The Camper Cowboys who staged the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Oregon, to protest federal management of public lands left behind at least $1.7 million in damage caused during the 41-day siege.
Federal officials found mounds of trash, broken camping equipment, vandalized buildings, and open trenches of sewage after the last four occupiers were arrested. After a pipe burst, militia members defecated “everywhere,” some of it near “a sensitive cultural site” that contains artifacts sacred to the Burns Paiute Tribe, according to an FBI spokesman.
At least we know how they’d manage the land.
More than two dozen of the so-called citizen warriors have been charged with conspiracy for their roles in the armed occupation. They should also be fined for the damage they caused.
But some good did come out of the occupation. Cliven Bundy, the dead-beat Nevada rancher who decided he didn’t have to pay the grazing fees every other rancher pays, is in jail facing six charges related to his 2014 stand-off with the feds. Two of his sons, Ammon and Ryan, were leaders of the Oregon occupation, and they’re in jail too.
Perhaps most important, we got a good look at the people who think they’re fighting for a noble cause. Sandy Anderson, the last woman arrested at Burns, claimed the government is populating her world with devils. David Fry, the last man to surrender, cried because he’s going to jail and won’t be able to smoke pot.
No wonder the media paid more attention to these losers than the public did.