- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 7, 2015

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - Two members of a prominent Eastern Oregon ranching family have been sentenced to five years in prison for committing arson on federal lands along Steens Mountain.

A Pendleton jury three years ago convicted 73-year-old Dwight Hammond and 46-year-old Steven Hammond. By law, the crime carried a five-year minimum sentence. A judge, however, gave the father and son much less prison time.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals later ordered the Hammonds to be resentenced, saying the judge did not have the authority to be so lenient.

Judge Ann Aiken on Wednesday imposed five-year sentences with credit for time already served.

The government alleged the Hammonds set the range fires to reduce the growth of juniper trees and sagebrush and to accelerate the production of rangeland grasses for cattle feed.

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