CAES Board Member Responds to the New ID Badges for BLM Employees

©CAES 2018
By Val Cecama-Hogsett

While the “Vision Card” front has all the same hype the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has always claimed are their Mission, Vision, and Values on the front of this new ID badge for employees, the back was a clear slap in the face to anyone who is involved in any kind of Environmental, Conservation or Wildlife preservation organizations or advocacy groups.

The way I interpret the back of this badge outlining the BLM “Guiding Principles” is this.

Support our misuse of multiple use management, even where the law clearly allows an area to be used for a specific purpose, like say, Indigenous Treaty, Wild horse preserve, critical sage-grouse focal areas, desert tortoise protection, fragile watershed areas, etc. The list could go on and on, but would never include commercial business (those are sacred uses to Secretary Zinke in his pursuit of world energy dominance, and his pockets full of cash from the livestock industry.

Support community-based conservation by forming groups of ‘local’ people, like the ranchers, miners, loggers, and oilmen who are the only people who live in these remote areas. Form advisory councils so we know what they want us to do to keep the campaign contributions flowing smoothly. But, do not include anyone who argues with the ‘locals’ or uses science or truth to actually accomplish what our job is. The one the American public hired us to do.

Improve our respect for employees and support them when they do what the ranchers, miners, loggers, and oilmen want. Employees like that bad supervisor who tried to remove Cliven Bundy’s cows and made us stand nose to nose with gunmen who pay us to do what they want. Wow, that was a mess, glad we forced that supervisor to resign, we don’t need those whistleblowers and people who want to do that job we talked about above. You know, what the American public really thinks we do.

We have to provide better accountability to our stakeholders, and we mean those stakeholders that are part of the free or low-cost use of our lands to make commercial profits, the largest being the livestock industry. This guiding principle is more appropriately called Accountability to STEAK-holders.

Why do we, the American People continue to employ an agency that is NOT doing their job? We need to fire, or in the case of Secretary Zinke, vote those out who would appoint someone, who supports the polar opposite of the job they are hired for. This is not a partisan issue, we have seen far too many administrations like this for far too long. My personal opinion is that this one is the absolute worst.

Yes, it may benefit our economy, in the short-term, but can we afford the long-term or permanent damage that is and will be done?

Can we afford the day when our resources cannot be saved or replenished?

Should we support oil, minerals, lumber, livestock feed or livestock, that strips our lands of our assets, exports them to another country, while the corporate/commercial entities are the ones raking in the profits?

Isn’t this our land and resources, and if they are developed or sold shouldn’t we share in those profits? Or will we continue to ignore the loss of value of our lands, water quality, air quality and killing or extinction of wildlife?

Images of the new ID Badge provided by PEER

You can go to the following link to read the article on the ID Badges:
https://www.peer.org/news/news-releases/blm-employees-ordered-to-wear-propaganda-badges.html



Also I want to share this article from the Washington Post. I am doing a copy paste of the entire article for those who do not have a subscription to the Post. So the entire piece published below is originally printed in the Washington Post at this link:   https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2018/03/19/6ba3b4e4-2bba-11e8-8ad6-fbc50284fce8_story.html?utm_term=.5d5163db1149


“All hail Ryan Zinke, our imperial viceroy

Were these normal times, we would now be saying “sayonara” to Ryan Zinke.

President Trump’s secretary of the interior has inspired a half-dozen ongoing investigations into his travel expenses, his blending of official business with political activities and personal pleasure, and his whimsical management of a 70,000-person, 500 million-acre agency.

And now this:

Testifying before Congress last week, Zinke was questioned by Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-Hawaii), who mentioned that two of her grandparents were held as Japanese American internees during World War II. She asked Zinke why the administration wants to cut funds to preserve Japanese American internment sites.

Zinke smirked. “Oh, konnichiwa,” he replied to Hanabusa, a fourth-generation American.

 

Even after he had time to reflect, Zinke was unapologetic. “How could ever saying ‘Good morning’ be bad?” he said over the weekend.

Actually, it’s closer to “Good afternoon,” but let’s follow Zinke’s logic on this: He’ll soon be greeting a Jewish lawmaker with “Shalom,” an African American lawmaker with “Jambo,” Mexican American questioners with a spirited “Que pasa?” and Native Americans with “How.” It is the benevolent ruler who greets the natives in their ancestral tongues.

That’s fitting, because Zinke runs his department much like a 19th-century colonial governor or imperial viceroy — and not just because he showed up on horseback his first day of work. As The Post’s Lisa Rein reported, Zinke assigned a staffer to hoist a special secretarial flag whenever he enters Interior Department headquarters. He also commissioned a commemorative coin with his name on it.

The Interior Department is Zinke’s plaything. He toyed with disbanding 200 federal advisory boards (most members of the national parks advisory board resigned, saying Zinke sidelined them), but he created a new one — a group of big-game trophy hunters to advise him on big-game trophies. To run the national parks, Zinke tapped an official who improperly helped Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder remove 130 trees to improve his estate’s river views. Now Zinke’s talking about $70 entrance fees at national parks, because freeloaders — the elderly, the disabled, veterans and “fourth-graders” — pay discounted fees.

Zinke reassigned dozens of senior career employees, suspecting them of disloyalty. As The Post’s Dino Grandoni and Juliet Eilperin reported last week, Zinke’s Bureau of Land Management distributed “vision cards,” featuring an image of an oil rig, to be worn by the natives — er, the employees. And Zinke’s department now has political appointees screening grants, a process overseen by a kindergarten classmate and football buddy of Zinke’s.

 

Zinke’s fine tastes befit a colonial ruler. It’s possible that, as his spokeswoman says, he didn’t know about a decision by career staffers to spend $138,670 to replace three sets of doors in his office. But he certainly knew of the tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars spent on private plane and helicopter rides. This included a $12,000 private flight from Las Vegas to an airport near his home in Montana after an event he did with a political donor made him miss a commercial flight, and $6,000 on government helicopters so Zinke could go horseback riding with Vice President Pence.

The department’s inspector general is trying to sift through Zinke’s expenses, which don’t adequately “distinguish between personal, political and official travel,” she said.

Zinke, asked about his expenses at a Senate hearing last week, replied that “I never took a private jet anywhere” — because he flew on prop planes.

At Thursday’s House hearing, Rep. Nanette Barragán (D-Calif.) asked why he had not replied to her letter about his expenses. Zinke, rebuking Barragán for her lack of “courtesy,” replied by waving a copy of a reply that he said had been addressed to the top Democrat on the committee.

It turned out the letter was not addressed to any Democrat.

The viceroy needn’t trouble himself with such details. Nor need he fret that he told lawmakers last week that “Florida did not get an exemption” from expanded offshore oil drilling — even though Zinke himself announced in January that Florida was “off the table.”

And we are not to question the viceroy’s integrity when he claims his trip to Pennsylvania last month was official, not political — even though it was attended by Trump-endorsed congressional candidate Rick Saccone, it occurred just outside the district where the special election was held last week and it involved Zinke handing over a large ceremonial check.

Zinke has worked hard to reach such stature. Back when he was a Navy SEAL, he was found to have billed the government for personal travel to his home in Montana.

“I ended up having to repay $211 in unauthorized expenses,” he wrote in his book, “American Commander,” “but the biggest penalty was being embarrassed for wrongdoing.”

It would seem the viceroy is no longer vulnerable to such sentiments.

End of Copy Paste Article



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