The anti-government Nevada rancher and militia ringleader, Cliven Bundy, was set to begin his federal trial in Las Vegas this past Tuesday. The infamous Bundy was charged with conspiracy to commit an offense against the nation and assault on an officer, among other charges, following an armed skirmish against federal officers in 2014. The conflict was prompted by Bundy’s unwillingness to pay $1 million in grazing fees accumulated from his blatant opposition of the Bureau of Land Management’s policies on cattle management, and enflamed by the agency’s action to gather Bundy’s cattle that were illegally grazing on federal land. Bundy’s two sons and a supporter are also facing charges.
The holdup in court stems from the judge’s demand to further inspect and consider FBI video footage from the 2014 standoff—evidence that could influence the outcome of the trial. Friends of Animals firmly believes that it is the duty of government institutions like the BLM to uphold the inherent dignity of our public lands, its habitats, and nonhuman inhabitants like wild horses, from the reckless commodification that is so brazenly brandished by Bundy and his followers. A copy of the Constitution in your breast pocket cannot undo the degradation already done to the Western landscape by greedy, carpetbagger cattlemen since the Dust Bowl. Stay tuned as we follow the trial!