(Austin, NV) Tuesday, a private inspection of Dalton Wilson’s Grass Valley ranch with a sheriff’s escort revealed RS 2477 roads which were blocked by BLM employees, and that the BLM had bulldozed Wilson’s 100 year-old ranch and home.
Wilson has been in a David and Goliath battle with the BLM and Lander County to quiet title on 80 of 160 acres of what is known as the Brackney Ranch. The BLM sought Wilson’s forcible removal by charging him several years ago with criminal trespass. Wilson said, “I would be in jail right now”, if he hadn’t been acquitted by then Federal District Judge Sandoval, now running for Governor.
The BLM, not satisfied with Sandoval’s acquittal, charged Wilson again, this time with civil trespass raising the issue of double jeopardy. The new federal Judge, Edward C. Reed, rather than hearing the facts of the case, without allowing a single appearance by Wilson, issued what is tantamount to an edict from the bench ordering the removal of Wilson from his property. Wilson appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals which granted a stay until the issues were resolved by the lower court and a final order issued. This stay was ignored by Judge Reed, the BLM, District Attorney Hy Forgeron, and Unger.
“In order to deprive anybody of life, liberty or property in this country, there has to be due process of law and that is what is lacking in this situation. There has been no final judgment, no mandatory abstract of judgment filed in the state, and there has been no writ of execution issued. Nobody is above the law, especially public officials,” remarked Ramona Morrison, Director, Nevada Live Stock Association.”
Morrison, who spoke with Unger Tuesday remarked, “Ignorance of the law is no excuse, especially when one has been entrusted to enforce it. The sheriff claims he was unaware of the stay. However, it is hard to believe he was unaware of Chapter 31 of the Nevada Revised Statutes which mentions the word “sheriff” 145 times, and specifically outlines his duties as sheriff to be present to enforce a writ of execution when property is confiscated.”
Unger was not present during the BLM raid to ensure there was a proper writ, to prevent the unlawful closure of the roads in Grass Valley, or to ensure the peace. “The same Federal Land Management and Policy Act of 1976 under which Wilson was charged with trespass not only protects preexisting rights owned by Wilson but specifically reserves civil and criminal jurisdiction and police power to the states. As a Nevada rancher who is runs cattle on BLM managed lands, I am concerned that Unger believes he is not responsible for keeping the peace on those lands, which is virtually all of Lander County, as state and federal law requires. We’ve had similar experiences with the Battle Mountain BLM office pertaining to preexisting rights. The sheriff’s job is to protect our Constitutional rights, they’ve sworn an oath to do so and they need to be held accountable,” remarked Mike Stremler, NLSA Director.
Wilson, an NLSA Director, who was denied access to his home during the raid, was deprived of his heart medication. He is now in an Ely hospital recovering from congestive heart failure.
“If Unger can ambivalently stand by, in a clear dereliction of duty, while Wilson’s property, livelihood and health are destroyed maybe it’s time for the citizens of Lander County to rethink Unger’s livelihood on the public taxpayer,” commented Don Alt, NLSA Chairman.
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9732 State Route 445, #305 ž Sparks, Nevada 89436 ž 775.577.9048
Order and Mandate available upon request.
Contact: Dalton Wilson, 775.934.2281
Don Alt, 775.577.9048
Mike Stremler, 775.635.5445
Ramona Morrison 775.722.2517
Press Release from the NLSA