Within days of the 2016 armed occupation of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, then-Interior Secretary Sally Jewell pressed President Obama to prosecute the anti-government activists leading the siege, saying “bringing these people to justice” was critical to the safety of federal land managers.
The comments were included in 2,500 pages of newly released emails E&E News reviewed between top Interior aides and officials during the 2016 incident when Nevada ranchers Ryan and Ammon Bundy led anti-government activists in a 41-day siege of a remote federal site in eastern Oregon.
Montana resident Roger L. Roots, a convicted felon who was allowed to serve as a volunteer paralegal for Ryan Bundy in the Oregon standoff case, filed the friend-of-the-court motion on behalf of the “Real 3% ers of Idaho,’’ and the “Idaho Political Prison Foundation.’’
The Idaho Political Prisoner Foundation provides money, obtained through donations, to inmates in jail or prison resulting from what it calls “non-violent Constitutional protest and activism,’’ according to the motion.
“People in the mainstream were like, “What the hell? These people are crazy,’ is the first reaction I get,” Temple said. “That’s just a very dismissive way to look at it. You’re never going to understand someone else’s viewpoints if you don’t ask the question, ‘Why are they doing this?’”
Temple, 49, who also wrote about the opioid crisis with “American Pain” that was released in 2015, offers another unflinching view of the state of the country with “Up In Arms.”
A federal judge Tuesday granted a temporary restraining order that bars Hammonds Ranches Inc. from livestock grazing on federal public land near Burns during June.
U.S. District Judge Michael H. Simon ruled from the bench, noting a written order would follow. He also has scheduled another hearing for June 28 to consider a motion by three environmental advocacy groups for a preliminary injunction barring further grazing at the sites.
Western Watersheds Project, the Center for Biological Diversity and Wildearth Guardians filed a complaint in U.S. District Court in Pendleton against the interior secretary, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the district manager of the land bureau’s Burns District office.The three groups argue that then-Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s renewal of the grazing permit after the Hammonds were issued pardons violated federal administrative regulations because it failed to consider the Hammonds’ unsatisfactory record.
In a most ironic twist in a western saga that has featured more than a few twists, the Bureau of Land Management hopes cattle from Dwight and Steven Hammond – ranchers the U.S. government prosecuted for starting range fires – can reduce a fire risk on the high desert of eastern Oregon.The Hammond’s long-running dispute with the federal government ended with prison sentences for arson — and later inspired the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation. President Trump pardoned the Hammonds in July of last year.
Dwight and Steven Hammonds are back on the ranch, after a long and lengthy battle over grazing rights and property management. But even after a pardon and release from prison, the journey back to reinstating their grazing permits has just begun.
Ethan Lane, executive director of the Public Lands Council talked with host Chip Flory about the saga on AgriTalk during the 2019 Cattle Industry and NCBA Tradeshow.
The Hammonds were back-burning on private property, a normal ranching method to lower wildfire risk and control timber encroachment, when some federal lands caught on fire.
“That’s an important part of this,” Lane said. “It was a normal farming and ranching practice.”
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has restored grazing permits for the Hammond family from Oregon after losing the right to graze following federal charges that were later pardoned.
The announcement was made on Jan. 28 that Hammond Ranches would be able to graze their BLM allotments again. The BLM had stripped the right to graze after Dwight and Steven Hammond were convicted of felony arson in 2012. They were sentenced to five years imprisonment under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996.