The statutes in Nevada may actually favor embattled cattle rancher Cliven Bundy and his cattle business in Clark County Nevada,where his ranch is located just Northeast of Las Vegas. The BLM seems to realize this too based on an earlier case BLM lost which they have under appeal against a now deceased Nye County,Nevada cattle rancher by the name of Wayne Hage.
Mr. Hage signed his 1993 BLM agreement subject to an amended statement which Hage attached which confirmed his entrenched water and grazing rights under Nevada law. Mr. Bundy did not sign his BLM agreement that same year due to sharply reduced cattle unit grazing rights designed to decimate his cattle business, and stopped paying grazing fees to the government.
Even though continuing to graze since rejecting his 1993 renewal contract permit, Mr. Bundy has never since paid grazing fees which he most likely does not even owe to BLM based of the success of the earlier Hage case against BLM.
The BLM had disputed Hage’s amended contract statement declaring Hage’s water and grazing rights preservations,and Hage continued grazing his cattle,even though under dispute and with BLM interference. Hage’s case demonstrated that water rights in Nevada once obtained by long term adjacent land use, automatically grants grazing rights to the same land. Hage’s Estate continues to battle the BLM after the BLM lost the initial round in the courts.
It is this very fact in all likelihood that led to the BLM’s fear that Bundy enjoys the same “prescriptive” water and grazing rights as Hage thereby leading to BLM’s inexcusable thuggish armed assault on the Bundy Ranch to seize and eliminate his cattle, before Bundy proves his grazing rights in court.
In 1978 there were 52 cattle ranchers in this Southern Nevada area while today there are only three,including Bundy.The reason? BLM over the years severely reduced the cattle units allowed to graze under their contracts to unsustainable levels. Will the People and their elected representatives stand by and allow this blatant government bullying, theft and private asset and livelihood destruction to continue or will the corruption and abuse of power be stopped?
So why do the BLM and Senator Harry Reid seek to willfully and maliciously destroy cattle rancher land rights and livelihoods in Nevada, while Mr. Reid, calls Mr. Bundy and his supporters “domestic terrorists” ? Are BLM and Mr Reid hell bent on demonstrating raw government power and brute force against citizens protecting their property,livelihood and business interests or is there some other motive for shutting down cattle ranching and clearing the land for self serving political reasons or other financial gain or interests? Or is it an unvarnished hostile land grab by BLM as part of a government power trip?
The Hage case demonstrates the fact that Bundy and the other Nevada ranchers have grazing rights based on “prescriptive use” of adjacent water lands and that grazing fees to BLM are unwarranted.Mr. Bundy owes it to himself,his fellow ranchers and all freedom loving Americans to make his case in a court of competent jurisdiction as Mr. Hage did.