Energy & Environment

Interior reverses last-minute Trump grazing permits for men who inspired Bundy standoff

The Department of the Interior is reversing a last-minute decision made under the Trump administration to grant grazing permits for two men pardoned by President Trump.

A permit given by former Interior Secretary David Bernhardt on the administration’s last full day in office would allow Hammond Ranches to graze on lands in southeast Oregon. The ranch is operated by father-son duo Dwight and Steven Hammond, who were convicted of setting fire to public lands in 2012. 

The Bureau of Land Management subsequently revoked their grazing privileges in 2014 — a move that caught the eye of Ammon Bundy, escalating to a 2016 takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.

The Biden administration is now reconsidering the January permit issued under the Trump administration, arguing the prior administration didn’t follow proper protocol in issuing it. 

When such permits are issued, the public is given 15 days to protest the matter with the Bureau of Land Management.

“Because the protest period had not properly concluded before the January 19 decision was issued, I am rescinding the January 19 decision and remanding the matter to the BLM to allow for full consideration of the timely protests,” Laura Daniel Davis, the acting assistant secretary for land and minerals management, wrote in an order signed late Friday.

The move will kick the matter back to the Bureau of Land Management, which will ultimately decide whether to grant the Hammonds the permit.

Tags Ammon Bundy Bundy Bundy standoff Bureau of Land Management Donald Trump Hammond arson case Malheur National Wildlife Refuge
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