Thursday, 14 January, 2016

​Sheriff meets with OR militia, tells them to leave

Leader of armed group wants land transfer, then will go home
Arnold White | 09 January, 2016, 02:07

The sheriff has called on the occupying protesters to leave peacefully.

Charlotte Rodrique said she "had to laugh" at that request because she knows he isn't talking about her tribe, which considers the land sacred, The Associated Press reported. A leader of the Orego...

A member of the group occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge headquarters, walks to the front gate Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016, near Burns, Ore.

(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer). Harney County Sheriff David Ward listens to concerns during a community meeting at the Harney County fairgrounds on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016, in Burns, Ore. The leader of an American Indian tribe that regards an OR nature pre...

Ammon Bundy offered few specifics about the group's plan to get the land turned over to local control, but Finicum said they would examine the underlying land ownership transactions to begin to "unwind it".

The armed group broke off from a peaceful protest in support of the Hammonds Saturday, taking over the wildlife refuge.

The group seized buildings at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon's high desert country on Saturday.

On Thursday, LaVoy Finicum, a leader of the armed group, told reporters, "We want all people to be safe".

- Harney Cty. Sheriff (@HarneyCoSheriff) January 7, 2016Sheriff Ward asks Ammon Bundy to please leave and respect the wishes of Harney County residents.

"We are doing the same thing as Rosa Parks did", Bundy tweeted early Wednesday.

Since the land is remote, there were no hostages and the armed men to not appear to have explosive devices, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is likely to try to negotiate and gather intelligence on the situation before making any major moves, said Garrett.

"A hundred people died in that", Moore said.

"I don't think I've seen this many community members in one place other than the county fair", he said when he spoke at the meeting.

"This is their county-we can't be here and force this on them", Bundy told OPB Monday. "I don't need an escort".

Federal officials and local law enforcement have been in a standoff with protesters for days at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

"It is our goal to get the logger back to logging, to get the rancher back to ranching, to get the miner back to mining, the farmer back to farming and to jump-start this economy in Harney County", he told reporters.

Governor Kate Brown released a statement while the meeting was happening, saying the protest has become unlawful.

The Burns Paiute Tribe disagrees with the militia's tactics and wants them out.

Bundy's group - calling itself Citizens for Constitutional Freedom - comes from as far away as Arizona and MI.

"There is a time to go home, we recognize that", Ammon Bundy said at a news conference Wednesday morning. A community meeting was scheduled for Wednesday.

The armed protesters have said they are trying to help the Hammonds, who were convicted of arson and sentenced to five years in prison. Last fall, the Hammonds were ordered back to federal prison after having already served time for lighting fires on publicly managed land.