The Oregon Natural Resources Report - Agricultural News from Oregon

Outrage over jailed ranchers

October 28, 2015

By Oregon Farm Bureau

“Two Oregon ranchers were sentenced to five years in federal prison under terrorism statutes for setting preventative fires on their own land. We are gravely disappointed at this outcome.

Elderly Harney County rancher Dwight Hammond and his son, Steven, a former OFB Board member and Harney County Farm Bureau president, have already served time in federal prison for their mistakes and paid their debt to society for the less-than-140 acres of BLM land that was accidentally impacted by the fires.

This is an example of gross government overreach, and the public should be outraged.

Today’s verdict is also hypocritical given BLM’s own harm to public and private grazing lands, which goes without consequence. It is unjust. OFB worked on this case quietly behind the scenes with BLM through the spring and summer. That diligent diplomatic effort was fruitless.

This prosecution will have a chilling effect across the West among ranchers, foresters, and others who rely on federal allotments and permits. It will harm the positive relationship many ranchers and organizations have worked to forge with the BLM, and undermine the cooperative spirit most ranchers have brought to the bureau in helping the health of the range.

Please join Farm Bureau and declare your support for Steve and Dwight Hammond. Join over 2,600 other citizens from across the country and show BLM that this extreme abuse of power will not go unnoticed and is shameful. Sign the petition at This must never happen again.

OFB will continue to work to bring public and policymaker attention to this case.”

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Discuss this article

Cathy October 28, 2015

Who are the REAL criminals here? It certainly is NOT the ranchers.

2ndLaw October 28, 2015

outrage? more like celebration.

hold the arsonist/vandals accountable!

BUNDY II? — Additional, Recent Developments in the Hammond Rancher Case in Oregon — Guest Editorial — by Rachel Alexander | The Pahvant Post January 3, 2016

[…] Oregon Farm Bureau protested “this extreme abuse of power” (Dwight Hammond had been a member of its board). The […]

Robert Bristow January 7, 2016

The federal government can not constitutionally own any lands other than The ten square miles of D.C., military bases with permission from the states where located. They can also, with permission from states own land for ammo storage and courthouses. This is all the constitution allows. Anything other than that is government over reach. We the people are the power here. The states have authority over the feds. The feds do not have but limited authority. The federal government is limited to just 17 items of authority as listed in Article 1, section 8 of the constitution. The sheriff is the highest ranking official in his county. IN his county, the sheriff has jurisdiction over all other law enforcement officers. This includes federal. When federal officials come in and ignore the constitution, the sheriff is bound to arrest them. Why has he not done so??

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