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Thu Aug 22, 2019, 01:37 PM

Plan to move BLM jobs west a shallow pretext to gut the agency's mission.


Part of the problem with the constant flow of news out of the White House — from offensive tweets to potentially disastrous policies — is that acts that would have seemed outrageous in previous administrations slip past, hidden by the smoke of the Trumpster fire. The administration’s plan to effectively gut the Washington-based Bureau of Land Management is a case in point.

Some Trump administration policymakers, as well as some influential members of Congress, are philosophically opposed to the federal government owning public lands …. All told, the federal government owns about 28% of the country’s acreage (most of it originally stolen from native tribes, but that’s another issue), and in some cases has done so for more than two centuries. The largest player in the management of non-marine federal lands is the Bureau of Land Management, which controls 248 million acres of public land and administers some 700 million acres of federal subsurface mineral rights.
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And now the Trump administration — propelled by those who believe the federal government should cede much of its Western lands to state and local governments — wants to move nearly all of the BLM’s headquarters out of Washington and relocate the jobs mostly to Western states. It couches the reorganization as an effort to put more BLM workers closer to the lands they manage … But public lands advocates argue persuasively that they are mere pretexts for undercutting an agency Trump advisers dislike. The vast majority of BLM jobs — 97%, according to the Public Lands Foundation — are already dispersed around the country, mostly in the West, and the bulk of the jobs to be moved out of Washington are top-level administrators and policy staffers who craft regulations and provide national oversight to regional offices.
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Scattering those jobs around the country will in all likelihood result in massive turnover among senior officials unwilling to upend their lives and careers in Washington. And there is evidence to support that: The Agriculture Department is shifting two agencies, the Economic Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, from Washington to Kansas this fall. About 250 of the 395 employees — more than 60% — refused the transfers, a potentially crippling brain drain from the highly respected statistics department and the research agency.

Moving BLM will similarly rob that department of institutional memory and weaken its ability to work with Congress and other agencies — which, in fact, may be the point for the Machiavellians in Trump’s White House who want to cede public lands that we, as Americans, all own to states and local governments anxious to turn it over to developers and extractive industries. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt recently appointed William Perry Pendley, who through the conservative Mountain States Legal Foundation has pushed for the federal government to turn public lands over to states, as acting BLM director. The petroglyph on the wall couldn’t be clearer.
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More at:
[link:https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2019-08-18/trumps-blm-jobs-west-environment-public-lands-congress?fbclid=IwAR0qEptgnuaeuLafqrtIqcVDAwZDgO5w3B0aV2jmPyg4RHC7BOwr70j9f9w|

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Reply Plan to move BLM jobs west a shallow pretext to gut the agency's mission. (Original post)
KPN Aug 2019 OP
sharedvalues Aug 2019 #1
KPN Aug 2019 #2

Response to KPN (Original post)

Thu Aug 22, 2019, 01:37 PM

1. Correct. GOP plan: destroy govt to cut taxes on the rich

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Response to sharedvalues (Reply #1)

Thu Aug 22, 2019, 01:39 PM

2. And privatize everything they can -- also to benefit the rich and wanna be rich.

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