BURNS, Ore. -- The leader of an armed group that has occupied a national wildlife refuge in Oregon for nearly three weeks has begun speaking with federal authorities.
Ammon Bundy went to the airport Thursday in Burns, Oregon, close to where federal officials have set up a staging area.
With reporters watching, he spoke on the phone, apparently with an FBI negotiator. The conversation was streamed online by another member of Bundy's group.
Bundy said his group is "not going to escalate" the situation, and he agreed to speak with authorities again Friday.
CBS affiliate KOIN reported Bundy was seen after the meeting leading a group of trucks out of the FBI headquarters and into town, and it did not appear the group was heading back toward the refuge.
The FBI did not immediately comment.
The group began occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon on Jan. 2 to protest federal land use policies.
More militiamen from around the country drove in truck-by-truck Wednesday to join the cause, KOIN said.
Bundy reportedly met with his top-ranking counterparts for several hours on Wednesday, but kept a tight lip about what was actually discussed.
The heavily armed militants believe their cause is not only just, but an act of divine intervention.
"God wants us here, there's a sense that's beckoning and it comes from heaven," militiaman Kelly Gneiting told KOIN. "We're doing what's right, we're doing what the founding fathers would do because we're inspired by God, also."
But the town seems to overwhelmingly disagree, and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has seemingly run out of patience.
Brown said Wednesday that she is angry because federal authorities have not yet taken action against Ammon's group, calling the takeover "absolutely intolerable."
In letters to both President Barack Obama and Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Brown urged federal action soon:
"For more than two weeks now, these radicals have been allowed to stay unlawfully in the refuge approximately 30 miles to the south of Burns...The unlawful seizure of the refuge by criminals seeling to advance a misguided agenda is in an of itself a strain..." Brown wrote. "The residents of Harny County are being intimidated in their own hometown by armed criminals who appear to be seeing occasions for confrontation ... I request on behalf of my fellow Oregonians that you instruct your agencies to end the unlawful occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge as safely and quickly as possible."