Fight Over Federal Land Heads To Carson City


Cliven Bundy

Cliven Bundy headed to Carson City to show support for bill that would stop the federal government from owning and managing Nevada land without legislative approval.

Nearly a year after the very public fight between Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and the Bureau of Land Management, Bundy will be going to Carson City to talk to the Legislature about federal control of land in Nevada.

Bundy and his family are going to be at a hearing Tuesday concerning Assembly Bill 408, which would prohibit the federal government from owning or managing lands it did not acquire without the consent of the Legislature. It would also strip the federal government of state water rights and allow county commissions to parcel out state land for industry use.

The bill is proposed by Assemblywoman Michele Fiore, R-Las Vegas.

Bundy told KNPR’s State of Nevada that the State Legislature overrides the federal government in land ownership and management. 

As an example, he said the BLM has 2,700 livestock water rights registered in the state.

“How in the heck does the federal government have business dealing with our resources?” Bundy said.

Although the federal control of land in Nevada is codified in the Nevada State Constitution, Bundy doesn’t believe the bill is attempting to change the constitution.

“We people said we own the land and the constitution says we own the land…tomorrow all we’re going to strengthen Nevada law,” Bundy said.

Support comes from

Last April, Bundy and supporters faced off with the BLM in a confrontation over cattle the bureau said were illegally grazing on federal land. Bundy maintained he has ancestral rights to the land and that he didn’t have to pay grazing fees.

The fight eventually led to some heated moments between agents and armed militia members who came from around the country to stand with Bundy.

In the end, the BLM released the cattle back to Bundy.

However, the incident highlighted the tension between states’ rights supporters and the federal government. 


Cliven Bundy, rancher

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