Report: Bundy Owes US Gov’t More Money Than All Other Ranchers Combined

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.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Sincerely,
TPM Staff
Latest Livewire
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: