I am a retired rancher and still have land holdings. I take exception to what Cliven Bundy and his cohorts are doing with my land.
Yes, my land and the land of any U.S. citizen. What gives him the right to use it?
Tom Hansen says, "They (the Bundys) have been there since the 1800s, before the formation of the BLM (U.S. Bureau of Land Management.) How could the government take it away from them and then rent it back to them?"
Tom, the government did not take it away from them. The government (us) always owned it and still does. As far as rent, Bundy never paid any.
The BLM does not own it.
I had an uncle who at one time sat on the BLM board and numerous times we discussed how cheap the rental fees were. If I am not mistaken, the Wildlife Reserve at Valentine is a similar situation. Only, those leaseholders pay their rent.
In 2012, the cost to run a cow-calf pair on the McKelvie National Forest in Nebraska was $1.35 per month. Rent on the open market would have been in the upper $20s per pair per acre that year. What’s more, this year property taxes alone on privately owned pasture total nearly $5 an acre.
Mr. Willard Hollopeter states, "Bundy should be paying the state and not the federal government."
Why? The state does not own the land, we do.
I would say Willard injected some inflammatory comments that were both unnecessary and out of line. I say no need to bring up the Second Amendment or the inference of a tyrannical government. If people feel they can't or won't abide by our laws, let them find a better place. Many men have died to make this the greatest nation on earth and people like the Bundys and their sympathizers are abusing that privilege.
Shades of Ruby Ridge.
By Jack Ostergard, Gothenburg