Harney County resident Georgia Marshall delivered a scathing condemnation of Ammon Bundy's militants and called on them to end their armed occupation of the nearby Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
At a county meeting on Wednesday night, Harney County Sheriff David Ward expressed frustration that Bundy's group had refused to leave the federal property even after they had been ordered to do so. Bundy has maintained that he will "go home" when local ranchers begin to assert their rights over federal lands.
Marshall has been described by local residents as "the most soft spoken person in town," but she was fired up when she took the microphone on Wednesday.
The Harney County resident of 64 years explained that she was a rancher and had devoted years working with officials to modernize the handling of federal lands.
"The progress we've made in this community compared with the sh*t we went through years ago when you could not stand in talk to a manager," she told the crowd. "Granted, it's not a lot of progress but it's coming."
Marshall pointed out that an organization called the High Desert Partnership was already working "damn hard" for the residents of Harney County.
"We are the poster child of the ranching community, of the environmental community, of the government community!" she exclaimed. "Have we ever had anybody put together a refuge plan in this god damn nation? Hell, no, we haven't! But it happened here and it happened in Harney County."
The rancher begged residents "not to destroy everything we're doing because we have to make a stand for everything in the god damn past."
"This is our time now! It is not what we did 100 years ago or 60 years ago or 30 years ago!" Marshall shouted. "It's our moment right now. We don't know our future, but I'll tell you what. It's better than what we had."
"Let's try to keep going, let's not get caught up like I'm pissed as hell right now," she added. "And my boots are shaking, but I'm proud to be a rancher and I'm not going to let some other people be my face!"
"I am me! This is my home!"