Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Oregon rancher to militants: Your message resonates, but protest is unwise

The Bundy brothers haven't heeded requests by the mayor, the sheriff, or the police to cease their occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. On Tuesday, a prominent Harney County rancher planned to drive his pickup truck to the standoff at the refuge headquarters, hoping maybe the occupiers would hear the message more clearly if it came from one of their own kind. The man, who spoke with The Oregonian/OregonLive but asked not to be named for fear of repercussions, said he planned to visit the refuge Tuesday in hopes of getting some face time with the militants' leaders, specifically Ammon Bundy. Many of the roughly 20 people occupying the bird sanctuary 30 miles south of Burns are ranchers hailing from Nevada, Arizona, and other western states. As a fellow rancher, the Harney County man shares their point-of-view about the government. While he sympathizes with the militants' overarching message decrying government land control and its impact on private enterprise, the rancher said he disagrees with their approach. "What they're saying is great – not their process," he said. His statements come as militant leaders say they have no immediate plans to leave, but would do so if "the community" indicated they aren't welcome. He said they have no indication of that. Although local and state leaders have condemned the group's actions, militant leader Ammon Bundy said area ranchers have visited the compound to offer food and support...The Oregonian

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