Obama Administration’s ‘Culture of Intimidation’ Seen in Nevada Ranch Standoff

Photo Credit: JASON BEAN

Photo Credit: JASON BEAN

Sending scores of armed agents along with helicopters and dogs to confront an elderly Nevada rancher over grazing fees may seem like overkill, but critics say it’s not inconsistent with the federal government’s recent approach to environmental enforcement.

The simmering truce between the Bundys and the Bureau of Land Management comes after high-profile raids last year by armed federal agents on small-time gold miners in tiny Chicken, Alaska, and guitar makers at the Gibson Guitar facilities in Tennessee.

That doesn’t include more subtle threats, such as recent efforts by the Obama administration to raise grazing fees or pressure permit holders to transfer their water rights as a condition of renewal, said Ryan Yates, director of congressional relations for the American Farm Bureau.

“Some have called it a culture of intimidation,” Mr. Yates said. “It’s issue after issue, threat after threat. It’s becoming harder and harder to keep those operations in business.”

The atmosphere was quiet but tense Tuesday at the Bundy ranch near Bunkerville, Nev., just days after Bureau of Land Management chief Neil Kornze pulled federal agents off the property and returned about 400 head of cattle to rancher Cliven Bundy.

Read more from this story HERE.

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Photo Credit: Fox News

Photo Credit: Fox News

Feds accused of leaving trail of wreckage after Nevada ranch standoff

By William La Jeunesse.

The federal agency that backed down over the weekend in a tense standoff with a Nevada rancher is being accused of leaving a trail of wreckage behind.

Fox News toured the damage — allegedly caused by the Bureau of Land Management — which included holes in water tanks and destroyed water lines and fences. According to family friends, the bureau’s hired “cowboys” also killed two prize bulls.

“They had total control of this land for one week, and look at the destruction they did in one week,” said Corey Houston, friend of rancher Cliven Bundy and his family. “So why would you trust somebody like that? And how does that show that they’re a better steward?”

The BLM and other law enforcement officials backed down on Saturday in their effort to seize Bundy’s cattle, after hundreds of protesters, some armed, arrived to show support for the Bundy family. In the end, BLM officials left the scene amid concerns about safety, and no shots were fired.

The dispute between the feds and the Bundy family has been going on for years; they say he owes more than $1.1 million in unpaid grazing fees — and long ago revoked his grazing rights over concern for a federally protected tortoise. They sent officials to round up his livestock following a pair of federal court orders last year giving the U.S. government the authority to impound the cattle.

Read more from this story HERE.

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Photo Credit: George Frey / Getty Images

Photo Credit: George Frey / Getty Images

Nevada Rancher’s Son: Harry Reid ‘Needs To Be Kicked Out Of Office’

By CBS Las Vegas/AP.

The son of a Nevada rancher who battled the federal government over the roundup of his cattle believes it’s time for Sen. Harry Reid to be kicked out of office.

“If he doesn’t have enough moral fiber in his bones at all to see what happened, that we the people got together and made something right, then I don’t think there’s any hope for him and he needs to be kicked out of office, even if he is the Senate majority leader. It doesn’t matter,” Ammon Bundy, son of Cliven Bundy, told Fox News, responding to Reid’s comments that “it’s not over.”

Ammon Bundy says federal authorities used a stun gun on him.

Cliven Bundy, whose family has operated a ranch since the 1870s southwest of Mesquite a few miles from the Utah line, does not recognize federal authority on the land that he insists belongs to Nevada.

On Saturday, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management released about 400 head of cattle it had seized from Bundy. The operation had been expected to take a month to collect as many as 900 cattle.

Read more from this story HERE.