On Wednesday, rancher Cliven Bundy was interviewed by Sean Hannity and addressed the ecological and legal aspects stemming from the Bureau of Land Management's seizure of his cattle. The 500-600,000 acre Gold Butte area, where Bundy lets his cattle graze, has been federalized, in part, to protect the Desert Tortoise.
So, can the desert tortoise be affected negatively from cattle grazing?
Bundy said "the Desert Tortoise is a circuit animal for all the other excuses for the bureaucracies to control. The Desert Tortoise does use the same habitat, uses the same type of feed as livestock.
"It's impossible to use up the feed for the Desert Tortoise."
Also, to assuage the grief from environmentalists, there is a renewable resource derived from Bundy's livestock:
"There's a renewable resource out here that can only be harvested by livestock. And what I do is I - my livestock eats off the brush and the grass; harvests it; prunes it - and it uses that forage to make an edible commodity for we the people of the United States. So, when you get a piece a meat on your table, remember where it comes from."
Lastly, what is the underlining theme of this showdown between Bundy and the federal government? Why is he doing it?
"Well, you know, my cattle is only one issue. The United States Courts has ordered that the government can seize my cattle, but what they have done is seized Nevada statehood, Nevada law, Clark County public lands, access to their land, and they've seized access to all of the other rights of Clark County people who like to go hunting and fishing; they've closed all of those things down. And we're here to protest that action. And we're after freedom. We're after some liberty; that's what we want."
When Hannity asked Bundy "how far" he'll take this stand against the government, he replied, "my statement to the American people: I'll do whatever it takes to gain our liberties and freedom back."