“In a meeting Saturday, Bundy urged Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie to seize the federal officials’ weapons and bring them back to the rancher.” Seattle Times April 12, 2014
Many people in American and the world watched in horror this past week as the events unfolded in Nevada. We learned graphically through this incidence how legal illogic applied strategically and misleadingly by politically driven media machines including some connected with the Koch Brothers can twist people’s minds into thinking that the thievery and belligerence perpetrated by Bunkerville’s own personal Archie—Cliven Bundy—is heroism and patriotism (Mr. Bundy in white at right above escorted by his armed body guards).
In truth, the cowardly cowboy of Clark County is nothing more than an outlaw and bully. He is using emotional connivance and media chicanery as well as the soft-headedness and chip-laden shoulders of the country’s militia movement (see above video and reference to "his land") to continue to break the laws of our nation and avoid paying well-deserved penalties for his defiance of multiple federal court orders and his longstanding, growing and aggressive trespass on Bureau of Land Management and National Park lands.
"In a statement, the [Nevada Cattlemen’s] association noted that Bundy's case had been reviewed by a federal judge, and that a legal decision had been rendered to remove the cattle. The statement said that NCA "does not feel it is in our best interest to interfere in the process of adjudication in this matter, and in addition NCA believes the matter is between Mr. Bundy and the federal courts." ABC News April 7, 2014
Questions arise in this confrontation and everyone should go through their own process of discovery on this issue just as the Nevada Cattlemen's Association did before deciding not to support his actions (see above). Are these lands in question Mr. Bundy’s as has been so frequently claimed? Are these even state lands as Mr. Bundy asserts? Could Mr. Bundy’s family have gained rights to these lands from the State or Clark County? The simple answer to all these questions can be derived from knowing that the federal government gained title to these lands in 1848, the State of Nevada in their constitution reinforced this claim denying all claims to federal lands within their borders in 1864 (see second part of the Ordinance section) , and that the Bundy family did not arrive in Nevada until the 1870s or 1880s depending upon which family story you hear. (Hint the answer here and memorialized in several legal actions is: No)
"During a Moapa Valley town hall meeting last night, Bundy said he went to visit Sheriff Gillespie a few days ago but “found him hiding under the table”.
“He is the man that has constitutional jurisdiction and authority, he has policing power here in Clark County Nevada, and he has arresting power, so we elected him and we pay him, what do we pay him to do?” asked Bundy, adding, “Don’t we pay him to protect our life, liberty and property?” Alex Jones InfoWars April 10, 2014
"I want to stress to all of you that as the sheriff of Clark County I cannot interfere with the Federal government when it is operating on Federal land," [Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Sheriff Douglas C.] Gillespie said. "And because this is BLM property, it is in their jurisdiction. But when a group of protesters threaten civil unrest or violence in this county — it is my job to step in and ensure the safety of citizens." CNN April 14, 2014
Now if you read Mr. Bundy’s voluminous legal arguments contained in documents submitted to the courts you will see that much thought has gone into developing the case that these lands—in his mind—should not still be owned by the federal government. While it is fine to hold these beliefs, if you are so inclined, laws and regulations are based on current conditions and not the desires of a spoiled welfare rancher who has thrown a 21-year tantrum because he was overgrazing his property and was told by his landlord—the federal government—to lower the number of cattle grazing on his allotment.
Glenn said, “I have people that graze on my land. And there is national land behind my ranch as well. And I know if anybody runs cattle on that, they also have to pay for grazing fees. Grazing fees are normal. And you stopped paying them. Your daughter said you did pay them for a while and then you stopped paying them. There are some people that would say that you are, if I may quote, a ‘welfare rancher’ because you’re not paying the fees that other ranchers do have to pay.” Glenn Beck in an interview with Cliven Bundy
Mr. Bundy had an opportunity to keep his lease, but his response was to stop paying his lease fees, continue grazing his cattle at a level that pleased him and expand his range use into other areas of BLM holdings that were closed to grazing and undergoing restoration projects financed by tax-payers like you and me. He modified these additional lands—the so-called New Trespass Lands—in manners that caused damage. And in the mode of all spoiled children given an inch without consequence, Mr. Bundy took the "mile" and now managers of the adjacent Lake Mead Recreational Area are subjected to visitations by Bundy’s errant and trespassing cattle that are causing safety issues as well as destroying habitat.
And when the BLM finally—after being pushed—started to take material action against Mr. Bundy who had be instructed not to interfere by a federal court order arrived at after two decades of trying to solve this situation administratively, Mr. Bundy declared a “range war,” whined and misled the media, catalyzed a dangerous situation by mobilizing the militia, and cost the American tax-payers even more money. I would also argue that he has hurt the reputations of law abiding ranchers as well as his fellow Mormons in the process as they witnessed the foul-language, threat-laden pugnaciousness exhibited by Bundy’s 14 children and their abettors in blocking this lawful action by the BLM.
Now how does this tie in with Cascadia and Cascadia Wildlands? Like all Americans and those who support our democracy worldwide, we are supremely offended by Mr. Bundy’s actions. We are a nation of laws arrived at through a long-standing and admittedly messy process, but it is the fabric that holds this nation together. And Cascadia Wildlands more often than not fights to make sure those laws protect the future well-being of all life and that they are adhered to and enforced. Mr. Bundy’s actions as well as those of unethical media outlets and militias spoiling for a fight—any fight—have purposely and with forethought torn that essential fabric to shreds in service of their own personal agenda and profit. And just like brain and legs fear the cancerous liver, we know that all our interests are in jeopardy if this stands unanswered and untreated.
To remain a civilized nation we cannot let the actions of one selfish man and his misguided minions dismantle our nation’s rule of law and stomp on the very flag they so vehemently claim to respect. To be clear, we frequently disagree with the BLM, but do not believe that their employees should be threatened with physical violence for simply carrying out their lawful duties. Moreover, we find it ironic that individuals protesting fossil fuel use and developments in a non-violent fashion are arrested and charged while these individuals who armed themselves and subverted a lawful, federal action are allowed to go home without apparent consequence.
Please join us (click here or below) in asking Cascadia's federal lawmakers to launch an immediate and comprehensive investigation into this matter including an examination of the role of potential media misstatements and the conspiring of the various out-of-state militias to interfere with the lawful actions of federal officers, putting them at physical risk.