Nearly four years after the armed 2014 "Bundy Standoff," which played out between rancher Cliven Bundy, his supporters, and government authorities and shut down a section of I-15, charges against the aging Nevada rancher, his two sons Ammon and Ryan, and two others have been dismissed. The defendants had been indicted by a federal grand jury in 2016 on charges related to the 2014 standoff, which was spawned by a dispute between Bundy and the federal government over unpaid cattle grazing fees in excess of $1 million.
As Fox News reported, Bundy had refused, and to this day still refuses, to pay federal grazing fees, claiming that the grazing land in question belongs to the "sovereign state" of Nevada, not the feds. The dispute between Bundy and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) extends back to the early 1990s and a change in federal law that restricted ranchers' grazing rights on federal lands in an effort protect the indigenous habitat of the desert tortoise.
On March 27, 2014, the government shut down over 145,000 acres of federal land and the BLM began an operation to capture, impound and remove Cliven Bundy's "trespass cattle." Within roughly two weeks, pro-Bundy protesters, many armed, began to arrive on-site to help put an end to the roundup.
Ultimately, and in an attempt to de-escalate a volatile situation, an agreement was reached between BLM director Neil Kornze, local Sheriff Doug Gillespie and Cliven Bundy to release the impounded cattle. After the standoff was resolved, 71-year-old continued to allow his cattle to graze on BLM land without paying his grazing fees, as he has since 1993.