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Nevada Cattle Rancher Battles The Federal Government

    April 11, 2014
    Tina Volpe
    Comments are off for this post.

In the fight that has ensued and promises to escalate between Cliven Bundy and governmental “hired guns”, something is about to go seriously wrong. Some say it already has. There are at least five different stories describing the reasons for this governmental attack. They include desert turtle preservation, water rights, land confiscation for development, and for natural gas rights – to name a few – however, the family has very little recourse against such an invasion, or do they?

Some theorists argue this isn’t about the cattle at all, but about wanting the Bundy Ranch.

Bundy and his ancestors, all Nevada farmers, have grazed cattle on the same public land since 1877, in a remote part of Nevada. He maintains that the government doesn’t own the land, however, the Bureau of Land Management has been insisting that Bundy pay them a “token fee” for grazing there. He stopped paying the fee in 1993.

Bundy argues against the fees and the BLM involvement in court filings that his Mormon ancestors worked the land long before the BLM was formed, giving him rights that predate federal involvement.

His argument has obviously fallen on deaf ears.

The Bureau of Land Management recently started rounding up Bundy’s cows, they took as many as 300 cattle from the family ranch. Their intent was to sell them at auction in Utah, but Gov. Gary Herbert argued that the whole controversy needed to be contained to Nevada.

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval is pissed about the whole affair.

“No cow justifies the atmosphere of intimidation which currently exists nor the limitation of constitutional rights that are sacred to all Nevadans,” Sandoval said Tuesday in a statement. “The BLM needs to reconsider its approach to this matter and act accordingly.”

“Most disturbing to me is the BLM’s establishment of a ‘First Amendment Area’ that tramples upon Nevadans’ fundamental rights under the U.S. Constitution,” he said.

The strong armed federal intervention and seizure of Bundy’s cattle has created an immense outcry from other ranchers and critics who believe this is just another “heavy handed” federal intervention, even though they claim it is sanctioned by court orders.

Local police claim “public disturbances” of angry people are only going to get worse.

Especially in light of a recent violent confrontation on Wednesday when Bundy family members and dozens of supporters angrily confronted a group of rangers holding Tasers and barking dogs on leashes near the ranch. Federal officials say a police dog was kicked and officers were assaulted.

Cliven’s son, Dave Bundy, was taken into custody after allegedly being roughed up for taking pictures along State Road 170, which has been closed. His camera was confiscated.

“They gave my nephew Dave a concussion, stomped him on the ground to where he has kidney problems,” Kay Sessions, Dave’s aunt, told WND. “They hauled him to jail and interrogated him all night before letting him go. Before they took him to jail officials left him in a hot vehicle for three hours.

Cliven’s son, Ammon Bundy, said while what happened to his brother Dave was bad enough, federal officials have turned up the pressure yet again when they attacked him and members of a group peacefully protesting the removal of the cattle.

“We were protesting peacefully when, suddenly, 14 units with Rangers came off the mountain – 13 of them were armed ranger vehicles with two rangers per unit,” Ammon explained. “There were about 50 of us protesting when we went over to see what was in a dump truck that was with them, because we were afraid this might have been a rendering vehicle [containing dead cattle], and we wanted to know what was in the back of the truck.”

One of the biggest lingering questions is when does the Federal Government confiscate cattle in a remote part of the country? And where is it written that they have a right to come in using weapons and “military” force against a defenseless family on their own ranch? There is something seriously amiss when a governmental agency steps into a cattle rancher’s business, his livelihood – and begins taking his cattle, and in the process, creating a serious animal rights concern in separating mother cows from their newborns, and causing cattle to drop dead.

“We have seen cows with tight bags but no calves on them, who are being moved by the BLM,” Ammon Bundy told WND. “This means they have separated the newborn calves from their mothers and they will eventually die.”

“They are flying helicopters over the herd to chase them,” Ammon said. “It was over 90 degrees here today, and the cattle can’t run very far in this heat before collapsing. This is especially true for the young calves. We have a lot of them being born because it is springtime, and they don’t have the strength to keep up with their mothers when they are running. The cattle then become overheated and die.”

Bundy told The Blaze that more than 200 armed federal officers are currently in the area, and his wife Carol said it appears snipers now surround the family’s 150 acre ranch.

“I’ve been fighting this for a number of years. It’s not about my cows, I’ll tell you that much,” he said at a town meeting on Wednesday night. “It’s about freedom and liberty and our Constitution … and above all it’s about our policing power.”

Image via YouTube


  • Devn Snow

    This is the way it is now the gov thinks they own the united states and every piece of dirt in them not true we the people need to stand by our fellow nevada rancher and say no more i am from oklahoma if this escalates any farther i will be there to help my fellow americans dont forget thats our flag not our governments they can have the obama flag to many of our countrymen faught and died to make this land ours and now we are losing it piece by piece

    • EcurbTheProphet

      Actually, Devn… you and I own that land (as citizens of the US). The “Feds” are simply protecting OUR interest. I want to be paid for the use of that land – don’t you?
      If that means this rancher goes out of business because his operation is too inefficient to provide a profit WITHOUT being publicly subsidized (which is what “free grazing ‘rights'” are… a subsidy)… then so be it. Or, he could raise his price for his product. That, in turn, means beef would be more costly to you and me, but it would lower OUR tax burden since we would no longer be subsidizing that rancher. Impact to everyone – is ZERO. And, there are now no issues… because “everything costs what it costs and the subsidies are gone” which is a much more equitable way to do things.
      Wow… is your perception screwed up!!!
      That IS our land the feds are protection. Just because someone was using it for a long time and nobody seemed to object… well, times are tough. That rancher needs to PAY UP or GET OFF MY LAND!!!
      (think about it man… that is your land and my land… and that guy is using it for free… which means you and I have to pay higher taxes… think about it, man… your perspective is really screwed up)

      • Devn Snow

        These statements are why you are sheeple and this is why we are screwed as a nation.

      • Charles

        Eturd you are one dumb dude. It is Nevada public land and he is willing to pay them for graving rights. But not the SS Feds.

        • Harley

          Charles you lie like a cheap rug at a whore house.

  • Lawrence Wise

    Well, for years I have heard about leasing the federal lands. If the rancher fails to pay the fees, his cattle should be forfeited. Why is he so special he can go about his business without paying fees, when the other ranchers do. Fair for one and fair for all. He needs to be jailed until the courts say the leasing is illegal or that it is legal. He should then be forced to abide by the courts ruling.

    • Charles

      Lawrence the not so wise… It is Nevada state land you poor fool.

      • Harley

        Charles they are not Nevada lands. If they were the feds would not be there. Charles of the buffoons.

  • russsalmon

    Sorry Devn but you just don’t get it. Grazing on public lands requires that the permittee pay a nominal fee for animal unit month (AUM) for the right to graze those public lands. The permittee doesn’t have the right to decide they just don’t feel like paying. Paying for AUM’s is a ridiculously low fee and helps offset the costs of the government making sure the allotments are being managed in compliance with their associatedd allotment management plan thar designed to protect public resources

  • EcurbTheProphet

    So… these people have been, “… fighting this for years.”
    Which means this is not a NEW development for them – they KNOW they are trespassing on OUR land… Yes… yours and mine. They have been getting their cattle fed for FREE… by you and me paying extra in taxes so they can be subsidized.
    I know… I would rather we not subsidize BIG business… and perhaps one day that will be so. But people… things need to cost what they cost and we need to get this culture of SUBSIDY out of our economy. That is what this is all about. The government is running a deficit because the entire burden of taxation is pushed to a smaller proportion of wage earners, while big business and those whose income is based on capital gains have had their burden severely reduced over the past 4 decades.
    Is that fair? No. And these ranchers are victims, yes. I would like for them to be able to continue to graze their livestock on public lands – for free or nearly free, but someone has to pick up that tax load… which right now falls to the middle calss wage earner. And we all know that class is dwindling.
    Things need to cost what they cost – and there is a need to have a TAX BURDEN (military, courts, commerce), and that tax burden needs to be placed on commercial activity and not wages – so the market acts efficiently to determine what does or does not get produced. (too complicated for you isn’t it… I know… sorry my peeps… go back to sleep)

    • Jake

      Yeah we are paying sooooooo much for this piece of land in Nevada. It’s not like it’s a freaking Rocket ship factory! The same goverment that gave away the Panama Canal is worried about a couple hundred acres in Nevada? Get real, If the land is feeding cows and somebody is able to use it, rock on. What do I care? Are you so dumb to think this guys fees are coming back to you somehow? The Fed is lucky we still pay taxes at all. TRILLIONS in debt, and they want more and then turn around and borrow. It’s like being forced to invest in a company that is mismanaged and hemorrhaging money.

  • Devn Snow

    You also probably voted for Obama and think people should be communistacly forced to have insurance and think the war in afghanistan is justifiable

    • Harley

      Now I know you are an idiot. Afgani was started by Cheney and Bush. Obama has cleaned up a lot of there mess you fascist.

      • Joey Partridge

        Harley…you are so stupid its funny….Obama hasn’t cleaned up anything…he compounded our problems and made them worse than they ever were. Get out of America you don’t belong here

  • Devn Snow

    His family has grazed cattle there before there was a BLM im pretty sure the government has enough stolen oil money that they dont need to charge a rancher grazing cattle that isnt costing them a dime but in turn is selling his cattle and paying them taxes more more more and ofcoarse u think you deserve something
    for someone elses hard work dont worry just cause this guys not paying a fee youll still get ur wellfare

    • Coomersly

      That land belonged to the Nevada Paiute Indians before Bundy ever came along. His family was willing to pay before but thinks he’s above the law now?? I pay my taxes for my property that I purchased. I continue to pay so I can enjoy the services at and around my property. You obviously forgot that the Afghanistan war was started before Pres. Obama came into office. Perhaps you should ask Dick Cheney or Pres. Bush why they wanted to go to war. This land belongs to all and we all need to follow the laws. If one rancher pays grazing fees, all ranchers who use public land should pay. If anyone has a right to take his cattle it’s the Paiute Indians.

      • Devn Snow

        Yes it did start with cheny and bush that was a decade ago whats your excuse now and yes the government took that land from the indians and didnt give them squat so its ok for the feds to do what they want no your a sheeple too y dont you just go fight for a obama third term and when they come take your sh*t dont ask your fellow americans for help

        • Harley

          Devn if you know so much then why are you sooooo stupid?

  • Devn Snow

    And ofcoarse the governments first reaction is brute force snipers and military personel are you kidding me theyre flexin there muscles to show u if you try to organize at all they will shut u down why dont you people read news that doesnt come from the U.S they call us terrorists why do you think that is hmmmm cause your government takes things that dont belong to them and if you try to oppose they will punish you freedom i dont think so

    • phishhman

      That wasn’t their first reaction. He hadn’t paid since the mid 90’s. After not paying, in 1998, a federal court ordered him to cease grazing. Then last summer, after 5 more years, another judge gave him 45 days to cease or they would confiscate. He had plenty of notice. He knew the risks of disobeying the law. If you don’t pay your property taxes, you will have your home confiscated. And to the hillbilly that got tazed, it wasn’t because of a conspiracy, he kicked the law enforcement dog and refused to comply. He deserved to be tazed at a minimum.

  • Nick Jones

    Thats it Lawrence take someones freedom then decide if they did somethin wrong f*ckn commie

    • Harley

      Nick – Bundy did do something wrong. It’s called stealing when you don’t pay your grazing fees. We all know welfare whores are republicans. You are the fascist.

  • Devn Snow

    Opinions are often useless but if the Bundy family reads this know you have the full support of the A.P.R

  • esbee

    if our govt would use this much force against inner city gangs and meth labs they would be using our tax money wisely—instead they go after law abiding citizens turning them into criminals with the stroke of a pen.

  • bothsides

    those police should back off and go home. What would be the difference??? Except it would take away the chance to commit violence against good freedom loving Americans Sounds like a good idea if I were the person in charge. Nothing good can come of this stand off. Both sides are Americans and its best if nobody is hurt. The law is acting like this is worth killing Americans and letting the dogs go. Its not worth it! The law is not seeing this!

  • San

    His father was from Arizona. His “ancestors” lived in Mesquite for a few years before moving. Bundy is a liar.