Out of 16,000 ranchers who graze cattle on property managed by the federal Bureau of Land Management, only one reportedly owes more money in late grazing fees than all the others combined — Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy.
Data from the Bureau of Land Management shows that Bundy owes over $1 million to the federal government for grazing fees he’s refused to pay since 1993 combined with separate trespassing fees he began accruing in 1998, Environment & Energy Publishing reported Wednesday.
That’s significantly more than what 458 other ranchers owe in late grazing bills, which totals up to to $237,000 combined, according to the agency’s data. The BLM didn’t indicate how many ranchers owed trespassing fees, however.
Bundy won a tense standoff with the BLM in April when he refused to remove his cattle from federal property, citing his family’s claim to the land dating back to 1877, and rallied militiamen to his ranch to protect his claim. Court records obtained by local TV station KLAS later shed doubt on Bundy’s land rights.
The bulk of Bundy’s unpaid fees likely come from trespassing, E&E reported. The standard grazing fees on BLM lands are just $1.35 per cow per month, while a 1998 court order required Bundy to pay a whopping trespass fee of $200 per month per cow. That was later modified to $46 per day that Bundy’s livestock continued to graze on federal lands.