Many have heard of the ongoing standoff between Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and the U.S. government over a land dispute. As the government conveys they’ve exhausted all other options, they have taken to confiscating Bundy’s cattle on the government land prompting outrage from local citizens.
The incident actually began back in 1993 when the Bureau of Land Management started charging grazing fees for rancher’s to use federal land for their cows. Apparently in an effort to stop ranchers from destroying the land, the bureau adopted the new law – one that is not recognized by Bundy.
Recently speaking with The Blaze, Bundy explained:
“I have raised cattle on that land, which is public land for the people of Clark County, all my life. Why I raise cattle there and why I can raise cattle there is because I have preemptive rights. Who is the trespasser here? Who is the trespasser on this land? Is the United States trespassing on Clark County, Nevada, land? Or is it Cliven Bundy who is trespassing on Clark County, Nevada, land? Who’s the trespasser?”
Of course not everyone agrees with Bundy on the matter such as attorney Jeremy Hudia who mentioned in an email, “There is not much of a ‘legal claim.” He went on to say, “There is no ‘right’ to use public land for one’s personal gain… If that were the case, I would start drilling for oil in Yosemite National Park.”
Instead, Hudia shares that Bundy really doesn’t stand a chance in this instance saying, “His legal recourse was to appeal the denial of his permit, but he has done that, and lost. He didn’t have much of a chance because the permit process is largely at the discretion of the Bureau of Land Management, and courts won’t overturn their permit decision without very strong evidence.”
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That isn’t stopping Bundy however as many local Nevadans, and even some from out of state have banded together to form “militias,” in order to deter federal agents from harassing the ranching family. As the government is swooping in to confiscate the “trespasser cows,” tensions are boiling.
In a recent demonstration, in favor of Bundy, a group consolidated their efforts to hold off federal agents from taking the rest of the 900 cows saying, “You have no right to be here!” Over the course of the incident, that soon spiraled out of control, the rancher’s daughter was violently pushed to the ground, while his son was tased a total of three times.
As the protest heated up, officers were seen threatening with their tasers and even using their K9 units for intimidation. Although the video clearly demonstrated blatant officer intimidation and perhaps an abuse of power, federal agents are claiming otherwise.
In a recent statement they explain, “A BLM truck driven by a non-law enforcement civilian employee assisting with gather operations was struck by a protester on an ATV, and the truck’s exit from the area was blocked by a group of individuals who gathered around the vehicle.”
Expressing how this isn’t the first attempt of those in cahoots with Bundy to interfere with authorities affairs, they go on to say, “These isolated actions that have jeopardized the safety of individuals have been responded to with appropriate law enforcement actions.”
Perhaps the most offensive aspect of the case however is that as agents closed off the area to round up the cattle, they placed designated, “free speech zones,” where protesters were designated to stand in protest. Even Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval spoke out on the issue saying he was, “disturbed” by the zones explained how it was a clear violation against Constitutional rights.
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He later went on to describe that he had already demanded those responsible, immediately dismantle any such “zones.”
What do you guys think – should Bundy just man up and pay the fees, or should he be safe to do what he pleases in a sort of “grandfathered in” type of way? Let us know in comment below.