"Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy has become something of a folk hero among the anti-government, pro-property rights crowd, thanks to his recent standoff with the federal Bureau of Land Management. Some landowners in the path of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline want to know where the support for them has been, since their private property will actually be taken away without their approval.
Bundy and his supporters don't recognize federal ownership of the land where his cattle have been grazing illegally for more than two decades. He refuses to pay grazing fees, arguing that he has "ancestral rights" to the land -- an argument that a federal court has rejected, and which may not be historically accurate. The issue came to a head earlier this month after BLM officials seized hundreds of Bundy's cattle, and armed right-wing and anti-government groups flocked to the desert for a standoff. BLM returned the cattle shortly thereafter, citing concerns about the safety of its employees and the public.
Federal control of land has also flared lately in Texas, where state Attorney General Greg Abbott recently accused BLM of "hijacking private property rights" in updating management plans for land bordering Oklahoma.
But many of the pundits and talking heads who rallied behind Bundy (at least before his racist outburst) are also advocating the Keystone XL pipeline -- despite the ranchers and farmers up in arms about pipeline owner TransCanada Corp. trying to force its way onto their land. "