First, Cliven Bundy and his sons, Ryan, Ammon, Dave and Mel, were released in January, 2018, after three trials that never found them guilty of a crime, yet they spent close to two years behind federal bars, while being physically tortured and abused by cheating and lying Bureau of Land Management (BLM) thugs. As they were forced into solitary confinement, subjected to daily body searches, and other physical abuses, they were labeled by the government and mainstream media to be nothing more than paranoid right-wing loons.
Finally, a judge found that it was the BLM which was dangerous, guilty of perpetrating violence and spreading lies in an attempt to take control of the Bundy Nevada land that had been in the family’s possession since the 1880s. The BLM started the range war against the Bundys, claiming that Bundy cattle were a danger to the desert tortoise. And so, as the BLM openly bragged about roughing up Dave Bundy, grinding his face into the ground, they confiscated the cattle from land on which the Bundys had legal grazing rights dating back one hundred years.
Meanwhile, in Southwest Oregon, Dwight and Steven Hammond, also multi-generation cattle ranchers, were imprisoned for allowing a routine controlled-burn fire to leak onto a small portion of neighboring public grazing land. It’s a standard practice by ranchers to use the burns to keep down weeds and debris that would feed large forest fires. It also helps keep burnables away from ranch buildings. In short, its just good land management. The forest service does it too. In fact, the accidental spread of the Hammond fire onto federal land surely helped improve government land.
The federal government worked to throw the book at the Hammonds, charging them with intentionally and maliciously setting fires on public lands. The Department of Justice actually charged Steven Hammond with lighting the fire to cover an illegal deer hunt on land that was managed by the BLM. It filed a civil suit that cost the Hammonds over $400,000. Meanwhile the government vigorously worked to prosecute the Hammonds to put them behind bars. Yet the Jury acquitted them on most of the charges and U.S. District Judge Michael Hogan, considering the fact that the Hammonds were upstanding citizens, decided that the usual minimum sentence of five years was too harsh for the supposed crime. Thus, Dwight Hammond received only three months and his son Steven was sentenced to a year and a day. They served that time and returned home to their ranch in Diamond, Oregon. https://americanpolicy.org/2018/07/11/it-matters-how-you-stand/?utm_source=American+Policy+Center&utm_campaign=76eeb5a586-APC11DNC3_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_79a5ca421e-76eeb5a586-258293829&mc_cid=76eeb5a586&mc_eid=55f830f0fc