BURNS, Ore. – The latest on an armed group that took over federal buildings at an Oregon wildlife refuge (all times local):
Cheers erupted at a community meeting in Oregon when a sheriff said it was time for a small, armed group occupying a national wildlife refuge to "pick up and go home."
The group objecting to federal land policy seized buildings at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon's high desert country on Saturday. Authorities have not yet moved to remove the group of roughly two dozen people, some from as far away as Arizona and Michigan.
Harney County Sheriff David Ward told hundreds of people gathered at the meeting Wednesday evening that the group needed to leave so local people could get back to their lives.
Group leader Ammon Bundy has told reporters they will leave when there's a plan in place to turn over federal lands to locals. The group also objects to a lengthy prison sentence for two local ranchers convicted of arson.
The leader of an Oregon Indian tribe whose ancestral property is being occupied by a small, armed group opposed to federal land policy says the activists aren't welcome and need to leave.
Burns Paiute Tribal Chair Charlotte Rodrique told reporters Wednesday that the tribe is concerned about damage to cultural artifacts. She says the group is "desecrating one of our sacred sites."
The activists seized buildings at the remote Malheur National Wildlife Refuge on Saturday. Authorities had not yet moved to oust the group of roughly 20 people.
Rodrique said the Paiute people spent winters in the area before settlers, ranchers and trappers arrived.
She says the tribe signed a federal treaty in 1868 and expected the government to honor the agreement to protect their interests though the U.S. Senate never approved it.