Defiant Nevada rancher wins ‘range war’ with feds…for now

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A tense, week-long showdown between the federal government and supporters of a Nevada cattle rancher came to a close over the weekend.

click image to zoomCliven Bundy, Nevada, CattleReutersSupporters of Cliven Bundy came out in droves to face the BLM. Over the last several weeks, rancher Cliven Bundy and his cattle garnered national headlines — and numerous supporters — in what some have called “showdown on the range.” This range war is the latest development in a long-standing battle between Bundy and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

The BLM claims Bundy owes around $1 million in back fees owed to allow his cattle to graze on federal land. Bundy, however, counters that he has the right to graze his livestock on open range. Read, “In a “Range War” between a rancher and government – no one wins.”

The Associated Press reports in an article here the situation came to a head on Saturday as 1,000 of Bundy’s supporters, many armed, faced down BLM officials as they shut down a 1,200-square-mile-area to round up the rest of Bundy’s cattle herd. The BLM had previously rounded up several hundred head of Bundy’s cattle earlier in the week.  

Bundy’s son, Ammon, told Reuters in an interview an armed standoff was necessary to stop the government.

“We were dedicated to opening those gates and peacefully walking through to retrieve those cattle," he said in an interview. "The presence of weapons was needed in order to intimidate them."

To avoid violence, restore order and keep officials safe, the BLM announced an end to the standoff. It also released the cattle previously rounded up.  

"Due to escalating tensions, the cattle have been released from the enclosures in order to avoid violence and help restore order," the BLM said in a prepared statement.

Tensions among Bundy’s supporters remained high throughout the weekend. U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nevada, asked out-of-state supporters to return home to avoid further altercations, according to a CNN report.

"The dispute is over, the BLM is leaving, but emotions and tensions are still near the boiling point, and we desperately need a peaceful conclusion to this conflict," Heller said in a statement. "I urge all the people involved to please return to your homes and allow the BLM officers to collect their equipment and depart without interference.

However, while the BLM may have been forced to pull back for now, the bureau isn’t ready to wave the white flag just yet.

"This is a matter of fairness and equity, and we remain disappointed that Cliven Bundy continues to not comply with the same laws that 16,000 public lands ranchers do every year," BLM director Neil Kornze said in the statement. "After 20 years and multiple court orders to remove the trespass cattle, Mr. Bundy owes the American taxpayers in excess of $1 million. The BLM will continue to work to resolve the matter administratively and judicially."

Read more from CNN here.



Comments (20) Leave a comment 

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Jean Jones    
out west  |  April, 14, 2014 at 12:29 PM

You are right No citizen can win. We need to remember the people he went up against are living off the tax payers

Craig A. Moore    
Billings, MT  |  April, 15, 2014 at 09:25 AM

So are the US soldiers in Afghanistan. So what's your point with that statement?

Steve Baker    
MO  |  April, 15, 2014 at 09:30 AM

With maximum emphasis, this is the time to call for gun control in government agencies. No guns for the IRS, no guns for BLM, no guns for Park Rangers, no guns for the postal service, no guns for the EPA, and no guns for politicians.

Ike    
KS  |  April, 15, 2014 at 09:44 AM

I'm sorry Steve but you post has no merit whatosever.

Dale Heinkel    
Freeport IL  |  April, 15, 2014 at 09:58 AM

I think it's sad that Mr. Bundy feels he should not pay the usual fees for grazing, that so many other dedicated ranchers pay. I haven't followed this closely, but why does he feel he's so special. If he feels this way, he should allow another rancher to use that land, if anybody else wants to.

Tom    
TEXAS  |  April, 15, 2014 at 10:35 AM

The rancher, Mr. Bundy, didn't win squat.The last report I saw was over 100 head of his cows were DEAD, add to that the cost of the whole operation added to his bill to the Fed gov. will pretty much ruin him. What EXACTLY did he win ??? This was nothing more than a pullback after assessing their position, etc. After filing liens on everything he owns, they WILL be back to move him off their ranch. If they choose to fight, they will kill him and his whole family. The facts of the situation, as I see it.

Jill    
Mount Vernon WA  |  April, 15, 2014 at 11:40 AM

Mr Bundy says it is all about freedom, but it is actually about greed. Ranchers are raising more cattle than their own property can sustain so they put them on open range that belongs to the American people. Why shouldn't they pay a fee to use that grass. If they refuse to pay they should be not be able to use it. Yes this has gone on for over 100 years and the ranchers have murdered over that grass. Laws are made for a reason. Use them. Mr. Bundy is fatting up his cattle on our dollar then he sells his beef for even more money which we pay. The American people are paying twice because of his greed.

Calvin Strom    
Colorado  |  April, 15, 2014 at 11:45 AM

So laws and regulations only apply to urban dwellers (city folk) not anyone involved in agricultural production (Ranchers, Farmers). The citizens of the United States own that land they are the government.

    
April, 15, 2014 at 12:59 PM

Check out agenda 21. Read the fine print. No one will be using any of the land for anything unless they are those individuals that collect and live off tax dollars.

Steve Baker    
MO  |  April, 15, 2014 at 02:05 PM

I think I am siding with the rancher. There is no reason for government to own more than 5% of the land in any state. They own 85% of Nevada—in my mind, this is simply outrageous government greed at its worst. Ask why so many federal agencies have become nothing more than tactical military units? Now is the time for serious gun control in government. Democide definition is in your future. I generally side with the little guy, and never with the biggest bully on the block. Call me oddball, extremist or whatever toots your tambourine.

Steve Baker    
MO  |  April, 15, 2014 at 02:09 PM

Harry-the-weasel Reid invokes the "rule of law" like 15 million criminal aliens have done nothing outside the "rule of law." Harry simply uses the law to attack his selected enemies, ie U.S. citizens, while ignoring the same to give foreign invaders a free pass. Does anyone remember how our glorious attorney general, maggot Holder, attacked the people of Arizona for attempting to enforce immigration laws--Reid was his biggest supporter?

j    
Price, Utah  |  April, 16, 2014 at 10:54 AM

After four attempts to tell Drovers how dead wrong they are legally and morally about their coverage of the Bundy matter and having the comments disappear, let's just show you what a little research would have yielded and why the federal appellate court just hammered the BLM and Forest Service in the companion case to Bundy, namely , Hage v. U.S. https://www.facebook.com/pages/LADY-J-LAND- LIVESTOCK/108018352560729?filter=3 Joane Pappas White Lady J Land & Livestock Attorney at Law Price, Utah

Joane Pappas White    
Price, Utah  |  April, 16, 2014 at 10:59 AM

I doubt that since the Hage v. U.S. has already established that the BLM and Forest Serive were thugs and criminals in that case (Sabebrush Rebellion case) and Bundy is a companion case to it. But if you want to know why 100s of us western ranchers are supporting Mr. Bundy, this link will show you what we are all going through: After four attempts to tell Drovers how dead wrong they are legally and morally about their coverage of the Bundy matter and having the comments disappear, let's just show you what a little research would have yielded and why the federal appellate court just hammered the BLM and Forest Service in the companion case to Bundy, namely , Hage v. U.S. https://www.facebook.com/pages/LADY-J-LAND-LIVESTOCK/108018352560729?filter=3 Joane Pappas White Attorney at Law Price, Utah

John    
Texas  |  April, 16, 2014 at 04:40 PM

Tom, I am afraid that you are right, but this government takeover has to stop. Harry Reid just wants that land to let the Chinese build a large solar farm on it. Has nothing to do with turtles or range fees.

John    
Texas  |  April, 16, 2014 at 04:45 PM

Joane, You are right but what can you expect when all they hear news from is CNN? One sided any way you look at it.

ksdave    
ks  |  April, 17, 2014 at 09:50 AM

http://www.snopes.com/politics/conspiracy/nevada.asp

Chuck    
Kansa  |  April, 18, 2014 at 07:52 AM

I agree. Steve's comment is one of the most ridiculous I've read in a long time. I invite him to come back with a longer statement in what I know will be a vain attempt at supporting what he so ineptly wrote.

Jean Jones    
out west  |  April, 18, 2014 at 08:21 PM

I agree with Steve. You can't trust anyone that is getting rich living off American taxpayers

Jean Jones    
out west  |  April, 18, 2014 at 08:21 PM

I agree with Steve. You can't trust anyone that is getting rich living off American taxpayers

Smithd531    
http://fgecgdkakbedgcee.blogspot.com/  |  July, 04, 2014 at 02:49 AM

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