Nevada Rancher Threatens "Range War" Over What He Sees as Illegitimate Bureau of Land Management Seizure of His Cattle

Cliven Bundy, a Nevada cattle rancher, has threatened a "range war" with the federal government as its Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has begun confiscating his cattle.

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The BLM is mad at Bundy for racking up over $300,000 in unpaid grazing fees the agency claims he owes for 150 square miles of scrub the BLM legally owns; he hasn't paid any since 1993.

As the Los Angeles Times reports:

Officials say Bundy is illegally running cattle in the 600,000-acre Gold Butte area, habitat of the federally protected desert tortoise. Last year, a federal court judge ruled that if the 68-year-old veteran rancher did not remove his cattle, they could be seized by the BLM. That seizure began Saturday....

Federal authorities have closed off the Gold Butte area and are rounding up what they call “trespass cattle,” many of which belong to Bundy. By Monday, 134 cattle had been impounded....

Bundy says he "fired the BLM," and vows not to pay one dime to the agency that he accuses of plotting his demise.

A father of 14...Bundy has insisted that his cattle aren't going anywhere. He acknowledges that he keeps firearms at his ranch, 80 miles north of Las Vegas, and has vowed to do "whatever it takes" to defend his animals from seizure.

Bundy is the type who, from his public statements, seems to believe in local and county and state authority and not federal. He insists his family has homestead rights to that land from the 1880s that predate the federal government's claims. Hundreds of Bundy supporters have gathered in the past couple of days to protest the BLM's actions, but they've been taking the cattle anyway.

Bundy has been reminding the press of Waco and Ruby Ridge and other times when federal agents facing recalcitrant citizens have resorted to violence. As ABC News reported:

a spokesperson for the National Park Service were told that Bundy supporters had reported seeing snipers present near the Ranch. Asked whether snipers indeed were on the scene, they said that law enforcement was in place, as needed, and that they could not comment more specifically.

Reassuring!

Dave Bundy, Cliven's son, was briefly arrested Sunday then released, as he told the Las Vegas Review Journal:

The 37-year-old said heavily armed federal agents roughed him up and arrested him for exercising his constitutional rights on a state highway in northeast Clark County on Sunday.

“They got on their loudspeaker and said that everyone needed to leave,” Dave Bundy said during an impromptu press conference alongside his father outside a 7-Eleven on Las Vegas Boulevard. “I stood there and continued to express my First Amendment right to protest, and they approached me and said that if I didn’t leave, they’d arrest me.”

The younger Bundy said he was taking photographs and protesting peacefully at the time.

Natalie Collins, a spokeswoman for the Nevada U.S. Attorney’s office, said Bundy was cited for misdemeanor charges of “refusing to disperse” and resisting arrest.

Earlier, BLM spokeswoman Kirsten Cannon said Bundy was taken into custody to “protect public safety and maintain the peace.”...

Dave Bundy showed a Review-Journal reporter his scratched face and swollen, scraped hands while describing his arrest.

“Without any further questions, two rangers surrounded and a third one approached me and they all jumped me, pulling different directions. And then a couple other guys jumped in and they took me to the ground,” Dave Bundy said. “… One ranger had had his knee on my spine and the other one was on my head with his knee on the side of my head and his other knee on the back of my neck.”

Dave Bundy maintains his arrest was improper because he was standing along the side of Route 170 in a state right-of-way. BLM officials said the right-of-way is under their jurisdiction and within an area their agency had closed to the public.

This KCET.org article tries to make the preservationists' case against Bundy's cattle.

The Bundy family's collection of YouTube videos making their case (hat tip to the Griggs Family on that link).

UPDATE: The latest actual court order for Bundy to remove his cattle, from October. The Justia page for the case.

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  • ||

    A dying breed in the USSA.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Don't get killed by FedGov.murder.

  • Swiss Servator, Frühling?||

    I like Gold Butte(s) and I can not lie
    You other ranchers can't deny
    That when a head of cattle walks in with an itty bitty cud
    And a branded thing in your face
    You get arrested, wanna pull out your video camera
    'Cause you notice that protest was stuffed
    Deep in the range you're living
    I'm ranchin' and I can't stop homesteadin'
    Oh cattle, I wanna herd you
    And take the cops picture

  • John||

    The BLM needs to be closed down and all of this land needs to be sold to the highest bidder. That said, fuck this guy. There are few bigger and more loathsome welfare queens in this country than the western cattle ranchers who pay give away rents and act like that land is really theirs. If this guy didn't pay his rent, which is most likely below market to begin with, then BLM should have seized his cattle. It is not his land. Sure, it probably shouldn't be the BLM's either. But that doesn't make it his.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Yeah, there's no real good guy here.

  • sloopyinca||

    Maybe the FedGov ought to listen to his homestead claim and offer him some sort of due process before they disregard it. I think you and John missed that part of the story.

    Homesteading that predates the FedGov's claim for the land is valid and has been respected quite a bit (see non-treatied Indian claims). I bet this is more of a grab by the EPA because of the endangered species act than it is an attempt to collect real grazing rents.

    Also, if you can't put up a fence and actually manage your land, I think the right to ownership sans deed is tenuous at best. And that's what I see with the BLM in this case.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    This guy was using this land no one gives a shit about long before the dim-witted, capitalist-hating environmentalists showed up in the BLM.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    This man has the courts to fight back if he really has a just claim to the land.

    Threatening to murder Federal agents to play out some heroic fantasy is crossing the line.

    Does it justify the excessive use of force against a solitary man in the wilderness? Absolutely not, but both sides are needlessly escalating the situation.

    The BLM should be required to sue in a local court and have local authorities enforce the injunction against him. Not summarily confiscate the cattle and illegally close off all that land that has a highway running through it.

  • Overt||

    They are not summarily seizing anything. The BLM took this guy to court for not paying rent. A judge agreed that 1) he does not have claim to the land and 2) he has not given BLM their due.

    So he has received due process- whether you feel it should be a federal or local judge is really just arguing price. Why would anyone think a State/County/etc court would come to any different conclusion?

  • Agile Cyborg||

    Puhlease explain to me WHY the BLM NEEDS their due on land in the middle of nowhere?

    Oh, I forgot... 20 years ago when this guy was paying nothing some environmentalist devotee in the BLM found a tortoise out there and decided the reptile needs a full-time schmuck to watch it.

  • Overt||

    I'll be the first to agree that the Federal Government has way too much land, and much of it should be sold off.

    That said, the federal government DOES own the land, and this guy shouldn't get to set the terms of what ANY owner decides to do with that land.

    There is an HOA adjoining our property that has a large green-space. Every year they let a rancher cut the space and he takes the cuttings as feed for his animals. Win-Win. But the HOA has every right to change that agreement next year for justified, stupid or otherwise arbitrary reasons. They can levy a fee, or they can tell him to fuck off and the rancher has no legitimate right to continue using that land after the fact.

    In the Nevada case, the Rancher is free-loading and the owner has told him to stop. I wish the owner wasn't the Federal Government, but this doesn't automatically give this asshole the right to continue freeloading. Even if we were to illigitimize the Federal Ownership, there is no guarantee this guy would be the owner when that process was over, so I don't see why he gets to continue using the land.

  • Diomasach||

    That and the oil and gas that they have been looking for there. Methinks as soon as they kill this guy "accidentally" of course,the stupid tortoise will get shoved aside and they'll start fracking the hell out of the area.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    He'd lose in a court second and he knows it. There is a tortoise in 'danger' after all and that tortoise needs his rents and without those rents gov people gonna havta get mean to get'em.

  • Juice||

    The desert tortoise didn't seem to matter that much when building that giant solar plant out in the desert.

  • sloopyinca||

    Threatening to murder Federal agents to play out some heroic fantasy is crossing the line.

    FTA (emphasis mine): He acknowledges that he keeps firearms at his ranch, 80 miles north of Las Vegas, and has vowed to do "whatever it takes" to defend his animals from seizure.

    So now saying you will do "whatever it takes" to protect your property from seizure absent any form of judicial due process is tantamount to a murder threat? Fuck, man, what country are we living in again?

  • Zeb||

    Assuming the guy is somewhat rational, it would be wrong to assume that "whatever it takes" would include murdering federal agents. Doing so would pretty well guarantee that his animals get seized and he gets shot or imprisoned for a long time. Not an effective strategy if your goal is keeping your animals and maintaining your livelihood.

  • Brendan||

    You're the only one talking about heroic fantasies and murder.

    Talking about defending one's self is no threatening murder.

  • John C. Randolph||

    Maybe the FedGov ought to listen to his homestead claim and offer him some sort of due process before they disregard it

    Maybe a JURY should listen to his claim and decide whether the federal government really has any claim to that land.

    -jcr

  • Agile Cyborg||

    "Bundy considers much of that public land his ranch to use as he sees fit, but the BLM canceled his federal grazing permit 20 years ago, after the rancher refused to accept new land-use rules for protecting the threatened desert tortoise and stopped paying his fees."

    This all comes down to a reptile- not a welfare queen.

  • ||

    One wonders how the tortoise survived there for the past 120 years despite it being used as range land during that time.

    Would not be surprised that once the cattle are taken off that the ecology changes and has a negative impact on the tortoise populations.

  • ||

    This all comes down to a reptile- not a welfare queen.

    I think the left wing environmentalists in MD got into John's head.

    Ranching in the west is seen as a hobby and life style. Not as a way to make any real money.

    They are a dying breed which is probably due to technological changes. Still one would not expect ranchers to be going broke left and right if they had a federal safety net propping them up as john claims they are.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    "They are a dying breed..."

    And this is stone-cold hated by authoritarians in the federal government.

    Some of these ranchers are old school cowboys and represent a culture that is rugged and independent of government control. Frankly, this fellow has more character in his thumb than the entire BLM and their armed brigades for standing up against the absurdity of paying land fees over a damn tortoise.

  • ||

    There are few bigger and more loathsome welfare queens in this country than the western cattle ranchers

    What the fuck?

    This guy is not EVERY western rancher.

    Also it is near impossible for a rancher to exist in the west without using Fed lands. the feds own over 50% of all land in the west compared to less then 10% in the east. Western range land it is probably closer to 70% or 80% federally owned

    Also I have bought range land and I do not think they are renting it below market. Private range land is damn cheap even with the Feds near monopoly on it.

    It has no other value aside from range land.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    This old diehard cowboy was using land that not a single person gave a flick about until some narrow-minded college prick decided that a reptile needed some land-use fees.

  • Steve G||

    Yep, once I read about his PR campaign and invoking Waco, he kinda lost me. Seems like he's itching to be a martyr. Just stick to your guns pal (literally and figuratively) and let others decide what to label this.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    He's likely just pissed off since he fully realizes that a tortoise is responsible for the government confiscating thousands of dollars of his cattle. You'd be a bit paranoid with snipers in your neighborhood too.

  • Loki||

    Yep, once I read about his PR campaign and invoking Waco, he kinda lost me.

    a spokesperson for the National Park Service were told that Bundy supporters had reported seeing snipers present near the Ranch. Asked whether snipers indeed were on the scene, they said that law enforcement was in place, as needed, and that they could not comment more specifically.

    And the feds are doing a bang up job of not feeding into the Waco/ Ruby Ridge comparisons.

    This probably won't end well, and everyone will just shrug and say "crazy old coot got what was coming to him."

  • sloopyinca||

    John, would you buy meat from a western rancher instead of a Texas rancher without discriminating?

  • UnCivilServant||

    Can the Texans get me desert Tortoise meat?

  • UnCivilServant||

    The federal government should not own land nor make claim to land that they are not directly using for one of their very few legitimate purposes. And if there's enough space for cattle to graze there, it's fallen out of their domain.

  • sarcasmic||

    Why do you hate tortoises?

  • UnCivilServant||

    They're slow.

  • From the Tundra||

    Tasty, though!

  • Raston Bot||

    Can you get seasonal soft-shell? Otherwise, too much work.

  • Raven Nation||

    Hire some Vogons to smash the shells.

  • From the Tundra||

    Vogons?

    They wouldn't even lift a finger to save their own grandmothers from the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal without orders - signed in triplicate, sent in, sent back, queried, lost, found, subjected to public inquiry, lost again, and finally buried in soft peat for three months and recycled as firelighters.

  • sloopyinca||

    Vogons

    You Star Trek: TOS fans really crack me up.

  • Raven Nation||

    True. But every year they spend a night smashing the little jeweled, scuttling crabs to eat the meat inside.

  • sarcasmic||

    Show me some federally owned land, and I'll show you land that no one is paying property taxes on.

  • Paul.||

    This country hasn't had a decent range war in some time.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    I wonder if Lon Horiuchi is still on the payroll.

  • Paul.||

    He's on call. Bet his beeper is like... blowin' up right now.

  • Raven Nation||

    Apparently now in the private sector:

    http://gunsnplanes.blogspot.co.....s-one.html

  • JD the elder||

    And hopefully still nervously looking over his shoulder, as he should be for the rest of his life.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    Six hundred-thousand acres closed down over a fucking tortoise? Snipers ready to murder citizens over a fucking tortoise? A fuckton of law enforcment busting the chops of citizens over a fucking tortoise? The government is pulling out the violence tactics to save a FUCKING tortoise and yet can't lift a finger to help an American citizen who has been stuck in a Cuban dictator's prison for FIVE years over trumped-up charges!!?

    Everyday is a head shake for me in this USofA.

  • sarcasmic||

    Six hundred-thousand acres closed down over a fucking tortoise?

    Yep.

    Snipers ready to murder citizens over a fucking tortoise?

    Nope. They're ready to murder citizens for failure to obey.

    The government is pulling out the violence tactics to save a FUCKING tortoise and yet can't lift a finger to help an American citizen who has been stuck in a Cuban dictator's prison for FIVE years over trumped-up charges!!?

    Um, no. They're pulling out the violence tactics because this guy said he would not obey. Those people in Cuba didn't obey. They're on their own.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    “You shall obey— someone and for a long time: else you will perish and lose the last respect for yourself”

    So said the madman in his astuteness...

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    How about a summary of his legal claim to the land? If he has one, great. If not, then he's in the wrong here, federal aggression notwithstanding.

    We're witnessing the climax of a long process, some perspective would be nice.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    I need zero perspective on snipers waiting in the hills, bub. Your longing devotion to perspective is tilting strangely into the headwinds of brutal government aggression which has absolutely been proven to occur under the heavy and macabre hand of American law enforcement.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Zero perspective on what could potentially be a nutjob who's made implicit threats of violence against federal agents. Or he could truly be an aggrieved party, who's protecting his property.

    Let me pull out my jump to conclusions mat.

    ProL makes the best point. This issue should be resolved in the courts, and not by the agencies. But we don't even know if or how it may have been dealt with by the courts based on Reason's reporting.

  • sloopyinca||

    Zero perspective on what could potentially be a nutjob who's made implicit threats of violence against federal agents.

    So saying you will do whatever it takes to defend what is yours is considered a threat now? But putting snipers up is supposed to what, de-escalate the situation?

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Like I said before, we're at the climax of a situation that started brewing 20 years ago. How about some reporting on what has happened that got them to this point?

    Considering that he may be in the legal wrong does not excuse the federal government from murdering him over what is basically criminal trespass, if that is how it ends up. However, it is still relevant to the entire question of whether or not he is actually trespassing and what should be the proper resolution.

  • MJGreen||

    Yes, if what you claim is yours is not legally yours.

    Replace 'BLM' with 'Citibank.' Would you still be so quick to side with this guy, absent more information?

  • sloopyinca||

    Well, Citi and the FedGov don't exactly operate the same way. Citi can't claim the right to property and then have their employees determine whether their claim against another is valid or not.

    Also, Citi doesn't enjoy a legalized monopoly on violence, intimidation and coercion, nor are they allowed to be both a claimant and arbiter in a dispute.

  • Almanian!||

    Truedat - Chase is in on the action, too

  • Agile Cyborg||

    Let me get this straight. This fellow has had cows on land in the middle of nowhere no one cares about for decades until 20 years ago when someone decides he now has to pay because of a tortoise and you expect him to spend likely untold thousands just to lose his case in court?

  • Pro Libertate||

    That would be true if the dispute were between him and Disney. The difference is, Disney, frustrated with the guy, can't use massively unreasonable and disproportionate force without bribing the government to do it first. The government can skip such steps with impunity and go right to kill.

    The court system sucks, too, but having an opponent in a civil matter than can use lethal force with impunity is far, far worse.

  • Overt||

    "Disney, frustrated with the guy, can't use massively unreasonable and disproportionate force without bribing the government to do it first. "

    Disney wouldn't have to bribe anyone. If they owned the land, they would go to court and everyone here would cheer as their property rights were confirmed by the courts and enforced by law enforcement.

    The only thing different here is that people insist there is a conflict of interest since the actual owner (BLM) is a subsidiary of the same government that employs the Judiciary and Law Enforcement. But without the facts of the case (which no one here is discussing), we cannot judge whether there was actually a conflict of interest or any wrongdoing. For all we know, the Judiciary did exactly what it would have done for Disney, and I see no reason why we should complain then.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I don't pretend to know enough of the details here to make a judgment. My point is a general one, that agencies often skip a step that would be required of a similarly situated private actor.

  • KcColeman||

    He paid In the decades before the tortoise too. He refused to sign the new agreement 20 years ago asking him to reduce the number of cattle on federal property. He refused, he has taken this to court. The Supreme Court has ruled against him. If he wanted to quietly continue what he was doing he should have signed the agreement and paid the fees. No questions. We wouldn't even be here today.

  • Loki||

    Or he could truly be an aggrieved party, who's protecting his property.

    He acknowledges that he keeps firearms at his ranch, 80 miles north of Las Vegas, and has vowed to do "whatever it takes" to defend his animals from seizure.

    As far as I can tell, he's talking about trying to defend his cattle, which are being confiscated by the BLM. Not only confiscated, but in all likelyhood slaughtered. I doubt the BLM is going to feed and take care of them. I'd say he's got a grievance over the confiscation of his cattle, regardless of the status of his land claim.

  • Overt||

    No. His cattle is trespassing on another owner's (Federal Government) land. They are rounding up this cattle and impounding it. They have a court order allowing the same.

    He isn't defending anything. He is initiating force by trespassing. And he is trying to double down on that trespass by saying he will use violence to prevent anyone from (legitimately) removing the cattle.

  • Juice||

    You reject his homesteading claim?

  • Overt||

    The Courts- not the BLM, but the actual Courts- have rejected his homesteading claim.

    Maybe the courts were wrong, maybe they were right. But how are we going to settle that difference? At some point we have to agree that a third party will make that determination. In this country that is a judge. While I can sympathize with the idea that there MIGHT be a conflict of interest between the courts and BLM, no evidence is presented to suggest one existed. The courts have restrained the government many times before, so it isn't just a given that the courts are acting in concert with the BLM.

    Ultimately, we come down to one of two options. We either respect the decision of the third party arbitrator- even though sometimes it might get things wrong, and in which case the rancher is clearly in the wrong and deserving of no sympathy- or we get to might makes right- in which case we can't get too outraged at either party in this "war".

  • JParker||

    Too bad that the BLM did not accept a neutral third party arbitrator; instead they insisted upon an arbitrator that is biased toward them.

  • Brandybuck||

    If Route 170 is a right of way, then the BLM cannot close it to the public. Regardlesss of jurisdiction. That's part of the definition of right of way.

  • sarcasmic||

    The law is whatever they say it is. You should know that by now.

    Best case scenario you have enough money to contest it in court. Worst case scenario you get a public pretender and have to accept a plea deal.

    Either way, nothing else will happen.

  • Pro Libertate||

    You know, why does the federal government magically get powers as a landowner that private citizens don't have? Let them take this to the courts, asking for injunctions or whatever, to be enforced by local authorities, not the agency that already has made its decision.

    Instead, they can send down snipers, tanks, and God knows what else to deal with what is really more of a civil than a criminal matter.

  • Paul.||

    Let them take this to the courts, asking for injunctions or whatever, to be enforced by local authorities, not the agency that already has made its decision.

    Because these agencies are above politics. That lets them operate independently and effectively. Congress doesn't have the expertise to handle these types of land issues. And they're only regulatory agencies anyway, we're not talking about regular legislation. This is legislation-lite.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Well what's the point of giving a bunch of sociopaths in the ATF and other Federal law enforcement agencies military-grade hadrdware if they can't burn some people alive with it?

  • UnCivilServant||

    They're supposed to have Agency wars. I want to see the ATF get into a shooting war with the FBI!

  • Juice||

    Get them to play a hockey game.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I suddenly have an insight into why such people think people can't be trusted with guns. Or any other freedom, for that matter.

    It's entirely possible that the guy here is in the wrong in a legal sense, but the government's use of force is so out of whack with anything reasonable in these situations. Heck, I still don't understand why the federal government is so heavily involved in law enforcement, beyond the borders and some coordination, perhaps, of interstate matters, and areas of particular federal domain, like counterfeiting (maybe on this last point).

  • sarcasmic||

    Machiavelli said you were a poor student.

  • LiveFreeOrDiet||

    Napalm doesn't burn people. People in uniforms burn people.

  • OldMexican||

    You know, why does the federal government magically get powers as a landowner that private citizens don't have?


    Because "Fuck you! That's why!"?

  • Brett L||

    Its really too the state of FL got his cousin, Ted. Ted would have been an ideal guy to send after these guys.

  • Will4Freedom||

    If he owns the land, he should have a deed. If he has a deed and has been paying property taxes on the land, sue the BLM. I'd support that.

    If he can't produce a deed and BLM can, pay your rent or leave.

    Roughing up a bystander does not help the BLM's cause. He has a right to stand there and a right to take pictures.

    Why does this stuff need to escalate like this? Can't we all just get along? Where's "fair" Al Sharpton when you need him.

  • sloopyinca||

    But he has made a claim on the land that he says predates the FedGov's. I'd like to see the FedGov produce a deed that predates his (I'm assuming he has some documentation) claim on the land.
    If they honor non-treatied Indian claims to land after the fact then this guy has a case under the equal protection clause.

    Also, shouldn't it be up to the FedGov to prove their claim rather than this man? I think that would be the case in a free society. In ours, maybe not.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    I lost sympathy for the guy when he threatened violence rather then using the court system, which was created for the specific purpose of avoiding violence over issues involving property claims.

    Yes, he is being fucked over by an out of control regulatory state that gives every agency armed thugs and summary authority to act without regard to due process.

    That's a lawsuit that I'd happily support by a donation to the Institute for Justice. But instead he wants to have this fantasy of shooting it out with the ATF.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    The ATF will happily oblige, unfortunately.

  • sloopyinca||

    He merely said he would do whatever it takes to defend his private property. The ones escalating the situation are the cocksuckers setting up positions adjacent to his land and intimidating his children...with guns.

  • Brendan||

    When did the ATF get involved with, and who (besides you) is talking about fantasies of shootouts.

    For the sake of the environment, I hope you're using sustainable methods to harvest all that straw.

  • KcColeman||

    The federal government has owned the land since 1864...prior to that it belonged to the Indians. He never homestead claimed it. He has just been running his cattle on it. With, the approval of the federal government until 20 years ago, when HE refused to sign the new lease.

  • Cyto||

    How long does it take for adverse possession to take effect in this jurisdiction?

  • UnCivilServant||

    You mean mob informant Al?

    Talking to the FBI, probably.

  • UnCivilServant||

  • Diomasach||

    Rev Al doesn't care if the guvmint wants to kill some honkey in Nevada. He only looks out for the bruthas.

  • sloopyinca||

    Nevada Rancher Threatens "Range War" "Suicide By Cop" Over What He Sees as Illegitimate Bureau of Land Management Seizure of His Cattle

    FIFY, Doherty.

  • sarcasmic||

    This story conveniently leaves out the part where he threatened armed resistance. That explains the snipers.

  • sarcasmic||

    From Infowars.

    Some fear the dispute could turn into a Ruby Ridge-style violent standoff because Bundy has said he is prepared to become a martyr for what he perceives as a constitutional stance against tyranny.

    Sad when you have to go to Infowars to get a more complete and less biased story than Reason.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    You can't read?

    "A father of 14...Bundy has insisted that his cattle aren't going anywhere. He acknowledges that he keeps firearms at his ranch, 80 miles north of Las Vegas, and has vowed to do "whatever it takes" to defend his animals from seizure."

  • sarcasmic||

    Apparently not. So why were you asking about the reason for the snipers again? You can't read?

  • Agile Cyborg||

    The government created the mess. It's an outright action of tyranny to send in snipers to help clean it up.

  • sarcasmic||

    They didn't send snipers in to clean it up. Had that been the purpose of the snipers, then they would have shot everyone. The snipers were there to watch for weapons, and kill anyone who threatened armed resistance. We're not quite to outright tyranny. We've got a few more inches to go.

  • ||

    We've got a cunt's hair width to go.

    If this was private land snipers would not be involved. A sheriff would be involved.

    There is a reason we have the government handle seizure of land and deal with trespassers.

    In this case the government and the land owner are the same...when the feds bypass the due process checks and balances of the local sheriff with federal snipers for expediency then yes we have outright tyranny.

  • Juice||

    If this was private land snipers would not be involved. A sheriff would be involved.

    A sheriff that shows up in a tank.

  • Jordan||

    What's with all the people here defending the deployment of snipers and denouncing this guy? The federal government has no legitimate claim on any land that isn't necessary to defend the life, liberty, and/or property of citizens, so any action taken to defend this claim is illegitimate. Why should I shed a tear if some fucking cattle thieves get wasted?

  • Brendan||

    The government is coming down on a welfare rancher.

    It's like liberals hating the Koch brothers if they donated money to the Brady Group, ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and moveon.org

  • Ivan Pike||

    UPDATE: The latest actual court order for Bundy to remove his cattle, from October. The Justia page for the case.

    You really should have had this in the article from the start as it summarizes the situation pretty well.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    "...it summarizes the situation pretty well."

    How so? It's a court order that outlines the government's position.

  • Ivan Pike||

    If you go into Justia and look at filing #35, it shows the history of this.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    The history does not paint Bundy in a good light. He's been evading court orders since '98 and moving his cattle onto previously uncontested lands belonging to the Park Service.

  • prolefeed||

    I read filing #35 too. It touches on the rancher's claims, lightly. The problem is that it is, once again, the federal government summarizing their POV of things in the light most favorable to them, while not showing the actual legal flings and claims made by the rancher's lawyers.

    It's a bit like reading a court transcript of a trial where all the words of the defendant and his lawyer were stricken from the record, and concluding that the defendant is guilty because there was no serious adversarial contesting of the facts and law.

    Maybe the rancher is full of hooey, but a link to his pleadings not filtered through a government judge might be helpful journalism.

  • prolefeed||

    What Agile C. said. The court order is presented entirely from the POV of the government, and glosses over without any detail the claims made by the rancher:

    "Finally, the Court finds that Bundy’s objections to the United States’ Motion, many of which have been disposed of in prior proceedings,
    are without merit. The Court has stated
    unequivocally on numerous occ
    asions that it has jurisdiction to hear this case, and that the Allotment is owned by the United States and managed by the DOI through the BLM and the NPS.
    Bundy’s repeated suggestions to the contrary are entirely unavailing."

    It would be like reading a government court order to execute Snowden, and concluding it was entirely justified because it didn't mention in any detail the objections raised by Snowden's lawyers.

  • Ivan Pike||

    Did you read filing #35? It actually does go into a bit more detail.

  • prolefeed||

    See above at 4:12 pm.

  • kmc212||

    Cattle? The BLM land is there to make Harry Reid richer!

    http://www.nationalreview.com/.....y-woodruff

  • SusanM||

    There's a company called Matador Cattle Company that gets to use federal land basically for free under a New Deal program. Maybe Bundy should start making a few campaign contributions too.

  • Loki||

    Just some white, racist, crazy militia types. Nothing to see here, move along! - derp

    Oh, and FUCK YOU FUCKING SKWIRRELZ!!!!11!!

  • Duke||

    I figured there might be some comedy gold on the LA Times comment board:


    Hilarious that a woman said that the rancher was "caring for the land". I've seen the damage that just 12 cattle can do, They'll stand in the middle of a pristine stream and crap in the water. Then they'll march up and down the banks until it turns into a big swampy marsh. They are not what you'd call "smart". But they are incredibly destructive, and as a taxpayer I'd prefer that they not be allowed to roam on any public property.
  • Duke||

    And this fella:

    CNDFOX Guest
    A great example of how blind, narrow, black and white, survivalist, ideological minds work. The point is...they don't. I wonder why he hasn't been jailed and his lands confiscated until he pays what he owes. And I'll wager a guess that he is a Republican or Liberterian. They simply have no concept of what life really is about.

    http://www.latimes.com/nation/.....z2yJnMl0JB

  • ||

    Hahaha, god progressives do love themselves projection.

  • Loki||

    They are not what you'd call "smart". But they are incredibly destructive...

    OK, I'm lost, is he talking about cattle or politicians?

  • ||

    I never understood the western cattle ranching thing. You can raise more cattle in one Louisiana parish than you can in the whole state of Nevada. There is just nothing out there for them to eat and no water.

    I don't see anyone in this story I can root for.

  • prolefeed||

    The land out west is often not useful economically for anything but cattle ranching. So, you can raise cattle thinly dispersed over huge ranches, sometimes as few as one cow per square mile, or let the land lay fallow.

  • Juice||

    I wouldn't want to live anywhere near a CAFO. Let them go out into the western brush.

  • prolefeed||

    Zero perspective on what could potentially be a nutjob who's made implicit threats of violence against federal agents.

    So the federal agents who have made 100% credible implicit threats of violence against the rancher are sane, but the rancher who has made implicit threats of violence against federal agents is a nutjob?

    Interesting double standard.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    There's no double standard if you read the history on Justia. He's lost in court multiple times since 1998. He's moved his cattle onto non-disputed lands that are owned by the park service and denied it in the face of photographic evidence. He's stymied the process until this past year when the court ordered his cattle seized and moved. He declared "Range War" (his words) against federal agents and the snipers showed up.

    Generally, when you use the word "war" against the feds, they don't take it well.

    Even if this guy is in the right, he's working to make sure it does not end nicely.

  • Raston Bot||

    I've read the #35 legal doc. What, exactly, is his case? That his family was homesteaded the property by the Feds 1 1/2 centuries ago?

  • Overt||

    It seems to me the entire case comes down to whether or not this man is owner of the land. And all the court documentation indicates that this guy has had numerous opportunities in court to assert his property rights and has lost.

    The fact that the government happens to be the owner is an interesting side-note, but it doesn't exonerate this guy's actions. He disputes the government's title. Well so what? People dispute each others' title to property all the time. And they go to court over it, just as this guy has.

    While it is possible the Court acted in a preferential way to the BLM, there hasn't been a single piece of evidence presented in the article or comments to suggest as much. All of the outrage in the comments and implied in the article centers around the following:

    1) Government shouldn't be able to retaliate to this guy's initiation of force (by removing cattle, and killing him if he tries to stop them from this justified act). This is completely unsupported by the NAP principles.

    2) Government shouldn't own this land so this guy should get to use it as he sees fit. This does not follow- they are the owners, and if they weren't it isn't clear this guy would be owner.

    3) Finally, the government's arbitrary (environmentalist) reason for levying fees is stupid/unjustified so he should have these rights. But using property in ways we disagree with doesn't forfeit those rights unless it is a violation of NAP.

  • amiga||

    Never mind that 'federal land' is unConstitutional with a few very minor exceptions [ArtI, Sec8]

  • ConstitutionFirst||

    Everything we fought the British about is back again and worse.
    If not us? Who?
    If not now? When?

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