Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Thursday, October 20, 2016

Cliven Bundy, the racist Nevada rancher who became a right-wing hero for refusing to pay more than $1 million in owed grazing fees, won’t be surrendering his 15 minutes of fame just yet.

On Saturday, Bundy advised his supporters to take part in another anti-government protest in neighboring Blanding, Utah to take back federally protected public land.

The protest was organized by San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman (R-UT), who had called on protesters to join him in “assert[ing] county jurisdiction in the face of federal ‘overreach.’”

Bundy agreed and in an email to supporters stated, “We need to help the people of Blanding re-establish who is in control of the land. This is your next stand. Will you be there to help them like you helped us?”

The disagreement over access to Recapture Canyon has been brewing for years. A plan to build a 14-mile path for all-terrain vehicles has been in the works for over eight years, but no real progress has ever been made towards its completion. In December the Bureau of Land Management sought public input on a proposed path, but that was the extent of its effort to move this plan forward and appease the ATV enthusiasts in the area.

While Recapture Canyon is public land open to hikers and horseback riders, the BLM closed the cultural site to any motorized recreational use in 2007 after extensive damage was done to archaeological sites by ATV riders using unauthorized trails.

“Recapture Canyon is public land belonging to all Americans and contains ancient cultural sites and artifacts that are at serious risk of being destroyed or damaged,” BLM director Juan Palma said in a news release at the time. Recapture Canyon is the homeland of ancestral Puebloans, and contains archaeological evidence that proves the land was occupied for at least 2,000 years.

At Bundy and Lyman’s behest, roughly 200 people, some armed, assembled at a park near the canyon where Lyman proposed taking an illegal ATV ride through the protected land. Some objected, but Lyman declared that the land belongs to the people, and they therefore have the right to ride despite the long-standing law. Bundy’s sons Ryan and Aamon were also in attendance. It was Aamon who reportedly urged riders to follow Lyman and take part in the protest.

Protestors mounted their ATVs and followed Lyman through the preserved area of Recapture Canyon against the direct request of BLM director Palma.

Mark Maryboy, a former Navajo Nation Council delegate said, “Those ancient sites are the equivalent to churches. It’s very disappointing that they have no respect for Native American culture.”

Governor Gary Herbert (R-UT) released a statement saying he would be working with the BLM during its investigations and urged Utahns to “uphold the law and not do anything that could disrupt public safety.”

Former BLM director Patrick Shea told The Los Angeles Times that he has always been afraid of violence perpetrated by those with anti-government sentiments. Shea said of these citizen militias, “They’re just roaming bands of loners who want to pretend they’re 19th-century cowboys. They scare me. If someone gets drunk or angry and decides to use their weapon, then we have bloodshed. And there’s always a loose nut who’s going to show how much testosterone he has.”

People like Bundy and Lyman believe their anti-government views and protests are the beginning of a movement, even comparing their actions to those of Rosa Parks. The precedent that Bundy and now Lyman, an elected public official, are setting is not only misguided but dangerous as well.

Screenshot: YouTube

To keep up with the latest on Cliven Bundy and his supporters, sign up for our free daily newsletter.

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2014 The National Memo
  • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

    Tell you what, Mr. Bundy. What do you say I gather a group of military veterans like myself, and we have a motorcycle rally in the cemeteries where your family members are buried. We will make sure we kick up significant patches of soil over their graves, and claim this is our first amendment right to do so.

    • Ford Truck

      How about just asking for Native American volunteers, then arming them to protect their archeological sites? I’m only about 1/16th Native American, and before my hair fell out it was very blond, but I’d be there with the Natives. I did 2 tours in ‘Nam, so I have experience. Hell, even though I’m mostly a liberal, I even have a ton of my own guns to use against Bundy.

  • Bambi

    Back to Bundyville. I say we check out the gene pool of this group. I think we’ll find that they all have the same grandpa….Cliven. Maybe he’s his own grandpa. Just “hate” those rules and laws don’t ya know Cliven, just like other insurrectionists, extremists and conspiratorial mindsets. Actions have consequences……you are the only one responsible for your actions Mr. Bundy. And like we just discovered about the disgraced Clippers owner, Don Sterling, the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

  • elw

    People like Bundy and Lyman have zero respect for anything or anyone else. They could care less what they destroy or who they hurt, as long as they get to play cowboy on their off-road vehicles and bikes while holding their guns. They are criminals, ignorant and poor excuses for human beings and American citizens. It is time for this stand-off to end before those crazy idiots hurt someone – where are the US marines?

  • idamag

    Way out yonder in those cattle states, they have been trying to get federal lands into their hands for years. They are like the crooked cattlemen of the old western movies. This is a real threat. And when those national parks and national forests are in the hands of the cattlemen, how long do you think you will be able to use them?

  • Ford Truck

    I’d like to see Bundy and his group ride their ATV through archeological sites, or Native cemeteries on the Rosebud Reservation. Maybe try making an ATV trail through the Wounded Knee site. They would never make it out alive, in fact Bundy’s group would BEG for death before the REAL Americans were through with them!

  • Ford Truck

    The more I think about it, the more pissed I get about Bundy and his type. The main reason I’m pissed is that the government has backed down so far, making Bundy and his type feel like they have won, making them stronger. Why? Sure, making them martyrs for their cause is what the government is trying avoid, but the Federal government and National Guard units could go in, take Bundys group down, and MOST OF AMERICA would cheer!