Finally, some common sense compromise from the BLM on grazing

Sometimes you just have to call their bluff.

The Bureau of Land Management had for two years denied permission for Badger Ranch owners Dan and Eddyann Filippini to graze cattle on their North Buffalo and Copper Canyon allotments — which is intermingled with the ranch’s privately owned but unfenced land — even though spring rains had allowed the range to recover from the drought.

The 100,000-acre North Buffalo allotment is about 45 percent privately owned and 55 percent controlled by the BLM.

After having to sell cattle and feed hay to others, the Filippinis publicly announced they were turning out nearly a hundred head of cattle during the first week of June despite the BLM’s denial of permits.

“Our cows are tapped out and so are we,” Eddyann Filippini told a reporter. “Badger Ranch has made a stand and these cows are not coming home. If we keep backing down, we lose the ranch.” Two Elko County commissioners helped with the turnout.

The acting BLM State Director John Ruhs, formerly head of the Ely District, said he would not try to stop the release of cattle onto the allotment, and within days the ranchers and the BLM reached a compromise agreement allowing limited grazing under close supervision.

That’s more common sense from the BLM than has been displayed for sometime.

Asked for a comment on the settlement agreement, Nevada Sen. Dean Heller said, “This week, I had the opportunity to meet with the Filippini family. I applaud them and the BLM on their ability to come to an agreement regarding grazing on their North Buffalo allotment. The ranching community has deep roots in Nevada, and it’s always great to see collaboration to continue that rich tradition. I hope more of these types of collaborative agreements become the norm in the Silver State.”

Rep. Mark Amodei, in whose district the ranch lies, said, “BLM Nevada acting State Director John Ruhs continues to demonstrate that he is a fair and talented federal land manger with each passing day.”

The Filippinis agreed to make a settlement for unauthorized grazing and the BLM waived any administrative expenses for investigating and resolving the unauthorized grazing.

Under the agreement the Filippinis will have to promptly remove cattle when grass stubble height in certain riparian areas reaches 4 inches.

Of course, self-styled conservationists screamed like a pig caught under a gate. They call the ranchers scofflaws and describe the range as parched, no matter how high the grass might be. Ken Cole, Idaho Director for Western Watersheds Project, wailed,“The BLM is enabling this kind of behavior by coddling Nevada ranchers who are surely emboldened by the lack of law enforcement within the agency and the lack of a commitment on behalf of our government to protect the public trust – the lands, waters, and wildlife that are already suffering from the drought and will now be further abused by these private cows.”

He is apparently oblivious to the fact that ungrazed range grass dries out in the summer heat and becomes fuel for wildfires that scorch his beloved wildlife, such as greater sage grouse.

We agree with Sen. Heller and Rep. Amodei and call for more compromise from the federal land agencies and less confrontation. — TM


  1. Liberty Shirl says:

    It should have happened much sooner, but I am glad there is some relief for the cattle ranchers!

  2. Theresa thissen says:

    once again Blm folds to ranchers pressure, the cows should be sent to slaughter if you can not feed them ! They will wipe out what little grass there is in no time and wallow in any water destroying anything left!

    • Brenda Love Bennett says:

      Theresa- I agree with you completely. I cannot believe the BLM allowed this to happen.

      • I agree that a lot of the BLM’s problem is that they should stop caving in when the Ranchers say jump and the BLM says how high so they don’t have any problem with ranchers the GOV and the BLM need to come down on the rancher and make them cut there hurds down and Damn well stop tanking the Wild Mustangs range land that has been there home and stop the round ups that separate the family and send a lot to slaughter

  3. Susan White says:

    Get those welfare ranchers off federal land.

  4. The BLM needs to grow a pair of balls and tell the ranchers hell no they cant graze our land and tell them NO MORE ROUNDUPS OF THE WILD MUSTANGS OR ANYOTHER WILD HORSES the BlM is under the thumbs of the RANCHERS and the ranchers would just as soon go shoot our wild mustangs and have the BLM round them up and send them to slaughter and the GOVT needs to send the army or swat in on the ranchers for this mis use of our wild range land

  5. Ranchers must abide by the laws like everyone else does, enough is enough. The western lands, protected animals, and all of the wildlife are losing their habitat to ranchers raising cattle and sheep. More Americans are going vegan, and you will soon all be going out of business! a least one can only hope…. Greed has taken over the western states, remember that this land and the animals that inhabit them on Public land is just that….PUBLIC…..this includes a legacy that can be passed down to generations to come. America’s Wildlife belongs to everyone! not just lessee’s of public land.

    • The Rancher and farmers are getting help from the government and now thy want the whole Wild and open range for them self and no thought for our Wild and beautiful Horses are getting blamed for what the cattle are doing to the range and our wild horses suffer by getting rounded up and sent to the gates of hell waiting there fate of the Ranchers and the government that have no love in there hearts for the Wild one and send them to there death at slaughter the Ranchers need to send there cattle to slaughter and give our wild ones there home back

  6. JoAnna Johnson says:

    Nevada needs to honor the law & protect America’s wild horses. This rancher should send those cows to slaughter. Ranchers & Farmers have all kinds of hand outs and help from the government that Americans subsidize. From all the research I have been doing, the wild Horses once again get to suffer and in the end get blamed for the cattle’s destruction of our grazing lands.

Speak Your Mind