Rep. Greg Walden gave an impassioned speech on the US House floor late Tuesday regarding the armed takeover of a wildlife refuge in his district. and addressed the federal policies that helped lead to this conflict. Walden stated that while he does not condone the takeover, he shares the occupiers’ frustrations.
“This is a government that has gone too far for too long. Now I’m not condoning this takeover in any way, I want to make that clear. I don’t think it’s appropriate. There’s a right to protest. I think they’ve gone too far. But I understand and hear their anger,” said Walden
Walden also defended the Hammonds, the ranchers convicted of arson on federal rangelands, and said their punishment was far too harsh. Calling the family “long-time, responsible ranchers,” Walden felt they were being sentenced under “a law that I would argue was never intended to mete out that kind of punishment.”
Northern Ag Note: The speech is almost 24 minutes long but it's worth your time if you want to have a better understanding of what is happening in Oregon.