Newly freed, rancher Cliven Bundy gets a hero’s welcome in Montana | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


Newly freed, rancher Cliven Bundy gets a hero’s welcome in Montana

Cliven Bundy was fresh out of jail, and so the nation’s most controversial rancher strode into the town of Paradise and called on hundreds of supporters — a sea of cattlemen, timber workers and star-struck children — to follow in his footsteps.

“Go and read your Constitution,” he said, telling the crowd Saturday to reject federal control of millions of acres of American landscapes. Washington, he declared, has no business “telling you how to graze your cattle, cut your timber, mine your mines.”

In 2014, when his fight over cattle grazing led to an armed standoff with federal agents, Bundy became a symbol of defiance for rural Westerners angry over the government’s management of public lands.

By the time he walked free this month, that issue had become a national flashpoint. The Trump administration has moved to open more lands to mining, drilling and logging, to the cheers of land-rights activists and commercial interests and the dismay of environmentalists.

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