Environment | Law | National

Secretary Jewell meets with Burns Paiute Tribe and visits refuge

The Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon. Photo from US Fish and Wildlife Service / Facebook

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Deputy Secretary Michael L. Connor traveled to Oregon on Monday to meet with the Burns Paiute Tribe and visit the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, the site of the 41-day armed occupation.

Jewell wants to increase the tribe's role at the refuge, The Oregonian reported. The tribe used to live there until the land was taken by the federal government in the late 1800s.

Since the refuge houses sacred areas and other artifacts, the tribe was very concerned about the occupation. So far, two of the 26 defendants arrested in connection with the takeover are facing charges for damaging archaeological resources there.

The charges stem from a road and latrines that were dug in and near sacred areas of the refuge, according to the indictment. One latrine contained human waste, according to federal investigators.

Sean Anderson and Jake Ryan, whose name was redacted in the indictment posted above, are accused of causing more than $1,000 in damage to the archaeological site.

Get the Story:
'This land belongs to all Americans,' Interior Secretary Sally Jewell says in Burns (The Oregonian 3/21)
Interior Secretary Visits Site of Oregon Armed Protest (Reuters 3/21)
Occupier who feds say dug trench for feces, disturbed sacred artifacts faces charges (The Oregonian 3/21)
After Oregon Standoff, Birding Is Back (The New York Times 3/21)
Burns Police Investigating Pacific Patriots Network Co-Founder (Oregon Public Broadcasting 3/22)

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