Nevada Rancher Cliven Bundy has made headlines recently about his standoff with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) over his failure to pay grazing fees, and now he is again in the headlines with his racist remarks about “the Negro.”
Bundy believes that he has “special” or “ancestral” rights to graze on the Bunkerville Allotment, a plot of land which is owned by the federal government and managed by the BLM. The BLM allows ranchers to graze on federal land if they have a permit and pay grazing fees. In 1993 Bundy decided to stop paying his grazing fees over a dispute about changes to grazing regulations.
In 1998 the government took the case to court in United States v. Bundy. Bundy lost as the court rejected his “ancestral” right to graze on the Allotment because there was no evidence that the land was ever in the possession of his family. The court further ordered Bundy to stop grazing on the Allotment. Despite this loss, Bundy still refuses to pay his grazing fees and still allows his cattle to trespass and illegally graze on the Bunkerville Allotment. Because of all this, Bundy owes about $1 million in grazing and court fees.
Look at it this way: if your cattle graze on someone’s land, is it unreasonable for them to charge you grazing fees? Of course it isn’t. Bundy is simply expecting special rights while all other ranchers have to pay grazing fees if they graze on federal land.
Naturally, the BLM has had enough of this crap, so they decided to confiscate the trespassing cattle. This is when the standoff began. Bundy issued letters declaring a “range war” and used the terms of the “sovereign citizen” movement to win militia groups to his side. He has further stated that he doesn’t recognise the federal government.
After his aforementioned racist remarks, the conservative politicians who defended him are now distancing themselves, and for obvious reasons. But the thing is that they never should have supported him to begin with. Cliven Bundy is just another nut. Libertarians and conservative should do themselves a big favour and not support nutters in the future.