The leader of a group of armed men who took over a U.S. wildlife refuge in remote southeastern Oregon said on Wednesday they know they will have to go home, but they want results from their protest and feel it is not “quite time yet.”
The takeover that began on Saturday at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, about 30 miles (48 km) south of the small town of Burns, is the latest skirmish in the so-called Sagebrush Rebellion, a decades-old conflict over federal control of land and resources in the U.S. West.
Launched following a bigger demonstration in support of two local imprisoned ranchers, Dwight Hammond Jr. and his son, Steven, the occupation has been marked by daily media briefings from the protesters, and by federal law enforcement agents keeping watch from a distance.
“There is a time to go home, we recognize that. We don’t feel it’s quite time yet,” protest leader Ammon Bundy told a news conference at the refuge on Wednesday.