(NEWSER) – A sheriff's offer of a "safe escort out" of Oregon for some 20 protesters who've been occupying a wildlife refuge in Harney County for almost a week was met with a staunch refusal on Thursday. Sheriff Dave Ward met with Ammon Bundy about 15 miles outside the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge to make the offer, suggested by locals at a town hall meeting on Wednesday.

"We need to find a peaceful resolution and get you guys out of here," Ward said, per the Oregonian. "Go back and kick it around with your folks." Bundy's response (delivered to the media, not Ward) was that protesters will only leave when ownership of federal land is handed to local residents. "That could be a week, that could be a year," Bundy said. (One protester did tell the Guardian he wants to leave the refuge for fear of eventual prosecution.)

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