For Immediate Release, February 26, 2015
Contact: Randi Spivak, (310) 779-4894, firstname.lastname@example.org
Year After Standoff Over Nevada Cattle Trespass,
Questions Remain About Unpaid Fees, Prosecution
WASHINGTON— The Center for Biological Diversity sent a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Attorney General Eric Holder today formally requesting a public update by April 5 on the status of the case against Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, whose livestock trespass on public lands led to a standoff last year after the Bureau of Land Management’s failed attempt to round up livestock.
Although it’s been nearly a year since the BLM attempted to end Bundy’s illegal livestock grazing in Clark County, Nev., his livestock continue to trespass on publicly owned land and more than $1 million in fees owed to the U.S. Treasury by Bundy remain uncollected.
“The American people deserve to know what, if anything, is going to happen with these cattle that continue to trespass on public land and whether taxpayers can expect to see any of the money that’s owed in unpaid fees,” said Randi Spivak, director of the public lands program at the Center, who signed today’s letter.
Today’s letter notes that in July, federal officials said they would work through the courts to resolve these issues, but there has been no reported progress. “The silence of the federal government has been both deafening and deeply troubling,” the letter says.
The letter further states that: “Bundy’s illegal actions have emboldened other anti-government and anti-environment agitators who oppose the very existence of public lands. Each new violation of federal rules fuels the movement to undermine the protection of our public lands, whether it’s threats against federal employees, illegal ATV rides into Recapture Canyon, a BLM site in Utah that is home to American Indian ancestral villages and sacred places, or Idaho gold miners suction dredging the Salmon River in clear violation of the law.”
Bundy first violated the law in 1993 by refusing to obtain the required permit for grazing on public lands. The Center is calling on the federal government to fulfill its constitutional and statutory obligations to own and manage federal public lands that safeguard precious wildlife, waters and recreation opportunities held in trust for this and future generations.
“When will the federal government bring Bundy to justice?” asks the letter. “The American people are waiting.”
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 825,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.