Armed Rangers and several federal agencies have surrounded a 600,000-acre section of public land and are preparing to move against rancher Cliven Bundy whose cattle have been grazing illegally for the past 20 years.
Armed agents are forming a military-like staging area to prevent anyone from approaching the area.
“With all these rangers and all this force that is out here, they are only after one man right now. They are after Cliven Bundy. Whether they want to incarcerate me or whether they want to shoot me in the back, they are after me. But that is not all that is at stake here. Your liberty and freedom is at stake,” Bundy said.
The Bureau of Land Management changed grazing rules for Gold Butte in 1993 to protect the endangered desert tortoise.
Bundy refused paying his fees and to comply with federal regulation.
Federal courts ordered him to stop letting his cattle roam throughout Gold Butte, and he has ignored the orders because he does not recognize federal authority over the land.
“My forefathers have been up and down the Virgin Valley ever since 1877. All these rights I claim have been created through pre-emptive rights and beneficial use of the forage and water. I have been here longer. My rights are before the BLM even existed,” Bundy said.
“The federal government has seized Nevada’s sovereignty, Nevada’s statehood. They have seized Nevada’s laws and our public land. We have no access to our public land and that is only a little bit of it.”
“I’ve fought this thing legally. I’ve fought it politically. I’ve fought it through the media. and I will fight it on the ground if I have to,” Bundy said.
There are two fenced off areas where the public will be allowed to protest the roundup.
“This has become a police state, and this is an example of it right here,” Bundy said.
“This is the freedom we have in America right now. You got to have your freedom inside that fence there,” Bundy said.