Comments about ‘Jay Evensen: Cliven Bundy makes it harder to solve Western land issues’

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Published: Wednesday, April 30 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Virginia Beach, VA

The “Conservative” rancher, Clive Bundy, and his friends in Nevada are “ordinary looking people” according to the article.

The people with drawn weapons, itchy fingers, a seething hatred for Federal authority, and an intent to intimidate Federal Employees, are regarded by the author as “ordinary looking people.”

I suppose that depends on what you’re used to seeing and accepting. To me, they are not “ordinary looking people.”

Is it reasonable for individuals and states to DEMAND land from the Federal Government. The answer is NO.

“We the People of the United States” own that Federal Land. And “We the People” do NOT negotiate or compromise with Terrorists.

Get used to it.

BTW, “Conservative Patriot” is a metonymy too. It means "potential domestic terrorist."

Why? . . . Because facts are facts.

Red Smith
American Fork, UT

Where is the outcry against BLM's Putin actions?

When the politicians controlling the Government withheld the land promised to Western States for joining the Union, that dishonest act created friction between justice and greed and endless disputes.

Cliven Bundy is no racist - clearly does not have a lawyer's clever tongue to express his view that family life in poverty is better than a broken family caused by government handouts.

BLM seized Shoshone former Chief Raymond Yowell's 132 cows and is garnishing 15% of
his $1,150 Social Security checks. Chief Raymond Yowell has a jaded view of white man's government. Luckily, he used the word white, or he'd be classified as a racist and lynched by the media.

"In his opinion of United States v. Estate of Hage, U.S. District Court Judge Robert C. Jones reveals that after late Nevada rancher E. Wayne Hage indicated on his 1993 grazing permit renewal that by signing the permit, he was not surrendering his family’s long-standing water and forage rights on the land, the BLM not only rejected the permit but also conspired for decades to both deny his family’s property rights and to destroy their cattle business."

Salt Lake City, UT

It's been a long time since I agreed with much of what Jay says. But he makes a lot of sense here. Unfortunately, the GOP that controls all levels of Utah state government has far too many ideologues and self interested individuals who I fear would not hesitate to sell short the long term environmental and recreational interests in preserving public space in favor of short term extractive and other uses for immediate financial gain. On the whole, I trust the Feds on the public lands issue more than I trust Utah's self interested power brokers.

salt lake city, UT

Clive Bundy is representative of the personalities involved in the use of our public lands. That includes politicans, environmentalist, ranchers, and mineral extraction users. A lot of stubborn people backed by money and power. This is an issue of control, plain and simple. Overwhelming polls show that Americans want to keep this land public with no drastic changes to it's current use. Our Utah politicans are trying to go against the public tide with the support of extraction users, ranchers and local constituents.

Bountiful, UT

Unstated are those who believe the land belongs to *them*, not to feds, not to the states, counties, or any other form of oppressive, tyrannical government.

These crackpots serve a useful purpose - they make the state proposal for mass giveaways in their favor look like a compromise position.

Here's a position the rest of America might be able to support: take all the federally owned land that isn't a National Park, Wilderness, National Forest or Monument, price it so that the national debt would be paid off in full, and charge that amount to the states, totaling $17 Trillion.

I know real conservatives don't believe in giveaways, and they are for eliminating the federal debt.

I can't see why they wouldn't support this proposal. If the states aren't just looking for the biggest handout in the history of welfare, they'll seriously consider this proposal.

one old man
Ogden, UT

It all comes down to greed.

Everett, 00

The State controls Beck Street, Kennecott, the refineries, the radioactive dump by Energy Solutions, and the billboards along the Freeways.

The Feds control the National Parks.

I prefer having the Feds in control of our lands.

Springville, UT

There is so much empty rhetoric on this issue. First, Jim Hansen may have introduced a bill, but only to appease Utah special interests to exploit the land. He knew the bill would go nowhere, even in a Republican Administration. Second, what would Utah do with the lands? Sell them? More mining or other exclusive rights to corporations, removing those lands from public use? I've yet to see a plan where the interests of the general public are addressed. It's always about commercial exploitation by special interests. We the people are ignored, but are instead used and manipulated to support those special interests. And finally, for now, most of those hated BLM folks are Westerners, many Utahns, and many Mormons. It is easy to paint them as detached and whatever, but they are not. In the last 60 years, the only time the Secretary of the Interior was from a non-Western state was under Nixon and Reagan. And I guarantee that if the GOP can pull it together in 2016 and elect one of their own to the White House, this issue will pretty much die down. It's all partisan politics meant to serve special interests.

liberal larry
salt lake City, utah

There is no way that Utah could afford to maintain all of the BLM land in the state.

If Utah was suddenly in possession of all of our federal lands, it would cherry pick the choice locations and sell them to private corporations. You could immediately kiss public access to these lands good bye. (Sure you can go on Washington State privately owned timber land, but you better get a permit from Weyerhaeuser first.) The less valuable lands would fall into ruin and we would beg the federal government to take back these blighted areas.

Thank heaven the feds own most of Utah!

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

Bundy was born in AZ, his wife's family owned the maximum homestead ranch 160 acres near Mesquite
Nevada charges $12 a head of cattle on State lands while the Feds charge a dollar.
Anger derived from ignorance and backed with firearms isn't patriotic it's borderline, if not right out, insurrection.

He's a fraud, and now a tool for others who would steal their children's inheritance.

Salt Lake City, UT

Mr Evensen, you write that "The state would have to balance the needs of extraction companies, environmentalists, recreationists and local residents just as the feds do now". I appreciate your point of view on that important aspect of this issue. As a citizen of the west, I am concerned whether the state could or would do as good a job balancing the needs of these competing interests for these vast lands as the BLM has done? Might there be a tempation for the state to sell off much of the good land that is currently used by the public for recreation and renewal to corporations and private parties who would then restrict access to the land?

For those who enjoy having reasonable access to public lands as we have had for generations, where will we go when that land is no longer public? Once that land is placed into private hands, access to it will be gone forever to common every day people who aren't wealthy enough to buy it all up for themselves only!

Springville, UT

Did you see the article comparing the grazing case with the XL Pipeline situation? "But many of the pundits and talking heads who rallied behind Bundy (at least before his racist outburst) are also advocating the Keystone XL pipeline -- despite the ranchers and farmers up in arms about pipeline owner TransCanada Corp. trying to force its way onto their land....Crawford said she's worried about the pipeline's effect on cultural and environmental aspects of the land. But mostly she said she's mad that TransCanada could essentially take her land without her permission. She is trying to get the Texas Supreme Court to hear her case, arguing that the company should not have had the ability to claim eminent domain in the first place....'A foreign corporation building a for-profit pipeline doesn't meet the standards for eminent domain,' Crawford said."

I guess consistency doesn't matter.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

Once Federal lands became the property of a state, whether by purchase or transfer, there is no legal guarantee they will remain public lands. Nor is it clear in all cases how transfer will affect the administering and enforcement of national land use policies.

States may be chomping at the bit to acquire the lands and private interests may already be making plans. But until a persuasive case is made for what best serves the greater common good, the Federal Government has a duty as public trustee to not let control of public lands slip away.

Henry Drummond
San Jose, CA

Excellent article.

This is exactly what I was thinking when I saw this guy on TV. This is the last person in the world ranchers need as their spokesperson about federal lands issues. The problems go back to the nineteenth century and never seemed to get solved no matter who is in the White House or who controls Congress. Yet the problems are solvable. I doubt any progress is ever going to be made however, when the spokesperson of ranchers is advocating a return to slavery and secession from the Union.

Here, UT

I'd really rather the state of Utah NOT have ownership/guardianship of the federal lands.

Utah's elite just want to use and abuse the land.

Here, UT


I'm shocked! Shocked I tell you. You actually said something I can agree with you on.

St.George, Utah

Has anyone else wondered what got ol' Clive on such a rant about society?
Before opening his mouth, shouldn't he have consulted with those in the know about his lawlessness?
Perhaps hired a slick city lawyer/spokesperson?
Such a Ruby Ridge type deja vu feeling in Mesquite, Nevada.
Did he know all along that he done wrong?
Has SNL done a spoof on this one yet?

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Where are the typical repub posters on this one?

Have even they abandoned Saint Clive? But things were finally starting to get interesting!

Haha, in my opinion Clive wants to act like a traitor and terrorist. Grant him his sizes and treat him as one.

Public lands can and should remain in control of the Feds, period. No compromise! Never! I just don't trust folks like John Swallow or Becky Lockhart.

Salt Lake City, UT

Two comments, Jay: First, any hint of lending credibility to a bunch of trigger-happy, AK-47 toting so-called patriots, regardless of Bundy's racist comments, does nothing for your credibility. These folks were there to defend at all costs an established lawbreaker, including seeing their wives killed. I'm not sure we could find a better example of "crazy."

Second, any constructive conversation regarding the state taking control of 30 million acres of federal lands should be centered around the question, "How will the state pay for it?" Once it is acknowledged how much it actually costs to administer and manage those lands, even if the state can do it for half, the conversation will start to transition away from ideology to pragmatism. Of course, that's area that Ken Ivory avoids because it causes him to start to be honest.

Salt Lake City, UT

Finally, it is good to see the DN move away from any defense of Bundy and his disregard for the rule of law. I can understand states wanting control over public lands, but question that Evensen's call for "balance" would actually happen. The cost of maintaining and protecting public lands is so high, that states, like Utah, would have to open up development or sell some land to even afford preserving what is left.

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