According to Drovers Journal, and other media outlets, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has restored grazing permits for the Hammond family from Oregon after losing the right to graze following federal charges that were later pardoned. Almost six months after receiving a Presidential Pardon, one of outgoing Interior Secretary’s final acts before leaving office was to restore and reinstate the BLM grazing permits of the Hammond family.
The announcement was made on Jan. 28 that Hammond Ranches would be able to graze their BLM allotments again. The BLM had stripped the right to graze after Dwight and Steven Hammond were convicted of felony arson in 2012. They were sentenced to five years imprisonment under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996.
The Hammond’s imprisonment later led to the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Oregon, in 2016. The occupation resulted in a 40 day standoff between law enforcement and protestors.
After more pushback and pleas from the ranching community for their release, Dwight and Steven Hammond were eventually pardoned by President Trump on July 10, 2018.
News of the Hammond’s grazing permits being reinstated was welcomed by cattle ranching organizations. In a joint statement, Public Lands Council (PLC) President Bob Skinner and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) President Kevin Kester said the following:
“In light of a full and unconditional presidential pardon, the reissuance of the Hammond Ranches’ grazing permits is the final step in righting the egregious injustices the Hammonds faced. This is the culmination of years of effort on behalf of this industry to restore a family’s livelihood. We speak on behalf of the livestock producers nationwide in saying thank you to Acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and his team who worked to correct the hardships this family faced.”