PNP comment: This is a way-biased article, but at least it is some information. — Editor Liz Bowen
updated March 21, 2016 at 5:03 AM
Two high-ranking federal officials will travel to Harney County Monday, where they will meet with employees affected by the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation.
Sally Jewell, U.S. Secretary of the Interior, and Michael L. Connor, U.S. Deputy Interior Secretary, will also meet with community and tribal leaders during afternoon sessions in Burns.
Jewell and Connor will meet with Harney County officials, the High Desert Partnership, the Burns Paiute Tribe and public land management employees. Jewell will also hold a brief media availability about her visit.
“As the community continues to recover from the illegal occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, I know that deepening the strong partnerships already in place will be important to the healing process,” Jewell said in a statement. “I’m here to talk to local leaders about what’s working in southeastern Oregon and what opportunities exist to work more collaboratively when it comes to managing our nation’s public lands that belong to all of us.”
Their visit comes about six weeks after the end of a 41-day occupancy of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Armed militants from at least 10 states took over the refuge’s administrative offices on Jan. 2, saying they were protesting the prison sentences handed to two area ranchers.
The occupation ended Feb. 11, with the arrest of the last of the self-styled militants who took over the refuge, which is about 30 miles from Burns. One militant was killed by police in a road-side shooting. A number of other occupiers remain jailed in Portland, where they are facing a variety of federal charges.
— Dana Tims
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