UPDATED: 2:23 p.m. EST -- Ammon Bundy, the leader of a protest in defense of ranchers’ rights in Oregon, said his group’s aims were to uphold the Constitution. Bundy addressed the media during a press conference Monday afternoon as his armed group entered the third day of their occupation of an Oregon wildlife refuge center.

“As many of you know, this effort, if you will, started by understanding that a rancher family here in Harney county has been put under duress by multiple federal agencies,” Bundy said. The Nevada rancher went on to say that his group’s protest was in response to a federal government that had stepped "outside of the bounds of the Constitution.”

UPDATED: 12:35 p.m. EST — Ammon Bundy, the leader of an armed self-styled militia group who have taken over a federal building in rural Oregon, tweeted Monday that his group was made up of peaceful people and he had no "desire to die." He wrote: "I love my wife & family. I have no plans nor desire to die. We are peaceful people."





UPDATED: 11:30 a.m. EST — Ammon Bundy, the leader of an armed self-styled militia group who have taken over a federal building in rural Oregon, warned that his men could become violent if the government intervenes. Bundy said during an interview with NBC's "Today" Monday that the group is watching as officials vowed to end the standoff at the wildlife refuge.

"The only violence that, if it comes our way, will be because government is wanting their building back,'' Bundy told Natalie Morales on "Today." "We're putting nobody in harm's way. We are not threatening anybody. We're 30 miles out of the closest town."

Original story:

The FBI confirmed Monday that it is working with the Harney County sheriff to end a standoff at a wildlife refuge center in southeastern Oregon, ABC News reported. The bureau said in an official statement it is "working with the Harney County Sheriff's Office, Oregon State Police and other local and state law enforcement agencies to bring a peaceful resolution to the situation,” as Ammon Bundy, the leader of the group occupying the site, called a news conference for the second time in two days.

Armed self-styled militiamen protesters led by Bundy, a cattle rancher from Nevada, occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge's headquarters building late Saturday. They said they were defending Dwight Hammond Jr. and his son Steven Hammond, two local ranchers who are set to return to prison Monday for setting fires on federal land. Federal, state and local authorities, say they want a peaceful end to the takeover.

The Hammonds were convicted of arson for burning federal lands in 2001 and 2006. They both served brief prison sentences but were ordered to return to prison by a judge in October 2015. The judge ruled that the sentences were too short and ordered the pair to report to prison for four-year sentences Monday.

Bundy took up the Hammonds' cause — uninvited by the Hammonds — as a fellow rancher who opposes what he considers federal interference in his affairs. His father, Cliven Bundy, was in a standoff with the federal government over grazing rights near his farm in Nevada.

As federal buildings at the refuge remained closed, the Audubon Society of Portland released a statement Sunday condemning the takeover and pointing out the important work the government does to preserve wilderness.

"The occupation of Malheur by armed, out-of-state militia groups puts one of America’s most important wildlife refuges at risk," read a statement posted to the Audubon chapter's website Sunday. "It violates the most basic principles of the Public Trust Doctrine and holds hostage public lands and public resources to serve the very narrow political agenda of the occupiers."