Despite Broad Opposition, President Obama Proclaims National Monuments in Utah and Nevada

“Utah is saddened by this announcement today. It is alien to the desires of the overwhelming majority of Utahns. It’s also alien to the desires of the overwhelming number of Native Americans who live in this area, who will use this area, who approached us on how they wanted to function on this land. None of those desires are going to be accomplished by a monument designation.

“It is sad that there are special interest groups that feel that they are empowered, that feel that they can get the President to bend to their every will. Unfortunately, with today’s announcement, maybe there is some truth to that.

“Mr. President, I want you to know that we are saddened by this abuse of the Antiquities Act. It is sad that this entire process has been done in secrecy and in shadows. And Mr. President, I want you to know as Utahns, we will use every tool at our disposal to do the right thing—whether it be legislative action, judicial action, even executive action—because what we have seen so far is a poor procedure. It’s a poor policy and it reflects poorly on your legacy. As Utahns, we will fight to right this wrong.”

Chairman Bishop added:

“The announcement perpetuates two egregious lies. The first being that the size of the monument parallels the Public Lands Initiative. That is not true. The administration is grasping at arguments to justify a lame duck administration’s efforts to do things contrary to the will of the people who live in San Juan County. The second lie is in the creation of a faux commission to give management authority to Native Americans. This is a diversion. The Utah delegation wants to give management authority to Native Americans; the administration can’t. Only Congress can legally do so. This administration over-promised, failed to deliver, and is now trying to hide its ineptitude.”

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Oregon Standoff Defendant Jon Ritzheimer Now Tries To Withdraw His Guilty Plea

Just days after a federal judge denied one Oregon standoff defendant’s motion to withdraw his guilty plea, co-defendant Jon Ritzheimer Friday filed his own motion to rescind his guilty plea.

Jon Ritzheimer, who had entered a guilty plea on Aug. 15 to the federal charge of conspiracy stemming from the takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, now argues that he’s innocent of the allegation.

A new court-appointed defense lawyer for Ritzheimer argues that Ritzheimer acknowledged he used force, threats or intimidation to take over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, but the object of his actions was not to impede federal employees, as was argued at the fall trial of co-defendants Ammon Bundy, Ryan Bundy and five others.

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Former Assemblywoman Michele Fiore will run for Las Vegas City Council

Former Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore intends to run for Las Vegas City Council in 2017, she confirmed to the Review-Journal on Thursday.

Fiore, a Republican with a knack for grabbing national headlines, will be gunning for the Ward 6 seat currently occupied by Steve Ross.

Ross has held the seat since 2005, but is term-limited. Fiore will be running against Ross’ wife, Kelli Ross, who previously announced her intent to run, as well as Clark County School Board Trustee Chris Garvey, who confirmed to the Review-Journal this month her intentions to run.

Fiore said she’s been mulling a city council run since the summer.

“We’ve been talking about it for a while,” Fiore said. “I think it’s just a natural progression. Since Ward 6 overlaps my assembly district, it just makes sense.”

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Jon Ritzheimer To Question Informant Mark McConnell In upcoming Harassment Hearing

I have some questions for Mark McConnell concerning his role as an informant and if that role includes threatening me while I’m having dinner – says Ritzheimer. If this guy is still on the payroll I think I have a right to know, especially if he is going to approach me with a weapon and challenge me to a fight. Is he following me around Phoenix in an ongoing FBI effort to implicate me in some kind of wrong-doing or is he just harassing me because he enjoys being a bully? He’ll be under oath and I look forward to finally being able to ask this guy some questions …

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Oregon Occupation A Year Later: Ranch Family At Center Of Debate Was ‘Scared To Death’

Susie Hammond closely tracked the Bundy trial in Portland.

She hoped it would help people learn about her family’s battle with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, “where people who didn’t live in Burns, Oregon would see what’s going on way out here in the weeds.”

The trial offered a window into the obstacles ranchers face, she said. Arrogant federal bureaucracies that brush aside local voices, break promises and ignore or impose rules because they can.

“Bundy helped draw attention to these problems,” she said. “I was hoping something positive was going to come out of this that would make it possible for private property owners and public administration to be able to get along and be productive.”

That hasn’t happened, she acknowledged.

Hammond Ranches is in the middle of appealing the land bureau’s refusal in 2014 to renew the company’s 10-year grazing permit.

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New Years Eve Protest Against Gold Butte National Monument

The time is now to rise up and let our voices be heard. The Government has once again abused us with their overreaching power. It is our duty and obligation to STAND UP and get the attention of OUR elected officials. If you enjoy Gold Butte, camping, picnics, 4-wheeling, hunting, fishing and just enjoying this Public Land please come out and let your voices be heard. They will soon shut down access to this land that many of us have enjoyed Freely for many years with our friends and family!!!

Bring your family, neighbors and friends. Bring your Flags, signs and voices and let us stand as WE THE PEOPLE in a Peaceful Protest. IT MATTERS HOW YOU STAND!!!!

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Burns Chronicles No 51 – William “Will” Kullman (Night Hawk)

Jon Ritzheimer had put out a call for more people to come to the Refuge, shortly after the occupation on January 2, 2016. Many people who supported the effort being made by Ammon Bundy and the others resent that message.

On January 3, Will Kullman contacted Maureen Peltier (SSG Moe). Peltier was one of those who had passed the message on. His first contact with Peltier shows that he was from Lake Stevens, Washington and that he was Founder of “Kullman Combat Organization”.

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Judge Denies Oregon Standoff Defendant Ryan Payne’s Motion To Withdraw Guilty Plea

Calling it a classic example of “buyer’s remorse,” a federal judge Wednesday denied Oregon standoff defendant Ryan Payne’s motion to withdraw his guilty plea to a conspiracy charge stemming from the armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown, in a 32-page ruling, found that Payne’s guilty plea in the Oregon refuge occupation case was not contingent on a plea agreement reached in his federal prosecution in Nevada, as his defense lawyer had argued.

“Although Payne apparently desired to enter into agreements that would resolve both this case and the case against him in the District of Nevada, the plea agreement and guilty plea in this case were, as noted, explicitly independent of any contemplated or anticipated agreement in the District of Nevada,” Brown wrote, citing statements by a prosecutor made during Payne’s plea hearing before her in July.

Payne entered the plea in the Oregon case in July based on a global offer pending in the Nevada case, his lawyer wrote in his motion. When an agreement in the Nevada case wasn’t reached, Payne, 33, asked to withdraw the plea and seek a jury trial in Oregon, his assistant federal public defender, Rich Federico, wrote.

Payne, one of the 26 people indicted on a conspiracy charge in the seizure of the eastern Oregon wildlife refuge, sought to withdraw his guilty plea two weeks before a federal jury acquitted Ammon Bundy and six co-defendants of the Malheur conspiracy and weapons charges.

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Presidential Proclamation — Establishment of the Gold Butte National Monument

In southeast Nevada lies a landscape of contrast and transition, where dramatically chiseled red sandstone, twisting canyons, and tree-clad mountains punctuate flat stretches of the Mojave Desert. This remote and rugged desert landscape is known as Gold Butte.

The Gold Butte area contains an extraordinary variety of diverse and irreplaceable scientific, historic, and prehistoric resources, including vital plant and wildlife habitat, significant geological formations, rare fossils, important sites from the history of Native Americans, and remnants of our Western mining and ranching heritage. The landscape reveals a story of thousands of years of human interaction with this harsh environment and provides a rare glimpse into the lives of Nevada’s first inhabitants, the rich and varied indigenous cultures that followed, and the eventual arrival of Euro-American settlers. Canyons and intricate rock formations are a stunning backdrop to the area’s famously beautiful rock art, and the desert provides critical habitat for the threatened Mojave desert tortoise.

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President Obama Declares Gold Butte A National Monument

President Barack Obama stepped into a swirling land-use controversy in Nevada on Wednesday and declared a swath of desert known as Gold Butte a national monument.

The declaration places 300,000 acres of land under the protection of the Bureau of Land Management. Obama used the Antiquities Act to shelter land between Lake Mead and the Grand Canyon.

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With New Monuments In Nevada, Utah, Obama Adds To His Environmental Legacy

President Obama on Tuesday created new national monuments in a sacred tribal site in southeastern Utah and in a swath of Nevada desert, after years of political fights over the fate of the sites.

The designations further cement Obama’s environmental legacy as one of the most consequential — and contentious — in presidential history. He now has invoked his executive power to create national monuments 29 times during his tenure, establishing or expanding protections for more than 553 million acres of federal lands and waters.

Environmental groups have praised the conservation efforts, but critics say they amount to a federal land grab. Some worry that the new designations could fuel another armed protest by anti-government forces inspired by the Cliven Bundy family, such as the takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon this year.

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The FBI caught red-handed with bogus evidence against Pete Santilli

On March 2nd 2016 the federal government filed a Superseding Criminal Indictment (Case 2:16-cr-00046-GMN-PAL Document 27 Filed 03/02/16) naming radio talk show host Peter Santilli as a defendant. The original “Criminal Complaint” was signed off on February 11, 2016 by Joel P. Willis of the Federal Bureau of Investigation

Since his arrest by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on January 26, 2016 in Burns, Oregon, Santilli has discovered and documented that on numerous occasions, the FBI maliciously and intentionally fabricated evidence against him. Pete Santilli is a journalist being held hostage by the Obama administration’s justice department; in fact, prosecutors have confirmed that Attorney General Loretta Lynch authorized Santilli’s arrest.

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Backers Of Nevada Control Of Us Land Gear Up For New Push

They’re starting with plans to convince a skeptical public that state control of nearly 7.3 million acres under the U.S. Bureau of Land Management wouldn’t disrupt hunting, wildlife and off-highway riding — or stick taxpayers with big bills for fighting wildfires.

“If they put this on the ballot today it would fail,” said Nevada state Sen. Pete Goicoechea, R-Eureka, who supports the effort.

“We are just looking for the opportunity to showcase the state can manage these lands better,” he told the Reno Gazette-Journal.

The most detailed plan is a former bill sponsored in Congress by U.S. Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev., called the Honor the Nevada Enabling Act of 1864.

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One Year Ago Today

On December 27, 2015 – we left our home to cover a rally in Burns, Oregon. Our plan was to stay a few days —

Pete never came home.

Pete often tells me that for those who weren’t there in Burns time has moved on, for those who were he is sure they still think of it often but have had some sense of closure.

Those who were blessed enough to be released from jail before going to trial the nightmare still lingers but at least they can be thankful for breathing the fresh air and being with Families.

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Locked Out

Her husband will never return to trail the cows to winter range again, but Jeanette Finicum is determined that she will get the job done, eventually.

Although she’s provided a check to fully cover fines assessed over the last year, the Arizona rancher continues to be locked out of both her winter and summer grazing ranges.

Jeanette, whose husband Robert “LaVoy” Fincium was shot and killed by Oregon State Troopers last January, has managed grazing decisions on their northern Arizona ranch alone since his Jan. 26, 2016 death.

Pounding staples, doctoring sick calves and putting out mineral are on Jeanette’s list of tasks to complete throughout the year. Those are the easy jobs. She can soon add a much more painful item to the list: filing suit against the Bureau of Land Management. She plans to file suit within the next two weeks.

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Obama Loses Merrick Garland Battle — But Reshapes Federal Courts For Decades To Come

President Obama has reshaped the federal courts for decades to come with a record number of women and minorities appointed to lifetime judgeships, despite losing his high-profile battle over the U.S. Supreme Court this year.

Of the more than 340 judges nominated by Mr. Obama and confirmed by the Senate, about 42 percent are women, 19 percent are black and 11 percent are Hispanic — more female and minority appointees than any other president. Mr. Obama also has appointed at least 11 federal judges who are openly gay, another record.

Along the way, the president has turned nine of the 13 key federal appeals courts into majority-Democrat courts. When he came into office in 2009, only one of the circuit courts was majority Democrat.

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