The constitutional activists protecting an Oregon gold mine while its owners tussle over rights with the federal Bureau of Land Management plan to protest Thursday at the agency’s field office.
A few members of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s family will apparently be in town as well.
As TPM previously reported, the co-owners of the Sugar Pine Mine near Grant’s Pass, Oregon were adamant that their rights dispute with the BLM would not spiral into an armed standoff like the situation at Bundy’s Bunkerville, Nevada ranch did a year ago.
The co-owners, Rick Barclay and George Backes, called on a local chapter of the Oath Keepers to provide security on the property while they fight the BLM’s stop-work order. The Oath Keepers are a loose-knit national organization of current and former military and law enforcement officers who pledge to defend the Constitution against government overreach. Volunteers from all over the country expressed interest in traveling to the Sugar Pine Mine to protest the BLM’s actions, complicating the miners’ wishes to keep things civil with the agency.
One of Bundy’s sons, Ammon, told Reuters that the family was “closely watching” the situation at the Sugar Pine Mine and have dispatched two family representatives to southern Oregon. The family’s patriarch will apparently be staying home in Nevada, though.
Protesters will rally at the BLM’s Medford, Oregon field office at noon Thursday.
“The miners will arrive to serve papers to the BLM in their ongoing attempt to find a legal resolution to the matter,” an event announcement on the Josephine County Oath Keepers’ website read.