News for Immediate Release
July 10, 2018
Contact: Katie McKalip, 406-240-9262, firstname.lastname@example.org
MISSOULA, Mont. – Backcountry Hunters & Anglers today responded to President Trump’s pardon of Dwight Hammond and Steven Hammond, whose arson convictions sparked the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation in 2016 and helped advance current and ongoing fights over the future of American public lands and waters.
BHA President and CEO Land Tawney issued the following statement:
“Today’s decision by the White House sends a message of tolerance for lawbreakers who would debase and diminish our public lands and waters. Steven Hammond’s and Dwight Hammond’s actions set into motion the 41-day occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge by Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and his followers that challenged the very existence of the public estate. The repercussions of the Malheur occupation continue to affect us as a nation of public land owners.
"To pardon vs. commute the sentence sends the wrong message. Backcountry Hunters & Anglers condemns Dwight Hammond’s and Steven Hammond's blatant disregard for laws that protect resources owned by all Americans.
“Backcountry Hunters & Anglers strongly rejects the views and actions of radicals who disrespect our government, our public lands and waters, and the citizens who own them. The Bundys and their comrades employed violence and lawlessness in an effort to steal from the American people. We are disappointed in the president’s decision and urge the administration to reaffirm its support of our shared landscapes, the fish and wildlife that inhabit them, and the citizens who jointly own and access them.”
BHA members were among the first to travel to Malheur and oppose the refuge occupation, and the fast-growing organization continues to stand up for public land owners everywhere. BHA was formed around an Oregon campfire in 2004.
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is the sportsmen’s voice for our wild public lands, waters and wildlife.