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Militia members vow to stay at rancher Bundy's side

Reported by: Antonio Castelan
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Updated: 4/28 6:18 am
BUNKERVILLE (KSNV MyNews3.com) -- Spirits remain high among rancher Cliven Bundy's supporters.

Members of various militias that raced from across the nation to support him show few signs of leaving a fight that began early in April when the Bureau of Land Management began an effort to roundup an estimated 900 head of cattle belonging to the Gold Butte rancher for nonpayment of grazing fees.

While their numbers have dwindled some, their resolve to see the battle to its conclusion appears as strong as ever.
 
Many militia members walk the grounds in Bunkerville even as a new banner rises over the rallying point near the ranch.

"I think spirits are high,": said North Las Vegas resident Steve Adams, who has made the trip to the Bundy ranch every weekend since April 13 when militia members forced law enforcement and the BLM to free the 400 cattle they had collected in the previous week. "It's about government overreach. I think they are over reaching the authority they were given."

Selling T-shirts has become a way to finance the cause against the federal government.

Jerry De Lemus drove all ther way from New Hampshire to help protect the Bundy family. He heads up a militia protecting the outside perimeter of Bundy's ranch house.

"The American people, as they always do, rise to the occasion when the bullies start picking on the little guy the American won't tolerate it." De Lemus told News 3. "They'll put themselves in harms way."

He does not see the issue with the BLM being over.

"I think they are lawless and I think the director of the BLM has allowed it. I can't imagine they have armed BLM agents have snipers target Mr. Bundy's house."

So when you ask the question of when the stalemate in Bunkerville may end, you don't get a definite answer.

"Sometimes I think I'm a little closer from going home. Sometimes it seems a little further time to go home because we can't leave a job half done," De Lemus said.

When asked what would make De Lemus think that the battle is over, "That's a good question. I really don't know the answer to that question," is the response.

The BLM's final statement on the issue came April 13, the morning it announced from Washington, D.C. that it was going to end the cattle gather.

"This is a matter of fairness and equity, and we remain disappointed that Cliven Bundy continues to not comply with the same laws that 16,000 public lands ranchers do every year," read part of the written statement from the BLM. "After 20 years and multiple court orders to remove the trespass cattle, Mr. Bundy owes the American taxpayers in excess of $1 million. The BLM will continue to work to resolve the matter administratively and judicially."

That implies that the BLM plans more action, perhaps in the courts. Bundy noted that he received four registered letters from the BLM in the days immediately after April 13. At last reports the letters had not been opened.



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