Seeking the Truth About Cliven Bundy

Land, personal possessions, and self. Not necessarily in that order.
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Seeking the Truth About Cliven Bundy

Post by editor » Thu Apr 17, 2014 8:51 pm

Seeking the Truth About Cliven Bundy

Most people who keep up with such things are aware of last week's standoff between rancher Cliven Bundy and the United States Bureau of Land Management (BLM). It seems everyone has an opinion. Rather than weigh in with mine, I think it is more appropriate to define the issues.

BLM's position is that the federal government owns the land upon which Bundy has been grazing his cattle, and as the government's designated agent, BLM claims the right to do with the land as it sees fit-- including the right to remove Bundy and his cattle.

Bundy claims his family has been grazing cattle on this land for more than 100 years, and has the right to continue to do so, indefinitely, without paying any fees or obtaining any permits.

BLM has taken Bundy to court and, according to the government, Bundy did not prove his case. Bundy's response has been that he does not recognize the jurisdiction of the federal government over the land.

This has been dubbed a "State's Rights" issue by some of the alternative media. By "alternative media" I mean, of course, Infowars, Glenn Beck, Drudge Report, and others. There is no question in my mind that these media sources are fast becoming more mainstream than the so-called Mainstream Media. Increasingly these are the sources people (myself included) go to for the "real news."

I've listened to Alex Jones on the Infowars Nightly News tell me that Bundy owns grazing rights and water rights in this land, which are the same as owning mineral rights. I normally trust Jones and his news agency, but in this case I can't help wonder if we are really getting the truth.

I began my study of law with land and property rights, so this is something I understand quite well. I'm not going to pretend I've studied the specific history of Nevada and its public lands-- I have not. However I found an article written by Ken Cole and Ralph Maughan which provides quite a bit of background. ... d-grazing/

The authors lay out a brief history of how and when the land was acquired from Mexico by the United States government, and the various Acts which have been passed through to the present day. It is also useful to read the comments below the article, as some of the commenters appear to be knowledgeable of the history.

My readers know I am an advocate of State's rights, and the people's rights to be free of the juridiction of the federal government. As much as I would personally like Bundy to be right, I have to ask for the evidence.

It is a standard throughout the united States that before courts will recognize rights in real property, a document giving evidence of those rights must be recorded with the County Registrar. If Bundy has grazing and water rights in the subject lands then his family, at some time in the past, acquired documentation of those rights. That documentation will have been recorded with the County. Bundy can simply go down to the Registrar's office, get a copy of the evidentiary instrument, and post it on the Internet for all of us to see. In fact, I hereby offer to post that document free of charge here on The Lawful Path, as a public service.

Sure, the document won't have Cliven Bundy's name on it, but there are ways to establish heirship. Probate records, affidavits of heirship and identity, are all standard tools for substantiating evidence of heirship, inheritance, and succession.

I suspect that if any such documentation existed, Bundy would have presented it already. That leaves other means of acquiring right or title.

Bundy does not claim to own the land, just the grazing and water rights. So he has not been paying property taxes. (I don't agree with the concept of property taxes, but if he had been paying taxes it would be evidence of a claim.)

How about adverse possession? In Nevada, as in other states, if a person possesses land continuously, openly, notoriously, and adversely for a period of years, that person may sue to "quiet title" away from the title owner. If the court agrees and grants a judgment, this person becomes the new owner. The term of years in Nevada is twenty; in other states it varies. Bundy, whose family has been using this land for more than one-hundred years, would certainly fall within the timeframe. Presumeably, Bundy has not done this, and would not want to do this since, if he takes title to the land, he will be required to pay property taxes on it. Could he win such a claim if he sued for it?

Let's take the case of two people, Adam and Bill, who own land jointly. Bill lives on the land continuously, and uses it every day for more than twenty years. Bill pays all the property taxes, even though Adam never visits, and won't pay his share. Finally Bill gets fed up, and sues for adverse possession. Will he win?

No, Bill cannot take Adam's share of the land through adverse possession, because Bill's use was not adverse. He owned an undivided share in the land and, therefore, had the right to use it. The fact that Adam did not visit it or pay the taxes is immaterial.

This is why in theory no person can sue the government for adverse possession, no matter how long that person may have used the land. As a member of the public, that person owns an interest in the land.

An issue I have not seen raised before may apply in this case: Bundy has not paid permit fees or applied for permits since 1993. He has used the land continuously, over the objections of the goverment for more than twenty years. There is at least a potential argument that his use has been adverse. Of course I doubt he could ever enforce such a claim.

In closing, I'll just say that I cheered along with the protesters when BLM backed down last Saturday. However I do not think for a minute that this is over. In the meantime, if Bundy has any real evidence of his rights in that land, he should produce it as soon as possible.
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Re: Seeking the Truth About Cliven Bundy

Post by editor » Thu Jun 05, 2014 9:43 pm

Here's a recent email correspondence which might spur discussion:

Thank you for your thoughtful reply, it is appreciated. Yes, you are welcome to post my email to your forum, with the understanding that I am not a lawyer, and these are my personal opinions - right or wrong. I am trying to pin down some references to back up my understanding of the laws and rights involved in this discussion, as I am repeating conclusions from other parties in some instances.
Your comment on grazing rights comparable to mineral and water rights: It must be pointed out that a prescriptive easement cannot be taken from the following entities: (not my words, but a discussion on "ownership derived from continuous use [x-years] of another's property)
♣ Convicts
♣ Incompetent owners (under age or mentally incapacitated)
♣ Anyone who is physically unable to visit the property regularly
♣ Any governmental agency - (I added bold here, as it is the entity/owner) EAC

Probably the most misunderstood of all the kinds of easements. Prescription is the shakiest type of easement because most legal departments and independent attorneys find that it is too difficult to defend. The elements involved to claim a prescriptive easement are: (pursue if interested).

The point being, even though Mr. Bundy's family were continuous "users" of said State land, he cannot claim "Prescriptive use" of State lands.

"However, I think there are probably better ways of addressing the issue than the Bundy situation" (from your reply). Yes, you are correct, and yes, that is happening currently. I brought this subject up with my local State Representative, and it turned out that he, as well as others in the NM Legislature, have been pursuing the correct legal means for the affected Western States to file for the Federal Government Agencies "to cease and desist" claiming State Lands that they have NO legal right to control - As per the U. S. Constitution, Article I, Section 8, clause 17. This is an on going multi-State legislative effort (7 to 9 States active at present). The reason for this action, other than it counters an illegal taking from the States by the Fed., it represents a huge financial annual loss to each state involved, and the stewardship of the "Public Lands" involved is atrociously poor, in too many areas. Time will tell if this action can reach fruition, but the effort is current, and serious.

There is so much more to this problem than covered in a couple of emails, the fake "Desert Tortoise Sanctuary" (the BLM is reported to have killed over 1,000 of said Desert Tortoises last year, because of over population!); such as Harry Reid & son, plus his former colleague now head of the BLM, and the Chinese effort to use this same land, set aside for the tortoise's, where 50+ ranchers have been evicted, to build a humungous Solar Panel Array! Because of the national media being basically AWOL - on all matters that THEY don't like, the public is mostly ignorant of important matters. This subject needs to get away from Mr. Bundy, and onto the typical multi-million dollar deals by our legislators - specifically Harry Reid, in this case.

Ed Cooper

----- Original Message -----
From: LawfulPath Editor
Sent: Thursday, June 05, 2014 1:28 AM
Subject: Re: Bundy and States Rights


Thank you for your note.

I have not researched this thoroughly, so I'm only able to give opinions on
those parts of laws regarding land which I know and understand.

If you've delved into, then you know we are not fans of most of
the things done by the federal government. However, I've seen firsthand, on
numerous occasions, when good people were thrown under the bus by being drawn
into situations in which they believed they were right to act illegally. In
fact, putting people in that position is a favorite tactic of the feds.

The impetus for my article, was after having heard both Alex Jones, and David
Knight (both for whom I have a lot of respect, by the way) claim that Bundy
had ancestral grazing rights similar in kind to owning mineral or water
rights. Jones/Knight claimed the BLM was running roughshod over actual
quantifiable rights Bundy inherited through his family.

I simply stated, if this is true then it's a simple matter of going to the
courthouse, doing a day's worth of research, perhaps two, and copying the
documentary evidence of those rights so it can all be posted on the Internet.

If Bundy has those rights, but no one has done the research, then why not?

If he doesn't have those rights, then a lot of people might want to question
their tactics.

I'm in agreement that the fed's ownership of much of their land in Nevada, and
many other states, is counter to the intent of the Constitution as I
understand it. However I think there are probably better ways of addressing
the issue than the Bundy situation. If the Nevada state legislature passed a
resolution through both houses demanding the feds turn over that land to them,
THAT would be big news, and a lot more likely to succeed. A lot of other
states would be likely to follow suit.

You are right that Bundy could not have paid the fees to Nevada and so, given
his position, he should have paid them into escrow. If he HAD done that, his
argument, and the movement forming around him would carry more weight. I wish
he had done it.

May I have your permission to post your letter to our Forum, where we have an
open discussion on this matter? You are welcome and encouraged to join our

On Thursday, June 05, 2014 12:36:00 AM you wrote:
> Editor,
> Reference your comments on Mr. Bundy and his claims against the BLM.
> The U. S. Constitution is very clear on what State lands the Fed may
> PURCHASE. See Article I, Section 8, clause 17. There is an old SCOTUS
> decision, still standing, that states [paraphrased] that "a State is
> created Whole and Instantly", not in outline, with the Fed taking whatever
> it wishes. The Constitution states that the Congress "and to exercise like
> Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of
> the State in which the Same shall be, for the erection of Forts, Magazines,
> Arsenals, dock-Yards and other needful Buildings; ..." - no randome
> land-grab of minerals, forest and grazing - whatever the Fed wants to
> control. Mr. Bundy is remiss in not paying into escrow to the State of
> Nevada and Clark County, any reasonable grazing fee, but he can't pay
> directly to either, as the BLM, illegally, claims that land. I do not
> believe that the Fed did as REQUIRED by the Constitution, to reach an
> agreement with the Nevada Legislature, to claim without payment, 80+% of
> the State lands. So, Mr. Bundy is right - and wrong! To show that the
> Constitution REQUIREMENT is a real entity, when Hawaii achieved Statehood,
> the new State requested that any claims to lands in Hawaii that the Fed
> controlled, yet did not require for the operating of the Federal
> Government, be returned to Hawaii - which the Fed did. My point, the Fed
> MUST return most of the illegally stolen State lands of the Western States
> [about 51% of State land]. And that is the reason that Mr. Bundy feels that
> he can withhold grazing fee payments to the BLM - in my view. As an aside -
> the BLM is supposed to use local law enforcement if any is required - not
> to be a massive SWAT Team, with armored vehicles, snipers and automatic
> weapons - not to mention the attack dogs and tasers - and a FREE SPEECH
> ZONE DESIGNATED!! But now all - all Federal Agencies are armed and ready to
> do battle - against us citizens, I guess. Edward Cooper, Aztec, NM 87410
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Re: Seeking the Truth About Cliven Bundy

Post by editor » Tue Sep 30, 2014 5:38 am

Lisa pointed me to the following article, partially posted here, which comes from the following link: ... ch-crisis/

Who actually “owns” America’s land? A deeper look at the Bundy Ranch crisis

By: Michael Lotfi Apr 12, 2014

Does the federal government own property?

NEVADA, April 12, 2014– Turtles and cows have absolutely no relevance to the situation in Nevada. Does the Constitution make provision for the federal government to own and control “public land”? This is the only question we need to consider. Currently, the federal government “owns” approximately 30% of the United States territory. The majority of this federally owned land is in the West. For example, the feds control more than 80% of Nevada and more than 55% of Utah. The question has been long debated. At the debate’s soul is Article IV, Section 3, Clause 2 of the Constitution, which is know as the “Property Clause”. Proponents of federal expansion on both sides of the political aisle argue that this clause provides warrant for the federal government to control land throughout the United States.
The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States….
Those who say this clause delegates the feds control over whatever land they arbitrarily decide to lay claim to are grossly misinterpreting even the most basic structure of the Constitution.

It is said the Constitution is “written in plain English”. This is true. However, plain English does not allow one to remove context. Article IV does not grant Congress the power to exercise sovereignty over land. Article IV deals exclusively with state-to-state relations such as protection from invasion, slavery, full faith and credit, creation of new states and so on.

Historically, the Property Clause delegated federal control over territorial lands up until the point when that land would be formed as a state. This was necessary during the time of the ratification of the Constitution due to the lack of westward development. The clause was drafted to constitutionalize the Northwest Ordinance, which the Articles of Confederation did not have the power to support. This ordinance gave the newly formed Congress the power to create new states instead of allowing the states themselves to expand their own land claims.

The Property Clause and Northwest Ordinance are both limited in power and scope. Once a state is formed and accepted in the union, the federal government no longer has control over land within the state’s borders. From this moment, such land is considered property of the sovereign state. The continental United States is now formed of fifty independent, sovereign states. No “unclaimed” lands are technically in existence. Therefore, the Property Clause no longer applies within the realm of federal control over these states.

The powers of Congress are found only in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution. With the exception of the less than two dozen powers delegated to Congress found within Article I, Section 8, Congress may make no laws, cannot form political agencies and cannot take any actions that seek to regulate outside of these enumerated powers.

Article I, Section 8 does lay forth the possibility of federal control over some land. What land? Clause 17 defines these few exceptions.
To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of Particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings– (Emphasis added).
Article I, Section 8, Clause 17 is known as the Enclave Clause. The clause gives federal control over the “Seat of Government” (Washington D.C.) and land that has been purchased by the federal government with consent of the state legislatures to build military posts and other needful buildings (post offices and other structures pursuant to Article I, Section 8). Nothing more.

State permission being a requirement, state authority was explicitly emphasized while drafting this clause. The founders and respective states insisted (with loud cries) that the states must consent before the federal government could purchase land from the states. Nowhere in this clause will you find the power for Congress to exercise legislative authority through regulation over 80% of Nevada, 55% of Utah, 45% of California, 70% of Alaska, or any other state. Unless, of course, the state has given the federal government the formal authority to do so, which they have not.

If a state legislature decides sell land to the federal government then at that point the Enclave Clause becomes applicable and the federal government may seize legislative and regulatory control in pursuance to the powers delegated by Article 1, Section 8.

Please read the rest of the article at: ... ch-crisis/
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Re: Seeking the Truth About Cliven Bundy

Post by notmartha » Sun Jan 03, 2016 1:12 pm

editor wrote: However I do not think for a minute that this is over.
How right you were!

Militia takes over Malheur National Wildlife Refuge headquarters ... quiet.html

Update at 9:15 p.m.:
Statement from Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward: "After the peaceful rally was completed today, a group of outside militants drove to the Malheur Wildlife Refuge, where they seized and occupied the refuge headquarters. A collective effort from multiple agencies is currently working on a solution. For the time being please stay away from that area. More information will be provided as it becomes available. Please maintain a peaceful and united front and allow us to work through this situation."

The Bundy family of Nevada joined with hard-core militiamen Saturday to take over the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, vowing to occupy the remote federal outpost 50 miles southeast of Burns for years.

The occupation came shortly after an estimated 300 marchers — militia and local citizens both — paraded through Burns to protest the prosecution of two Harney County ranchers, Dwight Hammond Jr. and Steven Hammond, who are to report to prison on Monday.

Among the occupiers is Ammon Bundy, son of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, and two of his brothers. Militia members at the refuge claimed they had as many as 100 supporters with them. The refuge, federal property managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, was closed and unoccupied for the holiday weekend.

In phone interviews from inside the occupied building Saturday night, Ammon Bundy and his brother, Ryan Bundy, said they are not looking to hurt anyone. But they would not rule out violence if police tried to remove them, they said.

"The facility has been the tool to do all the tyranny that has been placed upon the Hammonds," Ammon Bundy said.

"We're planning on staying here for years, absolutely," he added. "This is not a decision we've made at the last minute."

Neither man would say how many people are in the building or whether they are armed. Ryan Bundy said there were no hostages, but the group is demanding that the Hammonds be released and the federal government relinquish control of the Malheur National Forest.

He said many would be willing to fight — and die, if necessary — to defend what they see as constitutionally protected rights for states, counties and individuals to manage local lands.

"The best possible outcome is that the ranchers that have been kicked out of the area, then they will come back and reclaim their land, and the wildlife refuge will be shut down forever and the federal government will relinquish such control," he said. "What we're doing is not rebellious. What we're doing is in accordance with the Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land."

Government sources told The Oregonian/OregonLive that the militia also was planning to occupy a closed wildland fire station near the town of Frenchglen. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management posts crews there during the fire season.

Law enforcement officials so far have not commented on the situation. Oregon State Police, the Harney County Sheriff's Office and the FBI were involved.

Ammon Bundy posted a video on his Facebook page calling on patriots from across the country to report to the refuge – with their weapons.

The dramatic turn came after other militia groups had tried to dampen community concerns they meant trouble.

Brandon Curtiss, a militia leader from Idaho, told The Oregonian/OregonLive he knew nothing about the occupation. He helped organize Saturday's protest and was at the Harney County Fairgrounds with dozens of other militia for a post-parade function. Another militia leader, BJ Soper, took to Facebook to denounce the occupation.

The occupation is being led by hard-core militia who adopted the Hammond cause as their own.

Ammon Bundy met with Dwight Hammond and his wife in November, seeking a way to keep the elderly rancher from having to surrender for prison. The Hammonds professed through their attorneys that they had no interest in ignoring the order to report for prison.

Ammon Bundy said the goal is to turn over federal land to local ranchers, loggers and miners. He said he met with 10 or so residents in Burns on Friday to try to recruit them, but they declined.

"We went to the local communities and presented it many times and to many different people," he said. "They were not strong enough to make the stand. So many individuals across the United States and in Oregon are making this stand. We hope they will grab onto this and realize that it's been happening."

Among those joining Bundy in the occupation are Ryan Payne, U.S. Army veteran, and Blaine Cooper. Payne has claimed to have helped organize militia snipers to target federal agents in a standoff last year in Nevada. He told one news organization the federal agents would have been killed had they made the wrong move.

He has been a steady presence in Burns in recent weeks, questioning people who were critical of the militia's presence. He typically had a holstered sidearm as he moved around the community.

At a community meeting in Burns Friday, Payne disavowed any ill intent.

"The agenda is to uphold the Constitution. That's all," he said.

Cooper, another militia leader, said at that meeting he participated in the Bundy standoff in Nevada.

"I went there to defend Cliven with my life," Cooper said.
more: ... rsecution/
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Re: Seeking the Truth About Cliven Bundy

Post by notmartha » Sat Jan 16, 2016 2:59 pm
Harney County Authorities were shocked today when one of their own defected to join the armed protestors at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Burns Oregon, now known as the Harney County Resource Center.

Chris Briels, the Harney County Fire Marshall, resigned his office after he exposed FBI agents pretending to be Militia.

In a statement to Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore, Briels revealed that the Sheriff’s office, and Judge Steve Grasty, engaged in a whisper campaign, spreading lies and falsehoods to the community that the militia has been following and harassing people. It turns out it was allegedly the FBI who was doing the harassing.

Local KATU news was on the scene.

Chris Briels, was the Burns Fire Chief from 1984 to 2006. When he retired in 2006 Harney county asked him to stay on as the county Fire Marshall.

The resignation was triggered when Briels saw what he thought was Militia poking around the county Armory. He followed the suspects and pulled them over. It was then, According to Briels, he discovered the men, who were posing as Militia, were actually the FBI.

These are extremely damning allegations coming from a top official from within the inner circle of the Harney County authorities, and shows the lengths the FBI and local officials will go to deceive the public to protect their own interests.

What will happen next is anyone’s guess, as for right now, the Bundy Militia just scored huge against the Federal Government, and Harney County Officials.
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