Drought deniers drew drought dollars

Nevada ranchers have been collecting drought relief payments while attacking federal officials for saying there is a drought, according to an investigative reporting site.

Last June, ranchers in Lander County drove cattle onto public lands that had been closed because of the drought. The Bureau of Land Management, which administers the land, and caves in almost as often as the Democratic Party, retreated and agreed to reopen the range.

Reveal, a site of the Center for Investigative reporting, said the payment program is for ranchers who say they have been damaged by drought:

“According to records obtained by Reveal, two ranching families at the center of the Battle Mountain protests received $2.2 million from a federal drought disaster relief program.

“Dan Filippini, the protest leader who turned hundreds of cattle loose on the closed range, was paid $338,000 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Livestock Forage Disaster Program in 2014, records show.

“Another $750,000 federal payout went to a trust and corporation associated with the Filippini family, which long has been active in ranching in Nevada.

“Meanwhile, significant payments also went to the family of Battle Mountain cattleman Peter Tomera, who with his wife and sons rode on the Grass March Cowboy Express, a 2014 horseback ride to Washington, D.C., to protest the government drought restrictions. The records show that the government paid $250,000 to a Tomera family trust and another $360,000 to a family corporation.

“An additional $540,000 was paid to other members of the extended Tomera family and to a related corporation, records show.”