Oregon sheriff meets with armed group in bid to persuade them to end occupation

BURNS, Ore. - Three Oregon sheriffs met with leaders of an armed group to try to persuade them to end their occupation of a federal wildlife refuge after many local residents made it plain that's what they want.

See Full Article

But it was unclear whether the Thursday meeting at a snowy intersection in southeastern Oregon would lead to an end of the occupation by Ammon Bundy's group any time soon.

"There are some positives that could come out of this," Harney County Sheriff David Ward, accompanied by colleagues from two other counties, told Bundy and his group.

"Before this thing turns into something negative, which would ruin all of that, I think we need to find a peaceful resolution to help you guys get out of here," Ward said.

Bundy said his group poses a threat to no one. He also said his demands that federal land in Harney County be turned over to local residents to manage are being ignored.

"I didn't come to argue," Ward said. Bundy said neither had he.

Ward offered to escort Bundy and his followers out of the refuge, which Bundy scoffed at.

"I'm not afraid to go out of the state," Bundy told reporters after the meeting. "I don't need an escort."

Ward said he plans to talk with Bundy again on Friday.

The encounter came as pressure mounts on Bundy to end the occupation of headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, south of Burns.

Bundy's demands are a continuation of long-running arguments that federal policies for management of public lands in the West are harming ranchers and other locals. Bundy is the son of Cliven Bundy, a Nevada rancher who in 2014 was at the centre of a tense standoff with federal officials over grazing rights.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on Thursday called the occupation of the wildlife refuge "unlawful" and said it had to end.

"It was instigated by outsiders whose tactics we Oregonians don't agree with. Those individuals illegally occupying the Malheur Wildlife Refuge need to decamp immediately and be held accountable," she said.

Bundy's group - calling itself Citizens for constitutional Freedom - comes from as far away as Arizona and Michigan.

Sheriff Ward has repeatedly said the occupation has to end and violence be avoided. He got a lot of support during a packed community meeting Wednesday night.

At that meeting, local residents said they sympathized with the armed group's complaints about federal land management but disagreed with their tactics and called on Ammon Bundy and his followers to leave.

Bundy came to Burns to rally support for two local ranchers who were sentenced to prison on arson charges. The ranchers - Dwight Hammond and his son Steven Hammond - distanced themselves from Bundy's group and reported to prison Monday.

The Hammonds were convicted of arson three years ago and served no more than a year. A judge later ruled that the terms fell short of minimum sentences requiring them to serve about four more years.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Who are the Manchester bombing victims?

    World News Toronto Sun
    The youngest victim was eight. The oldest, 50. Teenage concertgoers, their devoted parents. The innocent. And in a flash, their lives were ripped away by the darkest depths of evil. Remember these names: Sorrell Leczkowski, 14; Michelle Kiss, 45; Jane Tweddle-Taylor, 50; Nell Jones, 14; Martyn Hett, 29; and Angelika and Marcin Klis, 40 and 42, respectively; Georgina Callander, 18; Saffie Rose Roussos, 8; Megan Hurley, 15; John Atkinson, 26; Kelly Brewster, 32; Alison Howe, 44; Lisa Lees, 43; and Olivia Campbell,…
  • Quebec-California cap-and-trade auction sells out current allowances

    Canada News CTV News
    The latest Quebec-California cap-and-trade auction sold out of its current allowances, a stark improvement from the previous one in which only 18 per cent of its offerings sold. Ontario, which started a cap-and-trade program this year, will hold its second auction on June 6. Source
  • 'They just hated all the attention'; Murder plot against Postmedia reporter revealed at UN gang trial

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    VANCOUVER — The Cory Vallee murder trial has offered a fascinating glimpse into the violent world of the notorious United Nations gang and its targets. UN members-turned-Crown witnesses have testified that the gang plotted against rivals, killed young street-level dealers, and even arranged a hit on one of its own members, who was hiding out in Mexico. Source
  • Ronnie Wood has lung lesion successfully removed: spokesperson

    World News CTV News
    LOS ANGELES - A spokesperson for Ronnie Wood says the Rolling Stones guitarist has had a lung lesion successfully removed and is expected to make a full recovery. Wood, who turns 70 next week, says in a statement that he is grateful to doctors who found the lesion in its early stages. Source
  • Investigators explore bomber's links to larger network

    World News CTV News
    LONDON -- British investigators are hunting for potential conspirators linked to the bombing that killed 22 people in a search that is exploring the possibility that the same cell linked to the Paris and Brussels terror attacks was also to blame for the Manchester Arena attack, two officials familiar with the investigation said Wednesday. Source
  • Trump hotels won't ask if stays paid with foreign government money

    World News CTV News
    NEW YORK -- The Trump Organization says it will not ask guests at its hotels and resorts if they are using money from foreign governments to pay their bills, setting up a possible showdown with Democrats who accuse the president of violating the U.S. Source
  • N.S. political leaders focus on health care in election's final days

    Canada News CTV News
    HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia's Tories and NDP have pinpointed health care as the Liberals' Achilles heel as the election campaign enters its final days, hoping to convince voters it is in crisis and they can fix it. Source
  • Why Melania Trump covered her head at the Vatican but not in Saudi Arabia

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- To cover up or not to cover up? Melania Trump wore a veil to the Vatican on Wednesday to meet the pope, but no head covering a few days earlier to meet the king of Saudi Arabia, a religiously conservative country where most women cover themselves up from head to toe. Source
  • Playboy playmate Dani Mathers, who shot nude photo of unwitting 71-year-old woman, pleads no contest [Photos]

    World News Toronto Sun
    LOS ANGELES — A Playboy centerfold who ignited a backlash of criticism when she secretly snapped a photo of a naked 71-year-old woman in a locker room and posted it online mocking the woman’s body is expected to appear in court Wednesday to resolve a criminal charge. Source
  • Bear tears off car bumper in search of pastries inside

    World News CTV News
    STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. — A bear with a sweet tooth ripped off the bumper of a car used to deliver doughnuts in Colorado then tried to claw its way through the trunk to get inside. Source