Upon investigation and inquiry, the Bundy family could learn little. No evidence was found justifying the removal of livestock. What evidence was uncovered indicated that tortoise had been greatly benefitted by the advent of grazing throughout the southwest. Investigations into the history of the region indicated that desert tortoise were nearly non-existent at the time of first exploration and settlement. It was not until later, after sheep and cattle were placed upon the lands that desert tortoise began to appear on a regular basis.
arose as well. Why were the Bundy’s rights to graze not being
recognized. Why were their rights to the use of waters found upon the
public lands not being recognized? Why were the Bundys not being
afforded due process?
Further investigation raised other
questions. No one working for the Bureau of Land Management or Justice
Department could quantify jurisdiction. No one seemed to be able to
show why it was, that the federal government hold unlimited jurisdiction
over the vast majority of lands that lie within western states.
near as Cliven was able to determine, under our constitutional form of
government, it is the responsibility of State and local governments to
resolve public needs issues. History is clear,
planning and decision making has never worked no matter where its been
tried - not in the Soviet Union, not in Chile, not in Argentina.
Nowhere has centralized planning worked - either in resolving social
issues, in protecting the environment, or in producing needed wealth and
production. Free markets cease to function properly when centralized
planning is implemented - individual rights are trampled and freedom is
It’s no wonder there’s been such turmoil
regarding public lands issues for so long now. At no time has decision
making regarding public lands management been allowed at the local
level. At no time have effected families been afforded the right of due
process. Never has it been shown that the removal of livestock from
Nevada’s rangelands will benefit desert tortoise or any other species of
wildlife. Yet, on and on we go, with one environmental groups and those
working within the agencies claiming that grazing was causing undo
declines in range land condition.
and others, who have run cattle on Nevada’s rangelands for most of our
lives, will never know all there is about resource management - that is
for certain - but one thing we do know is, the reductions that have
been going on throughout our state during these last few decades is not
There is not nearly as many song birds
around as there were thirty years ago. Numbers of deer are down, sage
grouse are down - even a lowly jack rabbit is often hard to find. And
what of the desert tortoise? What’s happened to them, now that they
have had all the “protection” for all these years? Has anyone come up
with any figures showing population trends? Of course not. No one is
going to do that - for, as most of us already know, whatever government
manages falls to ruin.
What Cliven Bundy has been
telling us all these years is correct. We need to proceed as the
founders of this nation intended for us to proceed. Its not livestock
or the private sector that has been hurting wildlife. Its bureaucracy
and the environmental mentality that has permeated society during recent
times that is the problem.
Take our refuge systems lands
for example. During those years when it became popular to champion the
removal of livestock and predator control practices throughout the
country, those managing our nations wildlife refuges were the first to
implement restrictive policy. Consequently, it was on these same
refuges, where we first witnessed declining wildlife populations - on
the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge - at Hart Mountain - on the Malhure
National Wildlife Refuge - and at Ruby Lake. Wildlife use and
production has been declining more rapidly on refuge system lands than
elsewhere within the Great Basin.
We should demand that
justice be done. We should demand that a study be completed for the
purpose of assessing wildlife abundance and resource condition on lands
that are now being grazed by Bundy cattle as compared to wildlife
abundance and resource condition on adjacent lands where no livestock
have been grazed for a number of years.
Not that I
would want government alone to oversee such a study. What I am
suggesting is, that people from both the private sector and public
sector be involved. That way, we know that everything will be on the up
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Cliven and Carol Bundy
Po box 7175
Bunkerville NV 89007
Dave and Marylynn Bundy
Po box 814
Delta UT 84624
Ryan and Angie Bundy
Po box 7557
Bunkerville NV 89007
Ammon and Lisa Bundy
Mel and Briana Bundy
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