Here are some things that the armed militants occupying a wildlife refuge in Oregon would like, according to their mom: Pall Mall Menthol 100’s, slippers, Miracle Whip, and boxer briefs.
But instead of sending donations to this group that thinks they have an inherent claim to this land, a new fundraising campaign is calling on people to donate to those who actually do the work to preserve it.
In response to their farcical demands, the Conservation Lands Foundation, or CLF, just launched a counter-campaign on Crowdrise called “Service Not Seizure.” They want to divert the national attention on Oregon to a more positive cause: conservation.
The organization allows veterans, young people and Native Americans to work building trails, protecting wildlife, surveying lands and improving the environment.
“Americans love their public lands,” said Brian O’Donnell, Executive Director of CLF, in a press release. “We want to bolster support for these efforts, not the efforts of those attempting to seize lands owned by all Americans.”
The Oregon militants, who call themselves the Citizens for Constitutional Freedom, have been “occupying” a federal building on the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon since January 2. They have vowed to “be killed if necessary.” They’re led by the sons of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, whose wife posted the now-mocked supply list online.
The federal lands that they’re demanding be “returned” to the local population were once part of a reservation established in 1872 for the Northern Paiute, an American Indian tribe, as HuffPost has reported.
So far, CLF projects have employed 80 veterans and young people, and enlisted about 200 volunteers. Any funds raised from their campaign would go toward expanding their conservation programming.
Dave Welz, CLF’s Associate Director of Communications, said in a press release that the organization is simply trying to turn a negative situation into a positive one.
“While these militants plead for public support in the form of mayonnaise and snacks, we want to offer people a way to reject their criminal actions and support positive work on public lands we all own.”
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