Ammon Bundy removes a fence separating the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge from ranching land.

Ammon Bundy removes a fence separating the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge from ranching land.

Anna King/Northwest Network

Lawyers for those who occupied a national wildlife refuge in Oregon this winter are concerned a jury comprised of people from the greater Portland area won’t be impartial.

The trial for Ammon Bundy and 25 others is set for September. At Wednesday’s status hearing, a defense attorney suggested the possibility of change of venue, and asked a federal judge to approve funding for an analysis of the media attention the case received and, possibly, a survey of community attitudes.

But U.S. District Court Anna Brown seemed inclined to reject the funding, unless the need was apparent after a thorough jury selection process.

She seemed more agreeable to a request the jury include people from throughout Oregon. But Brown said it’s “totally speculative” to suggest a jury from the Portland district would be too liberal. The district includes Oregon’s entire northwest quadrant.