Malheur Occupation Show Notes

Adam’s Show Notes

The Bundy militias are not concerned with the land claims of Indigenous peoples. Ryan Bundy stated that they want to “restore the rights to people so they can use the land and resources,” in reference to privatization of public lands for logging, mining, and ranching. While these militias wrap their rhetoric around fighting for the “people,” they are driven by a rugged individualism that seeks to profit from exploiting the land’s natural resources without federal regulation.

“We also recognize that the Native Americans had the claim to the land,” said Bundy, “but they lost that claim.” He continued: “There are things to learn from cultures of the past, but the current culture is the most important.”

The Occupation of Alcatraz Island for 19 months by Native Americans in 1969 caused President Richard Nixon to concede that, “The time has come…for a new era in which the Indian future is determined by Indian acts and Indian decisions.”

The Native Americans, who staged occupations at Plymouth Rock, Mount Rushmore, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, had millions of acres of land returned to them and the U.S. government passed dozens of proposals supporting tribal self-rule.

Malheur National Wildlife Refuge was once part of 1.78 million acres of the Malheur Indian Reservation, which was taken from the Northern Paiute in violation of an unratified treaty from 1868.

The Burns Paiute today have a reservation of only 760 acres.

Army killed upwards of 230 Lakota people, including women and children. One woman ran three miles before a cavalryman shot her in the back.

They have also had to fight to prevent their land from becoming a dumping ground for America’s refuse. Most notably, the Navajo have suffered the terrible effects of nuclear waste.


Charlotte Rodrique, the chairwoman of the federally recognized Burns Paiute Tribe,

Speaking at a press conference on the Paiute reservation on Wednesday, Rodrique said the mostly white ranchers have no claim to Malheur Wildlife Refuge. “Don’t tell me any of these ranchers came across the Bering Strait and settled here,” she says. “We were here first. We were here before the volcanoes.”

The reason the refuge is under federal ownership, Rodrique says: The tribe’s ancestors signed a treaty with the U.S. government in 1868. That treaty was never ratified by the Senate, but both the tribe and the government have acted as if it was, she says, adding that the document guarantees the feds will protect the safety of the Paiute people.


About the Author

Michael McLean is a PhD student in history at Boston College.

And so Cliven Bundy ignored the permit rules and allowed his cattle to graze on federal land, while his neighbors paid their dues. He racked up more than one million dollars in fees and fines, and when the federal government pressed the case, he and his supporters stood up to the Bureau of Land Management.

Two years later, when Oregon ranchers Dwight and Steven Hammond were convicted of arson following their own run-ins with government agents, Cliven’s son responded. Ammon Bundy rounded up his comrades, picked up his gun, and drove to Oregon.

At the Hammonds’ trial, the government argued that the fires were set to cover up evidence of poaching activities. The Hammonds did not deny setting the fires but claimed their purpose was to destroy invasive species.

Federal courts found the Hammonds guilty of arson for fires that affected both the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and other federally protected areas in eastern Oregon. In 2001, Steven Hammond and his hunting party intentionally started fires to cover up deer poaching on public lands. After handing out matches, Hammond told his crew they were going to “light up the whole country on fire,” but later lied to federal authorities on the cause of the fire.

After a decade, a federal court sentenced the Hammonds to the minimum five years in prison, where they are now serving out their time. While the Hammonds may not agree with their punishment, they do not support the current militia occupation in Oregon.


Ammon Bundy, who chose to wear blue jails scrubs throughout the trial, was dressed in a gray suit Thursday.

U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown told him that there was a U.S. Marshal’s hold on him from a pending federal indictment in Nevada.

“No, he’s released on these charges. He’s acquitted. Nevada doesn’t have jurisdiction,” Mumford yelled, standing before the judge. “If there’s a detainer, show me.”

“Mr. Mumford, you really need to never yell at me now or never again,” the judge responded.

Brown told Mumford that she’s releasing Bundy on all federal holds in the Oregon case, but he’ll have to take up any questions about the federal holds from the Nevada case with the U.S. Marshals Service.

“If they want him, they know where to find him,” Mumford told the judge. “I don’t see any paper proving their authority to hold him.”

Suddenly, a group of about six to seven U.S. Marshals, who had been either standing or seated around the perimeter of the courtroom, slowly moved in and surrounded Mumford at his defense table. The judge directed them to move back but moments later, the marshals grabbed onto him.

“What are you doing?” Mumford yelled, as he struggled and was taken down to the floor.

As deputy marshals yelled, “Stop resisting,” the judge demanded, “Everybody out of the courtroom now!”

Mumford was taken into custody by the Federal Protective Services.

He was cited for failure to comply with a federal lawful order and disturbance and released with a Jan. 6 date to return to federal court, said Eric Wahlstrom, supervising deputy of the U.S. Marshals Service.

According to Wahlstrom, Mumford was shocked with a stun gun in what’s called a dry-stun mode, meaning no probes were fired into his body but a Taser was placed up against his body.

Wahlstrom, who was not in the courtroom, said the actions were taken because Mumford was resisting and preventing marshals from taking Ammon Bundy out of the courtroom and back into custody.

Wahlstrom said the stun gun was used because deputy U.S. marshals “attempted to handcuff him and he continued to resist.”

But observers who were close to the arrest decried the use of force against a lawyer in court.

“What happened at the end is symbolic of the improper use of force by the federal government,” Mumford’s co-counsel J. Morgan Philpot said. Philpot explained that Mumford was attempting to point out that since the judge previously had said in court that she had no authority over detention orders made by the court in Nevada, she couldn’t now maintain the right to order his client held.

“I grew up on a dairy farm, so am I used to some rough treatment, sure?” Mumford told reporters, after his release. But he said the actions of the U.S. marshals were uncalled for.

“All I was asking for was papers. Just show me you have the authority to take Mr. Bundy into custody,” Mumford said.

Defense lawyer Per C. Olson, who represented co-defendant David Fry, called the physical confrontation “a complete overreaction. Utterly disgusting.”

Olson said Mumford was getting animated, but he did nothing physical. He didn’t charge the bench, or block marshals from his client. “He raised his arm as if to say, what the hell…And they grabbed him, Tased him and took him down. It was just shocking. It was completely inappropriate,”Olson said.

Charges in Nevada.

Schindler said Mumford was exhausted, having “put out everything he had,” during the past six weeks of the case.

“Unfortunately he let his passion and desire and belief in his client overcome his good judgement,” Schindler said.

Margaret “Margie” Paris, a University of Oregon law professor and former dean, said she couldn’t believe what occurred when she learned of the confrontation.

“It just blows my mind,” Paris said. “To have a lawyer who’s making an argument in court physically restrained and taken down is extraordinary. He’s entitled to make these arguments. If he was repeating himself over and over, the more typical response is to hold him in contempt. But to physically accost him is just shocking.”


A few outstanding things Ammon testified to stood out to me. There apparently were multiple attempts to meet personally with the F.B.I. by Ammon and yet no face-to-face meet up ever occurred, presumably because the bureau did not wish to have that sort of negotiation. And the lack of law enforcement/engagement throughout the occupation, coupled with the visits to the refuge by many politicians, caused me to see how occupiers could view their presence as something other than illegal.  



Oregon live complete coverage –

BURNS — The group that occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in January and early February caused $9 million in damages to the refuge headquarters U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe said Wednesday.

The digging and grading performed by the occupiers is believed to have damaged Native American artifacts that remained in the ground near the headquarters, said Jason Holm, assistant regional director of external affairs for the Fish and Wildlife Service. The road built by occupiers, roughly 200 feet long, crosses through an area that was deliberately left roadless due to the earlier discovery of artifacts, he said. A 40- to 50-foot trench built and used by occupiers to dispose of garbage and human waste is also in an area known to contain Burns Paiute Tribe artifacts.

The septic system stopped working due to overuse while the headquarters was occupied, Holm said, and was damaged further when contractors hired by Fish and Wildlife attempted to repair it. Holm said it’s expected all repairs of the headquarters area will be complete by early summer, allowing employees and the public to return.

Protecting Paiute sites will be an ongoing concern for the refuge staff once it reopens, Holm said. Among the documents kept at the headquarters were maps detailing where artifacts are likely to be found, he said, and while it’s not known if the occupiers accessed these maps, refuge staff are on alert to guard against any unauthorized excavations of significant sites in the future.

Ashe said he felt a “sense of helplessness” watching the occupation from Washington, D.C.

He also singled out Harney County Sheriff David Ward for his conduct during the occupation, calling him “an absolute and total hero to me,” and said he was looking forward to meeting the sheriff for the first time later in the day.

Refuge employees made available Wednesday spoke freely about their experiences during the occupation. Linda Beck, a fish biologist in charge of efforts to rid Malheur Lake of invasive carp, recalled how suspected occupiers appeared one night in the driveway of her home. A few days later, on the advice of Fish and Wildlife management concerned about threats to federal employees, Beck and her husband temporarily relocated to the Portland area.

“It pretty much cemented in me, I was going to come back and conquer the carp,” Beck said. “It was a 41-day occupation, but it’s a small part of Malheur’s history.”

Making race corralation of White men

At the refuge’s headquarters, occupiers smoked in all of the rooms, overflowed the septic system, trashed offices, bulldozed over Native American artifacts, stole computers and cameras, dismantled a Great Horned Owl nest, and prevented biologists from doing two months of work. Employees are now back on the job, working out of trailers during the cleanup. But while the refuge itself is open to birders, Malheur’s headquarters—which boasts the highest all-time bird list of any site in Oregon—will likely remain closed to the public until July.

Oregon’s U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams said he was in constant communication with federal Justice officials in Washington, D.C. during the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, through the development of the prosecution case and on charging decisions.

“Anytime there’s a case of national significance, we consult with main Justice,” Williams said.

“You hope it dissuades people in engaging in similar conduct, that they don’t pick up guns and keep people from working,” he said.

Knight cited key changes they made for the second trial: calling recently retired FBI Special Agent in Charge Greg Bretzing, instead of Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward, to testify why the FBI didn’t move in during the initial weeks of the refuge seizure and why the FBI sent informants into the refuge before the defense could raise the subject. They put greater focus on how the occupation displaced federal employees, and were more vigilant in their cross-examination of defense witnesses, including Ammon Bundy.

Banta later became the first defendant to take the witness stand Thursday. As the judge reminded him of his right to remain silent, he told her, “I have nothing to hide.”

Banta said that he asked that Graham serve as a third-party negotiator because he had seen him on Facebook, traveling to and praying in front of different state capitols. “I thought that’s what our country needs,” Banta testified.

Banta became emotional as he discussed the surrender. Once he left the encampment, he said, he wanted to move away, aware that Fry was still not coming out.

During cross-examination, Banta conceded that he was involved in military-type training at the refuge, became part of the Bravo squad, fired a couple of rounds in target practice and did guard duty in the fire tower. He also said he brought his 12-gauge shotgun and an SKS-type rifle to the refuge and was aware that the refuge was a federal government facility.

During all his time at the refuge, Barrow asked Banta, “You never asked for the Hammonds’ contact?” Banta had testified earlier that he had hoped to get to know Ammon Bundy, who could put him in contact with the Hammond family so he could work on their ranch.

“Does that seem strange to you?” Banta responded. “You guys arrested them before I had the chance.”

After learning Finicum was killed by police, Banta said he decided to stay in solidarity with his new friend Duane Ehmer. “I figured if he wasn’t going to go, I wasn’t going to go either.”

“I heard someone say, ‘What about LaVoy? He died for nothing’ — that resonated with me,” Banta testified.

During the last two weeks, Banta said he believed the FBI was flying drones over the refuge and thought two men with long white beards who claimed they were past Navy Seals were “FBI plants.” He said one had suggested “blowing the dike”  and indicated he had friends who were going to parachute and be “dropped into the lake.”

“He was crazy,” Banta said.

Banta suggested that the men with white beards had damaged the refuge and were there “to make us all look bad.” Banta also criticized the FBI negotiators as trying to manipulate him and testified that he believed several FBI employees are “Satan’s puppets.”

Referring to the Hammonds, he added,”We went there to help these people. It got nowhere. In fact, it got worse.”

He said he wasn’t trying to harm, threaten or impede anyone. “We were good people there to try to help good people.”

— Maxine Bernstein



During the deposition in late September, the sheriff asserted his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination 51 times when questioned about his email practices.

Palmer already is under criminal investigation for an allegation that in 2012 he destroyed an electronic copy of a police report.

In the deposition, Palmer said:

* He considered calls to or from those associated with the occupation of the Malheur National Wildilfe Refuge to be “personal” so they didn’t have to be disclosed to the public.

* Records of his government-issued cellphone show “many” personal phone calls – a potential violation of state ethics law prohibits personal use of government equipment.

* He frequently “confided” in a man recently convicted in Grant County of the theft of fire equipment. Palmer had investigated and cleared his friend, Roy R. Peterson of Monument. The Oregon State Police did a separate investigation and a jury found Peterson guilty in August.

* A flooring contractor he considered a “close friend” asked to become a special deputy so he could process concealed handgun licenses in the Portland area. Palmer said he didn’t learn until four years later that the man was associated with the Oregon Firearms Federation, a gun rights organization.

Palmer, 54, gained national attention for his sympathy with occupiers who took over the wildlife refuge in January. His conduct prompted John Day city officials and Grant County residents to file 11 complaints questioning his fitness for office. The state Department of Public Safety Standards and Training said it will conduct an administrative inquiry into the complaints once the state criminal investigation of Palmer is complete.

The deposition zeroed in on the evening when refuge occupier Robert”LaVoy” Finicum was shot and killed by state troopers as he and other occupiers traveled off the bird sanctuary and headed to John Day. Palmer released records from his personal cellphone that included a mix of personal and work calls. He redacted the telephone numbers and length of calls for those he considered personal.

The evening of Jan. 26, Palmer was in uniform at a community center in John Day, ready to speak at a gathering that featured Ammon E. Bundy, the leader of the refuge occupation. He drove to an Oregon State Police roadblock in the south end of Grant County after he heard about Finicum’s shooting but returned after a short time.

The records for Jan. 26 after the shooting showed that Palmer used his personal cellphone to make or receive 12 calls that evening. He classified 10 of them as personal. He said that in general he would consider calls to anyone associated with the occupation to be personal.

He said he would have classified as personal any call with Brooke A. Agresta, 36, a friend who has described herself as the intelligence officer for an Idaho militia group. She said in Facebook postings that she was the one who notified Palmer of Finicum’s shooting and kept him posted by phone through the evening. Palmer didn’t say whether he had redacted Agresta’s number from his personal cellphone records. But her number doesn’t appear on the records for a second, government-issued phone that he provided without redaction.

Palmer was asked whether he learned of the shooting in his role as sheriff.

“It’s kind of a gray area,” Palmer said. “I don’t know whether to say yes or no.”

Under questioning about his government-issued cellphone, Palmer testified “there’s lots of personal calls.”

State ethics law prohibits public officials from making personal use of government property. The Oregon Government Ethics Commission in a staff opinion said that a public official can use a government-issued phone “for personal business on a brief and infrequent basis (2 to 3 times per month)” without violating the law.

The sheriff has faced local criticism for deputizing untrained civilians. Grant County records show he has appointed 65 volunteer deputies since 2010. He has said he has no applications or other records documenting the training or qualifications of the deputies.

The Oregonian/OregonLive earlier this year requested access to Palmer’s Facebook records, which the sheriff testified were public records. The news organization in April paid the $36 fee that Palmer wanted to process the records, but he hasn’t provided any Facebook records to date.

He said in the deposition: “I haven’t had time to get on the Facebook stuff” and “I haven’t had a chance to go back and look at those records.”

But nearly two weeks earlier in a Sept. 9 legal document, Palmer had said, “I am compiling and redacting those documents.”

— Les Zaitz

During trial, federal prosecutors contended that the occupiers weren’t just peaceful protesters: They trashed refuge offices, used government computers as their own, disturbed Native American sacred sites by using heavy equipment to dig latrines for their human waste and trained with hand-to-hand combat and firing squads. Authorities recovered more than 1,000 shell casings from the site, as well as a load of firearms.

Although the defendants were well-armed, the takeover of the refuge wasn’t about violence, said Matt Schindler, who was standby counsel for defendant Kenneth Medenbach.

“Guns in a culture outside the city of Portland, it means something very different,” said Medenbach. “For these defendants and for these people having a firearm has nothing to do with a threat or anything else. It’s as much a statement of their rural culture as a cowboy hat or a pair of jeans.”

“If they just stood out there with signs no one would have cared,” Schindler continued. “But by going onto a piece of federal land and exercising their First Amendment rights and their Second Amendment rights, contemporaneously they had the power to be heard. People from all over the world came and heard them and listened to them.”

Thursday afternoon, as the occupiers’ supporters rushed out of the federal courthouse and breathlessly waved their arms in the air and hugged each other, it became clear that the verdict also might embolden protesters.

“I think it’s good for everybody’s right to protest — from hanging off of a bridge to sitting in a tree to occupying a park in Portland to occupying a refuge,” said Ludwig, the defense attorney. “It’s an affirmation of every citizen’s right to use civil disobedience to make their voice heard when they feel like nothing else is working.”

Oregon live complete coverage –

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Lauren Ipsum: A Story About Computer Science and Other Improbable Things



At the refuge’s headquarters, occupiers smoked in all of the rooms, overflowed the septic system, trashed offices, bulldozed over Native American artifacts, stole computers and cameras, dismantled a Great Horned Owl nest, and prevented biologists from doing two months of work. Employees are now back on the job, working out of trailers during the cleanup. But while the refuge itself is open to birders, Malheur’s headquarters—which boasts the highest all-time bird list of any site in Oregon—will likely remain closed to the public until July.

Karges said he also received a law enforcement briefing five days after the takeover and learned of threats made by the occupiers. He ordered his staff to evacuate from Harney County, he said.

Karges wasn’t permitted by the judge to share the specific threat that law enforcement officers shared with him on Jan. 7, 2016. Occupiers planned to kidnap a refuge employee and exchange that worker for someone held in custody, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Barrow.

During cross-examination, Karges said it was his own decision to place guns by every door in his home and that he had already left the county before that Jan. 7.

Fish biologist Linda Beck testified that she bought a gun because she feared for her safety during the occupation.

On Jan. 7, 2016, Beck said she learned that occupier Ryan Bundy had referred to her by her full name, “Linda Sue Beck,” and called her “carp lady” in a Reuters story that ran with photos of rifles resting against a pillar in her office.

“I was very fearful,” she testified. “I ran out to my gate in my driveway and locked the gate.”

She said she also called her parents to protect them because she had heard a reporter from New York had contacted them.



Agent Provocateur!

On a late January day, near the end of the 41-day occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, a man named John Killman joined Ammon and Ryan Bundy and other protesters.

He spoke with a French accent and provided occupiers with food and firearms training. He was friends with many of them on Facebook.

There was a catch, however: John Killman didn’t exist.


He admitted he was an informant for the FBI, had infiltrated the refuge and had supervised the shooting range during his three-day visit, from Jan. 23 through Jan. 26. He said the FBI paid his expenses, including the cost of a bulletproof vest he bought on his drive to the refuge because he presumed he’d be in “harm’s way.”

He said he provided training on firearms safety and proficient use of firearms to the occupiers.

After Minoggio’s testimony, the defense rested its case.

During their closing arguments, defense lawyers repeatedly hammered the government for not disclosing that a man who agents had sent into the refuge was supervising a shooting range for occupiers.

The inflammatory video of occupiers rapidly-firing rifles from the boat launch occurred a day or two after Minoggio arrived at the refuge, they pointed out.

It was also Minoggio who trained defendant Jeff Banta at the refuge on hand-to-hand combat and how to drag someone from a car, his lawyer Robert Salisbury reminded jurors. A prosecutor had asked Banta, on cross-examination, about whether he participated in tactical training at the refuge on how to remove someone from a car, but never mentioned it was an informant who had led that instruction.

“Why didn’t the government just tell the truth about Fabulous Fabio?” Salisbury asked.

Marcus Mumford, Ammon Bundy’s attorney, chuckled about the “Killman” alias that he said he presumed the FBI gave Minoggio. “Of course, that’s what the government thinks of the occupiers,” he said.

Another defense attorney, Matt Schindler, called it a “catastrophic mistake” for prosecutors not to identify the informants. He asked jurors: “How can you trust a federal government who placed a dozen informants into the conspiracy then doesn’t” tell you who or what they did?

Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Gabriel tried to put the concerns to rest in his rebuttal. The government is allowed to use informants in investigating crimes, he said.

“We’re not relying on the informants in this case to prove” the conspiracy charge, Gabriel told jurors, but relying on the evidence presented at trial.

But the damage had been done.

Defense questions about the role informants played resonated with jurors, who returned across-the-board acquittals on the federal conspiracy charge against Ammon Bundy, older brother Ryan Bundy and five co-defendants.
ammon-bundy-mug.JPGAmmon BundyMCSO

One juror did a “full 180-degree turn” after learning there were six informants on the refuge whose names never emerged during the trial, said Juror 4, the only one among the nine women and three men on the panel to speak publicly about deliberations.



“The donations are still coming in,” said Tim Blount, executive director of the Friends of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, when I ran into him during a field trip. Before the occupation, the group had about 200 members; now it has thousands. A campaign called GOHOME, which encouraged people to pledge each day during the takeover, also raised more than $135,000 for four supportive organizations, including the friends group and the Burns Paiute tribe.

More than 150 people in the birding community pitched in to a GoFundMe effort and raised enough to replace his gear; he also plans to use the funds to help purchase a pair of binoculars for refuge volunteers.


2) Citizens for Constitutional Freedom, became an immediate target of derision online. Using hashtags such as #YallQueda, #YeeHawdists, and #VanillaISIS,


3) Bundy: When his men issued a public call for supplies, people started mailing them boxes of sex toys.

4) “The donations are still coming in,” said Tim Blount, executive director of the Friends of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, when I ran into him during a field trip. Before the occupation, the group had about 200 members; now it has thousands. A campaign called GOHOME, which encouraged people to pledge each day during the takeover, also raised more than $135,000 for four supportive organizations, including the friends group and the Burns Paiute tribe.

More than 150 people in the birding community pitched in to a GoFundMe effort and raised enough to replace his gear; he also plans to use the funds to help purchase a pair of binoculars for refuge volunteers.



Beck identified a shelf in her office that she described as “My Wall of Death,” which held a collection of bones that she has saved. It included bones of a bat, a blanched fish head, a pelican bill and a stuffed raven.

She testified that the stuffed raven was gone when she returned to the office in February. “And it meant a lot to me …,” Beck said, intending to explain but the prosecutor cut her off, “That’s OK.”

During cross-examination, defense lawyer Per C. Olson suggested that the planned commercial fishing event to help reduce the carp population at the refuge actually had been scheduled for April, not January. Beck said she was encouraging the commercial fisherman to come to the refuge in January.

Defense lawyer Marcus Mumford asked Beck if it’s possible the FBI agents could have cause kind the mess she found in her office on Feb. 17.

“I see no point in them making this mess,” she replied.

“But it’s possible?” Mumford asked.

“Yes,” she said.



Nap’s Show Notes

Double standard in America

We are taught to be proud of our defiant, independent nature. We are told to honour the hard working, self made men and woman who with enough work and dedication can build their dreams out of nothing.

We are told this is what makes America great and in the same breath, we’re told to mock and condemn people who fall too far outside the social norm. People who are too independent, too self assured are dangerous, because they can’t be cowed by social pressures in the same way others can. This kind of behaviour cannot be incentivised. If everyone were to chose this sort of independent lifestyle, the government would lose its tether on the people.

So we are encouraged to mock them, make light of them. Rather than respect their independence, we sneer at them, and deride them as gun toting rednecks.

“Look at them, in their pick up trucks and cowboy hats. How pathetic!”

We quote Team America, World Police with the cry of “Merica!” mistaking a reference for actual joke, and pat ourselves on the back for our clever insights.

The same people who gleefully point fingers and declare others “White Trash,” “Ignorant” and “racist” are blithe to the knowledge that this term White Trasharouse post civil war. At this point in time, people struggled with the introduction of blacks into society.

Some, wrongly attempted to provide an ethnogenic justification to why that blacks lived in poverty. They validated this with the claim that they were racially inferior. However, that claim required an explaination as to why some whites lived in poverty as well. Those men and women were simply explained away as white trash, a sad failure to launch into the waiting potential of the Caucasian race.

Most of us don’t rely on ethnogenic explainations anymore, but many still try to justify why their rights are more worthy of protection than others among us. We champion women’s rights, talk about how women have been excluded and down trodden…but ranchers rights? Ranchers? The decry of ignorant, inbred, racist and any other assortment of terms you like to descried this group is almost instantly used to deflect from the fact that the government feels justified in infringing upon their livelihood. This is even so when the government stands little to gain, other than a display of power.

Fed vs state

Fed owns over quarter of land

Orgeon 53.1%

Nev 84.5% government expands land holding

BLM regulation and conservation on 247.3 million acres of land and is constantly expanding.

Equivalent to 1/8th U.S land.

Oregon no fence state/ don’t have to fence cattle in/ pay grazing fees to allow cattle to graze on public land.

Local communities encouraged to turn over land to government.

Bundy Ranch in Nevada refused to pay for grazing land

2014 Beurau of Land Management tries to claim money owed by Cliven Bundy.

Supposedly owed $ in the millions.

Government attempted to confiscate cattle.

Armed standoff ensued, Cliven and family.

Claims to grazing land and water rights often precede government mandates on land.

Resolved peacefully

Cliven Bundy demonized by media

However, he lost public support when made the comment “Negroes better off as slaves”

This was a reactive comment, expressing how he felt enslaved to the government but turned into an anti black statement.

It made his character assassination easy, given the current devotion to political correctness.

Fuel on the fire of ignorant, old fashioned, backwards stereotype. The government needed to vilify him.

Public felt justidfied in pulling their support, even Republican leaders who had championed his cause.

The governments interference is not evaluated, because they become the good guys when pit against an alleged racist.

Ranchers have been under attack like this before, in recent history

U.S. v. Estate of E. Wayne Hage “War on The West” 2013

Federal government refused to renew grazing permits Wayne Hage ranch had held for long time

Government intereffed with Hage family water rights, pre-dated the implementation of grazing permit in 1934

Restricted access to various streams and wells

BLM seized Hages cattle and filed trespasser actions against Hage

Built fence to keep cattle away from waterways

Preciding judge jones : “[T]he Government’s actions over the past two decades shocks the conscience of the Court.”

Judge concluded that the government denied the renewal of the Hages’ grazing permit for a “nonsensical” reason that was “arbitrary” and “vindictive.”

The employees of the BLM “entered into a literal, intentional conspiracy to deprive the Hages not only of their permits but also of their vested water rights.”

Some of the Hages’ “vested stock watering rights” on local streams and wells dated back as far as 1866 and 1874;

Most of them had been established by late 1800s and early 1900s.

Judge issued injuction against federal governments interference in accordance to historical usage and preference

Continous” animus against Hage”

Two government employees were held in contempt by the judge

They sent trespass notices to people who leased or sold cattle to the Hages in order to “pressure other parties not to do business with the Hages, and even to discourage or punish testimony in the” case.

They were referred to U.S attorneys office for potential prosecution for obstruction of justice

Wayne Hage, patriarch of family died before seeing justice done

Beaurcrats don’t respect ranchers, miners, farmers.

We think these people are relics of the past. The frontier has been effectively settled and there’s no need for the likes of them, or to respect the way they live their livelihood, its archaic outdated, and they’re ignorant for living this way. They are sad anachronisms rather than people.

No one ever considers that someone would elect to live this way, only that they couldn’t do better for themselves and are relegated to this kind of life.

Triggered by Hammond arson case

2012, Dwight Lincoln Hammond, Jr., 73, and Steven Dwight Hammond, 46 convicted of two counts of arson on federal land in 2001 and 2006.

In accordance with Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996.

Prescribed burn on grazing land.

Range fires, burn undergrowth help cattle graze.

Fires were set to burn off invasive plant species that encroached on their land. These species (mustard is an example, can deplete the soil of moisture and nutrients, at the cost of cultivated and indigenous species of plants.

This is a common practice in ranching and done by federal government as well.

Backburn, set fire in a strip, create area of protection between alnd and wildfire by eliminating brush and flammable material.

2001 called BLM to ask permission to burn, told there was no burn ban.

Hammond informed BLM he and Dwight would be burning invasives

Fire spread to 139 acres of government land.

Ranch had always operated on combination of private and public land, had grazing permits to graze on public land.

Court found damages were under $100, juniper trees and sage brush

Fire had raised the value of government land.

2006 lightning started fire on property

Hammond set up fire break to protect property

Did this without authorization from BLM and burn ban was on

1 acre of government land was burned and value increased because damage was limited to bushes.

Judge Michael R Hogen presided, United States District Court of Oregon

2 week trial

Some jurors had to travel up to 180 miles everyday to serve

(Similar to British intolerable acts-attempt to make trial as inconvienet as possible, colour jurors view of defendants)

Jury only found Hammonds guilty of fires they openly admit to setting.

Other accounts aquitted

Jury unable to reach a verdict on others. Instructed to continue deliverating (Relevant to Dred Scott case, where James Buchanon tried to force ruling)

Oral agreement was reached to solve case with partial verdict. Expectation of ending entire legal situation.

Frank Papagni representing united states government attested that many letters had been submitted attesting to the high character and community contributions of the Hammonds

Judge Hogan was also impressed with the letters, and stated that Government objected to his advancing the sentencing to today, but the objection was denied. Last even happened in 2006, and he was so familiar with the facts of the case it would have been innaprpriate to burden another judge with the case.

Government sought full 5 year punishment in accordance with the Antiterrorism and effective death penalty act of 1996, with respect to arsonists and not ranchers conducting a controlled burn.

“Whoever maliciously damages or destroys, or attempts to damage or destroy, by means of fire or an explosive, any building, vehicle, or other personal or real property in whole or in part owned or possessed by, or leased to, the united states or any department or agency thereof, or any institutions or organization receiving Federal financial assistance, shall be imprisoned for not less than 5 years and not more than 20 years, fined under this title or both.”

Hogan chose not to apply mandatory minimum, because under the 8th amendment

(ratified December 15, 1791 prohibiting the federal government from imposing excessive bail, excessive fines, or cruel and unusual punishment.

) It would be excessive.

Ranchers conduct was deemed not to be in accordance with the Antiterrorism and effective death penalty act of 1996, not what its statutes would have forseen, didn’t truly apply.

In a mid-trial settlement agreement, the Hammonds agreed to not appeal the arson convictions

In exchange other charges would be dismissed by the government.

Told the prosecutor would seek the mandatory minimum sentence of five years.

Dwight Hammond was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment and his son Steven was sentenced to a year and a day’s imprisonment,

Both men served.

Agreements that:

Upon release both men would serve a three year term of supervised release subject to the standard conditions and the following special conditions that apply.

The defendant shall coorperate with the collection of DNA as directed by probation.

The defendant shall disclose all assests and liabilities to probation and not transfer sell, give away, or otherwise convey any asset with a fair market value in excess of $500 without approval of probation.

The defendant shall not make application of any loan or credit arrangement or lease without approval of probation.

The defendant shall authorize release of- to probation a financial information by appropriate means. No fine is ordered.

December 3rd 2013 the sentences were vacated by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which then remanded re-sentencing.

Rejected contention that government waived right to appeal.

Congress claimed broad authority to determine appropriate sentance and supercede Hogans ruling.

Testimony provided by an astranged nephew, who was 13 at the time of the fires, and testified ten years later that he was nearly burned.

His testimony was thrown out during the original trial because it was contradicted by witnesses and physical evidence.

It was readmitted by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

(Harkens to Salem witch trials, when spectral evidence was used incourt. Girls could claim that someone sent their spectre out to hurt them, or that they saw a dark figure, though no one else could collaborate and it would be admitted as evidence.)

Judge re-sentenced the Hammonds to five years in prison (with credit for time served), ordering that they return to prison on January 4, 2016

Attracted the attention of Ammon Bundy and Ryan Payne.

In November 2015, Bundy and his associates began publicizing the Hammonds’ case via social media.

Bundy and Payne attempted to set up plans for what they described as a peaceful protest with Harney County Sheriff David M. Ward,

Requested that the sheriff’s office protect the Hammonds from being taken into custody by federal authorities.

A sympathetic Ward declined Bundy and Payne’s request.

He later said that he began receiving death threats by email.

Despite several early meetings with Bundy and Payne Hammond rejected help.

Malheur Occupation January 2nd 2016

Bundy and Payne had taken residence in Burn encouraging others to do so

Families of USFWS employees were threatened and followed by would be protesters much like in Whiskey Rebllion and American Revolution, in which tax collectors were tarred and feathered by protestors

Tarring and feathering worse, it was essentially a death sentence, not just embarrassment.

300 Hammond family supporters held peaceful protest fr unconstitutional treatment of ranchers

While this went on, Ammon Bundy and other armed citizens left, occupying BLM wildlife management which was closed for holiday.

Bundy claimed formation of refuge was an unconstitutional act. Demanded government relinquish control of area.

Argued fedral control of land and resources came at cost to citizens who could use it for their livelihood (ranching, farming logging etc.)

Hammond lawyers make clear that Bundy and protestors do not speak on behalf of Hammond family.

According to Bundy, this was because US Attorney ordered Hammonds to discontinue contact with Bundys or they would be detained early, put in less desirable prison and be raided by US government.

Bundy argued EPA taking land away from people and putting regulations on entire industries, putting entire states into economic depression (salt/coal/logging)

Want control over resources by the people

Historical president of Government Overreach:

Intolerable Acts

American revolution: British response to Colonists rebellion

I) Boston Port Act: 1st of the intolerable acts. In response to Boston Tea Party in 1774-where the son’s of liberty dumped British tea into the harbour, the port of Boston was closed. Bostonians complained that the entire city, who depended upon the port for trade, was being punished for the rebellious deeds of a few men. They were given no opportunity to defend themselves and the port was to be closed for the arbitrary time period of until the king was satisfied order had been restored. This is kind of like when your parent takes away a toy until “You prove to me that you know how to behave.”

II) Massachusettes government act: Removed Massachusettes charcter and placed it under control of the British government. All positions of colonial government now had to be appointed by governor, parliament or king. Town meetings were now limited to once a year, unless the governor decided otherwise.

III) Administration of Justice Act: Allowed royal governors to set trails to take place in England or any other British coloy if they did not feel like a fair trial could be reached in masachusettes. Witnesses were to be reimbursed for their travel over seas but there were no stipulatins for loss of work and income. Therefore, few could ever testify. Washington called it the murder act, because it essentially allowed British officials to do as they pleased to colonists without fear of legal repercussion.

IV) Quartering Act: This allowed the governor to house British troops in unoccupied buildings if suitable quarters were unavailable. Argument as to whether or not they could actually occupy billeted private homes. This was the least objectionable to most people

Whiskey Rebellion 1794

1791 Alexander Hamilton, who was secretary of treasury, proposed excise (1st national internal revenue tax)

Wanted to raise money for national debt

Also wanted to establish the strength of the central governments power, which was not yet clearly defined.

Tax on liquor was set.

Smaller farmers used whiskey as a way to supplement their income.

It was easier to carry and sell than the grain it was distilled from, and became recognized as an informal sort of currency.

They also drank it, as their lives were far harsher and more labour intensive than those people living in cities.

Distillers in western Pennslyvania refused to pay this tax.

After the Rev war had fought against taxation without representation, people in the west felt their way of life was being targeted specifically.

The government had refused to offer them assistance with issues regarding Indian uprisings, and seldom considered their needs. The West was simply a fringe society.

Frontiersmen, ranchers, farmers, people who were cultivating the land and living off of it. They were seen as rural and backwards, undeservant of consideration.

Distillers rebelled by tarring and feathering tax collecters, which was a technique widely used in the revolutionary war.

Enforcement legislation set off these Westreners.

1794, and organised attack occurred.

500 men burned down the home of a regional tax inspector.

President George Washington, who had fought against the absolute power of British Monarch king George, now discovered the ease at which power can corrupt

He issued a federally mandated proclaimation, ordering rebels to go home.

He called for militia from New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia (neighboring states)

15 member comitee representing rebels attempts to reach compromise. It is to no avail.

This committee included Penn legislator and anti federalist Albert Gallatin, who would later become U.S Secretary of Treasury.

Washington, unable to reach a satisfactory comprimise orders 13000 troops to the area

They are not opposed, and the troops take up occupation of the region.

Some of the rebels are tried. Two found guilty of treason, an offense punishable by hanging, would later be pardoned.

This display of absolute power frightened many Americans, who believed that we were headed into a new era of Tyrany

Thomas Jefferson’s newly formed Republican party especially took offense to this display of federal government domination.

Great Britain Overreach into Newly Soverign United States

People think America was founded in 1776, but that is only when the constitution was ratified

Great Britain recognizes United States of America as a soverign nation following September 3rd 1783 Treaty of Paris

Representatives of the united states and representatives King George III signed this treaty in Paris, which set boundaries between the two countries, and even went a far as outlining fishing rights, the restoration of property and prisoners of war.

The last one will become important

Britain engaged in war with France, Napoleonic wars as of 1803

At the same time, the United States and Britain are involved in a Quasi War,

America maintains neutrality with France and England, trading with both. Britain sees this as an unfriendly act.

Both Britain and France would seize, capture and fire upon American vessels

Jefferson elected in 1800 tries to put a stop to this by saying no trade until depardations stop

Embargo act of 1807 stops all trade and begans to divide country

Democratic Republicans, and Federalists

Britain sees American trade with Britain and France as a hostile act

Britain begins to impress sailors, boarding American ships and searching for British born men.

According to British law, once born on British soil, you are always British and cannot change citizenship.

Ettiquite stating, “Don’t put your elbows on the table” is actually born from this.

Sailors would be accustomed to eating with fiddle sticks, bars running lengthwise on a table to keep plates from sliding across.

They would have held the plate in place with their elbows to keep the plate from sliding lengthwise.

British impressment gangs would see this, and go after these men, figuring they were sailors alreadyand wouldn’t need training.

They take sailors off American ships and press them into service for the war effort, despite America’s stance as a soverign nation.

Resentment on both sides following revolutionary war, extreme nationalist attitudes in United States of America.

This provokes Madison and the democratic republicans to launch an attack on Canada, a British colony at the time, in retaliation.

This drew forces away from Englands efforts against Napoleon, and was turning out poorly for the U.S.

Federalists Object to War 1812

Federalists, remenants of the original ideals of the founding fathers objected to the war, saying it was detrimental to both the British war effort and the united states

Hartford Convention of 1814

Federalists in New England to voice dissatisfaction with Democratic republican policies but mostly embargo act of 1807, hurt them more than any other area

The war prevented them from trading with Great Britian and British continued to enforce a blockade against atlantoc seaborn ports

Federalist party and new England in general hurt by voicing opposition, new England depended on seaborn commerce for survival

Federalist Massachusettes Legislature passed a peace resolution suggesting as a state they could enter into a separate peace negotiation with England

States rights not yet clearly defined vs federal power

Democratic Republicans could not attack states rights, the Virginia and Kentucky resolutions could not say Mass had no righ to do this.

Mass urged New Engalanders to do the same. Neisons war

w England states organize Hartford Convention to end Mr Madisons war

22 deligates sent

Call for ammendments to constitution to limit Madisons power

Threaten at 2nd convention in boston should proposals be rejected they would succeed from the union

2nd attempt, Adams presidency, Virginia resolution of 1898 hinted states ability to leave federal union if interests were not respected by the federal government

Virginia and Kentucky resolutions supported proposal to enter peace negotiations and disregard fderal law-penned by madison and jeffereson

Powers of 10th amendment states to undo federal legislation or join together

Threat of Boston conventin echos Democratic republican cries for states rights.

Madison had been a big proponent in 1790 executing of states rights against Adams

Used Madisons own Virginia Resolution against him

These were resolution was adopted by the Virginia Senate on December 24, 1798,

Set in protest against the Alien and Sedition Acts

Written by James Madison, with Thomas Jefferson

Jefferson wrote a set of resolutions for Kentucky.

Boston Convention ame to naught. When messengers delivered found that people of Washington celebrationg Jacksons victory at New Orlens and end of war of 1812 signing peace treaty of Ghent

War over all threats unviable, eventually leads to the dissolution of Federalist party

Civil War

Take over ranches and properties of rebel states. Force them to sell livestock and crops for union script.

Purely a show of dominance.

Alien and sedition acts severely restricted what visitors were allowed to do. Swear allegiance to Union, and opposition to south. Could not interact with South without government chaperone. Could not move without pass, had to sign oath, could be jailed if pass was deemed invalid.

Emancipation Proclamation only freed slaves in the rebel states. Border states such as Maryland, Delaware, Kentucky, West Virginia, all kept slaves legally and would till constitution ratified, 14t amendment.




Jestin’s Malheur Links.


Cliven Bundy’s Racist comments

Militiamen, ranchers in showdown for soul of Burns

Threat Against Harney County Sheriff Described In Testimony

Harney County Committee of Safety

Armed group has now blocked road to Malheur refuge buildings

NOTICE: Redress of Grievance

Heavily armed ‘security detail’ shows up at Oregon standoff encampment

Rancher: ‘I didn’t know anything’ about Bundy entering property, destroying fence

Oregon standoff leaders urge local ranchers to defy feds on grazing fees

Camera removal, Burns-Paiute statement and if you hear gunshots, it’s the coyote hunt

Occupiers remove cameras, clash with conservationists

Anger, frustration boil over at community meeting

Gov. Kate Brown’s letter to attorney general, FBI director

FBI releases statement saying response was ‘deliberate and measured’

Ammon Bundy, via attorney, tells refuge militants to go home (video)

30 minutes of chaos: Witness details events of Finicum shooting

Ammon Bundy talks about the night Robert ‘LaVoy’ Finicum was killed

Shawna Cox cell phone video from inside LaVoy Finicum’s truck

Lavoy Finicum’s Final Moments (DRONE FOOTAGE)

Burns Paiutes to Ammon Bundy: You’re not the victim

Sheriff’s stance in LaVoy Finicum shooting draws outrage

Oregon militants found not guilty in ‘unbelievable, truly astonishing’ verdict

$3.3 million and counting: The cost of the Malheur occupation


Time Line

In Mid-December of 2015, Militants from states across the West begin assembling in the small town of Burns to support the Hammonds over what they describe as unjust federal land policies and protest them returning to incarceration. Now the city of Burns is the seat of Harney County in southwest Oregon. A 2010 census in Burns reports a population of less than 3000. Ammon Bundy, son of the aforementioned Cliven Bundy, and Ryan Payne, who was also involved in the Nevada standoff, had already set up residence in the town of Burns earlier that month. It was during this time that Bundy, Payne and other members of militias held a meeting at the county fairgrounds in which they helped form a Harney County ‘Committee of Safety” in which residents voted seven of their own onto.


From the website of the Harney County Committee of Safety, it is a

“A governmental body established by the people in the absence of the ability of the existing government to provide for the needs and protection of civilized society”


During the American Revolution, the committees of correspondence, committees of inspection (also known as committees of observation), and committees of safety were different local committees of Patriots that eventually became a shadow government; they slowly took control of the Colonies away from royal officials, who became increasingly helpless.


Bundy and Payne are planning a rally for the Hammonds and meet with Harney County Sheriff David Ward prior for hours planning the logistics of the rally. They also ask for protection from federal officials that may be there to arrest the two. The sheriff declines.


It is important to note that the main organizer of the occupation and many of the participants involved, are self-proclaimed “Sovereign Citizens”. It is a movement in which most followers believe in the illegitimacy of the Federal Government and that the County Sheriff is the most powerful official in the county, trumping any federal agent, elected official, or local law-enforcement official.



On New Year’s Day, 2016 a meeting was held with the protestors so that community members could voice their concerns with the following day’s rally.


On January 2nd, after an estimated 300 marchers paraded through Burns in support of the Hammonds. Ammon Bundy addressed the crowd and informed them of the plans to take over the Wildlife refuge. After encouraging people to join, a small group broke off with Bundy and headed toward the refuge, about 30 miles outside of town. They arrive and take the refuge over.

The following day, (the 3rd), Ammon Bundy says the group has no intention of violence unless the government acts against them.


On the 4th The Hammonds turn themselves in to start the remainder of their new sentences.


On Jan. 5th, the group of protestors had blocked the road leading to the refuge’s buildings. Ammon Bundy says the occupiers won’t leave until local property owners have control over the refuge, or if the community shows they’re no longer welcome.


On Jan. 6th, The Burns Paiute Tribe, which once held land that included the refuge, calls on the militants to end the standoff.

A fistfight erupted at the MNWR on the evening of January 6 when three members of a group calling themselves Veterans on Patrol attempted to enter the headquarters compound that evening. According to the group, they had arrived to convince women and children and Ryan Payne to leave. Instead, they were repelled by militants, leaving one member of the Veterans on Patrol with a black eye.


On the 7th , Sheriff Ward met with Bundy and Payne on neutral ground to try and resolve the occupation of the refuge. The meeting was brief, maybe 10 minutes with no resolution having been made. The sheriff even offered to provide an escort out of the county. Here’s a short clip of what was said between the two.

Gov. Kate Brown said, “Those individuals illegally occupying the Malheur Wildlife Refuge need to decamp immediately and be held accountable.” And demands that the protesters “decamp immediately.”


Jan. 8: Ammon Bundy tell media the group doesn’t plan to leave for now, declining the sheriff’s offer for an escort.


On the 9th of January, Supporters of both the protesters and law enforcement traveled to remote Harney County despite being asked to stay away.

State Representative Dallas Heard, a republican from Roseburg, brought a group of out-of-state legislators to meet with the protesters, The Oregonian reports. A state representative and judge who represent Harney County both said they had asked Heard not to come.

That same morning, an armed group of men representing the Pacific Patriot Network arrived at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge with the goal of providing security for the activists occupying the federal building, only to be told to leave, according to The Oregonian. The group left Saturday afternoon.


On January 11th, with the schools reopening in surrounding areas, the protesters destroy an 80 foot stretch of fence that divided private land with the BLM land in order to allow the adjoining ranch owner’s cattle use of the land for grazing saying that they had secured permission from the ranch owner.


Jan. 12: The militants say that they will hold a public meeting to discuss their “exit strategy” at the county fairgrounds but a local judge said the group and its supporters could no longer use community facilities.


Jan. 13: The county fire chief – a sympathizer of the armed group – resigned over the county’s refusal to host the meeting. Rancher Tim Puckett says he didn’t give the militants permission to destroy a publicly owned fence and is upset about what happened. Puckett said he has never spoken to Bundy, saying,


“They’re not coming onto my place no more. If they do, I’m gonna have to do something about it. I don’t want them going across my ground.”


On January 14, Ammon Bundy announced that the militants planned a longer stay and were reaching out to nearby county sheriffs for support.


Jan. 15: The “exit strategy” meeting doesn’t happen due to a dispute about where to hold the meeting. Authorities also make their first occupation-related arrest: One Kenneth Medenbach, was apprehended at the Safeway in Burns while driving a government vehicle stolen from the refuge headquarters; a second vehicle stolen from the refuge was also recovered at the scene. Both vehicles bore altered markings of “Harney County Resource Center” on the doors, the unofficial name the militants have used for the refuge since shortly after the takeover.


Jan. 16: Occupiers clash with conservationists during a daily briefing after presenting a pile of surveillance cameras they say were installed by law enforcement to illegally spy on the residents of Harney County.


Jan. 18: The protesters say they’ve recruited ranchers to stop paying the federal government grazing fees and plan a “signing ceremony” for later in the week. In an evening meeting, they encourage ranchers to tear up their government grazing contracts.


Jan. 19: Conservation groups stage rallies in Portland, Eugene, Bend and La Grande to urge the occupiers to end the standoff. A community meeting in Burns, with Ammon Bundy in attendance, is punctuated by emotional and highly personal remarks.


  • County Judge Steve Grasty went to the bottom of the bleacher section that Ammon Bundy was sitting in and said, “”It is time for you to go home,” A chant of “go,go,go,go,go” then began.


  • Both the occupiers and local officials were subject to a very verbal hammering.


  • One man pressed Ward about what he was doing to end the occupation and what was the role of the FBI. Saying, “Just tell the truth,”


  • One speaker pressed Grasty and others to not ignore questions posed by the audience. Shaking and in tears, she said, “We deserve a response when we ask a question of our local officials,”


So here we are, almost three weeks in to this occupation and we can see how it is affecting the community not just in the nearby town of Burns but within the county and throughout the state.


Jan. 21: Gov.  Brown, in a letter to top federal law enforcement officials, asks for “swift resolution” to the occupation. Ammon Bundy and the FBI begin negotiations to end the standoff.


small excerpts from Gov. Brown’s letter:


“The unlawful seizure of the refuge by criminals seeking to advance a misguided agenda is in and of itself a strain. What adds to the tensions felt by the community is the reality that multiple “supporters” of these individuals have joined, staying in local motels in the city of Burns and the criminals on the refuge are allowed to travel on and off the premises with little fear of law enforcements contact or interaction. The residents of Harney County are being intimidated in their own hometown by armed criminals who appear to be seeking occasions for confrontation. The harm being done to innocent men, woman and children in Harney county is the real manifest. With each passing day, the tensions increase exponentially.”


Jan. 22: Negotiations stumble after Bundy questions the FBI’s legal authority to operate in Harney County. The problem seemingly stemming from Bundy’s belief that the Sheriff is the highest law enforcement power in the county and he won’t deal with them unless they are deputized by Sheriff Ward.


On January 23, the militants hosted a press conference at the refuge, promising that an Oregon rancher and one from New Mexico would be present to sign papers renouncing their federal grazing permits. Only one rancher, Adrian C. Sewell of Grant County, New Mexico, renounced his federal grazing permit at the conference. The Oregon rancher was absent.

Now, surprising other law enforcement officials, Grant County Sheriff Glenn Palmer made a statement saying that freeing the Hammonds “would be a start” in ending the occupation.


This is where the events of the occupation take a turn. On January 26th, The FBI and Oregon State Police set up a traffic stop on U.S. 395 to make an “enforcement action” against the leadership of the Malheur Refuge occupation. The traffic stop was set up deliberately as an effort to arrest militants, having been set up far from residents to avoid collateral damage. Two vehicles carrying 9 of the protesters approached the road block at around 5:00 PM. While both pulled over initially, the lead car then pulled away and shortly after hit a snowbank. Initial reports indicate that the driver of the vehicle, Robert ‘LaVoy Finicum, who acted as Ammon Bundy’s spokesman during the occupation, then leaped out of the vehicle brandishing a firearm. Later, aerial footage shows Finicum exiting the vehicle and walking away. Upon being surrounded by State patrol and FBI agents, he rotates this arms from over his head to his right hand reaching for the left side of his jacket. He does this at least two times the, he then moves his hands from over his head to grab his jacket again, then turns around to the left to face the way he had walked from where an Oregon State Patrol officer with a Taser is. The other officers feel that the officer with the Taser is in immediate threat of being killed or injured and fire upon Finicum. He is shot a total of three times by two Oregon State Patrol officers. Protesters who were in Finicum’s car allege that an officer walked up and shot Finicum’s body three more times. The video footage proves this isn’t true. After officials felt they had secured any other potential hostile threats, the performed CPR on Finicum approximately 10 minutes after being shot. He did not survive his wounds. Authorities claim that Finicum had a loaded 9mm semiautomatic handgun in his left jacket pocket.


After this, Finicum floors it and takes off down the road. The group inside the car are trying to call people. After shot fired at the moving vehicle, they hit a now bank and Finicum immediately gets out of the vehicle.


After Finicum was shot, the people left inside of the vehicle are continued to be assaulted with gas and flash bangs as well as I believe non-lethal shots.  The people in the car plead for them to stop shooting only to be meet with more shots.

8 people were arrested at the traffic stop including occupation leader Ammon Bundy, his brother Ryan Bundy who suffered a shrapnel wound, Ryan Payne and several others.


Jan. 27: During a law enforcement news conference, Oregon FBI Special Agent in Charge Greg Bretzing says the occupiers had “ample” time to leave peacefully and that law enforcement had taken a “very deliberate and measured response” to the standoff. Ammon Bundy appears in court in Portland and tells the remaining refuge protesters, through his attorney, to “please stand down.” The remaining occupiers begin to leave the refuge.


Jan. 28: After a series of arrests and voluntary departures, the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is in the hands of four people. Negotiations with the FBI on the terms of their departures continue “around the clock.” Ammon Bundy again urges the holdouts to go home, and a federal judge in Portland says none of the accused would be released as long as the occupation was active. A network of patriot groups issues a call for supporters to flood Burns.


Jan. 29: federal judge denies release for five of the defendants, including Ammon Bundy and his brother Ryan Bundy. The last of the wildlife refuge pardons for everyone involved in the occupation. The FBI takes the unusual step of releasing video in the hope of dispelling rumors about Finicum’s death.


Jan. 30: The Finicum family disputes the official account of the deadly confrontation, insisting his actions were “animated” but not threatening. Ammon Bundy’s attorneys announce that “nothing further” can be done on their end to bring closure to the occupation. As damage assessments begin trickling in, it becomes clear that the standoff took its greatest toll on the 7,000 residents of Harney County.

Jan. 31: A witness says Finicum screamed “just shoot me” before he was shot and killed by law enforcement. The four remaining holdouts learn they lost phone and Internet service overnight. The uncertainty about how and when the standoff would end.


Feb. 1: Ammon Bundy’s lawyers vow to challenge a federal judge’s order to keep him in custody pending trial. Hundreds of people converge on the Harney County courthouse urging the remaining refuge occupiers and their supporters to go home. A federal judge in Portland releases Shawna Cox with no mention of a condition issued days earlier that the occupation had to be over before any of the accused could leave jail.


Feb. 2: The final occupiers of the wildlife refuge say they are still holding out for a miracle, and Ammon Bundy urges the four remaining holdouts to “go home now so their lives are not taken.” Christian evangelist Franklin Graham steps in and tries to broker an end to the occupation. The Finicum family insists his shooting death was unjustified and accuses the FBI and Oregon State Police of a cover-up saying, “We believe he had already been shot before he ever lowered his hands.”


Feb. 3: A federal grand jury hands down indictments against Ammon Bundy and 15 of his followers in connection with the takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Investigators say it will be four to six weeks before they release any information about the Finicum shooting.


Feb. 4: Ammon Bundy switches gears and calls on state and federal officials to leave eastern Oregon after dubbing the takeover “a needed action.” Meanwhile, the four remaining holdouts at the wildlife refuge say they are down to a single link to the outside world – an FBI-provided cellphone.


Feb. 5: Mourners gather for Finicum’s funeral in Kanab, Utah. Thara Tenney, Finicum’s daughter said, “It’s overwhelming all the support. It shows how powerful our father is in his influence,” A federal judge in Portland issues a last-minute order allowing Shawna Cox, one of the accused protesters, to attend the services.


Feb. 6: A cross erected at the site where Finicum died is torn down then rebuilt just ahead of a memorial service. The gathering was one of several planned across the country. Meanwhile, questions remain regarding what happened and when on the day of his death. Cox offered new details in an interview with The Oregonian/OregonLive.


Feb. 7: In one of a series of videos, a refuge occupier calls on the FBI to leave Oregon and takes a joyride in a pickup with government plates. The Burns Paiute Tribe — whose members marvel at militants’ claims that ranchers unfairly lost land to the government — has a message for the occupiers: You’re not the victim.


Feb. 8: Ammon Bundy continues to make his voice heard from jail; his latest call urges elected officials from eight states to support their imprisoned constituents.


Feb. 9: Grant County Sheriff Glenn Palmer took to social media to say he was not in on the plans to stop occupation leaders Jan. 29 and that he had not been at the “ambush site,” words that draw a rebuke from the Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association. The ACLU of Oregon issues a public statement is support of independent broadcaster Pete Santilli’s First Amendment rights. And former refuge occupier Scott Willingham offers himself up as a mediator between the FBI and the last four people at the wildlife refuge.


Feb. 10: The FBI moves in on the last four occupiers at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, making what appeared to be a final push to end the 40-day-old occupation.

Cliven Bundy, who applauded the Oregon occupation orchestrated by his sons, is arrested at Portland International Airport on federal charges tied to the 2014 standoff he touched off with federal authorities at his Nevada ranch. The final four holdouts agree to surrender in the morning.


Feb. 11: The four remaining occupiers of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge surrender, ending the standoff on its 41st day. David Fry, the last to surrender, emerges after an extended phone conversation with supporters.

The surrender of David Fry ends the 41 day armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.


In the aftermath:

March 2016: A grand jury indicts 26 people on felony charges of conspiracy to impede federal employees from doing their work at the refuge through intimidation, threats or force, and other charges, including possession of firearms in a federal facility.

They are: Occupation leader Ammon Bundy, his brother, Ryan Bundy, Jon Ritzheimer, Ryan Payne, Brian Cavalier, Shawna Cox, Jason Patrick, Dylan Anderson, Sean Anderson and his wife, Sandra Anderson, David Fry, Jeff Banta, Wesley Kjar, Corey Lequieu, Jason Blomgren, Darryl Thorn, Geoffrey Stanek, Travis Cox, Eric Flores, Joseph O’Shaughnessy, Duane Ehmer, Kenneth Medenbach, Blaine Cooper, Neil Wampler, Pete Santilli and Jake Ryan.


May-August: 11 plead guilty to conspiracy — Ryan Payne, Jon Ritzheimer, Brian Cavalier, Blaine Cooper, Joseph O’Shaughnessy, Wesley Kjar, Corey Lequieu, Jason Blomgren, Geoffrey Stanek, Travis Cox and Eric Flores. They all await sentencing. Recommended sentences range from home detention to up to 12 years in prison.

Payne, O’Shaughnessy, Ritzheimer and Flores later tried to withdraw their pleas. The judge denied Payne’s and O’Shaughnessy’s requests. Flores’ and Ritzheimer’s motions are pending.


September: Prosecutors drop the conspiracy indictment against Pete Santilli, a self-described independent broadcaster who filmed throughout the occupation.


Oct. 27: A jury acquits Ammon Bundy, Ryan Bundy, Shawna Cox, David Fry, Neil Wampler, Jeff Banta and Kenneth Medenbach of conspiracy, weapons and theft charges at the end of a five-week trial.


Feb. 6, 2017: Sean Anderson, his wife, Sandra Anderson, and Dylan Anderson (no relation) plead guilty to a misdemeanor trespass charge. They must serve a year of probation and pay $1,000 restitution to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, which runs the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.


Feb. 14: Trial to begin for remaining defendants Jason Patrick, Darryl Thorn, Jake Ryan and Duane Ehmer. They face a felony conspiracy charge and a variety of misdemeanor counts, including trespassing.


Damage done to refuge


  • The extent of damage to the refuge is still unclear, but the armed occupiers have created a new road, expanded a parking lot, dug trenches and removed fencing.


  • The Burns Pauite Indian tribe and federal government officials said they were worried about possible damage to cultural resources, artifacts, sensitive records and local wildlife habitats.


  • Federal prosecutors said that the FBI had discovered “significant amounts of human feces” at “two large trenches and an improvised road on or adjacent to grounds containing sensitive artifacts” of the Burns Paiute Tribe.


  • “It’s deplorable,” spokesman Jason Holm said in an email. “I’m not sure what part of the [occupiers’] interpretation of the constitution promotes the destruction and desecration of culturally significant Native American sites … This is disgusting, ghoulish behavior.”


Following the surrender of the last militants, the FBI labeled the entire refuge a crime scene and canvassed the buildings in search of explosives and any previously existing hazardous materials. A collection of firearms and explosives were found inside the refuge. The FBI also found evidence that the militants used a boat launch area, about 1.5 miles northeast of the refuge, for firearms training. At the boat launch area, investigators recovered about 1,685 spent shell casings.



The Cost


The 41-day occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge cost taxpayers at least $3.3 million to cover the massive police response, a week of shuttered schools and a long list of supplies ranging from food to flashlight batteries, according to an Oregonian/OregonLive analysis of public and tribal budgets.


The cost to Oregon State Police alone stands at more than $1.2 million, the analysis found.


Original Intro music by Steve Combs, edited.

Introduction to part 2

original Outro music by Steve Combs. edited for time

Introduction to part 1