The state of Oregon, neighboring cities and counties, and federal law enforcement agencies have already spent millions of dollars on the response to the Bundy militia occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, but the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service will also spend millions of dollars to restore the refuge.
Dan Ashe, the director of the Fish & Wildlife Service, spoke at the refuge this week where he detailed plans to repair and revitalize it.
From The Oregonian:
Federal officials shared photos of what they found at the compound after the FBI had scoured it for explosives and evidence. The photos captured scenes of messy living – clothes strewn around one room, an office ransacked with chairs knocked askew and equipment on the floor, a Jim Beam whiskey bottle tucked among couch cushions.
Removing the debris and repairing the damage is likely to take until early summer. Until then, the headquarters remains closed but the public is free to roam the rest of the 187,700-acre bird sanctuary.
Ashe said the occupation will cost his agency roughly $6 million. About $2 million of that came during the takeover and included paying to move the refuge’s 17 employees out of town for safety to live at government expense in hotels for weeks.
The good news is the amount of property the government will seize from various Bundy estates should make up for at least some of the cost.
In addition to the cost of repairing the refuge, wildlife officials reportedly also lost three year’s worth of progress on removing invasive Carp from the Malheur Lake.
Fish and Wildlife Director Ashe also expressed concerns that another occupation could occur in other parts of the country. I think we all see that coming, especially if Democrats retain control of the White House.