Saturday, April 19, 2014

After the standoff, what's next for Bundy and BLM?

by Christi Turner

...After 20 years of flouting the law, Bundy owes the BLM over $1 million in unpaid grazing fees and fines and has defied two court orders. Former agency insiders and legal experts say the feds may have little choice now but to round up Bundy himself. Some of the armed militia members who showed up at the scene could face legal action as well. Nonetheless, the outcome of the standoff may set back the BLM’s future dealings with other recalcitrant cattlemen. It likely damages the agency’s public image, and may encourage the idea that the agency will capitulate if threatened with force.

...In terms of how to resolve the Bundy issue in particular, “I do think the agency and the government have some options available to them,” said Bob Abbey, who was Nevada state director of the BLM between 1997 and 2005, national BLM director between 2010 and 2012, and who dealt with Bundy on several occasions during his tenure. “One thing would be to meet with the judge and see if the judge were willing to issue a contempt of court citation against Mr. Bundy,” which would allow the agency to put him behind bars for ignoring court orders.

As Turner points out, that's exactly what they did to rancher Wally Klump.  See here.

Megyn Kelly - Senators Reid & Heller debate Bundy Ranch "domestic terrorists" -video

Western lawmakers gather in Utah to talk federal land takeover

 It’s time for Western states to take control of federal lands within their borders, lawmakers and county commissioners from Western states said at Utah’s Capitol on Friday. More than 50 political leaders from nine states convened for the first time to talk about their joint goal: wresting control of oil-, timber -and mineral-rich lands away from the feds. "It’s simply time," said Rep. Ken Ivory, R-West Jordan, who organized the Legislative Summit on the Transfer for Public Lands along with Montana state Sen. Jennifer Fielder. "The urgency is now." Utah House Speaker Becky Lockhart, R-Provo, was flanked by a dozen participants, including her counterparts from Idaho and Montana, during a press conference after the daylong closed-door summit. U.S. Sen. Mike Lee addressed the group over lunch, Ivory said. New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Wyoming, Oregon and Washington also were represented. The summit was in the works before this month’s tense standoff between Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and the Bureau of Land Management over cattle grazing, Lockhart said. "What’s happened in Nevada is really just a symptom of a much larger problem," Lockhart said. Idaho Speaker of the House Scott Bedke said Idaho forests and rangeland managed by the state have suffered less damage and watershed degradation from wildfire than have lands managed by federal agencies. "It’s time the states in the West come of age," Bedke said. "We’re every bit as capable of managing the lands in our boundaries as the states east of Colorado." Ivory said the issue is of interest to urban as well as rural lawmakers, in part because they see oilfields and other resources that could be developed to create jobs and fund education. Moreover, the federal government’s debt threatens both its management of vast tracts of the West as well as its ability to come through with payments in lieu of taxes to the states, he said. Utah gets 32 percent of its revenue from the federal government, much of it unrelated to public lands. "If we don’t stand up and act, seeing that trajectory of what’s coming … those problems are going to get bigger," Ivory said...more

Live From Bundy’s Nevada Ranch: The Funny Way Supporters Are Responding to Harry Reid Calling Them ‘Domestic Terrorists’

Filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza traveled to Cliven Bundy’s ranch in Bunkerville, Nev., on Friday to embark on a “fact-finding” mission. Prior to attending a “big rally” made up of hundreds of the cattle rancher’s supporters, D’Souza planned to talk to some of the people who Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has labeled “domestic terrorists.” Broadcasting live from Bundy’s Nevada ranch on “The Kelly File,” he revealed that supporters — made up of men, women and children — were wearing “domestic terrorist” name tags on Friday. D’Souza said seeing children wearing the tags shows just how absurd Reid’s allegations are. He also told Megyn Kelly that he is now “sensitive” to situations where an individual is targeted by the federal government because of his current case involving a violation of campaign finance law. Some have speculated he was targeted following his anti-Obama documentary. “My case is going to trial in May and I am preparing for it. It’s created to in me a feeling of vulnerability and, of course, a sensitivity to these kinds of issues of justice,” he said. “But, of course, I didn’t have SWAT teams on me, I wasn’t in the sights of snipers — so I feel that these guys have been facing some real domestic terror from their own government and that’s a very scary idea here in America.” “There is a big clash going on between people who see themselves as patriots standing up for the principles of 1776, equal rights under the Constitution, and the federal government,” D’Souza said. “We want to live in a country where Lady Justice is blind and you don’t have her looking out through just one eye.” D’Souza also characterized Reid’s inflammatory remarks as a “vastly unjust portrayal of domestic terrorism.” He argued the senator is intentionally “stirring the pot” and called on President Barack Obama to condemn Reid’s statements and urge him to apologize. However, that seemed unlikely to happen as Reid doubled down on his “terrorist” comments on Friday. The conservative filmmaker urged Bundy and all of his supporters to refuse to let that kind of rhetoric cause them lose their cool. It’s the kind of case that can “make your emotions run away with you,” so both sides need to show restraint and prevent the situation from escalating into a Ruby Ridge-type of incident, he added...more

Friday, April 18, 2014

Administration punts on Keystone, Obama faces Dem revolt

The Obama administration once again has punted on a final decision for the Keystone XL pipeline, announcing ahead of the holiday weekend it is extending a key review period indefinitely -- a move that could push off a determination until after the midterm elections. Republicans, as well as red-state Democrats who want the proposed Canada-to-Texas pipeline approved, slammed the administration for the delay. Democrats even threatened to find ways to go around the president to get the project approved. "It's absolutely ridiculous that this well over five year long process is continuing for an undetermined amount of time," Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., said in a statement. Republican Nebraska Rep. Lee Terry called the decision "shameful," noting that another spring construction season will come and go without the project. The administration had been in the middle of a 90-day review period for federal agencies assessing an environmental study from the State Department. But the State Department said Friday it is giving agencies "additional time" to weigh in, in part because of ongoing litigation before the Nebraska Supreme Court which could affect the pipeline's route. If the route changes, officials made clear the State Department reserves the right to conduct another environmental impact study to include more public comments, which could delay the process more. Further, the department said officials need to go over the "unprecedented number" of new public comments -- roughly 2.5 million of them -- received during a separate comment period that ended in early March.  Keystone supporters in Congress were furious with the decision. Just days earlier, 11 Democratic senators had written to President Obama urging him to make a final decision by the end of May, complaining that the process "has been exhaustive in its time, breadth and scope." With the extension, the administration effectively has turned down that request. One of the letter's signatories, Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., who is in a tough re-election fight this year, said the decision amounts to an "indefinite delay" of the project. "This decision is irresponsible, unnecessary and unacceptable," she said...more

Harry Reid blasts Bundy ranch supporters as ‘domestic terrorists’

Senate President Harry Reid called supporters of rancher Cliven Bundy “domestic terrorists” Thursday, turning up the rhetorical heat on the already tense situation at the Nevada cattle operation. “Those people who hold themselves out to be patriots are not. They’re nothing more than domestic terrorists,” Mr. Reid in remarks at a luncheon, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, which sponsored the event. “… I repeat: What went on up there was domestic terrorism.” The Nevada Democrat was referring to the hundreds of Bundy backers — some armed, some from out of state — who congregated at the ranch last week in a show of support as the Bureau of Land Management began seizing the family’s cattle in a dispute over grazing fees. More supporters are expected to flock to the ranch Friday for the Bundy family’s “Patriot Party,” a community event aimed at thanking those who have supported them during the stand-off with the BLM. Mr. Reid had remained mum on the conflict until Monday, when he told KLAS-TV in Las Vegas that “it’s not over.” In his Thursday remarks, he criticized Cliven Bundy refusing to comply with federal authority by paying his grazing fees. “Clive Bundy does not recognize the United States,” Mr. Reid. “He says that the United States is a foreign government. He doesn’t pay his taxes. He doesn’t pay his fees. And he doesn’t follow the law. He continues to thumb his nose at authority.”  The Bundy family had no public comment Thursday on Mr. Reid ’s remarks, but did post a video statement called “The Truth” from rancher Cliff Gardner...more

I believe this is the video referred to in the Washington Times article.

Charlie Daniels thinks Harry Reid should be jailed, and names the charge

Country star Charlie Daniels had some strong words about Harry Reid today after the Nevada Senator said that supporters who showed up near the Bundy Ranch to support Cliven Bundy are domestic terrorists. Suffice to say, Reid isn’t a politician in good standing with Daniels:

  Charlie Daniels         @CharlieDaniels

Harry Reid you should be put in jail for impersonating an American


Bundy Ranch Standoff Could Spark New Sagebrush Rebellion

By William Perry Pendley

Obama Accused By Congressman Of Illegal Action At Bundy Ranch; Two Miracles In Less Than A Week

...Immediately after what many considered a victory against a tyrannical federal agency, a number of leftist voices – most notably, Sen. Harry Reid – indicated the action against this family will continue. In response, Texas Republican Rep. Steve Stockman sent a letter to Barack Obama, Department of the Interior Sec. Sally Jewell, and BLM Director Neil Kornze, laying out his position that any such action by the agency would violate the U.S. Constitution. “Because of this standoff,” he wrote, “I have looked into BLM’s authority to conduct such paramilitary raids against American citizens, and it appears that BLM is acting in a lawless manner in Nevada.” He cited the limited powers granted to the federal government, noting the bureau has no “right to assume preemptory police powers, that role being reserved to the States,” and explained “many federal laws require the federal government to seek assistance from local law enforcement whenever the use of force may become necessary.” The letter included a section of the U.S. Code — 43 U.S.C. Section 1733, Subsection C — stating exactly that point. [Emphasis Stockman's]

“When the Secretary determines that assistance is necessary in enforcing Federal laws and regulations relating to the public lands or their resources he shall offer a contract to appropriate local officials having law enforcement authority within their respective jurisdictions with the view of achieving maximum feasible reliance upon local law enforcement officials in enforcing such laws and regulations.”

In the case of the Bundy Ranch, he continued, “the relevant local law enforcement officials appear to be the Sheriff of Clark County, Nevada, Douglas C. Gillespie.” Gillespie, however, conspicuously took a back seat to BLM forces during the standoff. “Indeed,” Stockman wrote, “the exact type of crisis that the federal government has provoked at the Bundy ranch is the very type of incident that Congress knew could be avoided by relying on local law enforcement officials.” The stated purpose of the correspondence is for the Obama administration “to bring the BLM into compliance with 43 U.S.C. section 1733.”...more

First the feds back down and now a Congressman who actually reads the law?  Or, could it be that either he or his staff read The Westerner.  Maybe, Maybe not.  However, I did post this 4 days ago:

Section 303(c)(1) of FLPMA states, "When the Secretary determines that assistance is necessary in enforcing Federal laws and regulations relating to the public lands or their resources he shall offer a contract to appropriate local officials having law enforcement authority within their respective jurisdictions with the view of achieving maximum feasible reliance upon local law enforcement officials in enforcing such laws and regulations." (Emphasis mine).  Was the BLM in compliance with this section of the law?

BLM tries to contact Cliven Bundy - Family documenting damage done to land and livestock

 The Bureau of Land Management has tried to contact Cliven Bundy ever since the federal agency released the rancher’s cattle Saturday while facing a horde of protesters, but Bundy hasn’t opened any of the written messages. His son, Ammon Bundy, said four certified letters from the BLM arrived at the ranch Tuesday. So far, the 67-year-old Bunkerville resident has chosen not to open the envelopes. The word came Wednesday afternoon, when the Bundy family detailed property losses they said were caused by federal agents and BLM contract employees during the roundup. That includes unspecified numbers of dead cattle, the family said, and water trough equipment. Ammon Bundy said the family has found what they believe is a grave with their cattle buried in it. They also said they found a bull carcass with at least one gunshot they believe was fired from the air, probably from a helicopter. BLM spokesman Craig Leff would not comment Wednesday on the letters sent to Bundy. The agency also did not provide copies of the letters to the Review-Journal on Wednesday after the newspaper requested them or respond to Bundy family statements about damages to water equipment and dead and injured cattle. On Wednesday, the Bundys were still assessing damages to water equipment and tallying numbers of dead and injured cattle, which they are documenting with photographs. In a tour of his 160-acre ranch, Cliven Bundy showed the Review-Journal a 1-year-old bull calf with an injured leg. “That animal, if he lives, he’ll be lucky,” Cliven Bundy said. A brown calf — born in the BLM’s corral shortly before the agency released the cattle on Saturday — was at the ranch. “We named her Liberty,” Ryan Bundy, 41, one of Cliven’s sons, said. Among the damaged property on the public lands the family has used for range is a destroyed 12,000-gallon water tank. It was cut in pieces, Ryan Bundy said. The water equipment system pulls water from mountain springs, using gravity flow and pipes to supply tanks, which then feed into troughs. Ryan Bundy said the cows will find their way to water despite the equipment damage. “Our cattle are smart,” Ryan Bundy said. “They’ll go to where they need.”...more

Bundy’s Lessons

By Travis Kavulla

Former Chief of Staff to Attorney General Ed Meese Says Bundy is Right

Mark Levin, famed lawyer, author, legal scholar, and former Chief of Staff to Attorney General Ed Meese says Cliven Bundy is right. Levin explained in his April 11th broadcast how Bundy had agreements with the State of Nevada before the BLM claimed jurisdiction. Originally Bundy and the other ranchers in the area cooperated with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). They negotiated water rights and grazing rights, building of roads and irrigation all with the approval of the state and BLM. BLM was collecting fees from Bundy and the other ranchers in the area when BLM reneged on their earlier agreements. BLM began a systematic and deliberate campaign to drive ranchers out of Southern Nevada. Levin said that while the BLM had granted itself the power to behave in such a way to make it “legal”, BLM’s war on local ranchers is a deliberate abuse of power. Among the tactics used by BLM was a mandate for “environmental” reasons that Bundy and the other ranchers in the area decrease their cattle herd to 150 head, which would put every rancher out of business and did, including 52 ranchers in Clark County alone, leaving Cliven Bundy the last rancher standing...more

You can listen to Levin's comments here.

An open letter from a Nevada rancher on the Bundy cattle battle

The North Platte Bulletin published the following open letter:

    "There have been a lot of people criticizing Clive Bundy because he did not pay his grazing fees for 20 years. The public is also probably wondering why so many other cowboys are supporting Mr. Bundy even though they paid their fees and Clive did not.
    "What you people probably do not realize is that on every rancher's grazing permit it says the following: "You are authorized to make grazing use of the lands, under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management and covered by this grazing permit, upon your acceptance of the terms and conditions of this grazing permit and payment of grazing fees when due."
    "The "mandatory" terms and conditions go on to list the allotment, the number and kind of livestock to be grazed, when the permit begins and ends, the number of active or suspended AUMs (animal units per month), etc.
    "The terms and conditions also list specific requirements such as where salt or mineral supplements can be located, maximum allowable use of forage levels (40% of annual growth), etc., and include a lot more stringent policies that must be adhered to. Every rancher must sign this "contract" agreeing to abide by the TERMS AND CONDITIONS before he or she can make payment.
    "In the early 90s, the BLM went on a frenzy and drastically cut almost every rancher's permit because of this desert tortoise issue, even though all of us ranchers knew that cow and desert tortoise had co-existed for a hundred+ years. As an example, a family friend had his permit cut by 90%. For those of you who are non ranchers, that would be equated to getting your paycheck cut 90%.
    "In 1976 there were approximately 52 ranching permittees in this area of Nevada. Presently, there are 3. Most of these people lost their livelihoods because of the actions of the BLM.
    "Clive Bundy was one of these people who received extremely unfair and unreasonable TERMS AND CONDITIONS. Keep in mind that Mr. Bundy was required to sign this contract before he was allowed to pay. Had Clive signed on the dotted line, he would have, in essence, signed his very livelihood away. And so Mr. Bundy took a stand, not only for himself, but for all of us. He refused to be destroyed by a tyrannical federal entity and to have his American liberties and freedoms taken away.
    "Also keep in mind that all ranchers financially paid dearly for the forage rights those permits allow -- not rights to the land, but rights to use the forage that grows on that land. Many of these AUMS are water based, meaning that the rancher also has a vested right (state owned, not federal) to the waters that adjoin the lands and allow the livestock to drink.
    "These water rights were also purchased at a great price. If a rancher cannot show beneficial use of the water (he must have the appropriate number of livestock that drinks and uses that water), then he loses that water right. Usually water rights and forage rights go hand in hand. Contrary to what the BLM is telling you, they NEVER compensate a rancher for the AUMs they take away.
    "Most times, they tell ranchers that their AUMS are "suspended," but not removed. Unfortunately, my family has thousands of "suspended" AUMs that will probably never be returned.
    "And so, even though these ranchers throughout the course of 100 years invested thousands (and perhaps millions) of dollars and sacrificed along the way to obtain these rights through purchase from others, at a whim the government can take everything away with the stroke of a pen.
    "This is the very thing that Clive Bundy single-handedly took a stand against. Thank you, Clive, from a rancher who considers you a hero."
-Kena Lytle Gloeckner

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Bundys are throwing a party

Source:  Bundy Ranch Blog

Why You Should Be Sympathetic Toward Cliven Bundy

by John Hinderaker

On Saturday, I wrote about the standoff at Bundy Ranch. That post drew a remarkable amount of traffic, even though, as I wrote then, I had not quite decided what to make of the story. Since then, I have continued to study the facts and have drawn some conclusions. Here they are.

First, it must be admitted that legally, Bundy doesn’t have a leg to stand on. The Bureau of Land Management has been charging him grazing fees since the early 1990s, which he has refused to pay. Further, BLM has issued orders limiting the area on which Bundy’s cows can graze and the number that can graze, and Bundy has ignored those directives. As a result, BLM has sued Bundy twice in federal court, and won both cases. In the second, more recent action, Bundy’s defense is that the federal government doesn’t own the land in question and therefore has no authority to regulate grazing. That simply isn’t right; the land, like most of Nevada, is federally owned. Bundy is representing himself, of necessity: no lawyer could make that argument.

That being the case, why does Bundy deserve our sympathy? To begin with, his family has been ranching on the acres at issue since the late 19th century. They and other settlers were induced to come to Nevada in part by the federal government’s promise that they would be able to graze their cattle on adjacent government-owned land. For many years they did so, with no limitations or fees. The Bundy family was ranching in southern Nevada long before the BLM came into existence.

Over the last two or three decades, the Bureau has squeezed the ranchers in southern Nevada by limiting the acres on which their cattle can graze, reducing the number of cattle that can be on federal land, and charging grazing fees for the ever-diminishing privilege. The effect of these restrictions has been to drive the ranchers out of business. Formerly, there were dozens of ranches in the area where Bundy operates. Now, his ranch is the only one. When Bundy refused to pay grazing fees beginning in around 1993, he said something to the effect of, they are supposed to be charging me a fee for managing the land and all they are doing is trying to manage me out of business. Why should I pay them for that?

The bedrock issue here is that the federal government owns more than 80% of the state of Nevada. This is true across the western states. To an astonishing degree, those states lack sovereignty over their own territory. Most of the land is federal. And the federal agencies that rule over federal lands have agendas. At every opportunity, it seems, they restrict not only what can be done on federal lands, but on privately-owned property. They are hostile to traditional industries like logging, mining and ranching, and if you have a puddle in your back yard, the EPA will try to regulate it as a navigable waterway.

Editorial: Shrink feds' share of the West

...Mr. Bundy, it bears noting, is far from blameless in this situation. He’s been in clear violation of the law for more than 20 years. And his justification for the defiance – that he doesn’t recognize the authority of the federal government – is risible.

While we may not be sympathetic to Mr. Bundy’s specific arguments, we are, however, sensitive to his underlying grievance. The land on which Mr. Bundy’s cattle were grazing had been used by his family for ranching since the late 19th century. During the past few decades, however, federal officials have greatly constrained private access to those lands, while raising the attendant fees – a pattern that has happened throughout the West, taking a devastating toll on the ranching industry. That doesn’t justify Mr. Bundy’s one-man exercise in nullification, but it does call the propriety of the government’s role into question.

The deeper issue here is the excessive control that the federal government exercises over land in the American West. In Nevada, the feds own 81 percent of the state’s acreage, according to the Congressional Research Service. Here in California, nearly half – 47.7 percent – of our land belongs to Washington.

There are plenty of instances, of course, where such ownership is entirely unobjectionable. No one doubts the necessity, for instance, of Washington owning the land necessary for military installations and our national parks. But why should property that doesn’t serve such vital purposes remain in government hands?

We’d like to see Washington divest itself of such holdings. The resulting income could swell the Treasury without raising taxes on anyone. And putting more land in private hands would allow residents of these states to negotiate issues like grazing rights through private exchanges – not threats delivered at gunpoint.

Mr. Bundy was in the wrong in the Nevada standoff – but that doesn’t make the system he was railing against any less unjust.

Nevada Ranchers: 'We Embarrassed' Washington

...Business Insider called Cliven Bundy's son, Ammon Bundy, Tuesday and he said the family was still "looking for support" from the armed militia members and other conservative activists who flocked to the ranch this month. Though the BLM backed down for now, Ammon, who works on the ranch, said his family still believed they could face "retaliation" from the government if their supporters leave. "We embarrassed them, we gave them a black eye and the federal government doesn't like that," Ammon said. "There'll be some type of, you know, retaliation. We just hope that it's in the daylight, not in the dark. But you know, they've been known to do it in the dark." Bundy and his supporters framed the showdown as an issue of state's and constitutional rights and argued a federal agency did not have authority to keep him and his cattle off the land. "This is a state's rights issue, the Bundys are just caught deep in the middle of it," Ammon Bundy said Tuesday. "This is a state's rights issue. This is a 'We The People' issue and that is what this is." Ammon said Tuesday that a "handful" of armed militia remembers remained at the ranch. "They're just kind of there keeping watch and then all the others are on call," explained Ammon. "Militia means what? It's the army of the people. They got to go home and make their livings and be with their families." Though the number of armed militia members on the ranch has decreased, Ammon said his family would not back down if the government makes further attempts to remove their cattle. "We're not afraid, I'll tell you that. We believe that god is in control and there's no room for fear, because that's what those type of people want," he said of the government. "That's how they build their power is off of fear and we will resist that 100 percent." In addition to the militia members, Ammon said the family has as-yet-unidentified allies in Washington. However, he said support from local officials and the public at large is more important to the Bundys than having allies in the federal government. "We do have some supporters in Washington, but not that we want to go public with," said Ammon. "But we feel like we don't need supporters in Washington. We need our county to stand up. We need our state to stand up and that's all we need, because this is a federal issue. What good does it do to get the feds, you know, when it's a federal issue. That just exhibits that they do have more authority than they have and that is certainly not the case." Ammon encouraged more militia members to come to the ranch and said his family was willing to "assist" anyone who wanted to help establish a permanent armed presence there. He also said the ranch would play host to a "family" rally Friday. "We still are looking for support," Ammon said. "We're calling for a family activity barbeque on Friday afternoon. We're hoping to get a couple thousand people here, and we're gonna feed them, and have a live band, and it'll be more of a fun activity."...more

Rancher questions Bundy’s strategy

By John L. Smith
Las Vegas Review-Journal

Nevada rancher Demar Dahl knows his range law almost as well as he knows his own cattle.

An Elko County commissioner and longtime conservative Republican political activist, Dahl is a member of the board of directors of the Nevada Cattlemen’s Association and the Nevada Land Management Task Force, the latter of which seeks to bring vast stretches of our public lands under state control.

...If anyone can feel the beleaguered rancher’s pain, it’s a man like Dahl. But while some members of the public are on Bundy’s side, he makes his argument with a religious zeal, and he appears to have temporarily shaken the BLM’s ham-handed grip, that doesn’t mean Bundy is on stable legal footing, Dahl says.

Bundy continues to argue, mostly in the press, that the federal government has no jurisdiction over the land on which his cattle graze. But federal courts have consistently dismissed that argument, and on July 9, 2013, U.S. District Judge Lloyd George signed an order permanently enjoining Bundy from running cattle on the disputed land. Judge George’s order was emphatic.

“In sum,” he wrote, “in his most recent effort to oppose the United States’ legal process, Bundy has produced no valid law or specific facts raising a genuine issue of fact regarding federal ownership or management of public lands in Nevada.”

Walking into a federal court and arguing that the federal government doesn’t have jurisdiction in a case involving federal land isn’t likely to go far. And Bundy had been making the argument for the better part of two decades. By 1998, the courts had ruled against him, and still he kept riding in the same legal direction.

“He had his neck bowed and had his mind made up, by golly, wouldn’t stray from his position, which is that the feds don’t own the land,” Dahl said. “So he didn’t pursue that, and it’s too bad that he didn’t.”

But Dahl notes that Bundy might benefit from following Nye County rancher Wayne Hage, who won a protracted battle with the federal government by successfully arguing that he had the right to graze his cows within two miles of water sources he developed.

“The Hage case, it went on for over 20 years,” Dahl said. “And the Hage case and this case are very similar because the Hages ran without a permit for a long time. It was either do that or pull out and give up.”

Bundy was made aware of Hage’s legal strategy years ago, Dahl said, but chose to pursue a different route that has led to a drubbing in court.

While he doesn’t endorse Bundy’s legal argument, he said there’s no excuse for the BLM’s menacing but clumsy tactics.

Trump: Nevada Rancher in Position to 'Cut a Good Deal' With Feds

Billionaire real estate developer Donald Trump thinks Nevada cattle rancher Cliven Bundy is in a strong position to cut a deal with the government and should do so before violence breaks out. "It's over the top. It's very strong. I like him, but you also have to say … you do have a certain law," Trump said Wednesday on Fox News Channel's "Hannity."  "I like his spirit, his spunk," Trump said. "He ought to go and cut a good deal right now.... What are they going to do, shoot each other?" Trump and host Sean Hannity both said they feared just that over the weekend as agents for the Bureau of Land Management showed up with a force of 200. Supporters of Bundy, including private militia members also showed up to support the rancher, and the BLM was forced to back down.Bundy also appeared on Hannity's show Wednesday, where he has been a regular guest. Bundy, son Ammon and daughter-in-law Briana spoke from the Bundy ranch. Asked whether he feared an armed raid on his home, Bundy responded, "They've been hassling me in the courts for 20 years, they sent their army after me. Whatever they want to throw at me I'm ready to take. I'm sure not scared of them." "We believe the Lord will protect us," Briana added. Bundy has said he would surrender to the county sheriff or state authorities, but not to federal officers, whom he does not recognize. "We have abided by all Nevada state laws," Bundy's wife, Carol Bundy, said earlier on Fox News Channel's "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren." "We believe that the state owns this land constitutionally." Bundy also says federal agents shot and killed two of his prized bulls when they seized 400 head of cattle earlier. One was shot five times, Bundy supporters told Fox News...more

US: Beware The Increasing Militarization Of Government

Instead of putting a lien on the property of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, the Bureau of Land Management surrounded his ranch with 200 armed agents. It's not the only agency with a private army. Back in 2008, candidate Barack Obama slipped a little-noticed line in a speech, proposing a national police force reporting straight to him. "We cannot continue to rely only on our military," he said. "We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded." As our military is slowly decimated by his policies and budget cuts — and with federal agencies armed to the teeth — we may be seeing what he had in mind at the ranch of a 67-year-old Nevadan. Agents of a federal agency that many Americans were surprised to see so heavily armed even herded American citizens into "First Amendment zones," another surprise to those who thought the Constitution made the entire U.S. such a zone. "The government's option," said Fox News contributor and former Judge Andrew Napolitano, "is to take the amount of money (Bundy) owes them and docket it — that is, file the lien on his property. The federal government could have done that. "Instead, they wanted this show of force. They swooped in . . . with assault rifles aimed and ready and stole this guy's property, they stole his cattle. They didn't have the right to do that. That's theft, and they should have been arrested by state officials." The Environmental Protection Agency also has a private army. In late August 2013, armed EPA agents joined agents of the Alaska Environmental Crimes Task Force and swarmed gold mines near Chicken in the Last Frontier State. In groups of four to eight, they even wore body armor and carried guns while investigating a supposed violation of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. Some 70 federal agencies, including those not associated with national security or crime fighting, employ about 120,000 full-time officers authorized to carry guns and make arrests, according to a June 2012 Justice Department report...more

Facts that disprove conspiracy theory about Harry Reid, Cliven Bundy and solar power


The conspiracy theory about Sen. Harry Reid started soon after the Cliven Bundy story went national.

The theory: The Senate majority leader masterminded the takeover of Bundy’s cattle in Gold Butte to clear land for a solar facility that Chinese company ENN hoped to build in Southern Nevada. That thought appears to have originated at the blog Godfather Politics and was picked up by writers in more mainstream conservative media outlets, such as NewsMax and the Washington Times. The story also suggested that Reid had his former aide, Neil Kornze, do his dirty work as the week-old Bureau of Land Management director.

Reid’s spokeswoman, Kristen Orthman, said any connection between Bundy and the solar project is “bogus.” She added: “People find anything to label him as, or to connect things to that aren’t connectable. … If it wasn’t this, they would be talking about something else.”

It’s true that Reid had been working on a solar project in Nevada. But based on the facts, the rest of the theory doesn’t pass the smell test. Here’s why:

Geography: Bundy’s ranch is in Bunkerville, about 75 miles northeast of Las Vegas. The land that Reid identified for the solar plant was about 90 miles south of Las Vegas in Laughlin. That puts the Bundy ranch and the solar plant site about a three-hour drive apart. They’re simply not in the same part of the state.
Another project comes close. But not that close: Bundy’s home in the Mojave desert is closer to the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone, a corridor that has been slated for renewable energy development. The BLM is planning a mitigation strategy that may stretch toward the area where Bundy has been grazing his cows. But even there, the maps don’t match up closely enough to suggest that Bundy’s specific grazing land was the intended site of a solar facility. Also, the Chinese company ENN had not been planning a facility in the Dry Lake area.
Where Reid’s agenda and Bundy’s cattle grazing do overlap: Bundy’s cattle have been grazing on land that Reid and Rep. Steven Horsford, D-Nev., have targeted for future wilderness protections. Both Reid and Horsford have filed legislation to turn the Gold Butte area into a national conversation (sic)area. But this is entirely separate from the solar project. A conversation (sic) status discourages development, and it’s near impossible to greenlight a solar project on conservation land.

Rand and Ron Paul ride to the rescue for Bundy in Nevada standoff with feds

Defiant Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy received some key but qualified support in his still-unresolved standoff with the Obama administration. Libertarian icons ex-Rep. Ron Paul of Texas and his son, Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, both came out with critical comments on the federal government’s handling of the land dispute, while the Nevada Cattlemen’s Association broke its silence on the dispute Wednesday with harsh words of its own for the feds. The senior Mr. Paul also criticized what he said was overkill in the armed confrontation that nearly led to violence before the BLM stood down over the weekend. “They may come back with a lot more force, like they did at Waco with the Davidians,” the senior Mr. Paul said on Fox News, referencing the 1993 Branch Davidian standoff in Texas that left nearly 100 people dead. His son, Rand Paul, became one of the first of the 2016 contenders to weigh in on the dispute, criticizing the heavy federal enforcement array in the confrontation. “The federal government shouldn’t violate the law, nor should we have 48 federal agencies carrying weapons and having SWAT teams,” Mr. Paul said on a Kentucky radio station. The younger Mr. Paul also appealed for the Bundy family, which does not recognize the federal government’s jurisdiction over the disputed lands, to seek redress nonviolently. “I hope it’ll go through a court,” he said “But if it were in a court, I would be siding and wanting to say that, look, the states and the individuals in the state should own these lands.”...more

Let's see what the feds did to their own land in the span of a week. 

Friends of the Bundy family said they found damage to Mr. Bundy’s property and livestock once federal personnel withdrew. “They had total control of this land for one week, and look at the destruction they did in one week,” Corey Houston, a friend of the rancher, told Fox News. Mr. Houston charged that the federal government left the territory in disarray, including destroyed water lines, holes in fences, and several dead cattle. “So why would you trust somebody like that?” he said. “And how does that show that they’re a better steward?”

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Coalition Of Western States forms to Protect Against Federal Overreach

A newly-formed coalition of state legislators, sheriffs, other representatives and leaders in the patriot community has been announced today (4/14) at the site of the recently-liberated Bundy Ranch.  The new alliance, called the Coalition of Western States, was  joined today by an additional 20 state legislators from Idaho, Montana, Washington, Utah, Arizona, and Nevada.  They’ve vowed to stand their ground, along with their fellow countrymen, to fight back against the war on rural America and the plundering of land by an increasingly overreaching federal government. The announcement made at the Bundy Ranch site,  just outside Mesquite, NV was led off by Rep. Matt Shea (WA). Shea said that one of the main goals was to facilitate the transfer of public lands back to the state level, and to have the states and counties manage the lands, “not far-away Washington DC”. Michele Fiore, Assemblywoman, District 4, Nevada had a reason to join the coalition.  This recent event virtually happened in her back yard.  Fiore stressed the importance of getting to know who’s running for office.  She urged the people to ask tough questions and find out where the candidates stood on the issues, “and know they’ll stand on the front lines when a disaster like this is about to happen.” Barry Weller, Vice Chairman, District III, Apache County Board of Supervisors (County Commissioner equivalent) Called for the thousands of other supervisors to stand up for their citizens.  “we are like the sheriff, we are to protect our citizens, not to rule over them and [tell] them what to do.  We’re here to protect them.  We need to stand with them, and to protect them.”...more

Coalition Of Western States...COWS

Utah official plans illegal ATV ride through BLM canyon

 by Phil Taylor

A county commissioner in southeast Utah is organizing an illegal all-terrain vehicle ride through a river canyon rich in archaeological ruins to protest what he argues is an overbearing federal government.

San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman said the May 8 ride through Recapture Canyon aims to assert the county's right to access federal lands, while prompting the Bureau of Land Management to reopen it to off-highway vehicles (OHV).

The ride, which Lyman publicized in a recent op-ed in the Deseret News, threatens another Western showdown over states' rights following BLM's failed bid last week to round up several hundred illegal cattle from public lands about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas.

Lyman's ATV ride, which was planned well before the Bundy dust-up, carries a similar theme of a perceived breach of constitutional rights. But it's a dangerous trend, according to conservationists and legal experts who argue public lands are managed by BLM on behalf of all Americans, not just those who live around them.

"It's a freedom that's been taken without our consent," Lyman said in an interview yesterday, noting that the ride is not endorsed by San Juan County. "We have power and jurisdiction to do things independent of BLM."

On his Facebook page, Lyman takes a more revolutionary tone.

"As we approach independence day, let us contemplate what it means to be free and what we are willing to do to ensure that our children and their children inherit a free and flourishing San Juan County," he wrote March 2. "Remember that our revolutionary forefathers did not declare war, they declared independence, the war was only a consequence."

May 8 was chosen to commemorate the day that federal agents raided Blanding, Utah, homes in 1986 to confiscate what were believed to be illegally looted American Indian artifacts.

Lyman said he and others are willing to be arrested or cited for the ride. But sources say there's little chance BLM will arrest violators. The agency is more likely to take names and turn them over to federal attorneys.

Such appeared to be the case in 2009, when hundreds of OHV riders illegally rode up the muddy Paria River that BLM had closed to vehicles in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah.

 Lyman said he's been told BLM will not arrest people for riding Recapture, but he's worried that the agency could take a more aggressive approach after being forced to back down in the Bundy roundup.

And then there is this:

"It doesn't matter if you're an environmentalist, industrialist, rancher or county commissioner, public lands don't belong to any single person or entity. They belong to us all," said Ross Lane, director of the government watchdog group Western Values Project. (emphasis mine)

"They belong to us all".  I'm really sick of hearing this.  You or I don't own these lands, the feds claim to.  Would you charge yourself a fee to enter your own property?  Would you charge yourself rent to use your own property?  Of course not.

Cliven Bundy goes from folksy rancher to media magnet in ‘range war’


    Early last week, Cliven Bundy was a relatively unknown rancher who called a press conference in the parking lot of a 7-Eleven convenience store that attracted just a couple reporters from Las Vegas media.
    At one point, a store employee asked him to hurry up and move along, as Bundy’s weathered old pickup truck was blocking other vehicles from entering the parking lot. For Bundy, sparsely attended press conferences and obscurity have become a thing of the past.
    These days, the rancher has turned into a contemporary folk hero in the eyes of his admirers, while also gaining notoriety from environmentalists who criticize his disregard of land management regulations. Instead of showing up at press events by himself, he’s now surrounded by an entourage of armed militia guards devoted to protecting him as long as necessary. And Fox News host Sean Hannity lands exclusives with Bundy.
    Somewhere along the way, a plainspoken rancher from Bunkerville managed to wage a formidable public relations operation against a federal agency backed by two court orders and armed law enforcement officers.
    To be sure, it’s not Bundy’s first time in the news. It’s just never been on this level before.
    ...So far, Bundy appears comfortable in his new role as a rancher who famously took on the federal government and forced armed agents to give in to his demands. On Monday, he cracked jokes with supporters and repeated a version of what he told Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie on Saturday, shortly before the standoff. On Saturday, Bundy had told the sheriff he had one hour to disarm the federal agents. Gillespie didn’t take him up on the request.
    “OK, media,” Bundy said Monday. “I want you to remember what I said. Sheriffs across the United States of America take away the guns from the United States bureaucrats.”
    Of course, Nevada ranchers know that Bundy remains the figure he was before the standoff — a fellow rancher.
    “This is my personal view — I view him as another rancher,” said Ron Torell, president of the Nevada Cattlemen’s Association. “I think he loves the land and the cattle business. I believe his philosophy differs from our views in the Nevada Cattlemen’s Association. I respect his position and tip my hat to him for sticking to his guns.”
    As the 67-year-old rancher gave an increasing number of interviews to the media, BLM officials started saying less. In the end, that gave Bundy and his supporters a megaphone for expressing their views, which faced a shortage of comments from the opposing side.
    The day that Cliven Bundy’s son, Ammon Bundy, was shot with a stun gun by a BLM officer, the footage of the incident was posted on social media and quickly spread across the Internet.
    That same day, the agency canceled a scheduled conference call with reporters, opting not to answer questions about the roundup. The agency also delayed scheduled releases of daily numbers of cattle rounded up.
    As the BLM started tightening the flow of information, Bundy’s family became de facto public relations professionals. By last Wednesday, the kitchen table at the Bundy house had transformed into a workspace for laptops and telephones, as family members fielded calls from media outlets across the nation.
    At the height of the Bundy-proclaimed “range war,” it was the rancher — not anyone from the BLM — who stood before a swarm of television cameras and became the face of the story, blasting the federal government along the way.

ACLU of Nevada: Cattle Battle Is First Amendment Victory

The ACLU Of Nevada is claiming a First Amendment victory in the cattle battle near Bunkerville, which has captured national media attention. Tod Story, ACLU executive director, said the free speech win resulted from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) removing so-called "free speech zones," as armed protesters gathered in support of rancher Cliven Bundy. Story warned that the government-designated areas for protesters to gather probably violated the First Amendment. "They're supposed to be in the proximity of the 'time, place and manner.' It's a question that the courts have entertained and continue to review," Story said. The First Amendment ensures peaceful assembly in reasonable physical proximity to the subject being protested or supported, he explained, adding that there are multiple reports that the BLM's free speech zones were located an unreasonable distance away from the cattle roundup...more

Abengoa Solar: Obama’s green energy projects fail, even when they are successful

by Marita Noon

...This report will expose one of the largest recipients of Obama’s green energy funding: Abengoa — which if not stopped, will get even more taxpayer dollars. On April 2, 2014, Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, said: “the department would probably throw open the door for new applications for renewable energy project loan guarantees during the second quarter of this year.”
Here’s a taste of what you’ll learn about Abengoa and how it operates:
  • Crony-connected, Stimulus-funded, Spanish-owned company builds/opens solar generating station—currently producing electricity.
  • Brings foreigners to U.S. to fill jobs from welders to administration to engineers to management—often working on tourist visas for as long as 9 months.
  • Many Americans, who do have jobs on the project, get fired so expats can have the jobs.
  • Health insurance fraud committed by putting expats on plans when they are not on payroll (expats on tourist visas were paid out of accounts payable).
  • American vendors/contractors payments are intentionally delayed while U.S. taxpayer funds are in Spain collecting interest—$70 million owned to U.S. vendors.
On October 7, 2013, a giant concentrated-solar plant opened near Gila Bend, AZ. The $2 Billion Solana Generating Station has 32,320 mirrors on 1900 acres (equivalent to 1400 football fields) making it the world’s largest parabolic trough array with thermal storage. The 280 MW generating station is one of the first solar plants that can store thermal power for six hours. The stored thermal power can be used at night or on cloudy days to produce the steam that turns the turbines and creates electricity.

Solana was made possible because of the 2009 stimulus bill and the loan guarantees and grants made available by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Plant owner, Abengoa, reports that Solana’s construction employed 2,000 people.

When selling ARRA to the American public, the president said it would create jobs. Abengoa employees, who contributed to this report, were grateful for the jobs. They believed in green energy generally and the project specifically. But that was in the beginning when the sun was shining on Solana and its parent Abengoa.

With the green energy failures (32 failed and 22 circling the drain) being widely exposed by both the mainstream media, through shows like 60 Minutes, and Republicans, who point to the failures in order to embarrass President Obama and stop future green energy spending, one would think that Solana’s success would be something the White House would want to use for a major PR campaign — with pictures of a triumphant Obama cutting the ribbon splashed across the front page of every major newspaper. At the least, you’d expect an appearance by Vice President Joe Biden. Earlier, the White House had promised one or the other would be there, but neither was present for Solana’s October opening.

With the president’s penchant for photo ops, it seems mysterious that the official White House photographer wasn’t present to capture, and capitalize on, the moment.

Why wasn’t Obama waving to the cameras on October 7? Because even though Solana is a technical success, it is still an embarrassing failure. When the details in this report are exposed, as he must have known they inevitably would  be, he didn’t want to be anywhere near the project—because, as this report exposes, Solana would have never happened without direct intervention from the President.