Bundy warns he will 'walk towards guns' if Biden tries to collect 28 years of unpaid grazing fees
Remember Cliven Bundy, the stubborn Nevada rancher whose decades-long refusal to pay grazing fees for cattle he runs on federal land led to a 2014 armed stand-off at his family ranch and in 2016, another armed stand-off led by his son Ammon Bundy in the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge? The latter had been home to the indigenous Moapa Paiute until they were forced out at gunpoint off in the 1870s. The elder Bundy claims ancestral rights to that land because of his libertarian views and, he claims, because his ancestors came on The Mayflower. Bundy wound up in pre-trial detention for 18 months over the 2014 stand-off, but because of prosecutorial misconduct, he was released and his case adjudged a mistrial. New charges weren’t filed. He and his large family continue to run cattle on federal land without paying the modest grazing fees. By 2014, 21 years after he began refusing to pay for this use of public land, the back fees had accumulated to more than $1 million. Currently, 24,000 permit holders are charged $1.35 per animal per month for grazing—a very good deal. But not as good as Bundy’s steal.
Now the 74-year-old rancher has advice for President-elect Joe Biden’s administration: It better not come trying to collect those unpaid fees, because he and his militant supporters are willing to «walk towards guns» again if that happens. While the new administration has more than a full platter of priorities to deal with when it comes into office Wednesday, some environmental advocates hope that action is taken to stop this scofflaw.