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  1. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    The dispute at the "Bundy Ranch" arose because Cliven Bundy had been grazing his cattle on 158,000 acres of public land without a permit. The history of the dispute is explained here by Alan O'Neill, former superintendent of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area.
    http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2014/apr/06/rancher-land-dispute-bully-not-hero/


    The cause has been promoted by some libertarian activists who see the BLM's enforcement of the law as a heavy handed abuse of power. They feel that because Bundy is using the land, and nobody else is, then he should be free to do so (and presumably without paying any fees). They feel that requiring him to pay his back fees and reduce his grazing herd to the mandated size, is illegal and unconstitutional, despite the courts' interpretation of this. Bundy's daughter Shiree Bundy Cox explains their rationale here:

    http://theconservativetreehouse.com/2014/04/09/the-tinderbox-bundy-ranch-in-clarke-county-nevada/


    There are some disturbing undercurrents here. It's almost as if the anti-fed movement actually wants another Waco, or Ruby Ridge, so they can use it as some kind of rallying cry for revolution. See some comments on the Las Vegas Sun article:


    Waco and Ruby Ridge are events enshrined in the Patriot/Libertarian/Militia movements - where the Feds are the unredeemable villains, and the people they were coming to arrest were simple heros who did nothing wrong. This is how they are also trying to portray the situation with Cliven Bundy at Gold Butte.

    But it seems like even this "Simple Rancher vs. Big Government" argument is not enough, and now the story is being re-framed as "Simple Rancher vs. Corrupt BLM in league with Big Oil and Facking" - with the story being that the BLM want Bundy off the land, so they can sell Fracking leases, so they can then given themselves pay rises. An example of this story is here:

    http://www.naturalnews.com/044670_blm_lies_fracking_leases_bundy_ranch.html


    Here are the problems with this story:

    The BLM already has the land. They don't need to get rid of Bundy in order to grant oil leases. He's already, in the eyes of the law, gone since he stopped paying for his permit in 1993. And even if he was still there, his rights to graze on the land would not affect oil leases in any way.

    Invoking a reptile will not help. As having an endangered species present will affect the ability to give oil exploration leases as much as it helps reduce the number of cattle grazing. And remember this is a dispute that dates back to 1993. It's not like the BLM just suddenly played the tortoise card. The Tortoise was the cause of the original dispute 20 years ago. He's not being evicted for the tortoise, he's having his cattle removed because he has not paid a grazing fee for 20 years.

    The article claims the money collected by the BLM will increase BLM salaries and bonuses. But BLM, being a federal agency, has fixed tiered salaries paid under the General Schedule, and does not give bonuses for selling oil rights. Those monies just go to the treasury.
    http://www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/resources/Jobs/benefits.html
    http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/energy/oil_and_gas/questions_and_answers.html

    The $1.27 million mentioned in the article is for an entirely different area of Nevada. Near the town of Wells in Elk County in the North West on Nevada (Gold Butte is in the South West). And as already noted, the BLM does not get the money.

    The ruling against Bundy from 2013 is attached

    Here are the regions under discussion. Note the actual Bundy Ranch is the small green square. Just 160 acres. The grazing area (which is all public land) is nearly 1,000 times as large at 158,000 acres. The red outline shows the area of public land he originally had leased grazing rights to, but lost in the 1990s. The black shaded areas are regions he never had grazing rights to, but the BLM claims he's been grazing cattle illegally there too. And again, what he actually owns is just the area indicated by the green square.
    [​IMG]

    This is from the attached file "Bundy Document 19-2.pdf", which contains more details about the case, and is quite fascinating reading. Other related court documents are also attached.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 16, 2014
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  2. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Another good overview of the issue:
    http://thinkprogress.org/justice/20...d-on-nevada-to-help-rancher-defy-court-order/

     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2014
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  3. Balance

    Balance Senior Member

    I'm not making a point, but isn't this a penal charge? It seems inproportionate.
     
  4. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    You mean punitive? It does seem a lot, but I guess the idea is to get him to immediately remove them. I get charged $387 every time I go in the carpool lane without a passenger. It's a deterrent. It just did not work in this case.
     
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  5. Soulfly

    Soulfly Banned Banned

    What's wrong with his own land?
     
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  6. SLSweets

    SLSweets New Member

    These ranchers don't run cattle on just their 'own land'. They buy 'grazing leases' to BLM and other Federal lands. They also agree to abide by the terms of the lease, which means they have to do what BLM wants done (reducing herds to avoid overgrazing land in drought conditions, for example). If they don't abide by it, then they lose their lease, as was done in this case.
    It happens all the time. But this rancher hasn't paid in 21 years now, so he is losing his herd the hard way, and that is a shame, because it is calving season.

    Just remember, This person is grazing on PUBLIC LANDS, not on his own lands, without PAYING ANY FEES.
    If he was grazing his cattle on his neighbor's land, under the same terms, it wouldn't have taken 21 years to get his herd off the land.
     
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  7. jd9

    jd9 New Member

    The tortoise problem seems like a false one. Then it was used to apply exorbitant feeds to the rancher. The people behind the laws are not being honest or being good citizens. Lots of stories like this in the world where older people don't want to sell their property or change their habits and big corporations negotiate with them or wait them out. Land usage does change over time. At one time there were no ranchers, but if Bundy was using the grazing as part of a long established tradition then the Federal government is completely wrong to try and find some way to steam roll him. That is not the purpose of our country. To create a law based on a falsehood and then agree all around that "The law is the law" is just evil and is why we fight wars. And this is the natural inclination of the Federal Government. They have a "you can't fight city hall attitude". It's unhealthy.
     
  8. jd9

    jd9 New Member

    I think common grazing land has a long history in world economics. An economic good derives from it. But just one owner abuses the common good. In this case the abuser seems to be the federal government.
     
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  9. Trigger Hippie

    Trigger Hippie Senior Member

    Why?
     
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  10. Bill

    Bill Senior Member

    I think the Government's initial approach was heavy handed. Unfortunately Bundy chose to exacerbate the problem by exceeding the grazing limits and refusing to pay the required fees. He took what could have been a minor issue that should have been resolved through bureaucratic channels turned it into a major legal violation. The concept of common grazing land only works if everybody abides by the rules. He chose not to and he's lucky the Government allowed him get away with his actions this long.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2014
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  11. NoParty

    NoParty Senior Member

    I'm quite puzzled as to where these statements come from. Are you just venting, or do you have any evidence?
     
  12. Dallasite

    Dallasite New Member

    Yes, it has a well-established history in economics and is used as an object lesson: "The Tragedy of the Commons". This hypothetical anecdote illustrates the problems of "free-riders" and commonly owned-used property (or any finite resource). It goes something like this:
    Imagine a small village in a rural area. Most of the locals are farmers who have a few head of dairy and beef cattle. As a few more people move into 'town', they generally have smaller lots/less acreage on which to graze their cattle, but they realize there is a vacant piece of land in the middle of town, that is commonly owned and (poorly) maintained by the town itself (much like City Hall is owned by the city) - hence, the name "the Commons". That vacant land with lots of overgrown grass would be the perfect place for the folks living in town to graze their cattle, so the town opens it up to anyone who wants to bring their cattle there to graze, for free. As you might expect, everyone brings their cattle there (since it's free!) and it is quickly over-grazed to a barren patch of mud and manure (the "Tragedy"). So, the lesson is, given our human nature, unlimited access to a free public 'good' which is in high demand will inevitably result in excessive use and depletion, even to the point of total destruction of "the Commons". It has been applied to other areas, and it has its criticisms, but the academic analysis has been around for quite some time.

    But to your last point, I would have to disagree that the federal government is the "abuser" in this situation. I'm not really a fan of the government's actions here, but I am more strongly opposed to free-loaders who take advantage of the situation and refuse to obey the rules/laws and court orders that the rest of our society recognizes and abides by (in this case, that 'cheater' is Bundy).
     
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  13. Bill

    Bill Senior Member

    This is public land. I can do it because my daddy did it is not a valid argument for ignoring the BLM's rules. If the government was taking land owned by Bundy he might have an argument but in this case it is not his land and he's not paying the fees associated with use of the land. Now he's in trouble but it is trouble he brought on himself. The government has tolerated his actions since 1993 so he's not exactly being steamrolled.
     
  14. MikeC

    MikeC Senior Member

    And if he was using the grazing as part of a long established tradition that you pay for using it, as hte facts seem to support, then the Federal Government is completely right to try and find some way for him to continue paying for that use.

    Fortunately there is no indication of any such attitude here. Payment for using federal grazing land is a long established feature.

    Except here is no evidence for it in this case - if you use someone else's property you pay for it - thinking anything else is entitlement mentality.

    It is also unhealthy to steal federal property.
     
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  15. Alhazred The Sane

    Alhazred The Sane Senior Member

    Why was the tortoise problem a false one? I saw a multi-million road construction halted for a snail in Kildare, Ireland. Then a bridge was built that would protect the snail, costing millions more.

    As for the exorbitant fees, how much were they before the tortoise problem, and how much were they afterwards?
     
  16. Soulfly

    Soulfly Banned Banned

    It is probably a lot less than them taking all of his cattle. If he had gotten them off the land fast enough anyway.
     
  17. Jaqui

    Jaqui New Member

    Fact, US Govt wants to kill the tortoises, The Washington Post reported in 2011 that “Federal funds are running out at the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center and officials plan to close the site and euthanize hundreds of the tortoises they’ve been caring for since the animals were added to the endangered species list in 1990.” Fact, Govt is involved in possible fracking on BLM land in NV for oil. Reno Journal "Noble's activities target a checkerboard of private and public land in northeastern Nevada generally located between Elko and Wells north and south of Interstate 80. Sixty-seven percent of the 580-plus square-mile area is privately owned, with the remaining public land managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management." Fact, Reid's son is involved with wind & solar farm on BLM land with China "
    the director of BLM is Reid’s former senior adviser, Neil Kornze. BLM had posted on its website documents stating the agency wanted Bundy’s cattle off of the land his family has worked for over 140 years in order to make way for solar panel power stations. The agency removed it when the standoff became national news.
    “Non-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,” the document states. That would be the Chinese solar plant – the Management, or BLM" What's true, who knows, fracking, solar/wind China. What we do know is the Fed Gov't removed 50 ranchers and Bundy is a holdout. Cancel his grazing rights in 1994 & his cattle starve. He'll have to relocate. Starve 'em out, wait 'em out.
     
  18. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Except that's not a fact - they don't want to kill the tortoises. They want to prevent the tortoises from becoming extinct. It's unfortunate that lack of funding forced the center to close, but since that's set in stone, there is nothing else they can do with the tortoises there.

    And the off-site mitigation aspect of the solar power plant is an incredibly minor point. The real issue here is that Bundy has not been paying his fines, and there are court orders requiring him to reduce his cattle.

    Perhaps this is all unfair for him, but it is the law. We are a nation of laws, not a nation of men with guns.
     
  19. Bill

    Bill Senior Member

    You need to include links to your references.
     
  20. moderateGOP

    moderateGOP Active Member


    Thanks for the write up Mick. I learned more from this post than watching the past five nights on Fox News. This type of story sickens me to no end. I think Infowars was one of the first sites to pick up on it and now all manner of right wing people are rallying behind chaos and rule breaking! It makes me mad that society has seemingly forgotten how to research stuff.
     
  21. Jaqui

    Jaqui New Member

    You're missing the fact that the BLM cancelled his contract in 1993, he didn't refuse to pay. They wanted him off for the "tortoises" sake.
     
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  22. Jaqui

    Jaqui New Member

    Here's something interesting. Maybe Harry Reid should be kicked off his land that he thinks he owns.
    - Harry Reid 'owns' 200 acres in Searchlight, all old BLM mining deeds inherited from his miner dad, all filled with desert Tortoise. His claim to that land is likely dependent on BLM favouritism. Maybe he should be evicted. In 2007 Vegas land was $700k/acre. People thought Searchlight would be bedroom community. During RE boom, Reid thought his land worth $20 million. That's why the new four lane highway into Searchlight directly benefited Reid, for land he has no more right to than the Bundys.
    - Someone should ask how many Tortoises were killed building four lane superhighway to Harry Reid's land in Searchlight. Reid has positioned himself to be a beneficiary of owning the land entering Searchlight as a future bedroom community
    http://www.dailypaul.com/316556/harry-reids-connection-to-bundy-ranch-siege
     
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  23. moderateGOP

    moderateGOP Active Member

    So first you say, that the government wants to kill tortoises. Then you say they want to kick Bundy off his land to save the tortoises. You are making no sense...
     
  24. moderateGOP

    moderateGOP Active Member

    The dailypaul is not a reliable source....sighs.
     
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  25. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    They wanted him to reduce his cattle grazing in that location (The Bunkerville allotment) to 150. Yes it was for the tortoises - but that's the law. The endangered species act has messed with a lot of people's plans.

    Instead he increased the number of cattle, and expanded to other publics lands, for which he never had a right to graze.
     
  26. Pete Tar

    Pete Tar Moderator Staff Member

    There's a claim that BLM 'pulled' a 'document' from their website, when it is simply a page devoted to updating the current situation, no doubt due to public interest. There was nothing in the so-called 'pulled document' apart from a description of the ongoing situation at the time and their justifications for their actions.
    They simply changed the summary. http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/lvfo/blm_programs/more/trespass_cattle.html.
    The previous incarnation...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    The claim is it was pulled because it references the Dry Lake Solar project and they didn't want people 'joining the dots' as infowars has so kindly done for everyone.
    http://www.infowars.com/breaking-sen-harry-reid-behind-blm-land-grab-of-bundy-ranch/
     
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  27. Trigger Hippie

    Trigger Hippie Senior Member

    He refused to pay.

     
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  28. Soulfly

    Soulfly Banned Banned

    Sorry if this has already been posted. It seems the fee Mr. Bundy should have been paying since 1993 was $1.35 per cow-calf pair per month. Doesn't seem like much of a fee to pay. Why turn it into this for such a small amount?
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/10/us-usa-ranchers-conflict-idUSBREA390QI20140410
     
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  29. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

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  30. Soulfly

    Soulfly Banned Banned

    According to the page 8/9 number 30, Bundy would have had the chance to get his cattle back after they were rounded up. Isn't it argued that the cattle were to be rounded up and killed?
     
  31. Soulfly

    Soulfly Banned Banned

    How many other ranchers were leasing on the lot(s) in question? Was the entire lot(s) reduced to 150 head or was it 150 head per rancher leasing?
     
  32. Trigger Hippie

    Trigger Hippie Senior Member

    I found this document from the Center for Biological Diversity which has a nice short recap of the situation.

    It seems in the mid 1990's Bundy wanted to pay the grazing fees to the county rather than the feds. The county refused the money because it was not theirs to collect. In 1998 Clark County purchased the grazing rights and retired them. Basically, in 1998, the county forbade everyone from using the land. So now, Bundy owed the past due grazing fees and the accumulating fines. Both of which he refused to pay, and he continued letting his cattle graze on the forbidden allotment.

    It's interesting how much of the rhetoric involves cries of the the federal government staying out of state affairs, when it seems that it's the local government (Clark County) that doesn't want cattle grazing in the Bunkerville allotment.



    In this article from back in 1992, Bundy was complaining about money, he made no mention of his hereditary rights to the land.

     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2014
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  33. Joe

    Joe Senior Member

    Sure so if we cant seem to figure out why Beef is at it highest price ever because they prefer some stupid turtle which we can't eat . Or the delta Smelt so the San Joaquin Valley drys up . We are a nation of crooked politicians and crony capitalism not a nation of laws . Seemed like the Government has no problem arming the BLM as if they were the military . The government is to blame for this Ruby Ridge , Waco and almost the Hutaree militia . The government backed down because of the alternative media couldn't be used as The lame stream media was in Waco . It was OK when they used Nevada to test Nukes and they are afraid of cows ? They are just after the food .
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2014
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  34. Bill

    Bill Senior Member

    That's interesting but it's also irrelevant. After the allotment was closed to grazing Bundy continued to graze his cattle there. Claiming Reid's at fault does not put Bundy in the right. Bundy has pushed this for 20 years and now it has com back to haunt him.
     
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  35. Bill

    Bill Senior Member

    I lived in Texas for years. Cattle everywhere - New York City has fewer rats! Bundy's herd is a drop in the bucket and has no impact on the price of beef. Most ranchers that use BLM land are good stewards of the land and graze no more cattle than the government says an allotment can stand. Tortises aside it has been shown on this thread that Bundy was also told that the allotment could only support 150 head without doing damage but has continued to graze 500+ head. This is not just about the little guy standing up to the government. It's about the little guy taking land that doesn't belong to him and reducing it's quality, ignoring several warnings, refusing to pay fines and then trying to play the part of the put upon common man in an effort to whip up public support in the hope that it will all go away. He's not a hero to rally around. He's just a selfish twit. Invoking Ruby Ridge or Waco in comparison to him diminishes what happened in those to places.
     
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  36. Ituri

    Ituri New Member

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  37. Soulfly

    Soulfly Banned Banned

  38. Joe

    Joe Senior Member

    No because the government was the aggressor and they backed down . If its Federal Land that means we own it . The people . It could have been a Ruby Ridge or Waco if the public didnt show up . Its a freaking desert , Im surprised they even have cattle there ? Maybe thats where they get Beef Jerky ? Im sick of this endangered species crap . Where does the money go to that the government collects from him ? Whether or not he was wrong I feel there was some sort of victory over our overbloated corrupt government . Its not over anyway .
     
  39. Pete Tar

    Pete Tar Moderator Staff Member

    So that gives a private citizen the right to use it for his own business?
     
  40. deirdre

    deirdre Senior Member

    but we're not collecting money from him. its US he's ripping off, dude. WE are feeding his cattle. that's nuts.
     
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