Public Lands Sportsmen Rally Against Bundy Event

Cliven Bundy
Public Lands Sportsmen Rally Against Bundy Event

PARADISE, Mont. -( Backcountry Hunters & Anglers members from Montana united in support of America’s public lands and waters this evening at an anti-public lands event headlined by scofflaw rancher Cliven Bundy.

Billed as a property rights forum by an anti-public lands group, the Coalition of Western Property Owners, the gathering featured appearances by Bundy and several of his followers, as well as Montana State Sen. Jennifer Fielder, CEO of public lands transfer proponents the American Lands Council. Fielder represents Sanders County in western Montana, location of the town of Paradise and the site of today’s event.

Montana sportsmen and women from Sanders County and across the state showed up to reaffirm their commitment to U.S. public lands and offer strong criticism of the lawless approach espoused by Bundy and his supporters.

Following the recent dismissal of federal charges related to an armed standoff over Bundy’s failure to pay public lands grazing fees, Bundy and his followers walked free.

“I grew up on a ranch,” said BHA National Board Chair Ryan Busse, who attended today's event. “When someone stole things or grazed cattle on a place they did not have permission, we called them thieves. I was raised as an American, and I was taught that our founding fathers wanted to shift power from British royalty and give it to the people. When people want to return this power to the corporate royalty of today, I call that treasonous.

“I came of age on the vast public lands and meandering public streams that Teddy Roosevelt helped conserve,” continued Busse, who lives in Kalispell. “When people want to take that most egalitarian gift from us and sell it to powerful business conglomerates, I call that that the most anti-American BS I have ever heard. Period. And I’ll not let a bunch of two-bit criminals who are doing the bidding of trillion-dollar corporations and shady politicians steal the soul of this country.”

BHA member Mark Faroni runs Triple-M-Outfitters out of Dixon.

“As a resident of Sanders County for the past 35 years and a licensed outfitter who utilizes public lands for both business and personal enjoyment, I am 100 percent against the transfer of federal public lands to states,” Faroni said. “The reality is if states were to assume control of public lands, states like Montana, Idaho and Wyoming with sparse populations would not be able to foot the bill for upkeep, fire maintenance and fire prevention. Soon enough, just like a private landowner who can’t pay his bills, the states would be forced to sell these lands to private individuals, who – don’t kid yourself – would most likely lock us, the public and rightful owners, out of them. My biggest fear is that politicians like Jennifer Fielder will rob my children, their children and generations to come of the great experiences I’ve been so fortunate to enjoy on these lands.”

Affirmed Tom Healy, a member of the Montana BHA chapter board and Whitefish resident, “The Bundy agenda relies on three factors: Intimidation by them, acceptance by a few, and apathy of many. Public lands sportsmen are here to counter that apathy – and to utterly reject any calls to accept or advance their values. Our public lands are the greatest asset possessed by common Americans, crucial to our traditions and key to our identity.”

Bundy has made no secret of his plans to continue undermining the American public lands system, an approach that relies upon allies in Congress and the administration as well as the support of well-funded entities like the ALC.

“Senator Fielder has a right to her own opinions about public lands, misguided as they may be,” said BHA President and CEO Land Tawney. “However, it’s despicable that she is aligning herself with known lawbreakers like Cliven Bundy. Regardless of political stripe we should be engaging in constructive dialogue about our public lands, not attempting to bully those who manage them. Nothing is more American than our public lands. They should be a unifier – not a divider.”

Backcountry Hunters and AnglersBHA strongly criticized the dismissal earlier this month of charges against Cliven Bundy, his sons and a supporter. BHA was formed around an Oregon campfire in 2004 and has emerged as the strongest and most influential citizens’ voice in the ongoing conflicts over management and continued public ownership of North American lands and waters.

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is the sportsmen’s voice for our wild public lands, waters and wildlife.

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  • 41 thoughts on “Public Lands Sportsmen Rally Against Bundy Event

    1. Bundy and the people whom are on his side do not love this country!!!

      They love , what they can take from you.

      They broke the law.

      They destroyed government property and went through private personal records of employees which is a crime punishable by the law

      Punish them .

    2. The Bundys are thieves and liars, plain and simple. Them and all the rest of you sovereign jackwagons need to move to your own island so we don’t have to put up with your inane antics.

      1. You’re so f**king ignorant it’s pathetic. Do you even have a clue why the Bundys won – AGAIN!!! Because their family has grazed and improved that land for 140 years and in the 1800’s the grazing rights and water rights were BOUGHT by the Bundys. Do you understand what that means? I didn’t think so! That means that they OWN those rights (just like owning property) and are NOT required to pay additional fees to an agency that was created just 70 years ago. The land is still public, meaning that citizens have the right to use the land; but the US GOVERNMENT has no right or authority to violate a contract that they made with Cliven Bundy’s Grandfather!

        1. @Rattler, the criminal case against the Bundys was, quite correctly, declared a mistrial because of prosecutorial misconduct and the misbehavior of the federal government agents. That was the criminal trial.
          The civil issues, to the best of my knowledge, remain unresolved. If Grandpa Bundy had purchased the right to graze, the Bundys would have a document to that effect, and there never would have been a civil or criminal issue. Nor would the Bundys have paid fees for grazing to a county official. And finally, if Grand father Bundy had made a purchase, it would be a simple matter for a federal judge to decide the civil case.
          I am in favor of family farms and ranches, and the Bundys get the presumption of uprightness, but their legal defense should not be based upon wishful thinking.

    3. Maybe the BHA thinks they can inherit these lands from the federal government at some point in time. Either that or they just want to restrict the use and save it for themselves. Bad bunch of tree huggers and it is too bad the campfire didn’t light some or all of them up.

    4. “BHA was formed around an Oregon campfire in 2004 and has emerged as the strongest and most influential citizens’ voice in the ongoing conflicts over management and continued public ownership of North American lands and waters.

      Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is the sportsmen’s voice for our wild public lands, waters and wildlife.”

      This is BS. Ammoland continues to portray BHA as these pro-2A and pro-hunting group and they are not. They are a left wing front group that is funding by environmental organizations like Earthjustice and Climate Solutions. See here:

      If Ammoland is truly pro-gun rights and pro-2A, then they need to call out BHA for who they really are. This is the second time I have pointed this out in comments with no response. There are plenty of other 2A blogs out there that are not covering for left wing groups. Are you listening Ammoload?

    5. Whatever the Bundy’s did does not deserve illegal acts by law reinforcement or our court system. Gov’t got what it deserved.

      1. @JB, you are correct, the Bundys did not deserve the illegal actions by the bureaucrats’ leos and particularly the learned gentlemen attorneys in the office of the AUSA. The Bundys should, however, pay the grazing fees that they owe. And yes the feds got deservedly slapped by the Federal Judge.

        1. Again, Wild Bill, remove your head from your ass! Why do you think they WON their case and it was dismissed WITH PREJUDICE? The Bundy’s OWN the grazing and water rights to that land. Cliven’s grandfather BOUGHT those rights from the federal government 140 years ago (70 years before the BLM was even created)! Those rights are “property” that is handed down through the generations and the only way the government can assume control again is to BUY those rights back! That is how it was done in the 1800’s, much like there are people/corporations who own mineral rights! You people run your mouths without knowing the facts, the Bundys are standing against the very tyranny guys like you bitch and whine about with every comment!

      1. @rappini, That is an excellent idea. Zinke should fire the top BLM bureaucrat and top BLM attorney that were in charge of this mess, just to get the BLM’s attention regarding who is boss. Then tell the BLM “No more thuggery, no more criminal charges. File a lien against the property that the Bundys do own, and not a penny more. Send proper notice to the Bundys’ attorney, first. I want to see a report on my desk by next Friday ten am or you will be fired, too”
        It is as if the BLM bureaucrats had no education at all.

        1. So basically you support illegal government thuggery! Got it! Again – The Bundys are NOT rquired to pay grazing fees, because they have owned the grazing and water rights (bought from the federal government) for 140 years!!!!!!! It is the reason that the BLM had to resort to the thuggery tactics to try and force the Bundys off of that land. The government has NO authority to charge the Bundys grazing fees for rights they OWN! I guess you think that the American aboriginals should now pay rent for their reservations – even though they have a contract with the US government!

          1. @Rattler, No you don’t “Got it.” How can one support illegal government thuggery by calling for the firing of government thugs? The Bundys do not claim to own the land or the grazing rights or they would not have paid the fees to the county officials. Finally, if the federal government filed a lien against the Bundys property for the in arrears grazing fees, and a judge agreed with the Bundys, then the liens would go away.
            This notion that the Federal government can not own land is such a losing defense that not even the Bundys are using it. The notion the the Bundys have somehow established a right to graze cattle on someone else’s property by virtue of length of time is, also, so bad that they are not using it. The Bundys are sending the grazing fee checks to a county official.
            Every time a check is sent, the payor is acknowledging the ownership of the payee.
            To aid the Bundys, we must construct a proper defense, not one founded upon wishful thinking.

          2. @Wild Bill – I see your naivete is overwhelming! You actually believe that a “federal judge” will rule against the BLM or any government agency? Right! And I did NOT say the Bundy’s “own the land”, If you knew anything about the history of this country then you would know that when the western lands were being settled the government SOLD rights to minerals, water, and grazing to lands that NO ONE wanted to move to or settle – it was a way to get people to settle there. Those rights did not just go away, the government got them back when a rancher died (with no heirs) or sold them back; otherwise they are passed down to the next generation. Owning the rights does NOT mean they own the land or all rights to the land, that is why the public has access for recreation, hunting, etc.
            It was mentioned in the very beginning, when the BLM initiated their “takeover, that Cliven Bundy had been paying the fees to the state (kept in escrow) JUST IN CASE they were forced to pay the BLM. Because they won this major battle it is very likely that a “new” federal judge will be tasked with the grazing fees case and rule based on the facts instead of the lies the BLM perpetrates. How many government agencies lose in court against the “average” citizen? WHen the IRS, DOJ, EPA … file charges they “ALWAYS” (with few exceptions) win because they OWN the courts and judges and have unlimited funds to prosecute; they can’t afford to lose and have the rest of the population learn that they are being swindled!
            What I see is negative comments about the “cattle baron” Bundy stealing from the tax payer when none of these idiots even understand the improvements that the Bundys (and other cattlemen) did to those lands which has improved conditions for wildlife, livestick, and PEOPLE in the area. They also don’t understand it takes 10-20 (or more) acres to sustain one cow, that is why there are so many acres involved.
            You also seem to think that the government can own whatever land they want just because they made a law or passed an amendment to the Constitution – so I guess that means you actually believe that the federal reserve and income tax, which by the way the SCOTUS said was UNCONSTITUTIONAL (before 1913), is perfectly legal – considering that it has been proven that the 16th amendment has been proven to have NOT been ratified!! Instea, due to fear from government intimidation, nearly everyone does as they are told and fills out IRS forms which makes you complicit in the fraud; and anyone who stands against the income tax is labeled as someone who doesn’t want to pay their fair share. Our country ran FINE before the income tax was created and forced on the sheeple! WAKE UP! The Bundy’s situation is showing us exactly what we must do to stand against the tyranny that this government has been getting away with since 1913, and maybe longer !!!!!!

    6. The federal government is not a person. The federal government exists for the people. The government has no rights but what the people give it. The people have God-given inalienable rights apart from the government’s rules. I’m all for curbing lawlessness, but we start down a slippery slope when we, as the populous, accept debatable notions in favor of government. Maybe there’s more to it than I’m seeing, but from what I’ve followed the government does not have the people’s best interests in mind on this one.

      1. The government has NO Rights at all, only the few delegated authorities stated in our Constitution which are further restrained by the Tenth Amendment.
        Only the people have Rights, fundamental individual unalienable Rights, that are further protected by the Bil of Rights in which the Ninth Amendment throws a blanket protection over ALL Rights not specifically enumerated and further states Rights are “reserved for the people”. NOT government! The Tenth Amendment dealing with the distribution and restrictions of powers and authorities of governments!
        The government “derives its just powers or authorities from the consent of the governed”, the people, the one and true owners of our individual Rights!
        Nowhere in our contract with our government, the US Constitution, does it delegate the authority for the federal government to own or even manage large tracts of land within any of the individual sovereign states!
        To add further injury to us and the states by the overstepping, power grabbing federal government, the process by which the land was seized further blatantly violates that contract. The Constitution plainly states that any land outside of Washington, D.C. must be “purchased” and that “purchase”must be approved by the legislature of the state in which the land lays! The federal government CAN NOT legally “purchase” the land without the states consent! AND thus, most certainly CAN NOT seize land within any sovereign state without the state legislature’s approval! Strongarming a state to relinquish land amounts to theft of that land, again blatantly violating our contract with us and the sovereign states. NO exceptions!
        So, Cliven Bundy is correct. He might not be totally correct in his methods, but, given the refusal of the federal government to abide by our contractual agreement, the Constitution, he is not left with many “legal” choices and thus must turn to and abide by the Declaration of Independence! To stand up to the federal government because of their blatant violation of our contract with the government.
        Slippery slope? NO! We have already gone far past that slope and are now at a cliffhanger moment of time were we are hanging on for our dear freedom, being force to become the subservient subjects to the government that we created and once owned!

        1. @CTK9 You can not ignore the Territory clause. The federal government has the authority to own land pursuant to the Territory clause, United States v. Gratiot, and the various acts creating the states from territories, in which Congress kept lots of land for itself. Ignoring the Territory clause, US v Gratiot, and the various enabling acts is just wishful thinking.
          Bundy sent his grazing fee check to the wrong party knowing that the check would never be cashed. If your renter sent the rent check to someone else, would you consider the rent paid?

          1. the Bundy family were ranching on that land BEFORE THERE EVER WAS A BLM.
            as for the govt owning land, they can own land for PORTS, FORTS, and for Mail roads,
            and once a Territory becomes a state ends their right to own any part of it.

            1. @James H, The Bundy ranching “on that land BEFORE THERE EVER WAS A BLM” does nothing to improve the Bundys claims. The Federal government can own land. The details are in the Congressional Acts creating states. The issue has been settled since 1837. With trillions of dollars worth of land at stake, why are the fifty states not suing to claim the lands using your theory?

            2. @James H, Unfortunately, “the Bundy family were ranching on that land BEFORE THERE EVER WAS A BLM.” is irrelevant and does not improve their legal position.
              The federal government can own land beyond the District of Columbia, forts, ports, and roads. Please see Article IV, Section 3, clause 2, and United States v. Gratiot, and the various State Enabling Acts.
              If the Federal government could not own land, do you think that the states would not be suing to get their hands on trillions and trillions of dollars of land?

    7. I saw the headline and just guessed it was BHA. Yup, the anti-gun, anti-sportsman, pro Federal land grab crowd is at it again. They are charlatans and whiney cry babies of the first rank. They hate it when land it given back to the people and the States.

    8. Where does it say that the government has no right to land? Can I come plant a garden, plant a deer food plot, or hunt on your property using your resources without compensating you? What if I agreed to pay you rent to do any of that and then didn’t pay? The same thing Bundys are doing.

      1. Terry H, read the Constituton, Art 1 Sec 8. right there it details what lands FedGov can own/control,AND how FedGov are to come into possession of those lands. NONE of that has happened for the vast tracts of land FedGov own/control in the west. Close to 55% of all land west of the Mississippi, and some 89% of Nevada. FedGov do have right to land.. but ONLY the specific lands named, and additional lands later acquired, according to certain proceedures, and ONLY for certain specific named purposes. ALL the lands BLM, USFS, Interior, Parks, DorA, etc, “own” fall outside these proceedures, thus are not properly “owned” or controlled.
        There is good reason WHY the Framers put this box round FedGov. And situatioins like the NBundy controversy, amongst far too many others, demonstrate the wisdom of those Framers. Bundys DID pay “rent” to the rightful owner of the lands they have used for grazing for generations.. the State of Nevada. BLM were trespassing on lands to which Bundys held patent title, and/or patent leases. And for government to post armed and trained government agents to draw down on American citizdns going about their lawful business under threat of instant death for no crimial action is wrong. Those who authorised and perpetratd this lethal threat with no justification need to be prosecuted.

      2. @Terry H, The federal government does have the authority to own land pursuant to the Territory clause (Article IV, Section 3, Clause 2. In 1837 the judge in United States v. Gratiot explained it quite clearly. And the various Congressional Acts creating the states from territories, in which Congress kept lots of land for itself, also required any one having a claim to the lands Congress wanted, in that prospective state to give up those claims before Congress would allow that territory to become a state.
        With trillions and trillions of dollars at stake, why does no State or persons sue to get the land, if the federal government has no authority to own land?

      1. Agreed, they are an anti-freedom group that isn’t a good fit for what this site and posters here believe. On the other hand, reading about what a group like this is believes, does and supports is good to know.

    9. Both the Bundy land and the Malhuer area have large deposits of Uranium with the geology of the areas. This was NOT about grazing lands, it is about Govt Control.

    10. “… reaffirm their commitment to U.S. public lands and offer strong criticism of the lawless approach espoused by Bundy and his supporters.”

      So, the federal government acquires land that they have absolutely no right to under the constitution of the United States thus, the federal government was lawless in acquiring these lands but it is the Bundy’s and their supporters who are lawless. Either the author of this article is unelucidated or a deliberate propagandist. Read the US Constitution. All the new states were to join the union with the same rights and privileges as the original 13.

      1. Ok. I’m glad I’m not the only one confused about the tone of this article. I was about to ask what I missed–that maybe they switched teams while I was out. Last I new, the Bundys were standing up to the bullying of the government. If they let their animals graze on land that belonged to another private owner, they would be thieves, but this is public land. Last I checked the Bundys are part of the public.

        1. @John Myers, The Bundys were being bullied by armed federal agents that were going to shoot their cattle. The BLM is not authorized to do that. An armed stand off ensued. The criminal case against the Bundys was quite properly declared a mistrial due to the BLM and AUSA’s misconduct.
          The Bundys are not pure either. The Bundys claim to have been sending their grazing fee payments to a county official. The Bundys know those checks will not be cashed. So the money never transfers. The Bundys need to pay for what they use like everyone else.

      2. Where does it say that the government has no right to land? Can I come plant a garden, plant a deer food plot, or hunt on your property using your resources without compensating you? What if I agreed to pay you rent to do any of that and then didn’t pay? The same thing Bundys are doing.

      3. @Larry, The federal government has the authority to own land pursuant to the Territory clause, United States v. Gratiot, and the various acts creating the states from territories, in which Congress kept lots of land for itself.
        As to the Bundys, the incompetent government bureaucrats and prosecutors acted so unethically that prosecution of the Bundys would be a stain on American jurisprudence, but the Bundys should pay their grazing fees and observe the rules that others that rent from the government have to follow .

        1. The difference is the Bundy family had been using this land long before the BLM came into being. This is the government coming along generations later and setting up new taxes for what was once understood as a right. The so called free range policy. Something that they are doing more and more today. It needs to stop. By the way the Bundy’s tried to pay the fees to the rightful agency. The county in which they live.

          1. @Robert Hartwig, When the BLM came into existence is of no legal relevance. The owner can have any one they want manage the land.
            It is not a tax. It is a fee.
            “…understanding it was a right.” is only wishful thinking. If you want to own land or some right to it (e.g. mineral rights), then you have to buy it.
            The Bundys sent the check to the wrong people. The true owner was not paid. I can not send my electric bill payment to the county commissioner and claim that I am paid up, neither can the Bundys. The money did not transfer from the Bundy’s account, the Bundys still have the money.

            1. Just because the government passes a law or starts to charge fees doesn’t make it right. And what the bleep,bleep right does the government have owning over 50% of the land in Nevada, or in any state??? If anything this land should be owned by the county or the state,it is in. Better yet return it to the Indians it was stolen from.I get tired of the apologists for bad behavior by the Government.

            2. @Robert H, Neither the BLM, their in house lawyers, or the Bundys are behaving properly or using their heads. If the BLM attorneys were thinking, they would simply file a lien against property that the Bundys do own.
              If the Bundys were smart they would pay, the below market value, grazing fees fast and get receipts before the BLM stooges wake up and file a lien on their property.
              This should be a purely civil contest, BLM thugs, no criminal complaint, no armed standoffs.

    11. To get another perspective of this read the Missoula Independent article about the meeting in question. It’s as if William Randolph Hearst wrote the BHA article above. But, I’ve come to expect that from the liberal elite. I also think Ammoland could do better.

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