BURNS, Ore. (KOIN) — It’s been over a week since an out-of-state militia took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, and locals tell KOIN 6 News they are ready for things to go back to normal.
Classes will resume at local schools on Monday. Schools were closed throughout last week due to the standoff.
Local parent Holly Edwards says she hasn’t felt unsafe since the militia arrived. While she believes it’s a good time for everyone to go back to work and school, she also says the event has caused a rift between people.
“I think it’s divided a lot of people,” Edwards said. And others agree.
“It does split up people, so it does create argument, too,” Michelle Taylor said.
Sunday was a relatively quiet day at the refuge as armed demonstrators looked forward to the week ahead.
Arizona rancher LaVoy Finicum said leader Ammon Bundy met with elected officials from multiple states Saturday night. Roseburg Rep. Dallas Heard was among those who spoke with the group. Rep. Cliff Bentz, the Republican state representative whose district includes the wildlife refuge, says he told Heard not to come because it would be “inappropriate.” Harney County Judge Steven Grasty, another local official, says he too advised Bentz against the visit. Grasty says Bentz and 5 other out-of-state elected officials from Washington, Idaho and Nevada accompanied Heard.
It wasn’t clear who the other elected officials were.
Finicum did not disclose which group members met with the elected officials
The Washington Post on Sunday reported ISIS is urging Americans to instigate more demonstrations against the government:
“A Twitter posting addressed to members of the Islamic State community describes the ongoing occupation by armed rancher Ammon Bundy and his fellow activists as a “key opportunity,” and suggests that Islamists should do what they can to help them.”
There were tense moments on Saturday when a heavily armed “security detail” from Idaho and the Pacific Northwest arrived at the refuge unannounced. They prevented journalists from freely moving on public lands. Bundy later told them they were not welcome and they apparently left.
Here is the KOIN report: