With the confusion over Bundy, a book by Dennis McLane is suddenly very relevant-

Below is a history of grazing and the BLM the public needs to know.

When Bundy cattle trespass situation came to a head this month, there was great media interest and a mass of confusion too. Now the situation is clearing a bit. More reflective and more accurate stories and opinions are being written. However, there is still a lot of confusion and a fair amount of it is deliberate.

Americans have a vast heritage of public lands and most love it but very few know its history and more than a few of the ways it is managed.

The U.S. public lands-

The Federal Government owns almost 30 percent of the land area of the United States. This is close to 650-million acres. These public lands include National Parks and National Mounments, National Forests, National Wildlife Refuges, the BLM lands, the military lands and the Indian Reservations.  We leave discussion of the latter two aside, but the first four categories are lands that are held for all America, not a particular group, region, state, city or county.

There are federal lands in all states, but the preponderance of them are in the western U.S., west of the Missouri River. The best known to the general public are the national parks and monuments (401 units, 84.4 million acres). Most folks know the larger national forest system (55 national forests, almost 190 million acres). Then there are the national wildlife refuges (560 refuges, about 150-million acres). 

The BLM-

The agency managing the most land, however, is the lesser known U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) with 247-million acres). It is some of the lands managed by this agency to which Cliven Bundy has variously been said to own, to have rights to, or to actually be owned by the state of Nevada. These most abundant lands are entirely in the Western United States and are usually at lower elevations than the national parks or forests.

Aside from the original 13 states, the history of the public lands was at first attempts to dispose of them, overlapped later by reservation and retention of some of them, e.g., Yellowstone National Park in 1872; and finally the current period of near total retention of lands and federal management of these remaining lands.

While some of the federal lands are private lands that were purchased or gifted to the government, close to 100% of the BLM lands have been federal land since they were acquired by the United States in purchase (such as the Louisiana Purchase) and conquest (the Mexican Cession). These have never been private lands, state lands, county lands or “local lands.” Up until the Taylor Grazing Act of 1934 they were generally called the “public domain,” and they were an unmanaged commons. There were many ways to privatize them such as the railroad land grants and the well known Homestead Act (now repealed).  By the 1930s, the amount of privatization had greatly dwindled and the remaining public domain was largely an overgrazed, giant vacant lot in the West.

The Taylor Grazing Act-

The public domain was a commons. Everyone was responsible for it, meaning in practice no one was. The result was a classic tragedy of the commons.  The public domain was on its way to abolishment with coming of the “Taylor Grazing Act of 1934” sponsored by Colorado’s Edward Taylor, a rancher and congressman.  Its purpose was  to “stop injury to the public lands by preventing over-grazing and soil deterioration; to provide for orderly use, improvement and development; to stabilize the livestock industry dependent upon the Public Range and for other purposes.”

A U.S. Grazing Director was hired and with a small crew. Then 80-million acres of land was divided into grazing allotments for which a permit would now needed to graze. To get a permit, the “permittee” needed to have some “base” (private property) where the cattle, sheep, or goats could be kept part of the year. This served to eliminate the transient roaming herds of livestock whose owner had no land, but instead searched year round on the range for something for the livestock to eat. The U.S. Grazing Service came into being to administer the law, and a fee per head of livestock was installed — the grazing fee. It was not much then and it is just a token today, but it has to be paid.

The grazing permits had “terms and conditions” specifying the details of how, when and where the grazing was to be. Over time these terms have become more detailed. A grazing permit is renewed every ten years. Cliven Bundy tore up his new permit in 1992 because he said he didn’t like the new terms. The Bunkerville grazing allotment which Bundy had used was then abolished. Now he runs cattle with no permit on these government lands larger than the old Bunkerville allotment and in numbers that exceed the original terms. This is why he is trespassing on the public lands.

The origin of the BLM-

The Grazing Service lasted about a decade. In 1946 there was a big dispute between the House and the Senate over grazing fees. The result was no appropriation for the Grazing Service. So it was paralyzed. Finally, in 1946 President Truman used his executive authority to cobble together a new agency, the BLM (U.S. Bureau of Land Management) to replace the old Grazing Service. The BLM had more authority than the Service because it was the remains of the  Grazing Service added to the Department of Interior’s General Land Office, one of the oldest agencies of government. This gave the BLM jurisdiction also over public land minerals (worth far more than the grazing), over land transfers and disposals, and other matters.  The BLM finally got a rational, comprehensive, mission in 1976 with the passage of the “Federal Land Policy and Management Act” (FLPMA, flip ma). The Homestead Act and other land disposal laws were repealed by FLPMA, and the policy became to keep all the remaining public lands and manage them for “multiple uses” (many uses and users) and “sustained yield” — make sure the grass grows back, etc. Old West reactionaries hate FLMPA. They have never gotten over it.

The BLM has remained relatively obscure to the general public despite its new legal mandate. It has never been funded very well for management (except for minerals). Nonetheless, they do have law enforcement, and recently a major (and probably the only) book (564 pages) on this has been written. It is by Dennis McLane, of Boise, Idaho. “Seldom Was Heard an Encouraging Word, A History of Bureau of Land Management Law Enforcement.” Dennis McLane has a Guest Opinion in the Idaho Statesman about Bundy. “BLM prevented from doing its lawful work in Nevada standoff.”

The BLM is said to have received the federal lands “no one wanted,” but today there can be a struggle over almost every acre as they have been discovered more and more for mining, recreation, wilderness, water, wildlife, and energy as well as grazing. The idea that they should revert to being a vacant lot has been thought of as absurd except for a small minority.

We hope to write more about the history of America’s public lands because the public’s and the media’s lack of knowledge plays into the hands of political manipulators and demagogues.


About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides.

243 Responses to A Brief History of the public lands, the BLM and grazing

  1. avatar Miskit says:

    These right-wing “patriots” keep alluding to themselves as keepers of the intentions of the founding fathers, but we already know what George Washington would have done: when the Whiskey Rebellion broke out over the refusal to pay the Whiskey Tax, President Washington mounted a horse, raised an army, and set out to put down the rebellion.

    • avatar Clutch says:


      I am not a right-wing patriot and I might be a bit rusty on my history but I thought the Whiskey Tax was about the taxation practices of Congress. I don’t recall it having had anything to do with Public Land Use. An interesting question would be what would Washington have done if the protesting farmers had not all run off prior to his arrival? Most of those farmers were veterans of the War of Independence. Would Washington have mowed them all down with his 13,000 strong army? Or would he have attempted a dialogue to avoid bloodshed?

      As a side note: the Whiskey tax was repealed by Thomas Jefferson about 12 years later.

      Do you think one day our Country might look back on the BLM actions against Bundy in the same way? I only ask since you find such a similarity between the two events 😉

      • avatar Miskit says:

        Mr. Bundy and his supporters seem to be fueled by an incendiary combination of self-entitlement, the resurgence of treason and Confederate sympathizers, right-wing militias, outright bigotry, and a LDS mythology that says God gave the land to them.
        They would not be the first. I was amused by Bundy parading the Stars & Stripes on a flag pole while mounted on his horse – all the while refusing to acknowledge the existence of the United States.
        As I have pointed out to many who argue on behalf of the Confederacy by comparing it to the American Revolution: you had better make sure the thing you’re standing up for is worthy of bloodshed, and like slavery, I doubt land acquisition by squatter’s rights and not paying grazing fees of a dollar-fifty a head are up to that standard.
        Time will tell.

        • Miskit, You should understand that the federal government IS NOT the United States.

          The united States is the 50 states of the UNION that authorize and control the continuation of the federal government, not the other way around. Only then would you understand there was nothing odd about Bundy not recognizing the actions of an out-of-control government and displaying the flag of our fellow sovereign states of a Republic.

          • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

            Jeff L. Wright,

            I am not Miskit, but I have been thinking about the same thing.

            Yes it is important that no one think the federal government is the United States, but does anyone really do that? Neither is the United States the 50 states, and they do not authorize and control the continuation of the federal government. The United States is the whole ball of wax, including its 300-million or so citizens.

            Is the government out of control, or is it just controlled by the the wrong people or groups? In my estimation most of the state governments and the federal government are controlled by the top 0.1% of the top 1% in wealth — the American oligarchy. Others would disagree.

          • avatar Mark L says:

            Jeff L. Wright says,
            ” Only then would you understand there was nothing odd about Bundy not recognizing the actions of an out-of-control government and displaying the flag of our fellow sovereign states of a Republic.”

            So when does the ‘out of control government’ get reigned in to his satisfaction? Inevitably we will get a new president, and new members of congress, and the pendulum will swing in a different direction (…inevitably). Does he then ‘capitulate’ and agree to pay when the right person is in office…only to see it sway away again…or does he hold out indefinately for ‘his way’, which is to use land that he DOESN’T OWN?

        • avatar Chris says:

          Miskit, check your history, the Civil War was not about slavery…the North actually had a higher number of slaves than the South…it was about state’s rights and state sovereignty. The abolishment of slavery was just a byproduct of the war. I think this situation was a “test” from the govt to see how far this would go…if it would lead to Marshall Law.

    • avatar Emily Stubbs says:

      Breeding habits that jeopardize society by creating numerous genetic mutations (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fumarase_deficiency) within the FLDS communities (Hildale, UT & Colorado City, AZ) & the oppression of women occurring within those communities as documented by several individuals including a cable television show on TLC (http://www.tlc.com/tv-shows/escaping-the-prophet/videos/the-road-isnt-easy.htm) should cause an eyebrow of our government ot be raised with extreme concern & strife. It raises the question who is running our government or even better who may in the future? Who would they oppress?


      • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

        Emily Stubbs,

        Interesting, but how does this relate to the tortoise, the Bundy situation, etc? I have heard the polygamy on the Arizona strip is not limited to Colorado City, Hildale, etc.) that the area around Bunkerville, Scenic, and Beaverdam has some polygamists, and some or all of Bundy’s forebearers were polygamists.

  2. avatar Clutch says:

    Thanks for a great detailed synopsis.

    I wish a bit more specifics might have been included when discussing “why” Bundy did not like his new lease changes.

    “Cliven Bundy tore up his new permit in 1992 because he said he didn’t like the new terms.”

    It so happens those changes limited his head of cattle to 150 from 450 and required that he remove the cattle for a couple of months every year. Obviously, both of these changes would hit any rancher hard and prrhaps its why allthe 46 other ranchers all “drug up”.

    Here is a good description of how the “new” terms impacted ranchers:

    “On BLM lands, more than two-thirds of all grazing permits are for herds smaller than 80 head.(23) Small allotments, however, are not economically viable, at least not without federal subsidies. Data from New Mexico State University show that ranches that have fewer than 200 head are not profitable.”


    This might lead one to suspect the BLM was actually acting to remove Bundy from the land under the guise of the Desert Tortoise. Did the BLM have the “right” to remove Bundy? Yes, but those of us who live by the rule of honesty in relations might argue that only as long as the BLM could show a direct correlation such as an EIS then they would have made the decision in good faith. Much to my surprise, another thread on this forum suggested such direct studies between cattle and tortoise are lacking. One might also reasonably ask, why, if the tortoise was so negatively impacted by cattle had the population continued to thrive for over 120 years of cattle being grazed on the lands that made up the Bunkerville Allotment?

    So, even though the BLM might have had the right to change the terms of the permit, they leave the impression that their reasoning was without honesty…and that Bundy was justified in feeling he had just been run over roughshod.

    Its unfortunate Bundy did not continue the grazing permit and fight it through the courts but that would sure be expensive for a simple organic melon farmer.

    The only other part of your article I have a question about is the statement:

    “The U.S. Grazing Service came into being to administer the law, and a fee per head of livestock was installed — the grazing fee.”

    Weren’t the fees on the early permits and leases under the Taylor Grazing Act based on acreage rather than head of livestock?

    A few things are certain, the Bundy incident has provided the entire country with a crash-course in our Public Lands and how those lands are managed. Hopefully, people that side against Bundy for environmental concerns will also see that the vast tracts of public land provided to Solar Power
    Farms either directly or as part of a “mitigation plan” are even more destructive to the Desert Tortoise and birds and good hiking and camping than cattle ever were.

    Thank you.

    • avatar Mark L says:

      Clutch says,
      “Hopefully, people that side against Bundy for environmental concerns will also see that the vast tracts of public land provided to Solar Power
      Farms either directly or as part of a “mitigation plan” are even more destructive to the Desert Tortoise and birds and good hiking and camping than cattle ever were.”

      Isn’t this a pot calling the kettle black? If both do harm, why even bother pointing to the solar issue?
      Sure. The solar can’t be good for tortoises, we know that. Now, does that make Bundy’s case any less relevant? No, he is still breaking the law, he still has cattle on land, he hasn’t offered a solution other than to try to get an anti-government ‘posse’ to back him. Reducing the number of cattle on his grazing allotment makes sense, considering the circumstances…it’s also a non-controllable business expense, which we ALL have to work around. If he can’t adapt to the new business environment, he needs to understand that, and its implications. To me and most others, he sounds like a pouting kid that didn’t get his way.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        If both do harm, why even bother pointing to the solar issue?

        Because this is a big problem in its own right, and it is hypocritical of the Federal gov’t to have a ‘do as I say, not as I do’ philosophy, not only assisting these new technologies at the expense of wildlife but hiding it from the public.

        For example, wind farms don’t have to report bird deaths associated with their technology and the gov’t has helped in this by exempting them from having to comply with the ESA for 30 years. That’s 3 decades. A lot of damage can be done in that time.

        The ‘solar issue’ may be even more damaging than ranching ever was, and it needs to be publicized. These technologies along with traditional energy exploration/development change the landscape permanently, whereas grazing can be reduced or adapted so that the landscape can eventually recover.

        • avatar Mark L says:

          Ida Lupine says,
          “The ‘solar issue’ may be even more damaging than ranching ever was, and it needs to be publicized.”

          I disagree, wholeheartedly. Ranching has destroyed whole ecosystems already throughout most of the world, solar hasn’t. Not saying it’s better or worse, but it’s track record isn’t as bad (yet). Wind has already done a lot of damage to ecosystems (birds, bats, butterflies, etc.) because we have that stupid pendulum effect of our government running from fossil fuels to ‘anything that sounds better’ without forethought of effects on anything but voters (figures, huh?). Once again, it’s the corruption through politics that bites our asses, not the technology itself.
          Wind and solar are decent options, if used effeciently…so are fossil fuels…so are nukes (well, kinda).

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:


      You wrote, “I wish a bit more specifics might have been included when discussing ‘why’ Bundy did not like his new lease changes. ‘Cliven Bundy tore up his new permit in 1992 because he said he didn’t like the new terms.’ ”

      This is what Mr. Bundy has been saying now about what he was confronted with in 1992 with a new permit to sign. However, I have not seen a reproduction of the permit, and he says he tore it up. So unless the BLM retained a copy and has released it (does anyone really know — independent verification?) we have to reply on his story. Some will automatically believe him and others reject anything he says, but is there any way to tell?

    • avatar Ken Cole says:

      The American taxpayer should not have to pay Bundy not to graze on public lands. It is not our responsibility to ensure the profitability of public lands grazing, especially when it is causing damage to our collective natural resources and imperiled species.

    • avatar spud says:

      Clutch reports that Bundy is grazing outside the parameters of the BLM proposed permit because BLM would have reduced the number of permitted cattle to too small a number. Given that BLM has been trying (reluctantly and only when forced by the courts) to limit cattle numbers to the numbers that the land can support on a sustainable business, the only logical conclusion is that Bundy is consciously destroying America’s common heritage for his personal profit.

      • avatar Clutch says:


        I did not claim as much, you are drawing conclusions from what I did say and suggesting they are my conclusions. I simply presented a research study performed by the univ of NM that indicated economies-of-scale must be 200 AUM’s or greater to be profitable to the small rancher.

        BLM is not limiting cattle numbers “reluctantly” or only by court order. They initiated the new restrictions in 1992 and to this date, no one has been able to provide the scientific data that they based their actions on or that indicates how many head of cattle can co-exist with the Desert Tortoise on the forage and topography found in that region. No one has been able to provide an EIS for the region encompassing the Bunkerville Allotment. As for “a sustainable basis”, one might consider that Bundy had been running cattle in that area for several years and, yet, we cannot say with any conclusive evidence how this has effected the Tortoise population on the Allotment, either negatively or positively. To the best of my 40+ hours of research, I have even found information that indicates tortoise actually thrive in areas where there are cattle due to additional water sources exploited for the cattle. Bundy has 11 such sources that will be removed in the next few years, as his vested water rights expire 5 years after non-use. I have approached this research first in an attempt to disprove Bundys claims to legitimacy–if I could find studies that supported the BLM actions to limit Bundys AUM’s then I would post them as I have every other relevant data I find.

        Since your premise is faulty then you cannot draw “the only logical conclusion”–you can simply draw one of several conclusions, you happen to pick one that suits your position.

        Rebuttal with documentation please.

        • avatar Jay says:

          “To the best of my 40+ hours of research, I have even found information that indicates tortoise actually thrive in areas where there are cattle due to additional water sources exploited for the cattle.”

          That’s a spurious correlation–it may very well be that there would actually be MORE tortoises near these water sources if there were no cattle present, and that cattle presence is limiting tortoise populations near existing water sources.

          • avatar Rick Caird says:

            Please read before you comment.

            “I have even found information that indicates tortoise actually thrive in areas where there are cattle due to additional water sources exploited for the cattle. Bundy has 11 such sources …”

            Clutch clearly points out there is more water than there would be without the cattle. Your comment is spurious.

            • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

              Rick Caird and Clutch,

              Water developments for cattle on public lands might sound beneficial to wildlife also, but the reality of these encasements, troughs, tanks, and pipelines does not benefit wildlife. Instead they often turn a spring, or an area of small springs or seeps, already full of wildlife, into a churn of manure-mud — disgusting ponds that are surrounded solely by cattle.

              • avatar Jay says:

                Ralph, you might add that these troughs–unless equipped with ramps inside of them–often turn into drowning tanks for birds and small mammals that get into them and can’t get out.

                • avatar Ralph Maughan says:


                  I certainly agree. When my wife was a range monitor for WWP, she discovered a large BLM grazing allotment south of Pocatello where this was a tremendous problem. She had a number of photos of them where the birds had turned into decomposed scum and feathers floating on top of the stock tank.

            • avatar Jay says:

              The cattle MAKE water? These water sources are typically springs, so the water is there regardless. Your comment is spurious.

            • Sounds like more snake oil medicine myth, compliments of the Allen Savory groupies. “and lo, cattle brought the water forth…amen.”

        • avatar Nancy says:

          “I have even found information that indicates tortoise actually thrive in areas where there are cattle due to additional water sources exploited for the cattle”

          Please post it Clutch. I’m more inclined to believe that tortoises rely on plants for most of their moisture intake. Plants that are either being consumed by cattle or trampled by cattle.

        • avatar Nancy Kurinec (Storm) says:

          The BLMs biggest problem is they can not track domestic livestock on public lands .. when range land assessments were done in 2010 by PEER, “A key task was choosing the “change agents” (such as fire or invasive species) which would be studied. Yet when the scientific teams were assembled at an August 2010 workshop, BLM managers informed them that grazing would not be studied due to anxiety from “stakeholders,” fear of litigation and, most perplexing of all, lack of available data on grazing impacts.”

          link to an article which has links to the PEER complaint, BLM response, PEER letter to DR. Kimball, line by line rebuttal, and damage caused by domestic livestock


    • avatar Maggie Frazier says:

      I read where Mr. Bundy DID go thru the courts and LOST both times. Then it seems he just went ahead & did what he wanted to! At least it certainly appears that way.

      • avatar Clutch says:


        You are absolutely correct. That is exactly what happened. The BLM took Bundy to court atleast twice and Bundy lost each time and his defense was thoroughly shot down by the courts. Bundy then chose to ignore the court orders this entire time, even after making promises that he would remove his cattle.

        The BLM even offered to round up Bundy’s cattle, transport them to an auction facility of Bundy’s choosing and hand him the earnings. Bundy refused this offer.

    • avatar sandra Perez says:

      The BLM allotments were never supposed to be “the ranch”. That is why they need a base ranch. BLM is tasked with determining the numbers that can be grazed. If Bundy did not like the terms of the lease, go lease some other land or buy some other land. He could have kept his allotmeny and grazed 150 cattle but he chose not to. Bundy does not have the right to overgraze the land and the BLM not only has the right but the responsibility to manage the range. Now Bundy is grazing more than twice as many cattle as his original numbers and has expanded his grazing area outside of his original allotment to include vast swaths of new public land that he is trespassing on.

      • avatar Rick Caird says:

        Remember, the allotment was changed to 150 cattle in 1992. The claim is that a ranch could not be profitable with so few cattle. It was clearly an attempt to force him to shut down.

    • avatar LM says:

      Good link, especially the “De-centralization of PL’s” section. We’re any of those ideas implemented ? Colorado has Resource Advisory Committees (RAC) which are made up of stakeholder representatives but they seem only to function as a gratuitous gesture to the Public Process because they are only “advising” BLM. Also, I don’t see how size any livestock operation could be profitable without the subsidies for grazing and other AG subsidies.

    • avatar johninnv says:

      The desert tortoise population in the Gold Butte region diminished by over 90% since the 1950’s – the same time when Bundy started cattle ranching there (if what he does can even be called “ranching”)

  3. avatar Clutch says:


    I wish to edit my final sentence to read:

    “Hopefully, people that side against Bundy for environmental concerns will also see that the vast tracts of public land provided to Solar Power
    Facilities are even more destructive to the Desert Tortoise and birds and good hiking and camping than cattle ever were.”


    • avatar Jay says:

      “…the vast tracts of public land provided to Solar Power
      Facilities are even more destructive to the Desert Tortoise and birds and good hiking and camping than cattle ever were.”

      That’s a pretty black-and-white statement–do you have any data or sources to support your opinion that solar power facilities exceed in both breadth and depth the destructiveness of unchecked livestock presence?

  4. avatar Scotus says:

    Thank you! Another very informative article, rich with information to aid me arguing with my fellow conservatives about federal lands. I don’t understand why those who normally are those ones arguing in favor of law and order are suddenly on the opposite side, supporting armed resistance against the United States. The debate continues; however, I win most of them, thanks in large part to this blog. Now, they are telling me that the governor of Texas is getting the people worked up about the BLM wanting to “land grab.” Could conservative politicians now be using the BLM as a straw man to gain support and win elections?

    • avatar Miskit says:

      In reference to your question: “I don’t understand why those who normally are arguing in favor of law and order are suddenly on the opposite side, supporting armed resistance against the United States,” I suspect that like other stout “law and order” types down through history (the Confederacy, Texas, J.Edgar Hoover, Nixon, Cheney…) they are for whatever works out better for them.

    • avatar Chris Harbin says:

      I guess the Governor of Texas can do whatever he wants but as far as I know there are few if any BLM holdings in Texas.

  5. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    Thank you, I’ll look forward to reading this as well – I love the title ‘Seldom Was Heard and Encouraging Word’, I am sure. 🙂

  6. avatar WM says:


    Nicely done. Too bad the folks at Fox News, or even the local CBS affiliate in Las Vegas don’t understand and wish to tell their viewers the history of BLM lands and how they are SUPPOSED to be managed, by whom and why.

    If I have a constructive criticism it is that the title of the piece and the content (history of BLM) just bare touch on the topic of law enforcement except through the passing reference to Dennis McLane’s book.

    What does law enforcement really mean to BLM?
    Passing needful rules and regulations and ENFORCING THEM, consistent with authority granted under past laws, and their organic law (FLPMA), conducting processes for significant environmentalfederal decisions they make (NEPA), and also conducting business in a way to protect species on BLM lands under the ESA, and to protect water quality (Clean Water Act) and air quality (Clean Air Act – and specifically fugitive dust), and other laws necessary to protect the land they manage (which can include designated Wilderness or National Monuments?

    Administering the grazing permit program, collecting fees, and making sure permittees meet their terms and conditions to which they agreed, including those that might be established with the Congressional objectives identified in above-named laws in mind?

    And then, there are the competing laws which they administer like oil and gas leasing and mineral extraction, all the while keeping in mind the concepts of multiple use and sustained yield (same goals as the USFS attempts to achieve in similar lands it administers).

    And, just how many BLM employees are in the “law enforcement business?” And, of that entire number, over all those millions of acres of land there are maybe 300-350 (one source said maybe as few as 150) who may actually carry a gun (if my recollection is correct from review of a past year budget report). And, I don’t even think those guys/gals are called upon to enforce grazing permits, except to rarely “remove” an obstreperous and hostile trespasser whose livestock have over-stayed their welcome. Most the time they are just writing up abusive ATV riders, and bad campers, or chasing down vandals, and participating in the occasional marijuana bust or illegal alien apprehension on BLM lands.

    I look forward to reading McLane’s book, if I can find a copy.

    • avatar CodyCoyote says:

      During the C. Bundy Dingaling Brothers Barn ’em and Bunk ’em Circus last week, I heard an interesting historical footnote about how Nevada came to have so much federal land when it was admitted to the Union in 1864.

      It was during the Civil War. The Lincoln administration saw to it that the federal government got unfettered access to Nevada’s silver mines, to help finance the War. Silver was the more ubiquitous coin of the realm. It’s why there was a US Mint in Carson City. The new State of Nevada became a federal cash cow for the Union. Sorry , Confederates.

      Nevada is what— 80 some percent federal land?

  7. avatar Yvette says:

    What a great summary on our public lands. This should be required reading for all Americans.

    The only part that pricked me like a pin is the reference to Garrett Hardin’s Tragedy of the Commons. I realize that document has been anthologized over 100 times, and is often used as a reference, but I have never been sold on on the tenets he is trying to sell. I abhor that manifesto, and cannot get it out of head that ‘the commons’ worked and worked very well in many cultures around the world. It was not until capital and private interests over a resource was globalized, almost always by colonizers, that the ‘commons’ were ruined.

    Clutch, you make excellent points about trust and ulterior motives with the BLM. I don’t haven’t studied the history or know the issues well enough to comment much, but the BLM appears to have a history of mismanagement and biased treatment of some groups of public land users. Of course, it also appears the BLM is not provided the funds and the support to do the job they have been directed to do. It is certainly unfortunate what happened to Mary and Carrie Dann, and to Raymond Yowell. I also believe that has less to do with the BLM than it does with the illicit and illegal land grab of Indian lands by the United States government. The BLM seems to be dammed if they do, and dammed if they don’t.

    Regardless, this summary of the history of public lands is something that should be read by all Americans.

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:


      I was never sold on Hardin’s solution as the sole solution, either. However, tragedies of a commons happen frequently and the destructive logic of the situation applies to many more things than land that is a commons. I told my introductory political science class that the two fact based justifications for having a government were to prevent tragedies of the commons and to see that public goods are produced. I had a good hour lecture on that.

  8. avatar WM says:

    I am still inclined to believe if the presiding judge had just had a few US Marshals involved, and some signs/brochures up explaining what was happening, including copies of the court Order, this would have taken on a different tone. Bundy would indeed be portrayed the bad guy he is. These old guys out West understand the Marshal thing (you know from watching re-runs of Gunsmoke), and the cows would be rounded up/gone. Maybe they would not be sold in UT as planned, but off of the range anyway.

    • avatar Clutch says:


      No doubt the BLM screwed the pooch when the finally took action against Bundy in enforcing the court order.

      Its hard to imagine how the BLM could have allowed a bigger mess to occur–unless, ofcourse, they chose to continue the stand-off the delusion-filled militia.

      But you might want to check on the presence of US Marshals since its my understanding that the local Marshal wanted nothing to do with enforcing the Federal Court Order and only appeared later to broker a peace treaty and also to get protesters from blocking I-15.

    • avatar Clutch says:

      Darn, belay my last. I was confusing Marshal for Sheriff.
      My apology to Marshall Matt Dillon and his Deputy Festus.

      Marshals are federally appointed and Sheriffs are elected officials. Although a US Marshall can work as a Sheriff, a Sheriff cannot work in the capacity of a US Marshall.

      I think your suggestion of having US Marshals present would have made a positive difference.
      I do wonder why the BLM chose to round up Bundy branded cattle. They could have rounded up the 500 head of cattle lacking brand and eartag under the premise they were equally destructive to the range and since they were not officially Bundy livestock, it would have removed some of the hostility that the Feds were harming Bundy.

      Not to say the BLM was not 100% within their right to remove Bundy cattle.

  9. avatar JB says:

    I think Mr. Bundy’s status as a status as a right wing hero is coming to an abrupt end with the overtly racist comments he made (quoted in yesterday’s NYT piece). The politicians are already rushing to distance themselves from Bundy; it ought to be amusing to see how the wingnuts at Fox spin this.

    Bundy’s quote: “I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro,” he said. Mr. Bundy recalled driving past a public-housing project in North Las Vegas, “and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids — and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch — they didn’t have nothing to do. They didn’t have nothing for their kids to do. They didn’t have nothing for their young girls to do.

    “And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do?” he asked. “They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”


    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:


      Oh My !!

      Nevada’s senator Dean Heller (R) who called Bundy “a patriot” just jumped off the Bundy bandwagon.


    • avatar Scotus says:

      JB, I just now read his disgusting comments. I hope my conservative friends are now ashamed for having supported this man.

      • avatar JB says:


        I hope so too. This guy is nobody’s hero. He’s simply a freeloader.

        • Well put,JB. This is Public Lands Welfare Rancher, mooching off the taxpayers for decades, while destroying untold numbers of native wild animals & their ecosystems. He is just another good ol’ boy red-neck who clearly has ties with other “sage brush” fanatics. His racist remarks are out there now, and it will be difficult for his limited brain power to find a way out of it. He is but one glaring example of lawless, gun-toting rural fanatics, who have been free-loading off the very government they purports to be against. Every Public Lands Welfare Rancher should be booted off National Forests, wilderness areas, BLM and state lands. These lands do not “belong” to these thieves. These lands belong to the native wildlife who were there long before these outlaws.

          • avatar Jake Jenson says:

            So apparently you’re including the federal land lord allowing the thieves the usage of the National forest wilderness and BLM and state lands in the thieves and outlaw category since they’re the ring leaders huh? Outlaw thieving federal government ring leaders are operating an illegal unlawful lands use lease operation. Fascinating. LMAO.

    • avatar JB says:

      Oh my, Indeed! It seems additional facts have come out addressing Mr. Bundy’s claims that directly refute his arguments:

      Bundy: “I’ve lived my lifetime here. My forefathers have been up and down the Virgin Valley here ever since 1877. All these rights that I claim, have been created through pre-emptive rights and beneficial use of the forage and the water and the access and range improvements,” Bundy said.

      [However] Clark County property records show Cliven Bundy’s parents bought the 160 acre ranch in 1948 from Raoul and Ruth Leavitt.

      Water rights were transferred too, but only to the ranch, not the federally managed land surrounding it. Court records show Bundy family cattle didn’t start grazing on that land until 1954.”


      • avatar JB says:

        Not to put to fine a point on it, but for folks who don’t realize the significance of this– Bundy’s family didn’t start grazing cattle on public lands until 20 years after the passage of the Taylor Grazing Act.

    • avatar Ida Lupines says:

      Well obviously he’s way off on that, because slavery did separate families.

      But playing the race card in desperation (we know there’s a lot on the line) isn’t fair – myself for example, I am only interested in this issue for the public lands/environmental/wildlife significance. His personal leanings or beliefs, if he is not in a position of authority, are of no importance to me.

      • avatar JB says:

        Ida: did you read the post directly above? He Court records indicate he’s flat out lying. Good grief.

        • avatar Jay says:

          It’s like a weird case of Stockholm Syndrome.

          • avatar Ida Lupines says:

            Why would he lie when it could be so easily proven false? There’s more to this story, and I’m just waiting to find out what that ‘more’ is.

            • avatar Miskit says:

              Because he’s an idiot.

            • The reality is that they lie. They don’t care. They have been used to bullying there way around the laws that most people obey. They have a history of outlaw behavior, from the late 1800’s. Think of the destruction they have wrought upon the environment and the wildlife. Many of these “generations of ranchers” came from the post-civil war South, long used to bullying and forcing their brutality on southern plantations, and later, on western lands. There is a direct correlation here with these good o’ boys’ racist and prejudiced attitudes towards people of color, and also certain wild animals they saw as “competition” to their destructive grazing practices.

      • avatar Jay says:

        You don’t care that he’s a racist, and a criminal to boot? Baffling.

      • avatar Scotus says:

        Ida, it is significant when the newly crowned, freeloading, lawbreaking folk hero of many on the right is also a blatant racist. If it causes some to pause before their reactionary support of anyone who claims to have something against the government, then bringing this to light is relevant to the case.

        • avatar Ida Lupines says:

          It isn’t. It’s a last ditch effort by some to cloud the issue. Sure he’s wrong, if that is what he actually said/meant. But we know the media on both sides are quite adept at discrediting their opponents. The issue at hand is whether or not this man has a claim to this land, and whether the BLM overstepped its authority by coming out with guns blazing.

          • avatar JB says:

            Interesting position, Ida. So you’re willing to discount the actual facts that have surfaced while waiting on evidence that supports your view. Something is clouded here, but I don’t think it is “the issue”.

            • avatar Ida Lupines says:

              Well, I’m just interested in why it took 20 years to resolve, and in a confrontation at that, if the government was on solid footing? Someone must have given it the old wink, wink, look the other way.

              • avatar Yvette says:


                April 1995: The fight between the Bureau of Land Management and the ranchers who want to use the federal land without fees or oversight is growing more tense, according to a story published in USA Today.
                Thursday evening, a small bomb went off in the U.S. Forest Service office in Carson City, Nev.
                Though no one has taken responsibility — and no one was injured — it has sent chills through government agencies involved in Western land management.
                “If it was sent as a message,” says Forest Service spokeswoman Erin O’Connor, “we got it.”
                Ultimately the issue will be settled by the courts, but ranchers who say they can’t afford to raise livestock without greater access to public land are taking matters into their own hands — setting up what some officials fear is an inevitable and dangerous confrontation.
                The situation is becoming so tense that federal workers now travel mostly in pairs and are in constant radio contact with district offices.
                “I’m concerned about the safety of my employees,” says Jim Nelson, Forest Service district manager for Nevada. “They can’t go to church in these communities without having someone say something. Their kids are harassed in school. Stores and restaurants are not serving them.”
                Nelson, who oversees 7 million acres in Nevada, says his agency is just doing its job, which is to ensure that land remains healthy and viable for ranchers and any others who wish to use it.
                That goal, he says, is hindered by unattended, free-ranging cows that degrade the state’s precious springs and stream banks.
                The battle is being called Sagebrush II, a sequel to a 1970s movement that sought a state takeover of federal public lands. Today, many ranchers, miners and loggers argue the federal government never had a legitimate claim to the land.

                February 2013: After endless complaints from ranchers and hunters, Nevada Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval demands the resignation of Kenneth Mayer, director of the Nevada Department of Wildlife. One of Mayer’s biggest projects was deciding whether to add another Nevada animal to the endangered species list, the sage grouse. He had mapped the best places to mark as protected sage grouse habitats in the state, and the best places to encourage environmentally safe economic development.
                Ranchers thought his conservation efforts were misplaced. The president of Hunters Alert told the New York Times, “What did Ken Mayer do? Nothing. Just habitat, habitat, habitat, which is a terrible thing for a person in his position to do. You get instant results when you poison a raven or shoot a coyote.” Hunters also prefer predator killing because of its effects on the deer population. Scientists counter that ecosystem preservation is a far better way to stop extinction than predator management. Gerald Lent, a former chairman of the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners called these findings, backed up by extensive research, “voodoo science.”
                Cliff Gardner reappeared during this fight, writing frequent letters to the editor to the Elko Daily Free Press about Mayer’s eventual replacement. “I’m sure most of the people being considered for his job graduated from a college. These people are the cause of the destruction of wildlife.”

                Ida, I’m fairly confident you don’t agree with the tactics of Bundy and his supporters.

          • avatar Jay says:

            OMG!! Guns blazing? Are you flippin’ serious? Bundy threatened BLM with bodily harm, and they show up prepared for that, and yet not a shot fired, and you say “guns blazing”? There’s some fine hyperbole for ya…

            • avatar Ida Lupines says:

              Ok, enough.

            • avatar Ida Lupines says:

              Not a shot? They shot his cattle and buried them, destroyed his property. Is that behavior befitting of a government agency? I don’t think so. Especially since it all could have been handled years ago, nonviolently. Then there’s always that political cronyism aspect of Harry Reid’s, which if the conservatives were doing the Democrats would be all over like stink on shit.

              I don’t have a lot of respect for politicians on either side, so I’m not surprised that they back away from political hot potatoes if it doesn’t benefit them.

              • avatar Jay says:

                So you were referring to the BLM putting down an aggressive bull, and not gunfire between the militia and BLM in your “guns blazing” statement? I have my doubts, but OK.

                How do you know it could have been handled non-violently years ago? You think Bundy was somehow less adament and prepared to be violent years ago? Maybe, maybe not, but unless you’re omniscient, then that’s pure conjecture.

              • avatar WM says:


                If I recall correctly, the couple of cattle of Bundy’s that were shot, were bulls with horns, and potentially a threat to the wranglers and their horses. Bulls with horns are dangerous, and can gore a horse (or rider) in a heartbeat. So, you want a horse or rider gored, do ya?

                So, if you were trying to round up these cattle EXACTLY what would you do with perceived dangerous animals, putting federal employees and their contractors at risk of physical injury, that aren’t supposed to be on federal land in the first place?

                Easy to say what you wouldn’t do, but how about what you need or should do in order to timely complete your job? And, don’t you think Bundy abandoned his property when they weren’t removed as requested. I actually think there are actually federal rules on abandonment/or removal of property from federal land. And then, the federal government can claim it as belonging to the government if it so chooses (but in this case they apparently chose not to claim the property so they could cover the removal costs from Bundy). I am also guessing it was part of “the removal plan,” too, with supervisors approving the bull shoot.

              • avatar Yvette says:

                Ida, the could’ve, would’ve, should’ve don’t count for anything other than complaining. Of course the BLM should have removed his cattle decades ago, but we can’t unring that bell. We must deal with the present situation.

                Granted, the BLM is despised by many groups of people, and for different reasons. From what little I know the wildhorse and burro round-ups, I don’t like the what has happened, but I refuse to allow that to taint my perception of what needs to be done with this situation. It is a different issue. Correct the problem with Bundy’s trepass cattle and his debt to the federal government. Remove the cattle, make him pay what he owes, and prosecute him for whatever charges can be brought against him.

                The solar and wind issues completely different problems that will need to be resolved to decrease risk to wildlife. That problem will have to be dealt with, but the WHB issues, and the alternative energy issues are separate problems/issues than Bundy’s decades old defiance, insolence and lawbreaking.

              • avatar Ida Lupines says:

                No, I think he did what most do, maybe contributed a nice sum of cash to his favorite politician(s), and that’s why they’ve looked the other way about his illegal grazing for so long. The BLM is the last in the chain of command, so I do think they are caught between a rock and a hard place – but I do not approve of their methods. I think that should be looked into also.

                I don’t see the solar issue as being separate, because you know that there is going to be some questionable activity there too – it’s already starting to come out.

                As far as Mr. Bundy’s personal beliefs, I should have said it is ‘immaterial’ to the issues at hand. Sometimes I need an edit button.

              • avatar Louise Kane says:

                The other point to make about the cattle is maybe a quid shot was kinder than a long dusty trip to a slaughter house. I’m betting the cattle were not going to a rescue center.

            • avatar Mark L says:

              dunno….technically, maybe it was a ‘tazer gun’?

              Anyway, to me sounds like Bundy is like a spoiled kid and the BLM has acted like super-permissive parents as far as the land goes. What did we expect? They both set themselves up for failure.

          • Sorry, but you have it wrong, Ida. Come on now, quit making excuses for these outlaws, who were loaded with guns and ammunition. These were the gun-toting fanatics who were the danger. Any civilized society has rules, which most civilized people abide by. These are not such folk. Several years ago, a nephew and I drove to Nucla, Colo. to peacefully protest a prairie dog slaughter. We were unarmed. We were set upon and threatened by some 300 white, angry, gun-carrying ranchers. We were told we were were “N” and “fag” lovers, trying to physically fight with my nephew. We were followed by young, armed cowboys for twenty some miles on a lonely road. This is the stark reality of many of these right-wing, fanatical regions. They kill animals whenever they wish, and they can just as easily switch to nice, naive, ivory tower liberal-thinking folk, make no mistake.

        • avatar Clutch says:

          Your misinterpretation of the highly edited NYTimes Bundy statement is in no way relevant to the case. Do you have any shred of evidence to support your hypothesis it is somehow relevant to the case of Bundy trespassing cattle on public land he no longer holds permit to?

          It is simply a further smear effort to manipulate people who think with their emotions instead of their brains.

          And in that, red team and blue team are identical–emotion driven.

          • avatar Dr. Mark Bear says:

            Well, that settles it then. Just because we as citizens have the entire tape for our viewing pleasure, and just because Mr. Bundy throws in a few jabs at how he “wonders” whether Black people were better off in slavery than the supposed “current slavery they are in,” and how he muses that certain “black people never learned how to pick cotton,” I imagine this makes everything a-okay, huh?

            Let me be clear: I have absolutely NO clue what it is like to be Black, especially since I am a White male. However, I just have to believe that anytime someone compares Blacks receiving assistance from the government to slavery, only to wonder whether those same Blacks were better off in slavery, you know, “since they had their gardens, and chickens,” I just have to believe with all my being how hurtful and painful it must be to read, hear, or see!

            Emotions be dam$ed here! Why? Because it has absolutely NOTHING to do with emotions and everything to do with just how skewed Mr. Bundy views the world. Never mind the fact that he himself is a welfare recipient of sorts, as he has allowed his cattle to graze on federally owned property for over 20 years now! Never mind that more Whites than Blacks receive federal assistance! Never mind, that Mr. Bundy acts as though he is a professor of sorts on African-American studies, as he stands there and muses away! Nope! Facts be dam#ed, huh?

    • avatar WM says:

      Now some of this is making more (silly) sense. I don’t know if many picked up on an earlier post of mine on another thread regarding Court rulings against Bundy. But, this may be important. The Judge who issued the first Court Order back in 1998 is a Black female. This Judge is now a Justice on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

      So, maybe there is another explanation here about why now officially disclosed racist Bundy does not recognize the federal government, at least the judiciary anyway.

      This gets richer by the day!

    • avatar Yvette says:

      Well, thank goodness he isn’t clever enough to know when to zip his lips. Bundy must have plenty of shovels because he keeps digging himself into a deeper hole.

      Grab your popcorn and sit back, and watch the show. It should be an interesting election year.

      “because they never learned to pick cotten”….smh! Seriously! He referenced African Americans living in Las Vegas and thinks they need to learn how to ‘pick cotten’.

      • avatar Jay says:

        The media made him say that, as some here would lead you to believe.

          • avatar JB says:

            He just digs deeper:

            “I’m wondering if they’re better off under a government subsidy and their young women are having the abortions and their young men are in jail and their older women and children are sitting out on the cement porch without nothing to do.
            I’m wondering: Are they happier now under this government subsidy system than they were when they were when they were slaves and they was able to their family structure together and the chickens and the garden and the people have something to do?

            So in my mind, are they better off being slaves in that sense or better off being slaves to the United States government in the sense of the subsidy? I’m wondering. The statement was right. I am wondering.”

            • avatar Yvette says:

              Are we to assume Bundy isn’t aware that many slave children were taken from their mothers and sold on the open market? That is not keeping the family structure together. This man is loco, and unfortunately, I fear there are many more like him.

              As my mom has always told me, “give it time, the truth will always be revealed”.

              • avatar Clutch says:


                Your mom is surely right, “given time the truth will always be revealed”–sometimes, though, the truth might not lead where you think it will. 😉


            • avatar SAP says:

              Astonishingly awful. One doesn’t even know where to begin . . . I almost pity him, if he weren’t such an entitled, self-satisfied hypocritical lawbreaker.

              Watch, though: his supporters will claim NYT fabricated the whole thing. Or, they’ll agree with Bundy’s assertion that somehow, by reporting his own words, that NYT spun it into “a racist-type thing.”

              Hey, numbskull: assuming that you you know that black people as a rule are on the dole, getting abortions, and just laying around is racist. Musing that they would all be better of without fundamental human rights, bought and sold like farm machinery, is something even worse.

              By the way, is 67 (or 68, I’ve seen both reported) year old Cliven Bundy drawing Social Security? Is he enrolled in Medicare? Just curious.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      wow I’m just seeing this. He is one mess of a man. One interesting and noteworthy thing. I remember a time when saying derogatory things about gays, blacks or other non caucasian people, and women was not met with such fierce condemnation. Thankfully even conservatives are jumping ship when they read or hear someone spewing this kind of trash. Even if some still feel hate and bias in their hearts, those sentiments are no longer publicly or socially acceptable. Some forward momentum and progress. This kind of jumping ship is what I hope for someday when people are exposed as predator or wildlife haters, abusers and killers. A giant collective shun, if not jail time.

  10. avatar JB says:

    Another interesting angle on this story:

    When a bunch of people showed up to protest the government’s pro-corporate policies in Zuccotti park, they were eventually maced and arrested. And the conservatives applauded. Get those hippies outta there, they chanted. Yet Mr. Bundy and his cattle have been occupying public lands for 20 years, degrading resources that belong to us all. And when the government shows up to remove him, they cry, ‘foul!’ and arrive with semi-automatic weapons to support their hero. Ah the sweet smell of hypocrisy.

    • avatar JB says:

      Well, it seems John Stewart beat me to the punch. This is great comedy (a bit of a spat about Bundy between Stewart and Sean Hannity). Can’t wait to see Stewart run with this in light of today’s developments.


      • avatar Clutch says:


        You give me the impression you are a believer in two sides and only two sides–us vs them.

        Funny thing but I love the Daily Show, thought the skit was great, Hannity turns my stomach, but I have sympathy for Bundy.

        Not because he has any right to the Bunkerville Allotment but because there is enough circumstantial evidence to suggest the BLM was not honest in their agenda against the ranchers in that area. And I am sympathetic to him now because the NYTimes edited the living heck out of his commentary in order to manipulate an audience.)

        Darn, what side are you going to stick me on in your simple 2-dimensional world?

        • avatar Jake Jenson says:


        • avatar WM says:


          ++…there is enough circumstantial evidence to suggest the BLM was not honest in their agenda against the ranchers in that area.++

          Precisely and specifically to what “circumstantial evidence” do you refer?

          And, what are your thoughts about the way Fox News, or local CBS affiliate, channel 8 KLAS has handled the Bundy standoff coverage?

          • avatar Clutch says:

            I can’t really offer you much commentary on FOX news except to say their entire purpose has always been to discredit the democrats and they will seize on most any opportunity to that end. It seems like they saw a great opportunity to be a burr in the side of Harry Reid when this Bundy affair came to light and so they used it while they could. (I personally cannot stand Reid for the same reason I dislike Hannity–they are vindictive, manipulate & mean-spirited)

            I preferred coverage by KRNV-News 4 in Reno for my local news and chose this over CNN and others at every opportunity.

        • avatar JB says:


          Actually, I consider myself a moderate on most issues, and if you stick around this site, you will find I often come down in the middle of arguments. But I have my limits, and this incident certainly finds them. (BTW: The NYTs may have ‘edited the heck’ out of his comments, but remarks in his own defense are just as damning.

          So let’s set that aside and have this thing out on facts, shall we:

          Fact: The lands in question were transfered first from Mexico to the US govt. following the Mexican American War; Nevada gave up its right to these lands when admitted to the Union (in 1864)–more than a decade before Bundy claims his family showed up.

          Mr. Bundy claims: “I’ve lived my lifetime here. My forefathers have been up and down the Virgin Valley here ever since 1877. All these rights that I claim, have been created through pre-emptive rights and beneficial use of the forage and the water and the access and range improvements.”

          Fact: Clark county property records indicate “Cliven Bundy’s parents bought the 160 acre ranch in 1948 from Raoul and Ruth Leavitt. Water rights were transferred too, but only to the ranch, not the federally managed land surrounding it. Court records show Bundy family cattle didn’t start grazing on that land until 1954.”

          Fact: The Taylor Grazing Act, which established fees for cattle grazing, was passed in 1934.

          Fact: Mr. Bundy and his family had paid fees (that are about 1/10th market value) to graze OUR federal public lands from 1954 until roughly 20 years ago; then-of a sudden–Mr. Bundy decided that he didn’t need to pay those fees because he doesn’t recognize the authority of the federal government.

          Fact: The of the federal government, of course, is derived from the Constitution of the United States, which provides the federal government power over the lands that it owns.

          Fact: The public lands in question are part of the critical habitat for the endangered mojave desert tortoise.

          Fact: Mr. Bundy had his day in court–multiple days in fact–and lost.

          Those are facts that are relevant to me, Clutch. So yeah, I think this is about as black and white as it gets. And to be frank, “crook” is too nice a word to describe this SOB.

          Here’s the story on Mr. Bundy’s alleged “ancestral” rights:http://www.8newsnow.com/…/bundys-ancestral-rights-come…
          I-Team: Bundy’s ‘ancestral rights’ come under scrutiny

          • avatar JB says:


            Still wondering what you think of my ‘simple, two-dimensional world’? To be clear, Bundy’s racist comments (yeah, they’re racist, context and all) and his politics don’t concern me. The comments he made about “the negro” are simply ironic given his dependence on federal subsidization.

            My problems with Bundy area as follows: he stole from the public to line his own pockets; he had his day in court, and when he lost, he resorted to threats of violence. He’s a deadbeat thug that deserves to be in jail–regardless of his racism or politics.

          • avatar Clutch says:

            Yep, JB, you are preaching to the choir with your facts and if you look at some other threads here you see I brought up many of these facts when I argued Bundy had no legitimate claim and was in trespass and a freeloader–which has always been my position. Seems like you have a need to paint me as your adversary and that is what I have tsken exception to in your earlier post…as you say yourself, you are a black & white kind of guy. There is no grey in your world and grey is where I exist.

            Although I agree that Bundy’s father did not gain deed to the ranch until 1948, and resided in AZ prior to that date. Bundy only claims that his “forefathers had been up and down the Virgin valley since 1877”–not specifically the Bunkerville Land. This familial heritage is from his wife’s side of the family. I do not know much about LDS family units or how they consider kinship relations. The point being Bundy was truthful and did have family ties to that region. Not that it makes a hill of beans of difference to grazing rights in Bunkerville Allotment–its just an effort to correct your fact.

            I spent some considerable time trying to dig up evidence of his 11 State Water rights, specifically, Stock Rights, but I could not locate that they were transferred with the old homestead 160-acre property. This surprises me since the location of these water sources are not on the 160-acre property but rather on the Allotment. I would like to see your evidence for this for purely personal reasons–Water Rights are a personal hobby of mine.

            As for court records shoeing Bundy family cattle didn’t start grazing that land until 1954, I would respond this was not proven. What was proven is that they did not graze that land “legally” until 1954 when they were issued their first Grazing Permit. It is entirely possible that they grazed cattle there in trespass prior to that time.

            Otherwise, your facts about Bundy are spot on. Any support I would have offered Bundy ended when he made the decision to quit his “permit” in 1993.

            I will say that you seem to think that if there is no paper document for something then it never existed so I will not waste time discussing allegations that the BLM has not been fair in their efforts to remove ranchers from public lands. Perhaps you could look up one old boy named Hage:


            Personally, I don’t think there should be grazing on public lands any more than I think there should be solar and wind farms and if grazing permits are going to continue that they should more accurately reflect fair market value for each AUM. But I do care when authority is abused and misused and the court decision for Rancher Hage, above, is evidence that does occur.

            Unlike you, I do not have contempt for the man and my two cents is contempt all too often clouds unbiased perspective. Specifically, the contempt so many have for Bundy allows them to be easily manipulated by a NYTimes piece that intentionally whittles down a statement until the statement appears to give a meaning which was never intended.

            Again, for me, its an issue of fair play. Its not that I support Bundy trespassing cattle.

            You still haven’t told me, where do you put all the gray in your B & W world?

            • avatar JB says:

              “You still haven’t told me, where do you put all the gray in your B & W world?”

              I’m not sure what you’re asking here? There’s lots of gray in my world; but in fact, there is also Black and White. This issue, for me, is black and white. This guy refuses to acknowledge the United States government; he threatens violence on those who disagree with him; he steels from the public; and he makes no apologies for it.

              So I’ll ask you, is there ANY black and white in your world of gray?

              • avatar Clutch says:

                I sure wish you might have responded to the US vs Hage case or supplied your evidence on water rights or commented on any thing I spent 30 minutes typing on an iphone screen the size of a credit card.

                But you want to focus on the last sentence. OK.

                You write:
                ” This guy refuses to acknowledge the United States government; he threatens violence on those who disagree with him; he steels from the public; and he makes no apologies for it.”

                Wholeheartedly agree except for “threatening violence on those who disagree with him”.

                This is awild and reckless exxageration on your part. Half the country disagrees with him and he has not threatened them with violence.

                He has not threatened anyone with ciolence. He has stated he will defend his ranch and property with a firearm.

                Bundy has a victim mindset. He doesnt think he did anything wrong. He feels he is being attacked. He states he will defend himself and his family from attack. The way that you imply violence seems to be in an offensive sense but Bundy is acting defensively.

                Do I think he has any right to take up arms? Obviously not. Do I think specific militia should go to prison? Absolutely. Do I believe in a legal right for armed militias to travel the country? No. Am I concerned this criminal behavior could lead to violence against Law Enforcement? Absolutely.

                But I also recall Bundy and his local supporters making specific requests that any militia not wear camo clothing and leave long rifles in their vehicles. They ignored him so at some point this armed stand-off split into two factions with two different agendas. Bundy defending property (erroneously since the court order awarded that property of cattle to the BLM) and the militia looking to live out their group psychosis fantasies of armed insurection.

                I also find gray with the BLM methods of implementing their paradigm shift towards ranchers vs orher users and using administrative tools like the ESA to strongarm ranchers off public lands.

                Now howabout you pony up your reference material on Bundys vested Water Rights claims for my collection? 😉

          • avatar Clutch says:

            “Fact: Clark county property records indicate “Cliven Bundy’s parents bought the 160 acre ranch in 1948 from Raoul and Ruth Leavitt. Water rights were transferred too, but only to the ranch, not the federally managed land surrounding it.”

            Still waiting for you to verify this statement concerning Water Rights. Specifically, according to the Nevada Div of Water Resources, there is no history of Permits for Water Rights ever having been issued to either a “Leavitt, Raoul” or “Leavitt, Ruth”.

            JB, for a man who confidently only deals in Black & White and FACT…your facts are coming up short. Could you please offer supporting documents?


            • avatar WM says:


              Not to horn in on your conversation, but I find JB’s “facts” are nearly always verifiable. He is a PhD research scientist in the environmental field at a major university. So, you might just prepare yourself for his usually thorough and factual reply.

              By the way, speaking of “facts,” I am still awaiting your response to a query I made to you, above. I will restate it here with a hope you will reply:

              ++WM says:

              April 25, 2014 at 7:05 am


              ++…there is enough circumstantial evidence to suggest the BLM was not honest in their agenda against the ranchers in that area.++

              Precisely and specifically to what “circumstantial evidence” do you refer? ++

              • avatar Clutch says:


                That is great to hear about JB. Every fact that I have contributed here on various threads has always had supporting evidence available and typically a link. So you misunderstand if you think I am concerned JB might actually be able to prove his fact–I am 100% hopeful he will.

                JB and I have very similar views of Bundy and both of us made our determinations based on quite alot of research. The past few days, I have been incredulous at the amount of viciousness and hatred directed at Bundy both in the press and here. For god sakes, he isn’t a mass murderer. He is a simple-minded organic melon farmer. The rabid attacks on the man based on a highly edited soundbite scare the heck out of me. Not only did the teaparty militia suddenly revert back to the old west mentality but so did the rest of the country when they through away all reason and became a lynch mob.

                It left me incredulous and angry. I apologize for displaying that anger here.

                As for my claim above, please note that I state it was against “ranchers” and not Bundy alone.

                I would encourage you to read the Summary Judgement and all documents in the US vs the Estate of Wane Hage.

                I have included a link:


                Please note this is a link from a respected trade group of Western ranchers and not some right wing propaganda website.

                Also consider that every fellow rancher in the entire region where Bundy grazed has also gone out of business in the last several years. It should be apparent to all why Bundy “felt” he was being attacked by the BLM.

                The BLM had a paradigm shift that began recognizing various user groups now exist and that recognition had to be given to more than just ranching & mining as had been the case the previous 100 years. That is fortunate for wilderness enthusiasts like myself; however, the methods used to enforce this paradigm shift have been dishonest and abusive as the federal judge ruling against Hage Sr clearly illustrates to anyone who is keeping an open mind about this subject. Problem with lynch mobs is they are pretty closed minded.

                Rebuttal welcome. Discussion more welcome.

              • avatar Clutch says:


                I guess the court decision and summary in the US vs hage wouldn’t be “circumstantial” evidence would it? It would be “direct” evidence.

                The fact every one of 47 fellow ranchers in bundy’s region were driven out of business by new BLM practices would be “circumstantial”.

                Now I have a question for you.

                Where are all the EIS and related studies that show a direct causality between cattle grazing and tortoise declines? And it would help if some of those studies were for the immediate vicinity of the Bunkerville Allotment’s type of forage, geography, predator populations, etc.? You know, the kind of thing us scientific types like to have before we make a decision.


              • avatar JB says:

                “Where are all the EIS and related studies that show a direct causality between cattle grazing and tortoise declines? And it would help if some of those studies were for the immediate vicinity…”

                EIS’s are irrelevant; endangered species listing status determinations are based upon the best available data (commercial or scientific). I am not an expert on the desert tortoise, but I believe the leading citations are Berry (1978) and Campbell (1988). According to a subsequent review, these studies find that livestock “trample young tortoises, damage burrows and shrubs used for shelter, and remove critical forage.” That review can be found here:


                Relevant citations:

                Berry, K.H. 1978. Livestock grazing and the desert tortoise. Transactions of the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference 43:505-519.

                Campbell, F.T. 1988. The desert tortoise. Pages 567-581 in
                W.J. Chandler, editor. Audubon Wildlife Report 1988/1989.
                Academic Press, San Diego, California.

            • avatar JB says:


              A Las Vegas news station has actually done a pretty good job of summarizing both Bundy’s property and water rights claims (going so far as to scan and post the actual documents). Their investigation and subsequent reporting, were the source for my quotation (which I cited above):

              “Clark County property records show Cliven Bundy’s parents bought the 160 acre ranch in 1948 from Raoul and Ruth Leavitt…Water rights were transferred too, but only to the ranch, not the federally managed land surrounding it. Court records show Bundy family cattle didn’t start grazing on that land until 1954.”

              That story is here: http://www.8newsnow.com/story/25301551/bundys-ancestral-rights-come-under-scrutiny

              The story on his property and water rights are here:

              The Hage case presents different facts. The document to which you linked was a quick, one-sided right up of the district court’s ruling. It appears that this ruling was entirely reversed upon appeal, and it appears the SCOPUS has denied the Hage Estate’s petition to hear their case:


              Apologies for taking so long to reply. I have been busy being a parent.

              • avatar Clutch says:

                Thanks for responding. I just want to clarify I never suggested the Hage case and Bundy case were identical, I said:

                “++…there is enough circumstantial evidence to suggest the BLM was not honest in their agenda against the ranchers in that area.++

                And I believe the Hage case supports this.

                As for the link being one-sided, I had tried to locate the actual Court Documents and I thought that site had a link to them. The court documents would not have been lopsided. The trade group link I did provide is a peer group of Bundys and does indicate a shared mindset as Bundy.

                As for the water rights issue, I would have to say my hand trumps yours at this time. The news program has not done a good job in supporting their rather vague assertion.

                The Leavitt family has no record of having ever had Water rights issued by the State of Nevada yet Bundy does have such:


                Its possible the WR’s discussed in the news report are those used for irrigating the farmland. The WR that I am referring to are registered for “stock” and they are located in lands seperste from the 160-acre parcel.

                The reason I have interest in these 11 permits for State Water Rights is that they have a priority date of 1890. I would very much like to find the “chain of title” since it would be issued by the State and independent of the BLM issued Grazing Permits and would show “who” was grazing cattle on that land since 1890.

                I am nursing a broken leg and bored to death. Its the only reason I am still wasting time on any of this.

              • avatar JB says:

                “…there is enough circumstantial evidence to suggest the BLM was not honest in their agenda against the ranchers in that area.”

                Hmm…the Hage case suggests that the Forest Service may indeed have had an agenda against that family, though the appellate court’s decision indicates that “agenda” was founded on a history of abuse by the family. I suppose the two cases are similar in this respect (though we are talking about two different cases, involving two different federal agencies, with two different sets of facts). And let us not forget that the appellate court overturned the district court decision you cite; and let us not forget that like Hage, Mr. Bundy had his day in federal court and lost. Forgive my candor, Clutch, but it seems to me that your continued defense of Bundy amounts to what might be called ‘sour grapes’.

                You may have all the time in the world with a broken leg, but I have a job and a family. Good luck in your defense of Bundy. Please do call back when you’ve been able to prove to a federal court that he is in the right. Until then…

              • avatar Clutch says:

                I looked over those links and I can’t find copies or documentation of Water Rights. I can’t find any history of the Leavitts having a permit for WR’s from the single issuing authority, the State of Nevada. It might be possible they used a corporate name?

                The news article is written by someone without a thorough understanding of the difference between WR’s and Grazing Leases & Permit when they suggest its an either/or (i.e. Contrast):

                ***…My father either bought or inherited his Nevada state livestock water rights and I, in turn, have done the same.”

                Contrast that with the 1998 opinion from U.S. District Judge Johnnie Rawlinson in a case where it was determined Bundy wouldn’t be allowed to use federal land for his cattle because of failure to pay grazing fees to the Bureau of Land Management.”***

                These conditions are in no way mutually exclusive. In fact, they are both verifiably true.

                I find it interesting that we live in such a patriarchal society that his detractors continue to recognize only his paternal family history and not his maternal. (The news article being one of the few that explores maternal as well.)

                I will research the Hage reversal; however, the fact SCOTUS refused to hear the appeal is not any indication of anything–SCOTUS is presented with many cases and denies most all of them being brought before the bench–atleast that is my understanding. Proof to the contrary welcome.

              • avatar Clutch says:

                I have never once suggested that Bundy is in the “right” and you are manipulative in even suggesting as much.

                I have treated you with far greater respect than you have me because I have never attempted to put words in your mouth to prove my point. You are spoken highly of here. I would disagree. You are not less than honest when you assign motivations or words to me that are not mine.

                Maybe its best you do bow out. You rely entirely on a couple articles from a news outlet. Hardly the level of scientific scrutiny you are credited for.

              • avatar Clutch says:


                Should have read:
                “You are LESS than honest when you assign motivations or words to me that are not mine.”

                I have never once defended Bundy concerning the BLM vs Bundy. I have only attempted to locate as much verifiable info as I can to better understand how this developed. Furthermore, you resort to smartaleck comments in your last sentence, which I would consider far beneath someone of your repute on this site.

                Where have I ever suggested I disagree with the numerous court decisions against Bundy? Nowhere.

                I would make a suggestion for you as you advance through the halls of academia and into the professional world…take the high road. Your closing sentence suggests a weakness in character not befitting the position you will attain in the world.

              • avatar WM says:


                I won’t re-plow the ground you and JB have already been over. I think JB pretty much reflects my own views on this. I will say the distinction between the Hage matter and its litigation are somewhat different than the Bundy matter, at least those that are currently pending (I know you are pre-occupied/obsessed with Bundy water rights, but I don’t think those are so much at issue to the point of being timely litigated in whatever court might have jurisdiction. The valid and controlling federal Court Orders having to do with trespassing cows are front and center in the Bundy matter; he exhausted his appeals, and all that is before us now is the enforcement of them. We are a country of laws afterall – even “patriots” ought to recognize and support that concept, yes? The longer Bundy waits to comply the greater his financial obligation as these cows are charged extra for each day they remain, and there are also mounting costs when, NOT if, I might suggest,these wranglers come back with a BLM or other federal escort. It would not surprise me to see Bundy before a judge again within a days/few weeks. He can, of course, choose not to comply, which sets up yet another scenario.

                As I think about this the longer this goes on in the public eye the dumber Bundy and supporters (including the conservative pundits that opine on radio and TV) look, as more facts come to light.

                Then it also sheds light on the ESA, as well. Some might not find that so inviting, but since the Act reflects the will of the people maybe it needs some more face time for the issues creating tension in the West, and specifically the challenges facing the desert tortoise and those who would continue to destroy or protect its habitat?

                • avatar LM says:


                  “The longer Bundy waits to comply the greater his financial obligation as these cows are charged extra for each day they remain, and there are also mounting costs when, NOT if, I might suggest,these wranglers come back with a BLM or other federal escort. It would not surprise me to see Bundy before a judge again within a days/few weeks.”

                  Or in jail, which is what should have happened in the first place. Contract cowboys on horseback gathering up the unbranded cattle – Bundy threatens, gets arrested & thrown in jail. (then while he’s in jail they go gather the rest of the cattle)

            • avatar Louise Kane says:

              Clutch perhaps you should climb down from the soapbox and stop preaching to everybody that CB is just a simple minded harmless good old boy. “For god sakes, he isn’t a mass murderer. He is a simple-minded organic melon farmer. ” The man was perfectly capable of organizing an insurrection of sorts and threatening violence when it suited his needs. Not sure what your game is with JB but I think he is tiring of it. I know I know I’m just one of the angry mob. Your defense is odd and I think you like to hear yourself pontificate.

              • avatar Jay says:

                Too funny! He must’ve borrowed that soapbox he accused you of preaching from Louise. That’s a whole lotta hypocrisy right there!

      • avatar LM says:

        OMG ! Thank you, I needed that. LOL!

    • Thanks, JB! Many of us not only are demanding that the government remove these moochers from public lands, but that they be required to pay reparations for all the decades of environmental destruction they have inflicted upon these lands and the native wildlife. Imagine: here they are ranting about “government interference” while getting government subsidies. It is time to rid our public lands of these criminals.


  11. avatar Wolfy says:

    Someone has to say it: Bundy and his following are home-grown terrorists. The Government is responding to a domestic terrorist threat.

    Terrorism: the use of violent acts to frighten the people in an area as a way of trying to achieve a political goal (Merriam-Webster)

    “Domestic terrorism” means activities with the following three characteristics:
    • Involve acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law;
    • Appear intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination. or kidnapping; and
    • Occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S.
    18 U.S.C. § 2332b defines the term “federal crime of terrorism” as an offense that:
    • Is calculated to influence or affect the conduct of government by intimidation or coercion, or to retaliate against government conduct; and
    • Is a violation of one of several listed statutes, including § 930(c) (relating to killing or attempted killing during an attack on a federal facility with a dangerous weapon); and § 1114 (relating to killing or attempted killing of officers and employees of the U.S.).


    • avatar Clutch says:


      You might want to do some reading on your assertion. I would suggest the liberal leaning ACLU website as a good starting point for you to educate yourself on some very dangerous legislation, the US Patriot Act defining Domestic Terrorists, that can be used to snare even non-violent protesters protesting Desert Tortoise on public lands.

      Now there are definitely some of those militia that broke laws and deserve to be arrested and have their day in court. The militia member on the overpass with the assault rifle should be the very first arrest but I don’t think he should be tried as a Domestic Terrorist, we already have felony laws on the books that would allow sentencing him.

    • Thank you, Wolfy! Your comments are always succinct. This act in Nevada is certainly not an isolated one, with several violent incidents in other western states towards individuals who oppose public lands grazing.

  12. avatar JB says:

    Post Politics has a story on the rush of republican politicians to distance themselves from Cliven Bundy. The staff writer says it will be updated regularly:


  13. avatar Gary Humbard says:

    I worked for the BLM for 37 years in western Oregon. Western Oregon is almost a whole different planet than the rest of the west but the BLM in western Oregon goes to great lengths to analyze environmental consequences on projects such as timber sales. I have no doubt that they do the same when companies propose developments such as cell towers, wind turbines and solar plants. They know they will be rightly scrutinized by the “public”, and their NEPA documents are also scrutinized by attorneys so they are legaly defensible.

    The old saying “you have to break eggs to make an omelet” seems appropriate when it comes to solar plants and wind turbines. Coal pollutes the air and makes a large footprint on the land, nuclear is politically hot, hydro adversely affects aquatics and almost every river is already dammed, bio-fuel is limited and oil is enough said. The public wants renewable energy and even though there are impacts to wildlife, these types of energy seem the least obtrusive of all the options.

    • avatar Yvette says:

      Well stated, Gary Humbard. The big, solar plants and wind turbine fields are still very new. These problems with wildlife will have to addressed, but I have faith that they will be addressed and solutions will derived.

      • avatar Ida Lupines says:

        I don’t know; if we had more than just a lukewarm commitment to switching over to green energy, I’d feel better about it. As it is, we’ve still got coal, increased offshore oil drilling planned, and now fracking as well as the negative environmental effects of large-scale solar and wind.

        I know we’ve got to start somewhere, but ‘proper siting’ doesn’t seem to be the panacea one would hope, because taking them out of the best sites for wind or solar would make them even more inefficient an energy source than they are right now!

        Judging from history, I do not have much faith that these problems are going to be worked out. Will we get the timing right before animals numbers are severely threatened or even extinct by our relentless activities and before climate change really delivers the coup de grace? Doubtful. We just don’t have the commitment we should have, and it’s too late to control our human population growth.

        • avatar Ida Lupines says:

          And exempting them from environmental review (in some cases for 30 years!)isn’t going to help either. This is going down the same, discredited path as fossil fuels.

        • avatar Jay says:

          Well just give up then Ida–sit in your house at your computer and write negative, we’re-doomed comments because nothing can be done that’s good enough to meet your standards, and the BLM sucks, and so on and so on ad nauseum.

          • avatar Ida Lupines says:

            I suppose I could live in a fantasy, that would be better. No, I actually do something – I drive a Prius when I do drive, I live ten minutes away from work, I don’t have children, I don’t eat meat, don’t have a smart phone, and am considering getting solar panels on my roof. At least I walk the walk. I realize I have no control over the rest of society, and don’t even bother to try.

            • avatar Clutch says:

              Well, Ida, you certainly do walk your talk and hopefully this will put an end to Jay getting exasperated agsin and jumping to what were obviously some very wrong conclusions about you.

              Maybe Jay will even offer a well deserved apology 😉

            • avatar Leslie says:

              Ida, there are very interesting things being done with solar in other countries. I’ve seen photos of aqueducts being lined with solar panels. Heck, the L.A. ‘river’, which is a wide dry concrete basin could be lined with panels instead of the desert. There is a city in China that some rich person built that has no people but he built it as a solar city with the panels integral to the buildings. I do not understand why people, politicians, are not thinking outside the box and getting creative here.

              Many people in CA are already going this direction, but I feel solar should be on every home individually rather than a massive solar farm.

            • Well said, Ida. Your comments re: not having children, and not eating meat are two very real actions to take for the planet, and I feel the same way, and have done the same. Anyway, none of us is perfect, but some of us try to do the least harm, I think.

        • avatar Yvette says:

          I think I understand why you feel the way you do. It is a stretch to trust any of the politicians working on any thing for me. I know I said I have faith that a solution will be found. I should have said I have faith they will attempt to work on solutions.

          We have to do something for energy and there just aren’t any perfect solutions that come close to meeting our needs. And that is without the corruption of politicians and lobbyist.

          It’s all very frustrating.

    • avatar Clutch says:

      You & I were able to have a dialogue that was positive so I am going to make an observation that I hope you will atleast ponder.

      You have a tendency of losing patience with those you disagree with and then you say some pretty unkindly things.

      I am not sure if you realize it doesn’t help your cause.

    • avatar Clutch says:


      You never mentioned Natural Gas.

      I wish the public was a bit better informed about Renewable energy options before jumping behind every proposal–for instance, the inefficiencies of ethanol and the inflation it has caused in our food bill. Politicians seize on the Public’s desire for renewables and use it to line their own pockets and those of their PAC’s in the form of huge gov’t grants and guaranteed loans.


      And I wholeheartedly agree with you about Western Oregon and the efforts made by the BLM in that region.

  14. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    Update: almost every mainstream non-rightwing media outlet has picked up on Cliven Bundy’s outrageous racist comments today. Bundy is being disowned by his followers and discredited by almost everyone else , including some silk tie Republicans. Best of all, the whole Tea Party -Sagebrush Rebellion – New Patriot movement is eating crow and offal. Or as the National Journal put it succinctly : ” Cliven Bundy just ruined his cause “.

    I might rephrase to say that Nevada, the Silver State , now has a huge silver lining. It has illuminated CLiven Bundy for the world to see what he really is, and more importantly is not.

    • avatar Clutch says:

      Name calling?
      Making opinions on a short soundbite which was edited to manipulate an audience?

      Everyone is entitled to their opinion…even you and Bundy…but are telling me you can drive by a public housing development and not see some very serious and negative social issues…crime, drugs, gangs, lost hope, broken families, teenage mothers, etc? I can say you are a minority if thats the case.

      Bundy, like most Americans, recognizes and has concern for the failings of these public housing developments. Its obvious Bundy lacks education and he definitely lacks any sophistication but do you not see the theme of his message is concern and inclusion?

      It seems the NYTimes also recognized what Bundy was attempting to say and that is why they had to edit it down so much to suggest otherwise.

      • avatar JB says:

        Here’s what he said when given the chance to clarify his comments:

        “I’m wondering are they happier now under this government subsidy system than they were when they were slaves and they was able to have a family structure together and chickens and a garden and the people have something to do. So in my mind I’m wondering are they better off being slaves in that sense or are they better off being slaves of the United States government in the sense of a subsidy?”

        I’m sorry but if that isn’t racist, I’m not sure what qualifies? I recently spent a day at the National Underground Railroad Museum in Cincinnati (which was the border between the free north and south). Bundy’s depiction of slave life is beyond ridiculous. These people were bought and sold; many times families were broken up; they were beaten, raped, molested, and treated as property. Frankly, I find it outrageous that you would defend his comments.

  15. avatar Nancy says:


    And the “wheels on the bus, go round and round” with little regard/concern, when it comes to our own species, let alone other species.

  16. avatar Rolling Mountain says:

    Another erudite article by Ralph Maughn. Thanks for taking the time to write such informative works Ralph… Will FOX NEWS ever call?

    The Bundy story is another beliefs-driven mass consumptive piece manufactured to suit the cause… Facts, context, history all go by the way side as long as the narrative (and visuals) align with our belief system. Faith and beliefs are not subject to proof or evidence.

    It now appears Mr. Bundy’s stated beliefs on the ‘cotton picking’ black race has destroyed the patriotic imagery and victimized-by-big-government narrative he, and others, sought to project.

    • avatar Clutch says:

      I find a delicious irony the NYTIMES piece was whittled down for just the very goal of what you accuse your adversaries of–removing facts, context & history to align with a belief system.

      And just like your chosen adversaries–you stepped right in it and now you are tracking it all over the house 😉

  17. avatar Ralph Maughan says:

    It was suggested that the title of this post was not very accurate.

    I agree, and I have renamed it.

  18. avatar Clutch says:

    You know I had actually closed my account here because the intelligent open-minded dialogue that I enjoyed in previous threads was all too brief.

    I am not a liberal. I am not a conservative. Its amazing how badly everyone wants this to be about sides with a “yer fer us or agin us” mentality.

    Case in point, how many of you have actually searched out the full transcript of Bundy’s comments on race? Very few thought to read the entire transcript and its time-consuming to wade through all the all the soundbites on google to even find the complete transcript. I simply don’t understand how people here can be so wuick to condemn Bundy just because they disagree with his politics.

    Let it be known I started out having no sympathy for Bundy and I will not condone his methods or his use of guns.

    But how do you see Bundy recognizing a correlation between subsidized urban housing projects and a loss of hope amongst the inhabitants? My liberal friends point out a myriad of negative influences this environment has on the residents all the time–they simply say so in PC terms.

    I expect intelligent people to get more facts before making the accusations that have been made on this thread.

    Bundy, in context:

    …” and so what I’ve testified to ya’, I was in the WATTS riot, I seen the beginning fire and I seen the last fire. What I seen is civil disturbance. People are not happy, people is thinking they did not have their freedom; they didn’t have these things, and they didn’t have them.

    We’ve progressed quite a bit from that day until now, and sure don’t want to go back; we sure don’t want the colored people to go back to that point; we sure don’t want the Mexican people to go back to that point; and we can make a difference right now by taking care of some of these bureaucracies, and do it in a peaceful way.

    Let me tell.. talk to you about the Mexicans, and these are just things I know about the negroes. I want to tell you one more thing I know about the negro.

    When I go, went, go to Las Vegas, North Las Vegas; and I would see these little government houses, and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids…. and there was always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch. They didn’t have nothing to do. They didn’t have nothing for the kids to do. They didn’t have nothing for the young girls to do.

    And because they were basically on government subsidy – so now what do they do? They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never, they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered are they were better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things? Or are they better off under government subsidy?

    You know they didn’t get more freedom, uh they got less freedom – they got less family life, and their happiness -you could see it in their faces- they were not happy sitting on that concrete sidewalk. Down there they was probably growing their turnips – so that’s all government, that’s not freedom.

    Now, let me talk about the Spanish people. You know I understand that they come over here against our constitution and cross our borders. But they’re here and they’re people – and I’ve worked side-by-side a lot of them.

    Don’t tell me they don’t work, and don’t tell me they don’t pay taxes. And don’t tell me they don’t have better family structure than most of us white people. When you see those Mexican families, they’re together, they picnic together, they’re spending their time together, and I’ll tell you in my way of thinking they’re awful nice people.

    And we need to have those people join us and be with us…. not, not come to our party.

    • avatar Clutch says:

      Hate filled racism?

      Bundy said these things in front of alot of tea-party and AZ-mentality folks who are completley anti-immigration and wish to close the borders. I would say his message of “respect and unity” with that audience was a very commendable effort to my way of thinking. Ofcourse, all of you are free to disagree with what he has said, thats your right.


      “Now, let me talk about the Spanish people. You know I understand that they come over here against our constitution and cross our borders. But they’re here and they’re people – and I’ve worked side-by-side a lot of them.

      Don’t tell me they don’t work, and don’t tell me they don’t pay taxes. And don’t tell me they don’t have better family structure than most of us white people. When you see those Mexican families, they’re together, they picnic together, they’re spending their time together, and I’ll tell you in my way of thinking they’re awful nice people.

      And we need to have those people join us and be with us…. not, not come to our party.”

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        spanish are white people
        blacks are black
        seems like he is only partly racist, lol

        • avatar Clutch says:

          You really hate this guy, eh?

          Fortunately, there will be more intelligent readers who understand why the NYT had to edit both ends of their chosen excerpt–because Bundy is using the same tone for both hispanics and negroes, blacks, coloreds, african-americans (take your pick, I hear members of said race using all of these descriptors even today depending on what generation they are from).

          Lets tuen this around a little bit. Lets talk about Narive Americans. Do most people here agree Indians are doing well under the well-intentioned Gov’t Welfare system they exist in on the reservations? Have these gov’t efforts been successful is integrating that race into mainstream society?

          If you recognize the failings of this Gov’t attempt for the Native Americans then you understand what Bundy is wondering about with the residents of that Northern LV urban housing program.

          But you are free to keep your mind closed shut in order to protect your preconceptions. It is a free country.

          • avatar Louise Kane says:

            yeah right Clutch ok Bundy is a jus a good ol boy who likes them Spanish and Hispanics that pick all the apples and work so hard, he just be wondering if the Nigras wouldda been so much better off in the cotton fields, jus wondering’ tho.

            • avatar Clutch says:

              Well, zlouise, atleast you have done a very thorough job of ridiculing those that don’t speak like you–but zi am not certsin, were you attempting to imitate zbundy, or African-Americans or is that just a generic all-encompassing accent to suggest all hicks are ignorant? Have you ever worked on a farm? Howabout down in the Southwest or about anywhere?

              Are you are now actually suggesting Bundy made the respectful and obviously heartfelt statements he did because he exploits his Hispanic labour. My god, you are certainly filled with a tremendous amount of anger at the world, aren’t you? One thing is apparent, you are locked into your rigid mono-thought and no dialogue is going to change that so I am bowing out.

              People with your kind of hostile negativity do nothing constructive for anybody or any subject.

              • avatar Louise Kane says:

                Clutch, actually I did spend a great deal of time learning those hick like dialects reading Roll Jordan Roll ( a compilation of slave narratives taken for the WPA) and hundreds of other source materials for my undergrad honors thesis entitled Surviving Slavery and Patriarchy also part of dual major Black History/ Political Science. Black History is something I am fascinated about, Antebellum period in particular and the aspects of slave and the white family’s mis perceptions and callous disregard for their slaves well being, in particular. as for ever having any experience in the south My Mom lived in NC many years as does my husband’s family. So yes I also have connections there and have spent much time in the south. The link to the 104 page thesis is here http://books.google.com/books/about/Surviving_Slavery_and_Patriarchy.html?id=zLxGHAAACAAJ
                and no I am suggesting all hicks are ignorant, lol does’t that term somewhat infer that by way of stereotype. as far as exploiting Hispanic labor, hmmm I wonder what those immigrants are doing when they get here? Do you think they are head out to Apple, IBM, Microsoft as engineers? That hard work Bundy is referring to wonder if he has personal experience with some Hispanics out on his melon farm or on the range or his buddies do.
                I think its kind of fun to see you get all riled up about defending Bundy’s good name and intentions. I have no hostility toward you at all just amused and amazed by your righteous defense and search for the truth that is obvious to everyone but you, it seems.

              • avatar Louise Kane says:

                Clutch the slave narratives are most interesting people routinely bean, women raped, picking cotton and tobacco for long unbearable hours, no education allowed, families torn apart routinely and people sold on the slave block. Perhaps the Cliven Bundy ship jumpers are astute enough to understand that the remarks he made about Negores being happier under slavery are racist or at the least really ignorant. Would anyone shoos slavery over freedom not many. There were a few that stayed with their white families but it was almost always related to the post war reconstruction problems and the lack of infrastructure to help the slaves transition. Just saying Bundy isn;t being picked on his comments reveal the true Bundy.

                I put a little excerpt from the Slave Narratives here so you can easily read that these narratives revealed a true picture of slavery that was at odds with the image the slaveholders liked to present. By suggesting that Blacks mitt be happier when they were taken care of or had cotton to pick is very ignorant and typical of someone that might harbor feelings of racial superiority.

                Slave Narratives during Slavery and After

                Image: caption follows
                Abraham Jones’ Back Yard
                The Slave Narrative Collection represents the culmination of a literary tradition that extends back to the eighteenth century, when the earliest American slave narratives began to appear. The greatest vogue of this genre occurred during the three decades of sectional controversy that preceded the Civil War. The avowed intention of the antebellum narrative was to challenge the roseate portrait of slavery painted by its apologists. The proslavery justification of the “peculiar institution” alleged that it was a benevolent system and that the position of the slave was more secure than that of the Northern wage earner. The slave, according to George Fitzhugh, one of the most vigorous of the proslavery propagandists, “was happy as a human can be.”3

                But the stereotype of the “contented slave” was contradicted by the many fugitive slaves who sought refuge from bondage in the North and in Canada. Their often sensational revelations of the realities of slave life provided a persuasive challenge to Southern justifications of slavery. During the antebellum period thousands of autobiographical and biographical accounts of slave experiences were published and generally promoted and distributed by abolitionist propagandists. These narratives enjoyed immense popularity, were eagerly sought for publication by abolitionist journals, and proved financially successful. While it is difficult to weigh their precise influence on the antislavery crusade, there is little doubt that they effectively countered the propaganda of proslavery apologists.

              • avatar Clutch says:


                Theres one thing you haven’t clarified, were you angry and hostile at the world before you pursued your honors thesis on slavery or as a result of that thesis?

                I get the feeling you have spent a lifetime setting up your soapbox whenever and wherever you can and creating adversaries of well-intentioned people simply so that you can bully and hear yourself speak. 104 pages worth.

                A smart lady like you can surely figure out an excuse to deliver your sermon without being dependent on creating adversaries of well-intentioned people.

              • avatar Louise Kane says:

                Clutch you are missing the point. And now trying to backpedal your initial posts to me and others about Bundy’s comments being taken out of context or coming from a good place.

                I think you said among other things, “I find a delicious irony the NYTIMES piece was whittled down for just the very goal of what you accuse your adversaries of–removing facts, context & history to align with a belief system.

                And just like your chosen adversaries–you stepped right in it and now you are tracking it all over the house ;-)”
                The point here is that Bundy’s comments are coming from a not unusual elitist white supremacy mindset. I mean really blacks would be more happy back in the cotton picking days as slaves when they had something to do! The NY Times or any of the other media exposing that comment don’t have to work had to make it look bad and they are not placing it out of context or leaving out important information. Thats BS.
                Why do you prefer to ignore the content and the actual thought process behind that statement. That statement was not not made out of context at all, he just spoke what he was in his head and unfortaunetly for him it revealed the kind of persistent racist mentality that this country is trying hard to leave behind.

                as for my thesis I posted it in rebuttal to your accusation that I was making fun of blacks. Not true at all, it was a poke at Bundy and how he still perceives the black boys as he calls them now. You have no idea what my thesis is about, although it should be somewhat obvious from its title and also obvious that I spent some time understanding race relations in the antebellum south between slaves and whites. It certainly was not an angry piece of writing but I do get annoyed when I see people trying to pretend that racists statements are taken out of context. If you want to change your position about the statements that Bundy made but don’t throw up smokescreens and pretend that my posts are based in anger. Bundy is a racist and a freeloader and he is taking some heat for it, period. I am not the only one angry about that. When he started calling in the militant separatists I lost all sympathy. That and his supporters kicking the dog. Don;t mess with a GSD. I’m not the one out there threatening federal agents and law enforcement officers with guns and violence. Save your indignant righteousness for them.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:


                +1 !

              • avatar Clutch says:

                I must be missing the point but I haven’t backpedalled at all.

                What I see is that Bundy is as obsessed with the over-reach of the Federal Government as much as you are obsessed with slavery.

                The problem with obsession is you mistakenly view all things and all statements through this distorted perception.

                Bundy does not care about race, he cares about his his perception that the federal govt has too much power and he feels he is a victim of that power and he feels a kinship to others who he feels have been abused by that power. In this particular instance, he feels kinship to the plight of the Black and Hispanic communities.

                Now you can argue whether you wish to allow him to feel being victimized or not. I don’t care. All I have said and continue to say is that you are accusing Bundy of hateful racism and I think you are way off the mark.

                Now I would rather spend my time talking to JB, he seems far more level-headed and, like me, looking for common ground–you just want to fight.

                Ofcourse you will need the last word but don’t wait for a response.

          • avatar Nancy says:

            Clutch – I suppose if Bundy had reframed from mentioning races he’d still be the darling of the ring wing media but he did. And for someone so concerned about people suffering on government subsidies why has Bundy taken advantage of it for all these years legal and otherwise? (public lands grazing)

            • avatar Clutch says:


              Yes, you are right that the right-wing media hitched their horse to the Bundy wagon in an effort to grab some of his popularity…and it is pretty fun to see those very same politicians now learning an expensive lesson–the lesson being don’t grab ahold of a lightning rod and expect not to get zapped.

              I think one thing many people are not understanding is how Bundy talks. I do not know where most of the posters on this thread come from but many appear to be of a certain demographic. Obviously not Bundys demographic when it comes to education and communication and sophistication. Bundy lacks a “filter” and he becomes his own worst enemy because his method of speech and his vernacular is easy to misinterpret. His rural, basic Western speech is also one of the qualities that endeared him to the right and that the left loves to not only ridicule in a superior fashion but that they also don’t seem to understand.

              Think about what is important to Bundy. Government intrusion…specifically federal govt intrusion. This is one of the founding issues of the tea party. Bundy was describing his belief that the govt makes a mess of things they get involved in–and he provides an example in the current welfare state.

              Now most every study of the urban housing projects from every liberal sociologist has also recognized that these public housing projects have been a breeding ground for many unhealthy activities that are destructive to a culture. Take a look at Chicago–they have torn down many of these projects. One quick example is Cabrini Green. Now were those researchers and was the conclusion of those studies “racist” because they pointed out the recipients were often 3rd and 4th generation welfare receivers? When the programs were originally implemented to get residents on their feet in a generation? No. Their observations were understood and agreed with because they speak like us. They articulate. They use big words. All things Bundy fails to do. Has anyone ever looked at Bundy’s education level?

              Bundy was not making hateful racial commentary about Black Americans. He was attempting to say that Big Govt does NOT work.

              Bundy was also trying to say that people were better off on farms. Hey, he is a rural farmer…is it a surprise that he wishes others the happiness he has gained from working his farm? His comment about growing radishes was not an insult–it was just the truth as Bundy knows and lives.

              I do understand the language Bundy speaks. I have worked with his demographic directly for 80 or more hours a week for about 30 years.

              Bundy was not talking about “slaves” and slavery. He was talking about sharecroppers. He is not smart, he confuses words. Sharecroppers grew their own crops and they picked cotton and if any of you were from the SE US then you would know that picking cotton was not exclusive to the AA community. There were many many poor white farmers and families picking cotton too. I have friends that are in their 60’s and they grew up picking cotton and they are white.

              But Bundy used certain words that inflame liberal sensibilities and the NYT knew that and so they printed that specific inflammatory text and by pulling it out of context, they completely changed his meaning.

              Read the entire excerpt, don’t let yourself be manipulated so easily because you dislike a man.

              Bundy is not an intelligent man. He is a reactionary man and he is truly his own worst enemy. He is also more honest in his emotion than any politician has ever been. He didn’t retract his statement because he is to dumb to understsnd that what everyone heard is not what he was trying to say. He thinks he said that Big Govt screws everything up and should not be in our lives. He said that people were better off when they had to work, that welfare makes people dependent and sitting idle takes away their happiness and their freedom to be whole human beings. He sat in front of a crowd of militia and AZ-mindset people who don’t have kind words for illegal Hispanics and Bundy actually said–I know these people, I respect their values, they work hard, they are good people and we need to accept them and work together…not just invite to our party with our rules. Those are not words of hate.

              And again, Bundy lost my support when he quit paying on his permit in 1993 and I do not agree with his reliance on firearms rather than the court system. I think he will lose his cattle and rightfully so. I hope that he does not lose his farm because that is his livelihood. If someone wants to take his farm then they better do some soul-searching on why they want to destroy a fellow human being.

              But I am far more appalled by the viscious commentary of supposedly intelligent people who don’t even ask themselves why the NYT edited Bundys commentary as much as they did.

              • avatar Mark L says:

                Clutch, very well said. I have spent most of my life with the same people, so I get where you (and he) are coming from. And yes, my dad picked cotton. I’ve known a thousand just like Bundy.

              • avatar Louise Kane says:

                You make some reasonable points here Clutch were it not for Bundy’s lightning like speed in whipping up an armed militia presence to defy federal law, it might be more believable that he is a harmless old codger that really did not mean what was inferred. I wonder what those kind of hostile angry armed interlopers would have been like in the civil rights era or during the antebellum period if they saw, lets say a black man with a white woman? I fell somewhat convinced the N word would not have been punishment enough. This guy is violent and is trying to come across as a humble farmer just trying to do a git by. I’ve lived in the south too. Some of what you point out has wring of truth but do keep it in perspective this is a man who ignores legal process and then obstructs it with violence.

          • avatar Yvette says:

            Ah Clutch! Dang it. I think all encompassing statements about any group of people fails, just as Bundy’s statement on what are the problems with the ‘Negro’ failed.

            Do most people here agree Indians are doing well under the well-intentioned Gov’t Welfare system they exist in on the reservations?

            That statement is so far off base that it can barely be addressed. What do you mean by welfare system? There are 562 federally recognized tribes and each are sovereign nations within a nation. That doesn’t count those tribes that are not ‘federally recognized’. We have our own constitutions and laws. Each tribe is different and has a different history and legal aspect for how they ended up with the current reservation or tribal boundary. If you think we’re all stumbling drunk down a dark social alley, beaten and broken, you would be wrong. I’m not denying there are severe social problems, but I will say those same problems are not confined to Indians or reservations. It is widespread across this continent.

            Have these gov’t efforts been successful is integrating that race into mainstream society?

            Most of us are fairly assimilated in the current era. Most of us that are truly Indian and grew up Indian participate in both our native cultural world and our mainstream American world. My personal opinion on the history of U.S. government effort to force assimilation is that it is one of the primary reasons that led to much of the social despair that I believe you are referring to. Forcibly taking Native children from their parents and putting them in Christian boarding schools to ‘kill the Indian to save the man’ has had multi-generational adverse effects. So too, the 1950’s era of assimilation when the U.S. government policy was to get Indians off the rez to ‘good jobs’ in the city. Huge failure. My dad told me they tried to get him to move to some far off city and he flat-out refused. Good decision.

            Let’s get this back to a conservation/wildlife topic. Many of us tribes have our own conservation and wildlife departments since we are sovereign and can write our own laws and codes. Some tribes have a larger, more well developed programs than do others. There are many examples of tribes with good wildlife and conservation departments. A lot of it depends on what the tribe has to work with as a land base. The Umatilla’s are a fine example of an excellent Natural Resources Department. How well did the Nez Perce do when they were the ones managing the wolves in Idaho? I’d gamble to say they did better than what the State of Idaho is doing now, but I don’t honestly know. In Oklahoma it’s a bit different since the 39 tribes here do not have a contiguous land base, but some of us do have large tracks of trust land (same legal status as reservations) that is not under the authority of the state. I’m working on building a better and more comprehensive program for my tribe, especially for streams and wetlands. I hope I can incorporate wildlife management into our program soon. I also have to tip my hat to some of the state guys because they’ve been there for me when I was fresh out of my undergrad and didn’t know jack squat on how to build a stream monitoring program or do the field work. They stepped up and helped me learn. The field people are great. It’s the higher ups we all want to bop in the head.

            The point is, it is a mistake for any of us to make broad sweeping assumptions about other groups of people. We all have done it, but it’s wise to train ourselves to avoid it as we will fail. Bundy doesn’t know about ‘the negro’. He hasn’t walked in their shoes, nor does he carry the burden of their history in the U.S. He can state his opinion, but that is all it is, an opinion, and it’s an erroneous one at that. And most of us Indians are not all on ‘welfare’ or ‘government handouts. I think that might be Cliven Bundy that is on the government handout.

            • avatar Nancy says:

              Thank you Yvette, for putting things into perspective as to how the west was “won” and the out right arrogance by new comers who are now, old timers, a few times removed and still ignorant to what’s left 🙂

            • avatar Immer Treue says:


              Very thoughtful, thorough, and elegantly written.

        • avatar Mark L says:

          Louise Kane says,
          “spanish are white people
          blacks are black”

          What? Maybe where you live, but not in the south. That being said, it’s not a dichotomy, which has alwaysbeen the problem to begin with…..either/or stuff.

    • avatar Ken Cole says:

      From http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/04/25/rage-and-violence-on-the-western-range/
      One of the rebel ranchers we tried to track down has now become a cause celebre of the American right, Clive Bundy, who once threatened to “blow the fucking head off” of a BLM officer.

      If you were tasked with enforcing a court order against this guy, would go in without arming yourself?

    • avatar Clutch says:


      Seriously, your evidence is that politicians are deathly afraid of losing votes and want to get on the “safe” side? When have politicians ever expressed honest emotion? They look at polls and polls say that defending anyone unfairly accused of racism is interpreted by the voter as supporting racism.

      Can you provide me with actual thought of your own with examples of why you think bundy is a hate-filled racist?

      You already suggested in an earlier post that “spanish are white people”. I am not so sure that statement couldn’t be construed as racist. I would imagine there are many “Hispanics” who consider themselves “Hispanic” and not white. Did you mean to say something racist when you typed that?

      • avatar Marc says:

        Thanks, Clutch, for the full transcript. I’ll gladly leave it up to the large Hispanic population here in New Mexico decide whether this is an example of racism or respect.
        To me, the point is not Bundy’s personal prejudices, but the direct connection from the state-rights racists of the segregation era to the libertarian Sagebrush Rebellion that continues today. It’s particularly relevant in New Mexico, where Catron County ranchers have played a leading role in opposing Federal land ownership along with asserting the right to kill wolves in violation of Federal law.

        • avatar Clutch says:

          My pleasure. I am always suspect of soundbites like the NYT piece that every other news outlet is lazily copying rather than investigating.

          I highly respect that you see the point is not about Bundy personal prejudices. In fact, it sounds like you are really interested in a macro view when you explore connections between racism, States Rights advocates and illegal predator control practices.

          I will be interested to read your future posts as you expound on these topics.

          • avatar Louise Kane says:

            Clutch your missing the mark on the Wire piece. Its about rats jumping ship. The soundbite you have so much trouble with came directly from the horse’s (ass) mouth.

            • avatar Clutch says:


              Please focus your hostilities and name-calling elsewhere.

              • avatar Louise Kane says:

                I guess I do feel a bit hostile about Bundy and his self entitled position to use public lands at the expense of the public, in detriment to the habitat and desert tortoise and for inciting violence against federal employees and generally be a world class bastard. The race remarks were just the icing on the cake. No hostility toward you just wonderment that you find reasons to defend this guy.

  19. avatar Nancy says:

    “CNN’s Weir at one point challenged the Nevada rancher about whether he was any more or less a “welfare queen” as those who get entitlement checks — since his cattle have been feeding off the government, literally, by eating grass on public land.

    Bundy’s response: “I might be a welfare queen. But I’ll tell you ****I’m producing something for America and using a resource that nobody else would use or could use. I’m putting red meat on the table.****


    This is what confuses me – how is he doing that when a large percentage of his cattle are feral? No brands. Does he run out there and pick and choose which cows he’s gonna run on back to the ranch for sale?

    • avatar Mark L says:

      Use of past date google earth pics would probably help in this endeavor, if someone wanted to. I wonder if anyone has tried this.

    • avatar Clutch says:


      You ask a good question.

      I think its as you say, I think Bundy actively managed the portion of his herd where he had traditionally ranched, where he had corrals and loading chutes and that were convenient to access roads. He then allowed part of his herd to “go wild”– about 500 head of cattle lacked brands or eartags. Bundy did this as a way of flipping the bird to the Feds and their rules. Those cattle went in search of forage far beyond the Allotment and into the “New Trespass Lands”.

      But Bundy was far more organic melon farmer than cattle rancher.

  20. avatar WM says:

    Just when you think this Bundy thing can’t get any goofier, a wedding on the Bundy ranch for a militia guard, in camo no less?


  21. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    This man is 67 years old – nearly 70, an ‘old-timer’ I’ve heard him described as. I’ve had discussions about politically correct terms and the word he used I wouldn’t because it has fallen out of favor in modern times, but people I spoke to were not offended by it, just found it to be an antiquated term. Politically incorrect? Definitely. Racist? No.

    This man I feel entered a set trap for which he wasn’t prepared. He doesn’t have an army of PR types to tell him what to say. All of this is still irrelevant to the question of what actually is going on regarding the public lands.

    It’s like the sex change Massachusetts is considering for a convicted murderer who strangled his wife. He is still a human being with rights, no matter how offensive we may find him or what he has done. I don’t like it because I feel the man and his team of lawyers have cooked up a scheme to get him out of prison. His lawyers have already racked up $800,000 in fees for themselves. For an ordinary citizen, I would feel differently. This man doesn’t have a public defender, believe me.

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      $800,000 in fees paid by the taxpayers I should have said.

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      “This man is 67 years old – nearly 70, an ‘old-timer’ I’ve heard him described as. I’ve had discussions about politically correct terms and the word he used I wouldn’t because it has fallen out of favor in modern times, but people I spoke to were not offended by it, just found it to be an antiquated term. Politically incorrect? Definitely. Racist? No.”

      Racist, no? Ignorant of history and what has happened to blacks in this country. Absolutely. When one opens their yap and reveals this ignorance, in particular the evil that slavery in this country was, the slope becomes very slippery. One might be able to conclude that the African American community in this country were for the most part ignorant of who Cliven Bundy was until yesterday. I’m sure that has changed.

      “Old Timer” is no excuse for this man.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        Well, he’s got a few supporters in the community from what I have seen. They would know better than we do what constitutes offensive racism and what doesn’t, or what to brush off as ignorance that has no bearing or consequence to them and not waste their time on.

    • avatar Marc says:

      Bundy has been fighting the government for at least 20 years, well before he and I reached our 60s. The Sagebrush Rebellion at that time, which picked up where the racist states-right segregationists left off, knew exactly how to appeal to the prejudices of ranchers.
      Bundy is probably no more racist than his fellow public-land ranchers: that is exactly the point. Rancher racism goes back to their origins among the slave overseers, who moved west after the Civil War, applying their torture skills to managing ranches.

  22. avatar Yvette says:

    Bundy keeps on going.


    I realize he is unsophisticated with his speech, and maybe not media savvy, but one doesn’t have to have much intelligence to get a feel of when it’s time to be quiet.

    Given his past decisions on how to handle the BLM and their policy changes, and now watching him in action, I think it might be that Bundy is simply a man with a low IQ. If nothing else, he lacks common sense. He has 14 kids. Is not one of them able to advise this guy?

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      “Perhaps” a bullet prevented MLK from finishing what he started. CB’s handlers, if any exist, need to get this guy out of the spotlight.

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        holy s%#**

        MLK must of taken away Bundy’s second amendment rights and right to free speech and whatever else those people did when they tried to take over the country in that there civil rights fiasco. If MLK had just remembered to do his job better before he died than the world would be safe for Cliven Bundy to speak his mind to “those people” and they would not be offended when someone suggests that picking cotton on the farm would give the men something to do!

        I almost feel bad for him

      • avatar Clutch says:


        Wholeheartedly agree but in todays intense world of 24/7 news and competition for ratings and internet investigators and political agendas & smear efforts–a person has to have the wealth of the Kennedys to keep out of the spotlight.

        Too bad its not time to harvest melons, he needs some “busy work”.

        BTW, I just read Bundy’s family used to raise and pick cotton.

        • avatar Immer Treue says:


          Not for the point of argument… But both sides have plugged this guy for all it’s worth. Hannity and Bundy bothgot a lot if mileage out of this interviews. One of the periodic daffodil anarchists who makes appearances on this blog made a point of asking where the liberal media was during this whole Bundy scrum.

          Now that they found him, and the shoe is on the other foot

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      I don’t think CB has had anyone contradict him for a long time, at least someone who he doesn’t already disagree with. So he has a lack of savy about social reality. The more he talks about things at this point in time, the worse he is going to sound.

      • avatar Clutch says:

        It seems more a lack of awareness on how quickly our society will resort to dishonest practices like the NYT did by selectively editing his post.

        It seems Bundy is plenty used to controversy, in fact he relishes a fight–he just approaches it honestly. He comes straight at an issue and this leaves him disadvantaged against everyone that uses deception.

        Bundy is his own worst enemy because he is a simple-minded man. 😉

        • avatar Clutch says:

          I did not realize that you were discussing Bundy’s latest speech–where he attempts to apologize. In fact, its only the last 30 minutes I was even aware of his MLK speech–or more specifically, his “word salad” of incoherent ramblings.

          If it wasn’t for the absolute hostility everyone has for this man, they would be able to see CB is in the stages of a mental breakdown and suffering from confusion. I have listened to his speeches in an effort to understand this man for weeks now and although they always reflected an uneducated and simple-minded man, they were atleast coherent enough to understand his message. It is obvious from this latest jumble of words that he has lost his grasp.

          Obviously, the stress of the armed stand-off and everything that has transpired since then has left this simple man exhausted and then his bewilderment at people accusing him of being racist was the straw that put him over the edge. His speech is incoherent. It makes no sense and its ridiculous anyone would even think they could make sense of it.

          It can easily be argued Bundy created the issues facing him today, I am not suggesting he is a victim; however, this man is no longer well.

          People may not feel enough compassion to help an injured person laying on the ground, but at this point, people need to atleast not participate in the mob beating that is now taking place. The man is not well, and kicking an injured man on the ground is contemptable.

          Its time everybody just give CB some room. Let him go back to his melon patch. Let him rest amongst his family. Let him return to his little world and community. In time, the BLM will exercise the court order and remove his livestock. The feds can decide what charges they want to make.

          But shows over folks. Unless you are the sort who likes to pick on and attack the developmentally disabled.

          • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

            Clutch and all,

            Clutch might be right about Bundy’s condition, but less generous views make sense too. As for me, I am angry his cattle are still stomping around the Gold Butte area. I am pleased that Bundy’s fall from media grace has cast doubt on the nascent movement to transfer our public lands to the states. Unfortunately though, the collapse of Bundy’s celebrity did not come from directly debating the issue, but because of his widely disparaged comments on an unrelated matter.

          • avatar Yvette says:

            I think you may be right, Clutch. It’s more likely than what I had surmised. The media won’t back off willingly. It’s time for the people that know and love him to step in on his behave, because the media will continue to make a show out of him if they don’t.

  23. Cliven Bundy has learned how to “game” the system. It would be interesting to know how many of his relatives are on food stamps and claim income low enough to qualify for free breakfasts and lunches at school.

    I was talking to a school teacher/chaperon who was with a bus load of Junior High kids from Utah in Yellowstone a few years ago.
    When I mentioned that they looked fairly well to do as they all had cell phones and other electronic gadgets with them on the field trip, she became very upset and said that most of the kids she was supervising qualified for free breakfasts and lunches at the school they were all from.
    She told me that most of them came from ranch families that had lots of cows, new tractors and dropped the kids off at school with their new pickups, but claimed income low enough that the kids could eat for free at school. She thought the parents were lying on their income statements for school food subsidies.
    It seems that more of the folks in that part of the country have learned to “game” the system than just old Cliven.

  24. avatar rich says:


    Thanks for telling me what CB really met with his characterization of the Negro and others. Here I thought (apparently along with almost everyone else) that his comments were insensitive, bigoted, racist, and offensive. I guess I need to retake a course in reading and listening comprehension. With your generous interpretations, I now know that he is just an all around good guy who wouldn’t lie, break the law, say anything bad about anyone or take what isn’t his’n. Why shucks we should clone him in addition to his 14 kids, give him the thousands of acres of our land that he thinks he owns, and declare a holiday to celebrate his birthday.

    • avatar Clutch says:

      Yeah, Rich, why don’t you get right after that.
      I would suggest you grow up and not rely on sarcasm, and not even intelligent sarcasm, as your only way to communicate but I am tired of people like you. I can tell you this. I have very little use for Cliven Bundy but I would rather spend time with him than someone like you and your negativity most any day. Why you run along and join back up with your lynch mob.

  25. avatar Clutch says:

    On second thought, I am not quite through with you.
    It is often said that sarcasm is the refuge of the intelectually lazy and weak, so I went back and tried finding posts of yours that might disprove that. I couldn’t locate any so the definition will have to remain for now.

    One thing about this particular forum is everybody brings something to the table. People do their homework, they put in a real effort not only to contribute but to try to understand the other points of view. Whats more is there are some really sharp people here, with much better educations than me, and who know how to research and know have very strong critical thinking skills. We may get frustrated with one another because the environment is important to each of us and emotions can run high.

    Now you know this forum isn’t like alot of others where its just two sides throwing immature jabs at the other and then hoping their post will get a “like”.

    So I would recommend if you are going to stick around, you had better start pulling your weight.

    There, now I am through with you.

  26. avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

    all this support from certain circles for C Rambo B reminds me of one beautiful slogan – my country, right or wrong

    one can show all the evidence available – its irrelevant for Funny Bundy Bunny supporters … their anger against Feds preceded this incident and it will persist afterwards

    although BLM got all the evidence/court decisions -nevertheless it backed off

    all that hoopla about his racist remarks won’t change anything – if BLM/IRS were acting low-key for more than 20 years there’s no reason to expect they will rush to arrest him only because he supports slavery

  27. avatar Jay_C says:

    Does he still have his cattle on the land in question? Why?

    Is he still not facing any consequences for not paying the so called fines? If not, why no Lien against his property he does own?

    Weeks have passed since the Feds first showed up. Why the delay with a press conference from the feds with the facts of this open and shut case to clear everything up?

    Until these questions are clearly and specifically answered by an official Federal source our national discurce is entertaining and informative but unfortunately moot.

  28. avatar Nancy says:

    One thing is for sure, Bundy has kicked some dust/talk up regarding states taking over federal lands:

    • avatar WM says:

      human interest story + frame issue the way YOU want + spin media + politicians + podium = righteous power

  29. avatar Nancy says:

    A very interesting read:

    The Origins of the Rancher Insurrection

    Rage, Race and Violence on the Western Range


    • avatar Yvette says:

      Wow Nancy, that was an informative article. I now have a better understanding of how the Bundy situation has come to pass. Very interesting article.

    • avatar Ken Cole says:

      So Bundy is a peace loving guy eh? Nice quote at the beginning of that article.

      One of the rebel ranchers we tried to track down has now become a cause celebre of the American right, Clive Bundy, who once threatened to “blow the fucking head off” of a BLM officer.

    • avatar CodyCoyote says:

      Thanks so much for this link, Nancy ! I’ve etched this article into stone in my hard drive’s cumulative ” Issues” folder….

      • avatar Nancy says:

        “Although shown as a lush green on road maps, much of this territory has been grotesquely transformed over the last half century by big companies into kind of industrial wasteland, consisting of atomic and other bombing ranges, ammo dumps, military and energy facilities, strip mines, clearcuts, dammed, dredged and scoured rivers, and leaching mounds of cyanide.

        Still, though victim to decades of abuse and neglect, the public lands also hold the last remnants of wild America, its salmon and trout, elk, grizzlies, spotted owls and wolves, its ancient forests, deserts and mountains—the American wilderness”

        Least we forget CC 🙂

  30. avatar Ida Lupines says:

    And with all of this media feeding frenzy and faux outrage, any of Harry Reid’s alleged misdeeds disappear. It’s magic! 🙂 But some of us are still waiting for more on that front.

  31. avatar Ida Lupines says:

    Asked about Endangered Species Act listings such as the wolf and the sage grouse, Jewell said it is the area of greatest controversy in the Interior Department, but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service must be dispassionate and use the best available science.


  32. avatar rich says:


    Thanks for the criticism and personal attack. Please tell me more.

  33. avatar Louise Kane says:


    This is very well written and brings the story back around full circle to whats important – Bundy’s not paying his grazing fees but then she goes one step further and speculates about another sort of public uprising but different than Bundy’s one where the courts are used to end grazing on public lands!

  34. avatar Louise Kane says:

    A bit of a spoiler but it was so good I wanted for post for those that don’t usually read the linked articles
    From NY TImes Of Fox and Cattle

    “I had an extremely interesting telephone discussion with Donahue, who believes that there shouldn’t be any cattle on federal lands, because the cows ruin the fragile soil and foul the water. “The single most effective thing we could do to help Western lands adapt to climate change would be to take the cattle out,” said Donahue. And, she added, the animals creating all these problems produce only about 2 percent of the nation’s beef.

    This sounds like an important topic for further discussion. Let’s demand congressional hearings! Also rallies! Unlike Bundy’s, they’d have to be gun-free. So they wouldn’t be quite as dramatic, but we probably could get more actual people.

    And when cowboys want to know why the public wants to kick them off their subsidized grazing space, we’ll say we got the idea from Sean Hannity.”

    Now you have to read the segue in. Its clever

  35. avatar LM says:

    Published in FORBES Mag.
    Eckhoff: Federal Grazing Program in Bundy Dispute Rips-Off Taxpayers, Wild Horses


    • avatar Nancy says:

      “Despite such data, there is no objective way to establish whether rangeland health and the rate of its improvement are satisfactory.

      What is satisfactory to ranchers or the federal agencies is often unsatisfactory to sports-people, recreationists, and wildlife enthusiasts. Yet the absence of an absolute standard against which to gauge the health of public rangeland does not alter the fact that increasing numbers of Americans are upset with the state of public grazing lands.

      More and more people think that grazing lands are either not improving quickly enough or that they are failing to meet consumer land-use expectations. Simply put, the dispute over rangeland health is as much a scientific controversy as it is a collision of land- use values made inevitable by the politicization of western natural resources”

      Interesting comment (among many) on the link you mentioned in this article LM.

      Fact is – as a taxpayer, you either care about the treatment (or abuse) of public lands/wildlife (and their habitat) by researching organizations trying to make a difference (and support them) or you just sit back and do nothing.

      • avatar LM says:

        Well, I’m not sitting back – in fact, I went to a branding this morning and vaccinated over 200 calves, drank beer with all the multi-generational ranchers and had a fabulous meal afterwards. It was a blast. I even drove my Toyota, which has a Wildearthguardians bumper sticker on it. Whoops! Oh well, so much for flying under the radar.

  36. avatar LM says:

    Ralph, Ken, George,WM anybody,

    Can you update us on the status of REVA or the Rangeland Improvement Act.

  37. avatar Beeline says:

    The government is not out of control. It is subservient to business interests and the right wingers intend to keep it that way. If the regulatory agencies were allowed to do their job and ranchers among other resource users had to pay the fare market rate for forage, public lands would be much more productive.

    Putting a smoke screen up on land abuse and resource over use is what conservatives like to do. If all those whining republican business types would get off their butts and go out and plant trees and be useful we might have a better planet.

  38. avatar LM says:

    Once again, it appears that good journalism at Forbes.com has been sacrificed on the altar of corporate power.
    Vickery Eckhoff, Forbes writer was fired after publication of Federal Grazing Program in Bundy Dispute Rips-Off Taxpayers, Wild Horses.  The straw that broke Forbes’ back was published Friday on the complexities of wild horse and burro management, and the related high cost to taxpayers of the federal grazing program. The article follows a long, well researched and factual series by Vickery on Forbes.com that exposed the unregulated horse slaughter industry.
    Vickery’s article about the grazing program and its impact on wild horses, taxpayers, and public lands generated a large response among the Cloud Foundation’s FaceBook followers. 
    If you appreciate this kind of honest reporting, as we do, please send the link to this article to your senators and representatives.  And if you would like to let the editors at Forbes know how you feel you can contact them at:   readers@forbes.com  
    Contact information for your Senators and Representatives
    Link to Article:  http://www.forbes.com/sites/vickeryeckhoff/2014/04/25/federal-grazing-program-in-bundy-dispute-rips-off-taxpayers-wild-horses/

    Paula Todd King
    Board of Directors
    Communication Director
    The Cloud Foundation

  39. avatar Lyn McCormick says:

    Sorry, there should be quotes ” on that last post


April 2014
« Mar   May »


‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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