Sherman County eNews #29


  1. Conservation Neighborhood Meetings
  2. The Malheur National Wildlife Refuge | Joint Statement by the FBI & OSP
  3. Links: BLM, FBI, OSP, Harney County, etc.
  4. Land management issues remain

1. Conservation Neighborhood Meetings 

February 16th @ 2:00 PM- OSU Extension Office

February 17th @ 2:00 PM- Kent Baptist Church

Presenters Include: Sherman County Soil and Water Conservation District, Sherman County Watershed, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Farm Service Agency, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and Sherman County Extension Service.

2. The Malheur National Wildlife Refuge | Joint Statement by the FBI & OSP

~ Federal Bureau of Investigation – Oregon

At 8:30 p.m. (PST) on Tuesday, January 26, 2016, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)’s Phoenix Division made a probable cause arrest of Jon Eric Ritzheimer, age 32, on a federal charge related to the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Harney County, Oregon. Ritzheimer turned himself into the Peoria, Arizona, police department. The arrest was without incident. Ritzheimer faces one federal felony charge of conspiracy to impede officers of the United States from discharging their official duties through the use of force, intimidation, or threats, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 372. The FBI made the Arizona arrest in conjunction with a series of other arrests made by FBI and Oregon State Police in Harney County, Oregon, earlier in the evening. The following individuals also face the same charge: * Ammon Edward Bundy, age 40, of Emmett, Idaho * Ryan C. Bundy, age 43, of Bunkerville, Nevada * Brian Cavalier, age 44, of Bunkerville, Nevada * Shawna Cox, age 59, Kanab, Utah * Ryan Waylen Payne, age 32, of Anaconda, Montana * Joseph Donald O’Shaughnessy, age 45, of Cottonwood, Arizona * Peter Santilli, age 50, of Cincinnati, Ohio We continue to work with Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward and his deputies and the United States Attorney’s Office to address any further outstanding issues. As the investigation is ongoing, we cannot comment further at this time. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

3. Links – BLM, Harney County, Land Management

American flag1

“…a little rebellion now and then is a good thing…” –Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1787.

Editorial: Dark Days in Eastern Oregon

 Mineral Resources of the Pueblo Mountains Wilderness Study Area, Harney County, Oregon, and Humboldt County, Nevada, U.S.

Land Management Issues Remain

 An Armed Occupation In Eastern Oregon | The latest news and updates about the armed occupation at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Harney County, Oregon. 

Standoff exposes urban, rural divide

I’m an Oregon rancher. Here’s what you don’t understand about the Bundy standoff.

The Stetson Rebellion and the Myth of the Welfare Cowboy

 Ammon Bundy and 7 Oregon Protesters Held; LaVoy Finicum Is Reported Dead

Oregon leader Bundy tells remaining protesters to go home – BBC News

Federal Criminal Complaint | Case Against Bundy Crew

Muse: Toward One Oregon

Texas farmer wins 30-year battle with BLM, Gets Land Back

Red River Land Grab

Militias, Mormons, and Malheur – Part 3

Militias, Mormons & Malheur – Part 2

Militias, Mormons & Malheur – Part 1

Land management issues remain | The standoff is over, but the anger and frustration of many farmers, ranchers and lumbermen in Harney County and throughout the West remains. Our View

4. Federal and state officials effectively altered the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Tuesday, arresting eight protesters and killing a ninth in a shootout.

The protesters had demanded that two Harney County ranchers serving five-year sentences for burning federal land be released, and that federal public lands be turned over to the state, the county and to private ownership. It was a futile endeavor from the start that lacked any legal basis.

For better or worse, the occupation did draw some national attention to legitimate issues concerning the U.S. government’s management of its vast holding of public lands.

Now what?

It will be all too easy for many casual observers East of the Rockies, and even a good many in the liberal urban centers of the West, to dismiss all of this as the machinations of a half-cocked collection of religious zealots, disenfranchised Reubens and anti-government nuts with too many guns and a crazy interpretation of the Constitution.

Unfortunately, that would miss the real underlying issues.

The standoff is diminished, but the anger and frustration of many farmers, ranchers and lumbermen in Harney County and throughout the West remains unchanged. Their interests must now be pressed in the court of public opinion, and non-Westerners made to understand the real issues.

The federal government holds more than half the land in the West. The economic and civic fabric of rural communities depends on trees cut from the forest, livestock grazed on the range and minerals gleaned from the mining claims.

The government once encouraged these activities in the service of the country’s growing population and in fulfillment of its manifest destiny. Now, policies have changed and that same government seems to be draining the lifeblood of the rural West.

Many in the rural West don’t think their government listens to them and that their concerns are given short shrift. They believe that their livelihoods, their very way of life, are in the hands of bureaucrats controlled by interests outside their communities.

They don’t understand how the government can claim to be a good steward while it lets its forests fill with fuel that feeds ever more terrible wildfires that destroy the very habitat it seeks to protect. They bristle at what they perceive to be the mismanagement of these fires that causes their own property to be damaged or destroyed.

They are stymied at every turn by the inertia that attends every decision, every necessary action on a grazing allotment or timber harvest. They are tired of the endless environmental litigation that seems bent on driving even the most conservation-minded producers off public lands.

They watch as their government adds to its empire, using taxpayer money to outbid local buyers and take more land off the tax roles, and erode private economic opportunities.

They want to be good stewards, to do the right thing. But they want a fair shake.

Now is the time to tell these stories, to tell America that rural western lives matter.