Nevada rancher has beef with feds over public lands

In rural Nevada, a rancher and his supporters are battling the federal government, which forcibly removed cattle that graze on public lands.

The government shut down an area about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas to round up about 900 cattle it says are trespassing, the Associated Press reports. The lands will be closed until May 12.

Cliven Bundy, the last known rancher in Clark County, Nev., has been battling the U.S. Bureau of Land Management since 1993, when he refused to pay fees for the right to graze on an area called Gold Butte around his farm, according to the AP.

The roundup started on Saturday. Bundy says he has the right to graze his livestock on open range. But the feds assert that the cattle are trespassing on the habitat of the endangered desert tortoise, which they control.

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and Sen. Dean Heller disagree with the Bureau of Land Management's recent actions.

"No cow justifies the atmosphere of intimidation which currently exists nor the limitation of constitutional rights that are sacred to all Nevadans," Sandoval told

Bureau of Land Management spokeswoman Kirsten Cannon told that contracted agents on Saturday and Sunday rounded up 134 cattle along the 1,200-square-mile stretch of rangeland as a last resort. They used helicopters, vehicles and temporary pens.


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