Not Leaving Federal Land


(BURNS, Ore.) — The Harney County Sheriff’s Office has requested assistance from state and federal officers from the 36 other counties in Oregon until a peaceful resolution is reached with those occupying Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

Sheriff David Ward said in a statement that the militia and members of the Bundy family have “no intention” of leaving the federal land. In a meeting Thursday to resolve the standoff, Ward asked Ammon Bundy to “respect the wishes of Harney County residents” and vacate the land.

“We petitioned our representatives,” Ammon said. “I gave them notice, and they did not even respond.”

“Let’s work it out,” Ward told Bundy. “Let’s get our community back to normal.”

“I’m here to talk to give you guys the opportunity to leave the county peacefully and get back to your families,” Ward said, after acknowledging that he understands the group’s desire to be heard.

“We pose no threat to the community,“ Bundy said, suggesting to Ward that schools should be reopened.

On Saturday, a rally began support of Harney County ranchers Dwight Hammond Jr. and Steven Hammond, who were to report to prison Monday on arson charges on land they leased for cattle grazing.

After Saturday’s protest, militia, along with sons of Cliven Bundy, initiated the occupation of the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

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