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‘Ranchers’ Lives Matter’ rally

A group of Wasco County residents joined the national “Ranchers’ Lives Matter” movement Saturday by holding a rally at a local freeway overpass to focus attention on issues brought to light by the recent standoff in Burns.

Photo by RaeLynn Ricarte
A group of Wasco County residents joined the national “Ranchers’ Lives Matter” movement Saturday by holding a rally at a local freeway overpass to focus attention on issues brought to light by the recent standoff in Burns.



A group of Wasco County residents joined the national “Ranchers’ Lives Matter” movement Saturday by holding a rally at a local freeway overpass to focus attention on issues brought to light by the recent standoff in Burns...

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Comments

Riversong 2 years, 3 months ago

Patriots? Hardly.

The Hammonds are domestic terrorists.

In the 1980s, Dwight Hammond was among a group of ranchers who threw a naturalist couple, Denzel and Nancy Ferguson, who ran the (not federal) Malheur Field Station, out of a public dance and then called to threaten them.

On August 3, 1994, a Fish and Wildlife Service crew turned up to complete the task of fencing off the marsh. They found the fence destroyed and a monkey-wrenched earthmover parked in the middle of the marsh. While the feds were waiting on a towing service to remove the Cat, Hammond’s son Steve showed up and began calling the government men vulgar obscenities. Dwight Hammond then arrived at the scene, according to the government’s documents, and tried to disrupt the removal of the equipment. That's when Dwight was arrested and had his grazing permit revoked. In an affidavit, Earl M. Kisler, a Fish and Wildlife Service enforcement officer, said that rancher Dwight Hammond had repeatedly threatened refuge officials with violence over an eight year period.

The Refuge manager, Forrest Cameron, and his family began receiving threats, including one call threatening to wrap the Camerons’ 12-year-old boy in a shroud of barbed wire and stuff him down a well. Terrified, Mrs. Cameron packed up their four children, including one confined to a wheelchair, and fled to Bend 100 miles away.

Both Cameron and Marvin Plenert, Northwest regional director for the Fish and Wildlife Service from 1986 to 1994, say the Hammonds would leave their cattle on the refuge for weeks at a time, damaging the land despite the clear rules.

Dwight and Steve Hammond were then convicted of arson in 2012 for setting fires on federal land adjacent to their property near Burns in 2001 and 2006. Federal prosecutors said the first fire was set to conceal the site of an illegal deer hunt, while the second fire was an unauthorized backburn set during a fire ban on the slopes below a firefighting camp, putting the lives of firefighters and local campers at risk.

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