The new head of the BLM, Neil Kornze, worked for Harry Reid as a policy adviser from 2003 to 2011. It is reasonable to assume that Reid got him the BLM job, and I would hazard a guess that Reid saw the situation turning into a public relations disaster–Nevada’s Governor and Senator Dean Heller, both Republicans, were more or less siding with Bundy–and told Kornze to give it up.Of course, the BLM over-reacted, and there were armed officers there, and plenty of good opportunities for outrage. It seems that the BLM set up a "First Amendment Area" that outraged everyone.
It still isn’t clear what the crisis was all about. Rumor has it that Reid wants the land for a giant solar farm that would be supplied by a Chinese company and, presumably, subsidized by the federal government. Reid’s son is apparently a participant in the deal. Whether that is true, I haven’t yet tried to figure out. One thing I will say with some certainty, however, is that tortoises had little or nothing to do with it.
It seems that this weekend, the BLM decided to pack up and go home. Someone with a brain in his bead decided that this thing was becoming a public relations nightmare. What's interesting, though, is to understand that this is Harry Reid's state, and if there is money to be made, you can be sure that Harry has his hand in the pie.
Harry Reid is a despicable little man. He's spent his entire life in public service and has amassed quite a fortune for himself and his family. The very idea that Harry's son represents a Chinese firm that wants to use government land in Nevada for a green-energy project tells me everything I know about this drummed-up crisis. If you think that this little debacle had anything to do with cattle, or with tortoises, you've been reading the wrong newspapers.