Amid Mounting Pressure, BLM Backs Down In Ranch Standoff

Above: Sheriff speaks to crowd of protesters about announcement. 3 minutes in, protesters demand to know what is happening to the cattle seized by the BLM already. Its unclear what is happening regarding the already seized property.

Thanks to the unwavering support of freedom-loving Americans across the country, federal agents once determined to strip a Nevada ranching family of its rights at any cost have now reportedly reversed course.

Just one day after Western Journalism began circulating a petition for the Bureau of Land Management to back down from its authoritarian position against the Clark County, Nev., family, the agency announced Saturday that its targeted attack will not continue. This is a huge departure from the action of federal agents over the past week, which included arrests, physical assaults, and threats against protesters and the Bundy family.

Since the standoff began, however, law enforcement officers, legislators, state militia members, and the general public have increasingly voiced their opposition to the use of excessive force in removing cattle from the ranch.

A brewing scandal emerged Friday, complete with allegations that Nevada Sen. Harry Reid had a vested interest in removing the Bundys from the property based on a desire to see lucrative plans for a solar farm in the county come to fruition. More than 7,500 individuals added their name to our petition which, along with the efforts of numerous other groups, sent a clear message that Americans are tired of seeing the federal government strip away their constitutional rights.

Upon hearing the news from Clark County  Sheriff Douglas Gillespie that the BLM is backing down, supporters reacted with enthusiastic applause. A beleaguered Cliven Bundy, who said he would fight to the end to protect his land if necessary, rallied one last time to give Gillespie a one hour timeline within which to disarm federal agents surrounding his ranch.

While the entire standoff was a disturbing show of force by the federal government against American citizens, Saturday’s resolution is seen by many as a victory for freedom within an increasingly statist society. Though there is no indication at this point that the hundreds of head of cattle already removed under order of the BLM will be returned, the Bundy family can at least rest assured that, for now, their ranch is safe.

Though the federal threat has now subsided, many are urging the family to remain vigilant.

BLM Director — and former Reid senior adviser — Neil Kornze issued a press release on behalf of the agency, expressing its intent to leave the Bundy family alone:

As we have said from the beginning of the gather to remove illegal cattle from federal land consistent with court orders, a safe and peaceful operation is our number one priority. After one week, we have made progress in enforcing two recent court orders to remove the trespass cattle from public lands that belong to all Americans.

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.

We ask that all parties in the area remain peaceful and law-abiding as the Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service work to end the operation in an orderly manner.

Ranching has always been an important part of our nation’s heritage and continues throughout the West on public lands that belong to all Americans. This is a matter of fairness and equity, and we remain disappointed that Cliven Bundy continues to not comply with the same laws that 16,000 public lands ranchers do every year. After 20 years and multiple court orders to remove the trespass cattle, Mr. Bundy owes the American taxpayers in excess of $1 million. The BLM will continue to work to resolve the matter administratively and judicially.

Photo Credit: Facebook/Stand with the Bundys

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

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