Cliven Bundy is officially the biggest moocher in all of ranching.
Short and ugly:
Private and state grazing fees per AUM per annum, are available information--. If we’re generous and assume rates matched the cheapest private grazing in the Western states…Bundy would pay around $8 per AUM. The BLM under-charges so dramatically that it doesn’t make its costs, and yet any attempt to raise grazing fees causes fury amongst ranchers.
Then again, all of the above is window dressing—this was not a “range war” dispute in Bundy reflected the anger of other ranchers…like the 16,000 that manages to pay their fees on time. This dispute started because Cliven Bundy refused to send money to the federal government, attempting to “pay his debt” to Clark County, who had no jurisdiction. His current million dollar debt is mounting penalty fees for unauthorized grazing, mounting since 1998, since Cliven Bundy will not recognize the federal government of this nation as legitimate.
It’s pathetic that this man has been elevated to a hero, even temporarily., His sovereign citizen lunacy was transparent even before he surrounded himself with armed paranoiacs…his fiscal complaint pants-on-head stupid given the price paid versus the price that could have been demanded. And finally, the money was a distant second to some paleoconservative weltunschaung in which The Government—an amorphous mass encompassing everybody Cliven Bundy didn’t like—wasn’t real.
* “One AUM is the amount of forage required by an animal unit (AU) for one month, or the tenure of one AU for a one-month” period…But how much forage is in one animal
unit month? An animal unit is defined as a mature (1,000-pound) cow or the equivalent, based on an average consumption rate of 26 pounds of forage dry matter per day (Society for Range Management Glossary). That makes an AUM equal to 31 days x 26
pounds per day or about 800 pounds of air-dried forage. More conservative or liberal values are also used, for example 600 to 1,000 pounds of forage per AUM are common values.