Statement Regarding Gather Activities for April 9, 2014
The BLM and NPS continue to work closely with local, state and federal officials to ensure the cattle gather occurs safely and with limited disruption to other users and visitors who enjoy our nation’s public lands.
Safety remains the number one priority for the operation. We appreciate the statements we have seen from the Bundy family that they do not condone or encourage violent actions.
In recent days, some peaceful protests have crossed into illegal activity, including blocking vehicles associated with the gather, impeding cattle movement, and making direct and overt threats to government employees. These isolated actions that have jeopardized the safety of individuals have been responded to with appropriate law enforcement actions.
Today, a BLM truck driven by a non-law enforcement civilian employee assisting with gather operations was struck by a protester on an ATV and the truck’s exit from the area was blocked by a group of individuals who gathered around the vehicle. A police dog was also kicked. Law enforcement officers attempting to protect the civilian federal employee from the attack were also threatened and assaulted. After multiple requests and ample verbal warnings, law enforcement officers deployed tasers on a protestor.
Impoundments of livestock are done only as a last resort. In this case, the BLM and the National Park Service have made repeated attempts to resolve the matter with Mr. Bundy administratively and judicially for over 20 years. Mr. Bundy has also failed to comply with multiple court orders that directed him to remove his cattle from public lands lands and to end the illegal trespass.