Nevada rancher stands ground, U.S. authorities relent
Rancher Cliven Bundy, middle, addresses his supporters along side Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie, right, on April 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Las Vegas Review-Journal, Jason Bean)
Martin Griffith, The Associated Press
Published Saturday, April 12, 2014 10:00PM EDT
U.S. federal land managers have released all 400 head of cattle rounded up on public land in southern Nevada from a rancher who has refused to recognize their authority.
The Bureau of Land Management took the action Saturday afternoon after hundreds of protesters, including militia and members of the conservative tea party members, showed up at corrals to demand the animals' return to rancher Cliven Bundy.
The fight has widened into a debate about states' rights and federal land-use policy. The tea party advocates a smaller role for the federal government in public life.
The agency revoked Cliven Bundy's grazing rights after he stopped paying grazing fees and disregarded court orders to remove his animals.
The bureau issued a brief statement saying the cattle were released "due to escalating tensions."