LAS VEGAS (AP) — More than two years after an armed standoff with rancher Cliven Bundy prompted a pullout of researchers from Gold Butte, federal land managers are returning to the scenic, historic and ecologically fragile area.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management says work is resuming toward opening the area across the Virgin River from the Bundy ranch for hiking, camping and geological and archaeological exploration.
It says agency national chief Neil Kornze and state director John Ruhs toured the area last week with a Clark County commissioner and a Las Vegas police captain.
Bundy’s lawyer is deriding the effort as misplaced.
Bundy doesn’t recognize federal jurisdiction in the area where he’s accused of illegally grazing cattle.
His attorney, Joel Hansen, maintains that the state owns Gold Butte, not the federal government.
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