Tracy Stone-Manning, a long-time environmentalist, will serve as the first Senate-confirmed director of the Bureau of Land Management in more than four years, winning a party-line roll call on her nomination, 50-45. Montana Sen. Jon Tester, a Democrat, said Republicans resorted to character assassination in their attempts to defeat the nomination.
President Biden's choice to run the Bureau of Land Management will face a confirmation vote in the Senate without the committee endorsement given to nearly all nominees. After a heated debate that one senator called "a skunk fight," the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee split, 10-10, along party lines on whether to recommend Senate approval of Tracy Stone-Manning as director of the Interior Department agency.
Republican senators from the West say Tracy Stone-Manning is disqualified from serving as director of the Bureau of Land Management because of her involvement in a logging sabotage episode in 1989. Idaho Sen. James Risch charged on Wednesday that Stone-Manning had "colluded with eco-terrorists."
Trump appointee William Perry Pendley served unlawfully as acting head of the Bureau of Land Management for 424 days, a U.S. district judge ruled in ordering Pendley's immediate removal from office. Chief District Judge Brian Morris, based in Great Falls, Montana, said he would hear arguments in the near future on which of Pendley's orders must be vacated, reported Drovers.
Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah has introduced a bill to “dispose,” or sell off, 3.3 million acres of federal public land across 10 states — an area the size of Connecticut, reports The Guardian. The Wilderness Society calls the move “step two” of the GOP’s strategy to take public land out of federal hands, after the Republican House passed a rule allowing the government to sell off federal lands without requiring revenue from the transaction.
The internet rumor that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) would kill 44,000 wild horses and burros isn't exactly true — at least not yet. As the site Snopes.com reported, the BLM still has to vote on the suggestion by its advisory committee that the animals be euthanized, and opposition to the idea from outside groups has been vigorous.
After naming GOP funder Charles Herbster to be chair of his Agricultural and Rural Ag Committee, Trump has nominated Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller to be co-chair, says Mother Jones—and the press are waiting for the antics to begin.
The committee writing the party platform for the Republican National Convention gave its support to "legislation providing the timely and orderly mechanism requiring the federal government to convey certain federally controlled public lands to the states," says Oregon Public Broadcasting. "The language echoes some of the demands of the armed occupiers of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in southeast Oregon earlier this year."
Groups representing Oregon farmers and ranchers spoke against the armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge while supporting the ranching family whose legal woes sparked protests, said KGW-TV in Portland.
From 2008 to 2012, the Interior Department sold 1,794 wild horses for $10 apiece through a program intended to find homes for the animals and prevent overgrazing of federal rangeland. Colorado rancher Tom Davis was required by law to promise that he would not sell the horses for slaughter, says the Washington Post.
The government announced its National Seed Strategy to restore federal lands damaged by wildfire, drought, severe storms and invasive species with "appropriate seeds to help grow plant life and pollinator habitat."