The long and winding saga of the fight between Nevada ranchers Wayne and Jean Hage and the U.S. Forest Service appears to be over. This week, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims released a decision in the case that, while it didn’t award the estates of the two ranchers everything they asked for, did grant them compensation for part of the “takings” they accused the Forest Service of doing.
In 1991, the Hages sued the Forest Service over actions surrounding the cancellation of their grazing permits. In this week’s decision, the fifth court action in the case, the court found that the Forest Service’s impoundment and sale of cattle was not a taking and denied their claim for compensation. However, the court found the Forest Service did engage in takings regarding certain water rights and improvements, and awarded the estates of Wayne and Jean Hage a total of $4.2 million, plus interest and attorney’s fees and costs.