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Fed's Land-Grabbing and Thug-like Tactics Brings Public Outcry in Western States from Both Citizens and Politicians

Updated on May 15, 2014

More of BLM's Tactics Exposed on Other Ranchers

BLM agents use contract cowboys and helicopters to round-up horses and cattle at the Clifford Dann's ranch in 1994.
BLM agents use contract cowboys and helicopters to round-up horses and cattle at the Clifford Dann's ranch in 1994. | Source
Evidence of BLM's leaving dead horses and cattle in the wake of their 1994 roundup at Dann's ranch.
Evidence of BLM's leaving dead horses and cattle in the wake of their 1994 roundup at Dann's ranch. | Source
BLM officers at the Dann's Ranch.
BLM officers at the Dann's Ranch. | Source

BLM's Long History of Abusive Tactics and Land Grabs

The Bureau of Land Management is an Abusive Agency that Needs Restraint.

BLM has a long history of abusive treatment of ranchers, dating back at least 20 years.

The BLM actions are commonly justified as working to protect the environment of the lands they manage. These are now are being exposed as fraudulent motivations, when one observes the circumstances after some of their past raids and land seizures.

It's now quite obvious how the BLM is being used to acquire lands for the use of major corporations, either to enrich BLM's accounts or to curry favor for political cronies and their corporate benefactors.

BLM's Raid on Clifford Dann's Ranch; Dann is a Shoshone tribe member.

Another of BLM's overly-aggressive actions occurred against a Native-American named Clifford Dann, according to Pro Libertate.

Dann claims that as a member of the Shoshone nation, that he has land rights that are protected by the 1863 Ruby Valley Treaty.

BLM's first cattle round-up on the Dann ranch occurred in April 1992 at 4:30 in the morning, with a convoy of vehicles dispatching heavily armed BLM agents, even including a helicopter to help protect their contract rustlers.

In circumstances similar to what recently occurred at the Bundy Ranch, the BLM temporarily backed down, returning the cattle and horses, then withdrawing as a strategic ploy.

BLM agents returned in November to once again round-up the Dann's livestock.

Clifford Dann was subsequently arrested for "assaulting an officer with gasoline," after dousing himself with gas and threatening to ignite himself.

(The assault occurred when officers wrestled the gasoline-doused Dann to the ground.)

Dann was sentenced to 9-years in prison for his "assault" on a BLM officer, after which Dann's elderly sisters were no longer able to resist BLM's continued rustling raids on their ranch.

BLM continued to confiscate Dann's horses and cattle, the ones that weren't killed during the raids were disposed of elsewhere.

BLM's Protecting the Environment Schemes are Patently Fraudulent.

BLM's claim in 1994, that the Dann's livestock had damaged the fragile Crescent Valley ecosystem by overgrazing the land with their livestock was never substantiated.

Ironically, after BLM removed the Dann's livestock to protect the fragile environment, BLM then leased the land to a Canadian conglomerate for open-pit mining operations that scarred the country-side, also leaving it contaminated with lead, mercury and cyanide, according to Pro-Libertate.

Thanks for all your protective actions BLM! Our government's fraud and greed in it's dealings with the Native-Americans never ceases to leave viewers aghast.

Our nation's history clearly teaches us that the U.S. government has never fully honored any of their treaties with the Indians, so why would anyone be surprised that the government's conditions in the 1863 Ruby Valley Treaty were also not met.

The Te-Moaks, who are direct descendants of the Shoshone that signed the 1863 treaty, filed a claim in 1951, with the Indian Claims Commission on behalf of the entire tribal nation, according to Pro-Libertate.

Indian Claims Commission

The ICC later ruled against the Shoshone claims, saying that their claims had been extinguished by "gradual encroachment" of white settlers, ruling also that the taking of the lands had occurred prior, on July 1, 1872, when the land's value was first appraised.

The ICC offered the Shoshone an "ex parte" settlement of $26 million in 1979 to end the land dispute with the tribe, an offer the Shoshones refused.

The Department of the Interior then paid the $26 million to itself, absorbing the money into the bureaucracy of the Indian trusteeship, a program notorious for fraud, corruption and abuse of the Indians it is supposed to protect.

Does the phrase "con job" come to mind in this whole affair?

The U.S. government then sued the Dann family for illegally trespassing their livestock on government lands in 1974, and successive court rulings have upheld these claims.

The Supreme Court declined to hear Dann's appeal, insisting that the matter was closed, after all, the government had paid themselves $26 million in an agreement reached with themselves.

Read some of the many other examples of BLM and the Forest Service's land grabbing and livestock confiscation activities from Ben Colvin, Jack Vogt and Wayne Hage at the Pro-Libertate website.

It's little wonder that lady justice is willingly blindfolded, because she can't stand to see how "justice" is meted out to poor minorities or small ranchers from the unbridled government agencies, corrupt politicians and judges that are all beholden to their big money benefactors.

No one will be at all surprised that Nevada Senator Harry Reid also sponsored a measure that would have settled the long-standing dispute with the Shoshone tribe with a one-time payment of $26,000 to each member of the tribe.

The bill wasn't enacted, with no money paid to compensate the Indians for the land they had never agreed to surrender. Never having signed any documents, the Dann's insisted on exercising their right to continue raising livestock on the land that they have peacefully used for generations.

Government Over-reach Poll

Are federal government agencies like BLM out of control with aggressive tactics and policies?

See results

BLM's Questionable Tactics

Snipers taking aim at Bundy Ranch
Snipers taking aim at Bundy Ranch | Source
BLM agents try to intimidate peaceful protestors into "free speech zone" set-up to keep witnesses away from Bundy Ranch confrontation.
BLM agents try to intimidate peaceful protestors into "free speech zone" set-up to keep witnesses away from Bundy Ranch confrontation. | Source

Judge Says BLM Actions in Hage Case, "Shocks the Conscience of the Court."

Judge rules in favor of Nevada rancher, Wayne Hage, against BLM and the U.S. Forest Service' actions.

In the U.S. District Court in Reno, Nevada, Judge Robert C. Jones ruled in favor of Hage's grazing rights on BLM managed lands.

Judge Jones declared that both the U.S. Forest Service and BLM had engaged in a 20 year conspiracy against the Hage family.

Wayne Hage represented himself before the court to defend his rights to permits for grazing his livestock on BLM controlled lands. Hage had this to say about the court's decision, "This decision restores my families grazing permits which the Court found were arbitrarily denied my parents in 1993," Hage said.

"But more importantly, the court has ruled they can never take our grazing permits again simply because they want to. Those permits were acquired based upon our historic grazing preferences and property rights to the use of stock water dating back to the 1860s," Hage boldly stated, according to Range Magazine.

The case started more than 20 years ago, when the United States filed a civil complaint for trespass against Hage and the Estate of his father, E. Wayne Hage.

Hage in turn filed a countersuit against the Forest Service and BLM, claiming that their officials had engaged in misconduct intended to deprive of their property and other constitutional rights.

This claim resulted in the court finding of a governmental conspiracy.

Judge Jones historic decision acknowledged that these agencies' "officials did engage in a conspiracy to defeat the constitutional rights of a citizen whose rights they (were) obliged to protect, conduct stretching over two decades so bad that it "shocks the conscience of the court," according to Range Magazine.

"It also recognized that there is in fact a property right in grazing permits entitled to significant protection under the Constitution's Fifth Amendment due process clause," according to Range Magazine.

Judge Jones also stated that, "Substantive due process protects individuals from arbitrary deprivation of their liberty by government," Jones said, according to RM.

The many similarities between the Hage case and what BLM is currently doing to the Bundy family are astounding. BLM has been wrongfully harassing ranchers for more than twenty years now.

For further research into this matter, the U.S. v. Hage Decision is available upon request at

New Mexico County Defies Forest Service

In yet another land use dispute with the U.S. Forest Service, the Otero County commission voted 2-0, to authorize the county sheriff to open a gate installed by the Forest Service intended to keep local rancher's cattle from accessing a watering hole, according to Personal Liberty.

This clears the way for about 200 cattle to venture into a 23-acre site that's been closed for years to protect a natural spring as well as the meadow jumping mouse, which inhabits the area in this rural southern county of New Mexico.

Otero County Commissioner Tommie Herrell spoke to Reuter's and had this to say, "We are reacting to the infringement of the U.S. Forest Service on the water rights of our land-allotment owners. People have been grazing (their cattle) there since 1956," said Herrell, according to Personal Liberty.

Fellow commissioner, Susan Flores told KVIA news, "We're in a drought! Sacramento Mountains are dry. So whatever water source these animals can find, they have to be able to get to it," Flores said.

Forest Service Supervisor Travis Mosley assured KVIA that both parties have remained civil in this particular land dispute, apparently addressing concerns that the situation could escalate similar to the Bundy Ranch stand-off with BLM in Nevada.

"We all recognize that there are different ideas and value systems at play here," Mosley said, "and I respect that."

This is the latest squabble between federal agencies and Western states' rights supporters, who want to resume control over land use of millions of acres of public lands from federal agencies viewed as out-of-control and self-serving.

Forest Spokesman Mark Chavez said that the meadow jumping mouse was expected to be listed as an endangered species in June, which would make those 23-acres a critical habitat, according to the Reuter's article.

"I've never seen one of these mice, and the Forest Service claims they caught one last year," Herrell said, according to Reuters.

View the KVIA/ ABC-7 video here.

As water becomes more scarce in the drought-stricken Southwest and federal agencies continue to exercise total control over state lands they manage, more contentious disputes are certainly on the horizon!


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