The Nevada range war at the Bundy Ranch appears to have far more facets to the story than merely the fate of cattle grazing on public land. Bunkerville rancher Cliven Bundy is standing steadfastly against what many have deemed the massive government overreach going in the Gold Butte region. Protesters from a multitude of states have converged upon the area to register not only their disgust at what has transpired against Bundy personally, but at the possible cow and calf deaths which have resulted from the rapid herding of the livestock with helicopters and the established of "free speech zones."
The incidents unfolding in Clark County have many concerned that America may soon have another Ruby Ridge on its hands. From the start of the controversy Cliven Bundy has stated publicly that the matter involves far more than the longstanding tradition of allowing cattle to graze on the Gold Butte public lands. Heavily armed federal agents and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) officers have blocked off many of the roads near the cattle roundup area, which has prevented Bundy and supporters from confirming potential cattle deaths.
During an interview with a Bundy family friend who is at their home helping field inquiries, The Inquisitr learned that bulldozers and dump trucks are still moving about in the area, leading many to fear that an unknown number have cattle have succumbed to the hurried roundup and died along the trek to awaiting livestock trucks. Shawna Cox stated during the telephone conversation that the Carol and Cliven Bundy believe that young calves have been separated from their mothers and will also soon perish – if they have not done so already. The Inquisitr reached out to PETA for a comment about the roundup and alleged cow death. An agency representative stated that PETA has been following the Bundy story and would sit down for an interview, but had not done so prior to the publishing of this article.The BLM told Bundy that permit for cattle grazing would not continue due to the protective status of the desert tortoise. As the keeper of three rescued tortoises which share the same habitat and diet requirements of their desert cousins, I find it puzzling why the two reptiles and the cattle can no longer graze peacefully together. Once my husband and I purchase our dream acreage out in the county, our torts, horses, and the cattle we plan to purchase will be sharing the same pasture without any adverse impact on any of our beloved creatures.
While it is true that over grazing can cause a lack of natural "feed" for the cattle and the desert tortoises, it does not appear that protecting the reptiles may be the only motivation behind the Bundy Ranch cattle removal from the Gold Butte public lands. When discussing with Cox on the scene reports from local news agencies and investigative facts unearthed by supporters, she confirmed claims that Cliven and Carol had refused to sell their land to real estate developers prior to the cease and desist order from the Bureau of Land Management.Eminent domain cases involving landowners being forced off their property for the furtherance of a bike path and other types of non-essential "community needs" make Bundy's belief that something more is at play here seem at that much more plausible. Reports that real estate developers interested in water and mineral rights to the Bundy Ranch with a focus on fracking and even concerns about Agenda 21 tactics being employed in the land grab are both potentially plausible reasons why so much federal pressure is being placed upon the 67-year-old rancher.
Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval stated publicly that the creation of free speech zones by the federal agents is an affront to the rights of his citizens. Governor Sandoval has admonished the BLM and armed agents from other federal agencies for their actions over the Gold Butte public lands dispute. He told those attempting to confiscate the "trespass cattle" to "reconsider the approach" to the issue.
Protesters, especially those who ventured out of the free speech zones established by the federal agents, have been met with K9 units pulling at their leashes, stun guns, and physical man-handling. Photos and videos of the encounters between the protesters, including images of the wounds sustained, now dot the landscape of the Internet.Several arrests were made when protesters attempted to exercise their First Amendment rights and drive or walk down state roads which led within several miles of the cattle roundup. Although it is unconfirmed, multiple reports from those close to the situation have noted that the Bundy Ranch cattle are being transported out of the state and sold – exactly where the profits the sale will wind up is totally unclear.
Militia members and protesters from virtually all walks of life have taken up the Bundy Ranch cause – a story which has now gone viral and garnered international attention. Cliven and Carol Bundy's friend Shawna Cox also noted that they family will attempt to hold a press conference on-site every day at 1pm local time to share updates about the situation.
There is also a Bundy Ranch Facebook page and a blog operated by the Bundy family for the posting of new information about the perceived government overreach going on in Bunkerville. Americans concerned about the infringement upon free speech rights, states' rights, property rights, and animal welfare can also sign up for immediate email and text alerts stemming from Bundy Ranch.