BURNS, Ore. (AP) — The sheriff in Harney County, Oregon says it's time for a small, armed group occupying a national wildlife refuge to "pick up and go home."

Cheers erupted at a packed community meeting in Burns, Oregon Wednesday night when Sheriff David Ward asked that people in the community be allowed to get back to their lives.

But several people spoke in support of the protesters, who are opposing lengthy prison sentences for two local ranchers convicted of arson. Schools have been closed since the seizure of the refuge.