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« Compassion and Infiltration: Parts 1-4 in a continuing series by Michael Hafter | Main | Hillary Clinton's War on Women, etc. Roger Stone interviewed on Alex Jones Show 01-12-16 »

Full back story re: Armed militia stationing at closed Wildlife Park Headquarters (Malheur National Wildlife Refuge) around Harney Basin in Oregon

[1-26-16] Shots fired in various locales, at least one peron killed (LaVoy Finicum), others injured, arrested.

Get the real facts about the situation, call the American Patriot Hotline at 605-562-3140 Access 486461




Oregon protest leader Ammon Bundy, others arrested; 1 killed @CNN
One person was killed Tuesday as authorities arrested a group of people -- including Ammon Bundy -- involved with the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, authorities


Many people will awaken today to the news of approximately 100 to 150 armed militia taking control of a closed Wildlife Park Headquarters, and not know the full back story – so here it is:

burns 4


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This short summary is an effort to draw attention to a ridiculous arrest of a father and son pair of Oregon Ranchers (“Dwight Lincoln Hammond, Jr., 73, and his son, Steven Dwight Hammond, 46,) who are scheduled to begin five year prison sentences (turning themselves in tomorrow January 4th 2016), three brothers from the Cliven Bundy family and approximately 100/150 (and growing) heavily armed militia (former U.S. service members) have taken control of Malheur Wildlife Refuge Headquarters in the wildlife preserve.  They are prepared to stay there indefinitely.

Here’s the long version: including history, details, links video(s) and explanations:


Hammond Family

Hammond Family

HISTORY: (aa) The Harney Basin (where the Hammond ranch is established) was settled in the 1870s. The valley was settled by multiple ranchers and was known to have run over 300,000 head of cattle. These ranchers developed a state-of-the-art irrigation system to water the meadows, and it soon became a favorite stopping place for migrating birds on their annual trek north.

(ab) In 1908 President Theodore Roosevelt, in a political scheme, create an “Indian reservation” around the Malheur, Mud & Harney Lakes and declared it “as a preserve and breeding ground for native birds”. Later this “Indian reservation” (without Indians) became the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

(a) In 1964 the Hammonds purchased their ranch in the Harney Basin. The purchase included approximately 6,000 acres of private property, 4 grazing rights on public land, a small ranch house and 3 water rights. The ranch is around 53 miles South of Burns, Oregon.

(a1) By the 1970s nearly all the ranches adjacent to the Blitzen Valley were purchased by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and added to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge covers over 187,000 acres and stretches over 45 miles long and 37 miles wide. The expansion of the refuge grew and surrounded to the Hammond’s ranch. Being approached many times by the FWS, the Hammonds refused to sell. Other ranchers also chose not to sell.

(a2) During the 1970s the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), in conjunction with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), took a different approach to get the ranchers to sell. Ranchers were told that, “grazing was detrimental to wildlife and must be reduced”. 32 out of 53 permits were revoked and many ranchers were forced to leave. Grazing fees were raised significantly for those who were allowed to remain. Refuge personnel took over the irrigation system claiming it as their own.  

(a3) By 1980 a conflict was well on its way over water allocations on the adjacent privately owned Silvies Plain. The FWS wanted to acquire the ranch lands on the Silvies Plain to add to their already vast holdings. Refuge personnel intentionally diverted the water to bypassing the vast meadowlands, directing the water into the rising Malheur Lakes. Within a few short years the surface area of the lakes doubled. 31 ranches on the Silvies plains were flooded. Homes, corrals, barns and graze-land were washed away and destroyed. The ranchers that once fought to keep the FWS from taking their land, now broke and destroyed, begged the FWS to acquire their useless ranches. In 1989 the waters began to recede and now the once thriving privately owned Silvies pains are a proud part of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge claimed by the FWS.

(a4) By the 1990s the Hammonds were one of the very few ranchers that still owned private property adjacent to the refuge. Susie Hammond in an effort to make sense of what was going on began compiling fact about the refuge. In a hidden public record she found a study that was done by the FWS in 1975. The study showed that the “no use” policies of the FWS on the refuge were causing the wildlife to leave the refuge and move to private property. The study showed that the private property adjacent to the Malheur Wildlife Refuge produced 4 times more ducks and geese than the refuge did. It also showed that the migrating birds were 13 times more likely to land on private property than on the refuge. When Susie brought this to the attention of the FWS and refuge personnel, her and her family became the subjects of a long train of abuse and corruption.

(b) In the early 1990s the Hammonds filed on a livestock water source and obtained a deed for the water right from the State of Oregon. When the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) found out that the Hammonds obtained new water rights near the Malhuer Wildlife Refuge, they were agitated and became belligerent and vindictive towards the Hammonds. The US Fish and Wildlife Service challenged the Hammonds right to the water in an Oregon State Circuit Court. The court found that the Hammonds legally obtained rights to the water in accordance to State law and therefore the use of the water belongs to the Hammonds.*

(c) In August 1994 the BLM & FWS illegally began building a fence around the Hammonds water source. Owning the water rights and knowing that their cattle relied on that water source daily the Hammonds tried to stop the building of the fence. The BLM & FWS called the Harney County Sheriff department and had Dwight Hammond (Father) arrested and charged with “disturbing and interfering with” federal officials or federal contractors (two counts, each a felony). He spent one night in the Deschutes County Jail in Bend, and a second night behind bars in Portland before he was hauled before a federal magistrate and released without bail. A hearing on the charges was postponed and the federal judge never set another date.

(d) The FWS also began restricting access to upper pieces of the Hammonds private property. In order to get to the upper part of the Hammonds ranch they had to go on a road that went through the Malhuer Wildlife Refuge. The FWS began barricading the road and threatening the Hammonds if they drove through it. The Hammonds removed the barricades and gates and continued to use their right of access. The road was proven later to be owned by the County of Harney. This further enraged the BLM & FWS.

(e) Shortly after the road & water disputes, the BLM & FWS arbitrarily revoked the Hammonds upper grazing permit without any given cause, court proceeding or court ruling. As a traditional “fence out state” Oregon requires no obligation on the part of an owner to keep his or her livestock within a fence or to maintain control over the movement of the livestock. The Hammonds intended to still use their private property for grazing. However, they were informed that a federal judge ruled, in a federal court, that the federal government did not have to observe the Oregon fence out law. “Those laws are for the people, not for them”.

(f) The Hammonds were forced to either build and maintain miles of fences or be restricted from the use of their private property. Cutting their ranch in almost half, they could not afford to fence the land, so the cattle were removed.

(g) The Hammonds experienced many years of financial hardship due to the ranch being diminished. The Hammonds had to sell their ranch and home in order to purchase another property that had enough grass to feed their cattle. This property included two grazing rights on public land. Those were also arbitrarily revoked later.

(h) The owner of the Hammonds original ranch passed away from a heart attack and the Hammonds made a trade for the ranch back.

(i) In the early fall of 2001, Steven Hammond (son) called the fire department, informing them that he was going to be performing a routine prescribed burn on their ranch. Later that day he started a prescribed fire on their private property. The fire went onto public land and burned 127 acres of grass. The Hammonds put the fire out themselves. There was no communication about the burn from the federal government to the Hammonds at that time. Prescribed fires are a common method that Native Americans and ranchers have used in the area to increase the health & productivity of the land for many centuries.

(j) In 2006 a massive lightning storm started multiple fires that joined together inflaming the countryside. To prevent the fire from destroying their winter range and possibly their home, Steven Hammond (son) started a backfire on their private property. The backfire was successful in putting out the lightning fires that had covered thousands of acres within a short period of time. The backfire saved much of the range and vegetation needed to feed the cattle through the winter. Steven’s mother, Susan Hammond said: “The backfire worked perfectly, it put out the fire, saved the range and possibly our home”.

(j1) The next day federal agents went to the Harney County Sheriff’s office and filled a police report making accusations against Dwight and Steven Hammond for starting the backfire. A few days after the backfire a Range-Con from the Burns District BLM office asked Steven if he would meet him in town (Frenchglen) for coffee. Steven accepted. When leaving he was arrested by the Harney County Sheriff Dave Glerup and BLM Ranger Orr. Sheriff Glerup then ordered him to go to the ranch and bring back his father. Both Dwight and Steven were booked on multiple Oregon State charges. The Harney County District Attorney reviewed the accusation, evidence and charges, and determined that the accusations against Dwight & Steven Hammond did not warrant prosecution and dropped all the charges.

(k) In 2011, 5 years after the police report was taken, the U.S. Attorney Office accused Dwight and Steven Hammond of completely different charges, they accused them of being “terrorists” under the Federal Antiterrorism Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996. This act carries a minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum sentence of death. Dwight & Steven’s mug shots were all over the news the next week posing them as “arsonists”. Susan Hammond (wife & mother) said: “I would walk down the street or go in a store, people I had known for years would take extreme measures to avoid me”.

(l) Shortly after the sentencing, Capital Press ran a story about the Hammonds. A person who identified as Greg Allum posted three comments on the article, calling the ranchers “clowns” who endangered firefighters and other people in the area while burning valuable rangeland. Greg Allum, a retired BLM heavy equipment operator, soon called Capital Press to complain that he had not made those comments and request that they be taken down from the website. Capital Press removed the comments. A search of the Internet Protocol address associated with the comments revealed it is owned by the BLM’s office in Denver, Colorado. Allum said, he is friends with the Hammonds and was alerted to the comments by neighbors who knew he wouldn’t have written them. “I feel bad for them. They lost a lot and they’re going to lose more,” Allum said of the ranchers. “They’re not terrorists. There’s this hatred in the BLM for them, and I don’t get it,” The retired BLM employee said. Jody Weil, deputy state director for communications at BLM’s Oregon office, indicated to reporters that if one of their agents falsified the comments, they would keep it private and not inform the public.

(m) In September 2006, Dwight & Susan Hammond’s home was raided. The agents informed the Hammonds that they were looking for evidence that would connect them to the fires. The Hammonds later found out that a boot print and a tire tracks were found near one of the many fires. No matching boots or tires were found in the Hammonds home or on their property. Susan Hammond (wife) later said; ” I have never felt so violated in my life. We are ranchers not criminals”. Steven Hammond openly maintains his testimony that he started the backfire to save the winter grass from being destroyed and that the backfire ended up working so well it put out the fire entirely altogether.

(n) During the trial proceedings, Federal Court Judge Michael Hogan did not allow time for certain testimonies and evidence into the trial that would exonerate the Hammonds. Federal prosecuting attorney, Frank Papagni, was given full access for 6 days. He had ample time to use any evidence or testimony that strengthened the demonization of the Hammonds. The Hammonds attorney was only allowed 1 day. Much of the facts about the fires, land and why the Hammonds acted the way they did was not allowed into the proceedings and was not heard by the jury. For example, Judge Hogan did not allow time for the jury to hear or review certified scientific findings that the fires improved the health and productivity of the land. Or, that the Hammonds had been subject to vindictive behavior by multiple federal agencies for years.

(o) Federal attorneys, Frank Papagni, hunted down a witness that was not mentally capable to be a credible witness. Dusty Hammond (grandson and nephew) testified that Steven told him to start a fire. He was 13 at the time and 24 when he testified (11 years later). At 24 Dusty had been suffering with mental problems for many years. He had estranged his family including his mother. Judge Hogan noted that Dusty’s memories as a 13-year-old boy were not clear or credible. He allowed the prosecution to continually use Dusty’s testimony anyway. When speaking to the Hammonds about this testimony, they understood that Dusty was manipulated and expressed nothing but love for their troubled grandson.

(p) Judge Michael Hogan & Frank Papagni tampered with the jury many times throughout the proceedings, including during the selection process. Hogan & Papagni only allowed people on the jury who did not understand the customs and culture of the ranchers or how the land is used and cared for in the Diamond Valley. All of the jurors had to drive back and forth to Pendleton everyday. Some drove more than two hours each way. By day 8 they were exhausted and expressed desires to be home.

On the final day, Judge Hogan kept pushing them to make a verdict. Several times during deliberation, Judge Hogan pushed them to make a decision. Judge Hogan also would not allow the jury to hear what punishment could be imposed upon an individual that has been convicted as a terrorist under the 1996 act. The jury, not understanding the customs and cultures of the area, influenced by the prosecutors for 6 straight days, very exhausted, pushed for a verdict by the judge, unaware of the ramification of convicting someone as a terrorist, made a verdict and went home.

(q) June 22, 2012, Dwight and Steven were found guilty of starting both the 2001 and the 2006 fires by the jury. However, the federal courts convicted them both as “terrorists” under the 1996 Antiterrorism Act. Judge Hogan sentenced Dwight (Father) to 3 months in prison and Steven (son) to 12 months in federal prison. They were also stipulated to pay $400,000 to the BLM. Hogan overruling the minimum terrorist sentence, commenting that if the full five years were required it would be a violation of the 8th amendment (cruel and unusual punishment). The day of the sentencing Judge Hogan retired as a federal judge. In his honor the staff served chocolate cake in the courtroom.

(r) On January 4, 2013, Dwight and Steven reported to prison. They fulfilled their sentences, (Dwight 3 months, Steven 12 months). Dwight was released in March 2013 and Steven, January 2014.

(s) Sometime in June 2014, Rhonda Karges, Field Manager for the BLM, and her husband Chad Karges, Refuge Manager for the Malheur Wildlife Refuge (which surrounds the Hammond ranch), along with attorney Frank Papagni exemplified further vindictive behavior by filing an appeal with the 9th District Federal Court seeking Dwight’s and Steven’s return to federal prison for the entire 5 years.*

(t) In October 2015, the 9th District Court “resentenced” Dwight and Steven, requiring them to return to prison for several more years. Steven (46) has a wife and 3 children. Dwight (74) will leave Susan (74) to be alone after 55 years of marriage. If he survives, he will be 79 when he is released.

(u) During the court preceding the Hammonds were forced to grant the BLM first right of refusal. If the Hammonds ever sold their ranch they would have to sell it to the BLM.

(v) Dwight and Steven are ordered to report to federal prison again on January 4th, 2016 to begin their re-sentencing. Both their wives will have to manage the ranch for several years without them.

To date they have paid $200,000 to the BLM, and the remainder $200,000 must be paid before the end of this year (2015). If the Hammonds cannot pay the fines to the BLM, they will be forced to sell the ranch to the BLM or face further prosecution.


Teknosis - Read more at these reference links (refs.):,AAAAPLpuSqE~,a1DdoZJH5WQo4iWaJj1w_CktvJfhQVVG

Re: the media and those living in ignorance labeling the MILITIA as being terrorist here is an insightful comment:

Bob Manley

Terrorists? What nonsense. These men are fulfilling the oaths they took to uphold and defend the US Constitution…something that the Federal government no longer considers a restraint upon its power. Far from wild eyed crazies, these men have taken a considered step in a peaceful manner. They have attacked nobody. They have destroyed nothing. What they have done is occupied a facility that belongs to the people. Remember that the US government owns NOTHING, but merely holds certain property in trust for the people.

The people are the sovereigns, not the subjects. Those calling for violent action by the government are either completely ignorant or blatantly un-American by definition. The “MILITIA” of the USA is defined by law as able bodied men of military age capable of bearing arms. That is who is occupying this facility…a duly authorized and completely constitutional militia.

These folks have attempted all other means of seeking redress of their grievances. All that is left to them is direct action or complete surrender to a hostile government controlled by hostile elites (many of whom are not even American citizens).

The government has backed down in the past in the face of armed resistance from the people. Today there is a complete Cable News blackout on this story. Why do you suppose that is? It is because the government fears setting off a revolution that could spread like wildfire across the country. Otherwise they would have crushed the militia at the Bundy Ranch stand-off and most certainly would be mounting a military assault on them today. If the government chooses to spill American blood over this, it will not end in Oregon.

... see discussion here:


Date: Tue, 5 Jan 2016 13:05:26 -0700
Subject: [CitizensNewswire] JURISDICTION IS THE STORY!


Wrong Focus
Coverage of the Hammond Ranch situation is an example of why we don't win. Nearly all coverage is focused on the wrong thing-the situation and its specific concerns, rather than the global issue! We can do better than People Magazine! Ammon and the others are there to bring focus on the issue, not on themselves. If we don't do that, we all lose.
JURISDICTION is the story!
The Constitution created a government of limited scope. It was fenced in. The name of that fence is "Jurisdiction". The federal government only has legislative, judicial, and executive powers within its Jurisdiction. The fight to limit federal overreach is synonymous with the fight over Jurisdiction. It is fruitless to fight the first without supporting the second.
The Opportunity
If there ever was one, this is the time-the opportunity-to unite the movement and fight federal overreach by shouting JURISDICTION from the "rooftops"-in every email, Facebook posting, Tweet, blog, and website. I encourage every one and every organization to do just that!
If you don't understand Jurisdiction, study the DRA Jurisdiction page and my Jurisdiction white paper, or any other source you choose.
If you do understand Jurisdiction, now is the time to educate everyone else.
Quick Facts
The only legislative authority or ownership the federal government has over land is spelled out in Article I, Section 8, Clause 17 of the Constitution, repeated below.
"The Congress shall have power to ... exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings."―Article I, Section 8, Clause 17
The federal government is only permitted to own and exercise exclusive legislative authority over Washington D.C. and lands acquired from the states (called federal enclaves), in accordance with stated procedure, and only for enumerated defense purposes.
That's it!
No other clause in the Constitution gives the federal government right to own or legislate over any other land. Where there is no legislative authority, there is no jurisdiction. The Constitution has never been amended to expand that authority.
In what I consider to be a corrupt decision, the Supreme Court decided the federal government could acquire lands outside the Constitution. Corrupt or not, it is crucial to understand that in so doing, the Court declared that in this circumstance the federal government acted in the capacity as any other buyer. It did not acquire any legislative authority or jurisdiction over the lands thus purchased. It obtained only a "proprietorial interest", i.e., the interest of a proprietor, an owner, not the authority of a government.
3. Jurisdiction remains with the states! By not exercising this jurisdiction or stepping in in defense of their citizens, "our" state and local governments are selling us out.
Our Objectives
Train and unite every one and every organization on Jurisdiction.

Get that story out.

Take control of local and state governments. Focus the majority of political efforts on this objective, especially in Rural America where we have the best chance of making a difference. The federal government is beyond hope.

" Will the fire set by the BLM this last summer that burned up Gary Miller's cows
put BLM personnel in jail?" quote by Hank Volger in ENEMIES OF THE STATE
Maupin remembers numerous times that BLM-lit fires jumped to private land. Neighbors lost significant numbers of cattle in more than one BLM fire that escaped intended containment lines and quickly swallowed up large amounts of private land. To her knowledge, no ranchers have been compensated for lost livestock or other loss of property such as fences.
Gary Miller, who ranches near Frenchglen, about 35 miles from the Hammonds’ hometown, said that in 2012, the BLM lit numerous backfires that ended up burning his private land, BLM permit and killing about 65 cows.
A YouTube video named BLM Working at Burning Frenchglen-July 10, 2012 shows “back burn” fires allegedly lit by BLM personnel that are upwind of the main fire, including around Gary Miller’s corrals. The fire that appeared ready to die down several times, eventually burned around 160,000 acres, Miller said.
Bill Wilber, a Harney County rancher, said five lightening strikes on July 13, 2014, merged to create a fire on Bartlett Mountain. The fire flew through his private ground, burned a BLM allotment and killed 39 cows and calves.
While the fire could have been contained and stopped, BLM restrictions prevent local firefighting efforts like building a fireline, so only after taking in 397,000 acres did the fire finally stop when it came up against a series of roads.
The issue isn’t limited to Oregon. In 2013, two South Dakota prescribed burns started by the U.S. Forest Service--over the objections of area landowners-- blew out of control, burning thousands of acres of federal and private land. Ranchers that suffered property damage from the Pautre fire in Perkins County, South Dakota filed extensive tort claims in accordance with federal requirements, but will receive no compensation because USDA found the U.S. Forest Service not responsible for that fire.
Why the Hammonds?
The Chariot Fire was started July 6 by a Jeep Wrangler owned and operated by the Bureau of Land Management, officials said.

Around 120 buildings were destroyed or damaged in the fire that prompted evacuations for residents along Sunrise Highway.


An officer with the Bureau of Land Management is suspected of accidentally starting last summer’s Chariot fire in East County’s Laguna Mountains, state fire officials say in a report released Thursday to U-T San Diego.
The fire consumed more than 7,000 acres and 149 structures in the Cleveland National Forest, including much of the historic Al Bahr Shriner’s camp.
The state report says the fire probably started when brush got caught in the undercarriage of a Jeep driven by BLM field Officer Jason Peters as he drove along the desert floor. It mentions another possibility — that a pickup truck spotted in the area that afternoon may have been the cause — but says no additional evidence was found to support that theory.
Peters — who initially said he didn’t arrive on the scene until after the blaze began — has refused to cooperate with investigators since the early days of the investigation, the report said.
The BLM conducted its own investigation into the incident, but is refusing to release the results. A BLM spokeswoman late Thursday night said Peters is still a BLM employee who works out of the El Centro Field office.


Pacific Patriots Network present ‘Articles of Resolution’ to FBI Secial Agent in Charge

The Articles of Resolution included a three part list for the FBI to investigate and, or, make happen, which included:

1. How the government has ignored a Redress Agreement previously submitted by the Committee of Safety to proper government channels prior to all of this taking place.

2 (a). How crucial witness testimony against the Bureau of Land Management was ignored which shows that a BLM agent actually lit the backfire which the Hammond’s were imprisoned for.

2 (b). Unconfirmed reports that documents are being destroyed at the local BLM office.

3. An open dialogue between the FBI and the protesters occupying the Refuge.

more here..


Further insight/reading: Occupy Refuge Movement:

Bundy meets with FBI, expresses demands as standoff continues


Full video of meeting with FBI instead of snippets by most of the media:


BLM CHECKERBOARD LAND ACQUISITION PROGRAM at top of page 19 in the attached file

“Most Transparent” Administration in History Bats .149 with Missing Monument Documents

Congressional Western Caucus Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) today announced the Administration has turned over only 383 out of 2399 pages of information pertaining to a leaked Department of Interior (DOI) memo. The leaked memo showed the Administration considered locking up as much as 13 million acres throughout the West. The remaining pages of the secret memo that instigated this investigation were not included in the documents turned over to Congress.

In February 2010, Congressman Bishop obtained the leaked internal DOI document that outlined 13 million acres in 11 different Western states as potential areas to be designated as national monuments. Under the Antiquities Act, the President may exercise executive privilege to unilaterally designate new national monuments without congressional oversight or input from local officials, stakeholders and residents.

On February 26, 2010, Congressman Bishop, House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Doc Hastings (WA-04) and other Western Caucus Members sent a letter to DOI Secretary Ken Salazar requesting all relative information pertaining to the DOI’s plans to designate new national monuments throughout the West.

“By refusing to turn over thousands of pages of documents to Congress about this Administration’s potential plans to lock up millions of acres of lands, they have destroyed any remaining illusions about being transparent. Secretary Salazar told the people of Utah last week “they have nothing to fear” over the internal memo of potential National Monument designations. The Clinton Administration made similar assurances to the people of Utah. After the designation of the Grand Staircase Escalante, Utahns have at least 1.6 million reasons to be skeptical. The question that needs to be asked is what is this Administration hiding? If the DOI has nothing to hide on this issue, then why not hand over 100% of the documents to once and for all prove to the American people that they are not planning a massive land grab out West. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. In baseball terms, the Administration would be batting a lackluster .149. By the more important common sense standard, the American people know that something is fishy when their government attempts to hide information from the public.” said Caucus Chairman Rob Bishop.

Questions remaining:

1. What are the full extent of the Administration’s brainstorming plans?
2. What outside groups are involved?
3. Who instigated these discussions?
4. What is the involvement of the White House?
5. Why not allow the American public to see all the documents?

Click here to read the DOI letter to House Natural Resources Ranking Member Doc Hastings (R-WA), Western Caucus Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT), and other Western Caucus Members regarding information pertaining to planning within the DOI to designate new national monuments throughout the West.

Download States_for_designation (PDF)


Live stream:


Juan Schoch <>

4:21 AM (17 hours ago)
to SupremeLaw

Demands by Oregon standoff leaders defy logic and law, authorities say

1 / 41
Les Zaitz | The Oregonian/OregonLive By Les Zaitz | The Oregonian/OregonLive
Email the author | Follow on Twitter
on January 23, 2016 at 8:13 PM, updated January 23, 2016 at 10:50 PM

shares 1031 comments
BURNS – Occupiers of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge for three weeks have made sweeping demands that local and federal authorities say are both brazen and unrealistic.

They want immediate freedom for imprisoned local ranchers. They want federal deeds voided and private owners to take over the property. They want the county to control the refuge. They want federal grazing permits vacated, leaving ranchers free to graze as they choose. And they say they won't go until they get their way.

Interviews with lawyers, ranchers, federal authorities and others make clear: Little of what they want is likely to happen for reasons that include legal principle, basic property rights, economic forces and cost. Federal authorities also say the occupiers are making demands that fly in the face of the U.S. Constitution.


A bedrock claim of the small group led by Arizona businessman Ammon Bundy is that the Constitution limits federal ownership of land. As a result, they say, the federal government is violating Article 1, Section 8, Clause 17 by illegally holding about 76 percent of Harney County.

But scholars say Bundy and his followers are misreading the Constitution.

"You have to read the entire document and not just the clauses and provisions that you think support your case," said Elizabeth Wydra, chief counsel of the nonprofit Constitutional Accountability Center, which monitors legal application of the Constitution.

The provision cited by Bundy and others is "mostly about the District of Columbia and the idea that there would be the neutral place for the government to be located instead of in an area belonging to a particular state. It's really hard for me to see how that relates to their claims."

The more important provision, Wydra and others said, is Article IV, Section 3, Clause 2 – known as the "Property Clause": "The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States."

In a 1976 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court confronted the point Bundy is trying to assert. New Mexico state officials tried to keep wild burros that they had seized from federal land. The officials claimed what the Oregon occupiers claim – that the Constitution strictly limits what property the federal government can own or control.

State officials argued in Kleppe vs. New Mexico that Congress had no power over public lands without state consent. "This argument is without merit," the Supreme Court ruled.

State officials confused a constitutional provision focused more narrowly on how the federal government oversees land it acquires from a state with the unlimited powers granted to the federal government under the Constitution's Property Clause, the court said.

That clause trumps all, the court ruled.


Bundy and other leaders of the refuge takeover nonetheless assert that the federal government is out of bounds in Harney County.

They plan to rectify ownership by voiding all deeds in the county that transferred land to the federal government. This would affect lands managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

One challenge they face is that much of the federal ownership dates to territorial days, so there's no earlier owner. Homesteaders subsequently claimed some of the land, but the federal government still retained millions of acres in Harney County. Over time, the government has bought or traded other parcels.

The Burns Paiute Tribe would perhaps have the most distinct claim to much of the county -- by treaty, it never gave up its interest in tribal lands across the Great Basin. Tribal members did cede what was once the Malheur Indian Reservation, accepting compensation. The federal government subsequently sold that land to private interests, so it's not clear whether that land would be part of Bundy's calculation.

Bundy told an FBI negotiator Thursday that his group already is examining land records to identify previous owners. But which records they're researching isn't clear.

Officials at the Harney County Assessor's Office, which tracks property ownership, and the Clerk's Office, which keeps the record of deeds, say no one in recent weeks has approached them to examine the records.

Assessor Ted Tiller noted that U.S. government deeds date back more than 100 years. Identifying all the transactions that left property in the federal government's name is "not a project I could devote resources to," Tiller said. "I don't know how we'd do it."

He said while the government doesn't pay property taxes, his office still tracks what the federal government owns, encompassing 1,134 tax accounts.

At the recorder's office, officials were equally flummoxed over how to identify every instance when land titles passed to the federal government. Its computer records list more than 2,000 documents related to federal property holdings – but historic records are still being transferred to the electronic database, so an unknown number have yet to be entered into the system.

The refuge occupiers have provided few details on exactly how a land transfer would work. Would a rancher who sold land to the government simply get the land back or would the rancher have to refund what the government paid for the land?

The Harney County Committee of Safety, a group of six local residents founded at the instigation of Bundy and other occupiers, has been identified as among those who would help with the transfers.

"We do not have a concrete plan to transfer the lands away from the feds," said Burns businessman Tim Smith, a committee member. "Everything is still on the table except the status quo of leaving the vast majority of land within the fed jurisdiction."

Smith himself was given title to 10 acres of federal land in 2010, but didn't respond to written questions about what would become of the land under Bundy's plans.

Gary Miller, a rancher whose family has worked cattle more than 100 years in an area 75 miles south of Burns, exchanged land with the Bureau of Land Management in 2009. His Rock Creek Ranch acquired 1,100 acres to add to his holdings and traded 233 acres that the federal land agency wanted on Steens Mountain, a high desert feature now the centerpiece of a major preservation project. The property values were about equal, according to land bureau findings.

Miller said it's "craziness" to consider reversing the deal.

"There'd be no reason whatsoever to do that," he said this week, sitting on his idling tractor while out feeding cattle.


The wildlife refuge, with headquarters about 30 miles southeast of Burns, is a symbol of Bundy's overarching demand. He wants the land turned over to the county.

But Harney County isn't interested in becoming the refuge's landlord.

"If they gave it to us, where would the money come from to operate that?" said Steve Grasty, Harney County judge, a non-judicial position that operates the same as chair of the county commission.

The refuge employs 17 people to handle day-to-day operations. The entire Harney County county government full-time workforce numbers 102. Grasty said operating the refuge would cost millions that the county doesn't have.

The county's options would be limited, he said, including laying off employees to free up money for refuge management, closing the refuge or selling off parcels of the refuge to raise money.

Bundy acknowledged this week when talking to an FBI agent that he didn't know what practical steps he could take to get the refuge land and buildings out of federal control.

"We could put more thought to that," he said.


The occupiers advocate voiding grazing permits issued by the U.S. government as well.

Bundy is the son of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, who has renounced his federal grazing rights but continued running cattle on public land in a still-unsettled dispute with the federal land bureau. The dispute led to an armed standoff with federal authorities in 2014 – a precursor to the occupation underway in southeastern Oregon.

Voiding grazing rights, though, would be a vexing development in a region where many ranchers count on using public lands to feed livestock.

Occupiers say ranchers would revert to "historic" use of that land to continue grazing. What they seemed to have overlooked is that their plan calls for private ownership of the same high desert expanses that the federal government now rents at subsidized cost to the ranchers. They haven't answered how ranchers would graze on what becomes private land.

Ranchers say the idea wouldn't work in any event. Bundy's claim to want to restore economic vitality to the county doesn't match the disruption his notions would cause for ranchers reliant on public grazing allotments.

The Oregon Cattlemen's Association, which has spoken out against the occupation, wasn't sure how to even address the concept.

"We won't speculate on the potential ramifications of an unfeasible proposal," said Kayli Hanley, the association's communications director.

The occupiers haven't addressed what they would do about mining and water rights issued by the federal government.


The occupation leaders recently expanded their economic agenda, saying they would help Harney County's 7,000 residents harvest more timber and process more wood. They would see that lumber mills reopen, Bundy asserted.

But there's one big problem involving the hulking mill buildings that sit on the edge of Hines, which adjoins Burns.

"There's nothing out there where we can re-oil machinery, turn on the lights and start operations," said Randy Fulton, the county's business development coordinator. "All the sawmill equipment was taken out years ago."

The lumber industry in Harney County started withering in 1980s, when the largest mill closed. The last, run by Louisiana Pacific, went dark in 2008.


Bundy told the FBI that his group's primary demand is immediate freedom for the Burns area ranchers Dwight Hammond Jr. and his son, Steven.

The father and son returned to federal prison Jan. 4 to serve the remainder of five-year sentences. They were convicted in federal court in Pendleton in 2012 of arson for fires that burned federal land. A federal judge initially reduced their sentences from what the law required, saying the punishment was too harsh. An appellate ruling later declared that to be wrong, and the Hammonds last October faced a second sentencing.

Bundy's claim for the Hammonds stems in part from his view of the Constitution. Since the federal government shouldn't own the land it does in Harney County, according to Bundy, it also lacked authority to prosecute the Hammonds. He and other occupation leaders want the Hammonds brought home immediately.

That's not as easy as turning a key in a cell door at the Los Angeles-area prison holding the Hammonds.

"Inmates are sometimes released from incarceration due to a sentence being vacated by the court, an executive order of clemency, or through a compassionate release/reduction in sentence," the U.S. Bureau of Prisons said in a statement.

A presidential pardon could instantly free them from prison and clear their convictions. For this to happen immediately would take circumvention of the normal years-long process used by the White House to consider pardons.

Bundy himself acknowledged to the FBI that he didn't expect this to happen.

President Obama could commute the Hammonds' sentences. That could lead to an immediate release but not exoneration.

The U.S. Department of Justice may have mechanisms to go to court to vacate the convictions and dismiss the sentencing order. But the Justice Department appealed the original sentence and U.S. Attorney Billy Williams in Oregon not long ago publicly justified the convictions.

The Bureau of Prisons itself could try releasing the men, but that would require convincing a federal judge that a compassionate reason existed to do so. The process likely wouldn't happen fast and wouldn't clear the Hammonds of the convictions.

-- Les Zaitz




Here are documents and video evidence submitted by National Liberty Alliance to help restore the Hammonds.


Lastest correspondence

John Darash has sent you a group email from National Liberty Alliance.

Because of the events unfolding in Oregon NLA has dispatched a small committee, chaired by Gerard, one of NLA’s founders, to consummate an official relationship with the Committee of Safety and to gather data, documented evidence and affidavits for filing in our Court of Record recently opened in the Oregon Federal District Court.

Because this issue is draining all of my time this Sunday’s Bible Study 1-23-16 will be canceled and we will pick back up on our study, Lord willing, next Lord’s Day.

Thank You

John Darash

Documents below submitted on behalf of the Hammond's situation in Oregon:



Replacement link for non-functioning link in earlier response


For some unknown reason the previous links were all faulty but after some effort I was able to find it on YouTube, here it is below.

SoundSignal via 

8:19 PM (1 hour ago)
to supremelaw
<A bedrock claim of the small group led by Arizona businessman Ammon Bundy
is that the Constitution limits federal ownership of land. As a result,
they say, the federal government is violating Article 1, Section 8, Clause
17 by illegally holding about 76 percent of Harney County.
But scholars say Bundy and his followers are misreading the Constitution.
"You have to read the entire document and not just the clauses and
provisions that you think support your case," said Elizabeth Wydra, chief
counsel of the nonprofit Constitutional Accountability Center, which
monitors legal application of the Constitution.>
I agree with this interpretation on federal government land ownership. It was
very and clearly spelled out in the Constitution according to this Constitution
Gun Control by The Same Attorney

Re: Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and the law, etc. -- CAN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OWN LAND INSIDE THE 50 STATES?

That's an interesting question --
whether the Federal Government can own land.

I believe Congress can purchase land inside the 50 States
e.g. to build Post Offices.
However, such purchased land does NOT enter exclusive
federal jurisdiction, until and unless the legal process
is satisfied for CEDING a parcel of land to Congress:

Unless land is CEDED to Congress pursuant to laws
governing such transfers, land inside one of the 50 States
remains subject to State jurisdiction.

The original "ceding" by Virginia of the land south of the
Potomac River -- to form the District of Columbia --
was eventually "retro-ceded" back to Virginia because
Congress decided it didn't want those wetlands:
it was too expensive at that time to reclaim those wetlands.

They are now the location of Arlington National Cemetery.

Jurisdiction over Federal Areas within the 50 States
is discussed in great detail here:
(cites over 700 court cases on this subject)

A related topic are the court cases which have
adjudicated the Buck Act.

/s/ Paul

/s/ Paul

Sincerely yours,
/s/ Paul Andrew Mitchell, B.A., M.S.
Private Attorney General, Civil RICO: 18 U.S.C. 1964;
Agent of the United States as Qui Tam Relator (4X),
Federal Civil False Claims Act: 31 U.S.C. 3729 et seq. (Policy + Guidelines)

All Rights Reserved (cf. UCC 1-308

The federal government owns or controls about thirty percent of the land in the United States. These holdings include national parks, national forests, recreation areas, wildlife refuges, vast tracts of range and wasteland managed by the Bureau of Land Management, reservations held in trust for Native American tribes, military bases, and ordinary federal buildings and installations. Although federal property can be found in every state, the largest concentrations are in the west, where, for example, the federal government owns over eighty percent of the land within Nevada.

The primary constitutional authority for the management and control of this vast real-estate empire is the Property Clause. The exact scope of this clause has long been a matter of debate. Broadly speaking, three different theories have been advanced.

The narrowest conception, which can be called the proprietary theory, maintains that the Property Clause simply allows Congress to act as an ordinary owner of land. It can set policy regarding whether such lands will be sold or retained and, if they are retained, who may enter these lands and for what purposes. Under this conception, the clause confers no political sovereignty over federal landholdings. Unless one of the enumerated powers of Article I applies, such as the power to raise armies or establish a post office, political sovereignty over federal lands remains with the several states in which the land is located.

The broadest conception, which can be called the police-power theory, regards the clause as conferring not only the powers of ownership but also general sovereign authority to regulate private conduct that occurs on federal land or that affects federal land. In default of any federal rule, state law applies. But if Congress determines that a federal rule "respecting" federal land is "needful," it may adopt federal legislation that supersedes state law. Thus, the Property Clause gives Congress the authority to adopt any type of legislation for federal lands, including codes of criminal law, family law, and exemptions from state taxation for persons residing on federal lands.

Although most commentators have polarized around the proprietary and police-power theories, there is also an intermediate conception of the Property Clause, which can be labeled the protective theory. This conception would go beyond the proprietary theory in regarding the clause as a partial source of sovereign authority. But it would stop short of the police-power theory by limiting that authority to legislation designed to protect the proprietary interests of the United States. Under this intermediate conception, for example, the clause would permit Congress to pass federal legislation regulating the sale of federal land, protecting federal land from trespasses and nuisances, or exempting federal land from state taxation. On the other hand, the clause would not permit Congress to enact a general code of criminal law or family law, nor would it permit Congress to exempt persons residing on federal land from general rules of state taxation.

It is not certain which of these three theories corresponds with the original understanding of the Framers, inasmuch as the debates from the Constitutional Convention and the ratification process have little to say about the Property Clause. One clue is provided by the structure of the Constitution. Article I, which sets forth the enumerated powers of Congress, includes a specific grant of power over the governance of federal property. Article I, Section 8, Clause 17, known as the Enclave Clause, is plainly a grant of sovereign authority—indeed, exclusive sovereign authority—over the District of Columbia and other federal enclaves acquired with the consent of the state in which they are located.

Article I is the place where one would expect to find a grant of power to Congress to exercise political sovereignty over federal lands. Article IV, in contrast, which generally deals with issues of state-to-state relations (i.e., full faith and credit, privileges and immunities, extradition, repatriation of slaves, creation of new states, protection of states against invasion) would be an odd place to put such a power. Moreover, it is inconsistent with the careful drafting of the Constitution to assume that the Framers included two overlapping grants of sovereign political authority over federal lands. These structural considerations make it doubtful that the broad police-power theory is consistent with the original understanding.

Another important piece of evidence is the Northwest Ordinance, which Congress, under the Articles of Confederation, enacted as the Constitutional Convention was meeting, and which the First Congress reenacted after the Constitution was ratified. This statute established the territorial government for the land comprising what is today the states of Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin. James Madison and other leaders at the Convention thought that the Articles of Confederation did not contain an adequate source of power to sustain the Northwest Ordinance. The Property Clause was designed to remedy that defect. This suggests that the Framers intended the Property Clause to be broad enough at least to constitutionalize the provisions of the Northwest Ordinance.

The Northwest Ordinance included a number of provisions respecting the governance of the new territory that would have to be described as pure police-power measures. These include clauses preserving the freedom of religion, prohibiting uncompensated takings of property, and outlawing slavery. Other provisions of the Ordinance addressed the status of federal land once new states were formed from the territory and admitted to the Union. Such states were prospectively prohibited from interfering with the disposal of lands by the United States or with regulations adopted by Congress to secure title to bona fide purchasers, and they were barred from imposing any tax on federal lands.

Taking the structural and historical evidence together, we can infer what may plausibly have been the original understanding of the Property Clause. The Property Clause authorized Congress to exercise a general police power within the territories before they were formed into states. Once states were admitted to the union, however, Congress could exercise full police powers over federal land located in a state only in accordance with the Enclave Clause, that is, only when the land was acquired with the consent of the state in question. As to what "needful Rules and Regulations" Congress could enact respecting federal lands in a state not located in an enclave, the Northwest Ordinance suggests that at least some preemptive federal legislation was contemplated, but only if designed to protect the proprietary interests of the United States. In short, the Framers intended that the police-power theory would apply to federal land located in territories, but that the protective theory would apply to non-enclave federal land located in states.

A leading nineteenth-century exposition of the constitutional authority of the federal government over federal lands, Fort Leavenworth Railroad Co. v. Lowe (1885), is generally consistent with this conclusion. There, Justice Stephen J. Field wrote that the authority of the federal government over territories is "necessarily paramount." But once a territory is organized as a state and admitted to the union on equal footing with other states, the state government assumes general sovereignty over federal lands, and the federal government has the rights only of an "individual proprietor." The federal government can exercise rights of general sovereignty over property only if there has been a formal cession of sovereignty by the state under the Enclave Clause. Justice Field qualified this vision of separated sovereignty, however, by noting that if the federal government acquires land outside the Enclave Clause, any federal forts, buildings, or other installations erected on such land "will be free from any such interference and jurisdiction of the State as would destroy or impair their effective use for the purposes designed."

The judicial vision of how much power the Property Clause confers on the federal government has hardly remained constant. To the contrary, it has evolved significantly over time. In the first half of the nineteenth century, the clause was understood to be primarily a source of authority for establishing territorial governments. Once new states were admitted to the Union, the federal government became a mere trustee of any remaining federal lands, holding and protecting them, pending their sale to private persons. Lessee of Pollard v. Hagan (1845). With the infamous decision of Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857) the Court went further, holding that the Property Clause does not permit the exercise of police powers by the federal government in territory acquired after the Founding, and in particular that it does not permit the federal government to prohibit slavery in such territory. Dred Scott v. Sandford. Because the Northwest Ordinance had included a similar prohibition, and the Property Clause was designed to constitutionalize the Northwest Ordinance, Dred Scott is contrary to the original understanding in this respect.

By the end of the nineteenth century, the interpretation of the clause shifted decisively toward the protective theory, as intimated in Fort Leavenworth. In one pivotal decision, the Court held that Congress could prohibit persons from putting up fences on private land if this would block access to public lands. Camfield v. United States (1897). The Court said:

While we do not undertake to say that Congress has the unlimited power to legislate against nuisances within a State, which it would have within a Territory, we do not think the admission of a Territory as a State deprives it of the power of legislating for the protection of the public lands, though it may thereby involve the exercise of what is ordinarily known as the police power, so long as such power is directed solely to its own protection. A different rule would place the public domain of the United States completely at the mercy of state legislation.

Shortly thereafter, the Court upheld the reservation of vast tracts of land such as national forests, indicating that these lands were held in trust for the people of the whole country, and that it was for Congress, not the courts, to say how that trust should be administered. Light v. United States (1911).

The leading modern decision, Kleppe v. New Mexico (1976), reflects a further evolution in judicial understanding, as it in effect embraces the full-blown police-power theory. At issue was the constitutionality of the Wild, Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, which prohibits capturing, killing, or harassing wild horses and burros that range on public lands. Writing for the Court, Justice Thurgood Marshall specifically rejected the contention that the Property Clause includes only "(1) the power to dispose of and make incidental rules regarding the use of federal property; and (2) the power to protect federal property." He concluded that "Congress exercises the powers both of a proprietor and of a legislature over the public domain." Thus, without regard to whether wild animals are the property of the United States, or whether the act could be justified as a form of protection of the public lands, Congress was held to have sufficient power under the Property Clause to adopt regulatory legislation protecting wild animals that enter upon federal lands.

To date, Congress has not attempted to exploit the new "enumerated power" conferred by the Court in Kleppe v. New Mexico. Although one can imagine how Kleppe v. New Mexico could be elaborated in new ways, any effort to use the Property Clause to sustain legislation that goes beyond protecting federal proprietary interests would seemingly be inconsistent with the original design of the Constitution.

Sincerely yours,
/s/ Paul Andrew Mitchell, B.A., M.S.
Private Attorney General, Civil RICO: 18 U.S.C. 1964;
Agent of the United States as Qui Tam Relator (4X),
Federal Civil False Claims Act: 31 U.S.C. 3729 et seq. (Policy + Guidelines)

All Rights Reserved (cf. UCC 1-308
You're welcome, Gary.

Federal jurisdiction is such a fascinating subject
because it is necessarily complicated by a
Republican Form of Government which allows
fifty-one (51) different law-making bodies --
read 51 different Legislatures.

This alone is one of the key features of
"The American Experiment".
We have  in our  political system  a  Government  of  the  United
States** and  a government  of each  of the several States.  Each
one of  these governments  is distinct  from the others, and each
has citizens of its own ....
                                [U.S. v. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. 542]
                                          [(1875) emphasis added]
Here's Cruikshank:

We have in our political system a government of the United States and a government of each of the several States. Each one of these governments is distinct from the others, and each has citizens of its own who owe it allegiance, and whose rights, within its jurisdiction, it must protect. The same person may be at the same time a citizen of the United States and a citizen of a State, but his rights of citizenship under one of these governments will be different from those he has under the other. Slaughter- House Cases, 16 Wall. 74.

[end quote]
Slaughter House Cases are here:

It is quite clear, then, that there is a citizenship of the United States, and a citizenship of a State, which are distinct from each other, and which depend upon different characteristics or circumstances in the individual.

We think this distinction and its explicit recognition in this amendment of great weight in this argument, because the next paragraph of this same section, which is the one mainly relied on by the plaintiffs in error, speaks only of privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States, and does not speak of those of citizens of the several States. The argument, however, in favor of the plaintiffs rests wholly on the assumption that the citizenship is the same, and the privileges and immunities guaranteed by the clause are the same.

The language is, 'No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.' It is a little remarkable, if this clause was intended as a protection to the citizen of a State against the legislative power of his own State, that the word citizen of the State should be left out when it is so carefully used, and used in contradistinction to citizens of the United States, in the very sentence which precedes it. It is too clear for argument that the change in phraseology was adopted understandingly and with a purpose.

Of the privileges and immunities of the citizen of the United States, and of the privileges and immunities of the citizen of the State, and what they respectively are, we will presently consider; but we wish to state here that it is only the former which are placed by this clause under the protection of the Federal Constitution, and that the latter, whatever they may be, are not intended to have any additional protection by this paragraph of the amendment. [83 U.S. 36, 75]   If, then, there is a difference between the privileges and immunities belonging to a citizen of the United States as such, and those belonging to the citizen of the State as such the latter must rest for their security and protection where they have heretofore rested; for they are not embraced by this paragraph of the amendment.

[end quote]

Sincerely yours,
/s/ Paul Andrew Mitchell, B.A., M.S.
Private Attorney General, Civil RICO: 18 U.S.C. 1964;
Agent of the United States as Qui Tam Relator (4X),
Federal Civil False Claims Act: 31 U.S.C. 3729 et seq.


January 3, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink