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Dwight, Steven Hammond have grazing rights restored


PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Two ranchers who were convicted in 2012 of intentionally setting fires on public land in Eastern Oregon have had their grazing rights restored.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, in one of his last actions before resigning, ordered the renewal of a 10-year grazing permit for Hammond Ranches Inc., run by Dwight Hammond Jr. and his son Steven Hammond. The decision was dated Jan. 2, but it wasn’t sent out until this week.

Zinke ordered the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to renew the grazing permit through 2024.

Last year, President Donald Trump pardoned the Hammonds, whose case had prompted the armed occupation of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns in early 2016, led by two sons of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy.

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