Monday, September 14, 2015

Bad Government

I am usually 100% supportive of our US Senators.  But Heinrich and Udall did nothing but support the status quo in trying to keep any reorganization of the Bureau of Land Management offices in New Mexico and Arizona from happening.  There was an idea that the two states should be combined administratively.  It would not be a perfect thing, but better than what exists now.

Most federal agencies are organized into regions and that makes a lot of sense.  The National Park Service, the Forest Service, the EPA and others take a regional approach to things.  But the BLM has offices with State Directors in every western state which makes the BLM extremely political.  When  you have decent Senators and Congressmen who are not beholding to the natural resource extractors on BLM Lands, then it doesn't matter.  But when the oil and gas and fossil fuel boys get their hands on folks like Pete Domenici, Heather Wilson, and Steve Pearce, then the BLM is being run not by the Interior Department buy by those who give the most money to these politicos.

When I was Director of the BLM, I was constantly fighting State Directors who were in bed with their state's Senators.  One time I ordered removal of sheep from a Wyoming grazing lease because of destructive practices.  Within two hours I had calls from the state's entire delegation saying I shouldn't do it.  They were notified by the state director.

BLM should be managed regionally along sensible natural ecosystem borders, such as a regional office for the Colorado Plateau which would include parts of New Mexico, Utah, Colorado and Arizona.  They shouldn't be managed along political power lines drawn on a map to favor extractive industries.

On another issue, thanks to Senator Heinrich for sponsoring a bill to protect the American Bison. 

1 comment:

Bubba Muntzer said...

Get organized, people. The monied interests are organized.

Jim mentions what happens when Republicans get in control. Not to plug the Southwest Utah Wildreness Alliance, which Jim sits on the board of, and I support with donations, but they are singlehandedly fighting back the efforts of a Utah government that's been captured by monied interests and wants to turn one of the most beautiful areas in the country, hands down, into a big oil field.

They are meticulously non partisan, too. That we the people have power bases outside the political system is crucial. Our government from day one was designed, intentionally, to protect monied interests. No change of any consequence has ever come from within the political system. The Labor Movement, the Women's Movement, the Civil Rights Movement, the Environmental Movement, offer the examples. They forced the political establishment to do something they would not have otherwise.

God bless our politicians but they want to be seen as not being in the pocket of unions or environmental groups or whatever. Just look at how they behave. Everything they do is meant to get you to hand your power over to them, so they have it. It's just human nature. Don't do that. Keep it and use it for your, for our, benefit. As I say, they're organized. We must be. Join something. Write a check. Attend a a rally. Agitate.