Latest BLM Flap

Latest BLM Flap

Posted by MLB on Apr 12, 2014 1:44 pm

Our favorite government agency just cannot seem to be able to avoid controversy. This case represents a challenge to the prevailing understanding of prescriptive rights.


Re: Latest BLM Flap

Posted by Paul Montero on Apr 13, 2014 8:05 am

Prescriptive rights? He had permission to graze 152 cows there providing he pay the fees. Then he refused to pay the fee for twenty years and lost numerous court cases over his "rights" to graze on public land.

Re: Latest BLM Flap

Posted by Keith on Apr 13, 2014 2:53 pm

Precriptive rights.....fffftttttt

Looks like politics won out and probably for the good.  

Chances was really good that shooting was  about to break out.

Re: Latest BLM Flap

Posted by MLB on Apr 13, 2014 4:28 pm

We have to read the fine print on this one. The delinquent payments are merely a smoke screen. Bundy's  "permission" was revoked when the land in question was redesignated as a sanctuary for the desert tortoise. Because he refused to remove the cattle, the Bureau continued to assess the fees.

Bundy's approach here is kind of clever whether you agree with it or not. He isn't asserting ownership. He is asserting what amounts to a prescriptive right. His claim that his family ranched those acres prior to the creation of the BLM in 1947 has gained no traction in the courts, so far.

Those of us who have had experience with this type of "agricultural trespass" understand this so-called "Sagebrush Rebellion" has been going on for decades. It's unofficial leader (and "Clown" prince) was iconic author Edward Abbey. Novels like "Desert Solitaire" and "The Monkey Wrench Gang" fueled a lot of anti-government sentiment back in the 1960's, 70's and 80's. I had a couple of "run ins" with Ed myself.

The Bureau , for its part, drew a lot of flak from the Environmentalist Wackos for its policy of "Multiple Use". But these are the twenty-teens and the inmates of the Environmentalist Wacko movement have full control of the asylum.

The Sagebrush Rebellion never really went away. I suspect the government backed off here because Bundy cannot be branded as a criminal the way Randy Weaver and David Koresh were. It is also an election year.

On the legal front, Bundy's claim is on the surface frail. But some sloppy historic agreements may in the end force at the very least the modification of some of the current statutes. Bundy is a Mormon and a direct descendant of the original group that arrived in what is now Utah with Brigham Young. The reason this is important is because that happened in 1848 when the lands in question were subject to Mexico's jurisdiction. Even before the Gadsden Purchase in 1853 Congress acted in 1852 to deal with Spanish and Mexican land grants that were mostly located in California.

Utah and the Mormons were handled in a less clear manner. There doesn't seem to be any record that the Mexican Government gave them any specific rights, but some of those lands were certainly occupied by settlers prior to 1853. The establishment of the State of Utah had some conditions. The "Open Range" laws and policies were not always as clear as they might have been. That is what Bundy is asserting.

Nevada has had a history with "squatters" and nomads living off public land. Claude Dallas was the most notorious example.

Bundy is certainly not cut from that cloth. Neither is the desert tortoise threatened by grazing cattle. This is about rights. Don't be misled by the delinquent fees. Payment has been offered, just not to the BLM. This is about government over reach.

As a footnote, I used to live near Joshua Tree. And during that period many times I stopped my car to move a desert tortoise off of the highway to safety. I am quite sure I have protected many more desert tortoises than the current Director of the BLM.

Damn it! Why does my logo have to use the same three letters they do?

Re: Latest BLM Flap

Posted by Keith on Apr 14, 2014 11:35 am

Simple question:  Who owns the land that the 900 cows are on?

State land, like the rancher says?

Re: Latest BLM Flap

Posted by MLB on Apr 14, 2014 1:30 pm

Keith- this is a rhetorical question. This is Nevada where the federal government "owns" 87% of all lands. Apparently not many  lands were patented. Here is an interesting plat. Check out the Surveyor's name.


Re: Latest BLM Flap

Posted by Keith on Apr 16, 2014 12:35 am


It is not a rhetorical question, if you listen to the rancher.

He does not recognize the least his story now!

Did you hear him say that it was State Land?


Re: Latest BLM Flap

Posted by MLB on Apr 16, 2014 12:11 pm

Keith- let's be clear. Of course I heard what Bundy said. He is using a prosecutorial strategy. "Throw a handful of mud at the wall and see what sticks." He now has exactly what he wants, an audience. And a very sympathetic audience at that.

I have been following the media coverage and they all (including FOX) obfuscate the point about Bundy withholding fees only AFTER his cattle were ordered off of the land for the "protection" of the desert tortoise. Prior to that he had been paying the fees.

Let's be clear about another point. Today's BLM is no longer the same agency you once worked for. How many SWAT teams did they have when you were on staff? Environmentalist wack jobs have been attacking (and infiltrating) the Bureau for years over their "Multiple Use" policy. They want to "protect" everything. Grazing permits have been dwindling for years. The Director's comment about the "16,000 honest ranchers" is smoke. We know damn well the Forest Service and the Bureau have been reducing the number of permitees.

I mentioned the BLM "SWAT" Teams. Riddle me this , Batman. Why do agencies like BLM, The NPS, The USFS, and even the EPA and FEMA need to outfit and field  paramilitary SWAT teams? Doesn't the federal government have enough with the FBI, DEA, ATF, U.S. Marshals and Border Patrol?

Bundy is correct about the fact the Clark County Sheriff does have the authority to disarm some of these rogue agents. Unless the federal governent claims "Exclusive" jurisdiction for a property "Concurrent" jurisdiction is at the discretion of the local authority. Don't be confused by the Joe Arpaio situation. That is a reversal. Arpaio decided to enforce federal laws without their approval. That approval could have been granted, Eric Holder just won't do it.

When I was with NPS I was party to a number of agricultural and other trespass cases. I saw quite a few thrown out of court for procedural violations too. From experience, I can tell you there are better ways to handle these kinds of situations. And SWAT teams are not on my list of options. This is government over reach at its worst. We have seen its face and it is ugly.

"Dirty" Harry Reid, quite predictably, is on the wrong side of this.  It will be interesting to see who blinks.
MLB (Which is BLM spelled backwards.)

Re: Latest BLM Flap

Posted by Paul Montero on Apr 16, 2014 1:26 pm

This is no longer a land surveying discussion. The truth of the matter is that Bundy is a freeloading, welfare rancher who has an inflated sense of entitlement. It also appears that he and his supporters’ use of threats and intimidation likely violated several federal laws. They used and pointed weapons at innocent people to cause the government back down The action of Bundy and supporters can be considered an armed insurrection against the United States.


Re: Latest BLM Flap

Posted by MLB on Apr 16, 2014 1:47 pm

Sorry Paul- but you are dead wrong! You are ignoring the facts. Grazing permits have been part of the "Multiple Use" doctrine  for decades. The BLM ordered the cattle removed PRIOR to the cessation of fee payment.  The non-payment was a protest. Bundy always paid his fees prior to the revocation of his grazing permit re the desert tortoise. Bundy has made a standing offer to pay the fees , which are at this point punitive fines. He just won't pay them to the BLM

You are not seeing the big picture. This is about principle. It is also about selective enforcement. The innocent people who had weapons pointed at them ARE THE RANCHERS! The question you need to ponder is "Who's next?"

And if you think it is NOT about surveying refer to earlier posts about  BLM's selective application of the Manual and its net affect on land holders.

This is clearly and absolutely government over reach. The BLM needs to have its mission statement audited.

I think I can state unequivocally I have more experience with exactly this type of situation than ANYONE who posts on this forum. And this ain't how I would handle it.

Re: Latest BLM Flap

Posted by Paul Montero on Apr 16, 2014 2:56 pm

Chicago resident Nahshon X. Shelton was arrested for pulling a machine gun on a store clerk that was charging a 22-cent tax on his Diet Pepsi. How does compare to the case of Nevada cattle rancher Cliven Bundy who had a standoff with the feds?

Re: Latest BLM Flap

Posted by Keith on Apr 16, 2014 3:02 pm

I like Paul's comments!



Re: Latest BLM Flap

Posted by MLB on Apr 16, 2014 3:41 pm

Nice try guys.... But....
This is not like refusing to pay a 22 cent tax on a sugary drink. This is much more like Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat or Dr. King marching for civil rights for all. Those folks got bad laws changed. That, is what Bundy is trying to accomplish. Bundy is no "outlaw". He just wanted to be left alone. The  "revisions" to the grazing permits were buyout offers, as the article states. Bundy didn't want to sell. And no "grandfathering" was allowed.

Cliven Bundy is an honest working man trying to earn a living. Federal regulations deprived him of that right with the stroke of a pen. Without that change there would be no delinquent fees.

Keith, got a chuckle at your link. Did you know two of the "Outlaws" in the picture titled : "Hoodoo Brown and the Dodge City Gang" are none other than Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson? Nice piece of Environmentalist propaganda.

The part that hack GHyland left out is that the acreage in question is under review for the construction of a solar power plant. in the same area. The permit being reviewed is to a Chinese firm. Their lobbyist is defeated Nevada gubernatorial candidate Rory Reid. Oh yeah- the tortoise protection prohibition will be waived for this project. Take a guess who Rory's dad is? (Hint: his name is Harry). Selective management, selective enforcement.

I am pretty familiar with this area and its people. (In fact I still have some contacts "on the ground".) I surveyed in the Overton area of Lake Mead NRA which is "just down the road". I also worked in Zion N.P. The locals are basically one big family. Some of them just aren't happy.

This entire scenario needs a full fledged Congressional Investigation. These rogue agencies and their sponsors (donors) need to be reigned in.

I mailed a couple of hefty checks to the government yesterday. 52% of Americans believe they are overtaxed. I saw clear evidence of why during that so-called "standoff". All of those regulatory agencies DO NOT REQUIRE SWAT teams.

Or maybe it's just that  my heroes have always been cowboys too.

Re: Latest BLM Flap

Posted by Paul Montero on Apr 16, 2014 5:28 pm


The acreage in question is not under review for a solar farm with the Chinese and Harry Reid's son. The author in Keith's link GHyland did not mention that solar farm as part of the story because it is a conspiracy theory.

If the court orders were issued in 1993 and 1998 how is it possible that they have been setting this solar farm deal up for so long?

The land in the agreement for the solar farm was nowhere near where Bundy had his cows. In fact the project was terminated in June of 2013. So by the time the government agents take the cows in April 2014 the solar farm project idea is long gone.

When the Federal Land System was first set up it was completely understood and accepted and part of the design that the private landowners would have really extensive access to and use public lands. So in the past Cliven Bundy's argument is correct, that is, correct in 1880.

In the latter half of the 20th century, as the country became more aware of its effects of extensive access on the environment, the government’s priorities moved away from providing economic benefits through its land and more toward conservation.

You may think that adding restrictions on land use, such as grazing fees that began in the 1990s devalue peoples’ livelihood and business and they amount to a taking of property. This is the argument that was made in court for Bundy however the court did not agree.


Re: Latest BLM Flap

Posted by MLB on Apr 17, 2014 12:36 am

I said Harry is part of the mix. And he is. The ink in the Snopes piece is hardly dry. It is part of the cover up. One of the dead giveaways is that line in the cited Environmentalist screed that states "Google Map shows Bundy's melon ranch to be about a hundred acres". If they had been following the story all along they would know Bundy's ranch is 160 acres. The BLM website pages have been alterered in cases and even moved off the "Wayback Machine" during this process. The article Snopes cites admits that.Somebody doesn't want the truth to come out. It depends on what you mean by "near". The Moapa site is literally right next door. But it is under the BIA, not BLM. The fact is the desert tortoise resriction was removed for the solar project. It is absolutely indisputable this scenario represents selective enforcement. Harry is definitely dirty this time. He and his son Rory are going well out of their way to prosecute one of their constituents.

Or as O'Reilly said on the Factor tonight. "If you don't believe they are involved in this you are just nuts."

The BLM has backed off this twice. Then under pressure from animals rights groups they ratcheted things up.

This is total crap. In the latter half of the 20th century, as the country became more aware of its effects of extensive access on the environment, the government’s priorities moved away from providing economic benefits through its land and more toward conservation.  That is not what is going on here.There are gazillions of dollars in farm subsidies. This is Environerd stuff. Those few head os cattle represent no threat to the desert tortoise.

Please spare me the platitudes.As if I haven't mentioned it before, I used to do exactly this kind of work for the Federal government.  And I am very famiiar with the area. I have two pieces about the Lake Meade area that Istarted in 2009 still under construction. That is when I first looked in to the story.... on the ground! Funny how then Dave Smith was posting crap about the Las Vegas market "thriving" while I was interviewing a local realtor complaining about losing his shirt. Only the one about Clark County foreclosures got in POB.This one stinks, real bad. It could have been solved by filing a lein and granting Bundy life tenure grazing rights. That is, he could ranch for his lifetime but not pass those rights to his heirs. This used to be the procedure.  But because now they have SWAT Teams, that becomes the tool of choice.

Even the environmental claims are nonsense. There are millions of acres in the Desert Southwest that were ranched extensively from the 1880's to the 1930's. These areas now have thriving populations of desert tortoises.

This "Open Range" claim is at least as much a "civil right" is say, for instance, same sex marriage. Those couples were on the wrong side of the law in most states for years, and in some states still. When they exercised their right to protest a law they saw as unjust, nobody sent any SWAT Teams out to stop them, did they? And they lost in court many times before they prevailed.

Selective enforcement, period.

Oh , and our wonderful court system. Judges never fail to find laws that are popular with the voters but not politically correct unconstitutional. The voters never had a say on this one. Moving the disputed lands to state authority would change that. That is certainly Bundy's "end game" strategy.

If it isn't clear to you now that this is another example that the federal government is simply too big, you need some corrective lenses. It is supposed to be "We the People", not We the Courts, We the Lawyers and We're from the government and we are here to help you. The lessons of Waco and Ruby Ridge have obviously not been learned.

Re: Latest BLM Flap

Posted by Be A. Barracus on Apr 22, 2014 1:06 pm

Clark County property records show Cliven Bundy's parents moved from Bundyville, Arizona and bought the 160 acre ranch in 1948 from Raoul and Ruth Leavitt.

Bundy is a deadbeat. He and his supporters are guilty of insurrection, plain and simple.

Re: Latest BLM Flap

Posted by MLB on Apr 22, 2014 4:18 pm

Don't know much about Mormons, do you Joe? The name of the town "Bundyville" might be a clue. Then check out the map of the area and see where it was.

What about this guy?