Ranchers at center of Oregon protest to report to prison

The father and son ranchers at the center of an Oregon protest at a wildlife refuge are expected to turn themselves in to federal authorities to complete a previous prison sentence. Linda So reports.

For a second straight night, armed, self-styled militiamen are occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon.

The protest was touched off by the imminent jailing of two local ranchers, Dwight Hammond and his son, Steven.

The two were convicted and jailed in 2012 for setting fires that spread to public land.

Now, the pair is set to turn themselves in to federal authorities after a judge ordered them back to prison to serve longer sentences.


“It’s not about me, it’s about America. And we’ve got to get the wheels back on this wagon because they’re flying off.”

The occupation which began Saturday is part of an ongoing dispute over land management between ranchers and the federal government.

The group claims managers at the refuge have been trying to push neighboring ranchers out.

Federal and state authorities have not said how they plan to respond to the occupation.

Protesters are vowing to stay for as long as it takes.