Based on information about conditions on the ground, and in consultation with law enforcement, we have made a decision to conclude the cattle gather because of our serious concern about the safety of employees and members of the public. We ask that all parties in the area remain peaceful and law-abiding as the Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service work to end the operation in an orderly manner.
The deal is brokered by Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie, along with input from a number of state and local officials. BLM says the deal does not obviate Bundy’s financial responsibility for owed grazing fees and delinquent penalties. Assistant sheriff Joe Lombardo says:
We had a lot of fears. Individuals being shot, trampled. Individuals being run over on the highway. So it took a lot of resources, a lot of resources to associate with this.
Governor Brian Sandoval (R-NV) says of the BLM’s decision:
The safety of all individuals involved in this matter has been my highest priority. Given the circumstances, today’s outcome is the best we could have hoped for. I appreciate that the Department of the Interior and the BLM were willing to listen to the concerns of the people of Nevada.
Jack Kay, a professor and expert on militias, says the BLM made the correct call to step back from the conflict:
These things tend to escalate, someone looks like they’re going to pull the trigger and then something happens.
Shortly after the announcement, the BLM frees the nearly 400 cattle it had managed to round up, letting them back on the same contested area of federal land.