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Outside of Overton, NV.
The war of words continue in Nevada over the rancher Clive Bundy and the actions of the Bureau of Land Management. Both Nevada State Senators, Dean Heller (R), and Harry Reid (D), appeared on local network news together on 4/18 to discuss the situation, with Heller calling the armed supporters of Mr. Bundy patriots, and Reid labeling them domestic terrorists. Senator Heller now wants senatorial hearings over the issue of BLM management practices.

Clive Bundy's claim, backed by his supporters, is that he only recognizes State authority. The BLM is following a federal court order to remove cattle in response to a Center for Biological Diversity lawsuit, brought on in order to protect Mojave Desert Tortoise habitat.

Well, Mr. Bundy, what do you say to the fact that the Mojave Desert Tortoise has had state protection for 40 years, and is in fact the official State Reptile?

The argument, presented by these "patriots", that only state law should be recognized, is not genuine, obviously so.  It is a false argument presented by people such as Bundy to mask a hostile attitude to any law, federal or state, county or city, that they believe infringes on their so-called rights. Senator Heller is an enabler of people like Clive Bundy, a type of Republican who certainly does not understand the environmental science behind range management principles, or the decisions that are made by agencies like the BLM.

What Senator Heller does understand though, is an opportunity to say the right buzz words to the t.v. cameras, and to appear to be on the side of the "patriots" in Nevada. A state full of tea party types, even in Las Vegas, who are aggressive hot heads with guns.

Remember Sharron Angle, who ran to replace Harry Reid as senator in 2010, and her remark about 2nd amendment remedies if republicans could not win with the vote? She is a good representative for the far right in Nevada.

I have worked on some of the largest energy projects in Nevada and California, from water projects to bring water from Lake Mead to Las Vegas, to the largest solar project in the world at the state border. Only in Nevada do I routinely have to deal with idiots like Angle and Bundy.

The Mojave Desert Tortoise is the official State Reptile of both California and Nevada, having been given that status in California in 1968 and Nevada in 1971. I have to bring this fact up constantly when dealing with Nevadans who I oversee on these large projects, that the tortoise has both state and federal protection. Even if the tortoise did not have federal protection, it has state protection, and citizens would be dealing with state wildlife officials who are no more sympathetic to people like Clive Bundy than the BLM is.

I really don't expect for a minute that Clive Bundy would recognize the state protection of the desert tortoise, because its inconvenient.

For more information about the Mojave Desert Tortoise and efforts to save its habitat, here is a link to the U.S.Fish and Wildlife Service recovery website: http://www.fws.gov/...

I will also include a link for the Tort Group of Nevada: http://www.tortoisegroup.org/....

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