There is a war going on between the Federal Government Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and some Farmers, Miners and other individuals all over the USA
One of the most publicize conflicts is between the BLM and the Bundy family.
This war is about Land and Control and you should judge for yourself:
Militia, Along With Family of , Take Over Federal Land at National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon
- By EMILY SHAPIRO
- NEAL KARLINSKY
Jan 3, 2016, 7:53 PM ET
A group of militia members, along with some members of the family of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, are occupying a building on federal land at an Oregon national wildlife refuge.
The militia members who occupied the wildlife refuge buildings set up a roadblock, and two armed members had manned a guard tower that is usually used to spot wildfires, but there was no sign of law enforcement in the area, and local police said they had no intention of going to the scene, not even to keep watch on the militia.
The Rally and Occupation
The protest began Saturday as a rally in support of Harney County ranchers Dwight Hammond Jr. and Steven Hammond, who are to report to prison on Monday for arson. The Hammond brothers left eastern Oregon early Sunday to report to Terminal Island in San Pedro, California, to serve their prison sentences.
The two men were convicted of setting fires on lands managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), “on which the Hammonds had grazing rights leased to them for their cattle operation,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
“We all know the devastating effects that are caused by wildfires,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Billy Williams. “Fires intentionally and illegally set on public lands, even those in a remote area, threaten property and residents and endanger firefighters called to battle the blaze.”
After the rally for the Hammonds on Saturday, militia, along with sons of Cliven Bundy — who was involved in a standoff with the government over grazing rights in Nevada in 2014 — initiated the occupation of the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
Cliven Bundy’s son Ammon claims the federally owned wildlife refuge in rural, eastern Oregon belongs to the people, and that they are “making a hard stand against … overreach.”
He said the government’s “taking of people’s land and resources” is leaving people in poverty, adding that the wildlife refuge “has been a tool in doing that.”
Ryan Bundy and another of Ammon Bundy’s brothers are also among the occupiers, according to The Associated Press.
Ammon Bundy called the earlier rally successful, but said of the Wildlife Refuge standoff, “If we do not make a hard stand, we will be in a position where we won’t be able to as a people.”
He also asked for militia members to come help him.
Ammon Bundy said today that the group’s actions are not aggressive and there is no damage or criminal activity.
He said the group’s goal is to help local workers, including ranchers, miners and hunters, benefit from the land. The group wants to assert that the federal government does not have right to own or control land inside the state, Ammon Bundy said.
“We’re prepared to be out here for as long as we need to be,” he said in an 8-minute long Facebook video posted early this morning.
The caption for the video says: “The people are finally getting some good use out of a federal facility.”
The group does not have plans to occupy any other federal buildings, Ammon Bundy said today.
The refuge is federal property managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and was closed for the holiday weekend.
A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokesperson told ABC News: “The Fish and Wildlife Service and The Bureau of Land Management have received reports that an unknown number of individuals have broken into the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge facility near Burns, Oregon. While the situation is ongoing, the main concern is employee safety and we can confirm that no federal staff were in the building at the time of the initial incident. We will continue to monitor the situation for additional developments.”
The refuge headquarters was empty at the time of the seizure, Harney County, Oregon, Sheriff Dave Ward said in a statement.
“These men came to Harney County claiming to be part of militia groups supporting local ranchers, when in reality these men had alternative motives to attempt to over throw the county and federal government in hopes to spark a movement across the United States,” Ward said.
“We are currently working jointly with several organizations to make sure the citizens of Harney County are safe and this issue is resolved as quickly and peaceful as possible,” he said, adding that no other areas in Harney County are in “immediate danger.”
“We ask that people stay away from the refuge for their safety,” Ward said. “We also ask that if anyone sees any of these individuals in the area to please contact law enforcement and do not confront the individuals themselves.”
Harney County School District No. 3 schools will be closed this week, Superintendent Dr. Marilyn L. McBride told ABC News.
“Ensuring staff and student safety is our greatest concern,” McBride said.
Beth Anne Steele, a spokeswoman for the FBI in Portland, told ABC News the FBI is aware of the situation but is not making any further comments.
The Cliven Bundy Incident
Cliven Bundy, the patriarch of a large Mormon family with more than 50 grandchildren, came into the spotlight in April 2014, when the federal government started impounding his 900 head of cattle, following a 20-year battle over cattle-grazing on federal land.
The government said Bundy owed $1.1 million in unpaid grazing fees and penalties for continuing to let his cattle roam free on land near Bunkerville, Nevada, 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas, even after the government established the area as a protected habitat for the endangered desert tortoise in 1993 and slashed Bundy’s cattle allotment.
The situation escalated the week of April 5, 2014, as hundreds of supporters from around the country rallied on Bundy’s property to protest the federal cattle round-up. The dispute reignited debate over the Bureau of Land Management practices, especially in Nevada, where federal agencies control 85 percent of the land.
The confrontation turned ominous as armed militia gathered on his cattle and melon farm, aiming semi-automatic weapons at armed BLM officials from a bridge overpass. Some protesters were tasered by authorities and others arrested and later released, including one of Bundy’s 14 adult children.
On April 12, 2014, the BLM ended the stand-off, returned Bundy’s confiscated cattle and left the land citing safety concerns.
What To Know About the Militia Movement
Today’s occupation is essentially “the spill over from the Bundy stand-off” in Nevada, according to Heidi Beirich, Director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“What we’re really seeing is a continuation of what started in April 2014, of militia folks and anti-government folks deciding that they’re not going to accept federal authorities over federal lands,” Beirich told ABC News today.
“At the Bundy ranch, the federal government stood down. They had absolute cause to take Bundy’s cattle. The Bundys were able — at the point of a gun — to drive the federal government and its representatives … off the land,” she said.
“Bundy is still a free man. He hasn’t paid his money, and it’s emboldened the entire movement to basically think, ‘We don’t have to follow the rules,'” Beirich said, explaining that that is what’s happening now in Oregon.
The Bundy incident in 2014, as well as another incident in Oregon last year, “enlivened” the militias, she said, because they made them feel successful.
“They made the federal government back down from enforcing the law,” she said. “And that has emboldened all these people, giving life to the movement.”
Nevada Cattle Rancher Wins ‘Range War’ With Feds
By LIZ FIELDS
April 12, 2014
A Nevada cattle rancher appears to have won his week-long battle with the federal government over a controversial cattle roundup that had led to the arrest of several protesters.
Cliven Bundy went head to head with the Bureau of Land Management over the removal of hundreds of his cattle from federal land, where the government said they were grazing illegally.
Bundy claims his herd of roughly 900 cattle have grazed on the land along the riverbed near Bunkerville, 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas, since 1870 and threatened a “range war” against the BLM on the Bundy Ranch website after one of his sons was arrested while protesting the removal of the cattle.
“I have no contract with the United States government,” Bundy said. “I was paying grazing fees for management and that’s what BLM was supposed to be, land managers and they were managing my ranch out of business, so I refused to pay.”
The federal government had countered that Bundy “owes the American people in excess of $1 million ” in unpaid grazing fees and “refuses to abide by the law of land, despite many opportunities over the last 20 years to do so.”
However, today the BLM said it would not enforce a court order to remove the cattle and was pulling out of the area.
“Based on information about conditions on the ground, and in consultation with law enforcement, we have made a decision to conclude the cattle gather because of our serious concern about the safety of employees and members of the public,” BLM Director Neil Kornze said.
“We ask that all parties in the area remain peaceful and law-abiding as the Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service work to end the operation in an orderly manner,” he said.
The roundup began April 5, following lengthy court proceedings dating back to 1993, federal officials said. Federal officers began impounding the first lot of cows last weekend, and Bundy responded by inviting supporters onto his land to protest the action.
“It’s not about cows, it’s about freedom,” Utah resident Yonna Winget told ABC News affiliate KTNV in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“People are getting tired of the federal government having unlimited power,” Bundy’s wife, Carol Bundy told ABC News.
By Sunday, April 6, one of Bundy’s sons, Dave Bundy, was taken into custody for refusing to disperse and resisting arrest, while hundreds of other protesters, some venturing from interstate, gathered along the road few miles from Bundy’s property in solidarity. Dave Bundy was later released.
A spokesman for the Bundy encampment told ABC News roughly 300 protesters had assembled for the protest, while a BLM representative estimated there were around 100 people.
“We want a peaceful protest, but we also want our voices heard,” said Cliven Bundy’s sister, Chrisie Marshall Bundy.
But clashes between demonstrators and authorities took a violent turn on Wednesday, with cell phone video showing some being tasered at the site, including Bundy’s son, Ammon Bundy. Two other protesters were detained, cited and later released on Thursday, according to the BLM.
As the movement grew by the day, and demonstrators rallied together, bonding by campfires at night, local protest leaders warned people not to wear camouflage and keep their weapons inside their vehicles.
Both sides said the issue is one of fairness, with the federal government maintaining that thousands of other cattle ranchers are abiding by the law by paying their annual grazing fees, while Bundy’s family and supporters say the government’s actions are threatening ranchers’ freedoms.
“It’s about the freedom of America,” said another of Bundy’s sisters, Margaret Houston. “We have to stand up and fight.”
ABC News’ Alan Farnham contributed to this report.
Nevada Rancher Threatens ‘Range War’ Against Feds
By ALAN FARNHAM
April 7, 2014
A Nevada rancher’s threat to wage a “range war” with the federal Bureau of Land Management precipitated a standoff today between supporters of the embattled rancher, Cliven Bundy, and law enforcement officials.
Bundy posted a statement on the Bundy Ranch website on Sunday night saying: “They have my cattle and now they have one of my boys. Range War begins tomorrow.”
He invited supporters to show up this morning on his property, about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas, near Bunkerville, just west of the Utah state line.
Bundy’s beef with federal land management officials dates back to 1993, according to federal officials, when Bundy’s allotment for grazing his cattle on public land was modified to include protections for the desert tortoise. Bundy, who told the Associated Press his family has been ranching this part of Nevada since the 1870s, did not accept the modified terms, and continued to let his cattle graze anyway.
After legal maneuverings on both sides, a Nevada district court judge in 2013 permanently enjoined Bundy’s cattle (some 900, by the government’s count) from grazing on public property. The judge reiterated that decision in 2013 and authorized the U.S. government to impound the cattle.
The first phase of that impoundment started Saturday, with 58 head of cattle being removed from BLM land, federal officials said in an online statement. As of Monday afternoon, that number had risen to 134, BLM spokeswoman Kirsten Cannon told ABC News. Removing the rest of the trespassing cattle should take another 21 to 30 days, she said.
Bundy disputes the federal government’s authority to take such action. The Nevada Sheriff’s Office, he contends, is the only entity empowered to impound his cattle. The Bundy Ranch website calls the federal agents “cattle thieves.”
Cattle thieves, says the website, “Should be hung!” It urges supporters to “hang them with words of disapproval.”
According to station KSNY MyNews in Las Vegas, Bundy compared his situation to citizens’ confrontations with the federal government at Ruby Ridge and at Waco, Texas.
The station quoted him as saying, “They are the same agents who killed that kid over at Red Rocks,” referring to the fatal shooting of a 20-year-old man by two BLM rangers on Feb. 14, near Red Rock Canyon, outside Las Vegas.
Asked by ABC News about that shooting, Cannon said the incident was still under investigation, and that BLM could not comment until the investigation was completed.
Bundy’s wife, Carol Bundy, reached by ABC News, said the family and their supporters intended to hold a rally today “to show that we are not standing alone. People are getting tired of the federal government having unlimited power.”
By noon today Nevada time, about 300 supporters had assembled, a Bundy spokesman, Dwayne Magoon, told ABC News. So, too, he said, had local and federal law enforcement officers. He described the federal agents as being heavily armed. He said that on his way driving to the Bundy ranch, he counted 12 law enforcement vehicles in the course of six miles.
The BLM has described Bundy’s use of the phrase “range war” inflammatory. “We support everyone’s right to exercise their freedom of expression,” Cannon said. But when threats are made, she said, federal authorities have an obligation to ensure safety. She estimated the number of Bundy supporters as being closer to 100.
In a teleconference with reporters today, Cannon and a spokesperson for the National Park Service were told that Bundy supporters had reported seeing snipers present near the Ranch. Asked whether snipers indeed were on the scene, they said that law enforcement was in place, as needed, and that they could not comment more specifically.
Magoon described the situation at the Ranch as “very peaceful” — for now. The protesters, he said, were busy erecting a big sign saying “We, The People” and displaying the flags of Mesquite County, Nev., and the U.S.
On the ranch website, Bundy says his son had been arrested. That was confirmed today by BLM, which said in a published statement that, “On April 6, Dave Bundy, 37, was taken into custody in Bunkerville, Nevada, following failure to comply with multiple requests by BLM law enforcement to leave the temporary closure area on public lands.” He now has been released, Cannon said.
So far, the Nevada Cattlemen’s Association (NCA), which represents some 700 ranchers in the state, is taking a hands-off stance on Bundy’s protest.
In a statement, the association noted that Bundy’s case had been reviewed by a federal judge, and that a legal decision had been rendered to remove the cattle. The statement said that NCA “does not feel it is in our best interest to interfere in the process of adjudication in this matter, and in addition NCA believes the matter is between Mr. Bundy and the federal courts.”
Asked about the Bundy situation, NCA president Ron Torell told ABC News, “This has gotten way out of hand.”
Asked if other Nevada cattlemen were as angry with the federal government as Bundy, Torell said, “absolutely not.”
It’s true, he said, that many NCA members are disgruntled at having to deal with BLM’s bureaucracy. But, he noted, 87 percent of Nevada land is public land, so cattlemen cannot survive on private land alone. “It’s important for our permitees to work with the land management agencies. We want to be good stewards of the land — to protect natural resources.”
Of the Bundy affair, he said, “These types of situations have a way of painting the entire industry with controversy.”