Oregon Governor Kate Brown defied a request by federal authorities to remain mum on the occupation of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge to blast the feds for letting the Bundy-led militants hole up there for 19 days and counting, the Oregonian reports.
The group took over the wildlife refuge on January 2, and Brown said Wednesday the cost to taxpayers has been $100,000 a week. She said that while she wouldn’t do or say anything to compromise the federal government’s efforts to resolve the situation, she urged that they take action to end the occupation and bring relief to residents.
“This situation is absolutely intolerable and it must be resolved immediately,” Brown said, in a press conference where she also laid out policy proposals. “The very fabric of this community is being ripped apart.”
Brown said the residents of Harney County have been “overlooked and underserved by federal officials’ response thus far.”
Brown added the “spectacle of lawlessness must end.”
A community meeting on Tuesday night revealed intense strife among locals, many of whom emotionally begged the group to leave.
“You know, we have voices. We have feet. We can take care of it,” one woman said.. “I can’t thank you for the disruption to our county, to my home, to people who are stressed out… It’s stress because this is our home. We love it, or we wouldn’t be here. We just want you to give it back to us.”
Another man said while he agreed with the Bundys’ views on government, he still wants them to leave.
“Mr. Bundy, I agree with you 100 percent, we have way too much government,” Ed Brown told the group. “But the same hand (sic), get the hell out of my yard. Look what you did to this county.”
Listen to Brown’s comments, as posted by Oregon Public Broadcasting, here: