The Latest: Rancher says warrants issued in Oregon standoff

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Posted: Jan 05, 2016 9:16 PM
The Latest: Rancher says warrants issued in Oregon standoff

BURNS, Ore. (AP) — The latest on armed people who have taken over a federal building at an Oregon wildlife refuge (all times local):

5:05 p.m.

A member of the small, armed group that has been occupying a national wildlife refuge in Oregon says he believes federal officials have issued warrants for the arrest of five group members.

LaVoy Finicum, an Arizona rancher, told reporters at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Tuesday evening that he is one of the people who is a subject of the warrants, but he offered no details.

The FBI in Portland referred calls to the Harney County Joint Information Center, which said in a statement it had no information on arrests or arrest warrants and that authorities were "still working on a peaceful resolution."

Finicum, holding a rifle and a backpack, told reporters he would stay at the entrance to the refuge overnight so authorities could find him. Ammon Bundy, a group leader, said they would take a defensive position anticipating a possible raid.

The group calling itself Citizens for Constitutional Freedom said it wants an inquiry into whether the government is forcing ranchers off their land.

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11:35 a.m.

A leader of the small, armed group that's been occupying a national wildlife refuge in Oregon says the group will leave when a plan is in place to turn over management of federal lands to locals.

Ammon Bundy told reporters Tuesday at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge that ranchers, loggers and farmers should have control of federal lands. He is a son of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, who was involved in a high-profile 2014 standoff with the government over grazing rights.

Ammon Bundy offered few specifics of the group's plan. LaVoy Finicum, an Arizona rancher, said the group would examine land ownership transactions to begin to "unwind it."

Finicum says authorities hadn't shut off power to the refuge's headquarters as of Tuesday morning.

Environmentalists and others say federal officials should run the land for the broadest benefits to business, recreation and the environment.

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9:30 a.m.

A pickup blocked the entrance Tuesday morning to a national wildlife refuge in Oregon where a small, armed group has been occupying the remote area since Saturday.

All seemed calm at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge south of Burns, Oregon, where a member of the group looked over the area from a watchtower.

The group has said it wants authorities to look into claims that local ranchers have been intimidated by the federal government.

Ammon Bundy — one of the sons of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, who was involved in a 2014 standoff with the government over grazing rights — has also said that two local ranchers who reported to federal prison Monday for setting fire to land have been treated unfairly.

So far authorities have taken no action against the group that numbers about 20.