The BLM offers a ten-year grazing permit to Bundy, written to alleviate the impact of his cattle on the endangered desert tortoise habitat by capping his allowance of grazing cattle to 150 head. Bundy refuses to accept the permit and continues to graze his cattle on the Bunkerville allotment, which by now consists of over 10,486 acres of National Park Service land at the northern end of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. He also stops paying his federal grazing fees (approximately $2/head) in what he calls a “protest” against the permit. The Washington Post reports,
Cliven Bundy, whose family homesteaded his ranch in 1877 and who accuses the government of a “land grab,” are digging in for a fight and say they will not willingly sell their grazing privileges to create another preserve.