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Oregon: Hammond Case: Abuse of Power by BLM, FWS and US Attorney

Bureau of Land Management, Constitution, CORRUPTION, Federal gov & land grabs

From: American Land Rights Association

Hammond Case: Abuse of Power by BLM, FWS and US Attorney

Gross Miscarriage of Justice: Urgent Action Required

The Hammond family in Diamond, Oregon appears to be being persecuted by the Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service and the US Attorney in Eugene, Oregon.

This case represents what we believe is an extreme abuse of Federal Government power. The Federal agency officials (BLM) and (Fish and Wildlife Service) are going after the Hammonds on a pretext of arson, in a vendetta and payback for the Hammonds fighting back against the BLM and FWS to protect their water rights in the 90’s. The agencies also appear to be deliberately trying to intimidate other ranchers so they will not speak out.

Other ranchers are afraid if they say anything to support the Hammonds out of fear the BLM will come after them too. This case really demands a Congressional investigation and Hearing.

In the meantime in 2014 the BLM also denied the Hammonds grazing permits that they have renewed every 10 years for the last 50 years, stating that the Hammonds being convicted of arson indicates they are not good stewards of the land.

All landowners and ranchers in Oregon must rise up against the kind of abuse. Next time it could be you. If we stick together on a peaceful non-violent campaign we may be able to save the Hammonds. If Dwight and Steve go to jail for a second time, the family may not be able to hold on to the ranch. That is of course the goal of the BLM and Fish and Wildlife Service.

Urgent Action Required: (See action items below)

Please forward this e-mail to at least 10 others, your whole list if possible.

Additional Note:

The grazing permits are on federal lands interspersed with Hammond property that allowed a route for the cattle to graze as they moved up the mountain from spring to fall to Hammond’s property at 6500 elevation. Basically it appears the local BLM and Fish and Wildlife Service are doing everything they can to put this family out of business.

Along with all of the charges piled upon the family, The FAA also took Dwight’s pilot license away, at the same time in 2010 that this stuff was going on. The BLM office and FAA office are not far apart. The pilots license letter concerning Dwight’s physical was received the same week that the 19 count indictment was received.

The Hammonds where in New York visiting their son. The letter required he respond in a certain amount of time. By the time they got the letter to respond the FAA had pulled his license. Considering Dwight had no health or other issues with his flying, the timing was just too much of a coincidence.

Additional note: Last year in Oct the BLM schedule a huge prescribed burn in Hammonds back yard, directly behind their house to the east,,, during red flag warnings.

It is hard to believe they would start a fire during red flag conditions. Our researcher who is also a property owner in the area was monitoring the fire on Google earth and it got away from BLM and burned considerably more area than had been planned. Nothing was ever done to the fire starters. Just one more uneven and inconsistent allocation of justice.

This is retribution for the Hammons fighting to keep their access to water rights back in 1995. If this kind of abuse of power can happen to the Hammonds, it can happen to anyone.

Additional Note: Rhonda Karges – Andrew Resource Field Manager for the BLM is the wife of Chad Karges Refuge Manager for the Malheur Wildlife refuge.

Rhonda is who specifically deals with all the BLM issues relating to the area in and around Hammonds property, “grazing denial, etc”
and her husband just happens to be the person in charge all the issues “water rights, access, etc.” that the refuge would have with the Hammonds. Do you think they talk about it at home? Does this appear on its face to be a conflict of interest?

If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, most people I know might think it was a duck

Action Items:

Forward this e-mail to at least 10 other people. Your whole list if possible.

Call, fax and e-mail Congressman Greg Walden:

You can call any Congressman at (202) 225-3121.

Fax: (202) 225-5774

E-mail: Katie.troller@mail.house.gov

E-mail: brian.macdonald@mail.house.gov

Call, fax and e-mail Senator Ron Wyden:

You can call any Senator at (202) 224-3121

Fax: (202) 228-2717

E-mail: Wesley_cook@wyden.senate.gov


Call, fax and e-mail Senator Jeff Merkley:

You can call any Senator at (202) 224-3121.

Fax: (202) 224-3753

E-mail: Adrian_snead@merkley.senate.gov



5 405 East Eighth Avenue

Eugene, Oregon 97401

6 (541)465-6771


E-mail, fax and call your local newspapers.

Do not harass these BLM and FWS officials. This must be a peaceful, non-violent effort. But it will good if you tell the BLM and FWS officials when you see them that they are not being good neighbors. In fact, you should say that to every BLM and FWS employee you see anywhere. This strategy worked well in the 90’s with the Fish and Wildlife Service and it will work again if you will do your part.

BLM – Andrew Resource/ Steens Area Field Manager

Rhonda Karges

28910 Hwy 20 West

Burns Oregon 97738



Malheur National Wild Life Refuge Manager

Chad Karges

63879 Hwy 205

Burns Oregon 97720



– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

News articles and documentation below:

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

October 31, 2012

Federal district judge refuses to apply arson mandatory minimum (on constitutional grounds?)

This local article from Oregon reports on what appears to be a significant sentencing decision by a federal district judge concerning the application of a mandatory minimum provision. Here are the

Rejecting mandatory minimum five-year sentences as “grossly disproportionate” to the crimes, a federal judge in Eugene on Tuesday sentenced an Eastern Oregon rancher to three months in prison and his adult son to one year and a day for deliberately setting fires on federal land.

A federal jury in June convicted the Harney County pair after a two-week trial in Pendleton. Jurors convicted Dwight Hammond Jr., 70, on a single count of arson for “intentionally and maliciously”
setting the 2001 Hardie-Hammond Fire in the Steens Mountain federal management and protection area. They convicted Steven Dwight Hammond, 43, of the same crime and of a second arson count for similarly setting the 2006 Krumbo Butte Fire. It burned in the same area and in the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. The jury acquitted both men on arson charges in two 2006 fires.

U.S. Judge Michael Hogan agreed with the Hammonds’ defense lawyers that setting fire to juniper trees and sagebrush in the wilderness was not the type of crime that Congress had in mind when it set mandatory sentences of five to 20 years for anyone who “maliciously damages or destroys, or attempts to damage or destroy by means of fire” any federal property. The mandate was part of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996.

Prosecutors alleged that the father-son owners of Hammond Ranches Inc.
set a series of fires on U.S. Bureau of Land Management land where the Hammonds had grazing rights. Prosecutors said the fires were set to reduce the growth of juniper trees and sagebrush, and to accelerate the growth of rangeland grasses for the Hammonds’ cattle….

In a sentencing memo, the defense lawyers noted that both men have served on the French Glen School Board, Community Club and Site Council, and were “instrumental” in founding and financing the French Glen Education Foundation, which funds extracurricular activities for area students. The Hammonds also regularly host an annual science and careers fair for seven rural schools, contribute money and food to the Harney County 4-H and FFA clubs, and donate meat to the Harney County Senior Center, the memo said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank Papagni acknowledged that the Hammonds, “both of them, have done many wonderful things for the community.”
But he urged Hogan to follow the law, noting that Steven Hammond’s nephew — Dwight Hammond’s grandson — testified that he “thought he was going to get burned up” when flames moved toward him as the then-13-year-old followed his uncle’s orders to light brush with matches.

The arsons also endangered the lives of BLM firefighters and hunters camping near one of the blazes, the government alleged. “Congress decided that this particular offense should carry a mandatory, statutory minimum term of five years,” Papagni wrote in the government’s sentencing memo. “The evidence of defendants’ guilt was substantial. The jury’s verdict of guilt for this particular offense mandates imposition of the required statutory minimum term, as the statute constrains this court’s discretion.”

Hogan disagreed, imposing the lesser terms. He also sentenced both Hammonds to three years of postprison supervision and required them to surrender their firearms. The judge also allowed the men to stagger their sentences in order to keep operating their ranch. He ordered Dwight Hammond to report to prison in January, with Steven Hammond to begin his sentence upon his father’s release.

As the title of this post indicates, it seems from the first sentence of this report that Judge Hogan concluded it would be unconstitutional based on the Eighth Amendment to apply a five-year mandatory minimum under the circumstances. (Side note: this companion article reports that this sentencing took place on Judge Hogan’s last day on the bench. He has since retired.)

Social Networking Update: The American Land Rights Association has a Page on Facebook. Please LIKE us on Facebook. Also Executive Director Chuck Cushman is on Facebook.com.

You can also find American Land Rights Association and Chuck Cushman on LinkedIn.com. We are especially active on LinkedIn.com so send an invitation to connect and join up.

American Land Rights is on Twitter as AmLandrights.

Chuck Cushman is also on Twitter under ccushman98604

Google Alert:

You can find additional information about national issues and battles

American Land Rights has been involved in by going to Google and typing in the following search terms one at a time: Chuck Cushman, Charles Cushman, Charles S. Cushman, American Land Rights Association, National Inholders Association and League of Private Property Voters.

Thank you,

Chuck Cushman

American Land Rights Association

(360) 687-3087


1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. HIGH PLAINS  •  Feb 22, 2016 @5:01 pm


    Were the Hammonds’ targeted as a test case for BLM’s 2010 LAND CONSOLIDATION PROGRAM OF ITS CHECKERBOARDED LANDS?

    In August of 1994, when BLM and FWS falsely arrested Dwight and Steve Hammond for protecting their legally owned water rights,

    Mr. Hammond did not counter sue for damages and false arrest. He went back to ranching

    Interim actions of BLM from 1994 to 2006 included arbitrary revocation of 3 (three) separate grazing rights held by Hammonds.


    In August of 2006 BLM Ranger Orr and FWS had Sheriff Dave Glerup arrest Dwight and Steve Hammond.
    The local county prosecutor reviewed all charges and declined to prosecute.

    District Attorney Tim Colahan dismissed all 2006 charges after reviewing them,

    and allowed the charges to move into statutory expiration.

    In June of 2010, acting preemptively before the statue of limitations expired from the 2006 dismissal by District Attorney Tim Colahan,
    BLM re-filed ,adding on an additional 17 counts. Indictment United States v. Hammond et al, No. 6:10-cr-60066-HO

    filed 2010-06-17 chief Judge Ann L. Aiken

    This is where one could say, after they knew Amanda Marshall was going to end up being their prosecuting attorney:

    After all, four (4) different US Attorney’s for the state of Oregon in less than 16 months
    is nothing short of ludicrous. One could also say the three preceding US Oregon State Attorney’s refused to prosecute

    the Hammonds’, and that is why they didn’t get to keep the position.

    [It is imperative to remember the Hammond’s are the last private landholders in and around Mahler Refuge].

    Let’s take a look at the timelines involved for Ms.(Sally) Amanda Marshall appearing on the scene in 2010.

    From October 2003 to July 2009, Karen Immergut was the U.S. Attorney for Oregon: she resigned

    From July 2009 to Feb.3, 2010, Kent Robinson was the interim U.S. Attorney for Oregon. After 7 short months, he was replaced.

    From Feb. 5, 2010 to ________, Dwight C, Holton was the interim U.S. Attorney for Oregon

    Nov. 17, 2010 Obama nominates Amanda Marshall as U.S. Attorney for Oregon

    How did S. Amanda Marshall, an attorney in the child advocacy section, with no federal prosecution experience, get to U.S. Attorney for Oregon?

    The ten (10) candidates that applied for the position were:

    1. Dwight Holton – Oregon interim U.S. Attorney from Feb.5, 2010
    (until Amanda Marshall).
    Known for his tough prosecution of environmental crimes
    Endorsed by Oregon Sheriff’s and Oregon’s State Police Officer’s Association. http://www.holtonfororegon.com

    2. Kent Robinson – Oregon interim U.S. Attorney from July 2009 to Feb.3, 2010. Thirty years experience in the Justice Dept.

    3. Josh Marquis – Clatsop County district attorney

    4. John Foote – Clackamas County district attorney

    5. Rob Bovett – Lincoln County district attorney

    6. John Haroldson – Benton County district attorney

    7. Ken Perry – Portland lawyer

    8. Robert Hutchings – Lane County public defender

    9. John Hummel – Portland lawyer

    10. Amanda Marshall – child advocate lawyer. Attended East China University of Politics and Law in Shanghai.


    By October 28, 2009, three applicants remained on the list: Josh Marquis, Kent Robinson, and Amanda Marshall.


    Kent Robinson withdrew his application for unnamed reasons, and the final list

    submitted to the White House included only Josh Marquis and S. Amanda Marshall.

    Amanda Marshall…”may as well have had an inappropriate working relationship with Judge Aiken

    that should have potentially led to Judge Aiken to recuse herself from the Hammond re-sentencing.

    Prior to being nominated by President Barack Obama as U.S. District Attorney Amanda Marshall worked

    for the Oregon Department of Justice in Child Advocacy Services. Judge Aiken has been the presiding President

    of the Child Advocacy Services Board since 1998.

    Take into account that the only testimony used to establish “malicious intent” on part of the Hammonds derived from Dusty Hammond,

    Dwight Hammond’s grandson, a mentally incompetent 13 year old whose case has been overseen by Child Advocacy Services and

    the potential for wrongful collusion begins to crystallize.
    Initially in the trial Dusty Hammonds testimony was disqualified by Judge Mike Hogan due to his mental capacity.

    Despite this Dusty Hammonds testimony is assumed to have been used by Judge Aiken in determining malicious intent

    by the Hammonds to qualify them under the terrorism statute for re-sentencing.”

    “This is not the first instance of Judge Aiken potentially failing to acknowledge inappropriate relationships when presiding over a case.

    In a 2013 complaint of Judicial Misconduct filed against Judge Aiken, a class action by Oregon lawyers against the Oregon State Bar,

    the Supreme Court of Oregon Chief Justice Thomas Balmer and Jeff Sapiro, it is alleged Aiken failed to disclose similar relationships.

    It is clear that Judge Aiken has a vested interest, politically, judicially and personally in the Malhuer Reserve and in all likely hood

    should have not presided over this appeal,” considering her ties to the situation and the key individuals involved.”


    2010 was also a pivotal year for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Congressman Rob Bishop (Utah) discovered their plans in missing pages

    not submitted to Congress. http://robbishop.house.gov/. Bishop is the chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources.

    The fact that these missing pages of BLM’s plans to consolidate all its’ checkerboarded lands were not submitted for approval to Congress cannot help but

    lend credence to their illegal activities and collusion with local authorities to acquire Hammonds’ ranch. Again: Hammonds’ are the last private landholders around

    Mahler Refuge.

    More Political Incest: Jake Klonoski is an Attorney Advisor in the Department of the Inspector General 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/jake-klonoski-75117827 In 1978 Ann Aiken married James Klonoski, and Jake Klonoski is their son.

    The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is where Amanda Marshall submitted her appeal to send the Hammonds’ back to prison for more jail time.

    “In order to re-sentence the Hammonds as terrorists the United States Government had to file an appeal Under 18 U.S. Code 3742 (B).

    According to the code; “…The Government may not further prosecute such appeal without the personal approval of the Attorney General, the Inspector General,

    or a deputy inspector general designated by the Inspector General. The same Inspector General where Jake Klonoski is employed as a key Attorney Adviser.”


    Only 1% of the 5,000 odd appeals are ever picked to be heard in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

    “Each year the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals receives upwards of 5,000 requests for a new hearing before all the court’s judges, said Kelly Zusman,

    appellate chief for the U.S. attorney’s office in Oregon. The judges only hear about 1 percent of those requests. “They grant very, very few,” she said.”


    “Judge Aiken was also the presiding Judge in a 2006 case that overturned several key provisions of the Steens Mountain Cooperative Management

    and Protection Act of 2000 which she found violated the supremacy of the Federal Environmental Protection Act.”
    http://www.fourwinds10.net/sit… “A management plan that the Hammonds were key in helping construct.”

    “It should be noticed that the Hammonds, as acknowledged by Congressman Walden, were instrumental in development of the co-operative plan.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bx4ocLdWE90 http://agenda21radio.com/?p=23299

    Judge Aiken’s decision weighed heavily based on affidavit testimony by Harney County Judge Stephen Grasty,

    whose actions have come into question and extreme scrutiny since the occupation began.”

    Harney County ‘judge’ Stephen Grasty, has a brother that is a BLM supervisor.


    Harney County BLM Manager is Rhonda Karges, who is married to Chad Karges, the manager of Mahler Wildlife Refuge.


    The BLM expended no monies or efforts in putting out the 139 acres of fire they accused the Hammonds’ of deliberately setting. So why the $400,000 fine

    the Hammonds’ were forced to pay?

    The State of Oregon has its’ own wildfire insurance policy through Lloyd’s of London. So why the $400,000 fine the Hammonds’ were forced to pay?


    If the BLM and corrupt county officials that perjured themselves were not guilty of collusion in their agenda to obtain the last checkerboarded piece of land

    in and around Mahler Wildlife Refuge, why did they insist on being first in line to buy the Hammond’s ranch?


    There is more ‘evidence’: 12-31-2015 affidavit filed stating Assistant US Prosecutor Papagliani called Kenda Matthews and Lawrence Matasar

    (Hammonds attorneys) and that Papagliani told Hammonds’ attorney’s if the Hammond’s made any ‘fuss’,

    they would be reporting to a harder prison and at a much earlier report date. PDF court document

    Other information: No ‘fire arson’ experts were ever produced to testify against the Hammonds’. It was just BLM saying it was arson.

    No deer bones, or other evidence was ever produced by prosecution against the Hammonds’.

    (deer bones aren’t going to burn up in a simple grass fire)

    If the ‘hunting party’ allegedly witnessed this ( the hunting guide’s permit comes from BLM), it would seem odd why none of them

    popped out their cell phones, or camera’s to take pictures of such alleged crimes

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