Tension growing between ranchers, mustang backers

Associated Press
FILE - In this Jan. 13, 2010 file photo, two young wild horses play while grazing in Reno, Nev. Wild horse protection advocates say the government is rounding up too many mustangs while allowing livestock to feed at taxpayer expense on the same rangeland scientists say is being overgrazed. (AP Photo/Reno Gazette-Journal, Andy Barron, File) NEVADA APPEAL OUT; NO SALES
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FILE - In this Jan. 13, 2010 file photo, two young wild horses play while grazing in Reno, Nev. Wild horse protection advocates say the government is rounding up too many mustangs while allowing livestock to feed at taxpayer expense on the same rangeland scientists say is being overgrazed. (AP Photo/Reno Gazette-Journal, Andy Barron, File) NEVADA APPEAL OUT; NO SALES

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Tensions are growing on the range in a turf battle that has been simmering for decades over one of the icons of the American West and scant forage on arid, high desert lands from Nevada to Wyoming.

Wild-horse protection advocates say the government is rounding up too many mustangs while allowing livestock to overgraze, but ranchers say not enough horses are being gathered.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management agreed Friday to remove horses from the range in southwest Utah after commissioners in Iron County threatened to take matters into their own hands.

In Nevada, the federal agency on Saturday began seizing about 500 cattle from longtime rancher Cliven Bundy that it says are trespassing on public land southwest of Mesquite.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

Tensions are growing on the range in a turf battle that has been simmering for decades over one of the icons of the American West and scant forage on arid, high desert lands from Nevada to Wyoming.

Wild horse protection advocates say the government is rounding up too many mustangs while allowing cattle to overgraze, while ranchers say not enough .

County commissioners in southwest Utah's Iron County have threatened to take matters into their own hands to gather horses if BLM won't.

In Nevada, longtime rancher Cliven Bundy says federal agents are mobilizing to seize his 500 cattle the government says are trespassing on public land southwest of Mesquite.

Bureau of Land Management officials confirm they intend to confiscate the cattle as a last resort in a 20-year-old dispute. They won't discuss the details.

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