Los Angeles Times

With two pardons, Trump wins goodwill in the ranching world

President Donald Trump has intervened in one of the most sensitive political battles in the American West, pardoning two Oregon ranchers whose imprisonment inflamed a protest movement against the government's management of federal land.

Dwight Hammond, 76, and his son Steven Hammond, 49, who ran a ranch in remote eastern Oregon, were serving five-year prison sentences for arson for setting federal land on fire.

The length of their sentences inspired a 2016 armed occupation at the nearby Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, where ranchers and right-wing anti-government activists faced down federal agents in defense of a fringe theory that federal

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