Armed militiamen took over a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon on Saturday to protest the prosecution of two local ranchers and the federal government's land use. Dwight and Steven Hammond, a father and son of Burns, are scheduled to report to prison Monday after a judge ruled the sentences they had served for arson on federal land were not long enough.
— Jason Wilson (@jason_a_w) January 3, 2016
The number of people occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge after a protest for the Hammonds in nearby Burns — and what weapons they have — is unknown. Two sons of Cliven Bundy, an anti-government rancher from Nevada whose 2014 protest drew national attention, are among them. Ammon Bundy, the group's spokesman, told CNN they are prepared to use force to defend themselves.
"The best possible outcome is that the ranchers that have been kicked out of the area, then they will come back and reclaim their land, and the wildlife refuge will be shut down forever and the federal government will relinquish such control," Ryan Bundy told The Oregonian. "What we're doing is not rebellious."
An attorney for the Hammonds said his clients do not support the Bundys' stand. Julie Kliegman