I guess there are a few things that should be cleared up for you..first, the government land in question has always been used to grazr cattle. Thats how blm land works- its open range granted to the government by the state to ensure it can be used. Typically, several people graze their cattle on blm lands and they have two round ups a year to brand their calfs and take market cattle out. Litterally think old wild west eith modern tools.
Next, this guy and his family has used this specific land for this specific purpoee since before the state was a state. What changed was the feds demanded he cull his heard so water rights can benifit farmers in California. Some people claim there is a connection to a solar plant that just went up about 30 miles away. Next, a 1975 or 76 law waa supposed to deed the land back to the states but this plot had been skipped. He paid his fees for the use of the land except he paid it to the state instead because the feds wouldn't accept the amount over the set number of cattle they demanded he reduce the herd to.
The only unfair advantage this guy got was due to not letting the feds dictate the terms of his making a living. You can argue if that is or is not an advantage but the change of rules and quotas is a bit arbitrary and shouldn't be made by the government.
You did hit up a good point. Farmers in a libersl state do greese yhe pockets of ppliticians where ranchers likely do not. If the reason of the day is true, someone chose to send water to another state verses keeping it in state and being used how it traditionally has been.