by Chuck Norton
UPDATE – Aside from the comment section below which has several links, videos and comments, Mark Levin went more in-depth into the BLM’s deliberate abuse of power, creating a legal quagmire to destroy the lives of ranchers, coal miners, small farmers, and commercial fisherman. The audio is here:
UPDATE II – Fox News’ Sean Hannity reported today that the Chinese Solar plant Sen. Harry Reid broke ground on is not 213 miles from Clive Bundy’s ranch, it is 35 miles.
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 [including agreements with Clark County H/T Michele Fiore]. 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.
BLM demands that ranchers sign a contract agreeing to new terms before they take payment. While BLM was successful in driving every other rancher out Cliven Bundy refused to agree to the new terms, stopped paying BLM and a 20 year legal battle began, with Bundy not being able to afford attorney’s for a drawn out legal battle (so much for due process). [NOTE: Cliven Bundy’s English is so bad and so broken that he can barely manage to express himself.]
Another tactic that BLM engaged is was to declare much of the land off-limits because they said that the Desert Tortoise was endangered, while at the same time the population of Desert Tortoises was so abundant that the government initiated a program to hunt them.
Levin’s entire April 11th broadcast can be downloaded at the following link:
Late on April 11th, bloggers searching public documents discovered that Nevada Senator Harry Reid, whose former long-term aid now directs BLM, has been negotiating a deal with a Chinese energy firm to build a $5 billion solar energy facility on the land near the Bundy Ranch. Harry Reid’s son represents the Chinese firm looking to develop said land.
[NOTE: While the ground zero point of the Chinese Solar facility is
200 miles from the Bundy Ranch, it is within the area of the many dozens of ranchers the BLM has driven out in recent years as well as the associated public grazing land. Also water rights can easily be affected by such a large development 200 35 miles away (See Update II above). In any case, the overpopulated Desert Tortoise means that horses and cattle can’t graze, but a massive solar facility ….well that is great for the so-called “endangered” tortoise?]
After the news of Harry Reid’s involvement in plans to seize and develop these lands with the Chinese had begun to go viral on the internet, the following morning the BLM agreed to pull its 200 armed men out and return seized cattle to Cliven Bundy. At the time of this writing the BLM had not indicated if the arrival of nearly 2000 (many armed) citizens was a factor in their motivation to stand down.
Has the political class has taken lands in the West much the same way they stole the land from the Indians and slaughtered them? What politician ran on “I am going to seize control of 86% of Nevada”?
They did it by a thousand cuts, incrementalism, and before you know it they have taken control of 86% of the land for no other reason other than they got away with it.
This is the problem, the Congress over time has handed so much “regulatory” authority to the executive branch that they can make up and change “the law” as they go at a whim. We have witnessed the wholesale breakdown of separation of powers.
Is not civil disobedience, the First Amendment right to protest, parts of Article V, and the Second Amendment all checks against the deadly power of lawmaking under such circumstances?
It is important to keep in mind that one of the government’s tactics in takings cases is to drag out court proceedings and make your legal bills so high that you run out of money and give up, which is why Cliven Bundy represented himself in court. Can one honestly say that Cliven Bundy got his due process in federal court with no legal team to help him?