Cliven Bundy is a cattle rancher whose ranch is adjacent to 600,000 acres of public land known as Gold Butte, named after a tent city mining town of the early 20th century just northeast of Las Vegas. Bundy has been illegally grazing his cattle on the land for the past 20 years defiantly refusing to pay for the use of the land saying that the federal government has no legitimate claim to it.
After battling with Bundy since 1993 the Bureau of Land Management began to round up his cattle this week saying that they would sell them off. Since the operation began protesters in support of Bundy have been streaming into the area causing rangers to close off all roads leading into it to keep civilians out while a private contractor hired by BLM to round up the cattle perform their job.
“That is what we do. We provide armed response,” said Jim Lardy a member of a group calling itself Operation Mutual Aid.
In a blatant effort to stir the pot Ammon Bundy, Cliven’s son told the protesters that the rangers were heavily armed with fully automatic weapons and would not hesitate to “attack.”
It is the outside agitators who are threatening violence, egged on by the defiant Bundy family, other residents of the small town of Overton are not pleased with the influx of armed men threatening violence.
“These people that are coming in could totally disrupt everything,” restaurant owner Judy Metz told a news crew from KLAS.
“If somebody does something or says something, and somebody pulls a gun, that is going to be it,” Michelle Webb, another resident of Overton said.
Thursday afternoon Governor Brian Sandoval issued a statement which said in part, “I am asking all individuals who are near the situation to act with restraint. Although tensions remain high, escalation of current events could have negative, long lasting consequences that can be avoided.”
Watch the KLAS report in the video below.