The Slatest

Armed Oregon Group Leader Meets With Sheriff, Still Won’t Leave Wildlife Refuge

Ammon Bundy sheriff
Ammon Bundy and Harney County Sheriff David Ward near the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge on Jan. 7, 2016.

Photo by Jim Urquhart/Reuters

Good news: The presumed leader of the armed wingnut group occupying a wildlife refuge in Oregon met with the local county sheriff. The bad news: The leader in question, Ammon Bundy, rejected the sheriff’s offer of “safe passage out of the state” and will not leave the refuge. From Reuters:

“We plan on staying,” Bundy told reporters following a meeting. “I’m not afraid to go out of state. I don’t need an escort.”

The sheriff’s office later said in a tweet that [Harney County Sheriff David] Ward had plans to meet with Bundy again on Friday.


Friday is the seventh day of the occupation, which seems to have taken on a sort of surreal stasis; Reuters says some of the armed men on the refuge have left it for trips into nearby Burns, Oregon, without being stopped by authorities, and the dozen or so members of the media are well outnumbered by the journalists covering them. “News of the meeting” between Bundy and Ward, the Guardian writes, “sent reporters stationed at the refuge scrambling to attend, a handful speeding down the road and dozens eventually tripping over each other and falling on the icy, snow-covered ground to get Bundy’s reaction.”

Read more of Slate’s coverage of the standoff in Oregon.