Bundy posted a statement on the Bundy Ranch website on Sunday night saying: "They have my cattle and now they have one of my boys. Range War begins tomorrow."
He invited supporters to show up this morning on his property, about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas, near Bunkerville, just west of the Utah state line.
Bundy's beef with federal land management officials dates back to 1993, according to federal officials, when Bundy's allotment for grazing his cattle on public land was modified to include protections for the desert tortoise. Bundy, who told the Associated Press his family has been ranching this part of Nevada since the 1870s, did not accept the modified terms, and continued to let his cattle graze anyway.
Nevada Rancher Threatens Range War Against Feds.
After legal maneuverings on both sides, a Nevada district court judge in 2013 permanently enjoined Bundy's cattle (some 900, by the government's count) from grazing on public property. The judge reiterated that decision in 2013 and authorized the U.S. government to impound the cattle.
The first phase of that impoundment started Saturday, with 58 head of cattle being removed from BLM land, federal officials said in an online statement. As of Monday afternoon, that number had risen to 134, BLM spokeswoman Kirsten Cannon told ABC News. Removing the rest of the trespassing cattle should take another 21 to 30 days, she said.
Bundy disputes the federal government's authority to take such action. The Nevada Sheriff's Office, he contends, is the only entity empowered to impound his cattle. The Bundy Ranch website calls the federal agents "cattle thieves."
Cattle thieves, says the website, "Should be hung!" It urges supporters to "hang them with words of disapproval."
According to station KSNY MyNews in Las Vegas, Bundy compared his situation to citizens' confrontations with the federal government at Ruby Ridge and at Waco, Texas.
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