Bunkerville, Nev. rancher Cliven Bundy has often claimed that his cattle should be able to graze on federal land for free because of his family's "ancestral rights" to the property.
Bundy has based his refusal to pay about $1 million in grazing fees to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on these "ancestral rights."
However, Bundy's claim of "ancestral rights" doesn't seem to ring true, according to a recent investigative report by Las Vegas news station KLAS (video below).
"I've lived my lifetime here," Bundy told KLAS. "My forefathers have been up and down the Virgin Valley here ever since 1877. All these rights that I claim, have been created through pre-emptive rights and beneficial use of the forage and the water and the access and range improvements."
According to property records, Bundy's parents bought the ranch, where he now lives, in 1948.
"My rights are before the BLM even existed, but my rights are created by beneficial use," Bundy stated. "Beneficial use means we created the forage and the water from the time the very first pioneers come here."
Bundy's maternal grandmother Christena Jensen was born in Nevada in 1901, and may have helped settle Bunkerville, but Bundy's family did not own the ranch property until 1948.
Before Bundy's 1877 claim, the Paiute Indians were forced off the land by the U.S. government in 1875, even though the tribe was promised the land back in 1873.
When claiming ownership of the land, Bundy never mentions the tribe.
Going back further, Nevada was bought by the U.S, government from Mexico in 1848 under the Treaty of the Guadalupe Hidalgo.
The Blaze reports that a U.S. District Court ruled against Bundy’s "ancestral" claim to the land in 2013:
Bundy has produced no valid law or specific facts raising a genuine issue of fact regarding federal ownership or management of public lands in Nevada.
Last night, Fox News' host Sean Hannity asked Bundy how he felt being called a "domestic terrorist" by Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), noted CrooksandLiars.com (video below).
"Who seems like the domestic terrorist here? We the people with guns or did you see the United States government with guns?" asked Bundy, who didn't mention militia men who were in sniper positions and aiming guns at U.S. federal agents two weeks ago.
"Why Harry are you calling for a civil war? That's not what we the people want." stated Bundy.
However, in reality, Sen. Reid has never called for a "civil war."