‘For the Record’: Understanding the Dispute Behind the Oregon Standoff

The ongoing standoff at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon is turning tense in its third week. Tuesday, members of surrounding communities demanded that the ranchers’ rights group occupying a government building leave the area.

Just days earlier, the group had a confrontation with environmentalists from the Center for Biological Diversity.

The agenda of the group, led by Ammon Bundy, centers on ranchers who were convicted of arson for setting controlled burns to reduce the growth of invasive plants and protect their properties from the threat of larger wildfires.

However, that’s just part of what ranchers across the West say is a broader movement at work to push them off the land and return it to nature.