Saturday, January 23, 2016

Bundys to host ceremonial grazing lease tear-up at Oregon refuge Saturday

Two brothers leading an armed group that has taken up residence for nearly three weeks at a the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Eastern Oregon plan to hold a ceremony Saturday for ranchers to renounce federal control of public land and tear up their grazing contracts. Ammon Bundy and his older brother, Ryan Bundy, say the declaration will reject what they consider the unconstitutional ownership of land by the federal government and put an end to public land restrictions and grazing fees. The Bundys plan to open up the 300-square-mile Malheur National Wildlife Refuge for cattle this spring. “There’s no use to letting this place sit in dormancy any longer,” Ryan Bundy told The Associated Press while sitting inside one of the heated wildlife refuge buildings last week, adding that cattle would benefit migrating birds. He declined to go into detail about whose cattle and how many would be allowed to graze. But those are the questions that for more than a century have shaped federal grazing policy in the West. In recent decades, that policy has altered in a way that many ranchers fear is leaving them behind and eliminating a way of life that has sustained generations...more

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