Posted by: atowhee | January 19, 2016


Many angry and frustrated residents of Harney County attended a public meeting in Burns tonight, also present were at least 3 of the occupying self-styled militia. Reports do not say if anybody was carrying guns but law enforcement presence was heavy and evident. Here’s summary of tonight’s complaints from residents. there were no clear answer from Harney County Sheriff, the FBI (apparently not evident) nor the occupiers.

Today the Harney Sheriff did release detailed statement on arrests connected with the occupation. It seems the gunmen are attracting attention from some of the colorful members of the gunning community.

Also there were rallies around the state in favor of public lands.

There’s one group that does have a real prior claim to the Malheur Refuge, the Paiute tribe which occupied that land for 9 thousand years or more before driven off by ranchers and the U.S. Army. They are seeking legal action to protect artifacts and get the militia removed.

At least one group is trying to use the occupation as a way to raise money for causes the gunmen would never support.



  1. Me too. I live surrounded by public lands — in the California Sierra. Conflicts are built in — my peace and quiet – their off road bikes, etc. But the facts here include that the federal govt. does not take very good care of their ground. That makes it hard to defend them/it: I am surrounded by millions of dead trees, fields of flammable brush, awful access. For one instance, my road goes thru public land where there are about 50 dead Ponderosa, a looming access and fire threat. I’m required to get official permission to take them down but in a year of calling and writing, the local Forest Service district doesn’t even call back. The feds are good at putting out wild fires, but that’s about all.

    What works is good neighbors, tree hugger or Tea Party, and I’ve got both. One quickly agreed to stop letting his VRBO renters practice their shooting. Another is voluntarily clearing dead trees…. on private land, not public.

    Seems to me the interlopers in Burns, Oregon are the problem and they ought to go home. Let the neighbors work it out.

    • With a few obvious exceptions rural Americans have to learn to live and co-operate with their neighbors…Stegner long ago pointed out that western settlers and ranchers were rarely staunch loners…they needed one another and often co-operated on everything from barn-raisings, to irrigation to cattle round-ups…of course that also extended to Indian hunting (genocide). I grew up in rural Missouri and our neighbors all worked together to keep up the phone line for our party phones shared by seven households. I wonder if federal agencies could get better with better funding and stronger regional oversight by locally elected officials rather than some political hack back in D.C.?

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