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Cliven Bundy

Rhetoric, bombing marks tensions between ranchers, feds

Apr 1995

Tensions between the BLM and Nevada ranchers who refuse to pay fees or comply with regulations escalates. A small bomb goes off in the US Forest Service office in Carson City. Forest Service spokesperson Erin O’Connor says,

If it was sent as a message, we got it.

Federal workers travel the area in pairs and stay in contact with their offices for fear of being assaulted. Forest Service official Jim Nelson says:

I’m concerned about the safety of my employees. They can’t go to church in these communities without having someone say something. Their kids are harassed in school. Stores and restaurants are not serving them.

Nelson says that the government manages the land for the best use of ranchers and everyone else, and that unattended, free-ranging cows that graze the land illegally despoil the protected springs and stream banks. Bundy says:

They’ve taken their authority and abused it. I’m not being regulated to death anymore.