From the Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward –
The Harney County Sheriff’s Office will be hosting a community meeting to discuss safety concerns and the disruptions caused by the behavior of those at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Sheriff Ward invites community members to attend and will be addressing a wide range of community concerns and the steps being taken to ensure everyone’s safety.
The meeting will be held Wednesday, January 6, at 4:00 p.m. in the Memorial Building located at the Harney County Fairgrounds, 69660 South Egan Road in Burns. Media can attend, but questions will be accepted only from Harney County community members.
A group of anti-federal government vigilantes have taken over the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge 50 miles southeast of Burns. Calling themselves “Citizens for Constitutional Freedom,” group leader Ammon Bundy says they will soon begin drawing up new laws regulating land use in Harney County by first declaring the county either an instrument of the state or of the county – either way not property of the federal government. Bundy says the U.S. Constitution makes no mention of rules that allow wildlife refuges or restrictions on citizens’ rights to use natural resources.
Bundy has also said that their intentions are peaceful and that his group will remain peaceful unless those opposed to them “comes upon us.”
Meanwhile all snow plowing on roads leading in and out of the refuge area has ceased by order of the FBI. Also an undisclosed number of regular law enforcement agencies have sent personnel and law enforcement vehicles to patrol the area as a public safety precaution.