Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms (of government) those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny. Thomas Jefferson
There is a government agency, specifically the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), a sub-agency of the Department of the Interior (DOI), which remains aloof and non-compliant to our nation’s law’s and taxpayer’s alike.
Case in Point is a Range Land Assessment Study completed in 2012, costing the taxpayers $40 million dollars. . . Critical rangeland data was excluded, on purpose, in regard to cattle grazing and its direct and destructive effect upon the ecological systems included in the study on Public Lands; effecting both wildlife and land.
This particular Study was useless, but BLM employees not only went through with the study, but spent the funds on themselves and the limited research irresponsibly. At the Studies completion, those employees in the BLM simply shrugged, turned it in as completed, and all that time knew it to be useless in total — i.e. $40 million dollars later. Where did the money go, much of it not accounted for (one of many, many instances of this exist within the BLM and now in the $billions of dollars)?
It was a fact that Welfare Rancher’s and several corporations threatened to sue BLM if cattle were mentioned in this Study, and from then onward (also in 2002, 2004, and 2009) demanded the BLM blame the — e.g., wild horses — rather than cattle, for the ecological destruction (which never has been proven about horses, and never will be as it is simply untrue).
When BLM Management questioned about the Study, their response BLM-Speak:
“The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) says it was an absence of “reliable data”—and not politics—that caused it to exclude consideration of commercial livestock impacts from multi-million dollar assessments of environmental conditions on Western range lands. BLM thus rejected the first scientific misconduct complaint . . .”
We find, previously, many Rangeland Studies over the past 6 decades that quite fluidly mention cattle grazing to be destructive to America’s Public Lands – there is more than amble information. There also exists the reasoning behind establishing the Taylor Grazing Act decades ago as well. The TGA was meant to establish proper cattle grazing management without destroying Rangeland, and to curb the cattle-caused destruction while grazing on Public Lands, all under the scrutiny and management of the BLM.
So the claim that the real reason was lack of data, as mentioned above, does not hold water because:
•Attempts to exclude grazing began at the earliest stages of the study, before data availability was even examined. Further, BLM assertions of data gaps were never examined, let alone verified;
•Other factors being studied, such as invasive species, also have data gaps but these issues did not prevent invasive species from being selected as a study focus; and
•BLM managers hid the existence of a major livestock database which was never given to researchers.
Rhetoric and Budgets
The Department of the Interior’s budget is (in their documents) $11.7 billion dollars. “The 2014 budget includes $5.3 billion in current authority for AGO (America’s Great Outdoors) activities, an increase of $179.8 million above 2012. . .The 2014 Bureau of Land Management (BLM) budget request is $1.2 billion, an increase of $32.6 million or 2.9 percent above the 2012 enacted budget. The budget proposes $980.2 million for the Management of Land and Resources appropriation . . .”
Supposedly — “The BLM’s budget request translates to a net cost per acre of about $4.50 to American taxpayers.1 DOI estimates that BLM lands contribute $151 billion in economic output. . .”
Problem: Without proper information genuine and truthful decisions, which conserve and improve America’s Wildlife and Public Lands, and governed by Law, coexists with the expenditure of taxpayer money. It is when irresponsible decisions are made that Wildlife becomes endangered unnecessarily, such as the Wild Horses on Public lands, et al., without regard to proper results, America’s environment is destroyed, and taxpayer money spent recklessly.
BLM Falsehoods Lies and Criminality
BLM management and most employees brag to the public, often, about being the only government agency making a profit of $billions of dollars, yet not only do they use taxpayer money for their Administrative programs, but the amount of stipends to corporations and welfare rancher’s are extravagant to say the least. The amount of fee’s, from those same welfare ranchers and corporations are also all-telling, and the $billions of dollars that go uncollected, or at a reduced-price for the leasing of Public Lands, and destroying those same lands, deplorable at best.
A question taxpayers and American’s should be asking our legislator’s: If BLM is so profitable; GAO states $650 billion possible if or whenever collected from corporations and welfare rancher’s, then why do they not collect these amounts.
The next question would be obvious, if these corporations and welfare ranchers, indeed, owe this amount of money, and the American Deficit is far less, in accord also with the GAO, then how is it that America has a deficit and apparently has to conduct budget cuts to programs which feed people? Something is definitely not right here!
The “Change” that needs to happen is to not only demand proper explanation of the budgets; but the compilation of honest numbers that reflect exactly the costs of managing our environment and our lands, without special interests and questionable stipends’ to corporation’s and welfare rancher’s, who lease Public Lands to use for their profits, and to hell with taxpayer’s!
This article highlights misuse of taxpayer money and issues directly involved to the misuse. Only by seeing the common themes can we hope to identify new and more effective solutions and the most eminent solution to many is downsizing and actually getting rid of the criminal organization called the Bureau of Land Management; the others are outlined below.
Further Serious Problems that require resolution:
* Legal standards that lack sufficient clarity or force to achieve sustainable use of resources and protection of non-economic values;
* Inadequate monitoring of resource conditions;
* Restrictions that limit public participation in planning and the NEPA process and therefore amplify the influence of economic interests seeking to use resources;
* Exemptions that eliminate environmental review of significant decisions;
* Subsidies that promote exploitation or degradation without adequate justification.
The resources that we waste with mismanaged grazing policies range from the administrative to the ecological. Some – like the administrative resources – are easier to quantify. According to a recent GAO report, federal agencies spent a total of at least $144 million just to administer grazing programs in fiscal year 2004. With ranchers paying just $1.43 per AUM to graze on our lands that year, federal agencies only brought in $21 million to offset the cost of administering the grazing programs. GAO found that BLM and the Forest Service would have had to charge $7.64 per AUM and $12.26 per AUM, respectively, to recover their expenditures.
It is hard to believe, in this day and time of information being so prominent, that the American Public can be led astray so easily.
Until appropriate corrections within this government agency made, American taxpayer’s will simply watch as their money is spent irresponsibly by government employees and their private contractors. Today there exists no government agency protecting American taxpayers what so ever, and it is obvious.
Fiscal Year 2014The Interior Budget in Brief April 2013, Department Overview
BUDGET JUSTIFICATIONS The United States Department of the Interior BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT, i.e. Document
BLM SAYS IT CANNOT TRACK CATTLE ON ITS LANDS, Press Release Jan 24, 2013, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility
Department of the Interior Economic Impact Report, 2011 (page 16)
U.S. DEP’T OF THE INTERIOR, FISCAL YEAR 2008 BUDGET IN BRIEF, BUREAU HIGHLIGHTS: BUREAU OF LAND MGMT., BH-8, available at http://www.doi.gov/budget/2008/08Hilites/BH005.pdf (last visited Feb. 8, 2007) (explaining that “[l]ike the 2007 President’s Budget, the 2008 budget proposes to
amend the FLTFA to: allow BLM to use updated management plans to identify areas suitable for disposal; allow a portion fo the receipts to be used by BLM for restoration projects; return 70 percent of the net proceeds from the sales to the Treasury; and cap receipt retention by the Department at $60.0 million per year.”).
Zachary Colie, No Arctic Oil Drilling? How About Selling Parks?, S.F. CHRON., Sept. 24, 2005, available at 2005 WLNR 15054567.
Bettina Boxall, Some Fear a Vast Sell-Off of U.S. Land, L.A. Times, Nov. 16, 2005, available at 2005 WLNR 23355553. Although the bill would increase the patent fees from $2.50 or $5 an acre to $1,000 an acre, the price would still exclude mineral worth, “which can amount to billions of dollars.” Id.
Id.; Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, H.R. 4241, 109th Cong., §§ 6204(b), (c).
Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, H.R. 4241, 109th Cong., §§ 6207 (“Subject to valid existing rights, nothing in sections 6202, 6203, 6204, 6205, and 6206 of this subtitle shall be construed as affecting any lands within the boundary of any unit of the National Park System, National Wildlife Refuge System, National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, or National Trails System, or any National Conservation Area, any National Recreation Area, any National Monument, or any unit of the National Wilderness Preservation System as of the date of the enactment of this Act.”) (emphasis added).
Id.; See EARTHWORKS, NAT’L WILDLIFE FED’N, THE WILDERNESS SOC’Y & ENVTL. WORKING GROUP, Deficit Reduction Act of 2005: Fact & Fiction About the Mining Subtitle in the Deficit Reduction Act, 1, available at http://www.wilderness.org/Library/Documents/upload/Factsheet- MiningFactFiction-DeficitReduxAct2005.pdf (last visited Jul. 27, 2006) (arguing that, “[t]he mining subtitle specifically allows the selling of preexisting claims (i.e. valid existing rights) in these areas. In the National Parks alone, according to the National Park Service, more than 18,000 acres of mining claims predate this mining subtitle and are available
U.S. DEP’T OF THE INTERIOR, BUREAU OF LAND MGMT., BLM and Forest Service Announce 2007 Federal Grazing Fee (February 2, 2007), available at http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/info/newsroom/2007/february/NR0702_3.html (last visited March 27, 2007). “AUM” means “animal unit month.” It is the equivalent of one cow-calf pair, one bull, one steer, one horse, or five sheep.
U.S. GOV’T ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE, LIVESTOCK GRAZING: FEDERAL EXPENDITURES AND RECEIPTS VARY, DEPENDING ON THE AGENCY AND THE PURPOSE OF THE FEE CHARGED, 38 (September 2005), available at http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d05869.pdf (last visited June 25, 2007) (hereinafter GAO: GRAZING FEES).
See generally, WELFARE RANCHING, supra note 50, at 162-257