Credit: Bureau of Land Management »» Budd-Falen Law Offices, Facebook
With a career dedicated to undermining public lands and public servants, Budd-Falen is uniquely unqualified for the director’s post
by Greg Zimmerman
Rumors are swirling that President Trump will nominate Wyoming lawyer Karen Budd-Falen to direct the Bureau of Land Management.
Budd-Falen is uniquely unqualified to oversee the BLM, a department charged with managing 258 million acres of America’s public lands — and nearly 700 million acres of oil, gas, and other minerals — on behalf of the American public. She has spent her career fighting against the very existence of U.S. public lands, filing frivolous lawsuits against the BLM, working to subvert public land managers, supporting unpopular efforts to dispose of public lands, and even aligning herself with fringe extremists.
Here are three important reasons Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and the Trump administration should look elsewhere rather than nominate Budd-Falen to run one of America’s most important agencies.
Budd-Falen sympathizes with the Bundy family and other anti-public lands extremists; she also wrote their playbook
For decades Karen Budd-Falen has been a leading voice in the the so-called “county rights movement” — an offshoot of the fringe county supremacy movement which holds that county sheriffs have ultimate authority over the federal government and can choose whether or not to enforce U.S. laws.
In the early 1990s she drafted Catron County, New Mexico’s “comprehensive land use & policy plan” which effectively declared the U.S. government is subservient to the county’s “custom and culture” — suggesting land managers could not regulate grazing, logging, and other uses of public lands.
The Catron ordinance is a detailed handbook for county supremacists and anti-public land extremists who’ve led multiple armed standoffs with public land managers and law enforcement. The land use plan goes so far as to claim that BLM land managers “undermined the practice of democracy….” The model plan drafted by Budd-Falen spread to dozens of counties across the West, and while most counties avoided testing the laws in court, a state court did invalidate a Catron-style ordinance in Boundary County, Idaho.
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