Judge temporarily halts grazing on federal public land near Burns

A federal judge Tuesday granted a temporary restraining order that bars Hammonds Ranches Inc. from livestock grazing on federal public land near Burns during June.

U.S. District Judge Michael H. Simon ruled from the bench, noting a written order would follow. He also has scheduled another hearing for June 28 to consider a motion by three environmental advocacy groups for a preliminary injunction barring further grazing at the sites.

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INTERIOR: Whistleblower: BLM ignores illegal grazing after Bundy fiasco

A career Bureau of Land Management official who was fired last month says the Trump administration is refusing to enforce federal laws and regulations governing livestock grazing in Nevada out of fear of sparking another armed standoff like the one five years ago involving rancher Cliven Bundy.

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Environmental groups sue BLM to block renewal of grazing permit for Hammond Ranches

Western Watersheds Project, the Center for Biological Diversity and Wildearth Guardians filed a complaint in U.S. District Court in Pendleton against the interior secretary, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the district manager of the land bureau’s Burns District office.The three groups argue that then-Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s renewal of the grazing permit after the Hammonds were issued pardons violated federal administrative regulations because it failed to consider the Hammonds’ unsatisfactory record.

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Lawyer says rancher Cliven Bundy will appeal lawsuit dismissal

Cliven Bundy speaks with media outside the Lloyd George U.S. Courthouse after Scott Drexler’s court hearing in Las Vegas, Aug. 9, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist A lawyer for Cliven Bundy said Wednesday that he plans to appeal a […]

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BLM Now Hopes Hammond’s Cattle Can Reduce Fire Risk

In a most ironic twist in a western saga that has featured more than a few twists, the Bureau of Land Management hopes cattle from Dwight and Steven Hammond – ranchers the U.S. government prosecuted for starting range fires – can reduce a fire risk on the high desert of eastern Oregon.The Hammond’s long-running dispute with the federal government ended with prison sentences for arson — and later inspired the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation. President Trump pardoned the Hammonds in July of last year.

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Judge tosses Cliven Bundy’s claim that state owns all public lands | Las Vegas Review-Journal

District Judge Jim Crockett’s decision was handed down in response to court papers filed by the Center for Biological Diversity, a nonprofit conservation group, which had intervened in the case. The judge’s decision followed previous court decisions against Bundy, who has claimed the federal government should not own land.“It is painfully obvious that the claims asserted by Bundy in the instant matter rest upon a fundamentally flawed notion advanced by Bundy since 1998 regarding ownership of federal public lands,” Crockett wrote in an eight-page decision.

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Malheur occupation figure Jason Patrick agrees to get job, carry ID to avoid returning to prison

Patrick said among the problems during his early supervision was his probation officer’s rejection of Patrick’s job as a “spiritual guidance counselor” through a company set up by occupation supporter Maureen Peltier, who Patrick now calls his wife.He said he received a “cease and desist order” from his probation officer regarding the work and was instructed to get legal employment. He said he plans to do more roof and construction work.As for filing an income tax return, Patrick said he may submit a form that says “Income Tax Return” with a notice that says he didn’t provide the government anything and doesn’t expect anything in return, he said.

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Why Trump must veto the federal land grab bill

The ongoing ‘War on the West’ By Stephen Moore– – Sunday, March 3, 201 ANALYSIS/OPINION: President Trumpgave one of his most memorable and impactful speeches two weeks ago when he systematically dismantled the case for socialism. In that speech, he […]

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Why a Republic and How do we Keep it? 

It was not easy for them to agree on the best form of government for the newly liberated nation.  They did much research, analysis, and debate to come to the final definition of our Constitutional Republic.

A large portion of the consideration was to the understanding of the failures of other efforts both currently and in history, and how those failures would be prevented.

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As California loses people, a Las Vegas suburb grows

HENDERSON, Nev.—For Karina Nasir, leaving California for this booming Las Vegas suburb was the chance to escape commutes up to three hours. For Bill Clune, it is saving nearly $5,000 a year on his water bill. For John Falkenthal, the opportunity to have some money left over every month after paying his mortgage.“I never even considered leaving Southern California, but it took me every dime I had to buy a home there,” said the 54-year-old Mr. Falkenthal, a software engineer who moved to Henderson from San Diego last October.

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Nevada files appeal of plutonium ruling | PVT

CARSON CITY — Nevada is appealing a federal judge’s ruling to allow the future transfer of nuclear material from South Carolina to a federal site in Nye County.

The state filed a request for a preliminary injunction to stop the Department of Energy from shipping a metric-ton of weapons grade plutonium from South Carolina into the state in November, but a judge last week denied that injunction.

On the day of the judge’s ruling, the Energy Department disclosed that it had delivered half a metric ton of the material, which is used as the core material in nuclear weapons, into the state before the initial lawsuit was filed.

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Judge to remove restraining order on county ordinance opposed by ranchers | Local | idahostatejournal.com

POCATELLO — An Arimo ranching couple says they will soon lose access to feed some of their livestock, following a district judge’s decision Monday afternoon to allow the county to go forward with a road-use restriction.

Effective Feb. 11, Sixth District Judge Robert Naftz said he will dissolve the temporary restraining order he issued in late January on behalf of ranchers Sherrilyn and Dennis Munden, blocking enforcement of a road access restriction included in a new county ordinance.

The ordinance, approved in January, specifies that a 2-mile stretch of Garden Creek Road the Munden’s have used to haul feed to bulls, steers and horses is part of a designated snowmobiling route and is closed to other forms of traffic.

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Learning From The Hammond’s Federal Lands Saga | Agweb.com

Dwight and Steven Hammonds are back on the ranch, after a long and lengthy battle over grazing rights and property management. But even after a pardon and release from prison, the journey back to reinstating their grazing permits has just begun.

Ethan Lane, executive director of the Public Lands Council talked with host Chip Flory about the saga on AgriTalk during the 2019 Cattle Industry and NCBA Tradeshow.

The Hammonds were back-burning on private property, a normal ranching method to lower wildfire risk and control timber encroachment, when some federal lands caught on fire.

“That’s an important part of this,” Lane said. “It was a normal farming and ranching practice.”

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Southern California deserts need protection, Congress says as it crafts legislation for off-roading, wilderness land – San Bernardino Sun

Republicans and Democrats disagree on a lot of issues, but protecting deserts in Southern California doesn’t seem to be one of them.

Legislation was introduced this month in both chambers of Congress, by members of both major parties, with the goal of protecting 716,000 acres of regional desert, adding a swath nearly as big as Rhode Island to regional land that’s already under protection. New protected zones would include off-highway vehicle recreation areas and wilderness, and an expansion of several National Parks.

The identical bills, sponsored by Rep. Paul Cook, R-Yucca Valley, in the House of Representatives and California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat, in the Senate, are the result of years of work with the off-roading community, conservationists and local governments. For different reasons, all of those interests want to see the protections in place.

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Grant County gets to keep its ban on the United Nations. But the Oregon county has other ideas, too | NW NN

In 2002, Grant County, Oregon banned the United Nations by citizen initiative. The referendum wasn’t close: 58 percent of voters said to keep the United Nations out of Eastern Oregon. The sponsors asserted the United Nations sought to impose “world taxation,” take away guns and private property and bring about “one world controlled education.”

That same year, Grant County voted to petition Congress for title to all federal lands inside the county. A decade later, county commissioners passed a measure forbidding the U.S. Forest Service from closing roads or trails.

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NOMINATIONS: Meet the long-shot contender to lead Interior — Tuesday, January 29, 2019 — www.eenews.net

The Mountain States Legal Foundation claims two former Interior secretaries among its alumni, and conservative activists are pushing to add a third individual to that group: former foundation President William Perry Pendley.

Pendley, who had helmed the conservative law firm since 1989, left his post late last year without fanfare.

“BTW, no longer with @MSLF but NEVER retired; busy as ever!” Pendley posted to his Twitter account on Dec. 9, referring to the foundation.

But a few days later, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced his resignation from the Trump administration, and Pendley’s name became among those floated to replace the former Montana lawmaker.

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Grazing Permits Restored for Hammond Family | Drovers

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has restored grazing permits for the Hammond family from Oregon after losing the right to graze following federal charges that were later pardoned.

The announcement was made on Jan. 28 that Hammond Ranches would be able to graze their BLM allotments again. The BLM had stripped the right to graze after Dwight and Steven Hammond were convicted of felony arson in 2012. They were sentenced to five years imprisonment under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996.

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Western federal lands policy open to challenge, attorney says

Federal ownership of vast acreage across the West is vulnerable to a constitutional challenge by affected state governments, according to a public lands attorney.

While court rulings until now have supported the federal government’s control over Western public lands, attorney George Wentz said those cases predate the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, which made federal ownership permanent.

An argument could be made that federal ownership of major swaths of 12 Western states effectively deprives them of the same sovereignty as the remaining 38 states, he said.

“Why are we inferior because we chose to live in the West?” Wentz asked growers at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual convention in New Orleans on Jan. 13.

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Solicitor general still undecided on new trial for Bundy

OJ Appellate Chief and Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth White revealed Francisco’s apparent indecision on Wednesday in a request to delay opening briefs in the case, which centers on a 2014 armed standoff between the Bundys and their supporters and the Bureau of Land Management.

“Despite the government’s diligent efforts, the Solicitor General’s review of the matter is not yet complete,” White wrote, pointing to the “massive” record in the case. “His Office, and the Solicitor General himself, are carefully reviewing the issues, the record, and the draft government brief.”

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Lawyer asks government if it will continue ‘gross injustice’ against Bundys

The federal government is preparing to appeal the dismissal of charges against Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, his sons, and supporters for the 2014 armed standoff with Bureau of Land Management agents

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Federal land acquisition in Nevada’s Pine Nut mountains intended to protect critical habit and public access | Nevada Capital News

Carson City – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has approved the Bently Land Acquisition Project of nearly 15,000 acres of environmentally important lands owned by Bently Family Limited Partnership.  The roughly 50 disparate parcels are in-holding lands in the BLM managed Pine Nut Mountains of Douglas, Carson, and Lyon Counties.  The properties are located within a central 20-mile section of the Pine Nut Mountains, which run north-south for some 40 miles.  To learn more about this pending land transfer, we spoke with Victoria Wilkins, acting field manager for the Sierra Front Field Office of the BLM in Carson City …

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Jon Raby Named Director of BLM’s Nevada State Office | KRNV

RENO, Nev. (News 4 & Fox 11) — The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) today announced that Jon Raby, a veteran BLM land manager and leader, has been named State Director in Nevada.

Raby will report to the BLM Nevada State Office in Reno in early January 2019.

Raby, who is currently serving as the Acting Montana/Dakotas State Director will lead the management of 48 million acres of public land in Nevada and 59 million acres of Federal mineral resources.

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PUBLIC LANDS: Bundy: ‘It is due time’ for new management proposal — Wednesday, December 12, 2018 — www.eenews.net

But while Bundy’s battle with BLM over grazing fees appears to be dormant, his fight with federal prosecutors may not be over.

Although Chief U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro barred federal prosecutors from seeking a new trial against Bundy and his sons, the government filed a “protective notice of appeal” in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals this summer.

Federal prosecutors are required to file their opening brief in that case by Jan. 2, with a response from Bundy and his sons by Feb. 1.

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Report: FBI suggested waiving fees for Cliven Bundy before ranch standoff, did not consider him a threat – The Washington Post

Three years before the impoundment of Cliven Bundy’s cattle turned into an armed confrontation between anti-government groups and federal agents, the FBI made an assessment that the Nevada rancher personally was unlikely to be violent in the event of conflict. The agency suggested a novel solution to Bundy’s 20 years of unpaid bills, one designed to put the dispute to rest: drop the fines he owed altogether.

The FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit, based in Quantico, Va., determined in 2011 that the rancher was unlikely to comply with federal court orders to move his 900 animals off federal land, where they had been illegally grazing, because “he only has enough land to handle less than 100 head of cattle.” Though the Bureau of Land Management was concerned that allowing Bundy to avoid paying federal grazing fees and fines could lead to violence, the FBI thought otherwise.

“BLM may wish to consider waiving the existing fines, as a gesture of willingness to participate in discussions geared toward negotiations,” the FBI wrote in the classified analysis, obtained by The Washington Post. The unit concluded that any alternatives the government could offer Bundy might reduce the rancher’s stress and “in turn, reduce the risk of a violent act.”

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