The armed militants who have taken over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge are continuing to use government equipment inside the complex. The occupation is coming at a staggering cost to taxpayers, meanwhile, one of the Bundy-militia members plowed through dirt while using a refuge bulldozer Wednesday, apparently without consequence from the authorities.
The militant who made himself comfortable with government equipment plowed through sagebrush and vegetation which had been newly removed, leaving wide patches of bare mud within the complex, OPB reports.
The new road connects a bunkhouse with another road.
When asked about the construction, the militant claimed that the road was already there, and that militants had only removed snow from the path.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service confirmed Thursday that not only is the road built last week by the occupiers new, but it is also within an archaeological site important to the Burns Paiute Tribe.
Jason Holm, assistant director of external affairs with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, condemned the militants last week for what he called “disgusting, ghoulish behavior.”
Previously, the militants removed part of a fence and uploaded videos of their actions, while becoming paranoid after finding a surveillance camera on the property. The militants called them ‘spy cameras’ as if they’d never seen one before on private or government-owned property before. That was before, and now, apparently more fences were removed to create access to the new road.
Holm explained that the fence was in place “as a deterrent to keep fire crews from driving across the archaeological site.”
In order to surface the new road, apparently, the armed occupiers moved rocks from an existing gravel pile in the compound.
“It was just a goat trail before,” one of the militants told OPB, who added, “People were slipping and falling.”
Sure, we don’t want the militants to slip or fall while they mooch off the taxpayers.
Kevin Foerster, the agency’s Pacific region chief, wasn’t too pleased either.
“There’s a reason why there’s not a road there,” he said. “If there was a need for a road in that particular location, we would have over the past 108 years put a road in that location.”
The agency pointed to a likely violation of the Archaeological Resources Protection Act, also known as the ARPA.
“Even disturbing 3 to 4 inches on the surface is an ARPA violation,” said Holm. “Investigators will have to excavate to determine depth of disturbance in several areas to understand the extent of the damage.”
We assume the militants are destroying the land while rifling through government documents. While making themselves at home in a community that does not want them there.
The Paiute Tribe has previously said they want the occupiers to “get the hell out” but that fell on deaf ears. While the Occupiers are not working, the staff at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge stated that they’d very much like to get back to their jobs, thank you very much.
Image: Amanda Peacher/OPB.