I heard something about this Nevada Rancher stand-off from some folks at work this week. Something about Nevada Rancher Cliven Bundy having his cattle confiscated by the over-reaching Federal Government. Because of them "damn environmentalists" and "an uncaring federal government, that likes to shoot Nevada horses, too."
"Now those same 'federal bureaucrats' are bringing their 'rules and regulation' down on this local Nevada Rancher -- how fair is that?"That's what the office buzz was. Which left me thinking:
When the Federal Government impinges on Local-state citizens' "land-use rights" -- there are bound to be 'occasional conflicts', right?
Look at water rights, look at mineral rights, look at timber rights -- these are all local-interests, that are 'well-regulated' by the Federal Government. Why should grazing rights be any different?
Then today, I read this eye-opening report from a local Nevadian, right here on the DailyKos:
The Bundy Ranch flashpoint, one Nevadan's perspective
by nachtwulf -- Apr 11, 2014
It was well worth the read if you ask me. Here is one of background links from that post, that motivated me to draw out some of the MediaMatters highlights (it too is worth reading):
by Timothy Johnson & Brain Powell, mediamatters.org -- April 10, 2014
Cliven Bundy, a cattle rancher in Nevada, has been fighting the government over grazing rights on public land for nearly a quarter century. In 1993, Bundy began refusing to pay government fees required to allow his cattle to exploit public lands. In 1998, the government issued a court order telling Bundy to remove his cows from the land, as part of an effort to protect the endangered desert tortoise located there. And in July 2013, a federal court ordered Bundy to get his cattle off public land within 45 days or they would be confiscated. The confiscation began this month, and the cattle will be sold to pay off the $1 million in fees and trespassing fines Bundy owes.
Fox News hosted the rancher on the April 9 edition of Hannity, where Sean Hannity sympathized with Bundy's claims against the government and argued that allowing Bundy's cattle to graze on public lands "keeps the price of meat down for every American consumer."
Fox & Friends highlighted the situation and complained about the protections for the desert tortoise. Co-host Brian Kilmeade said, "We're not anti-turtle, but we are pro-logic and tradition."
[... continuing ...]"I've got to protect my property," Bundy said as [his son] Arden steered several cattle inside an elongated pen. "If people come to monkey with what's mine, I'll call the county sheriff. If that don't work, I'll gather my friends and kids and we'll try to stop it. I abide by all state laws. But I abide by almost zero federal laws."[...]
Well this federal-scofflaw, and his legions of 'well-armed' backers -- including Fox News -- just Won!
A Fox on-the-scene Reporter, has just reported (about 15 minutes ago) that:
The BLM Director has just issued a statement that this Cattle-Confiscation action against Rancher Bundy is over. This action has just been stopped by the BLM, "due to safety concerns."
I'll add the citation from "the Feds" here, once it becomes public:
BREAKING NEWS: BLM ends roundup of Bundy cattle
by George Knapp, Chief Investigative Reporter, 8newsnow.com
by Lauren Rozyla, Reporter -- Apr 12, 2014 10:00 AM PDT
The Bureau of Land Management has announced it will stop the roundup of cattle owned by rancher Cliven Bundy. The BLM says the animals have been illegally grazing on public lands for 20 years.
The BLM made the announcement Saturday morning, a week after rangers started gathering the animals from land near Gold Butte.
The agency says it is concerned about the safety of its employees and the public. [...]
The agency director also asked that everyone involved in the dispute remain peaceful and law-abiding.
Citing safety concerns, BLM calls off cattle roundup
by Sun Staff, lasvegassun.com -- April 12, 2014, 10:11 a.m.
In a statement, BLM Director Neil Kornze said that after consulting with law enforcement, “we have made the decision to conclude the cattle gather because of our serious concern about the safety of employees and members of the public.”
I suspect, it was a well-considered, pro-active, de-escalation decision, based on all the possible ways these volatile events could play out, if allowed to continue on the rabble-rousing course they were on ...
Any other interpretations of this summary-retreat by the Federal Authorities, out there?