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
  • OPERATIONS DIRECTOR
    We are a Santa Fe-based nonprofit that builds resilience on arid working lands. We foster ecological, economic, and social health through education, innovation, and collaboration....
  • COMMUNITY ORGANIZER
    Come work alongside everyday Montanans to project our clean air, water, and build thriving communities! Competitive salary, health insurance, pension, generous vacation time and sabbatical....
  • CAMPAIGN MANAGER
    Oregon Natural Desert Association (ONDA), a nonprofit conservation organization dedicated to protecting, defending and restoring Oregon's high desert, seeks a Campaign Manager to works as...
  • HECHO DEPUTY DIRECTOR
    Hispanics Enjoying Camping, Hunting, and the Outdoors (HECHO) was created in 2013 to help fulfill our duty to conserve and protect our public lands for...
  • REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE, COLUMBIA CASCADES
    The Regional Representative serves as PCTA's primary staff on the ground along the trail working closely with staff, volunteers, and nonprofit and agency partners. This...
  • FINANCE AND OPERATIONS DIRECTOR
    The Montana Land Reliance (MLR) seeks a full-time Finance and Operations Director to manage the internal functions of MLR and its nonprofit affiliates. Key areas...
  • DIRECTOR OF CONSERVATION
    The Nature Conservancy is recruiting for a Director of Conservation. Provides strategic leadership and support for all of the Conservancy's conservation work in Arizona. The...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The Amargosa Conservancy (AC), a conservation nonprofit dedicated to standing up for water and biodiversity in the Death Valley region, seeks an executive director to...
  • BIG BASIN SENIOR PROJECT PLANNER - CLIMATE ADAPTATION & RESILIENCE
    Parks California Big Basin Senior Project Planner - Climate Adaptation & Resilience ORGANIZATION BACKGROUND Parks California is a new organization working to ensure that our...
  • CUSTOMER SERVICE ASSISTANT - (PART-TIME)
    High Country News, an award-winning media organization covering the communities and environment of the Western United States, seeks a part-time Customer Service Assistant, based at...
  • SCIENCE PROJECT MANAGER
    About Long Live the Kings (LLTK) Our mission is to restore wild salmon and steelhead and support sustainable fishing in the Pacific Northwest. Since 1986,...
  • HUMAN RESOURCES GENERALIST
    Honor the Earth is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate based on identity. Indigenous people, people of color, Two-Spirit or LGBTQA+ people,...
  • DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
    Colorado Trout Unlimited seeks an individual with successful development experience, strong interpersonal skills, and a deep commitment to coldwater conservation to serve as the organization's...
  • NEW BOOK BY AWARD-WINNING WILDLIFE BIOLOGIST, BRUCE SMITH
    In a perilous place at the roof of the world, an orphaned mountain goat is rescued from certain death by a mysterious raven.This middle-grade novel,...
  • DESCHUTES LAND TRUST VOLUNTEER PROGRAM MANAGER
    The Deschutes Land Trust is seeking an experienced Volunteer Program Manager to join its dedicated team! Deschutes Land Trust conserves and cares for the lands...
  • PROGRAM DIRECTOR
    Now hiring a full-time, remote Program Director for the Society for Wilderness Stewardship! Come help us promote excellence in the professional practice of wilderness stewardship,...
  • WYOMING COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS COORDINATOR
    The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership is seeking Coordinator to implement public education and advocacy campaigns in the Cowboy State to unite and amplify hunter, angler,...
  • MOUNTAIN LOTS FOR SALE
    Multiple lots in gated community only 5 miles from Great Sand Dunes National Park. Seasonal flowing streams. Year round road maintenance.
  • RURAL ACREAGE OUTSIDE SILVER CITY, NM
    Country living just minutes from town! 20 acres with great views makes a perfect spot for your custom home. Nice oaks and juniper. Cassie Carver,...
  • A FIVE STAR FOREST SETTING WITH SECLUSION AND SEPARATENESS
    This home is for a discerning buyer in search of a forest setting of premier seclusion & separateness. Surrounded on all sides by USFS land...