Sheriff now confirms BLM had no place to take Bundy’s confiscated cattle

A source told us back in April that the real reason the BLM backed down and released Cliven Bundy’s confiscated cattle wasn’t to avoid a shootout with armed Bundy supporters but was because the BLM had no place to take the cattle.

Sheriff Doug Gillespie has now confirmed this.

In a recent editorial board with the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Gillespie said, although officials told him they had a place to move the cattle, he later discovered that wasn’t true.

“There was no place to take them to,” Gillespie told the newspaper.

The BLM said at the time: “Based on information about conditions on the ground, and in consultation with law enforcement, we have made a decision to conclude the cattle gather because of our serious concern about the safety of employees and members of the public.”

I wondered at the time why, after eight days of rounding up “trespass cattle” from the Gold Butte ranch, all the captured cows were still in corrals on site. It made no sense to be hauling hay to them, when they could be trucked to feedlots equipped to handle them.

Bundy cattle released April 12. (R-J photo by Jason Bean)

A source with a source told me a network of Western cattle ranchers and those who provide them services collectively got on the phone and their computers with each other and decided to boycott the BLM roundup. No feedlot would take the cattle for auction. No trucker was available to haul the cows.

“Hey, do you want to know the REAL reason why the BLM backed off a week or so ago?”  my source’s source asked him. “You’ll never read about this in the news media.”

At least not for several months.

The BLM was stuck with cattle that would start dying without food.  Not good optics since all the assembled local media and national media and social media would capture the starvation.

How much cooperation BLM will get from the sheriff in the future?

Gillespie told the R-J that the BLM officials lied to him, ignored his advice and dismissed his warnings.

“I think if anybody would look at how they (BLM) handled the protesting with the use of Tasers and police dogs, anyone who had been in policing would question those tactics,” he told the Las Vegas Sun. “And I believe that led to the heightened interest and escalating the situation.”

BLM spokeswoman Celia Boddington told The Associated Press that the agency planned and conducted the roundup in “full coordination” with Gillespie and his officers.

“It is unfortunate that the sheriff is now attempting to rewrite the details of what occurred, including his claims that the BLM did not share accurate information,” she was quoted as saying. “The sheriff encouraged the operation and promised to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with us as we enforced two recent federal court orders. …

“Sadly, he backed out of his commitment shortly before the operation — and after months of joint planning — leaving the BLM and the National Park Service to handle the crowd control that the sheriff previously committed to handling.”