BLM impounds Nevada Bundy cattle, creates dangerous situation in Utah

Cattle grazing on BLM land
Cattle grazing on BLM land

BLM is forcibly impounding cattle owned by Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy. Bundy says his cattle are on county not BLM land. BLM disagrees and is rounding up the cattle. A Bundy son was arrested for filming the round-up, something that will probably only make a tense situation worse, especially considering the way in which it was done.

Several Utah counties oppose transporting the cattle to Utah to be auctioned. The cattle are feral, not vaccinated, and it is against the law to transport such cattle in Utah. Yet that’s exactly what BLM wants to do. Sue and I used to live in this part of Utah. There is long-standing mistrust of the federal government there (often for good reason, ask a Downwinder about that.)

Shari Thomas explains the issues clearly.

For those of you who don’t know it, there is an extremely dangerous situation involving Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, and the BLM over land use issues. This problem is spreading to neighboring states as the BLM is rounding up the rancher’s cattle and preparing to ship them to an out-of-state auction house in Utah. They have to go through both Arizona, and into Utah in order to get to the R Auction house in Richfield, Ut.

There are a myriad of issues. Who owns the cattle while they are being transported? Utah requires brand inspections, vaccinations, Coggins test results, etc. So far, the Washington County Sheriff and the Iron County Sheriff, have each voiced their opposition to the potential “transport above the law” issues. The Seveir County Sheriff has said he will shut down the auction if things get out of hand, to protect the safety of “his people”.

Bundy son attempts to film cattle round-up, gets arrested by feds in military gear with mounted sniper rifles. They even set up one of those bogus Free Speech Zone that urban protesters are so familiar with.

The family was told to leave the area and instructed that they were only allowed in a designated “First Amendment Area” at a different section of the highway — the agency had closed to public access large sections of public lands in the area as a safety precaution while rounding up the cattle.

Most of the family started to leave, but Dave Bundy, 37, stayed behind to continue taking video with an iPad, Ryan said. At that point some of the men from the BLM vehicles attacked Dave, Ryan said, tackling him to the ground. A German Shepherd dog was utilized in the attack.

BLM on damage caused by Bundy feral cattle

Cliven Bundy has no legal authority to graze cattle on federal lands in the Gold Butte area, including Lake Mead National Recreation Area. The U.S. District Court of Nevada has permanently enjoined Cliven Bundy’s trespass grazing, ordered him to remove his trespass cattle from public lands inside and outside the former Bunkerville Allotment (including from the Lake Mead NRA) before December 2013, and stated the U.S. is entitled to seize and impound any cattle that have not been removed by the judicially imposed off-date and that remain in trespass. A large number of the trespass cattle on the federal lands are feral cattle that can pose a threat to members of the public recreating or travelling over the federal lands. The trespass cattle have also caused damage to private property, as well as to the federal lands and natural resources.

An op-ed sums up how some view what they see as BLM interference.

Why do so many feel that the Federal government must give everyone permission to do anything on “YOUR public lands”? – quick question; if they are “our” public lands then why don’t “we” get to decide what happens on them? Why does the D.C beltway policy tell us what to do with “our” Public lands?

Think about it residents of Nevada and Utah – what does the term “your public lands” mean to you?

The auction is scheduled for Friday.