“Obviously, the past three years have not been what any of us expect, and as head coach, I accept the responsibility for those seasons.” Tom Coughlin, head coach of the New York Giants.
At Wild Horse Education (WHE) football analogies are something we have used in the past. This one very fitting for current federal agency “leadership” and the “bad seasons” of public land.
BusinessDictionary.com defines leadership:
1. The individuals who are the leaders in an organization, regarded collectively.
2. The activity of leading a group of people or an organization or the ability to do this.
Establishing a clear vision, sharing that vision with others so that they will follow willingly. Providing the information, knowledge and methods to realize that vision, and coordinating and balancing the conflicting interests of all members and stakeholders.
A leader steps up in times of crisis, and is able to think and act creatively in difficult situations.
As we take these basic concepts into leadership of public land management, you need to decide if we have bumblers or a need for a RICO investigation. Either choice leads to the same conclusion, we need changes.
The news is filled with the issues being faced in Oregon as self proclaimed militia take over a bird sanctuary after convicted poachers and arsonists go back to jail. We are seeing media spins left and right, some interesting cartoons and the evolution of social media hash tags including #VanillaIsis and #YallQaeda.
The #DeRangedWar of public land did not begin, nor will it end, with the “Bundy Militia.” This is a list of links from High Country News (it is NOT all inclusive but gives you an indication of just how bad these intimidation tactics have grown, not diminished, over the last 40 years. http://www.hcn.org/articles/sagebrush-rebellion/)
The “playbook” created is fatally flawed. Federal agencies that manage public land like the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) have failed so often to uphold regulations that we have literally created a culture where the “rules” mean nothing. #DoYourJob
Over the course of the last two years we have watched as Director Neil Kornze of the BLM simply increases the favoritism through so many channels it would require a separate article. Our opinion is that he thought capitulating to demands would stop challenges to impending sage grouse plans. That strategy failed miserably. It was a series of very “bad plays.” #DoorMatForClovenHooves
At this time we are watching as the “head coach” of BLM land is creating yet another series of gifts. Those gifts will go to the player that breaks regulations, laws and is the most destructive player to the field. That kind of “leadership” is solidifying a dangerous belief in everyone else on the field, misbehaving is the only thing that brings reward. This is an extremely “bad play.” #TheGiftThatKillsPublicLand
As wild horse and burro advocates we are continually told to engage process, follow the rules. This statement is made as we continually watch violations of every rule, regulation and common decency. When we engage in process and follow the law, we watch as years of work to create sanity in management of wild horses swept away by a flagrant favoritism to those that openly defy the law, with no consequence. No flag thrown on the play. Our work has been the subject of multiple attacks from those that break the law, including a plethora of death threats. #BLMGivesJerseySaluteToWildHorses
None of this happened overnight. But the increasing threat to both federal employees and the public has escalated in the last several years. Instead of leadership leading us to a “fair and equitable” vision, we have taken a virtual leap back in time. #WhereAmI?
Can we please see leadership more interested in the law and safety than they are in public relations photos? #WeDoNotCareAboutYourHike
If the federal government is the “big league” maybe it is time they take a hard look at the coaching staff? Maybe it is time for a few resignations? At the very least we need a new play book, because this one just won’t win. Maybe we should actually try using the Code of Federal Regulations ? We hot linked the Codes for federal land managers that have never read it. #Duh
(Editorial by WHE founder Laura Leigh. A photojournalist/journalist that founded a nonprofit to protect wild horses and burros after watching a foal run by a federal contractor until the colts hooves began to fall off)
There is a lot we have not written about in detail on this website of our experience “on the range” for wild horses and the environment. We have sent documentation to appropriate individuals. But we urge you to read this article on Harney County (the current news media top story) and maybe you can fill in some of the blanks. We deal with federal agencies operating in fear, for a reason. http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/01/05/showdown-in-the-malheur-marshes-the-origins-of-the-armed-occupation-in-burns-oregon/
The OIG confirms BLM did indeed sell horses repeatedly to Kill buyer Tom Davis in violation of Congressional mandate. Davis had long standing relationship with former Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, with no repercussions. https://wildhorseeducation.org/2015/10/25/an-honest-conversation/
The largest data based fertility control program in the nation is on hold at Fish Creek. It is not on hold because it violates law or is outlandish, it is on hold because of political and physical intimidation. https://wildhorseeducation.org/2015/11/04/sarge-a-poster-child-for-everything-wrong-range-management-a-layer-of-bricks-part-two/
Political pandering rules our western landscape with disastrous consequence to the range. https://wildhorseeducation.org/2015/11/03/range-management-layers-of-bricks-part-one/
Categories: Wild Horse Education