Two of the Oregon militants have been traveling out of state to meet with other groups who want the federal government to hand over public land to their control.
LaVoy Finicum said he left the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge last week and drove to Utah with one of the other armed militants, reported OPB.
He later identified his travel companion as Ryan Bundy, and he claimed they met with county officials eager to engage in a similar standoff with federal authorities over public land ownership.
Finicum said the occupied visitors center, which the militants have renamed the Harney County Resource Center, was a symbolic victory and inspiration to other anti-government extremists.
“We have occupied their fort, and we’re not giving it back, it goes to Harney County,” said Finicum, who has ignored local pleas to leave the area. “It does not go back to the federal government.”
Bundy reportedly took part in an armed protest shortly after the Bundy ranch standoff by driving dozens of all-terrain vehicles into southeastern Utah’s Recapture Canyon.
Finicum said he had no contact with law enforcement officers as he made the drive from eastern Oregon to Utah — a roughly 11-hour drive.
“We went fast, and came back fast,” said Finicum. “I doubt (law enforcement) even knew we were gone. Probably they did. But they were nice enough to let us go and come back.”
Watch this video of Finicum discussing his travel to Utah and the group’s plans to take over additional federal land: