Malheur Wildlife Refuge sign AP file

This March 23, 2016, file photo shows part of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Ore., site of an armed occupation and standoff led by Ammon Bundy.

Here's a news item from the Associated Press:

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A federal judge has blocked the grazing permits issued to father and son ranchers who were the focus of a battle about public lands.

Oregon Public Broadcasting reports that Judge Michael H. Simon issued a temporary restraining order Tuesday, stopping the permits granted to Dwight and Steven Hammond by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke before he left the Trump administration.

Environmental groups had sued over the permits, arguing they were granted in violation of Bureau of Land Management policies.

The Hammonds served jail time for setting fires on federal pastures in Eastern Oregon. They became a cause celebre for brothers Ryan and Ammon Bundy in 2016 when a federal judge brought the Hammonds back to jail to serve a longer sentence.

The Bundys led a takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon as a protest of federal land-use decisions and policies.

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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