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With Occupation Over, Oregon Governor Looks Ahead

Members of an armed group are occupying  the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Building near Burns, Oregon.
Amanda Peacher
/
OPB
Members of an armed group are occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Building near Burns, Oregon.

The 41-day armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon is over. The final four remaining occupiers surrendered to the FBI Thursday morning without incident.

Shortly after the final militant was taken into custody, Oregon Governor Kate Brown addressed reporters at the state Capitol in Salem. She said she’s glad the occupation is over. But she blamed militants for harassment and intimidation that traumatized people who live nearby.

"The healing will take a lot of time,” the governor said. “And I think that is our first mission, is to support the Harney County community as they heal and provide them with the resources and the tools that they need to recover."

Brown is asking Oregon lawmakers to approve at least $500,000 in emergency funding to help local and state agencies pay for the cost of the occupation. The governor said Thursday that she's in ongoing conversations with federal officials to see if the federal government will reimburse the state for some of those expenses.

Copyright 2016 Northwest News Network

Chris Lehman covers the Oregon state capitol for JPR as part of the Northwest News Network, a group of 12 Northwest public radio organizations which collaborate on regional news coverage. Chris graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He began his career producing arts features for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana and has been a reporter/announcer for NPR station WNIJ in DeKalb, Illinois. Chris has also reported from overseas, filing stories from Iraq, Burkina Faso, El Salvador, Northern Ireland, Zimbabwe and Uganda.
Chris Lehman
Chris Lehman graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He landed his first job less than a month later, producing arts stories for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three years later he headed north to DeKalb, Illinois, where he worked as a reporter and announcer for NPR–affiliate WNIJ–FM. In 2006 he headed west to become the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network.