Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), who represents the area that includes the Malheur Wildlife Refuge, admonished the armed takeover of the the preserve.
“What’s happening in Harney County is very troubling, and, if history is any gauge, no one comes out of situations like this a winner,” Walden said. “Law enforcement at all levels are working hard to keep everyone safe and resolve this peacefully.”
The militia group, now calling itself Citizens for Constitutional Freedom, took over an unoccupied building at the refuge Saturday. The group was in the area leading a protest in support of local ranchers facing jail time for arson on federal lands.
Walden – the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee– is currently in Annapolis, Maryland, for a Republican leadership retreat.
“I’ll continue to be in close touch with community leaders and law enforcement as we monitor this situation,” Walden said in his statement.