Tag Archives: BLM

Nevada rancher Bundy waits as FBI probes

Nevada rancher Bundy waits as FBI probes

Cliven Bundy Nevada cattle rancher
Cliven Bundy is interviewed at his home in Bunkerville, Nev., Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

By KEITH ROGERS. LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

BUNKERVILLE

Life on the ranch six miles downstream of this Virgin River hamlet has been peaceful in the six months since hundreds of gun-toting militia members from across the nation rallied in support of defiant rancher Cliven Bundy.

Without firing a shot that day, April 12, they persuaded federal agents to let them release more than 300 of Bundy’s “trespass” cattle that Bureau of Land Management agents and contractor cowboys had gathered in a corral.


Related: The Real Reason For the Bundy VS BLM Standoff


They had spent a week rounding up Bundy’s herd from the rugged Gold Butte range, 75 miles northeast of Las Vegas. That’s where Bundy has refused to pay federal grazing fees for 21 years.

Bundy, 68, said he has been enjoying his “liberty and freedoms” since that day. Yet, while the spotlight of U.S. media attention has dimmed, he still gives interviews by telephone and Skype to foreign news outlets from such cities as London.

“One thing that’s happened is, since the standoff, we’ve really enjoyed some liberty and freedoms out here,” Bundy said in an Oct. 30 interview in the front yard of the house his father built in the early 1950s.

“We have got rid of … overreaching government policing agents here,” Bundy said as he sat in a wooden bench swing while birds chirped from shrubs and shade trees.

“Since the standoff, we haven’t seen one BLM vehicle on any of these country roads around this ranch. We haven’t seen one BLM ranger. We haven’t seen one (National) Park Service ranger. We haven’t really seen any undercover-type people. We haven’t seen snipers on top of our hills. We haven’t seen high-tech communication equipment. We haven’t seen any of those things.”

Two bodyguards, each with a holstered pistol, greet visitors to the ranch. But the armed throng of states’ rights and Second Amendment advocates who flocked to the dirt roads and pull-offs around the state Route 170 bridge have dissipated. Only one cab-over-camper on jacks remained at the makeshift outpost dubbed Bunker Hill.

The peaceful pause, however, on this mild fall day before the midterm election, might have been the calm before a storm looming on the horizon.

Clark County Sheriff-elect Joe Lombardo has said the FBI launched a criminal investigation after the standoff that could result in federal charges against Bundy. Lombardo ought to know. He was the tactical commander on that day for Metropolitan Police Department officers who responded to keep the peace. They were there, he said, to protect citizens as well as federal law enforcement personnel from the BLM and other agencies.

“I believe we could have been more forceful with the federal agencies, specifically the BLM, in our position and our thoughts or our intents in that whole operation,” Lombardo told the Review-Journal in a Sept. 4 interview when he was a candidate to replace Sheriff Doug Gillespie, who had tried to negotiate with Bundy.

“At one point we took the second fiddle to that operation when we tried to convince them that their movement or operation was probably not going to end well,” Lombardo said.

“We thought that due process still had a chance for both us and Mr. Bundy. But they chose to pull the trigger and move forward. I believe we could have been a little more influential in even the sheriff’s position through the governor and/or the Beltway.”

As it stands now, and if any charges are filed against Bundy for anything like his refusal to pay grazing fees or violating federal court orders, Lombardo said “we’re at the whim” of the FBI. He said the FBI “absorbed the criminal investigation” after the standoff.

Lombardo said it remains to be seen if charges will be filed and if the FBI will “seek our assistance in taking Mr. Bundy into custody. I don’t anticipate them seeking our assistance. I think we will do the best we can if they decide to make it a public event that we meet with Mr. Bundy and try to facilitate a surrender” or a due-process avenue for him.

“The last thing we need is a range war out there,” Lombardo said.

BLM officials declined to answer numerous questions but issued a statement: “Efforts to resolve the issue through the legal system are ongoing. Please contact DOJ (Department of Justice) for further information.”

POLICING A POWDER KEG

Bundy said the range war was “probably one breath away” from exploding in gunfire.

“One backfire of a vehicle, one firecracker, one somebody makes a crazy gunshot. It was that close, and it could have been either side’s fault,” he said. “It could have been We-The-People’s fault, or it could have been the government agency’s fault.

“If that would have happened, there would have probably been lots of people maybe killed,” the rancher said, his blue eyes focused in a serious stare beneath the brim of his 10-gallon hat.

“I never did handle this thing with guns,” he said. “If you go back over my record through the last 20-something years, you never see me pointing a gun at anybody. … We had plenty guns running up and down this hill. We had BLM and Park Service, and Forest Service and Fish and Wildlife and all of those people.”

While he might be looking over his shoulder when he ventures from his ranch on occasional trips he makes to Las Vegas, Bundy said he is not so worried about handcuffs or arrests. He does, however, have “two fears I should maybe be careful of.”

“One, the question is, ‘Will the government come back?’ The United States government. Will they come back with their army and basically try to take over control of Bundy’s ranch?

“And the other thing would be some lunatic-type guy, some environmental wacko, somebody like that. Would they come and basically try to take my life or something like that?” Bundy said.

“What are they going to charge me with? When you start talking about who the criminal is, if somebody is going to put handcuffs on me and take me to jail, what’s going to be the crime?

“As far as I’m concerned, I’ve paid my grazing fees to a proper government. So why should I pay my grazing fee to the United States government? They have no jurisdiction and authority, or own the land.

“If I owe so damn much money, like $1.2 million, why don’t they bill me?”

What about violating a court order to remove trespass cattle?

“What does that have to do with dollars? It don’t have nothin’ to do with dollars,” Bundy said.

“Unless they want to charge me for their efforts in gathering my cattle, and their efforts for counting my cattle, and their efforts for getting an army together to come sick down me, my family and my neighbors and we the people stole it?

“If they want to charge me for all of that, I could probably owe them maybe $5 million. But they haven’t billed me for none of those things.

“I question their jurisdiction and authority. Since when does the federal court have jurisdiction and authority over Nevada state land?” he asked.

“If I were grazing my cattle on the post office lawn down in Las Vegas, then they could send me a bill, and I guess I would probably pay it. But I don’t graze my cattle on the post office lawn. And I don’t graze my cattle on Nellis Air Force Base. I graze my cattle out here in Clark County in the sovereign state of Nevada.”

RECIPE FOR A STANDOFF

Lombardo said Bundy “was trying to push the interpretation of the Constitution to fit his needs.”

Bundy has routinely turned a deaf ear to federal authorities when they talk about harm they say his cattle have caused for grazing habitat vital to the federally protected desert tortoise.

The public lands, in his view, are state lands, not federal. With a U.S. Constitution pamphlet poking from his shirt pocket, his conversation always comes back to “We The People.”

He despises federal agency officials, especially those who wear badges and patrol the area around his 160-acre private holding. Sometimes he refers to the surrounding public range as “my ranch,” because he maintains water developments there, one of which he said dates back to 1906 and is considered to be grandfathered in by his pioneer ancestors.

Bundy and “the feds” simply don’t see eye to eye.

“Them are the kind of people that’s been patrolling this land. You never seen Bundys out there patrolling the land with any kind of weapons or telling the public that we’re on trespass or you weren’t welcome. You never seen Bundy doing any of those things.”

When he talks, he often refers to himself in the third person. He also has his own Bundy vocabulary. For example, when he blames wildlife officials for purposely killing desert tortoises, the method they use, he says, is “euthanate,” not “euthanize.”

Bundy said Clark County sheriff’s deputies should have responded to his defense and pointed their guns at federal agents instead of militia members.

“They only need to say one word, and they could have said this word months ago before the standoff. All they had to do is tell the federal government, ‘No. You’re not going to do that in this state,’ ” he said.

ROOTS AND TORTOISE SOUP

Despite critics who refer to Bundy as a “squatter” on public land, he said he has rights to graze cattle on the range because they make beneficial use of it.

That beneficial use began when his maternal great-great-grandfather, Dudley Leavitt, arrived in the area with Edward Bunker in January 1877. They had left Santa Clara, Utah territory, with “six wagons and 70 head of cattle,” according to diary entries compiled for a history book about Bunkerville.

“When they came here, they came in a wagon with a horse and team,” he said. “So they unbuckled the harness and took the horse over to a spring or a crick and gave that horse a drink of water. The moment that horse took a sip of water, he started to create a beneficial use of a renewable resource. And I have continued to use that resource from that time until today.”

Bundy said the BLM has never challenged his water rights.

“They have tried to destroy my water rights, destroy my structure, but never questioned whether I had the rights.”

Species affected by treaties and commerce could merit federal protection, but Bundy said threatened desert tortoises, unlike migratory birds, don’t fit those categories.

“The desert tortoise don’t fly, and it don’t go to Mexico and don’t go to Canada. So we can’t have treaties that don’t work,” he said.

Under a Clark County plan to protect species’ habitat, Bundy said wildlife officials “have captured that tortoise for 20 years, put him in a jail, controlled his custom and culture. (They) controlled his habitat and then ‘euthanated’ him. How many thousands have they ‘euthanated’ in the last 20 years?

“That’s 20,000 tortoises? And they’ve got 1,400 of them left. What happened to those 20,000 tortoises?” he said, referring to those that were captured on lands targeted for development, or had been kept as pets and taken to the BLM’s sanctuary.

“They couldn’t turn them loose because they said they’ve got respiratory diseases. And if they turned them out on the wild, they would infect the wild tortoise. They couldn’t do that. So what did they do with those tortoises? They killed them tortoises. So was those tortoises endangered? I guess they was. The federal government darn sure took care of them.”

Cliven Bundy leaves GOP, joins the Independent American Party

Cliven Bundy leaves GOP, joins the Independent American Party

Rancher Cliven Bundy speaks during a news conference near his ranch on April 24, 2014 in Bunkerville, Nevada. (AFP Photo / David Becker)

With the Republican embrace of Cliven Bundy softening as soon as he offered his controversial views on the state of African Americans in the US, the Nevada rancher has decided to switch his allegiances.

According to the Associated Press, Bundy officially left the Republican Party last Friday, when both he and his wife registered as voters with the Independent American Party. The switch took place at an event held by his new political group, which was organized to honor “his courage in standing up for state sovereignty.”

Asked why he was changing parties, the Elko Daily quoted Bundy saying, “Well, I haven’t got much good out of the Democrats and Republicans so I decided to try a new one.”

As RT has reported in the past, over the last two months Bundy has been involved in a growing dispute with the federal government over land rights. The Bureau of Land Management claims it’s been over 20 years since the rancher paid the fees associated with allowing his cattle to graze on public land, meaning he’s amassed an overdue bill of roughly $1 million.

Bundy, however, does not recognize federal authority over public land, and argues that he doesn’t owe the government anything for using what his family had operated on since the late 1800s.

The situation came to a head when BLM agents attempted to seize Bundy’s cattle, prompting the rancher’s supporters – which included armed militia members – to come to his defense and initiate an armed standoff with federal agents. The cattle were eventually returned in order avoid escalation.

Bundy was praised by some Republicans for standing up to what they saw as government overreach, but the goodwill faded quickly when the rancher wondered aloud to a reporter whether African Americans were better off as slaves.

His new affiliation with the Independent American Party is noteworthy considering the group’s mission, which in part calls on members to reverse laws, regulations, and treaties that are “unconstitutional or an offense to God and our Founding Fathers.” It also seeks to “return the control of government back to the people.”

As noted by Raw Story, the IAP has endorsed David Lory Van Der Beek in his race to be Nevada’s lieutenant governor. Van Der Beek believes “terrorist attacks and mass shootings are government-backed false flag organizations,” and staged a faux, videotaped debate with a cardboard cutout of Nevada’s Republican Governor Brian Sandoval, in which he defended Bundy’s claim that he’s not beholden to the federal government.

Meanwhile, Republican congressional candidate Niger Innis, son of civil rights leader Roy Innis, also defended Bundy at Friday’s event, saying, “I don’t consider Cliven racist at all.”

“[Critics] will try to distract, with the firestorm that Cliven started by using the R-word,” he added, according to Buzzfeed. “The racism word. I can only tell you my experience with the Bundys. Having eaten with them and broken bread with them, and I don’t consider Cliven or his wonderful family racist at all. Period, end of story.”

Utah ATV riders protest Federal Gov’t, BLM may press charges against them

Utah ATV riders protest Federal Gov’t, BLM may press charges against them

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has begun an investigation that could lead to charges against nearly 50 people who rode ATVs on an off-limits trail last weekend in Utah to show their displeasure with the federal government.

The agency is working to determine who broke the law and what happened Saturday, Bureau of Land Management spokeswoman Megan Crandall said. A damage assessment is planned of Recapture Canyon, home to dwellings, artifacts and burials left behind by Ancestral Puebloans as many as 2,000 years ago before they mysteriously vanished, she said.

The agency warned riders all week to stay out, vowing prosecution against those who ignore a law put in place in 2007 after an illegal trail was found that cuts through the ancestral ruins. The canyon is open to hikers and horseback riders.

Bureau of Land Management law enforcement officers were at the protest in plain clothes recording and documenting who was there, said Crandall, who added that the agency remains committed to holding the riders accountable.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Salt Lake City is waiting to see what information the agency sends before commenting on possible charges, spokeswoman Melodie Rydalch said.

Following a similar ATV protest ride in 2009 on a different off-limits trail, the agency sent the results of an investigation to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Utah. But federal prosecutors didn’t file any charges.

The U.S. Attorney who oversaw the office then is no longer around. His replacement, David Barlow, is leaving the post this summer after three years to return to private practice.

San Juan County Sheriff Rick Eldredge said 40 to 50 ATV riders went on the trail, many of them waving American flags and some carrying weapons. There were no confrontations or arrests during what was a peaceful protest. The canyon is about 300 miles southeast of Salt Lake City near junction of Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado, known as the Four Corners.

The protest organizer, San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman, said the ride was a demonstration against the federal government’s overreaching control of public lands. He and others want the trail re-opened to ATVs.

Great Old Broads for Wilderness, a Colorado-based group that opposed the ride and believes the trail should remain off limits to preserve the ecology and artifacts, called on federal prosecutors to send an important message and level charges against the protesters.

“It’s not appropriate to break the law, do an illegal ride and go into the canyons with weapons,” executive director Shelley Silbert said. “That’s very different than a non-violent, civil disobedience protest.”

The controversy over the ATV ride in Utah came after the Bureau of Land Management had a confrontation last month with Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy. In Nevada, armed people who describe themselves as a militia have rallied around rancher Bundy, who doesn’t recognize the authority of the federal government and hasn’t paid grazing fees since 1992. The Bureau of Land Management stopped trying to round up his cattle after a showdown with hundreds of Bundy supporters.

The Oregonian newspaper reported Sunday that each year, Oregon ranchers whose herds graze on public ranges overseen by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management pay the federal government fees that are about equal to what Bundy owes in back fees and penalties — more than $1 million.

The Oregon ranchers are prompt to pay, the bureau told The Oregonian.

Utah ranchers and county leaders recently threatened to break federal law and round up wild horses this summer if the Bureau of Land Management doesn’t do it first. Earlier this week, an employee of the federal agency in Utah was threatened while driving on the highway by two men with a weapon holding a sign, “You need to die.”

The federal government owns two-thirds of Utah’s land. The Republican-dominated Legislature passed a law in 2012 that demands the state be given control of those lands before 2015, excluding national parks.

Recap on Nevada Rancher, Bundy, and US Govt Land Grab

Recap on Nevada Rancher, Bundy, and US Govt Land Grab

This is a brief recap on the Nevada cattle rancher, Cliven Bundy, and the attack against him by our US Government.  This story also discusses the bigger picture issues of the US Government grabbing land from private citizens, not just Bundy.

Cliven Bundy and friend
Cliven Bundy (and friend)

In April 2014 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas the US government’s Bureau of Land Management sent 200 armed agents to surround Bundy and his family while contractors took all his cattle.  This armed group included a dozen snipers aiming their weapons at Bundy and his family.

Then, in a confrontation between Bundy’s family members and the BLM, his son was tasered, his 57 year old sister thrown to the ground by the BLM, and a pregnant woman was attacked by a German Sheppard after one of the BLM agents commanded it on her.

See the video and more details at:  Rancher arming for war

This video angered many people who thought Bundy was right.  So armed private citizens came to Bundy’s rescue. An armed militia of over 5,000 came. (See “What is a Militia?“)  They were heavily armed and out-gunned the armed BLM agents. The agents wisely, and quickly, retreated leaving Bundy alone.  At least for now.

TyrantThink about this:  a large group of armed citizens stood up against an oppressive government!  This is what the Second Amendment is all about (see Second Amendment Overview).  It is also unheard of in the US this day in time for citizens to have to use guns to protect themselves FROM our government.

Regardless of your stance on gun control, think about what would have happened if citizens did NOT have guns and what all the government could do.  This is WHY the Second Amendment exists.   See “Do Americans have a Right to Defend themselves against the US government?”.


ABC News

The reason the BLM said they were removing Bundy’s cattle from the land was to protect an endangered turtle. It was quickly determined that not only were the BLM killing the turtles themselves (see story), there was a much bigger plan for this land that reached all the way to the most senior levels of the White House.

Reid, Chinese forcing Bundy
Reid, Chinese forcing Bundy

The real reason they wanted the land was because Senator Harry Reid had signed a $5 billion deal with the Chinese to build a solar panel array on this land (see story).

Reid has placed one of his very close friends in charge of the BLM and his son, Rory, who lives in Las Vegas, was overseeing the deal with the Chinese.  Reid was the puppeteer pulling the strings at the BLM, with Rory, and with the Chinese.  (See story)

Bundy cow being dug up
Bundy Cow being dug up

The Government lied about protecting  the turtles to cover up the land grab that Harry Reid had orchestrated in order to support his deal with the Chinese.  Oh, and the cattle of Bundy’s the BLM rounded up, they shot and killed them and buried in mass graves.

While most conservatives support Bundy and how he stood up to our government when they came after him with guns, the liberal media sources will tell you this guy is a no-good law breaking citizen.  Reid even called him a “domestic terrorist“.

And then Bundy was videoed saying “negros” and “Mexicans”.  He was instantly crucified by the liberal media outlets as a “racists“.

 

 

There was more media coverage on his “negro” comment by the liberal media than all other stories of his stance against the government.   Just like the media did during the Trevon Martin case, they instantly jumped on him as a racist.

Watch the Bundy video and decide for yourself.  He may have used a poor choice of words, but this man is NOT a racists.  Think about it:  He grew up when those words were acceptable in society and not this twisted politically correct country we live in today.  He may have just crawled out from under a rock, but he’s not a racists.

US Government Land Grab

When we started digging deeper, there is a massive invasion and trend by the US government to grab land from private citizens for its own greedy needs.  Well, the greedy needs of the politicians.

Endangered desert turtleOur government who states they are here to protect us are actually the one’s inflicting the pain.  They have taken land from many people.  Usually rural farmers and ranchers.  Taking their cattle and killing their cows or horses.  Keep in mind the BLM is an agency required to protect endangers animals.  If the animals aren’t on the government’s endangered list, I guess the animals are now endangered to the government.  No, we take that back.  The turtles were on this endangered list and the BLM killed them too.

Here’s a list of the government stealing land from citizens:

    1. Cliven Bundy, Nevada Rancher (by the BLM)
    2. Dann sisters, Nevada (by the BLM)
    3. Texas/Oklahoma ranch (by the BLM)
    4. Barrie couple, Colorado (by Colorado)
    5. Confiscate Wyoming Rancher’s horses (by the BLM)

There are many other instances like the one’s above that we will report on soon.  The Dann’s sisters is really a very sad and horrible story that is just hard to believe our government did this to these old ladies.  Took their land and killed hundreds of their horses and cattle. Their Indian ancestors were here WAY before the BLM or even the US government (story).

The Bundy incident in Nevada has opened the eyes of the public and even government leaders to the  over-reach and illegal activities of our government and some politicians.

The battle over land between private citizens and the US Government goes way beyond Cliven Bundy.

Related:  “Bigger than Bundy” say Utah Representative

See a list of all stories related to the US Government’s Land Grab against private citizens.

 

‘Bigger than Bundy’: Land agency’s battles go beyond rancher dispute

‘Bigger than Bundy’: Land agency’s battles go beyond rancher dispute

BLM Agent Standoff
BLM Agent Standoff

It’s the most powerful agency you’ve never heard of — at least, until recently.

The Bureau of Land Management, the nation’s biggest landlord, found itself in the spotlight after a high-profile brawl with Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and another dispute with state officials over the Texas-Oklahoma borderlands.

But the seemingly obscure agency, which is in charge of millions of acres of public land, is no stranger to controversy. History shows the power struggle over property rights and land use is one that’s been fought — fiercely — ever since the bureau was created.

Chart of land owned by governmentIn the nearly seven decades of its existence, the BLM has struggled to find its footing and exert its power, pitted against a vocal states’ rights movement.

“The federal government already owns too much land,” Texas Gov. Rick Perry, one of the champions of that modern-day movement, recently told Fox News. He called for the federal government, and by extension the BLM, to “divest itself of a huge amount of this landholdings that it has across the country.”

The Bureau of Land Management was formed in 1946, consolidating two now-extinct agencies into one for the purpose of overseeing public land. In the beginning, the BLM mostly focused on livestock and mines. Its mission shifted, though, in the 1970s when it took on the role of mediator between commerce and conservation, and faced a second identity crisis in the 1980s.

That’s when the so-called Sagebrush Rebellion gained new momentum in its push to return control of federal lands to individual states.

That “rebellion” may be underway once again, as states renew concerns about the amount of land controlled by the BLM. Congress also recently weighed in, with House lawmakers passing a bill in February that would prevent the BLM from buying new land.

Currently, the agency, which falls under the purview of the U.S. Department of Interior, oversees 247.3 million acres — or about one-eighth of the land in the country.

It also owns 700 million acres of on-shore federal mineral estates.

The BLM is responsible for managing a large spectrum of natural resources. The federal agency regulates logging, mining and fracking practices across the country. It also administers close to 18,000 permits and leases a year held by ranchers who graze their livestock on land managed by the federal government. The permits and leases they issue usually last a decade and can be renewed.

In 2009, regulation of public lands in Western states generated $6.2 billion.

By acreage, the agency’s largest stake is in Alaska where it owns 72.4 million acres. Nevada ranks second, with 48 million acres under the BLM, and then Utah, with 22.9 million acres.

In Nevada, rancher Cliven Bundy’s recent refusal to hand over his family’s cattle to the feds re-ignited the national debate over the BLM’s power.

On the heels of that controversy, more than 50 lawmakers from nine Western states came together to protest federal land expansion. The state leaders discussed ways to combine their joint goals of taking control of oil-, timber- and mineral-rich lands away from the federal government.

It’s so much bigger than Bundy. There are issues … all across the West where the federal government is exerting control over things it was ever supposed to control,” Utah state Rep. Ken Ivory told Fox News. “The federal government was supposed to be a trustee. They do own the land. They do hold title to the land in trust … but they have a duty to dispose of the land with all states east of Colorado.

Ivory says he wants the federal government to keep a promise it made in the 1894 Enabling Act that made Utah a state. He argues that public lands, except for congressionally designated national parks and wilderness areas, should be transferred back to the states.

So far, state lawmakers in Idaho, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Wyoming, Oregon and Washington are looking for ways to transfer land management back to the states.

Utah, though, has been the most successful. Lawmakers there passed a measure demanding the federal government extinguish title to federal lands, aside from national parks. Ivory was also the primary backer of the 2012 Transfer of Public Lands Act which established a model for the transfer of certain federal lands to the state in the coming years.

The Bundy case has been largely viewed as the first leadership test for new BLM Director Neil Kornze, who was confirmed by the U.S. Senate and sworn into office in April. The local land-use dust-up fed into a growing apprehension over just how much authority the BLM has and how far it is willing to go to maintain control.

In Texas, Attorney General Greg Abbott sent a letter to Kornze looking into allegations the BLM was eyeing a massive land grab in northern Texas. “Decisions of this magnitude must not be made inside a bureaucratic black box,” wrote Abbott, a GOP gubernatorial candidate.

The agency indicated that the land in question was determined to be public property. “The BLM is categorically not expanding Federal holdings along the Red River,” a BLM spokeswoman said in a written statement.

Attention on the Bundy-BLM battle has lately turned to racially insensitive remarks that Bundy made in several media interviews and appearances.

Conservative and libertarian lawmakers like Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, initially came to Bundy’s defense, calling his situation the latest example of big government overreach. Both, though, have since scaled back their comments in light of Bundy’s remarks.

“Senator Paul spoke out against federal over-regulation and BLM handling of a situation,” Paul spokesman Doug Stafford said in a written statement. “He has never spoken to or met Mr. Bundy and is not responsible for the vile comments that come out of his mouth.”

Others say Bundy was at fault, failing to pay $1.1 million in fees for letting his cattle graze on government grass for more than two decades.

“I wish Mr. Bundy would mind his law requirements and not try to play to the television cameras about confronting the evil federal government,” former BLM director Patrick Shea told KSL TV. Shea has been on both sides of the land-use debate. He represented activist Tim DeChristopher who took on the BLM over the 2008 sale of controversial oil and gas leases in Utah.

The BLM has run into trouble elsewhere.

In March, BLM officials rounded up a horse herd in Wyoming after area ranchers and farmers complained that the herd grazed down pastures and damaged cattle rangeland. The horses were turned over to Wyoming officials. The state then quickly sold all 41 horses to a Canadian slaughterhouse. Animal rights groups protested the sale and slaughter.

A year earlier, BLM agents in Nevada announced they would be removing 50 wild horses from a herd that had grown too large to be sustained.

But the complaints go beyond horses. In 2011, several Utah counties filed a lawsuit against the agency over exceeding its authority by establishing wilderness protections without the consent of Congress.

Back in the nation’s capital, House lawmakers passed a package in February that includes a collection of public land access and restoration provisions. They also adopted two amendments that extend the length of grazing permits on federal lands to 20 years from 10 years and also allow expired or transferred permits to remain effective until new ones can be issued.

Source: Fox News

BLM takes land from another Nevada rancher, Indian sisters

BLM takes land from another Nevada rancher, Indian sisters

You think the USA’s war is over with the Native America Indians? Yeah, we did too.

“I was indigenous and in one single evening they [the BLM] made me indigent. If you think the Indian wars are over, then think again”.

Dann Sisters, Mary & Carrie
Dann Sisters, Mary & Carrie

About an hour southwest of Elko, in Nevada’s Crescent Valley, the Dann sisters, Mary and Carrie, had lived peaceably on a plot of land, raising horses and cattle for a generation. Their people had lived peaceably on that land for many, many generations.

But then the Federal government, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) steps in.

 

Gold mine
Gold mine

Unfortunately, their ranch butts-up against a large gold deposit. The federal government permitted gold mining at Cortez in 1969. In 2010, the latest available figures, 1,140,000 ounces of gold had been removed from the land.

The Dann’s generations lived peaceably for hundreds of years…until 1973.

In 1863 the United States government signed a treaty with the Shoshone (Sha’ Shoney) Indian nation.    The Treaty of Ruby Valley gave title to 60 million acres of land belong to the Shoshone’s.  This is very important a hundred years later when the Federal government began taking the land from these Indians.  (See more on this treaty)

You think the USA’s war is over with the Native America Indians? Yeah, we did too.

BLM Agents at Dann's
BLM Agents at Dann’s

In September 2002, BLM agents swooped in and seized 227 cattle from their ranch, where the pair were raising cattle and horses on land purchased by their father Dewey Dann in the 1930s.

See a great video documentary of the Dann sisters, Shoshone Indians, and their attack by the US Gov’t that continues today.

In December 2002, the Danns were ordered to remove remaining livestock, 250 additional cattle and 1,000 horses, and they were charged with trespassing on public land. They were served with $3 million in fines for past due grazing fees.

Dead baby horse, mom
Dead baby horse, mom

The BLM took some of these cattle and horse to other remote areas of Nevada and turned them loose…to die.  Knowing they would starve to death!  The sisters beg and pleaded with the BLM but it feel on deaf ears.  Ears that are suppose to protect animals.  (see “BLM intentionally killing endangered turtles“)

Carrie Dann says, “I was indigenous and in one single evening they [the BLM] made me indigent. If you think the Indian wars are over, then think again”.

Dann Sisters, Mary & Carrie
Dann Sisters, Mary & Carrie

The Dann sisters did not transfer grazing permits into their name from their late father, Dewey Dann. Instead, they argued that their land was within the boundaries of the Western Shoshone and therefore live under territory rule. The federal government however claimed the land was public and purchased from the Western Shoshone in 1979.

The BLM, then served the Danns warrants, and followed through with their warning to auction off their remaining livestock in January 2003. The sisters sued the BLM to prove rightful ownership of land, but watched as agents removed their cattle and horses on January 18th. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that since the Danns received no money for their land, it was still theirs.

But the ruling was overturned in the Supreme Court, using a “bar clause” stating that Indian Claims legislation denotes; when money is paid for land, its use and rights to use are forever barred. According to the Supreme Court, the Shoshone land had been gradually encroached upon and it no longer belonged to the Dann Ranch.

Furthermore, the BLM claimed that the Dann livestock caused irreparable damage to the countryside due to over grazing. “Grass grows back, but mining causes irreparable damage to the earth,” commented Carrie Dann.

Their struggle was the cause for a handful of protesters to fight along with the grandmothers, but their case also acted as a smoke screen for the what the government was planning. On September 24th, 2003, HR 884 made its way to the Resources Committee, which aimed to pay out Western Shoshone land for expansion of the Cortez and development at Yucca Mountain.

Shoshone tribe elders met in Washington DC one month earlier to at least place “hold” on the Bill, but their request was ignored. Mary and Carrie Dann sued the United States government for violating their rights. The Nevada sisters said the U.S. used illegal means to gain control of Native American ancestral lands by slowly encroachment by industry and private landowners.

The U.S. government says it paid the Western Shoshone Nation for its use of their land in 1979, and has since privatized millions of additional acreage. The Western Shoshone Distribution Bill, HR 884, signed into law by President George Bush in July 2004, relaxes the territorial rules held by Shoshones for 150 years.

About 26 million acres transferred to the federal government and is ear-marked by the BLM for mining minerals, storing nuclear waste, and for geothermal energy production. This includes Yucca Mountain, a historical and spiritual area for Shoshones.

In the late 1970s the U.S. government started using Yucca Mountain as a repository for nuclear waste, but it since has maxed-out capacity with 77,000 metric tons of nuclear fuel and radioactive waste. All except 2 percent of U.S. nuclear waste was earmarked for Yucca Mountain with HR Bill 884, beginning in 2010.

The Obama Administration has since placed a hold on operations at Yucca Mountain, albeit for far different reasons. Inter-American Commission on Human Rights found the U.S. government violated the Dann sisters’ rights, although did not state that the Dann sisters owned land.

The Commission suggested an “effective remedy” should make sure respect for the Danns claim to their ranch of 70 years. The Organization of American States human-rights commission reaffirmed land-rights use of the Western Shoshone Indian tribe, rejecting the federal government’s claim the Danns’ live on public land.

It was the first time both councils charged the U.S. government with violating human rights. Carrie Dann says she wouldn’t have sued the BLM had she known the court would favor the government. The Dann sisters fought the federal government without the help from Human Rights Watch, or the American Civil Liberties Union. The two women committed themselves to preserving their ancestral land.

Mary died following an ATV accident on her ranch in central Nevada while repairing a fence-line on April 22, 2005. She was 82 years old. Mary’s niece, Patricia Paul, said her aunt had “died as she would have wanted — with her boots on and hay in her pocket.”

Two years later, Carrie was arrested with 38 others for trespassing at the Nevada Test Site at a Nevada Desert Experience event protesting governmental programs at the site. She continues with activities to try to end nuclear testing and programs at the site.

Carrie, along with Western Shoshone Defense Project and four other tribal and public interest groups, in November 2008, sued the federal government and Canadian Barrick Gold, seeking an injunction to stop the Cortez Hills Expansion Project on Mt. Tenabo, which the Western Shoshone also consider sacred land. The case is pending.

See all our stories related to the government grabbing land from Americans.

Credit: Tom Darby, The Real Media

US Gov’t Land Grab and the Indian Treaty of Peace (Peace for who?)

US Gov’t Land Grab and the Indian Treaty of Peace (Peace for who?)

In order to know where we are heading, we have to remember where we’ve been. Thus, the importance of history repeating itself.

Dann Sisters, Mary & Carrie
Dann Sisters, Mary & Carrie

The Bundy Ranch stand-off in Southern Nevada isn’t the first public fight over property rights in Nevada. A battle between the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Western Shoshone Indian tribe in Northeast Nevada ended with far different results.

The Treaty of Peace and Friendship, also known more formally as the Treaty of Ruby Valley, signed in 1863 between the federal government and the Western Shoshone tribe included the use of 43,000 square miles of territory extending north from the deserts of Southern California, across much of Nevada, and into South central Idaho, and East into Utah.

Treaty of Ruby Valley
Treaty of Ruby Valley

The treaty gave Shoshone permanent use of the land in exchange for “peace,” so that the “Union of the United States” in the midst of Civil War, could guarantee the flow of gold out of California to points East.

Shoshones agreed to end warfare with settlers and the U.S. and to allow transportation and telegraph wires through its territory.

Shoshone say the 1863 treaty did not sell their land to a government, but instead secured their rights to own and occupy. However in 1934, the federal government passed the Indian Reorganization Act, saying that federal recognition and support would depend on the creation of ‘tribal’ governments based on a model devised by the Secretary of the Interior.

Unfamiliar forms of governance were then superimposed on traditional Shoshone decision-making, creating artificial divisions and aggravating existing disputes. In 1946 an act of Congress created the Indian Claims Commission, to investigate suits by Native Americans against the US for illegitimate taking of their land.

In 1962, the Commission ruled against a Shoshone suit stating: “The Indian title to the Western Shoshone land was extinguished by the gradual encroachment of settlers and others and by the acquisition, disposition or taking of said lands by the US for its own use and benefit or that of its citizens.

In 1966, without the participation of the Western Shoshone people, the federal government arbitrarily set July 1, 1872, as the date of valuation for Western Shoshone land and determined that compensation should be paid for 24 million acres. The federal government paid the tribe $26 million in 1983 through a trust, or $1.08 per acre. Today the amount is $250 to $1,000 per acre. Furthermore, the tribe has yet to draw on any of the money.

The BLM continues to take land from rightful land owners like the Bundy’s in Nevada and from Texas.

Dead baby horse, mom
Dead baby horse, mom

The BLM says it’s mission it to protect the environment.  In the Bundy case, they said they were protecting turtles. Later we find they were actually killing them!  And then we discover they shot and killed Bundy’s cattle and buried them in mass graves.  In the case of the Shoshone Indian cattle and horses removed, they let hundreds of them starve to death including the baby horses.

Dann Sisters, Mary & Carrie
Dann Sisters, Mary & Carrie

See the Dann sisters, Shoshone Indians, story on what the BLM did to them.

See the great video documentary of the Dann sisters, Shoshone Indians, and their attack by the US Gov’t that continues today.

See our complete set of stories related to land being taking by our government, the Land Grab by the US Government.

Credit: Tom Darby, Real Media

Sources: Wiki, Oxfam America “Our Land, Our Life” documentary