Bureau of Land Management investigates a new Bundy ranch project

Ryan Bundy is allegedly building irrigation structures in Gold Butte National Monument.


Gold Butte National Monument, Nevada, where the Bundy family has unlawfully grazed cattle for years. Now Ryan Bundy is under investigation for an illegal irrigation construction on the monument land.

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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 (“How Ryan Bundy sees the West,” 11/20/17). The case ended in a mistrial, though the Justice Department is seeking to retry the Bundy family over the standoff. 

In mid-May, E&E News reported that 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 hikers filed a complaint after seeing Bundy drive a truck carrying large reels of sprinkler line into the area.

Kalen Goodluck is an editorial fellow at High Country News. Email him at [email protected]g or submit a letter to the editor.

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