Family, friends, and other supporters of Cliven Bundy held a protest this past weekend to demonstrate their opposition to President Obama’s national monument designation of land on which Bundy grazes cattle.
Last week, Obama designated 1.6 million acres of U.S. land as national monuments. The two newly-designated areas are Bears Ears National Monument in Utah, spanning 1.35 million acres, and Gold Butte National Monument in Nevada, covering 300,000 acres.
From the Associated Press:
With Bundy and four sons in federal custody awaiting trial on conspiracy and other charges, a small group of other family members and friends staged a peaceful weekend rally Saturday near the Bundy home and the Gold Butte area outside Bunkerville, a small town near Arizona.
“We, the Bundy family, would like to say to President Obama that we are saddened, but not surprised, by the decision to make our ranch and home a national monument,” the family said in a statement issued last week.
Family matriarch Carol Bundy did not immediately respond Monday to messages.
“The problems we have had with federal land management have never been about cows, tortoises, or fees,” the statement said. “It has always been about the constitutional limits on the federal government’s authority.”
The Spectrum of St. George, Utah, reported that Carol Bundy expressed fear during the protest that the government will ban grazing in the Gold Butte area. Livestock grazing has been banned in the area since 1998, under a Clark County plan aimed at conserving habitat for the Mojave Desert tortoise. The tortoise is considered threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act.
Bundy nephew Josey Spencer said the group was hopeful that President-elect Donald Trump will reverse Obama’s monument declaration after Trump takes office.
Trial is set to begin Feb. 6 in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas for the first six defendants in the criminal case stemming from the armed standoff in April 2014 that stopped a U.S. Bureau of Land Management roundup of Bundy cattle. Nineteen people were arrested last year, including five Bundy family members. Two men have pleaded guilty. Cliven Bundy and four sons are due to stand trial later this year.
Dennis Michael Lynch has received a subpoena to testify in the trial. Lynch and his camera were present the day the standoff occurred in April 2014.
DML was covering the event for ‘The Kelly File’ on the Fox News Channel and ended up playing a key role in preventing both sides from firing upon each other.
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