The Rule of Law in this country is the Constitution, which means that the
Federal Government has no reason to lay claim to this land. This is the STATES
land, and the BLM needs to go through the court's of the state, rather then
herd up the cattle with their posse of gun slingers. The BLM is also trying to
round up over 90,000 acres of land along the red river which lies between
Oklahoma, and Texas. most of which is privately owned. The question that
we need to ask, is why is the BLM so fixated on taking over this land, why are
they not doing anything about the Wild Horse population which is on the
"BLM's"land in southern Utah. Why is the Federal Government
spending millions on cattle that are trespassing, and not on those who are
entering this country with out the proper documentation.
@Craig,The 'range war' is also not the central issue (IMO).
The issue is... who does the land belong to... the people... or the
government.IMO it belongs to the people. But we asked the
government to manage it.===Bundy should be a big boy and
resolve his grazing rights issues. But the BLM folks should not push the
people around, kill their cattle, take their cattle, or tazer the people. All
of these things were done by the BLM.I don't think it was wise
to show up armed to a confrontation with the BLM... but I don't know all
the details of what that was about.But focusing on one person
(bundy). One conflict (bundy) One term ("range war")... prevents you
from seeing the REAL issue.It's more than Bundy. It's
more than bundy's problems. It's more than this confrontation.
It's more than Nevada. It's more than the BLM.... It's the
relationship between the government and the people they serve...Bundy is just ONE person. But a LOT of people don't like how our
government is treating him... and expressing displeasure in the
Bundy made a religious call to tear down federal property and start an armed
2 bits,"....Enemies of the cause (local control of the land in
our States)... would LIKE to make this about Bundy (not the cause)...."______________________________Bundy himself gets the blame for
that. He put himself at the center by issuing calls for a "range war"
(his term, not mine). He apparently thought that evoking images of the Wild West
would rally people to his cause. He obviously miscalculated.
That the people inhabiting said proposed State do agree and declare that they
forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated public lands lying
within the boundaries thereof; and to all lands lying within said limits owned
or held by any Indian or Indian tribes; and that until the title thereto shall
have been extinguished by the United States,Section 3 Utah Statehood
Enabling Act. Passed by Congress Signed by President 1895 Authorizing the
territorial government to call a convention to form a State Constitution.The Western States of Illinois, Arkansas, Lousiana, Florida all under
majority ownership of federal land banded together and forced the Federal
Government to honor this promise at statehood to "Extinguish Title" in
the 1830,sThose who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat
Enemies of the cause (local control of the land in our States)... would LIKE to
make this about Bundy (not the cause).Then IF they can tear down
Bundy and destroy HIM... they have destroyed the cause.I don't
think that should work. It's not about Bundy. He's just the poster
child for the cause today. But it's not about HIM...
UtahBlueDevil,"....All the lands obtained in the western
expansion did not belong to a state when the federal government bought it.
States were carved out of those lands - they were not states first...."______________________________For indisputable proof of that, one
need look no further than a political map of the Western United States showing
state borders that adhere to lines of longitude and latitude. Settlers and gold
prospectors didn't decide on those boundaries. Congress did.
I wonder what Bundy supporters would say if there was a muslim group who
rejected the federal government, instituted sharia law and then barricaded
themselves in a mosque with firearms pointed at federal agents?I am
sure Bundy supporters would stand up for that groups desire for freedom from the
In the 1990s, the grazing rights to the land where Bundy has his cattle was
transfered to Clark County Nevada from the BLM. As he has maintained, he should
have been paying his grazing fees to Clark County and not the BLM. For a state to join the union, it must enter an "enabling act"
transfering all non-occupied land to the federal government. In turn, the
federal government agrees to transfer that land to private hands. Until a short
time ago, a great portion of the eastern United States was in federal hands.
Recently, all that federally-controlled land east of Colorado was transfered to
private hands, as agreed. Only the lands from Colorado westward are still
controlled by the federal government, in spite of our "enabling acts".
The U.S. government needs to deal with the west the same way that it has with
the east, and transfer to the people the land that was promised in the state
However this may end, if the State would ever gain control of these lands I
would not want to see them sell this land to ranchers or others who look to own
it. In fact, given that B Bundy has paid any legitimate grazing fees for 20
years, I would say that the government chould legally get a court order that
would take away any "property" grazing rights that they might have.
That is what would to anyone else if they didnt pay their taxes. Once again I will say, the BLM should maintain control of these lands but the
State Congressional delegation and Governor should have a big say in how the
lands are managed. You can do different things in different states if those
State want that and it is within reason. Selling the land would not be allowed.
For those who think the federal government should give up this land in several
western states, why do you think the land should revert to state governments? I
would suspect that if the argument were that the land should revert to the
native tribal nations, there would be far less people interested in taking arms
against the federal government. The native americans would seem to have the
precedence to receive back the land. After all, they roamed much of it long
before states were organized, before the federal government made the Louisiana
Purchase, and any European-Americans ever got close to the land. I
think those pushing to get the land out of the sovereignty of the federal
government should consider how far this could go before they push too hard. How
many of those 50 lawmakers from nine western statements represented the
interests of the original native nations?
" If Americans would just read the Constitution, they would realize that the
Federal Government cannot "own" land within a State."No
Mike, it is you that just doesn't understand that your reading and
application of that section is being taken out of context, and that over 200
years of court rules say you are wrong. I am not sure by what power you think
you have the secret constitutional sauce.... but I hate to inform you..... you
still have this wrong.That section talks about establishing a
capital, and how to acquire land from states when the land is under the states
jurisdiction. All the lands obtained in the western expansion did not belong
to a state when the federal government bought it. States were carved out of
those lands - they were not states first. The states never had preeminence in
these matters.So, refer precedent here.... there is plenty of it.
It is not ambiguous. Your application of that section does not cover the
circumstances in dispute here. Never has..... Never will. This is exactly
why they make you take a test before you can practice law...... to avoid
situations just like this.
@Ranch,Who says there isn't some common ground for all of us to
Our Representatives have been working the issue for some time now and are
hopeful of meaningful progess. Cliven Bundy is in the wrong and his wrong doing
damages the efforts of those who have been working through the system to reach a
@mike richards. Are you a constitutional expert? Corporations and banks own this
country yet i have never heard you complain that our money supply is owned by
private banks. Where does it say in the constitution that banks can print money
out of thin air to loan?It seems you would rather be ruled by
corporations than by a government that is controlled the people.
@photobeauty -- You are obviously not aware of this, but that evil BLM guy with
his badge is probably your neighbor. They actually live and work here in the
west, not fly in from DC or New York or whatever scary big "back east"
city you are afraid of. They don't deserve to have guns pointed at them by
The closer to home law enforcement comes from, the more likely that law
enforcement will be responsive to the needs of that home. I would rather have a
county sheriff in control of county law enforcement than a BLM employee with a
badge and a gun trying to tell me what I can and can not do. The best solution
in my opinion is to treat the western states the way the eastern states have
been treated and give the land back to the states.
I'm sure that the "Federal Government" is laughing itself silly by
showing yet again what fools Americans are. If Americans would just read the
Constitution, they would realize that the Federal Government cannot
"own" land within a State. That doesn't matter to the
administration's apologists who think that they "own" something for
which they have not paid. When the "Federal Government" can seize two
car companies, without paying the owners of those companies (teachers, policemen
and all others who help stock in those companies) why would anyone challenge
FEDERAL government ownership of State lands, even though the Constitution
forbids FEDERAL ownership of any land except as defined in the Constitution?Lawlessness didn't start with Bundy. Read the treaties that
Washington made with the Indian Nations and then see what happened. If
politicians have learned anything, they've learned how to lie about their
authority. The Federal Government does not own Nevada. The "public"
has no ownership of Nevada. The government does not "own" YOUR property
either, no matter what Washington tells you.
JoeCapitalist2,“....the feds have put the interests of the
environmentalists ahead of every other interest...."______________________________That’s as it must be.
Commercial interests fluctuate over comparatively short periods. But environment
is the consideration for sustaining the future. Government alone can’t do
it. But it will take Government leadership to pull it all together.
Bundy... the personality... does make it hard. But it's our bickering
about Bundy's personality that REALLY makes it hard. But his personality
or views on minorities is not what this is about.HE... is not the
cause. We need to remember that and not mush them together. And think we can
end the cause by tearing down the man....These land issues were
around WAY before Bundy got thrown in the spotlight. They will be around long
after he's gone...
Hmm?* we give away billions in foreign aid* about half our
people receive government handouts* we pay hundreds of millions per year
for needless expenses for political leaders* we give billions of dollars
worth of military weapons to other countries. some pays, and others
don't.Don't we have other fish to fry than Cliven Bundy.
@Shimlau"so they could be sold to the Chinese for a heavily subsidized
solar power system?"The Chinese solar plant is planned for a
location over 100 miles away from the disputed lands being grazed on...
@ JoeCapitalist2, except that health insurance is actually less of a disaster
now than before the ACA.
The Real Maverik: "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." Maybe you'd like them more in control of
Harry Reid and his son, so they could be sold to the Chinese for a heavily
subsidized solar power system?
I will be the last one to defend Bundy... but I would say perhaps it is not
always greed... that term gets thrown around a lot, on both sides and is not an
accurate representation. I would say in their minds - who ever "their"
is - it is all about fairness. They feel what they are dealing with is not a
level playing field.In Bundy's case, if his family used the
land for free for some period of time, he doesn't see why he shouldn't
be able to do likewise. He does not weigh in that conditions have changed for
everyone, and most all have had to adapt, adjust, or change. He doesn't
see why things should change... and it is not fair that he is being asked to
play by a new set of rules.At least that is the tact I would start
with if I were negotiating with or representing him. I am not saying he is
right.... nor am I willing to say he is just being greedy. Fairness is a huge
issue for many out there - rich, poor, white - otherwise....
airnaut: "I prefer having the Feds in control of our lands."That is only because the feds have put the interests of the environmentalists
ahead of every other interest. I wonder if you would change your tune in a New
York minute of the general consenses of federal bureaucrats was to open up all
lands to oil exploration and extraction.Utah has an awful lot of
public lands. Some of that should be permanently preserved from any development.
Other parts should be accessible to responsible recreation and ranching. But the
current federal goals of locking up every bit of public land so no one can use
it for anything but taking pictures is a complete waste.Like giving
the feds control over our health insurance, fed control over anything can lead
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.
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.
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.
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?
@Meckofahess;I'm shocked! Shocked I tell you. You actually
said something I can agree with you on.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Bundy was born in AZ, his wife's family owned the maximum homestead ranch
160 acres near MesquiteNevada 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.
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!
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.
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
It all comes down to greed.
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
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.
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.
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% ofhis $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."
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.