The month of January ended up being a bit different than I had anticipated. Mostly, because I found myself spending most of my weekends in the town of Burns and neighboring Princeton, Oregon at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, where armed protesters took control of the buildings and land around the visitor center. Malheur, known for its extensive birding opportunities, is typically quiet in the winter, but in the first week of the year, it was anything but. I watched the media circus on the first few days as we all clamored and jostled for a piece of the story, but as authorities left the Malheur occupants to themselves, the nation seemed to grow weary of story and ultimately, so did a lot of the media. As the occupation stretched for weeks, I found myself working on stories more about the land, the town and the people who call Harney county home. As the occupation comes to an end, I wanted to share some photos of this beautifully desolate place, the welcoming and kind people who inhabit it, and a few of the group of armed occupiers who brought attention (wanted or not) to this area.