Cattle-grazing fight in Nevada pits ranchers against feds
Tensions have escalated between protesters and federal police who used a stun gun on a son of a Nevada rancher fighting a roundup of cattle that he claims have historical grazing rights northeast of Las Vegas.
No serious injuries were reported and no arrests were made, but family members told the media that rancher Cliven Bundy's 57-year-old sister also was knocked to the ground during a confrontation Wednesday involving dozens of protesters and several U.S. Bureau of Land Management rangers.
Cliven Bundy is the rancher at the center of a battle over cattle northeast of Las Vegas.
The Bureau of Land Management says Bundy's cows are loitering on federal land and that he has not paid the required grazing fee on for 20 years.
Bundy says he believes the land is not federal land, but county land.
The Bureau of Land Management, along with National Park Service, took the cattle to a remote location north of Lake Mead. Several cowboys were on the ground coordinating with helicopters to corral about 15 cattle. The crew herded cattle into a pen, where they were transported in trailers to an undisclosed location.
Bundy says the battle is bigger than cows. He says it's about rights. The debate has generated an enormous amount of passion, centering around free speech and the right of citizens to access public land. The rancher claims he has a right to be on the land and the tension between the feds and the ranchers has been escalating.
Daily roundup numbers have varied from 43 on Tuesday to 101 last Saturday.
Although the BLM is not providing face to face interviews, they say the roundup is expected to last into May.
Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) has stepped into the debate, saying the federal government is overrreaching.