A day after blinking in a showdown on the range, federal land managers pledged to pursue efforts to resolve a conflict with a southern Nevada rancher who has refused to pay grazing fees for 20 years.
Bureau of Land Management spokesman Craig Leff said Sunday "the door isn't closed" to resolving the matter involving rancher Cliven Bundy "administratively and judicially."
The fight between Bundy and the Bureau of Land Management widened into a debate about states' rights and federal land-use policy. The bureau revoked Bundy's grazing rights after he stopped paying grazing fees and disregarded federal court orders to remove his animals. The dispute that ultimately triggered the roundup dates to 1993, when the bureau cited concern for the federally protected tortoise in the region.
On Saturday, the bureau released about 400 head of cattle it had seized from Bundy back to the range only hours after announcing a premature halt to the court-authorized roundup because of safety concerns.