Yesterday I received a phone call from Dwight Hammond (74). He said that he was very afraid for his life and for mine as well. He informed me that federal agents contacted his attorney. They told Dwight’s attorney that if Dwight and Susie did not end all communication with Ammon Bundy, that they “would detain the Hammond’s early for federal prison and that they would transfer pain to the Hammond family”. He further said, that he believed “they would bring misery to the whole family”.
Steven Hammond’s attorney also confirmed that federal agents contacted him and hinted a raid on the Hammonds home if they did not end all communication with Ammon Bundy.
On Thursday November 19th, Harney County Sheriff, David Ward, informed me that federal agents indicated to him that if the Hammond’s continued to speaking out, that they may raid the Hammond’s home and detain them early for federal prison. I informed the Sheriff that it was his duty to make sure that did not happen.
I do not have to explain how this is a violation of individual rights. Dwight, Steven and Susie have all told me that they are terrified of what will happen if they continue to communicate with me. In the last phone conversation between Susie and I, she told me that she loved me and was so thankful for what I have done to get the truth out. She then informed me that she feared that if we continued to talk, federal agents were going to put a bullet in her and Dwight’s heads, and possible mine. I attempted to instill courage in both Dwight and Susie, but fear had over come them.
This last Wednesday I spent a good part of the day in the Hammond’s home. We spoke for hours. Several times, I found the Hammond’s in tears when they explained the injustices that has destroyed their lives. They were hopeful that the American people were going to stand for them. And that, just maybe, they would be able to return to the life they once knew. In just a few short hours, federal agents again have dashed the Hammond’s hope and replaced it with fear.
I hold my tongue against those that would inflict such pain upon these wonderful people. It reminds me of the scripture that reads: “Nevertheless, when the wicked rule the people mourn” (D&C 98:9).
Everyone within the reach of my words must know that I will do everything in my power to make sure that justice is brought to the Hammond’s. I will not stop until the Hammond’s are home free, without fear. I do not fear for my life. I love the Hammonds, I love the Lord.
Why the Hammonds are being threatened and abused:
Facts & Events in the Hammond Case
Facts & Events
(aa) The Harney Basin (were the Hammond ranch is established) was settled in the 1870’s. The valley was settled by multiple ranchers and was known to have run over 60,000 head of cattle. These ranchers developed a state of the art irrigated system to water the meadows, and it soon became a favorite stopping place for migrating birds on their annual trek north.
(ab) In 1908 President Theodor Roosevelt, in a political scheme, create an “Indian reservation” around the Malheur, Mud & Harney Lakes and declared it “as a preserve and breeding ground for native birds”. Later this “Indian reservation” (without Indians) became the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
(a) In 1964 the Hammonds purchased their ranch in the Harney Basin. The purchase included approximately 6000 acres of private property, 4 grazing rights on public land, a small ranch house and 3 water rights. The ranch is around 53 miles South of Burns, Oregon.
(a1) By the 1970’s nearly all the ranches adjacent to the Blitzen Valley were purchased by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and added to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge covers over 187,000 acres and stretches over 45 miles long and 37 miles wide. The expansion of the refuge grew and surrounds to the Hammond’s ranch. Being approached many times by the FWS, the Hammonds refused to sell. Other ranchers also choose not to sell.
(a2) During the 1970’s the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), in conjunction with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), took a different approach to get the ranchers to sell. Ranchers were told that, “grazing was detrimental to wildlife and must be reduced”. 32 out of 53 permits were revoked and many ranchers were forced to leave. Grazing fees were raised significantly for those who were allowed to remain. Refuge personnel took over the irrigation system claiming it as their own.
(a3) By 1980 a conflict was well on its way over water allocations on the adjacent privately owned Silvies Plain. The FWS wanted to acquire the ranch lands on the Silvies Plain to add to their already vast holdings. Refuge personnel intentional diverted the water to bypassing the vast meadowlands, directing the water into the rising Malheur Lakes. Within a few short years the surface area of the lakes doubled. Thirty-one ranches on the Silvies plains were flooded. Homes, corrals, barns and graze-land were washed a way and destroyed. The ranchers that once fought to keep the FWS from taking their land, now broke and destroyed, begged the FWS to acquire their useless ranches. In 1989 the waters began to recede and now the once thriving privately owned Silvies pains are a proud part of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge claimed by the FWS.
(a4) By the 1990’s the Hammonds were one of the very few ranchers that still owned private property adjacent to the refuge. Susie Hammond in an effort to make sense of what was going on began compiling fact about the refuge. In a hidden public record she found a study that was done by the FWS in 1975. The study showed that the “no use” policies of the FWS on the refuge were causing the wildlife to leave the refuge and move to private property. The study showed that the private property adjacent to the Malheur Wildlife Refuge produced 4 times more ducks and geese than the refuge did. It also showed that the migrating birds were 13 times more likely to land on private property than on the refuge. When Susie brought this to the attention of the FWS and refuge personnel, her and her family became the subjects of a long train of abuses and corruptions.
(b) In the early 1990’s the Hammonds filed on a livestock water source and obtained a deed for the water right from the State of Oregon. When the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) found out that the Hammonds obtained new water rights near the Malhuer Wildlife Refuge, they were agitated and became belligerent and vindictive towards the Hammonds. The US Fish and Wildlife Service challenged the Hammonds right to the water in an Oregon State Circuit Court. The court found that the Hammonds legally obtained rights to the water in accordance to State law and therefore the use of the water belongs to the Hammonds.*
(c) In August 1994 the BLM & FWS illegally began building a fence around the Hammonds water source. Owning the water rights and knowing that their cattle relied on that water source daily the Hammonds tried to stop the building of the fence. The BLM & FWS called the Harney County Sheriff department and had Dwight Hammond (Father) arrested and charged with “disturbing and interfering with” federal officials or federal contractors (two counts, each a felony). He spent one night in the Deschutes County Jail in Bend, and a second night behind bars in Portland before he was hauled before a federal magistrate and released without bail. A hearing on the charges was postponed and the federal judge never set another date.
(d) The FWS also began restricting access to upper pieces of the Hammond’s private property. In order to get to the upper part of the Hammond’s ranch they had to go on a road that went through the Malhuer Wildlife Refuge. The FWS began barricading the road and threatening the Hammonds if they drove through it. The Hammonds removed the barricades and gates and continued to use their right of access. The road was proven later to be owned by the County of Harney. This further enraged the BLM & FWS.
(e) Shortly after the road & water disputes, the BLM & FWS arbitrarily revoked the Hammond’s upper grazing permit without any given cause, court proceeding or court ruling. As a traditional “fence out state” Oregon requires no obligation on the part of an owner to keep his or her livestock within a fence or to maintain control over the movement of the livestock. The Hammonds intended to still use their private property for grazing. However, they were informed that a federal judge ruled, in a federal court, that the federal government did not have to observe the Oregon fence out law. “Those laws are for the people, not for them”.
(f) The Hammonds were forced to either build and maintain miles of fences or be restricted from the use of their private property. Cutting their ranch in almost half, they could not afford to fence the land, so the cattle were removed.
Dwight Hammond (Father)
(j) In 2006 a massive lightning storm started multiple fires that joined together inflaming the countryside. To prevent the fire from destroying their winter range and possibly their home, Steven Hammond (Son) started a backfire on their private property. The backfire was successful in putting out the lightning fires that had covered thousands of acres within a short period of time. The backfire saved much of the range and vegetation needed to feed the cattle through the winter. Steven’s mother, Susan Hammond said: “The backfire worked perfectly, it put out the fire, saved the range and possibly our home”.
|Steven Hammond (Son)|
(k) A few days later an agent from the Burns District BLM office asked Steven if he would meet him in town (Burns) for coffee. Steven accepted. When he arrived he was arrested by the Harney County Sheriff’s Department. Sheriff Dave Glerup then ordered him to go to the ranch and bring back his father. Both Dwight and Steven were booked and charged by the US Attorney’s Office for “Arsenal Terrorism”, under the Federal Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996. This act carries a minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum sentence of death. Dwight & Steven’s mug shots were all over the news the next week posing them as “Arsonists”. Susan Hammond (Wife & Mother) said: “I would walk down the street or go in a store, people I had known for years would take extreme measures to avoid me”.
(t) In October 2015, the 9th District Court “resentenced” Dwight and Steven, requiring them to return to prison for several more years. Steven (46) has a wife and 3 children. Dwight (74) will leave Susan (74) to be alone after 55 years of marriage. If he survives, he will be 79 when he is released.
Conclusion: http://bundyranch.blogspot.com/2015/11/conclusion-in-hammonds-case.htmlLetter to Government Official and Aware Citizens: http://bundyranch.blogspot.com/2015/11/hammond-family-declared-as-terrorist.html