Feds mon­i­tor armed group that took over na­tional refuge

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS -

BURNS, Ore. — Fed­eral au­thor­i­ties kept their dis­tance and made no im­me­di­ate at­tempt Mon­day to re­take a wildlife refuge in the re­mote high desert of Ore­gon af­ter armed anti-gov­ern­ment pro­test­ers seized it as part of a decades­long fight over pub­lic lands in the West. The group came to the frozen high desert of east­ern Ore­gon to con­test the prison sen­tences of two ranch­ers who set fire to fed­eral land, but their ul­ti­mate goal is to turn over the property to lo­cal au­thor­i­ties so peo­ple can use it free of U.S. over­sight. Peo­ple across the globe have mar­veled that fed­eral au­thor­i­ties have not moved to take back the Mal­heur Na­tional Wildlife Refuge. Res­i­dents say they have not seen a large pres­ence of of­fi­cers, and the gov­ern­ment’s tac­tic gen­er­ally is to mon­i­tor the sit­u­a­tion from afar but leave them be as long as they don’t show signs of violence. That’s how fed­eral of­fi­cials de­fused a high-pro­file 2014 stand­off with Ne­vada rancher Cliven Bundy over graz­ing rights. Now Bundy’s two sons are lead­ing the push in Ore­gon.

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