In a stand-off that has been likened to Ruby Ridge and Waco, the federal government has now deployed armed agents in a case of what the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has deemed “trespass cattle,” escalating a 20-year battle over grazing rights and what actually constitutes “public land” use in Southern Nevada.
Cliven Bundy, a 67-year-old rancher says his family has worked the the 600,000-acre Gold Butte area since the late 1800s and that they were there well before the government’s Land Management Bureau ever came along.
A motion for summary judgment filed on behalf of the U.S. on July 9, 2013 reads,
The United States filed a complaint on May 14, 2012, for injunctive relief to prevent Bundy’s alleged unauthorized and unlawful grazing of livestock on property owned by the United States and administered by the Secretary of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service, and for trespass damages…
Bundy principally opposes the United States’ motion for summary judgment on the ground that this court lacks jurisdiction because the United States does not own the public lands in question. As this court previously ruled in United States v. Bundy, Case No. CV-S-98-531-JBR (RJJ) (D. Nev. Nov. 4, 1998), “the public lands in Nevada are the property of the United States because the United States has held title to those public lands since 1848, when Mexico ceded the land to the United States.”
Bundy explained his case to The Blaze:
“I have raised cattle on that land, which is public land for the people of Clark County, all my life. Why I raise cattle there and why I can raise cattle there is because I have preemptive rights,” he said, explaining that among them is the right to forage.
“Who is the trespasser here? Who is the trespasser on this land? Is the United States trespassing on Clark County, Nevada, land? Or is it Cliven Bundy who is trespassing on Clark County, Nevada, land? Who’s the trespasser?”
Now armed federal agents have shown up to enforce the ruling, closing the public lands down to seize Bundy’s cattle. Over 230 of 900 have been impounded so far.
“For more than two decades, cattle have been grazed illegally on public lands in northeast Clark County,” the BLM said in a statement. “BLM and (the National Park Service) have made repeated attempts to resolve this matter administratively and judicially. Impoundment of cattle illegally grazing on public lands is an option of last resort.” (source)
“Last resort?” Why exactly does the government say it needs to come to this?
BLM spokeswoman Kirsten Cannon told reporters that the Bundys owe the government a total of $1.1 million, including $300,000 in back fees for using the land — but estimates reveal that the taxpayer cost of the federal government impounding the rancher’s cattle in response could top out at $3 million.
The scene is being set for what a lot of people fear will become the next Ruby Ridge or Waco, Texas standoff.
Read more at The Daily Sheeple