Recently, the FBI has taken it into their own hands to look at the armed standoff in Oregon where a group of militia people, along with family of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, are sitting in a building on federal land at a national wildlife refuge. The FBI is working with the Harney County Sheriff’s Office, along with the Oregon state police and other law enforcement agencies to bring a resolution to this.
The militia that is occupying the wildlife refuge have even set up a roadblock, and two armed members have manned a gun tower that is used to help with wildfires, but is not being used to watch out for law enforcement. However, the local police are not going to the scene so they say.
The foundation for this was a protest on Saturday in Harney County where ranchers were sent to prison for committing arson. The brothers left eastern Oregon early Sunday to California where they were to serve their prison sentences. The two men were convicted of setting fires to federal land, and the Hammonds said they using the land for their cattle population.
There are devastating affects to these fires, especially since they were intestinally set and illegally on public lands, and it could threaten the residents as well. After the rally for the Hammons on Saturday, a group of militia that were involved in a standoff with the government over grazing rites initiated the occupation of the headquarters of a local wildlife refuge. They’re saying that the government is taking the land and the resources, leaving people in poverty and that the wildlife refuge has been a tool in doing that.
Bundy is the man at the helm of this, and he says that if they don’ take a stand, they won’t be able to as a people. He rallied a militia to help him, and the actions are not aggressive and haven’t caused any damage or criminal activity. He says that his group helps the local workers to benefit from the land. The group wants to asset that the federal land isn’t allowed to control the land inside the state. The group does not have plans to occupy other buildings, but it’s a federal property managed by the US Fish and Wildlife service. They occupied it when it was closed over the holiday weekend.
The sheriff said that these men were claiming to be a part of the militia groups supporting local ranchers, and that these men are trying to overthrow the county and start a movement. Right now, there are serval organizations that are making sure that the country is safe though and as peaceful as possible.
Right now, there isn’t anything bad going on, but the sheriff said that to stay inside and away from the refuge for their own safety, and that if anyone sees these people to contact the law enforcement and not confront them themselves. Currently, the schools are closed this week to ensure safety and for the concern of all.