Trump pardon of Oregon ranchers sparks concern jubilation

first_imgSALEM, Ore. — Two imprisoned ranchers who were convicted of intentionally setting fires in 2012 on public land in Oregon will be freed after President Donald Trump pardoned them on Tuesday.The move by Trump raised concerns that others would be encouraged to actively oppose federal control of public land.The imprisonment of Dwight and Steven Hammond prompted the armed occupation of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon in 2016, led by two sons of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy.Jamie Rappaport Clark, president of the group Defenders of Wildlife, noted that the Hammonds were convicted of arson, a serious crime.“Whatever prompted President Trump to pardon them, we hope that it is not seen as an encouragement to those who might use violence to seize federal property and threaten federal employees in the West,” Clark said.The dozens of armed people who occupied the refuge near the Hammond ranch for 41 days said the Hammonds were victims of federal overreach. They changed the refuge’s name to the Harney County Resource Center, reflecting their belief that the federal government has only a limited right to own property within a state.Bundy and his sons Ammon and Ryan faced trial themselves after an armed standoff at their Nevada ranch in 2014 that was sparked by land-grazing fees. A federal judge in January dismissed the charges against them.last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *