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Pressure Mounts On 4 Remaining Wildlife Refuge Occupiers


And we want to check in quickly on southern Oregon, where federal agents have set a tight circle around militants still holed up at a wildlife refuge. The FBI is within 50 yards of where the final four militants are camped out. On the line now is Amanda Peacher of Oregon Public Broadcasting. She's at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Hi, Amanda.


KELLY: Can you tell us where exactly on the refuge you are, what you can see?

PEACHER: Sure. I am stationed at the FBI roadblock a few miles away from the refuge headquarters. And right now it's very quiet. I can see the floodlights streaming onto the refuge and every once in a while, I hear a helicopter overhead. But the scene has very much calmed down from what it seemed to be a few hours ago when we were privy to a live audio stream of a very tense interaction between the militants and the FBI, which also interestingly involved Nevada State Rep. Michele Fiore, who's an ally of the Bundy family.

KELLY: Do we know why, Amanda, the FBI has chosen this moment to close in?

PEACHER: Well, the FBI has been in negotiations with these four for a couple of weeks now. And they said that the situation has reached a point where action was necessary. We do know that one of the occupiers rode an ATV outside the barricades near the refuge yesterday. And when one of the agents tried to approach the driver, he sort of zoomed away back towards the refuge. The FBI took action to surround the camp a few hours after that.

KELLY: We just have a few seconds left. But I'm wondering - you mentioned this audio stream that was online. The militants sounded quite defiant in that feed. Any sense whether an end may now be in sight to the standoff?

PEACHER: Well, last night, occupier Sean Anderson told Rep. Fiore the remaining four occupiers will turn themselves in to the FBI this morning. It still remains to be seen if that will actually happen, especially given the arrest of Cliven Bundy, father of the occupation leader in Portland, yesterday evening. So they said that they will, but we have to wait and see if that actually happens.

KELLY: OK, thanks Amanda.

PEACHER: You're welcome.

KELLY: That's Oregon Public Broadcasting's Amanda Peacher. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Amanda Peacher is an Arthur F. Burns fellow reporting and producing in Berlin in 2013. Amanda is from Portland, Oregon, where she works as the public insight journalist for Oregon Public Broadcasting. She produces radio and online stories, data visualizations, multimedia projects, and facilitates community engagement opportunities for OPB's newsroom.