Horse News

BLM’s Grazing Regulations Scoping Public Comment ~ Due March 6th

“Long time advocate and friend, Grandma Gregg, has alerted us to this very important public comment and has gone so far as to allow us to print her communication to the BLM.  The importance of posting her words, here, is not to copy and paste them but to give all of us talking points that we can utilize in our own personal comments.  She has included BLM contact information in her letter, below.  Thanks to all who are the voices for those who cannot speak for themselves” ~ R.T.

Private “Welfare Cattle” being herded onto BLM Antelope Complex in Nevada, while Wild Horse roundup was being conducted ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation


Department of the Interior

Bureau of Land Management

Attn: Seth Flanigan

3948 South Development Avenue

Boise, Idaho 83705

Submitted online: https://go.usa.gov/xyMqb     blm_wo_grazing_email@blm.gov

 

Re: BLM’s Grazing Regulations Scoping Public Comment DOI-BLM-WO-WO2000-2019-0001-EIS (Proposed Grazing Regulation Revision (43 CFR Part 4100, exclusive of Alaska)

 

As an American tax-paying citizen, environmental researcher and lifelong visitor to our public lands in the western United States, I require that the United States Bureau of Land Management (BLM) consider my scoping comment very seriously and include it in the administrative record for this Grazing Regulation Revision proposal.

 

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is required by the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”), 42 U.S.C. §§ 4321, et seq., to prepare Environmental Assessments or EAs or, if indicated, Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) for any proposed changes to public lands that may have a significant environmental impact.  The law directs the agency to identify environmental concerns, consider alternatives including no action at all and take a “hard look” at the issues and minimize significant environmental impact. A significant environmental impact includes actions that are likely to be highly controversial or have uncertain effects on the quality of our lives and that affect cultural and historical resources. 40 C.F.R. §1508.27(b). These evaluations as well as land use plans are full of words but have little substance when it comes to protecting the lands and rights of American Citizens. It is often what is NOT in these documents that is most telling.  For these reasons, I require the following information be included in the upcoming Environmental Impact Statements (EIS).

 

Before continuing I wish to bring to the attention of the BLM management that any employee of the Department of Interior / Bureau of Land Management that has made false statements is subject to the following Title 18 violations which include fines and prison terms. Please keep this in your mind as you write and review the upcoming Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

 

Title 18 (18 U.S.C. § 1001). Making false statements (18 U.S.C. § 1001) is the common name for the United States federal crime laid out in Section 1001 of Title 18 of the United States Code, which generally prohibits knowingly and willfully making false or fraudulent statements, or concealing information, in “any matter within the jurisdiction” of the federal government of the United States, even by mere denial 18 U.S. Code § 1519 – Destruction, alteration, or falsification of records in Federal investigations Current through Pub. L. 114-38. (See Public Laws for the current Congress.) US Code Per the US Department of Justice, the purpose of Section 1001 is “to protect the authorized functions of governmental departments and agencies from the perversion which might result from” concealment of material facts and from false material representations.

 

NEPA

 

At its most basic level, NEPA requires that the decision-makers, as well as the public, be fully informed, i.e. “that environmental information is available to public officials and citizens before decisions are made and before action is taken.” 40 C.F.R. § 1500.l(b). NEPA ensures that the agency “will have available, and will carefully consider, detailed information concerning significant environmental impacts; it also guarantees that the relevant information will be made available to the larger [public] audience.” Robertson v. Methow Valley Citizens Council. NEPA requires that all relative detailed environmental information will be available and carefully considered.

 

I require that any NEPA analysis regarding this management plan must fully disclose all environmental impacts, and consider all reasonable alternatives. Nature is the true manager for these wild lands, flora and fauna and nature is not static and any proposed plan and ultimate decision must first take into serious consideration the natural environment that has evolved over the years and how previous decisions have affected the environment and how future decisions will affect the environment.

NEPA requires that BLM adequately evaluate all potential environmental impacts of proposed actions. To meet this obligation, the BLM must identify and disclose to the public all foreseeable impacts of the proposed action, including direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts. Additionally, these and all available scientific research and reports must become a part of the administrative record for this scoping and the upcoming public land grazing proposal and also must be provided to the public and the decision makers.

 

The BLM, per NEPA law, are required to examine a full range of alternatives in the analysis documented in an EIS. Reasonable alternatives are defined as those that are economically and technically feasible, and that show evidence of common sense. I require the BLM to consider all reasonable alternatives.

 

America was built and has survived almost two hundred and fifty years because we made laws and learned to follow these laws that our ancestors fought and died for in order for American citizens to be able to have the LAWS of the United States. To ignore the laws of the United States of America is treasonous.

 

Requirements

 

The proposed EIS must examine and include analysis of the rangeland to ensure adequate forage and water resources available for all wildlife in the proposal area.

“Proper management plans “require a strong information base,” including data on the:

(a) biological potential for the area;

(b) numbers and combinations of herbivorous animals that can be safety carried on the area;

(c) kinds and amounts of forage and habitat required by all the animals;

(d) effects of herbivores on vegetation and each other;

(e) effects on soil and hydrology; and

(f) an understanding of the economic and social values associated with the area.” (NAS 1982)

 

In addition, the forthcoming EIS must include:

  1. All historical, current and future ten-year range monitoring and plans.
  2. An updated and scientifically supported and defensible census of all on the range wildlife, including wild horses and burros, born and died in the past ten years and age at death and cause of death. Approximation numbers are acceptable if scientifically supportable.
  3. A no action alternative – with detailed scientific review of this alternative – both pro and con.
  4. A discussion and a detailed map regarding and including all current and proposed fencing, gates and cattle guards within the proposal area and reason for the fencing.
  5. A scientific discussion regarding how fencing and cattle guards and gates influence the wildlife, including wild horses and burros, from accessing any water sources and forage sources and how these fences effect wildlife, including wild horses and burros, genetic health and variability.
  6. The proposed EIS must include a section discussing those alternatives that were considered but rejected with a detailed explanation of the reasons for their elimination and not just respond “outside the scope”. Nothing is “outside the scope” if it affects the public lands and the NEPA law requires that all relevant scientific information be provided to the American public.

 

The NEPA law requires that all relevant scientific information be provided to the American public and that that information be taken a “hard look” at by the decision makers. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires that to ensure that environmental assessment statements reflect a careful consideration of the available science, and that areas of disagreement or uncertainty are flagged rather than being swept under the carpet.

 

An EIS must include a complete and detailed breakdown of range monitoring data for at least the past ten years, including data distinguishing wildlife and livestock impacts; all of which must be provided to the American public. Without this the EIS and any subsequent action will be in violation of the NEPA requirements and thus illegal. Keep in mind that to ignore or falsify this data is a violation of Title 18. Title 18 (18 U.S.C. § 1001). Making false statements (18 U.S.C. § 1001) is the common name for the United States federal crime laid out in Section 1001 of Title 18 of the United States Code, which generally prohibits knowingly and willfully making false or fraudulent statements, or concealing information, in “any matter within the jurisdiction” of the federal government of the United States, even by mere denial 18 U.S. Code § 1519 – Destruction, alteration, or falsification of records in Federal investigations Current through Pub. L. 114-38. (See Public Laws for the current Congress.) US Code Per the US Department of Justice, the purpose of Section 1001 is “to protect the authorized functions of governmental departments and agencies from the perversion which might result from” concealment of material facts and from false material representations.

 

An EIS must include the research and monitoring data and the scientific methods used to differentiate between (1) wild horses versus (2) all other wildlife versus (3) livestock. This monitoring research and its subsequent report data and summary must include all information on all methods used by BLM to determine and differentiate between wild horse usage and wildlife usage and livestock usage of forage and water usage for at least the past ten years. Details required (including but not limited to):

 

  • Water usage designation
  1. Foraging wildlife
  2. Wild horses
  3. Domestic livestock
  • Forage usage designation (AUMs)
  1. Wildlife
  2. Wild horses
  3. Domestic livestock
  • Water and land usage designation for other current or likely “multiple uses” including but not limited to:
  1. Mining
  2. Geothermal
  3. Solar
  4. Wind turbine
  5. Oil and Gas
  6. Sold/leased to outside communities or individuals or companies

 

Although there are numerous listed reasons that a valid grazing permit or preference can be reduced, cancelled or suspended by the federal agencies, those reasons can be placed in the category of either (1) the permittee’s violation of the terms or conditions contained in his grazing permit, federal regulation or State or federal law or (2) damage or destruction to the forage resource. I require that substantiated data including all damage or destruction to the forage resources, and methods to gather and prove the data, on all lands within the EIS proposal be provided to the public within the EIS.

 

I require that the following alternatives be impartially analyzed in the upcoming EIS:

 

  • I require the EIS include substantiated data on any proposed reduction or termination of livestock grazing for the next ten to twenty years. Wild horses and burros are legally DESIGNATED on the Herd Management Areas and Herd Areas (HMA & HA) and livestock are only PERMITTED. Definition of the word “designated” is to “set aside for” or “assign” or “authorize”. Definition of “permit” is to “allow” or “let” or “tolerate”. The wild horse and wild burro legally designated lands and resources are set aside for, and assigned and authorized for, the use of wild horses and burros whereas the livestock is only allowed and tolerated and let to use the public range resources. While commercial livestock grazing is permitted on public lands, it is not a requirement under the agency’s multiple use mandate as outlined in the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA). Public land grazing clearly is a privilege not a right, while the BLM is mandated by law to protect wild horses and burros. Therefore, I require a complete, valid and scientifically supportable assessment including the explanation of the methods used for the assessment, of the past and current and future planned animal unit months (AUMs) for the lands designated in the EIS including allotments for livestock, wild horses and other wildlife be evaluated and presented to the public for review.
  • I require the EIS to include the alternative of legal reduction of private/corporate domestic livestock grazing in the wild horse herd area lands (both herd management areas HMA and herd areas HA) , pursuant to 3 C.F.R. 4710.3-2 and 43 C.F.R. 4710.5(a), the BLM’s authority to reduce livestock grazing pursuant to 43 C.F.R. 4710.5 in order “to provide habitat for wild horses or burros.” There are no restrictions on usage of this authority as it is fully available to the BLM as an option within the EIS.
  • I require the EIS provide all livestock use information and all livestock monitoring information for all livestock grazing allotments within the EIS plan lands for at least the past ten years.
  • I require the EIS include the environmental impacts to make or re-affirm private/corporate domestic livestock grazing as the predominant use in the EIS plan including all details of research studies and methods of research of these studies and names of public agency or private or educational institutions providing the environmental impact data and results of this research.
  • I require the EIS include the recreational use impacts including those due to lost opportunities for wildlife viewing, independent research and photography, and human need for solitude and meditation; all of which are popular public activities in these areas, including all details of research studies and methods of research of these studies and names of public agency or private or educational institutions providing the data and results of this research.
  • I require the EIS include the economic impacts of the proposed action, including but not limited to the economic benefits to American taxpayers of reducing or eliminating taxpayer subsidized livestock grazing in this area including all details of research studies and methods of research of these studies and names of public agency or private or educational institutions providing the data and results of this research.
  • I require the forthcoming EIS to provide to the public information and data of any and all livestock grazing allotments including but not limited to the allotment name, number of acres, number of AUMs, number of livestock number and type (cattle/sheep/other) and grazing dates as well as a map of the grazing allotments for the lands subject to review in the EIS.

See http://www.taxpayer.net/user_uploads/file/factsheet_Grazing_Fiscal_Costs(3).pdf

 

$ $ $

 

Unfortunately, current policies virtually give away access to valuable grazing grounds for pennies on the dollar. As the gap between market rates and the federal rate has gotten worse over time, taxpayers have been losing out on increasingly more revenue. The Federal grazing fee for 2020 will be $1.35 per animal unit month (AUM) for public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management and $1.35 per head month (HM) for lands managed by the USDA Forest Service. Here we are again with the giant spidering tentacles of the cattle mafia trying to strongarm, coerce, and purge public lands from all of us for their own greed.

 

I require the public be informed via the EIS of the average AUM livestock grazing payment costs in the private segment of livestock grazing verses the current public lands payment. For your convenience, here is the data:

 

Costs to administer the grazing fee program exceed the money collected, resulting in taxpayer subsidies of about $100 million per year. More than 200 million acres of federal public lands in the western United States are used for grazing cattle and sheep. Most grazing programs ― on grasslands, deserts, sagebrush steppe and national forests ― are administered by the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service. Less than 3 percent of the nation’s 800,000 livestock operators and cattle producers use federal grazing programs.

 

Federal grazing policy caters to a tiny fraction of the livestock industry. The vast indirect costs of grazing on federal lands include the killing of important native predators such as wolves and bears and livestock’s damage to soil and rivers. It’s a bad deal for wildlife, public lands and American taxpayers. The full cost of the federal grazing program is well overdue for a complete analysis. At the end of the day, the use of federal lands by any interest—rancher, miner, driller, should not come at the expense of federal taxpayers. No one wins when we give away the store.

 

I require the EIS to give a detailed explanation of any inequitable allocation of resources in these lands being reviewed in the EIS including livestock grazing. The cost to tax-paying Americans of grazing domestic livestock on public lands is heavily researched with the following results:

“The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has reported the federal government spends at least $144 million each year managing private livestock grazing on federal public lands, but collects only $21 million in grazing fees—for a net loss of at least $123 million per year”.

http://www.taxpayer.net/user_uploads/file/factsheet_Grazing_Fiscal_Costs(3).pdf

 

THRIVING ECOLOGICAL BALANCE

 

I require the EIS to provide to the public scientifically supportable and defensible research, reports and methods the BLM used to obtain the data for the lands included for review in the EIS for the following:

*Forage production
*Carrying capacity
*Acres allocated per Animal Unit Month
*Current and historical grazing allocations for livestock
*Temporary or extended grazing permits issued in the last 10 years
*Total available water sources in the area
*How many water sources have been fenced and why
*Miles of fencing in the area and purpose of this fencing
*Total big game species populations in the area, including how many BLM plan to manage for if those species are not currently at their maximum population targets.

 

The NEPA law requires that all relevant scientific information be provided to the American public and that that information be taken a “hard look” at by the decision makers. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires that to ensure that environmental assessment statements reflect a careful consideration of the available science, and that areas of disagreement or uncertainty are flagged rather than being swept under the carpet.

 

It’s said that nothing dies harder than a bad idea, and that seems to be increasingly true when it comes to public lands livestock grazing. From gutting mandatory provisions to protect sage-grouse to clearcutting native trees for the sake of livestock forage.

 

Unauthorized grazing – the EIS scoping notice suggests that the BLM should adopt new regulations for informally addressing unauthorized grazing, meaning that instead of complying with existing regulations to document violations and assess penalties, the agency will likely come up with a way of hiding what it knows about grazing trespass or overuse. Therefore, I require that the EIS include all information and explanation of methods to acquire the information regarding the following:

 

  1. Expediting grazing authorizations as “a tool to reduce wildfire” or to “improve rangeland conditions.”
  2. Streamlining protests and appeals – This is likely a reference to a desire by the agencies to reduce timelines for public involvement, increase or codify exhaustion requirements, and to further limit opportunities for the public to be informed about and participate in.
  3. Removing the requirement to assess Land Health Standards on every allotment – The regulations say that the new regs will consider “where and how the BLM will evaluate the Land Health Fundamentals and Standards.” The agency is currently required to complete these as part of the permit renewal process.
  4. Expanding the use of categorical exclusions – i.e. completing fewer full and fair environmental analyses – and undermining public participation opportunities in the process.
  5. All current and recent (last ten years) and results of land health standards for each and all lands (including all “pastures” of grazing allotments) within the boundary of the EIS proposal and how, if any, changes to the land health standards will be changed and evaluated and/or revised in the future.

 

If BLM is going to change the grazing regulations, I suggest the agency improve them for the benefit of the myriad plants and animals that depend on these public lands and for non-extractive users. Any new regulations should:

 

  • Create no new categorical exclusions and expand use of EAs and EISs.
  • Facilitate greater levels of public engagement, including through posting monitoring reports online for public review, inviting the interested public to attend field visits, and notifying the public of all grazing permit decisions.
  • Require grazing management to improve carbon sequestration in soils and analyze grazing in context of the climate crisis.
  • Ensure grazing management preserves the habitat value of grazed lands for native plant and wildlife species.
  • Ensure grazing management does not impede grazed lands from serving as habitat for native predators including wild horses and burros as per the law: § 4710.5 Closure to livestock grazing.
    (a) If necessary to provide habitat for wild horses or burros, to implement herd management actions, or to protect wild horses or burros, to implement herd management actions, or to protect wild horses or burros from disease, harassment or injury, the authorized officer may close appropriate areas of the public lands to grazing use by all or a particular kind of livestock.
  • Ensure NEPA analyses appropriately considers the habitat of species in crisis and the broader extinction crisis underway.
  • Honestly evaluate the contribution of livestock grazing to cheatgrass and accelerated fire cycles and provide more opportunity for the public to evaluate site-specific proposals for fire-related livestock actions.
  • Forbid destruction of native vegetation to increase forage for livestock.
  • Ensure that the Land Health Standards are evaluated at least once a decade using peer-review scientific and quantifiable methods.
  • Include water quality monitoring as part of the land health evaluations.
  • Include an accurate and site-specific economic analysis of grazing with every permit renewal, revealing the money obtained from grazing fees against the cost of administering the permit.
  • Disclose underlying Indigenous land claims and address environmental justice issues.
  • Require grazing management to maintain and improve wilderness characteristics and other special values of grazed lands.
  • Require use of the best available science in livestock grazing decisions.
  • Require scientific documentation of the numerous ecological impacts that are attributed to livestock production – both positive and negative impact.
  • Require scientific documentation of the numerous ecological impacts – both pro and con – that are attributed to livestock production.
  • Require the EIS include scientifically substantiated research regarding livestock grazing as a source of species endangerment of species in these lands including numerous fish, amphibians, birds and mammals, and the well-known sage grouse.
  • Require the EIS include scientifically substantiated research regarding livestock grazing as the reason that the majority of riparian areas (green areas along waterway) are impaired and not functioning. These riparian areas are used by 70-80% of all wildlife species at some time in their life cycle, so their loss or degradation has serious ecological consequences.
  • Require the EIS include scientifically substantiated research regarding livestock grazing is the single biggest factor in the spread of weeds, and the establishment of cheatgrass, an exotic annual that is prone to fires.
  • Require the EIS include scientifically substantiated research regarding livestock “protection” as the reason for killing native wildlife like coyotes and wolves and bears —on public lands.

 

Considering that 94% of rangelands under BLM management fails to meet minimum ecological health standards primarily due to grazing, the assumption that grazing can “restore” these lands is more than highly problematic. Most ecologists would tell you that eliminating livestock production on these federal lands would do far more for their ecological health than any benefit from livestock grazing designation. Another unquestioned assumption is the premise that livestock is a “tool” to improve the ecological health of the land. A hammer is a tool as well, but if it is used to swat mosquitoes on your face, your face will suffer.

 

BUY OUT

 

I require the EIS include scientific reasoning – both pro and con – regarding “buy-out” propositions that might be considered. Mind you that livestock grazing on public lands is a privilege and could be eliminated at any time. Grazing permit buyout basically pays a rancher to give up grazing privileges. In other words, it is a way to allow a rancher to retire, buy more private property for their operation, or pass on a sizeable sum of money to heirs.

 

Given that livestock grazing jeopardizes water quality, wildlife, recreation, wilderness, native vegetation, soil, biocrusts, and promotes things like cheatgrass, predator killing, and other assorted public lands abused, the EIS must provide information and study data for the provision of grazing permit buyout.

 

Livestock grazing is the most pervasive use of western public lands. Public lands grazing is responsible for destruction of wildlife habitat, streams and riparian areas, the increase in invasive weeds across the West, and the subsequent increase in wildfire frequency and severity. Rather than craft new regulations that reduce grazing impacts and improve the health of public lands, it appears the EIS proposes the BLM intends to further weaken its oversight of grazing impacts, reduce public input on grazing decisions, and promote the false narrative that more grazing is the solution to the problems it has created, such as increased number and severity of wildfires. Given that livestock grazing jeopardizes water quality, wildlife, recreation, wilderness, native vegetation, soil, biocrusts, and promotes things like cheatgrass, predator killing, and other assorted public lands abused, the fact this proposal appears it may not contain any provision for grazing permit buyout is yet another example of the pro-livestock bias.

 

I require scientifically substantiated research and discussion – both pro and con- regarding grazing permit elimination and/or reduction on these lands due to grazing permit buyouts. I remind you that grazing on public lands is a privilege and could be eliminated at any time. Grazing permit buyout basically pays a rancher to give up grazing privileges. In other words, it is a way to allow a rancher to retire, buy more private property for their operation, or pass on a sizeable sum of money to heirs.

I require information that any proposed overturned BLM livestock grazing regulations that may reduce public involvement in the administration of livestock production on western public lands be included in the EIS.

 

I require all information and discussion that may create new property rights for ranchers for water rights and range installations be included in the EIS.

 

Judge Winmill quotes a 2006 Environmental Impact Statement approved by the BLM: “The EIS succinctly captured the relationship between fire, weeds, and grazing: “Fire creates ideal conditions for cheatgrass establishment, and cheatgrass is highly flammable. The spread of cheatgrass is exacerbated when the native perennial grass and forb community is weakened as a result of heavy livestock grazing,” he wrote.

I require the EIS include any and all research and methods of research regarding any possible failure of the BLM to consider overall cumulative effects of all permitted activities.

I require that the any EIS proposed changes include and be supported by scientific research to determine the optimum number of all wildlife, including wild horses, that would maintain the range in a thriving natural ecological balance. I require evidence that BLM has engaged in current range assessments adequate to allow BLM to conclude what would achieve return and maintain the range to its natural ecological balance.

While documentation is not the end of the NEPA process, it is important that a reasonably good job of communicating the purpose and need of the project; the values used to develop and compare alternatives; the results of [accurate] analysis for direct, indirect impacts, and cumulative impacts; and mitigation as required by relevant regulation. It provides [accurate] evidence to the public and participating agencies [showing] a commitment to, and satisfaction of the NEPA requirements. Environmental documentation must communicate clearly [and accurately] the results of project analysis and the subsequent decisions. http://www.environment.fhwa.dot.gov/projdev/qaimpact.asp

In addition to the concerns expressed above, the EIS for this project must address and analyze the following impacts and concerns:

– A full disclosure of whether any member of the BLM management team for this project has any personal or financial interest (including any interest in any grazing allotment or BLM contractor) in the proposed plan. It is imperative that the BLM ensure that there are no conflicts of interest and that it has established high scientific standards before spending hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on this proposal. (see regulatory captured agency)

-“Regulatory Capture” is a form of political corruption that occurs when a regulatory agency, created to act in the public interest, instead advances the commercial or special concerns of interest groups that dominate the industry or sector it is charged with regulating. Regulatory capture is a form of government failure; it creates an opening for firms to behave in ways injurious to the public. The agencies are called “captured agencies”.

Government agencies tend to elevate social, cultural, and political concerns over the natural environment. Congress designed NEPA to achieve environmentally positive results through a compulsory procedural mechanism, NEPA simply prohibits uninformed, not unwise, agency decisions (Nowlin & Henry, 2008). The EIS process is required to weigh the benefits versus the financial costs of the project.

In summary, the public has the responsibility to review and make recommendations before any decision is made by the BLM and it is my request as well as the responsibility of the BLM to supply the public with adequate and accurate information, scientific research and impartial realistic options. This is the main purpose of this letter and without the BLM’s willingness to supply complete, accurate and non-politically driven information and to review all scientific and logical information provided to the agency; any proposed EIS or decision will be illegal.

 

Cc:

Other Interested Parties

 

Receipt and Response is Requested

12 replies »

  1. THANK YOU Grandma Gregg
    Your quiet and well directed passion is a guide for all of us.
    Make no mistake..we are in a war to protect what’s left of our public lands and wildlife.
    The opposition is ruthless, vicious and very clever

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A book we should all read (and send to members of Congress)

    Review: The American West is dying. Christopher Ketcham’s ‘This Land’ is a rallying cry to save it

    Once great, wide and untrammeled, the American West, where wolves roamed in gray multitudes and sage grouse puffed and plumed in splendor, is diminishing against cattle herds, gas and oil drilling, and federal agencies that have forsaken their duty to protect the nation’s magnificent and mistreated frontier.

    Tales of destruction have been going on for decades, but Christopher Ketcham’s important book, “This Land: How Cowboys, Capitalism, and Corruption are Ruining the American West, ” is an urgent cry to expose the greed, stubbornness and neglect that is harming public lands. Journalist and wanderer, Ketcham has written a psalm to nature and a manifesto to stop the forces that are threatening a territory that stretches from Colorado to the Pacific Coast.

    The intention of “This Land” is clear: “We are not safeguarding our public domain. The government agencies overseeing it are failing us. The private interests that want the land for profit have planted their teeth in the government. The national trend is against the preservation of the commons. Huge stretches are effectively privatized, public in name only. I went west to see what we were losing as a people.”

    Ketcham is a passionate guide. He can be polemical and overheated. But he is righteous and poetic when he writes about places like the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah, where the walls in Paradise Gulch “rise sheer, cream pink, tall as sky.” The Trump administration plans to shrink the monument’s protected lands by nearly half. That outrages Ketcham as do the fates of sage grouse, grizzlies, bison and a wolf named Echo who roamed hundreds of miles to the Grand Canyon before being shot.

    https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/books/story/2019-07-26/review-this-land-chris-ketcham

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have wanted to read his book – unfortunately, not available at my library. And I dont go out & buy books anymore – trying to cut back on my possessions!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Maggie, my library will often buy a book if a patron suggests it, so you might try that approach. That way plenty of others might read it, too, especially if it gets featured in the “new arrivals” section.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. As always, Grandma Gregg, great comment. It says everything! I commented on both places – sure not as eloquently as you did, but I think I made my point. Wish I had more faith that it didnt fall on deaf (& dumb) ears. I hope everybody who reads this blog will comment as well. Its always so disappointing on the Carol’s Wild Hoofbeats, when most of the people who comment THERE – apparently dont ever look and see how many times she points out that they need to go to the BLM with their comments. Frustrating.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. RT, if you read this, is there some way you might add a column on your site that shows current petitions etc. needing input, with the most current deadlines on top? I can’t seem to keep up with wading through everything here (and elsewhere) needing input and am sure I missed a few. It would be great to have a “hot” list someplace easy to find and review. There are so many different advocate groups and efforts it’s impossible to find an action item list in one place. Thanks for considering.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree, IcySpots! An easy to find “list” of upcoming BLM deadlines for public comments would be a BIG help. Here are a few that I have on my current list.

      Feb 20
      Swasey Herd Management Area (HMA).
      The Swasey Herd Management Area (HMA) is located in Juab and Millard Counties, about 50 miles west from Delta, Utah. It consists of approximately 120,113 acres of public and state lands.
      The EA, including maps, is available on the BLM’s ePlanning website at: https://go.usa.gov/xdrD5
      Written comments will be accepted by letter or on ePlanning.
      Please reference “Swasey Herd Management Area” when submitting comments. Written comments may be mailed or e-mailed using the following:
      BLM Fillmore Field Office
      Attn: Trent Staheli
      95 East 500 North
      Fillmore, UT 84631
      ePlanning
      https://go.usa.gov/xdrD5

      FEB 21
      BE AWARE THAT TREMENDOUS DAMAGE IS DONE BY OFF ROAD VEHICLES ON THE TWIN PEAKS AND FORT SAGE WILD HORSE AREAS.
      News Release Northern California District
      For Immediate Release: Jan. 24, 2020
      Contact: Jeff Fontana, 530-260-0189, jfontana@blm.gov
      BLM Eagle Lake Field Office seeks public comments on OHV grant proposal
      SUSANVILLE, Calif. – The Bureau of Land Management’s Eagle Lake Field Office is accepting public input on management needs re: off-highway vehicle recreation on public lands.
      Staff at the field office will use public comments or suggestions submitted by Friday, Feb. 21, to develop a preliminary grant application to the California State Parks, Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division.

      MARCH 6
      DOI-BLM-WO-WO2000-2019-0001-EIS
      Comments due March 6th.
      Important grazing regulations. Public scoping comments requested.
      Grazing regulations changes for ALL western states. The BLM grazing regulations (43 CFR part 4100) govern all public lands, excluding Alaska, that have been identified as suitable for livestock grazing. These lands presently include approximately 155 million acres in the western United States.
      Attn: Seth Flanigan
      3948 South Development Avenue
      Boise, Idaho 83705
      Submit online: https://go.usa.gov/xyMqb or blm_wo_grazing_email@blm.gov

      MARCH 10
      NEPA RULING
      CEQ requests public comment on the NPRM. Comments should be submitted on or before March 10, 2020.
      https://ceq.doe.gov/laws-regulations/regulations.html
      Re: Public Comment to Docket ID No. CEQ-2019-0003
      National Environmental Policy Act Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ)
      The proposed limitations on NEPA are absolutely unacceptable. These new rules must not be allowed to go into effect. The permanent damage caused to an already frail and declining environment by these proposed rules will affect generations of humans around the world.
      NEPA and its implementing regulations have successfully promoted meaningful local involvement, sustainable development, and deliberate federal decision-making for decades. The US government should be greatly increasing its efforts to monitor and protect the environment, not discourage review and continue its degradation, which will hugely negatively impact future generations of Americans.

      APRIL 30
      Due April 30
      Wyoming wild horse HMAs
      RMP revision:
      https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-front-office/eplanning/planAndProjectSite.do?methodName=dispatchToPatternPage&currentPageId=23512

      Like

      • THANKS GRANDMA GREGG!

        I came across this one today, not specific to wild horses and burros but might affect some of the HMAs, especially if ATV access is increased in some areas:

        https://www.blm.gov/press-release/bureau-land-management-seeks-help-increasing-access-public-lands

        The public nomination period to identify parcels for inclusion on the BLM’s priority list will open on January 31, 2020, and will close on Saturday, February 29, 2020. Subsequent updates on BLM’s efforts will be published prior to the release of future priority lists in order to seek additional information and suggestions from the public.

        Like

Care to make a comment?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.