Environmentalists pushed Bundy ranch standoffSubmitted by LittleWing on Tue, 04/22/2014 - 12:28
by Michael Bastasch
(excerpts: please read in full)
"A screenshot of the deleted page from the BLM’s website shows that environmental groups were some of the main forces aligned against Bundy’s trespass cattle. Environmentalists were pushing for the disputed federal lands to be used as “offsite mitigation” for the impact of solar development. Solar development in the area is heavily supported by Nevada environmental groups.
“Non-Governmental Organizations have expressed concern that the regional mitigation strategy for the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone utilizes Gold Butte as the location for offsite mitigation for impacts from solar development, and that those restoration activities are not durable with the presence of trespass cattle,” the BLM page says.
The Center for Biological Diversity has demanded action to resolve trespass in designated critical desert tortoise habitat in several letters,” BLM page notes. “Western Watersheds has requested a verbal status update and later filed a Freedom of Information Act request.”
The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Western Watersheds Project (WWP) have been actively pushing the government to impose heftier grazing fees on cattle ranchers for years, along with pressuring officials to close of huge areas of public lands to grazing and oil and gas development.
In April 2012, the BLM were preparing to remove Bundy’s cattle from federal lands, but mysteriously abandoned the operation — note that this was an election year. CBD filed an intent to sue against the BLM under the Endangered Species Act for failing to remove the Bundy’s trespass cattle that year.
CBD was also enraged when the BLM halted removing Bundy’s cattle this month during a fierce standoff between armed federal agents, Bundy supporters and militia members. The BLM returned the 400 cattle they had rounded up to Bundy, angering environmentalists.
“The BLM has both a statutory and sacred duty to manage our public lands in the public interest, to treat all users equally and fairly,” said Mrowka. “Instead it as allowing a freeloading rancher backed by armed thugs to seize hundreds of thousands of acres of the people’s land as their own fiefdom.”
**NOW SEE RELATED COURT CASE FROM 2005: NOTE THE CBD INVOLVEMENT**
Jury Awards $600,000 to Arizona Rancher - Environmental Group Found Libel for False Statements and Accusations
( in part) Jan. 2005
Tucson) A Tucson jury today found the Center for Biological Diversity, a well-known environmental group, guilty of making “false, unfair, libelous and defamatory statements” against Jim Chilton, a fifth generation Southern Arizona Rancher.
In a judgment announced during the noon hour, the jury awarded Chilton $100,000 in actual damages, and $500,000 in punitive damages for defaming him and his family business in a two-page press release and 21
photographs posted on the Center’s website in July 2002 that were false and misleading regarding Chilton’s 21,500-acre Montana grazing Allotment northwest of Nogales.
“This case is more about the truth than about money. After all expenses have been covered, I am going to donate all the remaining money to the Arizona Cattle Growers Association to be used for the truth and responsibility for cattle grazing issues”, said Chilton.
The suit was filed, according to Chilton, because he wanted to challenge the way the Center for Biological Diversity does business.
“They don't use science, they use scare tactics,” said Chilton. “They also use endangered species as surrogates to obtain their own goals and to raise money,” he added.