Bryan at Why Now? has a concise summation of the case of Nevada rancher and right-wing anti-government “patriot” Cliven Bundy who refuses to pay grazing fees for his cattle on federal land.
A number of my relatives were/are dairy farmers. If they wanted to expand their herds and needed more grazing land, they had to lease it from private landowners at commercial rates. The grazing fees on Federal land in the West are a pittance compared to what a dairy farmer in the Northeast has to pay. The grazing fees are effectively a subsidy of Western ranchers by the taxpayers.
Bundy is a moocher, making money off of Federal resources, and that has to stop. He is stealing from the ranchers who pay their fees, and from all of the taxpayers. It may be time to reintroduce mountain lions and wolves on Federal lands in Clark County, Nevada.
It was probably wise of the BLM to back off for the sake of avoiding a confrontation with a bunch of Palinized gun nuts: discretion is the better part of chicken. But it never ceases to amuse me how all those brave patriots are really just a bunch of whiny adolescents who refuse to pay their fair share of living here because Freedom! but are the first hogs to the FEMA trough when a flood, a tornado, or some other disaster strikes.