In the latest attempt to rub out the family farm, the Federal Government is targeting a rancher in Nevada by sending in armed agents, armored vehicles and low-lying helicopters to steal the rancher’s cattle.
Cliven Bundy, who has been fighting the federal government’s attempts to shut him down for the last 20 years, is in a bitter battle that just took a turn for the worse. Over the weekend, armed federal agents from the Bureau of Land Management stormed Bundy’s land, stealing over 500 of the rancher’s cattle.
The government claims the cattle were illegally grazing on government land; but Bundy, who has been a rancher all his life, says he’s been doing it this way for decades. In fact, his cattle are grazing on the same land that his father and father’s father used to raise their cattle.
The trouble started in 1993 when Bundy refused to pay the feds for the right to allow his cattle to graze on land that he claims has been in his family since the 1880s. His family actually owned the land before the Bureau of Land Management ever even came into existence; so how the federal government can now claim they own the land is a bit puzzling.
“We own this land,” he said, not the feds. He said he is willing to pay grazing fees but only to Clark County, not BLM.
“Years ago, I used to have 52 neighboring ranchers,” he said. “I’m the last man standing. How come? Because BLM regulated these people off the land and out of business.”
So why now?
According to the feds, this is all about protecting the desert tortoise. Yep, apparently protecting a turtle is now reason enough to storm a man’s property and illegally steal his cattle.
Just before the round-up began, Bundy claims armed federal agents surrounded his 150-acre ranch.
“They’ve been bringing men in and equipment and setting up a compound,” Bundy told FoxNews.com Monday. “They got helicopters flying low. They got snipers around the ranch. Our access to public lands has been blocked.”
Bundy says he’s extremely fearful that the federal government is trying to turn this into another Ruby Ridge or Waco situation. The BLM has closed public lands in Clark County while they work on a plan to round up the “trespassing” cattle. Only marked vehicles are being allowed into the area and “free speech zones” have been set up several miles from the ranch in an attempt to corral protestors who have made their way into the area.
“I’ve tried to fight this thing legally, and I’ve tried to fight it politically,” Bundy said. “We’ve got one more fight. We the people haven’t fought yet.”
This is video shot by the family who claims the BLM assaulted and hauled off one of Bundy’s sons for filming them steal his dad’s cattle.
“He was there to do some filming when about 11 federal agents pulled up and arrested him,” Bundy told Las Vegas News 3. “They said he was outside of the First Amendment area and they took him down. We don’t know where he is now.”