Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, January 24, 2019

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

New Nevada Court Action Would End Bundy Effort to Seize Public Lands

LAS VEGAS— The Center for Biological Diversity filed a new motion today to dismiss Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s lawsuit, which aims to have all federal public land in Nevada — more than 58 million acres — turned over to the state.

The Center’s motion, filed in the 8th Judicial District Court in Las Vegas, says courts have rejected Bundy’s claims numerous times and this latest lawsuit is no different. In December the court granted the Center’s motion to intervene in the case.

“Bundy’s incomprehensible legal filings are laughable, but he’s dead serious about wanting to seize public lands,” said Kierán Suckling, the Center’s executive director. “He’s been trying to intimidate federal agencies and public lands lovers for years. It’s outrageous, and he needs to be shut down once and for all.”

Bundy and his sympathizers believe the federal government lacks constitutional authority to own and manage federal public lands. His claims have been rejected by numerous federal courts, including rulings issued in response to filings by Bundy himself.

Federal courts ruled in 1998 and in 2013 that Bundy or the Bureau of Land Management must round up hundreds of livestock illegally roaming 750,000 acres near the Nevada-Arizona line. Much of the land Bundy illegally grazes on is now protected as Gold Butte National Monument. Bundy owes more than $1 million in grazing fees and penalties, according to federal officials.

Bundy’s decades of illegal livestock grazing led to a dangerous standoff in 2014. When federal authorities attempted to remove his cows, Bundy and his sons organized armed militia members and intimidated the government into halting the operation. In January 2018 a federal judge dismissed all charges against Bundy and his sons related to the Bunkerville standoff.

In Bundy’s latest suit, he seeks to have public lands, including national parks and monuments, transferred to the state of Nevada.

“Bundy and his fanatical followers have shown that they’re willing to commandeer public lands that belong to everyone,” said Suckling. “Bundy’s been flouting the law for years, and he ought to pay what he owes to the American people rather than ginning up more ridiculous lawsuits.”

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.4 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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