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Defenders Condemns Illegal Takeover of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge


January 6, 2016

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


Defenders Condemns Illegal Takeover of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge


WASHINGTON – On Saturday, an armed group of anti-government extremists began a hostile takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.

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

“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 horrified by the illegal armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

“The National Wildlife Refuge System was established for the benefit, use and enjoyment of the American people – not just an angry few with guns and a hatred of government. National wildlife refuges are special places dedicated to the conservation of this country’s rich fish and wildlife legacy. They provide opportunities for environmental education, wildlife viewing and recreation for all. They are called “national” wildlife refuges for a reason.

“My heart goes out to the dedicated men and women of the National Wildlife Refuge System who work tirelessly for the benefit of the American public and the wildlife resources of this country.  They deserve better than this latest example of the present toxic discourse in our political system today.

“The armed extremists who have now occupied Malheur are telling the rest of the American public to keep out –blatantly stealing this public resource for themselves – signaling that the rest of the American public doesn’t matter. This is not about a redress of grievances, but rather the utter disregard for the rule of law.”




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