Just over three years after the Lavoy Finnicum’s death at the hands of law enforcement, the Hammond Ranches Inc. got a ten year renewal of their federal land grazing rights. Former Secretary Zinke renewed the agreement just before he resigned from his position as the Secretary of the Interior. Last year President Trump pardoned the Hammonds, Dwight Jr. and Steven, for arson which each was convicted in 2012. The occupation was led by the two sons of Cliven Bundy after the Hammonds were ordered to prison. A 41 day standoff at the refuge ensued and was ultimately ended after the tragic death of Finnicum. Secretary Zinke found that the circumstances of Hammonds pardon and their use of federal land has warranted a renewal. This was a case the left use to say right wing militias were a danger, citing the armed occupation, but yet failed to address the ever expanding federal regulation of public lands. Many people of the country were caught in the middle and more than half of the employees of the Malhuer National Wildlife Refuge quit due to future safety concerns.
Written by C Chapin