Statement from Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward: “After the peaceful rally was completed today, a group of outside militants drove to the Malheur Wildlife Refuge, where they seized and occupied the refuge headquarters. A collective effort from multiple agencies is currently working on a solution. For the time being please stay away from that area. More information will be provided as it becomes available. Please maintain a peaceful and united front and allow us to work through this situation.”
The Bundy family of Nevada joined with hard-core militiamen Saturday to take over the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, vowing to occupy the remote federal outpost 50 miles southeast of Burns for years.
Oregonlive.com is reporting that the occupation began after a protest over the prosecution of ranchers Dwight Hammond Jr. and Steven Hammond. The pair were sentenced to five years in prison in October for illegally setting fires on U.S. Bureau of Land Management property. Both men already served time for their crimes, however a different judge ruled that their time served was not long enough and ordered them back to prison on Monday.
Among the militia leaders that have taken over the building at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is Ammon Bundy, son of Cliven Bundy, who many of you will recall from events in the not so distant past.
While we typically don’t report on this type of news, it’s going to be a hot topic over the next 48 hours worth keeping tabs on.
Check this space for updates.