SCOTUS overturned decision upholding Robertson’s conviction and remanded the case so that the indictment could be dismissed and the lien cancelled(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that the Supreme Court of the United States has overturned a lower court decision affirming the conviction of Joseph Robertson, a 78-year-old veteran now deceased who was sentenced to prison for digging ditches on his rural Montana property to protect the area surrounding his home from wildfires. Judicial Watch had filed an amicus curiae brief jointly with the Allied Educational Foundation supporting Robertson and urging Supreme Court review and reversal of the lower court decision. Robertson served 18 months in prison and died while serving probation. He was also fined $130,000, a liability inherited by his estate.
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 recalled the economic harm and destruction in nations that have adopted socialism, communism or Stalinism. “We will never be a socialist country,” Mr. Trumppledged in his speech in Florida. Well said. And the first big step that Mr. Trumpcould take in preventing any slippery slide in that direction would be to veto the Land and Water Conservation Fund bill, which […]
This month, four volunteers from a similar organization in Arizona, called No More Deaths, were convicted of misdemeanor charges of abandonment of property and entering a wildlife refuge without a permit after leaving food and water in a remote national wildlife refuge infamous for migrant fatalities. The Pima County medical examiner has documented 137 migrant deaths in this area since 2001, although No More Deaths advocates say they believe the number is much higher.
Each volunteer could receive up to six months in federal prison and a $500 fine for crimes that Judge Bernardo P. Velasco wrote eroded a “national decision to maintain the Refuge in its pristine nature.”
After issuing a temporary postponement earlier this month, the Nevada Supreme Court has now ordered that the district court ruling reversing Nevada State Engineer Order #1293A be stayed until the appeal filed by the engineer’s office has made its way through the system and a final determination is made.
“Appellant state engineer filed an emergency motion to stay the district court’s order pending appeal and we entered a temporary stay pending receipt and consideration of any opposition, which respondents (Pahrump Fair Water) have now filed. Having considered appellant’s motion and supporting documents, respondents’ opposition and appellants’ reply under the NRAP8 (Nevada Rules of Appellate Procedure) factors, we conclude that the balance of harms weighs in favor of a stay,” the filing, signed off by Supreme Court Justices Jim Hardesty, Lidia Stiglich and Abbi Silver, states. “Accordingly, we grant appellant’s motion and stay enforcement of the district court’s Dec. 6 order granting judicial review and reversing state engineer Order #1293A, pending further order of this court.”
The Nevada Supreme Court has issued a temporary stay in the case of Water Order #1293A, allowing the Nevada state engineer, for the moment, to continue requiring water rights relinquishments for all new domestic wells drilled in Pahrump.
The temporary stay comes as part of the appeal process, with the state engineer going to the Nevada Supreme Court after a district court judge ruled against the office in the lawsuit brought forward by Pahrump Fair Water.
However, it is only a temporary stay and it is possible that the Nevada Supreme Court could reverse that stay after considering the opposition provided by Pahrump Fair Water.
Victor and Annette Fuentes, have been fighting the USFW for over ten years, trying to restore the water that was diverted illegally from their property in Armogosa Valley of Nevada. Mountain States Legal Foundation founded by William Perry Pendle has been representing them in a civil action related to the Stolen Water. Last week, after learning that Mr. Pendle had resigned as president of the foundation, they were concerned about their case going forward and how it might be impacted. Wednesday, through an article published by the Daily Caller, they learned that Mr. Pendle was on the list of people being […]
SALT LAKE CITY — The Trump administration’s proposed rollback of an Obama-era rule defining what waterways fall under federal jurisdiction was hailed by ranchers and private property advocates and blasted by environmental groups.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers released proposed revisions to the 2015 rule that was challenged by 21 states, including Utah.
American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall said Obama’s rule required “drastic” action by farmers and ranchers across the country, spawning a nationwide campaign called “Ditch the Rule.”
At the press event announcing the proposed revisions, Duvall said all presidents of the federation’s 50 chapters were in the room as a show of support.
Environmentalists have filed suit against federal regulators over protections for eight rivers in California, including one that originates in Nevada, the Amargosa River.
Congress designated portions of the Amargosa and seven other rivers as wild and scenic in 2009, but the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management never completed comprehensive management plans for them as required by law, according to the Center for Biological Diversity.
The Tucson, Arizona-based group sued the two agencies in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles late last month, arguing that the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act required the development of management plans for the rivers within three years of their designation.
(Natural News) A new film featuring scores of interviews with ranchers and longtime residents of Western states documents what many have long viewed as the federal government’s insatiable appetite for land and resources.
In the first of two trailers introducing the documentary, which is titled, “Land Grab: The Conspiracy to Own All of the Natural Resources in the Western U.S.,” James White of Northwest Liberty News said the film is a product of interviews he conducted with landowners and ranchers throughout the West who have dealt with a federal land management bureaucracy that has become increasingly hostile over the past few decades.
The worst abuses and mismanagement of land and resources, however, has occurred in recent years, with ranchers and landowners citing many instances of problematic interactions with the U.S. Department of the Interior and its various agencies.
“When we first came to Nevada, the [U.S.] Forest Service was very cooperative, they wanted us to survive, they wanted us to make the grade,” said Elko, Nevada resident Kent Howard, who is now deceased. “As time went on, the Forest Service turned completely around, and by the time we got out of the cattle business, the Forest Service was doing everything they possibly could to make it hard for you.”
…a program which has been giving property owners large cash sums if they will agree to ‘fallow’ their croplands, thus ‘banking’ (not using) the water to which they have rights, for a given period of time. The term ‘banking’ is misleading because the water is not stored but simply continues to run downstream in the Colorado River to Utah (Lake Powell), Arizona and eventually, California.
One savvy western Colorado farmer is shining light on what may be a water rights-grabbing scam in the Grand Valley. Holly Cremeens has been tracking a program which has been giving property owners large cash sums if they will agree to ‘fallow’ their croplands, thus ‘banking’ (not using) the water to which they have rights, for a given period of time. The term ‘banking’ is misleading because the water is not stored but simply continues to run downstream in the Colorado River to Utah (Lake Powell), Arizona and eventually, California. One might argue that property owners; farmers, ranchers, manufacturers, municipalities, etc., have the option NOT to use the water to which they have existing rights. But the danger in ‘banking’ or similar programs is that the status of rights depends on the water being put to beneficial use. If the water is not put to beneficial use, or its consumption is gradually decreased over time, the property owner could lose his rights to previously allocated amounts of water.
The 71-year-old rancher has become the focus of a legal effort by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Spokane, which is asking a federal judge to sanction Riley for “trespass, encroachment, damages” and make him pay the legal costs incurred by forcing Riley to abide by the rules on ground purchased by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers some 53 years ago.
“The government just has too many employees and too much money,” said Riley’s nephew, Chad Lindgren, who works Riley’s River Ranch. “They are not going to back down. They are not going to give in unless we make them give in.”
And, he noted, the yearslong dispute is being funded by taxpayers: “We are basically paying those people to be a pain in our ass.”
Interior Department Secretary Ryan Zinke on Tuesday recommended shrinking the boundaries of Gold Butte National Monument in a move that distressed conservationists, who have fought for years to protect the land near Mesquite. Zinke’s report came one day after the president slashed the size of two national monuments in Utah, a move that has already sparked a lawsuit.
Compared to the wholesale changes the president approved in Utah, any adjustments to Gold Butte are expected to be minor. But Zinke’s recommendations, although similar to a leaked draft in September, carry a symbolic weight for the area. They signal a major reversal of public lands policy that comes almost exactly one year after President Obama designated the nearly 300,000 acres that start about 10 miles from the site of the 2014 Bundy standoff.
“We will fight it in court,” Patrick Donnelly, Nevada state director at the Center for Biological Diversity wrote in an email. “And we will win.”
Our country was founded over 200 years ago after enough colonists agreed that the rule by the King of England no longer made sense for the colonies. They did not agree on every aspect of the how and the why, but they all agreed that it must change. The biggest aspect of agreement and disagreement in the birth of our Nation was the right of each human to agree and disagree. There foremost ideal that drove the creation of our constitution, can be said to be creating a government that could stand for and thrive while maintaining this and other freedoms.
This turned out to be a humongous task and goal. First and foremost the procedure and processes for dealing with disagreement had to be agreed upon. There will always be different beliefs and ideals. However, most of all they understood that in order to have peace while preserving everyone’s ability to exercise their Freedoms, they must have a process and rules for dealing with Disagreement or conflicts of personal Freedoms between all people. This is where the concept of Liberty was created and defined. Liberty, for the sake of our constitution, would be the definition of civility and common agreement on how to deal with Freedoms in all situations, including when there is disagreement.
In 1917, Marcel Duchamp turned a urinal on its back, signed it “R Mutt” and presented it as a work of art. The public was outraged. Even today, people believe that the Frenchman was making fun of artistic pretensions and that his work mocked old-fashioned ideas about tastefulness.
That’s true. But I also think that Duchamp was impressed with America’s plumbing. It’s just as interesting to think of his sculpture as an invitation to look at the ways cities in the United States channel water — pumping, flushing and dumping it, through pipes, aqueducts and rivers — to make modern life clean and safe.
That’s what “Desert Ramparts: Defending Las Vegas From the Flood” does. At the Center for Land Use Interpretation in Culver City, the eye-opening exhibition takes visitors on a trip through the desert around Las Vegas, where the Regional Flood Control District of Clark County has, during the last 30 years, overseen the construction of about 650 miles of concrete, rock and gravel channels and more than 100 detention basins, each the size of a small lake.
Las Vegas officials have a new vision for developing a unique piece of land surrounded by sensitive land packed with environmental and cultural resources.
The plan sets out expectations for future development of 1,000 acres situated between the Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument, Paiute tribal lands and the Las Vegas Wash, a channel that drains water from the valley into Lake Mead.
The plan conceives of “villages” with pockets of development separated by open spaces with open wash corridors and connected by walking, bike and equestrian trails at the northwestern reaches of the city’s Ward 6.
“Please send your money immediately to Ward 6,” Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman quipped last week, before the City Council approved the plan.
The city’s plan for the site establishes guidelines for future building in the quickly growing area, with green space buffers and open wash corridors, to curb the impact of development on the surrounding natural areas.
It is not too often a judge’s ruling is greeted by all sides as a victory, but that is what happened after federal Judge Andrew Gordon issued a 39-page opinion in the fight over the Clark County water agency’s bid to tap groundwater beneath White Pine, Lincoln and Nye counties.
Judge Gordon said the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) could grant the right-of-way for a 300-mile network of pipelines across public land, but first, it has to address plans to mitigate the potential loss of wildlife habitat due to a draw down of the water table.
The suit was brought by White Pine County, the Great Basin Water Network (GBWN), several Indian tribes and environmental groups against the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) and the BLM.