Bundy Cattle

The bureau from DC hasn’t heard of a cattle roundup? Head em up, move em out

Via E and E News:

Cliven Bundy is behind bars, but his cows remain at large.

The longtime nemesis of the Bureau of Land Management faces charges that could keep him imprisoned for the rest of his life. His cattle linger as an ecological scourge to the Mojave Desert northeast of Las Vegas.

The Bundy herd, last estimated at 1,000, has trampled sensitive soils, devoured native saplings and bedded down against Native American artifacts. One of Bundy’s bulls attacked a Nevada wildlife official, while others have run roughshod over a community garden and a golf course, BLM said.

BLM and its allies — following court orders — want Bundy’s cows gone from the public lands surrounding his Bunkerville, Nev., ranch, and particularly Gold Butte, a 350,000-acre mesa of Joshua trees, cacti and creosote bushes below the snow-dusted Virgin Peak.

But removing Bundy’s ornery, battle-tested herd — estimated by one Nevada official to be worth up to $800,000 — will be expensive, logistically difficult and potentially dangerous.

“It’s like hunting cape buffalo,” said Ken Mayer, the former director of Nevada’s Department of Wildlife. “They’re nasty, they’re smart, and they won’t hesitate to charge.”

Bundy’s militant followers may be the bigger hurdle.

The last time BLM tried to impound Bundy’s cows in 2014, the then 67-year-old rancher mustered an armed rebellion that threatened agency employees and the Utah-based contractors it hired to gather and sell the animals.

While Bundy — whom the Justice Department described as “lawless and violent” — and his sons Ammon and Ryan are behind bars, there’s no telling what would happen if BLM tried again to remove his cattle.

Seven days into BLM’s failed 2014 roundup, over 400 protesters surrounded BLM officers at the impoundment site, with scores openly carrying firearms, the Justice Department said. BLM rangers were “dangerously exposed” at the bottom of a wash, where they saw “too many guns to count,” according to DOJ’s indictment. BLM that afternoon called off the roundup, and the 400 or so cows it had penned were released back into the wild.

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