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BLM snipers outside of Bundy Ranch

We’ve already posted on the confrontation between Utah cattle rancher (and melon grower) Cliven Bundy and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Yesterday, Mr. Bundy declared a range war. So far . . . nothing. But reports coming out of the area – including intel from former TTAG contributor and talk show host Bryan Hyde – speak of a huge BLM presence outside the Bundy Ranch. The BLM’s deployed at least 100 agents to round-up Mr Bundy’s cattle from federal lands and ship them off to auction. The feds have called in sharpshooters (not snipers) to aid in their rustling court-sanctioned financial recovery operation. I’m sorry, but that’s insane on all sorts of levels. There are more than a few ways this could go wrong . . .

The BLM is shipping Mr. Bundy’s cattle to northern Utah for auction. Sheriffs in nearby counties are not well pleased with the idea of allowing “stolen” cattle through their jurisdiction. Could you imagine some kind of roadblock by local Sheriffs turning the feds around? I could. Could you imagine that getting out of control? Jesus, I hope not.

First Amendment Area near Bundy Ranch

Equally, it’s possible that Bundy and his peeps will attempt some kind of rescue operation to recover cattle on federal lands before they’re sent packing to the packing house. In both cases, a confrontation could turn ugly. Bundy is armed, but we don’t know what with. And I hope we don’t find out in unfortunate circumstances.

As I reminded Bryan, keep in mind that Waco and Ruby Ridge happened before the Internet. Back when mainstream media was the media, when the story of federal tyranny could be filtered and forgotten. Those days of electronic “First Amendment Areas” are done.

At the same time, there’s a strong anti-government mood afoot in these United States. Any injury to Mr. Bundy would stiffen the resolve of gun owners in Connecticut, New York and Maryland to [continue to] resist registration. And lead to God knows what.

Watch this space.

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    • Its called “skylining” and it speaks volumes as to the training and background of these individuals.

    • Wow. I hope they were skylining on purpose. If not, then they are pretty sad examples of warriors.

  1. The guy on the left looks like he has bino’s. Not sure on the right.
    Those ranchers down there are a salty sort. I wouldn’t be surprised if the cattle received no bids at auction.
    Or better yet, a dollar a head, then they get shipped right back to Mesquite.

  2. Those aren’t snipers, but sharpshooters. Snipers would remain unseen, and are absolutely terrifying… if you’re on the receiving end, that is. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that regardless.

    • Big Grin! If nobody can or will return fire, they are sharpshooters. If a 9 year old boy had a pellet gun down there, they are snipers. And who has ever kicked a Police Canine without provocation?! Hah! What BS! ‘Yes, I want your dog to tear a big piece of my skin off, so I just kicked him while you were holding him back from doing it, anyway.’

  3. I think it is insane that our government is using snipers over some cows eating grass (which will grow back) and a tortoise that was in no way ever harmed. WTF!

    • BLM did not bring an action against Bundy because of the Desert Tortoise. It brought the action because Bundy had not previously had a lease on the lands he used for grazing, and was simply trepassing. The Tortoise issue was brought up by the BLM as a reason the court should act with more speed on the case, but it was not any part of the grounds for ordering Bundy to withdraw his cattle. The court recited this fact when issuing the current order. If you don’t want to look up the federal court case preceding the current court action, look below, where I cite the relevant part. Citations are included so that you can read the entire Bundy history, if desired.

      • Its like a page out of the movie “Open Range”….. we dont like free grazers round here.

      • I actually don’t have that much sympathy for Bundy, but I have much enmity for how the Feds appear to be handling this – heavy-handedly.

        • “Heavy-handed”? You do realize that this is the culmination of TWENTY YEARS’ WORTH of back-and-forth, court cases (all of which Bundy lost), and persistent violations by Bundy, not to mention the threat of physical violence by Bundy himself?

          Do you really expect the BLM NOT to take steps to protect its people when someone threatens them with deadly force?

      • Agreed. This guy’s been asking for trouble, though the Feds are making a big deal out of a pretty small issue.

      • Bundy bought grazing rights over 100 years ago and they have paid grazing fees to NV every year

        • 1) It’s a license to graze, not a permanent purchase of grazing rights.

          2) Bundy paid the BLM directly until 1993, basically acknowledging their ownership of the grazing rights.

          3) In 1993, he decided to send the money to the State of Nevada instead – and the State has refused it, because they, too, acknowledge BLM control of the land in question.

          Bundy is no hero – he’s a moocher who doesn’t want to pay for what he takes from lands that don’t belong to him.

          Too many voices in this discussion are counting on us not paying attention to history. In a nutshell:

          1) What is now the State of Nevada first came under Federal control in 1848, when it was ceded to the US by Mexico under the terms of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo that ended the US-Mexican War. So, it was “Federal land” before the State of Nevada ever existed.

          2) When Nevada enacted its first Constitution in 1864, it explicitly surrendered title and right to all unappropriated land in the territory to the Federal Government. The specific language is, “That the people inhabiting said territory do agree and declare, that they forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated public lands lying within said territory, and that the same shall be and remain at the sole and entire disposition of the United States; […]” So, it remained “Federal land” after the State of Nevada joined the US.

          3) By Bundy’s own admission, his ancestors didn’t show up in the area until the 1880s.

          So, unless Bundy can show clear title/rights to the land that predate 1864 (either granted to his ancestors or purchased by them from someone who held a clear ‘appropriation’), he doesn’t have a leg to stand on. Bundy has tried multiple claims:

          * that the Disclaimer Clause of the Nevada Constitution (quoted above) carries no legal force,
          * that the Property Clause of the US Constitution applies only to federal lands outside the borders of states,
          * that the US exercise of ownership over federal lands violates the Equal Footing Doctrine,
          * that the US is wrongfully basing its authority to sanction Bundy on the Endangered Species Act as opposed to trespass, and
          * that Nevada’s “Open Range” statute excuses Bundy’s trespass on federal lands,

          and every argument has been shot down by the courts. (Oh, and he also argued that cattle observed in trespass bearing his brand might not be his…)

          As I said, everyone wringing their hands over this (or attempting to manufacture outrage) is counting on the general public not to know or understand the history and details…

    • Forgive me.. I am late to the party… Not sure what the laws are where he is at, but here in CO, the law is fence the animals out of your property if you don’t want them there.. there is no law to fence them in (Open Range Law)… Is this not region wide here?

  4. The rate we’re going, pretty soon they’ll be using SWAT raids for tax audits. Nothing much would surprise me at this point.

    • Gibson Guitar Co. was no-knocked by an IRS SWAT team for allegedly possessing illegal wood.

      • Everyone else uses the same wood acquired though the same channels but only Gibson was raided. Why? Probably, because they are not Union.

      • Hey lets be honest here, that non-FSC* certified stuff is like black gold to the Mexican cartels and their illustrious singing “narcotrafficantes”!

        *FSC = foresty stewardship council, wood certification

    • So, you expect the BLM to just send its people, unarmed and unprotected, into a situation where they have been threatened with deadly force?

      • No, I expect the BLM to close their offices nationwide, bring all of their people to D.C. for the dissolving of that government bureaucracy, file their people onto a boat for Cuba and we’ll call it square.

  5. No way the Bundys are going to win this one, but I hope to God they lose in a courtroom, not in a gun fight.

      • Which means that the feds have every legal right to do exactly what they are doing, and Bundy has no one to blame for his predicament but himself. He has no “constitutional right” to graze on federal lands for free. Other than the highly questionable “free exercise” zones, there are no constitutional rights implicated by Mr. Bundy’s plainly contemptuous misconduct. This is not a constitutional rights case, but instead a simple property rights dispute that the courts have resolved against him. Game over. Had he exercised his right–and obligation–to remove the cattle from land he had no right to use, there wouldn’t even be an issue as to the cows. He is nothing more than a squatter. He reminds me of all the people who contend that the income tax is unconstitutional–and we know where to find them. (Wonder where Wesley was locked up–I will never understand why he followed the tax avoidance advice of a man who doesn’t practice what he preaches.)

        • DG relays some interesting issues from the west, but nothing whatever about the Bundy case.

        • I have read the current court order as well as the underlying case. Bundy had no right to the land. He had no lease. His ancestors had no right to that land and no lease. It’s purely a case of Bundy deciding that it really is OK for him to use the land as if it was his because….he says so. And he did threaten a shooting confrontation, by the way. YOU use some google foo. Read the f’g court opinion and the underlying case.

    • You can attack with a precision rifle while laying down. They aren’t going to use bayonets. They either suck at concealment, don’t know to conceal themselves, or are there for intimidation.

  6. If it comes down to an actual gunfight then you can expect the media to be all over it with the Bundys labelled as domestic terrorists and MAIG and MDA will use it to continue their treasonous efforts.

  7. If they moved ten feet to their left the would have concealment. I am betting they are not even LE.

    • Don’t be so dense. It is obvious that they WANT to be seen. It is called “intimidation.” Moreover, they are not on Bundy’s property, but on federal lands where they have every right to be–and Bundy’s cattle do not.

  8. Yeah. The defenders of this think that their subservience. Look only to Hitler’s German, or Romania.

    As soon as the “common people” figure out the nature of this game, there’ll be hell to pay.

    • WB, what on earth are you talking about. Bundy never owned the land. He did not have a lease on the land. His forebears did not own the land, nor did they have a lease on the land in question. The family simply convinced themselves that they had somehow gained the right to graze cattle on the federal land because they’d gotten away with it for a few years. It might be the worst case I’ve come across of a rancher trying to convert the “Sagebrush Rebellion” politics into a personal land grab. And no, his family was not even in possession, let alone owning title, in 1848.

  9. He was told 2 decades ago that he was not longer able to graze his cattle there. He spent 2 decades thumbing his nose at the law. That it took the Feds 2 whole decades to get around to enforcing on it is the sad part.

    Too bad so sad he should have followed the rules.

    • No, he’s not “Cheering President Obama”. He’s merely stating some relevant facts. Here’s another one – not too long before our War for Independence, John Adams DEFENDED a group of English Soldiers who fired on a crowd of people (and killed several). Adams argued the soldiers were justified in firing, based on the circumstances. He argued self defense. Did this make John Adams a stooge of the crown? No. He merely valued right and principle over partisan arguments.
      That’s what WE need to do.
      And Bundy has kind of been breaking the law for, oh, 20 years now. This isn’t his land that he’s being forced off of.

      • John Adams didn’t say “too bad so sad” to the plight of the dead citizens. That’s what makes the difference between him and this stooge.

      • Not every single case of an individual becoming at odds with the government needs to be treated as a matter of “us vs. them” by TTAG or its readership. I contend that doing so actually weakens our position. Any given individual is not always in the right.

        The government’s job, in its most basic form, is to represent the best interests of the populace by passing, upholding, and enforcing Constitutionally-sound laws. That appears to be the case here. This guy lost in court. He can appeal that decision if he hasn’t already done so, but if he chooses to thumb his nose at government, he should know what will come to him.

        If there is a credible argument that the laws being applied to him are unconstitutional, I haven’t heard it.

    • His family has been on that land for over 100 years. Only 20 years ago the BLM told him that he couldn’t graze his cattle there anymore. The government’s court agreed with the BLM. Who is in the wrong here? I would say the EPA and the BLM are overreaching, and that Mr. Bundy decided 20 years ago that he would not comply with an unlawful seizure of his property rights. This is an “eminent domain” issue, and the government’s reasons are not adequate to justify it.

      • If you have information that is credible and differs from what was presented to the federal court, you should make it public. If you have evidence that Bundy owned the land, bring it forward. If what you mean is that a grazing lease represents ownership other than use rights within the terms of the lease, I certainly don’t agree. I lease some land to people who graze a few sheep. I’ll be damned if they have an ownership right. They have a use right which terminates when the lease terminates.

      • Legal hornswaggle. Or hogwash if you prefer. Or even something Mr. Bundy has been shoveling for the past twenty years or more. The law is clear–and has been clear for hundreds of years–that “eminent domain” is the right of the sovereign to take (and pay for) private property for public benefit. And it is further the law that you cannot “adversely possess” government property–whether that be federal, state, county, municipal or local governmental entity. In simple English, there are no such thing as “squatters rights” to public property. Period. Mr. Bundy had a leasehold interest, that like all leasehold interests, lasted for a certain period of time then expired, and required the payment of rent. Mr. Bundy has no active lease and has paid no rent. The landlord took him to court and got an order of eviction, and while it was at it, got an order for its damages–the lost rents for the last twenty years. It is now executing on its judgment. From a legal perspective, there is absolutely nothing to see here.

        • The only “Sovereign” in America is the Individual. ALL of the government’s powers are there because We The People said they may do that thing. They have no other legal or moral authority.

        • There is no emminent domain application involved in this case. It is absurd that a long thread develops with absolutely no relevant facts presented in the post except “look! Guns!”

          Neither Bundy nor his ancestors owned the land. They didn’t even have a previous lease on the land. They were purely trespassing on land that the federal government owned long before any Bundy set foot or cow on the land. Jeez.

        • “We the People” does not mean “Bundy the person.” All citizens of the United States are subject to the Constitutional laws passed by their democratically-elected representatives.

          To believe that every single citizen is a sovereign unto himself (or herself), and subject to no law other than his or her personal whim, is to promote anarchy.

        • Gentlemen!


          Lets back to the real issue here – when is somebody going to make a damned Nazi comment?!!

        • Me. The Bundy case is Nazi one in which to advance the legitimate Sagebrush issues. As to water, Bundy actually has good access to the Virgin River bottomlands and regularly makes use of that water for melon field irrigation. I’ll follow this case just to figure out why he thought putting his actual ranch (and its water rights on the Virgin River) at risk was a good economic concept. I also would like to find out whether grazing cattle on National Park System land was accidental, or regular and intentional. Bundy’s claims may be nil, but the incident is a good moment for me to learn more about ranching in the arid west.

        • Actually, the government “lost” nothing because cattle grazing on that land cost them nothing. Every improvement made, including drilling wells, was made by the leaseholder.

          It’s time to end this “public land” farce. The government has no need to own any land outside of DC. They can engage in leases for military bases and government offices and return the land to the rightful owners.. the states.

      • It was never his or his family’s property so he never had any property rights. It has always been government land and the government has been telling him for the last 20 years to get his cattle off their land.

    • So, by your lights, he has no claim to the land he and his ancestors have worked profitably for over a century?
      And the federal government taking away his means of earning a living, first by regulation, and then by outright seizure, somehow doesn’t require reimbursement under the 4th Amendment?

      • Yeah. That’s pretty much it. You pay to rent someone else’s land. In this case the owner of said land is the feds. Lease it for a year or a hundred years, it doesn’t give you property rights.

        I have rented farmland, houses, apartments, etc. from other people. I never got confused as to who owned it.

        • What part of “Bundy’s lease and use of the land predates the creating of BLM and federal lands” don’t you understand?

          And what you’re calling “a lease” may not be a lease at all. See Dyspeptic’s post about the subject.

        • Blake, what is the lease you refer to? Bundy did not have a lease.

          As for the notion that the Bundy family was “profitably” using the land for a hundred years, there is no evidence that they’d had cattle on that land for even a minute prior to the time the federal government owned it. Indeed there is no evidenced they were even using it in 1960.

      • Also, every agricultural lease that I have been a party to explicitly states that lessee has no title or other ownership interest in the property, or even the right to enter upon the property other than for the specific purposes described in the lease.

        • In reply to Blake: Bundy’s rights do not and cannot pre-exist the federal government’s rights to the land, land the government took from the Indians. Mr. Bundy’s ancestors were in no way shape ore form owners of the land–what he argues (and what the courts rejected) is that his ancient leasehold somehow “ripened” into an ownership interest. (in law, called a “fee” or “fee title.”) Bundy does not claim legal title, i.e., title by deed or other transfer–only a right to possess based on his long use of the land–squatter’s rights. Squatter’s rights are not recognized by the courts against any sovereign entity. Period.

        • Mark N., Bundy does not even claim that. He claims that the federal government does not own the land because he, Bundy, has a unique reading of the Nevada accession and constitution which the neither the Feds or Nevada thinks has any reality to it.

  10. so wait… you are upset that the government is stealing your stolen lands…
    Must be harsh…

  11. Can’t escape that escalation feeling. Its like everythings picking up the pace to get it on.
    I don’t like this one bit.

  12. Question not being asked:

    Why does the BLM have teams of snipers/designated marksmen/sharpshooters?

    Did I miss something somewhere? I mean…Social Security has armed personnel, NOAA has armed personnel, the BLM (apparently) has armed personnel.

    Do *all* government agencies now have sworn (presumably) officers in their employ?

    WTF, over?

    • “Officer Safety” which translates as “We are in control. We have all the toys and all the money to enforce whatever tyranny we see fit. Submit or die.”

      All semi-sarcasm aside, every “LE” agency in the US is scared/paranoid. About 15 years ago, the call came down from on high and there were statewide training sessions/confabs about what to do “if they pull the deer rifles off the wall”. There are enough folks in positions of power who are acutely aware that they are really pushing the envelope, and that the tipping point just might be reached somewhere.

      This was the driver behind the insane reactions to Dorner. There will be no Wounded Knee standoffs, there will be no Branch Davidian hesitation. There will be overwhelming shows of force at every opportunity – from the 3 cops that show up when an 80 year old woman is pulled over for speeding, to the no-knock raids for tiny amounts of drugs. There’s not much more “para” left in the military policing we see every day – in fact, the military operates on a much stricter code of conduct.

    • Yes, pretty much all of them do–Certainly Dept of Agriculture, EPA, IRS, NASA, Dept of Education (!) probably OSHA, probably all of them.

    • There is something that gets lost in the haze: Several of the largest banks have been caught laundering very large amounts of money, directly aiding drug dealers. The punishment? Give us a little money in a fine, but keep on operating, keep on using the national infrastructure to do your business. A number of pharmaceutical companies have been caught lying about their FDA approval studies or the actual control of their distribution of a dangerous drug. Punishment? Almost nothing “because if we convict them Medicare can no longer buy their drugs..”

      The point is that the feds do not role out the rifles just to insure a lying banker wantonly breaking the law does what the government already told him to do. The heavy-handed gun-pointing is for little people and little companies. Therefore it appears grotesque. And everyone with enough bandwidth to think knows that the only reason for the difference is money, contributions, lobbyists, in other words…power.

      • So very sad, and so very true.

        The system routinely sentences (those few punished) for stealing hundreds of millions to far less time than some poor slob who shoplifted $100 worth of junk. There’s a good book out on it by Matt Taibbi about the current state of affairs – I forget the title – it’s about the wealth gap and injustice, shouldn’t be hard to google.

      • Query: I thought those bankers laundering money for drug dealers were doing so at the behest of the DEA (another criminal organization, but that is a different question.)

      • No, the feds did not ask Wachovia (and before that BofA) to launder the money. And the DoJ did express frustration at the fact that they could not force a criminal case to conviction because of the fear that the conviction (and therefore loss of Wachovia’s banking license) would devastate the U.S. financial system overnight. Why the bank couldn’t have been instantly nationalized and then its assets sold off is beyond me, and I’m not the first to raise that point.

        • Probably because the ones smart enough to know this, and have a position to say something, are friends with the guys in question. Which is how they are smart enough to know, how they got in a position to do something, and why they ignored it completely.

        • Yep. Of course it helps that the justification for taking no serious action can be couched in language like “the national interest,” “saving the financial circulatory system of the nation,” and so forth. “Too big to jail.” It’s the new version of “what’s good for GM is good for the nation.” I guess we should be running the nation through a pre-pack bankruptcy, then.

    • > Do *all* government agencies now have sworn (presumably) officers in their employ?

      Pretty much. These are some of the .gov agencies with armed personnel (I mean they have people who carry guns daily):

      FBI, DEA, FDA, DHS, BATFE, Fish and Wildlife, USMS, USSS, USFSLEI, NIST Police, OLE, DOCOIG, EDOIG, DOEOIG, DOEHSS, OCI, NIH Police, HHSOIG, CBP, OAM, OBP, OFO, ICE, ERO, HSI, OPR, FAMS, HUD/OIG, HUDPSD, BIA Police, BLM Rangers, BOR Rangers, US Park Rangers, DOIOIG, DOLOIG, DOTOIG, TIGTA, and a boatload more, but I’m tired of typing.

      But let’s not forget: IRS-CI, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division.

    • Bundy and members of his family have specifically threatened the use of deadly force. (Even his wife stated, “I’ve got a shotgun. It’s loaded and I know how to use it. We’re ready to do what we have to do, but we’d rather win this in the court of public opinion.”)

      Do you really expect BLM to just send its folks, unarmed and unprotected, into a situation where they’ve been threatened with deadly force?

      Bundy is freelancing his own interpretation of the law. He says, “I abide by all state laws,” but the State of Nevada doesn’t agree with him – and he has argued (in court) that the Nevada Constitution’s Disclaimer Clause carries no legal force. (I’m not kidding – go read the latest court order for background.)

  13. I’m not really following the case, but it seems that if it’s federal grazing land, then it’s their property to do with as they please. If the rancher’s permit was not renewed, then who is he to trespass and keep grazing on someone else’s property?
    As for the one in custody, I don’t know the details, but it seems they should charge him or release him. The way the reporting has been, it makes it sound as though he’s been hauled off to Gitmo or spirited away overseas to some CIA rendition facility and held incommunicado.

    • He’s been released, with citations for ‘failing to disperse” (how does one man disperse?) and–of course–“resisting arrest/citation”. I’d advise him that if they give him the wrong court date, he better just stick around till the right court date comes up or he’s likely to get the Randy Weaver treatment.

      • There are people in the middle east who know how to “disperse”, though not from doing it themselves. yet.

  14. These actions are a replay of what happened to Wayne Hage when the USFS wanted his water as well. The USFS had 25+ guys with rifles aimed at him while he was taking video of them too. What do you expect? They’re thugs. They’ve trained to be thugs, and their behavior comports with their self-chosen role as thugs. They have a badge and a federal pension, you don’t, so get out of the way, peasant.

    Where Wayne (who has gone on to his reward) was smarter than the average bear was in taking the USFS to court in the US Court of Claims. Suddenly, the US government yahoos don’t know what to do when a guy says “OK, I’m not questioning your authority. I possess valuable property, you’re trying to appropriate it, we’re going to establish that you’re appropriating my property, then we’re going to talk about how much you need to compensate me for taking my property.”

    Wayne ultimately won on the issues of a) he owned water rights, b) the Feds were taking his water by indirect action (pulling his cattle, ie, his “beneficial use” of the water). When I left NV, Wayne’s daughters were continuing the case against the USFS on the issue of “how much is this water worth?”

    The answer is “if you let Harry Reid and Del Webb get their hands on it, quite a lot.”

    What most people from the east don’t know is a) the history of the west (outside what they’ve seen from the idiots and perverts in Hollywood) and b) that some of those ranches in the southwest have property rights that transcend federal authority. Yes, for all you who claim that the Feds trump all, you need to re-read your Constitution. Treaties trump the FedGov. And some ranches on the lands ceded to the US in the aftermath of the US-Mexican War of 1848 are, in some cases, bearing deeds that pre-existed the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hildago, and said Treaty allows those deeded lands to remain owned by those who owned said lands before the Treaty. There are some ranches in the southwest that have land grants from the King of Spain in their title chain.

    Other ranches in Nevada, Utah, Idaho and southwestern Wyoming are “Mormon Pioneer” ranches and pre-date the application of these states to the Union, or even as territories. They have rock-solid water rights going back a long way before there were contests over water, because Brigham Young recognized even in 1849 that water was the real gold of the West and sent out pioneers to “find land with water.” The Pioneers got as far west as Genoa, NV. You can pick out Pioneer ranches to this day if you know what you’re looking for from the road.

    The Feds want those pre-state water rights worst of all.

    • The Fed abrogated pretty much anything even vaguely resembling a treaty with the natives, simply on whim.

      They hope to do the same with the rest of us.

    • Thank-you for your post on this thread, and also on the previous one. Hearing what you had to say cleared up a lot of things for me- and got me looking more deeply at the issue involved.

    • Then this rancher needs some good legal advice, starting with STFU. IMHO of course. He’s not helping himself.

      Talking about a shooting war where family or cops get kiled over some damn turtles or dumb cows is just plain stupid.

      Not defending the Feds here either, for you trolls who are here trying to stir things up- dont bother. They need to take a chill pill too. There is no reason to push this by going in hot and heavy.

      Just round up the cattle, pay the rancher, and be on your way. Or not. Just back off and wait for the rancher to go to market and seize them then, if need be.

      A few cows aren’t going to eat all the damn tortoise grass.
      Let the lawyers sort it out.

      • That’s kinda the point of this exercise which DG explained for those who don’t know – it’s not about “damn turtles or dumb cows”. This is about legal property rights which were long established prior to the existence of the BLM, or even this piece of land as a “state”.

        This man is being deprived of his legally held property rights, and while I’m not supporting insurrection, I do ask, what would you do in such a scenario?

        • 16V, where do you get this stuff? Why do you think Bundy had a property right in the land? Because Bundy claims he does?

          This is not like the Hage case. The Bundy’s did not have a ranch that was somehow taken away from them. They did not have and did not seek a lease, either.

          Comments reflect, apparently, the belief that law is a newcomer to Nevada. Water and land rights have been litigated to death in the West. Indeed, if the Bundy family had a claim to the land before it reverted from Mexico to the federal government, they would have made that case. They didn’t because they didn’t. I can only hope that if I ever make an absurd claim I’ll get such sympathetic backing!

          I’ve got my eye on Independence Square in Philadelphia.

        • ropingdown, I “get this stuff” from the known history of The West, and that it’s been going on since the days of Mark Twain… I’ve lived out there, and this is (really) old news.

          The reality is the statists are after the water rights these folks possess, and will do everything they can to get them.

          His Federal ‘tresspasses’ are junior league, but since they want the important things he has non-negotiable title to, they’ll screw him around on that which nobody enforced – until now that is.
          There’s the argument.

    • I think Bundy claims his family has been ranching on that land since 1870. So, from what you say, there’s a really good chance Bundy has a chain of title that predates the creation of BLM land.

      Which means everyone who is hollering “fed land, fed rules” should shut up.

      • No, that is not what it means. Dyspeptic well pointed out some facts of the west. He did not allege that the land Bundy had previously leased was such a property, i.e. one actually legally owned by Bundy under a pre-existing treaty right or legal title established before statehood.

        It’s a big walk from one to the other, from “some other guys had legal title which the federal agency has tried to brush aside” to “well, darnit, we’ve been grazing around here for a long time.” Mexican titles, grants, were respected in Texas. The King ranch is a good example of a large piece of land built up through a mix of purchases and grants, and purchases of granted land. These issues have been litigated extensively in the region around Los Angeles, CA and San Diego. The law on these is not obscure. There are court rulings that explicate the historical means of title acquisition that the federal government must honor. (That doesn’t mean some clown agency staffer isn’t going to screw up.)

        I’m more angry at the encroachments on the use-rights of people who actually own their land in the west and northwest, impoverishment by regulation.

        • Evidently, you have reading comprehension problems. I clearly stated there’s a “good chance” which is far from a flat statement of fact.

          I’m quite right when I say the people hollering about fed lands and rules should shut up, because they also don’t know what’s going on either.

          Too many people here are way too quick to give the government the benefit of a doubt on this. Just because this case has been adjudicated doesn’t mean the letter of the law was followed. Nor does it mean the judges even understood what they were adjudicating.

          I know CA is not Utah, but I also know there was a planned change in the way cases were divided up among the judiciary in CA. From what I understood, it used to be cases were put in front of justices that understood the laws pertaining to the cases they were hearing. (very important with property rights and mineral rights cases, etc.) There was a move to do away with assigning cases to judges with expertise in that particular field of law and, instead, pretty much letting the cases fall where they might.

        • One writer summed the case this way: “Mr. Bundy is basing his actions on a conception of public lands and the U.S. Constitution that was definitively overruled — said to be incorrect — by the federal courts back during the Sagebrush Rebellion.

          “Nevada explicitly gave up any claim to the public lands of the United States at Statehood. I here quote from that state’s constitution, “Third. That the people inhabiting said territory [Nevada] do agree and declare, that they forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated public lands lying within said territory, and that the same shall be and remain at the sole and entire disposition of the United States; and that lands belonging to citizens of the United States, residing without the said state.”

          In other words, if a citizen had title at statehood, he kept it. If he didn’t have title, he couldn’t claim it after statehood. (There are ways other than valid paper deed to claim title.)

          “You speak of counties, but counties are entirely creatures of a state. Nevada could legally create or abolish any county in Nevada if it choose to. These are not county lands. They are not lands of the state of Nevada. They are lands of the United States. They were won in war from Mexico.” This is true.

          Those who round up the cattle do have a court order in hand: “On July 9th, Nevada District Judge Lloyd D. George ordered Bundy to remove his cattle from BLM and National Park System lands in the Gold Butte and Overton Arm areas of southern Nevada. He was given 45 days to comply with the order or face seizure of his livestock by the BLM. Furthermore, the order says that the BLM was entitled to protect the lands from trespass and all further trespass by Bundy’s cattle and can seize them as long as he is given proper notice.”

          Bundy was ordered to remove his cattle from the Bunkerville Allotment in 1998 after four years of trespass because the lands are important desert tortoise habitat. He was also enjoined from ever grazing cattle there ever again and to pay the fines associated with the trespass. His cattle have remained on the Bunkerville allotment and have expanded onto adjacent federal lands.” -Adjacent National Park System lands. He did not have a lease nor pay fees in prior years. It isn’t as if he had a lease which he lost because of the Desert Tortoises. In fact he expanded his grazing onto National Park System land after already being ordered off the Bunkerville Allotment. None of the land was “on his ranch.” He had no title and the State of Nevada does not believe he does.

          This post is an absurd working-up of readers without giving them enough facts to understand the case at all.

        • ropingdown, None of this mattered one iota, until it was determined to be important to relieve him of his legally held water rights. That’s what this is about, and pretending that it’s some “legal” procedure is a fool’s errand.

    • Most easterners (and city folk) have never heard of water rights, and have no idea that there is such a thing as a water court.

      Nor do they realize that water flows towards money-even uphill at times.

      • Forty percent of people east and west don’t know much at all, because they’re slow and rarely read. Young people don’t know much because they haven’t had the years and years of news and non-fiction reading.

        I think educated adults in the east certainly are aware of the water battles. Many of these battles actually take place in the east, in Washington. I’ve personally watched Denver-area development steal water from the western slope and southwest Colorado. I’m sure some other readers have, as well. I’m an easterner.

        • What’s the old Carlinism? “Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that”.

        • Roping, I believe you have my email address. Do me a favor, and drop me a line. FYI, I’m over it. We don’t live in good times when the word of the government is absolutely worthless.

          By worthless, I mean my default position is to completely disregard anything the government may have to say, no matter how just or right government may be.

        • ropingdown – I, for one, appreciate your interest in Western Slope water issues; truly a “West vs. East” issue in our own state. You’ve got a commonsense approach to life and issues that would be a good fit out here. Think about it.

    • I don’t disagree with anything you say in your history lesson (it is much the same in California), but question whether any of that has anything to do with this case, where it appears undisputed that Bundy was on federal land, not some ancient rancho owned by his ancestors, and issues about water have yet to receive any mention.

    • Dyspeptic Gumsmith,
      Your right about the Spanish land grants. We have many pieces of land in Fl. that were granted by the King of Spain. I have a friend who owns a piece of that land and in the grant from the King one of the provisions was that the land could never be taxed. And this guy doesn’t pay land tax. The county threatens him every few years and he tells them to go blow smoke because there’s no legal grounds for them to stand on.

    • If Bundy holds such a pre-statehood, pre-Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo claim, why hasn’t he produced it? Why did he pay grazing fees until 1993 if he had a valid claim to the land? Heck, why didn’t any of his ancestors try to get their land back?

      You do realize that Bundy himself says that his ancestors have only been in the area since the 1880s – 20 years after the Nevada Constitution was ratified and 30 years after the Mexican Cession of the land to the Federal government, yes?

      Instead, Bundy argues that the Constitution of Nevada carries no legal force.


  15. Jesus. This has so much stupid it hurts me.
    I can’t help but feel like we are missing something here.

    • You are missing something here, like the actual facts reciting the behavior of Bundy. If the point of this post was to assert that the federal government is wrong to order a rancher to stop grazing his cattle on BLM or National Park System land, in a case in which the rancher did not have a prior lease, and had not been paying fees, even the piddling fee BLM charges, I’m utterly baffled as to the point of the post. Bundy does not even CLAIM that he had a lease, nor that the family had title to the land prior to the U.S. title perfected in 1848.

      The federal court order can be read here: I’ll quote it its most relevant part:

      “Bundy principally opposes the United States’ motion for summary judgment on the ground that this court lacks jurisdiction because the United States does not own the public lands in question. As this court previously ruled in United States v . Bundy , Case No. CV-S- 98-531-J B R (RJ J ) (D. Nev. Nov. 4, 1998), “the public lands in Nevada are the property of the United States because the United States has held title to those public lands since 1848, when Mexico ceded the land to the United States.” CV-S-98-531 at 8 (citing United States v. Gardner, 107 F.3d 1314, 1318 (9th Cir.1997)). Moreover, Bundy is incorrect in claiming that the Disclaimer Clause of the Nevada Constitution carries no legal force, see Gardner,107 F.3d at 1320; that the Property Clause of the United States Constitution applies only to federal lands outside the borders of states, see id. at 1320; that the United States‘ exercise of ownership over federal lands violates the Equal Footing Doctrine, see id. at 1319; that the United States is basing its authority to sanction Bundy for his unauthorized use of federal lands on the Endangered Species Act as opposed to trespass, see Compl. at ¶¶ 1,3, 26-39; and that Nevada’s “Open Range” statute excuses Bundy’s trespass. See e.g., Gardner,107 F.3d at 1320 (under Supremacy Clause state statute in conflict with federal law requiring permit to graze would be trumped.)”

  16. Cows, ranchers, sharpshooters…. its all quite the mess.

    What bothers me the most about this whole issue, and that picture above sums it up best…… First Amendment Area?

    So not only do our rights have limits, but they can turned on or off in certain areas? Or confined to this area or that area but not in between?


      • It is real, I’ve seen some coverage of this on the local news, since it’s been drawing some controversy here in Utah. The people the sharpshooters are pointing at were outside the cordoned off First Amendment Area where they were allowed to protest or record the governments actions, which is why they were being tracked with rifles. Those cameramen can count themselves blessed Lou Horiuchi doesn’t work for the BLM.

        • Nope (Lon) Horiuchi works (last I heard) for the statist wheel-cog known as H-S Precision. They sell mainly to the jackbooted crowd, and are quite proud of their resident assassin as their marketing boy.

    • Ya know… when people talk about how much progress we are making on gun rights, er… licensed privilege, I often point out that we are, in fact, less free (overall) than we were in the 1990s. “Free Speech Zones” is one of the examples I list. Frankly, I cannot believe that so many ignore these blatant infringements. Then again, so many are accepting of a licensed privilege to carry in place of the right to carry… claiming progress in rights along the way.

      The baby steps that the People are taking pale in comparison to the leaps government is taking in the usurpation of power. Liberty will lose this race if the People don’t take larger steps and/or force government to take smaller ones. Government AND those calling for moderation in defense of Liberty are pushing this nation towards inescapable future armed conflict. If enough “moderates” would get on board with a staunch stance for Liberty, government would have no choice but to back down without a shot fired. But, what do I know.

        • Yes, but I don’t understand your point. If you understood what I wrote, then you realize it’s not in conflict with your reply. Are you agreeing or am I missing something in your post?

          When “Free Speech Zones” were rolled out, people were saying that it was necessary because of terrorism and that it was a temporary measure which would not persist. Well, it’s still here and overall (as in not just RKBA or free speech) we are less free.

          I care not who the tyrant is in office; Clinton, Bush, Bush, or Obama. I detest all tyrants.

    • They’ve been rolling those out for anti-war and anti-bank protesters for nearly twenty years. Only now that the use is being expanded past “fringe” groups are people caring.

    • Those have been around for some time. The Wikipedia entry for “free speech zone” cites examples going back to the 1960s, although they have become more common–and more controversial–over the last two decades.

  17. Oh, one more thing that the local Sheriffs can do to stop the BLM:

    Demand brand inspection certs.

    No brand inspection certs in the truck driver’s possession? That’s prima facie evidence of rustling right there.

      • An order of execution of judgment will do the trick too. For example, if I get a judgment against you for $20,000 that you won’t pay, I can execute against your fancy car by having the marshal seize it and sell it at auction, with the marshal’s services paid first, me second, and you any excess. The mere fact that you have the title to the vehicle is no defense to my order of execution–if it were, no one would ever be able to collect on a judgment.

        • And you’ll still need a brand inspection saying that the cattle in your possession are, in fact, tied back to the order that gave you possession of them.

          How do you know that the holder of such an order didn’t just pick up 500 black baldies that were easily available on the next allotment? Without a brand inspection, you have no clue.

          There’s a reason for brand inspection laws in the west.

  18. He didn’t “steal” the land. It was settled by his family way before the federal government decided it was theres. So you tell me who “stole” it. where in the constitution does it say the federal government owns the land that “the people” live on. It’s about power, not a stupid fucking tortoise.

    • It was never about the tortoise, except to the extent that the government could argue that his leasehold interest, if any, was restricted by the EPA. but as Ropingdown’s quote above shows, the EPA was not a factor in the court’s decision. and further, his ancestors trace their use of the land to a period of time after the Mexican government ceded the land to the US government. Bundy raised no claim of pre-existing title.

  19. The sign makes my skin craw. Every inch of American soil is a 1st Amendment zone. Disgusting…

    • You guys ever hear what happened to anti-abortion protesters years, like decades, ago? Does RICO ring a bell? Gov’t has been creating miniscule “First Amendment zones'” for a long, long time, certainly for that particular pet cause of theirs.

      • You mean like the “protest zones” miles from anything (just like Sochi) from Bush II’s reign?

        • I expect the principle is the same, altho I’m not familiar with the specifics of your reference. Did Bush II use RICO on ’em?

        • Another Robert, He didn’t use RICO, he used armed thugs to stifle the protest of, well, everything that r-tard tool was doing in our name. If there was a shrub appearnace, everyone who knew he was Downs was set in an exclusionary zone. To protest. Like we do in our Constitutional Republic…

          Google ‘Bush protest zones’. Prepare to vomit if you’re a patriot.

    • Try exercising the right to speak out about government abuses while exercising the right to bear arms. Watch how many gun owners crawdad on individual rights. All liberties are crucial for a free individual and nation. Hell, some simply exercising their right to bear arms openly get all kinds of disparaging remarks and stern condemnation from people within our own ranks. We must stand alongside the least “perfect” among us as, if tested, none are without blemish.

      (* I’m not expressing a stance one way or another on Bundy’s situation as I don’t know enough about the particulars to do so from any position of knowledge. My statement was made in the general sense.*)

  20. Those of you who support the government in this, think about this one thing: They are willing to kill him over nonpayment for grazing rights. Let that sink in for a bit.

    They will put him in the ground over money they claim he owes them. Does that sound like something you think this country should allow? If they were not willing to do this, there would be no sharpshooters present.

    • That’s bullshit. The government is seeking to recover land that it owns, and that Bundy has threatened to try to “keep” through use of force. So let me ask you, let’s just suppose that this was your ranch land/farm/house/apartment, and a former tenant claimed that your ownership was illegitimate, and that he would “fight to the death” to keep your land after you obtained a court order kicking him out. Do you think that just maybe you would have the right to use deadly force if attacked while trying to recover your property? Or the LEO you sent to perform the eviction came under fire?

    • That Nevada statehood treaty reads like b*******. Did any other states give up all unclaimed property to the feds? Texas has a couple small dots, but Nevada is a freaking patchwork of federal land. Seems like their representative didn’t deal in good faith when they joined the union.

      • You’re right, they didn’t. They were hell-bent on helping the Union in the Civil War. There was a large amount of mineral wealth being found in Nevada at the time, and the Republicans who were in charge in Nevada at that time wanted to shore up the rapidly depleted US Treasury.

        Here’s another set of little known facts about Nevada:

        1. The vast majority of the deeded land in Nevada is the “checkerboard” along the Union Pacific rail line that parallels US-80. For 20 miles on either side of the rail route, every other section was given to the UPRR in payment for completion of the transcontinental rail line.

        2. 95%+ of the riparian areas in Nevada are owned privately.

        Combine the vast federal control of land without water and the economic fact that water is absolutely necessary for most all economic use of land, and you see why the Feds will engage in these types of actions to gain control over water in Nevada.

        Now, how much water are we talking about? A cow in the high desert needs at least 30 gallons of water per day. In the low desert (ie, south of US-6 in Nevada), that’s more like 40+ gallons per day. 500 head, 40 gallons per day, and that’s 20K gallons per day, coming off of some spring or well, somewhere on those allotments.

      • Yes, you’ll find similar disclaimers of title/rights to unappropriated public lands in the statehood legislation and/or constitutions of many of those states which joined the Union after the US Constitution was written. For instance, Alabama’s Constitution has the same exact language as does Nevada’s. Now, some of those “later states” don’t have such a disclaimer; Kentucky does not, because it was split off from Virginia, one of the original colonies, and had already been settled under Virginia law. The western territories, on the other hand, were gained through purchase or conquest (all of what is now Nevada was ceded to the US by Mexico in 1848) and didn’t have the benefit of being “grandfathered” by an existing state.

        The Western states have a much larger chunk of Federal lands than do the other states, simply because they were VERY sparsely populated when they joined the Union; in other words, they had huge expanses of “unappropriated public lands” that more densely populated territories did not.

    • Came about a decade ago under Bush II. They were called “Free Speech Zones” miles away from his appearances, where those who disagreed with him were kept behind chain-link to voice their opinions.

      • I bet dollars to donuts that “free speech zones” first appeared on college campuses to “protect” the fragile feelings of certain favored minority classes of people. The university campus is the least free place in the US. is the clearinghouse that tracks and opposes the loooong list of fascist campuses.

        • Bet hookers to wall hooks, it means sweet FA.

          What matters is when our Gov started doing it, and it was under The Shrub.

      • Oh, they go back LONG before Bush’s Presidency, although he did seem to make extensive use of such things.

        A quick bit of online research for “free speech zones” suggests that they really came to the forefront during the 1960s and 1970s.

    • Good morning! Those just waking up will see many little gems like this left about by government in the past couple of decades. We’re losing ground on rights faster than we’re taking them in the form of privileges. The coffee is over there next to the doughnuts.

  21. These old ranchers are a breed of their own. I’ve known some and this could end very badly. They also stick together as only families who have lived and worked as neighbors for many generations can.

    • I grew up in the country, on a cattle ranch, and can say with 100% confidence that some ranchers hate each other. Over petty stuff usually.

  22. RF you of all people shouldn’t be surprised. They never had problems recruiting guards for the camps.

    These guys are just regular folk living down some non – descript street in America. Perfectly willing to off some rancher or his wife or his kids. Then pack up and drive home to his wife and kids. Maybe go out to dinner at Olive Garden and have a beer with the Eggplant Parm.

    • True enough–oppressive regimes have always been able to find locals–even in other countries they were occupying–to help them with their dirty work. It’s historical.

  23. Having been raised on a farm and dealt with zoning restriction being placed after ownership happened, and a few illegal actions on the land, I have great sympathy for folks who are told by govt how to use their property . Until the people get fed up and change things one way or the other.

  24. Federal land, federal rules. 87% of the grazing land is public land. A federal judge said get off the land, after 20 years. Based in the abc article, most of the ranchers dont want the publicity, because they depend on the federal land for grazing. Sorry, I’m not very sympathetic. If a federal judge signs an eviction notice you gotta go. I dont see anything here but a disgruntled yahoo upset his free ride got curtailed.

    • Go back and read DG’s post explaining how the rules are supposed to work in this case.

      These folks had title long before the BLM was the wet-dream of the statists. They call it “grandfathering” when they let it carry on, otherwise they just change the rules of the game to suit them.

    • Just how and when, precisely, did the federal government take control of this land?
      It’s kind of a salient point.
      Just to note, the BLM didn’t exist until 1946. The U.S. Grazing Service that predated it wasn’t established until 1934.
      His family has been running cattle on this land since the 1870s. They clearly feel that it is their land, and that the government is stealing it from them. And as far as I can tell, those feelings are accurate. We do not live in a feudal society where all property is owned by the king, and use of it is at his pleasure.

      • Forget DG’s post. Go back and read Ropingdown’s post that quotes the court order. Neither Bundy nor his ancestors ever had title to this land, although they do own a ranch on adjacent property. Bundy’s ancestors recognized the federal ownership of the land–and paid rent.

        • Not mentioned is the water issue.

          You jaspers who don’t know jack about Nevada keep focusing on the land. That’s not the issue here.

          It’s the water. The Feds want it, and they’ve clearly said they want it, and have made that clear in Nevada since Bruce Babbit was the head of the BLM in the Clinton administration. Any “rangeland improvements” (which include things like tanks, piping, etc) that the BLM has “allowed” you to put onto water sources that you hold title to in Nevada since 1994 have been installed ONLY if you gave the DOI 50% title to the improvements that YOU paid for.

          The land might be controlled by the feds – but the state and people who make beneficial use of the water control the water. Many ranchers control riparian, spring and subsurface water rights on BLM lands – and those water rights are privately deeded to the ranch – so long as the owner of the rights makes “beneficial use” of the water. If you cease to make beneficial use, you lose the property right in the water.

          The BLM wants the water. The land is a mis-direction – and sadly, too many ranchers fall for the mis-direction. That’s where Hage won – he recognized what the USFS (et al) wanted – the water.

  25. It could be the whiskey, but that “1st Amendment Area” is really pissing me off..

    • It should. I wish I knew more about this area of law–it was litigated in two cases here quite recently–and as I understand it, the doctrine has become quite limited, but that may be just on a state level and not a federal level. It is indeed obnoxious to civil liberties. Wasn’t the federal restriction litigated down in Texas when there were protests at the Bush ranch?

      • Do a bit of online searching for “free speech zones” – you’ll find that this stuff goes back decades, with significant activity beginning in the 1960s and 1970s.

  26. Would be nice to see the Feds put this much effort into preventing illegal aliens from walking across the border.

    • Explain something to me. Out here in the west, we have protesters demanding no more deportations, based on the fact that deportations under Obama are at an all time high, as is the number of BP agents….

    • I’ll second that motion. On the one hand the federal government in the case at hand pushes for upholding the law, in this case entirely federal law. On the other hand, the feds would like to ignore the immigration laws and let a swelling illegal immigration repeatedly be legalized retroactively.

      The problem is that the big city mayors who end up ruling entire states because of their large population tend to be dems and like the illegal immigration. And the Republican business men? They like the illegals too because they put downward pressure on labor costs.

      Why then, don’t the Mayors with so many unemployed citizens object to the illegals, since it hurts the pay and employment chances of the city’s residents? Because a deal was cut long ago: “support our city poor with housing, food, and medical subsidies, and we’ll let you non-city farmers and small factory owners bring in your illegal labor. And if they end up in the city, at least they’ll vote for us!”

      America today. That’s the deal and it’s probably going to stick for awhile. (Rand Paul for President.)

    • It’d be nice to see the Feds uphold import restrictions on food and consumables too, instead of finding out that the ChiCom’s have put yet more long-outlawed poisons into their exports.

      As for the border: it’s yet more security theatre right now. The elites still don’t want to mow their own lawns, so they want a border of swiss cheese. We have scads of under-employed people in this country, and big business wants more cheap labor. I thought we had settled the issue of “cheap labor” in April of 1865, but apparently not. The irony of Obama’s push for wholesale immigration is that the people hurt worst by a flood of cheap outside labor are black males in the lower 40% wage scales of the US economy – ie, Obama is basically selling out the very people who voted for him with the most “hope” of “change.”

      What it will take to finally put in real border security will be when someone ships a nuke over the border and pops it off in a major city. That day is coming in the next 10+ years. Nuclear physics isn’t inaccessible to poor countries any more. The days when we could control the knowledge are gone, the days when we could hamper weapons development by restricting the export of VAX-11/780’s and Cray X-MP’s are gone now that pretty much everyone has a “supercomputer” on their desk.

      The only impediment left is a lack of fissile material, and that barrier will soon fall as well.

      • Two comments:’
        One, you, DG are clearly a rural westerner, not an east coast suburbanite. I have asked so many small business owners why they prefer workers with whom they can hardly speak. They pay them as well as they would pay urban unemployed people. Uniformly they say the same thing, as do small factory owners: “I’d rather pay taxes to cover welfare in the city (3 miles away) than have to deal with the attitude.” I harp about the ill effects of this system, but they don’t want to hear it.

        The borders and nukes: Isn’t a biological/chemical weapon much more likely? The knowledge is much more widespread (neither the biology or the chemistry requires the mathematical sophistication that nuclear weapons engineering does). Dirty b@mbs are the exception of course. Still, it seems bio-chemical is so affordable. Of course these issues should concern dense cities, not the vast western expanses or the ocean-born folks.

  27. Federal land. Who pays for the upkeep? This land belongs to the American people. BLM is like most federal agencies. They can’t agree with each other on how to do anything. This land has been used by this rancher longer than BLM has been an agency. Should be a grandfather clauses. Next may be your land. Law’s that are being passed while we sleep. This country has seen it’s better days.

    • The same people who pay for the costs of fire-fighting when it burns 3 to 7 years after grazing is removed: You.

      If city slickers actually knew how much money the Feds waste in “emergency” appropriations for fire-fighting on public lands, they’d pay ranchers to graze and loggers to log to remove the fuels.

  28. “Could you imagine some kind of roadblock by local Sheriffs turning the feds around?”

    No I cannot; in fact I’d say that’s ludicrous. This guy’s been digging himself a hole for decades and for now it seems like the federales are actually taking a semi-reasonable approach between going all raid-crazy and doing nothing (the latter not being an option if they’re supposed to enforce the warrant). If all they’re doing is having well-armed agents in the area to deter violence while enforcing that court order I’m not sure how I could blame them… I believe in being armed myself to deter violence, after all.

    He’s daring them to do something by continuing to have his cattle on the prohibited grounds; they did something without going to violence; now the ball’s in his court. Smarter move than some others we’ve seen over the years from alphabet agencies.

    • By gum! How DARE this individual believe he has a right to work the land that his family has worked in the same fashion for some 10 generations! Why the peasant is acting above his station! He should be happy that our betters in government haven’t yet taken his life over his insult!

      Of course, I don’t believe a man peacefully going about his business, as his family has done for well over a century, is a bad thing.
      Taking that man’s property? Seizing his child? Those are bad things.
      Who pays for the upkeep of the land? He does. And the fact that he’s still ranching it after some 140 years strongly implies that he does a darned good job of it.

      • Luke, why do you assert that Bundy pays for the upkeep of the land. Indeed, why do you assert that his family has been working that land, ranching that land, for 10 generations? They did ranch their own land. There is no evidence in the original federal trial that they ranched the government’s land for a long period.

        Does working the land give a person title to that land? Working it without a lease? Should I immediately kick tenant farmers off my farm land? Convert them to contractors?

        I’m out of this Sagebrush Rebellion Part IV. I understand the emotion, but I simply think Bundy’s case is not a good one. Show me a man that has been leasing grazing land but gets driven off to save Desert Tortoises and I’ll be much more sympathetic. Peace.

      • “Working the land” does give legal rights, just like adverse possession.

        Regardless, it’s a moral issue.

  29. Rule #1 of how the world works: The law don’t mean shit if you have the right friends.

    This rancher does not have the right friends.

    Therefore the people who do have the right friends will be able to make happen whatever it is they want to have happen to his property and person.

    Unfortunate, but there is nothing new under the sun.

  30. Reading other news reports on this, the BLM folks are saying they have been getting threats and the contractors hired to move the cattle have received threats, hence the show of force.

    Believe it, or not. Question the Fed’s tactics if you like. But there’s more to this than a bunch of gov’t thugs beating up on an old white guy.

    No one has fired a shot so far. Let’s pray cooler heads prevail on all sides.

  31. Until 1993 Bundy was paying BLM for grazing rights. Call it a contract. He then stopped paying.

    “BLM said in a statement two judges ordered Bundy to remove his cattle from Gold Butte. The Center for Biological Diversity, an environmental group, said the federal action was long overdue.

    “Despite having no legal right to do so, cattle from Bundy’s ranch have continued to graze throughout the Gold Butte area, competing with tortoises for food, hindering the ability of plants to recover from extensive wildfires, trampling rare plants, damaging ancient American Indian cultural sites and threatening the safety of recreationists,”

    To me it’s as if a renter stopped paying their rent. What happens then?

    • What’s more likely is that when his leases came up for renewal in the age of “Rangeland Reform” brought down by Bruce Babbit in ’94 is that he wasn’t going to sign the leases with the new terms and conditions that were put onto the leases.

  32. Local towns people should deny the feds gas, food and lodging and any other support they need.. make it as hard for them as they can…

    • Why should the locals do anything to support a thief? Are you arguing that since he has been stealing since 1993, the government can’t step in now and do something about it? How does that work, exactly?

      • That all depends on your POV… He has been an established ranch and grazing that land since before the BLM was created, a grandfather clause would normally apply. This isnt about a few hundred cows chomping of 600k acres of grass.. they dont convene on a middle of know where ranch owned by a nobody without something bigger going on.

  33. This time it could be WaCOW. More likely than ever. I hope the Sheriffs step up and limit fed activity in their counties.

  34. I’m sorry, I just don’t understand how the federal government can own land. Shouldn’t this land belong to the state? And shouldn’t the state auction the land off to private individuals… or something?

    The federal government has no business owning land.

      • The actual number is 87% of the land inside Nevada is controlled by one federal agency or another.

        Huge tracts of land have been withdrawn from public access for military use. If there’s one thing I’d like to see happen is for the neo-cons in the northeast have to suffer the military has a neighbor. Instead of withdrawing 100’s of thousands of acres from public access in the west, how about we move (eg) NAS Fallon to, oh, Long Island, and the residents of Long Island have to put up with sonic booms, jet noise, chaff on their property and UXO hither and yon?

        The other base I’d like to see moved is Hill AFB’s’ MOA’s out of western Utah. Move them to… Virginia. Yea, that’d be pretty nice. Put the base where the strategic bombers have to take off to… just outside of Georgetown. Have the Buffs climb out over G-town and then make their bomb runs on the Blue Ridge Mountains… that’d be pretty nice, IMO.