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Nevada land grab and stand-off

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  • Democrat
    Philadelphia, PA
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    I was watching and listening for the last couple of days about the increasing tensions between government authorities, in this case ,the Bureau of Land Mgmt. and the ranchers, one rancher in particular , who seems to be tired of paying the increasing fees for grazing on public land, however he contends that the fees were supposed to go to good land Mgmt. and that this Bureau just ignores the land and continues to increase the fees, this seems to be heading towards a very serious confrontation between these two parties sort of like a Ruby Ridge or a Waco type ending. BTW, this disagreement goes back to 1993, when a federal court rules against the Bundy family, the rancher in question.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    BLM: Fact Sheet on the BLM’s Management of Livestock Grazing, Updated March 28, 2014

    Just to put this in perspective, the current grazing fee is $1.35 per animal unit per month. The BLM manages the land to ensure that the land is not overgrazed. The fees hardly pay for the damage that these animals do to stream banks and lakes, not to mention the pollution from urinating in pristine water ways. From the BLM website above:

    "The Bureau of Land Management, which administers about 245 million acres of public lands, manages livestock grazing on 155 million acres of those lands, as guided by Federal law. The terms and conditions for grazing on BLM-managed lands (such as stipulations on forage use and season of use) are set forth in the permits and leases issued by the Bureau to public land ranchers.

    "The BLM administers nearly 18,000 permits and leases held by ranchers who graze their livestock, mostly cattle and sheep, at least part of the year on more than 21,000 allotments under BLM management.

    "The Federal grazing fee, which applies to Federal lands in 16 Western states on public lands managed by the BLM and the U.S. Forest Service, is adjusted annually and is calculated by using a formula originally set by Congress in the Public Rangelands Improvement Act of 1978. Under this formula, as modified and extended by a presidential Executive Order issued in 1986, the grazing fee cannot fall below $1.35 per animal unit month (AUM); also, any fee increase or decrease cannot exceed 25 percent of the previous year’s level. (An AUM is the amount of forage needed to sustain one cow and her calf, one horse, or five sheep or goats for a month.)
    The grazing fee for 2014 is $1.35 per AUM, the same level as it was in 2013."

    This guy sounds like he has an agenda other than the very low grazing fees. I have never heard of a rancher complaining about these low grazing fees. What would it cost to feed the cattle on private land or purchased hay? I would guess a lot more.

    A while back we drove up a jeep road to Tin Cup Pass, elevation 12,154 feet, in the Colorado Rockies, expecting a quiet look over the beautiful mountainside. Instead I found a herd of cattle grazing on land that would normally serve Rocky Mountain sheep and elk. And of course there was a fence and cattle guard (Canadians call it a Texas gate) controlling the grazing pasture...I suppose all paid for by those grazing fees.
  • Liberal
    Independent
    Durham, NH
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    I saw this also. Looks to me like Libertarian Conservatives who want it all their way! They key here is "public land" these people want everything for themselves - the land belongs to all of us, if you want to use it to enrich yourself pay us. Case closed.

    PS - did you see the idiot with the automatic rifle who is ready to give up his life for these ranchers right to steal from the public? Pathetic, but "all American"
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Schmidt Wrote: This guy sounds like he has an agenda other than the very low grazing fees. I have never heard of a rancher complaining about these low grazing fees. What would it cost to feed the cattle on private land or purchased hay? I would guess a lot more.
    That was the first thing I thought when I heard about this story. Just another right wing zealot trying to make a name for himself. We have laws in this country. We also have a Constitution that gives the Federal Government the "Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States;" (Article IV Section 3, PP 2).

    You're right Schmidt--this guy just has an agenda and wants his fifteen minutes of fame. Not surprisingly, our thoughtful and deliberative media is right there to make sure he gets it.
  • Other Party
    Nebraska
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    jared how do you decide this guy ..."wants his fifteen minutes of fame"... when this has been going on for more than 20 years?

    From what I hear today the gestapo, oops I mean the feds have backed off in this conflict.

    Did anyone see the attack dogs and the tasers? Nazi comaprisons, anyone? I have heard it on the radio already and yes it looked pretty bad.

    I think this administation decided too late to halt the cattle repo operation and for one reason and one reason only: politics. This video will probably be used by the repubs and why wouldn't they?
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Fifteen minutes of fame is a figure of speech. This has not been in the news for the past twenty years, unless I've been missing something here.

    Would you agree that the Nazi comparison is just a bit hyperbolic? The Nazi's rounded up millions of people and systematically slaughtered them. The last I saw, the Federal Government was not rounding up these ranchers and putting them in concentration camps.

    I agree that this is more than enough fodder for the rather unintelligent Republican base that has no idea what they are angry about when it comes to this issue, but when has that ever stopped them before?
  • Liberal
    Independent
    Durham, NH
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    Unfortunately this us a perfect example of your typical American cowboy mentality that has dragged our country down for so long. Whatever I can take is mine. The laws are only here to help and support me, no those other people. It's Libertarianism at its worst and it's why the rest of the civilized world looks at us, shakes their heads and laugh!

    16 years ago a similar "action" like this took place between a white collar crook and the Federal government right across the street from my upscale, suburban home in MA. The swindler was loosing his home to the government for his illegal deals and refused to move out. He had all kinds of nutcase Libertarian, gun nuts "protecting" him from the government. His property was across the street from the local high school and for weeks there was a standoff. I had TV remote trucks from all the networks all over my street. My neighbor was charging some of them to park in his field! The local & state police, federal marshals, FBI were all there. This went on and on for months until finally they raided the place and took him of to prison! Once again, the all-American "I'm more important than everyone else, I'm above the law mentality attitude.

    here's a few links - it was quite a show I must say

    http://articles.courant.com/1998-01-07/news/9801070159_1_sweeney-s-wife-john-sw...f

    http://t.southcoasttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19980301/NEWS/303019948&template=tabletart

    https://groups.google.com/forum/m/#!topic/alt.prisons/I9JrjLATj6M
  • Other Party
    Nebraska
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    The Nazi comparison is absolutely over the top, unjustified, and uncalled for.

    And yet that's the comparison that's being made in the media. Also mentions of Ruby Ridge and Waco are being made.

    Guys in brown shirts, using snarling attack dogs, weapons pulled and aimed at local people... Yes, that would be enough to cause those unfair and unjustified comparisons to be made.

    And if this was the Bush administration that was using these storm-trooper type tactics, you can bet that the the rather unintelligent Democratic base that has no idea what they are angry about when it comes to this issue...they'd be doing the same thing and we all know it. Anything for a good sound bite or video clip to support their side of the argument.

    I know that fifteen minutes of fame is a figure of speech, and I also have been hearing about this dispute between the government and this rancher several times over the years, so it doesn't seem to apply in this case.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    jamesn Wrote: The Nazi comparison is absolutely over the top, unjustified, and uncalled for.

    And yet that's the comparison that's being made in the media. Also mentions of Ruby Ridge and Waco are being made.

    Guys in brown shirts, using snarling attack dogs, weapons pulled and aimed at local people... Yes, that would be enough to cause those unfair and unjustified comparisons to be made.

    And if this was the Bush administration that was using these storm-trooper type tactics, you can bet that the the rather unintelligent Democratic base that has no idea what they are angry about when it comes to this issue...they'd be doing the same thing and we all know it. Anything for a good sound bite or video clip to support their side of the argument.

    I know that fifteen minutes of fame is a figure of speech, and I also have been hearing about this dispute between the government and this rancher several times over the years, so it doesn't seem to apply in this case.
    I know all about "land grab" by the government; the easement behind my house is on property I own and pay taxes for. However they ( the government) can bulldoze it and destroy the natural habitat at will. In my case it has nothing at all something to do with "flood" prevention since in this easement in over 10 years no more than a couple of inches groundwater was in it. I asked them to buy this piece of land from me; since it has no use for me. But they will not. Sorry the government consist of silly rules and regulations which cost us lots of headaches and money for nothing.
  • Center Left Democrat
    Democrat
    Flagstaff, AZ
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    Both Schmidt and jonnycee have touched on a couple of points that deserve broader comment.

    For starters, Executive Order 12548 was signed by a guy named Ronald Reagan, on Valentine's Day in 1986. The full text off the document can be viewed at the link below:

    http://www.reagan.utexas.edu/archives/speeches/1986/21486b.htm

    According to at least one source (http://www.heavy.com/news/2014/04/cliven-bundy-ranch-standoff-police-videos/) Clive Bundy owes the governemnt at lesat $1,000,000 in back taxes, so it seems like the government has good reason to be concerned.

    However, the government DID learn a lot of lessons from the Ruby Ridge, which is why they reached a compromise position (which includes the sharing of revenue from the sale of some of his cattle) with Mr. Bundy a couple of days ago:

    http://benswann.com/breaking-deal-reached-between-blm-and-clive-bundy/

    Regular viewers of FOX "news" , of course, will see the whole thing as a "range war", and a good example of Agenda 21 at work:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGdgc3FoqE4

    To protect us against the land grabbing Feds, the Oklahoma House of Representatives passed a bill about a month ago to "protect the unalienable rights to private property", and one of our wacky Arizona legislators tried the same tactic at about the same time, which means that ALEC is likely involved:

    http://www.jbs.org/issues-pages/agenda-21

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/21/arizona-agenda-21_n_2925349.html

    a Few of the comments in the Huff Post need to be emphasized:


    In 2012, a birther activist told Republican state senators in Georgia that President Barack Obama and the U.N. were using "mind control" to implement Agenda 21 in the United States. Opponents have claimed that the program could force people to live in urban areas and bring an end to golf, scuba diving, and floor and ceiling tiles.
  • Democrat
    Missouri
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    America lost in this land grab to be bullied by someone who ignores Federal Law. America has given this person years of ignoring his responsibility to obey the laws of this Federal Land. It may have been land in his family log ago, but just like anybody who does not pay taxes or ignores America's right to utilize the land for the better for the public, America will seize that property. This person could fight it out in the courts, but for years he just ignored the situation. Reading this morning, he owes over $1 million in back taxes on Federal Land they provided him grazing rights. He chose to not pay for rights of the land. So, if you were an owner of land that your neighbor was using without you capitalizing on "your" land, what would you do? I would place placards up on Trespassing (which would be ignored), I would place 4-barbed barb wire separating my property from his (which would probably be cut down), than I would get my gun and start shooting his livestock or put them in a truck for the butcher shop. I believe the Federal Government gave this person more than enough latitude in solving this peacefully. Now, it's time for the Federal Government to play "Hard Ball".

    This man just wants his claim of fighting the government and exemplifies what survivalists, religious groups, and anti-tax people are doing throughout America. America needs to show a better example than backing off from a bunch of ignorant ranchers with guns thinking they can force their will on the American Public. I am very upset that this rancher has not paid the land fees for the use of this land and does not pay his taxes. It's time for the Federal Government to do a Waco on him. Yes, that's a little severe, but hell the guy is forcing the situation.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    jamesn Wrote: Guys in brown shirts, using snarling attack dogs, weapons pulled and aimed at local people... Yes, that would be enough to cause those unfair and unjustified comparisons to be made.
    They are officers of the law. What are they supposed to wear? The BLM Office of Law Enforcement & Security is a Federal Law enforcement agency and they have every legal right to carry weapons. You do realize that they were facing down a "militia" that was also armed, right? Ten second video clips, while a good propaganda tool, do not tell the full story.

    jamesn Wrote:And if this was the Bush administration that was using these storm-trooper type tactics, you can bet that the the rather unintelligent Democratic base that has no idea what they are angry about when it comes to this issue...they'd be doing the same thing and we all know it. Anything for a good sound bite or video clip to support their side of the argument.
    I don't know if I agree with your assumption. I think most liberals understand that the Federal Government has the right to enforce the rule of law on land that is designated for the people of this country. Republican Administration's have commanded authority over Federally recognized lands countless times, so to suggest that this is something new is inaccurate.

    It is vitally important to understand that we are a nation of laws. The BLM is a branch of the Department of the Interior and was created by the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976. They have the authority to administer the public land and regulate how the land is used. They also have the legal authority to determine how many cattle a certain rancher can graze on said land.

    The land in question in this drama is Federal, aka "The People's," Land. This is not disputed land that is going through court proceedings. Just because an old guy thinks he has a right to it doesn't make it so. Numerous court rulings have gone against him and ruled that the cattle are "in trespass." Just because an angry old man thinks that something belongs to him doesn't mean that it legally does in the eyes of the law. So once again--he just want's his fifteen seconds of fame. He has no legal leg to stand on and counts on our woefully ignorant press and right wing politicians to rally to his cause.
  • Other Party
    Nebraska
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    jared ..."Ten second video clips, while a good propaganda tool, do not tell the whole story"...

    You are absolutely right, but ten second video clips are what make up many political commercials, and the repubs, tea partiers, liberterians, and of course all kinds of anti government groups were just given a wonderful gift.

    Political commercials, ..."do not tell the whole story"... Correct. They have no interest in telling the whole story, they want to tell THEIR side only. That's what political commercials are and that's what they do, they ARE propoganda.

    If you don't know if you agree with me that the Democrats would be using this just like the repubs certainly will, you are in denial. Because I can guarantee you they would. Not all of them would use it, just like not all on the other side will use it, but SOME PEOPLE on both sides definitely would.

    And don't mistake my message, I'm not defending the rancher, I think he is wrong, I am commenting on the confrontation itself, which LOOKED terrible, and is something we will hear more about in the next 2 1/2 years.

    Just like Bill Clintons famous video clip "I did not have sexual relations with that woman..." has been rerun many times and will live forever, so will this video. Video never dies.
  • Center Left Democrat
    Democrat
    Flagstaff, AZ
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    Much to my surprise, I found an an intelligent article about this topic on a conservative website yesterday. Although the Tea Party crowd sees the Federal pullback as a victory for liberty, the article below uses a more reasoned approach:

    http://personalliberty.com/ranchers-empire-american-west/
  • Democrat
    Philadelphia, PA
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    On todays evening news ,local that is, it was mentioned that most of that million dollars owed is including fee and fines, they did not elaborate what the real amount of back taxes owed are, this rancher guy,Bundy is the last of the cattle ranchers in that part of Nevada, it seems the BLM had priced them all out of business, with increasing fees both state and federal, I wish the BLM would state why the need for all of this gazing land to be in the hands of the government is for?