Monday, 14 April 2014 18:00

Questions Raised About Senator Reid’s Connection to Bundy Ranch Dispute

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The standoff between Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) deescalated on April 12, when the bureau announced that it will stop its operation to confiscate Bundy’s cattle.

But another aspect to this ongoing story is jumping: The blogosphere is alive with allegations that Senator Harry Reid (pictured), and his son, Rory, have motivations of their own for wanting Bundy’s cattle off the disputed lands.

Though the major media announced that a “deal” had been reached between Bundy and the BLM, Bundy explained what transpired differently in an interview with KLAS TV in Las Vegas: “There is no deal here. The citizens of America and Clark County went and took their cattle. There was no negotiations. They took these cattle. They are in possession of these cattle and I expect them to come home soon.”  

The BLM stated in its statement released on April 12: “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.”

The BLM’s language made apparent that the bureau still regarded its actions “to remove illegal cattle from federal land consistent with court orders” as being legally justified:

This is a matter of fairness and equity, and we remain disappointed that Cliven Bundy continues to not comply with the same laws that 16,000 public lands ranchers do every year. After 20 years and multiple court orders to remove the trespass cattle, Mr. Bundy owes the American taxpayers in excess of $1 million. The BLM will continue to work to resolve the matter administratively and judicially.

As William F. Jasper noted in his April 11 article about the standoff, however, there was more to the federal action to remove Bundy’s cattle from “public lands” (where they are, allegedly, damaging the “fragile” habitat of the protected desert tortoise) than has been widely reported: 

According to Bundy, whose family has been ranching in the area since the 1800s, the BLM’s armed invasion and occupation of Nevada has nothing to do with protecting the tortoise and everything to do with running him off the land, as it has already done to all of the other ranchers in Clark County.

As for the BLM’s assertion that its actions “to remove illegal cattle” are legally justified, among the many points that Joe Wolverton II made in his April 12 article charging that the seizure of Bundy’s cattle was unconstitutional was this citation from Section 1 of the Nevada constitution, titled “Inalienable Rights”:

All men are by Nature free and equal and have certain inalienable rights among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty; Acquiring, Possessing and Protecting property and pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness.

Wolverton observed: “Despite the Nevada constitution’s capitulation to supreme federal authority (authority, remember, that does not exist in the Constitution) … it could be argued [that the above-quoted language from Section 1] supersedes the other article’s cession of state and popular sovereignty.”

That which is unconstitutional, therefore, cannot properly be called legal.

As the tension between Bundy and the BLM ratchets down, a number of conservative bloggers and pundits have raised questions about another angle in this case: Does the BLM want Bundy’s cattle off the land his family has worked for over 140 years in order to free up the land for the construction of solar panel power stations?

That question was prompted, in part, by since-deleted information previously posted on the BLM website, information retrieved from Google’s cache. 

The text of a BLM document retrieved from Google’s cache and posted by Liberty News Online contains the following chronology of events: 

• “In 1993, some of the terms of Mr. Bundy’s grazing permit for the Bunkerville allotment were modified to protect the desert tortoise.” 

• “In 1998, the United States filed a civil complaint against Mr. Bundy for his continued trespass grazing in the Bunkerville Allotment.”

• “In 1999, the Las Vegas Field Office Resource Management Plan designated the Bunkerville allotment as ‘Closed to Grazing’ to protect desert tortoise habitat.”

• “In March 2011, BLM counted 903 cattle from a helicopter spread out over approximately 90 miles in northeast Clark County within the Gold Butte area … 41 percent had either brands or earmarks registered to Cliven Bundy.”

• “In May 2012, the United States filed a Complaint seeking declaratory and injunctive relief for Cliven Bundy’s trespass grazing within the Gold Butte area outside the Bunkerville Allotment.”

A PDF of the BLM’s document, “Regional Mitigation strategy for the Dry Lake Solar energy Zone: Technical Note 444,” produced by the BLM in March, can be found online. 

Technical Note 444 states that the “’Regional Mitigation Strategy for the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone’ recommends a strategy for compensating for certain unavoidable impacts that are expected from the development of the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone (SEZ) in southern Nevada.”

Technical Note 444 states: “The resource values found in the Gold Butte ACEC are threatened by: unauthorized activities, including off-road vehicle use, illegal dumping, and trespass livestock grazing; wildfire; and weed infestation.” (Emphasis added.)

The above-referenced BLM “Technical Note 444” specifically mentions the Gold Butte Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) 76 times. While the document expresses many environmental concerns, including “trespass livestock grazing,” it is important to keep in mind that the title of the document reveals the BLM’s ultimate objective, which is to create a “solar energy zone.”

One of the references listed in Technical Note 444 is “Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for Solar Energy Development in Six Southwestern States. FES 12- 24, DOE/EIS-0403,” published jointly by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The PEIS, notes TN 444, “assessed the impact of utility-scale solar energy development on public lands in the six southwestern states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah.”

The BLM and the DOE’s joint venture is — stated concerns about tortoises aside — about the generation of solar energy.

An article published by The New American in September 2012 noted that Rory Reid, the eldest son of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), is the chief representative for ENN Energy Group, a Chinese firm planning to build a $5-billion solar plant on public land in Laughlin, Nevada.

The plan generated a great deal of controversy because Clark County officials voted to sell ENN the public land for $4.5 million, a figure far below its $38.6-million appraised value.

It is important to recognize that the land on which Bundy grazes his cattle is not the same land that ENN sought near Laughlin, which is over 200 miles away. However, the Bundy grazing land is within the BLM's Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone, an area the BLM and DOW also want to use for “utility-scale solar energy development,” whether constructed by ENN or someone else. As blogger and candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives from California’s 8th District Rodney Lee Conover recently wrote:

As part of the plan for the Dry Lake solar zone, any solar developers are expected to pay into a fund to “mitigate” the Gold Butte area. However, the “mitigation” activities can’t take place with cattle grazing in the area. If the mitigation doesn’t take place, no money for the BLM.

Conover’s assertions are supported by the BLM’s document entitled “Cattle Trespass Impacts,” which states that grazing by Bundy’s cattle “impacts” solar development, more specifically the construction of “utility-scale solar power generation facilities” on “public lands.”

“Non-Governmental Organizations have expressed concern that the regional mitigation strategy for the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone utilizes Gold Butte as the location for offsite mitigation for impacts from solar development, and that those restoration activities are not durable with the presence of trespass cattle,” an article by Kit Daniels posted by Infowars quoted the document as saying.

Motivations are not always easy to prove, but in this case, Senator Reid’s hand has shown up more than once. The BLM’s principal deputy director, Neil Kornze, previously served as Senator Reid’s senior policy advisor. And we have noted Rory Reid’s role as the chief representative for China’s ENN Energy Group, which has sought to develop solar energy in Nevada. Whether these suspicions are proof of wrongful or illegal acts remains to be seen.

However, one thing is evident from what has transpired in Nevada: The federal government has reneged on a long-standing arrangement made by a rancher in good faith by which he and his family have earned a living for generations. In so doing, they have run roughshod over the rights of a U.S. citizen and have employed constitutionally dubious means to do so. If justice prevails, some judge with respect for the Constitution may follow the example of Chief Judge Robert C. Jones of the Federal District Court of Nevada. Last year — in the case of U.S. v. Hage — Jones issued an impassioned preliminary bench ruling in which he charged federal officials of the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) with an ongoing series of illegal actions against Nevada rancher E. Wayne Hage. Jones described the bureaucrats’ actions as “abhorrent” and a literal, criminal conspiracy.

Which is a pretty apt description of the BLM’s recent actions against Cliven Bundy.

Photo of Sen. Harry Reid: AP Images

Related articles: 

Last Man Standing: Nevada Ranch Family in Fedgov Face-off

Bundy's Case: Feds Do Not Own the Land Where His Cattle Graze

BLM's Seizure of Nevada Rancher's Land Rights Unconstitutional

Harry Reid Bolsters Son’s Interests in Chinese Solar Plant Deal

2 comments

  • Comment Link Dixie Suzan Davis Tuesday, 15 April 2014 11:26 posted by Dixie Suzan Davis

    This Bundy ranch activity of the BLM is the most incredable unCpmnstitutional action I've read about in years.
    Quote---An unconstitutional act is not law; it confers no rights; it imposes no duties; affords no protection; it creates no office; it is, in legal contemplation, as inoperative as though it had never been passed.--- U.S. Supreme Court, Norton v. Shelby County, 118 US 425 (1886) http://supreme.justia.com/us/118/425/
    The BLM were acting like a armed gangster cartel.
    400 armed BLM employees show up in cameo in military looking vehicles on a Clark County ranch announcing they are there to seize the ranchers cattle to protect a desert tortoise which they themselves kill by the hundreds???
    Read about it: DESERT TORTOISE: Conservation center prepares to close
    August 30, 2013 by Janet Zimmerman
    http://blog.pe.com/environment/2013/08/30/desert-tortoise-move-on-to-save-conservation-center/
    BLM gets Congressional funding to open a "desert Tortoise Conservation Center," 220 acres filled with desert tortoises they collected, maybe 2,000 of them. They squander the funding so they announce they are going to close it but will kill all the tortoise there they think look sick. They kill them. Guesses are 800 or more. Conservation groups offer to take them, but no the BLM kills them all. The conservation groups have suits by the hundreds against the BLM for this. It is a Federal crime to kill a desert tortoise. Under the Endangered Species Act if prosecuted in civil court the fine is $25,000/tortoise. 800 tortoises is $2,000,000 in fines. BUT if prosecuted criminally it is $50,000/tortoise and 1 year in Federal prison.
    800 tortoises is $4,000,000 fines and 800 years in Leavenworth. So how much has been colelcted for the Auschwitz operation by the BLM??? Nothing. How many BLM employess are serving their 800 years in Leavenworth? Nobody. How mmany BLM employees are indicted but not yet tried ??? None.
    So 400 armed BLM employees in cameo show up to seize a Clark County, Nevada ranchers cattle to protect their protected wards, the desert tortoises !!! Utter madness.
    The rancher raises a hue and a cry and calls for the County Sheriff for protection !!! The county sheriff never shows. Locals show up to assist, unarmed. The BLM stops them on site at gunpoint. Clark county folks further away start showing up with guns to assist. The BLM emp;loyees turn their guns on them too. Then the BLM announces the 1st amendmnet to the US Constitution is suspended in Clark county by the armed BLM employees by their decree. It is now illegal to claim any rights under the 1st Amendment. The BLM establishes a fenced off area inwhich they announce a grant of privilege to exercise 1st Amendment privileges only in the assigned compound. 1st Amendment is illegal outside the compound. The armed BLM employees the n set up road blocks and commence to seize control by force of the Clark county, Nevada highways and roads. Vehicles are stopped at their barracades without warrant and occupants are question and held at gunpoint. Those who complain are tazered. Suddenly the BLM is at the ranch to collect $1,000,000 of Federal funds appropriated by Bundy by seizing his cattle. Desert tortoise wards suddenly are no longer mentioned. More people arrive with more guns. People try to find the county sheriff. He is missing. The BLM starts collecting cattle by herding them with helicopters. This being calving season the calves can't keep up. Many are getting killed or are abandoned. The BLM herd the mother cattle into one truck, calves into other trucks. Separate the calves from their mothers and they will generally die. The FAA announces a no fly zone over the whole area. Nothing to fly in under 3,000 feet. This keeps out news helicopters and also any hospital emergency medical helicopers if there are injuries. The Nevada highway and road seizure is tightened up. No body gets in. The cell phone towers are electronically jammed. No cell phone coverage. Now it is Saturday morning. It looks like a bloodbath is about to begin. No news no info going out , the armed BLM is now threatening to kill the people there. Suddenly the sheriff appears and claims he has negotiated for the BLM to cease, return the 400 cattle seized and peacefully leave.
    That folks is a quick scenario. Is the 1st Amendment restoredby decree of the BLM employees to Clark county, Nevada? I don't know. Sunday church services during this Easter week did proceed without church shut down by the BLM.
    Much more but judge for yourself.

  • Comment Link Frank M. Pelteson Tuesday, 15 April 2014 00:33 posted by Frank M. Pelteson

    While we can hope that Chief Judge Robert Jones will do the right thing, we need to continue to regard the stench of conspiratorial corruption that Luddite Harry Reid and his progeny has foisted on us. We have to continue to regard that Reid and the Clark County Commission have conspired to have the Chinese State Corporation of ENN colonize Nevada for China. And we have to realize that the puny power that solar arrays provide will instigate ultimately an energy famine that will bring down the American people so that they can be comfortably merged with Mexico under the North American Union.

    How much more can he American People bear under the yoke of these conspirators? How long will it be before the Conspiracy to merge the United States under a North American Union will be exposed?

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