(Fox News) -- Groups from as far away as New Hampshire are riding out to Nevada to join the cattle rancher whose standoff with the federal government is growing tenser by the day.
The groups said they were going to the ranch, some 80 miles north of Las Vegas to stand with Cliven Bundy, whose property is surrounded by federal agents. Bundy's herd, which once numbered nearly 1,000, is being thinned out by private contractors under the watch of dozens of armed federal agents in SUVs and helicopters, the government says, he has refused for two decades to pay fees to allow the cattle to graze on federal lands.
“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.”
Bundy's family called for support this week after some incidents of violence between the family and protestors with law-enforcement. Bundy’s son was shot with a stun gun on Wednesday and his sister, Margaret Houston was pushed to the ground in incidents caught on video. The protests began to grow last week, after agents from the federal Bureau of Land Management shut off access to a large swath of federal land to round up Bundy’s cattle.
Landy said groups were going to the scene to try to help keep the peace.
“The Bundy family is expecting to be shot if they try to round up their own cattle,” he said. “We are here to make sure they are not harmed. The American people are afraid of their Federal Government.”
Members of a Utah militia arrived at the ranch Wednesday, and other militias from Texas, New Hampshire and Florida are reportedly set to arrive in the coming days.