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Judge: Nevada Rancher’s Son Must Pay $587K, Remove Cattle

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Judge: Nevada Rancher’s Son Must Pay $587K, Remove Cattle

Associated Press reports:

A Nevada rancher whose father led a decades-long fight with the U.S. government over grazing and property rights has been ordered to pay $587,000 and remove any livestock he has on federal lands by the end of the month.

Wayne N. Hage is the son of cattleman and longtime Sagebrush Rebellion figure Wayne Hage, who died in 2006.

Chief U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro in Las Vegas says he also has to show by mid-April that he has complied.

Hage tells the Las Vegas Review-Journal he doesn’t have livestock on the range in question.

He declined to say if he can pay the judgment fees and penalties.

The Hage family battle over property in Nye County preceded the fight involving federal agencies and rancher Cliven Bundy, and an armed standoff in April 2014 near Bunkerville.

Source:  Associated Press

Additional Information:  In 2013,  the Nevada U.S. District Judge Robert Clive Jones  ruled that the Hages, because they had the right to use water from nearby streams, also had an easement — a right to bring their cattle across public lands, and let them graze, within a reasonable distance of the water, which he defined as a half mile. The judge dismissed all the trespassing claims except two, awarded the government $165.88 in damages, and ordered federal agencies to issue grazing permits to the family.

This was overturned by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2016 who wrote in their ruling that “An owner of water rights — like all other persons — may graze cattle on federal lands only if he or she has obtained a grazing permit or other grazing authorization.  Water rights are irrelevant to that basic requirement.”

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Source:  SFGate

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