It sounds dramatic, but it reminded me of Tiananmen Square. I don’t recognize my country at this point.’

-Arizona state Representative Kelly Townsend

The Bureau of Land Management vowed Saturday that it would continue its legal fight to remove illegal cattle from a rural Nevada range after ending a tense weeklong standoff with a rancher and his supporters.

“After 20 years and multiple court orders to remove the trespass cattle, [rancher Cliven] Bundy owes the American taxpayers in excess of $1 million. The BLM will continue to work to resolve the matter administratively and judicially,” a statement from the bureau said. “We ask that all parties in the area remain peaceful and law-abiding as the Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service work to end the operation in an orderly manner.”

Celebration: A supporter of the Bundy family flies the American flag after the Bureau of Land Management agreed to release the Bundy's cattle near Bunkerville, Nev. April 12, 2014

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Celebration: A supporter of the Bundy family flies the American flag after the Bureau of Land Management agreed to release the Bundy’s cattle near Bunkerville, Nev. April 12, 2014

 

Victor: Rancher Cliven Bundy at his home in Bunkerville, after officials called off the government's roundup of cattle

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Victor: Rancher Cliven Bundy at his home in Bunkerville, after officials called off the government’s roundup of cattle

 

And they're out: The Bundy family and their supporters drive their cattle back onto public land outside of Bunkerville, Nev. after they were released by the Bureau of Land Management

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And they’re out: The Bundy family and their supporters drive their cattle back onto public land outside of Bunkerville, Nev. after they were released by the Bureau of Land Management

Mission accomplished: Supporters of the Bundy family hang a sign on the I-15 highway just outside of Bunkerville, Nevada

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Mission accomplished: Supporters of the Bundy family hang a sign on the I-15 highway just outside of Bunkerville, Nevada

 

The dispute between Bundy and federal land managers began in 1993 when he stopped paying monthly fees of about $1.35 per cow-calf pair to graze public lands

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The dispute between Bundy and federal land managers began in 1993 when he stopped paying monthly fees of about $1.35 per cow-calf pair to graze public lands

 

Cowboys and patriots: Kholten Gleave, right, of Utah, pauses for the National Anthem outside of Bunkerville , Nev. while gathering with other supporters of the Bundy family to challenge the Bureau of Land Management

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Cowboys and patriots: Kholten Gleave, right, of Utah, pauses for the National Anthem outside of Bunkerville , Nev. while gathering with other supporters of the Bundy family to challenge the Bureau of Land Management

The BLM also announced that it was wrapping up its month-long operation to seize the 900 cattle roaming on federally owned land approximately 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas and would release the 400 head of Bundy’s cattle it had already seized “in order to avoid violence and help restore order.”

“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,” the statement read.,” the statement read.

Bureau officials had dismantled designated protest areas supporting Bundy, who they say refuses to comply with the “same laws that 16,000 public land ranchers do every year.”

No horsing around: The Bundy family and their supporters fly the American flag as their cattle were released from a corral

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No horsing around: The Bundy family and their supporters fly the American flag as their cattle were released from a corral

 

Cheers: Protesters pump their fists as cowboys herd cattle that belongs to rancher Cliven Bundy

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Cheers: Protesters pump their fists as cowboys herd cattle that belongs to rancher Cliven Bundy

 

Firepower: Protester Eric Parker from central Idaho aims his weapon from a bridge next to the Bureau of Land Management's base camp where seized cattle

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Firepower: Protester Eric Parker from central Idaho aims his weapon from a bridge next to the Bureau of Land Management’s base camp where seized cattle

 

Victory speech: Rancher Cliven Bundy, middle, addresses his supporters along side Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie, right, informing the public that the BLM has agreed to cease the roundup of his family's cattle

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Victory speech: Rancher Cliven Bundy, middle, addresses his supporters along side Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie, right, informing the public that the BLM has agreed to cease the roundup of his family’s cattle

A group of about 1,000 supporting Bundy cheered and sang “The Star Spangled Banner” when BLM made its announcement.

The standoff at the ranch became increasingly tense the longer it lasted, prompting elected officials in several states to weigh in, militia members to mobilize and federal land managers to reshape elements of the operation. The Las Vegas Sun reported that some protesters were carrying handguns and rifles, but there were no reports of shots fired or injuries

The roundup started last Saturday after the BLM and National Park Service shut down an area half the size of Delaware to let cowhands using helicopters and vehicles gather about 900 cattle that officials say are trespassing.

Bundy, 67, and his large family cast their resistance to the roundup as a constitutional stand. He says he doesn’t recognize federal authority over state land.

Brothers in arms: Rancher Cliven Bundy (2nd R) is escorted Friday by militia members in Bunkerville, Nevada

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Brothers in arms: Rancher Cliven Bundy (2nd R) is escorted Friday by militia members in Bunkerville, Nevada

Armed: Brand Thornton, of Las Vegas, blows a shofar on a hillside above a protest area on Friday

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Armed: Brand Thornton, of Las Vegas, blows a shofar on a hillside above a protest area on Friday

The dispute that triggered the roundup dates to 1993, when the BLM cited concern for the federally protected tortoise. The agency later revoked Bundy’s grazing rights.

The sheriff has been negotiating with the rancher for months, and the pair met at the ranch today to finalize the deal, according to 8 News Now.

With a sidearm strapped to his side, Anthony Herrea stands along a protest area

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Rancher Cliven Bundy's son, Ammon Bundy grimaces as he shows taser marks on his chest

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Defiant: With a sidearm strapped to his side, Anthony Herrea stands along a protest area while rancher Cliven Bundy’s son, Ammon Bundy grimaces as he shows taser marks on his chest

 

 

 

On his side: Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV), pictured last week, has risen to Bundy's side and called the BLM's efforts 'overreaching'

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On his side: Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV), pictured last week, has risen to Bundy’s side and called the BLM’s efforts ‘overreaching’

 

Taking a stand: Ammon Bundy (back C), son of rancher Cliven Bundy, talks Friday to protesters at the property

Bundy claimed ancestral rights to graze his cattle on lands his Mormon family settled in the 19th century. He stopped paying grazing fees and disregarded several court orders to remove his animals.

BLM officials, however, say Bundy owes more than $1.1 million in unpaid grazing fees.

BLM faced criticism when police used stun guns on one of Bundy’s adult sons during a Wednesday confrontation on a state highway near the Bundy melon farm in the Gold Butte area.

Video of that confrontation spread on the Internet, along with blog commentary claiming excessive government force and calls to arms from self-described militia leaders. Some have invoked references to deadly confrontations with federal authorities, including a siege of a ranch home in Ruby Ridge, Idaho, in 1992 and the fiery destruction of a religious compound near Waco, Texas, that killed 76 people in 1993.

“Our mission here is to protect the protestors and the American citizens from the violence that the federal government is dishing out,” Jim Landy, a member of the West Mountain Rangers, who made the journey from Montana to Nevada, told Fox News Channel. “People here are scared.”

Arizona state Rep. Bob Thorpe of Flagstaff said he and state legislators weren’t arguing whether Bundy broke laws or violated grazing agreements. Thorpe said the Arizona lawmakers were upset the BLM initially restricted protesters to so-called free speech zones.

Sen. Dean Heller and Gov. Brian Sandoval, both Republicans, have also said they were upset with the way the BLM was conducting the roundup. After the areas were removed Thursday, Sandoval issued a new statement.

“Although tensions remain high, escalation of current events could have negative, long lasting consequences that can be avoided,” it said.

The round-up: Bureau of Land Management vehicles are seen Friday near a corral with cattle outside Bunkerville, Nevada

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The round-up: Bureau of Land Management vehicles are seen Friday near a corral with cattle outside Bunkerville, Nevada

 

JOining the cause: Steven Kelly (R) talks on a phone as he stands by a protest signs he posted on his house as his soon Sean Kelly (L), looks on west of Mesquite, Nevada

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JOining the cause: Steven Kelly (R) talks on a phone as he stands by a protest signs he posted on his house as his soon Sean Kelly (L), looks on west of Mesquite, Nevada

Dug in: Bottles of water and supplies sit ready to be used at a protest area on Friday

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Dug in: Bottles of water and supplies sit ready to be used at a protest area on Friday

 

Violent: An officer is seen firing a taser at Ammon Bundy as an aggressive police dog goes after him

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Violent: An officer is seen firing a taser at Ammon Bundy as an aggressive police dog goes after him

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Bloodied: Krissy Thornton, right, looks at blood from a taser wound on Ammon Bundy

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Bloodied: Krissy Thornton, right, looks at blood from a taser wound on Ammon Bundy

 

Fighting words: Bundy, seen at right in the plaid shirt, is heard yelling at the agents to get off of his family's land

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Fighting words: Bundy, seen at right in the plaid shirt, is heard yelling at the agents to get off of his family’s land

 

 

 

 

Recovery: Ammon backs away towards the group of supporters behind him as he recoils after the taser shot

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Recovery: Ammon backs away towards the group of supporters behind him as he recoils after the taser shot

 

Opening the gates: Federal officers are seen making way for a convoy of cattle on Thursday

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Opening the gates: Federal officers are seen making way for a convoy of cattle on Thursday

 

 

 

 

Speaking out: Margaret Houston, Cliven Bundy's sister, told how she was tackled by officers when she was protesting (seen here at a Wednesday town hall meeting)

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Speaking out: Margaret Houston, Cliven Bundy’s sister, told how she was tackled by officers when she was protesting (seen here at a Wednesday town hall meeting)


Amy Lueders, BLM state director in Nevada, said Friday that two protesters were detained, cited for failure to comply with officers at a barricade on Thursday and released.

They won't go: Charlie Brown holds up a sign Thursday from the Bureau of Land Management's 'first amendment area' during a protest of the Bureau of Land Management's roundup of cattle near Bunkerville

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They won’t go: Charlie Brown holds up a sign Thursday from the Bureau of Land Management’s ‘first amendment area’ during a protest of the Bureau of Land Management’s roundup of cattle near Bunkerville

 

Help: Supporters prepare to rally for Cliven Bundy at the Bundy ranch near Bunkerville Nevada on Monday

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Help: Supporters prepare to rally for Cliven Bundy at the Bundy ranch near Bunkerville Nevada on Monday

 

 

 

 

People power: People help erect a pole to hang a banner during a rally in support of Cliven Bundy near Bunkerville Nevada on Monday

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People power: People help erect a pole to hang a banner during a rally in support of Cliven Bundy near Bunkerville Nevada on Monday

 

We shall not be moved: John Banks holds up a banner during a rally in support of Cliven Bundy

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Eight helicopters were circling the land Thursday, and federal officials have seized about 350 of Bundy’s 908 cattle, according to various reports

No passage: Federal law enforcement officers block a road into the land Bundy claims is his

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No passage: Federal law enforcement officers block a road into the land Bundy claims is his

Defiance: Cliven Bundy, (right), and friend, Clance Cox, stand at the Bundy ranch near Bunkerville Nevada on Saturday during the escalation of their dispute with the Federal Government

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Defiance: Cliven Bundy, (right), and friend, Clance Cox, stand at the Bundy ranch near Bunkerville Nevada on Saturday during the escalation of their dispute with the Federal Governmen

 

That brought the number of arrests to three. Bundy’s son, Dave Bundy, was arrested Sunday on State Route 170 and released Monday with citations accusing him of refusing to disperse and resisting arrest.

Lueders said 380 cows were collected by Thursday. She declined to provide a cost estimate for the herding operation.