BUNKERVILLE — The militiamen rolled in to draw a line in the dirt.
About 70 miles northeast of Las Vegas, they set up camp on a sun-baked patch of land next to a bend in the Virgin River, keeping supplies — like rucksacks and sleeping bags — in neat piles under the roof of an abandoned shack.
Gruff and largely unshaven, dressed in camouflage fatigues and cut-off shirts, the men kept their intentions quiet, telling news reporters the reason they pulled their trucks into this rural desert town — on one of the hottest days of the year — is simple enough: “We’re here to camp,” said one man who would not share his name.
The group even had a sign, posted for arriving members: Militia Sign In.
But they were really here to protect one of their own from the perceived enemies: a band of federal agents recently dispatched to the scrub desert to seize the cattle of embattled rancher Cliven Bundy.
“They’re here to protect Cliven’s family and home,” said Lynn Brown, one of Bundy’s daughters.
A 68-year-old Nevada native, Bundy has long been at the center of a battle with the Bureau of Land Management, the federal agency controlling the 150 miles of desert where the rancher’s cattle have roamed for decades. A renegade when it comes to any sort of government control, Bundy — the father of 14 children — has refused to pay BLM a dime of required grazing fees for his 900 cattle, a tab that has since reached $300,000. Bundy has fought the fee, he says, because his Mormon ancestors set up shop on the land long before the BLM formed.
The problem? The land where Bundy’s cattle graze is federally owned, and the BLM now says the livestock aren’t supposed to be there. Federal agents this week cordoned off sections of land and sparked a monthlong operation to seize the cattle.
Tensions boiled over this week when a scuffle between the BLM and Bundy’s supporters ended in violence: Agents reportedly used a stun gun to subdue Bundy’s son and knocked his daughter to the ground. Though called “brutal” by some, the brawl did not land anyone in a hospital or jail.
But the incident did prompt Operation Mutual Aid — a national militia with members from California to Missouri — to visit Bundy’s ranch and set up a camp just in case things got out of hand again. Before their arrival Thursday, dozens of Bundy’s friends and relatives gathered at a protest camp in solidarity for the recent woes that have colored his rustic ranch.
And to that, I say Amen.
how do we know the turtles were not planted by the Fed's just to get control of this and other lands I wouldn't put anything past this government, case is point the IRS.
Oil is the issue. After I read about BLM collecting millions from the oil company who's drilling there. This isn't about grazing or the fees it's about wanting more land to drill on. The NV Governor such take back all federal lands in his state. If anyone such get any monies from the oil companies for drilling on the land it such be the State of NV and its people. Why should the Feds get it. This is the real reason that all this is happening. Oil, Oil, Oil !
That is what I have been saying all along! The BLM and "their" judge cohorts are using Eminent Domain. Reminds me of the Mobsters who had judges on their payroll!
Post all of this info on your social sites so maybe some of the koolaid drinkers will get the message.
I have been sharing this story constantly and am amazed at how many people I know that haven't a clue what is going on around them. They are so involved with "themselves" and their small worlds they had no idea what was happening in Nevada. I continue to spread the word of Liberty and freedom to them all. Wish we had the money to haul our horses to Nevada and take a stand but right now we're doing all we can to keep our family, including our dogs and horses, fed. I would love to ride in with every single Texan I know on horseback create a line and sit there staring them in the face.
Like Cliven Bundy said, "you can not be ignorant and free".
Use this as a national stage to change the system. The people have risen and will (through proper channels) succeed in changing the Tyranny we all are fighting. Do it peacefully, please. Support the Convention Of States.
I think Bundy is a fool for thinking that he has a legal right to graze his cattle on public or Federally controlled land. Sure, he's gotten away with it for years, but when push comes to shove, his battle is endangering the lives of loyal supporters. He can only win in the courts, but not with street brawls. I don't like the fact that ranchers are out killing the coyotes and wolves, using leg traps that torture them to death. Some of these ranchers think that they have all the rights in the world to use public land the way they wish, and to contribute to the decline of our wildlife. There are two sides to this saga!
Well Lori, you have stated your opinion. You have proved that you have no idea as to what this is about. So set back, continue drinking the cool- aid and see where it gets you.
I see the tyranny, but also can see another side to what is going on. You, Jim, sound like a Johnny one note...going along with only the "conservative" viewpoint. I don't like that ranchers take over public land as if they personally own it. To me, their cattle are not as important as wild life. Sorry...I can think for myself and don't have to follow the crowd of fellow conservatives. I like to address both sides of the problem. And...I don't like cool aid...do you?