Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Tensions increase as feds seize Nevada rancher's cattle
Tensions are growing as people in the community of Bunkerville are trying to stop federal agents from taking cattle off of public land. Rangers had tasers ready to go as they faced a few dozen protesters Wednesday.
One woman claims federal officers hit her with their vehicle. A man says he was tased twice. In just a matter of minutes, the situation escalated from calm to angry with the protestors shouting and the rangers ready to respond with dogs, tasers and physical force, if needed.
At the center of this battle is the Bundy family and their herd of at least 500 head of cattle. The BLM says the cattle have been allowed to graze on the federal land illegally for the past 20 years.
"You want to tase me? Go ahead," Ammon Bundy challenged rangers.
He is the son of rancher Cliven Bundy and he claims the rangers tased him twice.
The protesters came within inches of law enforcement trying to get the BLM to leave a section of the public land. The Bundy family says it's willing to put itself in danger for their livelihood. They claim federal rangers are killing their cattle in the process of rounding them up.
"There's only one reason they have a backhoe and a dump truck up there and that is because they're cleaning up their mess from killing our animals," Ammon Bundy said.
The ranchers say this is calving season and mother cows are being separated from their babies.
"They haven't been able to feed their calves and that means the calves are starving to death," Ammon Bundy said.
The BLM has denied killing any cattle intentionally, only saying that there may be some cases where a cow would need to be euthanized...more