Unfortunately the internet isn’t a place for unbiased facts. It’s a place where you have to wade through every single author’s biases to try to make sense of what’s transpired, and in doing so, join the ranks of Biased Internet Authors, if you choose to write your takeaway on the subject you just researched. By writing your opinion, you could come on the wrong side of the internet mobs, which sometimes end up escalating affairs outside of the internet.
At this point, I’m just trying to gather the historical data. I’m not interested in the federal level cronyism that is likely behind it all, but I don’t have the resources to make those kinds of claims. However, I recognise the extreme amount of biased opinion writers, each claiming to have the final word. It’s all so much rubbish. But in gathering the historical data, I have to take information from both biases, and sift through their emotional attachments to whatever cause they believe in to get to the bottom of what’s going on.
First off, let me state that I don’t know the basis of the rancher’s claim, but presume that if the BLM attempted to buy out the rights to that claim, they must have believed that there was a legitimate claim somewhere. They must have recognised some legal claim if they were willing to buy it.
I’m going to leave that paragraph by itself, because to me, that’s unassailable evidence that the BLM at one point in time recognised that he had a legal claim, in spite of what any “Last Word Authorities” on the subject have to say about it.
I don’t know what, if any, legal basis the BLM believed he had when they tried to buy it, but when they were unsuccessful, apparently that’s when some politically connected court (that’s maybe not fair, but I’ve read enough to recognise when some decision comes out of a politically biased court) stepped in, and said, okay, well if he won’t sell the claim that the BLM believed he had, then just take it. What concerns me, is that the federal government stepped in on a pretext of protecting a tortoise. A tortoise that government showed was thriving on the land the BLM thought the rancher had a claim to, because of the improvements the rancher had made at his own expense. There was apparently a 10x higher population density of the tortoises on the land where the rancher had made improvements as in the surrounding desert. The tortoises are slated to be culled by the land managers, (not sure if that’s the BLM’s duty or some other agency), apparently.
The point being two-fold. The BLM sought to limit the ranchers’ access to the land under a false pretext. This is what is called fraud in the private sector. This is punishable by prison time in the private sector. The fact that it is not when it is committed by unelected bureaucrats or elected officials is something I find disturbing at any level of government, but especially at the highest level. That there is a culture that is above the law, and can send armed people to perpetrate their fraud without fear of consequence, well. Let me let my blood settle down for a second. It’s not just that a fraud is being committed that bothers me. It’s the armed seizure and destruction of a citizen’s property by a militarized police force, who by law, should be working with local authorities, but weren’t… ah, any way, I guess is the paragraph where I tried laying out my reasons for wanting to get to the bottom of this, while trying to keep my blood from boiling over at the absurdity of it.
In any event.
Here’s what people with a bias against the rancher have to say about the legal history of the area, (another self-proclaimed “Last Word Authority” on the subject). They spend a lot of their time attacking their political enemies, so there’s no point in even pretending it’s an unbiased source.
I wasn’t going to include a Glenn Beck interview, because Beck is a polarizing person with his own bias, but at least we get to hear the rancher in his own words. I’m not sure if I understand his position, but the fact that all of the other ranchers in the area have been run out of business since the BLM started administratively managing the land in the area, and to realise he’s the last one left, well, I’m willing to give him an ear, even if I don’t fully understand how he got to his conclusion.
This person seems sympathetic to the rancher, based on another article I’ve read, (I’ll try to dig it up, he writes in a pretty even-handed style). and may be the heart of the claim “prescriptive rights”. (Remember, the BLM offered to buy some kind of rights from the rancher, so they believed he had a legal claim at one time.)
There’s a level-headed solution, but apparently no one wanted to get in the way of a federal agency with powerful cronies in the Senate running rough shod over a private citizen, in what many are speculating is a land grab to make powerful cronies in the Senate richer. And after witnessing this, I’m starting to understand that where 80% of a state’s land is controlled by the federal government, it makes a Senate position a position of a powerful land broker.