"We want all people to be safe".
Bundy claims the two ranchers were targeted for not selling land to the government.
"We have good relations with the refuge".
"Don't tell me any of these ranchers came across the Bering Strait", said the tribal chairwoman, Charlotte Rodrique, referring to the ancient Ice Age land bridge between North America and Asia that was the conduit for native migration of the Americas.
In March 2014, Cliven Bundy was at the center of an armed standoff with federal officials over grazing rights on government land. Federal officials said the fires were a ruse to hide poaching while the Hammonds said they were set to protect their land.
"We are exercising our constitutional rights".
"There is a time to go home, we recognize that", Ammon Bundy said at a news conference Wednesday.
"Those individuals illegally occupying the Malheur Wildlife Refuge need to decamp immediately and be held accountable". They did so at length and with plenty of emotion.
He also says they won't leave until a land transfer to return the property to local ranchers begins.
In a statement issued Monday, Mormon leaders said the OR land dispute "is not a church matter", but they condemned the seizure and said they were "deeply troubled" by reports that suggest the armed group is acting "based on Scriptural principles". Their history in the area dates back 9,000 years ago, the tribe says.
Those Paiutes who did not remove still live on the Burns Paiute Reservation. When the lakes began drying up the tribe had to migrate. "They see an injustice but all levels of government are ignoring that".
Fast forward to 1879 after the treaty was signed.
"They literally walked our people, children and women off our lands. We were dragged out of here", Rodrique said.
(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer). Ammon Bundy, one of the sons of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, speaks during an interview at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016, near Burns, Ore. "The federal government wants to take over the state of OR and turn it into a park".
"It gets tiring. It's the same battles that my ancestors had".
Online, public opinion was sharply split on what was quickly dubbed the #Oregonstandoff, with many branding the takeover an act of domestic terrorism, while others saw an act of resistance against government oppression.
"It's tough out here. If any company wants to relocate we'd welcome it", Kennedy said.
Ammon Bundy is demanding that the refuge be handed over to locals.
Launched following a bigger demonstration in support of two local imprisoned ranchers, Dwight Hammond Jr. and his son, Steven, the occupation has been marked by daily media briefings from the protesters, and by federal law enforcement agents keeping watch from a distance. Last fall, the Hammonds were ordered back to federal prison after having already served time for lighting fires on publicly managed land.
"We feel like we need to make sure the Hammonds are out of prison, or well on their way".
Ryan Bundy then took the family inside one of the buildings to meet his brother, Ammon. The sheriff's office said via Twitter that Ward asked Bundy to respect the wishes of local residents and leave the area. What led up to that is unfortunate, too.
However, the county sheriff has told the roughly 20 people to go home and a community meeting was scheduled.
"They've got propane and wood stoves for heat", he said.
After five days occupying the headquarters in the refuge that they broke into, including taking the tractors and using them as barricades at the entrance, the group has stayed put. That's because the agencies can authorize the land for multiple uses, such as mining, grazing or recreation, while many Western states are constitutionally obligated to use lands they manage for the most lucrative objective - often mining. That has basically been waiting them out and not physically challenging them.
They point, among other things, to mounting environmental regulations that have made it harder for locals to eke out a living from the land. "They are just making a statement for us, to wake us up". "They are white men".