After spending a week whisking away nearly 400 cattle they said were illegally grazing on federal land in the Nevada desert, officials facing a battalion of protesters with horses and guns decided to free those cattle in a stunning reversal Saturday afternoon.
A line of cattle calmly filtered out of a federal holding area at about 3 p.m. as protesters and law enforcement watched from alongside Interstate 15 near the Nevada-Arizona state line.
"Due to escalating tensions, the cattle have been released from the enclosures in order to avoid violence and help restore order," the U.S. Bureau of Land Management said in a short statement.
BLM halts seizure of Nevada rancher's cattle, citing safety concerns BLM halts seizure of Nevada rancher's cattle, citing safety concerns
BLM seizes cattle in range war with stubborn Nevada rancher BLM seizes cattle in range war with stubborn Nevada rancher
Range war heats up again between defiant Nevada rancher and BLM Range war heats up again between defiant Nevada rancher and BLM
Federal officials have failed for 21 years to compel rancher Cliven Bundy to pay the fee required to let privately owned cattle use public land.
The government has said the cattle roundup was a “last resort” to enforce court orders ruling that Bundy had failed to pay more than $1 million in fees since 1993. Forcing him either to pay or to give up his cattle is a matter of fairness to the 16,000 ranchers who do follow the rules, U.S. officials said.
Two weeks ago, the BLM and the National Park Service began mobilizing helicopters, trucks, cowboys and rangers to seize Bundy’s 900 cattle.
The agencies moved nearly 400 to the holding area before suddenly announcing Saturday morning that the operation would end because of "grave concerns" about worker safety.
Bundy received nationwide support from people frustrated by what they described as government overreach, and at least several dozen of them brought weapons with them to Bundy's ranch 80 miles east of Las Vegas this week. Protesters scuffled with law enforcement at least a couple of times during the seizures. On Saturday, a peaceful standoff between law enforcement and protesters in the sweltering heat temporarily closed off a stretch of I-15 in nearby Bunkerville.
[Update: April 12, 7:52 p.m.: Las Vegas Sheriff Doug Gillespie said he spent all week mediating discussions involving the governor and both state and federal lawyers. Among the sheriff's concerns were unspecified threats received by nearby businesses and the safety of people at the Clark County Fair and Rodeo this weekend in Logandale, he said.
“I cannot interfere with the federal government when it is operating on federal land,” Gillespie said in a statement Saturday night. “But when a group of protesters threaten civil unrest or violence in this county -- it is my job to step in and ensure the safety of citizens.”]
Bundy, a 68-year-old father of 14, has argued in court that his Mormon ancestors began working the land in the 1880s, long before the BLM was formed, giving him rights that predate federal involvement. He says he only owes about $300,000.
"We're tired of being abused," Bundy told supporters Saturday during a rally broadcast online.
Meanwhile, lawmakers called for the protesters to leave the area so that the BLM could safely remove its equipment. But the protesters refused to leave until the seized cattle were released in the 150 square miles of scrub desert in the 600,000-acre Gold Butte area.
Environmentalists argue that the cattle take food from protected desert tortoises, smash rare plants and slow down the regrowth of fire-damaged vegetation. Their numbers should be kept in check, the land advocates say.
The cost of what had been expected to be a month long operation hasn't been disclosed. Critics have said the cash-strapped agency should be selling land to local residents instead of wasting money on what they see as a frivolous move. In Nevada, the BLM manages 87% of the state's land.
BLM Director Neil Kornze secured his position after U.S. Senate confirmation on Tuesday, four days into the cattle roundup. From 2003 to 2011, Kornze was an aide to Sen. Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat and Senate majority leader.
The case is the latest flourish of the civil disobedience popularized during the 1970s Sagebrush Rebellion, a movement that sought greater local control in 12 Western states where the federal government administers 60% of the land.
Sort of reminds you of Idaho protests and arrests of unarmed supporters in Idaho this year and hiding in a closet in the legislature?
But I digress both protest actions have ended but the action in Nevada yielded no arrests of armed organized protesters.
Maybe the 2nd amendment is not to bad after all.
Our national cluelessness begs the question...it does not 'beg the question'. It makes one wonder. Incorrect uses of language cause loss of credibility.
April 15th... I brought my Granddaughter and friends to the tea house for her birthday. Think you need to update your site when you change your hours...Tried to call endlessly before coming, the phone had a constant busy signal. Signed, 5 disappointed customers.
So they can afford to build a transit center, but they can't afford to operate more buses?
Chestnut is a beautiful wood for trim in your house too.
We have a central market online that anyone can buy a yearly subscription to and buy local produce, meat, and other local products with very little effort. I live up in Bonner County. Come up for a visit.
Ah yes, the poor rancher in Nevada. Does he have title and ownership and pay taxes on that 600,000 acres he runs his cattle on? I thought not. He did not pay his grazing fees for 20 some odd years. He was sued by the government, lost, and refused to pay his fines. What is horrible in that event is that the rule of law was overturned by a bunch of yahoos with guns. I guess all the welfare queen ranchers in the rest of the west can stop paying for the use of land owned by ALL the people of the United States and when the BLM comes to collect, just get on the media bandwagon and call for help from the "patriots". I think I won't pay my property taxes anymore, I can't wait to see what happens then.
Why does the Boise Weekly readership not wish to share the the BLM story erupting in Las Vegas Nevada where the drunk Idaho white boys stuck in 1963 are going to face down the unlawful confiscation of private property by federal agents?
I guess this Northern Idaho story is more entertaining for the gaffs of a political party.
Should the Boise Weekly report also report how the government use unlawful force against the only one robber land baron left?
This government has been putting every other drunken Rancher out of business, even if their family has owned it from the late 1800s.
But yes, one must digress for the soul importance of Boise Weekly political theater when it is the Idaho Republican Party Revolution providing so much fan fare for comedy relief...
A bunch of drunk white old boys. The world is changing and their stuck in 1963.
There is never any excuse for sexual assault or harassment - jock or otherwise. Real men don't have to push themselves on women, and real men know how to be respectable. Universities and colleges in general have a very poor reputation for dealing with sexual assault on campuses.
Jocks are about the most immature people you'll find at a College, is it little wonder that they act like they do.
Adults playing children's games is indicative of a shallow and immature mind. Only thing worse are all the fans that think football (or any sport) carries any importance in life.
Real men don't play childish games, nor are they willing or in need of hurting another for their own gratification.
A few years ago, I protected a breeding pair from the crows, and now I have a pair in every big tree on the property. I like them as well, they're fun to always have around. It's like having pet birds without cages.
Consider this a taunt... this administrations hypocrisy is over the top.
How can they possibly come out and say equal pay for women when their own hiring and pay practices clearly, and I mean CLEARLY are not being followed?
And this has nothing to do with race, birth certificates, blue dress, or golf vacations... so try and keep it on topic.
So let's take 5 thru 10... why do you have a problem with them? What bullshirts are they based on?
FIVE: 'Honor your father and your mother.'
SIX: 'You shall not murder.'
SEVEN: 'You shall not commit adultery.'
EIGHT: 'You shall not steal.'
NINE: 'You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.'
TEN: 'You shall not covet your neighbor's house; etc...'
Since you are against them, are you saying you are for bad mouthing your mom and dad, killing people, sleeping around, stealing and bringing false witness and stealing from your neighbors?
That's how this works isn't it... if your not for it you must be the exact opposite and promote the exact opposite. So your saying you are a murderer and thief?
This is the most intelligent column by you Mr. Cope... keep it up! I actually found it entertaining.
That is horrible. Earth is increasingly dangerous. http://www.friv10.co.uk
But Leland, we don't want to be Denver or Portland. Boise is a very nice size now. Too much growth, too fast is what happened a few years back. What kind of quality is that? What does Boise need? Talk about the foothills. Talk about parks, open space and the things that will attract people here far into the future. Talk about quality of life. So you talk about buildings? Really?
To all that take the time to read this, that officer is no different then the hundreds of women that are in PWCC, that made mistakes. I do know first hand what goes on inside the walls of that prison. Sadly most of the correctional officers are not good people just trying to their job. It seems that they are allowed to let the authority they have over these women go straight to their heads. Just so you know I have worked in this enviroment and if its so hard and dangerous stop doing it because that is where the problem starts. Correctional officers I believe take the stress that this job creates and the inmates pay for it. Not every prisoner is a bad ,dangerous person. We need to take and get rid of that type of thinking if we ever want a better world to live in.. Sincerely CC
And the plot thickens ...
I like how you try and redefine original intent. Nice try, care to try again?
Individual opinions from retired justices don't matter. It's how the court as a whole rules. So why don't they matter? Because their opinions are not enforceable by the rule of law. Their opinion is like yours, Worthless.
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