Cliven Bundy isn’t the only rancher who fails to pay his bills. According to a recent Bureau of Land Management report, of the approximately 16,000 ranchers who graze their cattle on public land, 458 have late grazing bills. However, when it comes to the value of nonpayment, Bundy blows them all out of the water.
The 457 other ranchers have late grazing bills totaling $237,000 — a drop in the bucket compared to the roughly $1.1 million owed by Bundy. While Bundy may owe grazing fees dating back to 1993 and may consider himself a representative of the “People,” less than 1% of the others have bills that are more than two months past due.
“We have good relationships with our permittees,” said BLM spokesman Craig Leff. “By far, the vast majority pay their bills on time.”
Recently, Cliven bundy and his domestic terrorist friends attempted to initiate a new civil war over Bundy’s refusal to comply with multiple court orders that he remove his cattle from the land, his reticence to pay his grazing fees, and “states’ rights.” While the Nevada state Constitution explicitly grants the federal government authority over the public land on which Bundy illegally grazes his cattle, Bundy and friends consider themselves above the law, and even refuse to acknowledge this fact.
It is likely that a sizeable portion of Bundy’s debt is from trespass fees. In 1998, the deadbeat rancher was ordered to pay $200 per month per each cow he continued to illegally graze on the land. This was later modified to $36 per day. Standard grazing fees on BLM lands are just $1.35 per month.
h/t: Talking Points Memo