The Laney Cattle Company in New Mexico has used public lands for grazing since 1883 and in 1986; the adjacent Diamond Bar Ranch was acquired by the Laney family. Now the US Forest Service says they’re no longer entitled to do so, and has posted notices along the fence line of their property advising people not to attempt to enter the ranch.
Originally, the Laney property was 115 acres surrounded by 144,000 acres of public lands for which Kit Laney paid grazing rights. But after a “study” by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decided that the lands could not sustain his 1,188 head of cattle, the USFWS reduced his cattle herd to 300 head.
Then on April 12th, of this year, Laney was served with a notice that his ranch would be shut down within five days and his 300 head of “trespass” cattle removed from the land. Now they say that the cattle may be redeemed if the Laney’s pay the $40,950 cost of rounding up 80 head of cattle.
New Mexico’s “Brand Law” states that cattle cannot be transported across state lines without permission from the State Livestock Board. News reports say Catron County Sheriff Cliff Snyder notified the Forest Service the law will be enforced.
“I intend to enforce the state livestock laws in my county. I will not allow anyone, in violation of state law, to ship Diamond Bar Cattle out of my county.” Sheriff Cliff Snyder.
This comes just a week after Rancher Cliven Bundy experienced a similar situation in Nevada.
And it isn’t all about cattle and grazing rights either. Water is significant issue in for the Laney Cattle Company/Diamond Bar.
The courts have been siding with the USFS, stating that just because someone has been there a long time, doesn’t mean they have rights to use public lands or water. Laney attorneys used the Mining Act to show private rights to the water and land, but the court rejected the argument.
They are working hard to prepare their case for court yet again, this time with references to other cases, including the Wayne Hage decision from last year in Nevada.
There is also the endangered specie called the Gila trout. The same study by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that showed grazing had badly damaged the wilderness’ streams and creeks, had also further threatened the fish.
In 2003, the Center for Biological Diversity sued the Forest Service. In their court petition, they argued that grazing has been ongoing for at least five months, in defiance of a 1997 federal court order against the same ranchers who illegally grazed these National Forests in 1996.
“These ranchers are treating our public lands like their private property and defying the courts, while their cattle are causing untold damage to wildlife habitat,” said Dr. Martin Taylor, a conservation biologist with the Center. “I saw cattle destroying the few pools where endangered Gila trout were still hanging on during one of the worst droughts in history.”
And just like in the Bundy Ranch stand-off, Laney found himself arrested and jailed for five months after assaulting a federal officer. The Denver Post wrote in 2005:
“When the Forest Service slashed the number of cattle he could run, Laney refused to sign his permit and grazed his cattle in the wilderness anyway. When the Forest Service hired contractors to remove the animals, he confronted them, charging them on horseback and whipping one man with his reins, according to an indictment.”
Lands are being seized, and animals removed one way or the other.
And in Wyoming, BLM agents rounded up 40 wild horses before turning them over to state authorities. At that point, Wyoming officials sold to a Canadian slaughterhouse.
The roundup, which happened about a month ago, concluded with the sale of more than 40 horses to the Alberta-based slaughterhouse, bringing in a total of $1,640.
And though wild horses are protected by federal law, the BLM contends these animals do not qualify for such protection. Instead, the agency claims they are strays — having descended from domesticated horses about 40 years ago.
Colorado’s Cloud Foundation. Paula Todd King asked, “How long does a horse have to live wild and free before its considered wild?”
King may never get an answer because of biodiversity and Agenda 21, which came out of the 1992 Earth Summit, officially known as the ‘United Nations Conference on Environment and Development.’ Proponents of Agenda 21 want more than 50 percent of the U.S. to be set aside as “wild lands”, where no human can enter.
Presidents Bill Clinton, George H. Bush, and Barack Obama, through Executive Orders, have signed onto Agenda 21. In fact, many National Parks already have UN signs at their entrances reading: “World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve.”
Obviously, the BLM, the USPS and the USFWS all have more than just a public relations nightmare on their hands, they are a part of the nightmare befalling the U.S.