The leader of a group of armed protesters occupying the headquarters of a federal wildlife refuge in southeastern OR met briefly with a local sheriff on Thursday but rejected the lawman's offer of safe passage out of the state to end the standoff.
The leader of a Native American tribe in OR chuckled at the fact that Ammon Bundy and his Citizens for Constitutional Freedom group are demanding the federally controlled land at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge be returned to locals.
Sheriff Ward plans to call Bundy on Friday to see where the militant group stands.
The group objects to federal land policy and seized buildings at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in OR on Saturday. Participants came from as far away as Arizona and MI. "I don't believe that just a handful of people have the right to come in from outside of our area and tell us that we don't know how to live our lives", Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward said at a town hall meeting Wednesday.
"I understand that the occupiers of the federal land have said that they will leave if the local community doesn't want them, and from what I'm seeing in the news, the local community doesn't want them", Clinton said in an interview with the Las Vegas Sun.
The group is protesting a lengthy prison sentence for two local ranchers convicted of arson of federal land.
The FBI in Portland referred calls to the Harney County Joint Information Center, which said in a statement that it had no information on arrests or arrest warrants and that authorities were "still working on a peaceful resolution".
However, those occupying the wildlife refuge centre say they may use violence if police try to evict them.
During the meeting, the Sheriff asked Bundy to please leave and respect the wishes of Harney County residents.
"Many of you have asked, 'How long will this go?'" Bundy told reporters on Friday.
This is not the first armed standoff for protest leaders Ammon and Ryan Bundy.
Harney County Sheriff David Ward told the hundreds gathered at the meeting he hoped the community would put up a "united front" to peacefully resolve the conflict.
"If these people had any argument with the president, it was with President (Theodore) Roosevelt, who 108 years ago established the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge as a response to protect the national resource, especially the slaughter of wild birds for feathers to adorn women's hats", Blumenauer said on the House floor.
"They are waking people up", said 80-year-old Merlin Rupp, a long-time local resident. However, "we don't need outsiders to bring public attention". Ammon Bundy said to Ward, "We pose no threat to the community whatsoever now".
"We are not in the least bit ashamed of the actions that we have taken", Bundy said.
Dwight and Steven Hammond turned themselves over to federal authorities on Monday to serve their 5-year prison sentences. Late Tuesday, they moved a large plow vehicle to block the refuge's driveway.