BREAKING: Bundy Ranch militia storms federal wildlife building in Oregon. Possibility of violence not ruled out
Militia members protesting a federal prison sentence for two Oregon ranchers convicted on charges of setting fire to federal land have occupied the headquarters of a national park, the OregonLive reports.
The protesters include Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s son, Ammon, and two of his brothers. Also among them is Ryan Payne, who organized snipers to aim weapons at federal officers during the Bundy Ranch standoff last year.
They told OregonLive that they are accompanied by about 150 others and are hunkered down at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge headquarters. The group is described by reporter Les Zaitz as “hard core militia” who adopted the ranchers’ cause as their own.
“The facility has been the tool to do all the tyranny that has been placed upon the Hammonds,” Ammon Bundy told Zaitz in a phone interview from inside the headquarters. “We’re planning on staying here for years, absolutely. This is not a decision we’ve made at the last minute.”
He would not rule out the possibility of violence.
Authorities have not yet commented on the occupation but Zaitz reports that Oregon State Police, the Harney County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI are involved in the developing situation.
Zaitz also reports that the group plans to seize a Bureau of Land Management fire station in the community of Frenchglen. The fire station is only used during the summer and is currently closed.