Before we get deeper into that, here’s the backstory. In April we brought you the story about on the Bundy Ranch Federal Seige in Southern Nevada - a battle that had been raging for decades - a battle between the Federal government, and ranch owner Cliven Bundy.
It all started years ago, when the Bureau of Land Management was established. Before that, cowboys and ranch hands were free to graze their cattle all over private property. Once the BLM came along, they decided to start imposing a tax for private ranches to be able to graze on open lands. Because the Bundy family had been feeding their cattle on those lands for years without a tax, they disputed the demands, calling it unnecessary.
To be clear, the Bundy’s don’t OWN the land, it’s actually owned by the STATE. But when the Feds came in and encroached on the land, it raised debates about the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution. The Tenth Amendment says, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
There it is, right in the Constitution, clear language saying the State OR the People have the power to govern and control anything not assigned to the Federal Government in the Constitution. But when the Feds showed up, they not only demanded the land, they also killed thousands of dollars worth of Bundy’s cattle, burying them in mass graves. Outraged by the encroachment and forced takeover, Bundy and hundreds of other locals showed up and blocked their path. After a long standoff, the Feds went home defeated.
Now, they’re back, with a new strategy. This time, calling 33 parcels of land, that contain nearly 2 million acres of Nevada of land “Areas of Critical Concern.” Bundy’s calling it a move of retaliation, several months after the Feds retreated..
But don’t count the Bundy family out just yet. When they learned of this new subtle attack by the Feds, they released this statement:
“We are not intimidated by the past action of the federal government, nor will we yield to their future attempt to subdue the State or the people. We refuse to submit to unconstitutional codes and regulation that dismantle Statehood and deprived our American neighbors and ourselves of the unalienable right so many of our kinsmen suffered and died for.”
So it looks like now the Bundys are calling their own “Critical Concerns”, on the administrative tactics, they claim, are stripping the people of Nevada their land.