Three reasons Karen Budd-Falen is unfit to lead the Bureau of Land Management

SOURCE:  medium.com

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.

Read the rest of this article HERE.

 

Judge Rejects Utah Welfare Ranchers Bid to Evict Wild Horses

Source: The Salt Lake Tribune – Story by

“Public lands » Utah argues BLM is failing its duty to manage wild horses, while advocates decry ‘inhumane’ roundups…”

Last terrorized seconds of freedom for native wild horses being rounded up on public lands ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

A federal judge on Tuesday tossed a lawsuit brought by Utah ranchers demanding the Bureau of Land Management remove “excess” wild horses from several areas in the West Desert they say are overrun with free-roaming horses that displace their cattle.

Represented by Karen Budd-Falen, a Wyoming lawyer who sources say is undergoing final vetting to serve as the BLM’s next director, the ranchers argued that federal law requires the removal of horses that exceed population targets the agency has set for particular herd areas. But U.S. District Judge Jill Parrish ruled that roundups are not compulsory, unless certain conditions are met.

“Once BLM determines that an overpopulation in fact exists in a given area, the agency has wide discretion in how it addresses that overpopulation,” wrote the former Utah Supreme Court justice in her ruling. “BLM may address the identified overpopulation through removal or through other methods it deems more suitable.”

In recent years, the BLM has been working with contraceptives as a less costly, more humane alternative to the endless cycle of roundups on Western ranges that have resulted in 50,000 horses incarcerated for life in private pastures off the range.

Current federal law prohibits selling these animals for slaughter to nations where horse meat is commonly used for human consumption, although pending legislation in Congress could relax these restrictions.

The Utah ranchers, angry with BLM requests that they slash their cattle’s time on the public rangelands, formed the Western Rangeland Conservation Association in 2014, pooling their money to bring the lawsuit. The Utah Farm Bureau Federation, national Public Lands Council and Iron and Beaver counties all pledged financial support and filed amicus briefs, while the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign intervened on the BLM’s side.

The ranchers’ suit sought to compel removals from particular management areas where horse numbers exceed designated “appropriate management levels,” or AMLs, which set high and low target populations. In Utah and many other Western states, horse numbers chronically remain two to three times the upper limits of AML, creating endless conflict with the ranchers who hold grazing allotments in those areas and their allies on rural county commissions…(CONTINUED)

http://www.sltrib.com/home/5501502-155/judge-rejects-utah-ranchers-plea-to

Horse Slaughter Vote a Setback, but There’s No Time to Let Up!

Source: Return to Freedom, endorsed by Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Attention now turns immediately to the 2018 Interior Appropriations Bill that could potentially threaten the lives of tens of thousands of America’s wild horses and burros.  

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Return to Freedom Wild Horse Conservation and other advocacy groups on Wednesday expressed disappointment in the House Appropriations Committee’s vote opening the door to horse slaughter, but urged supporters of wild horses and burros to keep the pressure on Congress.

“While today’s vote is disheartening for the overwhelming majority of Americans who oppose horse slaughter, there may be critical votes as soon as next week that could further threaten the lives of tens of thousands of wild horses and burros,” said Neda DeMayo, president of Return to Freedom.

“We must redouble our efforts and stand strong for America’s wild horses.”

The full House Appropriations committee voted 27-25 to reject the Roybal-Allard/Dent horse slaughter defund amendment to the Fiscal Year 2018 Agriculture Appropriations bill. Find out how members of the Appropriations Committee voted by clicking here.

Because there is no permanent federal ban on horse slaughter, advocates push annually for an amendment barring the U.S. Department of Agriculture from hiring horsemeat plans inspectors to effectively keep a ban in place. Advocates may have another chance to turn back slaughter when the Ag Appropriations Bill goes to the full House for approval in the weeks ahead.

Attention now turns immediately to the 2018 Interior Appropriations Bill that could potentially threaten the lives of tens of thousands of America’s wild horses and burros.  

A draft version of the Interior Appropriations Bill OKed by the House Interior Subcommittee, also on Wednesday, does not include provisions called for by the administration that would have allowed the Bureau of Land Management to kill healthy horses or sell captive animals without restriction.

While that’s good news, advocates must not be complacent. An amendment calling for inclusion of those deadly provisions could be offered when the full committee meets again, likely next week, so it’s critical that advocates continue making themselves heard.

TAKE ACTION

  • Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121, ask to be connected to your representative;
  • Tell staff that your wish to urge your congressperson to oppose any provision that would allow the Bureau of Land Management to kill wild horses or to remove sale restrictions that would open the door for BLM to sell horses and burros to someone who would sell them for slaughter;
  • If your representative is not on the Appropriations Committee, please urge him or her to oppose horse slaughter when the Ag Appropriations Bill goes to the floor, as well as any provisions that could harm wild horses in the Interior Appropriations Bill.
  • Please be sure to mention that humane solutions that would enable the management of wild horses and burros on the range have long been available.

These solutions include not only using safe, proven fertility control but revisiting population targets, based on a fair interpretation of multiple-use land management; providing incentives for ranchers who reduce livestock grazing in wild horse Herd Management Areas; increasing range stewardship, including much-needed water source restoration; and relocating horses, but only if truly necessary.