BLM excuses for Bundy invasion: Cache as cache can

For some reason a web page the BLM had once posted listing its reasons for the confiscation of Cliven Bundy’s cattle in the Gold Butte area has been taken down, but a cache of the page is still extant.

Desert tortoise. (R-J photo)

“Cliven Bundy has no legal authority to graze cattle on federal lands in the Gold Butte area, including Lake Mead National Recreation Area. The U.S. District Court of Nevada has permanently enjoined Cliven Bundy’s trespass grazing, ordered him to remove his trespass cattle from public lands inside and outside the former Bunkerville Allotment (including from the Lake Mead NRA) before December 2013, and stated the U.S. is entitled to seize and impound any cattle that have not been removed by the judicially imposed off-date and that remain in trespass,” the page begins.

But one of the more unusual aspects of the page comes under the heading of “Examples of Restoration Funding and Viability Impacted”:

“Non-Governmental Organizations have expressed concern that the regional mitigation strategy for the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone utilizes Gold Butte as the location for offsite mitigation for impacts from solar development, and that those restoration activities are not durable with the presence of trespass cattle.”

I have no idea what any of that means in English.

The desert tortoise, which was the reason for the Bundy’s dispute with BLM 20 years ago when the agency tried to limit when and where he could graze cattle, is barely mentioned.

But in a lengthy BLM document on regional mitigation for the 6,000-acre Dry Lake Solar Zone, the agency points out that erection of thousands of acres of solar panels would mean the “loss of desert tortoise habitat and the potential loss of individual desert tortoises. The desert tortoise is listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.” So other areas need to be set aside as safe habitat for tortoises so they can be destroyed for solar panels at Dry Lake.

So, cattle bad. Solar panels good.

Harry Reid likes solar panels.

The mitigation plan notes:

“Niche modeling, completed by the National Park Service for the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, suggests, under future climate change, high-quality  desert tortoise habitat will remain in the Gold Butte ACEC while most of the adjacent desert tortoise habitat in the national recreation area will decline and disappear.”

It also says Gold Butte should be closed to mineral development, off-road vehicles and grazing.

Got to save the tortoises. Or is it the solar panel companies who contribute to Reid’s campaigns?





33 comments on “BLM excuses for Bundy invasion: Cache as cache can

  1. Steve says:

    No one can do more?

  2. Wendy Ellis says:

    But the anti fracking movement will grab the headlines. Mitigation for solar projects means “making up for” destruction of habitat, by “setting aside” alternate land areas.

  3. That would’ve been one of my guesses, Wendy.

  4. Vernon Clayson says:

    Big vehicles, dogs, stun guns, what’s next, tanks with flamethrowers, helicopters circling around the clock, loudspeakers, snipers? Was Dean Heller’s tepid announcement because he knew Harry Reid was somehow involved? AND/OR was the idea about green energy plans in this particular area a late bloomer, i.e., after the fact, to give a cause, however vacuous, for the roundup? It seems to me the rangers had no choice but to back down, they made a show of force but it was hollow, who were they going to arrest and on what charges? On that, what the hell is a “first amendment zone”, how and by what authority was it established? My guess is it had something to do with assembly but how can they do this in the middle of nowhere and not establish it in cities where demonstrations are all but routine, far more dangerous, and don’t involve cows? And, of the assemblage, were there government agents among them gathering information?

  5. Rincon says:

    So am I right that BLM had a court order telling Bundy to remove his cattle, he did not, and his cattle were therefore seized. Have I got that right? If so, then although one can argue all day about the merits of the case or lack thereof, is it not reasonable that a court order be enforced? As for the “free speech area”, government indeed appears to have gone mad (as usual).

    Bundy was a renter and, as with most renters, when the landlord says to leave, one is obligated to leave.

  6. Steve says:

    A little background seems to be in order. You see the Bundy family had rights to that land long before the BLM was envisioned. The trouble comes from voluntarily accepting the “help” of the federal government.

    Shiree Bundy Cox, daughter to Cliven Bundy explains this background:

    “My great grandpa bought the rights to the Bunkerville allotment back in 1887 around there. Then he sold them to my grandpa who then turned them over to my dad in 1972. These men bought and paid for their rights to the range and also built waters, fences and roads to assure the servival (sic) of their cattle, all with their own money, not with tax dollars.”

    “[To] to keep the cows from over grazing, came the bureau of land management. They were supposed to assist the ranchers in the management of their ranges while the ranchers paid a yearly allotment which was to be use[d] to pay the BLM wages and to help with repairs and improvements of the ranches. My dad did pay his grazing fees for years to the BLM until they were no longer using his fees to help him and to improve. Instead they began using these money’s (sic) against the ranchers.”

    This is the point of contention Clive Bundy has been fighting for 20 years. His family has a previous claim to those lands. In a few places his case was holding water (contrary to reports being aired, In fact Tom Mitchel has a few references to those cases on this site) There were a couple federal judges that ruled against the BLM in certain aspects of this situation.

    At the very least the BLM has handled this issue horribly. There was an agreement to have BLM assist (for a fee) in the managing of these lands for grazing, once the feds decided grazing was no longer acceptable they took over. Sadly the only family with a traceable previous claim to this land is being run roughshod by our magnanimous bureaucratic federal representatives.

  7. Rincon says:

    Thank you Steve. It seems that the federal government is the actual landowner. It’s a little like a landlord selling his property and kicking out the tenants because the new owner has a different use for the property. It’s within the rights of the property owner, but it can be very hard on the tenants. None of us appreciates having the rug pulled out from under us. Then there is also the question of how proper it is for the federal government to own all of that property and refuse to sell it to willing buyers.

  8. Steve says:

    I made a mistake about the other cases,,,they concern another Rancher, Wayne Hage.

    In his case the BLM has been enjoined from taking any cattle and a judgment of almost 5 million dollars continues to earn interest. This one has actually had a portion almost make it to SCOTUS. They declined to hear the case, which usually leaves the lower court ruling in force.

    You can search this site for Hage and see all the stories written by Tom. They are a different ranch but many of the same issues existed….one being a revocation of a grazing permit…seems to me Bundy made an error by refusing to pay the fees..chances are the BLM would have made the same move they did against Wayne Hage.
    The timeline sure fits.

  9. Milty says:

    “It seems that the federal government is the actual landowner.”

    Given the amount of time he’s used this land, would the principle of squatters rights (adverse possession) be applicable?

  10. Steve says:

    Milty, the Bundy’s owned the rights to that land until they let the BLM “help” them maintain it.

    This is a taking, it was only Bundy’s refusal to keep paying the BLM that gives the feds any standing. I Think if he had continued to pay the fees this would be another Wayne Hage case.

  11. Nyp says:

    Tell it to the judge

  12. Winston Smith says:

    Folks, I’m not a lawyer, just an old country programmer, but twenty years ago, when I was peripherally involved in this, Dick Carver from Nye County came down to help Bundy, because he had some experience dealing with the fedbots. This comes down to the Constitution’s equal footing clause, who “owns” the land, and the Constitutionality of the Endangered Species Act and the EPA, etc.

    When the territories in the west were made states, many of them got screwed, because the power-hungry feds decided to retain control over vast portions of the land, not “for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings”, but just because they could. The feds promised to be good stewards of the land, preserving it for our progeny, etc., etc., but over the last century and a half, they systematically attempted to restrict more and more public access to that land.

    Now, back in the early 90’s, when the feds decided to use the rubric of the desert tortoise to limit cattle raising, it may have seemed to some to be reasonable. Since Bundy was directly affected, and knew the land as well as anyone, the tortoise thing didn’t wash, and he knew it was just a matter of time before there would be more and more edicts from D.C. that would destroy his livelihood, so he opted not to pay the federal grazing fees, since they were not longer being used to help him, as they had theoretically been for decades before.

    Of course, Bundy would prove to be right about the tortoise bullshit, as we can now plainly see two decades later, but additionally, there are questions about petroleum extraction or solar power generation that are also on the table. Bottom line is, what is the actual reason the fedbots really want Bundy’s cattle to go away? Most likely no one currently in Bunkerville involved with rustling his cattle knows the truth, they’re sheep in the system, “just doing their jobs” without question. For would-be tyrants, it’s always nice to know that there is a seemingly endless supply of sheep ready, willing and able to carry out your dictates without exerting any independent thought. Certainly history, including U.S. history, confirms that.

    Now, whether judges agree or disagree with Bundy, is not the point. The point is, do our principles as Americans still stand for liberty and small government, or have we devolved into believing that whatever the government says or does is correct, and if you happen to be in the way of the latest tyrannical action, that’s your tough luck, better you than me.

    Cliven Bundy, along with all his supporters, will be portrayed as enemies of the state, with the usual marginalization and demonization, after which they may or may not be dispatched by the armed fedbots, “just doing their jobs”.

  13. Steve says:

    Actually,,,nyp is correct on this,,telling it to the judge is useless now…’s a long standing tradition of “railroading”. They tried it with Wayne Hage until he passed away and they are sitting on the judgement this day.

    Nope no need to “tell it to the judge” the Hages have been doing THAT for about 20 years and the results are they get to pay the fees and the BLM must issue and honor the grazing permit they originally revoked. The feds can sit on the 5 million dollar judgement for as long as it takes.

    The feds are trying to railroad the ranchers so crony’s can steal the land…again.

  14. Steve says:

    Well, nyp!

    Looks like cooler and wiser heads have prevailed for now. BLM will have to take another tack to steal that land.

  15. Winston, the Nevada enabling act contains both of these sections:

    Section 4, part 3: “That the people inhabiting said territory do agree and declare that they forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated public lands lying within said territory, and that the same shall be and remain at the sole and entire disposition of the United States; and that the lands belonging to citizens of the United States residing without the said state shall never be taxed higher than the land belonging to the residents thereof; and that no taxes shall be imposed by said state on lands or property therein belonging to, or which may hereafter be purchased by, the United States.”

    That gives the federal government unencumbered title, so that …

    Section 10: “That five percentum of the proceeds of the sales of all public lands lying within said state, which shall be sold by the United States subsequent to the admission of said state into the Union, after deducting all the expenses incident to the same, shall be paid to the said state for the purpose of making and improving public roads, constructing ditches or canals, to effect a general system of irrigation of the agricultural land in the state, as the legislature shall direct.”

    “were shall be sold …”

  16. Winston Smith says:

    Sounds like the fedbots might be looking to declare victory and withdraw. Good for them! Hopefully, they’ll all pick up pocket Constitutions from Bundy’s supporters on the way out…

    WiP; FiS; IiS;

  17. Steve says:

    I think this could be learning moment for conservatives.

    Large in person protest has power. This is something liberals have been doing for a century.
    Conservatives used this tactic to benefit this time. Vigil is key and the same tactic will need to happen where ever needed to keep the feds at bay.

    A good thing is it appears the political pendulum is reaching a peak and may soon begin to swing back the other way.

  18. Winston Smith says:

    Yeah, Tom, whenever I see that, the phrase, “mess of pottage” comes to mind. I guess some “equal footing” is more equal than others’.

  19. Milty says:

    I’m a northern voter, and I would love to see Rex Crouch elected. Unfortunately, Teresa Benitez Thompson seems be a well entrenched incumbent.

    My assemblyman is Skip Daly, who I would also love to see defeated and who is also pretty well entrenched.

    In the last reapportionment, I was shifted from one state senate district to another, so now instead of being represented by Don Gustavson, my senator is Debbie Smith. When she’s interviewed on the local news shows, she sounds like the the second coming of Barry Goldwater. I only wish she would vote like Goldwater more than 1% of the time.

    And my city councilman and mayor are Republicans who never saw a tax increase that they couldn’t support, plus the mayor was a member of Republicans for Reid in 2010.

    In other words, with the exception of Mark Amodei none of my elected officials represent my interests.

  20. Sounds like taxation without representation.

  21. Milty says:

    On the subject of who’s representing us, I never heard of Clark County Commissioner Tom Collins until a couple of days ago. Does he have a habit of making statements like the ones he made regarding Utahns being inbreds and needing to make funeral plans if they come to Nevada?

  22. Let’s say he has a history of rather erratic behavior, like the time he celebrated Independence Day in the backyard of his urban North Las Vegas home with whiskey and ammo.

  23. Steve says:

    I remember that story as he was out front by his driveway drunk and shooting his tree.

  24. Athos says:

    Come on, guys! Harry THE CROOK Greid needs that land so son Rory can put his Chinese company in there (collecting all that Ø green give a way money).

    It’s not all that complicated, is it?

  25. Alex says:

    Thomas, the Google cache page that you link to is now gone!

    It could be a coincidence that a Google cache page expired less than two days after you drew attention to it.

    More likely, Google went out of its way to purge this cache page.

  26. Steve says:

    It never really disappears from the net. Scribd has its own copy.

  27. Thanks, Steve, I downloaded it.

  28. Steve says:

    Don’t blame Google for the missing cache page. The process is automated and only takes about 48 hours to clear from their servers once the website owner removes the page. If the page removal results in a 404 not found error Google’s servers take it down fast, unless someone has to manually review the process.

    The culprits are most assuredly the BLM…they really wanted that bit about solar lands mitigation gone. Apparently they don’t really “get” the internet.

    Tortoises from all over southern Nevada could have been designated for that Clark County land, though that is only theory at best and would take a lot of investigation to prove. That BLM page sure lends fuel to that particular fire.

  29. Steve says:

    Found another cached page…and they make the links on it work. Clicking them will take you to any active BLM page still in existence.

    I don’t take to conspiracy theories very well. I like to use links from mainstream sources as much as possible. This is not a main stream source though the questions it raises are very good.
    Remember, when it comes to solar subsidy money in Nevada,,,all things find a trail back to Reid,,,in the form of pocket lining.
    I don’t care about the video so much as what is written on the site.

  30. ENN Energy got land in Laughlin. Dry Lake is in Northern Clark County.

  31. Steve says:

    I know,,,the idea is the Bundy area is to be used for “mitigation” purposes….in other words moving the tortoise from the solar plant location to the range.
    I know its whole cloth…trouble is Harry has history and it lends some credence to the idea.

  32. Steve says:

    And they have that BLM page cached.

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