In spring and early summer we did outreach, articles and webinars about “your voice.” What we found is that many people do not understand where, when and how to use, voice in process. More disturbingly we found that so many people did not even understand how in many ways, they lost much of their voice this year.
We have written about advisory boards, Resource Advisory Councils (RACs) and the land use planning process. We usually end those types of articles with a statement that recognizes that piles of paper don’t make a good meme for social media but that engagement is the most crucial aspect of advocacy for wild horses.
Earlier this year (April) we wrote about trying to engage a RAC and then the RACs were shut down. Massive amounts of information was rapidly being removed from government websites. To us this represented a terrifying trend; exclude, ignore, delete. However it barely went noticed by the vast majority of “wild horse advocacy.”
The meeting in Salt Lake last week, the “Summit,” drew outrage as people were intentionally excluded. You should be outraged. Be aware that “wild horses” are not the only issue being treated in this fashion.
We want to draw your attention to an opinion piece found in the Missoula Independent.
Amanda C. Leiter is a contributor to Writers on the Range, the opinion service of High Country News (hcn.org). She is a professor at American University’s College of Law and served as deputy assistant secretary, Land and Minerals Management, U.S. Department of the Interior, from 2015 to 2017.
If you wont listen to us, that this needs to be one of the first and foremost concerns of anyone with a public land interest, please read what Amanda wrote:
Moreover, the implication that industry was shut out of rulemaking efforts during prior administrations is simply false. The United States has one of the most balanced, transparent and science-based resource management regimes in the world. The Obama administration’s adherence to that regime meant that everyone had a seat at the table during development of resource management rules.
Back in early May, Zinke suspended upcoming meetings of the Bureau of Land Management’s 30 Resource Advisory Councils. For more than two decades, those councils have given diverse local interests, including recreationists, an opportunity to give feedback on BLM proposals and policy changes.
Zinke’s halfhearted “outreach” efforts are similarly one-sided. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, for instance, during the secretary’s May trip to Utah to “review” the designation of Bears Ears National Monument, he “traveled extensively with anti-monument heavyweights” yet held only two “meetings with pro-monument activists.” He also failed to hold a single public meeting.
You should read the whole piece. A law professor that served in a high level position in Interior might just know what she’s talking about?
To access the work document from yesterdays webinar you can click here: https://wildhorseeducation.org/2017/08/31/webinar-participant-response/
Categories: Wild Horse Education