Reid on cattle ranch dispute: 'It’s not over'

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) weighed in Monday against a Nevada rancher who is battling the federal government.

“Well, it’s not over,” Reid told KRNV, a Reno, Nev.-based television station. “We can’t have an American people that violate the law and then just walk away from it. So it's not over.”

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Reid’s brief comments largely reflected those of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which is battling the rancher over grazing fees the bureau says are owed to the federal government.

After sending armed officers and contractors to gather Cliven Bundy’s cattle last week, the agency released the cattle and retreated amid rising tensions with hundreds of armed protesters.

“The BLM will continue to work to resolve the matter administratively and judicially,” BLM Director Neil Kornze said in a statement following Saturday’s decision to stop the cattle roundup.

The BLM said Bundy owes about $1 million for allowing his cattle to graze for more than 20 years without paying grazing fees. Bundy does not recognize the government’s authority to impose the fees and said his family has used the grazing land for generations.

The BLM declined to be more specific about its plans regarding Bundy’s ranch.

Both Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) and Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) have criticized BLM’s enforcement actions, but neither has commented on the substance of the dispute.