Total trespass cattle secured 389-

134 cattle secured by Monday night-
43 additional cattle by Tuesday night-
75 more cattle by Wednesday night-
25 more Thursday night, 12 more Friday night-

On Saturday, April 5 the U.S. Bureau of Land Management BLM) began rounding up the hundreds of cattle owned by rancher Cliven Bundy of Bunkerville, Nevada. The cattle are a mixture of trespass cattle Bundy runs on U.S. public land for which he has no permit and also apparently feral cattle, probably derived from the trespass cattle. In surveys this month, the BLM identified 908 cattle illegally on the often scenic Gold Butte public land area. Cattle are spread in groups over an incredible 750,000 acres!

When Bundy stopped paying his required grazing fees in 1993, the BLM had authorized him to graze only 152 cattle on 158,000 acres.

According to the BLM, “Mr. Bundy has made a number of inflammatory statements. Stating he will do “whatever it takes” and that his response to the impound is “going to be more physical.” He has also described this operation as a “range war.” The BLM stated on its cattle trespass web site, “BLM and the National Park Service support everyone’s rights to express themselves lawfully and peacefully. But when threats are made that could jeopardize safety of the public, contractors and employees, the federal government has the responsibility to ensure their safety.”

The LA Times reported that several hundred people had showed up to support Bundy. Bundy supporters said “300.” The BLM said “closer to 100.” These people are presumably in the free speech area for protesters set up just across the Virgin River south of Mesquite, Nevada. Meanwhile, on a rotating basis, various parts of the Gold Butte trespass area are closed to non-government personnel while the cattle are being rounded up. Some of the government’s workers are reportedly armed. On Sunday one of the Bundy’s was reported arrested for remaining inside the temporary closure area. He was later released.

Conservation interests have been commenting on the Bundy situation. A number of quotes are found in the Elko Daily Free Press, at  For example, Alan O’Neill, former superintendent of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area upon which Bundy’s cattle have also trespassed, said, “The point cannot be lost that Mr. Bundy is an affront and potential danger to the safety of the public servants — men and women who have chosen to get into this work because they love the land — and the contract wranglers who have been hired to round up the herd,”“For too long, Mr. Bundy’s bullying and threats have stopped the appropriate action in seizing his herd and levying fines. To allow him to continue to flout laws that others adhere to is certainly an affront to all Americans.”

The BLM has posted a summary of the impacts over the years of Bundy’s illegal cattle. Bundy supporters have been using Sagebrush Rebellion rhetoric.



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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

113 Responses to BLM makes progress rounding up Bundy’s trespass cattle (with updates)

  1. Joseph Allen says:

    Steaks all around!!!

  2. Gail says:

    They should never have allowed his contempt to go on this long.

    Did I read it correctly, that at one point they were allowing him to graze 152 cattle WITHOUT paying permit fees? Why? They should ALL be paying fees for every animal grazing on public land. Some ranchers have gotten too many free rides.

    • Ralph Maughan says:


      Before 1993, Bundy was apparently in compliance with his grazing permit and paying grazing fees. Things changed when he would not accept the conditions of his new grazing permit (they are renewed on a 10-year basis). He,therefore, lost his permit and should have withdrawn his cattle from public land.

      Instead he continued grazing and increased his numbers.

      • ramses09 says:

        And nothing was done, boy that guy has a lot of balls doing what he’s doing or did. He got away with for so long. That just is amazing to me. Well, not really, seeing how the BLM works.

      • mike says:

        It is of course not as simple as you are stating, as I have written in another post. As you probably know, the number of cattle permitted to graze was reduced to so small a number, and previous areas open for grazing were reduced to the point the lease was worthless. By the way, the right to lease this land for pasture was bought and paid for a 100 years ago, and passed down to the current owner. I realize that you are not supportive of grazing cattle on any public land, but most people realize this is the best way to keep beef affordable.

        • JEFF E says:

          most people realize that if all of the public lands cattle grazing went away tomorrow it would only account for ~ 3% of the nations supply and would not affect prices in the supermarket AT ALL, except by some local markets that would try and use scare tactics marketing

          try again.

          • RAH says:

            Do your real homework. All U.S. ranching operations sell their calves every year. These are produced for beef. There’s no money in it otherwise (we’re not talking about dairy cows). These calves are then taken to such places as Sioux City, Iowa (Iowa Beef Producers) & kept in feed lots until time to butcher. We do import beef from Canada & other countries because the U.S. supply won’t satisfy our own demand. This is due to the fact that ranching has become so reduced & cost-inefficient because of federal regulations & graze fees. See what happens over the next 50 years as the feds will virtually wipe out grazing altogether. The feds (BLM specifically) is supposed to be managing the wild horse population on these same BLM lands as well. They say they don’t have the funds to do it. However, they have contracted with an auction in central Utah $300,000 to run Bundy’s cattle through at over 1000 times the price of a normal auction fee. They are paying the guy that contracted to round up Bundy’s cattle $980,000! Again 1000X more than a standard process should cost. Talk about government waste!

            • cobackcountry says:

              I’d like to know where you got your numbers? This country produces more beef than it consumes from every thing I have read. So I am curious about your data.

              I personally think we could live with far less beef. We consume more meet than dietarily necessary to sustain ourselves any how.

              Regardless, this man broke the law. Period.

              • wolf moderate says:

                So you dictate what Americans consume Or sell on the global market? You can’t be serious?

        • Johnny says:

          so his business model has failed, yet you call upon the public to subsidize him? Sorry, Id rather use my tax dollars to better effect than allowing one person to monopolize miles of public land. If he cant make a living then he better find a better business model instead of expecting public handouts. and yes, ranchers had a lot more control in the day than now so sure, 100 years ago they gave the guy a sweetheart deal… well, the free rides over and now hes crying? Boo effin hoo.

      • Theo Chu says:

        Yeah well we all have had our frustrations with BLM from time to time but right now they really need our support. If Bundy wins this it will certainly be in part because we didn’t step up. Email Sec Jewell and Pres Obama

    • mike says:

      Actually this grazing rights for this area was purchased over 100 years ago by the family, along with some private land, and handed down from one generation to another. The rules were changed by the BLM/National Park Service unilaterally, without consultation with the rancher, the Bundy family. The people in charge of the BLM have wanted to severely limit, or stop cattle grazing in this area since the BLM was selling property in and around the Las Vegas area to developers to build on. Millions of dollars were given to the BLM for this property, with the understanding that the environmental groups would not sue because they would have this Bundy grazing area for Tortoise territory. When the family refused to sell for a fraction of what the lease was worth, the BLM decided to shut them down, to the point of cutting their lease back to a fraction of the number they need to have a viable business. Mr. Bundy probably did not chose the best method of fighting this government entity, and making inflammatory statements are not conducive to garnering favorable public opinion, however the US Government is not innocent in this case, and we all need to be aware of the facts in this case. They are not as cut and dried as you might think.

      • Ralph Maughan says:


        If someone sold one of Bundy’s ancestors a grazing lease on what was then called “the public domain,” it was, and is, invalid.

        The reason this large parcel of public land stayed public was because of its unproductive qualities for grazing under the land privatization laws as they existed then.

        Too many folks have seen too many Westerns and think the desert is where you raise beef cattle. The opposite is true.

        I do think that Las Vegas nearby does figure into this controversy in one way or another. Water rights is a likely way. Vegas wants water, and Bundy claims he has water rights.

        The BLM does have the power to terminate any grazing lease anywhere in the country after following a set of procedures. This is controversial to do, however.

        If they really wanted to close Bundy’s lease area in 1993, they could have done so. The tortoise would not have been needed as “an excuse.” If the BLM really wanted to drive him out, they could have, and would have, back 20 years ago. However, they have acted very slowly. That tells me that they did not want to get into this thing. His longstanding sense of persecution is not warranted.

        • mike says:

          To Ralph: I will overlook your statement as to the viability of raising cattle in the “desert” because based upon your bio I see you claim no expertise in that area, but I will point out that while you don’t believe it is a good place to raise cattle, it is obvious you are incorrect, as thousands of head of beef cattle have been raised here and other deserts in the Southwest. I doubt that water is a factor either, if you knew about the area, you would realize that the Virgin River is adjacent to this ranch and it runs into Lake Mead, which is a source of water for Las Vegas, but a limited one. The BLM is “running him out”, just like they have done to ALL the other small ranchers in the area, and unfortunately the courts have allowed it, which means much to our shame, the people have allowed it. I agree that Bundy should have operated within the law and should have sought legal counsel long before now, however it is not too late. It will be very interesting to see where this goes next.

      • You need to do some research Mike. Until the Taylor Grazing act was passed back in the 1930s there were no restrictions on grazing. It was first come first served. No one bought the grazing rights “a hundred years ago”. There were no rights to buy.
        If you look at some of the photos of the area, it is obvious that Bundy’s cows should have never been allowed to graze on this desert in the first place. His cows wrecked the place constantly stomping from place to place looking for the scattered grasses.

        • mike says:

          Larry: I realize you are a photographer(as per your website), and may not be aware of how grazing leases are attached to private land in the Southwest. When the land was purchased, the grazing “rights” were included, the Taylor bill absolutely supports and allows that to occur, not just here, but throughout the Southwest. As for his your perception that “His cows wrecked the place”, you are welcome to your opinion, but respectfully, you don’t really know, because the area has been grazed for over 100 years, and you don’t have photos of it before the grazing.

          • Theo Chu says:

            There is no such thing as grazing “rights” on the national lands – they are privileges as has been so defined and clarified by the courts. You can raise a few cattle on the desert within watering reach of the virgin river, but otherwise they require artificial water sources everywhere else. If you require them to use only natural water they will trash the riparian zones and springs – I’m sure you already know that. Trying to raise cattle anyplace with less than 20-25 inches of annual precip requires extreme measures which should be a clue. You can raise cows benignly but not profitably, or profitably but not benignly in the arid west. And yes the horses and burros need to go too. Remove the livestock, fences and the artificial water sources and the native desert animals will flourish.

            • Doc says:

              For Theo: Interesting post, but you are actually incorrect, there are grazing rights attached to certain patent or private lands through out the West. These lands usually are under the supervision of the BLM or the Forest Service, but the are similar in fact to “water rights”, which while also defined by the courts, but are a statutory right. Many ranchers in the West have to haul water water and feed, like ranchers in most of the world. There are plenty of “native desert animals” and they coexist well with cattle when managed properly.

              • Theo Chu says:

                Doc – I believe you are wrong. They are privileges not rights and as such they can be revoked or modified by the agency in charge of the land. If they were legal rights they would be inviolable and that’s not the case here. We may be arguing semantics but as far as the courts are concerned they are privileges.

              • wolf moderate says:

                Theo and doc, can you provide some links to support your claims? I would like to believe Bundy because I dislike feds and don’t trust them, but he should have gone another route in this case in my opinion.

            • Theo Chu says:

              Wolf moderate – Here’s a quick summary of the laws:

              If you go to any BLM site and search for grazing you see it referred to as a privilege throughout. If it was actually a “right” you can be sure the rancher attorneys would have corrected that in short order.

      • DLB says:


        There are some folks, including yourself, who seem to try and imply that ranchers who possess grazing leases somehow have a right to the land they lease above and beyond the terms of lease agreement. They do not, no matter how many years the lease has been in their family. If you have evidence to the contrary, please reference it.

        It does not matter that they purchased or will sell their properties in the future with grazing leases attached. It’s an assumed risk that changes to the lease terms may occur when the purchase is made.

  3. CodyCoyote says:

    Look on the bright side…a few cowboys are getting some honest work rounding up dishonest cattle.

    • Barb Rupers says:


    • WM says:


      If they are BLM cowboys (federal employees), the work day starts when they leave the motel at about 8 AM (well 8:15 by the time they get everybody in the rig), so its maybe 45 minutes to the round up site, then a cup of coffee and a danish (1.25 hr non-productive time), then a daily safety meeting and gear check (15 minutes), then ride off to round up cows for 45 minutes (then a 15 minute break), then two hours of real work, a half-hour for lunch (maybe ride back to the rig, even, which turns into an hour), then work for two hours (15 minute break), then work for an hour, put the saddle horses or ATV’s back on the trailer, then back to town before the 8 hour shift is over to gas up the rigs/feed horses. Total time in the saddle – maybe 4 hours. Anything more than 8 hours, its time-and a-half pay. Maybe another quarter time for hazardous duty (Bundy’s crew did say they would resist), another quarter time for off-home district if their work station is somewhere else, and another quarter time if its dark. Per diem for food and lodging, likely more than actual cost of eating and a bed in town.

      Surely no federal cowboy would be satisfied with plate of beans, a hunk of fry bread/biscuit, and cowboy coffee, ground included, no charge. This capped off with a bedroll in the dirt for a short night’s sleep, a quick plate of morning bacon and eggs, and back in the saddle at first light.

      Please surprise me, and say my description of the federal work day is not close to that first described. 😉 Yahoo!

      What’s honest about the federal cowboy’s work day, except for the part that we all paid taxes for them to do it? I hope the government gets every fkn dime paid to do this costly round-up by selling off or attaching Bundy’s cows and other assets.

      • Chris Harbin says:

        And that’s different from other modern cowboys in what way other than where there pay comes from?

      • Nancy says:

        Too funny WM!

        My guess would be this roundup will entail mostly local, experienced, “CONTRACT” cowboys, who know how to round up cattle and know the area and who are looking forward to a decent day’s wages, not usually offered on a cattle ranch in that part of the country or too many other parts of the country out here in the west 🙂

        Who…. would be expected to be there at the crack of dawn and ready to go. Thinking camps might also be set up where a good meal could be found at the end of the day and perhaps a place to sleep?

        Let me know if you hear differently?

        • WM says:

          Yes, Nancy, I too expect they are using a contractor – the contractor makes most of the money, and the cow punchers are probably on site, if town is too far away. And, we can hope it is cheaper and more efficient than federal employees brought in from various other assignments to do the work. I am still wondering if they are using horses or ATV’s.

          I just couldn’t resist taking a shot at a federal work crew. Not that they are all that way, but anybody who has been around them can appreciate the default model and the humor associated with lack of productivity. I do suspect there are plenty of federal “work supervisors” in the role of contract officer or observers, so you can rest assured your tax dollars are being spent one way or the other. And, if those federal employees are working weekends, as it appears they are, since some of this was going on over the weekend, there is that time +1/2 wage scale, if its not part of their normally scheduled work week. I am guessing there are probably some FBI folks lurking in the shadows or associated with the reports of alleged sniper rifles on the high ground, maybe even in camo or ghilly suits. No Ruby Ridge repeats here, we hope.

    • Joseph Allen says:

      Your post reminds me of Edward Abbey’s “Cowboys.”

    • RAH says:


      I hope you’re not considering yourself or anyone that is part of that contract for the rounding up or the auctioning off of these cows as honest. The government approached 4 Utah livestock auctions before the one in Richfield to handle these cows. All said “No”. Now the Richfield auction priced it at $300,000! That is ridiculous! The contractor that is rounding up gave a price of $980,000 to round up under 1000 cows & I believe it is more like 600 cows. Every rancher I’ve spoken to between Salt Lake City & California is ashamed of both the auction and the contractor. This operation will cost the American people $10 million dollars before it’s over & this case is just the beginning.

  4. Ida Lupine says:

    I’m glad this is finally getting addressed, but I hope this group doesn’t do something retaliatory and stupid, like their threats to round up wild horses protected by law.

    • Ace says:

      The horses are not wild. They are feral, and need to be managed just like any other animal be it elk, deer or cattle.
      How would you propose that? or just let them overpopulate the land and destroy it like many claim cattle are doing?

  5. Theo Chu says:

    At one point the Iron County Commission threatened to round up all the feral horses in retaliation for the BLM removing the trespass and feral cows. That would have been a win-win for the land and wildlife but unfortunately I think the county backed down.

    • mike says:

      I actually “heard”(pun intended) that many local people shoot the wild horses on sight, although I have no real information other than coffee shop talk. There is a certain amount of silliness in ejecting cattle but leaving horses on this land…

      • Ace says:

        lots of silliness, the horses certainly are not paying and or not wild, but feral!

        • Nancie McCormish says:

          Not silly at all. Horses are paid for by public taxpayers and have been since 1971, and despite your comments not all things need to be “cash cows” to have intrinsic worth, an argument especially cogent concerning our shared public lands. Shooting them on sight is a felony, and if you are aware of this you might be presumed to be an accessory.

          Cattle grazing is heavily subsidized at losses of million$ of taxpayer dollars to prop up unsustainable private, for-profit ranching interests but makes up less than 5% of our national beef herd. And who pays for the systemic damage they have brought since the Open Range days? Taxpayers.

          Horses were and are native to these ecosystems, cattle and sheep are not.

          • doc says:

            Nancie: Most ignorance is appalling, as is yours on this subject. You cite statistics which have been used for years by the environmental crowd who are opposed to cattle grazing on public lands, that is “only” 3 to 5% of cattle produced in the US are raised on public lands, however you cannot cite a reliable source, because of course that information is incorrect, the actual figures, as reported by the USDA, is about 56%, as of 2012, that is about 56% of the cattle brought to market spent part of their lives on public grazing land including federal and state land. Your statement that this practice is heavily subsidized is ridiculous also, as the costs of this program are entirely paid for by the lessors, and the rate determined by the federal or state agency which by law administers those programs. While I agree the cattle business is a difficult one, please be advised there are many family and corporate ranches which use public grazing rights associated with patent land in the way of leases and grants, which do quite well financially. I realize you are likely diametrically opposed to anyone making a “profit”, but that is your problem, not the rancher. Your evaluation of “systemic” damage caused by these grazing cattle is both unfounded, presumed, and you have no reliable sources for you information, and likely are parroting information published by various environmental groups who by definition are opposed to livestock grazing on public lands, such as the CBD or Sierra Club. The CBD recently as a few years ago was successfully sued by a rancher who was slandered by the staff at CBD for exactly this same type of thing you are writing. That is your right to have an opinion adverse to grazing on public lands, but if you are going to make specific statements regarding cost to taxpayers, and systemic damage, I suggest you be prepared to cite your sources. One more thing, your legal advice, while interesting for its defense of feral horses, is also incorrect. Knowledge of a “crime” does not make anyone an accessory, nor are feral horses “native”, they are mostly escaped, trespass livestock, and should be dealt with in the same manner as any trespass livestock, and fortunately the BLM is doing just that in most areas. On private land they can be dealt with in any way the land owner wishes. If you want one, there will likely be an auction near you. But imo, they are mostly just good for food for the French, and also dogs and cats.

            • DLB says:


              I would encourage you to post reference material for your claim that the USDA grazing program does not operate at a deficit to US taxpayers.

              Even if 56% of cattle have a footprint on public lands, I am not convinced banning them would have more than a marginal effect on prices over the long term.

              • doc says:

                To: DLB, Nancy, Yvette, Jeff, skyrim:
                I gave you all the reference you need, feel free to accept or deny that is your choice.
                DLB: I can only assume your training in economics must come from a public high school if you believe that removing 56% of a product will not have any affect on the price of that commodity…
                Yvette: You fail to realize that livestock grazing is a well established management tool for public lands, the differential is 1.43, that the rancher pays for the “work” the livestock is doing for the managing federal agency.
                Nancy: You sent a chart, not a map, and that chart only confirms what I have already stated. I suggest you work on your nomenclature, and you might want to consider a statistics update too, and by the way, your derivation that only 5% of the livestock were on publick lands refers to their total time from birth to butcher, this does not account for the vast majority of food animals which were raised on public lands, then pen fattened…the five % you talk about are actually the broodstock which is recycled, including barren cows, and over the hill bulls…
                Jeff: I was very clear on my source, you might want to re-read that part, and yes I admit to ignorance on many things, but like I tell the Residents I train, “I may be ignorant regarding a lot of things, but I am not as ignorant as you.”
                skyrim: I only included you so you would not feel left out, in fact the CBD spent several years trying to recover from that lawsuit, and since then has stayed away from attacking and slandering individuals, they usually only go after federal and state agencies, where much of the time they are dealing with personnel sympathetic to their cause…hopefully, there will be less of this, especially in their current suit against the State of Idaho.

              • JEFF E says:

                all you have done is make a statement claiming your source. Why not trot out the link unless you need a special decoder ring to link to it.
                until then it is just you spouting stuff, nothing more.

              • DLB says:


                If you believe that eliminating public lands ranching would result in an immediate 56% reduction in the supply of cattle, I gave you more credit than you deserve when it comes to intelligence. Let’s move on from the economic impacts since you clearly lack understanding.

            • Yvette says:

              Bull malarchy. They pay 1.35/head/month. That is outright welfare, and I bet you know it. I have nothing against cattle or sheep, but they damage the land, tear up the stream banks, increase the the tubidity of the water, alter the hydrology, increase the e.coli and coliform in the water, and increase the nutrient load.

              That is only the physical damage. The politics of the industry and their free ride is an entirely different subject.

              My only request is that the cattlemen and sheepmen pay the same rate for the land as if it were private land.

            • Nancy says:

              “the actual figures, as reported by the USDA, is about 56%, as of 2012, that is about 56% of the cattle brought to market spent part of their lives on public grazing land including federal and state land”

              Check out the map doc:


              “Cattle grazed on public land in these states accounts for less than five percent of American beef production”


              The other Nancy 🙂

            • JEFF E says:

              because you cite no sources and before you disappear into irrelevance due to ignorance;


            • skyrim says:

              (Chilton v CBD) ….. “in the end, the Center for Biological Diversity’s liability insurance paid the $100,000 and the group paid the $500,000 — quickly replenished by fundraising pleas.”
              I like the quickly replenished part. People putting their wallets where their hearts are.

            • skyrim says:

              Doc, please don’t make me sorry that I didn’t respond in the manner I felt drawn to. I would never feel left out in a crowd of you and your kind.
              This is not my first parade, nor is it the others you slander here. My point has been simply made, and your’s lost in a sea of cow shit scattered along the Virgin River bottom land. Where’s my checkbook? ………

            • Nancy says:

              “You sent a chart, not a map”

              doc – there is a map if you’d looked for it. Out of roughly 90 million head of cattle/calves to date, in the entire US thru the Jan. 2014 (inventory)…. there are only (a rough estimate) 20 million head of cattle in all of the western states. 11 – count em.

              And, they comprise or compromise, depending on how you want to look at it – millions of acres of wild lands still left out here in west, with regard to wildlife habitat.

              It gets dicey because rougly half that number are cows, who will continue to produce calves and won’t be going anywhere, anytime soon, unless they’re dry or too old (a cow can kick out a calf annually for atleast 10 years)

              Then you’ve got calves – usually a 50/50 split heifer/steer totals born each year? Correct me if I’m wrong.

              A lot of ranchers hang on to the heifers (new stock) or sell them, but steers (no nuts anymore 🙂 get shipped at the end of the year where they will be fattened in stockyards in the midwest for slaughter.

              Maybe the 5% you don’t want to acknowledge?

          • DLB says:


            Drive through the Yakima Reservation in south-central Washington and you will change your tune about feral horses.

  6. Chris Harbin says:

    If memory serves correctly, The U.S. purchased the land from France (the Louisiana Purchase). If that’s not quite right then it was ceded to the U.S. by Mexico. So ultimately the federal government owns the land. Of course this leaves out the people who were originally on the land and it was essentially taken from them. If all this correct that means that Bundy’s ancestors either bought the land from the feds (which I’m pretty sure did not happen) or they grazed on open range.
    Grazing rights do not come with the purchase of private land. It is a lease issued by the government which almost always come with several conditions. Sorry Mike if this rains on your parade.
    Sorry I put this on the other Bundy thread by mistake. Mea culpa!

  7. An article in the Idaho Statesman today says that the contractors are being paid $966,000 to round up Bundy’s cows. That is roughly $1000 per cow. They should file a lien against his ranch for that amount + twenty years of unpaid grazing fees for the 500 cows he claims to own
    that are on public land.

    • It looks like Bundy is borderline stupid. If he had gone out an rounded up almost a 1000 cows as the courts ordered him to do,and sold them for $1000 each, he would have grossed a million dollars.

  8. DLB says:

    This story is starting to heat up in the news.

    It’s mostly conservative oriented outlets trying to get all the tea-party and further right folks all riled up.

    Of course they are trying to make all kinds of bizarre connections between freedom, the constitution, federal government conspiracy theories, etc.

    All of it over a guy who has made statements about how he owns this public land because his family has grazed it for so long. It’s my land, not his.

  9. snaildarter says:

    I would think the teaparty would be against grazing on public lands since it’s a form of subsidized agriculture but like most conservatives they are only true to their ideology when it suits them. Cows on public lands are part of outdated 19th century thinking that felt wildlife was only valuable if it was useful to mankind. Now most people believe that we are part of the natural world and need to respect it. the cows must go; maybe we could reintroduce wolves to keep the horse population in balance.

  10. Louise Kane says:

    Reaching for guns and threatening law enforcement and federal agents is not civil disobedience. These are violent people inciting hateful actions and taking up arms against an order that is designed to benefit public resources. This is terrorism. Reading the comments is discouraging. One person commented that all the public lands should be sold to the highest bidder, not even sure the relevance but most of the comments are very uninformed.

  11. CodyCoyote says:

    Thursday afternoon: There is some serious hard right reporting being done by the conservative Las Vegas Review Journal on the rising tensions between the Bundys and the BLM. The LVRJ is mostly coming down on the side of the Bundy clan and sympathizers. Bundy’s son got tasered on camera.

    There’s a funny item in the story about two guys from Montana and one from Utah coming to Bundy’s aid, well armed. That was referred to as ” militias mobilizing “.

    I certainly want no gunfire to break out, but if it does I hope the news folks have some video of it. Sounds like it might be escalating. My Facebook page is saturated with posts and comments on Bundy vs. the BLM . I wonder what the Las Vegas bookies’ are calling for odds ?

    Ongoing coverage at the Las Vegas Review Journal:

    • Jay says:

      Considering Bundy’s disdain for the US government, I think we ought to take up a pool and purchase him a one-way ticket to Somalia, the land of no government where he can do whatever the $&%! he wants. A few days of lawlessness over there and I bet he cries like a baby to come back home.

  12. jereading says:

    Would someone like to elaborate on the latest rumors about BLM undertaking all of this brouhaha in order to ready the land for fracking? I am only seeing references to this “developing story” on the right wing rags and looking for confirmation as to the validity of the information.

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      I have never heard of fracking for the area, but instead on a happier note, there is support for a Gold Butte recreation area or maybe even national monument. The Virgin Mountains to the southeast of Mesquite are a scenic and rugged range. Some of Bundy’s cattle are apparently holed up in them, one of the reasons roundup is slow and expensive. THe Gold Butte area would be in the Virgin Mountains.

      See the Friends of Gold Butte

      • Jake Jenson says:

        BLM sells 29 oil, gas leases in northeast Nevada

        • Ralph Maughan says:

          Jake Jenson,

          I don’t know if your link is for general interest or not. But if it is meant to be about the cattle roundup near Mesquite, Nevada, they are as far apart as they could be in Nevada. Mesquite and Bunkerville are deep in southern Nevada and adjacent to Arizona and very close to Utah. Northeast Nevada (actually the article says near Elko) is hundreds of miles to the north, not too far from the Idaho/Oregon border.

          • Jake Jenson says:

            I Don’t trust the BLM anymore than you do.

            • Ralph Maughan says:

              Jake Jenson,

              I am trying to make clear the geography of these events for folks.

              It is apparent that as many people read about this they don’t literally don’t know the territory. That makes them open to some misconceptions. For example, I have read that now some are saying that the cattle are being removed to make way for development of precious metals. Gold Butte, they should note, is an old mining area.

  13. jon says:

    I support the BLM 100%. They should throw this rancher in prison where he belongs.

  14. WM says:

    A little local news coverage from Las Vegas Arpril 10.

    This issue has all the right elements for the wackos and the paranoid types to rally. A ham-handed federal government going after the little guy (never mind the lawsuits Bundy lost an the court ordered round-up); armed law enforcement with mean K-9 dogs, some officers/FBI(?) with swat gear, helicopters, the taking of private property (the cows),…. and most of all news coverage.

    More “concerned” Americans coming in – armed – from places like MT (see the guy in the video- and this guy is armed to the teeth), with predictions/assurances more are on their way.

    Let’s hope BLM and their “helpers” get it right, and nobody gets hurt. And, let’s also hope we are fully reimbursed for ALL taxpayer costs for the round-up, and Bundy’s free so far, grazing fee obligations for the past 20 years – that must be around $100-150K alone.

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      See my story today, WM

      • WM says:

        Yes, very much on point, Ralph.

        And, in my comment, I forgot to mention the ESA aspect with the tortoises. Even more leverage for the opposition folks. I don’t watch cable TV (well any TV, mostly). I happened to be in a business establishment that had FOX Business channel on. Of course after the “news” anchor slanted lead-in a tea party retired federal judge weighed in on the ESA and the tortoise vs. cows, as one catalyst for this confrontation.

        Now the word is state legislators from other Western states want to use the Bundy ranch pulpit as a forum for their opposition to the federal government – looks like it has all the trappings of a tea party party.

        Sad part is the details and the due process in the federal Court to date makes no difference to ANYONE who has an agenda to mix up the facts or advance a political view. I think BLM should have posted huge signs at the entrance points to the area, required news media to take photos or videos of the signs and air them with the other crap. The media is stirring the pot for its own ends and does not care about objectivity of any sort.

        IMHO, BLM needs to go on the PR offensive, with handouts and signs in an effort to diffuse some of this purposeful misinformation crap.

        • WM says:

          Good example in this new video April 10, from the same LV TV station – CBS affiliate, I believe.

          This involves two trespassers who were detained, and in closing a statement from NV Governor Sandoval(R). He could have said, but did not, in his written statement that BLM officers are carrying out the Bundy cattle removal pursuant to federal court orders, and these trespassers were allegedly interfering with the effort. He did not, and just used some mealy mouthed non-committal spin statement so as not to offend his voter base.

        • topher says:

          I find it disturbing that you think the BLM should require the media to do anything.

          • topher says:

            Should we also let the BLM dictate content for the press when we don’t agree with their policies and procedures, or only the rare occasions that we do?

          • WM says:


            So, you think only the pro-Bundy side of the story should be told, because that seems to be what is happening in sound bites? Why is that? Well, news media are in the business of making money just like any other corporation. They don’t want to tell stories objectively because objective stories are boring; they want to increase viewership, so their sponsors get exposure (and pay more to advertise with them).

            Do you see a problem in which the BLM does some PR on its own behalf stating only what the Court requires them to do to meet the content of the Order?

            This is, of course, the government speaking for the government, due process of the courts, and carrying out the “will of the people” so to speak by enforcing the law (the ESA, Taylor Grazing Act, NEPA, FLPMA).

            • topher says:

              The fact that the news does not cover news is not news. I have no problem with the BLM doing some PR.I also happen to agree with what the BLM is doing in this situation but I don’t think the “will of the people” includes government agencies determining what constitutes news. The only reason I pointed it out is because I surprised to see it coming from you.

              • topher says:


              • Ralph Maughan says:

                I just got an email that I will share. “Imagine if these people were Buffalo Field Campaign protesters.  They would be thrown to the ground and gravel would have been smashed into their forehead.”

              • WM says:

                Not to worry, topher, just trying to stimulate a little thought about how unbalanced (and patently unfair) the playing field is, and why. It allowed for a retort about corporate media spin and why they do it.

                The other disturbing part is that unorganized participants in a “group think” gathering against the gov’ment’ do some pretty stupid stuff, just as what is shown in those videos, egged on by others trying to document it. And, unfortunately, there are others just dumb enough to believe what they see, without considering context or the possibility of editing.

            • wolf moderate says:

              Where are the following in this?
              Rachel maddow
              All other MSNBC pundits
              David letterman
              Jon daily
              Stephen Colbert
              Anderson cooper
              And all the other liberal media types?

              Perhaps they don’t care about anything other than ramming socialized medical and lgbt issues through to there audience?

              So conservative has decided to take issue with feds swooping in armed because of some cows grazing where they supposedly shouldn’t be. So what. That’s there choose. If liberals decide not to argue the issue, then perhaps BLM is in the wrong

              Good on conservatives for bringing this to attention nationwide! If some of you are so sure that Bundy is in the wrong and the BLM in the right, then celebrate. This issue will blow up in the conservatives face…though I doubt that will happen.

              • wolf moderate says:

                Sorry for typos. I’m on cell.

              • Theo Chu says:

                “….where they supposedly shouldn’t be”? Are you serious? This has been totally reviewed by the court and it found they are definitely where they shouldn’t be and have been there for years ripping off the taxpayers. People concerned about the health of the land, both liberal and conservative, want these trespass cattle removed. Lastly what the hell do “socialized medical and lgbt issues” have to do with this anyway? Amazing.

              • Immer Treue says:


                Ignore him.

              • wolf moderate says:

                My point is that the liberal media outlets aren’t covering this issue and conservative outlets are.

              • wolf moderate says:

                It is an issue of priorities. Liberals in the media use there time to discuss agendas other than cliven Bundy. Not saying that the MSNBC’s of the country are wrong, but I am saying its silly to cry could because conservatives have taken issue with this.

                I was watching MSNBC this morning. They were discussing inequality issues, nothing of the bundy mess. That is there choice.

    • Louise Kane says:

      well stated WM

  15. Mike says:

    These kinds of stories sure get the gun nuts riled up. This is what they’ve been waiting for. Prairie dogs and traffic signs just get old.

  16. wolf moderate says:

    Oh ya Bundy is on Hannity for a full hour! I think 2pm MST

  17. Ralph Maughan says:

    BLM NV is also taking comments by email:

    BLM also has a Facebook page where comments are happening.

    • Theo Chu says:

      I have emailed BLM, Sec Jewell and Obama asking them to back their employees to the hilt. Backing down is not an option at this point and will only embolden these militia types in the future. They will become a bigger danger to all of us if they win here.

  18. Nancy says:

    Interesting to note that when BLM opens up public lands to big oil and mining, no complaint from this part of society, jobs baby, jobs but, make an effort to save a fragile enviornment (not to mention everyone one who’s had to put up with Bundy’s cattle for years) and all hell breaks loose.

    • Jake Jenson says:

      We should all have one thing in common out of all of our disagreements. And it should be to stop fracking.

      • Nancy says:

        I agree JJ but money talks and that’s how the game is played in too amy parts of the country when it comes to fracking.

  19. Ida Lupines says:

    The other disturbing part is that unorganized participants in a “group think” gathering against the gov’ment’ do some pretty stupid stuff, just as what is shown in those videos, egged on by others trying to document it. And, unfortunately, there are others just dumb enough to believe what they see, without considering context or the possibility of editing.

    Which side are we talking about? It seems both are guilty of groupthink and believing just about anything because a whatever party they’ve pledged unwavering allegiance to said it. I find what were my fellow usually like-minded Democrats frustratingly guilty of mindless following and suspended disbelief. Although I know it is extreme, I think I now finally understand the second amendment.

    I was surprised when I’ve been following this story – Mr. Bundy is not at all what I thought he would be. He seems like a nice man with a beautiful family on his website. I know he appears to be in the wrong, but the BLM sure let it go on long enough without addressing it – like 20 years?

    I just hope things can be worked out before anyone on either side gets hurt.

    • rich says:


      The Cliven Bundy family you praise is actually quite large with 14 children. That is not my idea of a “beautiful family”. If everyone had 14 children, Malthus would be spot on long ago. The earth really is finite and it is a long road trip to Mars. Perhaps Cliven feels he deserves free access to our public land to feed his family.

  20. Mark L says:

    Ha. This ain’t about the 2nd amendment, or even an ecosystem, its about an ‘egosystem’….his. Had he just paid fees, maybe none of this would take place. He brought that sh/t on himself. No sympathy here.

  21. Larry Zuckerman says:

    Looks like the cattle roundup has been stopped!

    • cobackcountry says:

      They let the cattle go when armed protestors approached. They should all be arrested for obstruction and intimidation of a government official. Let them sit in a jail. I’d pay extra taxes for that!

      • wolf moderate says:

        I’d psy extra in taxes to have the BLB employees fired! One is my friend by the way.

        • cobackcountry says:

          Wolf Moderate,

          I’d say one of the biggest problems we have with resource management and law in this country is a lack of enforcement of policies. We can’t ascertain the success of a law if we never enforce it. I’d agree, duties were shirked.

  22. cobackcountry says:

    If this type of tantrum tactic works, perhaps the BFC could use myself and others standing armed and united in protest?
    I am beginning to question if dealing in legalities on wildlife or resource issues is worth the effort? It would seem you need only have armed friends to get what you want. I am disgusted and quickly losing faith in this government. I most certainly see why we are globally perceived as a country that uses force to get their way. These people are not acting like Americans, true Americans embrace the ideals of a democracy….this type of behavior is more suited to regimes that rule by force.

  23. cobackcountry says:

    I read a post online that said Clive the Squatter made a deal to get the cows back. Anyone else know if this is true?

  24. Circe Herbivora says:

    Hi! The link to the Bureau of Land Management list of negative impacts isn’t working. Do you have another one? I’d really like to see that! (Thank you, Mr. Maughan!)

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      Circe Herbivora,

      We know they aren’t working. THe BLM took them down. We have been talking about the fact. I thought it was a shocking list of how Bundy had not just kept illegal cattle, but damaged the private property of others as well as municipal property. I wish I had copied the list rather than relying on a URL.

      • Circe Herbivora says:

        Oh, rats! Okay….hm. I’ll see if maybe the words come up anywhere else? Maybe somebody else DID copy them!
        Thank you anyway. These things happen!


April 2014


‎"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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