Despite aborting their roundup and allowing “trespassing” cattle returned to the Bundy ranch in southern Nevada, the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently offered public statements claiming it would continue to pursue the ranchers in court. Should the agency choose to do so, it would be the third time federal courts were utilized in the matter.
BLM spokesman Craig Leff told the Associated Press the agency was in no way ceasing its efforts with Cliven Bundy, claiming he would be pursued “administratively and judicially.” Leff added that the BLM will “figure out how to move forward with this” and that “the door isn’t closed.”
According to the wire report, what may have appeared to be a resolution to the standoff evidenced by the returning of the cattle was only a temporary measure, according to Las Vegas Police Lt. Dan Zehnder. Lt. Zehnder claimed that that Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie negotiated a short-term resolution with the Bundy family without the BLM or the National Park Service (NPS) being direct parties to the discussion.
The BLM affirmed local law enforcement’s claims on the matter.
“The BLM and National Park Service did not cut any deal and negotiate anything,” BLM spokesman Leff said. “There was no deal we made.”
As Breitbart News recently reported in detail, the Bundy family and the U.S. Department of the Interior are no strangers to one another in “administrative” and “judicial” conflict resolution scenarios. The parties locked horns beginning in 1994 after the BLM revoked the family’s grazing permit for alleged failure to renew use rights. Around the same time, BLM changed the terms of grazing rights–forcing users to reduce herd sizes in an effort to protect a tortoise that inhabited the area. The following two decades were filled with administrative threats, federal court orders with appeals and claimed attempts to cut deals.
It was not until April 2014 that the BLM acted to impound “trespassing” cattle in compliance with a court order that was originally issued in late 1998. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a fresh court order from 2013 to perform the same action.
It remains to be seen if the BLM and NPS will actually seek a third order.
Follow Logan Churchwell on Twitter @LCChurchwell