Authorities Are Still Adding Up the Costs of the Bundy Occupation

SK Ashby
Written by SK Ashby

State, local, and federal authorities have not calculated the final cost of the 41-day occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, but a picture is beginning to emerge.

According to the Oregonian, local taxpayers are on the hook for at least $3.3 million and that total is expected to grow.

The cost to Oregon State Police alone stands at more than $1.2 million, the analysis found.

Another $788,500 paid for help from other police and government agencies that responded from outside the county – mostly sheriff's offices that sent deputies to help patrol. [...]

The overall figure includes money to pay the wages of employees who couldn't go to work – for instance, $425,000 for about 120 workers at the U.S. Bureau of Land Management who stayed home while their offices were closed.

Local schools also took a significant hit. Closing schools for an entire week reportedly cost local systems at least $143,600. Numerous other costs one may not ordinarily think of also added up. County authorities spent $90,000 on food for the multi-agency response. The cost of the Oregon State Police response includes over 5,700 hours of overtime.

These figures do not include the cost of the federal response by the FBI or the cost of cleaning up and repairing damage done to the wildlife refuge. It also doesn't include the revenue lost by closing the wildlife refuge for over 40 days.

I suppose the good news is virtually piece of property owned by the Bundy klan is going to be seized in forfeiture.

Local elected leadership in Oregon did not welcome the Bundy occupation, but there are state and local leaders in the west who sympathize with their cause. They should take a good hard look at these numbers before they consider encouraging the next Bundy family and there will be more. They'll pay for it one way or another.