ELKO -- Ruby Valley rancher Cliff Gardner will return to Reno Monday for sentencing on U.S. Forest Service trespassing charges.

This being his second conviction, he may end up serving jail time.

Gardner will appear before U.S. District Judge Howard McKibben on a trespassing charge for grazing his cattle on national forest land without a permit.

McKibben sentenced Gardner on an earlier trespassing charge, ordering him to pay $1,000.

The fine was suspended while he filed an appeal.

Gardner was briefly jailed in November after he walked out of McKibben's courtroom during his trial.

This time, Gardner could be facing a much longer stint behind bars.

"The report from my probation officer is that they have to incarcerate me in order to deter and discourage other people" from fighting federal grazing regulations, he said.

A sentence of 30 days has been suggested.

Meanwhile, another federal court refused to issue an opinion on Gardner's appeal of his first trespassing conviction.

Gardner went before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals last month and argued that Article III courts do not have jurisdiction to interpret or apply the property clause of Article IV in the U.S. Constitution.

"With a wealth of legal learning, Gardner has sought to demonstrate the soundness of his contentions," said a memorandum from the three-judge panel.

"If he were right, it would be a jurisprudential revolution," the judges added.

They said only the Supreme Court "has the power to make such a fundamental readjustment of the law."

The court upheld his conviction, but Gardner said he plans another appeal -- first to a nine-judge Appeals Court panel and then, hopefully, to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The process could take more than a year.

Gardner has been battling with the Forest Service for years over grazing regulations on federal land around his Ruby Valley ranch. He lost his permit in 1994 after allowing his cattle to graze on fire-damaged land prior to the end of a two-year waiting period.

His arguments were rejected by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court refused to hear the case.

Gardner still hasn't lost hope that the nation's highest court will one day hear his interpretation of the Constitution.

"This is encouraging," Gardner said of the court's memorandum.

"As the hearing indicated, the court is recognizing that the questions I have submitted to them are valid and important questions."

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