LAS VEGAS — The Bundy ranch standoff has technically ended, but civilian militia remain stationed at the Bundy ranch.
A 20-year dispute between longtime Nevada rancher Clive Bundy and the BLM had reached the boiling point when the BLM surrounded the Bundy ranch and started rounding up cattle that they claim are illegally grazing on BLM land.
The rancher contacted others for assistance and the civilian militia movement was quickly organized.
The Bundy family and their many supporters claimed that more than 200 armed government personnel stormed the ranch.
The government maintains that Bundy owes more than $1 million dollars in grazing fees after he ceased paying the fees in 1994. They also claim their aborted efforts cost nearly another $1 million.
After Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval issued a strong statement critical of the government’s tactics, including concerns that first amendment rights were violated, the standoff ended last Sunday with the government releasing the cattle they had rounded up and retreated.
The BLM released a statement on Saturday April 12 that announced their intention to retreat. BLM Director Neil Kornze said,
Today we announced the decision to conclude the cattle gather because of our grave concern about the safety of employees and members of the public.
But the situation is far from over.
Supporters of Bundy maintain that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev is the the one behind the raid because of his ties to BLM Director Kornze, who served as a former senior adviser to Reid. Reid refused to answer the specific allegations of collusion and corruption when confronted and labeled Bundy and his family as “domestic terrorists”.
Reid further inflamed the already volatile situation when he told KRNV-TV in Reno,
It’s not over. We can’t have an American people that violate the law and then just walk away from it. So it’s not over.
The government typically does not like to lose these types of battles and few seems to believe the government will simply walk away and not take any further actions.
Richard Mack who serves as the executive director of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association claims that their sources inside the BLM have led him to believe that a BLM raid is being planned.
Members of the civilian militia appear to believe that another raid is imminent and remain stationed at the Bundy ranch.