Rick Barclay, the co-owner of Sugar Pine Mining claim has asked the Oath Keepers and other militias supporting them in their fight against the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to standown and stop threatening BLM employees.
“We don’t need any more volunteers, we’re not under attack, this is not the Bundy Ranch,” said Barclay. “Please stop calling the BLM and threatening their personnel.”
At issue is the ownership of the surface rights to the Sugar Pine Mine.
The co-owners of the claim, Barclay and George Bakes have the mining rights to the claim, but the Bureau of Land Management, state that they own the surface rights to the land.
Barclay and Bakes were told by the BLM to file a plan of operations for their mining activities or remove all of their equipment by April 25.
The co-owners contacted their local chapter of the Oath Keepers, an organization composed of former military and law-enforcement officers, to come and protect their equipment while they made their case in court.
The Oath Keepers shared a call to action on social media and soon many members and various militias were converging on the site in Oregon for a Bundy Ranch style standoff.
“We don’t allow our neighbor to be enslaved or beaten or tortured by government jackboots because they want to steal our land and our resources to keep us under their thumb,” said Blaine Cooper, an Arizona militia member on his way to Oregon.
For its part, the Oath Keepers do seem interested in keeping the peace, despite the hostile rhetoric and threats issued from some of its members.
“This is a security operation for the protection of Constitutional Rights. If you have a different agenda outside of the above peaceful mission statement, we dont need your assistance. Please DO NOT make any type of threatening phone calls to the local BLM or USFS as it undermines our mission, professionalism and is unwarranted,” said the local Josephine Chapter of the Oath Keepers on their website.