Now Playing:

News

Land use | Land | News | Nation | Politics | local | An Occupation In Eastern Oregon

Police Add Warning To Refuge Roadblock


Police stand guard at the access road to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Feb. 5.

Police stand guard at the access road to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Feb. 5.

Rob Manning/OPB

The new lighted sign changes from “Road Closed” to “No Unlawful Entry” to “Subject To Arrest.”

It’s the latest indication that the coalition of law enforcement guarding the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge have no interest in additional militia members, media or curious members of the public getting within five miles of the headquarters.

Reporters looking into the closed-off area from a nearby hill could observe what looked like multiple roadblocks along the road to the refuge headquarters. There was no obvious sign of the four people believed to be mostly camping within the refuge. The only movement to or from the headquarters appeared to be law enforcement vehicles.

Until the middle of last week, occupier David Fry had been in regular contact with reporters, including one from OPB. It has now been several days since Fry, or anyone from inside the occupied headquarters has made public contact. The militants’ continued occupation of the refuge appears to hinge on their hope to escape federal prosecution in return for leaving the refuge. Federal prosecutors have already indicted 16 members of the occupation, including the four people still at the refuge.

People in the nearby city of Burns mostly express a desire for the remaining occupiers to leave, and to do so peacefully. In recent weeks, protesters in support of the militants’ message have clashed with environmental groups eager to have the refuge returned to federal control.

More News

More OPB