Monday, May 11, 2009

BLM lets illegal motorheads harm Utah monument

Obama/Salazar's Interior failing so far to strongly protect American landscapes.

UPDATE, 5/12: Perhaps responding to public outrage, Interior and the US Atty. for Utah may be moving with a criminal investigation.

KANAB UT -- The US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) stood by spinelessly Saturday and allowed off-roaders to illegally mud-bog up a fragile desert river within the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument in southern Utah.

The Salt Lake Tribune has some good coverage, including an editorial on the fairness and will of Obama's Interior Dept. under questionable new Sec. Ken Salazar, the history of the place and what happened Saturday.

BLM managers and law enforcement could've and should've stopped this. The 'illegals' responsible for violating the monument and Paria River, including Kane County Commissioner Mark Habbeshaw, should be arrested and fully prosecuted.

The complete failure of BLM and Interior to protect the monument is outrageously weak, and a clear sign this long-troubled agency and department have not seen much positive change. Selma Sierra, the anti-conservation Utah State Director of BLM, should retire or be fired now.

Public lands are owned by all Americans equally and must be protected from anyone who seeks to break the law to harm them, including 'locals' who claim our lands as their own to exploit.

I am outraged BLM stood back and let this happen, and you should be too. This land is your land.


Ted Z. said...


Folks can tell BLM to crack down on illegal ORVs in the Paria by clicking on this link, and signing the petition there.

R_K said...

As a former USFWS law enforcement officer, cowardice was never part of my job description or actions nor that of *most* of my fellow federal LEOs.

However, these BLM “officers” and their supervisors exhibited an abundance of professional cowardice in this instance.

Ron Kearns

DRP said...

A former BLM Ranger sent me this...

The problem with the non-response of the rangers to this demonstration of lawlessness is probably not the rangers themselves,but the field managers. Remember the field managers directly supervise the rangers, and have the authority to tell them to stand down in this type of situation. To do otherwise would be insubordination and disciplinary action. This is why the BLM Rangers need line authority (Stovepipe) like the Forest Service LEO's.

Sky Jacobs said...

This is hilarious (from The Salt Lake Tribune).

He also criticized the relationship between the BLM, environmental groups and news media, claiming the they want to make the monument and other western public lands a "playground for the East."