The father and son of a prominent Oregon ranching family plan to surrender at a California prison next week after a judge ruled they served too little time for setting fires that spread to government lands they leased to graze cattle.
Dwight Hammond, 73, and Steven Hammond, 46, said they lit the fires in 2001 and 2006 to reduce the growth of invasive plants and protect their property from wildfires . . .
The decision has generated controversy in a remote part of the state where the Hammonds are well-known for their generosity and community contributions. It’s also playing into a long-simmering conflict between ranchers and the U.S. government over the use of federal land for cattle grazing. (Read more from “Oregon Ranchers May Return to Prison in Land Fight With the Feds” HERE)