The Bureau of Land Management is a ‘gestapo’ according to officials who testified at a House hearing yesterday.
We have the beginnings of gestapos in every government agency and they are growing in power under the perceived authority of the President of the United States who rules this country via executive orders and “guidance” memos without any congressional oversight. He is militarizing his executive branch agencies and letting them run roughshod over citizens largely without restraint and supervision. They can’t be fired as we know.
One of the agencies that has become militarized and which has gone rogue is the Bureau of Land Management.
A hearing in the House on July 24th exposed a dangerous and persistent threat to our nation coming from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) which is allegedly intimidating citizens, threatening their rights, and creating a hostile environment.
At the hearing this week, the following was uncovered:
The House Natural Resources Committee chaired by Doc Hastings released the following:
WASHINGTON, D.C., July 24, 2014: Today, the Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulations held an oversight hearing on “Threats, Intimidation and Bullying by Federal Land Managing Agencies.” This hearing continued Committee oversight into bullying by federal land management agencies and federal law enforcement agencies on private, state, and federal lands.
State and local governments, ranchers, business owners, and private citizens have been subject to threats, lack of cooperation, and numerous unfair or heavy-handed tactics which threaten public safety, the environment, endangered species, and the livelihoods of communities. Congressional oversight is necessary to provide an effective check on federal officials who abuse their regulatory powers.
“Today we took a second look at threats, intimidation and bullying by Federal Land Managing Agencies. During a hearing the Committee held last year and again today, we heard first-hand accounts of mistreatment at the hands of federal officials seeking to extort the witnesses into relinquishing their property rights,” said Representative Doug LaMalfa (CA-01). “These firsthand accounts give the victims of abusive conduct by a federal land managing official a chance to tell their story to Congress. Status quo agency oversight, policies and procedures are inadequate for addressing or deterring employee abuses and may instead embolden overreaching or malicious employee behavior with little risk of retribution for their actions.”
Witnesses highlighted examples of flagrant intimidation met by citizens who refuse to surrender their constitutional rights, land and water rights, grazing permits and other multiple-use benefits.
Sheriff James Perkins, Garfield County, UT, highlighted his perspective from 27 years of law enforcement and experience working with various federal law enforcement agencies.
“BLM’s attitude towards coordinating with local law enforcement is summed up best by a conversation I had with a BLM law enforcement officer while we were attending a drug task force meeting in Cedar City, Utah. He told me point blank that he didn’t care about any authority that I thought I had as the Garfield County Sheriff, and that he did not feel like he had to coordinate anything through my office… This refusal to coordinate, coupled with a lack of any meaningful oversight, has created a perfect environment where the abuse of federal law enforcement powers can occur.”
Leland Pollock, Garfield County Commissioner, Garfield County Utah, testified on how BLM law enforcement has moved away from a public service philosophy due to polarization of personnel and bullying and cancellation of cooperative agreements.
“Our concerns/ complaints are not just a matter of hurt feelings, bullying, intimidation, lack of integrity, and a host of social issues. BLM’s Chief of Law Enforcement has cost Garfield County real dollars… We are befuddled how one individual can override a State Director and negatively impact an entire county with impunity.”
A. Grant Gerber, Elko County Commissioner, Elko Nevada, discussed specific examples of wrongdoings, threats, intimidation, and bullying by both BLM law enforcement and a district manager.
“When I was a boy and as I grew up the few Federal Agents were mainly local or from rural areas and fit in well with the local area. They knew the people and worked cooperatively. Now the Federal agents are predominantly from outside the area and do not develop connections with the locals as was done previously. Many start off with a belligerent attitude, even a commanding presence. They are especially offended if anyone opposes any Federal Government actions. The worst are the Federal Law Enforcement Agents that arrogantly announce that they are not governed by Nevada law, but can enforce it if they choose. Now we have been informed, that without notice of hearings, the BLM has determined that two more BLM Law Enforcement Agents are necessary to control the people in the Elko area. All of this is resulting in less use of Federal Lands by citizens as the citizens become afraid of being accosted and berated.”
Jose Valera Lopez, President of the New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association, Rancher, Santa Fe New Mexico, testified on current justifications Federal Land Managers use to intimidate and bully including Endangered Species protection and resource protection.
“Endangered species ‘protection’ is the biggest culprit. At the moment the Fish and Wildlife Service is considering critical habitat for the lesser prairie chicken, the New Mexico meadow jumping mouse, and two varieties of garter snakes. Expansion of the Mexican wolf habitat is expected as early as tomorrow. We have had 764,000 acres in New Mexico and Arizona recently designated critical habitat for the jaguar although only a few male jaguar have been sighted in the U.S. over the last 60 years… In my own case, the BLM has been buying up private lands near my family ranch within the boundaries of an Area of Critical Environmental Concern that they designated part of their Resource Management Plan. They not refer to our ranch as an in-holding. What this designation has done is de-valued our land and effectively prohibits any type of future development on the ranch.”
The armed BLM even intimidates visitors to the county according to Pollack.
Rep. Chris Stewart, a Utah Republican whose district includes Garfield County, pushed for his legislation that would defund what he says are paramilitary units within federal agencies that don’t need such heavily-armed forces, including the BLM.
They don't even need to tear it down. It has a nice dome already!
thats obama's army now they have all these trumped up powers they think like obama that they are above the law,this is another in a long list of agency's that need to be disbanded
if you think back to the early/mid 90s, same thing but smaller level: localities/towns were allowed to buy up people's private homes in mass at horribly reduced prices all over the country - under the public domain principle they started doing this as some made up "for community civic reason" garbage every time... then(!) after they won in courts - now there is legal precedent (multiple cases all across the U.S) - and!!!; every single time - their 'planned' use was then stalled/delayed, eventually canned because of budget issues (specifically, too, all at almost same time) due to Federal cuts then being made they had previously been promised would be theirs to use for the "civic" development stories they concocted to get domain possession. Well, finally, after these bldgs.; aka - people's private homes were torn down but nothing was afforded developed on - after the leveling (all across America), "luckily" these big development corporations - strip mall developers offered to buy the property(ies) from the municipalities at way less than had they had to go through the legal wranglings (previously forced to endure...) to buy each property owners' home at or above market value, and you know: there's always a hold out or two... those smart citizens get way more than their properties are worth. And the municipalities made a profit too. Just the homeowners got screwed.
I just read how like in counties in CA - same thing... eminent domain is being used so now huge hospital/medical centers don't have to pay market price for people's private land/homes... I believe the county does have its own universal health coverage; therefore, the hospital complex they want to expand may be a county hospital, not a for profit health care center. My point: the initial 90s cases set law for this to take place; is Obama's Admin using those cases, and they are everywhere in the country, for standing not written into his EO's but if later challenged?
But - thought the Feds had closed down parks etc due to budget restraints everywhere - did our budget get better so they are now re-opening those parks? For the Feds to take on all of this "new" what used to be private lands using EPA and other Admin regs... well, they may have really good plans for "public use" but certainly with our financial problems/budget issues - those may have to be sat on for awhile - then(!) after gosh? - how many can we count? - more crisis and everyone's heads keep spinning - it's just so much and nobody can keep up with everything - the budget is to crash and well, now we have all this prime federal (unused too) land sitting here - when can end the crisis by selling the properties off to...
For instances, Governors (of CA) are selling off state owned properties and historical buildings and the Presidio even!!! - though, that too they say they are (and they hired "environmentalists") re-naturalizing the Trust by taking out trees and putting parking lots and a few walking paths... though the trees were there so the cliffs wouldn't crumble into the ocean! Oops! And a huge freeway and I mean there ae a lot more porta-pottys for all the tourists now that they have "re-habitat'd" what used to be a lovely place where there were still wild animals and you could sometimes even be alone - Anyway: these state and federal props are being sold to Florida developers and even to DiFi's husband... and many others.
Hmm? I think it was Clinton in office when this was first schemed.
And:... there's a x-over connection to the EPA/global warming science taught in schools Obama EO that's hatched that action too, on this subject also.
The Presidio should become a national or state monument or historic site... to hell with private developers they will buy it on the cheap and make hundreds of millions. I wouldn't let anyone have that property for less than 500 billion. Bet it goes for a song and a dance if it is not already been sold off.