Unequal Protection Under the Law

Val Cecama-Hogsett
09 April 2020

The Bureau of Land Management and other federal agencies illustrate that during this pandemic anything for special interests is still a go. Anything for people, environment and natural resources is not a go. This is unequal protection under the law. This is special interest pandering.

Public lands are still being clearcut for the logging industry to do business as usual. Oil and gas leases are still being issued, bid on and approved. Livestock permits are still being renewed and issued. Plans to kill apex predators, (wolves, and bears) are still moving forward. And wild horse and burro gathers are still being planned.

Yet when we, Citizens Against Equine Slaughter submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, we’re told they cannot give us that paperwork because they are closed.

“responsive documents are contained in the hard copy files in the Burns District” … “Due to the COVID-19 virus…we cannot access these files until further notice”

And adding insult to injury, CAES has several wild horse cases waiting for the Interior Board for Land Appeals (IBLA) to rule. While we wait for those rulings, with no answer from the IBLA as to how this pandemic is affecting our cases, what delays we can expect, etc. The BLM is carrying on selling, adopting, gathering our wild horses and burros. The public, and the wild horses and burros currently have NO protection under the laws, no justice is being done, with no answers to our calls asking when we can expect them to rule on Stays we have requested, and cases that are now nearly 2 years old.

BLM Ongoing, Business as Usual For Special Interests

Oregon forests remain open for logging and timber sales during coronavirus pandemic

BLM seeks comment on management plan for Black Mountain wild burro herd

BLM may remove majority of southwest Wyoming’s wild horses

The Energy 202: Trump administration continues oil and gas leasing during…pandemic

Memos show feds killed four endangered Mexican gray wolves in late March

Wildfire fighting plan eyes 1,000 miles of new fuel breaks, which could cut into sage grouse leks

These are just a very few of the current articles of BLM and other Federal Agencies doing business as usual. WHERE is our justice? Where are our rights? What can you do?

  1. Call your federal senators and representatives and tell them BLM must halt plans regarding wildlife, and environment until this pandemic has passed and their offices are open to EVERYONE.
    Find Your Federal Representative Here
    Find Your Federal Senators Contacts Here
  2. Call the Chairman of the Natural Resources Committee, Raul Grijalva, and let him know that the public is not going to stand for this pandering to special interest groups while the public cannot get FOIA information, offices are closed and people don’t know how/where to hand-deliver public comments on plans still going forward. Animals have no justice when someone files Administrative actions, but any special interest group making profits off public lands is getting full service.
    Phone: (202) 225-2435
    Email: az03services@mail.house.gov
    Twitter:  @RepRaulGrijalva
  3. Call Attorney General Bill Barr and tell him that the public has a right to equal protection under the law just as profit-making corporations do. That either the BLM and other federal agencies making wildlife and environmental decisions are open for everyone, or they are not open at all.
    Contact William P. Barr, Attorney General
    Phone: 202-353-1555
    or        202-514-2000
    Online Comment Form Click Here