by WorldTribune Staff, December 30, 2016
Some members of patriot groups who supported Cliven Bundy during his 2014 standoff with the feds are preparing for another battle after President Barack Obama designated a new national monument in Nevada on land near the site of the Bundy Ranch standoff.
“Get your gear ready,” wrote Jon Ritzheimer, who also participated in the standoff at Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge last year. “Obama just designated the Bundy Ranch a national monument.”
“Locked and loaded ready to go,” wrote Chris Border, a member of the Cliven Bundy’s Army! Facebook group, which boasts more than 2,000 members. “Tired of this crap and time to do something.”
Groups who came to the aid of Cliven Bundy at his ranch outside of Las Vegas in 2014 — and who later joined the rancher’s sons at the refuge in rural Oregon — were outraged over Obama’s move on Dec. 28 to designate 300,000 acres of federal land around Gold Butte as a national monument.
“So far it’s just been a lot of posturing,” JJ MacNab, an expert on anti-government fervor in the U.S. and author of the upcoming book “The Seditionists,” told Vocativ. “But members of these groups are looking for something to happen. They don’t really care what it is.”
Cliven Bundy and four of his sons are among the 17 people who will face conspiracy, obstruction, weapon, threat, and other charges following the showdown with federal agents in Nevada in 2014. The dispute arose after Cliven Bundy refused to pay more than $1 million in fees for grazing his cattle on government land surrounding Gold Butte.
Last year, armed citizens led by Cliven Bundy’s sons Ammon and Ryan seized the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge outside of Burns, Oregon, to protest the federal government’s control of public lands. While the Bundy brothers and five co-defendants were acquitted of all chargesrelated to the occupation in October, another seven people will stand trial next year for their role in the standoff.
The Bundy family on Dec. 28 criticized Obama over his monument designation, but did not encourage a new showdown with the federal government. “This is about control, pure and simple,” the statement said. “You don’t love this land, you have never visited here, but you love being in control of this land.”
Other groups are itching for a new battle and are calling on others to join them. “Prepare to saddle up patriots,” said Karl Koenigs, a veteran of both the Nevada and Oregon standoffs. “[It’s] Time for another win.”
Christy Goldfuss, managing director of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, said the Antiquities Act that allows a president to create monuments does not give a president authority to undo a designation, a rule the courts have upheld. She acknowledged that Congress could take action, though.