Bureau of Land Management investigates a new Bundy ranch project

During his 2017 trial for charges stemming from an armed standoff with the Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service near Bunkerville, Nevada, rancher Ryan Bundy described a Western United States built by rugged individualists like himself despite heavy-handed federal interference. His speech to the jury lasted over an hour and evoked longstanding tensions dating back to the 1970s, when the Sagebrush Rebellion emerged as a vocal opponent of federal management of public lands. The case ended in a mistrial, though the Justice Department is seeking to retry the Bundy family over the standoff.

Now, the BLM is investigating Ryan Bundy’s alleged illegal irrigation construction on the Gold Butte National Monument, the same land where he and his family have unlawfully grazed cattle for years.

A group of local hikers who visited the 300,000-acre monument in southeastern Nevada in mid-April first reported the incident to BLM. The four-page complaint includes GPS coordinates of new irrigation trenches, as well as photos of equipment used to lay irrigation pipe, including a tractor.

The missive concludes with a suggestion that Bundy is likely using the system for additional cattle watering troughs in the area and will increase the number of livestock that the Bundy clan illegally grazes in the region.

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