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After 41 days, illegal standoff at Malheur comes to an end


February 11, 2016      

Contact: Catalina Tresky; (202) 772-0253, ctresky@defenders.org


After 41 days, illegal standoff at Malheur comes to an end


BURNS, Ore. – Today, the final four militants occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in southeastern Oregon surrendered to federal authorities, bringing the illegal takeover of the refuge to an end.

Jamie Rappaport Clark, President and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife, issued the following statement:

“Finally, after 41 days, Malheur National Wildlife Refuge has been returned to the rightful owners of our public lands – the American people. As a former director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service who was responsible for the conservation and stewardship of the entire National Wildlife Refuge System, I am relieved that this unfortunate and shameful chapter in the history of our public lands management has come to a close.

“Looking forward to the rebuilding and reconciliation process for Malheur and the affected communities in Harney County, I am pleased that the dedicated men and women of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will finally be able to return to this wildlife refuge to continue their service to the American public by restoring the refuge and affected wildlife habitat after the militants’ illegal and most unwelcome occupation.

“Our government began taking on the challenge more than a century and a half ago of preserving our beautiful and vast public lands for the benefit of all Americans, a visionary task made at a time when few appreciated the natural treasures being preserved for posterity. It is now our turn and responsibility to protect and preserve these lands and their intrinsic values. Our public lands are for all Americans today, tomorrow and beyond.”



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