|Location||Clark County, Nevada
The Bundy standoff is a 20-year legal dispute between the United States Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and cattle rancher Cliven Bundy in southeastern Nevada over unpaid grazing fees that developed into an armed confrontation between protesters and law enforcement.
The ongoing dispute began in 1993, when, in protest against changes to grazing rules, Bundy declined to renew his permit for cattle grazing on BLM-administered lands near Bunkerville, Nevada. In 1998, Bundy was prohibited by the United States District Court for the District of Nevada from grazing his cattle on an area of land later called the Bunkerville Allotment. In July 2013, the BLM complaint was supplemented when federal judge Lloyd D. George ordered that Bundy refrain from trespassing on federally administered land in the Gold Butte area of Clark County.
On March 27, 2014, 145,604 acres of federal land in Clark County were temporarily closed for the "capture, impound, and removal of trespass cattle". BLM officials and law enforcement rangers began a roundup of such livestock on April 5, and an arrest was made the next day. On April 12, a group of protesters, some of them armed, advanced on what the BLM described as a "cattle gather." Sheriff Doug Gillespie negotiated with Bundy and newly confirmed BLM director Neil Kornze, who elected to release the cattle and de-escalate the situation.
After making remarks about whether black people would be better off as slaves than under government subsidies, Bundy was widely condemned in the media and was repudiated by conservative politicians and talk-show hosts who had previously supported him, many of whom forcefully condemned his remarks as racist.
- 1 Background
- 2 United States v. Bundy
- 3 Court judgments against Bundy's claims
- 4 Bureau of Land Management actions
- 5 Confrontations and protests in April 2014
- 6 Events following April 2014 cattle gather
- 7 Aftermath
- 7.1 Reactions by public officials
- 7.2 Reactions from media
- 7.3 Reactions by Bundy and supporters
- 7.4 Legal and rule-of-law reactions
- 7.5 Reactions related to American Indian history
- 7.6 Political commentary reactions
- 7.7 Environmentalist reactions
- 8 Racial comments
- 9 Bundy family background
- 10 See also
- 11 Notes
- 12 References
- 13 External links
Before white settlement, the land to which Cliven Bundy claims ancestral rights was inhabited by the Moapa Paiute people. In 1848, as part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the United States purchased from Mexico land that is now the southwestern region of the United States. Since then, the government has continuously owned land in what is now Nevada, including the Bunkerville Allotment. The Nevada Territory, which was partitioned in 1861 from the Utah Territory, became a state in 1864. The original white settlers in the 1840s and 1850s were Mormons from Utah and southern small-time farmers and ranchers from Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi. After the end of the American Civil War, much of the land was settled by rural white farmers, squatters and small-time cattle ranchers from Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri and Kansas, escaping from the post-Civil War Reconstruction and the associated violence and displacement. Since 1934 federal rangelands in Nevada have been managed principally by either the Bureau of Land Management or its predecessor, the United States Grazing Service, or the United States Forest Service. As of 2010, 47.8 million acres (more than two-thirds of Nevada's 70.3 million acres) were managed by the BLM. Throughout the nation, the BLM manages nearly 18,000 grazing permits and leases, of which about 700 are in Nevada. The season of use and the details of forage are stipulated in permits and leases; thus federal control can be exerted on the land used for grazing.
Under Bureau of Land Management permits first issued in 1954, Bundy grazed his cattle legally and paid his grazing fees on the Bunkerville Allotment until 1993. In that year, as a protest, Bundy did not pay to renew his permit, and it was canceled in 1994. Though the agency made several attempts to have Bundy renew the permit, the rancher declared that he no longer recognized the BLM's authority to regulate his grazing and he asserted that he had "vested rights" to graze cattle on the land. Federal courts have consistently ruled against Bundy, finding that he is a trespasser with no right to graze on federal land and authorizing the BLM to remove his cattle and levy damages for unauthorized use.
Bundy has since accumulated more than $1 million of unpaid grazing fees and court-ordered fines. The [Portland] Oregonian newspaper reported in May 2014 that the amount that Bundy owed stood in "stark contrast" to the situation in Oregon, where just 45 of the state's roughly 1,100 grazing permit holders collectively owed $18,759 in past-due payments to the BLM. Excluding Bundy's unpaid fees, the total of all late grazing fees owed nationwide to the BLM was only $237,000, the newspaper said.
Bundy has said he does not recognize and will not submit to federal police power over land that he believes belongs to the "sovereign state of Nevada." He said: "I abide by all Nevada state laws. But I don't recognize the United States government as even existing." Bundy also denied the jurisdiction of the federal court system over Nevada land, and he filed an unsuccessful motion to dismiss the Bureau of Land Management case against him by claiming the federal courts have no jurisdiction because he is a "citizen of Nevada, not the territory of Nevada". Bundy also believes that federally owned land in Nevada actually belongs to the state. According to The Guardian, Bundy told his supporters that "We definitely don't recognize [the BLM director's] jurisdiction or authority, his arresting power or policing power in any way," and in interviews he used the language of the sovereign citizen movement, thereby gaining the support of members of the Oath Keepers, the White Mountain Militia and the Praetorian Guard militias. Followers of the sovereign citizen movement generally believe that the U.S. government is illegitimate. The movement is considered by the FBI as the nation’s top domestic terrorism threat.
J. J. MacNab, who writes for Forbes about anti-government extremism, has described Bundy’s views as inspired by the sovereign citizen movement, whose adherents believe that the county sheriff is the most powerful law-enforcement officer in the country, with authority superior to that of any federal agent, local law-enforcement agency or any other elected official. On April 12, 2014, Bundy "ordered" Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie to confront the federal agents, disarm them and deliver their arms to Bundy within an hour of his demand. He later expressed disappointment that Gillespie did not comply, and he said that the demand had applied to all sheriffs in the country.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has described Bundy's views as closely aligned with the those of the Posse Comitatus organization, and it has also asserted that such self-described "patriot" groups were focused on secession, nullification, state sovereignty and the principles of the Tenther movement.
Cancellation of 1996 cattle removal
Alan O'Neill, superintendent of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area from 1987 through 2000, is a retired National Park Service official whose tenure at Lake Mead included the early years of the Bundy dispute. He wrote that he was "told to back off at one point because of concern for violence." In 1996, the National Park Service made plans to remove cattle that were illegally trespassing in Lake Mead NRA. O'Neill recalls veiled threats similar to those made against government workers during the 2014 round-up. Against this background, he says, "the U.S. attorney's office told us to back off," and the operation was canceled.
Grazing on federal rangeland in Nevada
Laws that apply to management of public land grazing include the Taylor Grazing Act of 1934 (TGA), the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, the Endangered Species Act of 1973, the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, the Public Rangelands Improvement Act of 1978, and the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971. In 1933, Edward T. Taylor, a U.S. Representative from Colorado, reintroduced a bill to set up the grazing bureau or service in the Department of Interior to administer range lands. The TGA regulates grazing on public lands (excluding Alaska) to improve rangeland conditions. The Grazing Service was merged with the General Land Office in 1946 to form the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), managing about 167 million acres (676,000 km²) of publicly owned rangeland in the United States, with the United States Forest Service managing approximately 95 million acres (380,000 km²) more. Permittees on federal rangelands are required to pay a fee, and the permit cannot exceed ten years but is renewable.
United States v. Bundy
The case of United States v. Bundy played out over many years in the United States District Court for the District of Nevada. It involved court orders, injunctions, and notices. Bundy argued pro se (without a lawyer) that the land belongs to the state. The Bureau of Land Management was represented by the U.S. Attorney's Office for Nevada and the United States Department of Justice. District Judge Larry R. Hicks ruled that the land on which Bundy was grazing his cattle was indeed owned by the federal government, that Bundy had not been paying to use it as he should have been, that Bundy was trespassing, and that the government had the right to enforce the injunctions against trespass. Hicks found that Bundy had repeatedly violated court orders.
Legal actions, 1998–2012
United States v. Bundy "arose out of Bundy’s unauthorized grazing of his livestock on property owned by the United States and administered by the Department of the Interior through the BLM and the National Park Service." On November 3, 1998, United States District Judge Johnnie B. Rawlinson "permanently enjoined (Bundy) from grazing his livestock within the Bunkerville Allotment ("The Allotment"), and shall remove his livestock from this allotment on or before November 30, 1998... (and) ordered that Plaintiff shall be entitled to trespass damages from Bundy in the amount of $200.00 per day per head for any livestock belonging to Bundy remaining on the Bunkerville Allotment after November 30, 1998." Rawlinson wrote that "[t]he government has shown commendable restraint in allowing this trespass to continue for so long without impounding Bundy’s livestock." This sentence was restated on October 8, 2013, by District Judge Larry R. Hicks. On September 17, 1999, after Bundy failed to comply with the court's earlier order(s), the court issued another order directing Bundy to comply with the 1998 permanent injunction and modifying the trespass damages owed.
Legal actions, 2012–14
Bundy's cattle expanded into additional public land over the years. A planned April 2012 roundup of his cattle was called off when Bundy made violent threats against the Bureau of Land Management. The bureau's requests for assistance from the Clark County Sheriff's Department were met by a demand of Sheriff Doug Gillespie that the bureau seek a new warrant because, he said, the original 1998 order had become "stale." 
Because of Gillespie's demand, in May 2012 the government filed a second United States v. Bundy case,[a] seeking renewed enforcement authority for the original court orders along with relief for Bundy's trespassing on a new set of additional lands not covered by the original 1998 ruling: "including public lands within the Gold Butte area that are administered by the BLM, and National Park System land within the Overton Arm and Gold Butte areas of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area." On December 21, 2012, the United States moved for summary judgment in this new case. This motion was granted in an order signed by Senior District Judge Lloyd D. George on July 9, 2013. The ruling permanently enjoined Bundy and his cattle from trespassing on the New Trespass Lands. Another order was issued by Judge Larry R. Hicks on October 8, 2013, which stemmed from the earlier 1998 civil action against Bundy. The order allows the United States to "protect the ... Bunkerville Allotment against ... trespass" by Bundy and "to seize and remove to impound" any of his cattle that remain in those areas.
Court judgments against Bundy's claims
The Cliven Bundy family owns a 160-acre farm southwest of Bunkerville, which serves as headquarters and base property for the family's ranching operation on nearby public domain lands. The farm property was purchased by the Bundy family in 1948, after they moved from Bundyville, Arizona, and Bundy has claimed that he inherited "pre-emptive grazing rights" on public domain land because some of his maternal grandmother's ancestors had kept cattle in the Virgin Valley beginning in 1877. Bundy alternatively argued in legal cases that federal grazing rules infringe on Nevada's rights.
Claim of inherited grazing rights
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (May 2014)|
There are no legally recognized inherited grazing rights, preemptive rights, special rights, or grandfathered public-domain land-use rights held by the Bundy family or Bundy's ancestors. Bundy lost his special-rights arguments in the United States v. Bundy cases. Bundy had only base property and normal AUM grazing-allotment permits, like the permits of thousands of other ranchers throughout the western United States. The court found that Bundy and his father actually first began grazing their cattle on the Bunkerville Allotment in 1954 and used it for several years. They paid for cattle grazing again from 1973 until 1993, when Bundy paid the last fees for his final grazing application for the period from December 1, 1992, through February 28, 1993. On January 24, 1994, the Bureau of Land Management delivered a Proposed Decision Order to Remove and Demand for Payment to Bundy by placing it on the dashboard of Bundy's vehicle while he was in the vehicle. BLM officials allege that Bundy became agitated, descended from his truck and accused the BLM of harassing him. He then returned to his truck, threw the proposed order out of the window and drove away. One of Bundy's sons then picked up the document, tore it to pieces and threw it on the ground. On February 17, 1994, the BLM issued a final decision canceling Bundy's range-grazing permit. Bundy subsequently informed the BLM in several administrative notices that he intended to graze cattle "pursuant to my vested grazing rights." Bundy failed to demonstrate the existence of any such special rights when given an opportunity to do so in court.
Claim of states' rights
Bundy lost in U.S. District Court on all his arguments regarding states' rights and jurisdiction in the United States v. Bundy cases. He had argued that the U.S. District Court for Nevada lacked jurisdiction because the U.S. did not own the public lands in question. The court ruled that "the public lands in Nevada are the property of the United States because the United States has held title to those public lands since 1848, when Mexico ceded the land to the United States." Bundy had argued that the Disclaimer Clause of the Nevada Constitution carries no legal force.
Bundy also argued that the United States' exercise of ownership over public-domain lands violated the Equal Footing Doctrine, that Article Four of the United States Constitution (the Property Clause) applied only to federal lands outside the borders of states, that the government had based its authority to sanction him on the Endangered Species Act (as opposed to an action for trespass) and that Nevada's open-range statute excused Bundy's trespass. These arguments were rejected by the court.
Bureau of Land Management actions
The BLM was tasked with environmental assessment and various enforcement issues regarding the cattle-trespass injunctions. During March and April 2014, it closed some areas of government lands during the planning for roundup of the trespass cattle owned by Bundy. In early April, "just before the roundup got underway, a survey conducted by helicopter counted 908 head of cattle scattered across roughly 1,200 square miles of remote mountains and desert managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service." The BLM stated on its website:
Cattle have been in trespass on public lands in southern Nevada for more than two decades. This is unfair to the thousands of other ranchers who graze livestock in compliance with federal laws and regulations throughout the West. The Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service have made repeated attempts to resolve this matter administratively and judicially. An impoundment of cattle illegally grazing on public lands is now being conducted as a last resort.
A page on the BLM website, since removed, listed the impacts of Bundy's trespass cattle. Among these were risks to people driving on roadways, destruction of crops on private property, damage to community property in the city of Mesquite, negative impacts on city facilities in Bunkerville, destruction of archaeological artifacts and unauthorized reservoir construction. The regional off-site mitigation strategies of non-governmental organizations were also delayed for the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone, and a matching $400,000 grant from the Walton Family Foundation to restore habitat for the Southwest Willow Flycatcher along the Virgin River was delayed on the condition that Bundy remove the trespass cattle.
BLM preparations and execution
A closure of the public lands known as Gold Butte, Mormon Mesa, and Bunkerville Flats Areas was approved by the Department of the Interior on March 24, 2014 and was to be effective March 27 to May 12, 2014). Additionally, the Federal Record stated that: "This temporary closure is necessary to limit public access, use, and occupancy during an impoundment of illegally grazing cattle to ensure the safety and welfare of the public, contractors, and government employees."
The project area consisted of 802,571 acres, primarily composed of the Bunkerville Allotment (145,604 acres) and the New Trespass Lands (451,775 acres). Portions of the project area are managed under the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the National Park Service.:3 Not all of the public areas would be closed at the same time if operations were moved to another location.
No 30-day comment period or public scoping was conducted due to the confidential nature of law enforcement actions.:5
Before the round-up, the Bureau of Land Management contacted state and local authorities. The bureau advised Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval and Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto of the agency's proposed actions. Clark County sheriff Doug Gillespie relayed information from the BLM and helped negotiate an end to the standoff. In 2012 and again during the 2014 roundup, the BLM had reportedly offered to buy Bundy's cattle and give him proceeds from their eventual sale. According to Cliven Bundy's son, Ammon Bundy, Gillespie also delivered an offer for the bureau to leave the area and keep the cattle.
First Amendment zones
The Bureau of Land Management designated two First Amendment zones "...for members of the public to express their First Amendment rights: Interstate 15 and Exit 112 for Riverside and State Route 170 and White Rock Road"   with just one of the two First Amendment zones open at any one time at the daily discretion of the "Incident Command staff". A third area, Interstate 15 and Toquap Wash (between mile marker 114 and 115), was designated as a media area and "...BLM/NPS credentialed media..." could request tours by appointment inside the enclosure area to obtain b-roll video, no live feed and satellite trucks allowed.:10 
Government contractors using horses and a small helicopter succeeded in penning almost 400 trespass cattle from April 5 to 9, 2014. "According to state brand inspectors, almost 90 percent of the cattle rounded up by midweek bore Bundy's brand. Of the remaining animals, five belonged to a neighboring rancher, four were marked with brands that couldn't be read, and the rest were slicks, a ranching term for unmarked livestock." On April 17, the BLM confirmed that a cow and a bull owned by Bundy were killed for posing "a significant threat". A state brand inspector said the bull "might have got frightened, but that's no reason to shoot a bull." Another said that bulls sometimes charge at people, adding that it takes "a pretty good-size weapon" to kill Bundy's breed of bull.
After the roundup was suspended because of safety concerns, BLM spokesman Craig Leff said the agency would try to resolve the matter "administratively and judicially." Leff said: "The door isn't closed. We'll figure out how to move forward with this." He added: "The BLM and National Park Service did not cut any deal and negotiate anything."
Confrontations and protests in April 2014
In late March, Bundy sent letters entitled "Range War Emergency Notice and Demand for Protection" to county, state, and federal officials. In media interviews, Bundy used the language of the sovereign citizen movement as a rallying call, beckoning support from members of the Oath Keepers, the White Mountain Militia, and the Praetorian Guard.
At a March 27 meeting of the Bunkerville Town Advisory Board, Cliven Bundy's son, Ryan Bundy, spoke on state sovereignty and land-ownership matters: "This is an issue of state sovereignty ... These large tracts of land that Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service, monuments, parks and, you know, National Parks, et cetera, et cetera, there is no constitutionality to them at all." He also described his family's position:
If they are going to be out in the hills stealing our property, we will put measures of defense. And they have always asked us, "What will you do, what will you do?" and our stance has always been we will do whatever it takes. Open-ended. And because of that, that's why they are scared, because they don't know to what level we will go to protect, but we will protect.
In early April, armed people and private militia members from across the United States joined peaceful protesters against the trespass-cattle roundup in what has become known as the Battle of Bunkerville (evoking an association with the Battle of Bunker Hill). BLM enforcement agents were dispatched in response to what were seen as threatening statements by Bundy, such as calling the events a "range war". There was no armed battle.
With many roads closed to ensure safety during the cattle removal, designated First Amendment zones where protesters could safely congregate or exercise their First Amendment right to peaceably assemble were marked with signs and orange plastic fences adjacent to the road. On April 8, 2014, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval issued a statement calling for the removal of the First Amendment restrictions he described as offensive. After stating that peaceful protests had crossed into illegal activity, the federal agencies allowed protesters to go anywhere on the public land as long as they were peaceful.
April 10 confrontations and protests
On April 10, protesters blocked a BLM truck and demanded to know why a backhoe and dump truck were being used in the operation. The BLM's director in Nevada later said that the equipment was being used for field restoration. According to a statement from the BLM, the blocked truck "was struck by a protester on an ATV" (all-terrain vehicle). Bundy's sister was pushed to the ground by a law-enforcement officer. One protestor struck a truck and blocked it with his ATV. Officers protecting the truck driver had Tasers and police dogs. The protesters angrily confronted the rangers. According to CNN, "Federal officials say a police dog was kicked and officers were assaulted. Bundy family members say they were thrown to the ground or jolted with a Taser."
April 12 confrontations and suspension of roundup
On the morning of April 12, an armed crowd rallied under a banner that read "Liberty Freedom For God We Stand". Most had signs, many of which chided "government thugs". Addressing the protestors, Bundy said, "We definitely don't recognize [the BLM director's] jurisdiction or authority, his arresting power or policing power in any way" and "We're about ready to take the country over with force!" After the BLM announced a suspension of the roundup, Bundy suggested blocking a highway. Armed protesters blocked a portion of Interstate 15 for more than two hours, causing traffic backups for three miles in both directions. Protesters also converged at the mouth of Gold Butte, the preserve where the cattle were corralled, and a tense, hour-long standoff ensued. BLM rangers warned over loudspeakers that they were prepared to use tear gas. Former Arizona Sheriff Richard Mack, who was with the protesters, said that they were "strategizing to put all the women up at the front. If they are going to start shooting, it's going to be women that are going to be televised all across the world getting shot by these rogue federal officers". Protestors took positions on a highway overpass, seemingly offering cover as horse-mounted wranglers led protesters to face off against heavily equipped BLM rangers and snipers. According to Las Vegas assistant sheriff Joe Lombardo, there were 24 BLM rangers and Las Vegas deputy sheriffs present at the standoff. Las Vegas police were not allowed to wear protective gear because of fear that it would be seen as a provocation.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that tensions reached a "critical level" during the standoff, "with rifles pointing toward each side." Las Vegas station KLAS-TV also reported that guns were pointed at officers. Assistant Sheriff Lombardo recounted that "they were in my face yelling profanities and pointing weapons," and said, "We were outgunned, outmanned, and there would not have been a good result from it." 
A photojournalist for Reuters wrote that armed supporters had "taken up tactical positions on government officers," and that one man pointing a rifle in the direction of BLM employees said, "I've got a clear shot at four of them." Another man said, "I'm ready to pull the trigger if fired upon."
Las Vegas Metro Deputy Chief Tom Roberts defused the situation by announcing that Bundy's cattle would be returned within 30 minutes. The BLM announced that it would suspend the mass roundup, citing safety reasons. Clark County Sheriff Gillespie mediated the agreement between the Bundy family and the BLM, saying, "[W]hen a group of protesters threaten civil unrest or violence in this county -- it is my job to step in and ensure the safety of citizens." BLM Director Neil Kornze said that "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 spokesman Craig Leff stated on April 14 in an email that "The gather is over" but that the agency planned to seek a solution "administratively and judicially" and intended to pursue court action to collect more than $1 million in back grazing fees owed by Bundy.
Las Vegas police stated that business owners in Mesquite had received threats because of the conflict. Militiamen were reportedly seen carrying rifles, keeping a round-the-clock security detail on Bundy, and setting up checkpoints.
Unmet demands to disarm federal agents and destroy entrance stations
After the BLM announced that it would release the gathered cattle, Bundy demanded that the county sheriff disarm the National Park Service "at Lake Mead and Red Rock park and all other parks where the federal government claims they have jurisdiction over." He requested that the arms be delivered within one hour. Bundy further demanded that county bulldozers or loaders be used to "tear down that entrance places where they ticket us and where they injure us and make us citizens pay their fees." The demands, which he described as a "mandate from we the people", were not met.
Bundy made similar statements two days later when he appeared on Glenn Beck's radio show and the Fox News program Hannity. He reiterated the demands on Sean Hannity's program: "The demand on the sheriff was de-arm the Park Service rangers, and de-arm Red Rock rangers — that's two parks very close to the Lake Mead area. And then the demand was, tear down the toll booth shacks." After expressing disappointment that the demands had not been met, he requested to "every county sheriff across the United States" that they "disarm the federal bureaucrats."
Bundy is reported to have described these demands as "a revelation that I received." According to Esquire, Bundy told a crowd, "The good Lord said, ‘Bundy, it’s not your job, it’s their job.’ ... This morning, I said a prayer, and this is what I received. I heard a voice say, 'Sheriff Gillespie, your work is not done. Every sheriff across the United States, take the guns away from the United States bureaucrats."
Events following April 2014 cattle gather
BLM attempts to communicate with Bundy
After the roundup was suspended, Cliven Bundy received several certified letters from the BLM that he refused to open. A BLM spokesperson said that the letters included notices that "provide Mr. Bundy the opportunity to buy back the gathered cattle." The spokesperson did not explain why the agency had sent Bundy notices regarding cattle that had been released to him.
Cliven Bundy statements and actions
Bundy alleged that the federal government wants to kill him for challenging its authority. During a press conference, he made controversial racial statements that were widely repudiated. (See Bundy's Racial comments.)
On May 2, 2014, Bundy and his family filed a complaint with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department alleging crimes committed by federal agents, including illegally blocking roads, harassing photographers, using attack dogs, pointing weapons and threatening people.
During a June 3, 2014, radio program Cliven Bundy spoke with a small group of candidates for Clark County sheriff. He did not endorse any candidate, but he said that he did not want a peacemaker in that position. "You gonna be a peacemaker," said Bundy, "you're gonna be on the BLM's side."
Continued presence of Bundy supporters
Bundy supporters remain in the Bunkerville area. At a "Patriot Party" after the standoff, supporters were treated to music from Ron Keel, a vocalist who worked with Black Sabbath for a short while in 1984.
In late April, Nevada Congressman Steven Horsford contacted Clark County sheriff Doug Gillespie regarding complaints from community members. The reported complaints alleged that Bundy militia supporters had established a persistent presence along roads, that they had set up checkpoints for citizens to prove residence, and that they had established an armed presence around churches, a school, and other community locations. One local resident said that neighbors on their way to an Easter Sunday church service were greeted by armed militia members, causing some of them not to enter "for fear and disgust of having their church basically held captive." According to the Associated Press, Cliven Bundy acknowledged "creating a stir", saying that there may have been weapons in the parking lot, but there were none in the church.
Las Vegas station KLAS-TV reported that armed protestors had blocked a county road and attempted to prevent a news crew from passing. The station also reported that "some poured lighter fluid around our news vehicle while others got physical." Bundy says that armed guards screen visitors at his ranch, but says that militia have not set up checkpoints on public property.
Mike Vanderboegh, a militia leader who remained in Nevada after the standoff, accused Senator Harry Reid of provoking a “civil war” and said not to "poke the wolverine with a sharp stick, Harry, unless you want your balls ripped off." Vanderboegh is the author of a novel that allegedly inspired a domestic terror plot and the leader of the Three Percenters Group, which the Anti-Defamation League characterizes as "part of an anti-government extremist movement".
Media outlets reported on conflict between different factions of Bundy supporters. A "wild, paranoid rumor" that Attorney General Eric Holder was preparing a drone strike against them caused Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes to remove his men from the supposed "kill zone". In a recorded video, other Bundy supporters talked openly of shooting Rhodes for what they viewed as "desertion" and "cowardice". Rhodes later described one situation as "this close from being a gunfight". He recounted another situation in which he said a man drew a gun on a member of another militia.
Esquire has described an assortment of fringe beliefs held by individual Bundy supporters who remained at the ranch: That Barack Obama is "a Muslim Kenyan", that the BLM works for the United Nations, that people born in or after 1980 may be implanted with microchips, and that bar-certified lawyers have sworn allegiance to Britain and regularly have sex with clients.
Militia members have attempted to crowdfund their continued stay at the Bundy ranch. Funding campaigns on GoFundMe.com were taken down. According to Nevada representative Steven Horsford, only about 15 armed militia remained as of early June.
FBI and U.S. Capitol Police investigations
On May 8, Clark County sheriff's officials said that they were interviewed by the FBI as part of an investigation into armed Bundy supporters who confronted federal officers during the standoff. The investigation was confirmed by Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie, who stated "I’ve said all along there has to be accountability for what took place on April 12."
Joe Lombardo, who was in charge of police officers at the scene and who was interviewed on May 1, said the FBI agents were primarily interested in who was pointing weapons at federal agents, and that he expected the FBI to be poring over videotapes and photos taken during the standoff in order to identify people making threats.
After Senator Harry Reid criticized Bundy supporters, Politico reported that sources said the Senator had been the subject of threats and consequently had increased his security detail. A spokesman for the US Capitol Police, without commenting on the nature of any threats against Harry Reid, said, "We are currently looking into threatening statements made against Sen. Reid as part of an ongoing investigation."
2014 Las Vegas shootings
On June 8, 2014, Jerad and Amanda Miller killed two Las Vegas police officers and a civilian before taking their own lives during a shootout with police. During the attack they shouted "this is a revolution", and they covered the bodies of the officers in a Gadsden flag and left a copy of a manifesto bearing a swastika. Their original plan may have been to take over a courthouse and execute public officials. Identified by Al-Jazeera as a rancher in its April 22 coverage of the Bundy protest, the Millers had moved from Indiana to the Las Vegas area in January. They were quoted on Reno television KRNV: "I feel sorry for any federal agents that want to come here and try to push around or anything like that. I really don't want violence toward them but if they're gonna come and bring violence to us, well, if that's the language they want to speak, we'll learn it." Miller commented on the issues involved in greater length in social media, and interviewed other protesters at the Bundy ranch.
Interior Secretary Sally Jewell reacted to the shootings, saying "It's very important to bring lawbreakers to justice. There's no question that my colleagues back here, the governors of Western states, do not want people riding roughshod over the landscape ... [Bundy] put our people in grave danger by calling in armed civilians from around the country, and that’s not okay." Carol Bundy said "I have not seen or heard anything from the militia and others who have came to our ranch that would, in any way, make me think they had an intent to kill or harm anyone." Bundy's son said that the couple had been asked to leave the ranch after a few days because they were "very radical" and did not align themselves with the protest's main issues. According to Mark Potok, a spokesperson for the Southern Poverty Law Center, Jerad and Amanda Miller considered the outcome of the standoff between as "a huge victory against the federal government", which reportedly motivated them to commit the shooting spree.
Reactions by public officials
Republican Senator Dean Heller of Nevada complained of federal actions during the standoff, saying, "I told him (BLM Director Neil Kornze) very clearly that law-abiding Nevadans must not be penalized by an over-reaching BLM". After the resolution he stated, "emotions and tensions are still near the boiling point." Later on he said that Bundy should pay the BLM the more than $1 million in grazing fees owed to the agency.
After the BLM left the area for safety concerns, Nevada's Senior Senator to US Congress and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said, "Well, 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." Reid also referred to the militia supporting Bundy as "domestic terrorists".
Republican Representative Chris Stewart (R-Utah) decried the BLM and other agencies for staffing their departments with what he called “paramilitary units” and “SWAT team[s]”. However, the Bureau of Land Management does not have a SWAT team, according to The Salt Lake Tribune, which editorialized that Stewart's views "may be one of the worst ideas in the history of bad ideas." In response, a BLM agency’s spokeswoman said that the BLM doesn’t have any SWAT or tactical teams. An Interior Department representative said that the BLM “had law enforcement personnel present to provide safety for their employees and the public".
On April 19, 2014, Texas Republican Steve Stockman sent a letter to President Barack Obama, Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, and BLM Director Neil Kornze, stating that the BLM was overreaching its law enforcement authority with what he called a "paramilitary raid."[unreliable source?]
In a July 20, 2014 Washington Post column titled Nevada: Burned by the Rants of Hotheads, Representative Steven Horsford (D-Nevada) described recent incidents of violence in his district and nearby states, and criticized the "nonstop attention and demagoguery from media and politicians alike," saying: "There can be reasonable disagreements about the Bundy Ranch. But we can disagree without offering refuge to dangerous individuals on the fringe."
Nevada governor and state lawmakers
Governor Brian Sandoval sided with Bundy, saying "No cow justifies the atmosphere of intimidation which currently exists nor the limitation of constitutional rights that are sacred to all Nevadans. The BLM needs to reconsider its approach to this matter and act accordingly."
Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore, who supported Bundy, aiding him with his returned calves, said, "It's time for Nevada to stand up to the federal government and demand the return of the BLM lands to the people of Nevada."
Arizona state lawmakers
On April 15, 2014, a group of Republican state legislators from Arizona, including Representatives Bob Thorpe (R-Flagstaff), David Livingston (R-Peoria), Kelly Townsend (R-Mesa), Senators Judy Burges (R-Sun City West), and Kelli Ward (R-Lake Havasu City) traveled to Mesquite, Nevada, to support Bundy in his standoff with the BLM.
Arizona Representative Kelly Townsend said that the scenes at the ranch amid the dispute gave her a "visceral reaction... It sounds dramatic, but it reminded me of Tiananmen Square. I don’t recognize my country at this point." Her colleague, Bob Thorpe of Flagstaff, said that he was one of about three dozen state legislators who had sent a letter about the standoff to Nevada and federal officials.
Reactions from media
Media personalities have weighed in on the confrontations. During the standoff, Bundy was interviewed (via remote link) by television host Sean Hannity. Hannity stated that some fear events could wind up mirroring the Waco siege and Ruby Ridge and said, "This is public land, and it’s not being used, in my mind, and I'm not a rancher, (but) I would think the federal government might be thankful because you're cutting the lawn for free, and they're charging huge amounts of money, right, to let your cattle graze there with these fees".
Editorial responses from newspapers have been mixed. The Las Vegas Review-Journal wrote that the BLM was right to defuse the situation, but that the confrontation showed the problems of federal land ownership in the state and called for the federal government to sell off the land in question. The Las Vegas Sun wrote that "Bundy hit a trifecta of sorts: He violated the laws Congress made, ignored the judicial branch’s orders, and defied the executive branch’s efforts to enforce those laws and orders ... In the end, Bundy isn’t the victor; anarchy is. The rule of law, and society as a whole, lost." The Casper Star-Tribune wrote that Bundy was cheating taxpayers, an "embarrassment to ranchers in Wyoming and across the West who work hard, pay their taxes and maintain good relationships with managers of federal land on which their cattle graze."
In response to Bundy supporter Mike Vanderboegh's comment, "Don’t poke the wolverine with a sharp stick, Harry [Reid], unless you want your balls ripped off," a writer for The Nation framed the remark as part of a larger, right-wing obsession with castration. Gawker lampooned militia crowdfunding attempts as a "welfare drive" to "sit around doing nothing".
Reactions by Bundy and supporters
About 1,500 Bundy supporters attended a celebration on April 18, where they ate Bundy beef, read cowboy poetry, and wore "domestic terrorist" name tags, referencing a comment made by Nevada Senator Harry Reid. Bundy said he would continue holding a daily news conference.
Some protesters termed the standoff as the Battle of Bunkerville, although there was actually no armed battle.
Some Tea Party Movement supporters expressed solidarity with the Bundys, including three Southern Nevada Tea Party groups that organized a protest outside Las Vegas police headquarters on April 11, 2014, claiming that Sheriff Doug Gillespie had failed in his duty to protect Nevadans from abuse by the federal government.
The Bundy family claimed victory on having its cattle returned. In an interview after the BLM's withdrawal, Sean Hannity asked Bundy if he had a reply to Senator Harry Reid's comment that the situation was not over. Bundy said, "I don't have a response for Harry Reid, but I have a response for every county sheriff across the United States. Disarm the federal bureaucrats."
An Oklahoma militia with members present in Nevada stated their support for Cliven Bundy. Scott Shaw, a co-founder of the Oklahoma Volunteer Militia, said the militia was prepared to use deadly force, but that its members would not fire unless fired upon. When an interviewer asked about a situation in which the government might use rubber bullets, which are designed to incapacitate and not kill, Shaw responded, "How are we supposed to know that they’re firing rubber bullets when it has been fired?” During an appearance on The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly asked Shaw what made Cliven Bundy different from Occupy Wall Street supporters. Shaw replied that Cliven Bundy is "providing the country with beef" and that the two groups have different methods of dissent.
In Texas, Michael Joseph Kearns, a convicted felon with alleged ties to the sovereign citizen movement who describes himself as a "self-taught paralegal", filed a motion seeking to overturn a 2013 ruling allowing the BLM to seize Bundy's cattle. After the judge ruled that Kearns had no standing, Kearns filed another motion. He wrote that the judge's "orders, judgments and mandates, have no rightful or lawful force and effect upon the people of the United States.” Describing Kearns as an “abusive filer”, the judge directed the federal clerk to return, “without docketing,” any future documents Kearns tries to file. Kearns, who has denied that he is part of the sovereign citizen movement, was convicted in 1996 of one count conspiracy to defraud the United States and seven counts of aiding and abetting mail fraud. Kearns was released from federal prison on May 3, 2006.
Legal and rule-of-law reactions
Atlantic reporter Matt Ford pointed out that Bundy's claim, "I abide by all of Nevada state laws. But I don’t recognize the United States government as even existing," is at odds with Nevada's law, specifically the state's constitution. Framed during the Civil War, Nevada's constitution specifically mentions the rights of the federal government, stating in Article 1, Section 2, "The Paramount Allegiance of every citizen is due to the Federal Government in the exercise of all its Constitutional powers as the same have been or may be defined by the Supreme Court of the United States...whensoever any portion of the States, or people thereof attempt to secede from the Federal Union, or forcibly resist the Execution of its laws, the Federal Government may, by warrant of the Constitution, employ armed force in compelling obedience to its Authority."
The Salt Lake City Tribune published an editorial on April 15 entitled "Bundy is a lawbreaker, not a hero", in which it said, "Don't let him get away with it" and "The only winner in this was a scofflaw who has twice lost in the courts for running cattle where they don’t belong and skipping out on grazing fees. Some 20,000 ranchers in Western states abide by BLM regulations, so what makes Bundy special?" To sum it up, the Tribune said, "When some manage to avoid justice by extralegal means, the rule of law is weakened for all Americans."
Some of Bundy's neighbors were not impressed by his actions. "I feel that the rule of law supersedes armed militias coming in from all over the country to stand with a law-breaking rancher, which is what he is", Mesquite resident Elaine Hurd told local television station KLAS.
Roger Taylor, a retired BLM district manager in Arizona, said the agency's decision to release the cattle would have repercussions. "The (agency) is going to be in a worse situation where they will have a much more difficult time getting those cattle off the land and getting Bundy in compliance with regulations," he said.
Dallas Hyland, in his column in Utah's St. George News, wrote, "The stand-down was necessary to prevent bloodshed, but it must be recognized that if Bundy and a multitude of his supporters, militia friends, and even family members who broke the law, are allowed to go unpunished, anarchy will follow. In the case of Bundy and the Gold Butte designations, the government did it right. They continued to do it right in the face of the lawless behavior of a rancher and his militia henchmen."
Indian Country Today Media Network wrote that government treatment of Cliven Bundy "stands in stark contrast to what was done to the Dann sisters and other Indigenous Peoples on Shoshone territory." An editorial in the Las Vegas Review-Journal also contrasted Bundy's dispute with that of the Dann sisters.
In the Dann case, sisters Mary and Carrie Dann refused to pay grazing fees on this land, claiming that this was acknowledged to be Shoshone land. The year prior to Nevada being admitted to the Union, the US signed the Treaty of Ruby Valley, recognizing the Western Shoshone as owners of large portions of their original territory. In 1979, the Indian Claims Commission awarded the Shoshone $26 million in compensation for land lost to "settler encroachment". The tribe refused to cede the lands for payment at that time, as it was slated to be used for nuclear testing.
The BLM entered the land, and seized cattle, imposing a fine of $3 million. A petition was lodged with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (the "Commission”) against the United States of America by the Indian Law Resource Center in defense of the Dann sisters. The Commission concluded that the State failed to ensure the Danns’ right to property under conditions of equality contrary to Articles II, XVIII and XXIII of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man in connection with their claims to property rights in the Western Shoshone ancestral lands. The cattle were auctioned off by the BLM the next day. The United Nations Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination criticized the U.S. for human rights violations, but no further action was taken. On January 17, 2006, the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Western Shoshone National Council against the United States of America that sought to quiet title to lands whose boundaries were defined by the Treaty of Ruby Valley.
A Las Vegas news outlet reported that the Moapa band of Paiute Indians had provided them with a map indicating that a federal treaty had promised them the land on which the Bundy ranch is situated.
Political commentary reactions
David Damore, a political science professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, said that there is "a great ability on the part of these folks to overlook the reality of how much the federal government subsidized Nevada in terms of big projects – the Hoover Dam, the mining subsidies. It's a welfare cowboy mindset."
The nonprofit Center for Biological Diversity stated, "Despite having no legal right to do so, cattle from Bundy's ranch have continued to graze throughout the Gold Butte area, competing with tortoises for food, hindering the ability of plants to recover from extensive wildfires, trampling rare plants, damaging ancient American Indian cultural sites and threatening the safety of recreationists."
Rob Mrowka, also with the Center for Biological Diversity, said that the BLM "is allowing a freeloading rancher and armed thugs to seize hundreds of thousands of acres of the people's land as their own. It's backing down in the face of threats and posturing of armed sovereignists."
Environmentalists held that the BLM's withdrawal sent the wrong message to law-abiding ranchers who do secure grazing permits and operate within the law.
About a week after the climax of the standoff, on April 19, 2014, Bundy spoke about witnessing a civil disturbance, the 1965 Watts riots. Bundy described his views about unhappiness at that time and criticized what he saw as government interference and its influence on African Americans. He recalled later seeing a public housing project in North Las Vegas where some of the older residents and the children sat on the porch. He said: "They didn't have nothing to do ... they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do? They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I've often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn't get no more freedom. They got less freedom."
In reference to Mexican people, he said, "[t]hey come over here against our Constitution and cross our borders, but they're here, and they're people ... Don't tell me they don't work, and don't tell me they don't pay taxes. And don't tell me they don't have better family structures than most of us white people."
Response by public officials
Ranking Democratic Senator Harry Reid condemned the Bundy statement and said Bundy had "revealed himself to be a hateful racist. But by denigrating people who work hard and play by the rules while he mooches off public land he also revealed himself to be a hypocrite... It is the height of irresponsibility for any individual or entity in a position of power or influence to glorify or romanticize such a dangerous individual... For their part, national Republican leaders could help show a united front against this kind of hateful, dangerous extremism by publicly condemning Bundy."
A number of Republican politicians and talk-show hosts who previously had supported Bundy, forcefully condemned his remarks as racist, including junior NV Senator Dean Heller, who previously had described Bundy defenders as "patriots”, and Senator Rand Paul. On April 23, Heller said through a spokesperson that he "completely disagrees with Mr. Bundy’s appalling and racist statements, and condemns them in the most strenuous way". On April 23, Bundy defended his comments by saying "the statement was right".
Response by the media
Sean Hannity, who had supported Bundy in his Fox News talk show, had interviewed Bundy several times, and had called him "a friend and frequent guest of the show", later said that Bundy's remarks were "beyond repugnant". Glenn Beck criticized Bundy's comments, saying that the rancher is "unhinged from reality" and urged his supporters to "end your relationship" with him.
Writing for the Los Angeles Times, Patt Morrison saw the incident as one of many where an ordinary person is "turned into the poster boy or the poster girl of some political battle du jour." Morrison wrote, "It happens so often that Las Vegas may have a betting line, not on whether these folks will implode but when. The Cliven Bundys of American politics, bit players who are suddenly promoted to center stage, are never as good as their adherents want them to be. They are not empty vessels, but they are flawed ones."
Ben Swann questioned whether Bundy's "inarticulate" comments were given a "truthful representation", and published a video segment which includes the comments preceding and following the quotation published by Adam Nagourney of The New York Times. Joseph Curl, writing for The Washington Times, described Bundy's views as incorrect and noted that the New York Times failed to print an entire transcript of the remarks.
According to Geoffrey Lawrence, deputy policy director at the Nevada Policy Research Institute, Bundy lost his personal credibility with his racist remarks. Lawrence argues that the discussion about federal land use in the West should not be abandoned, and that Congress should act to correct the "harsh and unfair federal misuse of state lands".
Paradoxically, almost every commentator without exception disregarded the fact that Bundy was in fact arguing not for slavery, but that people of color had in his view been short-changed for freedom in alternative dependencies since Emancipation, just as his follow-up comment established that he regarded no one as inferior on the basis of race.
Bundy family background
The Bundy family purchased their farm outside of Bunkerville in 1948; the farm would serve as headquarters and base property for their ranching operation, which began in 1954, on federal land. They had moved to the area from Bundyville, Arizona (near Mount Trumbull). Cliven Bundy's father, David Bundy, was born in Bundyville in 1922. David Bundy had married Margaret Bodel Jensen of Bunkerville, and after starting a family in Arizona, they purchased their property outside of Bunkerville in 1948.
Cliven had argued in court that his "Mormon ancestors began working the land in the 1880s". This argument has basis in Cliven's maternal grandmother's ancestral line, but not among his paternal or other maternal lines. Cliven's mother's father, John Jensen, was born in Utah, but her mother, Abigail Christina Abbott, was born in the Bunkerville/Mesquite area. Abigail Christina Abbott's parents, both born in Utah, were among early settlers of Bunkerville/Mesquite in the 1880s; this includes lines from the Leavitt and Abbott families. These early families moved in and out of the area on several occasions, and polygamous marriages meant some wives and their families were kept in different towns. As such, there is no continuous line of family births and habitation in Bunkerville/Mesquite from Cliven Bundy to the few ancestors who settled the area.
Leavitt family connection
Bundy's maternal family had some connection to Bunkerville through his ancestor, Dudley Leavitt, a Canadian who moved to Utah after joining the LDS Church.[b] After marrying wives in Utah in 1853, 1855, 1859, 1860, and 1872 and selling his Gunlock, Utah, property, he moved to Bunkerville, Nevada. The original location he settled was south of Mesquite, 2 1⁄2 miles (4.0 km) northeast of present-day Bunkerville. The community was named after Edward Bunker, Sr., the leader of the group of 23 men (the United Order) who originally agreed to move west. All property was originally shared in common, which caused great strife within the community. The communal property was then divided up, with Leavitt expressing displeasure at his small portion. He then moved from the community across the river to Mesquite by 1881. When the Virgin River flooded, he moved again and was contracted to carry mail across a 180-mile (290 km) round-trip distance from St. George, Utah, to St. Thomas, Nevada. He placed his five families in various locations along the route. The family of Mary Jane Leavitt (Cliven Bundy's great-grandmother) was kept at Leavittville, Arizona.
Abbott family connection
Cliven Bundy's great-great-grandfather was Myron Abbott, the grandson of settlers from England and Northern Ireland.[c] He left Ogden Canyon, Utah in the 1850s, to join Edward Bunker, Sr., in forming the United Order, serving as teacher of the workers and as the second counselor to Bunker, who was made bishop of the community. After the United Order dissolved, Abbott spent his time plowing and tending farmland, in addition to transporting salt from St. Thomas to Santa Clara, Utah. His son, William Abbott, married Dudley Leavitt's daughter Mary Jane Leavitt at the St. George Utah Temple in 1890; Cliven Bundy's maternal grandmother, Abigail Christina Abbott, was their child. William Abbott traveled through the United States on Mormon missions and served as the bishop of the Mesquite Ward from 1901 to 1927. He wrote the story of his family settling in Mesquite and his missions across the United States in The Story of My Life, an autobiography and family biography.
- Grazing rights
- Militia organizations in the United States
- Recapture Canyon
- Sagebrush Rebellion
- Tenther movement
- Case No. 2:12-cv-0804-LDG-GWF
- Cliven Bundy > Margaret Bodel Jensen, 9th child > Abigail Christina Abbott, 1st child, born 1891 in Bunkerville, Nevada, married John Jensen 1909 in St. George, Utah > Mary Jane Leavitt born 1873 in Gunlock, Utah, married William Abbott 1890 in St. George, Utah > Dudley Leavitt born 1830 in Hatley, Quebec, Canada
- Cliven Bundy > Margaret Jensen > Abigail Abbott > William Abbott > Myron Abbott
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- Morgan, Whitaker (June 6, 2014). "Bundy owes the government more than all other ranchers combined". MSNBC. Retrieved June 7, 2014. "Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy owes more money to the federal government for outstanding grazing fees than all other ranchers combined, according to the Bureau of Land Management. While Bundy owes more than a $1 million to the BLM, the total sum of all other late grazing fees totals a comparatively small $237,000, according to BLM data first reported by E&E News."
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- "BLM says 6 cattle died in disputed Nevada roundup". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. April 23, 2014. Retrieved April 22, 2014.
- Ben Botkin; Keith Rogers (April 17, 2014). "BLM: 2 bulls euthanized during Cliven Bundy cattle roundup". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved April 23, 2014.
- CBS, News (April 14, 2014). "Nevada rancher standoff turns on a states' rights debate". CBS News. Retrieved April 15, 2014.
- Donahue, Mike (March 24, 2014). "Bundy declares 'range war', BLM to impound embattled rancher's cattle". Desert Valley Times. Retrieved April 16, 2014.
- Daniel Hernandez, Joseph Langdon and (April 13, 2014). "Federal rangers face off against armed protesters in Nevada range war". The Guardian. Retrieved April 14, 2014.
- Weast, Burton (April 3, 2014). "Ryan Bundy tells BTAB his family will protect its cattle from seizure". Mesquite Local News. Retrieved May 21, 2014. "'If they are going to be out stealing our property, we will protect our property,' he said. He also said that he heard the FBI was setting up in the Overton area, and that BLM was bringing in helicopters and trucks to remove the cattle. 'This is an issue of state sovereignty, the state owns the land not the federal government.'"
- Bunkerville Town Advisory Board. "Bunkerville Town Advisory Board: Thursday, March 27, 2014, at 7 P.M.". "Ryan Bundy stated they don’t agree that the Federal Government controls the land the cattle are on, that should be State land. He said they have used the land since 1887, and they will resist any attempt by the BLM to take their cattle. Some Board members expressed concern that the land would remain closed after the cattle were removed"
- March 27, 2014 meeting audio (WMA stream). March 27, 2014. Retrieved May 21, 2014. "[1:55:25] Because this is our property, we own the cattle, we own the grazing rights, we own the water rights, we own the range improvements. We have the right to access it … Because of these ownership rights, we say we will protect our property. Now, we delegate to the county sheriff the authority to protect our life, liberty, and property. But we don't relinquish that authority ourself. And so if they are going to be out in the hills stealing our property, we will [pause] put measures of defense. And they have always asked us, 'What will you do, what will you do?' and our stance has always been we will do whatever it takes. Open-ended. And because of that, that's why they are scared, because they don't know to what level we will go to protect, but we will protect ... [2:04:50] This is an issue of state sovereignty. We talked about what is the United States of America. It's a union of states ... [2:06:00] These large tracts of land that Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service, monuments, parks and, you know, National Parks, et cetera, et cetera, there is no constitutionality to them at all ... [2:09:20] The stand is the state sovereignty issue. If this is really not about Cliven Bundy and his cattle on this range, this issue is about is Nevada a state, or is Nevada still a territory?"
- Jennifer Dobner (April 12, 2014). "U.S. agency ends Nevada cattle roundup, releases herd after stand-off". Reuters.
- "Nevada officials blast feds over treatment of cattle rancher Cliven Bundy". FoxNews.com. April 10, 2014.
- Goldstein, Sasha. "Nevada rancher in tense standoff with federal government over cattle on rural public lands". New York Daily News. New York Daily News. Retrieved April 11, 2014.
- Niraj Chokshi (April 9, 2014). "The federal government moved some cows and Nevada’s governor isn’t happy about it". Washington Post.
- Brean, Henry (April 10, 2014). "Bundy vs. BLM: Interest in cattle dispute widens". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved April 14, 2014.
- Martinez, Michael (April 10, 2014). "Showdown on the range: Nevada rancher, feds face off over cattle grazing rights". CNN. Retrieved April 10, 2014. "In response, federal officials are allowing the protesters to gather on public lands as long as they don't impede the roundup, said Lueders, the BLM's director in Nevada."
- "Out-of-state groups ride in to stand with Nevada rancher in battle with feds over civil rights". Fox News. Fox News. Retrieved April 11, 2014.
- Ralph Ellis; Michael Martinez (April 12, 2014). "Feds end roundup, release cattle after tense Nevada showdown". CNN. Retrieved April 12, 2014.
- "Sheriff: FBI is investigating threats made to law enforcement during Bundy showdown". Las Vegas Review Journal. Retrieved May 9, 2014.
- Knapp, George (April 30, 2014). "I-Team: Police faced possible 'bloodbath' at Bundy protest". KLAS-TV 8 News Now. Archived from the original on May 15, 2014. Retrieved May 15, 2014. "'It was a scary point in itself. They were in my face yelling profanities and pointing weapons. The Bundy son himself, that I was negotiating with, Dave, he did not do that, but all the associated people around him did do that,' Lombardo said ... Metro pointedly did not allow officers to put on helmets or protective gear for fear it might be seen as a provocation. At the urging of Cliven Bundy, the crowd moved toward the BLM compound. Rhetoric grew more heated, and guns were pointed at officers."
- Urquhart, Jim (April 23, 2014). "Nevada showdown". Reuters. Archived from the original on May 15, 2014. Retrieved May 16, 2014. "Then I heard the words, 'I’ve got a clear shot at four of them,' and to my right found one of the men pointing his weapon in the direction of the BLM. For me, time had stopped. 'I’m ready to pull the trigger if fired upon,' said another man on the bridge. That was what other Bundy supporters said too – they wouldn’t shoot first, but they would return fire."
- Turner, Christi. "Rancher vs BLM: a 20-year standoff ends with tense roundup". High Country News. High Country News. Retrieved April 12, 2014.
- "Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy inspects cattle for damage by feds". CBS News. April 15, 2014.
- "Sheriff urged to clamp down on armed militiamen around Bundy ranch". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved May 1, 2014.
- Baca, Nathan (April 15, 2014). "I-Team: Political cause growing in Bundy's dispute with BLM". 8 News Now Las Vegas. Retrieved May 14, 2014. "After Sheriff Gillespie announced the BLM would leave Bunkerville, Cliven Bundy looked at the sheriff and delivered his new ultimatum. 'Disarm the park service at Lake Mead and Red Rock park and all other parks where the federal government claims they have jurisdiction over,' Bundy said, 'We want those arms delivered right here under these flags in one hour.'"
- McNab, JJ (May 9, 2014). "Cliven Bundy's Son Had Run-In With Park Service Two Decades Ago". Forbes. Archived from the original on May 13, 2014. "Cliven Bundy’s April 12, 2014 demand that the County Sheriff immediately demolish the entrances of National Parks located in Nevada ... 'Take your county bulldozers … er … loaders and tear down that entrance places where they ticket us and where they injure us and make us citizens pay their fees. You get your county equipment out there and tear those things down this morning.'"
- Kopan, Tal (April 14, 2014). "Cliven Bundy to sheriffs: ‘Disarm’ the Bureau of Land Management". Politico. Archived from the original on April 20, 2014. Retrieved May 14, 2014. "'I only want to talk to one person in each county across the United States, and here’s what I want to say: County sheriffs, disarm U.S. bureaucracy. County sheriffs, disarm U.S. bureaucrats,' Bundy said on Glenn Beck’s radio show on TheBlaze on Monday ... 'My Clark County sheriff, Doug Gillespie, didn’t finish his job,' Bundy said. 'What the mandate from we the people was, Saturday was to disarm the park service and BLM.'"
- Thompson, Catherine (April 15, 2014). "Harry Reid: Bundy Ranch Standoff 'Not Over'". Talking Points Memo. Archived from the original on April 19, 2014. Retrieved May 14, 2014. "'I don’t have a response for Harry Reid, but I have a response for every county sheriff across the United States,' Bundy told host Sean Hannity. 'Disarm the federal bureaucrats.'"
- Sean Hannity (host) and Cliven Bundy (interviewee) (April 14, 2014). Hannity (mp3) (Audio recording). Fox News. Event occurs at Statement appears at 18:23. Retrieved May 15, 2014. "The demand on the sheriff was de-arm the Park Service rangers, and de-arm Red Rock rangers — that's two parks very close to the Lake Mead area. And then the demand was, tear down the toll booth stacks."
- "Nevada Rancher’s Son: Harry Reid ‘Needs To Be Kicked Out Of Office’". CBS Las Vegas. Retrieved May 15, 2014.
- Enders, Caty (April 25, 2014). "Life at The Bundy Ranch, Uncensored". Archived from the original on May 17, 2014. Retrieved May 17, 2014. "They failed, for example, to follow his instructions to tear down the toll booths at Lake Mead and disarm the Park Service. 'The message I gave to you all was a revelation that I received. And yet not one of you can seem to even quote it.' ... 'It come to my mind real plain — the good Lord said, "Bundy, it’s not your job, it’s THEIR job." So we come back over here and heard that they had brought some cattle back. So I want you to understand,' he said. 'This is not my job, it’s YOUR job. This morning, I said a prayer, and this is what I received. I heard a voice say, "Sheriff Gillespie, your work is not done. Every sheriff across the United States, take the guns away from the United States bureaucrats."' Lots of clapping for this."
- Glionna, John M.; Simon, Richard (April 24, 2014). "At scene of Nevada ranch standoff, 'citizen soldiers' are on guard". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 13, 2014. "Since the roundup ended, he said he has refused to even open five certified letters from the BLM. 'I've challenged the federal government's authority,' he said. 'That's why they want to kill Cliven Bundy.'"
- Botkin, Ben (April 16, 2014). "BLM tries to contact Cliven Bundy, but the rancher won’t take the message". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved May 13, 2014. "The Bureau of Land Management has tried to contact Cliven Bundy ever since the federal agency released the rancher’s cattle Saturday while facing a horde of protesters, but Bundy hasn’t opened any of the written messages. His son, Ammon Bundy, said four certified letters from the BLM arrived at the ranch Tuesday. So far, the 67-year-old Bunkerville resident has chosen not to open the envelopes."
- Botkin, Ben (April 21, 2014). "BLM confirms six Bundy cattle died in roundup". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved May 13, 2014. "The BLM last week sent four certified letters to Cliven Bundy, which he hadn’t opened last week. Leff said the letters 'include public sale notices of the impounded cattle.' 'These notices provide Mr. Bundy the opportunity to buy back the gathered cattle, determined to be his,' Leff said in a statement. 'These notices do not absolve Mr. Bundy from his trespass fees for grazing cattle on public lands without a permit.' Leff didn’t answer follow-up questions from the Review-Journal about why the agency sent notices to Bundy to buy back cattle that had been returned to him."
- "Cliven Bundy's Family Takes Grazing Fight to Sheriff". Associated Press. May 2, 2014. Retrieved May 2, 2014.
- "Bundy family, supporters file criminal complaints against BLM". ABC13 News. Retrieved May 2, 2014.
- Treanor, John (June 3, 2014). "Bundy poses questions for candidates on local radio station". News 3 HD. Retrieved June 7, 2014.
- Rogers, Keith (April 18, 2014). "Bundy supporters party, welcome ‘domestic terrorist’ label". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Archived from the original on May 12, 2014. Retrieved May 16, 2014. "He made the statement before a “Patriot Party” that started at 5 p.m. with music by Madison Rising and Ron Keel, who sang with Black Sabbath briefly in 1984. A party atmosphere among a few hundred people grew as more supporters trickled in. Some people were cooling off in the river while dozens of armed militia members wearing camouflaged fatigues patrolled in and around the area."
- Craig, Huber. "NV lawmaker presses sheriff toprobe Bundy militiamen". Fox5Vegas-KVVU. Retrieved April 30, 2014.
- Horsford, Steven. "Horsford Urges Sheriff Gillespie To Investigate Armed Militia Presence In Bunkerville". Rep Horsford press release. Retrieved April 30, 2014.
- Ritter, Ken (May 1, 2014). "Neighbors grow weary of 'militia' remaining with Nevada cattle rancher in federal land dispute". 'Associated Press, appearing in the Minneapolis' StarTribune. Retrieved May 19, 2014. "Bundy acknowledged creating a stir when he and his family showed up at the Mormon church with armed bodyguards for Easter Sunday services. 'The militia have been going with me everywhere,' Bundy said Tuesday. 'When I got to church, I said, "Leave your weapons in the car." They did. I guess there could have been weapons in the parking lot, but there were no weapons in the church house.' Bundy denies that militia members set up checkpoints on public property. He said armed guards do stop and screen visitors at the gate to his ranch."
- Rozyla, Lauren (April 17, 2014). "Cliven Bundy snubs letters from BLM". KLAS-TV 8 News Now. Retrieved May 16, 2014. "Supporters say they're waiting for the feds to react. Armed protesters continue to surround the Bundy ranch and are even blocking a county road. Some of the supporters attempted Thursday to keep a Channel 8 news crew from entering the area, despite it being a public road. 'You're trying to start trouble and you're standing with that camera in my face,' one protester said. The armed men say they'll be at the site for weeks to come to defend the Bundy family."
- Knapp, George (April 30, 2014). "I-Team: Police say Bundy ranch protesters not off the hook". KLAS-TV 8 News Now. Retrieved May 16, 2014. "They were equally hostile to journalists covering the story. Pistol-packing militia men have blocked 8 News NOW's access to public roads. Some poured lighter fluid around our news vehicle while others got physical."
- Feldman, Josh (April 30, 2014). "Bundy Supporter Warns Reid: ‘You Want Your Balls Ripped Off’?". Mediaite. Archived from the original on May 3, 2014. Retrieved May 16, 2014. "Vanderboegh presented an award 'for incitement to civil war' in Reid’s honor and warned the senator, 'Don’t poke the wolverine with a sharp stick, Harry, unless you want your balls ripped off.'"
- Savan, Leslie (May 2, 2014). "Why Is the Right Obsessed With Castration?". The Nation. Archived from the original on May 16, 2014. Retrieved May 16, 2014. "'All over this country, we are still staring civil war in its bloody face,' said Mike Vanderboegh, leader of the militia group Three Percenters and author of a novel that allegedly inspired a domestic terrorist plot in 2011 ... Bundy’s boys weren’t the first to thrust the image of torn-off testicles onto the 2014 political stage."
- Mencimer, Stephanie (November 2, 2011). "Alleged Waffle House Terror Plotters Inspired By Former Militia Author". Mother Jones. Archived from the original on January 21, 2013. Retrieved May 16, 2014. "The Georgia seniors meeting at Waffle House who were recently apprehended by the FBI for allegedly plotting to kill millions of Americans to save the Constitution also seem to have had a literary influence: Mike Vanderboegh, and his novel, Absolved."
- "Oath Keepers and Three %ers Part of Growing Anti-Government Movement". Anti-Defamation League. October 26, 2009. Archived from the original on February 15, 2014. Retrieved May 16, 2014. "The Oath Keepers and Three Percenters, both part of an anti-government extremist movement that has grown since President Obama took office, promote the idea that the federal government is plotting to take away the rights of American citizens and must be resisted. The two groups are apparently trying to make inroads in the U.S. military."
- Rosenberg, Paul (May 14, 2014). "'You need to die': Cliven Bundy and violent militias still terrorizing Utah, Nevada". Salon. Archived from the original on May 16, 2014. Retrieved May 16, 2014. "round the same time, a wild, paranoid rumor spread throughout the camp that Attorney General Eric Holder was preparing a drone strike against them ... And on May 2, Neiwert reported further on how the two factions nearly came to a shoot-out."
- David, Neiwart (April 30, 2014). "Back at the Bundy Ranch, It’s Oath Keepers vs. Militiamen as Wild Rumors Fly". Southern Poverty Law Center. Archived from the original on May 16, 2014. Retrieved May 16, 2014. "When a wild and paranoid rumor began circulating – that Attorney General Eric Holder was preparing a drone strike on the armed militiamen who gathered at Cliven Bundy’s ranch in Nevada – it unleashed a rift within the camp ... Apparently, someone within one of the major factions at the camp, the Oath Keepers, relayed word of the imminent drone attack to his leaders. Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes responded by pulling his people out of what they called 'the kill zone' (the area the supposed drone would be striking). When the other militiamen learned that the Oath Keepers had pulled out, they were outraged ... They openly talk about shooting Rhodes and other Oath Keepers leaders – because in their view, the Oath Keepers’ actions constituted 'desertion' and 'cowardice' – and describe how 'the whole thing is falling apart over there.' At the end, they vote unanimously to oust the Oath Keepers, or at least its leadership, from the Bundy Ranch camp."
- David, Neiwart (May 2, 2014). "Militiamen and Oath Keepers Drew Weapons, Threatened to Kill Each Other". Southern Poverty Law Center. Archived from the original on May 16, 2014. Retrieved May 16, 2014. "The situation at the ranch, where armed militiamen and 'Patriots' are camped out, has deteriorated so badly that competing factions apparently drew weapons on one another during heated arguments ... The team that primarily circulated the drone-strike rumor – Stewart Rhodes’ Oath Keepers – also began advising people to pull out, which sparked the wrath of militiamen. Those militiamen voted to oust the Oath Keepers, and a couple even spoke of shooting Rhodes and his men in the back, which they deemed the proper battlefield treatment of 'deserters' ... [RHODES:] 'Guys with hands on their guns threatening them. That’s why we told them to get out of there. We knew the situation was this close from being a gunfight, right there inside the camp.' [RHODES:] 'One of our guys from Montana, Rick Delap, who was there from the beginning — he’s been out there for two weeks in the dirt – the day of this confrontation, I come to find out he had to draw on somebody.'"
- Schoenmann, Joe (May 15, 2014). "Cliven Bundy’s supporters seek crowdfunding to sustain militia". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved May 16, 2014. "Two supporters of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy launched crowdfunding campaigns to help pay for the militia that’s camping on the family’s ranch about 75 miles outside of Las Vegas. Blaine Cooper and Christopher E. Ferrell registered campaigns on GoFundMe.com. Both accounts, previously reported by Gawker, have been taken down but the cached versions remain visible."
- "Official: FBI investigating Bundy Ranch showdown". USA Today. May 8, 2014. Retrieved May 9, 2014.
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- Cynthia Johnston (June 9, 2014). "Killers of Las Vegas cops harbored anti-government ideology". Reuters.
- Michelle Rindels and Martin Griffith (June 9, 2014). "Bundy's Son: Las Vegas Shooters Kicked off Ranch". Associated Press via ABC News.
- Michael Pearson, Saeed Ahmed and Kevin Conlon (June 9, 2014). "Source: Possible 'manifesto' found in Las Vegas shootings". CNN.
- Mike Blasky and Colton Lochhead (June 9, 2014). "Indiana couple who killed Las Vegas police also had plans to attack courts". Las Vegas Review-Journal.
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- David Corn, Dana Liebelson, and Asawin Suebsaeng (June 9, 2014). "The Chilling Anti-Government, Cliven Bundy-Loving Facebook Posts of the Alleged Las Vegas Shooters". Mother Jones.
- Reid Wilson (June 9, 2014). "Interior Secretary Jewell connects Las Vegas shooting to Bundy ranch". Washington Post.
- "Police: Killer Las Vegas couple shouted about revolution, posted rants online"
- "Heller says Bundy should pay BLM grazing fees". Associated Press. May 1, 2014. Retrieved May 2, 2014.
- Steve Benen (April 15, 2014). "Reid says Bundy Ranch standoff 'not over'".
- Pleasance, Chris (April 18, 2014). "Domestic terrorists. Senator Harry Reid brands Nevada cattle rancher Cliven Bundy and his supporters enemies of the US". The Daily Mail, Newspaper, UK. Retrieved April 19, 2014.
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- "Just In: Obama Accused By Congressman Of Illegal Action At Bundy Ranch".
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- Travis Gettys (April 10, 2014). "Sean Hannity inflames brewing 'range war' between feds, militia over NV cattle roundup".
- EDITORIAL: BLM’s cattle battle ends — for now, Las Vegas Review-Journal, April 16, 2014
- "Bundy is no victor: Bunkerville rancher defied the rule of law, picking and choosing what he’d obey". Las Vegas Sun. April 20, 2014. Archived from the original on May 15, 2014. Retrieved May 16, 2014.
- Editorial board: Dismiss Cliven Bundy for what he is -- a guy trying to dodge a bill, Casper Star-Tribune, April 28, 2014
- Weinstein, Adam (May 12, 2014). "Bundy Ranch's Armed Defenders Seek Welfare to Sit Around Doing Nothing". Gawker. Retrieved May 16, 2014. "All those guys hanging out cleaning their guns in Nevada are now begging hard-working Americans to please give them some money ..."
- Ryan Gorman, Dan Miller, Meghan Keneally, Jessica Jerreat (April 11, 2014). "Federal agents back down in stand-off with armed cowboys". Daily Mail.
- Arnold M. Knightly (April 11, 2014). "Cliven Bundy supporters bring cattle roundup protest to Las Vegas police headquarters". Las Vegas Review-Journal.
- Dobson, Jennifer (April 13, 2014). "Nevada ranching family claims victory as government releases cattle". Yahoo! News
- "Cliven Bundy on Harry Reid: 'I Don't Think There's Any Hope for Him, He Needs to Be Kicked Out of Office'". Fox News.
- Donley, Andrew (April 20, 2014). "‘I blame both sides,’ Oklahoma militia members join fight against feds". KFOR News Channel 4. Retrieved May 19, 2014.
- Price, Bob (April 24, 2014). "Militia to BLM: 'We Are Prepared to Use Deadly Force'". Breitbart News Network. Retrieved May 22, 2014. "Breitbart Texas inquired if they were prepared to use deadly force. 'Yes sir,' Shaw responded, 'we are prepared…We certainly hope it doesn’t go that route but, with the track record of the federal government, it doesn’t look very promising that that’s going to happen.' Shaw describes some of the scenarios that could bring his militia groups to the point of being forced into firing on federal agents. In one situation where the government might use rubber bullets against protesters or the militia, Shaw explained, 'How are we supposed to know that they’re firing rubber bullets when it has been fired?'"
- "What Are Rubber Bullets?". Salon. October 4, 2000. Retrieved May 22, 2014. "Rubber bullets describe about 75 types of "less than lethal devices" that are designed to deliver a stinging blow that incapacitates but does not kill or penetrate flesh as do regular metal bullets."
- Isquith, Elias (April 23, 2014). "Bill O’Reilly to Cliven Bundy supporter: What makes you different from Occupy Wall Street?". Salon. Retrieved May 22, 2014. "The militia-founding Bundy supporter, Scott Shaw of Oklahoma, who seemed a bit surprised by the question, answered that Bundy, unlike OWS, provides America with beef ... ’Reilly granted that Bundy is indeed outpacing the basically defunct OWS when it comes to beef production, but pushed Shaw, saying, 'But they’re both dissenters. They’re both dissenting what they feel is an oppressive system. That’s what they have in common.' Shaw said this was true but that 'the way they go about it is different,' noting that no Bundy supporters have been arrested, while many OWS protesters were charged by the police for disturbing public order and damaging public property."
- German, Jeff (May 17, 2014). "Federal judge bans Texan from meddling in rancher-versus-BLM case". Las Vegas Review Journal. Retrieved May 19, 2014.
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- ICTMN Staff (April 19, 2014). "Video: Dann Sisters' Battle to Save Their Cattle Is Stark Contrast to That of Cliven Bundy". Indian Country Today Media Network. Retrieved May 20, 2014. "The federal government’s treatment of rancher Cliven Bundy, who has invoked land rights in his objection to paying grazing fees for his cattle, stands in stark contrast to what was done to the Dann sisters and other Indigenous Peoples on Shoshone territory when they did the same thing on lands that were unquestionably their own."
- Smith, John L. (April 24, 2012). "Shoshone sisters also couldn’t beat BLM". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved May 17, 2014. "Mary and Carrie Dann never received a visit from the camouflage cavalry, and I’m not sure whether they would have welcomed the support of armed militia ... If rancher Bundy thinks he has precedence because his family has run cattle in the Gold Butte area since 1877, imagine how the Danns felt."
- "Western Shoshone Nat. Council v. United States, 415 F. Supp. 2d 1201 (D. Nev. 2006)". Court Listener. United States District Court, D. Nevada. January 17, 2006. Retrieved May 5, 2014.
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