Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Refuge workers had 'a sense' about visitors before takeover

Weeks before anti-government militants took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, its manager and other workers kept close watch on the arrival in Harney County of protesters tied to the Bundy family. "There was a change in the type of people you saw in the community," said Chad Karges, who oversees the bird sanctuary for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The refuge employs its own law enforcement officer and Karges kept in touch with other police officials. He said Fish & Wildlife Service workers in December took steps "to prepare for the unknown." He said he maintained normal operations until Christmas, but afterward directed four maintenance workers who live on the refuge to move out. He also told employees to work always in teams. He said refuge employees noticed people parking at the refuge headquarters and coming into the office, describing them as "not quite normal ... it was just a sense you had." Authorities shared a photo of one militant with employees as a precaution...more

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