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Monthly Archives: October 2012

BLM Roundups – RESPONSE LETTER FOR EA – Murderers Creek, Oregon

Below is the letter we are sending to the Murderers Creek Comment phase of the roundup to take place after November 16, 2012, and following roundups. We want this discontinued due to erroneous information and misinformation, and not in accord with the EA (Environmental Assessment) what so ever! This is well referenced and can be used as a legal document as well.

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This letter is too be considered and included within the “Comments” phase of the EA (i.e. Environmental Assessment) in regard to the Murderers Creek Roundup, Project: DOI-BLM-OR-P040-2011-0048-EA Murderer’s Creek HMA Gather Plan.  We are sending copies to all Senators and Congressmen who have requested a copy, as well as others who would be interested in the reference materials, as well as other legal groups for perusal.

“The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) requires the BLM to consider significant environmental impacts prior to approval of actions on public lands. When an activity or action is proposed within the Uncompahgre Field Office, BLM staff conduct an interdisciplinary review of the potential environmental impacts in order to make more informed decisions and identify measures to protect, restore, and enhance the environment.”  http://www.blm.gov/co/st/en/BLM_Information/nepa/ufo.html

Statement of Facts

Whereas, my staff and myself have perused the aforementioned EA and found many flaws within the project plan and especially the EA; the erroneous information becomes serious due to the outcome of taking horses off of Public Lands for false reasons, inadequately based research and data gathering, and simply bad-management parameters.  Guesses and robust averages seem to play a large roll in the BLM’s decision making process for the removal of wild horses, rather than accurate, reliable, and coherent explanations as to why.

We have also found direct conflicts within the NEPA, as mentioned above, and the current EA (Environmental Assessment) given to the public taxpayers for perusal and comment.

We, as taxpayers, and surely represent a majority of taxpayers when making this statement, demand that the Roundup at Murderers Creek, Oregon be postponed until a more complete, more factual, and truth bearing document be given to the public taxpayers.  The current EA reasoning is unacceptable in total, for a responsible roundup to be conducted what so ever.

The overall motivation to take Wild Horse Herds off of taxpayers’ Public Lands is very simple and obvious – to make more room for cattle and the grazing of cattle.  The outcome is unacceptable to taxpayers and within the parameters of the BLM NEPA combined.

A listing of well researched subject matter is contained at the end of this statement, which substantiates and proves beyond a doubt what so ever that everything stated within this response to the BLM’s EA is true and correct and provable within a court of law if need be.

Bias and Vented Interests for Profit

The overall and biased material within the EA demonstrates beyond a doubt that the BLM, through their bias, represents cattle ranching and nothing else, as a Priority, and not the Wild Horse Herds roaming specifically tendered lands, or HMA (Horse Management Areas) areas, nor does the BLM represent the wildlife.  The values of “Multi-Purpose” are also non-existent, and favor particular 1% to perhaps a high of 3% of the tax paying public, and for profit only.

It is shown time and again that cattle grazing devastate our Public Lands.  Many researchers have requested the BLM change their bad-management parameters, to rid our Public Lands of cattle, rather than making cattle a priority.  Our Public Lands Ecosystems are being ruined by cattle, with little to no positive outcome or benefit to the taxpayer.

Cattle Grazing Ignored

The outcome and Environmental Assessment of cattle grazing, devastation of many Ecosystems, on taxpayers Public Lands is ignored in total.  This is shown and provable by many independent and collegiate terrestrial research reports directly related to cattle grazing within particular Ecosystems.  Many of these reports contend, and dispute “all” of the Rangeland Studies, data, AUM criteria, and other research presented to the public by BLM Staff and their researchers.

This situation becomes, and has a long history, of providing a few ranchers involved in the cattle industry (i.e. less than 2% of overall beef production within the USA) an insurmountable profit base by using taxpayers’ money and Public Lands.  This situation amounts to nothing less than hidden costs of beef, with the taxpayers’ giving millions upon millions of dollars to support unnecessary cattle ranching, as well as pay the premium price for beef at grocery stores.  So taxpayers continue to pay for beef two-fold, through taxes and then at the store!

Special Note: Millions of these tax dollars are well over and above the allotted budget amounts’ given to BLM on a yearly basis, and not approved by Legislators as would be accomplished within a given and appropriate budget.

BLM Budgets take Loss but remain Unrecorded (exception – GAO Documentation)

The price to taxpayers’ who unknowingly support these cattle ranches and is often termed Welfare Ranching, on a yearly basis is shown to increase profoundly.  In 2004 (i.e. according to a GAO report) was in excess of $154+ million dollars, as other attributes and miscellaneous circumstances, costly as well, remain unrecorded.  It is estimated today that taxpayers spend in abundance and far over the price of $758 million dollars on the Wild Horse and Burro Program, over and above the already existing (approved) budget, and note it is at a loss, yet unrecorded by the BLM.

The situation of having an ability to “Draw” money over and above the allotted budgets circumvents the supposed profit the BLM states they derive yearly.  This statement simply becomes a false or misleading circumstance this agency tells the public, which also, ironically, the BLM tells Senators and Congressmen.  This has the effect of allowing BLM to go about business in a supposed adequate and responsible manner.  The problem is, it is untrue and at the expense of taxpayers across America.

This is a time to decrease taxes and frivolous spending by government agencies, not to spend money irresponsibly as the BLM does currently, and having no benefit what so ever toward the tax paying public.

It becomes quite obvious, with these figures over the past few decades, that this situation is an ongoing circumstance of illegal activity, certainly unethical, and considered by many a bias activity.  Not so profound is the fact that those profiting are also friends of upper management within the BLM and the Department of the Interior, or friends of friends, or simply a corporate based ranching operation obtaining favors from the BLM upper management.

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The following references are simply a few of many, many more that contradict BLM management situations, and given with “No Bias” toward the cattle industry, but a rational and true process of the data during their research.

Also historical factors are referenced as well, to show this has been ongoing for quite some time now this irresponsible conduct by the BLM, and at taxpayer expense:

BLM NEPA Documents for Oregon / Washington  http://www.blm.gov/or/districts/prineville/plans/index.php

Live Stock Grazing Federal Expenditures and Receipts Vary, Depending on the Agency and the Purpose of the Fee Charged  http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-05-869

Negative Effects of Livestock Grazing Riparian Areas  http://ohioline.osu.edu/ls-fact/0002.html

Grazing Regulations Include Doctored Environmental Analysis  http://www.ucsusa.org/scientific_integrity/abuses_of_science/cattle-grazing.html

Grazing on public land: helpful to ranchers, but harmful to habitat?  http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2008076883_grazing28m.html

Is cattle-grazing damaging public lands in the West?  http://summitcountyvoice.com/2012/05/16/is-cattle-grazing-damaging-public-lands-in-the-west/

Briefing Report to Congressional Requestors, Rangeland Management: Grazing Lease Arrangements of Bureau of Land Management Permittees, May 1986. (General Accounting Office GAO/RCED-86-168BR).

Dobie, F.J., The Longhorns, (Boston, MA: Little Brown & Co.), 1941, pp. 21.

Freemuth, John, “Federal Land Management in the West:, in Zachary A. Smith, editor, Environmental Politics and Policy in the West, (Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, Debuque, Iowa, 1993), p. 202.

Grazing Fee Review and Evaluation, The Secretary of Agriculture and Secretary of the Interior, 1986, p. 79. A 13.2:G79.

Hanneman, Michael D., Effects of Cattle, Elk and Mule Deer on a Narrowleaf Cottonwood Riparian Community Under a Short Duration Grazing System in Northern Arizona, Masters Thesis, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ 1991.

Norlagg, Neil, Personal Interview, rancher, Mormon Lake, Arizona, 8 March 1995.

Rangeland Reform ’94 Draft Environmental Impact Statement, The Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management in cooperation with the Department of Agriculture Forest Service, I53.19:R16.

Smith, Zachary A., The Environmental Policy Paradox, (Englewood Cliffs, NJ Prentice Hall, 1995), p. 195.

Tersey, Darrell Personal Interview, Rangeland Management Specialist, Bureau of Land Management, Phoenix District Office, 19 April 1995.

Young, James A., Sparks, Abbot B, Cattle in the ColdDesert, 1985. UtahUniversity Press, Logan, UT84332-9515, p. 68.

F.J. Dobie, The Longhorns, (Boston, MA: Little Brown & Co.), 1941, pp. 21.

Briefing Report to Congressional Requestors, Rangeland Management: Grazing Lease Arrangements of Bureau of Land Management Permittees, May 1986. GAO/RCED-86-168BR, pp. 1-14.

Grazing Fee Review and Evaluation, (The Secretary of Agriculture and Secretary of the Interior, 1986, A 13.2:G79), p. 79.

Personal Interview, Darrell Tersey, Rangeland Management Specialist, Bureau of Land Management, Phoenix District Office, 19 April 1995.

Zachary A. Smith, The Environmental Policy Paradox, (Englewood Cliffs, NJ Prentice Hall, 1995), p. 179

John Freemuth, “Federal Land Management in the West:, in Zachary A. Smith, editor, Environmental Politics and Policy in the West, (Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, Debuque, Iowa, 1993), p. 202.

Personal Interview, Gary Hase Jr., Natural Resource Manager II, Range Section, Land Department, State Forestry Division, 20 April 1995.

Personal Interview, Neil Norlagg, rancher, Mormon Lake Arizona, 8 March 1995.

Rangeland Reform ’94 Draft Environmental Impact Statement, (The Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management in cooperation with the Department of Agriculture Forest Service, I53.19:R16), p. 1-9

Michael D. Hanneman, Effects of Cattle, Elk and Mule Deer on a Narrowleaf Cottonwood Riparian Community Under a Short Duration Grazing System in Northern Arizona, (Masters Thesis, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ 1991), pp. 11-19.

Rangeland Reform ’94 Draft Environmental Impact Statement, p. 1-8.

Personal Interview, Darrell Tersey, Rangeland Management Specialist, Bureau of Land Management, Phoenix District Office, 19 April 1995.

The Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of The Interior, Grazing Fee Review and Evaluation Final Report 1979-1985, (Department of Agriculture Forest Service and the Department of The Interior Bureau of Land Management, A13.2.G79, 1986), p. 7.

Federal lands accounted for 10% of the rangeland forage and 2% of total food consumed in 1982.

There are 27,000 cattle ranchers with federal permits versus 386,000 without. In effect, the government is paying an average of over $1500 per year to each cattle rancher who depends upon federal lands for less than a quarter of his total livestock feed.

Personal Interview, Darrell Tersey, Rangeland Management Specialist, Bureau of Land Management, Phoenix District Office, 19 April, 1995.

Personal Interview, Gary Hase Jr., Natural Resource Manager II, Range Section, Land Department, State Forestry Division, 20 April 1995.

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Posted by on October 30, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

A Short Inner-View of Bureau of Land Managements Budgets — Phase One of Four

Certainly many of us over the years have wondered about the BLM and its illegal activity, and how they get away with such outright deceptive circumstances.  The only investigation, that this Journalist knows of, generated over 1,000 felony arrest warrants, and several hundred misdemeanors, as well as ethics violations and Supervisors letting staff know they were under investigation by undercover operatives.  Ironically, the investigation called off the night before the warrants for arrests filed.  Many of these folks still work at the BLM.

So with this in mind, and so much data and accounting available to the public over the Internet of today, it was  time to interview someone who could actually read and understand these budgets.  I chose a retired Accountant who had completed my books over the past couple of decades.

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Journalist:  “Sid, you’re a CPA?”

Sidney Harper:  “For 34 years — now retired.  You never went through an audit, right?”

Journalist:  “No.  Never did, happily.”  “Have you had a chance to go over the Federal Budgets of the BLM?”

Sid:  “Expectedly cumbersome, but yes, enough to see many inconsistencies up to this point . . . This is a type of Wild West form of bookkeeping, that’s for sure.  But the books are only as good as the incoming data.  The final responsible party is the GAO, and unless they say something as well, then it’s left in an arbitrary state of confusion.  In my perception that is what’s happening here.”

Journalist:  “Do you think there is illegal activity?”

Sid:  “No doubt.  It simply does not take any creative or intuitive situation to peruse the public documents from the BLM to understand the illegal activity.  Why there has been no investigation yet I do not know.  Obviously, no one in Justice or GAO has gone over the books associated with the BLM.  It appears, as most agencies do, they simply grab the budgets and print them for public access, to meet their legal requirements.  Ironically, BLM staff do not seem to understand the elements of the budgets out there, and how obvious the inconsistent numbers reflect illegal behavior.

Journalist:  “Rather than cover the technical aspects, could you explain an instance?”

Sid:   “Oh, yes.  The storage of the wild horses, for example.  It becomes obvious the BLM is not storing 45,000 horses, the accounting numbers attest to that situation.  It is questionable if 10,000 horses appear to exist in those holding pins what so ever.  Numbers do not lie.”

“Let me explain.  Let’s take an arbitrary number, such as the $52 million dollar budget for the overall storage and care of these supposed 45,000 wild horses in BLM custody.  The BLM staff only pays $10 million dollars for this same storage and care of those same horses.  But the pay-out is only enough to care for, probably, 5,000 to 7,000 horses, as the numbers attest to.  The remainder, or $42 million dollars is placed back into their financial stream.  This is what the BLM calls part of their profit base, even though it goes out to other projects more favorable to their clientele, as you have pointed out, specific Lobby Groups for example. . . the most obvious being to Cattle ranchers for their post-payment for water facility improvements on Public Lands, which by the way the payment and facilities, without a question and in accord with their Lease Contracts, meant for not only cattle but wildlife as well.”

Journalist:  “So this profit goes too . . .?

Sid:  “It’s common knowledge, after the Forest Service done it for decades, a profitable government agency is pretty much left alone to do whatever it wishes to do, without interference or scrutiny from the Department of Justice or awkward inspections toward legal or administrative methodology.  So the BLM shoves this balance of money into a large fund, showing legislators they do have a profit, and they impose that they indeed manage their agency quite competently.  Appearance is everything within this situation, and these numbers remain quite vulnerable, by the way, for scrutiny, which never happens.”

Journalist:  “Which brings about the legal questions, lawsuits?”

Sid:  “Then again, after perusing the budgets and payments made to the BLM, there is no way, short of illegal activity, that they can state truthfully they exceed a marginal profit base from their many agency activities.  Obviously they know there will be no inspection of their methods or financial data.  The court cases just within the past decade are easily considered quite costly, within the scope of millions of dollars.  These lawsuits have in reality taken away any or all of their mentioned profit, if any, to the point of placing yet another burden on the common taxpayer.  But who knows for sure, because the finances are not reported within any logical or procedural context or format.”

“The budgets that we as the public have access to are quite clear, and ironically truthful, but again left unnoticed.  Numbers can’t lie.  This financial data, once reviewed, will probably be the downfall of the BLM; that is, if anyone from the Department of Justice or the legislative investigators ever get around to perusing them.”

 
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Posted by on October 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

A Short Note to Wild Horse Herd Advocates

As Advocates we have no money, and with everyone being a volunteer.  This means there is no central focus, there exists no responsible party to answer to, and there is no chain of command.  There are disputes, and those who start the dispute or are in the middle of such should simply step aside and let those who are working continue, and basically shut the hell up!  In this Journalists mind this situation is perfect to combat a Government that is organized, but totally disorganized, shallow, and drone like.

Here is a short-agenda to approach the BLM / DOI Drones.  To start make them prove their EA’s; Demand Accurate Horse Head Counts and prove within the context of the EA; Demand and have them show “Provable Science” and “Valid Data Range Research” within the EA that shows beyond a doubt the harm done to the exact Range area discussed, supposedly by the horses, and where the correction is required (via provable range research and non-bias data).

FAA Law can work for Advocates

One law is FAA PART 91—GENERAL OPERATING AND FLIGHT RULES § 91.13 – Careless or reckless operation.4 The law is quite clear, yet ignored. This Journalist says “ignored” because there exists video taped evidence, in abundance, on the Internet, which is not edited what so ever. This is a felony, and as outlined in FAA Part 91–#91.13, as well as within many state and federal jurisdictions on Vehicular Assault upon people or animals.

False Claims Law

Make no doubt to the seriousness of false claims as well. The False Claims Act (31 U.S.C. §§ 37293733, also called the “Lincoln Law“) is an American federal law that imposes liability on persons and companies (typically federal contractors) who defraud governmental programs.

Felonies – The short list

Criminal Felonies each, by BLM / DOI employees and Private Contractors with an abundant explanation, as follows and predicated with . . . it appears that criminal violations of the following laws have occurred:

  1. 18 USC 641; Public money, property or records; whoever receives, cancels, or retains the same with intent to convert to use or gain . . .
  2. 18 USC 1512 (b); tampering with a witness, victim, or informant (Obstruction)
  3. 18 USC 371; Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud United States; conspiracy to obstruct a      criminal investigation . . .
  4. 16 USC 1338 (a) (1); wild horses and burros: protection, management, and control; any person who sells, directly or indirectly, a wild free-roaming horse, or burro maintained on private or leased land. . .

More and more outright Felony situations

The highlights of current violation foreshadow previous investigations – ALL FELONIES:

  1. BLM Management personnel have authorized the transportation of wild horses to group adopters at the expense of the government;
  2. BLM management personnel have authorized the fee waiver and/or fee reduction of wild horses without delegated authority;
  3. BLM management failed to inspect and prepare written reports for group adopter facilities and property prior to receiving adopted wild horses;
  4. BLM personnel publicly and openly promoted the commercial us of wild horses, i.e., bucking stock and slaughter house;
  5. BLM personnel in concurrence with BLM management, entered false information regarding the wild horse documents into BLM DPS-8000 (i.e. or current updated facility) data base;
  6. BLM personnel through their government positions, arranged for special privileges and allowances pertaining to wild horse adoptions;
  7. BLM personnel and management knowingly converted to the use of another, wild horses belonging to the United States;
  8. Many, many more “lack of document” charges, especially in regard to the Wild Horse Herd Counts and the financial income and expenditures mandatory at each BLM facility, were not completed, lost, or unavailable for confirmation – in order to appropriate funding for each facility;
  9. Several more listings expressed concern toward illegal activity, and lack of following directorial and mandated training and compliance of Inspectors, Wranglers, and Field Level Administrators of the Wild Horse and Burro Program.

Grazing Situations

So what is untrue, in a realistic ironic statement by the BLM, is this, “In managing livestock grazing on public rangelands, the BLM’s overall objective is to ensure the long-term health and productivity of these lands and to create multiple environmental benefits that result from healthy watersheds. The Bureau administers public land ranching in accordance with the Taylor Grazing Act of 1934, and in so doing provides livestock-based economic opportunities in rural communities while contributing to the West’s, and America’s, social fabric and identity,” Fact Sheet on the BLM’s Management of Livestock Grazing.

“The Taylor Grazing Act of 1934 (43 USC 315), signed by President Roosevelt, was intended to “stop injury to the public grazing lands [excluding Alaska] by preventing overgrazing and soil deterioration; to provide for their orderly use, improvement, and development; [and] to stabilize the livestock industry dependent upon the public range” (USDI 1988). This Act was pre-empted by the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA),” i.e. Taylor Grazing Act of 1934.

Conflict of Interest Law

“The first and perhaps most important point to emphasize is that SGEs are Government employees, for purposes of the conflict of interest laws. Specifically, an SGE is defined, in 18 U.S.C. § 202(a), as “an officer or employee . . . who is retained, designated, appointed, or employed” by the Government to perform temporary duties, with or without compensation, for not more than 130 days during any period of 365 consecutive days.” Precedent and Laws governing this situation can be perused here: CONFLICT OF INTEREST AND THE SPECIAL GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE. Again and without a doubt, all contracts abide by the Laws and ethics situations in accord with government law and policy.

“Each year OGE issues a survey of prosecutions involving the conflict of interest criminal statutes (18 U.S.C. §§ 202-209). Information on the prosecutions by U.S. Attorneys’ offices and the Public Integrity Section of the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division is provided to OGE with the assistance of the Executive Office for United States Attorneys at the Department of Justice,” review: Conflict of Interest Prosecution Surveys.

Legal Violations cost the taxpayers money

I speak with my neighbors, they have never heard of some of this stuff.  But I will tell you here and now, when they find out they are pissed.  Another Advocate has been born.

James Sebastian, accountant/CPA, generated the following from a perusal of BLM expenditure, precisely the Wild Horse Roundups, holding corrals, and shipping:

  1. $2.6 Billion Dollars BLM Horse Herd Management of Taxpayer Money Spent;
  2. Benefits to Taxpayers while spending taxpayer money = $0;
  3. Benefits to Local Area Ranchers/politicians/oil industry accumulative, pay-offs and continuing profit = $12.4 billion dollars and rising.

“This is significant,” Mr. Sebastian states, “. . . as this becomes, and has been, a slice of our public debt, and unfortunately hidden from the public at large. Taxpayers should know where their money is going, it should not be hidden. Right now it is hidden in the BLM, with no credibility or attempt to show the tax paying public the real figures and costs of the roundups. This compared to simply leaving the Wild Herds alone, at an approximate cost-field-management amount of perhaps $852,000.00 per year, for grassland management, horse management, and cattle grazing management.” (i.e. Grassland Management Principles) et al.

Conclusion

This is not meant as an article as such, rather a short synopsis of a few laws and policy situations for information only.  It is up to the individual Advocate to explore the variety of things and options available to everyone.  This is also meant to give the Advocate a slight understanding of the legal-speak required when filing a complaint with the FBI or other government agencies.  Further research is required before making a complaint.  More to come, as Note to WHHA, so this is not the definitive list, simply a short list, version 1.

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2012 in Uncategorized