International Crane Foundation Statement on the Malheur Occupation Verdict

Sandhill Cranes, Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, OregonThe International Crane Foundation respects the judicial process, but we are deeply concerned by the outcome of the Malheur case (click here to learn more about the occupation of the refuge earlier this year). Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is among the most important Sandhill Crane breeding sites in the refuge system, supporting over 20% of the breeding greater Sandhill Cranes in Oregon.

“The results of the recent trial regarding the armed occupation of Malheur has raised concerns about the future of this refuge and other public lands and the ability of federal employees to safely do their jobs, which threatens their ability to provide habitat for cranes and other wildlife.” said Gary Ivey, Research Associate for the International Crane Foundation.

“More than half the Malheur staff have resigned or transferred, and the remaining staff might not be safe in the future from these domestic terrorists. We are concerned about the remaining staff’s ability to meet the refuge purpose, as identified by President Teddy Roosevelt in 1908, ‘as a preserve and breeding ground for native birds.’ The trial outcome will likely encourage other illegal acts against public lands and further threaten wildlife and our natural heritage on these lands that are owned by all Americans. We need to step up and demonstrate wide public support for our public lands and agencies who manage them,” continued Gary.

Gary IveyStatement submitted by Dr. Gary Ivey, International Crane Foundation Research Associate, who works in the Pacific Flyway and also serves as President of the Friends of Malheur Refuge