A Nevada sheriff has said that rancher Cliven Bundy must bear responsibility for actions that led to a standoff between federal agents and militia members earlier this year, but added that the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) must reconsider some of its methods used prior to the confrontation.
Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie told the Las Vegas Review-Journal editorial board Thursday that he had warned Bundy prior to the April standoff that any protests over the BLM’s attempt to round up more than 500 of the rancher’s cattle must be peaceful.
The BLM says that Bundy owes over $1 million in fees and penalties for trespassing on federal property without a permit over 20 years. Bundy, whose ancestors settled in the area in the late 1800s, refuses to acknowledge federal authority on public lands.
“If you step over that line, there are consequences to those actions,” Gillespie said. “And I believe they stepped over that line. No doubt about it. They need to be held accountable for it.”