Clive Bundy has been in a dispute with the BLM for over 20 years about grazing permits for his cattle herd of over 500 head. Each head of cattle costs $1.35 per head of cattle, per month for the permit. That amounts to $8100.00 per year, and over $1 million dollars for twenty years.
Clive Bundy has insisted that he has no problem paying the permit fee; however he feels the BLM has no right to the money, and that the state of Nevada owns the land. Clive Bundy also has not paid any permit fees to the state of Nevada.
Over twenty four months ago two Federal Judges ruled against Clive Bundy, and required him to pay the over $1 million dollars in fees to the BLM. He refused and the federal government attempted to seize his cattle that were grazing on the disputed land; however Bundy interfered with the roundup causing another Federal Judge to rule that Clive Bundy could not intervene with the roundup.
Bundy’s Mormon family settled here over 140 years ago and although he does not actually own the land, he claims the inherited right to graze his cattle on it.
Clive Bundy made statements to the affect that this was now a “range war”. This further escalated the issue because those are threatening statements to the Federal Government and the BLM responded accordingly by using a “show of force”. This included armored vehicles, snipers, federal law enforcement, and canine support.
Further escalating the situation was Clive Bundy’s supporters causing the situation to go viral on the internet. Hundreds of new-found supporters began to go to Bunkerville, Nevada and “poke the snake” causing the federal government to exercise their authority, and protect those that oversee the roundup.
As seen in the viral video that supporters of Clive Bundy have put on YouTube, his supporters blocked a truck, on a federal road, and threatened the occupants of it. This is obvious as witnessed in the video. Law enforcement were seen trying to protect the occupants by approaching with canines and giving warnings to those making the threats to officers. Over ten warnings were given before they commanded canines to “repel” an assault. The assailant kicked the canine (assaulting a police officer), and they used Tasers on them to repel them. When the truck was able to move on the escalation ceased.
This entire problem started in 1993. Bundy refused to pay grazing fees in 1993.The trouble started there. He claimed that he didn’t have to pay any fees because his Mormon ancestors used the land since the 1880s. He feels this gives him the right to the land.
Nevada is a sovereign state, and like many other states in the western United States it has an “Open Range Law” that should be reviewed by people that are involved with this tussle. I have read this document, and the history of range laws. I have read the news concerning this event, and watched the compelling videos. I feel I can form an opinion now.
If money was not the issue with Clive Bundy then why not pay it and be done with it? If it was an issue of not wanting to pay the federal government, then why didn’t he make a legitimate offer to Clark County, Nevada to pay them? The truth is that he does not want to pay at all. He does not own this land and just because a family has lived in an area and free-range grazed for many years does not give them ownership of the land, or its resources. Just ask anybody living in Alaska. The very minimal grazing fee imposed my BLM is not out of line with what the BLM does on lands across the rest of the nation. The issue is that he refused to pay anyone. The permit money is supposed to be used to “protect habitats”, etc. This is understandable, and acceptable. The two Federal Judge’s that ruled on this case both are known to be fairly conservative in their leanings.
Clive Bundy was able to graze his cattle for free for twenty years while others paid the permit fees for their own cattle to graze there. I’m from Missouri and from where I’m sitting that’s a tidy little profit for him. He thought he could do that indefinitely but it caught up with him, and now he can’t pay the accumulated bill. He had no other place to graze his cattle. He stated that “all the other ranchers around him stopped grazing there.” What he didn’t say is that they used their profits to buy grazing land around him instead of paying for permits.
This is not about “fracking”, “solar power”, “drilling”, “grazing”, “tortoise conservation” or other operational agenda. The fact is when one looks at a map of the area it’s easy to see that all of these things can coexist simultaneously, and not conflict upon each other. Nevada’s “Open Range” law does not protect other people from a rancher’s livestock. The state of Nevada has this one last area of land that is under the BLM. All others have been turned over to the state and subsequently sold to ranchers, and private interests. If the BLM were to cease managing it then the same thing that happened to the rest of the lands would happen. It would be sold to the highest bidder, and not held as “open range” land. Mr. Bundy would have to pay for his beef to be raised like everybody else does.
I hate when people do not research before they fan flames of deception. The cold, hard truth about this is that Clive Bundy owes the federal government a lot of money that he is compelled to pay because he continued to graze his cattle on “Open Range”, permit required land. Since he can no longer pay the accumulated bill he now is trying to graze on the sympathy of others around him. The fact is that if Nevada had the right they would sell the land immediately for profit and unless Clive Bundy bought the land, he couldn’t graze his cattle there anyway. This is why two Federal Judge’s ruled the way they did.
Clive Bundy is a selfish man vying to get a free handout from sympathetic activists.