In May the Bureau of Land Management announced it had come to a year-long deal with ranchers on the Argenta allotment in the Battle Moutain District to allow grazing.
This came after the district manager told ranchers there would be no grazing this summer due to drought, though independent range consultants said the range was suitable and even needed to be grazed to prevent wildfire.
The agreement was reached after a widespread and well-publicized protest to the BLM’s arbitrary and livelihood-threatening decisions.
Elko County Commissioner Grant Gerber staged what he called a Grass March that highlighted the plight of ranchers and called for the ouster of the district manager.
This week, according to the Elko Daily Free Press, the ranchers were told that half the grazing areas would be closed to grazing and cattle had to be moved in seven days.
“We have 7 days to ride the entire mountain and have the cattle off. We are right in the middle of haying and are forced to drop everything and begin gathering cattle,” the Tomeras wrote in an email to various elected officials. “We are forced to put the cattle in areas that have much less forage than the mountain where they are now. Much of their monitoring reflects only a small portion of the area yet this is what they use to determine the health of the entire area.”
The Tomeras also said their range consultant was denied access to the BLM’s monitoring data. About half the land is privately owned but not fenced off. All the water rights are privately held.