Sunday, April 27, 2014

April 27. 2014

Hey Wolves!
We really need your help to sign the following petitions for our Gray Wolves. Thank you!

1. From Defenders of Wildlife:
Demand that FWS Review the Status of Idaho’s Wolves!

2. From Environmental Action:
Science Says : Save the Wolves!

3. From Center For Biological Diversity:
Save Wolves, Old-Growth Forests, and Our Climate

4. From Force Change:
Give Wolves Endangered Species Protection

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

April 22. 2014
Beautiful, beautiful news for our Mexican Gray Wolves


Updated 7:39 pm, Tuesday, April 22, 2014

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on Tuesday vetoed a bill allowing ranchers to kill endangered wolves in self-defense.

Senate Bill 1211 would have allowed livestock owners to kill a Mexican gray wolf if one was caught attacking livestock or a person.

Wildlife activists say the bill violated the federal Endangered Species Act.
In her veto letter, Brewer said she is a strong supporter of states' rights but feels the bill is unnecessary and conflicts with federal law.

"A state simply does not have the power to allow a take on federal lands," Brewer wrote.

A separate bill approved by both chambers sets up a reimbursement fund for ranchers who lose cattle to wolves. The governor has not issued a statement on House Bill 2699.
Proponents say the federal government is overstepping its boundaries with its wolf-recovery program in Arizona and New Mexico.



Published 5:51 pm, Tuesday, April 22, 2014

PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Game and Fish Commission is supporting an alternative for managing Mexican gray wolves along the Arizona-New Mexico border.

The commission voted in favor of the alternative during a meeting Tuesday. It says the proposal was developed by 28 cooperating agencies and other stakeholders and will be submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for consideration.

The proposal would allow for up to triple the target number of Mexican wolves in the Southwest from the previous goal of 100. Supporters say that would help with developing a self-sustaining population.

The alternative also calls for a major expansion of the area where wolves can be released and expansion of the area where wolves can disperse and establish territories.

Commission Chairman J.W. Harris says the biggest impediment to wolf reintroduction is social tolerance.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Violent rhetoric in response to Trophy Hunting, Wolf Hunting, Whale hunting, or Dolphin slaughter on Twitter, Facebook, or Google Plus carries the potential to invoke violence against the advocate. 

Where do you draw the line between passionate activism, and extreme radical speech?

We need to be careful folks. 

Tossing around “kill the hunters” banter online carries weight, and can be viewed as a death threat, not simply an activist's expression of dismay.

We have seen recently in the Bundy ranch stand off in Nevada, that the extremist militia minded mentality does not stop at words, there are firearms and ammunition involved as well.

We’ve also witnessed death threats being lobbed by pro wolf activists at residents in Idaho over the coyote/wolf hunting derby. Death threats leveled at people whose only grievous sin is living in Idaho and going to work that day, or because they are a child of an employee who was targeted because their company was somehow associated with the coyote/wolf derby in the small town of Salmon, Idaho.

January 2. 2013

The group named Idaho for Wildlife advertised and sponsored a Coyote and Wolf Derby on December 28 & 29.2013, to take place in Salmon, Idaho.

Within days there were no less than 6 petitions to protest this event.
Wild Earth Guardians filed for a restraining order to halt the derby from occurring on public land on December 23. 2013. Days later, a federal judge ruled that the derby would be permitted to proceed.

Within this week threats of violence and vitriolic conversations took place online between the pro wolfs and the anti wolfs. 

A vehicle was vandalized during the Derby, 21 Coyotes were killed, and no one in Idaho slaughtered a wolf.
The news of this event was covered in the Chicago Tribune, the New York Times, and I've been told picked up by the BBC, although I can't find it.
Think it is safe to say that this event put Salmon, Idaho front and center of the ongoing pro and anti wolf controversy. No need to post every article that was published, a Google search will provide that.

Yesterday I posted this article about the aftermath of the derby in Salmon, Idaho. It was well worth reading as it allowed us to see what happened from a Salmon citizen's point of view.

Aftermath of Idaho Wolf Derby For Residents

Posted on January 1, 2014

Immediately after posting it, there was a comment from a pro wolf on Google plus saying that someone should "kill the hunters", followed by another pro wolf saying "I agree." 

Seeing that I had just posted a request asking folks to seriously consider the effect of their words online, and that it was ignored, I became frustrated and deleted the news in order to remove the threat comments.

This is why: A wolf hunter posting on the Wisconsin Wolf hunting Facebook page stating that if he found the source of the death threat in Idaho, he would suggest a pre-emptive strike ~ kill the person who made the threat.

These targets of passionate activist “expressions” do not know for certain that the advocate is not serious in their intent when they say “Kill the hunter”, or “Death to the poachers”, or “do away with Romanians” because there is an epidemic of horrific dog slayings in Romania. 

Let’s not forget hating ALL people in Japan because of Taiji dolphin hunts, or scouring another activist because they question a boycott of all of Japan. For heaven’s sakes, I’ve seen Tweet4Taiji activists suggest dropping another Atom bomb on Taiji, sending anthrax to the children of Taiji fisherman in Christmas cards, and raping Japanese wives of Taiji fisherman to “clean up” the genetic bloodline. Actually, other words were used for fisherman, and Japanese lineage, but there is no way I’m repeating those racist vulgarities. Not my speed.

This has got to stop before an activist is harmed. Guilt by association applies here.

At this point I consider myself to be a passionate animal right’s activist, but not willing to interact with anyone carelessly typing one of these sentiments online, even if we considered one another to be friendly alliances prior.

No intention of taking a hit because one of my anipals tagged me in a violent tweet, whether it's being placed on an eco terrorist watch list or having a rock crash through my living room window.

This is a very real danger.

Wake up, people, and think before you post online.
Anything you say on the internet STAYS on the web somewhere, irregardless if you delete it after you post it.



Posted on April 20, 2014 by othernations

From Huffington Post; click here for article & original photo credit

Kathleen Stachowski ~ Other Nations
One woman (sporting a Safari Club International cap), one gun, one dead giraffe. One pump-my-ego photo posted and then shared hundreds of times on animal rights Facebook pages, generating thousands of sad or angry comments.

Many–distressingly many–of the responses to these vile, celebratory trophy photos are vile and violent themselves. When the killer is a woman, the comments can also be terribly misogynistic: “Stupid brainless b*tch!” “This fat ugly b*tch should be shot!” “Shoot this b*tch!” 

Another woman, another gun, another dead giraffe. Another ain’t-I-somethin’-special photo–this time, she’s grinning from atop her trophy’s body. Thousands of Facebook shares and more than 14,000 comments: “I hope someone puts a bullet in her head the weak pathetic b*tch!” “…the dirty tramp!” “Hope she dies by gang giraffe rape!” Other comments included epithets so vulgar and repugnant that I won’t even hint at them with missing letters.

What’s going on here? I mean, I get it: I’m as revolted by the gratuitous killing of animals as anyone, and I, too, struggle with feelings of contempt for these conscienceless, ego-driven killers. But responding to violence with still more violence–even if it’s just rhetorical–proves only that animal advocates can sink to a shamefully base level themselves. As for responding to speciesism with sexism–I’m at a loss. Yes, I’ve seen the comments that call into question the manhood of male trophy hunters, comments suggesting that their big, powerful guns are stand-ins for their own minuscule personal endowment. But I’m aghast at the misogynist, verbal violence directed toward women: gang giraffe rape?!? OMG.

I don’t fault the animal rights Facebook pages dedicated to posting trophy photos–they graphically remind us that callous indifference to animals is a strong, wide current running through our ocean of humanity; that people with enough money and little enough conscience are eager to lay waste to the lives of sentient others–aided and abetted by safari and hunt providers pursuing their own trophy–the cash cow. Pages like Stop Trophy Hunting Now!
and Animal Shame
(and probably many more) remind us that we have so much work to do combatting speciesism, and inspire us to get a move on because animals are dying.

But other than considerable Facebook traffic and abundant ill will vigorously expressed in feeding frenzies of anger, what is gained by the commentary of outrage? Preliminary research offers some indication:

One study assessed whether individuals felt calmer or angrier after ranting on an Internet site, and whether people who frequent rant-sites are more likely to have problems related to anger. The second study evaluated how people reacted emotionally to reading and writing rants online—whether they became more or less happy or angry.

“The two studies seem to indicate that both reading and writing on rant-sites tend to be unhealthy practices, suggesting persons with maladaptive expression styles”… ~from Science Daily

It appears that not much of value is gained–neither for animals nor our own emotional well-being.
I don’t typically peruse these commentary threads–they’re too distressing and life’s too short. But as a relative Facebook newbie (just over six months–late to the party again!) who just recently stumbled upon these two trophy photos via Facebook, I’m discovering the depth of malice that members of my own species are willing to express toward others. I find that I actually don’t know how to end this post because I don’t know where to go with sentiments like, “Hope she dies by giraffe gang rape!”

But here’s what I hope: I hope for more than an onslaught of online words from the multiple thousands who express their public sorrow at an animal’s death or spew their anger at the killer. I hope these many animal defenders are also acting constructively for animals–no matter how small or large those actions might be. Imagine the difference we could make! From simply speaking up for justice when the opportunity arises to going vegan–and everything in between–actions speak so much louder than words, no matter how vehemently those words are delivered.

Speciesism will be vanquished not by impassioned quips posted to photos, but by passionate acts of conscience and courage.


Report Shows Sharp Rise in Murders of Environmentalists, Only 1% of Killers Convicted

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Reposted from White Wolf Pack @The_WhiteWolf_ 

Please follow WildEarth Guardians @wildearthguard

APRIL 18, 2014

Actor and Wolf Advocate Alan Arkin narrates a WildEarth Guardians' photo essay on restoring wolves to the wild.

People are fighting about wolves. Ranchers and an hysterical public hate them and want every one shot on sight. 

Native Americans, conservation professionals, scientists and wildlife workers, however, know the truth. Wolves and other predators are absolutely crucial for the future of not just our National Parks and wilderness areas but - our healthy, sustainable planet.

As the recent uproar over the so-called 'wolf-rider' illustrates, our endangered species and conservation programs are being ham-strung by special-interests. We use wildlife as bargaining chips for unrelated issues. We don't think much about it - it fades from the forefront of our concerns as the next 'shiny new object' attracts our attention. 

Yet, damage from such hastily made or compromised decisions ends up coming back to haunt us in the end. Nowhere was this folly better demonstrated than the damage done to our beloved Yellowstone National Park when the last wolves (through pressure from the livestock industry) were exterminated. 

Most people may not be aware of it, but the removal (killing) of those wolves, and the resulting degradation of that once-magnificent landscape brimming with vitality and diverse life, very nearly cost America one of our greatest National treasures.

Yellowstone National Park was slowly dying. 

Certainly the landscape was undergoing some grave changes. Aspen forests, for instance, stopped growing. The wildlife that depended on those aspen forests began vanishing. 

Luckily we wised up and set about restoring the wild wolf population. In short order, the wolves, doing the job they were put on Earth to do to begin with, began to repair our mistake. 

With wolves once again in residence, Yellowstone National Park began to regain its former glory. 

Despite the unqualified success of wolf-reintroduction into Yellowstone and the American landscape, the livestock industry (which wants to turn the range into a large, cultivated back yard instead of the thriving, healthy wilderness it needs to be) as well as anti-wolf hysteria, is jeopardizing those vital wolf populations just as they're getting a tenuous foothold back in their home ranges.

What a breath of fresh air when you come across videos such as this one, "Why America Needs Wolves" by WildEarth Guardians. Please take a moment to watch this short and well-done presentation, narrated by Alan Arkin, explaining just some of the reasons why restoring the natural balance, including intrinsically critical predators such as the iconic wild wolf, is the key to saving our National Parks and imperiled wilderness.

The wolf, as you will see, is vital to the healthy functioning, and even the continued existence, of our wild landscape. Ranchers can protect their livestock through fencing and shepherd dogs rather than wolf-extermination (the same way we've learned to stop shooting vital hawks, owls, eagles and falcons), but nothing can restore the aspen forests and associated wildlife of the west, for instance, except the wolf. 

This is about saving our planet from ecosystem collapse. The wilderness, complete with all the glorious wild things that belong to it, is your and mine and our children's legacy. The wolf is the guardian of our estate and all the wildlife, forests and grasslands it includes. 

This is a lesson not just for those of us in the US, but for the world. No matter where you are, Nature was complete and perfect before Man arrived. Our best course now is to restore and allow. Let Nature and all her glorious creatures exist, and do what they intended to do. There is room for animals and wilderness, and there is room for us. We just need to practice some maturity, some wisdom, and some self-control. 

Please join the growing legions of enlightened 'diverse-ecosystem' advocates. Support wolf-restoration efforts and help strengthen protections for wild wolves and other predators. Together we can revitalize our National Parks and enjoy healthy, sustainable ecosystems for generations to come.

Also, please see this trailer for a new film on the critical importance of predators, including wolves, on the planet: 

Thursday, April 17, 2014


“ And most livestock operations occur at the peril of endangered species, whether it’s the Mojave Desert Tortoise being nutritionally starved or Greater Sage Grouse eggs being broken by clumsy hooves.
What is the cost of extinction?
The American public is woefully uninformed about the entrenchment, expense, and ecological harm of this land use.”

Reposted from The Wildlife News

The taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for grazing either.
Let’s talk a bit about the public lands grazing fee that Cliven Bundy refused to pay.

The Forest Service (FS) has been charging fees to graze private livestock on federal lands since 1906 and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has been charging fees since 1936. In 1978, Congress established a fee formula in the Public Rangelands Improvement Act (PRIA), and the grazing fee has been set according to this formula ever since.

The problem is, however, the formula is flawed. PRIA requires the Secretaries of Agriculture and Interior to see a fee annually that is the estimated economic value of grazing to the livestock owner. The formula uses a base of $1.23 per AUM, established from the fair market value of grazing lands in 1966, and adjusts it annually according to 1) the charge for leasing private grazing lands, 2) the sales price of beef cattle, and 3) the cost of livestock production, including such factors as the cost of gasoline. Sadly, though PRIA only intended for a trial run using this formula, the formula was extended indefinitely by an Executive Order in 1986 under President Reagan. Efforts to revise the fee formula have been rejected.

The formula is flawed first because it uses $1.23 as the base rate, the base rate of private lands grazing in 1966. In real dollars, adjusting for inflation, this ­would be $8.97 today. Private lands lease from a low of $9 per AUM in Arizona to $33.50 per AUM in Nebraska. Under any measure, the base rate undervalues the public lands, but the problems with the formula are compounded by its double-counting of ability-to-pay factors. The result is that the fee has been exceedingly low year after year, and hasn’t risen above the minimum fee of $1.35 per AUM since 2007. The year that Bundy stopped paying his grazing fee is was just $1.86 per AUM, and it’s never gone above $2.31.

Just imaging getting a whole month’s worth of cow food for that amount of money. Now you know why the ranchers are so attached to the screaming deal they are getting with their public lands permits. The lower the bottom line, the higher the profits.

Problem is, the costs to taxpayers of just having the land managers administer the program have continued to rise and the grazing fees don’t even begin to cover it. According to the Government Accountability Office in 2005, the grazing fee isn’t nearly sufficient to cover the costs of managing public lands grazing, and American taxpayers subsidize the program with at least $1.23 billion every decade, not counting the additional costs of species recovery, range infrastructure, soil loss, weed infestations, increasing wildfires, and bacterial contamination of water supplies.

In Mr. Bundy’s case, the costs are much higher. When Bundy stopped paying grazing fees in 1993, he would have owed less than $3500.00 each year for his herd of 150 mama cows year round. He refused to pay because he wanted to run more cows than the BLM would permit, and he has since racked up a debt of nearly a million dollars in fees, fines, and penalties. That doesn’t count the legal expenses incurred by BLM to get the courts to order Bundy off, nor does it include the costs of last week’s failed roundup. The Bunkerville conflict has cost taxpayers untold millions for the sole benefit of one rancher who refuses to budge.

Make no mistake: Bundy isn’t the only rancher ripping off the American public. Every public lands livestock permittee is banking on federally-funded range infrastructure like solar wells and fences and benefitting from federally-funded wildlife killing that targets native predators like wolves and coyotes for the sake of livestock safety. Many permittees benefit from drought payments and disaster payments, seek handouts for “restoration projects” that are really just reseeding the forage species their cows stripped in the first place. And most livestock operations occur at the peril of endangered species, whether it’s the Mojave desert tortoise being nutritionally starved or Greater sage-grouse eggs being broken by clumsy hooves. What is the cost of extinction? The American public is woefully uninformed about the entrenchment, expense, and ecological harm of this land use.

Let’s have that conversation instead. It isn’t about one rancher and his debt to BLM; it’s about all 22,000 public lands permittees and their debt to all of us.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wednesday April 16. 2014 at 02:03 PM PDT

byJoan McCarter

Bud Purdy was so revered in Idaho that even a bunch of Republicans pay tribute to him.

Being a Westerner and the daughter and granddaughter of cattle ranchers, I think it's about time that the non-crazy Western ranchers get some equal national media time. Because they're not all federal government-hating, "wise use," sagebrush rebelling, gun-toting crazies—even in a state like Idaho. One of Idaho's most influential cattle ranchers, and conservationists is proof of that. His name was Bud Purdy, and in his 96 years, he became sort of a legend in the state. Unfortunately, he passed away this week, but this remembrance from the Idaho Stateman's Rocky Barker tells the story.


Posted on April 15, 2014 by Rocky Barker
Leonard “Bud” Purdy, one of Idaho’s most beloved and respected ranchers and conservationists died Monday at his home on Silver Creek in Picabo.

Purdy, 96, led the ranching industry into rest and rotation grazing on public lands that both protected the range and improved cattle production. He duck-hunted and skied with Ernest Hemingway and hosted Jimmy Stewart and Gary Cooper at his Picabo Ranch.

He helped start the Idaho Cattle Association, led the University of Idaho Foundation as president and was chairman of the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry. In addition to the ranch, he and his late wife Ruth owned the Picabo Store, the Picabo Elevator and Silver Creek Supply, a seed business.

“Bud Purdy was the very embodiment of the Code of the West – someone whose life was a lesson in cowboy ethics, common sense, stewardship and the value of hard work and perseverance,” said Idaho Gov. Butch Otter. “I don’t know whether Bud was a religious man, but there was nobody with as much faith in his fellow man.”

Purdy donated a 3,500-acre conservation easement on all of the ranch along Silver Creek in the 1990s to the Nature Conservancy, adjacent to its own Silver Creek Preserve. Purdy didn’t even take the tax break on the easement valued at $7 million.

He was inducted into the Idaho Hall of Fame in 2013 and was grand marshal of the 2013 Ketchum Wagon Days Parade.

He loved the cattle business, he explained to writer, producer and author Steve Stuebner in an article in 2012 for the Idaho Rangeland Commission (which he co-founded). “Every morning, you get up and do something different,” he said. “You turn out on the range and ride a horse every day. Even now, I go out and make sure the water is OK, check the fences and make sure the gates are closed.

“It’s just a constant going out there and doing it,” Purdy said. “I was never a cowboy, but I’ve ridden a million miles.”

Purdy was born in Beatrice Nebraska Jan. 2, 1918 He spend the summers on the ranch of his grandfather, W.H. Kilpatrick, who established the ranch along Silver Creek. He graduated from Washington State University and returned to the take over management of the ranch in 1938.

He is survived by his sister Margaret Struthers of Twin Falls, his three sons, Nick, Mark and Gordon and his daughter Kris Wenslawski. His wife Ruth died in 2006.

His burial will be private but a celebration of his life is set at the Limelight Room in the Challenger Inn at Sun Valley, May 4 at 3 p.m. In lieu of flowers friends are asked to contribute to the St. Lukes, University of Idaho or the College of Southern Idaho foundations.

“His passing is a loss for all of us, but it’s an even bigger loss for the next generation who won’t have the benefit of his wisdom and good will,” Otter said.

Read more here:

As one of my good friends here in Idaho wrote on Facebook, "He loved his land so much he owned it and when owning it wasn't enough to preserve it for future generations, he figured out a way to do that."

Cliven Bundy doesn't represent the West. He doesn't represent cattle ranchers. He represents a minority of right-wing cranks who are good at making a lot of noise through threats of violence. He's also nothing more than a common crook.

If you're looking for an emblematic man of the West, it's not Bundy. It's Bud Purdy.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014



 Ken Cole on April 14, 2014
By Ralph Maughan and Ken Cole

In the acrimonious case of Cliven Bundy, it is important that folks understand a bit about the history of the U.S. public lands.

Cliven Bundy, the rancher whose cattle were rounded up and then released by the BLM over the weekend, claims that his family has used the land in question since 1880 but the Nevada Constitution pre-dates this by 16 years. When Nevada became a state in 1864, its citizens gave up all claims to unappropriated federal land and codified this in the state’s Constitution. The Nevada Constitution states:

“Third. That the people inhabiting said territory do agree and declare, that they forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated public lands lying within said territory, and that the same shall be and remain at the sole and entire disposition of the United States; …..”

If Bundy “owns the land then where is the deed?  Where are the records he paid property taxes?

It’s not his land.

Bundy also claims that it his “right” to graze these BLM public lands.  This is not the case. The Taylor Grazing Act of 1934 specifically states that the issuance of a grazing permit does not confer any right to graze or right to own the land. The Taylor Grazing Act is the granddaddy of the U.S. laws governing grazing on federal land. “Taylor” was a rancher and a congressman from Colorado, hardly someone to want government tyranny over ranching.

So far as consistent with the purposes and provisions of this subchapter, grazing privileges recognized and acknowledged shall be adequately safeguarded, but the creation of a grazing district or the issuance of a permit pursuant to the provisions of this subchapter shall not create any right, title, interest, or estate in or to the lands.

In Public Lands Council v. Babbitt the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the new grazing regulations promulgated by the Department of Interior under former Secretary of Interior Bruce Babbitt to conform to Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA) and found:

The words “so far as consistent with the purposes . . . of this subchapter” and the warning that “issuance of a permit” creates no “right, title, interest or estate” make clear that the ranchers’ interest in permit stability cannot be absolute; and that the Secretary is free reasonably to determine just how, and the extent to which, “grazing privileges” shall be safeguarded, in light of the Act’s basic purposes. Of course, those purposes include “stabiliz[ing] the livestock industry,” but they also include “stop[ping] injury to the public grazing lands by preventing overgrazing and soil deterioration,” and “provid[ing] for th[e] orderly use, improvement, and development” of the public range.

He has no “right” to graze it.

The federal courts have struck down every challenge Bundy has made about his claims, and has issued not one, but two, court orders to remove his trespass cattle. It’s not his land and he has no right to graze it.

Welfare Ranching: 
The Subsidized Destruction of the American West
The majority of the American public does not know that livestock grazing in the arid West has caused more damage than the chainsaw and bulldozer combined.

The simple truth of the matter is that Bundy is a freeloading, welfare rancher who has an inflated sense of entitlement. It also appears that he and his supporters’ use of threats and intimidation likely violated several federal laws. Inasmuch as they used (such as pointed) weapons to cause the government back down, it can be considered an armed insurrection.

What about Bundy’s claim that his forebears bought the land he is now accused of trespass grazing upon?  This land was once Mexican land, and was won by the United States after the Mexican-American War. It is part of what is known as the “Mexican Cession.” All of Nevada, California, Arizona and most of New Mexico were part of the Cession. Much of this land was privatized under various grants and laws such as the Homestead Act and the Desert Lands Act, plus mining claims. Several million acres were granted to Nevada for state lands, but those lands that were not privatized have always been Mexican lands or United States lands owned by the U.S. government.

Before the Taylor Grazing Act, these government lands were called “the public domain.” They could be privatized, as mentioned, under the Homestead Act and such, but the acreage allowed per homesteader was limited to 160 acres. There were no 158,000 acre homestead privatizations and certainly no 750,000 acre privatizations. Livestock owners ran their livestock freely without a permit on the public domain. They didn’t even need a home base of property (a ranch). The result was disaster because the operator to find green grass and eat it first won out, promoting very bad grazing practices. That was the reason for Taylor Grazing Act — ranchers and others could see the public domain system led to disaster on the ground. Therefore, the more powerful ranchers with “base” private property received grazing permits. This got rid of the landless livestock operators.

Taylor Grazing was administered on the ground by the U.S. Grazing Service. Now, ranchers with grazing permits had to pay a grazing fee to use their permits. Bundy’s ancestors probably got one of these grazing permits, but they most certainly did not buy the land. That was not possible. The public domain was not for sale and ranchers generally did not want it. After all, if they owned it, they would owe local property tax.

In 1948 the Bureau of Land Management was created by executive order of President Truman to replace the Grazing Service. The Service had been defunded in a dispute between the House and the U.S. Senate. The BLM has since been affirmed by law rather than a mere executive order. It is supposed to manage the public lands for multiple uses and for sustained production (“yield”) of renewable resources such as grass. As before, you need a grazing permit for cattle, sheep, goats, or horses to legally graze. It is a privilege, not a right, and this has been firmly stated by the U.S. courts.

Hopefully, this explains why Bundy’s assertions are wrong. It is too bad that few citizens are taught public land law or history in high school or college. We think it is vital for everyone to know these things because these are in a real sense your lands, held in trust by the government. Yes we know the government often does a poor job. They did in Bundy’s case by letting this go for 20 years. He should have been gone before the year 2000.

End of story.


Photo sourced courtesy:
Cliven Bundy and cowboys celebrate victory over federal agents ...
... supporters fly the American flag as their cattle were released by the Bureau of Land Management back onto public land outside of Bunkerville, Nevada 

By Ralph Maughan on APRIL 11, 2014 

Right wing outcry brings milita. Violence?

It’s difficult to find news stories that stick to the issue of the 21 years Cliven Bundy has been in violation of the laws governing American public lands.

The lone rancher trying to save his cattle from the “govmnt” is just too good a theme. Then too, they don’t have to investigate the issue. Just report what Mr. Bundy says and give it more play than those enforcing the law. Ignore those happy to see the cattle go from these hot desert lands. It is easy to cover a story this way.

None seem to have investigated Bundy’s claim that all the other ranchers in the county are out of business — that he is the last — or that those that did quit, truly did so because of government regulations. None have investigated his claim that his family has been grazing area since the 1870s, or the matter of his alleged water rights. None have looked at his total ranch operation. He appears often in the news with an old truck, but some say he has aircraft.

The right wing media is by far the most interested in the story and in expanding and changing the issue. Harmful and illegal cattle grazing does not fit their interest. Change the subject to government tyranny. This might be what Mr. Bundy sought as he planned what to do over the last generation of time. The coverage has served to bring a hard to pin down number of anti-government protesters to the area. Alarming to many are the private militias, a name that brings back memories of violence and/or standoffs in Montana, northern Idaho, Washington State, and other places. That this might happen, explains BLM law enforcement being armed and blocking entry to the part of state highway 170.

A few web sites have reported that cattle have died. There is no information on this. However, this is very hot country. It can get well over 100° F in April. Today’s expected high is 93.º  The cattle have been fending for themselves on the desert, taking up the rare waterholes. Many are in the backcountry. An aerial count conducted April 1-3 tallied a total of 908 cows spread out across approximately 750,000 acres. Bundy’s original grazing allotment was 158,000.  Reports from the BLM indicate that a number of the cattle are unidentified — feral. Others seem to have wandered in from other places.

Roundup is stressful. Cattle could be injured or die. This happens in conventional roundups. Some these cattle could be undernourished, injured, or diseased. If they go down in the roundup, most experts on emergency large animal euthanasia recommend gunshot or captive bolts. This might explain the rumor of cattle shot. The dispersed distribution of the cattle — all over hell and back — explains the lengthy expected time for this operation to complete.

There seems to be no media interest in the tortoises, which many wrongly call “turtles.” They discount them. None have investigated what the cattle have done of other desert wildlife, the outdoor recreation, or the Lake Mead National Recreation area on which the cattle often tread.

Bundy has leveraged his allotment closing buyout money into a no grazing fee, no property tax, 19th century open range operation about five times the original size.  Without investigation, this is being ignored and the subject changed.

- – - – - -

Added 4/12- Reuters has a neutral story on the arrival of militias and the like. “Militia members, ultra-conservatives rally to cause of Nevada rancher” By Laura Zuckerman. Reuters.

Update 4/12. Confronted by a mob summoned by the right wing media, the BLM appears to have been faced with the choice of shoot or release the cattle. Both sides were armed. The BLM released the cattle. Unfortunately, this is not the end of the matter by any means, even though the mob will probably go home. Nations that allow this to happen with no further response do not last.