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The Truth About the Nevada Rancher's Standoff





Nevada Rancher Cliven Bundy is locked in a standoff with the federal Bureau of Land Management over illegal cattle grazing, endangered tortoises and property rights. It gets even better...

The fight involves a 600,000-acre area under BLM control called Gold Butte, near the Utah border. The is the habitat of the protected desert tortoise, and the land has been off-limits for cattle since 1998.

Five years before that, when grazing was legal, Bundy stopped paying federal fees for the right. Bundy stopped paying grazing fees in 1993. He said he didn't have to because his Mormon ancestors worked the land since the 1880s, giving him rights to the land.

"We own this land," he said, not the feds. He said he is willing to pay grazing fees but only to Clark County, not BLM.

"Years ago, I used to have 52 neighboring ranchers," he said. "I'm the last man standing. How come? Because BLM regulated these people off the land and out of business."

Nevada, where various federal agencies manage or control more than 80 percent of the land, is among several Western states where ranchers have challenged federal land ownership.

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