A couple of incidents over the past few years have introduced millions of Americans to a federal agency that most ranchers and other landowners out West have long known was abusive and unresponsive, as well as unaccountable, to those it was meant to serve: The Bureau of Land Management, which is part of the Department of the Interior.
Many people had never heard of the BLM until about 200 armed agents in SWAT gear surrounded a Nevada rancher named Cliven Bundy in April 2014 with automatic weapons, helicopters and government snipers. NaturalNews editor Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, reported at the time:
The Bundy family has run cattle on the scrubland since the 1870’s, but in 1993, the government decided it “owned” the land and would start charging Bundy rent fees for his cows grazing on it. The Bundy family refused to pay the fees, so BLM went to court over the payments, and when that didn’t pan out the way they wanted, they decided to unleash an army of heavily armed, militarized “soldiers” to lay siege to the ranch and steal Bundy’s cattle.
Fast forward to last month, when a group of armed men, led by Ammon Bundy, son of Cliven, took over a small building on the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon (which just recently ended after Bundy and the group’s other leaders were arrested, one of them shot dead by federal agents). Right or wrong, the Bundy group took over the small building on government land to protect past actions taken by the BLM against one too many ranchers: Dwight Hammond, 73, and his son, Steven Hammond, 46.
As NaturalNews reported:
The Hammonds were convicted in 2012 under a federal anti-terrorism statute, of committing arson on federal land overseen by the Bureau of Land Management. Both were charged in connection with a 2001 fire, and Steven in connection with another fire in 2006. Though the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 calls for a minimum sentence of five years in prison, U.S. District Judge Michael Hogan – now retired – gave them lighter sentences because he did not believe they had exhibited malicious intent.
Federal prosecutors appealed Hogan’s three-month sentence for Dwight Hammond, and one-year sentence for Steven Hammond – which both had served – because they were far short of the minimum. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed and ordered them re-sentenced in October.
Both maintained they are not “terrorists” and that any fires they started were done in accordance with local ordinances and also as “backfires” intended to battle an out-of-control wildfire. But perhaps the most galling is that BLM itself also starts fires that often harm private property, including land and cattle.
As reported by The Daily Sheeple, less than two weeks after the Hammonds were re-sentenced, BLM agents were caught on video setting fires that became uncontrolled and were left to burn unmonitored around Prince Glenn, Oregon (essentially the same thing that the Hammonds were jailed for – burning government land).
The Sheeple reported further:
Some fires were lit within a mere 100 feet of corrals. Ranchers were reportedly told to stand down, forced to watch the fires creep closer to their lands, cattle, and homes and do nothing to intervene. They were told if they did, they would be arrested.
The video below opens with a message from Ammon Bundy; around the 2:55 mark is when you can see BLM agents begin to light fires that threatened property, lives and livelihoods.
“The video clearly shows these unattended fires start to creep up on people’s homes… You can hear the ranchers talking about how the fires are cornering the cows and see the cows are burned alive,” The Daily Sheeple reported.