Protect Desert Tortoises from Illegal Ranching


Target: Neil Kornze, Director of the Bureau of Land Management

Goal: Don’t let rancher Cliven Bundy get away with illegally damaging sensitive public lands and stealing public funds

The desert tortoise in an endangered species found only in the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. Desert Tortoises can live up to 80 years in the wild, and as with most long-lived creatures, they grow slowly and have low reproductive rates. The tortoise was listed as threatened in 1989, primarily due to habitat destruction from intensive livestock grazing and off-road vehicle recreation. In some areas, human development has already diminished the tortoise population by 90%.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) took preliminary steps to protect the tortoise in 1993, by purchasing grazing privileges from ranchers on public lands in Nevada that were designated as protected tortoise habitat. Rancher Cliven Bundy has been flouting the law ever since, illegally grazing his cattle on federal lands and refusing to pay any of his dues or fines. In 2013, the BLM finally obtained a court order demanding that Bundy remove his cattle from all public lands. When this led to an armed showdown with federal agents attempting to confiscate the illegal livestock, the BLM backed down, and Bundy continues to openly steal from the American public.

It is imperative that the federal government not tolerate this blatant disregard for the rule of law. The BLM must enforce the will of American taxpayers, and recover the approximately $1 million that Bundy owes for his illegal exploitation of public resources. Failure to do so will set a dangerous precedent for others who feel that they are above the law and that their greed matters more than habitat conservation or responsible resource use. Sign the petition below to encourage the BLM to hold Cliven Bundy accountable.


Dear Mr. Kornze,

The Bureau of Land Management’s stated mission is “to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations”. This mandate includes ensuring responsible use of public resources and the conservation of threatened species.

Cliven Bundy has been exploiting our shared resources and endangering protected species for over 20 years, and it is past time that he pay his dues to society. His continued impunity not only threatens the Desert Tortoise, it opens the door for other illegal users and punishes those who have followed the rules. His illegal use of force against public employees should not be tolerated, and the BLM must not allow him to get away with stealing from the public and degrading federal lands.
I urge you not to let Cliven Bundy stop the BLM from fulfilling its important mission.


[Your Name Here]

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One Comment

  1. paula eaton says:

    It is not just this one rancher that exploits the public lands. The cattle ranchers and livestock industry are guilty of destroying the environment, having horses and burros removed and sent to holding pens and sent to slaughter, wolves and other wildlife being killed. The BLM needs to do its job and protect wildlife and the land, stop catering to the ranchers.

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