By Timothy Cama - 03/21/16 10:04 AM EDT
Two top Obama administration officials are visiting Monday the Oregon wildlife refuge that was taken over by gunmen earlier this year.
Interior Secretary Sally JewellSally JewellClimate change is a refugee issue too Feds roll out conservation, energy plan for Calif. desert Celebrating the contributions of the National Park Service at its centennial MORE and Deputy Secretary Michael Connor will visit the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in rural eastern Oregon, more than a month after the final occupier surrendered to police following a 41-day takeover.
A group of dozens of gunmen, led by Ammon and Ryan Bundy, took over the refuge Jan. 2 to protest federal ownership and management of land and threatened violence if the government did not allow them to transfer the land to individuals.
Federal agents are under investigation for an incident in which one member of the group, Robert "LaVoy" Finicum, was fatally shot during a confrontation with authorities.
Multiple leaders of the occupation have been arrested and face federal charges for the roles.
“As the community continues to recover from the illegal occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, I know that deepening the strong partnerships already in place will be important to the healing process,” Jewell said in a statement. “I’m here to talk to local leaders about what’s working in southeastern Oregon and what opportunities exist to work more collaboratively when it comes to managing our nation’s public lands that belong to all of us.”
The Fish and Wildlife Service, which manages the refuge, has been working with law enforcement since the occupation ended to investigate it and repair damage to the property.