Eastern Oregon is a part of the United States that is not often in the news. It is thinly populated, and is mostly vast open space. It is even called the high desert. But all of a sudden, we have been seeing a lot of it.

Armed protesters have been occupying a government-owned wildlife refuge for more than a week now. And they say they do not plan on leaving until their demands are met.

It is happening near the small town of Burns, and the protesters - a mix of farmers, ranchers and survivalists - are angry about what they see as excessive federal control over their lives.

They say the government is applying ever stricter regulations on land they need for cattle grazing. Federal land management policies are - they say - unfair to people struggling to make a living in the area.

So, how will the US federal government fix this issue?

Presenter: Peter Dobbie


Pete Santilli, spokesman for the ranchers in the Oregon standoff.

Eric Ethington, communications director at Political Research Associates.

Matt Lee-Ashley, senior fellow and director of public lands at the Center for American Progress.

Source: Al Jazeera