The Nevada range war being spearheaded by rancher Cliven Bundy has hit a fevered pitch. A recording of protesters being tased, having guns pointed in their faces, and being met with federal agents wielding dogs as weapons has gone viral. The Bureau of Land Management has order approximately 900 “trespass cattle” removed from the public lands in the Gold Butte area.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, The standoff has been brewing for decades and only one rancher still remains in the fight. Cliven Bundy has likened the fight against the federal government in support of both individual rights and states’ rights to the Ruby Ridge and Waco tragedies.
Clark County is in the southern region of Nevada. Bundy is in defiance of a 2013 court order which demands he remove his cattle from US Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management. His family has grazed the 600,000 acre public lands since the 1800s. The public lands have been closed to cattle grazing because of the protective status of the desert tortoise which also grazes in the same area.
Ammon Bundy, Cliven Bundy’s son, told Infowars about 20 cowboys went on land claimed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and retrieved cattle. “We gathered about 30 head. We did have a small confrontation with them, but they didn’t have the forces to do a whole lot. They couldn’t mobilize fast enough and we were able to gather those cattle and get them to the ranch,” the younger Bundy said.
The Nevada confrontation between the armed federal agents and the protesters who support states’ rights and Cliven Bundy resulted in a rancher’s son being hit with a stun gun and a rancher’s daughter being pushed to the ground. One female Clark County protester said a federal agent struck her with his vehicle.
As tensions mount over the impounding of Bundy’s cattle, millions of American have begun to wonder if the Nevada range war is going to turn into another Ruby Ridge tragedy. In the now viral video one female protester can be heard shouting to the federal agents, “You have not fight to be here,” as she stood along the side of the road. An agent is seen and heard telling the Bundy supports they must back away or they would be bitten by the K9 units on scene.
A statement about the Clark County demonstrators released by the Bureau of Land Management reads:
“A BLM truck driven by a non-law enforcement civilian employee assisting with gather operations was struck by a protester on an ATV, and the truck’s exit from the area was blocked by a group of individuals who gathered around the vehicle.”
The federal agency also confirmed that one protester was hit with a stun gun but claims that the incident only occurred because the individual attempted to block the agents using an ATV.
Ohio attorney Jeremy Hudia specializes in property laws. Hudia had this to say about the legal ground upon which Cliven Bundy and other adversely impacted Nevada ranchers stand:
“There is not much of a legal claim. There is a permit process that was originally designed to ensure federal lad wasn’t ruined by too many ranchers letting their animals graze. There is no legal right to access to the property. Historically, ranchers would let their cattle graze on public land, and the government didn’t stop them. Back in the 1930s, however, the land was being harmed by all the uncontrolled grazing. So laws were passed to create a permit process to control the amount of grazing. There is no ‘right’ to use public land for one’s personal gain. His legal recourse was to appeal the denial of his permit, but he has done that, and lost. He didn’t have much of a chance because the permit process is largely at the discretion of the Bureau of Land Management, and courts won’t overturn their permit decision without very strong evidence. Most of the time the courts will defer to the Bureau.”
Protesters in support of the ranchers’ right to continue using public and angered over perceived federal government overreach have traveled to Clark County from multiple states. The Bureau of Land Management further contends that the protesters have “crossed into illegal activity” and are “impeding cattle movement” and making overt threats against the armed federal agents.
The federal agency created “First Amendment Zones” for protester to gather. Such an act and designation has fueled backlash over the Cliven Bundy issue because, after all, the entire United States of America was designated a free speech zone by the Founding Fathers more than 200 years ago. Republican Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval stated earlier this week that the creation of First Amendment zones tramples on the fundamental Constitutional rights of his citizens.
Governor Sandoval also had this to say about the range war:
“I have advised the BLM that such conduct is offensive to me and countless others and that the ‘First Amendment Area’ should be dismantled immediately. No cow justifies the atmosphere of intimidation which currently exists nor the limitation of constitutional rights that are sacred to all Nevadans. The BLM needs to reconsider its approach to this matter and act accordingly.”
The Nevada Cattleman’s Association has opted out of getting involved in the fight between the ranchers and the federal government. The Bundy family maintains that federal agents have “surrounded” their ranch with snipers and sent “heavy duty military grade weapons” to the Gold Butte area of Clark County. A Bureau of Land Management representative could not confirm or deny the claims of the Bundy family but stated did say that, “security personnel have been called on to ensure the safety of federal employees and contractors.”
How do you feel about Cliven Bundy and the Nevada range war?