SUBJECT: The Proposed Expansion of the Cascade-Siskiyou Monument (Soda Mountain Wilderness).
First of all, by way of a brief introduction; I grew-up in the Applegate Valley of Southern Oregon (circa 1960’s), not far from the Monument and the expansion lands in question. I graduated from Grants Pass High School and attended Oregon State University in Corvallis, OR. My father is buried in the Applegate Cemetery (OR) and my mother is buried in Gazelle, CA (Siskiyou County). I have fished, hunted and logged in and all around the existing Monument lands for decades. Today, our family owns land near and bordering the Monument and the proposed expansion lands, so I am a legitimate stakeholder.
As we have seen time and time again in the news, what Government agencies like the BLM tell the public is sometimes very far from the truth… and the BLM has seemingly earned a reputation for corruption and misrepresentation as shown by any quick Google search.
And it goes as high as the top of the Dept. of Interior:
For instance, the BLM talks about ‘doing right’ for wild burros and horses on page-3 of the Internal BLM Memo linked herein below, yet, as we have read in the link just above, the BLM is guilty of rounding them up and killing them every way possible. The BLM Memo:naturalresources.house.gov/uploadedfiles/doimonumentdesignationdocs_revised062910.pdf
Another current example of BLM malfeasance was discovered by KLAS News through their FOIA request of the Elko NV BLM office, which KLAS contends proves the BLM intended from the get-go to cheat Madeline Pickens on her $28-million dollar effort (which they encouraged her to do) to save thousands of wild horses from the BLM storage pens and slaughter, and in the end, the BLM is now trying to steal her water and grazing rights, as ‘a compromise’.
Learn more about that BLM con-job here: lasvegasnow.com/news/i-team-madeleine-pickens-losing-battle-with-the-blm
The internal BLM document linked below details the BLM’s claimed designs on public lands to be targeted by what I call ‘Monumentalism‘… which I venture a majority of Americans would consider an abuse of the Antiquities Act of 1906, where the original pure spirit and intention of the Act was to protect prehistoric Indian ruins and artifacts. However that Act has metastasized into an environmentalist’s tool for the allocation of land that would be reasonably and logically well beyond their reach or control. But as many of us know by following the money, that is merely part of the sales pitch and political activism used to fuel the acquisitions of lands well suited to the ultimate goal of mineral, gas and oil leases.
We’re broke as a Country, and looking at $20-trillion dollars in debt today. President Obama once called the addition of $4-trillion to the national debt by President Bush to create an aggregated total of $9-trillion dollars “un-patriotic and irresponsible” in a speech (here: youtube.com/watch?v=1kuTG19Cu_Q), then he turns around and spends another $16-trillion by himself! Americans everywhere are sick to death of this immorality and political corruption as we clearly see today. Integrity seems to be low on agenda.
Yet, look at the money the BLM is willing to spend to take lands out of the control of average Americans by proposed spending of nearly $2.4-billion dollars! (budget on the last pages, of course; page-21) naturalresources.house.gov/uploadedfiles/doimonumentdesignationdocs_revised062910.pdf
And Siskiyou County is currently running on fumes financially because of government over-regulation and loss of lands, and related jobs. Yet even knowing this, these Federal agencies are happy to take even more land off our tax roles, and then replace property tax revenues with Federal money that has all-kinds of strings attached… making us into children who don’t get their allowances unless we do as we’re told. This is what is unpatriotic. The chair-lady of the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors, Grace Bennett, was given last minute notice of the meeting and had little time to prepare-for this meeting in Ashland, OR and then, even worse, she was allowed only 3-minutes to address this enormous issue. All the while, the environmentalists who filled half the room ‘dressed in blue’, who arguably ‘staged’ this meeting at Southern Oregon University, had two large screens positioned on both sides of the meeting hall, each displaying only their ‘pro-expansion’ talking points! The entire ‘public input meeting’ was totally rigged.
Hawaii is also being conned by the BLM and their administrators who are obviously working for special interests and big-corp. giants interested in the undersea manganese deposits around Hawaii.
I lived there for a decade and taught at the University of Hawaii Maui Campus and ran a combination of charter and commercial fishing, diving and research boats that helped scientists there restore the reefs through a program of best-practices in anchoring and mooring systems on the heavily used ‘tourist reefs’.
The agenda for the expansion of the Monument there in Hawaii has nothing to do with pelagic fish preservation as they allege… same SOP … people hear about meetings at the last second, meeting is preceded by mainstream media covering the BLM talking points, opponents are provided with 3-minutes or less to opine on a complex issue, audience testimony is stacked with proponents selected by the BLM to speak, meetings are located as far away from genuine stakeholders as possible…. and during times and days where working-class people cannot attend, especially with the short notices provided by the agency.
A vicious self perpetuating cycle of gobbling-up public lands and then exploiting them (*revenues from the lease royalties derived from the lands), and then using the licensing royalties to buy even more lands!
Then we have the Medford BLM with the audacity to tell the public in meetings, like a recent meeting in Ashland that a significant portion of the access roads to/in the Soda Mountain Wilderness ‘Monument’ have to be closed-down because the BLM cannot afford to maintain them, thus limiting, and in many cases, eliminating public access to lands that were allegedly set aside for the multiple-use enjoyment and use of the People (hunting, etc.)… bait and switch at the highest levels of government and its agencies run-amok.
And as a result of road closures (“no money for road maintenance” says the BLM) in the Cascade-Siskiyou Monument (Soda Mountain Wilderness) hunters are no longer able to access the more remote and productive hunting grounds in the Soda Mountain Wilderness (Monument), where vehicles are needed by handicapped and infirm or older hunters, who are subsequently forced to use (trespassing & hunting on) more accessible privately-owned lands, creating conflicts with private land owners, which I have seen as a growing trend in Siskiyou County from my on-site observations.
This is just outrageous and intolerable multiple levels, and it’s a sham that any politician would allow this to occur. Something must be done! This is the kind of problem that will eventually circle around and bite everyone in the backside.
Given the malfeasance and shenanigans that surrounded the so-called ‘public input meeting’ in Ashland on Oct. 14th, I strongly urge both Senators Merkley and Wyden to consider having a more balanced and honest public input meeting in Siskiyou County, with adequate notice provided to our County Officials, since approximately 10,000 acres in our County seem to be under the BLM’s gun as well, including the Horseshoe Ranch Wildlife Area, a local hunter’s and recreational paradise.
I also urge all readers of this open letter to immediately contact both Senators who are collecting input on this Monument expansion; Senator Jeff Merkley via his office by phone and by email/mail ASAP:
Senator Jeff Merkley (OR)
121 SW Salmon Street., Ste. 1400
Portland, OR 97204
Phone: (503) 326-3386
Fax: (503) 326-2900
And, Senator Ron Wyden
MORE INFO ABOUT THE PROPOSED MONUMENT EXPANSION HERE:
*A number of federal laws establish requirements for oil and gas leasing and development on federal and even tribal lands. These include the (1) Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 (30 USC 181 et seq.), which established the authority of the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) to oversee oil and gas operations on federal land; (2) Mineral Leasing Act for Acquired Lands of 1947 (30 USC 351 et seq.), which extended the DOI authority over oil and gas operations to federal “acquired lands;” (3) Mining and Minerals Policy Act of 1970 (30 USC 21 et seq.), which established modern policy regarding mineral development in the United States of encouraging private enterprise while mitigating adverse environmental impacts; (4) Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 USC 1701 et seq.), which defined the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) responsibilities with respect to oil and gas development; (5) Indian Mineral Leasing Act of 1938 (25 USC 396a-g), which provides for leasing of minerals on tribal lands; and (6) Indian Mineral Development Act of 1982 (25 USC 2102 et seq.), which provides for tribes to enter into energy development agreements with DOI approval.