TODAY   |  April 13, 2014

‘Get off our land’: Feds end roundup of rancher’s grazing cattle

A tense standoff between the federal government and a Nevada rancher is over for now, following a controversial week-long cattle roundup. NBC’s Leanne Gregg reports.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> now to a tense situation in nevada that may be showing signs of easing up this morning. it pitted the federal government against a ranch owner in a fight over grazing cattle. authorities had seized some of them and it led hundreds of angry supporters to race to the scene. leanne greg is live in bunkerville, nevada , with more. leanne, good morning.

>> reporter: good morning, carson. the dispute over states rights and land use is still undecided. but protesters who supported the family are celebrating today after the federal government backed down. this morning about 400 head of cattle from cliven bundy's ranch are once again free to roam. after nevada 's bureau of land management stopped its roundup of the animals on saturday. citing serious safety concerns. the agency had been corralling the cattle for the past week, saying they were grazing illegally on public land . but the bundys claim they own the land and call it a range war .

>> get off our land. period. give us back our property.

>> reporter: hundreds of protesters, many of them armed, rallied in support of the family. captured on video and posted to youtube, the dispute escalated. agency police fired a taser that struck bundy's son.

>> they had the tasers. they had the weapons. they had the dogs. and we had nothing except us. we were almost equally numbered. and then they were the aggressors.

>> reporter: the federal government says protesters were blocking a road. assaulting authorities and their dogs. but the video prompted a call to arms from self-described militia leaders and those fighting for states' rights. one arrived carrying an ak 47 as the crowds grew.

>> i'm willing to lay my life down.

>> reporter: federal authorities say the issue is clear. the bundys stopped paying federal grazing fees more than 20 years ago. the courts have ruled that these cattle are in trespass.

>> reporter: but for now the government is backing off. a temporary victory for the bundy family. but the conflict far from over.

>> i have my dad in heaven. but he fought for this. my grandpa fought for this. i'm going to fight for this.

>> reporter: the blm says it will work to try and continue to resolve this issue judiciously and administratively. nevada 's government said a peaceful resolution was the best outcome he could have hoped for. carson?

>> thank you very much for