Since Saturday, armed anti government protesters constituting a self-styled militia have occupied a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon. At the heart of the protest is the militia members’ desire to transfer ownership of the land from the federal government to private hands. Ammon Bundy, the apparent leader of the militia, told reporters earlier this week that the protesters would not leave the land until such a plan was in place.
Federal land ownership has been the source of a long-standing dispute among government agencies and many in more rural farming and ranching regions. It’s especially prevalent in the western portion of the US. The reason? The federal government owns a huge amount of land there. The US Geological Survey maintains maps of federally owned land. According to the USGS, here is the land owned by the US government, in purple: FULL REPORT