The occupiers who seized the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge for 41 days apparently hated cleaning up after themselves nearly as much as they hated the federal government. The US Fish and Wildlife Service has released photos of trash and damage at the Oregon refuge, which a spokesman says is a "microcosm of how bad it really was." The photos show government offices ransacked, damaged, and strewn with trash, as well as the "poop trench" the militiamen dug near a Burns Paiute Tribe site. A massive cleanup operation is underway, and authorities estimate that it will cost $4 million to restore, repair, and upgrade the refuge, the Oregonian reports.
Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe visited the refuge this week and vowed that it would soon be better than ever and serve as a reminder of the value of cooperation. An agency spokesman tells the Guardian that federal workers who have returned to the refuge are "thrilled to be back," though they're angry about the damage and have to work in trailers while refuge buildings are repaired. "These are people who generally don't become biologists to be in the public sphere," he says. "They love creatures and places and are passionate about doing their jobs." (One of the dozens of occupiers facing charges is suing the federal government for $666 billion.)