At the heart of the Bundy issue, isn't the REAL question, "Why does the federal government have a right to take so much public land from..."?

"... private citizens or even the states?"

All it does is suppress the abilities of local citizens to earn a living, it's a waste of our tax dollars, and it inserts the feds into states' issues where it has no business getting involved.

This has been going on for years, but Obama has been particularly aggressive in buying up property. What's in it for him and the government, in general, to do this? Doesn't the government have much bigger issues on their plates than to be landlords of millions of acres?

Your thoughts?


Many of you are missing the point... It's not whether Bundy was right or wrong about grazing his cattle on "public land" without paying a rental fee. It's about WHY does the government have a right to claim ownership to this land to begin with... especially the federal government? So just because it's unoccupied at the time, that means no one can occupy or use it forever after? How is that right?

THAT is the question here.

Update 2:

Wendy, but the taking of land by the Feds has not stopped. In fact it has accelerated over recent years. Again, I say WHY? No one yet has answered that question.

Even in the case of park lands, why can't the government privatize it? They can form a contractual agreement with various management agencies to operate the parks... setting criteria within which the companies must operate. Any company that has a financial investment in the land is going to make sure it is taken care of.

16 Answers

  • Favorite Answer

    I remember during the Clinton years, the right wing was concerned about this very issue.

    They were concerned that Clinton was using the National Parks to greatly expand the amount of land that was taken under federal control.

    At this point, almost 90 percent of Nevada is now owned by the federal government.

    A scenario like what just happened is exactly what right wingers have been concerned about for decades.

    That's why there was such a militant response by the right wing.

    • Jeff
      Lv 7
      6 years agoReport

      Are you here to just spread blatant disinformation LOL...

  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

    A couple of mistakes in your reasoning

    The Feds owned all of the land in the West before it was divided into states

    After the Homestead Act of 1863 private citizens were allowed to buy tracts of land from the Feds at a cheap price , " develop it " and then own it

    The land that the settlers chose had value ands the land that the settlers rejected was worthless for anything other than mining and making Indian Reservations out of

    I am very familiar with the area around Bundy's Ranch I would guess that it takes a square mile of it -640 acres - to feed one cow for one month

  • 6 years ago

    The BLM did not attempt to take any private land.

    Here is a part of the Constitution of the State of Nevada: "That the people inhabiting said territory do agree and declare, that they forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated public lands lying within said territory, and that the same shall be and remain at the sole and entire disposition of the United States;"

    The federal government, which is only another way of saying the people of the United States, did not take or try to take any land from Bundy or the State of Nevada.

  • 6 years ago


    The land in question was ceded to the US government in 1848, almost 20 years BEFORE NEVADA BECAME A STATE.

    Here's the heart of the Bundy issue:

    "I believe this is a sovereign state of Nevada," Bundy said in a radio interview last Thursday. "I abide by all of Nevada state laws. But I don’t recognize the United States government as even existing."

    The guy doesn't even believe the federal government has any legal justification for existing. He's also separately called it a "foreign government". The heart of the problem is his failure to understand reality and how it applies to him.

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  • 6 years ago

    "that means no one can occupy or use it forever after? How is that right? " Actually, other can use it but they must pay a fee.

    Other ranchers in the area pay their grazing fees with no problem. They are real Americans. Bundy and his cohorts are law breakers. "Bundy has a baroque claim that the United States has no legal right to grazing land in Nevada; for over a decade, every court has summarily disagreed. It's federal land whether Bundy likes it or not, and Bundy has refused for years to pay standard grazing fees—so a couple of weeks ago the feds finally decided to enforce the latest court order allowing them to confiscate Bundy's cattle if he didn't leave."

  • 6 years ago

    The heart of the question is why people FAIL TO RESEARCH FACTS, which would show them that the Federal govt NEVER "TOOK" ANYTHING. It is an emotional rally point for nut cases with guns, who want to defy legal authority. It is a LIE. In this case.. said lie could have led to the deaths of innocent employees, complying with a valid court order.

    The fact is Bundy is the person, attempting to take control of land that he never owned, the State of Nv never owned (they DIDN'T WANT IT) which is clear from the 1864 Nevada constitution. Is that Constitution a "left wing source"??? USE YOUR BRAIN.

    Bundy is a private individual/ BUSINESS, who has used land that he does not own, making a profit off said land, and defying the authority of a valid court that says if you refuse to pay the rent for said land, your privilege of using that land for private, profit and benefit, is revoked.

    Plain English, one more time. The Federal govt. did not "take" anyone's land.


    if you dispute the right of the Federal govt to even own ANY LAND, you are in for a long battle. There has never been a time when the Fed got did NOT own land, and it is an established legal standard since before the United States existed.

    What is WRONG with Bundy's situation, is using land that he does not own, for his private income and defying the right of the OWNER to charge a fee for said use.


    I am specifically addressing the Bundy case. And stating to you that the Feds did not take any land from Bundy. If you are concerned that the Feds have taken other lands.. you are free to debate that, but that is not my focus. Since you seem completely lost that BUNDY'S land was NOT "taken", that might be a confusing issue. Stick to facts, please.

    Second.. it is already common practice for businesses to operate on Fed. land, such as vendors in Natl parks. I have no issue with this. THOSE VENDORS/ BUSINESSES are NOT DEFYING Federal law, since they are (1) perfectly aware that they do not own said land, and (2) they have no issue paying a legal fee for the USE of said land. There is no need for the land to be privatized, and the Fed. govt already is capable of managing it.

    Aside from Bundy's bizarre and false claims relating to ownership of the grazing lands.. the function of the BLM IS to manage said lands... except management is NOT limited to the single special interest of ranchers, especially those who use the land outside of LEGITIMATE legal standards.

    and lastly..

    having lived in an area where ranchers commonly leased Federal land for grazing... having permits (and fees) for such grazing is completely understandable. If they had no control, the land itself would be destroyed by overuse ie FAR MORE cattle than the specific land can reasonably feed, without destruction of all vegetation... meaning, no one could use it. The solution is allowing grazing, via permit, and a realistic, scientific basis for how many cattle can be expected to feed off that land.

    I repeat. Bundy is VIOLATING legitimate control and laws, and insists he has the "right" to do so.

  • 6 years ago

    Because people who don't want to pay for the land they're using should be allowed to use it anyway if they're "earning a living," right?

    So, if I start a business in a skyscraper in NYC, I shouldn't have to pay to use the building, right? After all, making me leave the building I'm not paying to use just suppresses my ability to earn a living! I should be allowed to get land/property for free as long as I make a living off of it, right?

  • the potential infringement on my personal finances doesn't infringe on YOUR property rights or the federal governments...

    just because you may own land you're not using and I could make more money if I had that land, it doesn't mean you have to allow me to use it...

    the gov. owns property for a VARIETY OF REASONS... often states don't want to even take care of it... do you think Nevada WANTS to pay for upkeep of millions of acres of nothing? state taxes would go up 30 percent probably to just create a massive agency to take care of it... you can't just ignore it...

  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

    Let's see..the federal government has owned the land for over a century, charged Bundy grazing fees that he refused to pay, and now you're saying the problem is that the federal government shouldn't have a right to "take" land from him?

    Brilliant. Just brilliant.

    • LAN
      Lv 7
      6 years agoReport

      Maybe you should look up the timeline of events to see exactly why you are wrong.

  • 6 years ago

    No. The federal government paid for that land. Bundy did not. That "waste of our tax dollars" has been feeding Bundy's cattle for free for two decades. That land would generate revenue if Bundy hadn't willfully decided to break the law.

    My thoughts is that the heart of the Bundy issue is that conservatives care more about feeding a rich man's livestock than about feeding their poorer countrymen.

  • Jeff
    Lv 7
    6 years ago

    They didn't "take" the land... the country earned the land with blood in the Mexican American war and have managed it ever since. The Gov tried to get Nevada to take over the land in the 1930's but Nevada didn't want it... why? because it is a moon like waste land... Maybe we should try again to get Nevada to take over the land?

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