WASHINGTON — Interior Secretary Sally Jewell says an armed takeover of an Oregon national wildlife refuge is part of an “extreme movement” to seize public lands and reject the rule of law, putting communities and public employees at risk throughout the West.

Jewell says the 41-day standoff came amid two other trends that threaten the West: A push by some politicians to sell public lands to the highest bidder and the rapid disappearance of natural areas throughout the region due to climate change and increased development.

Jewell says natural areas in the region are disappearing at the rate of a football field every two-and-a-half minutes. She calls the trend “alarming.”

Jewell is set to deliver a major speech on conservation today in Washington. The Associated Press obtained excerpts in advance.


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