A guide to the standoff at refuge near Burns, Oregon following ranchers’ sentencing over public lands dispute
BURNS, Ore. — After being convicted of setting fires to federal grazing lands, two Oregon ranchers reported to prison Monday, while their supporters continued to occupy a wildlife preserve, according to the Associated Press.
The standoff at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is the latest in a longstanding battle over government-controlled public lands. More than 20 anti-government protesters took over the refuge’s headquarters this weekend in eastern Oregon near Burns, about 300 miles from Portland, the Associated Press reported Monday. The protesters are asking for more insight into the status of these lands and whether or not the government is forcing ranchers off them.
Father-and-son ranchers Dwight and Steven Hammond were convicted for setting fires in 2001 and 2006, which they said were to reduce the growth of invasive plants and to protect their property from wildfires, according to the Associated Press. Prosecutors said one of the fires was set to cover up deer poaching.
Authorities have not yet made an attempt to retake the land from the protesters.
For the latest developments in the case, go to the Greeley Tribune’s website.
To see a video from the protesters at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, go to The Oregonian’s website. To see a video from Harney County Ore., Sheriff David Ward’s news conference on Monday, go to The Oregonian’s website.
For an overview of similar, national stories involving clashes over federal land, go to the New York Times’s website.
For an aggregation of stories about the Oregon standoff from across the web, follow The Fence Post’s Storify feed here.