Guess who’s all of a sudden standing up for law and order? Why, it’s radical environmentalists, who despite their general disdain for lawful behavior have felt compelled to speak out in support of the Bureau of Land Management’s attempts to round up Cliven Bundy’s cattle and ultimately force the Nevada rancher to abandon his family’s century-old business.
Martin Griffith at the Associated Press relayed the comments of one such group in a Sunday report in the aftermath of the BLM’s abandonment of its roundup efforts, in Griffith’s words, “after hundreds of states’ rights protesters, some of them armed militia members, showed up at corrals outside Mesquite to demand the animals’ release” (There’s much to it than that; go this archived Drudge Report page for more; bolds are mine throughout this post):
BLM TO PURSUE EFFORT TO END DISPUTE WITH RANCHER
A day after blinking in a showdown on the range, federal land managers pledged to pursue efforts to resolve a conflict with a southern Nevada rancher who has refused to pay grazing fees for 20 years.
Bureau of Land Management spokesman Craig Leff said the agency would continue to try to resolve the matter involving rancher Cliven Bundy “administratively and judicially.” Bundy owes more than $1 million in grazing fees, according to the bureau.
… On Saturday, the bureau released about 400 head of cattle it had seized from Bundy back to him only hours after announcing a premature halt to the roundup due to safety concerns. The operation, expected to take up to a month, ended after only a week.
The cattle were freed after hundreds of states’ rights protesters, some of them armed militia members, showed up at corrals outside Mesquite to demand the animals’ release.
… Environmentalists accused the bureau of capitulating to threats of violence from armed Bundy supporters and urged them to pursue action against the rancher.
“The BLM has a sacred duty to manage our public lands in the public interest, to treat all users equally and fairly,” said Rob Mrowka, senior scientist with the Center for Biological Diversity. “Instead it is allowing a freeloading rancher and armed thugs to seize hundreds of thousands of acres of the people’s land as their own fiefdom.”
“The BLM is setting a dangerous precedent in announcing that it will pick and choose who has to follow federal laws and who it will reward for violating them,” he added.
The Center for Biological Diversity’s sudden interest in following federal law is a hypocritical hoot, given that it was — perhaps I should say “is,” since the group’s forums are still active — among the “allied organizations” supporting Occupy Las Vegas. Occupy sympathizers want Western society to collapse into anarchy and to abolish capitalism.
… Simply put, it occurs to me that any federal policy that ends up with armored snipers pointing rifles at an unarmed rancher, his wife, and his workers might just be a policy that needs to be reconsidered.
The dispute in question goes back to 1993, when the BLM cut the grazing rights of the rancher in question, Mr. Cliven Bundy, from a herd of thousands of head of cattle to one of no more than 150 head in order to “protect” a species of desert tortoise that inhabits the same area of the state. Most mainstream news media reports on this story naturally did not inform their readers of this fact, or of the fact that this tiny herd allotment would be spread over the 158,000 acres of land to which Bundy held the grazing rights.
When one understands these key facts, one realizes that such a tiny herd of cattle on such an enormous space would have no impact at all on the desert tortoise or any other plant or animal that lives there, and that no rancher could possibly make any sort of a living running such a tiny herd. Thus, the obvious conclusion is that BLM rendered its absurd decision with the clear expectation of running the Bundys off the land entirely. And that is a very reasonable conclusion to reach. After all, Mr. Bundy is in fact the “last man standing” here – the BLM strategy has worked so well that every other rancher with grazing rights in the region has given up and abandoned what had been their family’s way of life, in many cases, for generations.
… the dirty secret of the ESA (Endangered Species Act) is that its efforts to “protect” plants and animals have over the years resulted in a not-too-admirable success rate of a little over 1 percent. That’s not a typo.
Naturally, the radical organizations who have so abused the ESA over the years cheered the action in Nevada by the BLM.
“It’s high time for the BLM to do its job and give the [endangered desert] tortoises and the Gold Butte area the protection they need and are legally entitled to,” senior Center for Biological Diversity scientist Rob Mrowka told the Mesquite Local News. “As the tortoises emerge from their winter sleep, they are finding their much-needed food consumed by cattle.”
Reportedly, the Bundy herd at last count stood at a little over 1,000 head of cattle. That number of cattle spread out over such a vast amount of land is not crowding turtles or any other animal out of their own food source. In fact, it’s much more likely that the fertilizing effect that cattle provide to the land as they graze actually increases the flora available to wildlife in the area.
But groups like the Center for Biological Diversity don’t really deal in facts. As the group’s own executive director, Kieran Suckling, admitted in an interview a few years ago, they’re running a political campaign, and not really all that interested in pesky things like sound resource management, which is ostensibly the real job of the BLM …
So the Center isn’t interested in anything but enlisting the government through court action to engage in tyranny (“arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power; despotic abuse of authority”) for tyranny’s sake, to cheer it on when it does so, and to whine and moan when there’s pushback.
Griffith committed the journalistic oversights the Forbes item decried, and failed to describe the true beliefs of the group he went to for “balance.” How unfortunately typical.
Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.