Final Update: It's time to back up from the trees and look at a bigger picture of the forest on this issue. While there will certainly be further developments on the specific activity affecting the BLM and the Bundy ranch, I direct your attention to another recent diary - Dartagnan's The Nevada Standoff Has Nothing To Do With "Tyranny," "Sovereignty," "Freedom," or Cows. which begins exploring how this situation serves the purposes of ALEC and the Koch brothers.
The dispute between the Bureau of Land Management, and a Nevada rancher who has failed to pay grazing fees for use of public land under BLM management (well covered in diaries here and here appears to be coming to an end.
The Bureau of Land Management has announced it will stop the roundup of cattle owned by rancher Cliven Bundy. The BLM says the animals have been illegally grazing on public lands for 20 years.
The BLM made the announcement Saturday morning,
According to sources, the BLM wants to proceed with the sale of the cattle already gathered during the roundup but is reportedly willing to share the revenue from the sale with Bundy.
Sheriff Gillespie has been negotiating with Bundy behind the scenes for months reached a tentative agreement Friday night, though Bundy insisted the sheriff come to his ranch to finalize the arrangement face-to-face.
“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 concern about the safety of employees and members of the public,” BLM director Neil Kornze said.
Apparently we've been here before:
Despite a running tab of court injunctions, complaints and conservation conflicts involving the BLM, the National Park Service, Clark County and environmental groups, and nearly $1 million in fines, Bundy has continued to run cattle on the federally-owned Bunkerville Allotment in the southern tip of Nevada, about 100 miles from Las Vegas. Over the years, the Department of Justice has more than once canceled BLM plans to round up the trespass cattle after blatant threats of violence from Bundy and his supporters, says Alan O’Neill, retired superintendent of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area adjacent to the allotment. The sieges at Ruby Ridge and Waco that fueled the ‘90s anti-government militia movement were fresh, he explains. “We were trying everything we could to resolve the issue peacefully. But he got more and more recalcitrant.”
In 1999, the Nevada District Court permanently banned Bundy from grazing cattle in the area, ordering him to remove them or face a $200 penalty per cow per day. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the injunction. Between 2008 and 2011, the BLM cancelled Bundy’s remaining range improvement authorizations. In 2011 Bundy ignored several court orders, including a notice of impoundment. Over the next two years, the BLM aerially counted first 903, then 729, then 600, then 750 head of cattle, nearly all suspected to belong to Bundy, on land closed to grazing.
And now Bundy is really feeling his oats:
Rancher Cliven Bundy demanded of sheriff Doug Gillespie that all narional park service employees working on the cattle roundup operation be disarmed before 10:45 a.m.
He gave Gillespie one hour to comply, and added for the firearms to be brought to him. The demand comes on the heels of the Bureau of Land Management pulling the plug on the roundup due to safety concerns.
12:20 PM PT: Well - crap.
undreds of ranchers and supporters of Cliven Bundy, some of them armed, began to mobilize late this morning to free some of the cattle that were rounded up by federal agents and are now being held in a corral outside of Mesquite....At 11 a.m. some in the crowd began mobilizing in an attempt to force the BLM to free the cattle that had already been caught. They were armed and en route to a BLM corral outside of Mesquite.
12:42 PM PT:
Nearly two dozen police officers and a SWAT unit are on I-15 just south of Mesquite, where hundreds of protesters have gathered along the freeway, causing major traffic delays.....The BLM law enforcement officers are in Mesquite as they wait to leave the area. Police are there to help them do that safely.
1:38 PM PT: Well, everybody is "upset", so it must mean a compromise?
At least a 100 head of cattle will be released by the Brueau of Land Management from a corral outside of Mesquite, according to a deal struck by upset ranchers and BLM agents....The BLM, upset that Bundy has refused to pay federal grazing fees, rounded up at least one-third of Bundy’s cattle earlier this week...But supporters, some of them armed with handguns and rifles, were upset that Gillespie never mentioned what BLM planned to do with the cattle they had already rounded up