Interior chief visits town in ’14 standoff
LAS VEGAS — U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke was to make a stop Sunday in the hometown of Cliven Bundy, a Nevada rancher accused of organizing an armed standoff three years ago that forced federal agents to end a roundup of his cattle.
Zinke’s planned stop in Bunkerville, Nev. — about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas — is part of his tour of national monuments being scrutinized by President Donald Trump’s administration.
Trump announced the review of 27 monuments in May, saying the designations imposed by previous presidents amounted to a federal land grab. Monument designations protect federal land from energy development and other activities.
Zinke planned the stop in Bunkerville ahead of visits today to the nearby Gold Butte and Basin and Range national monuments, which cover a combined 1,500 square miles — about the size of Rhode Island.
Gold Butte is the grazing area at the center of the cattle roundup and armed standoff in April 2014 involving Bundy and federal land management agents.
Bundy argues that the federal government has no jurisdiction in such vast rangelands of the West.
He and four of his sons are in jail awaiting federal trial on felony charges that they organized an armed insurrection to turn away Bureau of Land Management agents and contract cowboys, and to release cattle collected from the Gold Butte range.
Lobsang Youden begins the deconstruction of a sand mandala by the Tibetan Buddhist monks from the Drepung Gomang Monastery as part of a blessing ceremony at the Unity Center of Tulsa on Sunday.