An anticipated showdown between a Nevada cattle rancher and the federal government will likely pass without the violence and fanfare many anti-government groups had been hoping. The background of this fight stemmed from the alleged right of a landowner and cowboy to use his land as he pleases against the interests of the federal government in preserving a protected species on the land.
Government Ban on Cattle Grazing
Last year, Bundy was told by the federal Bureau of Land Management that he could not let his cattle graze in a certain area due to rules protecting the endangered desert tortoise. Bundy ignored the government and continued to let his animals graze on the land. The BLM then stepped in and seized the animals escalating the incident.
Anti-government activists came to Bundy’s aide and called for a “war” against the government. Some of these individuals were armed and traveled to the holding pen where the Bundy cattle were kept. It is reported that government officials feared another Waco incident, and wanted to avoid an armed conflict, and eventually released the cattle back to Bundy.
Why the Fight Isn’t Over Explained
While Bundy got his cattle back, the fight is far from over. The federal government will likely press charges against Bundy and charge him with multiple fines. So, while they may not seize Bundy’s cattle, they will try to take his money. It is expected that the idea of protecting a rancher’s money, as opposed to his livestock, may not generate the same sort of sympathy from anti-government activists.