Post Occupation Information

Plan Your Visit

Malheur refuge staff are getting the Refuge Headquarters and Visitor Center ready for re-opening. Other areas of the refuge are open to the public.


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working hard to re-open Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. As a result of the armed occupation of the Refuge, there has been damage to buildings, personal property, and Native American cultural sites. The Refuge Headquarters, Visitor Center/Nature Store and grounds are closed and scheduled to re-open for public use later in the summer, after our work there is complete. However, we encourage you to enjoy the rest of the Refuge, which has been re-opened to visitors!

Estimated Cost of the Armed Occupation: The $6 million cost estimate encompasses a range of costs associated with the 41 day armed takeover of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. To date – there are approximately $2 million in direct costs. The armed takeover required a variety of staff from across the country to provide support for Malheur during and after the occupation - including paying the costs to relocate 17 refuge employees and their families who had to be moved due to ongoing concerns for their safety. The Service's law enforcement response and support during and after the occupation to ensure the public and employee safety at National Wildlife Refuges across the West has cost approximately $2.25 million to date. $1.7 million is the estimated cost for repairs and restoration at the Refuge. These numbers are preliminary and will change as the Service continues to assess damages, identify missing items, and restore the Refuge. There are also costs to which it is difficult to assign a dollar value - the loss of conservation opportunities that have set back work at the Refuge, in some cases by years. And there are costs that cannot be calculated - the very real emotional cost to the community in Harney County, the employees of the Refuge, and the Burns-Paiute Tribe, whose cultural artifacts were desecrated by the armed occupiers.