FEDS NOW IN OREGON TO “TAKE CONTROL OF THE SITUATION”
KOIN 6 News in Portland, Oregon has reported federal officials travelled into the state on Sunday “to take control of the situation in Burns where around twenty armed militants seized control of a building at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.”
The FBI is reportedly currently working with local law enforcement to end the occupation. The FBI will be “the lead agency in dealing with the armed militants.”
Ammon Bundy – the son of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, who was involved in a 2014 standoff with the government over grazing rights – is amongst the people inside the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
The group of armed militants says they’re not afraid to make use of force if the united states government tries to kick them off of the property.
Ammon Bundy posted a video on his Facebook page requesting militia members to come help him. He explained “this is not a time to stand down. It’s a time to stand up and come to Harney County,” where Burns is located.
He along with other protesters coming from out of state visited Burns a few weeks ago. They are upset over the looming prison sentences for local ranchers Dwight and also Steven Hammond. They traveled to the wildlife refuge Saturday night following a peaceable rally in Burns to back up the ranchers.
Dwight Hammond, 73, and Steven Hammond, 46, said they lit fires on federal government land in 2001 and 2006 to reduce the growth of invasive plants and also protect their property from wildfires.
They were found guilty of the arsons three years previous and served time – the father three months, the son 12 months. However a federal judge ruled in October that the terms were too short under U.S. minimal sentencing law and dictated them back to prison for approximately 4 years each.
The decision created controversy and is a part of a decades long disagreement between numerous Westerners as well as the federal government concerning the use of public lands.
Ammon’s younger brother, Ryan Bundy, told the Associated Press his group wants to “restore the rights to people so they can use the land and resources” for ranching, logging, mining and recreation.
When asked how long the group will stay, Ammon Bundy told KOIN 6 News, “As long as is necessary.”
“We’re planning on staying here for years, absolutely,” Ammon Bundy stated. “This is not a decision we’ve made at the last minute.”
“These men came to Harney County claiming to be part of militia groups supporting local ranchers, when in reality these men had alternative motives to attempt to over throw the county and federal government in hopes to spark a movement across the United States,” said the Harney County Sheriff Dave Warda in a statement released on Sunday.
“We are currently working jointly with several organizations to make sure the citizens of Harney County are safe and this issue is resolved as quickly and peaceful as possible. At this time we do not have any information that any other areas in Harney County are in immediate danger.
“We ask that people stay away from the refuge for their safety. We also ask that if anyone sees any of these individuals in the area to please contact law enforcement and do not confront the individuals themselves…”