The armed militia in Oregon left behind “significant amounts of human feces” and dug trenches filled with waste on wildlife refuge grounds that contained sensitive Native American artifacts, according to the FBI.
One week after the last four anti-government protesters surrendered at the Malheur national wildlife refuge, federal investigators have begun the long task of processing the crime scene and have uncovered firearms, explosives, potential booby traps and large piles of human excrement.
Bundy and 24 other people are now facing federal conspiracy charges for their role in the occupation of the wildlife sanctuary, which began as a protest of government land-use regulations and ended after 41 days of a tense standoff with the FBI.
Although the rightwing protesters argued that the federal government should transfer control of the public lands to local people, leaders of the Paiute Indian tribe in the nearby town of Burns have noted that their ancestors first occupied the land, which they say is home to sacred burial grounds and important cultural artifacts.
Tribal leaders were outraged last month when militia leaders posted a video of themselves rifling through Palute Indian artifacts stored at the site. The protesters also paved a new road at the wildlife sanctuary.
“It is pretty disrespectful, but what can you expect from people like that?” a tribal leader said. “They’re out there trampling on our burial grounds, making roads and digging bunkers … It is pretty well trashed.”