‘It’s just boiled donkey skin’: Chinese health officials rubbish ‘inhumane’ product

by as published on Horse & Hound

A popular product made from the skins of donkeys has been deemed “not worth buying” by Chinese health officials.

Demand for ejiao, derived from donkey hides, has led to the slaughter of millions of donkeys in recent years.

However, China’s national health and family planning commission recently told consumers the remedy was ,“not worth buying” and despite its many health claims is “just boiled donkey skin.”

On Sunday (18 February), the commission posted on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, that ejiao, is “..not a good source of protein” and that its health claims were at best overstated.

The news was welcomed by international welfare charity, The Donkey Sanctuary.

The Donkey Sanctuary has been campaigning for a halt to the global trade in donkey skins, which utilises around four million donkey skins every year.

It is estimated that as many as 2.2 million skins are imported to China from Africa, South America and parts of Asia every year. Over the past two years, an escalating demand for skins to make the product has also resulted in poaching and theft of donkeys from individuals and communities that depend on them, with national donkey populations being halved in some countries.

“Many social media users in China shared the commission’s original posts […] but within a few hours the Weibo feeds for all of the commission’s tweets had gone offline and remains offline now,” said a spokesman for The Donkey Sanctuary.

Alex Mayers is the head of programmes at the charity and has been working at ground-level with partners around the globe to expose the donkey skin trade to protect donkeys and the communities that rely on them.

“A huge number of medical claims are made for ejiao, and despite its high price, it’s an extremely sought-after and popular product,” he said.

“This advice from the commission has resulted in a lot of discussion on social media in China, both about the claims and benefits of the product and also about it having seemingly been deleted.

“Whether there are any benefits from taking ejiao or not, our primary concern remains that the trade in skins is both inhumane and unsustainable. However if a product is not worth buying then it can’t be worth the price of destroying someone’s livelihood, and the trade is responsible for that every single time a donkey is stolen and slaughtered which itself is every single day.”

Read more at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/chinas-national-health-and-family-planning-commission-ejiao-donkey-skin-not-worth-buying-the-donkey-sanctuary-644825#Iofpq33vlqJXVeF1.99

Dr. Ann Marini to discuss the drugs that the BLM gives to wild horses & burros & food safety issues (on Wild Horse & Burro Radio)

painy

Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_LogoJoin us for Wild Horse Wednesdays®, this Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018

5:00 p.m. PST … 6:00 p.m. MST … 7:00 p.m. CST … 8:00 p.m. EST

Listen to the archived show (HERE!)

You can also listen to the show on your phone by calling (917) 388-4520.

You can call in with questions during the 2nd half hour, by dialing (917) 388-4520, then pressing 1.

This show will be archived so you can listen to it anytime.

Our guest tonight is Ann Marini, Ph.D., M.D., and she will be talking about the drugs that the Bureau of Land Management gives to wild horses and burros. John Holland of Equine Welfare Alliance will be joining in on the discussion. We compiled a sample list of drugs from information on FOIA requests and from verification by BLM staff.

Dr Marini earned both her Ph.D. degree from the Department of Biochemistry, 1978, and her medical degree from the Georgetown School of Medicine in 1980. She completed a residencies in medicine at UMASS Worcester, Massachusetts; 1980-1983; and in Neurology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York, 1983-1986. She was a Senior Staff Fellow at NINDS/NIMH, 1986-1993. Her research interests include neuropharmacology, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, Mechanisms of Neuronal Cell Death and Neuronal Intrinsic Survival Pathways. Dr. Marini’s group published the peer-review article: Association of phenylbutazone usage with horses bought for slaughter: A public health risk authored by Nicholas Dodman, Nicolas Blondeau and Ann M. Marini and this manuscript was published in the peer-review journal Food and Chemical Toxicology in 2010.

This show will be hosted by Debbie Coffey (V.P. and Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs) of Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

To contact us: ppj1@hush.com

TO LISTEN TO ALL ARCHIVED WILD HORSE & BURRO RADIO SHOWS, CLICK HERE.

To find out more about Wild Horse Freedom Federation and our work to keep wild horses and burros wild and free on our public lands visit www.WildHorseFreedomFederation.org

Donate Here: http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/donate/

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/marti-oakley/2018/02/22/whhb-dr-ann-marini-the-drugs-that-the-blm-gives-to-wild-horses-amp-burros

1/17/18 – Carol Walker, Dir. of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation, on efforts to get the BLM to allow her to photograph wild horses at Axtell (Utah) and Bruneau (Idaho) off range corrals (where the public is not allowed to see them) to help facilitate adoptions. Listen HERE.

1/19/18 – Erik Molvar, Executive Director of Western Watersheds Project. Erik is a contributor to The Hill and his blog posts can be found here. Western Watersheds Project (WWP) aims to protect and restore western watersheds and wildlife through education, public policy initiatives and legal advocacy. Listen HERE.

Zinke Proclaims Sportsmen ‘Greatest Conservationists’ Before Signing Big Game Habitat Order

Written by Joseph Witham as published on The St George News

“…revising wild horse and burro-appropriate management levels or removing horses and burros from winter range or migration corridors if they degrade habitat…”

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan “Dinky” Zinke helps tag a mule deer near Salt Lake City, Utah, Feb. 9, 2018 | Photo courtesy of the Interior Department, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — While in Utah Friday, U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke helped tag mule deer near Salt Lake City before appearing at a hunting expo to sign a secretarial order intended to improve big game habitat in the Western U.S.

While tagging the deer, Zinke said he noted that a recently developed neighborhood nearby likely supplanted habitat that would have previously supported a herd of 300 deer.

In recognition of the impact growing human populations in the West have on big game migration, Zinke signed Secretarial Order 3362, designed to improve habitat quality and Western winter range and migration corridors ​for antelope, elk and mule deer.

The order also calls for greater collaboration among federal management agencies, states, private landowners and scientists to develop guidelines to help ensure healthy big game populations.

Joined by Utah Division of Wildlife Director Mike Fowlks and Mule Deer Foundation President Miles Moretti, Zinke signed the order before a gathered crowd at the Western Conservation and Hunting Expo in Salt Lake City.

At the conference, Zinke said management plans like the ones in the order are made possible from the billions in revenue generated by hunters and fishers buying tackle, ammunition and other gear.

“There is no greater conservationist than our sportsman,” he said.

“American hunters are the backbone of big game conservation efforts,” Zinke said, “and now working with state and private landowners, the department will leverage its land management and scientific expertise to both study the migration habits of wildlife as well as identify ways to improve the habitat.”

Zinke said a collaborative approach is necessary to implement the habitat protection and improvement goals of the order, given the migration patterns of big game species that cross over thousands of miles on all types of land.

In Southern Utah, mule deer travel up to 110 miles from Bryce Canyon National Park into the Arizona strip area. They cross state, private, tribal, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service land. Part of the order’s goal is to address challenges encountered along the pathways of these migratory routes.

Specifically, the order proposes development of an action plan with the following goals:

  • Restoring degraded winter range and migration corridors by removing encroaching trees from sagebrush ecosystems, rehabilitating areas damaged by fire and treating invasive vegetation.
  • Revising wild horse and burro-appropriate management levels or removing horses and burros from winter range or migration corridors if they degrade habitat.
  • Working with private landowners and state highway departments to achieve permissive fencing measures, including working with ranchers to modify fencing.
  • Avoiding or minimizing development in the most crucial winter range or migration corridors during sensitive seasons.
  • Working with states on sagebrush restoration.

The order prioritizes public land management in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming​.​

“I’m not an advocate for ever selling or transferring public lands, but I am an advocate for management,” Zinke said, adding that the order emphasizes input from individual states.

The Center for Western Priorities, a conservation group, acknowledged that it’s important to plan for wildlife migration but noted that Zinke has inflicted major damage to lands by supporting the oil industry and recommending reductions to national monuments, the Associated Press reported.

“We won’t allow the secretary and his staff to greenwash this abysmal record with meager policy crumbs,” group Deputy Director Greg Zimmerman said in a statement.

The Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, blasted the decision as nothing more than “bureaucratic window dressing” to cover up damage Zinke has done to the habitat.

“If Secretary Zinke were serious about increasing America’s wildlife populations, he would stand by Western governors’ protections for sagebrush country, restore public input on drilling decisions, and stand up for America’s national monuments and wildlife refuges instead of selling them out,” the organization said in a statement.

Zinke said environmental groups that criticize his monument recommendation are using “nefarious” and “false” claims. He said “every inch” of the lands stripped from the monuments are still protected under other designations.

Associated Press reporter Brady McCombs contributed to this report.

http://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2018/02/09/jcw-zinke-proclaims-sportsmen-greatest-conservationists-before-signing-big-game-habitat-order/#.Wn59zIJG3OQ

The Mad King Flies His Flag

Opinion by Timothy Egan as published on The New York Times

“They call me ‘Dinky’ Zinke?”

The emperor of the outdoors rode into town on a horse named Tonto, and soon demanded that his own special flag fly outside his headquarters whenever he was in Washington.

He believes fracking is proof that “God loves us” and, despite being from Montana, doesn’t know how to properly set up his fly line when fishing in front of the cameras.

“He had rigged his reel backward,” Elliott D. Woods wrote of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke in a wonderful profile in Outside Magazine. “Seems like an inconsequential thing, but in Montana, it’s everything.”

As it turned out, it was quite consequential. When the magazine next tried to dial into an Interior conference call, it was denied access.

You may think that Stormy Daniels is in charge of the natural world under Donald Trump. And yes, the boorish behavior of the president and the porn star makes for better reading than an account of the quack running Interior.

But if someone were trashing your house, you’d want to pay attention. And Trump, using the very strange Zinke, is going after the sacred foundations of America’s much-loved public lands, brick by brick.

Zinke has been called the Gulfstream Cowboy for his love of using charter planes to fly off to the nesting grounds of wealthy donors. But he’s more like a mad king. And this monarch has control over the crown jewels of America’s public land.

They are not in safe hands.

Last month, the secretary attacked Patagonia, the outdoor retailer, after it protested the largest rollback of public land protection in our history with a website home page of a black screen and stark message: “The President Stole Your Land.”

It is your land, all 400 million acres of it, though you wouldn’t know by the way the Trump administration has ceded control to the private predators from the oil, gas, coal and uranium industries.

It is also your water, the near entirety of the outer continental shelf that Trump is opening to extractive drilling. Almost a dozen states have protested. The waters off the coast of Mar-a-Lago, in Florida, were given an exemption after Zinke met with the governor, who said drilling was bad for tourism. Your public servant at work.

Zinke is upending a century of bipartisan values as part of a Trumpian culture war. When asked why the president shrank national monuments in the Southwest by two million acres, Zinke said it was a way to strike back against “an elitist sort of hunter and fisherman.” Huh?

Could this be the same regular guy who took a helicopter to ride horses with Mike Pence? The cabinet member who wants to charge $70 to get into our most iconic national parks? The man whose nomination was championed by Donald Trump Jr., elephant killer and dictionary definition of elite hunter and fisherman?

Defenders of public land have pushed back. This week, a majority of the nonpartisan National Park Service advisory panel resigned in frustration. The board, federally chartered to help guide the service, said Zinke had refused to convene a single meeting with the members last year. Silly bird-lovers. Don’t they know you need to charter a plane for Zinke if you want to get his attention?

A much less-connected group, the Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, responded with an essay from a board member who lives in a 500-square-foot abode in the Rocky Mountains. “We hunt, gather, garden, can, smoke, dry, jelly and pickle as much of our own food as we can,” wrote Tom Healy. “According to Mr. Secretary, I am an elitist.”

The writer is from Whitefish, Zinke’s hometown in Montana. Where have you heard that before? Ah, yes, a tiny energy company from Whitefish with two employees — three if you count Zinke’s kid when he was an intern on a side project — finagled a $300 million, no-audit, no-bid contract to help rebuild Puerto Rico’s electric grid. Zinke said he had absolutely, positively nothing to do with it.

Look, it could have been worse: Sarah Palin was an early favorite for interior secretary. Zinke is an ex-Navy SEAL, and looks the part. Enough nutty things come out of his mouth to make him a perfect Trump guy.

“The government stops at the mailbox,” he said at a rally last year, “and if you come any further, you’re going to meet my gun.” Note to Mr. Secretary: Don’t shoot the sheriff, or the census taker.

It took a bribery scandal to bring down an interior secretary in the Teapot Dome affair of the 1920s. Today, the corruption is all upfront. Energy Secretary Rick Perry gives bear hugs to coal barons while doing all he can to have the government prop up their industry. The Environmental Protection Agency is now a wholly owned subsidiary of the polluters it is supposed to regulate.

Over at Interior, they haven’t yet figured a way to charge Americans for the air we breathe. But the next time Zinke’s flag is up, something may be in the works.

Judge Gives Yellowstone Bison Second Chance For Endangered Species Protections

as published on Wyoming Public Media

A federal judge ordered the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to reconsider its decision to deny Endangered Species Act protections for the Yellowstone bison.

The service initially concluded there was not enough evidence that the buffalo needed protection under the Endangered Species Act back in 2015. A study by Natalie Halbert, a research assistant at Texas A&M, showed current management techniques for the mammal are harmful and would benefit from the Endangered Species Act protections.

Currently, bison are managed as one herd. But Josh Osher, Montana director for Western Watersheds Project, said studies show they should be managed as two distinct herds. One of the studies was done by Natalie Halbert, through Texas A&M.

“Halbert’s findings suggested that management approach can endanger the genetic integrity of one or both of those subpopulations,” said Osher.

The judge ruled this week that the service must thoroughly consider all scientific evidence, including Halbert’s study. Now U.S. Fish and Wildlife service must redo their original 90-day finding blocking protections.

“Unless the Fish and Wildlife Service can say somehow the Halbert study is an error and not appropriate to be used for consideration,” said Osher, “then the Fish and Wildlife will have to find that bison may be warranted for listing and move on to their more stringent 12-month review.”

Conservationists are hoping this a right step towards adding the mammal to the endangered species list.

http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/judge-gives-yellowstone-bison-second-chance-endangered-species-protections#stream/0

Zinke Flips Westerners the Bird

by Jesse Prentice-Dunn as published on WestWise

Interior Secretary set to ignore overwhelming public feedback in scrapping landmark sage-grouse conservation plans

Dinky Zinke, “Ya buddy, I could pop-off one of those puffed up puppies right now.!”

In less than one year on the job, Interior Secretary Zinke has taken a wrecking ball to America’s public lands legacy. From the unprecedented step of dramatically shrinking national monuments to proposing massive entrance fee hikes for national parks, he has made his doctrine clear — public lands are for extractive industries, not the American people.

Zinke has justified his actions by saying he’s merely listening to the public, but a closer look shows the public overwhelmingly supports conserving our public lands for future generations and opposes selling out our lands to oil, gas, and coal companies. For example, more than 2.8 million Americans, along with local businesses and the burgeoning outdoor industry, asked Zinke to leave our national monuments intact. He expressly rejected that input in recommending that President Trump dramatically shrink six national monuments.

Now, after Zinke announced his intent to eviscerate collaborative land management plans that balance sage-grouse conservation with energy development, Westerners are asking him to honor the deal that was struck and leave the plans alone. The feedback has been overwhelming:

  • The Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service collectively received nearly 400,000 comments urging them to leave sage-grouse conservation plans intact.
  • At 15 public meetings scattered across the region, sportsmen and women, ranchers, business owners, and conservationists urged the agencies to honor the deal they brokered in 2015.
  • Western governors of both parties, including Matt Mead (R-WY), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Brian Sandoval (R-NV), and Steve Bullock (D-MT), made it clear that major changes to the plans are not needed.
  • A poll just released by Colorado College found that 64 percent of Westerners support keeping the existing plans in place.
  • Editorial boards and opinion writers around the West have asked Zinke to leave the sage-grouse plans alone.

Will Secretary Zinke listen?….(CONTINUED)

View story at Medium.com

BLM and Forest Service Announce 2018 Discount Welfare Grazing ‘Fees?’

Move over Wild Horses, Burros and other native critters as private “welfare” cattle, sheep and goats are coming to destroy the forage on public lands near YOU!!!

Welfare Cattle herded into Antelope Complex as wild horses are being rounded up ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation


News Release WASHINGTON, DC

 Contact: BLM: blm_press@blm.gov Forest Service: pressoffice@fs.fed.us

 For immediate release Date: January 30, 2018

 BLM and Forest Service announce 2018 grazing fees

 WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Federal grazing fee for 2018 will be $1.41 per animal unit month (AUM) for public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management and $1.41 per head month (HM) for lands managed by the USDA Forest Service.

 The 2017 public land grazing fee was $1.87. An AUM or HM—treated as equivalent measures for fee purposes—is the use of public lands by one cow and her calf, one horse, or five sheep or goats for a month.

The newly calculated grazing fee was determined by a congressional formula and takes effect March 1, 2018. The fee will apply to nearly 18,000 grazing permits and leases administered by the BLM and nearly 6,500 permits administered by the Forest Service.

The formula used for calculating the grazing fee was established by Congress in the 1978 Public Rangelands Improvement Act and has remained in use under a 1986 presidential Executive Order. Under that order, the grazing fee cannot fall below $1.35 per AUM/HM, and any increase or decrease cannot exceed 25 percent of the previous year’s level. The annually determined grazing fee is established using a 1966 base value of $1.23 per AUM/HM for livestock grazing on public lands in Western states.

Sheep covering Adobe Town HMA ~ photo by Carol Walker of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

The figure is then calculated according to three factors—current private grazing land lease rates, beef cattle prices, and the cost of livestock production. In effect, the fee rises, falls, or stays the same based on market conditions.

 The BLM and Forest Service are committed to strong relationships with the ranching community and work closely with permittees to ensure public rangelands remain healthy, productive working landscapes.
 Fifty percent of the collected grazing fees deposited into the U.S. Treasury are returned to the Range Betterment Fund for on-the-ground range improvement projects. Portions of collected fees are also returned to the states for use in the counties where the fees were generated.
The grazing fee applies in 16 Western states on public lands administered by the BLM and the Forest Service. The states are: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Permit holders and lessees may contact their local BLM or Forest Service office for additional information.

Humans take up too much space — and it’s affecting how mammals move

Release from the FieldMuseum.org

Study found that human-modified landscapes shrink mammal movements by up to half

Human beings take up a lot of real estate — around 50-70 percent of the Earth’s land surface. And our increasing footprint affects how mammals of all sizes, from all over the planet, move.

A study recently published by Science found that, on average, mammals living in human-modified habitats move two to three times less far than their counterparts in areas untouched by humans. What’s more, this pattern persists globally: from African forest elephants to white-tailed antelope squirrels in North America, the human footprint infringes upon the footprints of mammal species both big and small. The study, led by Marlee Tucker of the Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre in Germany, is the first of its kind to log movement behaviors for such a wide range of mammals globally.

“All organisms need space,” Bruce Patterson, a co-author of this study and MacArthur Curator of Mammals at The Field Museum in Chicago, explained. “They need space to gather their resources, find mates, and perform their ecological services.” For instance, bats need room to find and consume insects and pollinate plants (which amount to $3.5 to 50 billion worth of agricultural labor annually in the US alone), and apex predators need room to hunt and control other species’ populations.

In the study, more than 100 researchers contributed information on 803 individual mammals representing 57 species in total. Patterson offered up data on the movement of lions in a pristine wilderness area of Tsavo, Kenya. From 2002-09, he followed three lions using high-tech collars that continuously tracked individuals’ movement via GPS — the data he contributed to the Science study. One of those lions, in its natural habitat, patrolled an area twice the size of Chicago (1400 km2) to find food, attract mates, and repel intruders.

But habitat loss and fragmentation disrupt these critical animal behaviors. Clearing rainforest is an example of habitat loss — the destruction and loss of usable area for a given species. Constructing a road through the savannah, on the other hand, constitutes habitat fragmentation — the division of habitat area into smaller, discontinuous spaces. When suitable habitat spaces become too small or too isolated, animals can no longer afford to visit them, changing their space use.

As habitats become compromised, resources like food and living space that animals rely on become scarce. Sometimes, when resources are limited, animals traverse larger areas to get what they need — if there’s not enough food in a five-mile radius, they might move to a ten-mile radius. However, this study shows that on the whole, that sort of additional movement tends not to be an option — if there’s no uninterrupted landscape available, then the affected animals simply can’t live there.

To that end, the Science study found “strong negative effects of the human footprint on median and long-distance displacements of terrestrial mammals.” Patterson put it more simply: “Human dominion over Earth’s landscapes gets in the way of animals doing their thing.” Some species, like mice, can make do with less room, but animals that need lots of space, like lions, tigers, and elephants, simply can’t live in areas with lots of humans.

“It is important that animals move, because in moving they carry out important ecological functions like transporting nutrients and seeds between different areas. Additionally, mammalian movements bring different species together and thus allow for interactions in food webs that might otherwise not occur. If mammals move less this could alter any of these ecosystem functions,” says lead author Marlee Tucker.

Across the wide array of species its data encompasses, the study points to a singular, and grim, conclusion: For mammal species, the effects of habitat loss and habitat fragmentation don’t discriminate by geographic location, body size, or where that species sits on the food chain — the human footprint threatens most other mammals.

Still, Patterson remains hopeful that the Science study can guide further research and change our approach to human land use. “Ultimately, it would be good to know whether there are critical thresholds in the human footprint for the species living around us. Are there specific points beyond which resources become limiting and species are excluded?” he asked. “As we continue to transform the landscape and as the human population expands, we’re limiting the space and resources that other mammals need to live.”

How Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke prompted a mass resignation from his National Park Service Advisory Board

Story

“The conservation community in general has not been invited in…”

Ryan ‘Dinky’ Zinke – “My Ego Really is THIS BIG!”

Few groups have been closer and more involved in Interior Department policy and management than the National Park System Advisory Board, an appointed and nonpartisan group established 83 years ago to consult on department operations and practices.

So it came as a shock this week when nine of the board’s 12 members abruptly resigned in protest, complaining that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke had disregarded their requests to meet at least once, a circumstance no other Park System Advisory Board had encountered.

“We were deeply disappointed with the department’s actions in dealing with us,” said former Alaska Gov. Tony Knowles, a Democrat who served as the board’s chairman. “Advisory board advice can be accepted or ignored. The fact they suspended the board and there were no meetings on issues of climate and science, no meetings on finding ways to help underrepresented groups visit the parks. Those were the programs we’d spent years working on with previous secretaries. Those were the programs we wanted to discuss with the new secretary and keep the momentum going.”

“We started talking last summer,” said Gretchen Long, an advisory board member from Wyoming who was appointed in 2010. “Is there any point to continuing to serve? We wanted to make a statement to the American public about the direction the department is taking and the stewardship of our parks and public land. These treasures are in trouble because of the actions the department has taken.”

She added that the board “encountered a lack of understanding that is appalling.”

The Interior Department did not respond to requests for comments from the secretary or a senior department leader.

In March, when he rode on a horse to his first day as secretary, Zinke sought to distinguish himself as a Cabinet member prepared, like the president, to be visible and disruptive. It was not clear at the time that he would manage the $13 billion-a-year department and its more than 60,000 employees with a tight executive circle far from public view.

Theresa Pierno, the chief executive of the National Parks Conservation Assn., a separate, nonprofit advocacy organization, said she and her colleagues had experienced the same difficulties in attracting the Interior secretary’s attention. In an interview on Wednesday, she said Zinke is the first Interior secretary to refuse to meet with her organization’s executives to discuss the operation and condition of national parks since the NPCA was founded in 1919 by Stephen Mather, the first National Park Service director.

“We haven’t been able to even have a conversation with them,” Pierno said. “The conservation community in general has not been invited in. Why wouldn’t you want to hear from an organization that has the history, the expertise like the NPCA? We’re nonpartisan. We have Republicans and Democrats on our board. There’s really no rational answer.”

Aside from marquee public events to announce changes in energy policy and public lands management, along with shrinking the boundaries of two national monuments in Utah, Zinke has kept a low public profile. But armed with presidential executive orders, departmental reports and conservative principles and values, he’s undertaken a major shift in his department’s operating program.

He eliminated climate science from programs to better manage the department’s 500-million-acre domain. He overturned a ban on coal mining on public lands and limited the reach of environmental safeguards for oil and gas leasing and development.

This month he opened nearly all of the outer continental shelf to oil exploration, although five days later he excused Florida’s Atlantic and Gulf shorelines from the offshore drilling plan.

At the National Park Service, the department’s largest division, Zinke proposed to more than double the entrance fees to popular parks, a move that could hinder the agency’s long-running efforts to encourage more minorities to visit some of the country’s most beautiful landscapes.

Zinke’s supporters in and outside the administration credit the 56-year-old former Republican congressman from Montana with eliminating what they viewed as aggravating restrictions and restoring the department’s traditional role in managing public land for multiple uses.

“The president promised the American people that their voices would be heard and that we would prioritize American interests,” Zinke said in a year-end statement that cataloged the most important accomplishments he’d supervised. “This year the Department of the Interior has made good on those promises. We are striking the right balance to protect our greatest treasures and also generate the revenue and energy our country needs.”

Across the country, the department’s policies are viewed differently by conservation groups, many mayors and governors, and innumerable residents. They assert that Zinke has installed management and oversight practices that needlessly put national parks, wildlife refuges, recreation areas, and monuments in harm’s way.

The approach has also been different from what President Trump said he was intent on pursuing. In early December, while announcing his decision to shrink the boundaries of Utah’s Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments, Trump told an audience in Salt Lake City that his administration was open to extensive citizen involvement in public lands decisions. “Under my administration, we will advance that protection through a truly representative process, one that listens to the local communities that knows the land the best and that cherishes the land the most.”

Under Zinke, though, the Interior Department has been dismantling public lands initiatives recommended by citizen groups representing local governments, land users, recreational industry representatives, Native Americans, and environmental organizations. In 2010, for instance, the Obama administration established what it called a “master leasing program,” a collaboration between the Bureau of Land Management and local governments, businesses, and citizen groups.

The idea was to help the BLM incorporate better environmental safeguards in its oil and gas leasing auctions in western states. In 2017, Zinke ordered an end to the program.

Another indication of Zinke’s different approach from previous Interior secretaries is how many executive level Interior Department positions are not filled. The National Park Service, for instance, does not have a director and the administration has not nominated a candidate. The National Parks Conservation Association says it is the first time that has occurred since the National Park Service was established in 1916.

More Dinky Zinke Stuff:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2018/01/22/zinke-to-sign-land-swap-deal-allowing-road-through-alaskas-izembek-wilderness/?utm_term=.4f2d473645fb

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/zinke-proof-research-shares_us_5a60e1fae4b0b3f7fa12c397

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/08/04/zinke-and-the-welfare-ranchers-subsidies-for-us-but-not-for-thee/

http://zinkesdirtydeals.com/

Due to government shutdown, motorized hearing for wild horse management operations is postponed

“We will watch for a new date and be sure to pass it along.” ~ R.T.

News Release

Jan. 22, 2018

Due to government shutdown, motorized hearing for wild horse management operations is postponed

 CHALLIS, IDAHO – Due to the government shutdown, the Idaho Bureau of Land Management will postpone the statewide hearing regarding motor vehicle and helicopter use in wild horse management operations that was scheduled to take place Jan. 23, from 1-2 p.m. at the BLM Challis Field Office.

BLM–