A heavily armed militia occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge from January 2 through February 21, 2016. The standoff began as a protest against the prosecution and incarceration of two local ranchers, although there has been a long-standing animus among some ranchers in the western United States. A brief history of the Bureau of Land Management lands is presented, with a focus on the management of grazing in the West. Some ranchers, such as Cliven Bundy of Nevada, have refused to pay grazing fees because of their profound hostility toward the federal government, and an earlier 2014 standoff in Bunkerville, Nevada, set the stage for the occupation at Malheur.

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