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His dispute with the government dates to 1993, when land managers cited concern for the federally protected desert tortoise and capped Bundy’s herd at 150 animals on his 158,666-acre Bunkerville allotment of rangeland.

Bundy protested by withholding his monthly grazing fees and kept using the range. The BLM canceled his grazing permit in 1994. A federal court in 1998 ordered him to remove the animals, and federal authorities in 1999 officially closed the Bunkerville allotment to cattle.

Conservationists say the cows eat scarce forage needed by wildlife including the tortoise and horses.

Federal officials tried to round up Bundy’s livestock two years ago, but he refused to budge.

Since then, he has lost two federal court rulings - and a judge last October prohibited him from physically interfering with any seizure or roundup operation.


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