Monday, June 12, 2017

"Lord Beverlin's Roads": Grant County vs USFS

By Gregg Boethin former US Forest Service Firefighter



Dear Grant County Residents,

I had really hoped we'd seen the last of the injustice here in Grant County.  I thought that after the shame and embarrassment the Forest Service suffered, when its negligence in the Canyon Creek Complex was brought to light, it would be on better behavior.  If only for a little while...

I remind you, the Forest Service got away with the Canyon Creek Complex scot-free.  It wasn't required to make as much as a single apology to the 43 families who lost their homes to the 100% preventable disaster.

And if that's not enough--if it's not enough to devastate the lives of 43 families, and leave a 113,000 acre black spot in place of a once beautiful forest--now it's shutting us out of it.  All so some woodpecker can have its privacy.



And doesn't that make you feel all warm and fuzzy?  Knowing that a bunch of woodpeckers can have the time of their lives, choosing their next homes from among 113,000 acres of dead and rotting trees?

Don't you almost wish you could be one of those woodpeckers, who aside from some of the local contractors (who made millions in the Canyon Creek Complex), are about the only living creatures who will ever benefit from such a terrible disaster?

Think about it.  Did the deer and elk benefit from the Canyon Creek Complex?  Did the hawks and eagles?  Did the trout, or steelhead, or salmon? 

No. 

What about the people of Grant County?  Did they benefit from the Canyon Creek Complex?

But then, the people of Grant County don't really matter, as the actions of the Malheur Forest Supervisor, Steve Beverlin, have made abundantly clear.

And now I want to change gears and take you back to Grant County in the 1970s, 80s, even 90s.  I was born in 1977 and spent most of my childhood here in the 80s and 90s. 

Take a moment and remember a summer day here in the 80s.  What was different about Grant County then?

What would you see then, that you don't see anymore?

Well, for one thing, you'd see a lot of log trucks, loaded with logs, en route to a handful of mills, which employed a lot of people.

What else?

You'd see a lot of storefronts, open to the public, providing goods and services to the families of people employed by the mills and logging companies.

You'd see classrooms full of students.  You'd see a School District adequately funded, thanks largely to an abundance timber receipts.

And now fast forward to today.  What's different?

Log trucks are rare sights.  All but one mill is closed, and that one, it seems, is always just barely hanging on.  Many of the stores and businesses that used to be here are gone.  Classrooms are much smaller in attendance, and some schools are closed completely.  The School District is severely under-funded.

Life in Grant County is a lot different than it used to be.  And most of the differences we see today aren't good ones. 

So what happened?  Take a moment and imagine a day here in the 70s, 80s, even 90s.  Compare it to today, and ask yourself, what happened?

In a nutshell, Grant County took a severe economic beating over the last few decades.  And now, in the year 2017, it's in really, really bad shape. 

And the next thing I'm going to tell you is very important.  What happened here in Grant County didn't happen overnight.  It happened bit by bit.  One piece at a time, as Johnny Cash might like to say.

One blocked timber sale, then another, resulting in one parked log truck, and then another.  Another blocked timber sale, and then another, resulting in more parked log trucks, collecting dust.

The next thing you know a mill shuts down, putting a lot of people out of work.

Another blocked timber sale, and then another, and another parked log truck, and then another, and then another mill shuts down, leaving even more people unemployed.

Meanwhile, as fewer and fewer trees are being harvested, the forest is being neglected.  In preventing the removal of trees from the Malheur Forest, the Forest Service is facilitating the unhealthy buildup of fuels, setting the stage for disastrous wildfires like the Canyon Creek Complex.

What do you see in Grant County today that you didn't in the 70s, 80s, and 90s? 

Great big ugly black spots, like our view of the once pristine Strawberry Wilderness.  Or the Canyon Creek drainage, which won't be green and healthy again in our lifetimes.  Just to name a couple...

The actions of the Forest Service have severely damaged Grant County's economy over the last few decades.  The Forest Service's mismanagement of the Malheur Forest, and in some cases its gross negligence, have annihilated vast areas of it.

But the Forest Service isn't done!  No sir!  Now that it's eliminated many of our jobs, and destroyed large areas of the Malheur Forest, and in doing so degraded the way of life for many people and animals here, it's going to start blocking roads and preventing our access to it. 

One road at a time.  One area at a time.

Always in the name of some poor, endangered species, like a woodpecker, or a species of trout that our government, in its infinite wisdom, poisoned in previous decades.   

Do you notice a pattern?

The Forest Service has done everything's it's done, in practically destroying Grant County's economy, and killing many areas of the forest, one step at a time.  One timber sale at a time.  One mill at a time.  One business at a time.  One school at a time.  One disastrous wildfire at a time.

And now, in 2017, one road at a time, and one area of the forest at a time.

Project forward 20 years and if the Forest Service continues at its current rate, there'll be nothing left here.  The entire forest will be black.  The roads will be closed and the majority of the forest will be off-limits to Grant County residents, who have long histories here.

Much longer histories, I should add, than the people responsible for this.  And to be clear, the people responsible for this aren't the high majority of those people working for the Forest Service, who go to work each day and do their best, and care about the Citizens of Grant County, and the forest.

Those people responsible for this are at the higher levels in the Forest Service.  The people at these level are players in a political game, serving THEMSELVES, and no one else. 

I'm going to tell you something about the way the Forest Service operates, like many branches of our now very large government.  I'm going to tell you how it's gotten away with all the things it has.

The Forest Service has gotten away with so much by avoiding accountability.  If there's one thing those people at the decision making level of our government hate, it's accountability.  Accountability is to Forest Supervisors, and people on up in the chain, as garlic is to vampires.

The Forest Service, like many branches of our government, avoids accountability by remaining faceless.

People in Grant County have complained about the Forest Service for decades now, but those complaints have had little effect.  Why?

Because the "Forest Service" isn't a living, breathing, entity.  You can complain about the Forest Service all you want.  You can say the nastiest things imaginable about the Forest Service, but it won't hurt the Forest Service's feelings, for the simple fact that the Forest Service doesn't have feelings. 

The Forest Service is an organization, and what decision makers in the Forest Service do is hide behind the Forest Service's emblem.  They do everything in the name of the Forest Service.  And then, when people complain about the things they've done, in the name of the Forest Service, those complaints just roll off the massive, faceless organization who has no feelings or concerns of its own.

Think about it.  Who are you supposed to get mad at, for the Forest Service's mismanagement of the Malheur Forest?  Most of us know that it's typically an environmental group, who pressures a judge, who rules to block a timber sale.  The Forest Service, it seems, is a victim of national politics.

But it's really not.  Remember, nearly every decision made affecting the people here in Grant County has to be signed by the Forest Supervisor.  The Forest Supervisor does actually have a decision, in whether or not to sign many particular orders.

Further, the Forest Service is supposed to be the expert on our forests.  Indeed, many of the people employed by the Forest Service have Masters Degrees, even Ph.D's, in areas related to forestry.  These people are, by all rights, the experts on our forests. 

So, why should we pay many such people $100,000 per year and more, and not let them have any say on the topic of forest management?  Why should their judgment take a backseat to the motives of special interest groups, who don't have degrees in forestry and have proven themselves to be absolutely clueless on the topic of forest management?

The point is that the Forest Service should have more say in regards to the decisions it, as a branch of our government designated to manage our forests, makes.  And the Forest Service does actually have more say than it would like to let on. 

Again, nearly every order carried about by the Forest Service requires a signature by the Forest Supervisor.  This makes the Forest Supervisor an undeniable part in the decision making process.  Though, the typical Forest Supervisor doesn't want you to know this. 

So what do you do in a case where you have a Forest Supervisor, signing orders, many affecting the lives of people here in Grant County, and hiding behind the Forest Service emblem, and the organization?

What do you with an organization whose members avoid personal accountability like an antibiotic-resistant flesh eating bacteria?

You make somebody accountable, and the obvious person to make accountable in our case is the Forest Supervisor.  Because his signature ultimately affects our way of life here, and I remind you that his signature, and the signature of many of his predecessors, haven't affected our way of life for the better.

What I'm doing in this narrative, and this video, and this graphic, is making Steve Beverlin accountable.  I'm reminding him that, as big and mighty as he might see himself, he still answers to the people of Grant County.  He still has to deal with us.

And I'm going to tell you some things about Steve Beverlin.  At the level Steve's at in the Forest Service, he's a politician.  Steve has done well for himself in the Forest Service, and he's done well by playing the game.

Don't believe for a second that Steve's childhood aspiration was to end up being the Supervisor of the Malheur Forest.  Steve has big plans for HIS career.  Steve's ultimate destination is D.C., and he'd like to have been there yesterday.  He can't get there quickly enough.

Someone in Steve's position is, once again, looking out for himself, and no one else.  Look at his actions in the case of the Canyon Creek Complex for all the evidence you need. 

You may be familiar with the plight of the victims of the CCC.  Most of these people had mere minutes to evacuate their homes and consequently lost almost everything.  In many cases their homeowner's insurance didn't cover all their losses (and remember that many of the things they lost were irreplaceable).

After telling the Blue Mountain Eagle, "the agency has nothing to hide", Steve refused to put himself, or anyone in the fire organization, in the position to openly answer questions about the Canyon Creek Complex.  Steve didn't even believe those people whose lives were completely devastated by it deserved to know the truth.

It was only when an article would soon be coming out by the Oregonian regarding the Canyon Creek Complex, which he knew wouldn't shine favorably on the Malheur Forest, that he decided to have a Q and A session for the public.  He gave one day notice on Monday of Fair Week, and as a result of the short notice, and the fact that it was Fair Week, many people were unable to attend.  Including many of those people who lost their homes and had the right to be there more than anyone.

Further, during that meeting, he allowed Roy Walker, the head of the Malheur Forest fire organization, to take the blame for a decision that might have had an effect on the outcome of the suppression efforts.  We should assume that Steve was in the loop on such a decision.  And being that he was the highest-ranking decision maker on the Malheur Forest, it was ultimately his decision.

So why didn't Steve come out and say that?  Why did Steve make Roy Walker take the blame for this decision, when it was actually his decision, or at least should have been?

Why?  Because Steve is only looking out for himself.  Not only are the citizens of Grant County completely insignificant to him, but so are the people who work for him.  If Steve would throw Roy Walker under the bus then he'd do the same to anyone.

What Steve's doing now, in closing roads, and large areas of forest for the sake of woodpeckers, is scoring points for his next promotion.  He's very clearly pushing an environmentalist agenda.  An agenda that isn't based in reality, nor one that takes into consideration the People of Grant County, or the health of the Forest. 

Steve Beverlin is serving one, and only one person: himself.  He's made this abundantly clear, and I believe many of the people working for the Malheur Forest recognize this as well.

That said, and what do we do with Steve Beverlin?

We recall him.  Of course, there is no official process to "recall" a federal official like Steve, who wasn't elected.  We just make it known that we don't want him here anymore; he's done enough damage and worn his welcome thin.  We ask the United States Forest Service for a new Forest Supervisor, and are hopefully provided with one much better at public relations than Steve has proven himself to be. 

The Forest Service is going to have to understand that in a situation where its decisions have deep impact on the local population, it's going to have to work with that local population.  I remind you, that's the way it was meant to be, according to our constitution, and that's the way it very well should be, and could be. 

We have more power here in Grant County than we realize.  Our voices are very powerful.  The problem is that we don't seem to use them much anymore.  I think a lot of the reason for that is that the fact that we've been ignored so long that we don't see the point, and we don't know what do to.

What I'm doing right is showing you what we can do.  Here's what you can do.

You can call the Malheur Forest Office (at 541 575-3000), and politely tell whomever answers the phone that you'd like to leave a message for Steve.  And then you can politely ask that that message read, "Leave Steve, please.  No offense, but we just don't you here anymore."  Just make it politely known that you believe it's time for a change in leadership on the Malheur Forest.  Because you know it really is, and so do many other people, including a lot of the people working for him. 

Or, you can go to the main, Washington D.C. Forest Service Website at:
And send a message to the powers that be there, again politely asking for the replacement of Steve Beverlin.

The other thing you can do is share this video, or give it a simple like, if you agree with the things I've said.  I know there's a pretty serious fear of repercussion from speaking out against the federal government here in Grant County.  Though I'd like to remind you that after all the trouble I've caused the Forest Service (all 100% legally, by exercising my 1st amendment rights) I'm still walking around. 

Remember, it's not just our Forest, or County.  It's the Forest, and County of generations to come, and for many of you, that will include your children, grandchildren, and so forth.  Any small contribution you make will have an effect, and something you can be proud of.

We're living in an age of unprecedented apathy; with a lot people who just don't care, or expect that someone else will do the dirty work for them.  I remind you that here in Grant County, we're all we have.  It's been made clear that the County Court won't be of assistance to us.  Neither will a state Senator, or Congressman, or the House Oversight Committee. 

It's 100% up to us to make things right here in Grant County, and again, not just for us, but for generations to come.  Please share this video, or give it a like if it's on facebook.  Also consider calling the local Forest Service office and sharing your feelings about its current leadership.  Or contact the national office, and send a message expressing your concerns about the Malheur Forest's current leadership.

Thanks for reading or listening!

Gregg Boethin
      







     

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Forest Service: Short-Course

Op-Ed by Sandra Mitchell 


It is apparent when snowmobilers gather together that their frustration with the Forest Service is at an all time high. I share the frustration but I think it is important to find out what is driving the bad decisions.

 Our problem is not with the people in the Forest Service, it is with the laws and politics that got them into this unworkable position.

  In the modern-day Forest Service it is next to impossible to get anything done, not because the agency’s people are incompetent or lazy, but because the work environment they operate in assures conflict and failure.

Once upon a time long, long ago, the Forest Service actually made decisions in a reasonable time frame and in a relatively uncomplicated wayBut this is not the case today.  Nothing is simple, easy or quick.

In fact, few goods and services now come from the forests. The problem lies in the framework in which the Forest Service personnel must work.

 Politics is injected into the most basic decisions from the top down, controlled by the  administration.

  Every decision is appealed or litigated by opposing interest groups, meaning that federal judges who could not tell a Douglas fir from a mink fur now make major land management decisions.

  Every action is second-guessed by other agencies.  Land managers find themselves subject to threats and hung out to dry if they do not make the “right” decision. So what got us to this sad state of affairs?

   Where once there was one law directing the activities of the National Forest System now there are many.  For 64 years, under the prime directive of The Organic Act the Forest Service managed amazingly well.

  In 1960, Congress decided to tighten the cinch a bit and passed the Multiple-Use Sustained-Yield Act. While still fairly straight forward, this change upset the agency’s comfortable and steady course.

 Congress had also flexed its land management muscles, and it apparently felt good.  Now new legislation began to pour forth.

  In 1964 the Wilderness Act became law, setting aside certain primitive and undisturbed lands to remain forever wild.

 The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act passed in 1968 basically aimed at protecting rivers from construction of dams but it also inserted the heavy hand of the federal government deeply into management of private and state lands along these waterways as well.

 The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1970 required evaluation of the effects of man’s activities on his environment.

 The Endangered Species Act of 1973, one of the most powerful, invasive and sweeping laws ever, was passed by Congress.

 The Resource Planning Act (RPA) became law in 1974.

 The Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) and the National Forest Management Act (NFMA), became law in 1976.

  Endless federal regulations, all carrying the force of law themselves, were produced to guide implementation of these complex, often conflicting and sometimes vague laws. With the laws and regulations came Forest Plans,interdisciplinary teams, intense public involvement, appeals, endless litigation and management by judicial decree.

 These regulations, combined with case law from the inevitable litigation, have created a quicksand into which the Forest Service finds itself sinking.

Times today are different.  We have the benefit of new science.  New technology has revolutionized the way we work and play.

 This science and technology has led us to more closely emulate natural processes in our management activities, recognizing the interaction of plants, animals and people with our environments.

  We still need natural resources for our reasonable use and enjoyment.  Everything we are and everything we have ultimately comes from the land—food, fiber, metals, plastics, paper, wood, recreation, comfort, wealth—everything!  We can and should wisely use our public lands to meet the needs of the American people.

  Qualified professional land managers could assure the wise, long-term use of our National Forests if they were given that opportunity, but this cannot happen in the current political and legal context.

Obviously, change is not going to come easily.  But we can help and we must never give up.  We can stay involved in the processes mandated by the present laws, even if it requires appeals and litigation.

This is the context we have and it is in this context we must work.  We can also work to change that context by encouraging the Raul Labradors, Mike Crapos, Mike Simpsons and Jim Rischs of Congress to pursue simplification of the terrible morass of laws and regulations.

 We can push for depoliticizing the Forest Service, restoring it to a professional organization dedicated to the long-term management of our public lands.

 We can work with the people in the Forest Service constructively, recognizing that they are decent, caring people who did not make the mess in which they must work.

Sandra Mitchell

Public Lands Director 2

Friday, June 2, 2017

"Settled" Science?

"Settled science"?
That's what the Forest Service and BLM call the global warming propaganda posted all over their websites.

 Remember that time Al Gore,  Ted Kennedy,  Newsweek,  Time Magazine said that "man made pollution" was "blocking out the sun" and "would soon cause another ice age"? I guess the "science" was "settled" then, too?

 If you are not open to discussion,  which bureacrats dependent upon "climate change study" grants generally are not: it is no longer "science". It becomes dogma and doctrine, which is the antithesis of "science". Anyone who has ever studied "science", especially "earth science"(geology, such as yours truly, not to brag) knows that it is never "settled". Or, carved in stone. Not even geology.

The doom and gloomers predict that a warmer earth will be detrimental to thousands of species. Yet those of us who study the geologic record know that roughly 65 million years ago, there was no snow or ice across 97% of the planet.

 However, four times more plant and animal species existed as compared to now. Palm trees and crocodiles lived in Antarctica and the arctic circle.

Compare that to 650 million years ago when only 100 miles wide of liquid water around the equator existed and the rest of earth was in a deep freeze for almost one billion years.

So even if earth were to be in a warming trend (it's not. Especially when factoring in the margin of error and limited recording instruments even today)...geologically speaking: that would be very good for the majority of species living on earth.

Until our sun becomes a giant red dwarf and consumes our entire solar system in about the same amount of time it would take to get any of true believers to stop drinking the kool aid and think for yourselves....but I digress.....

.

http://dujs.dartmouth.edu/2010/05/oceans-of-ice-the-snowball-earth-theory-of-global-glaciation/#.WTFbSMlMHqA
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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Dept of Interior Brags About "Stealing" Land.

What you are about to see is everything wrong about the Forest Service, National Park Service and BLM detailed in one video.

At what appears to be a video of a Forest Service or National Park Service convention, high level officials joke and brag about "stealing" money from taxpayers to "steal" land from two elderly miners and WWII veterans, for 1/20th of the assessed value.

This is a very common and very predatory practice the Forest Service often uses against the sick and elderly, but it isn't often that you find them BRAGGING about it in public forums. Or BRAGGING about "stealing" taxpayer money.

I will let you watch the video and decide for yourself if this is conduct or language becoming of "public servants". Warning: I recommend having a barf bag handy, and only watching it from the seated position.



https://youtu.be/7jeLi14p-KU

This video reportedly is of the retirement party for Mary Martin, a high level federal employee.

Persons identified in the video and their positions within the federal government have been chronicled here:



https://2ndfor1st.wordpress.com/2016/01/22/identified-federal-employees-bragging-of-stealing-land/



Scott Amos 

Yellow Pine Forests, 1950s Style.

Here is a photo of Yellow Pine from the 1950s, when hundreds of loggers and miners thinned the forests and made livings off of the land. Back when timber sales were the norm, loggers and Forest Service rangers lived in the same towns, ate at the same restaurants, and listened to one another concerning how best to manage healthy forests for maximum public benefit. Especially funding public schools through timber sales and mining claim tax revenues to the county and state.

It sure was nice to come across an old historic photo and see green trees, free of bark beetles, that hadn't been incinerated by megafires and failed forest "watch it all die off and burn" management policies that are being practiced by the US Forest Service and other federal agencies today.

 Today, it's very hard to find healthy trees in the Yellow Pine vicinity which aren't already infected or growing so close to other trees that they are starving for groundwater, sunlight and nutrients. The end result being a forest which will undoubtedly be devastated by the next megafire the Forest Service will be paid megamillions to sit idly by and NOT put out.

When I moved to Yellow Pine in 1983, this is the forest which I grew up in. One in which it was very hard to find dead trees.

Since the Forest Service has discovered the agency can make more money by lighting fires than putting them out, and by "sick and dying" forests than by actively managed and healthy forests....
And since the Forest Service wastes all its time and precious resources obliterating roads and locking the public out of the forests......

The new norm is a forest which will never look like this again....so long as the forest management policies come from Washington DC and sue happy environmental organizations that care more about getting rich via the Equal Access to Justice Act, than they do about having healthy forests.

Scott Amos
208.297.0634


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Letter to Congressman Raul Labrador

I highly recommend writing letters to Congressman Raul Labrador who is on the Resources Oversight Committee which oversees the Forest Service and BLM.

Here is a copy of the letter I wrote to Congressman Raul Labrador via his contact link here:

https://labrador.house.gov/contact-me/

Or here:

https://labrador.house.gov/email-me/


To: Congressman Raul Labrador

From: Scott Amos, a concerned citizen.

The US Forest Service has closed Sugar Creek Road to Cinnabar, a historical Idaho ghost town.

Cinnabar happens to be private land. That did not stop the Forest Service from unlawfully burning cabins listed on the National Register of Historical Places at Cinnabar, Stibnite, Roosevelt, Cabin Creek, Chamberlain Basin and hundreds of other places. Which is a clear violation of private property rights in addition to Section 106 of the 1966 National Historical Preservation Act.

The manner in which the Forest Service has closed roads, including my driveway was done in violation of federal law, and without due process to include skipping public comment periods required by NEPA, the 2001 Roadless Rule, Forest Plan, etc.

For nine years, the Forest Service also closed the only viable access road to the town of Yellow Pine which I grew up in. The Forest Service at that time proposed using eminent domain to force private property owners in Yellow Pine to sell their lands to the Forest Service for the purpose of turning Yellow Pine into a "wolf and nature preserve".

At the same time, the Forest Service began driving rural gold miners and loggers off their claims in the Boise and Payette National Forests.

Forest rangers would arbitrarily call legitimate mining claims "invalid" in violation of the 1872 Mining Law, violating the rights of miners who had paid fees and worked and made livings from claims for over three generations, in the case of Bill Darling and his family. The Forest Service gave Bill Darling's family 30 days to vacate the premises before burning down the home that the Darling family built in 1926. Nevermind the fact that Bill Darling's cabin was historical and the Forest Service burning it also violated the 1966 National Historical Preservation Act Act.

Jim and Gerri Adkins home of 40 years was on private property at Stibnite, Idaho which has 850 acres of deeded patented land. That also didn't stop the Forest Service from burning it and dozens of other cabins listed on the National Register of Historical Places located on private property, which I have began documenting here:

http://usfspayettenationalforest.blogspot.com/?m=1


The Forest Service has become an out of control and overly abusive agency which has no regard for public input or the American people and their wishes for how Americans would like to see our forests managed.

There was a time when the local forest ranger and district managers were friends of the local community and attentive to the needs of people who actually live and work in the forests.

Sadly, that time has passed. Now the Forest Service's main agenda is to lock people out of the forests, or lock them behind iron gates, like Patti Stieger was ordered to do by District Ranger Anthony Botello in the case of Three Mile Road, stranding five hikers 20 miles in the middle of nowhere and purposefully endangering their lives.

Or locking the entire town of Yellow Pine behind iron gates for more than nine years until residents of Yellow Pine filed a multimillion dollar lawsuit against the Forest Service and prevailed in court (at much cost to the federal government).

I have documented the above mentioned atrocities and dozens more online here:

http://usfspayettenationalforest.blogspot.com/?m=1

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I fully support your proposal for reigning in abusive agencies like the Forest Service and BLM which have become an enemy of the American people and a public nuisance, in my opinion.


Scott Amos
208.297.0634

Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Forest Service Admits Arbitrarily Closing Sugar Creek Road

In the email below, Anthony Botello, Krassel District Ranger admits that the Forest Service removed Sugar Creek Road from the public domain, without following due process of law.
 

Click for larger view


Anthony Botello also blames the property owners for denying public access. Something the owners of the ghost town of Cinnabar say absolutely is not true.

In fact, every email(obtained through FOIA) from the property owners addressed to Anthony Botello to date say the exact opposite, and expressa grave concern about the Forest Service denying ANY access via Sugar Creek Road, including to the landowners.

It would appear that the Forest Service, especially Anthony Botello, invents alternative facts when facts from the real world don't suit his agenda.



Regardless of the current spin forest rangers like Botello keep selling the public, required Maps for travel showed Sugar Creek Road "open to travel" up until 2008. In stark contrast to his emails above claiming that "the road was closed in 1996/1997" and "the property owners don't want the public there".




Monday, April 24, 2017

Bridge to Nowhere

 $1.3 million bridge that the Forest Service built using taxpayer money and Bonneville Power Administration funds. This bridge is off limits to all but hikers and the seven owners of trophy homes which often are not utilized for years at a time.

To clear up a point about the $1.3 million bridge:
The landowners never asked for a bridge. In fact: one land owner built a bridge. The Forest Service fined him for building a bridge without a permit, then forcibly removed the bridge he built. 
The Forest Service then proposed using eminent domain to forcibly remove the landowners similarly to what they did at Cabin Creek
When the landowners refused to kowtow to abusive forest rangers, and began fighting back, suddenly the Forest Service saw it to be in their best interest to build a bridge and appease the landowners. And local lawmakers, who were curious why the Forest Service was unlawfully blocking access to private property....



Forest Service and indian tribes waste federal money ripping out culverts. The Forest Service claims fish aren't smart enough to swim through culverts, or that culverts cause "velocity barriers" to fish.


Video:
https://youtu.be/itHeu6ImEoQ


.........

Forest Service wastes $375,000 on culvert and bridge the Forest Service built to "replace an existing culvert" it claims "impeded fish passage".

. Maybe that's true. But the Forest Service replaced a culvert 100 yards downstream from a 10 ft. high waterfall. So according to the Forest Service, a fish that cannot swim through an 8 ft. diameter culvert due to "velocity", is the same fish that will jump a 10 ft. high waterfall a meer 100 yards upstream?
The price tag for this nonsense? $375,000. Just upstream from the Lick Creek trailhead where the aforementioned groups spent $1.3 million on a similar project.

Video:
https://youtu.be/itHeu6ImEoQ


..........

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Friday, April 14, 2017

High-Ranking BLM Officials Convicted of Fraud

While mainstream media was busy telling you how fat the Kardashians think they are getting, or how the Bundys are "just a bunch of weird law-breaking cowboys" who "hate the BLM"....


 here's some REAL news you might have missed. Not one,  but TWO high-ranking BLM officials were found guilty by a jury of their peers(to date, the Bundys are still innocent).

Their crimes? Fraud. Theft. Lying on federal documents. Or as the Forest Service and BLM have come to know it: "business as usual".
Read more here:
 http://hardnoxandfriends.com/2015/07/28/high-ranking-blm-official-convicted-by-jury/

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Historic Road: RS-2477 Case History



I can't claim credit for the following synopsis of the RS-2477 statute and how it has been interpreted by the courts throughout the years.

Nevertheless, it is a good source of information.


Enjoy

R.S. §2477 of the United States Statutes, in effect at the time of the survey, and enacted in 1866, provided free access to the public lands of the United States, including public lands in Colorado.

The Supreme Court of the State of Colorado in Leach v. Manhart, 102 Colo. 129 stated that R.S. §2477 roads are public roads in the State of Colorado, as cited in Martino v. Board of County Com’rs of County of Pueblo, 360 P.2d 804 :

“ In Leach v. Manhart, 102 Colo. 129, 77 P.2d 652, 653, we find the following:
"The premises considered, we think a statute of the United States enacted in 1866 R.S. § 2477, U.S.Comp.Stat.1918, *807 § 4919, Title 43, U.S.C.A. § 932, reading as follows: `The right of way for the construction of highways over public lands, not reserved for public uses, is hereby granted,' is controlling. We have had occasion to consider that statute in varying situations. See Sprague v. Stead, 56 Colo. 538, 139 P. 544; Greiner v. Board of County Commissioners, 64 Colo. 584, 173 P. 719; Dunbar v. Kohler, 66 Colo. 272, 180 P. 739; Nicolas v. Grassle, 83 Colo.536, 267 P. 196, 197; Korf v. Itten, 64 Colo. 3, 169 P. 148.

The sum of our holdings is that the statute is an express dedication of a right of way for roads over unappropriated government lands, acceptance of which by the public results from `use by those for whom it was necessary or convenient.' It is not required that `work' shall be done on such a road, or that public authorities shall take action in the premises. User is the requisite element, and it may be by any who have occasion to travel over public lands, and if the use be by only one, still it suffices. `A road may be a highway though it reaches but one property owner. 29 C.J. 367. He has a right to access to other roads and the public has a right of access to him. Pagels v. Oaks, 64 Iowa 198, 19 N.W. 905, 907. Its character is not determined by the fact that but few persons use it.' * * *."(Emphasis Added.)

In Heath v. Parker, 30 P.3d 746 (Colo. App., 2000) the court discussed access to mining claims by public roads created by R.S. §2477:

“Once a road is established as a public road, it may be used for all uses allowed to the public under the laws of the state. See Lovvorn v. Salisbury, 701 P.2d 142 (Colo.App.1985).

Thus, the use of the Road for mining and access was no less legitimate than its use as a thoroughfare between Boulder and Gold Hill. See Olson, The R.S. 2477 Right of Way Dispute: Constructing a Solution, 27 Envtl. L. 289, 292-93 (1997) (purpose of R.S. 2477 was to provide access rights to land claims of miners, settlers, and local governments).

Furthermore, a right of access is necessary to satisfactory and beneficial use of land. See, e.g., Denver v. Bayer, 7 Colo. 113, 2 P. 6 (1883). (Emphasis Added. The road in question was once the main road from Idaho Springs to Central City.)
Moreover, a "highway" includes, but is not necessarily, a route for the travelling public from one point to another.

Although in some jurisdictions a highway is statutorily defined as requiring public vehicular travel, see Lee v. State, 997 P.2d 138 (Nev.2000), Colorado has adopted a broader definition of what constitutes a "road" or "highway". See § 43-2-201, C.R.S.2000; Simon v. Pettit, 687 P.2d 1299 (Colo.1984) (depending on the context, a footpath may be considered a highway). Under R.S. 2477, this includes roads created by the "passage of wagons, etc." See Central Pacific Ry. v. Alameda County, 284 U.S. 463, 52 S.Ct. 225, 76 L.Ed. 402 (1932). (Emphasis Added.)

Accordingly, a county cannot, without compensation, formally abandon a public road if such action would deprive abutting landowners of access to their property. See § 43-2-303(2)(a), C.R.S.2000; see also Leach v. Manhart, 102 Colo. 129, 133, 77 P.2d 652, 653 (1938) (a property owner "has a right to access to other roads and the public has a right of access to him"); Ord v. Fugate, 207 Va. 752, 152 S.E.2d 54 (1967); 2 B.K. Elliott & W.F. Elliott, Law of Roads & Streets § 1180 (4th ed.1926) ("where the vacation of a highway will cause special injury to an adjoining owner he is entitled to compensation").



Scott Amos
208.297.0634

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Sustainable Forests

  The federal government borrows 40 cents for every dollar it spends. That's why America's national debt just passed  $20 trillion, with  $186 trillion more in longterm future unfunded liabilities. There was a time when the Forest Service paid for itself and added hundreds of millions of dollars back to the American people via timber sales and mineral leases. Now, like every other bloated bureaucracy: the Forest Service has become a black hole where hard earned taxpayer money goes to die, along with public lands being incinerated.

Until the passage of the Northwest Forest Management Act of 1993, the US Forest Service contributed more to the national treasury than it cost to operate the agency. As an added bonus: bark beetle infestations and landscape erasing megafires didn't exist. Proof that not every bill passed by Congress to protect the forest is based on sound policy.




The Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that: (1) timber sales receipts for fiscal years 1992 through 1994 totalled nearly $3 billion; (2) the Forest Service distributed about 90 percent of those receipts to various Forest Service accounts for specific purposes; (3) specific distribution percentages for the Roads and Trails Fund and payments to states are mandated by law; (4) other accounts include those for reforestation, timber salvage, brush removal and erosion control, purchaser-built road credits, and interest and penalties; (5) although at the national level more monies were collected than distributed, some regions and forests distributed more monies than they collected; (6) the Forest Service deposited about $302.7 million in the Treasury's General Fund,

http://www.gao.gov/products/RCED-95-237FS

Bureau of Land Management Thug Invades Home, Tries Breaking Into Safe

The Mail Tribune is reporting 
  

A former Bureau of Land Management fire boss was one of at least seven burglars accused of taking over and vandalizing an east Medford mansion, turning it into a “tweaker flophouse” for two weeks while the owners were out of town.
Allen Dale Mitchell Sr., 53, was one of two people arrested Sunday when police found them trying to force open a large safe inside the ransacked home in the 5100 block of Aerial Heights Drive off Cherry Lane, according to the Medford Police Department.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

County Declares Forest Service Emergency, Takes Back Management



Apache County Commissioners declare Forest Service mismanagement of local forests a "disaster", enact emergency eviction of BLM and Forest Service. 

The Apache County Commissioners issued a written statement which reads

  1. NOW THEREFOREhereby be it resolved that The Board of Supervisors of Apache County hereby asserts its inherent right to control and manage the roads, rights-of-way and routes of travel located within the UniteStates Forest Service land and Bureau of Land Management land located within the boundaries of Apache County but not located on any nationally recognized Indian reservation, tribal trust landor otherwise located on Indian Country; and
  2. ...
  3. BE IT FUTHER RESOLVED that any existing physical obstructions, gates or other impediments on any roads, rights-of-way or routes oftravel located on National Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management lands be immediately removed. The Apache County Sheriff is directed to ensure the removal of such obstructions or to execute such removals at the expense of the persons or agencies responsible for their placement or maintenance. Placing or maintaining any unauthorized physicaobstruction, gate or otherimpediment onin or around any roadroute o f travel or right-of wayin Apache County as described herein so as to prevent or impede thefree use ofthat roadroute oftravel or right-of-way is hereby designated a Class Two Misdemeanor and punishable pursuant toTitle J3 of the Arizona Revised Statutes ...”

http://www.defendruralamerica.com/DRA/ApacheCounty.html

The Tucson Sentinel reports:

   "The U.S. Forest Service and Apache County have launched a first-of-its-kind management plan to thin more than 90,000 acres of forest in hopes of preventing catastrophic fires like last year’s record Wallow Fire.
The partnership grew out of county accusations last year that decades of forest mismanagement by the Forest Service aggravated the Wallow Fire, the largest in the state’s history."