The siege of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge has ended. We are dancing for joy! There will be several weeks of processing the crime scene before staff can start putting their lives back in order. Happily, this should happen before the peak of spring migration.
We thank all the staff of the refuge for weathering this storm. You have all had to endure extreme upset and violation of your personal and professional lives. That saddens us. More than ever, we respect and honor you for the work you will continue to do. Very soon, we will see you again – in your rightful place, making a better place for the wildlife we cherish!
Meanwhile, it is four months since this anti-government “protest” began, and the new front line is now Grant County, Oregon – our home county. Our county sheriff continues to align with those who misinterpret the Constitution of the United States of America. Their ideology states that local sheriffs are the highest authority of the land, with the power to not only enforce the laws of the federal government and the states, but to interpret what is law. The attack against public lands and federal agencies is now their focus in Grant County.
We support the established federal government and law officers, as well as state government and law enforcement. We do not believe the sheriff has the authority to do anything more than to enforce those laws within our county. Public lands involve many places that we frequent in our quests for photos. We hope that lawfulness prevails, and all people will come to a place where reasonable people will choose to work together for peaceful outcomes during these difficult times.
Our hope is that those who are drawn to militant actions take pause to realize that people with opposing views are not their enemies. There are always many solutions to complex problems, never just one – and certainly not one that simplistically assumes to be the only answer. It’s hard work to put your ideas on the table, listen to the ideas of others and, together, find agreeable paths forward that all can live with. We plead with those who care about our community to work through our challenges with civility and respect.