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Rollingstone. Op-Ed: 5 Lies Being Used to Get Mountain Bikes in Wilderness. Earlier this month, in a triumph of hope over horse sense, some mountain bikers cajoled their congressmen to introduce H.R. 1349, a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives that would amend the Wilderness Act. This bill would allow biking throughout the 109 million acres of the national wilderness preservation system. A different bill with the same goal was introduced last year in the U.S. Senate. It’s tempting to laugh off this latest assault as a fizzy bottle rocket launched against the stalwart walls of one of the nation’s founding environmental laws—tempting, except that today we are all citizens of Trumpland, a land where alterna-facts grow on trees that are soon to be salvage logged and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, the new overseer of our nation’s wilderness, once mailed out a Christmas card featuring himself as Santa in a sleigh laden with oil derricks, mining axes, and dead wolves for all the good girls and boys.

In this case, that “someone” is mountain bikers. 1. 2. See more→ Object moved. As Western states renew efforts to take control of federal public lands, a bipartisan path emerges. The federal government has long had control issues when it comes to public lands in the West. It manages and pays for nearly everything that happens on more than 300 million acres, from recreation and wildlife conservation to mining, logging, grazing and oil and gas drillin g. This presents the states with a range of challenges as high and wide as the Western sky. Much of the land sits atop energy and mineral resources they’d love to develop. Federal lands are not subject to state or local taxes, of course, affecting revenue generation, and they sometimes wrap around state or private lands that do generate revenue, leading to conflict because of federal environmental regulations.

Furthermore, the Federal Land Policy Management Act stipulates that “public lands be retained in federal ownership.” Land Locked For Ivory, it’s a matter of fairness. Critics Cite Cost, Access Around the West Resources. The Plot to Loot America’s Wilderness. One day in Mid-March, James Cason, the associate deputy secretary at the Department of the Interior, convened an impromptu meeting of the senior staff of the Bureau of Land Management. Cason, whose office is on the sixth floor, rarely wandered the halls, and some career civil servants still had never met him.

A soft-spoken and unassuming man, Cason has cycled in and out of Republican administrations since the early 1980s and has largely avoided public attention. But people who have worked with him know him as a highly effective administrator and a disciple of some of the department’s most notorious anti-environment leaders in previous years—a “hatchet man,” in the words of one former DOI employee who worked with him during the George W.

Bush administration.1 About 30 employees were ushered into a conference room, where Cason announced that Kristin Bail, acting director of the BLM, would be replaced by Mike Nedd. But the way Cason handled the meeting sent a stark message. Cliven Bundy's Armed Insurrection, Rooted in Religious Extremism, Goes on Trial • The Revelator. BURNS, Ore.— In two heavily armed, militia-backed confrontations with the federal government in 2014 and 2016, Nevada scofflaw rancher Cliven Bundy and his family successfully created a self-serving narrative of a God-fearing, hard-working, true-blooded American family fearlessly battling an overreaching, oppressive and unconstitutional federal bureaucracy. Bundy, 71, became a national figure in April 2014 when he forced federal land managers to release cattle seized for trespassing on public lands in southeast Nevada.

Nineteen months later two of Bundy’s sons, Ammon and Ryan, led an armed group that seized Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, about 32 miles south of this remote ranching community in southeast Oregon. In both instances, the elder Bundy leveraged growing public dissatisfaction with the federal government to promote his assertion that federal tyranny is crushing individual rights. Their David vs. The flashpoint has had far-ranging effects. How did all this happen? Notes from closed meeting show how Interior aims to weaken environmental laws. Zinke: One-third of Interior employees not loyal to Trump – The Denver Post.

WASHINGTON — Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said Monday that nearly one-third of employees at his department are not loyal to him and President Donald Trump, adding that he is working to change the department’s regulatory culture to be more business friendly. Zinke, a former Navy SEAL, said he knew when he took over the 70,000-employee department in March that, “I got 30 percent of the crew that’s not loyal to the flag.” In a speech to an oil industry group, Zinke compared Interior to a pirate ship that captures “a prized ship at sea and only the captain and the first mate row over” to finish the mission. “We do have good people” at Interior, he said, “but the direction has to be clear and you’ve got to hold people accountable.” Zinke’s comments echo complaints by some White House allies that a permanent, “deep state” in Washington has sabotaged Trump’s efforts to remake the government.

The moves follow military strategy, Zinke said: “Push your generals where the fight is.” Forest Service tried to quash paper debunking Montana wildlife authority | State & Regional. The U.S. Forest Service has disavowed a legal analysis it commissioned that showed federal land managers have given state wildlife departments more authority than they really possess. In June, the agency asked the University of Montana to remove the draft report five days after "Fish and Wildlife Management on Federal Lands: Debunking State Supremacy” appeared on the Bolle Center for People and Forest's website. Three weeks later, it terminated a two-year contract with the center and its director, Martin Nie, citing the “provocative title" as a reason. “This is some of the most tedious, boring work I’ve ever done,” Nie told a group of UM students Wednesday.

“That’s what’s amazing — how much controversy this has generated.” The beehive Nie and his colleagues whacked concerns who owns and controls wildlife in the nation: state fish and game departments or federal land managers. In 126 pages of Supreme Court citings, legislative history and case studies, the Bolle team argued that “the U.S. In Montana, land transfer threatens the American rancher's way of life | Environment. If you want to appreciate the prairie landscape that inspired President Theodore Roosevelt to set aside 230m acres as national land, you have to pull off the interstate somewhere in the Dakotas, or in the eastern third of Montana, Wyoming, or Colorado.

Follow a dirt road for a few miles, roll down your windows, and shut off your engine. Do this almost any time of day, preferably in springtime. Above and below ground, the prairies are humming with life: birds, rodents, snakes, pronghorn, badgers and coyotes, rioting amid a landscape of grass and sagebrush. A patchwork of public land comprises large blocs of this splendid and sparsely populated terrain, and while much public ground has the appearance of a nature preserve, it is mostly a working landscape. Public forage, timber, and water resources sustain thriving wildlife populations, along with millions of livestock and thousands of agricultural producers.

It’s not as if all is rosy on the range. “You know the saying: cows, not condos. U.S. cattle grazing plan for Idaho monument draws criticism. BOISE – Federal officials on Friday released a cattle grazing plan for central Idaho’s Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve that immediately came under fire from an environmental group. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s Final Environmental Impact Statement allows cattle grazing on nearly all of the roughly 275,000 acres it administers in the monument.

The document stems from a federal lawsuit filed by the Western Watersheds Project citing concerns about sage grouse and a subsequent court ruling requiring the federal agency to come up with a new plan. Lisa Cresswell, the planning and environmental coordinator for the Twin Falls District of the BLM, said the document combined with the BLM’s 2015 Greater Sage Grouse Approved Resource Management Plan Amendment protects sage grouse habitat while allowing grazing in Craters of the Moon. “We were mostly trying to direct livestock grazing toward (seeded areas) and away from native sagebrush,” she said.

The U.S. THE NEW WEST: Enshrouding Truth – Planet Jackson Hole. Trump’s techniques for silencing civil servants are nothing new, but they should be widely discussed and recognized. JACKSON HOLE, WY – With the Trump administration only weeks old, fear and declining morale are already pervasive in federal land management agencies that together steward some 600 million acres of public land, most of it in the West. Talk of gag orders, clampdowns on how public information is dispensed, disavowing established science, removing mention of climate change from government websites and unilaterally imposing a hiring freeze on agencies struggling to keep up with workloads are just part of a new unprecedented era in civil service.

Nearly 20 years ago, I authored a book, Science Under Siege: The Politicians’ War on Nature and Truth, which profiled a wide range of federal and state whistleblowers involved with wildlife and land management agencies. Tactic one: Make dissenters the issue instead of their message. Tactic two: Isolate the scientific dissenter. Comments. The New West: Attacks on environmental laws don’t serve states’ best interests | Explore Big Sky. CREDIT: David J Swift By Todd WilkinsonEBS Environmental Columnist Whether it’s Yellowstone or Grand Teton national parks, our national forests, wildlife refuges or even private ranches, never in U.S. history has preserving land, by keeping its conservation values intact, resulted in huge economic hardship over mid- to long-term horizons. In fact, the most thriving, consistent and sustainable economic sector in the great state of Wyoming is tourism, fueled by the powerful engine of protected public lands in the northwest quadrant of the state.

As Gov. Matt Mead and the Wyoming Legislature struggle to deal with budget shortfalls in the hundreds of millions of dollars—the vast majority related to the state’s misguided gamble on coal—you still hear elected officials spreading the unsubstantiated rumor that environmental protection is costing the state. Recently, U.S. Sen. While such anti-federal rhetoric certainly resonates with Wyoming voters, there is scant evidence to back it up. TheRioGrande RethinkingRiversinthe21stCentury021417. House Moves to Encourage Drilling in National Parks · National Parks Conservation Association. Reversal of drilling rules part of larger attempt by Congress to weaken park protections. WASHINGTON – Congressman Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) last night introduced H.J. Res. 46, which seeks to repeal updates to the National Park Service’s “9B” rules. The rules require detailed planning and set safety standards for oil and gas drilling inside the more than 40 national parks that have “split estate” ownership, where the federal government owns the surface but not the subsurface mineral rights.

The resolution is just the latest in a series of moves by federal lawmakers to weaken environmental protections for national parks under the Congressional Review Act (CRA). If these repeals are signed into law under the CRA, it will not only stop these protections, it will also prohibit agencies from issuing similar rules and protections in the future, unless directed by Congress. The House is set to vote Friday to repeal rules to prevent the waste of methane gas from oil and gas facilities. Trump, GOP Aim to Reverse Obama’s Land Grab 1.5 Million Acres | National Review. In the waning hours of his presidency, Barack Obama has designated more than 1.5 million acres for two new national monuments — Bears Ears in Utah and Gold Butte in Nevada. State lawmakers in the region have for years debated creating these monuments and had yet to reach a conclusion before Obama made his controversial move Wednesday.

The Bears Ears monument will take up an astounding 1.35 million acres, a region bigger than the state of Delaware, and the Gold Butte monument will cover nearly 300,000 acres in an area often referred to as Nevada’s portion of the Grand Canyon. In a statement, the president asserted that these monuments “will protect places that a wide range of stakeholders all agree are worthy of protection.” He also claimed that his administration “worked to ensure that tribes and local communities can continue to access and benefit from these lands for generations to come.” — Alexandra DeSanctis is a National Review Institute William F. Trump taps Montana congressman Ryan Zinke as interior secretary. President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.) to head the Department of the Interior. Here's what you need to know about him. (Bastien Inzaurralde,Danielle Kunitz,Sarah Parnass/The Washington Post) President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.) to head the Department of the Interior.

President-elect Donald Trump has tapped Republican Rep. Zinke, who studied geology as an undergraduate at the University of Oregon and served as a Navy SEAL from 1986 to 2008 before entering politics, campaigned for his House seat on a platform of achieving North American energy independence. A lifelong hunter and fisherman, the 55-year-old Zinke has defended public access to federal lands even though he frequently votes against environmentalists on issues ranging from coal extraction to oil and gas drilling. [Trump taps former Texas governor Rick Perry to head Energy Department he once vowed to abolish] “You wouldn’t know he’s a congressman,” Tawney said.

Business true. M.facebook. We pioneered this idea of protecting landscape for all the people. On March 1, 1872, Ulysses S. Grant signed the bill creating Yellowstone National Park, America’s first and the world’s first such place, “set apart as a public park or pleasuring-ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.” Those words reflected the wisdom that all citizens have spiritual and recreational needs, as well as economic needs, and that access to open landscape helps feed the hungers of the soul.

Yellowstone back then was valued mainly for scenic spectacle — the geysers, the great river canyons, the waterfalls — and making it a public park was meant to compensate for some loss of scenic spectacles in the East. Niagara Falls, for instance, had been grotesquely commercialized by private operators, who turned the overlook areas into a circus of pricey amusements, and the founders of Yellowstone considered it a negative exemplum. Parks are only the most obvious, least controversial form of public lands.

Reckoning at Standing Rock. “We have seen that the white man does not take his religion any more seriously than his laws, that he keeps both of them just behind him, like Helpers, to use when they might do him good. … These are not our ways. We kept the laws we made and lived by our religion. We have never understood the white man, who fools no one but himself.” —Plenty-Coups, Crow In his farewell address to Congress in 1796, our first U.S. president, George Washington predicted that the flaws embedded in federalism, as it was set up in the U.S. Constitution, would eventually translate into incomprehensible misery for the American Indian. As settlers gathered on the Western frontier and clamored for the right to subdue and populate the new Edens of California and the Oregon territory in the mid-1800s, the government’s most reliable instrument for securing its restless society’s feverish desires was the treaty.

Even in the 1830s, the writer James Fenimore Cooper could see how the narrative was going to play out. Transferring Control of Federal Lands Would Devastate Hunting and Fishing. Lane Crothers: Why Ore. standoff acquittal should scare Americans. Trump met with a leader of the land transfer movement. Terror and Prejudice in the Public Land Seizure Movement | KCET. Sustainable Cowboys or Welfare Ranchers of the American West? | The Daily Pitchfork. Bundy Brothers, Who Sought to Rally a Nation, Draw Scant Support at Trial. Livestock Grazing: Federal Expenditures and Receipts Vary, Depending on the Agency and the Purpose of the Fee Charged. Federal-lands ranching: A half-century of decline. Federal-lands ranching: A half-century of decline. Agencies Fail to Identify, Track, Penalize, or Deter Unauthorized Livestock Grazing on Public Lands According to a New Report from the Government Accountability Office.

Group Seeks Ban On Grazing At Tahoe. Livestock grazing myths--by George Wuerthner (ecologist) (fwd) Commercial Livestock Production on Federal Public Lands. Dispelling the Cowboy Myth: an Interview with George Wuerthner. National parks at a turning point. DOI: BLM: Livestock Grazing. Weak oversight of public grazing land, thanks to ‘lord of yesterday’ The Republican crusade against public land must end | Raúl M Grijalva | Opinion.

Line In The Sand. Selling a Birthright: What would the West be like without its federal lands? - News Columns | WyoFile. Privatize public lands? Start with grazing fees. The rise of the Sagebrush Sheriffs (The Sagebrush Sheriffs) Timeline: A brief history of the Sagebrush Rebellion. No, federal land transfers are not in the Constitution. Debunked: 4 Myths About America's Parks and Public Lands | Outdoor Industry Association. Colorado: State Trust Land is NOT Public Land | The Hunter Conservationist. Republican Politicians Planned And Participated In Key Aspects Of Refuge Occupation. Randy Newberg on the Beef Between Western Hunters and Pro-Gun Politicians – The Trace.

Public Lands Takeover Effort Is Alive and Well — Idaho Conservation League. Graphic: The hidden connections of the Sagebrush Insurgency (Finding common cause) What is the link between the Oregon militants and Mormonism? Pinyon-Juniper Forests: BLM is a Ranching Industry Tool. The secret history of cowboy socialism. The Media Adores Ranchers. Here’s Why They Shouldn’t. | The Daily Pitchfork. The Bundy Family’s Odd Mormon Connection, Explained. Williams: The folly of “taking back” the West - Columnists - East Oregonian. State of the Union 2016: The States of Our Union … Are Not All Strong.

Former Forest Supervisor: Why I Resigned Over Land Dispute. John Freemuth -- The People's Land -- Outdoor Idaho (Idaho Public Television) Former BLM chief: Bundys ‘pursuing an agenda’ on public land. Heated Rhetoric by Politicians Encourages Violent Extremism on National Public Lands | Center for Western Priorities. The Bundy Boyz and #Tarpman Jump the Shark. Commetary: Feds should stop caving in to ranchers. What Our Obsession With Hamburgers Has to Do With the Planned Cull of 900 Yellowstone Bison. Supreme Court already ruled that feds rightly own occupied refuge. Supreme Court already ruled that feds rightly own occupied refuge.

My New Year’s Wish: Stop the Silly Talk of Selling Public Land. Adjustments in Western Beef Cattle Production and Marketing during the War and Post-War Periods. The Armed Oregon Ranchers Who Want Free Land Are Already Getting A 93 Percent Discount. 5 Government Handouts the Bundys Businesses Depend On. No happy ending in Oregon: We can’t reward white, right-wing extremists every time they pull a gun and threaten violence. Home - Western Watersheds Project. Forty years of Sagebrush Rebellion.