The Bundy Family purchased all of that land in 1877, only to have it seized by the government in the 1930s. This violated Article 1, Section 8, Clause 17 of the Constitution, known as the Enclave Clause, which limits the Federal Government to owning land ONLY for Federal Buildings and military installations, NOT seizing millions of acres of private and public lands to be sold to corporations or pledged as collateral on out-of-control government borrowing.
Then there is the Homestead law, which says ownership of the land belongs to those who have lived on the land and developed it, which the Bundys have done in an unbroken chain since 1887.
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The BLM does not have legal jurisdiction as the land in question is actually under Nevada state control.
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The reason behind the land grab is complex. The US Government wants to sell fracking leases on that land but without sharing the lease payments with the lands’ rightful owners. One of Harry Reid’s major (illegal) donors is named Harry Whittemore, who has plans to commercially develop that land once the BLM transfers that land from public property to his private use. Harry Reid’s son, Rory, represents a Chinese energy firm that plans to put up a solar power plant in the area. They already acquired $38 million worth of public land for a mere $4.5 million.
The rest of the land, and Obama is about to grab another 10 million acres through Execute Order, is being used to collateralize more government borrowing. This has been the norm since Nixon ended gold convertibility in 1970, and the world realized that the US did not have enough gold to cover all the loans. So Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency which had little to do with the environment and everything to do with grabbing huge tracts of public (and sometimes private) land and locking it away from the American people to pledge (along with the mineral rights) as collateral for more government borrowing. Almost 1/3 of US public lands, technically the property of We The People, are now locked away and pledged as collateral on US Government debt.
Not only did the BLM seize land and cattle, the killed Cattle that belonged to Bundy.
The incident at the Bundy Ranch has brought the issue of government land-grabbing into the spotlight, but the problem is ongoing and widespread, with hundreds of ranchers and farmers being forced from their land over the last several years, often with no compensation for their stolen property.