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Feds back off after ‘First Amendment area’ near Bundy ranch got too big

By Doug Powers  •  April 13, 2014 10:43 AM

**Written by Doug Powers

The tense situation at the Bundy Ranch area in Nevada has been defused for now and the feds have decided that going full Janet Reno would be incredibly unwise:

A Nevada cattle rancher appears to have won his week-long battle with the federal government over a controversial cattle roundup that had led to the arrest of several protesters.

Cliven Bundy went head to head with the Bureau of Land Management over the removal of hundreds of his cattle from federal land, where the government said they were grazing illegally.

Bundy claims his herd of roughly 900 cattle have grazed on the land along the riverbed near Bunkerville, 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas, since 1870 and threatened a “range war” against the BLM on the Bundy Ranch website after one of his sons was arrested while protesting the removal of the cattle.

“I have no contract with the United States government,” Bundy said. “I was paying grazing fees for management and that’s what BLM was supposed to be, land managers and they were managing my ranch out of business, so I refused to pay.”

The federal government had countered that Bundy “owes the American people in excess of $1 million ” in unpaid grazing fees and “refuses to abide by the law of land, despite many opportunities over the last 20 years to do so.”

However, today the BLM said it would not enforce a court order to remove the cattle and was pulling out of the area.

The BLM used the term “cattle gather,” which makes it sound like some sort of bovine dating service:


Here’s more from John Hinderaker at Powerline with possible reasons the feds might have ended this thing almost as quickly as it started (via Instapundit):

“The new head of the BLM, Neil Kornze, worked for Harry Reid as a policy adviser from 2003 to 2011. It is reasonable to assume that Reid got him the BLM job, and I would hazard a guess that Reid saw the situation turning into a public relations disaster–-Nevada’s Governor and Senator Dean Heller, both Republicans, were more or less siding with Bundy–-and told Kornze to give it up. It still isn’t clear what the crisis was all about. Rumor has it that Reid wants the land for a giant solar farm that would be supplied by a Chinese company and, presumably, subsidized by the federal government. Reid’s son is apparently a participant in the deal. Whether that is true, I haven’t yet tried to figure out. One thing I will say with some certainty, however, is that tortoises had little or nothing to do with it.”

Watch for Harry Reid to make his way to the Senate floor tomorrow as fast as possible so as to blame the Koch brothers for the 135th, 136th, 137th and 138th time.

To sum up the current state of affairs:


**Written by Doug Powers

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