Opposition Builds To Interior Department Records Purge

SOURCE:  dcreport.org

Group Says Documents Reveal Efforts to Kill Wild Horses, Land Grabs and Other Outrages

A nonprofit advocating for wild horses, one of the groups opposing a massive proposed document purge at Trump’s Interior Department, said record requests helped the nonprofit learn about a plan to send thousands of wild horses to a tiger refuge in Russia.

“These records are especially important for oversight now that large numbers of wild horses and burros are being ‘adopted’ in larger numbers, and to organizations and to overseas destinations,” wrote Debbie Coffey, vice president of the Wild Horse Freedom Federation. “We will need to access these records in order to ensure that wild horses and burros are not being adopted or sold and ending up in the slaughter pipeline.”

The Trump administration wants to bury science and hide how mining, drilling and logging on public lands devastate our precious natural spaces.

The proposed document purge includes records about endangered species, oil and gas leases, timber sales, dams and land purchases.

The National Archives has said that getting rid of records is standard and has been going on for decades. The schedule’s language gives broad authority to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to destroy records documenting government efforts to protect endangered species and public lands.

“The Trump administration wants to bury science and hide how mining, drilling and logging on public lands devastate our precious natural spaces,” said Meg Townsend, an attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity.

The federation learned from a document request that the Bureau of Land Management in 2011 under former President Barack Obama considered shipping wild horses to a sanctuary in Siberia where they could be killed and eaten by leopards and tigers.

“Would we pay for shipping to Vladivostok or allow horses to be placed on a sanctuary with known heavy predator population?” asked Karla Bird, an acting division chief.

BLM ultimately decided against sending our nation’s wild horses to Russia to be eaten by tigers.

But in 2017, the bureau again was looking at sending horses to Russia and also to Guyana in South America.

Under the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, passed by Congress in 1971 when Republican Richard Nixon was president, the federal government is supposed to manage and protect the herds. Almost 82,000  wild horses and burros roam our nation’s public lands. More than 50,000 others are corralled.

The Trump administration proposed euthanizing or selling “excess animals” in 2017, but Congress kept a ban on slaughtering the animals.

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ACTION BOX/What You Can Do About It

The comment period about the proposal to destroy Interior Department records has ended.

Contact Secretary Ryan Zinke about concerns about keeping records. Call him at 202-208-3100, reach out to him on FacebookTwitter or send an email.

Write: Department of the Interior / 1849 C St., NW / Washington, D.C. 20240

Wild Horse Freedom Foundation can be contacted online.

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You can read articles on dcreport.org HERE.

 

3 comments

  1. With today’s technology, there is no reason other than government cover-up, to destroy or even hide documents pertaining to and belonging to the American people.

    It is complicated but here is the law against destroying public records:

    1663. PROTECTION OF GOVERNMENT PROPERTY — PROTECTION OF PUBLIC RECORDS AND DOCUMENTS

    The necessary measure of protection for government documents and records is provided by 18 U.S.C. § 2071. Section 2071(a) contains a broad prohibition against destruction of government records or attempts to destroy such records. This section provides that whoever: willfully and unlawfully; conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates or destroys; or attempts to conceal, remove, mutilate, obliterate or destroy; or carries away with intent to conceal, remove, mutilate, obliterate or destroy; any record, proceeding, map, book, paper, document or other thing deposited in any public office may be punished by imprisonment for three years, a $2, 000 fine, or both.

    https://www.justice.gov/jm/criminal-resource-manual-1663-protection-government-property-protection-public-records-and

    Like

  2. A “new way of doing business”…or business as usual?

    Would this data be part of the “record destruction” process?

    Interior finalizes boundaries of 12 new ‘Unified Regions’
    August 29
    By: Jessie Bur

    The Department of Interior finalized its map of 12 regional boundaries intended to divide the country as part of the agency’s reorganization and increased efficiency efforts, according to an Aug. 29 email obtained by Federal Times.

    The plan would assign efforts made by Department of Interior bureaus — such as the National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service — into regions determined by watersheds, wildlife corridors, trail systems and state boundaries to better coordinate agency efforts on a local scale.

    The new boundaries stem from a March 2017 executive order calling for federal agencies to submit plans for reorganization to the director of the Office of Management and Budget, many of which went into the development of the June 2018 reorganization plan.

    “In the coming weeks, we will take actions to align DOI into the 12 unified regional boundaries. Bureau regional boundaries will transition from their current regional structures to participate in the new twelve unified regional boundaries,” wrote Interior Deputy Director of External Affairs Tim Williams wrote in the email obtained by Federal Times.

    “These new Unified Regional Boundaries provide the framework for a new way of doing business.”

    https://www.federaltimes.com/management/2018/08/29/interior-finalizes-boundaries-of-12-new-unified-regions/

    Like

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