With southeast Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy behind bars as he and his four sons await trial, the Bureau of Land Management announced Friday that it plans to resume work in the Gold Butte region for the first time since an armed standoff near Bundy’s Bunkerville ranch in spring 2014.

The BLM said in a news release Friday that “[w]ith the support of the community, BLM officials have determined that the conditions are now right to resume work. BLM archaeologists, law enforcement officers and local agency leadership have all visited the area over the past month.”

The release says BLM Director Neil Kornze was among a group that visited the popular Whitney Pockets area — on the eastern edge of Gold Butte next to Virgin Mountain — where some of Gold Butte’s distinctive red sandstone formations had been vandalized and a felled Joshua tree had caught the attention of Nevada Sen. Harry Reid, who shared a photo on the Senate floor. The group saw evidence of overgrazing and trampling by cattle, the release said.

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