Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, December 13, 2018

Contact: Kierán Suckling, (520) 275-5960,

Nevada Judge Lets Center for Biological Diversity Challenge Bundy Lawsuit Seeking to Seize Public Land

LAS VEGAS— A Nevada state court judge today granted the Center for Biological Diversity’s motion to challenge a lawsuit filed by rancher Cliven Bundy, who wants to seize more than 58 million acres of publicly owned federal lands, including national parks and monuments. Having granted the Center “intervenor” status in the case, the court can soon consider the Center’s motion to dismiss Bundy’s case.

“Cliven Bundy’s futile, rambling case is based on discredited legal theories. It’s a waste of the court’s time and taxpayer money,” said Kierán Suckling, executive director of the Center. “Bundy already owes more than a million dollars in grazing fees after flouting the law for decades and trashing critical wildlife habitat. I’m pleased the court has allowed us to intervene in this case. Hopefully the next step will be to dismiss it.”

Bundy has illegally grazed cattle for 20 years on about 800,000 acres of public land in Nevada, including lands now protected as Gold Butte National Monument. When federal authorities attempted to remove his cows in 2014, Bundy and his sons organized a dangerous armed standoff and intimidated the government into halting the operation.

Bundy claims the U.S. Constitution forbids the federal government from owning large swaths of land for public use. His assertion has been rejected by the Supreme Court and numerous federal courts, including two rulings issued in response to filings by Bundy himself. His current suit seeks to have the lands transferred to the state of Nevada, which never owned them.

“Cliven Bundy’s extremist movement has violent, racist roots,” said Suckling. “We’ll continue to challenge the Bundys’ fanatical ideology, which threatens our public lands and the fabric of our society.”

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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