Aide to wild horse opponent Rep. Stewart named BLM deputy director

Source: Return to Freedom

“…no evidence that wilderness land designations result in positive economic outcomes for local economies.”

A BLM contractor’s helicopter pursues a stallion as cattle graze undisturbed during a 2016 roundup at Blawn Wash Herd Management Area in Utah. RTF file photo by Steve Paige.

The Bureau of Land Management has appointed Utah Republican Rep. Chris Stewart’s former chief of staff as the agency’s new deputy director of programs and policy.

Brian Steed, who served as Stewart’s chief of staff since 2013, has already started the job, according to sources. He is listed in the position on an organizational chart on the agency’s website.

Steed’s connection to Utah and its Republican-led congressional delegation is no accident. His appointment comes as Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has recommended that President Trump reduce the size of the Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears national monuments in Utah. Grand Staircase-Escalante is managed by BLM, and Bears Ears is overseen by BLM and the Forest Service.

Stewart and other members of Utah’s congressional delegation have been vocal critics of those national monument designations by Presidents Clinton and Obama, respectively. Steed would likely be in charge of overseeing any changes in management if both monuments are reduced in size or eliminated altogether.

BLM’s deputy director of programs and policy position is a political appointment and separate from acting Deputy Director of Operations John Ruhs, a career Senior Executive Service employee who oversees the day-to-day functions of the agency’s roughly 10,000 employees.

It’s not clear what Steed’s specific duties will be, though he is expected to help the agency carry out Trump administration priorities, including increasing oil and gas drilling and mining activities on federal lands.

As a political appointee, Steed likely will be heavily involved in the ongoing effort by the Interior Department to reorganize BLM and other agencies. That reorganization effort has already resulted in the removal of three BLM state directors in Alaska, Colorado and New Mexico.

A BLM spokeswoman declined to answer questions about Steed, referring inquiries to Interior. The department’s communications staff did not respond to requests for comment on this story in time for publication.

But Steed was introduced to members of BLM’s executive leadership team during a conference call this week, and sources said he made a positive first impression on the career employees.

Prior to becoming Stewart’s chief of staff in January 2013, Steed served as the congressman’s campaign manager, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Before that, he taught economics at Utah State University’s Jon M. Huntsman School of Business, as well as political science at the university. He served as deputy county attorney in Iron County, Utah, from May 2003 to August 2005, according to the LinkedIn profile.

Steed was the co-author with other Utah State University researchers of a paper published in the fall 2016 edition of the Journal of Private Enterprise titled “Boon or Bust: Wilderness Designation and Local Economics.”

Its authors concluded there is “no evidence that wilderness land designations result in positive economic outcomes for local economies.” Rather, wilderness designations “impose costs on local economies” that call for the need to develop “a consensus-building approach to new wilderness area designations.”

He earned a doctorate in public policy from Indiana University Bloomington in 2010 and a law degree from the University of Utah in 2002.

Sources said it is unusual for the agency to name a permanent top political deputy prior to the appointment of a permanent director.

BLM is currently being led by acting Director Mike Nedd.

Steed’s duties are likely to be similar to his predecessor in the Obama administration, Linda Lance.

Lance was heavily involved in energy policy, helping BLM develop a rule regulating hydraulic fracturing on federal lands and mitigation plans for large-scale solar power projects.

Lance had decades of Beltway policy experience that was the polar opposite of Steed’s.

She was senior counsel for former Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) before joining BLM. She was associate director at the White House Council on Environmental Quality during the Clinton administration and, after that, a lobbyist for the Wilderness Society from 2001 to 2008 (Greenwire, Jan. 14, 2014).

While at CEQ, Lance worked with then-Chairwoman Kathleen McGinty on the Clinton administration’s designation of the 1.7-million-acre Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

https://returntofreedom.org/2017/10/04/aide-to-wild-horse-opponent-rep-stewart-named-blm-deputy-director/

4 comments on “Aide to wild horse opponent Rep. Stewart named BLM deputy director

  1. Congressman Chris Stewart Violates U.S.C. Title 18
    PRESS RELEASE
    6 July 2017

    Citizens Against Equine Slaughter has found evidence that the Department of the Interior (DOI), Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and at least one Congressman are guilty of violating 923. 18 U.S.C. § 371—Conspiracy to Defraud the United States:
    “The general conspiracy statute, 18 U.S.C. § 371, creates an offense “[i]f two or more persons conspire either to commit any offense against the United States, or to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose. (emphasis added).”
    Congressman Stewart Reports a 41% increase in WH&B population in less than 5 months – IMPOSSIBLE
    We find that Chris Stewart did stand in front of a Congressional Appropriations Subcommittee for the Department of the Interior in 2016, addressing the BLM FY 2017 Budget. He did state that the wild horse population, in a majority, on the range were starving, or dying from dehydration. He also stated that there were, at that time, 67,000 wild horses on the range. These claims and population statements were those made by the BLM and the DOI in several media sources, as well as the Budget Justification letter submitted to Congress.

    Screen grab from Rep. Stewart’s website with video of his presentation.
    These 2 population statements would suggest that the wild horses went from approximately 47,000 in January 2016 to 67,000 by May of 2016 a 41% increase in less than 5 months? When BLM skews the ratio of stallions to mares on the range, 60 :40, this would mean that with 40 percent of the 47,000 wild horses in January, 18,800 would be mares, and all of them along with approximately 1,500 stallions had to have given birth in 5 months to achieve the 67,000 population boom stated in May of 2016.
    1. We found that the August 2016 Environmental Assessment, Adobe Town Wild Horse Movements & Habitat Selection Research Gather, DOI-BLM-WY-D030-2016-0104-EA, page 35, Line 132 and 133, stated the wild horse population on the range was less than in holding (47,403 in holding), according to BLM officials in January of 2016.
    https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-front-office/projects/nepa/59671/97559/117715/Draft_Adobe_Town_Habitat_Movements_Research_EA_9-23-2016.pdf
    2. Then in the Interior Appropriations subcommittee mark up, Representative Chris Stewart did state on 25, May 2016 that “There are more than 67,000 of them (horses) now, …” https://stewart.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/rep-chris-stewart-calls-for-bipartisan-solution-to-the-overpopulation-of
    Was there even a census between these two numbers showing a 41% increase from Jan to May of the same year (2016)?
    While we gathered photos of horses across the 10 states in various HMA’s to prove they were healthy, we found no wild horse advocate group with volunteers on the ground, no wild horse photographer, and even one ranch manager (Stacey Davies, from Roaring Springs Ranch in Oregon) who stated he knew of NO starving horses in Oregon, during a meeting of the Steens Advisory Council. So we asked, but never received any proof of this claim of “tens of thousands of horses that look like this”, made by Representative Stewart, as he held up an old photo of a mare and foal from one instance in 2015 in which human interference with wildlife created an issue where the horses did not act naturally, but instead became emaciated.
    Along with these claims of health crisis and population booms, there is always the claim of rangeland destruction, but the question must be asked when photographic, or range-tour evidence is presented, was there ever livestock here? How long ago? And did the time after livestock were removed allow for rest and recovery. There is no wild horse habitat without livestock damage that proves the wild horses are destructive. Even studies such as the WY radio-collaring of wild horses in the Adobe Town Herd Management Area will be biased by the fact that plant life or consumption will be looked at based on the location given by the collars of the horses, however, no other species that eats these plants is simultaneously studied. Therefore, there is no valid way of scientifically determining what ate that plant. Making that aspect of the entire study invalid.
    We assert that these statements and misrepresentations of truth are intentional
    We assert that these statements and misrepresentations of truth are intentional, and done to convince the public as well as Congressional members to agree to an agenda to push these horses off the range or to genetic extinction. Many herds show signs of inbreeding when the genetic analysis reports are read. Augmenting genetics with the odd mare from an outside herd is not keeping the unique genetics found in different herds or areas viable or separate from the meta population, rather destroying any uniqueness. The augmentation method has also proved unsuccessful in the Kiger/Riddle HMA’s of Oregon. The Oregon genetic analysis reports have shown a steady decline in viability, even with outside mare or stallion introductions.
    These intentional lies and mistruths must be exposed, and those perpetrating them must be charged with violation of U.S.C. Title 18, with intent to misinform the U. S. government to reach special interest agendas while misleading the people they are to serve.
    Submitted to Congressman Raul Grijalva for the Congressional record, to be shared with the Natural Resources Committee of which he is the Ranking Member, on 7, July 2017.

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1OAMf1oifbF0fw14RNZ5G4e3YryEKdO6aZX9Fu9EFD4A/mobilebasic

    Like

  2. I have to ask: how many tourists travel to see open pit mines, fracking sites, cows grazing then possibly spend money at towns near these sites – where the quality of water and air are being polluted?
    Sound like someplace we all would like to visit?
    I’m guessing people would rather catch site of wild horses or buffalo or other wild animals in their natural habitat!

    Like

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