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Elspeth
06-01-2014, 03:59 PM
British paper gives us the actual truth about Bundy Ranch.
How The Mojave Ranchers Were Wiped Out For The Sake Of Desert Tortoise

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2644508/How-Mojave-ranchers-wiped-sake-desert-tortoise.html


The Mojave desert tortoise was declared an endangered species in 1989, and cattle were deemed a danger to them
Most ranchers left, unable to afford the court battles to stay
Cliven Bundy is the last rancher left out of about 50



When the U.S. government declared the Mojave desert tortoise an endangered species in 1989, it effectively marked the cattle ranchers of Nevada’s Clark County for extinction.

Rancher Cliven Bundy once had neighbors on the range: when the tortoise was listed, there were about 50 cattle-ranching families in the county. Some of them fought court battles to stay, rejecting the idea their cattle posed a danger to the tortoises. But, one by one, they slowly gave up and disappeared.

Bundy has proven himself one of the most tenacious of this vanishing breed. Backed by armed militiamen, the rancher forced federal agents to stop rounding up his cattle in April, which were grazing illegally on public lands shared by the tortoises.

Bundy initially joined his neighbors in their legal fight to stay but then took a more hardline stance, refusing to recognize federal authority over the land. In 1993, he stopped paying grazing fees and his permit was canceled. In 1998, when authorities banned grazing on much of the federal range, he ignored a court order to move.

In its years-long dispute with Bundy, the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has portrayed the rancher as a scofflaw, free-riding on the backs of roughly 16,000 ranchers on BLM allotments across the United States who pay their grazing fees. They say he now owes $1 million, most of it fines.

But interviews with some of Bundy’s former rancher neighbors and ex-BLM officials suggest the reality is more complex: in Clark County, at least, the BLM no longer wanted the ranchers’ fees. It wanted them off the range to fulfill its legal obligation to protect the tortoises living on its land. To achieve this, it joined forces with the county government.

Clark County is not an isolated case. Disputes over land rights are playing out in many Western states, especially in rural areas, where some residents and lawmakers question the legitimacy of the federal government’s claim to swathes of land.

In New Mexico, a county government is arguing with federal land managers over whether a rancher can take his cattle to a fenced-off watering hole. In Utah, protesters have been defiantly driving all-terrain vehicles down a canyon trail closed by the U.S. government.

In Clark County, it was rancher versus tortoise.

‘When they got the turtles listed as endangered … they pushed to get the cattle off,’ said Melvin Hughes, who once ranched alongside Bundy on the Bunkerville allotment, one of a dozen or so large federal grazing areas in Clark County.

The rationale for ending grazing cited by federal government agencies was plausible but, the agencies conceded, unproven: that livestock grazing harms desert tortoise populations, in part because they compete for the same foods, such as grasses and the new spring growth of cacti.

‘They said the cattle was eating the feed from the turtles,’ said Hughes. ‘Hogwash!’

When the tortoise was listed in 1989, Las Vegas, the county seat, was one of the fastest-growing U.S. cities. For Vegas to spread even an inch farther into the tortoise-filled desert risked a federal offense under the Endangered Species Act.

The county successfully sought a permit that would allow development that inadvertently killed tortoises in some parts of the county if they funded conservation efforts in other parts.

To get the permit, the county made numerous commitments to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to help the desert tortoise thrive. One of those promises was to pay willing ranchers to give up their grazing rights.

‘Clark County made a choice: urban development is far more important to us than ranchers on the periphery of the county,’ said James Skillen, author of a book about the BLM called The Nation’s Largest Landlord.

Retread
06-01-2014, 11:42 PM
Where is the part about replacing the tortoises with solar panels?

Dori
06-01-2014, 11:50 PM
British paper gives us the actual truth about Bundy Ranch.
How The Mojave Ranchers Were Wiped Out For The Sake Of Desert Tortoise

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2644508/How-Mojave-ranchers-wiped-sake-desert-tortoise.html


The Mojave desert tortoise was declared an endangered species in 1989, and cattle were deemed a danger to them
Most ranchers left, unable to afford the court battles to stay
Cliven Bundy is the last rancher left out of about 50



Another government lie.

The Mohave desert is now home to a large solar farm.


Bird deaths continue at a large solar plant nearing completion in the Mojave Desert, and biologists are unable to account for the whereabouts of 23 of the federally Threatened desert tortoises displaced by the project.

http://www.kcet.org/news/rewire/solar/concentrating-solar/bird-deaths-continue-at-ivanpah-solar-as-tortoises-go-missing.html