Armed militants at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge continue to damage both the delicate ecosystem of the refuge and archeological sites of critical importance to the Burns Paiute Tribe.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service confirmed Thursday that not only is the road built last week by the occupiers new, but it is also within an archaeological site important to the Burns Paiute Tribe.
There are approximately 4,000 artifacts belonging to the tribe in the buildings the militants are holding. The occupation is entering its third week.
The tribe is demanding federal action under both theArchaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 and a “protection against bad men” provision in the treaty the tribe signed with the United States in 1868.
Some of the artifacts at the refuge date back 6,000 years. Tribal representatives have repeatedly said they want the militants to leave immediately
“We feel strongly because we have had a good working relationship with the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge,” she said. “We view them as a protector of our cultural rights in that area.”