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Dwight & Steven Hammond: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Steven Hammond, Dwight Hammond, Steven Hammond Oregon, Dwight Hammond Oregon, Steven and Dwight Hammond

Steven Hammond, left, and his father, Dwight Hammond. (U.S. Department of Justice)

An Oregon rancher and his son are at the center of an armed protest against the federal government by a group of militiamen.

Dwight and Steven Hammond, of Harney County, were convicted three years ago of setting fires on their ranch that burned federal land. The father and son initially were sentenced to short prison terms, but received new sentences in October, leading to an angry reaction from anti-government protesters, including the sons of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy.

On Saturday, Ammon Bundy, his brother, Ryan, and a group of armed men seized a federal building at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in rural eastern Oregon. The men are calling for the Hammonds to be released from their prison sentences, and for the national forest land to be returned to the local residents.

The Hammonds are expected to report to prison Monday.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. They Set Fires in 2001 & 2006 to Protect Their Ranch Lands, But Damaged Federal Property

Dwight Hammond, 73, and his son, Steven, 46, were convicted by a federal jury in 2012 of using fire to destroy federal property, according to the Oregon U.S. Attorney’s office.

The fires were set on land managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. The Hammonds leased grazing rights for the property from the BLM.

According to prosecutors the 2001 fire was located in the Steens Mountain Cooperative Management and Protection Area. The U.s. Attorney’s Office said:

Witnesses at trial, including a relative of the Hammonds, testified the arson occurred shortly after Steven Hammond and his hunting party illegally slaughtered several deer on BLM property. Jurors were told that Steven Hammond handed out ‘Strike Anywhere’ matches with instructions that they be lit and dropped on the ground because they were going to ‘light up the whole country on fire.’ One witness testified that he barely escaped the eight to ten foot high flames caused by the arson. The fire consumed 139 acres of public land and destroyed all evidence of the game violations. After committing the arson, Steven Hammond called the BLM office in Burns, Oregon and claimed the fire was started on Hammond property to burn off invasive species and had inadvertently burned onto public lands. Dwight and Steven Hammond told one of their relatives to keep his mouth shut and that nobody needed to know about the fire.

Steven Hammond was convicted in the 2006 arson, which occurred in the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge:

An August lightning storm started numerous fires and a burn ban was in effect while BLM firefighters fought those fires. Despite the ban, without permission or notification to BLM, Steven Hammond started several ‘back fires’ in an attempt save the ranch’s winter feed. The fires burned onto public land and were seen by BLM firefighters camped nearby. The firefighters took steps to ensure their safety and reported the arsons.

Hammonds and their supporters claim they were targeted by the Bureau of Land Management.

“This prosecution will have a chilling effect across the West among ranchers 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 bureau, and the hard work that has been done on the range,” the Oregon Farm Bureau said. “It also is hypocritical given BLM’s own harm to the range, which goes without consequence. It is unjust. OFB worked quietly behind the scenes with BLM through the spring and summer. That diligent diplomatic effort was fruitless.”

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2. Prosecutors Appealed the Lenient Sentences Given to the Hammonds

Steve Hammond Oregon

Steve Hammond. (Oregon Farm Bureau)

Dwight Hammond was initially sentenced to three months in prison, and Steven Hammond to one year. They both served those sentences, but the federal prosecutor appealed, saying the punishment wasn’t severe enough.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, the Hammonds argued during their sentencing that the five-year mandatory minimum they faced was unconstitutional, and the trial court agreed. But the Ninth Court of Appeals upheld the federal sentencing law, saying “given the seriousness of arson, the five-year sentence is not grossly disproportionate to the offense.” The Supreme Court rejected the Hammonds case

In October, they were re-sentenced to the five-year mandatory minimum that their convictions each carried, minus the time they already served. That means both men will serve about four years in prison, which Dwight Hammond has called a “death sentence,” for him according to CBS News.

“We all know the devastating effects that are caused by wildfires. Fires intentionally and illegally set on public lands, even those in a remote area, threaten property and residents and endanger firefighters called to battle the blaze,” Oregon U.S. Attorney Billy Williams said in a statement. “Congress sought to ensure that anyone who maliciously damages United States’ property by fire will serve at least 5 years in prison. These sentences are intended to be long enough to deter those like the Hammonds who disregard the law and place fire fighters and others in jeopardy.”

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3. Their Case Caught the Attention of Anti-BLM Groups

The Hammonds case sparked the interest of groups that oppose the Bureau of Land Management, including the family of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, who led a tense standoff with the BLM and federal authorities in 2014.

A peaceful protest of outsiders and local residents was held near Hammonds home on Saturday. Following that, Ammon and Ryan Bundy and other armed militiamen went to the nearby Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, which was not occupied by federal employees, and seized the land.

Ammon Bundy told The Oregonian, “The facility has been the tool to do all the tyranny that has been placed upon the Hammonds. We’re planning on staying here for years, absolutely. This is not a decision we’ve made at the last minute.”

In a Facebook video, he called for others to come to Oregon.

“Calling all freedom loving people to come to Harney County Oregon, come to the Malhuer Wildlife Refuge. The people are finally getting some good use out of a federal facility,” he said in the caption of the video. In a previous video, Bundy called for “all patriots” to “stand up not stand down” and “come prepared.”

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4. The Hammonds Say the Bundy & the Militiamen Do Not Speak for Them

The Hammonds have said the Bundys and other outside protesters do not speak for them.

“Neither Ammon Bundy nor anyone within his group/organization speak for the Hammond Family,” their attorney, W. Alan Schroder, told KOIN.

They have not commented since the takeover of the federal building.

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5. The Armed Protesters Have Said They Are Willing to Fight & Die for Their Cause

Ryan Bundy told the Oregonian, “The best possible outcome is that the ranchers that have been kicked out of the area, then they will come back and reclaim their land, and the wildlife refuge will be shut down forever and the federal government will relinquish such control,” he said. “What we’re doing is not rebellious. What we’re doing is in accordance with the Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land.”

He said many of the men at the refuge are willing to fight and die to protect the rights of states, counties and individuals to manage local lands.

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141 comments

  1. I think the Hammonds are responsible for the fire getting into Federal land even if they only intended for it to burn on their own land. They should have been punished for the laws they broke, but I think it is wrong for the government to change the sentence after the judge handed it down. Even if they deserved longer sentences according to the law, they stood trial and were already convicted and sentenced for what they had done. Re-sentencing them is like retrying them for the same thing. That should be un-Constitutional.

    Regardless of what the Hammonds did, the ranchers claiming Federal land for themselves are wrong. They say may say they are the people of the United States and should have land that belongs to all the people, but what they are doing violates the laws and the Constitution. There is no way they can argue the Founding Fathers did not intend for the Federal Government to own land since it was the Founding Fathers who bought the Louisiana Purchase. Even homesteading had to be authorized by act of Congress for specific lands, and no homesteading laws are in effect now.

    • Exactly…they are not “terrorists” by any definition – which is what they were charged with that carries the mandatory 5 year term.

      • Terrorists? All I’ve heard is that they were charged with causing a fire that spread into Federal land. Where was there anything said about their sentence being changed because of a charge of terrorism for which they were not tried?

    • John,
      When you say: “…what they are doing violates the laws and the Constitution”, please tell me what in the Constitution that are violating.

      Also,it is my understanding that the Louisiana Purchase was divided into States, and not to be “Owned” by the Federal Government. Aside from Article I, Section 8, Clause 17, does the Constitution give the Federal Government any Rights to any land (other than what became Washington D.C. (“not to exceed ten square miles”)), that is not “purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State of which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards and other needful buildings”?

      Since there are none of the listed buildings on this property, where does the Constitution give the Federal Government the right to control this property?

      Thanks,

      Bud.

      • You expect me to believe the U.S. Constitution allows insurrection? Get real. Since they are committing treason, they are in violation of the U.S. Constitution. You can claim all you want to about Article, Section 8, Clause 17, but the precedent of the Congress and the President buying the Louisiana Purchase makes null your objection. As for the Louisiana Purchase being divided into States, that’s hogwash. The Congress established States with distinct legislation detailing the rights and the possessions of those states that were added to the original 13 States.The State of Oregon cannot assume ownership of land that the U.S. Congress did not grant it when the State of Oregon was established. If you think the Federal government has usurped land it granted to the State of Oregon, then get the State of Oregon to sue the U.S. Government. Don’t complain to me.

        • It was not my desire to enter my previous statement as Anonymous, but I’m not sure how this panel is set up for signing in. I will re-iterate that there was nothing in the legislation that already divided the land purchased into the state that would eventually be established.

        • The constitution prohibits the feds from establishing states that have any lessor rights that states already established. That is clearly written that includes the denial of control of territory within a state not needed for forts harbors or other useful buildings. The language is specific. This did not become an issue until the feds used their so called ownership to effectively destroy the ranchers ability to make a living. As for the Hammond’s, they had every right to set a backfire on their own land to protect their winter grazing from the feds who were doing nothing effective about it, Second since all the lands concerned are lease lands of the Hammond’s that means including that BLM that the Hammonds pay money for the right to treat it as their own. if it is not harmful or illegal to Burn ones own property to protect it how is it harmful to the federal lands? the answer is that the burning of grazing land causes in most cases no harm other than loss of grass for a season which grass AND ALL OTHER VEGETATION THERON is the property of the rancher purchased for his cows. Thirdly it has been much complained of when they were enacted that the way too broadly worded terrorism statutes would act as a catchall for ordinary activity. the Hammonds are not terrorists by any definition and they should not be tried under any statutes that have terror enhancements including minimum mandatory sentences

          • You’re right, the Hammonds aren’t “terrorists” by any normal definition of the word, but they are certainly serial arsonists convicted by a JURY OF THEIR PEERS under Title 18, United States Code, section 844(f)(1).

            “(1) Whoever maliciously damages or destroys, or attempts to damage or destroy, by means of fire or an explosive, any building, vehicle, or other personal or real property in whole or in part owned or possessed by, or leased to, the United States, or any department or agency thereof, or any institution or organization receiving Federal financial assistance, shall be imprisoned for not less than 5 years and not more than 20 years, fined under this title, or both.”

            In setting fires and by ignoring the specific burn ban in 2006, they wilfully damaged federal property and endangered the safety of the BLM firefighters nearby. And unfortunately for the Hammonds, they have a previous conviction from 2001, which the Ninth Circuit summarized as follows: “Although the Hammonds claimed that the fire was designed to burn off invasive species on their property, a teenage relative of theirs testified that Steven had instructed him to drop lit matches on the ground so as to “light up the whole country on fire.” And the teenager did just that”. They got off with a slap on the wrist in 2001.

            Needlesstosay, the Hammonds have accepted their individual 5-year sentences (they were found guilty BY A JURY on multiple counts under section 844, but during deliberations on additional charges, they reached a deal with the feds — they wouldn’t appeal the verdict and the feds would recommend that the Hammonds could stay out on bail pending sentencing and their Section 844 sentences be served concurrently — in other words although the Hammonds had been convicted on multiple counts under Section 844 each carrying a mandatory minimum five-year sentence, the government would recommend that those five-year terms would result in just one five-year sentence each).

            It could well be that the Hammonds are justified to feel hard done by, but the Bundy Y’all Quaeda bozos aren’t helping their cause. Actually, I’d go so ar as to say they f*cked up big time when they took ‘the law into their own hands’ and invaded Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Public opinion is massively against them. That land by rights “belongs” to the northern Paiute and, unlike the welfare-ranching Hammonds, they have a good working relationship with the BLM and see them as a protector of native American cultural rights in the area. This is a war that Y’all Quaeda won’t win, but I won’t be sorry if they die tryin’.

            Respect the law of the land!

        • They are not committing treason — Treason is aiding and abetting an enemy of the United States. They are doing no such thing, and neither the Bundy’s NOR the Hammonds are in violation of any tenet of the Constitution. The Federal Government, on the other hand, is in continual violation of the US Constitution, – The Federal Reserve in Unconstitutional, The Tax on Labor Compensation is Unconstitutional, Taxes on Real Property violates the 5th amendment, and Federal seizure of any US Land outside of the District of Columbia violates both the 5th and 10th amendments.

          • Wrong. Treason was specifically defined in the US Constitution, the only crime so defined. Article III, section 3.

            “Treason against the United States, shall consist only IN LEVYING WAR AGAINST THEM, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court. The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.”

            You’ve also added at lot of red herrings and whataboutisms with no bearing on this case. The 1st amendment clearly states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people PEACEABLY to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

            Illegally and forcibly occupying public property managed by the BLM on behalf of the local Indian nation at gunpoint can in no way be considered peaceable, hence the occupation is also unconstitutional.

            • War? The only shots fired have been by law enforcement. The only people killed by any incidents have been by law enforcement. Your use of the the word Gunpoint is just way over the top. Nobody pointed a weapon at anybody except,those who shot and killed Robert Lavoy Finicum. Remember the second amendment? I haven’t decided wher I stand on this, but you arguments fail utterly.

              • My arguments don’t “fail”, because I’ve merely quoted the constitution correctly in reply to FA Greiger’s fallacious comment, namely:

                “They are not committing treason — Treason is aiding and abetting an enemy of the United States.”

                The correct definition of treason is “Treason against the United States, shall consist only IN LEVYING WAR AGAINST THEM, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court. The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.”

                Nowhere in my comment have I claimed that Bundy and his militiamen have “levied war against the United States”. However, I did say — also correctly — that Illegally and forcibly occupying public property managed by the BLM on behalf of the local Indian nation at gunpoint can in no way be considered peaceable, hence the occupation is also unconstitutional. A peaceable occupation does not require firearms.

                The fact that no “weapons were pointed” in the intial occupation is irrelevant as the property was unoccupied at the time. Lord knows what would have happened if it had been. Threats were subsequently made by the militiamen that they would resort to violence if necessary. These guys are not boy scouts. Threatening the feds with violence is asking for trouble.

                This land “belongs” to the Paiute nation, if it belongs to anybody, not to the welfare ranchers, and certainly not to the out-of-state and heavilly armed militiamen.

        • The Federal Government doesn’t have the “right” to grant land to any state!!! The only land the Fed “owns” is DC!

      • If you are talking about the Hammonds, they started a fire that was prohibited by a dry-weather ban, and it spread into Federal lands. So what does the U.S. Constitution have to do with the violations of law that are involved in this? If you are talking about the people who illegally occupied Federal property, it was not my desire to answer anonymously that your objection has nothing to do with the infractions those rebels committed. Do you forget how rebellion ended with the Firing on Fort Sumter?

      • You need to read the property clause, Article 4 Section 3 Clause 2, that gives the right to the government to hold lands not allocated when a state is created. That’s what gives the government the right to manage these lands. That is a fact.

      • How do grazing rights include burning rights? Does their grazing lease have language permitting them to burn anything?

    • Not only re sentenced but they had already served the time of the original sentence when the government pulled the re sentencing crap.

    • it makes no sense for you to say the government violated their constitutional rights and then say no one should protest that egregious miscarriage of Justice are we just supposed to take it and say nothing is that what America has come to you should be outraged that your government would do that to its citizens. And celebrating that there are Americans who will still fight for their rights

  2. If you don’t agree with the sentencing of the Hammonds to the minimum of five years, Write your congressman. Congress passed the law, Congress can repeal the law. If you don’t like the way the country is run, vote for someone you believe will do a better job. This is the beauty of our country we get to have a peaceful revolution every four years.

    • Does anyone realize that the mining rights under the Hammond ranch have been sold to the Russians, by Hillary ?
      (Who are “as we speak”, mining the Hammond ranch for one of the biggest Uranium deposits in the U.S.?)
      KIND OF GIVES A DIFFERENT OUTLOOK TO IT ALL,HUH?

  3. “1. They Set Fires in 2001 & 2006 to Protect Their Ranch Lands, But Damaged Federal Property”

    It sure doesn’t sound like they set fires to protect their ranch, they set the fires to cover up their poaching on federal lands.

    • Really? Were they charged with poaching? Is there any evidence of their poaching? Poaching is a pretty broad term, anyway. What exactly were they doing; culling does or spikes, perhaps? Was any real damage done to the “federal property”, or was the “arson” really what we call a controlled burn, which improves the fertility of the soil?

        • RUDY, a mentally challenged family member who was 13 at the time testified. I have yet to read anything about poaching. The first reason they set fires was to get rid of the juniper trees on their land that were invasive. They called the fire department and got the ok to do it that day. It did spread onto federal land that they had grazing rights to but were able to put the fire out themselves without outside help. The second time the son lit a back fire because wildfires were spreading fast onto their property and he was trying to save their home, it worked but it did spread to federal land again. I’m in the media and I am ashamed that corporate media is only telling one side. This wildlife refuge has been chasing multiple ranchers property forever. In fact, the original settlers created a state of the art irrigation system that was remarkable. The wildlife refuge rerouted the irrigation system into the local lake that flooded many ranchers property. It was a dirty trick to get property ranchers would not sell. The Hammonds property wasn’t ruined and the wildlife refuge wanted it badly. So badly that if they ever want to sell their ranch they have to sell it to the wildlife refuge first. This is only a tenth of the crazy things the wildlife refuge did to this family. They also had their house raided. DON’T BELIEVE MAINSTREAM MEDIA.

          • THIS is the TRUTH. The rest are LIES. The Constitution, Article 1, Section 8, Clause 17 says that the Government may not own more than 10 square miles of land around Washington DC and only the amount of land necessary to operate ports and forts; at the permission of the states. PERIOD. The BLM is an ILLEGAL arm of a TYRANNICAL Government!

            • Article VI, Paragraph 2 of the Constitution is commonly referred to as the Supremacy Clause. It establishes that the federal constitution, and federal law generally, take precedence over state laws, and even state constitutions.

            • Wow, that’s weird. Yours is the ONLY TRUTH!….bet you can quote word for word from the Koran as well.

              Of course, it’s BS. The BLM manages that land to stop arrogant white folks with guns from shooting injuns and taking it for themselves.

          • Nice to read a post from someone who is actually aware of the details. How setting a fire to eliminate evidence of poaching could make sense is beyond my comprehension—the very last thing a poacher would want to do is draw attention, which a fire would do, and a fire would NOT destroy the evidence. Even a burned out carcass would have bullet holes and in all likelihood still contain the bullet. The poaching issue appears to be an illogical and nonsensical smoke screen, which obscures the real issues and allows the family to be tarnished by some in the press as nothing but poaching felons.

            • Federal lands belong to the people. If used for grazing, then use/maintenance also belongs to the people. Sounds like the BLM neglected the property so it would be a fire hazard?
              If lands with those damned invasive blackberries (non-native so.) , the BLM should be thanking these guys.
              This land-grabbing crap needs to stop! The BLM is CLEARLY out of control & acting outside of the laws of the land (Constitutional & otherwise)
              These guys should sue ANY media blasting out ideas about poaching unless that was an actual charge. A developmentally disabled teen generally can’t even testify in a case regarding their own housing or in a divorce, who they live with, so why is this person SO reliable that they even supposedly understand what poaching even is? Who brought this up anyhow?
              I missed this this trial, that smells of double jeopardy, yet as a US citizen, it concerns me to see BLM actions in many places here in the West, and I expect elsewhere too.
              Ceasing land (or trying to) in NV, CA, UT, OK & elsewhere has gone FAR too far!
              I find it interesting that land in a national forest here in CA that was once used at a shooting range has been closed (With BS reasons… Salamanders, turtles, etc.), yet can then be leased to companies that then use it for fracking operations, solar power research & other such nonsense, most of which is damaging to the environment, and while campers & *some* target shooters leave messes, several places here are cleaned up by others, often being restored with planting of indigenous plants & trees, cleaned up & maintained by the public, as it should be, for use by the people, NOT for a land lease to pad a VERY few people’s pockets, then these people trash the environment & the land!
              I’ve seen it first hand in CA, & although you can’t go out to where we used to target shoot, you can see the hillside & streams, river adversely affected by industry the land was leased to.
              It’s an outrage!
              Had the particular area of this one area had a salamander that only lived there, it would be gone from the industrial BS that was allowed to lease the land! No environmental studies by the EPA, the CCC or anyone else we can find. The rangers were fed loads of crap as well, know it & those that question it have their jobs threatened.
              The BLM is damaging lands!
              They have a fire department up there correct? Why was the federal land allowed to get SO outta sorts that a fire could take off like that?
              I love going to OR, as it’s a beautiful place to visit, to go camping, fishing & even hunting!
              Many haven’t been in part because of the fire issues & drought stress on animals. Those who live there & graze cattle there need use of those lands! You’d think the BLM would be responsible, at least in part, for that fire getting so out of control?
              Think of how much they would’ve saved had they simply managed the lands, working WITH these men & their families!
              I missed the trial(s), yet the overview smells rotten as others do!
              If the burn helped this area not have a huge over-fueled, mega-hot damaging burn, you’d think a rational person or organisation would be thanking these guys!?!
              Yes! Apparently the place did burn, the men did call the fire department, and YES! their ARE accidents!
              It seems the label of “poaching” was added to tug at heart strings, just like the turtles in NV (that they were giving away as pets, the salamanders in CA & other BS other places.)
              I AM an environmental scientist, and I can tell you there’s a lotta environmental BS being played in the media that simply isn’t true, and seems to be for this sort of thing!
              AND THEN you add in the diversion of creeks or a river, flooding lands, while making others dry as a bone?
              THEN YOU KNOW SOMETHING IS WRONG!!!
              Did they do that to try to force sales or claim that was a water way (which under real-estate law you can’t really “own” (ALL THE WHILE, NESTLÉ CERTAINLY WANTS TO CHANGE THOSE LAWS SO THEY CAN “MANAGE” WATER FIR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT???
              BS^3 (BS cubed!)
              This is wrong & these people pulling strings up there seems made some backroom illegal deal.
              How much you bet Nestlé has their fingers in this somewhere?

            • As a Harley County resident, who owns a much smaller piece of property,yet I also, would set whatever backfires were needed to save my ranch and livestock!
              Blm, was quite simply goin to let the Hammond place burn, like they’ve done to other places in the county… the nightmare stories of cattle and horses standing on their pastures while burning to death, is all too true
              All because someone couldn’t be bothered to help with a simple backfire… Hammond’s didn’t even burn just barely over 100 acres, when they tried to Dave their ranch and cows, so I say BULLY FOR THEM!
              (IF IT WERE ME, I’D DO THE SAME!)

      • If the Hammond killed animals on Federal land as they are reported to have done, then it doesn’t matter if you consider it “culling does or spikes.” It’s still poaching. It also matters not whether you think there was what you call improvement to the fertility of the soil, it was still not damage that the Federal Government wanted done. Unwanted fire is still arson regardless of the “silver lining” you perceive.

        • Once again….if thee is ANY evidence they were poaching anything on anyone’s property, why were they not charged with poaching? Poaching has nothing to do with any of this. You are getting confused.

          • Don’t ask me why the Federal authorities didn’t charge them with poaching, but that doesn’t mean the Hammonds didn’t poach. The story above claims the U.S. Attorney’s office claimed they killed deer on Federal land. That they have not been charged doesn’t preclude the Federal authorities from charging then now or later. All I said was that if the Hammonds killed animals on Federal land, that would be poaching. What is confusing about that?

        • John Royall you are not only wrong you are mis stating the case first if the Hammonds were poaching it is a state charge not a federal one and they were not charged with it. The testimoney was added to bias the jury. second The feds are horrible at fire fighting even down by the national parks Just this year Grants grove and Hume lake was saved ( again) by the private fire fighters of the Hume Lake property lessors association who set the backfire by the dam that kept the Kings canyon fire out of Grants Grove and Sequoia park By the time the feds got their act in gear it was days and the fire ( once again) just about cut 160. The fault is not the fire fighters it is the horrible state and federal management policiies. On the Jackson fire I was there at Martell and watched then fiddle around for almost 4 hours with only one chopper with a defective dump bucket while the fire slowly advanced down the north side of the Mokelumne canyon I was gassing up when it jumped the river and took off but I still managed a leisurely drive from Martel down 49 into Calveras and went east from 49 on 26 Guess what?? the fire was there in places less than 50 yards from the road and this is after 4 hours with only two pieces of equipment on a five mile stretch of road By the time the Calvary came One CHP, one county mounty, and six fire trucks the fire had forced me back almost to 49 then they finally, way too late, got into gear but with only 2 tankers the fire burned all night and did not stop till in=t hit the line they made 20 miles to the south east, If they were deliberately trying to burn up that huge area in Calveras they couldn’t have done it much better.
          Now I don’t know nor much care whether you just don’t know what you are talking about or are deliberately lying about it, You have got it wrong the Feds and the states do a piss poor job protecting property, either Public or Private from fire,

      • Hey Bud, did you not read the article? Or do you have a problem with reading comprehension. Their “friends” actually testified that they set the 2nd fire, for which they were found guilty of arson, to cover up their poaching of deer on federal lands. Sorry, but facts are facts, even though republican/conservatives have a hard time dealing with those thing.

        • Look in the mirror for reading comprehension issues, my misinformed friend. It was not their “friends” as you iso incorrectly state, that “testified” (there was no actual charge of poaching, so there was no testimony) against them, it was a 13 year old mentally challenged (like you) relative, whose sole statement was so unreliable that they could not use it in court, so there were no charges of poaching (I said it again so maybe it would start to sink in). Try and keep up with the facts before you project your own faults on others.

          • “it was a 13 year old mentally challenged (like you) relative, whose sole statement was so unreliable that they could not use it in court…”

            Ignoring the predictable default ad hominem in the avove claim, do you actually have any evidence for this statement. Please back it up with a credible source, like a court report.

            • These are the facts, Edwardo. If you look, I did not start the ad hominem attack. Go do your own research. You’ll see there were no charges of poaching.

              • Yes, I’ve read all the comments, and it’s quite clearly you that kicks offs the ad homs with your snide “Try and keep up” comment on 4 Jan followed up by your “I didn’t know people with 44 chromosomes could type” slur the following day. Now you’re at it again.

                Informal fallacies are a lazy alternative for people (mostly Internet trolls and the intellectually challenged) who lack any basis for their arguments. You claim that “it was a 13 year old mentally challenged (like you) relative, whose sole statement was so unreliable that they could not use it in court…”, although one of your verbündete elsewhere on the board claims “a mentally challenged family member who was 13 at the time testified”. Conflicting statements. When I “reasonably” challenge you to back up your claim with evidence in the belief that I’m dealing with a rational adult, you resort to the Burden of Proof fallacy. “Onus probandi – I need not prove my claim, you must prove it is false”..

                NB a statement without proof is just an opinion, which you’re obviously entitled to, but if you’re looking to convince people of the validity of the Hammonds case vs the Fed then you need to back up your arguments with evidence otherwise you may as well post to yourself.

                PS Hope I’ve still passed your “reasonable qualifications for voting” criteria.

          • It does make you wonder.
            Soooo ‘mentally challenged. But he made up that whole story? Or that story just came together out of sheer confusion?
            What do we know about ‘kids’ and the mentally challenged? They can be really honest because they don’t understand. So, it’s not to say it definitely happened that way. But it does make me wonder. Adults tend to give kids too much credit and very little credit at the same time. Whatever suits their agenda at the time.

    • Yes and the “peaceful protestors” in Chicago,St Louis,Ferguson,Newyork etc. that looted,vandalized,shot and started fires were peaceful with a just cause. While a armed group occupies a unlocked building without vandalism,violence or threats are “domestic terrorists”—yeah I get it.

      • Another false comparison and whataboutism fallacy. As far as I know neither the Feds nor the local law enforcement have shot down any of the militiamen, who by the way have occupied public property at gunpoint — hardly “peaceful”.

        In fact all you’ve done is highlight the double standards of US law enforcement. On the one hand it’s perfectly legal to shoot down a 12-year-old black kid playing with a toy gun after a 6 second delay. On the other, a ragtag army of white “patriots”, ie racists, convicts, fantasists and ex-servicemen, can march into a building waving US flags and guns and occupy it and the Feds do zilch.

        • So a 12 year old is gunned down, another example of out of control Government–and when people actually want to protest or do something about out of control Government you want to support the Feds because the protestors do not define you and your narrow range of interests.

          • ????….yet another fallacy. Now you’re shifting the goalposts. It wasn’t the Feds that gunned down unarmed, 12-year-old Tamir Rose. It was local law enforcement. I thought Y’all quaeda’s beef was with the Federal Gov’ment. Isn’t that part of their argument…that the Hammond’s conviction is unconstitutional? You know, grass roots democracy *coughs*

            And once again you’re making a false comparison…no unarmed 12-year-olds have been gunned down at Malheur. And most of the locals are disowning the Bundy outlaws and wish they’d go home.

            You don’t know me so no point in trying to “define my narrow range of interests”.

  4. Your frustration with the fact you have no answer to my questions is obvious. No one has accused the Hammons of insurrection; you are getting confused. My only complaint to you is that you are making spurious accusations that you cannot justify

  5. The Bundy right wing terrorist clan are at it again taking over a Federal Office Bldg. with an armed militia. It’s time to send a clear signal to these domestic terrorists and drone their stupid asses. They are nothing but NRA sponsored criminals and if the NRA doesn’t like it? Then drone their asses too~ WJU #YallQaeda

  6. What is confusing is your total lack of regard for the issues at hand, in lieu of poaching nonsense that is totally distracting you. I thought you were confused but I see it is much worse.

    • The Hammonds are legally and properly convicted arsonists despite your repeated drivel. That is all that matters, they committed illegal arson on public lands not once, but twice. They are lucky no fir fighter died as a result of their arson otherwise they’d be staring at murder or manslaughter charges.

  7. There have been several toxic ‘accidents’ caused by the Environmental Protection Agency. Knowing the dangers ahead of the accidents did not lead government officials to behave safely, in one instance causing devastation to waters in 3 states. Colorado, Utah and New Mexico. Livelihoods of citizens have been ruined. Local Indians have more reasons to mistrust our government. Horrible damage to our environment is continuing. Who do you suppose will receive a 5 year sentence that work for the government? No one so far. Investigations are thwarted by stalling when emails and info are requested. Similar to other government officials who hide info, (Hillary, IRS, Benghazi, Fast and Furious gun runners…) stall and have no consequences placed on them. We the People have allowed ourselves to be ruled by protected elitists. We the People make lesser mistakes, cause lesser damage and the gavel falls announcing punishment. Susan Rice toured the country lying to the citizens about Benghazi, she ended up with a promotion. Hillary has been proven a liar by her own emails, she is free to run as a presidential candidate. Does anyone see something wrong with this picture/

    • Why would you focus on government lies about a bunch of emails or a gun bust gone bad instead of focusing on the lies that led to the invasion of Iraq and the death of a couple hundred thousand people and the void that led to ISIL. That should have resulted in an indictment of Rumsfeld Cheney and Bush.You have decided who you want to be correct, and revise your reality accordingly. I bet you’ll be voting for Trump.

      • I’m not sure whether you are a liar or just ignorant. Bush’s claim of WMDs by Iraq was not a lie, it was information from the intelligence agencies which was later found to be false. Democrats believed what the intelligence agencies said just like Bush did.

      • Arden,

        You are correct. The Democrats lied about there being weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and that it was a threat to the national security of the United States, and they led us to war. See for yourself……

        Hillary, Biden, Bill Clinton, John Kerry and the whole bunch should be charged, eh? You should get a few facts before opening your pie-hole.

    • Maybe you should focus on All the Iraq War lies of Bush and pals since you are soon concerned with government wrongdoing???

  8. Try and keep up. No one admitted to poaching. No poaching charges were brought. Someone said they saw it happen. If your question is why would someone lie about someone else, there are many reasons.
    Great plot by the prosecutor though…he says “poaching” to the media and you guys can’t think of anything else. You totally missed the whole subject of the trial. ADD much?

    • Thew ADD appears to be on your part Gumby. They were convicted of two cases of arson on federal land. They are now serving the minimum sentence as dictated by law, 5 years. All the white noise about poaching is irrelevant. They are properly convicted arsonists, not heroes, nor victims. Clear as mud?????

    • Bud, read the trial transcripts and you will clearly see the poaching introduced into evidence and corroborated by Hammond family members and hands.

      The five year sentence agreement between the prosecution and the Hammonds was put in place by dropping the poaching charges.

      Much better to be ADD than low info Bud.

  9. I dont ever recall any ranchers ever being paid for lossed when a “controlled burn” crossed into private land and killed hundreds of cattle. Burned fences and buildings. Maybe the blm employees need to spend some time behind bars too. The hammo ds set back burns to protect there homes, cattle, winter feed. And they go to jail… Somethings wrong

  10. Great comment! I didn’t know people with 44 chromosomes could type; must have heard your mother use that word this morning when she was propositioning her crack dealer. Remember to take a deep breath before you re-submerge into your cesspool.

  11. Do the people against this realize that they are providing an invitation to their own rights being violated? No, as usual, they’re willing to sacrifice someone else for the sake of current comfort and complacency. This isn’t the only case where our judicial system is being misused to hand down disproportionate and unfair sentences to ultimately achieve institutional goals. In this particular case; conservation agendas lead to land and water rights being revoked, infringed on the pursuit of happiness, and double jeopardy sentencing. The governments tactic is to harass people and ruin them both personally and financially until they reach their ultimate goal. I am glad the Hammonds wishes for peaceful demonstration are being honored, but proud of the Americans strong enough to point out that tyranny!

    • Do you realize that by supporting these domestic terrorists you are basically saying that anyone who has a beef with a court decision or rule of law can attempt to change that decision by taking arms and taking over federal buildings? Yeah, that’ll work out well?

      • Joel B so if occupation like sit ins are an “act of terrorism” and should not be used then what should you be doing to protest this. This is cruel and unusual punishment at least and that IS prohibited by the Constitution. Your Idea Joel is that we do nothing let the bankster controlled feds do anything and live with it?? Yeah right you are a “real American” You are nothing but a coward!! In colonial times you would have been a Tory traitor.

        • We’re not living in colonial times, John, you know…when we slaughtered the natives by the thousand and kept negros as slaves. This is AD 2016.

          Furthermore, the 1st amendment clearly states “congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people PEACEABLY to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”. Occupying federal buildings at gunpoint cannot possibly be classed as “peaceable”. Picketing the wildlife refuge with placards and demanding a redress of grievances with the BLM would be peacable.

          Hence the occupation is not only unlawful, it’s also anti-democratic and unconstitutional. It’s the Bundy mob that are betraying American principles. Hopefully they”ll all go back to Nevada or wherever they came from and the local kids can go back to school.

  12. No federal property was damaged….hell, the feds dumped toxic waste in Colorado and now need a $26 billion cleanup.

  13. These people are a ridiculous waste of time, the Father and Son have on more than one occasion acted illegally, scab hunting and setting fires to cover up their actions. Let them rot. As for the others they’re fomenting sedition, and holding federal property at gunpoint, they’re lucky they don’t get their butts blown off, if they were any other than white idiot rednecks they would. AS far as giving the lands back to the people give it back to the real owners the native people, Now if that were to happen these same whiners would be the first in line to scream about the native americans being given their own lands back. And probably threaten some action involving their surrogate male appendages, for those not you not bright enough that means their guns. They deserve to get their butts spanked hard and sent home to their mommas! Oh and just in case someone disagrees and asks how I came to my opinion I grew up in Oregon and have hunted and fished and camped all over the state, on top of that my forbearers settled the steens and many relations are there to this day. I have no use for these white trash faux-cowboys they do not represent anyone but their own ignorant selves!!

    • I seriously doubt that you are either a rancher or a farmer Or that you live or work in a ranching community, as for your “formenting sedition” BS well have they threatened anyone with their guns? No they have simply occupied a building. I remember the same” sedition” BS by Government agents when black students staged sit ins at lunch counters and when college students occupied the deans office in a war protest. In this case the sit in is in the office of those who directed selective and unfair prosecution against the Hammonds who were life long ranchers not some wild cowboys. What I really think is that you are a closet Fed putting out your BS. In my mind that makes you a traitor to American principles

      • A common fallacy (two actually). You don’t need to be a “rancher or a farmer” to be educated in the law of the land and the US constitution, or to sympathize with the rights of Paiute nation. This is an ARMED occupation. When 100 armed white males waving US flags, many of them with criminal records, occupy a federal building used by the Paiute for their cultural ceremonies then that is THREATENING..

        The second fallacy is the false comparison with “black students staging sit ins at lunch counters and when college students occupied the deans office in a war protest”. Were these black students and college students armed to the teeth? Did they have any weapons at all? How long ago did the events you describe take place? And what was the reaction of the law enforcements officers at the time? We all know the answer to that.

        Finally, you seem to be conflating the Hammonds and their conviction by a jury of their peers with the armed occupation by outsiders of the building(s) in the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. These are two completely different issues.

        The 1st amendment clearly states “congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”. Occupying federal buildings at gunpoint cannot possibly be classes as “peaceable”. Picketing the wildlife refuge with placards and demanding a redress of grievances with the BLM would be peacable.

        Hence the occupation is not only unlawful, it’s also anti-democratic and unconstitutional. It’s the Bundy mob are betraying American principles. Hopefully they”ll all go back to Nevada or wherever they came from and the local kids can go back to school.

  14. Sadly only a few true Americans are standing up for an entire nation. American’s have become a bunch of pussies only caring about their own little world and shut out everything else.

  15. Interesting thing though, if you read the posts here, you’ll find a whole bunch of low-information commenters who are totally distracted by the poaching nonsense. The older I get, the more I believe in some sort of basic test before someone is allowed to enter a voting booth.

    • This comment is symptomatic of you so-called “genuine American patriots”. It’s anti-democratic and smacks of fascism. What would your criteria be?…only good ole boys with first grade educations that agree with your POV and watch FOX would be allowed to vote?

    • Clearly this other guy doesn’t hunt! Hunting is OK in designated areas of federal land all over the US. They even have websites to search for what is available to hunt, fish, etc. , where, when, how, etc.!
      I didn’t see the trial, yet have seen these tactics before.

      Have you guys checked, or had someone look to see if Nestlé is looking to set up shop there? It could be the BS refuge too, yet that would need to be managed as well BC of invasive plant species, esp. Blackberries up in that area (all over a good chunk of OR actually).
      There’s CLEARLY something wrong. Diverting water, not keeping the federal land from being a tinderbox… Too much of this crap going on!
      We need a new President, some new people in Congress & the Senate to reel in these BLM people & perhaps just close the BLM altogether. Seems like they’re just skimming federal lands to lease/ sell to foreigners & line a very few people’s pockets… Seems they have a lotta $ to make from us taxpayers too (on these industries being put in these places, as we loose use of more & more as people stare at cellphones & eat whatever chemical crap there is in their stores.

      • “We need …..some new people in Congress & the Senate”. Irony can be very ironic. Look pal, if you lease my property — especially for your own personal gain and at the expense of the great taxpayers of America — then you damn well better follow my rules. If you then set fire to my property (without my say-so, actually specifically during a burn ban), then that’s criminal damage/arson – no matter who you are or what you think you’re entitled to. Stop whining, go directly to jail, do not pass go, do not collect your taxpayer-subsidized grazing.

        If you — or your sympathizers — then take up arms in anger and misappropriate public property (specifically land stolen at gunpoint from the Paiute over a course of many decades) then that constitutes an armed insurrection aka domestic terrorism. The US is a representative democracy and taking up arms against it is not only unconstitutional, it’s treason. Expect the full force of the law against you, although if the feds have any sense they will just let you rot. You need to understand that you Bundy boys are a tiny minority of militants and extremists and that the vast majority of American voters and taxpayers disagree with your armed insurrection.

    • Actually the low information idiots appear to be the dolts like you who apparently have been distracted to the point you fail to understand what illegal arson is and what consequences it brings.

  16. Just the response I would expect from an apostle of Hope-and-change fantasy. FYI, unregulated democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what’s for dinner. Voting is a privilege that should be taken seriously. Reasonable qualifications for voting have historic precedent, but I would not expect one such as you to accept reasonableness as an argument.
    BTW, throwing out that fascist stuff is lame. Grow up for god’s sake!

    • And deliberately misquoting someone on a comment board is even more “lame”. Rather than resorting to ad hominem fallacies, try boning up on the political movement, doctrine and system of Benito Mussolini, which encouraged militarism and nationalism, organizing Italy along hierarchical authoritarian lines.– and then spend some more time reacquainting yourself with the US constitution — all of it, not just the parts that suit you like the second amendment. “Reasonable qualifications for voting has a historical precedent”…hahaha I laughed till I cried. Reasonable qualifications being — let me guess — white, opinionated, blue collar, middle-aged, male, with a “historical” sense of entitlement, a grudge, a paranoid disposition and a pick-up full of guns. Pegged you for an anti-democrat from your very first comment.

      • Well said. I too laughed out loud at the idiots claim of “reasonable qualifications for voting has a historical precedent.” Heck, for the fun of it lets invoke such qualifications. We can start with a general litmus test of relative intelligence based upon each states HS graduation rates, college degrees, and advanced degrees in its adult populations. Using those standards we should simply ban most red states from having any electoral college votes in our Presidential elections. Hahaha

  17. How do you make a mountain out of a mole hill ?? Just ask any Federal judge , politician and many criminal lawyers . It’s so easy!…….now…. You people are arguing the law? A total WASTE of time ! It’s this kind of crap that got us in this huge mess to begin with…..Can’t see the trees for the forest?…..Blinded by the light?….or is it the dark?

    United States Court of Appeals for the 9th District Consists of. 28 judges . All appointed by presidential administrations. 3 of these judges were appointed by Carter and Reagan. …25 (89%) judges were appointed by 3 of the most criminal satanic presidents in the history of the USA Corp (Clinton , Bush , Obama) ….None were elected…..They ALL were appointed…..Look it up….Do you think they were fairly elected?…Are you kidding me? .. Do you really think the American people have gotten what they paid for? Slavery / disease and death? .Do you think we have any say in anything?

    You think that you can fix this issue by quoting Laws that were purposely made to confuse and enslave the people? Do you REALLY think that these courts are going to be fair? LOL LOL LOL. Do you still think the USA Corp. is here to protect us?……Not since 1917 and even before that……You will be on your knees when the truth is revealed……The hospitals better stock up on anxiety drugs and I PRAY the elderly can get thru this OK.

    Behind the scenes…The war against us and the rest of the world is in it’s climax…If you are part of the negativity…..bye bye…..You will not be able to hide.anywhere….on the surface , inner earth or anywhere in our solar system (you know it to). The arrest lists have been made for a long time…..Are you on it?

      • Another paranoid scared of his own shadow idiot. They seem to come out of the woodwork when idiots like buddy and pals do their domestic terrorism thing.

    • First off– you are a moron.
      1) The law says quite clearly that arson on Federal lands is punishable by 5 years in prison.
      The Hammonds were made aware of this law during one of their earlier encounters with law enforcement and still chose to disregard it.
      2) Despite that– they chose to a) poach deer illegally on Federal lands, and b) set fires to cover up their crime (as per their own family members that testified at their hearing).
      3) The fires they set, threatened the lives of the team of firefighters that were stationed there– not to mention all the residences and other public property surrounding the ranch.
      4) Committed perjury in telling the court they set fires on their land (all the evidence shows this is false).
      5) The Constitution has nothing to do with this. Nowhere in the Constitution des it give citizens permission to sieze Federal lands they have no claim of ownership over, nor does it permit people ton set other people’s property on fire.

      I don’t see those laws as being too confusing…..if it not your land– don’t touch it. Period.

  18. Lets see here….the Hammonds:

    1) They started a fire on Federal property (that land was NEVER theirs), one that their own family members testified they set on purpose to cover up the fact that they were illegally poaching deer on Federal lands (another crime in itself).
    2) Even after being reminded multiple times that they have no claim to that land– they still set additional backfires that almost killed the BLM firefighting group that was above them on the hill.
    3) Lied and tried to tell us that they set the fires to burn off brush (as if that makes it okay to set somebody else’s land on fire anyhow).
    4) Are now trying to use the Constitution to rationalize their terrorist activities? I don’t recall reading any ammendment, by-law, or clause in the U.S. Constitution that allows people to set others’ property on fire.

    The law currently says that arson on Federal lands is punishable by 5 years in prison.

    If you can’t stand the time– DON’T DO THE CRIME!!!!

  19. The Bundys do not speak for all Americans because he does not speak for me! That land belongs to all Americans, not just ranchers that want to take it for their cattle. They are poaching wildlife there that the refuge was formed to preserve. If they need more land, they need to buy more land or move. That Federal property is MINE, too. Get off MY PROPERTY with your guns and your attitudes!

      • Get real. Neither of you has any property, and neither would last one day on that land. No caramel frapuccino lattes out there, and the cactus would play hell with your skinny jeans and zip up boots. I’d pay 100 bucks to see it though. Thank you….made my day just thinking about it. HA!

        • More fallacies, Buddyboy? You really need to up your game. I’m a voter, taxpayer, family man and business owner. According to your “reasonable qualifications for voting” narrative, I have as much — if not more right — not to be dictated to by a ragtag militia of racist, reactionary freeloaders, fantasists, beer-swilling gun-nuts and bible thumpers with a misguided sense of patriotism and entitlement.

          The Hammonds could well have a legitimate beef with the BLM, but the Bundy bozos aren’t helping their cause. Actually, I’d go so ar as to say they f*cked up big time when they took over Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Public opinion is against them. That land by rights “belongs” to the Paiute and unlike the welfare-ranching Hammonds the Paiute have a good working relationship with the BLM and see them as a protector of native American cultural rights in the area. This is a war you won’t win, but I sure hope you die tryin’.

          PS I have a massive high chapparal cactus in my living room and I’ve never had any problem with it. And if your old pal Ted Kaczynski couldn’t survive on the land in Lincoln, Montana, why the hell would I even try?

          • You really have a cactus in your house? Well, I stand corrected; you clearly could survive in the wilderness. Probably could go a whole day without a latte.
            You should thank the Hammonds, and all like them, for raising beef so you can go to the steakhouse and feel macho for eating it rare.
            Sorry Ed, in still can’t get the image of you in the open range, latte in hand, skinny jeans, etc, confronted by a bear.
            Bear cr@p can’t vote.

            Bud

    • Wow Buddyboy, you’re giving me far more responsibility than I deserve, especially as I’m not a federal prosecutor. However, the FP did manage to prove that the Hammonds were guilty of arson under Title 18, United States Code, section 844(f)(1) .

      “(1) Whoever maliciously damages or destroys, or attempts to damage or destroy, by means of fire or an explosive, any building, vehicle, or other personal or real property in whole or in part owned or possessed by, or leased to, the United States, or any department or agency thereof, or any institution or organization receiving Federal financial assistance, shall be imprisoned for not less than 5 years and not more than 20 years, fined under this title, or both.”

      The Ninth Circuit summarized part of the trial evidence as follows: “Although the Hammonds claimed that the fire was designed to burn off invasive species on their property, a teenage relative of theirs testified that Steven had instructed him to drop lit matches on the ground so as to “light up the whole country on fire.” And the teenager did just that.”

      Crucially, the feds proved their case and a JURY OF PEERS convicted the Hammonds of the Section 844 charge, acquitted them on other charges, and failed to reach a verdict on additional charges, but while it was deliberating on the additional charges, the Hammonds and the feds reached a deal — the Hammonds wouldn’t appeal the verdict and the feds would recommend that the Hammonds could stay out on bail pending sentencing and that the government would recommend that their Section 844 sentences be served concurrently — in other words although the Hammonds had been convicted on multiple counts under Section 844 each carrying a mandatory minimum five-year sentence, the government would recommend that those five-year terms would result in just one five-year sentence each.

      At sentencing, the US District Judge on the case refused to impose the five-year mandatory-minimum sentences required by Section 844, ruling that to do so would violate the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. etc etc etc

      At no point in any of court documents and trial references that I’ve found is there any reference to the teenage relative who testified during the trial being “mentally challenged” or that he wasn’t allowed to testify due to mental incapacity. Hence unless YOU can prove otherwise there is no justifiable reason for the Hammonds to be acquitted. They wilfully set fires – despite a specific burn ban – that damaged federal property and put lives at risk. The poaching issue is just another informal fallacy — a red herring this time.

      PS Yes, I really have a massive cactus in my living room, but the raw meat issue is not one I need worry about, I’ve been a vegetarian since 1983 and would only eat something that used to have a face if I had no other choice. You see vegetarianism not a religion or a dogma, and I’m not a member of Y’all quaeda. God bless America, its constitution and “the preservation of life, & liberty, & the pursuit of happiness”.

      • So no charges of poaching, right? You have gone to a lot of trouble to prove my point. Thank you again.
        If God hadn’t meant for us to eat animals he wouldn’t have made them out of meat, and plants have feelings too, you know?

        • Right back at you, buddyboy. So no evidence that the kid who testified against the serial arsonists is mentally challenged, right? You have posted a lot of comments that prove my point. The Hammonds got what they deserved. Thank you again.

          God doesn’t exist, but even if she did, she’d have a lot to answer for. I mean, you’re mostly made of meat so that’s not much of an excuse either.

        • Read the trial transcripts Bud. Poaching was most certainly on the table at trial. Those charges were dropped in return for the Hammonds agreement to the five year sentences, otherwise their prison time could have been double the original five year recommendation.

  20. As to all this arguments as to a lessor able to impose any conditions on a lessee that he wishes that is nonsense As an apartment owner I was legally obliged to maintain my apartments in a fit state for habitation, Any lessor has the legal obligation to maintain the leased property in such a condition that it fits the purposes of the lease. Diverting water off range lands deliberately allowing dead consumables to pile up, and unreasonably restricting the lessee reasonable use with an agenda of destroying his business are not ” lawful conditions of a lease.
    In this case established federal law directs the BLM to lease grazing rights to ranchers.. The implied conditions are that the property be allowed to be maintained as suitable for that purpose. When you have a federal agency that mascarades as supporting reasonable conditions for grazing lands but allows hazards to pile up and unreasonably restricts the lessee from abating those hazards then what have is an agency acting contrary to its lawful purposes. As for the Back fires the order for Hammonds not to set back fires under those conditions was an unreasonable restriction that could have led to serious losses by the Hammond’s while on the contrary backfire on BLM leased land destroys nothing but brush and grass and if reasonably done, poses no threat to anyone. There was absolutely no evidence anywhere that any of the Hammond’s actions constituted an unreasonable hazard to life or Property given the situation.

    • And yet another false comparison. You shouldn’t be comparing owning and leasing out an apartment with the managing and administrating federal grazing lands.

      Secondly, can you actually prove that the BLM have or had “an agenda of destroying the Hammond’s business”? And if as you claim water was diverted from range lands, what justification for this did the BLM give at the time? Or did they divert the water out of pure spite?

      Finally, since the fires that the Hammonds set — despite the burn ban — resulted in the destruction of federal property and put the lives of BLM firefighters at risk (which is why they called it in in the fist place) the order for Hammonds not to set back fires under those conditions was hardly “an unreasonable restriction”.

      Seems that some people have a misguided sense of entitlement.

      • eddie it is obviously you who have an agenda, and I would guess since you are a militant vegetarian it is anti rancher. Yes eddie this is the entire issue the Feds have a deliberate anti rancher agenda that violates the original purpose of leasing public land to ranchers, As for proof, I have reams of proof the starting 25 years ago radicals like yourself using phony environmental concerns conspired with super rich capitalists to remove ranchers from the public lands. The ways they tried this are legion, going so far in one state to leas federal land to those who raised wolves. That is why you keep putting up the scenario that burning noxious weeds that if ingested would sicken cattle or invasive non native plants is the same as arson, or continue with the false calm that the Hammond’s backfire put the BLM so called fire fighters at risk. which is pure BS. The Hammonds were out there managing those backfires which is why the half mile long fire only burned a hundred feet into BLM In one 400 ft long spot ( rough dimensions) that is what and acre is 100 by 420 or 210 by 210 ft. which is nothing in the context of the thousands of acres we are talking about. Since the Hammond’s extinguished the backfire ( Not the BLM ) and since the Purpose at least as far as the government alleges of those BLM people was to stop the progress of range fires which would include setting backfires when the wind went down or reversed, alleging that a backfire ” Put them in danger ” which would be any different than the danger any fire fighter fighting a range fire would be, is pure BS which is a good term for what you are peddling.
        As for apartment leases and other property leases being different yes and no. My example was to show that NO lessor can impose conditions that defeat the purposes of the lease. Especially any government agency whose actions must By law be fair. A land lease to a rancher is for the purpose of the rancher raising cattle to market for meat, Any conditions adverse to that purpose must be reasonable restrictions. Stopping a rancher from removing noxious weeds or preventing a rancher from removing material that constitute a fuel load and a fire hazzard is not reasonable especially if the BLM makes what is not only a zero effort to rectify the situation themselves, but as those of us who have been following the situation for 20 year know, takes actions that are directly against the viability of ranching and farming on lease lands in the west. The reason that Western states are suing the federal government and passing laws nullifying federal regulations is because of this. In Oregon however the presence of so many dope smoking ex hippies in the electorate has led to a situation where Eugene and Portland rule the entire state because of the demographics. We have a similar situation in CA where La rules and steals or tries to steal the water from all over the state which is why all the state of Jefferson signs are everywhere in the northern counties. Militant Vegans. militant Primitivist so called environmentalists whose agenda it to depopulate rural areas and dope smokers whose mind is so messed up they don’t know what they want but follow the leftist agenda, are in my opinion the enemies of everything worthwhile in America. If you were honest and you would just admit that you will use any means hook or crook to get rid of beef ranchers that would be one thing. But no, you attempt to hide your agenda in a pile of BS. You’ve been outed

        • Thanks for the response, John, but I think you’re confusing vegetarianism with militant veganism. I personally choose not to eat meat for health and ethical reasons, and anyway my wife eats meat, and my kids are enthusiastic carnivores. And I don’t discriminate against cattle ranchers specifically because I don’t eat any chicken or pork either. Nor am I breaking the law by not doing so. It’s a free country, right? I’m entitled to choose my own lifestyle without being judged as long as I don’t impinge on the rights of my fellow citizens,

          So no militant vegan agenda on my part. I’m just a mainstream, middle-aged, hard-working, law-abiding, taxpaying family man and voter who undertands democracy, the constitution and rule of law.

          However, one thing I do know is how to change with the times. Cattle ranching is old school, but most of us have moved on, fella. Like I said, we can’t own negros any more, we can’t slaughter the natives and their food source, the cotton fields are gone, women can vote, white ranchers can’t ride roughshod over the rest of the population, we can’t dump toxic waste on the land, everyone is online, people are more educated about the environment. This is AD 2016.

          I can understand that you feel your outdated lifestyle is under threat. There are conspiracies around every corner. But taking up arms, occupying public property and starting a range war is not the way to get your grievances heard. It’s against the law, and above all it’s unconstitutional.

          • Eddie the really great part of arguing with scheming people like you is that to remain, even the slightest bit credible they have to drop their guard and out themselves. Your last post should be your swan song but knowing your type, “when in a hole dig deeper ” I suppose we can count on you to keep on keeping on. So here we have it You a militant greenie who wants to turn most of the west into primitive unpopulated areas says Ranching in states like Washington Oregon Idaho Wyoming Utah Arizona and New Mexico is quote from eddie

            ” Cattle ranching is old school, but most of us have moved on, fella. Like I said, we can’t own negros any more, we can’t slaughter the natives and their food source, the cotton fields are gone, women can vote, white ranchers can’t ride roughshod over the rest of the population, we can’t dump toxic waste on the land, everyone is online, people are more educated about the environment. This is AD 2016″

            Wow!! so in your so called mind cattle ranching is like Slavery, murder of Indian tribes, ( except the irony is that many of the protesting cattle ranchers who have been messed with by the Feds are part or whole Native Americans) denial of the vote to women ( FYI it was the Cattle ranchers of Wyoming who first gave the vote to women) dumping toxic waste ( except if you are a Fed from the so called EPA).
            People, he says “are more educated about the environment”. I suppose “eddie”, that you include yourself in those educated people?? Mis educated I would say!! Tell me Eddie do you use the mainstream media as a sources of your so called ” education'”?? FYI Eddie ingesting and respouting lies does not a education make.
            And further Eddie while I do own some rural property I am Not a rancher.

            • An informal fallacy is a flaw in an argument that renders the conclusion invalid. Informal fallacies are often used deliberately in a debate in an attempt to undermine the credibility of an opponent or their argument.

              Straw man — an argument based on misrepresentation of an opponent’s position. My comparison of cattle ranching with other historical phenomena was historically valid and anecdotal, it was in no way an ethical judgement.

              Argumentum ad hominem – evasion of the actual topic by directing an attack at your opponent. ”ergo decedo” is where a critic’s perceived affiliation is seen as the underlying reason for the criticism and the critic is asked to stay away from the issue altogether. I am not a ”scheming person” nor a ”militant vegan” and even if I were it does not render my opinions on the Hammond case invalid.

              Red herring – a speaker attempts to distract an audience by deviating from the topic at hand by introducing a separate argument the speaker believes is easier to speak to (includes most parts of most of your comments)

              Furtive fallacy – outcomes are asserted to have been caused by the malfeasance of decision makers. Just reading what you have to say about federal agencies explains this one.

              Nor have I suggested that you’re a cattle rancher, merely assumed on the basis of your comments that you’re some kind of one-eyed Tea Party reactionary with a misty-eyed, uncritical view of traditional US cultural phenomena and an 18th century interpretation of the US constitution. NB It was the territory of Wyoming that gave women the vote in 1869, not the ”cattle ranchers”.

              Finally, a ”fact” without proof is merely an opinion, to which you are obviously entitled. You have presented a large number of opinions and only one (incorrect) fact.

              To conclude (and drag the discussion back on topic)…..cattle ranchers (even welfare ranchers) are still necessary – for the time being – and they still have every right to exist and do business. just as long as they comply with state and federal laws (especially as they are benefitting from taxpayers’ money). Unfortunately, the Hammonds failed to do this, which is why they’re currently serving time.

  21. Ferguson Protestors
    1. Police cars burned
    2.Civilian cars burned
    3. 25 Businesses burned(Auto Zone,Walgreen’s,Quick-Trip,Little Caesars,etc.
    4. Millions in damage $5+Million Property Damage,$27+ Million Taxpayer cost
    5,GUNSHOTS fired at Police.
    6.RAMPANT LOOTING
    7.Bricks and Rocks thrown at police,
    8.Roads and Highways Blocked
    THEY ARE CALLED PEACEFUL PROTESTORS BY THE MEDIA and DEMOCRATS.

    Baltimore Protestors
    1.Police cars burned
    2.144+CIVILIAN CARS burned
    3.20+Businesses burned
    4.Millions in damage
    $9+Million in property damage
    $20+Million Taxpayer cost.
    5.Fire Fighters have bottles thrown at them and hoses maliciosly cut.
    6.Rampant Looting
    7.Bottles and Objects thrown at Police
    8. Roads and Highways Blocked
    THEY ARE CALLED PEACEFUL PROTESTORS BY THE MEDIA and DEMOCRATS.

    Oregon Militia Group
    1.Protestors are Armed
    2.Walked into Vacant and Unlocked Government Cabin
    in the middle of Nowhere,miles away from anywhere else
    3. Setup Camp.
    4.Publicly stated they will not harm anyone.will only protect themselves
    5.They cooked dinner last night.
    THEY ARE CALLED DOMESTIC TERRORISTS BY THE MEDIA and DEMOCRATS.

    • “Publicly stated they will not harm anyone.will only protect themselves”. Hahaha….pass me a needle I’m splitting my sides. I’m on my way to your neighborhood with my SR-25 and my kids (plus a truck load of beer and beans) to take over your property when you’re not home. If you make a fuss about it, I’ll “publicly state” that I’m not going to harm anyone and only protect myself. Priceless!

      No prizes for guessing what would have happened if anyone had tried to stop them.

      And what have the democrats got to do with it? They’re not the ones with a misguided sense of entitlement. Another fallacy.

    • Another fallacy. There was nobody in the refuge to shoot or assault. Can’t imagine what might have happened if anyone had tried to stop them.

  22. “And what have the democrats got to do with it? They’re not the ones with a misguided sense of entitlement”
    You are clearly insane.

    • No, not insane, but thanks for the compliment. Just a hard-working, taxpaying, family man with his own business…one who understands the true meaning of the word democracy.

      You didn’t answer the question. What have the “democrats” got to do with Malheur? How many “democrats” are currently taking part in the armed occupation of public property at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge?

      • To answer the questions other question, the point was that democrats are exactly the ones with a misguided sense of entitlement.
        Therefore, you are clearly insane to think otherwise.

        • First an ad hominem followed up with a deflectiion. You really are the king of informal fallacies.

          This is not a party political issue, this is a law and order issue.

  23. Some things never change; there will always be condescending knowitall’s who think they are the enlightened geniuses.
    BTW, I live down the road from several large cotton fields, so I’m mostly sure they still exist.
    It’s also ok to dump toxic material in the river as long as you work for the EPA.

  24. Yes, “we” cannot own negros, and I would be remiss if I did not point out that the XIIIth amendment passed unanimously on the Republican side, while the majority of Dems voted against it. The Dem party was essentially the pro slavery party, the Republican Party was the pro liberty, anti slavery party. Send also voted against voting rights act twice before going along.
    Your gustatory quirks aside, cattle ranchers are still necessary, and have every right to do business and exist.

    • True, if a somewhat potted version of history. The Democrats were certainly the “party of slavery” back in the 19th century, although they also split on the issue in 1860, north-south wise. Otherwise you can blame Barry Goldwater (and many others) for the Republican reversal of fortunes re. civil rights. Wonder what the Tea Party would have made of abolition?

      Nevertheless, your historical red herring merely underpins my point, which is that times change and societies evolve. Taleban don’t like that much either.

      And yes, cattle ranchers (even welfare ranchers) are still necessary – for the time being – and have every right to do business and exist. just as long as they comply with state and federal laws (especially as they are benefitting from taxpayers’ money). Unfortunately, the Hammonds failed to do that, which is why they’re currently serving time.

  25. I preface the following by stating I am not familiar with the particulars of this senerio. Perhaps I am the ignorance one.
    From the few facts I have been enlightened to for better or worse I believe the following ; the stand off was just adding “fuel to the fire” when those particular citizens thought that they could take control of the government or its property. I understand the the frustration of the individuals.
    But, Like it or not, the law is the law. If you don’t like it go to your state rep, get a bill enacted. It’s unconscionable to me that the 2nd amendment may be irracated by a handful of people angered by their personal situation. We all have our beefs, taxes, unnecessary tax dollars spent…it’s all personal.
    However their behavior reflects poorly on 2nd amendment law abiding citizens, who carry for protection, or target shoot for sport. Not a hunter so I can’t speak to that. It makes all of us look like deranged outlaws. Perhaps your conflict with the authorities resulted in an unfair trial. I don’t know. But I do know this, your alligence should be to your country first. Those agents put there lives on the line everyday. I know one. Semper Fi, and respect. Who you gonna call when Isis is in your backyard?

  26. Regarding item #2; the Hammonds had a plea agreement with the feds to accept the mandatory five year minimum sentence in exchange for no prosecution on other charges would could have doubled their prison sentences.

    It was the trial judge, who acting in violation of the minimum sentences established by congress, who erred in this matter.

    When the feds appealed, they were not appealing that the sentences were too short, but that the trial judge did not have the authority to invalidate the act of congress to set his own sentence.

    The appeals process led to the Supreme Court, which sent the case back to the appeals court to establish the correct sentence, that which was originally agreed upon by the Hammonds and the prosecutors.

    The article gives the impression that the prosecutors were appealing the short sentence, when in fact they were appealing the propriety of the trial judge’s actions which violated the act of congress.

  27. Oh, I see. So since the waste was produced by a private company, which had the waste safely contained, it is ok that the EPA released the waste into the river.
    Amazingly, when the material was contained it was considered toxic, but once the EPA released it into the river, it wasn’t toxic. We all know the EPA wouldn’t do anything imprudent, because someone from EPA would have to be held responsible. And they weren’t.

  28. We can agree to disagree. I believe the Feds are just out to get these guys, since the “terrorism” charge is clearly misapplied here. The ten year gap between “crime” and charge is highly suspect, especially since the Hammonds claim to have had permission both times. Yes there was a burn ban, and there was a huge fire raging, heading in their ranch’s direction. The back fires were set to protect the winter feed, was done with permission, never put any firefighter in danger, and served its purpose. The fires caused no harm to the property, and arguably improved the it. These are victimless “crimes”.

    What I know is that had the government property been mine, and Hammond was my neighbor, I would have looked at it as a no-harm-no-foul issue.

    Others are inclined to sue their neighbors and even their family over such “infractions” for their own enrichment. There are those on this forum who see ranchers as I see abortionists; murderers. I understand their position, though I disagree with it.

    I don’t know you, and I don’t wish you any harm, but I do hope that if karma does its thing, and the Feds put you in their cross-hairs some day that I am there to witness your conversion. It would also be a charm to see those with an axe to grind, who are not at all interested in the fairness of the charges against you, argue endlessly against you on this type of forum. All that separates you from that is for whatever group you are a part of to fall into disfavor with our ever strengthening Federal Government.

  29. You may want to acquaint yourself with the facts before commenting. The fires were started on the HAMMOND’s (not Bundy) land, with government permission, caused no harm, put no one at risk, and served their originally stated purpose.

  30. As a former law enforcement officer and US army Veteran I will start by saying that there are two separate issues I see here. The hammonds by law in my eyes are guilty period. A jurry determined that beyond a reasonable doubt as defined by law. We have to understand that they are the only ones who had a full and complete understanding of all of the events, laws , contracts , and the eveidence presented by the people. The law is the law and they broke it, and you can by law commit arson on your own property if it endangers the lands, and property of others or risks the lives of safety of first responders trying to put it out. Now I do not agree that there was an increase of sentence after a federal judge had already sentenced them and time was served and I think if they appeal, it may get overturned “in time” . Now the entire Bundy thing was wrong from day one. They had no grounds to take innocent people or government buildings hostage at this stage, that in my mind is an act of war against the state and should be use as an absolute last resort. If armed conflict is being considered then it better be on solid footing and at the scale of civil war or state succeeding. That’s why we have a system of appeals, but that is up to the hammonds to do an negotiate with the use of letters to state representatives and the legal system. Because if we go to arms over the direction of our country ( and we may at some point) we must all be willing to accept that it will be on a scale of barbarity you cannot imagine, that will tear our land apart and only God knows what will come of it.

    Thank you all and God bless