Report: US public land workers assaulted, threatened on job

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A Congressional watchdog agency says federal employees overseeing U.S. public lands were assaulted or threatened at least 360 times over a five-year period.

The Government Accountability Office report highlights simmering tensions between anti-government groups and law enforcement, including the armed occupation of an Oregon wildlife refuge in 2016 and similar instances in Montana and Nevada.

The Associated Press obtained the report ahead of its public release.

It cataloged incidents ranging from threatening phone calls to the stabbing of a Bureau of Land Management worker outside a federal building. An unspecified number of assaults triggered FBI domestic terrorism investigations.

The attacks are set against a backdrop of declining numbers of law enforcement officers patrolling the nation’s vast forests, parks, wildlife refuges and other open spaces.