- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 17, 2014

The federal government may have ordered Bureau of Land Management agents to stand down and ride away from the surveillance spots they took up outside a Nevada rancher’s cattle property — but they didn’t exactly go quietly.

Fox News reported BLM agents left a slew of property damages in their wake, including holes in water tanks, wrecked water lines and destroyed fences.

The federal force is also accused by family members of rancher Cliven Bundy of hiring so-called “cowboys” who killed two prized bulls.

“They had total control of this land for one week, and look at the destruction they did in one week,” said Corey Houston, a Bundy family friend, Fox News reported. “So why would you trust somebody like that? And how does that show that they’re a better steward?”

The BLM blinked first in the standoff that ensued over Mr. Bundy’s property and the dispute that’s waged for years over his grazing fees. Agents left Saturday — but they then sent officials to round up and take his livestock.

Federal agents also told media outlets that Mr. Bundy had constructed several “illegal structures” on his property, including water tanks, water lines and corrals. And they said they were forced by law and court order to remove the structures and “restore” the land to its nature state.

SEE ALSO: Rand and Ron Paul ride to the rescue for Bundy in Nevada standoff with feds

But their court order to remove these “illegal structures” didn’t include mention of the infrastructure items, Fox News reported. Rather, it only mentioned cattle.

“Nowhere in the court order that I saw does it say that they can destroy infrastructure, destroy corrals, tanks … desert environment, shoot cattle,” said Mr. Houston, in Fox News.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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