WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) was the first lawmaker to react to the events leading up to the end of the refuge occupation. He released the following statement:
“Oregonians across our state are grateful to the Harney County Sheriff’s Department, federal law enforcement, and local and state officials for ending this standoff without additional loss of life. The steady resolve of the Burns community and Harney County leaders like County Judge Steve Grasty and Sheriff Dave Ward have kept this sad episode from sparking something much worse.
Now that the shadow of violence is lifting from Harney County, Oregonians can return to what we do best -- building common ground for real success on the challenges facing our state.”
Second District Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR) also released a statement:
“We can all be grateful that today has ended peacefully, and that this situation is finally over. Now, life in Harney County can begin to return to normal and the community can begin the long process of healing. I will continue working to solve the underlying issues that have caused so much frustration in rural communities. We need meaningful changes to federal forest and land management policies, and we need to foster a more cooperative spirit between the federal agencies and the people who call areas like Harney County home.”
U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley said in a statement, “I am relieved that this unlawful standoff has finally come to an end. This situation has put incredible emotional and financial strain on the Harney County community, and now we all must come together to support them as they heal. I thank the law enforcement officers who worked to ensure that the rest of the occupiers left peacefully, and I stand ready to partner with Senator Wyden, Governor Brown and others to provide whatever support we can to the Harney community as they recover and move forward.”
The FBI is scheduled to hold a press conference at 2 p.m., Thursday, in Harney County.