Originally published May 9 2014
BLM has been running land seizure regime for years
by L.J. Devon, Staff Writer
(NaturalNews) The Bureau of Land Management, created in 1946 under the federal government's department of the interior, now owns a whopping 247.3 million acres, or one-eighth of American lands. Most BLM land is out West. In 1994, policy makers enacted stricter land regulations requiring that ranchers pay double what they were currently paying to graze their cattle.
BLM's tactics are unnecessary, severely unconstitutional, inhumane, covertMost people respect that the federal government owns and protects National monuments and parks like Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon. What many don't know is that these protected lands are only a tiny fraction of the total land owned by the federal government. In fact, more than 80 percent of federally owned land is controlled by the BLM, which is precariously mismanaged, overregulated and used for covert gain.
Since 1994, the BLM has been fining ranchers outrageous fines and seizing their belongings and property while arming its agents to intimidate Americans into compliance. At the Bundy ranch, BLM agents tried to force dissenters into "free speech zones."
It's now apparent that this government institution is out of control, inhumane and unconstitutional. In a historic, climactic moment, patriotic Americans actually had to assert both their first and second amendment rights as they confronted BLM agents, ultimately freeing Bundy's stolen cattle.
Formation of the BLM is a disgrace to the 10th Amendment It's only logical to realize that the millions of acres of BLM land could be better managed by the individual states, and this makes good Constitutional sense, according to the Tenth Amendment of the Bill of Rights, which states: "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."
Does the Constitution give the federal government power to fine ranchers millions of dollars, seize their property and intimidate them with armed agents? The answer is NO. The land should be delegated by the individual states and properly managed by the people, not a foolish, bully federal bureaucracy.
BLM intimidation and thievery prevalent well before the Bundy Ranch showdownThe BLM land grab and intimidation tactics did not begin with Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy.
In one case in Nevada, back in 2002, the BLM intimidated Raymond Yowell, an 84-year-old former chief of the Shoshone Indian Tribe. The BLM now garnishes $200 from Yowell's monthly social security check, forcing him to pay $180,000 for the years that his cattle grazed "unlawfully" on government lands. On a fateful morning in 2002, armed BLM agents arrived at Yowell's place and seized his 132 head of cattle into stock trailers. After selling the cattle at auction, the BLM pocketed the proceeds.
Free-range grass-fed beef forced out of the marketplace, replaced by factory farmsLong-standing ranchers, who have grazed public lands for over a hundred years, are slowly being targeted, one by one, as the federal government puts them out of business. As they are restricted, so are their free-range grazing practices that provide higher-quality beef for Americans. Inevitably, many beef operations that operate like factory farms have popped up to fill the vacuum. These operations raise cattle in close quarters, bulking them up with unhealthy GMO grains while drugging them for maximum production.
BLM doubled ranching fees in 1994The range war against American ranchers and the people has been going on for many years now. In 1994, the Interior Department brought forth stricter regulations for cattle and sheep grazing. The "Rangeland Reform" regulations doubled the current fees charged to ranchers and doubled down on efforts to prevent overgrazing. While the vast range lands remained underused, politicians thought it would be necessary to manage the wilderness, encroaching on the liberties of ranchers. Now valuable ranch lands are left vacant, unused, wasted, thanks to regulators' controlling demands.
In 1994, former-Sen. Pete Domenici warned against the plan: "The last thing we should do is hurry decisions that have far-reaching effects on western states."
Heather Smith Thomas, an Idaho rancher, wrote in the peer-reviewed academic journal Rangelands in 1994, showing how vast government ownership of western lands even led to artificially high private land grazing fees.
Idaho ranchers find victory against BLM in decades long pursuitIn another case, Idaho Congresswomen Helen Chenoweth-Hage and her husband Wayne lost their grazing permit when the federal government refused to renew. In the fight, the government denied the family access to water rights, fencing off streams and wells, prohibiting their cattle from using natural resources. The BLM ultimately seized Hage's cattle and said he was trespassing on federal land in a civil suit.
A victory was won nearly 20 years later when U.S. District Court Judge Robert C. Jones ruled that the trespass fines on the innocent ranchers were "abhorrent" to the Court. He stated, "[T]he government and the agents of the government in that locale, sometime in the '70s and '80s, entered into a conspiracy, a literal, intentional conspiracy, to deprive the Hages of not only their permit grazing rights, for whatever reason, but also to deprive them of their vested property rights under the takings clause, and I find that that's a sufficient basis to hold that there is irreparable harm if I don't... restrain the government from continuing in that conduct."
While it's now apparent that the federal government cannot manage its own finances, it definitely cannot rationally oversee hundreds of millions of acres. State lawmakers in the West are beginning to draw up plans to protect their state land from federal government overreach and hostility.
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