Leah Sottile Profile picture
Jul 1, 2018 17 tweets 3 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Rep. Walden made a plea to Pres. Trump on the floor of the House the other day to pardon Dwight and Steven Hammond, the ranchers whose arson conviction was at the center of the #oregonstandoff in 2016.

Why don't we review who Trump and Walden are making a plea for:
As early as November 1986, Dwight Hammond was writing letters to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge staff and making threats toward them if he didn’t get unrestricted access to the refuge “he will ‘pack a shotgun in his saddle and no one will challenge me!’”
In 1987, Dwight Hammond, according to refuge manager reports, “told me I was an ignorant son-of-a-bitch and I did not understand what I was doing. … I should bring the sheriff so there would be a witness to watch him ‘tear your head off and shit down the hole.’”
Mind you, at this time, the refuge had many permittees. Files show managers and regional F&W staff grappled with this question: “does the permittee who makes the most noise and creates the most headaches wind up with the most concessions from the Service?”
(Here's a story on all of these threats, in case you missed it: washingtonpost.com/national/2018/…)
So Rep. Walden says the Hammonds are doing time for just 134 acres of burned-up federal land. Right… but lets talk about all of the other fires involving the Hammonds, going way, way back to 1982…
The Steens Mountain Loop Arson occurred on August 24, 1982 — a 240-acre fire declared human-caused. Initially, those fires were blamed on a low flying jet, but in 2006, Steven Hammond admitted he started those fires by walking in a straight line and dropping matches.
In August 1996, Steven Hammond was observed speeding away from the scene of the 80-acre Little Fir Arson.
At a meeting with the BLM on 10/28/1999, Steven Hammond admitted he initiated the Fir Creek/Bridge Creek Arson in September 1999, and took no action prevent it from spreading from his property onto public land.
NOW we’re up to the Hardie-Hammond Arson, of which both of the Hammonds were found guilty for burning up that those mere acres Rep. Walden likes to talk about...
In 2005, the 1,342-acre Fir Creek Arson was lit. According to BLM records, Steven Hammond admitted to a nearby rancher that he lit the fire — and the family denied firefighters access to the Fir Creek area in order to fight the fire.
Steven Hammond was also found guilty for the August 2006 Krumbo Butte Arson — he admitted he set a fire on August 22, 2006 to protect his pasture.
The Hammonds were found not guilty for the August 2006 Lower Bridge Creek Arson. Dwight Hammond told a BLM rangeland conservation manager “it’s too bad the fire is not bigger” as it burned. A fire investigation proved that the origin of the fire was the Hammond’s property
The Grandad Arson, also in August 2006, resulted in the Hammonds paying $400,000 in a civil settlement.
The cost of the Steens Loop, Little Fir, Fir Creek/Bridge Creek, Hardie Hammond, Fir Creek, Krumbo Butte/Grandad Arsons? $1,414,841
And the total acreage of those fires - most of which the Hammonds were not found guilty of, but that happened near/on their property or they admitted they were involved with? 51,096 acres.
(If you've gotten this far, and haven't listened to Bundyville, might I recommend it? longreads.com/bundyville/)

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More from @Leah_Sottile

Nov 17, 2017
There was a ton of back/forth over Taylor Grazing Act and water rights between Whipple & Schiess, in front of the jury, over what's being litigated. Schiess asked to go outside presence of jury. Navarro:"we are not going to ask the jury to judge a civil case about water rights."
Rugwell kept looking toward Schiess when she was being asked water rights stuff she couldn't answer. Whipple: "you can look at me instead of Mr Schiess." #bundytrial
Whipple: do you have any proof that a cow has harmed a desert tortoise? Rugwell: says she heard people talking about cows eating DTs (at this point I wrote in my notes WTF is going on here, because it was confusing)
Read 40 tweets

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