both intrusive security and overseas military adventurism. In both parties there are large factions which seem to like and approve these things, but also major groups which do not. For many of the security over-reaches there was a Dem-controlled legislature joining with GW Bush.

          Party labels mean little today and are grotesquely over-played by media (and you!) to arouse interest. For example this week the construction union component of the Dem coalition openly broke with the environmental zealots (!) over the Keystone XL pipeline issue. Parties mean a bit more on a state or county basis, most likely. Even there the elected officials reflect the local party voters, which often are not lined up with views pushed by national legislative party leaders.

    • BUT BUT BUT John is a legal scholar! We should ignore everything we see happening around us and merely listen quietly and respectfully to his colludge edumacashun talking. /gov troll

  17. lots of opinions, very few facts, Congressional enquiry? Again, if internal Government Agencies have quasi military unit eg MRAPs and sharpshooters, who are they going to fight and kill?

  18. My fear is that this thing is far from over. There is no way the Feds can take this thing lying down. This situation plays out hundreds of different ways every day across the West.

    I think this pullback is simply a temporary de-escalation and once the supporters are gone, the Feds will SWAT the family. God, but I hope that doesn’t come to pass, but power cannot be sustained unless it is shown to be absolute.

    • Now that they agreed to back down their only recourse is through the legal or tax system. Much smarter and effective to sent the IRS after him. He has got too much publicity. He isn’t some odd ball Randy Weaver type of guy. It sounds like he is Ben Cartwright.

      • If anything does come to pass it will be decades. The Bundy’s have media contacts now plus national media exposure. Any aggressive tactics by any federal or local agency including the IRS will be viewed as retaliation and would get immediate press.

        I don’t think a move like that would be taken lying down by the family or his supporters.

        • Shame about that gas leak and the ensuing explosion and fire. No survivors. Yup, sure was a shame.

      • good point, cant complain if you voted for this, now youve seen it will you vote for it again?

        • Personally, given the crowd, I’d ask “are you going to bother to vote next time? Will you vote for the ‘lesser of two evils’ even though you don’t like half of his or her policies? Will you realize that not voting for the lesser of two evils implies you don’t mind that the ‘greater of two evils’ holds office instead?”

    • There are a lot of different versions of this story floating around, but I’m seeing 1993 as the date when Bundy started having problems with the BLM. Some of us, myself included, weren’t even old enough to vote when this started.

      To be clear, I’m convinced there’s some shady business going on behind the scenes here. And the current administration can be legitimately criticized for enough things to fill a set of encyclopedias. But I’m not sure it’s any more guilty in this case than every administration since 1993.

      (But I still didn’t vote for this, unless you count two ill-advised votes for GW before I knew any better.)

      • So Gore, Nader and Kerry…those were your better choices eh? These were the only other names on the ballots I cast for President.

        • GW is the politician who taught me to always question politicians. Maybe I should have known that from the beginning, but everyone I knew always voted R. It was foregone conclusion – we trusted them. Now, not so much.

          But that’s a whole other debate.

          Point being, if you’re going to blame presidents for the Bundy situation, you can blame the last three. It’s been festering for that long.

        • If you refuse to vote for the lesser of two evils, the greater of two evils will probably win.

          Presidents are figure-heads. They aren’t the power. The power used GWB’s name recognition and chained him up with a minder, Cheney. And it’s even worse on the other side, among the Dems. They elected Obama, but the White House is positively haunted by Valerie Jarrett, the one who is most deeply tied into generations of the Chicago Machine,

          H.R,, if you have some down time look for a used copy of “The Money Game” by a writer whose nom de plume was Adam Smith. The Bushes are the folksy Texans with the elite New England educations. “Super Money” the sequel, is an education as well.

          I’ve become virulently opposed to the “Big President” BS that’s taken over the U.S. I’d much rather have the smoke-filled rooms of the Senate and House run the show. It’s more difficult for the media to run its polarizing games. Let the president be the chief administrator, the commander in chief during times of war (which basically means the guy who selects the generals).

          Presidential power has been too great for too long, and takes the public’s eyes off the legislature.

        • Presidents are a lot more than figure heads. They are the Commander-in-Chief. And I disagree that Bush was an idiot who was manipulated and controlled by the evil Cheney. Or that Obama is controlled by Valerie Jarret. As for presidential power, I think it depends. Bush re-strengthened the position of the executive after it had undergone a weakening of prior decades.

        • I never said GWB was an idiot. Cheney’s role was definitely to be the very experienced senior presence, and he was a core player representative of some of the largest corporate interests in the U.S. Bush 43 never had that gravitas, and couldn’t really function without a Cheney in the early years. That’s my opinion, at least. A Joe Biden would not have sufficed. Bush did hand off some serious responsibilities to Cheney.

          The Commander-in-Chief role. What can I say. In my limited experience, and in the revelations of the press, the President does in deed have the final say in committing troops. But he simply doesn’t make that decision without one way or another canvassing his most important supporters and most trusted advisors. I think it is a very rare thing that the decisions a president makes about war do not reflect the opinion of his core backers. I know for a fact that Nixon didn’t and couldn’t make the decisions, but merely ratified those of advisors who had his ear, often disastrously. Johnson fell into a similar trap earlier.

          People rarely become president on their own, but represent a coalition of powerful supporters. The only exception I can think of is Jimmy Carter, due to the fluke. Clinton, too, benefited from a rare and unexpected political vacuum, but had already lined up with some very powerful people who did in fact affect his decisions, especially in banking and tax matters. To say more would be excessive.

  19. Whether you agree with the militia folks that supported Bundy or not, you have to give them credit for actually showing up at ground zero and putting themselves in harms way.

    Did a single one of the TTAG commentors talking war talk against the gov do the same? Or are they all just keyboard commandoes?

    Out of a nation of 330 million+ how many actually had boots on the ground at the Bundy ranch? 200-400?

  20. Bundy is still a manipulative Richard but am I glad that the Feds decided that this hill wasn’t worth dying for either.

    The good news in all this is that the law enforcement will not let themselves be used to attack citizens especially when they are armed. I hope the next test case is one that is unabiguously about the infringement of citizens rights and not a dispute between a rich landowner and the state.

    Mr. Bundy probably will not get the last word but at least it will be in court and not via a SWAT raid in the middle of the night.

    • It’s not a dispute between a “rich landowner and the state.” The state of Nevada isn’t rounding up Bundy’s cattle. The Feds are doing that.

      And 900 head of cattle doesn’t make Bundy rich. Far from it. The value per head is easily calculated. If the Bundy’s were rich, they could afford to buy Harry Reid. With American money, not Chinese yuan. Or renminbi if you prefer.

      I think that you have these Bundys confused with the cast of “Married with Children.”

      • There is more to the value of Bundy’s ranch than 900 head of cattle. The value of his livestock, land and capital s seven digits. Farmers and ranchers tend to be cash poor but asset rich. But since you are city boy I don’t expect you know that.

        • I’m a city lawyer, meatball, and I’ve represented farmers and other agricultural interests — and I’m not talking about Montsanto.

          But you’re a Washington bureaucrat and perpetual apologist, so I wouldn’t expect you to know that.

        • Ralph:

          All always thought lawyers could multiply two number together like hours and dollars.

          Read your source:

          The price of cow is listed as $910.00 900 head cattle are valued at $819K. The site is discussing rates of return on assets and how to calculate net profit. If taxman cometh to bankrupt Mr.Bundy the value of the sale is the sum total of the value of all his assets. If has close to $1 million tied up up his cattle the value of enterprise is probably in the vicinity of $5 million. He is a rich guy by farm/ranch standards.

          For those who value Ralph’s business acumen, your faith is mistaken. I may be a retired bureaucrat but I can do arithmetic with the best of them.

          And by the way I wasn’t always a bureaucrat.

        • I seriously doubt the 5 mil enterprise value. I also doubt he’s debt-free at this point. He also faces plenty of costs before he collects that $998 per head. I’d value the cattle down around 700K, the 160 acres at 640, the total at 1.34 mil, and guess the debt at 400K. He’s probably worth (ex other investments) 900K. Throw in other improvements and the ability to collect agriculture loans and subsidies, call it 1.5 mil, pre-tax. I can buy well-watered fertile land in a much better location (but not prime Iowa) today for (160 acres) for 1.2 mil, and the guy that sells has to pay tax on the gain.

        • I doubt your calculation of the size of his ranch and the value ranch is independent of his debt.

          You own a million house with $500k mortgage; house much is your house worth? Don’t overthink the problem.

          If this were a Clint Eastwood movie set the 1880s Bundy would probably be the evil cattle barron.

        • You forgot to calculate the value if his house and outbuildings, equipment and any crops he grows and let’s forget the value of any mineral and water rights he owns. His ranch isn’t worth $1.2 mil. It is worth 3-5 times that assuming there is no oil or gas on the property. If there are hydrocarbons you are looking at several hundred million dollars.

          So how much is that $1mil house with a $500k mortgage worth.

        • tdiinva, I’m not following your questions. Why are you talking about the value of a 1 mil house with .5 mil debt? The thrust of my comment was “there isn’t much enterprise value in Bundy’s ranch/farm since he walked away from the lease in 1993. Certainly not 5 mil. I doubt there’s much of a market for houses in that stretch, though I’m not certain. It isn’t a rich Vegas person’s dream farm. I can think of many many better places for a vacation house in that area. For a permanent house? Much demand? The used equipment is in surplus on the market. Of course a strange bird can always show up valuing the place more.

          In today’s world 4 or 5 million is just affluent suburbia, a urologist and school teacher at retirement, having paid off a 300K house that is now a 1 mil house, having banked 1.5 or .2.0 mil that is now 4.5 mil, take the whole thing net of taxes (the right way to evaluate), it’s about 4.2 mil. That isn’t rich. That’s securely upper middle class if they carry good insurance to protect against BS plaintiffs attorneys.

          You live in NVA: I would say the above calculation, taking the NPV of pensions counted as cash if they were government, for those who bought a good house in the 80’s, describes most of my old neighbors in Oakton, financially. Or my neighbors here. It’s just not “rich.”

          If Bundy’s rich, the assets are somewhere else, not in the farm. Just my view.

        • It was a trick question. The value of a property is independent of the outstanding debt.

          My son’s in-laws have the biggest farm operation in their southeast Minnesota county. When I mean big, I mean really big. I know how farms are operated and valued. My assets are of the same order of magnitude as the Bundy’s and yes, I am rich.

        • I didn’t miss the value of his buildings. They’re minor. You can see them well on Google Earth.

          I didn’t confuse the value of his farm, and did consider debt. Calling him “rich” invokes his net worth, not the market value of the farm. I was clear about that.

          Bundy does not own a ranch. He owns a farm. It is a small farm, 160 acres on the bottom land of the Virgin River. As for oil drilling, you’d never be able to sink a well there for ecological reasons. Mineral rights? Not likely to be involved. Have you looked at the farm? There may be some mineral or O&G value on the allotment, but he doesn’t own that.

          My question, “is 1.5 mil rich?” was obviously following your statement that Bundy is rich. 2.5 mil would be an extravagant price for his little melon farm. That’s what it is, a melon farm. You can see his crop growing if you take a look.

          I would think it more likely that Bundy fears the total bill he’ll ultimately be handed. But we really don’t know his situation. He hasn’t revealed much at all about himself. I can say this: No secure and well-established rancher is going to blow off his BLM lease.

          I don’t have experience owning U.S. farms, buildings, and land, but lots of experience, and recent as well, with farm land and buildings in the Stockholm suburbs. Land prices are high there and good farm buildings even more so, but the quality of the buildings (ours anyway) are much higher than you find in the U.S., except perhaps for good horse-breeding farms, whether in Virginia or Kentucky. A typical farm there also contains a number of rental homes, a sort of village. These days they are rented by commuters, not the farm workers.

          At any rate, these days 5 mil is not rich, and I don’t think Bundy should be tossed aside as a rich farmer. He’s no Ben Cartwright. 160 acres? I don’t see how people find grain farming economical with less than 2,000 acres. Fruit and vegetable farming is more a question of labor cost. It is obvious that Bundy irrigates his melon farm. That can’t go on forever due to the salt.

          I didn’t ask if you were rich. Talking about that is in bad taste, frankly. But talking about Bundy, the question was is 1..5 (or 2.5) rich. No. Is 5? No. So why dismiss his case on that grounds. There are better reasons.

        • “Whiskey’s for drinkin’, water’s for fightin'”…

          Don’t get caught up in the shallow and surface selling points for the attack on this man. It’s all about control and water. Has been for a century, ‘cept now it’s getting serious.

      • I don’t always agree with everything Ralph says, but it seems he’s an upstanding guy at least (as much as you could assess that from a few posts on TTAG.) I’ll say that for him. Not all lawyers are bad guys.

        • Off point but, I notice people’s attitudes change drastically about lawyers when they need legal protection. THEN they want the biggest SOB that ever passed the bar.

        • Back when we were still allowed to duel the gov would have simply sent in someone to torch the buildings, someone ‘they’d never heard of.’ And then they’d push the collection of the debts. If you were out with the in crowed 160 years ago, you had a lot to worry about. Come to think of it, you still would.

  21. While not over this is a first step.
    Get a deal on paper signed. You might not like it entirely but take it.
    In the mean time I will take this as a small victory for we the people.

    • Any deal Bundy signs will put him out of business. That’s the whole point of this Federal theater.

  22. “…the BLM is backing down from a battle over grazing rights on federal lands…”

    As I understand it this isn’t even federal land, it’s state. The BLM is exerting it’s “authority” on the grounds that it’s protecting the desert tortoise, a species that’s so endangered they are euthanizing them to control their overpopulation.

    • It is pretty dumb for them to claim that the tortoises are incompatible with grazing cattle even as they euthanize a bunch of tortoises… that apparently reproduced just fine in the midst of Mr. Bundy’s cattle.

      One also wonders, if cattle are bad for tortoise habitat, are Chinese solar farms any better? (Assuming that the solar farm rumor is based in fact.)

  23. Wait until the sheriff has to deal with the low life’s that are going to move in when they start fracking. North Dakota has drugs, alcoholics and murders since they started fracking there. He’ll wish all he had to deal with is cows.

    • Wait, wait, wait… So a sudden boom in population brought an increase in crime? *gasp* Why would that surprise you? What you failed to mention, and I’ve heard nothing about is the RATE of crime. That’s a very important distinction you failed to make.

    • North Dakota also has something that’s become a real scarcity these days – jobs.

    • Kind of sounds like Las Vegas. Shouldn’t be a problem for them. The things you list sound to me like an LEO Guaranteed Employment program.

  24. Would be awesome if we could get a peaceful stand-off like this where the government backs down in the end with regards to say the gun laws in New York state or Connecticut where say they go and try to arrest someone for possessing an illegal “assault weapon.”

    • To have a standoff you need one side to be willing to risk everything including their own lives. CT gun owners aren’t there yet.

  25. I heard about the government backing down on the radio today. One of the reasons given was due to the large number of “anti-government” protesters on the ranch. I thought they were pro-government, as laid out by the Constitution.

  26. Remember that the county sheriff in Idaho thought he had brokered a deal with the ATF/FBI to leave Randy Weaver’s family alone, before they slaughtered his 13 year old son, (shot him in the back as he ran from them) and assassinated his wife while she was standing unarmed in the front door of their cabin with an infant in her arms.
    Remember that the county sheriff in Waco, Texas thought that he had brokered a deal with the ATF and the Branch Davidians, before they stormed their Christian retreat facility and slaughtered men, women and tens of children. Be very careful!!

      • Waco thinks they had a CULT problem? I’ve got a bunch of cults around me. The guys wear extremely odd costumes and are against marriage…for themselves. I long suspected the worst, but local papers and courts provide it, that lots of these guys with the costumes pursued sex with little boys. I though maybe Janet Reno would show up and fix it, but no, nothing. Help me! Cult, indeed. Get some perspective. The surviving Waco folks considered the abuse stories absurd. Somebody just didn’t like the image of a male religious leader holding sway over, gasp, women and children. But she looked right by a pederast priest in her hometown. Didn’t burn that guy’s cult building down.

  27. It really is a shame in America you have to pay a fee to graze cattle! It raises the prices of beef and only is designed to control farmers and tax them to death. To use swat teams with automatic weapons, tasers, threats, and intimidation by massive firepower is criminal. This is not the America I grew up in! People wake up! We don’t need another holocaust here! Whenever government becomes to powerful, it’s time for people to rise up and over throw the government. This is how our founding fathers wanted it to work. I say resist, fight for liberty. Freedom is not free and has a cost! Our own government seems to be very aggressive lately attacking citizens with mandates, taxes, threats! Have we forgot, the government is to serve us “We The People”.

  28. Back in ’93, the Feds cut Bundy’s grazing allotment from 900 to 150 head — to save a tortoise that seems to be doing quite well. If Bundy can’t graze his entire herd, he’s all done.

    The BLM has already put every other rancher in southern Nevada out of business for the benefit of Harry “the Hustler” Reid’s business buddies. Bundy is the last man standing. Bet he won’t be standing for long.

    • I get that feeling, myself. Once the uproar is over, the guv will quietly do its thing. And does anybody really believe it’s about the tortoise anymore? If things were to go bad here, the once lowly amphibian could become a powerful avatar for government overreach and resistance to it. Or something. I don’t even really know if a tortoise is an amphibian.

      • A reptile. We make turtle sauce piquant from the alligator snapping turtles we are able to get.

        It never was about the tortoise. In fact, the BLM euthenized over 1000 of the “endangered” desert tortoise because of over-population.

        The BLM wants the land for Harry Reid and his son Rory, to deliver to their clients the Chinese to build a solar plant there. Also, recently, oil and natural gas was discovered in the region and is thought to run under the grazing land of the Bundys.

        • I would argue that it’s more complex than just Harry. The Nature Preserves Everywhere/Save the Wild Rivers crowd is just dealing with Harry to get his support in the Senate. Harry knows he’s got some cards and is playing them. Both sides know they want Bundy out. Where were the Mormon elders to advise Bundy on how to proceed back in 1993?

          I’ve certainly noticed the LDS have moved out of the ranching business and into the ski resorts, restaurants, and hotel business over the last forty years. Didn’t anyone give Cliven the message?

  29. Now that their schedule has freed up do you think BLM could mosey on down to the Rio Grande and do something about the boarder violations?

    • This exactly.

      It kills me that people on this site are shrieking “but they are stealing from the government and the taxpayers!”

      Yet illegals flooding over the border that should be secured by my tax dollar, are being handed subsidies paid for by my tax dollar,. to have children who will also be paid for by my tax dollar. All of this criminal activity and tax payer theft, is supported by an attorney general who refuses to enforce the law of the land as written by duly elected representatives.

      Meanwhile citizens who have enlisted in the military and served their country to defend the constitution have their benefits cut, and that money handed to non citizens who have done precisely fuck all besides swim the Rio Grande.

      So the cows can stay, until the illegals go!

    • The “illegals just love their families” thing should have cleared the view. The ‘Benjamins B We’ Republicans want the relatively docile hard-working labor. The Dems want votes and people that will go work the fields and suburban lawns so that the core urban Dem voters can stay in the city, just being Dems.

      It’s no mystery. It is the nature of the two party system to seek equilibrium, coalescing around a package deal that gives something that enriches the ‘leaders’ behind the scenes on both sides of the aisle, leaving the troops to struggle on pursuing a dream which is really an illusion. The best the typical low-level activists can expect is a secure job and pension, or perhaps some prominence for their local small business.

  30. This whole debacle ain’t worth shooting over. De-escalation is the way forward here. Glad to see it happening. I feel for the guy not being able to graze all 900 head of his cattle. But it isn’t worth a war and it isn’t worth killing a family over. It is simply time to vote the bums out. They’ve been there too long and have become complacent, surly, and ineffective at what they were elected to do. Actually it’s past time for a couple more political parties to choose from. Variety is the spice of life. And competition makes progress.

    • Nobody dismissed Harry. He can still throw a wrench in the “scenic rivers” play. You can’t expect him to leave the table when other people still have chips to take.

      He grew up a hard little bastard with tombstone eyes. Why expect him to change? And Las Vegas voters are just the right sort to help him keep going. Union wage earners and the disenfranchised, a coalition made in heaven, with almost-mob money that just won’t stay away.

  31. The Bundys are the last ranchers in the entire county. Fifty-two ranchers quit and sold out to the BLM. One lone rancher and his family stood against the thugs of the BLM and their hirelings. The BLM has promised to return several hundred of his cattle and withdraw their militarized vehicles and snipers.

    They fear their personnel and by-standers may be injured, but did not feel that way when they imported the armed thugs and snipers. it was only after the Oath Keepers and other militia groups arrived that the BLM backed down.

    Kudos to the Oath Keepers, all militia groups and citizens gathered in support for the Bundys. Kudos to the Bundy family for being strong and resisting tyranny. Local militia that are there have reported back to us that they will remain a few more days to make sure the BLM delivers on what they have promised. Cliven Bundy is not completely satisfied with the offer by BLM, but he is willing to listen to more of the details involved.

    Our support and prayers are with you all!

  32. Anyone who thinks this is over is kidding themselves. While BLM admits to being skeerd of being shot full of holes by hundreds if not thousands of of patriots, it was only the exceptionally bad optics,the heavy handed unprofessional conduct of the feds, the totalitarian storm-trooper tactics, and politics that caused the feds to back up.

    I said back up. Not back down.

    One of two things is going to happen:

    1. The feds will be back, bigger, better organized, and even more heavily armed and belligerent OR:

    2: The will attempt to scoop up and imprison the Bundy clan at a time and place of their choosing.

    Cliven Bundy and the Patriots, Oathkeepers, and Militamen just raised the bet. The feds HAVE NOT folded.

  33. Reading over the Bundy threads over the past two days I have to say hats off to him. He ran a very professional PSYOP campaign and I have been involved in several goods ones. Here is a wealthy guy who has mobilized the peasants to come defend his land. They would have died for him. If the Reid angle is true then not only does he have a multi-million dollar ranch but he might sitting on a couple hundred million dollars in oil rights underneath his land. I am not one to begrudge a person’s wealth but neither am I one to suck up to it.

    • I don’t follow. The Reid angle is on the other western side of the allotment. It doesn’t benefit Bundy’s property. The “fracking” BS was erroneous to start with. There will be drilling, but it sure won’t come near the Virgin River or Bundy’s 160 acres.

      You seem seem to have a suspicion echoed in my late step-father’s rabbi’s quip, “Mormons are like Jews, except taller and blue eyed.” I have no idea exactly what that means, but I suspect it means “they focus on their business, don’t waste their money, can count, and keep to themselves in their home life.” Not a bad concept, actually, now that I think about it.

      • The Reid angle was a hedge because it wouldn’t surprise me. The Reid family played with mob when the mafia controlled Vegas. If you are familiar with the movie Casino the sleazy state Senator played by Dick Smuthers is actually Harry Reid. They changed the names because Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal (aka Sam “Ace” Rothstein) threatened to sue the production company if they used his name. Bundy’s PSYOP operation has nothing to do with whether or not Reid had designs on his land. It wouldn’t surprise me if Bundy was Infowars’ source.

        • I actually agree with you, although it is not clear to me whether Bundy is running it or if the various (I can’t think of an uncontroversial moniker) web-based groups are building the bandwagon for their own use in parallel. The amount of utter lies, misinformation, over the week was astounding, but what I call lies are called by others “the new angle that explains it all.” Southern Nevada has it all: Sovereign Citizens, Mob, big service-worker unions, soulless gambling king pins. I think I’ll avoid it and its issues from now on. The people of southern Nevada can duke it out on their own.

  34. Huge PR and cred loss for FedGov. I hope this emboldens all those who are opposed to leviathan, wasteful, intrusive government.

    I’d really like to know the “who” the “how” and the “why” of the stand-down order. I’ll bet there were some hot tempers back in DC….must have put a damper on tonight’s round of cocktail parties…..

  35. I don’t think this whole photo op is going to play the way folks imagine. The Party’s just going to show the urban cave-dwelling coffee sippers how they tried to do the right thing for the tax-payer, but were threatened by “red neck goons with guns, right-wing militias, showing aggressive disrespect to simple federal employees.” Play that for a bit in LA, SF, CHI, Boston, NYC, Philly, DC…and see who psy-op’d whom.

    This bit will be played right into the fall elections. I hope it backfires, but there are no guarantees.

    • I don’t know…Any time somebody pulls on Superman’s cape and gets away with it is never a good thing for Superman.

  36. OK, those you you emotional but uninformed and uneducated about the subject, commenters……try this on for size.

    MY people (indian heritage) have nearly 15,000 YEARS of previous occupational history of this land. YOUR titles and supposed ownership are ALL false. You took this land, in pieces, parts, dribbles and wholesale, by force, by lies, and by murder.

    GET OFF IT NOW. I got sheep I want to graze, and I want the powerline and all that crap GONE.

    Bundy and his mormon murdering ancestors are nothing but thieves and it shows in this whole situation. He and his family had contracts with the state and the feds and decided to break them becuase he just didn’t like them. He can JUST GET OFF MY LAND before I go and shoot all his cattle to free up space for my sheep.

    Geez, Louise !

  37. Oh give me the land, lots of land
    Under starry skies above
    Don’t fence me in
    Let me ride through the wide open
    Country that I love
    Don’t fence me in
    Let me be by myself in the evening breeze
    Listen to the murmur of the cottonwood trees
    Send me off forever but I ask you please
    Don’t fence me in

    Just turn me loose let me straddle my old saddle
    Underneath the western skies
    On my cayuse let me wander over yonder
    Till I see the mountain rise
    I want to ride to the ridge where the west commences
    Gaze at the moon till I lose my senses
    I can’t look at the hovels and I can’t stand the fences
    Don’t fence me in

    • 1. A military assessment of satellite and drone surveillance imagery of the “patriot resistance. Drones under the control of the U.S. military were in use, taking real-time photographic images of not just the activity at the ranch, but “identifying the protesters, any arms and any supplies they might have or be carrying. “Mission accomplished.”
      2. Real-time communication intercepts between patriots on-site and their off-site support;
      3. Active monitoring of internet traffic regarding the coverage of events at ranch;
      4. The monitoring of real-time video from the scene.

      I don’t doubt it.

  38. If this goes South , which could happen , you will see more backup arriving for the existing federal units on site , and they will catch the Patriots off guard , hopefully not , but then there is the lets calm everything down until everyone has left and then take on the bundy’s when they don’t have any help and if Cliven Bundy just happens to get accidentally killed well we tried to take him peacefully but ! I do not trust the Federal government at all , all these folks understand is that they get what they want no matter what , and if you don’t like it we will just kill you to get it , because that is what they have been taught , no one had any charges pressed against them after Ruby Ridge or Waco , nor will they if someone gets killed by Federal agents now or in the future , they have the get out of jail free card , because the government really can’t admit they did wrong , it would make them look weak and they don’t want that as they might lose the control they have . Be prepared and ready . Keep your powder dry .

  39. Here’s what I think is going on:

    This whole thing attracted too much attention.

    Those of us who know Reid are now looking into his connections in this deal… and Reid is doubtless aware that there are people now looking at this deal for connections to his business interests, extended family and political contributors.

    Harry is an experienced snake in the grass, I’ll give him that.

  40. Hard to imagine the Feds didn’t catalog the supporters with plans to pick them up piecemeal. Apparently Bundy isn’t going anywhere so they can deal with him at their leisure.

  41. Bundy’s a thief. And he’s played the idiots in the “Militia” movement like a violin.

    The thief needs to pay his bills or get off the land. Everything about this has been a fraud.

  42. This whole incident has been a wonderful example of how gullible the anti-government militia nuts and the conspiracy theory loons are. Bundy is nothing more than a thief, not some kind of hero. Ranchers know this, and anyone who bothers to pull away from the feeding frenzy realizes this.

    You’ve got people wearing their tin foil hats on this one, but sadly, also militant ant-government just itching for a fight, eager to create martyrs and play “hero.”

    • Paul – I think you are failing to see the bigger picture here..

      Regardless of what you think about Bundy’s situation – to me, huge lesson here (and my epiphany in all of this) is that this sets the model in place as to how to CT, NY and others need to deal with confiscation.

      When they start to confiscate (and they will), rather than people individually ‘bunkering’ in their homes, they need to form into large groups, preferably in their own communities, with a very public presence via media access and cameras, and also have a considerable unarmed protester contingent (wives, etc) . This takes confiscation out of the realm of one-by-one SWAT operations against what the MSM would paint as ‘one armed loon/gun nut’ – and forces the government to decide of they are going to attack their own citizens with tanks and helicopters and slaughter American citizens (with Americans, who also won’t want to be a part of that) all in front of the camera. It also changes the public perception/media dynamic, when it’s not ‘one loon’, but a large group of people/a community, trying to peacefully resist tyranny. It sets the stage for either a peaceful solution, or to galvanize the people at large against what will be seen as the government slaughtering it’s own people, just like in Syria, etc – and finally wake many people up to the reality of the unprecedented assault on our individual freedoms by the extremist liberal minority who happen to be in power right now.

      As you know, this isn’t about the guns themselves. It’s about our Freedom – and our Constitutionally protected right to defend ourselves and our families, not just from criminals who would do us harm, but from a tyrannical government bent on creating a Police state, either consciously, or unconsciously. And it’s not about a engaging in a shooting war necessarily, but more the deterrent that an armed citizenry presents as THE final (and perhaps the only) Check and Balance, that protects all of the other amendments.

      History tells us that the only way for a free people to remain free is retain their ability to defend those freedoms – whether by direct action (ie; War for Independence) or by deterrent (ie; ever since, via the 2nd Amendment). I think we all hope it always remains the latter, but once again, history is replete with evidence that often the former is required. If we think just because we’re Americans we’re so impervious to tyranny, then we have most certainly forgotten our own history – and in so doing, set the stage for tyranny once again.

      “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana


      • This means, to me, RF should change the ‘we stand with you CT’ posts from one dude posing with a gun — to a larger group of people, armed and unarmed – standing in support of the people’s Constitutionally protected right to defend themselves against enemies both foreign and domestic — hopefully not by force, but by the deterrent that an armed populace represents to those enemies, both foreign and domestic.

        It’s clear to see now, our best defense is our ability to form into groups (100’s), at the community level, armed and unarmed.

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