Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward accused militias Monday of harassing law enforcement officials and federal employees.

"The people on the refuge – and those who they have called to our community – obviously have no consideration for the wishes or needs of the people of Harney County," Sheriff Ward said.

"If they did, they, too, would work to bring this situation to a peaceful close." While it's unclear which groups or individuals Ward is referring to, Rice said he has had an open and friendly dialogue with law enforcement.

And if he was to discover one a Pacific Patriot Network member doing that, he or she would be barred from any future activities involving the organization, Rice said. Ward urged people in the community to take measures to ensure their own safety.

The group has demanded that control of the refuge's land be handed over to locals.

The Sheriff has offered the group an opportunity to leave peacefully, but they have declined.

Since the occupation began, there have been reports of law enforcement being followed home or watched, Sheriff Ward said in a written statement.

A recent call to action by one of the groups drew many more people to Harney County, and the intimidating behavior continued, he said.

Although the sheriff did not identify any specific groups or individuals, the Pacific Patriot Network, a coalition of anti-government groups, put out a statement Jan.

7 urging its members to come to the wildlife refuge.