Photos of a standoff

Armed militia members join a Nevada rancher to protest a cattle roundup from public land.

  • Rancher Cliven Bundy greets supporters before a roadside church service at a protest site in Bunkerville, Nev. April 13, 2014, the day before the U.S. Bureau of Land Management called off an effort to round up Bundy’s herd of cattle that it had said were illegally grazed for decades, citing concerns about safety.

    Jim Urquhart/ Reuters
  • Protesters retreat from the BLM’s base camp, where the cattle that were seized from rancher Cliven Bundy are being held. The conflict between Bundy and U.S. land managers had brought a team of armed federal rangers to Nevada to seize the 1,000 head of cattle.

    Jim Urquhart/Reuters
  • Rancher Cliven Bundy talks on stage beside Clark County Sheriff Douglas Gillespie (third from the left, on stage) in Bunkerville, April 12. Gillespie announced the BLM was ceasing its cattle roundup operation. Armed U.S. rangers had been rounding up cattle on federal land before this photograph.

    Jim Urquhart/Reuters
  • Protesters yell at law enforcement officers near the BLM’s base camp where Bundy’s cattle were being held, April 12. Contracted federal agents were present to preserve public safety, the safety of BLM officials rounding up cattle, and to maintain the temporary road block next to federal land.

    Jim Urquhart/Reuters
  • Eric Parker from central Idaho aims his weapon from a bridge as protesters gather by the BLM’s base camp, where cattle were being held, April 12. Members of anti-government militia groups from several surrounding states came to Nevada to protest the cattle round-up.

    Jim Urquhart/Reuters
  • Reportedly hundreds of protesters gather at the BLM’s base camp, where cattle were being held, April 12. Several U.S. military flags appear in the crowd.

    Jim Urquhart/Reuters
  • Protesters watch as cattle that belonged to rancher Cliven Bundy are released, April 12. U.S. officials ended a stand-off with hundreds of armed protesters, releasing several hundred of the 1,000 total animals back onto federal land.

    Jim Urquhart/Reuters
  • Protest signs on a fence in Bunkerville, Nev., April 11. The recent events are part of a long history of anti-federal government movements in Western states.

    Jim Urquhart/Reuters
  • U.S. Rangers man a temporary roadblock in Bunkerville, Nev., April 11, while the BLM rounds up trespass cattle.

    Jim Urquhart/Reuters

 

After 20 years of allowing his cattle to illegally graze on federally-owned public land, last month Cliven Bundy was finally faced with a federal action to remove his livestock from the Gold Butte area of southern Nevada. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management had planned for the roundup to last over a month and to collect about 1,000 cattle, but after just 16 days, it came to an abrupt end on Saturday April 12. The BLM released an estimated 300 cattle it had rounded up, back onto the public land.

This reversal came as a result of hundreds of Bundy supporters, including out-of-state armed militia, arriving to protest the roundup and confront federal agents. According the BLM, the agency stopped the roundup in order to avoid an outbreak of violence that appeared imminent as tensions ran high among protestors.

Bundy stopped paying grazing fees to the federal government in 1993, when desert tortoise conservation priorities altered the terms of his grazing allotment. By 1997, Clark County had purchased all remaining grazing permits in the Gold Butte area in accordance with their Desert Conservation Program and permanently closed the area to grazing. But from 1993 to 2014, Bundy’s cattle continued to graze, despite two court orders to remove them and nearly $1 million in unpaid fees and fines.

An estimated 1,000 Bundy cattle continue to illegally roam the area.

Text by Christi Turner, who is an editorial intern at High Country News. She tweets @christi_mada.

Adam Neff
Adam Neff Subscriber
Apr 15, 2014 11:59 AM
Wow, I love photo 8. "Stand up for your rights", the second half of that should have read "and ignore everyone else rights".
Crista Worthy
Crista Worthy Subscriber
Apr 15, 2014 02:18 PM
I have written and telephoned both the BLM and the Sheriff that let the cattle free. I would encourage others who agree that the cattle should be removed and the law should be enforced, to do the same.
 This is what I told them:
This has to do with the rancher in Nevada named Cliven Bundy.

Since 1993, he has flagrantly refused to pay his bills for grazing his cattle on MY PUBLIC LAND.

The BLM already allows cattle ranchers to graze on public lands for very low fees.

The BLM confiscated his cattle recently and now you gave in to those gun-toting protesters.

Why did you do that? Do you not understand that you were enforcing the law?

What about all the ranchers who actually pay their bills? Why should they continue to pay their bills, when they see that Bundy gets away with not paying?

You are encouraging a whole-scale revolt. Is that what you want?

Does a cattle rancher really run the state of Nevada, the sheriff's office, the governor's office, and the BLM?

I expect the government to fully prosecute this man and make him pay restitution. Not only for his back payments, but for the expense of rounding up and then releasing his animals.

In the meantime, Bundy should immediately be arrested and charged.

I will be following this.

I am sick and tired of ranchers who overgraze PUBLIC LAND THAT BELONGS TO ALL UNITED STATES CITIZENS.

It is NOT his land!

Even more importantly, we cannot allow groups of people who wave guns around to bully others and evade paying their fair share. This is not the 1800s. Do your job!

I know it isn't easy, but that is what you are there for.

Enforce the law, please, now.
brent christensen
brent christensen
Apr 15, 2014 02:25 PM
Wow...This is a sh__y article that does not cover the entire story. If your going to write about political issues, get the facts straight so that readers are not swayed to your personal beliefs.
Clint Harris
Clint Harris
Apr 15, 2014 02:51 PM
The thing is that the BLM is wrong in this case. By limiting his grazing rights, due to this desert tortoise, which is A)not endangered B)Being euthanized by the BLM C) A Red Herring to make the land a "protected" area, the BLM can also pull his water rights. Which need to be sold off to fracking companies. No water, no fracking way. Just to spell it out for proponents of the BLM, The U.S. Government does not have the best interests of the people at heart. This is the same part of the country that was bombed into glass fifty years ago, and now they are worried about a reptile that is probably more endangered by golf courses in Laughlin and a need for green lawns in L.A. but a guy who free ranges his cattle, in an eco-system that has probably become dependent in the cattle is now enough of a threat to start Ruby Ridge II. I call Shenanigans. I'm proud that Americans exercised their First and Second Amendment rights to go against what is quickly becoming a government of thugs. In America, we tell everyone else how wonderful our freedoms and rights are, yet how reluctant we are to defend them.
Jan Stabile
Jan Stabile Subscriber
Apr 15, 2014 02:58 PM
To put this in perspective you have to understand the history of Nevada and its connection to agriculture. Nevada became a state in 1864 the state constitution set the foundation for federal land. For the natives we refer to this as PUBLIC LAND. That is what makes Nevada so unique, the vast amount of public lands. For the most part we get along with the hard working ranchers.
The fees for grazing cattle have not changed since 1963, and half of that money is returned to the state.
Nevada receives the least amount of rainfall of any state in the union.
I’m not sure where Nevada ranks as far as agriculture production, but I would guess around 46 or 47.
Tax payers pay for predator control $1,500,000.
Nationwide only 2% of total cattle production comes off BLM and Forest Service land.
The majority of grazing permits are held by a hand full of corporations, and leased out for a profit.
Open grazing is still the law in Nevada. On private property it is your responsibility to fence the cattle out, which would be a proper four strand barbwire fence.
The Bureau of Reclamation created the dams and irrigation systems, mostly for alfalfa production, and back in the 1930 they needed some population growth.
Cattle production can be said to be the most inefficient process in the production of protein. As a note I like my Rib eye steak medium rare.
Fast forward to 2014 if this land was state owned could they afford to subsidize cattle grazing, could the ranchers afford to pay tax on the land?
If you look at this with an open mind, can anybody make a business case for cattle production in Sothern Nevada, without the help from the evil government? You cannot have it both ways, with one hand shake your fists at the government and in the other hand receive your drought relief check.
Les Marsden
Les Marsden
Apr 15, 2014 03:06 PM
Sorry, but this is NOT his land. This is AMERICA'S land - and this thug is nothing more than a terrorist and an armed bully. He's refused to pay his grazing fees - in open, flagrant and illegal defiance of law. Say whatever you like, attack whatever aspect of this issue YOU deem to be supra-legal, but: the way to change things is not by an ILLEGAL armed stand AGAINST the law. What if I decide HIS cattle are on MY land - as an American, that's as much MY land as his; what if I therefore raise an army of armed thugs and simply go take those cattle, which he CLAIMS are his? Why not?! He's using MY land, YOUR land, OUR land - for his own personal profit and is NOT PAYING US FOR THE PRIVILEGE. He has no implicit right ANYWHERE under Federal or state law to simply run his cattle where he chooses - without paying (essentially) the rest of the Americans who ALSO own that land for his use of it. And for that, he's anti-American - and a damned bully. I hope the Feds raise a HUGE force against him - and in the process, also recover the nearly $1 MILLION he owes ME, YOU and every other AMERICAN.
William Petersen
William Petersen Subscriber
Apr 15, 2014 03:07 PM
How is the BLM wrong in fining and confiscating Bundy for illegal grazing of cattle on Federal land. Bundy hasn't had legal authority to graze on that land for 20 years. The BLM doesn't "limit" his right to graze because he never had "rights" to graze. He had a permit which is a rescindable privilege. The 'militia' folks see conspiracy around every rock and arroyo when it comes to Federal policies dictating use and protection of Federal lands. In essence Bundy is trespassing. His cattle should be confiscated and sold off to repay the fines.

The conspiratorial aspect of this is that somehow, we're supposed to ignore the last 18 years of law-breaking by Bundy and then swallow the 'fringe' theory that this is a Harry Reid led land-grab of "private" property from some ordinary law-abiding family rancher, when Bundy is far from innocent in this matter. But the fringe sure has done a great job of obfuscating the actual facts to get people to come to his aid in order for him to continue his illegal grazing habits on public lands.
Nancie McCormish
Nancie McCormish
Apr 15, 2014 03:20 PM
I agree with Brent (above) this is a poorly written piece about a very complex issue, including some Chinese interests in solar farms being promoted by H. Reid et al. Neil Kornze (former advisor to H. Reid) just took the helm at the BLM a few days ago, and it seems he was able to call off the roundup. Anyone suspicious?

Cattle are not native to this ecosystem... it hasn't "gotten used to it" the past couple hundred years, it has irreparably turned over into a new regime. Federal grazing lesses pay $1.35/animal unit month, which means one cow and one calf for one month costs them $1.35.

Mr. Bundy's 1,000 head or so of cattle are worth between $1,000,000 and $2,000,000 right now as part of his private business being subsidized by taxpayers and the ecosystem. For comparison, consider how many (federally protected) wild horses are being literally exterminated under the guise of "overgrazing" though there are maybe 30,000 animals spread over about 30 million acres and their total population is about 1/10th that of just the elk herd in Colorado. Don't want to hijack this thread but horses are native here, cattle and sheep are not.

Is anyone else alarmed at the massive armed BLM (and other) force mustered on such short notice and surrounding Mr. Bundy's house for... what exactly? How much was spent on this epic fail? What would have happened if anyone at all had fired a shot??? I think we all should give this issue a great deal more attention - it's not really about the cows.

HCN, this story affects the very heart of what America represents anymore. Please do a legitimate, balanced reporting job if you have any hope of offering your readers the journalism your reputation was built on.
Malcolm McMichael
Malcolm McMichael
Apr 15, 2014 03:41 PM
It is interesting to consider the stark difference in treatments between Bundy (along with his armed supporters, many of whom traveled from out of state and appear to be spoiling for a fight), versus that of the unarmed and generally peaceful Occupy protesters (who while perhaps a nuisance to some locals, they didn't break many laws aside trespassing, camping and loitering regulations and occasional anarchist property vandalism).

While the government availed itself of its full arsenal of dirty tricks, anti-terrorism legislation, and riot control techniques in putting down the Occupy protests, it seems to have mainly dithered from behind a desk for decades with Bundy, and backed down when challenged (at least for now).

The Occupy protests, meanwhile, were crushed with a fairly intense coordinated display of official violence, albeit mostly short of gunfire. I can only imagine what would have ensued if an Occupy protestor had positioned himself on a bridge and aimed a rifle at the authorities down below.

It is curious to me how the authorities find it necessary to bring to bear anti-terrorism rationales when dealing with groups like "Octogenarian Nuns for Peace" (made-up name), yet feel the need to exercise decades of forbearance in dealing with an armed rancher with militia support.

It does seem to underscore some advantages to being armed if you plan to confront the government.
Christi Turner
Christi Turner Subscriber
Apr 15, 2014 03:49 PM
Thanks to everyone for taking the time to comment.
For those who would like to read more about the debunked Harry Reid - China connection, including in conservative media:

http://www.snopes.com/politics/conspiracy/nevada.asp

http://www.theblaze.com/[…]/

http://www.breitbart.com/[…]/The-Saga-of-Bundy-Ranch
Brad Purdy
Brad Purdy
Apr 15, 2014 05:29 PM
So, if I choose to grow, sell and smoke marijuana in my home state of Idaho where it's against the law, I can simply round up a bunch of heavily armed dope smokers and point their guns at law enforcement if they try to enter my home with a valid search warrant and remove the pot? Sure. At least that's the logic adopted by these anti-public lands regulation "militia" members. Pointing a deadly weapon at federal employees, or anyone else for that matter, is generally a felony. These criminals got their way, and such is the way of western politics. We're a "tough on crime" people out west, unless we're the ones committing the crimes and we can blame the government.
Larry Wilson
Larry Wilson
Apr 15, 2014 08:09 PM
I can see both side of this in one way. The ranch has used this grazing land for over a century and no one has said a thing. Now the feds want to use it.....for what. You can bet Harry Reid knows why. My bet is it will put money in his pocket too or he wouldn't be in on this. Every time he opens his mouth I can see he can not be trusted. He told the House many times it will be his way or no way at all. I still wonder how he got so rich in office or should I say I am pretty sure I know how. You can tell when he and his friend are lying to us, you'll notice their mouth moving!
John Seidel
John Seidel Subscriber
Apr 15, 2014 08:56 PM
I have been wondering what might be the flashpoint that would ignite the population against the injustices of our government and society. I usually pondered it would be outraged downtrodden minorities, or the poverty drove millions to unite against global corp. But it looks like maybe these redneck constitutional wingnuts might fire the first shots. This guy lost his legal rights when he stopped paying his fees and voided the contract. He screwed up, he lost. He wouldn't compromise with a turtle. Talk about stubborn.
Rissa Cloud
Rissa Cloud
Apr 15, 2014 09:28 PM
What's native here are the indigenous families removed... I lived out in the best of millions of acres of ranch country on & off reservation territory - owned and/or leased, with my daughters to gain perspective; meaning to put the boots (and stirrups) on our own feet. Folks were nothing but good to us and each other, as well knew how to honor the spoken word- no hand shake needed or weapons. Mind, you can dress terrorism in any thing ya want. Will have too see if this 'stand-off' bunch (another definition would be, unwilling to produce smarts in numbers) are reborn as desert turtles in their next life sharing the habitat with ranchers who model America's 1st conservationists or if the FBI way of kicking in the doors at 8a.m. wins out. I say that family is making trouble all the way around, especially for their children. There are better and easier ways to make your point!! "Why didn't ya just make your name popular/famous for setting aside a bit of land for the shell people?". You all could be rich in many ways including $$ by opening up a wildlife sighting B&B in your old age while the kids trade land with the Feds for your cattle industry. Dear God please keep me and my family wise and humble. Good luck de-escalating bad choices. You can do it with honor and pride. Seriously, take your guns and use them properly or go join the marines (THE PRESIDENT'S OWN) and see what being a hero really could be. My request would be that ya represent God's Country with respect.
Doug Smith
Doug Smith Subscriber
Apr 15, 2014 09:43 PM
Please explain to me how this Mormon fruit cake and a bunch of backwoods anti-government nuts get to defy and ignore law enforcement and the federal government?
I think it's a sad and pathetic precedent. Round em
all up and send em to Leavenworth.
Clint Harris
Clint Harris
Apr 15, 2014 10:31 PM
What I can't believe is the amount of hate and "lock 'em up" mentality on this board. Just because this man wears cowboy boots and not Birkenstocks doesn't mean he has less of a right to access land for grazing. If you research the tactics the government is using, they are the same as how the American Indians were pushed off their land, the same as how railroad companies pushed people around in the 1800's, and how the Pinkertons were used to break strikes a hundred years ago. Yes, there are probably better ways to accomplish this, but the onus is not on the rancher, the onus is on the BLM who are not only endangering livestock, but also people by sending in the now militarized BLM. Pay attention. Local law enforcement across the country now employs both military tactics and weapons to suppress and stifle any voice of the public that doesn't conform with popular opinion. By the logic I've seen here, people are eager to extinguish one way of life because of "the law." Think about that next time you support the legalization of cannabis, gay marriage, illegal immigration, or any time the law doesn't suit your lifestyle. By that logic, if it were the 1960's, then you would all be staunch supporters of Jim Crow because after all, it was the law, and we all have to obey our magnanimous government. Maybe the government needs to be challenged, and maybe if it wasn't so anti-citizenry people wouldn't feel compelled to be so anti-government. The truth of the matter is this is America, and if someone doesn't want to sell out and run a B&B, they shouldn't have to over some terrapins. Also, the stats about how only 2% of livestock are free range. Does that mean we should support only industrial livestock production? Meaning it's better to raise cows in the confines of a lightless barn instead of letting them roam free, for what equates probably the only decent part of their existence? Or is a godforsaken chunk of Nevada people can't drive fast enough through so important to keep for a handful of tourists and reptiles (and oil companies)and expel someone who has used it as part of their livelihood for generations.
Mike Clarke
Mike Clarke
Apr 15, 2014 10:48 PM
One may or may not agree with how the BLM is managing the land in question. What is not in question is that court orders and law enforcement is being ignored by the same people who like to complain about "radical environmentalists". In the case of these conservative ranchers, their hypocrisy is on bold display for all to see.
James Rea
James Rea Subscriber
Apr 16, 2014 12:05 AM
Maybe I'm missing something but this seems to be a relatively simple landlord, tenant dispute. Up until about twenty years ago the Bundy family paid their grazing permit fees to the BLM the way all the other ranchers in Clark County did. That would indicate to me that he recognized the land he grazed his cattle on belonged to the United States and was managed by the BLM. When the BLM was sued and forced to protect the habitat of the Desert Tortoise the BLM attempted to reduce the area of the Bundy's permit to comply with the terms of their legal requirement to protect that habitat. It was only then that Clive Bundy came up with his theory that he had "preemptive rights" to graze his cattle on the original permit acreage, and that the land in fact belonged to Nevada and Clark County not the United States, he then proceeded to stop paying his permit fees. It is significant to note that in the small ranching community's of the rural west BLM employees children go to the same schools and their family's attend the same churches the ranchers do. Because of the social relationships those employees have with the ranching families as a general rule BLM employees will try to accommodate those ranchers, who they regulate, when they can. I am not saying the BLM does not do it's job, I am saying they attempt to do that without making any more waves than they need to in the communities where they live. If this were not true why would there have had to have been a lawsuit to force the BLM to enforce the law?. This isn't about states rights, or county rights, or the government trampling a small hard working rancher, its about a tenant who refuses to comply with its landlords rules when a lease (permit)is renewed. Those ranchers have Permits, and the permits expire and have to be renewed. When leases, or permits are renewed the conditions often change that's simply the nature of landlord, tenant relationships. I can pretty much guarantee you that the Bunday's 1000 odd cows have trashed the 600,000 acres they are grazing on. Since that land belongs to the people of the United States. You should be outraged that your property is being destroyed destroyed by someone who refuses to play by the rules and pay the vastly under priced grazing fees the BLM charges. Ranchers with BLM Permits pay $1.35 per animal unit(a cow and a calf) per month, when a grazing leases on private property cost about $35.00 a month for a cow and a calf. The only thing more outrageous is, the BLM allowing itself to be backed down by a trespassing rancher and his supporters who simply chose to ignore the law at every turn. I'll be real interested to see how this all turns out, it's pretty reminiscent of cancelling a few Russian officials visas in retaliation for Russia's annexing Crimea. Teddy Roosevelt has to be turning over in his grave.
Robb Cadwell
Robb Cadwell Subscriber
Apr 16, 2014 05:06 AM
I've never eaten desert tortoise but I'd bet a beef steak tastes a heck of a lot better.
Mike Sennett
Mike Sennett Subscriber
Apr 16, 2014 05:58 AM
 Just another welfare rancher destroying the desert. And not paying for it.
Douglas Bartley
Douglas Bartley
Apr 16, 2014 09:13 AM
Even those here who are convinced that Mr. Bundy is in the wrong here would do well to think long and hard about whether the government is in the right in this situation. Follow the money and the water and you'll find out who is behind this confrontation and who stands to benefit.

A few points to consider:

 - Although everyone "knows" that ending grazing will benefit the tortoise population there is evidence to suggest that the exact opposite may well be true - search for "The Desert Tortoise in Relation to Cattle Grazing Vernon Bostick" - article in the University of Arizona's Rangeland Journal.

 - In the case of the BLM's actions against another Nevada rancher just last year a Federal District Court judge found that the agency had engaged in a conspiracy over a twenty year period to deprive him ofgrazing and water rights - exactly what they appear to be attempting in Cliven Bundy's case and apparently have already succeeded in doing to the over fifty other ranches who were operating in Clark County, NV 20 or 30 years ago. See: "U.S. v. Estate of E. Wayne Hage".
 
 - Someone commented that the "fringe" theories about Harry Reid's relationship to this have been debunked. As far as I know Marcus Stern is still standing behind his August 31, 2012 Reuters story "U.S. Senator Reid, son combine for China firm's desert plant".
Rory Reid, Harry's eldest son was formerly head
of the Clark County Commission - he came back subsequently
to lobby the commission on behalf of the Chinese ENN project.
The commission sold them 9,000 acres of land (at about 15 cents on the dollar). Since the project would likely wipe out any tortoises there, through the "Solar Regional Mitigation Planning" (SRMP) process it was decided that the Gold Butte tract the Bundys had traditionally grazed on would be the land dedicated for "mitigation" - even though no one has documented that the tortoise population is being negatively impacted by Bundy's cows.
A search on "Regional Mitigation Strategy for the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone" is instructive as is exploring Reid's relationship with his former top donor
Harvey Whittemore..

Although Edward Abbey was a tortoise kind of guy (a tortoise is the first
character you meet in "Hayduke Lives" (sequel to the "Monkeywrench Gang")
he wrote a whole book about the government trying to force a rancher off his land "Fire on the Mountain" (1962). Abbey's "The Brave Cowboy" (basis for the 1962 film "Lonely are the Brave") is not exactly off-topic as far as that goes.

As an oldish treehugger myself, it was gratifying to see the support for the Bundy's in this. The government will no doubt be back to "help" further, but I'm glad to see this round go to the cowboys and their supporters. It would
be *really* gratifying to see HCN get in touch with their roots and step up with some investigative reporting on this that goes beyond soundbites and spin.
Mark Bailey
Mark Bailey Subscriber
Apr 16, 2014 09:27 AM
What does it mean that Tim DeChristopher was arrested and spent 2 years in federal prison for protesting BLM law while Cliven Bundy runs free for the past 20 years? Get out of jail free with a cowboy hat?
Pamela W
Pamela W Subscriber
Apr 16, 2014 10:04 AM
Bundy has succeeded in ripping off the rest of us for 20+ years. The grazing fees are ludicrously low (less than what it costs to feed a hamster!), and Bundy won't even cough that up. Bundy is Sagebrush Rebellion, round 2. He is no hero. He is a common criminal. Although some readers feel that he should be exempt from the rules that apply to everyone, I do not. And I just bet that there's been endless "predator control" on this land in support of Bundy's slovenly ranching practices. I vote "no" on giving this pathetic excuse for a good citizen a pass.
michael kucharski
michael kucharski
Apr 16, 2014 11:00 PM
FOR ALL THE IDIOTS WHO THINK THAT THE GOVERMENT SHOULD HAVE THE RIGHT TO FINE MR.BUNDY AND TAKE HIS CATTLE,YOU IDIOTS SHOULD SIGHN OVER ALL YOUR PROPERTY AND ANYTHING YOU OWN TO THE GOVERMENT RIGHT NOW, BECAUSE THEY HAVE JUST FOUND A SPECIES OF TURTLES ON YOUR LAND TOO!! FN IDIOTS!! THIS IS JUST ANOTHER SCAM THE GOVERMENT USES TO TAKE AWAY LANDS FROM RANCHERS AND HARD WORKING RED BLOODE AMERICANS! THANK GOD PEOPLE HAVE STOOD UP FOR THE RIGHTS OF THIS FAMILY! For all of you that think the government is right, I hope they confiscate all of your family land in the future because they have found a field mouse population on it! Wake the F up !!
Wayne L Hare
Wayne L Hare Subscriber
Apr 17, 2014 12:48 AM
Oh hi. Just want to thank you for your enlightening comments. I was even able to overlook all the caps, misspellings, and grammatical errors. Thanks again. And oh, hey, when you're driving to a protest on a road built and funded by the feds....oh, never mind. I understand. SOME federal lands bad. Others...not so much. And the USMC flag in the photos. The ex's base was on, um, PRIVATE land? Got it. Thanks again.
Douglas Bartley
Douglas Bartley
Apr 17, 2014 07:35 AM
Geeze, all the people who think Bundy is some criminal landraper and yet no
one here has a clue about how he operates or the condition of his land or
the condition of the desert tortoises thereon. Don't suppose it has occurred
to anyone to just go ask him to them around and check out conditions for themselves?

In any case it appears that the government is using questionable assumptions about the relationship between cattle and tortoises to reduce grazing AUM's to the point where ranchers can't operate. Unlike the AUM's which are only a conditional right to consume a certain amount of forage at specified times, the water rights are, well, rights - but can be lost and revert to the state if the owner doesn't use them.

And to be eligible to purchase AUM's (animal unit months) from the government,
you have to agree to terms and conditions which essentially allow the government to suspend them at will - that is, to put you out of business
at will. This was central to why Bundy refused to sign - he has repeatedly stated a willingness to pay grazing fees, but not under those conditions.

So, create a situation where the ranchers lose their water rights and the State of Nevada can get a huge windfall reselling them to big corporations so
that Vegas hotels can have water features or the NSA can operate Bluffdale and
surveil the entire planet. Note that while the Feds occupied the Bundy they destroyed water systems some of which had been in place for a hundred years -
and which form part of the basis of the Bundys claim to the area water rights.

Environmentalists are being played here by the corporate/politico PTB who are probably rolling around laughing about it. Hope you remember this when the SWAT teams show up at *your* place...



  
Dale Lockwood
Dale Lockwood Subscriber
Apr 19, 2014 08:20 PM
He hasn't paid a dime for use of the BLM land,he is nothing but a common criminal.
Hank Pugh
Hank Pugh Subscriber
Apr 21, 2014 07:24 PM
What no one has mentioned is that two courts have ruled essentially against Mr. Bundy. Conspiracy theories about Harry Reid's control of the courts notwithstanding, this is how we settle disputes in this country. It's called the rule of law and the courts decide. You have your chance to make your case and appeal ad infinitum if you lose, but in the end it's the courts or the gun. And jingoism aside. the "peoples' militias" rallying to Mr. Bundy's side wouldn't stand a chance against a concerted effort by the government to enforce the courts' rulings.
Linda Athens
Linda Athens
Apr 25, 2014 12:45 PM
I have thoroughly studied Harry Reid's connection and it is certainly legit. First, he puts his Sr Advisor Neil Kornze in as head of the BLM. Kornze started last Aug 2013 but wasn't even Senate approved until two weeks ago. His qualifications. He's 35, lived in Elko. Yeah, great qualifications to be over multiple millions of acres of land.

Try the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone. That's the name of the area including the Bundy grazing area that is being planned to house 50+ solar/wind/geothermal plants by Chinese companies over three states (NV, AZ, CA) and possibly six. Reid is very involved in several of them. Let's not forget, that picture two weeks ago of Harry and his shovel with a line of Paiutes for the kickoff of their solar panel plant which is 35 miles from Bundy.

Like Solyndra and all the others that went bankrupt in spite of obama giving them multiple millions in crony capitalism paybacks for campaign donations, many of which he knew were all ready teetering on the brink of bankrupcy. Might as well have flushed those tax dollars right down the toilet.

Solar panels have dropped in price 50%, are basically worthless as far as energy goes due to the cost and maintenance so these plants, if they go in, will end up empty with people out of jobs.

Meanwhile, obama, using every trick in the book including years to get permits, regulations, etc to keep Americans from drilling for oil on federal lands (only on privately owned land right now) but is now allowing the Chinese to buy into American oil and natural gas companies. I have the list, over about nine states.
Looks like we not only import everything FROM China, NOW they are coming to us. Right in your own backyard there and it wasn't cattle the tortoise couldn't live with, it is solar panel plants.

Year, Horrible Harry is up to his neck in these Chinese plants and there is one more big company planning the same that Ira Magaziner and son, both of whom work with/for the Wm Jefferson Clinton Foundation are involved in. In fact, the Magaziners are involved in the Paiute solar panel plant. Put their names in a search engine.
Linda Athens
Linda Athens
Apr 25, 2014 12:57 PM
Douglas Bartley:

I missed reading your great post. Thanks for the tips. Following is a LONG letter I wrote to the Kingman Daily Miner yesterday, don't know if it will be printed or not but to let people know the uphill battle against environmentalists going on. Just got here, don't know if there is a length limit.


Bundy – The Backstories
By now, most people realize the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) didn’t pay the Bundy’s a visit with many agents, tasers, hired mercenaries and attack dogs at a cost estimated in the millions, all to do with what has been said to actually be a $200,000 unpaid grazing fee or a supposed endangered tortoise.
No, this story goes much deeper, has many tentacles and is far more sinister than most average Americans, who quite innocently make remarks such as the government is over-reaching or yet another land grab, could ever imagine. Complicit is the fact that in 2012, the BLM and the US Dept of Energy published a “Final Pragmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for Solar Energy Development in Six Southwestern States” paving the way for solar energy development projects on acreage including public land in dispute such as in the Bundy case, a holdout in their way.
This plan for solar panel plants and more , fifty plus planned for the NV, AZ, CA area alone, all Chinese backed, fits like a glove with President Obama’s belief and strong ties with global warming extremists and his push for “regionalism”.
The BLM’S own website, before they scrubbed it said as much. “Governmental Organizations have expressed concern that the regional mitigation strategy for the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone utilizes Gold Butte as the location for offsite mitigation for impacts from solar development, and that those restoration activities are not durable with the presence of trespass cattle” ie the Gold Butte/Bundy grazing area is now needed for “solar development” reasons and “trespass” cattle are off limits. (More on Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone later).
For those unfamiliar with regionalism, it’s a push to get people out of the suburbs and back in the cities, the belief being suburb people take tax money with them. The Obama administration feels through Energy Dept and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations, they can force people back by making all federal funding adhere to global warming. And are they ever adept at it. It’s also a re-distribution of wealth but for another column.
They also, as with the so called endangered tortoise on Bundy grazing land, effectively use endangered species (frequently not endangered at all) to re-locate people and destroy lives. A side note on the tortoises, 1400 were moved to a S Las Vegas sanctuary they built for them, not because the tortoise could not live w/cattle (they often survived off cow paddies) but because it is “green energy”plants that cannot live with tortoises. Running out of sanctuary money (tax dollars), they are euthanizing 700, letting the others go. So much for endangered.
Blogger Dana Loesch discovered Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, knee deep in this story, was urged by developer friend Harry Whittemore to move the specified tortoise habitat over to Bundy grazing land as a tool to move Bundy’s cattle off the land. Whittemore is now in prison for illegally donating $150,000 to Reid’s re-election campaign in 2007. Now we see how they effectively use plants and animals to “re-distribute” humans, “steal” their land, especially disturbing since property ownership was created by our Founders, it being non-existant in the world prior to that time. Even American Indians didn’t believe in property ownership until the time of the Founders.
For anyone unaware of the clout of environmentalists, the largest, the Environmental Defense Fund (assets of $132 million, 400,000 members) now has as it’s VP on rivers and deltas, Obama’s former Sr Energy Advisor and transition team member, Elgie Holstein. In 2011, Obama hired EDF’s Nat Keohane, as his special assistant on energy and environmental issues. And Obama himself once sat on the board of the left wing environmentalist Joyce Foundation.
The second largest, National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) whose staff consists of 350 lawyers and environmentalists, 1.3 million members with locations in five major US cities and Beijing, China and $97 million in annual revenue, is so powerful, they are known as the “Shadow EPA” . They influence every law and regulation that affects LAND USE, energy conservation, air and water pollution and nuclear waste. Their radical opposition to capitalism, Marxist at it’s roots with their belief capitalism is destroying nature not only use expanding the state through regulations but have also embraced so-called green jobs, namely wind and solar power. Far less efficient and far more expensive than fossil fuels, there is no free market demand for either so they look to government to subsidize them.
Enter problematic cattle on grazing land, solar and wind plants accompanied by Chinese with money and liberal Democrats looking to line their pockets. Add the fact, there is a concerted effort by our government to own more and more land, 80+ % of Nevada alone. Study the “Wildlands Project” map. In red is the area they want as off-limits. It nearly covers the map. Yellow is for part-use, covers a huge part of the map and one very small green area is the only area totally for humans to use. THAT is their goal.
It goes without question, we all need to be good stewards of the earth. But by 1970, we had many problems prompting the Nixon Administration to pass landmark environmental laws, the Clean Air Act of 1970 and the Clean Water Act of 1972 and create the EPA. There was an immediate restorative affect. Air pollution declined dramatically, pollutant dust and lead in the air decreased a hundred fold. The number of water bodies safe for swimming and fishing doubled. The environment rebounded and American industry followed suit. Although cars doubled since 1970, smog declined by one-third. Toxic emissions from industry declined 51% even though petrochemical manufacturers increased production.
Before awaiting the outcome of the new laws however, productive environmental groups were over-run by leftover 60’s radicals and new radical environmental groups were also formed. We now have 553 far left-wing radical capitalist hating environmental groups receiving grants of $555.4 million compared to $1.2 million in grants going to the 32 free-market moderate groups, a ratio of 462 to 1. (The New Leviathan – David Horowitz/Jacob Laksin)
Many, putting money ahead of what’s good for America, have jumped on the “green job” bandwagon, not the least of which is Al Gore, Harry Reid and the Clintons, all opulently wealthy.
Last year, Reid stayed quiet until his clout got his Sr Advisor, 35 year old Neil Kornze, with no qualifications except being born in Elko in as Deputy Director of the Bureau of Land Management, overseeing 264 million acres of mostly western states land.
During a 2011 Senate trip to China on our dime, Reid had already teamed up with Chinese billionaire Wang Yusuo, founder of ENN Energy giant to win incentives including the Laughlin $5 billion planned 9000 acre solar energy plant now on hold. A bonus, Reid got son Rory, an attorney w/the huge law firm Lionel Sawyer and Collins headed by former NV Atty Gen, Governor and US Senator Richard Bryan at it’s helm, to broker a deal. In spite of solar panel prices plunging 50% in recent months, Rory, a former Clark Co Commissioner got a mega-deal for the Chinese. They paid $4.5 mill for land assessed at $29 to $38 mill with a promise of jobs.
A promise to the Chinese of a first customer fell through when NV Energy and CA Energy said no so Harry Reid enlisted billionaire friend Warren Buffett to acquire NV Energy, got Sen Atkinson to sponsor Senate Bill 123 (Nvision) and put it on a fast track which may bring it back. (Reuters) Harry Reid wasn’t left empty handed however, for over three election cycles, Chinese ENN contributed $40,650 to him.
Kornze, in his new BLM position, was only confirmed by the Senate two weeks ago, Apr 8, 2014 but started work at the BLM last Aug 2013 anyway and immediately got a federal court order giving Cliven Bundy 45 days to move his “trespass” cattle off the grazing land. A plethora of reasons was given (a car hit a Bundy cow, could be dangerous, etc), but nowhere were unpaid land/grazing fees even mentioned.
But that’s just the beginning of the Reid story. And the reason some 40+ other ranchers have already been run off their land in the same area. Remember that Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone brought up above? The entire region around Bundy is slated for a large number of solar, wind
and geothermal energy generation facilities which will obliterate nearly all that tortoise’s natural habitat, not Bundy’s cattle that had lived easily with the tortoise for the last 100 years.

It is the BLM’s own library of renewable energy projects that revealed these 50+ planned projects and Reid is focused on several, all close to Bundy’s. In fact, March 21, 2014, Harry was there with his shovel at the ground breaking of the Moapa Southern Paiute Solar Project, just 35 miles from Bundy. And just for the hell of it and because, with Kornze strings to pull I guess, Reid threw in another 25,000 acres to the Paiutes to go along with the 75,000 acres they already have for their 200 people.

Of interest is the fact, the leaseholder for the project is K Road Power, LLC, a NYC based energy co whose business development manager is none other than Jonathan Magaziner, former associate at the Clinton Climate Initiative of the Wm J Clinton Foundation. Son of Ira Magaziner, former Sr Policy adviser for President Clinton and who now works for the Clinton Foundation on health and environment issues.

There is also First Solar, listed on BLM’s renewable energy project map of So Nevada, one of 11 sited in Clark County. The map shows six wind projects in Clark Co, also lists K Road Moapa project under “transmission projects”.

First Solar investors comprise a who’s who of Democratic insiders including major Obama campaign bundlers, billionaire investor Paul Tudor Jones, Al Gore, Ted Turner, Goldman Sachs.

And First Solar’s CEO is Michael Ahearn, former fundraiser for both Obama and Harry Reid. The real threat here is by Bundy and the tortoise to Reid and a gamut of Democrats tied to Obama, Clinton and Gore.

This plan to turn the West into a massive green project to line the pockets of liberals is at the very least distressing, worse and down the road, will leave people without jobs and empty plants when the unsustainable costs, maintenance problems, etc that closed Solyndra and others do the same to these.

Bundy is right about the land when he says he will make payments to Nevada but not the Feds.

In America’s infancy, the Supreme Court of the United States upheld the Founding Fathers’ understanding of federal control over land. Justice Stephen J. Field wrote for the majority opinion in Fort Leavenworth Railroad Co. v Lowe (1855) that federal authority over territorial land was “necessarily paramount”. However, once the territory was organized as a state and admitted to the union on equal ground, the state government assumes sovereignty over federal lands, and the federal government retains only the rights of an “individual proprietor”. This means that the federal government can only exercise general sovereignty over state property if the state legislatures formally grant the federal government the power to do so under the Enclave Clause with the exception of federal buildings (post offices) and military installations. This understanding was reaffirmed in Lessee of Pollard v Hagan (1845), Peroli v Municipality No 1 of the city of New Orleans (1845) and Strader v Graham (1850).

Sadly, the Supreme Court began redefining the Constitution and legislating from the bench under the guise of interpretation.
Tim Baker
Tim Baker
Apr 26, 2014 10:40 AM
Some of the commenters above, and indeed Cliven Bundy himself, seem to either be ignorant of or just refusing to acknowledge a simple statement in the Nevada state constitution: "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."

Dennis Willis
Dennis Willis Subscriber
Apr 27, 2014 09:30 AM
People who think it is necessary to remove Cliven Bundy in order to make room for some conspiracy need to get real. Grazing public land has always been a revokable privilege. Ranchers have been displaced for military ranges, National Parks and Monuments, mining, urban expansion, airports and the list goes on. They get displaced for other land uses, end of story. There is no need to remove the rancher before embarking on another project. If they think the end game is Bundy's water rights, they need to think again. A livestock water right for 1,000 head of cattle would not irrigate two acres of alfalfa. It would only be a little over an acre foot, not enough for any developer to care about. Bundy's interests do not raise to the level of trivial in western land and water policy.
Tom Darnell
Tom Darnell Subscriber
Apr 29, 2014 05:17 PM
United States of America v Bundy, Document 35; United States of America v Bundy, Document 56.