The occupation of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Eastern Oregon is now in its 2nd week. The spot in remote Harney County is a favorite for Eugene area birder and author, Noah Strycker, who just returned from a record-breaking “big year” journey around the world.
Strycker spent 2015 traveling and bird-watching. With the help of local birders in more than 40 different countries he identified a whopping 6,042 different bird species. The previous world-record for a “big year” was 4,342. Strycker says Malheur is where, as a kid, he was first inspired to be a serious birder.
Strycker: “I just think Malheur is one of those magical places, where it’s all about the birds and the wildlife and there’s not a lot of other things distracting you.”
Strycker is angry at the militant group that is occupying the refuge.
Strycker: “These guys have no right to be there. They’re just trying to use it for their own interests. They’re not even from here. They don’t understand where they are right now, I think. I hope they get out of there as soon as possible. Or they are removed, even better. That would be great.”
Strycker had planned to visit Malheur this month with his dad. But they canceled the trip because of the occupation.