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Public Lands Master Thread

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LawBeefaroni
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by LawBeefaroni »

Enough wrote:Exciting news everybody! The BLM has a new website up. Apparently they want to go back to the Bureau of Livestock and Mining or maybe just the Bureau of Land Misuse. And they keep thinking they can just will coal into competitiveness, it's cute in a corn ethanol kind of way.

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FWIW, the previous banner:

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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by Smoove_B »

Anything to pad the 100 day accomplish list, I suppose:
President Trump is expected to sign an executive order Wednesday that could end up shrinking — or even nullifying — some large federal national monuments on protected public lands, as established since the Clinton administration.

...

In a briefing with reporters at the White House Tuesday night, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said the order will direct his department to review all national monument designations on federal public land since 1996 that are 100,000 acres or more in size. The secretary didn't say whether he would recommend that Bears Ears be shrunk or abolished, only that a review of the designations was long overdue.

"The executive order does not strip any monument of a designation," Zinke said. "The executive order does not loosen any environmental or conservation regulation on any land or marine areas."

...

Republican and Democratic presidents including George W. Bush and Barack Obama have used the 1906 Antiquities Act to protect large swaths of federal public lands, mostly in the West. Under the Act, only Congress, not the president, has the clear authority to reduce or nullify a monument designation. If the Trump Administration presses forward on its own, it's widely thought the matter will swiftly land in court.
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by Enough »

Yep, but in fairness when all of these monuments were being made by executive fiat many of us questioned just how well protected these lands were at the time. The outdoor recreation industry is finishing up their most recent economic impact report and is looking to come in at $887 billion. They are clearly readying themselves for some serious lobbying in defense of public lands.
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by Enough »

Smoove_B wrote:Anything to pad the 100 day accomplish list, I suppose:
They have released the initial list up for bye bye,
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by Enough »

Smoove_B wrote:Anything to pad the 100 day accomplish list, I suppose:
They have released the initial list of National Monuments up for potential bye bye,

Twenty-seven national monuments, mostly in the West, face the curtailing or elimination of protections put in place over the past two decades by presidents from both parties, the Interior Department said.

President Donald Trump ordered the review last month, saying protections imposed by his three immediate predecessors amounted to “a massive federal land grab” that “should never have happened.”

A list released Friday includes 22 monuments on federal land in 11, mostly Western states, including Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante in Utah, Nevada’s Basin and Range and Katahdin Woods and Waters in Maine.

The review also targets five marine monuments in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, including a huge reserve in Hawaii established in 2006 by President George W. Bush and expanded last year by President Barack Obama.
Here's the official list:
  • NATIONAL MONUMENTS BEING INITIALLY REVIEWED PURSUANT TO CRITERIA IN EXECUTIVE ORDER 13792
    Monument Location Year(s) Acreage
    Basin and Range Nevada 2015 703,585
    Bears Ears Utah 2016 1,353,000
    Berryessa Snow Mountain California 2015 330,780
    Canyons of the Ancients Colorado 2000 175,160
    Carrizo Plain California 2001 204,107
    Cascade Siskiyou Oregon 2000/2017 100,000
    Craters of the Moon Idaho 1924/2000 737,525
    Giant Sequoia California 2000 327,760
    Gold Butte Nevada 2016 296,937
    Grand Canyon-Parashant Arizona 2000 1,014,000
    Grand Staircase-Escalante Utah 1996 1,700,000
    Hanford Reach Washington 2000 194,450.93
    Ironwood Forest Arizona 2000 128,917
    Mojave Trails California 2016 1,600,000
    Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks New Mexico 2014 496,330
    Rio Grande del Norte New Mexico 2013 242,555
    Sand to Snow California 2016 154,000
    San Gabriel Mountains California 2014 346,177
    Sonoran Desert Arizona 2001 486,149
    Upper Missouri River Breaks Montana 2001 377,346
    Vermilion Cliffs Arizona 2000 279,568
  • NATIONAL MONUMENTS BEING REVIEWED TO DETERMINE WHETHER THE DESIGNATION OR EXPANSION WAS MADE WITHOUT ADEQUATE PUBLIC OUTREACH AND COORDINATION WITH RELEVANT STAKEHOLDERS
    Katahadin Woods and Waters Maine 2016 87,563
  • MARINE NATIONAL MONUMENTS BEING REVIEWED PURSUANT TO EXECUTIVE ORDERS 13795 AND 13792
    Marianas Trench CNMI/Pacific Ocean 2009 60,938,240
    Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Atlantic Ocean 2016 3,114,320
    Pacific Remote Islands Pacific Ocean 2009 55,608,320
    Papahanaumokuakea Hawaii/Pacific Ocean 2006/2016 89,600,000
    Rose Atoll American Samoa/Pacific Ocean 2009 8,609,045
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by Stefan Stirzaker »

Wow. Marinas trench is on the list? Is he planningon drilling for oil there too?
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by Isgrimnur »

Spam recovery
Just last year, the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research reported finding actual garbage in parts of the Mariana Trench, including a beer can, a Spam food tin, a piece of rope, and a plastic bag.

And as confronting as that is to see, we shouldn't be all that surprised - thanks to the remoteness of the deep sea, it's been used as a dumping ground for everything from pharmaceutical waste to unwanted World War munitions and chemical weapons.
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by Stefan Stirzaker »

Sad :( So it will soon be resuming as toxic dumping ground. Great just great.
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by Enough »

Well, I guess we can start preparing to say goodbye to the Bristol Bay watershed in Alaska that hosts the world's last great salmon run (forty million sockeye salmon).
The Environmental Protection Agency has reached a legal settlement with a Canadian company hoping to build a massive gold, copper and molybdenum mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed, clearing the way for the firm to apply for federal permits.

The settlement reached late Thursday between the EPA and the Pebble Limited Partnership, a subsidiary of Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd., could revive a controversial project that was effectively scuttled under the Obama administration. And it underscores how President Trump’s commitment to support mining extends far beyond coal, to gold, copper and other minerals.

While the move does not grant immediate approval to the Pebble Mine project, which will have to undergo a federal environmental review and also clear state hurdles before any construction takes place, it reverses the agency’s 2014 determination that a large-scale mine in the area be barred because it would imperil the region’s valuable sockeye salmon fishery.
Edit just in case folks are not aware of what we are talking about:
  1. Be the largest open pit mine in North America, up to two miles wide rooted in an industrial site that sprawls more than 20 miles in the middle of one of the planet's greatest remaining ecosystems.
  2. Require massive earthen dams (including the world's largest) to contain lakes of toxic mine waste that could leak into the surface and groundwater and more (some of earth's strongest earthquakes hit in this area).
  3. Create a 10-square-mile-wide containment pond are intended to hold between 2.5 billion and 10 billion tons of mine waste that Pebble would produce over its lifetime - nearly enough to bury the city of Seattle, WA. Because of the acid-generating nature of the Pebble ore body, the waste would require treatment in perpetuity.
  4. Be located in an unstable seismic zone prone to frequent earthquakes.
  5. Require a 100 mile road into wilderness, and a major new fossil fuel power plant - generating enough power to supply the city of Anchorage.
  6. Require nearly 35 billion gallons of water a year, critically reducing flow to multiple salmon rivers.
  7. Will create an estimated 10 billion tons of mining waste that must be permanently stored in the area.
  8. Rio Tinto's environmental track record is not so sterling.
  9. Open up one million acres for future hardrock mining helping to create a new gold rush that will dramatically increase impacts on the watershed (792 sq miles of mining claims exist that will suddenly become feasible if this project moves forward).
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by Grifman »

Enough wrote: [*]Rio Tinto's environmental track record is not so sterling.
A Canadian company called Northern Dynasty is the only remaining project member. Rio Tinto and all of the other major mining partners pulled out last year or earlier.
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by Enough »

Grifman wrote:
Enough wrote: [*]Rio Tinto's environmental track record is not so sterling.
A Canadian company called Northern Dynasty is the only remaining project member. Rio Tinto and all of the other major mining partners pulled out last year or earlier.
My mistake, you are correct. I had forgotten it was just down to them. My best hope is that the immense cost of the project (and Northern's lack of ability) will keep it from happening. Pretty sure the capital requirements are why the others dropped out. But with a different political climate and lots of money to be made I am not feeling great about it just yet and the risks I listed remain very real.
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“You only get one sunrise and one sunset a day, and you only get so many days on the planet. A good photographer does the math and doesn’t waste either.” ―Galen Rowell
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by Enough »

Well we just got an email from Interior in regards to the scientific committee purge and it's not good. They have basically ground to a halt the work of 200 boards including one our director serves on. These committees/boards help serve as maybe the best conduit for local and expert input the agencies have with stakeholders across the political divide participating. The plan is to review the charter of each one to ensure it fits within the terms of the executive order and all upcoming meetings have been canceled while that work is done. I can only imagine that this review is one giant bandwidth sucking beast that will take them 100s of hours to complete at the cost of doing their normal job duties.
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

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Enough wrote:Well we just got an email from Interior in regards to the scientific committee purge and it's not good. They have basically ground to a halt the work of 200 boards including one our director serves on. These committees/boards help serve as maybe the best conduit for local and expert input the agencies have with stakeholders across the political divide participating. The plan is to review the charter of each one to ensure it fits within the terms of the executive order and all upcoming meetings have been canceled while that work is done. I can only imagine that this review is one giant bandwidth sucking beast that will take them 100s of hours to complete at the cost of doing their normal job duties.
Here's an example of said purge.
An ambitious, science-based Interior Department program aimed at improving conservation efforts across federal, state, tribal and private lands would be zeroed out under the Trump administration's budget.

Critics say the move to gut the $13 million Landscape Conservation Cooperative program seems to undermine Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's stated goals to improve and increase coordination across federal bureaus working on conservation.

"Problems with natural resources and cultural resources are really difficult to solve, and any one agency can't really get us all the way to a solution," said David Anderson, director and chief scientist with the Colorado natural heritage program at Colorado State University and a member of the Southern Rockies LCC steering committee. "Having LCCs there to get the right conversations going and get the processes happening across boundaries is working."

The Landscape Conservation Cooperative program, created in 2009 and administered by the Fish and Wildlife Service, was designed to bring together partners across broad regions to improve the resiliency of ecosystems and species affected by climate change and other threats.

A 2015 congressionally mandated analysis conducted by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine found the program, despite being just a few years old, had achieved "numerous objectives and milestones"
He has also proposed a reorganization within Interior to boost communication between agencies operating in the same geographic regions, closely mirroring the military's use of joint commands. Details will be released in the next few months.

The primary goal of the changes is to increase coordination between agencies on things like watersheds and wildlife corridors, Zinke said.

But supporters of the Landscape Conservation Cooperatives said that is exactly what this program is already doing.

"The LCC brings a tremendous amount of efficiency in using our financial and people resources on the ground," said Matthew Germino, a research ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey and scientist with the Great Basin LCC.

Germino said the strength of the program is that even though each cooperative is staffed with a handful of federal employees, it's not housed specifically in one agency.

"That's really significant because the biggest threats transgress boundaries," he said. "Very few of our land problems and land risks can be dealt with effectively inside any one particular agency. We really do need all hands and all lands on the ground."
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“You only get one sunrise and one sunset a day, and you only get so many days on the planet. A good photographer does the math and doesn’t waste either.” ―Galen Rowell
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

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So Trump is requiring Interior to perform a high-level Trump admin review for any grants at $100,000 and above. These previously awarded funds remain locked up and unavailable until said reviews are completed (if they pass muster) and many grants are being grouped together to ensure they are included in the $100k group for review. My coworker has a DoD contract that interfaces with Interior but the money really comes from DoD as a pass through and has been in place for years. She just got word that DoD is cancelling the project for this summer because of delays with the reviews. She was told at least 1000 projects are being reviewed ahead of this one and so this field season is toast. Now 1/4 of her planned funding for the year is also toast and a recent graduate we hired for a summer job is now wondering what the heck to do. We have multiple other staff who have lost major funding that was already awarded in the past and in many cases projects that had regular annual funding for years across different R and D admins. This has never happened like this before, the stonewalling approach is working and it sucks.

I also was checking in with National Park folks and they are having huge delays in seasonal hires, with many parks not able to get hired up for the season (seasonal rangers, toll booth operators, etc) and they are now thinking they will be in a world of hurt being short-staffed for the Fourth holiday weekend. Fire crews finally got started hiring but they are still behind. Thank goodness it's been a wet spring in the high country.
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“You only get one sunrise and one sunset a day, and you only get so many days on the planet. A good photographer does the math and doesn’t waste either.” ―Galen Rowell
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

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:(
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by Enough »

Enough wrote:
Enough wrote:Well we just got an email from Interior in regards to the scientific committee purge and it's not good. They have basically ground to a halt the work of 200 boards including one our director serves on. These committees/boards help serve as maybe the best conduit for local and expert input the agencies have with stakeholders across the political divide participating. The plan is to review the charter of each one to ensure it fits within the terms of the executive order and all upcoming meetings have been canceled while that work is done. I can only imagine that this review is one giant bandwidth sucking beast that will take them 100s of hours to complete at the cost of doing their normal job duties.
Here's an example of said purge.
An ambitious, science-based Interior Department program aimed at improving conservation efforts across federal, state, tribal and private lands would be zeroed out under the Trump administration's budget.

Critics say the move to gut the $13 million Landscape Conservation Cooperative program seems to undermine Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's stated goals to improve and increase coordination across federal bureaus working on conservation.

"Problems with natural resources and cultural resources are really difficult to solve, and any one agency can't really get us all the way to a solution," said David Anderson, director and chief scientist with the Colorado natural heritage program at Colorado State University and a member of the Southern Rockies LCC steering committee. "Having LCCs there to get the right conversations going and get the processes happening across boundaries is working."

The Landscape Conservation Cooperative program, created in 2009 and administered by the Fish and Wildlife Service, was designed to bring together partners across broad regions to improve the resiliency of ecosystems and species affected by climate change and other threats.

A 2015 congressionally mandated analysis conducted by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine found the program, despite being just a few years old, had achieved "numerous objectives and milestones"
He has also proposed a reorganization within Interior to boost communication between agencies operating in the same geographic regions, closely mirroring the military's use of joint commands. Details will be released in the next few months.

The primary goal of the changes is to increase coordination between agencies on things like watersheds and wildlife corridors, Zinke said.

But supporters of the Landscape Conservation Cooperatives said that is exactly what this program is already doing.

"The LCC brings a tremendous amount of efficiency in using our financial and people resources on the ground," said Matthew Germino, a research ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey and scientist with the Great Basin LCC.

Germino said the strength of the program is that even though each cooperative is staffed with a handful of federal employees, it's not housed specifically in one agency.

"That's really significant because the biggest threats transgress boundaries," he said. "Very few of our land problems and land risks can be dealt with effectively inside any one particular agency. We really do need all hands and all lands on the ground."
First they went to gut the Landscape Conservation Collectives and hey, this coordinated effort stuff is just too effective. Let's cut the Regional Climate Centers as well!
I recently learned that the proposed cuts virtually eliminate NOAA-supported Regional Climate Centers. What a ridiculous and irresponsible thing to do. Regional Climate Centers (RCCs) play a vital role for many sectors of our nation. If you eat food, consume energy, use transportation systems, or generally "live," RCCs indirectly touch your life. And get this, they are not about climate change. I am always stunned by the ignorance and conflation of the terms 'climate' and 'climate change.' What are RCCs and why are they important?
Personally I hate droughts and would rather not know about them, heh.
In the FY 2018 budget submitted to Congress, program funding for the Regional Climate Centers (RCC) was reduced by 82%. With this reduced level of funding the RCCs will not be able to respond to customer phone requests, collect current weather and climate information, and provide an active website that includes value-added climate information and products. Unless contract funding is restored by Congressional action, the RCCs will be forced to close all service operations on March 6, 2018.
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by Enough »

Yay! While we have all been freaking out following each misstep of Drumpf, Congress is moving forward with the assault on our public lands. The hilariously named The Federal Land Freedom Act is gaining some traction. It should be more aptly titled the Federal Land Freedom for Corporate Control Act. Why go through the political looser of selling off federal lands when you can accomplish almost the same thing with legislative trickery?
The bill would allow industry-dominated state governments like Wyoming and Utah and Oklahoma to manage the leasing, permitting, and regulating of oil, gas, and other fossil fuel production on national lands. It would allow states to have near-total dominion over huge accumulations of federally owned mineral resources. And it would effectively exempt oil and gas drillers from the Endangered Species Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and other laws meant to protect public resources from pollution and destruction at the hands of commercial enterprise.
More from Outside magazine. This could definitely also limit public access to public lands.
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by LawBeefaroni »

Well, apparently armed citizens can occupy with impunity. So there's that.


Of course, I wonder what kinds of mercenary armies Enbridge and Rio Tinto have.
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

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Black lives matter
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by Enough »

So special interests prevail over the common good once again in the Trump Admin much to nobody's surprise. The Chamber of Commerce from Escalante and Boulder City both, though very conservative to the core, oppose the re-designations due to the strength of the tourism industry. But oil and king coal are more important than jobs, public land and conservation.
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by Enough »

Two more monuments added to the cut list: Nevada’s Gold Butte and Oregon’s Cascade-Siskiyou.
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

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This has me so angry. I am going to see if I can figure out a road trip to Bears Ears and Escalante even though it's a 1,200 mile round-trip for me. They were already on my list, but...
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by Enough »

Patagonia is rocking on this issue, count me as impressed. They have changed their homepage to simply state that "The President Stole Your Land" and they are also looking to sue to block the Zinke National Monuments reductions and rule changes.
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by Enough »

I have done a poor job of keeping this thread up to date, but had to share this.
More than three-quarters of the members of a federally chartered board advising the National Park Service have quit out of frustration that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke had refused to meet with them or convene a single meeting last year.

The resignation of 10 out of 12 National Park System Advisory Board members leaves the federal government without a functioning body to designate national historic or natural landmarks. It also underscores the extent to which federal advisory bodies have become marginalized under the Trump administration. In May 2017, Zinke suspended all outside committees while his staff reviewed their composition and work.
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by Zaxxon »

And I'm sure that ZInke is just fine with fewer folks nagging him to do his actual job.
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by LawBeefaroni »

Shutdown has done more damage to national parks than just trash.

Short version, in an effort to reduce the Administration's PR hit from a shutdown of the parks, Acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt (oil lobbyist by trade) and National Park Service Deputy Director P. Daniel Smith (former NRA lobbyist and career pay for play Interior employee) implemented a partial shutdown, rather than the full parks shut downs we've seen in the past.

There are several problems with this:

Partially shut down parks are open to the public but under-staffed. This means un monitored guests getting away with all kinds of mayhem including axing Joshua Trees, offloading through protected areas, and poaching. Illegal camping is also a major issue. Joshua Tree had to shut down the damage was so extensive. Note that. The shutdown didn't shut it down, the damage did. They disregarded advice and past practice of doing a full shut down and still ended up closing the park with the added bonus of swaths of destruction.

Services are underfunded which means trash and the human waste piles up. Not only is this unsightly, it means animals become aclimated and reliant on human sources of food. You also have irreparable damage as the trash is spread throughout the parks by both humans and animals.

Bringing government-as-a-business to the table, the new NPS and interior leadership have decided to fund the barebones services that do exist via guest fees. The worry here is that this almost inevitably means that when the shutdown is over, those fees will continue to fund services instead of improvement and conservation as they had previously. And federal funding for those services will dry up. My personal opinion is that this is the long game strategy to eventually wrest land from the NPS and interior for private businesses ("nobody goes there so we can't afford to keep it ..")
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by LawBeefaroni »

I mean this sounds like intended consequences:
"There are about a dozen instances of extensive vehicle traffic off roads and in some cases into wilderness," Smith replied when asked about the damage in the park. "We have two new roads that were created inside the park. We had destruction of government property with the cutting of chains and locks for people to access campgrounds. We’ve never seen this level of out-of-bounds camping. Every day use area was occupied every evening.

"Joshua trees were actually cut down in order to make new roads.”
Enlarge Image


Since the National Park Service was told to keep as many units of the National Park System open as possible during the partial government shutdown, but only with essential personnel, many have struggled with skeleton contingents of law enforcement rangers. With no maintenance crews to collect trash or maintain restrooms, and no budget to pay for outside help, many parks have been blighted by litter and human waste. There have been reports of illegal off-road travel, metal detecting on battlefields in the park system, and damage to resources.

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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by Enough »

Lots of time-sensitive land management and research activities are impacted as well. Sensitive research projects may just go belly up over the shutdown and I know we are risking losing entire field seasons. Whether it's weed management, fire management or sensitive species conservation, the shutdown is having dire consequences.
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

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Enough wrote: Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:21 pm Lots of time-sensitive land management and research activities are impacted as well. Sensitive research projects may just go belly up over the shutdown and I know we are risking losing entire field seasons. Whether it's weed management, fire management or sensitive species conservation, the shutdown is having dire consequences.
If you guys weren't so lazy and milking the American public for vast riches, maybe I'd buy your story.
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

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LawBeefaroni wrote: Tue Jan 15, 2019 11:45 am My personal opinion is that this is the long game strategy to eventually wrest land from the NPS and interior for private businesses ("nobody goes there so we can't afford to keep it ..")
That has been the stated goal all along. Only they use Huxley/Orwell speak and try to control the dialog by saying these lands need to be returned to the public for public purposes. Zinke's red crayon resignation letter bragged of the success they have been having.

“It’s been a high honor to serve @POTUS & the American People as @Interior Secretary. We’ve restored public lands “for the benefit & enjoyment of the people,” improved public access & shall never be held hostage again for our energy needs. God bless America & those who defend her,”

(The going to Joshua Tree to cut down trees as a side effect of knowing they aren't being watched thing boggles. I can't even imagine the wiring of people like that. It boggles further because when I was there, there weren't any real attendants anyway. The place was huge and the park entrance fee was an honor system where you put money in a locked coffee can in front of billboard map of the monument/park)
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by LawBeefaroni »

Field Notes National Park series.

Enlarge Image
Enlarge Image



You know, something to remember the parks by when they're all gone.
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

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And here I thought for sure someone was beating me to posting about the new head of the BLM (manages over 250 million acres), but instead you posted these sweet looking field notes. To wit, the new head is a leading proponent of selling off all federal lands.
Interior Secretary David Bernhardt on Monday signed an order making Wyoming native William Perry Pendley acting head of the Bureau of Land Management. The bureau manages nearly 250 million acres of largely wild public lands and their minerals and other resources in vast holdings across the U.S. West.

Pendley, a former midlevel Interior appointee in the Reagan administration, for decades has championed ranchers and others in standoffs with the federal government over grazing and other uses of public lands. He has written books accusing federal authorities and environmental advocates of “tyranny” and “waging war on the West.” He argued in a 2016 National Review article that the “Founding Fathers intended all lands owned by the federal government to be sold.”

In tweets this summer, Pendley has welcomed Trump administration moves to open more federal land to mining and oil and gas development and other private business use, and he has called the oil and gas extraction technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, “an energy, economic, AND environmental miracle!”
Don't worry, it's a MAGA miracle! :roll:
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by LawBeefaroni »

"Founding Fathers intended all lands owned by the federal government to be sold.”
None of which were Parks. Hell, the BLM didn't even exist and slavery was legal. So why does it matter?



Oh, wait...
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

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I spent a good deal of time earlier this month in the Grand Staircase-Escalante NM. Trump is working on cutting the size of this monument by about half.

And after having been there, I can now say that that's a goddamned shame.
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by Enough »

We could have a whole separate thread on Trump's assault on the environment, but this seems like it could serve the purpose. Today, the Trump admin has significantly weakened protections for sensitive species by gutting the Endangered Species Act,
The Trump administration on Monday announced that it would change the way the Endangered Species Act is applied, significantly weakening the nation’s bedrock conservation law credited with rescuing the bald eagle, the grizzly bear and the American alligator from extinction.

The changes will make it harder to consider the effects of climate change on wildlife when deciding whether a given species warrants protection. They would most likely shrink critical habitats and, for the first time, would allow economic assessments to be conducted when making determinations.

The rules also make it easier to remove a species from the endangered species list and weaken protections for threatened species, a designation that means they are at risk of becoming endangered.

Overall, the new rules would very likely clear the way for new mining, oil and gas drilling, and development in areas where protected species live.
The ESA has worked to recover many species that were on the brink, and given population and climate pressures more are under threats now than ever,
Ever since President Richard M. Nixon signed the Endangered Species Act into law 1973, it has been the main United States legislation for protecting fish, plants and wildlife, and acted as a safety net for species on the brink of extinction. The peregrine falcon, the humpback whale, the Tennessee purple coneflower and the Florida manatee all would very likely have disappeared without it, scientists say.
Probably the biggest prize Trump got is bringing economic factors into listing decisions,
One of the most controversial changes removes longstanding language that prohibits the consideration of economic factors when deciding whether a species should be protected.

Under the current law, such determinations must be made solely based on science, “without reference to possible economic or other impacts of determination.”

Gary Frazer, the assistant director for endangered species with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, said that phrase had been removed for reasons of “transparency.” He said the change leaves open the possibility of conducting economic analyses for informational purposes, but that decisions about listing species would still be based exclusively on science.

Environmental groups saw a danger in that. “There can be economic costs to protecting endangered species,” said Drew Caputo, vice president of litigation for lands, wildlife and oceans at Earthjustice, an environmental law organization. But, he said, “If we make decisions based on short-term economic costs, we’re going to have a whole lot more extinct species.”
But right on the heals of that, he also has removed climate change from consideration on many levels,
The new rules also give the government significant discretion in deciding what is meant by the term “foreseeable future.” That’s a semantic change with far-reaching implications, because it enables regulators to disregard the effects of extreme heat, drought, rising sea levels and other consequences of climate change that may occur several decades from now.

When questioned about that change and its implications in the era of climate change, Mr. Frazer said the agency wanted to avoid making “speculative” decisions far into the future.
The new head of the EPA must be thrilled. :cry:
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

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Unbelievable.

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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

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So, serious question, has the White House been infiltrated by aliens looking to secretly exterminate humanity so they can have Earth to themselves?

Or are we really that goddamn stupid.
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

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Enough wrote: Mon Aug 12, 2019 12:52 pm The new head of the EPA must be thrilled. :cry:
He'll act like he is if he knows what's good for him. Otherwise he'll be immediately replaced by a congressman who complimented Trump recently, or a concierge at the nearby Trump hotel who noted that Trump looked like he had lost weight.
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

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NickAragua wrote: Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:09 pm So, serious question, has the White House been infiltrated by aliens looking to secretly exterminate humanity so they can have Earth to themselves?
The regulations are preventing the rich from getting richer. Short term gains are more important than any environmental benefit.
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by NickAragua »

coopasonic wrote: Mon Aug 12, 2019 3:03 pm
NickAragua wrote: Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:09 pm So, serious question, has the White House been infiltrated by aliens looking to secretly exterminate humanity so they can have Earth to themselves?
The regulations are preventing the rich from getting richer. Short term gains are more important than any environmental benefit.
So you're thinking the second option then.
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