Wife Of Convicted Rancher: I Don’t Get ‘Purpose’ Of Militia Occupying Refuge

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The wife of Oregon rancher Dwight Hammond, whose imprisonment for arson inspired militia men to seize control of a wildlife refuge, said Sunday she doesn’t really understand what the armed men are looking to accomplish.

Dwight Hammond and his son, Steven, are scheduled to report for four-year prison sentences Monday over 2012 convictions for burning public lands. Dozens of self-styled patriots have rushed to take up their cause, converging on rural Oregon for a showdown with the federal government.

“I don’t really know the purpose of the guys who are out there,” Susan Hammond told Oregon Public Broadcasting. “I kind of understand where they come from, as far as their priorities in life.”

She laughed when asked about the ongoing occupation, and said she was surprised by the militias’ protest.

“I don’t even know what ‘occupying the refuge’ means. I can’t judge what’s going on out there because I don’t know what it is,” she said. “I hope they’ve got some warm clothes.”

Ammon Bundy, son of infamous Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy – who had his own showdown over public lands with the federal government in 2014 – has vowed to occupy the refuge for “as long as it takes.”

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