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Exclusive News from SFTHH Chief Investigative Reporter, Lisa LeBlanc 

BLM breaks law by posting closings without filing

“Editor’s Note:  Lisa is the wonderful individual who has been the source, fuel and inspiration for many of the articles that have appeared, here, on Straight from the Horse’s Heart.  Over the past several weeks, Lisa has been in contact with me over the most critical and important issue of the BLM restricting access to our own public lands while they stampede, harass and bring undo harm and stress to our wild horses.  Lisa has uncovered yet another unlawful flaw in the way the “shoot from the hip” BLM operates and it is now time that YOU, the tax paying public knows the truth.  It is also time for Lisa to report in her own words, her most important findings.

In her opinion, the News as We See It~ R.T.

BLM Guard questioning Elyse Gardner and R.T. Fitch at Pryor Mt. Roundup ~ Photo by Terry Fitch

We all hear catch-phrases – words used so often we no longer question their basis or origins.  Like the oft-repeated “…break our dependence on Foreign oil.”Now; WHO owns BP?  American oil, pulled from American waters by a firm distinctly NOT American.  But I digress. 

The catch phrases that have caught my attention most recently – and begged for further review – were ‘Portions of Public land will be temporarily closed…” for whatever reasons; and ‘Drought’.  So I did a little exploration. Let’s talk about ‘temporary closure of Public Lands’.

In December of 2009, BLM Director Bob Abbey submitted protocols for ‘temporary closure’ of Public lands.   It is possible this Protocol was published as the Calico Debacle was already under way. 

On the page, he cites “A closure or restriction order should be considered only after other management strategies and alternatives have been explored…”

“All temporary closure and restriction orders must be approved by the State Director before submission to the Washington Office, preferably 3 months in advance of the restriction. Closure and restriction orders established under 43 CFR § 8364.1 or 43 CFR § 6302.19 require publication in the Federal Register.” 

It continues,  “As resource use and demands for public access have increased, so has the need for the BLM to temporarily close or restrict areas to certain uses in order to protect resources, public health, and safety. However, it is important that closure and restriction orders are established only after other management strategies and alternatives have been explored (emphasis added), and it is determined that a closure or restriction order is necessary. Closures and restrictions need to be established in accordance with applicable authorities, and Department of the Interior and BLM policies and procedures.” 

However, the Need for Closure for the Tuscarora Roundup, the attendant Environmental Reasons, and the Rules for Chosen Observers can be read here:

A cautionary about the Federal Register: it is a most irritating-to-navigate, ponderous, cumbersome computer-generated catalog of everything documented Federal; this is the kind of research tool best accompanied by laying in supplies for 12 hours, comfy clothes, coffee, smokes and a really good ergonomic desk chair. It is not a research tool for those easily frustrated or in a hurry. 

But I needed to know about ‘Temporary Closures’ and Director Abbey’s protocols. And what I found was this: 

There is no ‘Temporary Closure’ notice on the Federal Register for Elko, Owyhee, or anything entitled ‘The Tuscarora roundup’, as of this writing.  And there was no “Temporary Closure’ notice filed before, during, or after the Calico debacle. I’ll come back to that in a moment. READ MORE