On Monday morning Cliven Bundy, the now famous rancher from Nevada who took an epic stand against the federal government, phoned in to the Glenn Beck radio program to discuss the actual reasons he took a stand to begin with – he doesn’t believe the land belongs to the federal government.
“I think this is very clarifying to people,” Beck said. “Your stance is, ‘I do not recognize these lands to be federal … I am staking out my claim that the United States government does not have any jurisdiction, and any rights to the land that [I am] now grazing on.’”
Bundy agreed, then told Beck that he believes it to be Nevada land.
He further explained that he doesn’t have any contracts with the federal government, and that the government doesn’t have any “jurisdiction or authority” on his grazing rights, access rights, water rights, ranch improvement rights, or anything else that he says belong to the people of Clark County.
He said that it dates back to the 19th century when Nevada initially became a state. He admits that at one time the federal government controlled the land when Nevada was just a territory, however when Nevada became a state he said that the government gave up its control to the sovereignty of the state of Nevada – meaning it lacks the power to control it today.
“At the moment of statehood, what happened?” Bundy asked. “At the moment of statehood the people of the territory become people of the United States with the Constitution, with equal footing to the original 13 states. They had boundaries allowing them a state line. And that boundary was divided into 17 subdivisions, which were counties. Which I live in one of those counties, Clark County, Nevada.”
He then explained that he follows all of the laws within the state because he’s a citizen of that county.
The dispute with the federal government dates back to 1993, when Bundy stopped paying his grazing fees to the Bureau of Land Management, but it really got a boost last week when the BLM moved in to confiscate the cattle that he lets graze on the land. They were met by protestors and throughout the week tensions flared as both sides seemed to grow in numbers, causing some to say it could turn into the next Ruby Ridge.
Saturday, the conflict appeared to end when a spokesman for the BLM announced they would be returning the confiscated cattle to Bundy, citing “serious concern about the safety of employees and members of the public.”
Considering Bundy is still refusing to pay the fees to the BLM, the dispute likely isn’t over and the feds will be back to fight another day.
Below are pictures from the standoff that happened last week.