Fight brewing between cattle rancher and federal authorities


Video by

Fight brewing between cattle rancher and federal authorities

By Jennifer Kastner. CREATED Apr 7, 2014

Bunkerville, NV (KTNV) -- A fight brewing between a Southern Nevada cattle rancher and federal authorities is quickly escalating.

On Monday and over the weekend, several officials started removing more than 100 of his cows. The battle even forced one of the rancher's son into handcuffs.

The situation is playing out near Bunkerville, in the far northeast part of Clark County.

The Bureau of Land Management said at least 100 protesters showed up near the ranch on Monday. A lot of them believe the government is stealing the cows. But the BLM said the cows are grazing on federal land that the ranch has no right to.

"We operate within this state. We run cattle here, graze this natural resource off this public land and I abide by all of Nevada state laws but I don't recognize the United States Government as even existing," said Cliven Bundy.

Because of that belief, Bundy has not paid grazing fees. The government said he owes them around $1 million.

The BLM and National Parks Service are now going forward with two court orders to get the cattle off, what they said, is public land that Bundy's cows are trespassing on.

The BLM maintains, "This is unfair to the thousands of other ranchers who graze in compliance with federal laws and regulations."

On Sunday, one of Bundy's sons was put in custody, slapped with charges related to refusing to disperse and resisting arrest.

Bundy and his family told Action News this is not about the grazing fees. At the end of the day, it's about constitutional rights the family has.

"Grazing fees are actually quite insignificant. The question and the problem is about our freedom and our sovereignty," said one family member.

"America better wake up if we're gonna live in this country with any kind of freedom and liberty," said Bundy.

The son who was arrested was released on Monday.

The BLM said more than 130 cows have been rounded up. They also said armed law enforcement are on scene, because Bundy has reportedly made threatening comments to officials.