No Respect for Wildlife, the Land, or the Law

No Respect for Wildlife, the Land, or the Law

Oregon Standoff at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is About More Than Land Rights

Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, an important 187,757 acres of diverse habitats in Oregon, is home to many varieties of birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles and fish. However, the refuge has now become a standoff ground between welfare ranchers and law enforcement.

Why is the militia doing this?

In 2014, Cliven Bundy, a Nevada rancher, was in an armed protest against the BLM because he had over a million dollars in fees overdue to the government for grazing “his” cattle on public land, and the Burea of Land Management (BLM) had confiscated “his” cattle. Eventually the BLM returned the cattle and caved in to agricultural pressure (as usual) and never collected the fees, which are a fraction of what they would have been on private land.

With these fees still owed, his sons Ammon, Mel, and Randy are leading the militia in Oregon, claiming that public land should be for “the people to ranch on” and that they (not you or other animals who need them) are entitled to take the resources which are on and part of the land.

Ranching practices have no respect for animals at all. Ranching destroys land other animals need, erodes and degrades and causes desertification of land, as well as causes the deaths of other animals who compete for resources (wild horses and burros) or who happen to be predators (wolves and coyotes).The cattle are also victims who will be sent to their terrifying end at slaughterhouses, What the Bundy family already does is horrible enough, let alone their action of taking over a refuge that belongs to wildlife and the public in order to fulfill their own personal mission of greed.

So why is this refuge so important?

The refuge is an integral part of the Pacific Flyway, which is the north-to-south migration route between Alaska and Patagonia that birds use in the spring and fall. The government site for the refuge states that, “The refuge may support anywhere between 5 and 66 percent of the Pacific Flyway’s migrating populations for priority waterfowl.” This is a huge number of birds that pass through this area, calling the reserve not only just a seasonal home but for many others a nesting area for their young.

Why are the birds in danger?

The militia group wants to “take back” the public reserve and selfishly use it however they see fit. The militia group has stated that they want to overtake the land so that “the people can reclaim their resources.” This puts a huge amount of risk on all of the animals that live in the reserve, especially the migratory birds. This group could come in and kill as many of the birds they want for sport or otherwise, saying that it is their “right” to do so.

With the days passing by, the militia has stood its ground for the fifth night and we can only hope that this situation will end sooner rather than later so that no destruction or further disturbance is done to the birds and other animals who live in Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

They must be stopped!

Read more about the standoff here

and here

Learn more about the refuge here

Quick disclaimer about image: While we like the cartoon, we actually do not believe that loons are crazy, nor that they deserve that reputation. From Historically Speaking, the origin of the expression is explained,  “For those of you who don’t know, a loon is a bird found in the northern regions with a short tail, webbed feet, and a cry that sometimes sounds like a madman’s howling.”