Wild Horse Education

To Our Readers; Ruhs Move Upsets Amodei

2018_0131 - 1 (7)

The Triple B roundup was a gift to politics, while other areas in NV that need attention went neglected.

To our regular readers that remember our “call” supporting investigations into conduct in NV including oversight hearings in the House etc. we thought you might enjoy this piece. Last year we generated over 50,000 signatures in a support letter that WHE sent with an information package to OIG and others. YOU continued to include a call for an investigation into John Ruhs as you called Congress on the budget. We want you to see a reaction from Mark Amodei (R-NV) whom we have also written extensively about.

We do not normally cut and paste an article; this is a rare exception (language alert). We had no idea that Amodei would make such a display and we would have no time to write an article. Please note that Amodei recently got a student suspended for using an “f-bomb” in a call to his office over gun control.

We thank all of you for supporting a deep look at the corruption in land management practices. Our wild horses need this wheel to break. (You remember this article? Read between the lines.  https://www.thedailybeast.com/trumps-cowboy-allies-say-all-the-pretty-horses-must-die)

NOTE for anyone that listened to the recording: Amy Lueders (one of the first to get the “go where we tell you or quit” memos undr the new administration, sat in the state lead chair before John Ruhs came to the helm of NV in 2015. Things were not perfect. But Lueders tried to create balance (we were in court ordered conference over access to roundups. With Lueders WHE created the current observation protocol at roundups; mostly ignored under Ruhs and much, much more. It was not perfect, but she could spell the word “respect.” That is who Amodei is talking about when he says “shit management.”

When he references the Winnemucca position of district manager not being filled? It was vacated under Ruhs and not filled in the drama storm that became the NV BLM under Ruhs. 

PLEASE keep in mind that wild horses are in truth a fractional occupant of all of public land. This picture involves many entities. Reading his text messages to and from Ryan Zinke (Sec of Interior) at a GOP dinner? Mark Amodei demonstrated the political significance of John Ruhs and that if you text Mark, do not expect they will be kept private.

It is not over yet. However if you needed an example of just how deep the political stranglehold in the West actually is? Amodei could not have given you a clearer punctuation mark.

Note from LLEIGH: This almost has a “ring” to it of Amodei making a campaign strategy test. Bash Zinke (who is on the hot seat right now) so he appeals to a broader section of voters. Ruhs? Ruhs gave the political machine all it wanted; with wild horse centric vision he set up the transfer of HMAs to ranchers, set up a hot new grazing deal for some of the largest livestock producers in the state and gave those that reseted federal authority the drivers seat over his own employees and all other interests. Amodei? Making it look like Ruhs is in a bad place? He will still get that pension. Idaho fire? punishment or reward? Maybe the costume didn’t play well in DC? Maybe he is just being moved to the background until he is needed again? We are still not letting it go. There are too many unanswered questions about his term in NV. 

Nev. Republican slams Zinke over ‘shit’ personnel move

Jennifer Yachnin and Kellie Lunney, E&E News reporters

Nevada Republican Rep. Mark Amodei slammed the Interior Department’s recent reassignment of his state’s Bureau of Land Management director and asserted the agency figuratively told him to “eat shit” when it did not personally inform him about the change.Amodei made the remarks at the Churchill County GOP Lincoln Day Dinner in Nevada on St. Patrick’s Day, according to a recording published today by the Reno Gazette-Journal.In the six-minute recording, Amodei, who sprinkled his remarks with profanities, read aloud from a text message exchange with Zinke and recalled other conversations with unidentified Interior officials to give attendees “a flavor for how things are.”

Amodei said he told Zinke he “thinks the world” of former BLM Nevada Director John Ruhs, who was reassigned in February to the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, where he is now BLM’s director of fire and aviation (GreenwireFeb. 9).

Ruhs is widely credited with easing tensions between BLM and Western ranchers following the armed standoff with Nevadan Cliven Bundy and his family near Bunkerville, Nev., in 2014 (E&E News PMMarch 31).

“Nevada has suffered through a decade of shit BLM leadership,” Amodei said on the tape, reading a text message he had sent Zinke. “To put a strong, successful leader in there for a net 18 months and then, for any reason, ship him, or let him leave to a position in Boise, is absolutely tone deaf.”

He later added that he texted Zinke: “Did I mention I had to hear the news on the street? Hope you guys aren’t paying anyone for congressional liaison.”

Amodei told the GOP dinner that Interior subsequently offered him “bullshit” legal provisions for why he wasn’t told Ruhs would be reassigned. He said he felt Zinke’s staff had essentially told him to “eat shit.”

But the Nevada lawmaker said he will also not fight Ruhs’ reassignment, pointing to an internal dispute at Interior between Ruhs and an unnamed official.

“While I think the world of Mr. Ruhs, I’m not going to try and get between him and your deputy guy, whatever is going on with those two,” Amodei said. “With all due respect … I’ve been to enough rodeos to sense an issue there and let’s just move on.”

An Interior spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Jason Briefel, executive director of the Senior Executives Association, said the story about Ruhs’ reassignment is “the perfect example of why agencies need good leadership succession plans.”

Briefel added that “if the congressman felt assured that BLM had a plan in place to replace Mr. Ruhs with an equally competent and effective successor, I would imagine his frustration with losing a respected career leader to another role within the agency might have been mitigated.”

In a subsequent interview with the Reno newspaper, Amodei also lamented the lack of communication over Zinke’s pending reorganization of the Interior Department.

Asked whether he was on good terms with Zinke, Amodei told the newspaper: “You’d have to ask him.”

In his remarks on the tape, Amodei noted that he plans to focus on the “command suite” at Interior and not the still-vacant BLM director’s office.

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Note: The move of Ruhs was no secret. WHE knew of it two months ago. The last three years have been an extremely stressful time on NV public lands. Wild horses are public land management. It is not supposed to feel like a crazy episode of “Game of Thrones.”

Ruhs only “eased tensions” with one faction. He increased tension (and threats) to everyone else. You can read more in “A Rock and a hard place (FOIA, RAC and litigation) https://wildhorseeducation.org/2017/05/25/posttruth-3-a-rock-and-a-hard-place-foia-rac-and-litigation/

Please keep trying to understand what WHE is doing. WE need YOUR support and protection. Wild Horse Org pushes for Investigation into Triple B.   https://wildhorseeducation.org/2018/02/21/wild-horse-organization-pushes-for-investigation-into-triple-b/

Please read our series on the public land seizure movement to understand more: https://wildhorseeducation.org/wild-wild-horses-and-the-public-land-seizure-movement/

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