BURNS, OR -- The FBI has finished collecting evidence at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Harney County, following the 41-day occupation. However, the U.S. Attorney's Office and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service still haven't determined when the refuge will reopen.
The FBI conducted a tactical clearing of the refuge, performing bomb sweeps and collecting evidence related to potential crimes committed at the facility. Forensic examiners also recovered and processed computers and other electronic devices, and agents helped identify any damage to the Burns Paiute Tribe's artifacts and sacred lands, caused by the occupation.
"We know the impacts from the armed occupation of the refuge will live on in this community for some time. Today, though, we are able to bring some sense of closure to this chapter of the story," said Greg Bretzing, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon, said in a statement issued Tuesday. "I have come to know the people of Harney County quite well over the past few months. I have experienced the love that you have for your home -- the people, the land and the way of life that makes Harney County special. On behalf of the men and women of the FBI, I want to thank you for sharing your community with us and your patience as we have done the work that we needed to do."
Although the collection of evidence is complete, it will still be a few more months before forensic exams will be done.