The dispute at the "Bundy Ranch" arose because Cliven Bundy had been grazing his cattle on 158,000 acres of public land without a permit. The history of the dispute is explained here by Alan O'Neill, former superintendent of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2014/apr/06/rancher-land-dispute-bully-not-hero/ The cause has been promoted by some libertarian activists who see the BLM's enforcement of the law as a heavy handed abuse of power. They feel that because Bundy is using the land, and nobody else is, then he should be free to do so (and presumably without paying any fees). They feel that requiring him to pay his back fees and reduce his grazing herd to the mandated size, is illegal and unconstitutional, despite the courts' interpretation of this. Bundy's daughter Shiree Bundy Cox explains their rationale here: http://theconservativetreehouse.com/2014/04/09/the-tinderbox-bundy-ranch-in-clarke-county-nevada/ There are some disturbing undercurrents here. It's almost as if the anti-fed movement actually wants another Waco, or Ruby Ridge, so they can use it as some kind of rallying cry for revolution. See some comments on the Las Vegas Sun article: Waco and Ruby Ridge are events enshrined in the Patriot/Libertarian/Militia movements - where the Feds are the unredeemable villains, and the people they were coming to arrest were simple heros who did nothing wrong. This is how they are also trying to portray the situation with Cliven Bundy at Gold Butte. But it seems like even this "Simple Rancher vs. Big Government" argument is not enough, and now the story is being re-framed as "Simple Rancher vs. Corrupt BLM in league with Big Oil and Facking" - with the story being that the BLM want Bundy off the land, so they can sell Fracking leases, so they can then given themselves pay rises. An example of this story is here: http://www.naturalnews.com/044670_blm_lies_fracking_leases_bundy_ranch.html Here are the problems with this story: The BLM already has the land. They don't need to get rid of Bundy in order to grant oil leases. He's already, in the eyes of the law, gone since he stopped paying for his permit in 1993. And even if he was still there, his rights to graze on the land would not affect oil leases in any way. Invoking a reptile will not help. As having an endangered species present will affect the ability to give oil exploration leases as much as it helps reduce the number of cattle grazing. And remember this is a dispute that dates back to 1993. It's not like the BLM just suddenly played the tortoise card. The Tortoise was the cause of the original dispute 20 years ago. He's not being evicted for the tortoise, he's having his cattle removed because he has not paid a grazing fee for 20 years. The article claims the money collected by the BLM will increase BLM salaries and bonuses. But BLM, being a federal agency, has fixed tiered salaries paid under the General Schedule, and does not give bonuses for selling oil rights. Those monies just go to the treasury. http://www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/resources/Jobs/benefits.html http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/energy/oil_and_gas/questions_and_answers.html The $1.27 million mentioned in the article is for an entirely different area of Nevada. Near the town of Wells in Elk County in the North West on Nevada (Gold Butte is in the South West). And as already noted, the BLM does not get the money. The ruling against Bundy from 2013 is attached Here are the regions under discussion. Note the actual Bundy Ranch is the small green square. Just 160 acres. The grazing area (which is all public land) is nearly 1,000 times as large at 158,000 acres. The red outline shows the area of public land he originally had leased grazing rights to, but lost in the 1990s. The black shaded areas are regions he never had grazing rights to, but the BLM claims he's been grazing cattle illegally there too. And again, what he actually owns is just the area indicated by the green square. This is from the attached file "Bundy Document 19-2.pdf", which contains more details about the case, and is quite fascinating reading. Other related court documents are also attached.