Nevada's most rebellious

 

Note: This article is a sidebar to this issue's feature story, Nevada's ugly tug-of-war.

"(We say) the federal government has to prove they own the land. And they can't do it." - Dick Carver

Nye County Commissioner Dick Carver is a leader in the revolt of rural counties against the federal government in Nevada.

"We get called Sagebrush Rebels but we're as far from the Sagebrush Rebellion as you can get. They assumed the federal government owned the land. (We say) the federal government has to prove they own the land. And they can't do it. We're on the offensive. We put the federal government on the defense.

"The feds do not have jurisdiction. All you have to do is get your county to stand up and pass resolutions saying that the state owns the land, that counties have a duty to manage resources, that public access corridors are public roads, and that citizens have the right to bear arms. Then, tell the feds to cease and desist.

"Keep it simple and don't compromise. Write to the Forest Service and ask them for the Carver recipe. And if they don't have authority, ask your county for a permit. The county can say, 'If you take action against the permittee, we'll take action against you.' "

"If they cut your grazing permit, you write back 'I'll have to reduce my cattle by 100. Here's a bill for $1,000 a cow unit. That's $100,000.' " - Wayne Hage

Dick Carver says he learned everything he knows from Wayne Hage, a Nye County rancher who is suing the federal government for "taking" his ranch through regulating grazing. Hage, who has studied the history of Western rebellions against the federal government, says:

"I was right in the middle of the Sagebrush Rebellion. So many mistakes were made. The answer isn't shifting from federal to state control, substituting one sovereign for another. There are rights in those lands.

"This issue is not one that came out of the Sagebrush Rebellion. This has been a hot issue at least eight times since 1891. There's been a lot of bellowing, hollering, bawling, pawing the dust, but very little accomplished. The previous seven attempts fell flat because the other side caused us to go down the wrong path, fight the wrong issue, ask the wrong questions. This has to be done right this time.

"If you get involved in an administrative appeal, write to the agency from a constitutional point of view. If they cut your grazing permit, you write back: 'I'll have to reduce my cattle by 100. Here's a bill for $1,000 a cow unit. That's $100,000.'

"They'll say you're crazy. But get it in on the record. The endangered species. That'll be another $100,000. Send the bill with interest. If they write back and say, 'If you want us to pay this bill, go to claims court,' that's what you want. No thief who has to pay for what he steals will steal for long."

High Country News Classifieds
  • INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS EDITOR
    High Country News seeks an editor to oversee the work of our award-winning Indigenous Affairs Desk. This individual will lead a team of passionate journalists...
  • HIKING TO THE EDGE:
    Confronting Cancer in Rocky Mountain National Park. Poetry and photos on survival thinking. E-book and paperback available at Amazon.com.
  • OPERATIONS MANAGER
    Founded in 1936, the National Wildlife Federation has grown into America's largest and most trusted grassroots conservation organization with 53 state/territorial affiliates and more than...
  • IPLC RIGHTS AND EQUITY PROGRAM ASSOCIATE
    A LITTLE ABOUT US Founded in 1951, the Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FUTURE WEST
    Future West seeks an executive director to lead this dynamic organization into the future. Based in Bozeman, MT this well-respected nonprofit provides communities in the...
  • PART-TIME EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Mitchell Museum of the American Indian Location: Evanston, IL Salary Range: $45,000 @ 24 hours per week. send resume: [email protected] www.mitchellmuseum.org
  • COMMUNICATIONS LEAD
    Southeast Alaska Conservation Council is hiring! Who We Are: The Southeast Alaska Conservation Council (SEACC) is a small grassroots nonprofit based out of Juneau, Alaska,...
  • SENIOR POLICY ADVISOR
    Since 1989, The Nature Conservancy in Alaska has been doing work you can believe in protecting the lands and waters that all life depends on....
  • OUTDOOR PROGRAM - ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
    St. Lawrence University seeks to fill the position of Assistant Director in the Outdoor Program. To view the complete position description, including minimum qualifications required,...
  • PUBLIC LANDS DIRECTOR
    Job Announcement Conserve Southwest Utah is seeking a dedicated advocate for conservation and public lands Public Lands Director a "make a difference" position Conserve Southwest...
  • FOR SALE
    Yellowstone Llamas Successful Yellowstone NP concession Flexible packages
  • DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT & MARKETING
    Grand Staircase Escalante Partners is seeking a full-time Director of Development & Marketing. This is a senior position responsible for the development of all marketing...
  • LEGAL DIRECTOR
    The Legal Director will work closely with the Executive Director in cultivating a renewed vision at NMELC that integrates diversity, equity, and justice. Black, Indigenous,...
  • VICE PRESIDENT, LANDSCAPE CONSERVATION
    The Vice President for Landscape Conservation leads Defenders' work to promote landscape-scale wildlife conservation, focusing on four program areas: federal public lands management; private lands...
  • NOVA SCOTIA OCEAN FRONT
    Camp or Build on 2+ acres in Guysborough. FSBO. $36,000 US firm. Laurie's phone: 585-226-2993 EST.
  • COMMUNITY FORESTER
    The Clearwater Resource Council located in Seeley Lake, Montana is seeking a full-time community forester with experience in both fuels mitigation and landscape restoration. Resumes...
  • GUNNISON BASIN ROUNDTABLE
    The Gunnison Basin Roundtable is currently accepting letters of interest for ten elected seats. Five of the elected members must have relevant experience in the...
  • PCTA TRAIL CREW TECHNICAL ADVISORS IN WASHINGTON'S NORTH CASCADES
    Seasonal Positions: June 17th to September 16th (14 weeks) - 3 positions to be filled The mission of the Pacific Crest Trail Association is to...
  • WE'RE LOOKING FOR LEADERS!
    As we celebrate 50 years of great Western journalism, High Country News is looking for a few new board members to help set a course...
  • WIND RIVER WRITERS AND PHOTOGRAPHERS RETREAT BY THE NATIONAL BIGHORN SHEEP CENTER
    Enhance your writing or photography skills with world-class instructors in the beautiful Wind River Mountains. All skill levels welcome. Continuing education credits available.