Colorado couple fights to save land from eminent domain

Colorado couple fights to save land from eminent domain

Punitive code enforcement problems and federal land grabs are becoming increasingly common. The following land owners thought they owned their land and could use it in the manner they think best. There are many thousands of lots that adjoin nation forests, and countless ranches in remote areas that are similar to the following stories. Are these test cases for future land grabs?

“Breckenridge, Colo. – “They’re spending us to death,” said landowner Andy Barrie.

He is not talking about property taxes, inflation or even the cost of skiing in glitzy ski country. Rather, he’s talking about the legal fight he and his wife have been waging to save their pristine piece of mountain property — with breathtaking views of Colorado’s high country — from being taken over by the county through eminent domain.

Their battle is a unique test of private property rights. Unlike in countless other cases, where local governments have used those powers to seize land to make way for a road or some economic development project, Colorado’s Summit County is using eminent domain to go after the Barries’ land simply because officials want the open space.”

More at the source: Fox News

Feds move in on Nevada rancher’s herd over illegal grazing – a New Ruby Ridge in the Making

“Bundy said he has grazed cattle on the land for decades, and his father and father’s father did long before his 1,000 cattle roamed the area. He has long defied orders from bureaucrats he says are bent on running him out of business.

Just before the round-up began this weekend, Bundy said federal agents surrounded his 150-acre ranch. His son was arrested on Sunday in an incident involving the agents. [For photographing/videoing their cattle from a public highway.]

“They’ve been bringing men in and equipment and setting up a compound,” Bundy told FoxNews.com Monday. “They got helicopters flying low. They got snipers around the ranch. Our access to public lands has been blocked.”

“We’re not pointing guns at anyone but we’re sure getting a lot of guns pointed at us.” – Carol Bundy, wife of Nevada rancher

Bundy said he is worried BLM might try to turn the situation into another Waco or Ruby Ridge.”

More at the source: Fox News
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Comments

Government Land Grabs in the News — 26 Comments

  1. Update: The Bundy case was dismissed with prejudice. Sounds more and more like a corrupt BLM investigation all along. Shame on them. The Bundy’s were held in jail for a long time without properly following the constitution. Shame on them. This may become a landmark case.

  2. The gov is the ones who created all debt we are in ever since Obama got into office and drove us nearly into bankruptcy,now he wants to give our land to the chinese for the debts we owe them,I can see a revolution in the near future,lots of bloodshed.the UN will be here trying to kill anyone who does not go along with our dictator but there is millions of people in the US that have guts and will fight.

  3. This article reminds us that government abuse is nothing new.
    Bunkerville Was Not the BLM’s First Rustler’s Roundup http://www.infowars.com/bunkerville-was-not-the-blms-first-rustlers-roundup/

    Bundy is not alone:
    Texas Attorney General to BLM: Come and Take It
    BLM intent to seize 90,000 acres belonging to Texas landholders along the Texas/Oklahoma line, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott questioned the BLM’s authority to take such action.

    “I am about ready,” General Abbott told Breitbart Texas, “to go to the Red River and raise a ‘Come and Take It’ flag to tell the feds to stay out of Texas.”
    http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-Texas/2014/04/22/Exclusive-Greg-Abbott-to-BLM-Come-and-Take-It

    • The enclave clause of the US Constitution says the government shall not own large tracts of land other than what’s needed to built forts, etc. The founders did not want a huge, out of control government like the oppressive one they were throwing off. The constitution is the highest law of the land, and lesser laws and regulations are null and void if they conflict.

  4. 4/17 update: Local cattle auction yards will not process cattle ‘stolen’ (as some would say) by BLM from ranchers, so the BLM was forced to send them out of state to Utah. However, the governor of Utah has just blocked this option. He won’t allow these cattle into Utah. So clearly there’s more to the story than just “Bundy didn’t pay his taxes” BS. Here we have regulations written by unelected bureaucrats that violate the constitution and people’s rights. It’s sort of like Rosa Parks who pushed back against unfair discriminatory laws.

    Also, more news about Bundy’s cattle being shot and abused, and infrastructure destroyed. None of this was in the court order (which is probably unconstitutional to begin with).

    Some people naively assume illegitimate orders from the government must be followed. Some people are not sheeple however and know how to think for themselves. Here’s what a federal judge said about the out of control BLM and Forest Service in a related case: “Chief Judge Robert C. Jones of the Federal District Court of Nevada last year ruled had been engaged in a decades-long criminal “conspiracy” against the Wayne Hage family, fellow ranchers and friends of the Bundys. Among other things, Judge Jones accused the federal bureaucrats of racketeering under the federal RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corruption Organizations) statute, and accused them as well of extortion, mail fraud, and fraud, in an effort “to kill the business of Mr. Hage.” In fact, the government’s actions were so malicious, said the judge, as to “shock the conscience of the Court.” Judge Jones granted an injunction against the agencies and referred area BLM and Forest Service managers to the Justice Department for prosecution.”
    New American http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/constitution/item/18056-war-on-the-west-why-more-bundy-standoffs-are-coming

  5. Here’s an article that explains how the events on the Bundy ranch are part of a larger pattern of China buying up US resources and assets. China is in the process of converting their over $1 trillion in US Treasuries into equity. Politicians like Harry Reid are right in the middle to get ever richer. Anyone who gets in the way (Bundy, etc.) gets squashed. To hell with centuries of land rights.

    http://www.wnd.com/2014/04/reid-smelling-anything-but-rosy-in-ranch-fight/

    “They will fire the next shot heard around the world… and we will fire the rest.”

    Also two notes: I never said Bundy “owned the land”. He leases it from the BLM. Whenever I said “his land” I was referring to the land he is grazing and using. But he does own the grazing, water and surface rights. Also, just because the BLM has a court order doesn’t mean it’s ethical and just.

  6. Wonderful example of collusion between elements of the federal/state govts and business interests at work. Some will/do call me crazy, but these happenings are becoming more and more commonplace. The Supreme Court, totally in line with all other branches of govt, basically affirmed that any govt body can indeed force people off any/all land, whenever they want. And since every freaking agency in the federal/state govts now have “security/enforcement officers” (all fully armed with automatic weapons, body armor, armed choppers, drones, riot tanks, etc), they all act exceptionally confrontational with citizens. Government is one of the largest problems with our country, these days…

    • I agree. These strong arm tactics are completely wrong. They also make life very difficult and unpleasant for folks in the entire area. No one can enter BLM land anywhere near the Bundy Ranch (at least 600,000 acres). It’s all sealed off with signs threatening arrest for going past the signs. So local residents are essentially in an undeclared state of martial law. They can’t hike, bicycle, hunt, fish, ride horses or drive on the land that surrounds them. Merely stepping out of your vehicle means you can be surrounded by BLM agents, tasered and slammed to the ground before being taken to jail. That’s not the type of place I want to live in and that’s why I’m reporting on it. Sadly, some people buy the government BS hook, line and sinker with no critical thinking. You have to research this stuff to realize how every agency is now corrupt with internal auditors who absolve their workers of wrong doing, puppet judges who rubber stamp directions from corporations, agencies who are run by corporate insiders through a revolving door process. This country is toast if we don’t stand up for what’s right.

  7. STOP!!!! “I” support Bundy 100%. That’s 100%. I used to live in that neck of the woods and that was for about 20 plus years. SCREW anyone trying to take land that my Fathers Father used before there was a BLM. 1000 cattle isn’t hurting the land at all. If anything it’s helping the land. Darn, it gets my goat when people do NOT know the land or how it’s done by the people and make comments that REALLY seem moronic. Law of the land. Cattle country isn’t WalMart country. It’s far from watching a western on TV. PUBLIC LAND? Let them use my part of it. I own over 100 million acres.

    • Bundy is absolutely in the right. I read a clear legal synopsis of his situation today that explains his preemptive rights. Bundy has every right to graze cattle there. The article explained how the BLM does not own the land, only manages it. BLM is out of line and out of control. That’s why the governor and at least one senator are speaking out to deescalate the situation. For instance, the “free speech zones” they created are clearly unconstitutional. You can’t dictate where you can practice free speech on public land! The whole thing is a sham. Come on people, if in doubt please do a little research.

      The latest cost estimate for this? Around 3 million $. And it’s not over yet.

  8. Busted: Harry Reid and his son are helping the Chinese acquire land to build a giant solar farm on Bundy’s land. That’s right. BLM documents have been found that specifically mention the need to rid Bundy off his land to make room for the Chinese solar farm. This news is now on dozens of websites.

    A neighboring farmer who got ran out through this same BLM eviction process says the land in this area used to have 10 times as many cattle. Obviously the land can handle far more cattle than what Bundy has. He also said he was given an ultimatum by the BLM — sell the rights to them at a fraction of the real value or else. The Walton family of WalMart fame donated $400,000 to the BLM to kick Bundy off the land. This whole story is blowing up as one giant scam. One source says the solar company is called First Solar, and WalMart is the largest shareholder. That would explain why they’re bribing the BLM to kick out Bundy.

    Update: Political poster illustrates flawed logic of government stance: “The government has detonated hundreds of nuclear bombs in Nevada… and says Cliven Bundy’s cattle could be harmful to the desert tortoise.” So they blow the crap out of Nevada with nuclear bombs and now they’re worried about the turtles? Lies, lies, and more lies. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-12/why-standoff-bundy-ranch-very-big-deal

    Update: BLM helicopters ran 150 head of cattle to death while trying to steal Bundy’s cattle, and the BLM illegally destroyed wells, pipes, springs and watering holes that’s used for both cattle and wildlife. The sheriff has intervened and at least for now is allowing grazing. The BLM agents were forced to leave. But just now I hear that armored vehicles are arriving as hundreds of armed militia arrive.

    Big story with lots of photos at UK Mail Online: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2603026/Senator-speaks-favor-Nevada-rancher-militias-join-battle-federal-agents-accused-acting-like-theyre-Tienanmen-Square-fight-disputed-ranch-land.html

  9. Deleted. Take your anger out on Harry Reid now that we know he’s behind this fiasco. And feel free to apologize for what you said about Bundy. A lot of people see him as an American hero.

    • I only read about half of this comment and decided it’s not worth my time reading the rest of your rant. You have no proof Bundy is raping the land. They’ve been ranching there a very long time. It’s in their interest to protect the land because it’s a generational business. Got it?

      Topic is closed for you. I have a lot of work. We’re racing to finish our homestead before the rainy season starts.

  10. So, Owen.

    I take it from your last comment that you agree that if it WERE your personal land, then you would have big problems with Bundy doing what he is doing?

    You should. Everyone should.

    You make a valid point about this being public land.

    Public land is owned by every citizen. That means I’m a part owner of that land. Every American Citizen is a part owner.

    Is Bundy allowed to trample of the ownership rights of 313+ million land owners because he thinks his poo doesn’t stink?

    To be fair. Bundy owns approximately a 0.000000319488818% share of that BLM land. So he should get that tiny fraction of a say in how that land is used.

    I do understand how grazing works, Owen. Grazing on BLM land has been managed by the government for my entire lifetime. Your entire lifetime too. That’s their job.

    It’s a good thing too. If somebody wasn’t managing that land, it would get overgrazed and destroyed. That’s a huge reason we had the dust bowl back in the dirty 30’s. The main reason the dust bowl ended was because the government bought up large tracts of worthless land that had been abandoned by farmers that went bust. They replanted it back to native grasses instead of plowing it all asunder every year to plant wheat and corn which destroying the topsoil in arid and semi-arid regions.

    I don’t know the ownership history of this particular plot of BLM land, but it is important for somebody to manage the land to keep it healthy. Continually grazing arid and semi-arid land to large herds can be very destructive.

    I learned from a very early age from my Grandfather the importance of caring for the land. He was extremely careful with his pasture lands. The vegetation that grew in his pastures was tended with just as much passion and attention as his grain fields.

    I also witnessed what happens when neighboring farmers mismanaged their pasture lands. The devastation was astounding when a big rain would come and erode away a couple hundred tons of topsoil, or a windy dry spell would blow it away.

    Grandpa taught me to love the land like a woman. Be gentle with her and stroke her softly, and she will respond by blooming with vigor. Treat her rough or neglect her, and she’ll rip your heart out.

    I will add this in the form of my own personal opinion on what should be public policy.

    If we were talking about two hundred small farmers/ranchers with 5 cows each instead of one guy with a 1000 head, I would be drastically more sympathetic to the small farmers/ranchers. We need more small farms and less corporate megalith farms. We would get far better food and have far fewer people living off the government dole.

    • So who made the regulation that desert tortoises are more important than people trying to make a living? Did we have any input? No, a relative handful of bureaucrats made the regulation. It’s not a law, just a regulation. Maybe next year they’ll write some more regulations that impact us directly and then you’ll catch my drift.

      Bundy’s family has been grazing the same land for over 100 years. That sounds pretty sustainable. They’d be long gone if they overgrazed the land.

      Bundy’s operation is pretty standard actually. Big agra (corp. agriculture) has mega operations.

      Update: Bundy has 1,000 cattle on 600,000 acres. That’s one cow per 600 acres, so there is no risk of overgrazing.

  11. If I was making money by allowing my cattle to feed on someone else’s land, I would realize that with every passing year there would probably come a day when the owner of that land might want to use the land for another purpose and I would need to make other arrangements to graze my livestock or send them to slaughter. If I put all my eggs in one basket, and I have no real control over the basket, I should expect to lose my eggs some day.

    Let’s look at this another way. What if you Owen, as a land owner, allowed your neighbor to graze some livestock on your land. Maybe you charged a fee for this privilege. Perhaps you received some free meat out of the deal. Whatever the arrangement, both parties agreed to this arrangement each year for a period of years. Each year the deal got renewed for another year, and both parties were happy.

    Then, what if one day you decided that you wanted to use your land for a different purpose? What if one day you decided to stop grazing large animals because you discovered that they were damaging the land?

    What if you decided to instead install a permaculture food forest on your land instead of allowing your neighbor’s livestock to graze?

    What if your neighbor got angry that you changed your mind, even though you had warned him for several years that change was on the way? What if you had allowed him to finish the terms of the final year of your previous grazing arrangement, but that wasn’t sufficient for him!!! He felt ENTITLED to use your land as HE saw fit, not how you thought your own land should be used. He sent his livestock to graze your land anyway, long after your previous agreements had all expired, even though you had not agreed to a new year.

    In this scenario, Owen, what would you do if your neighbor got angry and continued to graze his animals all through your land, and even through your fledgling food forest you worked extremely hard to install? What if that grazing destroyed habitats for animals you had carefully planned and built, perhaps habitat even some tortoises that you thought were of great benefit to your permaculture plans. Perhaps they ate all the nasty harmful insects that were infesting the land so you wouldn’t need to use any artificial insecticides.

    I bet you would feel a lot differently about the neighbor that wanted to graze his animals if the land were YOUR land wouldn’t you?

    What difference does it make if other ranchers were grazing their livestock for many years using the old system you used to allow? How does that impact the situation? Are you saying that if enough neighbors trespass on your property and overgraze it that you no longer have the right to decide whether or not other people’s livestock are allowed to graze on your land? You aren’t allowed to build a food forest because too many of your neighbors think that they know better how YOUR land should profit THEM?

    That situation would be BULL MANURE, and you know it.

    A land owner should have the right to use his land in the best manner he/she sees fit, as long as he is not polluting or damaging his neighbor’s land.

    The bottom line is that the ranchers were getting a free (or steeply discounted) meal. Free (or very low cost) grazing for their livestock. They were suckling at teats of the Federal government for years and getting rich. Bully for them. I’m all for making a buck as long as you’re not stealing. As long as ranchers had permission from the land owner to graze their livestock, good for them. Make all the money they can. I have no problem with that. Once the land owner decides to do things differently, that’s when they MUST vacate the land they don’t own.

    Now that their free (or extremely cheap) grazing on someone else’s property has been put to a different use, they get all butthurt because they aren’t profiting from this form of extremely special government handouts that they have been getting rich off of.

    Excuse me if I don’t cry a river for leeches like Bundy and the other ranchers like him.

    They should be thankful that they got rich by doing it as long as they did.

    Bundy is simply a jerk. He is also now a criminal, and an unapologetic criminal at that. He should be arrested and put in jail.

    Just because Bundy CLAIMS he has rights to use someone else’s land doesn’t mean he does. He’s just a crybaby.

    He should have planned ahead for this eventuality.

    • I’m from a farming background Jay, and so maybe you don’t get it. We’re not talking about using someones personal land as you describe. Bundy is using public land and was following all of the rules up until this new tortoise regulation. This is called Open Grazing. It’s done all over the world. And that’s how ranchers make a living and supply us with food. Or maybe you want to buy imported food?

      Meanwhile, this is starting to get serious. I just read 3-4 armed citizen militias there are headed to confront the BLM.

  12. In the video, Bundy himself admitted in the video that he refused to pay rent.

    He’s been getting rich by getting free cattle feed via a government handout.

    The owner of the land, for whatever reason, refuses to allow him to keep his cattle on land that doesn’t belong to him.

    NEITHER CASE sited in this blog post is a Federal Land grab. That is completely false.

    The first case is a COUNTY land grab.

    The second case was a private citizen that had been grabbing public land for years and is now crying like a little girl because he won’t be able to continue to worship his golden calves.

    I’m no fan of the Federal Government, but the facts of both these cases clearly don’t fit the title of the blog post.

    The overwhelming vast majority of cases where private land is taken by government happens with LOCAL governments seizing the land. (Which is clearly the case with the first example cited in this blog post.)

    • I changed the title to Government Land Grabs in the News to more accurately describe the situation.

      Bundy paid his BLM lease fees up until the new regulation about desert tortoises. (BLM is federal.) When he saw all his fellow ranchers put out of business by this new regulation he decided to stand up for what he believed in. There is some legal basis for what’s he’s doing, but I’m not a lawyer and so I don’t know all the terminology. Prior use?? How would you feel if you and your family had been ranching a piece of land for over 100 years and the government came up with some petty new regulation that drove you and all your neighbors out of business? And in addition, this situation is starting to take place in other areas. That’s why I posted the stories. These things could happen to you someday.

  13. Eminent domain is a land grab. Especially now that the Supreme Court has ruled that it is constitutional for local governments to condemn land just so that they can resell it to a corporation for their private use instead of a private homeowner. Eminent domain used to only be used for public benefit. Now it is being used as a way for corporations to steal land from private citizens … as long as they can bribe enough local politicians to go along with their corrupt plans.

    The second example… how is that a land grab?

    The guy was grazing his livestock on land he never owned. The Bundy family has been the ones grabbing land for over a century, and now FINALLY, someone is stepping up and stopping his crime.

    The government is stepping in and forcing him to keep his livestock on his own land. That’s the way it’s supposed to be.

    That’s not a land grab. It’s defense of property rights.

    It must be nice to be able to leech of the taxpayers to get free use of land without paying rent on it. Bundy should be happy his family has been allowed to steal from others to support his 1000 head of cattle operation since 1877. That was a sweetheart deal that he has gotten rich off of.

    Grow up and pay rent to someone willing to allow your cattle on their land, or keep your livestock on your own property. Bundy needs to quit crying that he has lost his ability to steal without consequences.

    If Bundy was grazing his livestock on my personal property, I might want to bring in a few guns to keep his cattle and his butt off my land too.

    It’s idiots like Bundy that encroach on others’ land in the false guise of “freedom” that destroy freedom for the rest of us. Bundy is as bad as the greedy bankers that stole from everyone during the financial collapse. I say lock his butt in prison.

    Andy Barrie I sympathize with. He’s getting screwed by his county government.

    Bundy should be locked up for the criminal that he is.

    • From what I read everything was legal up until they changed the law to protect the desert tortoise. That drove dozens (maybe hundreds?) of ranchers in the area out of business. Bundy is the last rancher left and he’s been fighting it in the courts for years. Lots of people in the area agree with Bundy. It’s not about the tortoise, because the government is currently killing hundreds of them at their tortoise protection center instead of returning them to the wild. Right now it’s brewing into a range war.

  14. Agenda 21 ?

    I’m not surprised to hear this. My pals living in the very outer outskirts of Rio Rancho New Mexico, miles away from anyone but a couple of like minded desert dwellers – code enforcement came in and told them they need to be living in a double wide equivalent worth $80k, apparently. And “condemned” their cabin home.

    Prior to that I saw reports of similar going on out West. Like people living in the middle of nowhere, without a neighbor for over a mile, getting harassed for code violations after living like that for 20 years, apparently.

    I keep hearing about things like this. I think they want us all to live in cities so they can keep an eye on us LOL.

    I’d sooner move to Russia than New York City (or similar).

    I’m still stuck in Maine at the moment, and I haven’t heard of anyone rural dwellers getting harassed. Taxes are high though LOL. And most land is pricey.

    Rock on Owen ! Keep up the good work.

    One of the days I am going to build one of your designs, or bust !

    Cheers,
    Craig in Maine.

    • Some people may draw a quick conclusion and say “well, he broke the law”. But that doesn’t mean the law is just or fair. Sometimes you need to push back against injustice. Speak up for what you believe in. Lots of people can see government getting bigger and bigger, more and more power hungry, and encroaching on every aspect of our lives. When people’s 100+ year family business gets destroyed over a minor regulation it’s easy for me to understand why they’re getting riled up.

      And yes, I believe it’s part of Agenda 21.

      Update: Bundy says he has access, forage, surface and water rights on the land. He has “beneficial rights” to use the land. He has first “pre-emptive rights” that go to whoever first stakes claim to the land. All these rights have been in continuous use since 1877. Plus, he has all the rights of any other citizen to hike and enjoy the land.

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