Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy may be coming to Oregon to demonstrate on behalf of his sons Ammon and Ryan Bundy, as well as the remaining four armed occupants of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
Nevada State Assemblywoman Michele Fiore told OPB Monday that she, along with other state lawmakers from western states, will be traveling to meet Bundy in Burns and in Portland.
Fiore said the final details of the trip are still being planned, but she expects to be in Portland on Thursday night to protest the jailing of Ammon and Ryan Bundy.
“There is a Nevadan [Ryan Bundy] sitting in jail, and as an office holder, I will be there to demand his release,” Fiore said. “If that Nevadan can’t leave Oregon, we will bring Nevada to him. Peaceful, of course.”
Police arrested Ammon Bundy, Ryan Bundy and several other leaders of the occupation at the wildlife refuge Jan. 26. The Bundys and several other arrested militants remain in custody in Portland awaiting trial.
Cliven Bundy later told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he hasn’t yet “made up his mind.”
“I’ve been invited to go with [Fiore]. I haven’t committed myself at all,” he told the Review-Journal by phone Monday night.
Cliven Bundy may not receive the warmest of welcomes in Burns. While some Harney County residents have expressed support for his son Ammon Bundy and the other militants, most local residents have expressed opposition to the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
Bundy sent a letter last week to Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and President Barack Obama, calling for all federal and state police to leave Harney County immediately, and for the refuge occupation to continue.
A local group called the Harney County Committee of Safety was formed initially under the guidance of Ammon Bundy with the intent of “safeguarding individual rights.” The committee supported some of the aims of the refuge occupiers, like turning over federal land to local control, but did not condone the occupation.
Committee member Tim Smith expressed ambivalence at the prospect of the elder Bundy’s visit.
“I don’t know what it would mean to us,” said Smith. “We’re going to continue on with our process and our goals and our committee and not get distracted by other things.”
When told of Bundy’s possible visit to Burns, the Harney County Sheriff’s Office declined to comment.
“We presently do not have any information to share with you,” a spokesman wrote to OPB.
Bundy attended the funeral of Robert “LaVoy” Finicum on Friday in Kanab, Utah, sitting on horseback behind the Finicum family as they spoke during a press conference.