BLM Releases Cattle After Confrontation with Ranchers, Supporters of Cliven Bundy Escalates

A cattle rancher is facing off against the government, refusing to pay for grazing his animals on federally owned land.

Federal land managers in the Bureau of Land Management say “escalating tensions” led them to release all 400 or so head of cattle rounded up on public land in southern Nevada from rancher Cliven Bundy who has refused to recognize their authority, and has refused to pay grazing fees over a 20-year period.

Republican Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval issued a statement praising the Bureau of Land Management for its willingness to listen to the state’s concerns. Governor Sandoval earlier criticized the agency for creating “an atmosphere of intimidation” and trying to confine protesters to a fenced-in “First Amendment area” also known as a “Free Speech area.”

The restrictions were ignored by protesters, and one of Bundy’s sons was arrested April 6 while protesting on a state highway. Hundreds of people arrived to support Bundy, and were planning to free the cattle in a confrontation with BLM officials. The BLM officials released the cattle late Saturday.

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