Bipartisan bill introduced in Congress aims to fix national parks

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA — The Trump administration is supporting bipartisan legislation that would take as much as $18 billion in revenue from energy produced on federal lands and waters to establish a fund specifically for national park restoration.

The bill follows the blueprint laid out in Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and President Donald Trump’s budget proposal, the public lands infrastructure fund, according to a statement Wednesday from the Interior Department.

The legislation was introduced in the Senate by Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Angus King, I-Maine, and in the House of Representatives by Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, and Kurt Schrader, D-Ore.

This bill fulfills one of the priorities laid out in Trump’s legislative framework for rebuilding America’s infrastructure.

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Son of controversial Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy announces run for governor

Ryan Bundy, the son of controversial Mesquite-area rancher Cliven Bundy, plans to run for governor in 2018.

Bundy told The Nevada Independent in an interview on Thursday that he plans to file to run for governor as an independent on March 14, and will run on the same state sovereignty principles that made him and his family household names during a 2014 armed standoff with the federal government over unpaid grazing fees.

“The state of Nevada needs someone who will stand up for statehood, and recognize that Nevada is a sovereign state, not just a province of the U.S.,” he said.

Bundy, who was acquitted and released from an Oregon court in November following charges that stemmed from the takeover of the federally owned Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, said he didn’t believe any of the current candidates for governor would enforce Nevada’s “constitutional” right to all land and resources within the state.

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Custer Museum director releases bombshell book exposing deadly BLM abuses

Chris Kortlander, who last year made headlines by detailing the terrible human costs, including many suicides, resulting from the actions of aggressive and unaccountable Bureau of Land Management (BLM) agents, has written a book about his own harrowing experiences with the agency. Arrow to the Heart first recounts several controversial BLM debacles which occurred during the Obama years, including the Bundy Ranch and Gibson Guitar raids, and the deadly Utah sting, Operation Cerberus, which led to the suicide deaths of several men in the Four Corners region. Kortlander also takes readers back thirteen years, to the BLM raid of the Custer Battlefield Museum, which he founded, and the abuses and lies that nearly destroyed his life. But more than just an expose’ of historical federal abuses, Kortlander also explores the dark corners of corrupt Deep State machinations.

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John Lamb’s Theft of Another Person’s Rights and Property

“Any person who knowingly materially misrepresents under [17 U.S.C. § 512] that material or activity is infringing … shall be liable for any damages, including costs and attorneys’ fees, incurred by the alleged infringer…who is injured by such misrepresentation, as the result of the service provider relying upon such misrepresentation in removing or disabling access to the material or activity claimed to be infringing….”

Well, it subjects John to penalties, should he not be able to prove that he owns Redoubt’s video, or, that conditions of use were imposed upon Redoubt’s video.  This may cost Lamb a few buck more than his filing fees.

Two days after Lamb filed that above with the Court, the Judge ruled, in his Order Denying Temporary Restraining Order” (pgs 8-9).

The Judge cites Montana Code Annotated, 27-19-315.

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Is western Colorado ‘banking’ program a water rights-grabbing scam?

…a program which has been giving property owners large cash sums if they will agree to ‘fallow’ their croplands, thus ‘banking’ (not using) the water to which they have rights, for a given period of time. The term ‘banking’ is misleading because the water is not stored but simply continues to run downstream in the Colorado River to Utah (Lake Powell), Arizona and eventually, California.

One savvy western Colorado farmer is shining light on what may be a water rights-grabbing scam in the Grand Valley. Holly Cremeens has been tracking a program which has been giving property owners large cash sums if they will agree to ‘fallow’ their croplands, thus ‘banking’ (not using) the water to which they have rights, for a given period of time. The term ‘banking’ is misleading because the water is not stored but simply continues to run downstream in the Colorado River to Utah (Lake Powell), Arizona and eventually, California. One might argue that property owners; farmers, ranchers, manufacturers, municipalities, etc., have the option NOT to use the water to which they have existing rights. But the danger in ‘banking’ or similar programs is that the status of rights depends on the water being put to beneficial use. If the water is not put to beneficial use, or its consumption is gradually decreased over time, the property owner could lose his rights to previously allocated amounts of water.

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State to U.S. : You Can’t Transfer Federal Lands, Unless We Say So

New Section 27338 of the Government Code forbids the recordation of a deed or instrument of transfer that does not comply with Section 8560.  And it orders the “federal agency wishing to convey federal public lands” to ensure that the instrument complies with the new California law.  (Of course, the federal government wouldn’t be seeking the recordation; the transferee would.)  All this would be risible grist for a legal comedian’s mill, but the very real penalties, and the costs of having to mount the legal challenge against the State, are daunting.  All persons who have land deals pending with the Federal Government are at risk, at the very least, of skittish federal lawyers wondering what their liability could be, for merely carrying out their obligations under federal law, which is to say the supreme law.

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The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Southern Nevada District Office will be holding a Designated Leasing Area Siting Forum March 13, 2018

Southern Nevada District Office
FOR RELEASE: February 26, 2018
CONTACT: John Asselin (702) 515-5046; jasselin@blm.gov

BLM holds Designated Leasing Area Siting Forum March 13

LAS VEGAS – The Bureau of Land Management will hold a Designated Leasing Area Siting Forum for the Southern Nevada District on March 13 in the ballroom at the Santa Fe Station in Las Vegas.

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BLM’s thugocracy lives on in William Woody and Salvatore Lauro

Part II: BLM’s thugocracy lives on

As we reported last week, William C. Woody, a spendthrift of questionable character, has been shuffled from director of law enforcement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) back to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), where he was previously director of law enforcement from 2003 to 2012. Reports place him in southeastern Utah on June 10, 2009, the day Operation Cerberus Action culminated with several military-style raids on private homes in the Four Corners area. Four men took their lives in the aftermath of the raids, yet, not one person was ever convicted as a result of  the antiquities sting. Dan Love, the disreputable and dangerous BLM agent made infamous for his role in the Bundy Ranch debacle, served under Woody at the time and was instrumental in setting up and executing Operation Cerberus Action. Love was present during the inhumane interrogations of Blanding physician, James Redd, who took his own life the morning following the raids.

Woody later praised Dan Love and subsequently named him BLM Law Enforcement Agent of the Year for 2009. Love was lauded as a hero in a report published by the BLM marking its law enforcement ‘successes’ for that year. Ironically, the report praised Love, whose subsequent activities nearly destroyed the reputation of the BLM, and who is now regarded as the poster boy for federal overreach and corruption, saying, “Special Agent Love’s exemplary effort on this investigation has brought great credit upon him and the BLM.”

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Turmoil shakes up agency in charge of vast U.S. lands

BILLINGS, Mont. — A year of upheaval at the U.S. Interior Department has seen dozens of senior staff members reassigned and key leadership positions left unfilled, rules considered burdensome to industry shelved, and a sweeping reorganization proposed for its 70,000 employees.

The evolving status quo at the agency responsible for more than 780,000 square miles (2 million square kilometers) of public lands, mostly in the American West, has led to praise from energy and mining companies and Republicans, who welcomed the departure from perceived heavy-handed regulation under President Barack Obama.

But the changes have drawn increasingly sharp criticism from conservationists, Democrats, and some agency employees. Under President Donald Trump, the critics say, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has curbed outside input into how the land is used and elevated corporate interests above the duty to safeguard treasured sites.

The differing views illustrate longstanding tensions over the role of America’s public lands — an amalgam of pristine wilderness, recreational playgrounds, and abundant energy reserves.

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Column Thomas Mitchell: Neighbors hope Little Ash Springs remains closed

There are two sides to every story.

Four years ago the Bureau of Land Management locked the gate to Little Ash Springs north of Alamo for what was described as a couple of weeks due to a crumbling wall on a manmade pool. It remains closed.

Recently, the Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke told the Las Vegas newspaper, “This is exactly why the federal government needs to clean up our act. I’m not in the business of locking the public out.”

He added, “We need to work with local communities and be better neighbors …”

Speaking of neighbors, Joe and Andrea Barker own the 13-acre tract adjacent to and downstream from the 1-acre BLM-controlled Little Ash Springs. Their property is known as Big Ash Springs and has 50 springs feeding 94-degree water into meandering shallow rivulets that are home to two endangered species — the White River springfish and the Pahranagat roundtail chub found only in the Ash Springs system.

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Prosecutors to seek nearly 3 1/2-year sentence for refuge occupier Ryan Payne

Federal prosecutors next week will seek a nearly 31/2-year sentence for Oregon refuge occupier Ryan Payne, the longest prison term yet for a defendant convicted in the armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

They described Payne as a central figure who helped orchestrate the armed occupation of the federal wildlife sanctuary, described by Assistant U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Barrow as “one of the most extensive criminal activities in Oregon history.”

Payne repeatedly tried to persuade Harney County ranchers Dwight and Steven Hammond not to surrender in January 2016 to complete five-year prison sentences for setting fire to public land. He also pressured Sheriff Dave Ward to intervene to prevent the Hammonds’ return to prison, prosecutors say.

The government submitted to the court a 91-page exhibit of recordings from weekly board meetings of the militia network Payne co-founded, Operation Mutual Defense, held in October, November and December 2015, the months preceding the refuge seizure. The board spoke of potential missions, including targeting radical Islam, intervening in the resettling of refugees in Montana and elsewhere, and attempting to free a federal prisoner by staging a “dynamic entry” into a prison by shielding militiamen within protesters.

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3% Stand With Snake River Ranchers

The 71-year-old rancher has become the focus of a legal effort by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Spokane, which is asking a federal judge to sanction Riley for “trespass, encroachment, damages” and make him pay the legal costs incurred by forcing Riley to abide by the rules on ground purchased by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers some 53 years ago.

“The government just has too many employees and too much money,” said Riley’s nephew, Chad Lindgren, who works Riley’s River Ranch. “They are not going to back down. They are not going to give in unless we make them give in.”

And, he noted, the yearslong dispute is being funded by taxpayers: “We are basically paying those people to be a pain in our ass.”

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Congress explores environmental destruction caused by illegal border crossings

“Illegal migrants, human traffickers, and drug smugglers, whether crossing by foot or using vehicles cause substantial damage to the natural and cultural resources found on federal lands. Tremendous amounts of human waste and garbage are left on borderlands every year. Medical supplies, diapers, clothing, and even broken-down cars are all left behind.”

On February 9, the House Committee on Oversight and Investigations held a hearing on existing regulatory impediments to securing the southern border. One of the topics addressed is the checkerboard of ‘sensitive’ wildland designations in states along the border with Mexico. The Border Patrol and other law enforcement agencies are unable to gain ‘operational control’ of large regions of the border due to such designations and their accompanying prohibitions on access.

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This, That, The Other Thing, Oh Yeah and That Is Mine

I have never met John in person, I have talked with him over the phone and seen all the good he has done for all the P3.  I like him as a person from what he has shown me.  He has never done me any wrong.  I called him about this issue.  He stands firm that he did not give permission for this to be filmed or shared with others. That it was all his deal. He seamed very earnest in this declaration, a declaration that I now believe is composed of lies and retribution for what he thinks are wrongs against another friend.  I am saying believe because I do not have the hard evidence in my own hands but it will come out soon enough.  John has done many good works, and I praise him for every good thing that he has done on behalf of my friends, the Finicum family, and other patriotic prisoners, but that does not excuse the bad behavior that he is exhibiting now.

I have talked to others involved and I get a very different story and things done to appease John. All but taking the video down, because at this point in time consent or implied consent was given, again I was not there so I cannot say for fact.

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Setting the Record straight regarding John Lamb’s claims about the Randy Weaver interview.

To set this record straight, Wendy Kay did ask John if she could video it for Redoubt News (see below). John said okay, so it was not just an observation, it was consent. John imposed no conditions on the videoing for Redoubt, which made the Redoubt video the property of Redoubt News, a patriotic and very well presented news source.

News is not news if it can’t be gotten out. There is always an endeavor to get news out to as wide an audience as possible, So, GMN (Guerilla Media Network) agreed to live stream the video, which seems to be the source of the problem.

So, let’s look at the video that was, by consent, the property of Redoubt. John’s tactic was to claim a copyright violation; however, it is absent any proof. So, if we boil that down, John is claiming that he has rights over the property of another person. Normally, that would be theft, and perhaps fraud.

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Newspaper column: Move the headquarters of federal land agencies West : Feb 16 by Thomas Mitchell

Head ’em up, move ’em out.

There has been a lot of talk since the Trump administration has taken over about where to locate the national headquarters of some of the nation’s federal land agencies. One land agency, the Bureau of Land Management, controls 11 percent of the nation’s lands, but 99 percent of that land is in the West.

Fully 85 percent of the land in Nevada is controlled by those federal land agencies, the highest percentage of any state, with 66 percent of the state lying under the purview of the BLM, while the rest of the public land is controlled by agencies such as the Forest Service, National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, the Department of Defense and the Bureau of Reclamation.

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