^^^^^ CLICK TO WATCH ^^^^^^
Monday, November 11, 2013
November 6th, 2013 | vrobison Author:
By CLIVEN BUNDY
Thanks for reminding! Home Means Nevada to me! (From the Editor’s Desk, Remembering the Reason For Nevada And, For That Matter, Which Day It Is: Progress, October 30, 2013)
Fifty years ago, all Nevada schools were invited to participate in a Nevada Day Display Contest having to do with celebrating the centennial of admission of Nevada into the Union. The Project was turned over to the Virgin Valley FFA and then given to me.
I went to the scrap iron bin in the back of the school shop and started to pull steel out. After a time of piecing, cutting, welding and cutting bark off an old cottonwood tree to make the buckhorn handgrips, I had built a gun at school. It was an eight foot replica of an old .45 caliber pistol, only this one was a 600 caliber.
It was displayed in front of Virgin Valley Elementary and High School offices for several months to remind us that that year, 100 years ago, We the People of the territory of Nevada were admitted as a state to join the Union of the United States of America, under the equal footing, with sovereignty, equal representation in Congress, and with borders or state lines around us, with subdivisions (county government closest to We the People) and a county sheriff to protect our life, liberty and property. We now have the U.S. Constitution, declared by President Lincoln to be admitted equal what-so-ever to the original 13 states.
Mr. Ed Presley stated in a recent court document, “It doesn’t matter what happens in the enabling act. It’s what happens at the moment of statehood that matters.”
Nevada is a state. Its people have the fullness of the inspired U.S. Constitution. We no longer live under territory law, (USC ar. 4.3) where Congress has unlimited power to make all rules and regulations. No, we cannot ask the executive branch of our government to give our public land back, nor can we ask legislative, nor would or could the judicial courts.
It is not ethical or moral to ask for something WE ALREADY HAVE guaranteed to us: We the People of the great state of Nevada, home that we love.
On this day, October 31, and throughout this 150th sesquicentennial year, we should remember our pilgrim fathers that left their home countries seeking freedom, liberty and agency to be able to develop a soul of love and knowledge. After 200 years on this continent they still had not sought after these attributes. England’s strong central government had ruling power, with the strongest armies on the earth. So We the People fought and we won. We the People formed the U.S. Constitution, giving the Unites States limited power, reserving the power to the states and to its people. Only 10 miles square of this continent was set aside for the U.S. government.
We should not ask, nor can we be given what WE ALREADY HAVE. Let us act like the GREAT STATE that we are!
The gun that was built at school did win the state contest.
Cliven Bundy is the last cattle rancher still standing in northeastern Clark County. He resides in Bunkerville, Nevada.
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Home, Home on the Range:
Where the Desert Tortoises Roam?
Cliven Bundy is a man on a mission. He’s been battling the federal government — specifically, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) — for more than 20 years, and he’s determined to win this David-and-Goliath battle.
Where the Desert Tortoises Roam?
Cliven Bundy is a man on a mission. He’s been battling the federal government — specifically, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) — for more than 20 years, and he’s determined to win this David-and-Goliath battle.
Bundy’s family has raised cattle on the land around Mesquite since the 1870s, and he now owns about 500 cattle roaming through the desert rangeland. He tends them, brands them, and drives them to market much like his ancestors did. It’s a hard way of life, but he’s carrying on the family tradition. Now 67, Bundy hopes to someday pass it on to his 14 children.
The only problem is that Bundy doesn’t own the land his cattle are grazing on. Like more than 85 percent of Nevada, that land is owned by the federal government and managed by the BLM, which leases grazing rights to ranchers for an annual fee. Since 1993, Bundy has refused to pay the fees, claiming that his Mormon pioneer family settled the area long before the BLM even existed. He also insists that the land belongs to the state, not to the federal government, which has no right to order him around or fine him. The government at first wanted him just to pay the fees, then cancelled his grazing rights altogether and demanded he remove his cattle from “their” land. The BLM keeps winning judgments against him in court, where he defends himself, and Bundy keeps ignoring their orders.
In July, the U.S. district court ruled that if Bundy didn’t remove his cattle by August 23rd, they could be seized by the BLM. The government also wants him to remove all his improvements, including water tanks and wells. The deadline came and went, and so far (as of press time), the cattle are still on the land and Bundy still refuses to pay the fees, which may now total more than $300,000. He has declared himself willing to do whatever it takes to defend his property, which seems to have scared off the feds.
Bundy says he has “fired” the BLM, whose so-called experts said he would be permitted to run his cattle on the range only from mid-summer through winter. As a rancher, Bundy knows that spring is the only time cattle fatten up, but the BLM was concerned that cows might step on baby tortoises when they emerge in the spring, and as everyone knows, the desert tortoise is an “endangered species”.
Range biologists demonstrated years ago that desert tortoises actually do better on land that’s being grazed by cattle and managed by ranchers. People who have lived in Southern Nevada awhile know that this business of “protecting the desert tortoise” is an example of government interference at its worst. In the 1990s, the feds insisted that tortoises were in danger of extinction. They blocked off huge areas of land from development, and charged exorbitant fees to developers, which were used to establish a Desert Tortoise Conservation Center. You may have read recently that the center was so overcrowded with tortoises that they had to euthanize many of them. They couldn’t release them into the wild because that would cause overcrowding in the native population. How can an endangered animal population be overcrowded? That’s government logic for you.
Cliven Bundy may be on the wrong side of the law according to the courts, but to my way of thinking, we need more citizens like him to stand up to the federal government instead of giving in to their insatiable power grabbing. Let the cattle graze and the cowboys ride the range, and if they occasionally step on a tortoise, that’s a small price to pay for living free.By: Lyle Brennan
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
October 2nd, 2013 | vrobison Author:
By DR. LARRY MOSES
No one asked me but… I received an e-mail from a hero of mine, Cliven Bundy. I have only met the man once; however, I have followed his extended fight with the Bureau of Land Management.
The federal agencies are upset about his grazing of a few cows on thousands of acres of land that the government claimed when Nevada became a state. The e-mail I received from him was a copy of a press release Cliven Bundy apparently has sent to a number of news outlets in Nevada. I asked and received his permission to print it in its entirety.
Cliven Bundy offers to take in all Desert Tortoises marked for senseless killing and have them brought to his ranch where he grazes his cattle on Nevada State Public Lands. He says they can range on his ranch while the Nevada State Officials establish an adoption program to place these Tortoises scheduled to be killed by the federal Tortoise caretakers.
Bundy Ranch is a perfect habitat for the Desert Tortoise, proper elevation, proper climate, proper terrain; the Tortoise’s diet is the same as the Brahma Cow’s. It is a well-established scientific fact that the Tortoise lives well on cattle droppings (cow pies) because the cow does not digest very much of the nutrients in the grass they eat which leaves much protein still for the Tortoise to live on.
“I am happy to share my forage and water rights in order to save the devastating euthanization of this innocent and interesting critter,” Bundy notes.
For thousands of years the Desert Tortoise could have wandered to the mountain areas, or they could have traveled to the lower wetlands and meadows, but they chose to live in this rough desert habitat which has been designated as “critical”.
Bundy says, “I’m not doing this because of some phony Endangered Species listing of the Tortoise, not at all; I’m doing this for the humanity of preventing the senseless killing of innocent wildlife that is the property of the State of Nevada and its Citizens. It’s very clear now that it was always about money and never the betterment of the Tortoise.”
It is well established that the Bundy Ranch has served for several generations a well-managed safe haven for wildlife due to the extensive range stewardship implemented by Bundy in his continued development of his water out here on the dry desert. All forms of wildlife have flourished along with much plant life as well. Cliven is an animal and plant lover and for his entire life on the ranch as he continues on into his late 60’s to cultivate the soil to grow the best melons around and put up the finest hay for his cattle. The Bundy Ranch has also for several generations been providing food for public consumption and one more batch of wildlife to come onto the Bundy Ranch for sustenance and salvation like that of this Desert Tortoise will be no bother at all.
This sent me to researching some of the past articles on this issue in the Las Vegas papers. The original statement by the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center, the agency established to protect the tortoise, was that they were closing due to lack of funds. They would, therefore, euthanize the tortoises in their care.
When there was a public outcry; not about their closing but about killing the animals that they were paid to protect; the conservatory explained they would only kill the sick tortoises. They indicated that they had 1,400 tortoises in their care and 700 were suffering from a respiratory virus.
In the boom days of Las Vegas, the organization extorted over a million dollars a year from local builders. However, when the depression hit Las Vegas, their yearly take dropped to $290,000 a year.
The conservatory states it has been bringing in over 1,000 tortoise a year for twenty years. Tortoises have a life expectancy of somewhere between sixty and one hundred years. Tortoises produce 5-12 eggs each year.
Now I am not much of a mathematician but that would suggest the conservatory should; unless they are releasing or killing more than a 1,000 tortoises a year; have a whole lot more than 1,400 tortoises.
This organization states, “It is illegal to touch, harm, or harass the animals and the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center has tried to increase the population since they were added to the endangered species list in 1990.” However, it was also indicated that they separate the tortoises by sexes. That sounds a whole lot like harassment to me.
I am getting really old but I do believe I remember if you separate any species by sex, you probably are not going to have any increase in that species. One might suspect these are the same people or at least the same policies that have protected the Moapa Dice to the edge of extinction.
I would suggest that we take Mr. Bundy up on on his offer. Take the 700 healthy tortoises that will need a home when the conservatory closes and release them on the hundreds of thousands of acres from which the government wants to force Mr. Bundy to remove his few hundred cattle. Let the cattle and tortoise co-exist. Then, come back in five years and see how they fare.
If the experiment fails, the tortoises will be no worse off than if they had remained in the control of the government that has been killing them on a regular basis. It would be a far better place that the test site filled with nuclear radiation where they released a bunch last year.
Those of you who have followed Cliven Bundy’s attempt to protect his cattle from federal rustlers will understand that the real endangered species here is not the tortoise but Americans like Mr. Bundy who stand against an oppressive overbearing government.
If you believe Mr. Bundy’s fight with this bunch of bureaucrats with support from a minority of influential eco-nut Reid-ites should be his alone, you might take a moment to remind yourselves that these are same effete snobs, with the support of Harry Reid, that want to remove you from the area also.
Thought of the week… A rattlesnake loose in the living room tends to end all discussion of animal rights.
– Lance Morrow
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy is skeptical about claims that range cattle are out to get the native desert tortoise. The court has agreed with him. But still every rancher in Clark County (51 to be exact) and their cattle, except Bundy, have been removed in an effort to protect the shelled creature. Or so the story goes.
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
DESERT TORTOISE – OH, GIVE ME A HOME!
(Bunkerville, NV) Oh give me a home on the range where my grandfather was not in a box, but his house was a hole in the rocks. If we are going to get these tortoises out of the sanctuary prisons and get them back to their natural habitat on Bundy Ranch, the time is right. The weather has cooled, the summer rains have brought green fresh tortoise feed. Within the next 30 days all the tortoises should be moved. Bundy said, “I have offered to share my ranch with the imprisoned tortoise. I do not want them to be euthanized. I decided to visit the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center (DTCC) to see the 1400 imprisoned tortoises so I could determine how big of a trailer it would take to transfer the tortoise to my ranch. I found Rainbow Blvd. traveled south, which always seems west to this old cowboy when he’s in Las Vegas. I came to the end of the street, made a three-mile detour around a large new subdivision, back to Rainbow Blvd. There I see a heavy steel gate with a badly maintained trail for a road behind it, gate locked and a sign that reads, open two days a week before 12:00 noon. My trip was in vain. I climbed up a bank of dirt to a high vantage point. I could see buildings and fencing. There it is, a tortoise prison. Urban development had sprawled across the Las Vegas valley desert floor, up the slope toward California, new houses almost outreach the tortoise sanctuary.
There was a little breeze in the air. I thought I could hear a whispering sound! Oh, give me a home on the range. Oh, oh, give me a home on the range. I do not want to live in a box any more! I want to go where my grandfathers explored. This sound could be coming from the prison at Jean, Nevada, but I don’t think so. I can hear! Oh, give me a home on the range so I can roam, before the doctor comes and sticks that needle behind my ear! Or before the bulldozer comes to build new homes! My heart sinks a little as I think of what man has done to this creature.”
Bundy said his thoughts went back to how big of a truck do we need to move the tortoise? A recent Las Vegas Review Journal article said that there are 1400 tortoises. If we are in time to save the 700 that were to be euthanized, then there should be 1400 tortoises, but LVRJ also said that the sanctuary had been taking in over 1000 tortoises every year for almost 20 years. Tortoises live over 60 years so most of those tortoises should still be alive. That’s 20,000 tortoises that need to be removed and relocated to their native habitat, but what about the 20,000’s clutches? Each mature female should have laid an 8 to 12 egg clutch and if they all hatched each year there could and should be hundreds of thousands of imprisoned critters. Oh, Bundy said he knows that they try to sex them. He means separate the Hes from the shes. He means the girls from the boys. You know, the tortoise lovers keep the tortoises from loving! Now if the ravens have not flown over the tortoise fence and ate all the juveniles and the stewards that have cared for them have not euthanized them, let’s guess, maybe 100,000 are left alive. A big double-decker cattle truck has 800 sq. ft. of floor space. We will give each tortoise 1 sq. ft. of floor space in the truck. Volunteer tortoise lovers can help carry each tortoise up the ramp into the two storied 50 ft. truck. 800 tortoises per truck divided by 100,000 tortoises, equals 121 truckloads to move to the Bundy Ranch. He said the big trucks could drive across his ranch to deliver the tortoise but the roads are not maintained because the Clark County Road Department and the BLM and Park Service wants it (the land) to go back to wilderness status. We could have tortoise lovers bring ATVs with special padded baskets to transfer tortoises to tortoise habitat where in the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s, there were lots of cattle, thousands of sheep and abundance of happy tortoises which for thousands of years dug burrows in hard cleechie ledges along washes. These burrows are still waiting to be reshaped and made into their new winter home. WE HAVE A PROBLEM! Lots of roads and trails have Road Closed signs stating, Stay on Designated Road 10-years or $100,000 fine. We cannot risk a tortoise lover who is only trying to get an imprisoned tortoise to its native habitat before getting euthanized. The Good Samaritan will be arrested for getting off the trail and on the grass by a BLM or park service ranger (impersonating a county sheriff) given a ticket or transported to federal jail with a 10-years or $100,000 charge in federal court. That’s just too much risk upon the tortoise’s friends. Too much money, and too much of a hassle and worry to go through the US Federal court system.
WE NEED HELP – Nevada Governor Sandoval, Clark County Commissioners, and Sheriff Gillespie!
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
BUNKERVILLE, Nev. — Squinting into the morning light, Cliven Bundy lifted the brim of his western hat and watched his youngest son, who sat silently in the saddle of a mixed-breed horse he named Turbo.
At 15, Arden Bundy is cowboy sturdy, a trusted ranch hand on the family spread 100 miles north of Las Vegas. He wears dusty boots with bloodstains on his chaps from calf-roping escapades. He also has the cowpoke pose down cold: the knowing slouch, right thumb hooked into his oversized belt buckle.
The 67-year-old Bundy, a father of 14, said the boy reminds him of himself, his own father and grandfather — generations of Bundys who have ranched and muscled this unforgiving landscape along the Virgin River since the 1880s.
"He's a real cowboy," he said of Arden, his only child still living at the ranch. "Those bloodstains could be from the cattle, his horse or even him. I want him to run this ranch one day. He's the one I'm fighting for."
Bundy believes big government is trying to sabotage his plans to one day hand over the ranch's reins to his son, by stripping Bundy of land-use rights his family spent a century earning. He says overregulation has already driven scores of fellow ranchers out of business in sprawling Clark County, leaving him as the last man standing.
For two decades, Bundy has waged a one-man range war with federal officials over his cattle's grazing on 150 square miles of scrub desert overseen by the Bureau of Land Management. Since 1993, he's refused to pay BLM grazing fees. He claims he "fired the BLM," vowing not to give one dime to an agency that's plotting his demise. The back fees exceed $300,000, he said.
Now a showdown looms, one with a hint of possible violence.
Officials say Bundy and his son are illegally running cattle in the 500,000-acre Gold Butte area, a habitat of the protected desert tortoise. In July, U.S. District Judge Lloyd D. George ruled that if Bundy did not remove his cattle by Aug. 23, they could be seized by the BLM.
"I've got to protect my property," Bundy said as Arden steered several cattle inside an elongated pen. "If people come to monkey with what's mine, I'll call the county sheriff. If that don't work, I'll gather my friends and kids and we'll try to stop it. I abide by all state laws. But I abide by almost zero federal laws."
The face-off is the second time Bundy has challenged federal officials. In 1998, a federal judge issued a permanent injunction against the white-haired rancher, ordering his cattle off the land.
Representing himself, Bundy lost his appeal to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. A simple man in a plaid shirt and denims, he's handled his legal battle from his Nevada ranch house, arguing in mailed-off court filings that his Mormon ancestors worked the land long before the BLM was even formed, giving him rights that predate federal involvement.
Despite the court order, he refused to pull one head of cattle off BLM land. "At first I said, 'No,'" he said, "then I said, 'Hell, no.'"
His defiance led to visits by Department of Homeland Security officials and local sheriff's deputies, who interviewed Bundy's neighbors to determine any possible threat. But the BLM took little public action — until this summer.
The case is the latest flourish of the civil disobedience popularized during the 1970s Sagebrush Rebellion, a movement that sought greater local control in 12 Western states where the federal government administers 60% of the land. In Nevada, the BLM manages 87% of the state's land.
Experts say antigovernment clashes at Idaho's Ruby Ridge and Waco, Texas, are the modern chapters of an old Western story.
"It's the 18th century mind-set that the sweat off your brow determines your ability to survive, not the government," said Jeffrey Richardson, a historian at the Autry National Center in Los Angeles. "But the notion of the great pioneer has been slowly chipped away by barbed wire and government regulation."
Bending to federal will is hard for independents like Bundy, Richardson added: "If a family has worked for generations to shape the land to their needs, it's difficult. These people have long thrived in difficult territory."
Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie visited the rancher last year but has resisted enforcing federal deadlines, declining to put his deputies in danger over a herd of cattle. Gillespie called Bundy recently with the names of a few lawyers to contact. "I don't know if he's looking out for me or trying to protect his own skin," Bundy said. "But I told him he needs to defend my life, liberty and property."
Bundy's supporters include Clark County Commissioner Tom Collins, who doesn't buy the BLM's argument that it's trying to protect the desert tortoise. "The U.S. government has perpetrated a bigger fraud on people over those tortoises than Al Capone did selling swampland in Miami," he said.
Collins added that Nevada officials were studying whether to petition the federal government for local control over a wide swath of land that includes the area Bundy is fighting over.
"Cliven doesn't want to be a martyr — the guy who shot it out with the feds, Waco-style," he said. "I just hope the government isn't stupid enough to go pick a fight with him."
Bundy and Arden recently sat at the kitchen table, eating bacon and sourdough pancakes coated with heavy cream and peaches, before heading out to repair their irrigation equipment on public land. Bundy admitted his own spread runs to just 160 acres, far less than he needs to keep 500 head of cattle alive.
But he said his improvements, including 100 wells his family dug from beneath the desert scrub, have bettered the land. He says the federal plan to close off the area for the sake of the tortoises will ban not just his cattle but the general public from land with natural beauty that should be enjoyed.
He shook his head: And all over a tortoise.
Carol Bundy said her husband is not a violent man, just a person who will protect what he owns. For that matter, so is she. "I've got a shotgun," she said. "It's loaded. And I know how to use it. We're ready to do what we have to do, but we'd rather win this in the court of public opinion."
Grabbing another fistful of bacon, Arden said he wants to be part of any upcoming battle. His mother smiled. "Arden doesn't know life any other way," she said. "We've been fighting this war before he was born."
The 10th-grader said most students respect his buckaroo persona. "Others think I'm a joke," he said. "But I don't care what anyone says. This is the life I want to lead. I'm a cowboy and always will be."
He has plans for the Bundy ranch and wants to attend technical school so he can fix his own equipment. For now, he gets up at 5 a.m. to finish his chores before school, although he'd rather stay all day right there at the ranch, by his father's side.
While Bundy may be ready to hand over the ranch, Arden still knows who's boss.
Before heading out in the old pickup that Bundy has run 200,000 miles across the Nevada desert, Arden asked his dad a question.
"When we gettin' back?"
The old man sat silent.
"When we get back."
WATCH VIDEO HERE :
September 14, 20139:08 p.m.