Nevada Cattlemen Association issues statement about Bundy, BLM standoff

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Updated: 4/17/2014 3:43 pm
ELKO, Nev. ( & KRNV) -- The Nevada Cattlemen Association has issued the following statement on the recent tense standoff between Cliven Bundy and the Bureau of Land Management in southern Nevada:

"The Nevada Cattlemen's Association believes that private property rights are at the foundation of our country and our liberty, and we know that the rule of law protects those property rights. Our policy supports private property interests that exist on public lands, including water rights and grazing rights. We also support the continued multiple use of public lands, as authorized by law and confirmed by the courts. It is under this framework of the rule of law that our property rights and multiple uses are protected.

The multiple use statutes allow timber, grazing, wildlife, recreation and other uses to carry on side-by-side in a way that, as the statute reads “will best meet the needs of the American people.” Increasingly, we see the federal government placing higher priority on uses other than grazing. This not only violates the multiple use statutes, it violates the grazing and water rights that are also protected by laws such as the Taylor Grazing Act (TGA). Under the TGA, ranchers have a right to graze livestock on federal lands based on historical utilization. While this property interest is complex by nature given that it exists on surfaces owned by the federal government — it is nonetheless a real property interest that is taxed and saleable. It must be protected. On the same token, ranchers who exercise their grazing rights are obligated to pay a grazing fee as established by law.

Ranchers such as Mr. Bundy have found themselves with their backs against the wall as, increasingly, federal regulations have infringed on their public land grazing rights and the multiple use management principle. This is not only devastating to individual ranching families; it is also causing rural communities in the west to whither on the vine. In the west, one in every two acres is owned by the federal government. Therefore, the integrity of the laws protecting productive multiple use is paramount to the communities that exist there.

The situation in Nevada stands as an example the federal agencies’ steady trend toward elevating environmental and wildlife issues over livestock grazing – in violation of the above mentioned laws and principles. Well intentioned laws such as the Endangered Species Act — which are factors in Mr. Bundy’s case are being implemented in a way that are damaging to our rights and to our western families and communities. In Bundy’s case, the designation of his grazing area as a critical habitat for the endangered desert tortoise gave the BLM the rationale they needed to order a 500% decrease in his cattle numbers. There never was any scientific proof that cattle had historically harmed the desert tortoise.

However, in accordance with the rule of law, we must use the system set forth in our Constitution to change those laws and regulations. Nevada Cattlemen's Association does not condone actions that are outside the law in which citizens take the law into their own hands.

Nevada Cattlemen’s Association (NCA) works hard to change regulations detrimental to the sound management of public lands in a lawful manner and supports the concept of multiple uses on federally managed lands and encourages members of the livestock industry to abide by regulations governing federal lands.

Furthermore, Nevada Cattlemen’s Association supports effective range management through collaboration with resource management agencies and interested parties to achieve rangeland management goals for economically viable ranch operations and the conservation of wildlife species.

With the above stated, this case was reviewed by a federal judge and a decision was rendered to remove the cattle. Nevada Cattlemen’s Association does not feel it is our place to interfere in the process of adjudication in this matter. Additionally, NCA believes the matter is between Mr. Bundy and the Federal Courts.

We regret that this entire situation was not avoided through more local government involvement and better implementation of federal regulations, laws, and court decisions. While we cannot advocate operating outside the law to solve problems, we also sympathize with Mr. Bundy’s dilemma. With good faith negotiations from both sides, we believe a result can be achieved which recognizes the balance that must be struck between private property rights and resource sustainability."

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teedofftaxpayr - 4/19/2014 12:59 PM
0 Votes
Regarding Harry and Solar situation, that has no bearings on this because that area is over 200 miles away regardless of what is reported at Fox News. At least if you're going to complain, get the facts straight. Second those who helped the rancher were c-0-w-a-r-d-s to hide behind the women and children there. That was pathetic. Shows what real backbones that group had. This rancher has been in and out of court for years and knows what's he doing is against the law and should be thrown in prison for breaking them.

retired51 - 4/18/2014 12:56 PM
1 Vote
The NCA is obviously not backing the Bundy's because they know he is wrong!!! The BLM had full legal authority to be their because this deadbeat quit paying his bills!! They were willing to possibly get people killed because of their own greed!! They and his supporters are pathetic!! Furthermore the reason why nevada lands are run by the government is because the nevada constitution gave them the power to do so!! Try reading it sometime!! If the state took back control over these lands then the state would have to pay for all the wildland firefighting which can run into the millions!

bergeo8 - 4/17/2014 3:05 PM
1 Vote
Good comments below but NCA is weak kneed and blinking at the first sign of a conflict. More needs to be found out about Harry and the solar cookie jar he and his son is caught dipping in to.

crr54 - 4/17/2014 10:08 AM
1 Vote
I'm certainly no legal scholar, but I have a feeling that as soon as cattlemen accepted paying fees for permits, they were bound by those permits. That they forgave whatever practice that had beforehand with accepting those permits. Bundy paid those permits so he was bound by those permits. Where he may have made his greatest mistake was not continuing to pay for permits while at the same time taking issues to court. When he stopped paying,he lost his rights to the federal land, and legal recourse. Okay, I don't know what I'm talking about, but is there any sense in what I stated?

barrashee - 4/17/2014 1:48 AM
0 Votes
Isn't part of the problem that the BLM can write it's own laws? For example, the BLM originated the demand that the Bundy cattle herd be reduced by 500%. And while changing the laws is a fine idea, that approach also means constantly playing defense against a machine that knows more about making laws, owns the machinery for making laws and likes to make laws. I don't have the answer, but we are up against innumerable bureaucracies spawned by past Congresses that sub-let the authority given to them by the PEOPLE and we are not going to win playing the games they created, mastered and rigged.

unclebuck48 - 4/16/2014 9:17 PM
1 Vote
If you don't like the laws you work to change them. I don't like the federal governments over reach, or the fact that 89% of Nevada is federally owned. We must work to change this, but until then, you have to obey the laws.

Nevadadad - 4/16/2014 7:59 PM
0 Votes
Tellmewhy... When the government pays their bills and obey the law, then Bundy and the rest of us won't have any choice but to do so as well. They opened the door, allowing people to live in their homes without paying their mortgage and countless other administration decisions not to comply with or abide by the laws of the nation. Now they have no standing.

Tellmewhy - 4/16/2014 7:40 PM
1 Vote
It would appear that this Bundy is scamming the BLM, US taxpayers, and honest ranchers that pay their bills. Does he sell his cattle at a reduced price since he is not paying for his grazing rights. In the old west people that never bothered to pay their bills were commonly know as deadbeats, and other less kinder terms. I find it hard to defend someone who has been riding on the back of honest ranchers for years and years and ducking his obligations to pay for grazing land use.

freedomrings - 4/16/2014 7:16 PM
5 Votes
What is the NCA afraid of, that corrupt little man Harry Reid ?

freedomrings - 4/16/2014 7:04 PM
3 Votes
And how does Harry Reid play into this with the Chinese interest in solar power. Good ole Harry going to line his pockets at the expense of the American ranchers ? This issue must go to the Federal Supreme Court immediately.

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