American ranchers declared as terrorists?
I was stunned when I clicked on a link which took me to the story of an American family prosecuted by the Federal Government. Absolutely disgusting and this kind of stuff will lead to a call to arms for liberty loving Americans. I’m going to borrow the piece linking back to the source. I’m leaving out some of the legal details but they’re available via the link.
Via: Free Republic
Hammond Family Declared as Terrorist and Sentenced to Five Years in Federal Prison
From: The Bundy Family Bunkerville, Nevada
To: Aware Citizens & Government Officials
Our hearts and prayers go out to the Hammond family with deep empathy. The magnitude of the injustices dealt to them is hard to comprehend. Their once happy lives have been forever darkened with pains of corruptions. The nature of their sentencing proves once again that justice is currently not found in the federal courts.
The Hammonds are a simple ranching family that for generations has cared for the land they live upon. Prescribed burns are a vital process in keeping the land healthy and productive in the area. The BLM also performs prescribed burns and have let it get out of control many times, but never has it cost any federal agent hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and years of life in prison. The Hammonds prescribed a fire that moved to public land, they extinguished the fire themselves. The courts found that the burn increased vegetation for the following years, and had a positive impact on the land. With no authority or justification to prosecute, eleven years after the fire, federal attorneys have obtained judgment that the Hammonds are terrorists and must be punished severely for their actions.
The illegal predatory actions of federal agencies placing themselves as the sole beneficiaries of the land and resources must end or the people will stand in open resistance against it. The collaboration between federal agencies and the federal courts is shameful and will continue to accelerate the peoples demand for justice. The Hammond prosecution, and many offenses like it, solidify that the federal government is no longer an entity that functions for the benefit of the people.
We warn federal agencies, federal judges and all government officials that follow federal oppressive examples that the people are in unrest because of these types of actions. The purpose of government is to protect the unalienable rights of the people, not to take them away. It is the duty of the people to defend their God given rights if government fails to do so or turns to devour them. Good, civil citizens wish only to live in tranquility and peace, but demand freedom while doing so. We call upon you and all civil servants to effectuate the true purpose of government and change your actions as needed by fulfilling your sworn duty to the Constitution and ultimately to the People.
We further warn that the incarceration of the Hammond family will spawn serious civil unrest. We advocate that all charges be dropped and that the Hammond family be allowed to return to the home and life that was so rudely interrupted. The Hammond family has paid enough for this mistake, if any mistake at all. Further punishments to the Hammonds will require restitution upon those who inflict the injustices.
We call upon aware citizens and government officials to promote the protection and freedom of the Hammond family, and by so doing, maintaining the spirit of liberty that this beloved nation is built upon.
This is a story of ranchers Dwight (father) and Steven (son) Hammond of Diamond, Harney County, Oregon. In the year 2001 they set fire on BLM land for which they had grazing permits. They did so to clear underbrush so more grass would grow, making the land more productive for their cattle. Some years later a court did indeed rule that the fire had accomplished that, making the land more valuable for grazing.
Both Hammonds had been previously arrested in 1994 for blocking the BLM from building a fence. The BLM was constructing a fence that would block Hammond cattle from grazing on land the BLM had claimed as a “refuge”. But the Hammonds claimed that area as a “historic right of way” that has been in use since 1871. “We have never had a permit,” Susan Hammond said. “We have a right to use it.” The Hammonds served only two days in jail, their hearing was postponed indefinitely for this offense, and to date has never taken place.
Nevertheless the Hammonds were tried and convicted in 2012 under the “Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996” for arson on public land for the 2001 fire and a similar fire in 2006. The statutory minimum sentence was five years. However, Judge Hogan deemed a five year sentence too lengthy per the 8th Amendment(cuel and unusual punishment). Consequently he sentenced the Hammonds to 3 months and one year respectively. The Hammonds did indeed serve that time in jail. Dwight 3 Months and Steven 12 Months.
However, the BLM and the US government are now contesting that sentence as a violation of the Antiterrorism act. Suit has been filed in the District Court of Oregon (Eugene) for the Hammonds to serve the balance of the prescribed minimum sentence. The hearing on 7 Oct 2015 in Eugene, Oregon. was only a sentencing hearing, as the Hammonds have already been found guilty (and served jail time) for the offense. Druing this hearign ther were sentance to the remaining five years in a federal penatary.
In the meanwhile the BLM is refusing to renew the Hammonds’ grazing permits, forcing them to find alternative feed for their cattle. In a separate suit, the BLM is also charging the Hammonds $400,000 for alleged costs of fighting fires and damage to the public lands. In the event the Hammonds must sell some or all their private ranch land to meet that monetary demand, the BLM has filed first option to buy the land forcing the Hammonds to sell to them.
The Hammonds agreed in 2013 to pay the $400,000 as their insurance company agreed to help substantially. Dwight & Susan Hammond have moved off their ranch to Burns, Oregon, in anticipation of Dwight going to jail for four more years & nine months. Then his wife Susan will be able to care for herself in town.
Dwight purchased his ranch & grazing rights in 1964. He confirmed to me that his grazing rights predated the establishment of the BLM, by virtue of being established by previous owners of his ranch.
Steven Hammond is reluctant to talk to anyone about the situation in fears of the federal governmetns actions againts him and his young family.
Hammond Family & Individuals Involved Dwight Hammond (70 yrs old), father to Steve & grandfather to Dusty; arrested for arson Steve Hammond (43 yrs old), son to Dwight & uncle to Dusty; arrested for arson Dusty Hammond (24 yrs old), grandson to Dwight; admitted arsonist & witness 2001 Hunting party; (13 yrs old at time of 2001 fire; Evidently he made a plea bargain to testify in 2012 trial.) Ages given in 2012 Rusty Hammond, father to Dusty; accessory to arson, not arrested Jacon Taylor Susan H. Hammond (~71 yrs old, wife of Dwight; past member of Harney County Watershed Council)
Hammond Ranches,Inc. 46851 Hammond Ranch Rd. Frenchglen, OR 97722 OR 33 / T30S / R31E / Section 5 / NW Â¼ Coordinates: 42.872253, -118.586019
Total of 480 acres per Harney County records (Susan Hammond says it’s ~ 1000 acres) Cattle rancher; member of Harney County Chamber of Commerce
The Hammond Ranch is entirely within the Donner Und Blitzen Sub-Basin Watershed, designated by the Harney County Watershed Council, of which Susan Hammond is a past council member. The assessment document gives a history of the land use in the area, on PDF pages 12 – 22, “Historical Land Use”.)