Subscribe Register Login

Tuesday, July 22, 2014, 11:08 p.m.
Top Picks - Mobile App

Sheriff, feds: Rancher must be held accountable

By The Associated Press

This article was published July 6, 2014 at 9:24 a.m.

RENO, Nev. — U.S. Bureau of Land Management officials say they agree with a Nevada sheriff's position that rancher Cliven Bundy must be held accountable for his role in an April standoff between his supporters and the federal agency.

Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie said Bundy crossed the line when he allowed states' rights supporters, including self-proclaimed militia members, onto his property to aim guns at police.

"If you step over that line, there are consequences to those actions," Gillespie told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "And I believe they stepped over that line. No doubt about it. They need to be held accountable for it."

Bureau spokeswoman Celia Boddington, in a statement released Saturday to The Associated Press, said the agency continues to pursue the matter "aggressively through the legal system."

"There is an ongoing investigation and we are working diligently to ensure that those who broke the law are held accountable," she said, declining to elaborate.

The FBI declined comment Saturday on its investigation. Bundy did not respond to a request for comment.

The Bureau of Land Management says Bundy owes over $1 million in fees and penalties for trespassing on federal property without a permit over 20 years. Bundy, whose ancestors settled in the area in the late 1800s, refuses to acknowledge federal authority on public lands.

A federal judge in Las Vegas first ordered Bundy in 1998 to remove "trespass cattle" from land the bureau declared a refuge for the endangered desert tortoise. Bureau officials obtained court orders last year allowing the roundup.

Boddington disputed Gillespie's contention the agency mishandled the roundup of Bundy's cattle 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas.

The bureau backed down during the showdown with Bundy and his armed supporters, citing safety concerns, and released some 380 Bundy cattle collected during a weeklong operation from a vast arid range half the size of the state of Delaware.

Gillespie blamed the bureau for escalating the conflict and ignoring his advice to delay the roundup after he had a confrontational meeting with Bundy's children a few weeks before it began.

"I came back from that saying, 'This is not the time to do this,' " the sheriff told the Review-Journal. "They said, 'We do this all the time. We know what we're doing. We hear what you're saying, but we're moving forward.'"

Tensions further escalated early in the roundup after a video showed one of Bundy's sons being stunned with a Taser. The video drew militia members and others to Bundy's ranch.

Bundy was not a hardened criminal, Gillespie told the newspaper. He was a rancher who stopped paying his fees, the sheriff said, and that was not worth risking violence.

But Boddington said the bureau planned and conducted the roundup in "full coordination" with Gillespie and his office.

"It is unfortunate that the sheriff is now attempting to rewrite the details of what occurred, including his claims that the BLM did not share accurate information," she said. "The sheriff encouraged the operation and promised to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with us as we enforced two recent federal court orders."

"Sadly, he backed out of his commitment shortly before the operation - and after months of joint planning - leaving the BLM and the National Park Service to handle the crowd control that the sheriff previously committed to handling," she added.

Comments on: Sheriff, feds: Rancher must be held accountable

To report abuse or misuse of this area please hit the "Suggest Removal" link in the comment to alert our online managers. Read our Terms of Use policy.

Subscribe Register Login

You must login to make comments.

Displaying 1 - 6 of 6 total comments

DontDrinkDatKoolAid says... July 6, 2014 at 10:35 a.m.

Yep! sham on the law.

( | suggest removal )

carpenterretired says... July 6, 2014 at 11:08 a.m.

As Fox news went south on Bundy will they return to help defend the guy? In North Carolina moral Monday protesters are arrested every Monday but as the moral Monday prptesters do not carry guns is that the reason they are arrested?

( | suggest removal )

djigoo says... July 6, 2014 at 11:20 a.m.

Bundy is a domestic terrorist and freeloader.

( | suggest removal )

DontDrinkDatKoolAid says... July 6, 2014 at 11:23 a.m.

Well that's just a social justice movement of no concern.

( | suggest removal )

RonalFos says... July 6, 2014 at 9:33 p.m.

Bundy's cattle should be rounded up and sold for his debts to the government. That is a bank would if you refused to pay. He owes more money for use of federal land than all other ranchers combined. The guy is a freeloader.

( | suggest removal )

cliffcarson says... July 7, 2014 at 6:03 p.m.

A look at the chronology of this dispute might give some more insight into this matter and just what might illuminate the heavy handed Federal Agency.
The Bundy Family has used, improved, and ranched the land since the late 1800s.
The Endangered Federal Species Act was signed in 1973.
A federal judge in Las Vegas first ordered Bundy in 1998 to remove "trespass cattle" from land the bureau declared a refuge for the endangered desert tortoise.
Federal officials have ordered Bundy to remove his livestock from a grazing allotment that was retired back in 1999 out of concern for the federally-protected desert tortoise. The Desert Tortoise range includes several Western States, Utah being one of them. Several Major Cities are in this area.
Bureau officials obtained court orders last year allowing the roundup.
In 1986 the Reagan Administration issued a regulation limiting the protective status of critical habitat. As a result, few critical habitats were designated between 1986 and the late 1990s. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, a series of court orders invalidated the Reagan regulations and forced the FWS and NMFS to designate several hundred critical habitats, especially in Hawaii, California and other western states.
More changes were made in the 1990s in an attempt by Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt to shield the ESA from a Congress hostile to the law. He instituted incentive-based strategies such as candidate conservation agreements and "safe harbor" agreements that would balance the goals of economic development and conservation.
The Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii ) is distributed ( is found in) in western Arizona, southeastern California, southern Nevada, and southwestern Utah. This little critter lives in places other than just the Bundy land.
More than half of habitats for listed species ( the Desert Tortoise is listed) is on non-federal property, owned by citizens, states, local governments, tribal governments and private organizations and Ranchers like Bundy.
The cattle roundup is part of a dispute that has been going on for more than 20 years ( before 1994). Bundy has insisted that he does not need to recognize federal government jurisdiction on land that his family has used, improved and ranched since the late 1800s.
The cattle were being rounded up by Bureau of Land Management officers as part of a crackdown on Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, who has refused to pay “grazing fees” demanded by the feds as a result of a re-classification of 600,000 acres of federal land in northeastern Clark County which Bundy claims has been in his family for generations.
Federal officials have ordered Bundy to remove his livestock from a grazing allotment that was retired back in 1999 out of concern for the federally-protected desert tortoise.
This same land is attracting developers who possibly have connections.

Would be good to investigate this openly and truthfully.

( | suggest removal )

  • page
  • 1
Click here to make a comment

To report abuse or misuse of this area please hit the "Suggest Removal" link in the comment to alert our online managers. Read our Terms of Use policy.

TOP JOBS

  • Drivers

    Local Runshome daily!$1500 Sign On Bonus• Work a 5 Day Week ...
    FAYETTEVILLE, AR

  • Concrete finishers

    top pay Form Carpenters Laborers Apply in person bass comme...
    Little Rock, AR

  • Academic advisor

    university of arkansas academic advisor Educational Talent S...
    FAYETTEVILLE, AR

  • Case manager

    “Making differences through quality care”case manager Friend...
    RUSSELLVILLE, AR

  • Rn's

    nursing opportunities Join the award-winning nursing team a...
    Little Rock, AR

Search 859 jobs >

Top Picks - Mobile App
Arkansas Online