Clive Bundy and the Rule of Law

 

 

The stand off between the Bureau of Land Management and rancher Clive Bundy raises some very intriguing questions about the rule of law in the land of the free and the home of the brave in this year of grace 2014.  Bundy and his family have grazed cattle on federal land for generations.   In 1993 the Bureau of Land Management changed the rules of the game, limiting the number of cattle to 150 that Bundy could graze, ostensibly to protect an endangered desert tortoise that, it turns out, are so endangered that in recent years the Bureau of Land Management has had to cull them because they have grown so numerous.  It also turns out that the tortoise and cattle co-exist fine in any case.

After 1993 Bundy stopped paying Federal grazing fees and grazed his cattle anyway, arguing that the land actually belongs to the State of Nevada rather than the Feds.  That argument has been a loser in court for Bundy.  He also has powerful enemies in Senator Harry Reid (D.Nv) and his son Rory Reid who often seem to assume that Nevada is, or should be, their personal fiefdom.  Go here  and here to read about their shady involvement in all this.  This all led to an attempted massive show of force by the Bureau of Land Management last week to round up Bundy’s cattle which was called off when videos of confrontations between the Feds and volunteers seeking to protect the Bundy cattle began filling the net.  Harry Reid has vowed this isn’t over.

Andrew McCarthy at National Review Online points out why so many people around the country sympathize with Bundy whose family has grazed cattle on public land for 140 years.

The underlying assumption of our belief in the rule of law is that we are talking about law in the American tradition: provisions that obligate everyone equally and that are enforced dispassionately by a chief executive who takes seriously the constitutional duty to execute the laws faithfully. The rule of law is not the whim of a man who himself serially violates the laws he finds inconvenient and who, under a distortion of the “prosecutorial discretion” doctrine, gives a pass to his favored constituencies while punishing his opposition. The rule of law is the orderly foundation of our free society; when it devolves into a vexatious process by which ideologues wielding power undertake to tame those whose activities they disfavor, it is not the rule of law anymore.

The legitimacy of law and our commitment to uphold it hinge on our sense that the law and its execution are just. As John Hinderaker points out, concerns about the desert tortoise—the predicate for taking lawful action against Nevada ranchers under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)—turn out to be pretextual. The ideologues who run the government only want to enforce the ESA against a disfavored class, the ranchers. If you’re a well-connected Democrat who needs similar land for a solar project, the Obama administration will not only refrain from enforcing the ESA against you; it will transport the tortoises to the ranchers’ location in order to manufacture a better pretext for using the law to harass the ranchers.

When law becomes a politicized weapon rather than a reflection of society’s shared principles, one can no longer expect it to be revered in a manner befitting “political religion.” And when the officials trusted to execute law faithfully violate laws regularly, they lose their presumption of legitimacy. Much of the public is not going to see the Feds versus Bundy as the Law versus the Outlaw; we are more apt to see it as the Bully versus the Small Fry.

Go here to read the rest.  When the Law is seen as  a neutral arbiter of disputes based upon applicable laws, people tend to have great respect for it.  That respect vanishes like water in the desert when it becomes clear that the Law is being used as a weapon by the politically connected to work their will against those who oppose them.

 

98 Responses to Clive Bundy and the Rule of Law

  • I think something similar is happening in the Church. Pelosi, the Nuns on the Bus, et al usually get a pass and take Communion or get an Honorary Degree from Important Catholic University. Not so much people like Sister Jane. Opine that maybe the divorce culture isn’t a good thing by citing a reputable journal and you’ve got to go on sabbatical.
    :
    Little wonder our bishops and many priests are no longer respected.

  • Disputes of this kind frequently arise over land, because the question, “who owns this piece of land” seems like a simple one, but is, often, anything but.

    A landowner sells land (or feus it heritably and irredeemably), reserving let us say, the mineral, timber and sporting rights (a very common form of grant); who owns the land? Scottish lawyers have traditionally said that the seller owns it (dominium directum), but the purchaser owns the use (dominium utile). This means that, at whatever distance in time, the seller and his successors in title can irritate the grant for the least infringement of their rights on the grounds of purpresture. In the case supposed, let a hare be shot or a few ctw of sand or gravel be extracted or a timber tree felled, or a windfall used or disposed of and the superior may declare all and whole of the lands forfeit, regardless of the amount the purchasers may have expended on them and thereby irritating all subordinate rights acquired, such as leases or lenders’ rights in security. Let the occupier resist these demands and he runs the risk of creating a further ground of forfeiture, namely disclamation, for his breach of fealty in disputing his superior’s rights.

    Indeed, there has been a scandalous trade in more or less worthless superiorities, by speculators, often thieves and broken men of England, hoping to take advantage of such irritancies, either to repossess the land or to extort money for grants of novodamus, waiving the breach. In Scotland, the offenders have been subject superiors, rather than the Crown.

  • There is a law that covers everything. Today, I will commit several federal crimes just being me.

    Obama and the Reids own 86% of Nevada. Why?

    Regarding the “volunteers”, are you crazy? You’ve marked yourselves for death. You cannot beat them and their M/RAP’s.

    This is why the progressives push gun control/assault weapons confiscations. They cannot have the serfs shooting back. The secret police don’t like it.

  • Note the title: the Bureau of Land Management. Management is not ownership. It is management because all public lands (and waterways and buildings) belong to each individual person in America in joint and common tenancy. You own it all and I own it all and Clive Bundy owns it all in joint and common tenancy. Government owns nothing of itself. Government is the servant of the people made up of people who, too, own in joint and common tenancy and are common citizens, their office set apart with the laws Donald McClarey so very succinctly reiterates.
    .
    Harry Reid is fighting for his part of ownership. Clive Bundy is fighting for his ownership. Possession is nine-tenths of the law. Bundy is there first. Reid must get consent from Bundy by maybe saying: ”PLEASE” and cannot use the government departments to serve his own purpose as Donald McClarey points out. Having said that, government against the people is treason against the nation. (and maybe, probably, perjury in a court of law)

  • God owns the land. In the Old Testament land ownership and use is very distinctly defined.

  • The cattle keep the weeds down, fertilize and enrich the land making the cattle valuable assets in land management. Besides, Clive Bundy looks like John Wayne. Harry Reid you lose.
    .
    It is probably another strategy of Obama’s to take a stranglehold on our food chain. Where will the cattle feed? The herds will have to be reduced if feed becomes more expensive.

  • This is crazy. First Obama got Cal Sunstein, Obama’s czar of propaganda to make persons of animals, persons without a rational, immortal soul and sovereign personhood and endowed human rights, so that your beef steak could sue you in a court of law and your pork chop could be defined as a citizen to maybe vote for Obama. Now this, if Obama can’t have it, he will destroy it.

  • Bill Clinton’s executive orders is an eye opener. For instance: “President Clinton repealed a number of important executive orders issued by Presidents Reagan and Bush, who both had issued a variety of cross-cutting executive orders calling on executive branch agencies to take important constitutional or institutional principles into account when they take regulatory action. The constitutional and institutional principles elevated by Presidents Reagan and George H. W. Bush were varied but fundamental. They included paying special attention to the cost and benefit tradeoffs of government regulation (Executive Order 12291, 1981); the constitutional structure of federalism with an instruction not to carelessly preempt state authority and law (Executive Order 12612, 1987); avoiding interference with the traditional family (Executive Order 12606, 1987); the constitutional guarantee against uncompensated takings of private property (Executive Order 12630, 1988); and the clarity of drafting regulations and whether any unclear rules would lead to costly and unnecessary law suits (Executive Order 12778, 1991).” from Heritage Foundation.
    .
    Notice that the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee of “just” compensation for the public taking of private property has been abrogated without three quarters of the states ratifying the change. It was Clinton who placed all public lands and waterways under the direct authority of the Executive, Clinton thinking that Hillary would be next in line for the presidency. That is now possible in 2016.
    .
    THE SEPARATION OF POWERS
    “There can be no liberty where the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person.”
    –Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu1
    “The accumulation of all power, legislative, executive, and judiciary in the same hands…may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”
    –James Madison, Federalist 46
    “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.”
    –U.S. Constitution, Art. I, § 1
    “The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.”
    –U.S. Constitution, Art. II, § 1, cl. 1from the Heritage Foundation

  • This dispute is an aspect of a weird anomaly that needs to be rectified, and that is that the federal government is the allodial holder of over 20% of the land area of the United States. Some of that is park and preserve land or auxilliary to federal ownership of water courses or consists of old-growth forest, but the vast bulk is commercial grazing and timber land. It is long past time that this land was auctioned off. One sticky point is that reliance on property taxes generates a bias toward deforestation, so you need a system of bounties and excises that counter-act that and stabilize total forest inventories. The other is that grazing rights on federal land are a status tenure – they are allocated to those owning adjacent pieces of property. The rights are then capitalized into the sale prices of adjacent pieces of property. You have to buy back the grazing permits from the current holders, and figuring a compensation formula is a fiendish task (though worth it in the long run).

    As for the Endangered Species Act, it’s turned into a wedge for various New Class sectors to harass private enterprise. State regulation of the use of common property resources and prohibitions on poaching have a looong history and are socially necessary. Manipulating the course of nature in this way does not. Biologists wishing to preserve particular species can build their facilities and preserves from the donations they can hustle and from local governments willing to pony up for zoos. There is no need for the national government to engage in this sort of activity nor to abuse its regulatory authority for the benefit of club enthusiasts.

    While we are at it, is it really necessary for the federal government to maintain all this park and preserve land? Parks, preserves, and trail systems crossing state lines make up about 15% of the inventory maintained by the National Park Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service (IIRC). The largest park in the lower 48 is the Adirondack State Park, so it’s not as if more particular authorities cannot do this sort of work, even if Ken Burns fancies that’s not America’s Best Idea. Why not deed over any intrastate parcel a state government is willing to accept with the stipulation that it remain parkland for a term of decades and the idled park rangers will be hired to run it? We get devolution and we irritate Ken Burns in the process, salutary activities both.

    And while we’re on the subject of the Park Service, have you seen the federal facility at Franklin Roosevelt’s house? Turn it over to the Democratic National Committee and tell them to pony up for their own shrines.

    /rant off.

  • That respect vanishes like water in the desert when it becomes clear that the Law is being used as a weapon by the politically connected to work their will against those who oppose them.

    Eric Holder, Vaughn Walker, Anthony Kennedy, the appellate judiciary generally, the U.S. Attorney’s offices, sundry local prosecutors, various state attorneys-general, the legal professoriate, and the management of elite law firms all have a hand in this. The rot in the legal profession is everywhere and there is no ready way to remedy matters.

  • The first thing that comes to my mind is that thought from the government that the “law is for thee, not for me.” And as power gets more and more consolidated that is a scary thought.
    Like Mary DeVoe I am reminded of the ancient truth from way back in the book of Moses, that the land belongs to God. Along with that venerable wisdom, there was to be a time of jubilee periodically to reinforce that cooperation with God’s will.
    For that matter, the ruler of the nation was to be God, and the “power grab” of King David in taking a census is still instructive to us.
    the arming of the BLM with weapons of war- wow! How is that explained?

  • FYI, people, I’m one-in-a-million.

    The SAFE Act, passed in New York last year, had an April 15 deadline for owners of assault-style weapons to register their guns with the state. About 1 million New Yorkers refused to comply.

    J. Christian Adams, “Yesterday was a significant day in the IRS abuse scandal. The scandal evolved from being about pesky delays in IRS exemption applications to a government conniving with outside interests to put political opponents in prison.”

  • Thank You all. This has been going on for a long time and the farmers and ranchers have been forced into lock step adherence to the most ridiculous rules and regulations that have driven millions of family farmers and ranchers off the land. The land is the most valuable asset in the world. Who owns the land, controls the people. All of the wars fought and the millions of displaced humanity has been over control of the land. I am so proud of the Bundy’s and all the farmers and ranchers over the last hundred years who have tried to stand up to this blatant takeover of the most valuable resource. All new wealth comes from the land. Harry Reid and his ilk know that. Those lands hold trillions of dollars of renewable wealth. Those lands (these lands) hold the families of faith and hard work and determination and respect of God given life in all of its glorious beauty and its profound loss and devastation. These lands hold the gateway to the food supply of the world. Harry Reid knows that.

  • ART DECO:”This dispute is an aspect of a weird anomaly that needs to be rectified, and that is that the federal government is the allodial holder of over 20% of the land area of the United States.”
    .
    Was it not the taxpayers who bought and purchased the land by their hard earned tax money that the government now claims to own? I, for one, would like to see the deed, indeed. Ugly usurpers abusing the power of their governmental office to cheat, lie and pillage. Legislate illegitimate laws and executive orders that are of no service to the people, people who had the courage to become citizens in this strange land.
    .
    In New Jersey, where I was born and raised, The Otken farm, the Cornell Dairy Farm, 40 acres of the Michael Smith’s farm were taken and sold to developers so that the “officials ” could raise their salaries. OK and maybe a new yacht. The “officials” changed the Fifth Amendment from “public use” to “public purposes” for this theft and without three quarters of the states ratifying the change to our Constitution. Carter, Clinton and Obama have written themselves a new Constitution without the necessary 3/4 of the states’ ratification. If this is not taxation without representation, what are we paying taxes for? to be herded like cattle?

  • All public lands and waterways are held in trust by us and for us and our constitutional posterity, those few left who have not been aborted by the “public servants”; those few of us who have not been forced to commit suicide. Makes me mad.

  • Anzlyne: Please excuse my ignorance, but what is a BLM?

  • Bureau of Land Management. Pretty well armed bureaucrats ! Not men in gray flannel suits- snipers in camouflage
    .
    IRS, NSA , EPA and others including Hpmeland Security have been used as partisan political tools. … I am thinking now with Common Core we could also add the dept of education to that list
    And while I am thinking about i, the Natoonsl Park people were used to shut down or deny access during the so called government shutdown
    And what about the USDA – department of Agriculture awarding reparation payments on basis of race , building dependency to buy democratic votes.
    Not to mention the DOJ.

  • Was it not the taxpayers who bought and purchased the land by their hard earned tax money that the government now claims to own?

    The Nixon era expansion of the national park system, I think did amount to that, but most was public land to begin with and never vended by the old General Land Office.

  • Art Deco: The Louisiana Purchase was purchased with taxes, Federal money yes, collected from the people. And Alaska, Seward’s Folly. This land would have belonged to the person who put up the money. The American citizen.

  • Thomas Jefferson’s Lewis and Clark Expedition was bought and paid for by citizens’ money. See: Indwellers, and the Pacific Justice Institute and Brad Daccus, people who live in the national parks for free won their case when the National Parks rangers tried to evict them, because these are public lands and citizens are the “public”.
    .
    There was one restaurant in a public park that was closed down when the government closed down and suffered a loss of $30,000 per day. Parks services work for the Federal government and are paid for by American citizens. This country is established with citizens’ money by citizens for citizens.

  • It wasn’t federal land for most of the time he was grazing on it.

    According to my folks– who are getting their information via ranch sources, so I can’t link, perhaps the Capital Press or Range Magazine will help?– Bundy was paying Grazing fees. To the state. Their grazing commission took his money even after the Feds took over the land (not bought, note) and refuse to pass it on.

    Really do need to get rid of so much federal land. I believe there are some pretty strict limits on it in the Constitution, aren’t there?

  • I do not believe there are constitutional limits on federal land ownership. It’s a consequence of inertia and interest group politics. Maintaining a commons to be used for grazing is an ancient practice. You may have noticed, however, that there are no medieval open-field villages in this country and there never were. Maintaining grazing land is not a public function and even if it were, it would hardly have to repair to the central government in a country of our dimensions.

  • Art– Article I, Sec. 8, Clause 17 is what I usually see mentioned.

  • A similar situation exists in Arizona–Federally owned lands are 74% of the total square acreage; now add in 12% for the State of AZ, other municipalities 2%. Private ownership is only 12%.
    With the Great Beast of State owning so much, one must not ask the question: “Whose land is it anyway?” Now consider for a moment: Why would the Feds have purchased over 2 Billion (with a capital”B”) rounds of ammunition in the last 2 years, including (as reported by infowars.com Feb 10, 2014, an enormous amount of .303 Winchester-type high-velocity sniper ammunition? Hmm. Kevlar, anyone?

  • Just out of curiosity… When Clive Bundy claims “ancesteral rights” to public lands and rights for grazing his cows… How about the “ancesteral rights” of the Native People (original owners) of the land??? The Native People; Sovereign People of this Continent that was literally “stolen” from them should have rights of return of the land to them… Clive Bundy is just another “entitled” human claiming rights to receive “special” treatment and using the law to break the law

  • And with that thought I should add that his actual ancestral homeland is someplace in Europe. So with that why don’t you racist white Americans go back to Europe. Leave what left of this continent to us traditional Natives Americans so we can fix and heal the land as well as ourselves. AND with the whites who are left as well as the Asians and African Americans and the Mexicans we can make this country something special. Wake up ignorant people

  • “So with that why don’t you racist white Americans go back to Europe.”

    My Cherokee ancestors are laughing their tails off at that one Adam. I think I’ll stay whether it is all the same to you or not. By the way, it may have escaped your notice, but not only whites are capable of racism. What your interjection of race has to do with the subject of this post, I will leave to sharper minds to comprehend.

  • How about the “ancesteral rights” of the Native People (original owners) of the land??? The Native People; Sovereign People of this Continent that was literally “stolen” from them should have rights of return of the land to them…

    Which ones? The most recent invaders, or the first ones we can find evidence of having lived in the area before another tribe forced them out? Assuming we can find any living relatives, of course.

    Given the rest of what you said, you are probably doing the incredibly Eurocentric thing of lumping all tribes into one group– as if the Pit River Indians were just like the Modocs who were just like whatever the most recently recorded tribe around that area was, let alone like the Cherokee or whatever my great grand was. (Special hint, a lot of folks have an Indian great-great-whatever-grandmother. Not living as a hunter-gatherer is a great aphrodisiac.)

    If you want to respect the tribal traditions– those of the tribes that survived, anyways– then they lost the right to the land when the stronger tribe moved in and successfully defended it. (The land is yours if you can keep it– a pretty universal tribal value.)

    ****

    More rationally, right to use land isn’t generally absolute. If you abandon it and someone else uses it and improves it, they eventually own it. Common law background of “adverse possession.”

  • Donald you don’t get it. Anybody can be racist. Its a said sick disease. I never said white people own it. The term racism was first used by two German scientist’ in the late 1800 to supposedly prove why western Europeans were better then everyone else.
    Reverse racism has become a answer that a lot of minorities go yo for a while tip they find better ways to combat something that is so ingrained in American culture that most people are blind to it. Now Donald are you a elder? Do you know the old songs and stories? Do you know ceremonies or how to tell when it might rain how to find water how to make fire or any of the old ways? Anything at all?????? If not then u are not traditional and don’t know anything yet. Go learn so or come here and I can teach you. But if you not a traditional then don’t pretend.

  • LOL Magua,

    Some GI’s in Vietnam left death cards around. The tribes were known by their particular methods of mutilating their murder victins.

    This land was made for only murderous, stone-age . . .

  • Now firefox. I had a really good answer for you but my wife started to tickle me and I lost it so I will do this one instead. So the pit river Indians were fro. Eleven different bands who’s neighbors included the paiutes. They lived n the great basin area and differed from my mothers people greatly. My mothers people were more aligned by culture to the peoples of the northwest coast such as the Chinook to Tillamook or the Quinault peoples up north. Now my dads people were completely. Different then my moms people due to geography and environment. They lived in the valleys of the Copper Canyons of Northern Mexico. They lived caves while my moms people the playanos……basically firefox us natives have some common demoninators but we were as all different. As for the rest of your comment take some history classes and read more books go talk to some elders then we will talk.

  • Art– Article I, Sec. 8, Clause 17 is what I usually see mentioned.

    I think that would apply if the land had been purchased without the consent of the state in question, which may be true for particular parcels. I am fairly sure the bulk of the property held by the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management has always been federal land.

  • How about the “ancesteral rights” of the Native People (original owners) of the land???

    It is non sequitur to speak of ‘owners’ of land in sparsely populated territories with no registry or factor markets. They could only have been usufructuaries – as status obtained after they chased off the previous band of usufructuaries.

  • “Now Donald are you a elder? Do you know the old songs and stories?”

    No. Yes, and I know the history of the Cherokee far better than many an Indian activist.

  • Adam-
    Impressive wikipedia skills, however you failed at responding to any point made, making a rational argument, and basic reading comprehension. “Foxfier” is not that hard to spell.

    YOU are the one that wanted to pretend that every tribe was the same– a thing you continue with your attempt to “explain” that they were different because they were in different environments. They’re different because they are entirely different organizations.

    There’s a racist here, but it’s not Donald or myself. It’s the one trying to speak for “us” and group all Indian tribes into one monolithic group.

  • I am fairly sure the bulk of the property held by the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management has always been federal land.

    I know that’s not so, because they buy new land each year. I’ve known families that sold it to them!

    The Forest Service especially buys a lot of land for “preservation.”

    The BLM was formed in part of the General Land Office, according to their web site, when it was combined with the Grazing Office. I’m pretty sure they’re still acquiring land, but I’m very sure that they’re also paying people to sue them to make it illegal for anybody to use land.

  • They may buy land, but they started out with a huge hoard.

  • Ok Donald glad you know some Cherokee history. You give nothing to back it up so question are you eastern or western Cherokee and if I’m not to intrusive which clan do you come from? I know a lot of this stuff was last but since you claim to know thing teach them so they don’t die out. And firefox. Sorry sleep check fixed your name. But you to are mistaken. I never claimed any native tribe or nation was the same as another. I simply stated that we are all oppressed and have been since contact by racist. And this Clive bundy guy is a idiot for claiming ancestrial rights since any body who knows history knows that us natives ( you name the tribe) were here first. Does that make this easier for you to understand firefox. Or do I need to simplify this again. No firefox. As for you implying. I’m racist to who am I racist against and what part of my ethnically mixed body should I cut off since you falsely assume I’m a racist. Calm your emotions and read closley what’s said so you understand amigo.

  • “You give nothing to back it up so question are you eastern”

    Eastern. My ancestors migrated to Illinois prior to the Trail of Tears. This was on my paternal grandmother’s side and the family name was Collier.

  • “Ancestral rights” are a mischievous thing.
    In Scotland, we got rid of them in 1617 and for a very good reason: “Considdering the gryit hurt sustened by his Maiesties Liegis by the fraudulent dealing of pairties who haveing annaliet thair Landis and ressauit gryit soumes of money thairfore Yit be thair vniust concealing of sum privat Right formarlie made by thame rendereth subsequent alienatioun done for gryit soumes of money altogidder vnprofittable whiche can not be avoyded vnles the saidis privat rightis be maid publict and patent to his hienes liegis…”
    “Made public and patent,” that is what justice requires and the solution is obvious: “thair salbe ane publick Register… [in which] all instrumentis of seasing salbe registrat”

  • Adam-
    Still, no actual answer to any argument– I thought for a second you might when you actually mentioned Bundy, but it was just name-calling and ignoring that the Bundy family has been maintaining their rights, rather than trying to act like genetic relation was enough. You spin, and try to get people angry to distract them– and again with the inability to spell a very simple name, and again with the pretending that “Indians” are all one political group. Which you grace yourself with membership to, and try to regulate.
    Why can’t we get a better quality of random fanatics? One that actually bothers to have make an argument, instead of mistaking attempts to annoy for arguments? Seriously, every other one messes with my name. I am not much of a speller, but good grief.

  • Article I, Sec. 8, Clause 17 refers to Congress having exclusive legislative powers over the land in question.
    There is a distinction long recognised in Europe between the public property of the Crown (ut de corona) and property that comes into the Crown’s hands, for example by purchase or escheat, where the Crown may hold of a subject superior, just like a private person (ut de honore) and, if it the title is itself a superiority, the vassals are said to hold of the Crown ut de persona, without the incidents of Crown vassalage.
    The framers would, no doubt, be familiar with the distinction between property public in its nature and patrimonial property that happens to belong to the state.

  • I simply stated that we are all oppressed and have been since contact by racist

    Aboriginals are not oppressed in this country. Reservation Indians have depressed earnings due to residence inconvenient to skilled employment, indifferent schooling, and dipsomania.

  • There has been no more graphic object lesson in American history of the devastation wreaked by socialism than the appalling history of Indians as the “wards” of the government on reservations.

  • Art-
    Dig long enough and you’ll probably hit the stylish notion that intermarriage is genocide, and not acting as Adam believes is the proper way for Indians is oppression. Got shoveled at me quite enough once folks saw my great grand’s wedding picture. (Oppression! She was wearing a clean, comfortable dress that someone else sewed!)

    I take the same view as the lady my mom grew up knowing, and I grew up familiar with, who was born in a traditional village: I give thanks that my female ancestress decamped ASAP for modern medical care, and have little patience for romanticism about struggling to survive and mechanisms related to it, and less for the crab-pot mentality that rules those who take advantage of opportunity are not “really” Indians.

  • *nod* Sadly, yes, Donald.

    The valley I was born in had a reservation. The difference between the kids off of it as compared to, say, the grandkids of those who went to Indian School with my grandmother was horrifying in retrospect. (Not even counting the contrast in cousins– her brother in law ended up marrying a Paiute lady in the area. Some cousins lived on the rez. Last one drank himself to death last year, younger than me. Sometimes wonder if having outside family to call on didn’t make it worse, but what are you going to do?)

    CS Lewis’ observations in that Narnia novel about the Horse and the kids (A Horse and His Boy? Been too long.) are sadly appropriate.

  • “AND with the whites who are left as well as the Asians and African Americans and the Mexicans we can make this country something special. Wake up ignorant people.”

    This comment of itself seems somewhat racist, making the claim that Asians, African Americans and Mexicans are all the same. Three of my four grandparents left Mexico to come here. Not because they thought America needed to be changed, but because they were leaving oppression and hatred. They loved living here and, while they did experience true racism like yours, they never thought of going back. America saved them.

    By the way, the other quarter of me is Native.

  • More rationally, right to use land isn’t generally absolute. If you abandon it and someone else uses it and improves it, they eventually own it. Common law background of “adverse possession.”
    .
    The Homestead Act is still valid.
    .
    Clive Bundy’s home is his “village”.

  • Are Native American Indians, a sovereign nation within a sovereign nation, taxed?

  • What is the real purpose of this government move against Clive Bundy? So, far the government is not saying. I see no difference between the land that belongs to the public and patrimonial land. Government belongs to, is paid for and is constituted by the people. It would seem odd that government that belongs to the people ought to have land in its own sphere.

  • If you or your children are, now, I am not sure if it is 1/8 or 1/4 Native American Indian and can prove it, you and they, can attend any college of their choice, all room, board and tuition free.
    .
    Native Hawaiians wanted to become a sovereign nation within a sovereign nation, but were told that since they had voted to become a state, they had to stay that way. Puerto Rico has voted to remain a dependent a number of times. Puerto Rico pays no taxes.

  • If Clive Bundy rents the land and the American Public who steward the land, I will not say own the land, since God our Creator, owns the land, and Bundy has not polluted or committed any crime against the people, consider calling the people, the state, there must be a valid reason for this move against his livelihood.
    .
    This it would seem is the crux of this matter. What crime did Bundy commit against the people, for this prohibition of his use of the land, what is and has been the right of a free people.
    .
    My sister is in the top 1% of IQ in the world, I, nooot sooo muuuch, so mom always said that I was beautiful. God bless mom.

  • Article I, Sec. 8, Clause 17 refers to Congress having exclusive legislative powers over the land in question.
    .
    To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; And
    .
    To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.
    .
    The Seat of Government is Washington, D.C. The rest is public use, not public purposes. “Legislation” by Congress is the voice of the people. Congress has not passed any legislation to permit the eviction of a citizen or even otherwise, a guest, unless a crime has been committed and the person becomes “persona non-grata” and can legally and morally be deported.
    .
    In America Harry Reid, as all politicians, is a citizen. His office is not to be abused for private enterprise or for public purposes.

  • “More rationally, right to use land isn’t generally absolute. If you abandon it and someone else uses it and improves it, they eventually own it. Common law background of “adverse possession.”
    .
    Squatters’ Rights. In my home, the adjacent property owner placed his fence two feet onto my boundary. When I purchased the property, my lawyer told me that I needed to inform the adjacent property owner of my intent to clam the land and by legal notification. As long as the adjacent property owner was informed of my claim, he could not claim the land for himself after seven years.
    .
    It seems that the government is trying to claim the land as its own, when the land belongs to the people. Who has claim over and above Bundy’s claim? Will this government try to find someone to file a claim over and above Bundy’s claim. Actually, the fact that Bundy uses the land for his cattle, may allow Bundy to claim Squatters’ Rights.

  • I am not of American Indian ancestry that I know of. I do know by talking with American Indians every day, that great umbrage is taken if I confuse the Tribes in the area – Oneida are not Menominee are not Ojibwe are not Potawatomie are not Ho-Chunk are not. . . so on and so forth. So to think that American Indians are one group with many different parts is a fallacy. It is to think Europeans are all the same but different part. Wars have been fought because they view themselves as different, both here and Europe. Even though I am considered white, my Eastern European heritage has much more Asian background than Western European. Just as Europeans, American Indians, around me, view themselves as different and not as one group. In addition there is a lot of inter-tribal rivalry due to casinos and protecting their cash flow. But this is all far afield of the intent of this article/editorial on Land Rights.

  • In response:
    “When queried about the Bundy family’s claim to Prescriptive Rights, BLM explained “We are worried that he might” [have those rights] “and he might use that defense.”. Which explains the show of force instead of further legal action. No, this was Harry Reid, et.al being offended that this Mormon cowboy was fighting them instead of rolling over.”

    http://www.examiner.com/article/understading-the-harry-reid-and-communist-chinese-fight-against-mormon-cattle?cid=db_articles

  • Cliven Bundy, labeled as a “domestic terrorist”, must charged and faced by his accuser in a court of law. Bundy needs to be read the part of the law he broke. Ex post facto law is unconstitutional. Bundy has a Constitutional right to a fair and speedy trial and being faced by his accuser. This needs to happen. Make it happen. Bolsheviks are not empowered to run America.

  • Jim: i read your link. A Chinese solar plant in Nevada for the Chinese to own our energy supply?

  • Thomas Jefferson said in 1802: I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property–until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.

  • “If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property–until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”

    Jefferson never served a day in the Continental Army and died bankrupt. He had zip understanding of either armies or banks.

    The quote cited is a fake quote made up circa 1937, although there is no doubt that spendthrift Jefferson hated banks, although he was quite adept in his personal life of spending well beyond his means.

    http://www.snopes.com/quotes/jefferson/banks.asp

    http://www.monticello.org/site/research-and-collections/debt

  • Jim I read your link too. Very interesting. No coverage of this to speak of. I understand that CNN is looking the other way, so busy covering pings in the Pacific, and that CbsNbc and Abc are busy helping transform the world- but why doesn’t FOX do their homework on thus?

    . How does a senator have authority to sell U.S. Properly rights to a foreign company? Doesn’t there have to be de kind of clearance and review ? And what made those county officials go for this? Who makes the decision?
    – Do hearings have to be held before such a huge decisions are made. Seems like we need a whole lot of sunshine on these kinds of dealings.

  • I’ve seen a couple of hatchet-jobs– accusations of “welfare ranchers,” shock that land is actually used, lots of creatively ignorant misinterpretations of ranch gossip and quoting radical preservationists as unbiased sources.

    FOX is probably realizing that there’s no way to make folks happy, and avoiding it– the guy is not the one I’d pick as a shining example, but the BLM is beyond screwy, and there’s a lot of stink even before you look for Reid related corruption.

  • In related news, my family moved cows onto the School Section today; that’s land put aside to fund the schools by renting it for cattle and harvesting timber. (Thus, the early morning posting. I brought the kids
    Imagine if the BLM actually managed land for farming, rather than trying to drive people off to protect turtles the BLM is euthanizing.

  • Thank you, again, Donald McClarey. I really need to laugh after reading Jim’s link. Alexander Hamilton built the banking system in America.
    .
    The Chinese taking over our energy supply using our money on our land is not happy. As land owners, this deal would give the Chinese the right to enter and stay in the United States without any oversight, passport, or any permission, necessary. Harry Reid selling us out, using his office, for a personal buck.
    .
    Then there was the ABscam scandal, influence peddling. I know Absam was real because I lived through it. Sen Harrison Williams went to prison for two years with a three year sentence…but this time, the guns, the snipers…unbelieveable.
    .
    Anzlyne: “How does a senator have authority to sell U.S. Properly rights to a foreign company? Doesn’t there have to be de kind of clearance and review ? And what made those county officials go for this? Who makes the decision?
    – Do hearings have to be held before such a huge decisions are made. Seems like we need a whole lot of sunshine on these kinds of dealings.”
    .
    Happy Easter Anzlyne and all.

  • It is often far from easy to decide whether a right of pasturage is a right of property, or a mere servitude over another’s land.

    According to the leading text-book (Duff), to give an immediate right the grant must necessarily flow from the proprietor of the barony or estate to which the common pertains, but a grant a non domino [from a non-owner] is a good prescriptive title, providing it is recorded in the Register of Sasines.
    Thus a conveyance of lands “cum communion” (with commonty) confers a right of property. The like interpretation is given to other terms clearly denoting a right in the soil and not a mere interest in the surface, such as “with shealings and gleanings” or “with gleanings grazings and shealings,” whereas the terms “common pasturage,” “privilege of commonty,” “pasturage of cattle and privilege of commonty,” “parts pendicles and pertinents with privilege of shealing” and the like import a right of servitude only.
    Again, only a proprietor can claim a right of division. Mere servitude men cannot insist against the proprietor of that share of a common subject which is declared to form their servient tenement for a division of such share and thus convert a right of servitude into a right of property. In a question between proprietors and feuars having a servitude of pasturage, the latter have a claim to so much of the common as will pasture the number of cattle which they have been in use to graze on it or, in the general division, they may have their rights of servitude valued and a portion of the common subject allotted in lieu of them.

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour “Thus a conveyance of lands “cum communion” (with commonty) confers a right of property.”

    .
    It does not make sense that taxpaying citizens give money so that our government can “own’ literally own the land…and to what purpose? This concept violates the definition of government. It does however fulfill the definition of slave.
    .
    “Robber barons” makes sense.

  • Pasturing counts same as any other use for establishing ownership, here. The land my grandfather almost lost for being too kind was only used for pasturing one cow. That’s why they have grazing permits, even if they’re silly like “renting” pasture for a penny a year.

    I’d guess that traces back to a lot of people leaving their old countries in part because they didn’t like the laws and how they treated property. (Ironically, some of the state land in Cali was willed to them by immigrants who wanted everyone to own land, not like Scotland.)

  • In my humble estimation this looks like nothing more than an attack on the underlying treasure that lurks beneath these lands: water. Like most western states, water rights can be lost and made available to others when the holder cannot demonstrate a “beneficial use” of those rights they hold. By “taking” away Mr. Bundy’s cattle that he waters with his water rights, the “benefical use” of watering livestock can be successfully challenged by those that covet those rights.

    Some of those who could benefit from such a challenge include: the city of Las Vegas, private developers, and other special interest groups. I wonder which of these are influencial enough to get the BLM to be their agents?

  • Foxfier

    A grant of “an heritable and irredeemable right, servitude and attolerance of pasturing horses, cattle and bestial on or digging, winning and driving fuel, feal and divot from the moor of……… lying in the parish of…… and shire of….. with sufficient roads and passages to and from the same” are very common in grants in my part of Ayrshire and there is scarcely a farm that does not have them. They are perpetual (“heritable and irredeemable”) and, for the most part, no separate duties are payable for them. Often, there is a barony court, held by the superior or his baron-bailie, that manages them, makes by-laws, appoints office-bearers, imposes fines for overstocking &c.
    We have 10 farms, including the Mains or home farm, that share a moor and we employ a shepherd for the summer, who lives in a shealing on the moor – a 15th century stone cottage, with an undercroft on arches for folding sheep. I have to maintain it (one of the “privileges” of superiority). Our barony court meets in the function room of the local inn (again, the Superior pays for the refreshments). If a decision is tied, it goes against the chair, the common practice in feudal courts. The commoners can put in as many beasts as overwinter on their own farms. I keep 30-40 ewes and 90-100 winter hoggs (females in their first winter) – not to be confused with hogs, which are pigs – the joy of Lallands.

  • When the Rule of Law becomes a political weapon, rather than a revered universal principle, we no longer have freedom or a government by the People and for the People–we have tyranny.

  • Michael-
    I’ve actually heard of it, just isn’t used over here, to my knowledge. I’d guess it’s what gave folks the idea for the “conservation” things, selling all rights to use the land except for whatever’s in the contract. (Sometimes the other way around. I really hope that they are challenged and ruled illegal, along with HOA requirements….. but that’s going afield. )

  • Didn’t know there was a word for heifer sheep, though. How is it pronounced?

  • Some of those who could benefit from such a challenge include: the city of Las Vegas, private developers, and other special interest groups. I wonder which of these are influencial enough to get the BLM to be their agents?

    My wager would be developers, indubitably intermediated through Reid.

  • Foxfier asked, “Didn’t know there was a word for heifer sheep, though. How is it pronounced?”
    The same as hog! “Winter hogg” makes it clear what is meant, otherwise one just has to go by the context. At a year, they become “gimmers.” They are “ewes” after their first lambing. Rams, we call “tuips” and mating is “tupping.”A wether, between the first and second shearing is a “dinmont”/”dynmont.” Bit like esquimaux and snow (allegedly)

    English people tend to look blank when we use these terms and, also, when we refer to a “stott” (young bull, under 2) or a “stirk”/”styrk” (bullock or heifer, between 1 and 2)

  • Foxfier,

    I should have mentioned that a gimmer (see above) is called a “theave,” when she cuts her first two teeth, usually at 18 months.

    “Lamb,” we only use until weaning, then they are hoggs.

    In Ayrshire, “ewe” is pronounced (and sometimes spelled) “yow.”

  • Do you guys use “bummer” for orphaned lambs? (Well, generally used for any motherless lamb, even if it’s just because they were twins or the mother sucks at being a mother.)

  • Perhaps someone knows how to investigate a claim that the U.N. has taken upon itself the power over the seas, that all mineral rights under the sea is theirs to exploit and people sailing the oceans must pay fees for doing so. Just thought I would ask, since I want to know just how far tyrants have come to their tyranny. Thanks in advance. Must look myself. Will tell you later.

  • Clive Bundy is a master illusionist. He has managed to violate laws and snooker the world. Have to give him credit for that.
    1. Land is under federal ownership. Has been since 1846 in unbroken chain of title. Supported by several federal and Supreme Court decisions.
    2. Bundy has never submitted any evidence of grazing “rights” or ownership of anything, other than his claims, repeated ad nauseam by ignorant blogs and media.
    3. Bundy claims ancestral ownership from his Mormon polygamist ancestors. Why then did he file for a grazing permit (in 1954..not 1800s)? No evidence he ever filed for grazing prior to that time. If he “owned” the grazing, why did he pay the feds fees between 1954-1993? If you own something, why would you pay someone else for its use?
    4. Bundy claims not to recognize the U.S. Government. Yet all his “cowboys” and supporters are on television screens carrying the American flag and waving it around. If you don’t believe in or recognize it, what’s the flag waving and claims of “patriots” about. What a phony!
    5. Hundreds of bloggers are sounding exactly like Saul Alinsky leftists. Justify bad behavior by pointing at other bad behavior. The left consistently uses this tactic (see Rules for Radicals).
    The Bundy matter should be dealt with on its specific facts alone.
    6. I hold no brief with Reid, Obama, or their radical actions. But Congress has the ability to step up and deal with the many other issues raised by keyboard warriors. (Impeachment anyone?)
    7. To reverse some of the sins of Obama, we conservatives need to gain control of the Senate as a start. To do that, there are at least four seats in the west that are in play this year (more in 2016). Want to lose them to leftist Democrats? Join the regurgitated Sagebrush Rebels and try to turn these lands over to the likes of Clive Bundy. The millions of outdoor folks, a very key voting bloc, will turn against you.
    Yup, ol’ Bundy is a snooker in chief!

  • “1. Land is under federal ownership. Has been since 1846 in unbroken chain of title. Supported by several federal and Supreme Court decisions.”

    Correct, although the question is whether it should remain so, and the Bundy confrontation has highlighted this.

    “2. Bundy has never submitted any evidence of grazing “rights” or ownership of anything, other than his claims, repeated ad nauseam by ignorant blogs and media.”

    I don’t believe there is any dispute that he had grazing rights under a grazing permit until 1993 when the Feds decided to limit to 150 the number of cattle he could graze for the farcial reason of protecting the desert tortoise, a tortoise that has coexisted with cattle for hundreds of years.

    “Bundy claims ancestral ownership from his Mormon polygamist ancestors.”

    What would the fact that his ancestors were Mormons and polygamous, if that is the case, have to do with the situation?

    “Why then did he file for a grazing permit in 1954″

    His father filed for a grazing permit in 1954.

    “If he “owned” the grazing, why did he pay the feds fees between 1954-1993? If you own something, why would you pay someone else for its use?”

    Because the Feds were willing to allow him and his father to graze the land by paying a fee for their cattle to do so. Then, in 1993 the Feds changed the rules by restricting the number of cattle he could graze. As a legal argument Bundy does not have a strong argument. As an equitable argument I am much more sympathetic, especially since the restriction was imposed as a misguided attempt to protect desert tortoise from cattle which do them zero harm.

    “Bundy claims not to recognize the U.S. Government.”

    Untrue. He claims that the Feds do not own the land on which he seeks to graze his cattle. As a legal matter his contention is a loser. As a matter of public policy I think it is absurd for the Feds to own 83% of all land in Nevada and prevent productive use of it. Patriotism does not consist in supporting wrongheaded policies of the government.

    “Justify bad behavior by pointing at other bad behavior.”

    Rather, at least in my case, pointing out that while Bundy’s legal case is weak, the public policy issues his case raises are important and that shadowy figures like Senator Reid and his son are obviously not seeking to drive Bundy from grazing on public land out of public spirited love of the law.

    (Impeachment anyone?)
    An impossibility unless the Republicans had at least a two-thirds majority in the Senate.

    “The millions of outdoor folks, a very key voting bloc, will turn against you.”

    Rubbish. The holding of so much of the Western land by the Feds is widely unpopular in the West. Enviro nuts would not be voting Republican in any case.

  • Your comment:
    “The millions of outdoor folks, a very key voting bloc, will turn against you.”
    Rubbish. The holding of so much of the Western land by the Feds is widely unpopular in the West. Enviro nuts would not be voting Republican in any case.
    – See more at: http://the-american-catholic.com/2014/04/17/clive-bundy-and-the-rule-of-law/#sthash.DcNUIIdU.dpuf
    WRONG! 2012 Montana, a leftist democrat Obama clone named Jon Tester won with last minute lies by Baucus operatives over the issue of taking hunting lands. In the west, millions of average people use BLM, Forest Service and other federal lands for enjoyment..most free of any charge. The zealots like Bundy and his armed militia spouting revolution will not win this voting bloc. Count on the left to use this as a key issue this fall. The average users of the land are not “enviro nuts”
    but they do vote.

    Regarding Bundy family history. That is key in the issue. He has produced not a scintilla of evidence that his “ancestors” ever grazed anything at all,much less had any purchased grazing rights. So if he actually wants to carry this argument, then produce evidence.

    The last thing thinking conservatives need this year is the image of armed militias patrolling a 160 acre farm in Nevada in support of a nut like Bundy. Not the way to win the hearts and minds of the average voter.

  • Mr. Vickery, I do not know what your game is, but you ignored every point Mr. McClarey made.

    We manage in New York to support ample recreational hunting while have hardly any federal landholdings, nothing in the way of state-owned grazing land, and little-or-nothing in the way of state-owned timber land. The sum of park and preserve land owned by the state amounts to 13% of the total land area of the state, and we are more invested in this sort of thing than just about any state in the union. The notion that you all require that half or two-thirds or four-fifths of the land area of your state to be sequestered is tommyrot. What’s going on here is the maintenance of economically inefficient status-tenures which invite these sorts of finicky controversies. It’s time for the BLM and the Forest Service to sell their inventory and reduce their activities to fighting forest fires and the like. If Montana wants preserve land for recreational hunting, the state can put in bids.

  • Your cannot compare land use in New York State to the history and development of lands in the western states. Many books have been written on the subject. Suffice to say that in the public land states, the issue of having them available for public use is extremely strong. Politically trying to get rid of them is a proven loser. Outdoor recreation in Montana, for example, puts about $5-billion per year into the private market. Much of that is due to the availability of large areas of public land on which to recreate.
    As an aside, New York ceded all land claims west of the Appalachians to the federal government in1780.

  • Your cannot compare land use in New York State to the history and development of lands in the western states.

    Yes, I can. You sue me if you don’t like it.

    It’s a factor of production, whether it’s in New York or in Montana. Neither ranching nor timber production require nor benefit from holding lands in common. The proper purposes for having lands in common is as follows:

    1. Grounds for government facilities;
    2. Right-of-way for public roads.
    3. Loci where policing private property rights is prohibitively costly.
    4. Amenities.

    Montana’s domestic product attributable to agriculture, fishing, and forestry exceeds that attributable to arts and recreation (and not merely outdoor recreation) by a factor of 3.

    You are insisting to me that Montana, with a population of about 950,000 requires 30% of its land area for recreational hunting (managed by a federal agency) while Upstate New York, with a non-metropolitan population of more than 4 million requires only 13% (managed by a state agency). Non ci credo.

  • Lands are not simply used for recreation. Public lands are used for grazing, logging, oil and gas production and other uses. All these activities are private sector using public lands to make money, provide jobs, and make necessary resources available to the world. They produce a pile of money in many ways.
    Aside from production, BLM, Forest Service, etc. pay each county where federal lands are located money each year under what is called Payment in Lieu of Taxes. (Clark County, Nevada gets about $3-million each year, for example). Feds pay state government each year 50% of mineral revenue generated from public land. In the west today, that is big bucks.
    If the Feds don’t own or manage the lands, actions such as fighting fires would become either a state, county or private responsibility. Fire fighting in the arid west is a huge cost every year. Unlikely states would want to take it on.
    Finally, since National Parks, National Forests, Fish and wildlife refuges, dams, and the like all are part of the public domain, do you advocate getting rid of them as well? Lots of federal land in eastern states that would also be affected.
    Finally, I won’t sue you! I don’t much care for lawyers!

  • “WRONG! 2012 Montana, a leftist democrat Obama clone named Jon Tester won with last minute lies by Baucus operatives over the issue of taking hunting lands.”

    Tester barely won his Senate seat in 2006, one of the worst years for Republicans in the post war era. Tester barely won again in 2012. The main factor in that race was Libertarian Dan Cox who took 6.5% of the vote allowing Tester to win with 48.58%. The Democrats at the end of the race were running ads through an astroturf organization asking voters to vote for Cox as the true conservative in the race.

    http://www.propublica.org/article/in-montana-dark-money-helped-democrats-hold-a-key-senate-seat

    The adds complained falsely that the Republican wanted to increase Federal control over Montana lands, completely the reverse of what the Sagebrush Rebellion would be seeking to do by having these lands turned over to the States.
    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/10/dan-cox-montana-rehberg-tester

  • Lands are not simply used for recreation. Public lands are used for grazing, logging, oil and gas production and other uses. All these activities are private sector using public lands to make money, provide jobs, and make necessary resources available to the world.

    I am perfectly aware of that, and if you’d read anything I said on this thread, you’d see that that is my whole complaint. Economic efficiency is not enhanced by replacing allodial tenures with status tenures. I am too old and rusty to do the calculus anymore, of course, but if you want land to be optimally cared for, the full benefits of investment therein must repair to the investor, which in this case would be a proprietor, proprietors of a sort you do not have on BLM land. The problems are compounded in this case when his rights as a usufructuary are subject to unilateral alteration, in this case one which did an injury to his business in the course of compelling him to look after someone else’s turtles. What the deadweight loss is for the economy as a whole is from hinky land tenure out west I assume some resource economist has calculated. I would wager it exceeds the value added for the recreation industry in Montana (which is $468 million per annum per the U.S. Commerce Department).

    The PILT program amounts to a nine-digit indemnity (i.e. a rounding error) to a selection of local governments which have their property-tax base denuded by the presence of federal land. The trouble with property taxes is that they induce environmental damage. The post-bellum ruin of Appalachian forest land is attributable to the biases property taxes induce.

  • If the Feds don’t own or manage the lands, actions such as fighting fires would become either a state, county or private responsibility. -

    I have never lived on a piece of property owned or managed by a municipal government, but everywhere I’ve lived had a fire department. Maintaining a federal fire department whose speciality is forest and brush fires does not require the federal government to own the forest anymore than the municipal government needs to own anyone’s house.

  • Finally, since National Parks, National Forests, Fish and wildlife refuges, dams, and the like all are part of the public domain, do you advocate getting rid of them as well? Lots of federal land in eastern states that would also be affected.

    See above. I am not seeing how scale and central planning improves the care of preserve land, and New York functions passably as a park manager. As far as I am aware, very few Fish and Wildlife properties inland cross state lines, so I cannot see the objection to deeding them over to states if states will take them, bar that they may require employees with odd skills which the states might have trouble recruiting. Ditto all but about 10 national parks. You have some inter-state trail systems, you have the domestic battlefields, you have the veterans’ cemeteries, you have loci which are salient for events in national history (Independence Hall, not Franklin Roosevelt’s house), you have coastal properties, you have properties salient for maintaining inter-state watersheds, you have some crown jewels like the Jefferson memorial. Otherwise devolve it if anyone will take it and take on the employees who work it.

    As for the dams, the Bureau of Reclamation properties are contextually quite small, perhaps 2% of all federal landholdings.

  • Public servants do not own what their employers pay for.

  • Foxfier

    Alas, we do not have “bummer” for orphan lamb.

    We do use it for anything especially large and wonderful of its kind – “A bummer o’ a tuip.” A “big bummer” is an astonishing untruth.

    Lambs, as you know, come mostly in pairs, but the singles and triplets tend to balance out: no small part of our time at lambing is involved in marrying them up, so every ewe ends up with two, and only two, lambs. One needs to work fast, if the lamb and ewe are to bond. We have artificial feeders, but one has to stand over the lambs for about 2 days to help them puzzle them out.

  • Art-
    I’d want to the land turned over to the county it’s on.

    Most counties with lots of land are already familiar with having deals where the folks who rented the grazing rights are responsible for fence upkeep and road clearing; part of the advantage of selling lumber is that you can require the folks who buy it to upkeep the road as part of the deal.

    Making it county instead of state would also avoid abuses like what’s going on at home right now– four years ago they planted a bunch of cottonwoods. This year they tore them out and are planting willows and some kind of bush that their book says is native. “For the fish.” And it’s “free” money, just like the grant to update the down town area, the one spot with public sidewalks. Most of it went into buying REALLY UGLY artwork from the coasties that own the art place there, which also subsists on grants.

  • Michael-
    By the time I came along, my family’s involvement was through my mom helping with difficult births or being an extra body when they were docking tails. At one point we had six bummers– knowing mom, they were probably the ones that would’ve been killed as too much of a bother. I know some were definitely twins, but that was probably on sheep that were so old they got discounts a Denny’s.
    I know about managing where they go in a high desert environment with only mostly-pure coyotes as a threat, and I know how to spot holes in the fence that they’ll kill themselves on, but I don’t know a lot of things!

  • Got this in my email this morning:
    If Bundy had played by the rules first and then fought the broken system that changed the terms of his grazing agreement, I would probably be more sympathetic. Obviously, however, this issue wouldn’t have received the national attention it has, if Bundy had buckled under and just gone out of business like the 50 or so other ranchers that BLM drove off the allotment. Bundy is the last man standing.
    http://beefmagazine.com/blog/4-lessons-we-can-learn-bundy

  • Most counties with lots of land are already familiar with having deals where the folks who rented the grazing rights are responsible for fence upkeep

    Your business, not mine. However, I do not see the point of county governments owning ranch land or timber land either. Unless it proves impossible to contrive a formula for compensating the holders of grazing permits, private ownership should do as it does everywhere else.

    In New York, the most salient swatches of park and preserve land transcend the boundaries of the extant counties (and nearly all our county boundaries were fixed by 1825) and the counties in question are those in the state least equipped to assemble the staff for land management tasks. I cannot imagine this would not be a problem in Montana, where you have huge swatches of property and rotten borough counties with populations in the low four digits.

  • Art-
    returning it to the county has a slightly higher chance of happening, and a lower chance of being exploited.

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