Feds: Safety concerns led to end of Nevada cattle roundup
Federal land managers say “escalating tensions” led them to release all 400 or so head of cattle rounded up on public land in southern Nevada from a rancher who has refused to recognize their authority.
Bureau of Land Management Chief Neil Kornze on Saturday announced an abrupt halt to the weeklong roundup just hours before the release.
“Based on information about conditions on the ground and in consultation with law enforcement, we have made a decision to conclude the cattle gather because of our serious concerns about the safety of employees and members of the public,” Kornze said in a statement.
Hundreds of states' rights protesters, including militia members, showed up at corrals outside Mesquite to demand the animals' return to rancher Cliven Bundy. Some protesters were armed with handguns and rifles at the corrals, and at an earlier nearby rally.
Las Vegas police Lt. Dan Zehnder said the showdown was resolved with no injuries and no violence. Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie was able to negotiate a resolution after talking with Bundy, he said.
The fight between Bundy and the Bureau of Land Management widened into a debate about states' rights and federal land-use policy. The dispute that triggered the roundup dates to 1993, when the bureau cited concern for the federally protected tortoise in the region. The bureau revoked Bundy's grazing rights after he stopped paying grazing fees and disregarded federal court orders to remove his animals.
Kornze's announcement arrived as Bundy repeatedly promised to “do whatever it takes” to protect his property after a string of raucous confrontations.
Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, a Republican, issued a statement praising the agency for its willingness to listen to the state's concerns. He earlier criticized the agency for making “an atmosphere of intimidation” and trying to confine protesters to a fenced-in “First Amendment area” well away from the sprawling roundup area.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Graham rejects GOP Benghazi report as ‘garbage’
- Boy with fake gun shot by officer dies
- Ohio dairy farmers cashing in on gas well boom
- Tension, anxiety mount in Ferguson as grand jury ruling awaited
- U.S. to arm Iraq’s Sunni tribesmen
- 32 horses killed in stable fire near Chicago
- Vatican prosecutor did not report abusive Catholic priest
- Police code of conduct aims to curb unlawful seizures from motorists
- Obama defends executive action on illegals
- Even before Ebola contained, U.S. looks to next health crisis
- Tufts center study: It costs $2.6B to get drug to market