A Federal, State, and “We the People” issue is intensifying in Clark County Nevada. Cliven Bundy is a cattle rancher in Bunkerville, Nevada. An ongoing 20 year dispute over grazing rights on public land has nearly turned into a revolt. The Bundy Family cattle has grazed on the land since the 1870s when the family first established themselves in Nevada.
Over the past 20 years the Federal Government has claimed right to the land. The Bureau of Land Mangement (BLM), a Federal agency, claimed jurisdiction of the land citing an endangered turtle. After Federal seizure of the land, Bundy refused to pay the new grazing fees of the United States Government. Citing the jurisdiction of the land is within the State of Nevada.
“Years ago, I used to have 52 neighboring ranchers. I’m the last man standing. How come? Because the BLM regulated these people off the land and out of business.” -Cliven Bundy
Earlier this month the Bureau of Land Management sought to confiscate Bundy’s 900 head of cattle. They mobilized the federal agency around his ranch, positioned military vehicles, and deployed aircraft to the County. Bundy has since called on the Governor to use his authority to check the Federal Government’s actions. No assistance from the Governor, the sheriff, or first responders have helped Bundy’s in his plight.
In the past week volunteers have entered the County to help Bundy retain his cattle. On Friday, 20 cowboys assisted Bundy in retrieving his cattle while agents continued the confiscation. It is estimated 350 head of cattle have been seized. There are reports the cattle could possibly be up for auction in the state of Colorado.
“It’s really about our constitutional rights and statehood, and whether this area known as the State of Nevada is owned by the United States Government or is owned by the sovereign State of Nevada.” -Cliven Bundy
In the midst of this ongoing dispute is the Bundy Family being terrorized by officials. They order Bundy’s son to disperse himself after he was caught taking pictures. When he did not leave quick enough, agents tazed then arrested him. Currently it is estimated 300 federal law enforcement agents are surrounding the Bundy ranch.
Tensions are rising as protestors shown support of Cliven Bundy. Protests against law enforcement agents have been turning violent this week. The federal law enforcement agents have been using physical force against protestors. Bundy’s sister, a 57 year old cancer survivor and mother, was tazed and beaten. A video has been uploaded on youtube of the violence against protestors (Graphic).
Reports of volunteer militia from Texas, Montana, Utah, New Hampshire, and Florida will be mobilizing themselves to stand with Bundy. Estimates are within the thousands of out-of-state militia crossing into Nevada to aide Bundy. Some militia members have stated “We’re not afraid to shoot”. Many are worried this could turn into another Waco standoff. Others are comparing Bundy’s stand against the Federal government to the stand at Lexington that sparked the American Revolution.
“When threats are made that could jeopardize the safety of the American people, the contractors and our personnel; we have the responsibility to provide law enforcement to account for their safety,” National Park Service spokeswoman Christie Vanover told reporters Sunday.