WASHINGTON, D.C. — Representative Greg Walden (R-Hood River) today released the following statement applauding the pardon of Dwight and Steven Hammond:
“Today is a win for justice, and an acknowledgement of our unique way of life in the high desert, rural West. I applaud President Trump for thoroughly reviewing the facts of this case, rightly determining the Hammonds were treated unfairly, and taking action to correct this injustice.
“For far too long, Dwight and Steven Hammond have been serving a mandatory minimum sentence that was established for terrorists. This is something that would ‘shock the conscience,’ according to Federal Judge Michael Hogan, who presided over the case and used his discretion in sentencing which later was reversed. As ranchers across eastern Oregon frequently tell me, the Hammonds didn’t deserve a five year sentence for using fire as a management tool, something the federal government does all the time.
“Moving forward, I’m encouraging the House Judiciary Committee to act on my legislation to prevent this situation from happening to other ranchers. H.R. 983 would ensure farmers and ranchers are not prosecuted as terrorists for using fire for range-management purposes.
“For now, though, I am pleased that Dwight and Steven Hammond will return to their families and ranches in Harney County. I look forward to welcoming them back home to eastern Oregon.”