Even after 18 years, the Nevada BLM won’t round up trespassing cattle citing “safety concerns”.   I’ve seen the lack of enforcement of rangeland standards on many occasions but when faced with even the most egregious lawlessness, the BLM does nothing.  The lawlessness of public lands ranching is displayed in its full grandeur and leaves me wondering if there is anything that the BLM is willing to do to enforce its rules and regulations.

The rancher says:

“I’m damn tired of their harassment, their unconstitutional jurisdiction. I’ve fought this battle on paper, in the courts and in the media.”

It’s a little mind boggling when you consider that the Supreme Court decided this issue long ago and made it very clear that there is no such thing as a “grazing right” and that grazing is a mere privilege on public lands.

It is long past time for the BLM to uphold its own rules with regard to public lands grazing.

BLM puts Gold Butte cattle roundup on hold

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About The Author

Ken Cole

Ken Cole is a 5th generation Idahoan, an avid fly fisherman, wildlife enthusiast, and photographer. He is the interim Idaho Director for Western Watersheds Project. We do not accept unsolicited “guest” authors or advertising.

34 Responses to After 18 years of trespass BLM still hasn’t rounded up cattle in southern Nevada

  1. SEAK Mossback says:

    Wow, that sounds like an area where it would actually be beneficial to have a few rustlers.

  2. mikarooni says:

    Forget rounding up the cattle; it’s the rancher who’s the greater nuisance. Round him up and jail him!

  3. Daniel Berg says:

    On this site, it’s the stories like this that bother me the most. I’m tired of folks like this rancher telling me how public lands are going to be used and justifying it through vague references to the constitution, their forefathers, and/or rural custom and culture.

  4. The BLM needs to open a “Slow Elk” season in that area. The limit could be one of each color, the number of colors to be decided by the hunter.

  5. WM says:

    I have a plan.

    Send off Rancher Bundy and whoever is on his payroll to someplace sunny, with a pool, where they can relax with a few fruity umbrella drinks for a month. Send a contract crew in to round up all this guys trespassing or permitted cattle, including those which could be considered abandoned property reverting ownership to the federal government after expiration of his grazing lease.

    Sell off every cow on the property. Net out the revenues against all the costs of doing the roundup, (including the travel to a far off spot for Bundy and fruity umbrella drinks and rooms), and cost of federal administration, any court costs to date. Give him the net proceeds along with a certified letter that says any cow found on federal land will be considered federal property and similarly disposed of with all proceeds going to reduce the federal debt.

    Any takers?

    • Daniel Berg says:

      Sounds great.

      For some reason I keep focusing on the fruity umbrella drink part of the plan. Maybe that has something to do with these partly sunny skies and temperatures in the upper 50’s.

  6. Louise Kane says:

    forget the fruity drinks and pool…use the net proceeds for back “rent” and restoration projects.

  7. Mark Bailey says:

    I’m with mikarooni. Tim DeChristopher is in jail, in fact was in solitary confinement for awhile, for breaking BLM law in a no harm no foul way. It’s this rancher that needs rounding up for a little solitary time. I wonder why the guy isn’t arrested.

  8. Perhaps on November 7, 2012.

  9. Real Nice Guy says:

    Seems to me that if the rancher complained of wildlife was encroaching on authorized grazing areas, BLM would likely quickly approve a “controlled” hunt to eliminate the wildlife. If the cattle have been out-of-control for years, they are neither an economic asset nor a liability to the rancher. So let some hunters in to take care of the cattle.

    • Jilly says:

      Really there not an economic asset? Do you eat at McDonalds? I sure hope not! You people and your stupid ass mind sets, you are probably a vegan! I believe cattle were here long before your dumb ass!

      • Nancy says:

        Feel better now Jilly?

        • Salle says:


        • Jilly says:

          Not really, I don’t think you can instill any sense of ‘common sense’ into an environmentalists head.

          • Jilly says:

            Not saying “Real Nice Guy” is an environmentalist, but this topic really fires me up!

            • Ken Cole says:

              Are you saying that this guy shouldn’t have to follow the law and that he should get away with this intimidation, let alone the destruction of public lands?

            • Nancy says:


              Noun: 1.A person who is concerned with or advocates the protection of the environment.
              2.A person who considers that environment, as opposed to heredity, has the primary influence on the development of a person or group

              Jilly – curious, given the definition above, why are you “all fired up?”

              Its kind of obvious from the article, this rancher has gotten away with a hell of a lot of abuse on public lands (close to 2 decades) when he doesn’t give a crap about his livestock and where they are.

              Don’t you think its about time someone “reins” him in?

              When you think about it, “common sense” is why some of us are concerned about this rancher’s blatant abuse (of public lands) and take the time to weigh in on the topic.

      • Ralph Maughan says:


        Cattle have no place in the hot desert. They are a very marginal economic activity that hurts uses more compatible. That’s a silly argument that this somehow contributes to McDonalds. I’m not sure this guy is even selling the cattle. They are illegal and unbranded. I suspect most folks on this forum don’t want to talk about it if they eat burgers at McDonalds. I’m no vegan, but I stopped eating beef some time ago. Beef and lamb or mutton produces too many negative externalities in general.

  10. Ralph Maughan says:

    If we resisted like this we would long ago been arrested or shot, by the government.

    I’ll bet this guy makes the BLM back down because guys like him are a cut above the rest of us, right? Las Vegas conservationists should get whatever tools are necessary and get rid of his cattle and make a citizens arrest if the government won’t remove him from OUR LAND.

    Here is the latest news “Rancher refuses to budge in standoff with BLM

    • Salle says:

      Too many cattle unattended on public land? Not something a few semi-automatics couldn’t fix in a hurry. You know, the island of Hilo, in Hawaii, has an open season on feral cattle. Maybe we should start a campaign to fix his sort of problem following the lead of Hawaii.

      • Ralph Maughan says:

        I wonder if feral cattle have any legal protection? The unemployed of the hard hit Las Vegas area ought to be able to go up into the area and secure this food for themselves and their families.

      • Savebears says:

        It is the County of Hilo, Hilo is located on the Big Island of Hawaii, there is an agreement in place between the Parker Ranch(The largest in the US) and Hilo county to keep the cattle on the ranch and the only time the ferel clause is invoked by the county is if the ranch refuses or does not send out personal in a timely manner to round the strays up.

        I lived on the Big Island for a few years back in the late 80’s and early 90’s when this was all being put into place.

        Just for information, there is no island of Hilo.

        • Salle says:

          Okay, I got that part wrong, it was late, I was tired… You’re correct, whether you lived there or not. I have no problem admitting I was not correct on that.

          Regardless of the mistake I made in that comment, the concept of allowing an open season on cattle is an idea that should come into play in this situation, and other cases of this sort. If this cattle-dude has been that intent on skirting the rules for this long, he should lose his right to ownership of said cattle and, as Ralph mentioned, the public should be allowed to “take” said cattle as they are intruding on public land and, at this point, would appear to be feral given that there is no valid lease for grazing on this parcel of public land.

          I’m all for public “take” of these cows and the person who put them out there should lose all ownership rights to the cattle and be prohibited from obtaining any permits for public land grazing for life, period. He should also face federal prosecution and be forced to render restitution to the BLM and anyone else legally harmed by his actions.

          Can you imagine if you or I did that? We’d be in prison with leg irons.

          • Salle says:

            I’m calling BS on the part of the BLM here. Safety, my hind foot.

            BLM to remove 3,500 wild horses in Nevada


            Okay, so they can regularly round up all those wild horses, which are far more dangerous than cows, but they are afraid to deal with COWS? Give me an f’ing break. This guy is related to someone or belongs to some secretive order of mucky-mucks who protect him from abiding by the law and being called out on it in legal fashion.

            If they are concerned about another Ruby Ridge, as they have said, there are ways to contain the jerk and get the damned cows off public land… land this is designated for recreational use, not grazing. There seems to be no will for enforcement, unless you don’t belong to the “chosen ones” gang of thieves, then you will probably rot in some dusty jail and never see a court room for a fair hearing for whatever offense you may or may not have committed… something that happens with alarming regularity in that part of the world.

          • Save Bears says:


            I was not trying to prove anyone wrong, I was simply clarifying what actually happens on the Big Island.

            • Salle says:


              That’s fine. I was wrong on that and you gave me the correction, no hurt feelings, no problem.

        • Jerry Black says:

          There’s a guy who lives in a valley west of Missoula (migrated from the Bitterroot Valley with a large family) who grazes his goats on FS land illegally, and fishes and traps year round, illegally. This has been going on for over 5 years. He has been reported to FWP by a friend of mine and others. The response to my friend from FWP was..”we don’t want another Ruby Ridge”, so they do nothing.

          • Mike says:

            Wow, that’s embarrassing. The incredible effort put into their awesome online flora/fauna guidebook obviously isn’t carried over to other departments.

          • Salle says:

            Chicken S&^ts. Besides, it’s federally administered lands so the feds should be dealing with it not FW&P unless they enlist their help. It is a FS issue. Maybe your friend should contact them instead. But then is FW&P under no obligation to do anything including report the offense..?

          • WM says:


            How many goats is he running without a permit?

            The equivalency is about 5-6 goats = 1 cow, but of course goats will eat lots of plants cows won’t touch.

    • WM says:


      Any chance WWP would join CBD in a suit to enforce the previous federal court rulings against this guy? Or, is this stupid “sagebrush rebellion” revival getting a little too hot these days?

      Seems BLM/FBI and other federal interests are treading a much more lightly than the matter deserves. I am astounded the previous BLM regional director let this thing pass for so long. Now this new director comes in, does all the planning, including scheduling a cattle roundup for all these cows (maybe some pregnant ones) for cooler weather for both personnel and cattle, and the rancher (maybe with a little help from the sheriff) and paranoia from the feds who don’t want another Waco or Ruby Ridge type incident in redneck territory.

      Where the hell is Salazar on this one? He should be stepping front and center, pronto? Oh, I know, its an election year.

      • Salle says:

        Yeah, and Salazar is a fellow rancher, not likely he’ll even blink or acknowledge the issue. And I suspect that the local reps of any of these agencies are not willing to participate in any real action on this offense. They’ve managed to look the other way for 18 years for heaven’s sake.

      • Ralph Maughan says:


        I didn’t see your comment of April 17 since I have been in Nevada camping mostly. I checked out this particular area.

        I’d bet they [the BLM] would welcome a lawsuit or something. I have no real inside information, but this is a dicey issue in the election year. Rumor, and it’s only informed rumor, is that this scofflaw not only threatens violence, but is of the same religion is the likely Republican candidate. Yes, and they don’t want a Ruby Ridge. Whether it is a bluff, they don’t want to test this year.

        If the local newspapers are a guide, most folks who write are calling bullshit on this guy. They want the law enforced. This is a popular recreation area. The cows don’t improve it for any recreational use because they are so incompatible with the hot Mojave landscape.

        The Las Vegas Review Journal is egging this guy on. LTEs to that right wing paper are needed.


April 2012


‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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