16 April 2014 - The Bundy-BLM Issue Makes News

The standoff in the Nevada desert a few days ago between rancher Clive Bundy and the BLM, the Bureau of Land Management, got a great deal of national television coverage. I am very relieved that it came to an end without bloodshed and without violence; a lot of anger but at least no one got hurt.

Beef Daily, with editor Amanda Blake & reporter Joe Rybal, I think has done a good job of covering the story and I would like to quote some of what they had to say. They pointed out that: “The Bundy/BLM issue has expanded into a much wider debate over freedom, personal rights, state rights vs. Federal rights, taxation, and government excess control, even the Second Amendment.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, though rather matter of factly, said after it ended “This situation isn’t over.”

According to Beef Daily, this is the situation: “The standoff was initially over unpaid grazing fees by Bundy. The Federal government claims Bundy owes more than $1-million in unpaid grazing fees going back to the 1990's. Bundy says he recognizes state authority, but not federal authority, in the regulation of land his family has used for cattle for more than a century . Thus he says he won’t pay the federal portion of the fees.”

People, particularly farmers and ranchers in the West, are constantly dealing with rules and regulations with many U.S. Government agencies in addition to BLM . . . U. S. Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife Service and Environmental Protection Service rules and regulations that are affecting their business. Let me point out that ranchers do pay federal grazing fees, so not all of them felt strongly about supporting Bundy since he hadn’t paid his fees and that is part of the deal. The Nevada Cattlemen’s Association did object to the way the BLM handled the situation, but readers of the Las Vegas Review-Journal basically said Bundy is a criminal and should be treated as such.

The thing I wonder though, is what has happened to our Constitution in matters such as this. When I went to the one-room, eight grade country school in Wisconsin, I was taught there are three branches of government, the legislature legislates, the executive executes and the judicial decides legality.

More and more, we don’t find that happening . . . as a matter of fact, President Obama has said if Congress doesn’t give me the laws I want, I will legislate by executive order. He has done that more times than any other President and I think, in the battle between state and federal rights, that is wrong.

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