Daniel
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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2603026/Senator-spea...

Militia from across the country came to Nevada to come to the aid of Cliven Bundy a rancher who vowed a range war against the BLM. Today the BLM announced they are pulling out and returning the cattle... Still developing.

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I'm on the side of the desert tortoise.
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Daniel
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The BLM isn't there to help the tortoise.
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Damian
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"Bundy claims ancestral rights to graze his cattle on lands his Mormon family settled in the 19th century."

Maybe he should take that up with the Paiute Indians.
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Daniel
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His family has certainly been there longer than the BLM.
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My understanding is that his family bought the rights to use the land before the BLM existed. They paid for its use.
 
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dandechino wrote:
His family has certainly been there longer than the BLM.

So we're using the "dibs" rule to solve disputes now? I saw that episode of the Walking Dead. It didn't work out so well. In any case, the Federal Government was there longer, no matter what agency they were using to administer it.

He doesn't own the land. He stopped paying grazing fees two decades ago. Exactly what "right" is he defending here? The right to trespass and do what he wants? If it was my land he'd have been marched out at gunpoint 19 years and 364 days ago.

Is this a protest against the concept of public land? Article 4, Section 3, Clause 2 takes care of that and the Northwest Ordinance makes the intent pretty clear. Even if you were to argue that the Property Clause gives the least narrowest scope of power, allowing the government simply to own land as an ordinary citizen does, you can't argue that the right to exclude anyone from that land is a fundamental right of such ownership.

Ranchers in the west often have legitimate disputes with the way the government manages land. Choosing such an unsympathetic (to outsiders, at least) battle seems foolish.

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dandechino wrote:
My understanding is that his family bought the rights to use the land before the BLM existed. They paid for its use.

Do you have any source for that assertion?

I don't think any news organization would be more sympathetic to him than Fox news and their articles all include only the "we've always been here" claims. The linked article also includes a quote that he is willing to pay grazing fees to Clark County, which would belie the claim that he has already paid for its use.

He is claiming that the state of Nevada owns the land, not the Feds.
 
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Donald
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Quote:
Cliven Bundy has been battling the BLM since 1993, when he refused to pay for grazing rights after the 600,000 acres of public land were reclassified as federal property.

Land managers claimed the change was necessary to protect a rare desert tortoise and limited the Bundy herd to just 150 head, the rancher claims it has been in his family for more than 140 years.


Which is it? It's either privately held land for which he should have a deed for or public/federal land?


Quote:
Why I raise cattle there and why I can raise cattle there is because I have preemptive rights,' he added, explaining that, among them, is the right to forage,' he said in a different interview.


Is preemptive rights/right to forage a real thing?

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Stealing land is a time honored tradition.
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So the correct answer in a dispute is not to go to court, it's to get a posse together and threaten violence.

Great plan!
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It's nice to see that the cattle baron spirit of the old west is still alive.

I mean it is just like Tiananmen Square, all those tank running over unarmed protestors who only want the right to protest peacefully.

Yet again a triumph for the tragedy of the commons.
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As it announced earlier today that it was backing off, the BLM said it did so because it feared for the safety of employees and members of the public.


Not a great precedent to set, but it's probably better than a shootout.
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I guess the issue I'd like to see more on here is evidence that the federal government really does own the land in question. That seems to be the deciding factor on who's in the right.
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twomillionbucks wrote:
I guess the issue I'd like to see more on here is evidence that the federal government really does own the land in question. That seems to be the deciding factor on who's in the right.


The federal government owns north of 80% of the land in the state of Nevada, so I have literally no difficulty believing that it's federal land. Once you get much outside of any city or town, odds are good that you're on federal land of some form.

Huge percentages are common in the Western states, though Nevada tops the list. Something like 40-45% of California is federally owned, for example.
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twomillionbucks wrote:
Not a great precedent to set, but it's probably better than a shootout.


Yep. Though I do hope this isn't the end of the matter. $1.1 million isn't chump change and grazing fees on federal lands are already priced way below market value. So this family is basically stiffing the government over something that's already heavily subsidized while using the land in a way that wasn't authorized for north of two decades. I'll bet if the state or feds tried taking one acre of land this guy owned for a highway or a well or some other public use, he'd pitch a fit and call for the militia to defend his land rights.
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The Bundys put that land to productive use first, mixing their labor with it and making improvements before the governmentt started arbitrarily making restrictions and demanding money.
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perfalbion wrote:
twomillionbucks wrote:
I guess the issue I'd like to see more on here is evidence that the federal government really does own the land in question. That seems to be the deciding factor on who's in the right.


The federal government owns north of 80% of the land in the state of Nevada, so I have literally no difficulty believing that it's federal land. Once you get much outside of any city or town, odds are good that you're on federal land of some form.

Huge percentages are common in the Western states, though Nevada tops the list. Something like 40-45% of California is federally owned, for example.


After looking into it a bit more, it seems the government is pretty clearly in the right legally, but that doesn't necessarily make their actions defensible. There's allegations, for instance, that the thing that started this whole mess was redrawing the designated area for the Desert Tortoise, and some are alleging that the lines were redrawn to favor someone who's a heavy Harry Reid donator. I don't know if that's true or not, but if it is it's certainly troubling.
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dandechino wrote:
The Bundys put that land to productive use first, mixing their labor with it and making improvements before the governmentt started arbitrarily making restrictions and demanding money.


Okay, what do you mean by "first"? Who owned the land before the federal government did?
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twomillionbucks wrote:
dandechino wrote:
The Bundys put that land to productive use first, mixing their labor with it and making improvements before the governmentt started arbitrarily making restrictions and demanding money.


Okay, what do you mean by "first"? Who owned the land before the federal government did?


Probably native Americans. But the the white man came and with it the US Govt. The Bundy family has been using that land since before Nevada was even a State.
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dandechino wrote:
The Bundys put that land to productive use first, mixing their labor with it and making improvements before the governmentt started arbitrarily making restrictions and demanding money.


Sorry, not buying. They could have pursued purchasing the land and there were probably a good number of laws that would have streamlined the process for them - homesteading laws are still in the books in a huge number of states. They didn't and the federal government, like any landlord, has the right to control how the land that it owns is used. It's also common when you're leasing that any capital improvements you make become the property of the owner, not yours, without compensation.

I know it can look sexy to paint this as "big, bad government against little rancher," but it's a land use dispute. Who is involved doesn't change the fact that they don't own the land and they've been breaking the law for 20+ years.

They can obey the law like everyone else or fight it in court. End of story.
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twomillionbucks wrote:
...and some are alleging that the lines were redrawn to favor someone who's a heavy Harry Reid donator.


Haven't seen that. Got a link?

I don't know how "redrawing the borders" could help another donor short of shifting where grazing was legal. And the stories are pretty careful to point out that this guy's the last rancher in Clark County, which is most of Nevada, so it seems unlikely. This is already becoming a political cause celebre, so I would look at such accusations with a very skeptical eye.
 
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Were they given the option to purchase? Sounds like the government was content to be landlords until they decided that they could put the land to use themselves. I doubt cattle ranchers are the most immediate threat to some tortoise. Heck, the US Government has been exploding hundreds of nuclear bombs over Nevada for decades. What has killed more turtles- cattle or nukes? Sounds like they want the land for some other purpose and they are intimidating and buying out the present occupants- just like they did with native americans who were sitting on gold, oil, etc.
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dandechino wrote:
Were they given the option to purchase? Sounds like the government was content to be landlords until they decided that they could put the land to use themselves. I doubt cattle ranchers are the most immediate threat to some tortoise. Heck, the US Government has been exploding hundreds of nuclear bombs over Nevada for decades. What has killed more turtles- cattle or nukes? Sounds like they want the land for some other purpose and they are intimidating and buying out the present occupants- just like they did with native americans who were sitting on gold, oil, etc.


Okay, so you're defending Bundy here? What exactly are you defending? What do you think is happening?

If the government does own the land, why is Bundy in the right for refusing to comply with their rules for its use?
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perfalbion wrote:
twomillionbucks wrote:
...and some are alleging that the lines were redrawn to favor someone who's a heavy Harry Reid donator.


Haven't seen that. Got a link?

I don't know how "redrawing the borders" could help another donor short of shifting where grazing was legal. And the stories are pretty careful to point out that this guy's the last rancher in Clark County, which is most of Nevada, so it seems unlikely. This is already becoming a political cause celebre, so I would look at such accusations with a very skeptical eye.


It's on a couple of different right-wing blogs (Example). Basically, the claim is that Harvey Whittemore, a big Reid donor who was convicted of breaking various campaign contribution laws, wanted to develop the land and the lines were redrawn to allow him to do so. Whittemore's wikipedia page seems to suggest it... somewhat? I'm not done checking it out yet.

Some are also making something of the fact a former adviser to Reid is head of the DLM. I don't think that means much, though, since it looks like someone else was in charge back in 1993.
 
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