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Trump’s Agriculture Secretary Leading 22-Agency Task Force to Reignite Rural America, Protect Forgotten Man

Agriculture, Federal gov & land grabs, President Trump and officials

 The Westerner.blogspot.com

 Saturday, June 17, 2017

by Penny Starr

In keeping with President Donald Trump’s executive order establishing the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue launched the effort on Thursday along with representatives from 22 federal agencies that are taking on the wide-ranging initiative. The task force will work to find ways to increase jobs, housing and educational opportunities for America’s rural communities, and to remove obstacles, such as burdensome regulations, and to improve infrastructure and access to technology. The task force held its inaugural meeting in Washington, D.C., and attendees included Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission Ajit Pai, and other government officials. “What we began here today is to lay a fertile seed bed in rural America, where good things can grow,” Perdue said. He went on:

Rural America has been struggling under burdensome regulations, but the leaders we gathered today are willing to work together to turn that around.
By establishing this task force, President Trump showed his commitment to prioritizing the prosperity of the farmers and ranchers of America’s heartland, as well as all citizens living in rural communities across this great country.
Guided by the President at the helm, and with Secretaries Carson and Perry, Director Mulvaney, Trade Representative Lighthizer, and so many others, we are telling rural America that we’re here, we’re listening, and we’re going to help provide you with the resources, tools, and support to build robust, sustainable communities for generations to come.

Just some quick, random thoughts:

—Revise and simplify BLM & FS grazing regs

—Inventory all vacant grazing allotments and bring them back into production  

—Revise policies so that ranchers have an incentive to invest in range improvements, rather than the disincentives that currently exist 

—Quit wasting time and money on these namby-pamby forest thinning projects and instead lease federal lands for timber harvest

—Stop policies whereby federal agencies can administratively designate wilderness areas and hold them in limbo for years waiting for Congress to act

—Many good things can be accomplished by revising manuals and policy guidance to the field, and without going through the time-consuming regulatory process. This avenue for change should be pursued immediately

I’m sure that, given time for reflection, others will have some great recommendations.

https://thewesterner.blogspot.com/2017/06/trumps-agriculture-secretary-leading-22.html

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Liberal News Publishes SUPPORT of Joe Robertson

Clean Water ACT - EPA, CORRUPTION, Courts, CRIMINAL, Federal gov & land grabs, PRES. TRUMP, President Trump and officials

Redoubt News.com

A section of the president’s executive order instructed the EPA administrator and the attorney general to review all pending litigation under the WOTUS rules.

Trump should rescue 78-year-old Navy veteran that Obama put behind bars

BY FORMER REP. TOM TANCREDO (R-COLO.), OPINION CONTRIBUTOR
05/17/17

(The Hill) – In February, President Trump signed an executive order revoking the notorious, unconstitutional expansion of the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority, otherwise known as the “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rules promulgated under President Obama in August 2015. Those rules interpreted the Clean Water Act to give the agency authority to regulate every puddle of water on every farm or ranch anywhere if that puddle had even the remotest, most minuscule “nexus” with any “navigable waterway,” no matter how minimal that possible runoff may be or how far away that potentially navigable stream might be.

A section of the president’s executive order instructed the EPA administrator and the attorney general to review all pending litigation under the WOTUS rules.

Unfortunately, that action can have no effect on Clean Water Act cases already prosecuted by the EPA, such as what happened to Joe Robertson in federal district court in Montana. Robertson was prosecuted and convicted of violating the Clean Water Act as interpreted by the EPA, the Army Corps of Engineers and an Obama-appointed U.S. attorney. Robertson is now halfway through an 18-month sentence in a federal facility in Lakewood, Colo. (The facility is located about five miles from my home, but I am unable to visit him because prison rules bar Robertson from having visitors he did not know before his conviction.)

Western rancher and 78-year-old Navy veteran Joseph David Robertson’s modest 200-acre ranch is located in the mountains behind Basin, Mont., off Interstate 15 between Butte and Boulder. The property is 60 miles from the Jefferson River, the nearest river that might be considered a “navigable waterway” under a generous definition of the term. Nevertheless, the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers claimed he had polluted the waterway by dredging and constructing a couple of ponds near his home to be used mainly for local firefighting.

Those EPA “WOTUS” rules were controversial from the beginning when published in draft in 2014. Thirty-one states sued to block the rules when first proposed, and 13 states later tried to persuade the EPA to delay the final rule’s implementation in August 2015. Pacific Legal Foundation attorneys Todd Gaziano and M. Reed Hopper called the rules “more EPA Overreach” in an Aug. 3, 2015, Forbes report on the egregious federal power grab.

In June of 2015, the Nebraska attorney general put the matter in constitutional perspective, saying, “The EPA has redefined ‘waters of the U.S.’ in order to gain greater authority and power over private land.” Regrettably, the EPA proceeded to implement its notorious rules and then prosecuted landowners who ran afoul of the agency’s expansive interpretation of threats to clean water.

The EPA’s first effort at punishing Robertson ended in a hung jury, so Obama’s federal prosecutor moved the case to Missoula to get a conviction. Robertson had only an appointed public defender, who Robertson asserts provided an ineffective legal representation. For example, an independent expert analysis of the water runoff question done gratis by a retired EPA employee was barred from consideration as part of his sentencing report.

Robertson is attempting to appeal his conviction, but he is in poor health and his 18-month sentence likely would be completed before any appeal can be adjudicated. He may not survive long enough to see a higher federal court repudiate his unjust prosecution under an unconstitutional regulatory edict.

The decent and appropriate resolution for Joe Robertson’s unjust imprisonment caused by EPA arrogance is an immediate presidential commutation of his sentence to time served. He deserves a full pardon and an apology, but a commutation will at least give him his freedom.

I am writing to Attorney General Jeff Sessions to request an expedited review of the case and timely action to recommend a commutation by President Trump. I hope others will join me in seeking some small token of justice for Joe Robertson.

Tom Tancredo represented Colorado’s 6th Congressional District from 1999 to 2009.

Liberal News Publishes SUPPORT of Joe Robertson

 

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Congress acts on monuments

Dept. of INTERIOR, Federal gov & land grabs, PRES. TRUMP, President Trump and officials

wlj, 05-15-2017 » Page 1

Western Livestock Journal.com

— Review of monuments created from 1996 begins

The Department of Interior has begun its review of national monuments designated under the Antiquities Act of 1906. On Friday, May 5, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke released a list of 27 monuments designated or expanded since 1996 that he will be reviewing. He also announced the opening of the “first-ever” formal public comment period for those monuments.

The release follows an executive order by President Donald Trump in April, Order 13792, which directs the secretary to look at monuments designated or expanded after 1996 that were: a) 100,000 acres or more, or b) done “without adequate public outreach and coordination with relevant stakeholders.”

Among other considerations, the president’s order directs Zinke to determine whether the monuments meet the requirements and original objectives of the Antiquities Act, including the act’s requirement that reservations of land not exceed “the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected.” He is also directed to consider the effects of the designation on multiple-use activities, as well as the concerns of affected state, local and tribal governments.

As part of the review, the secretary is to come up with recommendations for action—either by the president or by Congress.

As for the public comment period being opened for the 27 monuments, Zinke recognized that a comment period is not required by law for monument designations, which have typically been created unilaterally by standing presidents. However, Zinke and President Trump “both strongly believe that local input is a critical compo nent of federal land management,” says Zinke’s announcement.

The monuments now subject to comment include, in alphabetical order by state: Arizona’s Grand Canyon-Parashant, Ironwood Forest, Sonoran Desert and Vermilion Cliffs; California’s Berryessa Snow Mountain, Carrizo Plain, Cascade-Siskiyou (also in Oregon), Giant Sequoia, Mojave Trails, Sand to Snow and San Gabriel Mountains; Colorado’s Canyons of the Ancients; Idaho’s Craters of the Moon; Maine’s Katahdin Woods and Waters; Montana’s Upper Missouri River Breaks; Nevada’s Basin and Range, and Gold Butte; New Mexico’s Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks and Rio Grande del Norte; Utah’s Bear Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante; and Washington’s Hanford Beach.

Five marine monuments are also under review. WLJ spoke with Ray Haupt, an elected supervisor from Siskiyou County, CA. Having formerly served as a U.S. Forest Service supervisor, he said it’s important that comments be “substantive.”

“For example, don’t just say, ‘I oppose the monument’,” he said. “You need to explain why, preferably in a way that shows direct impacts to you.”

Comments may be submitted at www.regulations.gov using the Docket ID DOI-2017-0002-0001, or by mail to: Monument Review, MS-1530, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20240. Comments regarding Utah’s Bear Ears Monument must be submitted by May 26. All others are due July 10.

Haupt said county governments will likely be focusing their comments largely on the economic and safety impacts of the designations. Many monuments prohibit or limit fuel-reducing actions such as logging and grazing, he said, two actions that are also important cultural and economic drivers in many rural areas.

He pointed to a November 2016 letter submitted by Siskiyou County to former- Interior Secretary Sally Jewell regarding the proposed expansion of the Cascade Siskiyou monument.

The letter states that proposed road closures could “severely hamper” activities such as firefighting and fire prevention; search-and-rescue efforts; recreation; and access to range allotments.

Despite the protests of all affected counties, former- President Barack Obama proceeded to expand the Cascade Siskiyou monument, originally designated by former President Bill Clinton in 2000.

Negative economic and cultural effects of special designations have been well documented. For example, according to 2013 congressional testimony by Public Lands Council’s (PLC) Dave Eliason, the Grand Staircase-Escalante monument designation has hit ranching particularly hard. After Clinton designated it in 1996, eight grazing allotments were fully or partially closed. This accounted for roughly 6,000 lost animal unit months (AUMs), Eliason said. More closures were being considered when he gave his testimony.

According to a Carbon County commissioner who also testified in the 2013 hearing, the designation also resulted in the lockingup of $2 billion-worth of mineral lease royalties, as well as 60 percent of Utah’s known coal reserves.

“This blatant political move [President Clinton’s designation] has subsequently devastated the economies of Kane and Garfield Counties and lifestyles of the people who live there,” testified Commissioner John Jones, “greatly damaged the reputation of my beloved Democratic party in rural Utah, and has demolished the Department of Interior’s credibility in a state in which they are the majority landowner.”

Some legislators on Capitol Hill are hoping to prevent the creation or expansion of future monuments that lack local support. Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-ID-1) introduced on May 2 the National Monument Designation Transparency and Accountability Act, H.R. 2284.

The bill would amend the Antiquities Act to require that both state and national-level legislation be enacted before a monument may be designated. It also calls for designations to be preceded by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process, including environmental and economic analysis; local government coordination; and formal public comment.

Labrador’s bill is a companion bill to S. 132, introduced by Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) in January. A similar bill, S. 33, was also introduced in January by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).

“I commend President Trump for highlighting excessive presidential power that ignores the states and the people closest to the land,” Labrador said in a press release. “But we must change the law to achieve lasting reform. My bill requires public input and approval by lawmakers in the states and in Congress before putting more of our lands off limits.” — Theodora Johnson, WLJ correspondent

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Trump signs executive order aimed at expanding drilling in Arctic, Atlantic oceans

Dept. of INTERIOR, PRES. TRUMP, President Trump and officials

President Trump signed an executive order Friday that could lead to the expansion of drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans, saying it will reverse his predecessor’s Arctic leasing ban and create “great jobs and great wealth” for the country.

Trump said the executive order, titled “Implementing an America-First Offshore Energy Strategy,” will direct a “review of the locations available for off-shore oil and gas exploration” and related regulations.

“Today we’re unleashing American energy and clearing the way for thousands and thousands of high-paying American energy jobs,” Trump said in his announcement.

“Our country is blessed with incredible natural resources, including abundant offshore oil and natural gas reserves,” he said. “But the federal government has kept 94 percent of these offshore areas closed for exploration and production.”

“This deprives our country of potentially thousands and thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in wealth,” Trump said.

Trump, with the order, is directing his interior secretary to review an Obama-era plan that dictates which locations are open to offshore drilling, with the goal of the new administration to expand operations.

The announcement Friday is part of Trump’s promise to unleash the nation’s energy reserves in an effort to reduce reliance on foreign oil and to spur jobs, regardless of fierce opposition from environmental activists who say offshore drilling harms whales, walruses and other wildlife and exacerbates global warming.

The executive order will reverse part of a December effort by President Obama to deem the bulk of U.S.-owned waters in the Arctic Ocean and certain areas in the Atlantic as indefinitely off limits to oil and gas leasing.

It will also direct Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to conduct a review of the locations available for offshore drilling under a five-year plan signed by Obama in November.

The plan blocked new oil and gas drilling in the Atlantic and Arctic oceans. It also blocked the planned sale of new oil and gas drilling rights in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas north of Alaska, but allowed drilling to go forward in Alaska’s Cook Inlet southwest of Anchorage.

Trump’s order could open to oil and gas exploration areas off Virginia and North and South Carolina, where drilling has been blocked for decades.

“This executive order starts the process of opening offshore areas to job creating energy exploration,” Trump said. “It reverses the previous administration’s Arctic leasing ban and directs Secretary Zinke to allow responsible development of offshore areas that will bring revenue to our Treasury and jobs to our workers.”

The president also said it will allow for Zinke to reconsider “burdensome regulations” that Trump said “slow job creation.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/04/28/trump-signs-executive-order-aimed-at-expanding-drilling-in-arctic-atlantic-oceans.html

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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White House TALKERS–Trump Administration’s First 100 Days

PRES. TRUMP, President Trump and officials

AFTERNOON COMMUNICATIONS BRIEFING
April 23, 2017

THE FIRST 100 DAYS

In his First 100 Days President Trump has taken dramatic steps to undo burdensome regulations, restore law and order, bolster our military, revive the American dream, change Washington by holding it accountable, put the American worker first and confirm Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch.

The people who put him in office can see and feel the promises he is delivering on. According to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll, an incredible 96% of those who supported the President in November say they’d do it again today.

By the Numbers

  • Enacted more legislation and signed more executive orders in the First 100 days than any president in a half century

  • Enacted 28 pieces of legislation, more than any other president since Truman

  • Signed 25 executive orders, the most of any 100 days in over 50 years (will be over 30 by day 100)

  • Achieved first Supreme Court Confirmation in 100 days since 1881

  • Instituted tough immigration policies that have driven illegal border crossings to a 17-year low

  • Removed more job-killing regulations through legislation than any president in U.S. history

  • Estimated savings: $18 billion annually

  • Economic optimism has been renewed, with consumer confidence reaching its highest level in 16 years

  • Ordered the toughest new rules to stop the revolving door between Washington lobbyists and government officials in history

100 Days of Accomplishments

Job Creation

  • Stronger Enforcement of Trade Guidelines

  • Approving Permits for the Keystone and Dakota Access Pipelines

  • Study Into Using American Material in Future Pipeline Construction

  • Withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership

  • Historic Partnership with the Private Sector

Immigration

  • Ordering a Freeze and Study of Immigration from Areas Compromised by Terrorism

  • Halting Funding to Sanctuary Cities

  • Increasing Numbers of Immigration Enforcement Personnel

  • Public Safety

  • Establishing Commission on Opioid Crisis

  • Standing with Law Enforcement Officers

  • Creating Task Force on Violent Crime

  • Tackling International Cartels

National Security

  • Targeted Strike on Syrian Airfield

  • Travel Restrictions on Select Countries Compromised by Terrorism

  • New Iran Sanctions

  • Calling for Increased Defense Spending in Budget Blueprint

  • Cost Savings on F-35’s

Cutting Regulations

  • Energy Independence Executive Order

  • Revocation of Federal Contracting Executive Orders

  • Reexamination of CAFÉ Standards

  • Review of Waters of the United States Rule

  • Creation of Regulatory Task Forces

  • Eliminating Stream Protection Rule

  • Eliminating Regulations on Extraction Companies

  • One-in-Two-Out Regulatory Reform

  • Minimizing Affordable Care Act

Helping Women/Minorities

  • HBCU Initiative

  • Canada-United States Council for the Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs

  • Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act

  • Promoting Programs to Engage Women in STEM Fields

The Administration’s 100 Day Plans

  • Throughout this week President Trump will continue to deliver on his promises to the American people, from thinking big about exploration and discovery again, to protecting the farmers and ranchers that feed our country, to reasserting American power on the world stage.

  • Members of his Cabinet will travel outside the beltway, spreading the President’s message across the country.

  • In addition to launching a web page dedicated to the first 100 days, the White House will also be producing graphics, videos, and other digital content for the President’s massive online following to share.

  • Throughout the week the President, Cabinet officials, and senior White House staff will be accessible to media from the national level to the local and everything in between.

  • Officials will be available for interviews during a day dedicated to regional media and will host background briefings and receptions all week long.

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Trump Executive Order on National Monuments Aims to Give Federal Land Back to The American People

Dept. of INTERIOR, President Trump and officials

Town Hall.com

Katie Pavlich

Posted: Apr 26, 2017

Speaking from the Interior Department Wednesday, President Donald Trump signed an executive order calling for the review of wide swaths of federal land previously designated as National Monuments. The monuments, declared by past administrations and most recently by President Obama, fall under the Antiquities Act.

“Today I’m signing another executive order to end an egregious abuse of executive power and give that power back to the states and the people where it belongs,” Trump said. “The Antiquities Act does not give the federal government unlimited power.”

“The previous administration used a 100-year-old law known as the Antiquities Act to unilaterally put millions of acres of land and water under strict federal control — have you heard about that? — eliminating the ability of the people who actually live in those states to decide how best to use that land,” Trump continued. “Altogether, the previous administration bypassed the states to place over 265 million acres — that’s a lot of land … and water under federal control through the abuse of the monuments designation.””This executive order does not remove any monuments and this executive order does not weaken any environmental protections,” Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said before Trump’s remarks.

The Antiquities Act is also under review and has been abused for decades by environmentalist groups to cut off federal land use by the American people.

“The Antiquities Act is a century-old law that has been hijacked by executive overreach in recent years. While designating monuments is a noble goal, this law, like many others, has strayed far from its original purpose,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said in response to the review. “Presidents have used the law to lock up thousands of acres of lands and water with the stroke of a pen, disregarding the needs and concerns of local communities. I comment the Trump administration for stopping this cycle of executive abuse and beginning a review of post designation.”

https://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2017/04/26/trump-executive-order-gives-federal-land-back-to-the-people-n2318570

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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WLJ Guest Opinion: Is your local government prepared?

Agriculture, Liberty, President Trump and officials, Property rights

Western Livestock Journal

March 27, 2017

By Karen Budd-Falen

Is your local government prepared?

President Donald Trump and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke have made promises about moving federal agency decision making back to the local level, putting Americans back to work and ensuring that the public lands are managed for “multiple use.”

While that sounds wonderful, making those promises means more than a directive from Washington D.C. It means that your local governments have to take the lead in dealing with the federal agencies. Local decision making is not just for counties with federal lands, but federal decisions can impact the use of private property as well.

There are three major ways that a local government can influence federal agency decisions; the type of process used by a local government will depend on the type of decision to be made and the time constraints of the local government. One type of local participation is not “better” or “worse” than another type. Again, it depends on the type of decision to be influenced and the preference of the local government.

So, again, I would pose the question: Is your local government prepared for local decision making? The following should help:

Consistency review

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Federal Lands Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) mandate that federal agency actions be as consistent as possible with local land-use policies or plans (LUP) and that the federal government must attempt to reconcile its federal decisions with the local LUP.

Those provisions are key in implementing the president’s promises, but there is a catch. In order to require this “consistency review,” a local government has to have a written local LUP, otherwise there is nothing for the federal agencies to be consistent with.

In my view, first, a local government should start with a review of the federal actions that the local government thinks will happen within the area. For example, are there threatened or endangered species or species of concern that will impact your constituents’ private property? Is the BLM or Forest Service revising its land-use plans or implementing their land-use plans? Was a local area included within a national monument, meaning that a management plan will have to be prepared? Are there any special designation lands that have been proposed like wild and scenic rivers, wilderness or conservation areas? Or are there other federal decisions that may impact the private property of your constituents and/or the public lands?

Second, the local government should determine its processes for dealing with the federal agencies. When do you want to update the federal agencies regarding the local government’s activities and when does the local government want updates from the federal agencies? How do you propose transmitting the local LUP to the federal agencies and offices? What is the local government’s view of “early consultation?” How does the local government want “coordination” to occur? These processes should be carefully articulated in the local LUP.

Third, the local LUP should discuss the “custom and culture” of the citizens, the history of the area, and the environmental features important to the local government. This information can come from historical accounts, personal stories, and environmental descriptions such as state wildlife habitat maps, National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) soil descriptions, forage surveys, and other data. I do not believe that a local government has to gather new data or participate in new studies, but it is important to compile existing data from as many sources as possible to support your policies.

Fourth, your local LUP should include economic data and analysis. This should be more than just gathering employment statistics. Rather, the economic data included in the local LUP should support the local government’s policies. For example, if agriculture is important to the local economy, the local LUP should describe the economic detriment of a federal decision that would reduce animal unit months (AUMs) on public land or restrict grazing on private land. Most land-grant universities have good statistical data that can assist you with this analysis. You should also include information like circulating dollars, job numbers for the various economic segments, etc.

Finally, once the data is gathered, the local LUP should include the policies that the federal agencies should use for consistency review purposes. I believe that these policies are always stronger and provide a good basis from which the local government can work, if they are based on the data described above regarding custom and culture, economic stability and environmental protection.

I do not believe a simple “wish list” from the local government is a strong basis for protecting your constituents.

Additionally, in making decisions in compliance with NEPA, the federal government must use the “best data and information available.” The best available information about the local effects of a federal decision on the local custom, culture, economy and environment should come from the local government itself.

Note that your local LUP has to be in compliance with federal statutes and regulations with the “full force and effect of law.” However most federal statutes are very broadly written and allow for the survival of the local citizens, businesses and economies; the local government just has to assert those requirements.

Coordination

FLPMA and the National Forest Management Act (NFMA) also require “coordination.” Coordination is a process; not a result. Additionally, while your local government should “coordinate” with the federal agencies to protect their constituents and influence federal decisions, there is no statute dictating the specifics of the coordination process. Because the elements or steps of coordination are not statutorily defined, local governments should use their local LUP to define what coordination means and how it should work.

Cooperating agency status

NEPA also allows local governments to participate in an agency decision making process as “cooperating agencies.” An applicant for cooperating agency status must both (1) be a locally elected body such as a conservation district board of supervisors or a county commission; and (2) possess “special expertise.”

A local government’s special expertise is defined as the authority granted to a local governing body by state statute. Being a cooperating agency allows the local government to participate in the “identification team” with a federal agency. It is just another tool that a local government should consider when dealing with federal agencies.

Local governments can have a major impact on federal agency decisions if they are prepared and willing to take on the challenge. There are over 1,000 counties in the U.S. with a population of less than 10,000 citizens. Each one of these rural counties should have a voice in federal decisions that impact it. Is your county prepared? — Karen Budd- Falen, Senior Partner at Budd-Falen Law Offices LLC

http://npaper-wehaa.com/wlj#2017/03/27/?article=2894910

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Republicans in Maine, Utah want Trump to undo monuments

Dept. of INTERIOR, Federal gov & land grabs, President Trump and officials

Published March 06, 2017

Republican leaders in Maine and Utah are asking President Donald Trump to step into uncharted territory and rescind national monument designations made by his predecessor.

The Antiquities Act of 1906 doesn’t give the president power to undo a designation, and no president has ever taken such a step. But Trump isn’t like other presidents.

Former President Barack Obama used his power under the act to permanently preserve more land and water using national monument designations than any other president. The land is generally off limits to timber harvesting, mining and pipelines, and commercial development.

Obama created the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in Maine last summer on 87,500 acres of donated forestland. The expanse includes part of the Penobscot River and stunning views of Mount Katahdin, Maine’s tallest mountain. In Utah, the former president created Bears Ears National Monument on 1.3 million acres of land that’s sacred to Native Americans and is home to tens of thousands of archaeological sites, including ancient cliff dwellings.

Trump’s staff is now reviewing those decisions by the Obama administration to determine economic impacts, whether the law was followed and whether there was appropriate consultation with local officials, the White House told The Associated Press.

Maine Republican Gov. Paul LePage is opposed to the designation, and says federal ownership could stymie industrial development; and Republican leaders in Utah contend the monument designation adds another layer of unnecessary federal control in a state where there’s already heavy federal ownership.

The Utah Legislature approved a resolution signed by the governor calling on Trump to rescind the monument there. In Maine, LePage asked the president last week to intervene.

Newly sworn-in Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has said he’ll fight the sale or transfer of public lands. But he also believes states should be able to weigh in. The National Parks Conservation Association has vowed to sue if Trump, the Interior Department or Congress tries to remove the special designations.

“Wherever the attack comes from, we’re ready to fight, and we know the public is ready to fight if someone comes after our national parks and monuments,” National Parks Conversation Association spokeswoman Kristen Brengel said.

In Maine, the prospect of undoing the designation is further complicated by deed stipulations requiring the National Park Service to control the land and a $40 million endowment to support the monument, said Lucas St. Clair, son of Burt’s Bees co-founder Roxanne Quimby, who acquired the land.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/03/06/republicans-in-maine-utah-want-trump-to-undo-monuments.html

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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WOTUS overturned! Now pardon Joe Robertson!

Clean Water ACT - EPA, CORRUPTION, Federal gov & land grabs, President Trump and officials

On the back of today’s Executive Order, Joe deserves an immediate, unconditional federal pardon.

by American Lands Council

GREAT NEWS!!! Today, President Trump has issued an executive order to “pave the way” to overturn the Obama Administration’s “Waters of the US” (WOTUS) rule.

Tragic news 🙁 Montana resident Joe Robertson is currently in federal PRISON for “violating” the same WOTUS rule that is soon to be a non-rule. In an outrageous miscarriage of justice, last year the WOTUS rule was used to incarcerate this disabled, 78-year old Navy veteran.

Joe’s “crime”? He created a series of small ponds near his isolated mountain home which, by the way, is located about 60 miles from the nearest actual “Water of the United States”. The alleged pollution was not established by any evidence at the trial.

Joe didn’t harm the environment, he helped it. Joe didn’t impact a “water of the U.S.” in any way. But that didn’t stop a ridiculously heavy handed EPA and a notorious environmental activist federal judge from using the WOTUS “non-rule” to throw poor old Joe into the clink.

Now, six months into an 18-month sentence to federal prison, in addition to tens of thousands of dollars in fines, Joe continues to suffer from declining health, confusion, and depression. He reportedly had two strokes in his first month of lock up. He was ripped from his VA medical treatment, transferred to numerous prisons over the west, thrown in solitary confinement, stripped of his veteran’s pension, unlawfully deprived of his right to be present when sensitive legal mail from his lawyer was opened, and barred from having visits from family and friends.

President Trump rightly called WOTUS

one of the worst examples of federal regulation… it has truly run amok, and is one of the rules most strongly opposed by farmers, ranchers and agricultural workers all across our land. It’s prohibiting them from being allowed to do what they’re supposed to be doing. It’s been a disaster.

WOTUS led to numerous Americans being needlessly hassled and persecuted by the federal government. Trump mentioned the case of Andy Johnson, whose case was represented by the Pacific Legal Foundation and successfully overturned:

“In one case in a Wyoming, a rancher was fined $37,000 a day by the EPA for digging a small watering hole for his cattle. His land. These abuses were, and are, why such incredible opposition to this rule from the hundreds of organizations took place in all 50 states.”

On the back of today’s Executive Order, Joe – and everyone else persecuted under this rule – deserves an immediate, unconditional federal pardon, and compensation for wrongful imprisonment.

Timeline of Events

In an egregious and horrific misuse of regulatory and judicial power against a private citizen, Joe Robertson found himself charged in May 2015 with two criminal violations of the EPA’s Clean Water Act, for “polluting waters of the United States” and one of “malicious mischief” relating to “injury/depredation of property of the United States”.

Robertson’s alleged crime was violating the Clean Water Act, because he “knowingly discharged and caused to be discharged a pollutant, namely dredged or fill material” into a “water of the United States” without a permit. Yet the said water was a seasonally flowing tributary located miles from the nearest navigable waterway. They also indicted him for damaging “National Forest Service Lands”.

The first trial, in October 2015, resulted in a mistrial as the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict. At a second trial in April 2016, Robertson was convicted and is currently serving his prison sentence.

No expert testimony was allowed in Joe’s defense during the trials. The U.S. government prosecutors did utilize their own experts to manufacture the case against Robertson. According to the Justice Department:

MORE

http://redoubtnews.com/2017/02/28/wotus-pardon-joe-robertson/

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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West Virginia: Coal mining begins seeing revival as Trump gives industry hope

Clean Water ACT - EPA, President Trump and officials

A long-awaited revival is under way in this beleaguered Central Appalachia community where residents see coal as the once and future king.

Trucks are running again. Miners working seven days a week cannot keep up with current demand. Coal mines, long dormant after the industry’s collapse, are now buzzing again with antlike activity.

“We load coal every day for the power plant in Virginia City,” explained Rick, a long-time supervisor for a major local operation who did not want to give his last name. “There’s one shipment a week for Georgia Power, and one for Tennessee Eastman.”

The past month has seen a resurgence of the coal industry that once formed the backbone of the region’s economy, and locals credit President Trump’s aggressive, pro-energy agenda.

Crippled by a slew of factors, from changing times, an emphasis on renewable energy, and the Obama administration’s harsh penalties on coal-fired power plants, the area’s economy took a devastating hit over the past eight years. Many of the people living in these mountains had nearly given up hope that the area could ever recover.

The smaller communities in this county in southwest Virginia, such as the towns of Appalachia, Pound and St. Paul, were the hardest hit, but the ripple effects were felt far and wide.

Prospects changed nearly overnight. President Trump had promised to do everything he could to lift the coal mining industry. Trump began to make good on his pledge last month when he eliminated the Stream Protection Rule, which had placed layers of regulations on the industry.

MORE

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/03/01/coal-mining-begins-seeing-revival-as-trump-gives-industry-hope.html

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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