Feds Fine Pinedale Man $15K For Unlawful Grazing Operation
A Wyoming man was ordered to pay $15,000 in fines for unlawful grazing.
The US Attorney's Office on Wednesday announced that 67-year-old Pinedale resident Philip Selby pleaded guilty last month for providing false information to a forest officer, allowing unauthorized livestock on national forest land and violating the terms and conditions of a grazing permit.
According to the announcement, an investigation revealed that a suspect in California shipped livestock to the Rendezvous Ranch in Pinedale. Investigators with the forest service reportedly uncovered information indicating a significant number of illegally rebranded cattle had been moved to the national forest.
The statement says the ranch's grazing permit only allowed it to graze cattle that it owned on USFS land. Further, according to the announcement, the investigation revealed that Selby — who was at the time the manager of the ranch — acknowledged the terms of the grazing permit.
Investigators reportedly obtained records that revealed multiple payments issued from the California ranch to Selby even though the ranch legally owned no cattle.
Numerous head of cattle were reportedly shipped to the Rendezvous Ranch and illegally rebranded, giving the appearance of a legitimate transfer, the announcement states.
"The cattle were seized by the state in the fall of 2017, at which time Selby signed an affidavit disavowing ownership of approximately 307 head," the statement reads.
Said US Attorney Bob Murray: "The United State's Attorney's Office, along with our law enforcement partners, remains committed to the protection of rangeland resources and upholding the integrity of the livestock industry in Wyoming."
Investigating agencies included the US Forest Service with assistance from the Tulare County (California) Sheriff's Office and the Wyoming Livestock Board.