Well - it's actually crazier than that.
So there's these ranchers. They've got a shit-ton of land and a shit-ton of cattle, and their shit-ton of land abuts a wildlife refuge. They've gotten in trouble for letting their shit-ton of cattle off of their land, and getting uppity when the BLM tried to put up a fence to keep their shit-ton of cattle on their land. Then they set a fire, probably to cover up poaching, and were told "don't do that." Then they did it again, and again, and stood trial for arson, which has a 5-year minimum. They didn't get that minimum but served their time. Then the prosecutors appealed and got their five year minimum and the ranchers self-reported to prison.
Then the Bundy brothers showed up with all their friends, despite being told not to by the ranchers, the rachers' wives, and Old Man Bundy himself.
That last sentence pretty much eliminates any need for discussion of rationality or patriotic interest.
Wanna see my favorite bit?
In a separate 2014 civil judgment, the Hammonds were ordered to pay $400,000 in restitution to the U.S. government for the related arson fires. The pair paid half the amount immediately and the remaining $200,000 in December 2015.
Now - it may have been a hell of a hardship to cough up 400 large. But
Dwight Hammond, a cattle rancher in Harney County, owns 12,000 acres (4,900 ha) of land, much of which abuts public land.
When the Send Snacks Militia takes up arms for landowners with 12,000 acres (half the size of Manhattan, Wolfram Alpha tells me helpfully), you know that the Conservative spin doctors are doing a masterful job of shaping the narrative.