Oath Keepers Say They’ll Stand Down At Oregon Mine Because BLM Backed Off

A local chapter of the Oath Keepers is protecting a mine near Grant's Pass, Oregon whose owners are embroiled in a dispute with the Bureau of Land Management.
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

A group of armed constitutional activists providing security at an Oregon gold mine embroiled in a feud with the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) plans to stand down after the agency and the mine’s co-owners reached a detente, a spokeswoman for the group told TPM on Thursday.

Constitutional activists swarmed to the Sugar Pine Mine outside of Medford, Oregon last month after its co-owners asked a local chapter of the Oath Keepers to guard their property against a stop-work order from the BLM. The Oath Keepers are a loose-knit national organization of current and former law enforcement and military officers who pledge to defend the Constitution against government overreach.

An Interior Board of Land Appeals administrative judge issued a stay Wednesday forbidding the BLM to enforce the stop-work order, according to the Associated Press. The BLM did not oppose the stay, which stipulated that the miners were not to work the claim, according to the report.

Co-owner Rick Barclay told the AP that if the BLM complies with the stay, it would “de-escalate the situation for the time being.”

The Oath Keepers’ presence at the Sugar Pine Mine had recalled the heated Bundy Ranch standoff in April 2014. Armed supporters of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy gathered en masse on Bundy’s property after the BLM began to seize his cattle as payment for years of unpaid grazing fees. The BLM ultimately abandoned the effort following an armed confrontation.

A spokeswoman for the Josephine County chapter of the Oath Keepers, which had been providing security at Barclay’s request, told TPM on Thursday that her group had begun to pull people away from the Sugar Pine Mine.

“We’re pretty much downgrading our operation, although we’re a local group so we’ll still be in the area even if we move out of that site for now,” spokeswoman Mary Emerick told TPM.

Emerick added that while her group would continue to monitor the situation at the Sugar Pine Mine, it also planned to take up the causes of other local property owners who had “pretty remarkable” issues with the BLM. She declined to elaborate on specific cases, however.

“We have quite a lot of them so we’ve spent some time vetting those to make sure they’re honest and documented situations,” she told TPM. “So we have some plans to take some actions related to that.”

Latest Muckraker

Notable Replies

  1. What’s this “constitutional activists” nonsense? Please don’t give these clowns more credence than they deserve. These guys are little more than insurgents/domestic terrorists.

  2. More likely they are “standing down” due to lack of news coverage. Doesn’t look like the happening place they expected, does it?

  3. I dunno, call me a cynic, but I think the way you demonstrate your fidelity to your nation’s most cherished ideals is not necessarily by standing around someplace among a bunch of heavily armed idiots like yourself until enough days pass that even you realize what you’re doing is kind of pointless and stupid and you all trail off home.

  4. Avatar for jw1 jw1 says:

    I couldn’t get past the opening sentence for the article.

    A group of armed constitutional activists providing security at an Oregon gold mine…

    Is this a stock lede paragraph TPM has on-file?
    This? Is horsesh^it.

    Can TPM ask itself the following and come away with an ‘affirmative’ for their description of Oathkeepers?

    • Do Oathkeepers have authority to provide security for anyone?
    • Do they have permits?
    • Are they licensed?
    • Are they incorporated?
    • Have a Federal Tax ID#?

    Then just stop it with the giving of credence.
    Can’t you just call them what they are?

    A bunch ex-military and ex-LEO yahoos with guns-- and a heightened sense of paranoia.

    Can we please introduce a modicum of sanity at one of the few trustworthy news-sites?



  5. I wonder if the black community will start arming themselves to protect the hood against police abuse. They will get more respect and deference if they are defending their 2nd amendment rights like these winger Constitutional doofeses.

Continue the discussion at forums.talkingpointsmemo.com

27 more replies


Avatar for system1 Avatar for lestatdelc Avatar for richardinjax Avatar for jw1 Avatar for mattinpa Avatar for mooster Avatar for fargo116 Avatar for 1gg Avatar for chammy Avatar for easydm Avatar for egbertsouse Avatar for sconosciuto Avatar for rollinnolan Avatar for borisjimbo Avatar for nobodyforpresident Avatar for smilla Avatar for chadingo Avatar for LesIsmore Avatar for jeffrey Avatar for 538liberal Avatar for captaincommonsense Avatar for bd2999 Avatar for compassionateliberal Avatar for jayesel

Continue Discussion
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: