Monday, May 18, 2020

Bundy's trenches may force confrontation with BLM

Jennifer Yachnin

The Bureau of Land Management is investigating whether Nevada rancher Ryan Bundy illegally built new irrigation infrastructure across Gold Butte National Monument, the same area where his family unlawfully grazes cattle on public lands. A BLM official declined to comment on the allegations to E&E News but wrote emails to two individuals familiar with the situation that it is "under investigation" as of last week. In an email to E&E News, Ryan Bundy said he was unaware of BLM's inquiry into his irrigation efforts. 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, a copy of which was provided to E&E News, includes GPS coordinates of new irrigation trenches, as well as photos of equipment used to lay irrigation pipe, including a tractor...One of the individuals who filed the complaint spoke with E&E News on the condition of anonymity. The individual said that the hikers crossed paths with Ryan Bundy as he drove a flatbed truck carrying several reels of sprinkler line used for irrigation projects. 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...All three Bundys and Montana resident Ryan Payne faced trial in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada on those charges in 2017, but the case resulted in a mistrial after Chief Judge Gloria Navarro found that the government had withheld key information from defendants. The Justice Department is seeking a new trial for the Bundys and Payne. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is set to hear arguments in that case on May 29 in San Francisco...MORE

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