Energy & Environment

Cliven Bundy will be held accountable, Interior secretary says

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Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy will be held accountable for the federal land grazing fees and penalties he owes, a top federal official said.

Bundy became a national figure in April 2014 when he and scores of supporters got into an armed standoff with federal law enforcement officers over his cattle’s years of alleged unpaid grazing on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) property.

{mosads}Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, whose department includes the BLM, says Bundy will eventually have to answer for what he owes the federal government, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

“Cliven Bundy has had multiple court orders to remove his cattle from federal public lands and he has not paid his grazing fees and he has not abided by the law,” Jewell told the Review-Journal Wednesday on a visit to Incline Village, Nev., where she spoke at a Western Governors’ Association event.

“We will continue to pursue that,” she said.

Bundy supporters from around the country came to his ranch in southern Nevada last year armed with guns to defend him, leading officers to retreat from their attempts to remove his cattle.

The BLM says he owes more than $1 million. But Bundy does not recognize the federal government’s authority to collect the fees.

“The safety of our law enforcement officers and the safety of people that represent land managers at every level is of paramount importance to me,” Jewell told the newspaper.

“The wheels of justice move at their own pace,” she said of the timing. “I am confident this issue is going to be appropriately resolved.”  

Tags Bureau of Land Management Cliven Bundy Interior Department Sally Jewell

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