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Nevada rancher in standoff with BLM, Federal GovCo.

Dwight PWCM 2014/04/08 19:05:24
Apr. 8, 2014 9:27am Becket Adams

Armed federal agents deployed last week to northeast Clark County, Nev., for what can only be described as a major escalation in a decades-long standoff between a local cattle rancher and the U.S. government.
Cliven Bundy, right, and Clance Cox, left, stand at the Bundy ranch near Bunkerville Nev. Saturday, April 5, 2014. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management started taking cattle on Saturday from rancher Bundy, who it says has been trespassing on U.S. land without required grazing permits for over 25 years. Bundy doesn't recognize federal authority on land he insists belongs to Nevada. (AP Photo/Las Vegas Review-Journal, John Locher) AP Photo/Las Vegas Review-Journal, John Locher
Cliven Bundy, right, and Clance Cox, left, stand at the Bundy ranch near Bunkerville, Nev., Saturday, April 5, 2014. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management started taking cattle on Saturday from rancher Bundy, who it says has been trespassing on U.S. land without required grazing permits for over 25 years. Bundy doesn’t recognize federal authority on land he insists belongs to Nevada. (AP)
Cliven Bundy, the last remaining rancher in the southern Nevada county, stands in defiance of a 2013 court order demanding that he remove his cattle from public land managed by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management.
The 67-year-old veteran rancher, who has compared the situation to similar confrontations with government officials in Ruby Ridge and Waco, Texas, told TheBlaze that his family has used land in the 600,000-acre Gold Butte area since the late 1800s.
“I have raised cattle on that land, which is public land for the people of Clark County, all my life. Why I raise cattle there and why I can raise cattle there is because I have preemptive rights,” he said, explaining that among them is the right to forage.
“Who is the trespasser here? Who is the trespasser on this land? Is the United States trespassing on Clark County, Nevada, land? Or is it Cliven Bundy who is trespassing on Clark County, Nevada, land? Who’s the trespasser?”

Claiming that all other options have been exhausted, the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. National Park Service responded to Bundy’s inflexibility on the issue by calling on federal agents and contract cowboys to restrict access to the public land and to confiscate Bundy’s “trespass cattle.”
“Cattle have been in trespass on public lands in southern Nevada for more than two decades. This is unfair to the thousands of other ranchers who graze livestock in compliance with federal laws and regulations throughout the West,” the Bureau of Land Management stated on its website about the case.
“The Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service have made repeated attempts to resolve this matter administratively and judicially. An impoundment of cattle illegally grazing on public lands is now being conducted as a last resort,” it added.
Federal employees and contractors have so far impounded approximately 234 of Bundy’s estimated 900 “trespass cattle.”
The restrictions on the land are expected to stay in place until May 12. Earlier news reports stated that federal officials were considering auctioning the cattle to buyers in nearby counties in Utah. However, a Bureau of Land Management spokeswoman told TheBlaze Monday that the agency has no plans to ship impounded cattle for auction “in the near future.”
Embattled Bunkerville rancher Cliven Bundy, left, and his son Dave Bundy talk to a reporter on the corner of North Las Vegas Boulevard and East Stewart Avenue in downtown Las Vegas Monday, April 7, 2014. The 37-year-old Dave Bundy was taken into custody by federal agents on Sunday afternoon along state Route 170 near Mesquite. He was released Monday after being issued citations for failing to disperse and resisting arrest. The Bureau of Land Management has begun to round up what they call "trespass cattle" that rancher Cliven Bundy has been grazing in the Gold Butte area 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas.(AP Photo/Las Vegas Review-Journal, K.M. Cannon) AP Photo/Las Vegas Review-Journal, K.M. Cannon
Embattled Bunkerville rancher Cliven Bundy, left, and his son Dave Bundy talk to a reporter on the corner of North Las Vegas Boulevard and East Stewart Avenue in downtown Las Vegas, Monday, April 7, 2014. The 37-year-old Dave Bundy was taken into custody by federal agents on Sunday afternoon along state Route 170 near Mesquite. He was released Monday after being issued citations for failing to disperse and resisting arrest (AP)
The government’s move to assert itself in the Gold Butte area shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise considering the fact that it’s a move years in the making. In fact, the tense relationship between Bundy and federal government dates back to well before the 2013 court order.
The fight began when Bundy stopped paying the Bureau of Land Management’s grazing fees in 1993, arguing in court filings that he had no obligation to pay the agency because his Mormon ancestors had worked the land decades before the agency was formed.
Bundy claims he owes roughly $300,000 in back fees, but the federal government says it’s more than that.
“It’s a freedom issue. It’s not about cows. It’s a state rights issue.”
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“That number, the $300,00, that was a number estimated through Sept. 11, 2011,” Bureau of Land Management spokeswoman Kirsten Cannon said in a phone call with reporters Monday. “Since then, the estimated amount owed by him – so including the $300,000 – totals $1.1 million.”
In addition, the cost of removing the rancher’s cattle from the public land will cost taxpayers roughly $3 million, according to initial estimates.
The land was finally declared off-limits for cattle in 1998 and became a designated habitat for the federally protected desert tortoise. That same year, a judge ordered Bundy to remove his cattle. He refused to comply.
Contractors for the Bureau of Land Management round up cattle belonging to Cliven Bundy with a helicopter near Bunkerville, Nev. Monday, April 7, 2014. The Bureau of Land Management has begun to round up what they call "trespass cattle" that rancher Cliven Bundy has been grazing in the Gold Butte area 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Las Vegas Review-Journal, John Locher) AP Photo/Las Vegas Review-Journal, John Locher
Contractors for the Bureau of Land Management round up cattle belonging to Cliven Bundy with a helicopter near Bunkerville, Nev., Monday, April 7, 2014. (AP)
All throughout his decades-long struggle with the federal government, the veteran rancher has maintained that Washington has no right to order him from the land.
The Bureau of Land Management has “overstepped its boundaries by not letting me access my rights, not recognizing state’s sovereignty, and having over 200 armed officers watching our every move and stealing our cattle,” Bundy said.
The rancher’s wife, Carol, said there now appear to be snipers stationed around the family’s 150-acre ranch.
Asked about the Bundys’ sniper claim, Cannon would neither confirm nor deny the allegation.
“There are law enforcement and other personnel in place as needed to ensure that the BLM and National Park Services employees and contractors are able to conduct the operation safely,” Cannon said. “Specific operations information regarding this impoundment will not be released.”
“Who is the trespasser here? Who is the trespasser on this land?”
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But the presence of what appear to be heavily armed agents isn’t the only thing that has the Bundys on edge: Their son, Dave, was arrested and allegedly roughed up Sunday for filming federal agents while outside an area designated for First Amendment activity on the restricted property. He was held overnight.
The 37-year-old Bundy was arrested “following failure to comply with multiple requests by BLM law enforcement to leave the temporary closure area on public lands,” Cannon said. She declined to comment on the claim that he was brutally treated.

Dave Bundy was released from custody Monday and cited for refusing to disperse and resisting issuance of a citation or arrest, she added. Cannon could not explain why Dave was held overnight.
The rancher said that he hopes Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie intervenes soon and ends the face-off once and for all.
“The federal government has no authority here,” Bundy said. “The sheriff has the authority. All he has to say is, ‘no’ and that’ll get the federal government out of here. I think he has that much power.”
It seems unlikely at this point, however, that the sheriff will intervene, as he has opted to let federal agents handle the situation. The sheriff has in the past advised Bundy on seeking legal counsel while the sheriff has extended federal deadlines.
The sheriff’s office referred media inquiries to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, which confirmed to TheBlaze Monday that federal officials are handling the Bundy operation.
Dave Bundy, son of embattled Bunkerville rancher Cliven Bundy, to a reporter about his arrest during an interview on the corner of North Las Vegas Boulevard and East Stewart Avenue in downtown Las Vegas Monday, April 7, 2014. The 37-year-old Bundy was taken into custody by federal agents on Sunday afternoon along state Route 170 near Mesquite. He was released Monday after being issued citations for failing to disperse and resisting arrest. The Bureau of Land Management has begun to round up what they call "trespass cattle" that rancher Cliven Bundy has been grazing in the Gold Butte area 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Las Vegas Review-Journal, K.M. Cannon) AP Photo/Las Vegas Review-Journal, K.M. Cannon
Dave Bundy, son of embattled Bunkerville rancher Cliven Bundy, to a reporter about his arrest during an interview on the corner of North Las Vegas Boulevard and East Stewart Avenue in downtown Las Vegas, Monday, April 7, 2014. The 37-year-old Bundy was taken into custody by federal agents on Sunday afternoon along state Route 170 near Mesquite. He was released Monday after being issued citations for failing to disperse and resisting arrest (AP)
“That incident is being handled by another agency,” a Las Vegas police spokeswoman said. “It’s something we’re referring people to the BLM.”
Asked about Bundy’s claim that the sheriff’s office has ignored him, the spokeswoman added: “There’s nothing further that’s coming from this department about that incident, this operation. We’re just referring everything over to BLM. It’s not our operation. There’s no statement that has been issued about it.”
But with or without the sheriff, Bundy remains defiant.
A Bureau of Land Management ranger stands guard at the entrance of a staging area near Mesquite, Nev. Saturday, April 5, 2014. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management started taking cattle on Saturday from rancher Cliven Bundy, who it says has been trespassing on U.S. land without required grazing permits for over 25 years. Bundy doesn't recognize federal authority on land he insists belongs to Nevada. (AP Photo/Las Vegas Review-Journal, John Locher) AP Photo/Las Vegas Review-Journal, John Locher
A Bureau of Land Management ranger stands guard at the entrance of a staging area near Mesquite, Nev., Saturday, April 5, 2014. (AP)
“It’s a freedom issue. It’s not about cows. It’s a state rights issue. I really hope that we can learn and defend our liberties here and keep on fighting until the end,” he said. “I don’t when the end is going to be, but I believe that America is the greatest land in the world and it needs to be protected.”
“Our rights and liberties need to be protected and we’re going to stand for that,” he added.

Read More: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/04/08/armed-f...

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Top Opinion

  • DDogbreath 2014/04/09 00:24:17
    DDogbreath
    +6
    Nice to know that our government has diversified into "Cattle Thievery"

    We all know what they do to "cattle rustler's".

    government diversified cattle thievery cattle rustlers

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Opinions

  • Doc 2014/04/11 19:13:01
    Doc
    +4
    So let's see.

    they are willing to draw a line and not let anyone cross it with the threat of deadly force in Nevada, but not on our border?

    I wonder what they would do in Nevada if an illegal immigrant were to cross the line?
  • Dwight ... Doc 2014/04/11 21:29:38
    Dwight PWCM
    +1
    Fair question.
  • david abe 2014/04/09 19:44:35
    david abe
    +4
    I do not believe there should be a BLM!
  • Marek 2014/04/09 19:31:17
    Marek
    +3
    I really do not have informed opinion on this. If this is such a problem for federal regime why then just simply not give it back to the Indians? After all they owned the land before government took it away. It could be said that both the rancher and federal government are trespassing on Indian land.
  • Dwight ... Marek 2014/04/09 19:40:58
    Dwight PWCM
    +2
    Then aren't we all?
  • Marek Dwight ... 2014/04/09 19:51:09
    Marek
    +2
    If I were an Indian then I'd say YES.
    But in this case it seems like the federal land is uninhabited since it is open range. It would be impractical to give the whole country back and I would suspect not in the best interest of the Indians themselves. However some if not most uninhabited federal land could revert back to Indians.
  • Dwight ... Marek 2014/04/09 20:05:52
    Dwight PWCM
    +2
    I have little issue with that. At least it would be cared for properly.
  • doofiegirl BTO-t- BCRA-F ~... 2014/04/09 15:38:09
    doofiegirl  BTO-t- BCRA-F ~PWCM~
    +2
    It all goes back to control! I side with the rancher! He's ridding himself from government control! He may be doing it incorrectly, but he's standing up for his right as a free American! More power to him!
  • jmc07806-PWCM-JLA 2014/04/09 11:31:14
    jmc07806-PWCM-JLA
    +2
    These government little kingdoms are getting worse then ever lately.
  • roxie 2014/04/09 06:02:52
    roxie
    He's in the wrong and he needs to understand that he has violated the law and made a profit off of Public Land.
    If you are in the meat industry you should not be allowed to ruin public held land....
    Keep your animals on private land
    Those Old Cowboy land grab days are over and he needs to feed his own animals himself out of his own pockets, not our!
  • Dwight ... roxie 2014/04/09 11:32:56
    Dwight PWCM
    +4
    Public land is public land. Do his cattle stop you from enjoying that land?
  • jimmy Dwight ... 2014/04/09 12:02:08
    jimmy
    +3
    it seems to me PULBIC LAND means its own by the people not the government. The damn government owns more land in this country than the private citizen and all in the name of protecting wild life and the environment.
  • Dwight ... jimmy 2014/04/09 15:51:35
    Dwight PWCM
    +4
    And limiting public access to it, from what I can glean.
  • jimmy Dwight ... 2014/04/10 12:14:08
    jimmy
    +2
    SO TRUE
  • Bozette roxie 2014/04/11 20:00:08
    Bozette
    +2
    How much EXACTLY do his cattle free-range grazing cost any one of us or us collectively?
  • DeeB roxie 2014/04/11 21:46:38
  • Dwight ... DeeB 2014/04/11 21:49:52
    Dwight PWCM
    Have you made a post of this yet, DeeB? That's good info to share.
  • DDogbreath 2014/04/09 00:24:17
    DDogbreath
    +6
    Nice to know that our government has diversified into "Cattle Thievery"

    We all know what they do to "cattle rustler's".

    government diversified cattle thievery cattle rustlers
  • Biki~pwcm/potl~ 2014/04/08 22:32:48
    Biki~pwcm/potl~
    +2
    I don't want to see this blow up like a Ruby Ridge or Waco deal, but, this isn't a "free for me, but not for thee." issue. If others are paying for the right to have access to this land, and he isn't because he never has since the 1800's. Then I don't think he stands in the right. The forest service and BLM have tried to work with him, he just seems a stubborn ass.
    But I don't know enough about the story to really judge it.
  • ☆stillthe12c☆ 2014/04/08 20:57:13
    ☆stillthe12c☆
    +1
    I hope that he wins on this one like he did on his lawsuit. Problem is the government plan on taking him to the 9th court where they for sure will win and will never pay the more than $14 million dollars.
  • Philo® ~PWCM~JLA ✩ 2014/04/08 20:01:19
    Philo® ~PWCM~JLA ✩
    +3
    The Sheriff, as the highest law enforcement official in the county (including ANY federal official), is derelict in his duty to this citizen.
  • MadProphet Philo® ... 2014/04/08 20:04:20
    MadProphet
    Actually, the District Attorney is the highest law enforcement official, not the Sheriff
  • Philo® ... MadProphet 2014/04/08 20:09:45
    Philo® ~PWCM~JLA ✩
    +4
    Nope. "...sheriff is an elected official and the chief law enforcement officer in any given county..."
  • MadProphet Philo® ... 2014/04/08 20:13:07
    MadProphet
    Simply untrue. The DA is also elected and he (not the sheriff) is the chief law enforcement official. The sheriff is the chief law enforcement officer (or top cop)... sorry, but them's the facts
  • Philo® ... MadProphet 2014/04/08 20:18:00
    Philo® ~PWCM~JLA ✩
    +3
    Ah, I see. Grammar nazi time.

    OK, the District Attorney AND the Sheriff are derelict in THEIR duty to this citizen.

    Better?
  • MadProphet Philo® ... 2014/04/09 19:46:53
    MadProphet
    +1
    They are... but you stated that the Sheriff is the chief law enforcement official in the county and that is simply untrue
  • Philo® ... MadProphet 2014/04/09 20:09:54
    Philo® ~PWCM~JLA ✩
    +1
    mea culpa
  • Dwight ... MadProphet 2014/04/08 20:11:58
    Dwight PWCM
    +2
    DA is a prosecutor, not a LEO. Interesting idea though.
  • MadProphet Dwight ... 2014/04/08 20:14:33
    MadProphet
    A DA isn't a law enforcement officer (cop) but he is a law enforcement official. The chief law enforcement official in any state is it's Attorney General and the USAG is the chief federal law enforcement official.
  • Dwight ... MadProphet 2014/04/08 22:32:09
    Dwight PWCM
    +2
    I'll grant that he is an "Official", and this one should be there. But he is Not the guy we turn to in time of need, only when we need a lawyer to prosecute.

    I can not imagine a DA facing down anyone outside a court room.
  • MadProphet Dwight ... 2014/04/09 12:53:11
    MadProphet
    Separate but equally important functions but the Sheriff answers to the DA, not the other way around
  • Dwight ... MadProphet 2014/04/09 19:50:31
    Dwight PWCM
    +2
    I have never heard of a Sheriff who needs permission or direction from a DA to perform his duty.
  • txtumli... Dwight ... 2014/04/11 21:19:07
    txtumlinLovesGodMoreThanSH
    +2
    Just one who is obviously a COWARD!
  • Tom Dundee MadProphet 2014/04/12 21:26:03
    Tom Dundee
    +1
    If you see a person killed, do you call the sheriff or the district attorney?
    Let me rephrase that? I really don't care what you would do.
    Normal people would call the sheriff.
  • MadProphet Tom Dundee 2014/04/14 17:08:54
    MadProphet
    Nevertheless, the DA and not the Sheriff is the chief law enforcement officer in any jusrisdiction. Non-sequitirs like the one you propose notwithstanding
  • Tom Dundee MadProphet 2014/04/18 00:37:58
    Tom Dundee
    Sequiter rules.
  • Dwight ... Philo® ... 2014/04/08 20:04:25
    Dwight PWCM
    +3
    I agree, and I include the County and the State.
  • MadProphet 2014/04/08 19:56:29
    MadProphet
    +2
    "... outside the area designated for First Ammendment activities.."

    The entire territory of the USA is designated for 1st Amendment activities...
  • Sheila 2014/04/08 19:55:48
    Sheila
    +5
    Not sure on this one... I actually have this story open on another window...lol. It seems to me his cattle are trespassing. If his neighbors are paying to graze there why should he get to for free? IDK, need to look nmore into this to be able to give a good answer. If you have some thoughts pass em to me and I will check it out!
  • FAM of the OMC 2014/04/08 19:22:15
    FAM of the OMC
    +4
    "... outside the area designated for First Ammendment activities.." Where? Mexico? Since when did undeveloped public lands contain First Amendment exclusion zones?

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