Nevada grazing standoff reignites a festering feud

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Today’s mealy-mouthed editorial – “Nevada grazing standoff reignites a festering feud”
—is an embarrassment to responsible journalism that panders to local anti-government extremists.

‘Clive Bundy’s latter-day Sagebrush Rebellion is a treatise on why [scofflaws] and “others [mis]guided by traditional Western values so frequently [but self-servingly] question the legitimacy of federal authority on federal lands”.

At least, the Sentinel impliedly admits that the “lands” in question are “federal lands” – which the BLM is constitutionally empowered to manage for the benefit of the “public” – an inconvenient fact that Bundy disingenuously denies.

“Bundy, 67, is a [wealthy] Nevada rancher who has been illegally grazing his cattle on federal lands for 20 years” – and is therefore a hypocritical “free-loader”.

“He stopped paying grazing fees in 1993” – while 16,000 other fellow-citizen- ranchers grazing cattle on public lands have been routinely paying their annual grazing fees.

Bundy “ignored a Nevada district court ruling that permanently barred him from running his cattle on the land managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land management” – so he owes over $1 million to his fellow taxpayers and stands in contempt of the federal court.

Bundy “claims that his family has been raising cattle on the land since 1887, before the BLM existed, giving him a preemptive right to use it”.  However:

First, the U.S. Government – not “the BLM” – owns the land, which it acquired from Mexico by the Treat of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848.

Second, Bundy’s “preemptive right” argument was rejected by the Nevada Supreme Court in the 1970s.

Third, Bundy does indeed have a “right to use” federal land – as long as he timely pays the legally established grazing fees and abides by restrictions intended to protect an endangered species – another “power” statutorily conveyed to the federal government under the Endangered Species Act (which also protects Western Slope water).

Bundy’s agreement/lease dates back to the 1800’s. His agreement/lease is NOT with the federal government. 86% of Nevada is owned/controlled by the federal government. We may have saved 4 Americans had hillary mustered as much federal force to help our comrades in Benghazi.

LAS VEGAS—It has been widely reported that Cliven Bundy’s family claims to have ranched in the Bunkerville area since the 1870s even though a federal judge held a different view of Bundy’s history.
Bundy repeated a similar claim Thursday when he told TheBlaze website: “My family has preemptive, adjudicated livestock water rights filed with the state of Nevada. They were established in 1877 when the first pioneers entered the valley. Among those first pioneers were my grandparents from my mother’s side. My father either bought or inherited his Nevada state livestock water rights and I, in turn, have done the same.”
Contrast that with the 1998 opinion from U.S. District Judge Johnnie Rawlinson in a case where it was determined Bundy wouldn’t be allowed to use federal land for his cattle because of failure to pay grazing fees to the Bureau of Land Management. Rawlinson wrote that it wasn’t until roughly 1954 that “Bundy or his father or both have grazed livestock on public lands owned by the United States and administered by the BLM.”
Clark County Recorder documents show the 160-acre Bunkerville ranch Bundy calls home was purchased by his parents, David and Bodel Bundy, from Raoul and Ruth Leavitt on Jan. 5, 1948. The purchase included the transfer to the Bundys of certain water rights, including water from the nearby Virgin River. Cliven Bundy was born in 1946.

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