STATEMENT on Rep. Rob Bishop Blaming Park Rangers and Law Enforcement for Oregon Standoff

Jan 8, 2016

DENVER—In response to multiple outrageous statements from Rep. Rob Bishop about the armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, the Center for Western Priorities released the following statement from executive director Jennifer Rokala:

“For the chairman of the Natural Resources Committee to blame the Interior Department for the Oregon standoff is beyond the pale. Congressman Bishop’s sympathy for the armed extremists is appalling. No matter what our policy differences, there is no place in our democracy for threats of violence and the theft of natural resources that belong to all Americans to make a political point.”

In light of these statements, CWP calls on Rep. Bishop to clarify whether he expects the Justice Department to hold the militants accountable for laws broken during the armed takeover. CWP also invites Rep. Bishop to join former Rep. Steven Horsford in signing CWP’s petition demanding an end to threats of violence against park rangers and public lands employees.


On January 6, Rep. Bishop told Energy and Environment Daily,  “…I also understand the frustration and feelings people have working with land agencies,” adding his committee would continue to work on “what we feel is the abuse of individuals by the federal land management agencies, the poor decisions they have made.”

On January 8, Rep. Bishop doubled down, blaming the victims of the takeover by saying, “This did not have to take place. If the Department of Interior was concerned about people instead of dogma this situation would not have occurred.”

Other members of Congress have failed to properly condemn the situation in Oregon and expressed sympathy for the militants. These include Rep. Raul Labrador, Rep. Steve Pearce, and Rep. Greg Walden. CWP also invites these members of Congress to sign the petition and co-sponsor a Congressional resolution condemning the violent tactics of the Bundy militants.

Jennifer Rokala is available for video and audio interviews about the wildlife refuge takeover and the Bundy family’s land seizure agenda. To schedule an interview or to speak with an expert about public lands in the West, contact media director Aaron Weiss at or 720-279-0019.