Forest Service chief resigns over allegations of sexual misconduct


Tony Tooke

Source:  High Country News

by Carl Segerstrom

Tony Tooke stepped down from his role but disputes allegations against him.

The chief of the U.S. Forest Service, Tony Tooke, resigned on Wednesday after allegations of sexual harassment against him surfaced. According to PBS NewsHour, which first reported the accusations, the Forest Service hired an independent investigator to look into allegations that Tooke had improper relationships with subordinates before he became the head of the agency. Tooke has worked for the Forest Service for nearly 40 years.

In a letter to employees announcing his retirement, Tooke touted his dedication to the agency and deflected blame for his actions. “Each employee deserves a leader who can maintain the proper moral authority to steer the Forest Service along this important and challenging course,” Tooke wrote.

“In some of these news reports, you may have seen references to my own behavior in the past. This naturally raised questions about my record and prompted an investigation, which I requested and fully support, and with which I have cooperated,” Tooke wrote. “I have been forthright during the review, but I cannot combat every inaccuracy that is reported in the news media.”

Tooke did not specify what reports he labelled inaccurate.

“There’s so much work to do in the field of sexual harassment and elsewhere that it was the right thing for him to do to resign so the agency can get back to work,” said Sharon Friedman, the editor of the New Century of Forest Planning blog, a hub for discussion of public land issues.

Federal land management agencies have been slow to take action in recent years, as evidence of a widespread culture of harassment came to light. Agencies like the Forest Service and National Park Service, which have predominantly male workforces, have long standing issues of harassment and sexism and a history of not holding workers accused of harassment accountable. Reporting has found that agencies swept complaints under the rug by rotating employees and in some cases even promoted staff accused of sexual harassment.

Read the rest of this article HERE.


BLM Set to Stampede and Remove 1,500 Wild Horses from their Rightful Range

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Straight from the Horses Heart

The gather will tentatively begin on January 23.

Purpose of Gather:

The purpose of the operation is to prevent undue or unnecessary degradation of the public lands associated with excess wild horses, and to restore a thriving natural ecological balance and multiple-use relationship on public lands, consistent with the provisions of Section 1333(b) of the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. The BLM strives to be a good neighbor in the communities we serve, ensuring public safety is not at risk due to the overpopulation of wild horses and providing opportunities for economic growth with space for traditional uses.  

Details of Gather:

The BLM plans to gather 1,500 wild horses and remove approximately 1,000 excess horses. The BLM will release approximately 250 mares that will have been treated with the fertility control vaccine PZP-22 to slow the population growth rate of the animals remaining on public lands. PZP-22 is a temporary fertility-control vaccine that can prevent pregnancy in wild horses for 1-2 years. In addition, approximately 250 gathered stallions will be selected and returned back to the range.

Public Observation:

Members of the public are welcome to view the daily gather operations, provided that doing so does not jeopardize the safety of the animals, staff and observers, or disrupt gather operations. The BLM will escort the public to gather observation sites located on public lands. The BLM anticipates that viewing opportunities will begin on January 23, 2018, weather and logistics permitting. Those wanting to view gather operations must notify Public Affairs Specialist, Greg Deimel at (775) 388-7078 prior to the desired viewing date to be added to the attendee list and receive specific instructions on meeting locations and times

Participants must provide their own transportation, water and food. The BLM recommends footwear and clothing suitable for harsh field conditions and a four-wheel drive, high clearance vehicle. Public restrooms will not be available onsite.


The Triple B Complex is located in both the BLM Ely and Elko Districts and consists of the Triple B HMA (Ely), Maverick Medicine HMA (Elko), Antelope Valley HMA west of Hwy 93 (Elko), and Cherry Springs Wild Horse Territory (Elko). The gather may also take place in areas outside of those HMAs where wild horses have moved in search of food and water and are creating a public safety hazard by traveling regularly across Jiggs Road.

The current population estimate for the Triple B Complex is approximately 3,842 wild horses. The cumulative Appropriate Management Level for all the Herd Management Areas within the targeted gather area is 472 – 884 wild horses. AML is the level at which wild horse populations are consistent with the land’s capacity to support them and other mandated uses of those lands, including protecting ecological processes and habitat for wildlife and livestock.

The decision record and determination of National Environmental Policy Act adequacy can be accessed at the national NEPA register. For more information on the Wild Horse and Burro Program, call 1-866-468-7826 or email wildhorse@blm.gov.




Carol Walker on BLM’s refusal of help to get Wyoming’s captured wild horses adopted so they won’t be sold to slaughter (on Wild Horse & Burro Radio, Wed., 1/17/18)

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Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) spreads false information in New York Times OpEd, but Researcher Marybeth Devlin counters his opinion with actual facts


Rep. Chris Stewart of Utah deceived Congress by implying there was a 41% increase in wild horse & burro population in only 5 months, and by showing a photo of one thin horse and claiming that a majority of the wild horse population on the range were starving or dying from dehydration.

Stewart authored the recent Amendment in the House that would lead to 46,000 healthy wild horses & burros in BLM holding facilities and tens of thousands more on public lands being “euthanized” (killed).

Now Stewart has stooped to spreading false information about wild horses in an OpEd that appeared to in the New York Times titled “The Hard Truth About the West’s Wild Horse Problem.” Stewart continues to push for the killing of healthy wild horses & burros, both in his OpEd and in Congress.

Researcher Marybeth Devlin submitted her remarks (below) countering Stewart’s OpEd to the New York Times via its “we want to hear from you” page. However, when I clicked on the link to the “we want to hear from you” page, it was gone (so apparently, the New York Times doesn’t want to hear from anyone). Marybeth also commented on The New York Times Opinion Section on Facebook, where Stewart’s piece is listed (among others, halfway down the page).

Our thanks to Marybeth Devlin for exposing the misinformation opined by this squirrelly politician (my apologies to squirrels). Stewart’s own constituents even booed him in Salt Lake City this year.

“No birth control, no euthanasia, no slaughter: None of them fixes fraud. The problem is fraud – BLM’s fraud – not overpopulation. What is needed is honest management of our wild horses and burros.” – Marybeth Devlin

by Marybeth Devlin

The Bureau of Land Management’s wild-horse fraud: The “overpopulation” of wild horses is a pernicious lie, a concocted “crisis”. The government doesn’t have a wild-horse problem — wild horses have a government problem. More

BLM Ely District to “zero out” all wild horses on the Caliente Herd Area Complex

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by Debbie Coffey, V.P. & Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs, Wild Horse Freedom Federation
ACTION ALERT! Public comments are due Jan. 5, 2018.
In the BLM’s rush to drive wild horses to extinction, the BLM plans to remove ALL wild horses from the Caliente Herd Area Complex. The BLM claims that the Caliente Herd Area Complex has an estimated population of 1,744 wild horses (including the 2017 foal crop).
The Caliente Herd Complex Area consists of nine herd areas; Applewhite, Blue Nose Peak, Clover Creek, Clover Mountains, Delamar Mountains, Little Mountain, Meadow Valley Mountains, Miller Flat, and Mormon Mountains.
The 30-day public comment period concludes Jan. 5, 2018.

Please be sure to mail or email your written comments to:

Bureau of Land Management Ely District Office
Attention: Ben Noyes, Wild Horse and Burro Specialist
702 N. Industrial Way
Ely, NV 89301

Comments can also be submitted electronically at blm_nv_eydo_caliente_complex_ea@blm.gov.

E-mail messages should include “Caliente Herd Area Complex Wild Horse Gather” in the subject line.


Livestock grazing extremists obscure real-world solutions


by Debbie Coffey

In my opinion…

We need to find a fix for the unhealthy populations of non-native, domestic cattle and sheep on public lands.

Imagine a proposal to introduce privately owned livestock onto the public lands of the American West. The owners of the privately owned livestock would successfully gain use of 229 million acres of public lands in the West. The livestock would be owned by a politically powerful industry that attracted a passionate following — people who love using public lands for their private profit so much that they influence the federal management of their privately owned animals so that they would rarely, if ever, be restricted by law. Some of them would be so passionate that they would take over and occupy government buildings for 41 days, and end up costing taxpayers at least $9 million, including $2.3 million on federal law enforcement and $1.7 million to replace damaged or stolen property.

The downside of these privately owned livestock would be that they destroy native vegetation, damage soils and stream banks, and contaminate waterways with fecal waste. After decades of livestock grazing, once-lush streams and riparian forests have been reduced to flat, dry wastelands; once-rich topsoil has been turned to dust, causing soil erosion, stream sedimentation and wholesale elimination of some aquatic habitats; overgrazing of native fire-carrying grasses has starved some western forests of fire, making them overly dense and prone to unnaturally severe fires. Not to mention that predators like the grizzly and Mexican gray wolf were driven extinct in southwestern ecosystems by “predator control” programs designed to protect the livestock industry. More

George Wuerthner, author & Exec. Dir. of Public Lands Media, to talk about the impacts of the livestock industry on the West (Wed., 11/1/17 on Wild Horse & Burro Radio)



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