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.
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.”