- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Cliven Bundy, the Nevada cattle rancher who engaged in an armed standoff with Bureau of Land Management agents earlier this year, said at least one good thing’s come of his showdown: The area’s been free and clear of federal authorities in recent weeks.

The April standoff over his failure to pay grazing fees has driven away “overreaching government policing agents,” Mr. Bundy told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “One thing that’s happened is, since the standoff, we’ve really enjoyed some liberty and freedoms out here.

“Since the standoff, we haven’t seen one BLM vehicle on any of these country roads around this ranch,” he said. “We haven’t seen one BLM ranger. We haven’t seen one [National] Park Service ranger. We haven’t really seen any undercover-type people. We haven’t seen snipers on top of our hills. We haven’t seen high-tech communications equipment. We haven’t seen any of those things.”

Mr. Bundy admitted the situation in April nearly escalated to the point of someone being injured or killed.

“One backfire of a vehicle, one firecracker, one somebody makes a crazy gunshot — it was that close, and it could have been either side’s fail,” he told the Review-Journal. “It could have been We-The-People’s fault, or it could have been the government agency’s fault.”

Either way, “lots of people” could have been injured if the situation had escalated to a trade of gunfire, he said.

Now, the one question remains, he said: “Will the government come back? The United States government, will they come back with their army and basically try and take over control of [my] ranch?”

Mr. Bundy said he also wonders about the possibility of “some lunatic-type guy, some environmental wacko, somebody like that — would they come and basically try to take my life or something like that?”

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

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