Dumb People

Anti-government ranchers received over $4 million in taxpayer subsidies in 2014

Last June, the ranchers in middle-of-nowhere Battle Mountain, Nevada, stuck it to the federal government by herding cattle onto public rangeland which had been closed to grazing to protect it from the West’s blistering drought. Meanwhile, many of those protesting were collecting drought subsidies.

Last June, the ranchers in middle-of-nowhere Battle Mountain, Nevada, stuck it to the federal government by herding cattle onto public rangeland which had been closed to grazing to protect it from the West’s blistering drought. Meanwhile, many of those protesting were collecting drought subsidies.

This final act of hypocrisy ended two years of rancher protests against the grazing restrictions imposed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which is responsible for thousands of miles of arid federal land in Nevada. The BLM backed down and opened the range.

By claiming that drought regulations were personal attacks, even as they received hefty checks, the Nevada ranchers got their way. According to Revealwho obtained records related to the entire ordeal, two ranching families at the center of the protests received over $2 million in subsidies.

Protest leader Dan Filippini, who set hundreds of cattle loose on the closed range, received roughly $1 million in federal payouts in 2014. Over the course of the same year, in the midst of all these government subsidies based on drought-related business damages, lawyers for the Filippini family stated that “no drought exists” on the Battle Mountain range in an appeal of the BLM’s closure order.

Eddyann Filippini told the Elko Free Daily Press in a letter to the editor that,

“Government agencies that administer grazing have gone rogue. They have shoved their bureaucratic policies down our throats.”

The second highly paid family denying the draught, who rode to D.C. on horseback to protest on the Grass March Cowboy Express in 2014, is the Tomera family. Records show that the government has made three separate payments to Tomera family interests totaling over $1 million. The family called the BLM’s environmental preservation tactics,

“…one of their many tools to restrict grazing or curtail it altogether.”   

The subsidy program compensates ranchers who claim that the drought disaster has caused the price of feed to rise, resulting in financial losses. These families have claimed that the drought disaster has hurt their livelihoods enough to entitle them to reparations, but also that there’s no drought and government restrictions on grazing land are just an attack on their way of life.

All ranchers who received these reparations originally filled out applications proving they were pastured in a county the U.S. Drought Monitor considered negatively effected by the drought.

[Grist.org] Featured image via Flickr

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Kathy Gray

    January 4, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    I knew it! Rich ranchers wanting the government to let their cattle OVER GRAZE Wildlife refuges.

  2. John Abramson

    January 4, 2016 at 11:11 pm

    Welfare ranchers………..

  3. Cathy

    January 5, 2016 at 6:14 am

    For one, this article does not tell the whole story. The land these great ranchers graze on is 90% their OWN PRIVATE land, not a wildlife refuge. These ranches have been in these families for decades. They are able to keep them in the family because they take great pride in THEIR land to not over graze. They themselves have been reducing the number of cattle they put out to graze on their OWN over the last few years. That was initiated by them and not the BLM. By no way are these ranchers rich. When you can’t graze your cattle you need to provide feed for them. Some of these ranches just don’t have cattle. They also grow alfalfa to use for feed. When there is a drought it effects how much feed they are able to grow. They put the money right back into raising these cattle, so there is beef available for consumers to eat. These ranchers have nothing to do with the Bundy extremists. They are a wonderful contribution to our town.

  4. gfranklinpercival

    January 5, 2016 at 7:50 am

    I call them crooks.

  5. John Forehand

    January 5, 2016 at 11:20 am

    Bundy Boys exposed, stuffing they’er pockets while calling African Americans Welfare Queens !!!!!

  6. Steve

    January 5, 2016 at 11:48 am

    those wildlife refuges used to be their private property……..

  7. Muir

    January 5, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    The welfare rancher’s “way of life” is a 19th century obsolescence unworthy of preservation. Let it go!

  8. Tim Hitt

    January 5, 2016 at 7:38 pm

    F,,,ers

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  10. JWS

    January 5, 2016 at 10:32 pm

    They say they want the land transferred to them. I have a better idea…keep the land and transfer these Brokeback cowboys to Leavenworth!!

  11. Pingback: Anti-government ranchers received over $4 million in taxpayer subsidies in 2014 | GarryRogers Nature Conservation

  12. Paul Romans

    January 7, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    these areas used to belong to the Native Americans…

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