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Browsing the archives for the Coordination process OR — Fred K. Grant category.

Congress aims to bolster local input on federal lands

Agriculture, Congress - Senate, Coordination process OR -- Fred K. Grant, Federal gov & land grabs

PNP comment: Coordination really could be a local government’s best friend. But it must be done correctly and the federal agencies must be held accountable and do this part to move forward. — Editor Liz Bowen

Western Livestock Journal

May 9, 2016

The clarion call for more local control over federal lands in the West is echoing, even in the far-off halls of Congress. Some lawmakers are calling for a transfer of lands to the states, while others are asking for improved laws and regulations on federal lands.

On April 26, the House Subcommittee on Federal Lands held a hearing on draft legislation designed to encourage the federal land management agencies to “more closely consult and cooperate” with local governments. Several western county commissioners and two high-level officials from the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) testified on the draft bill, entitled the “Locallyelected Officials Cooperating with Agencies in Land Management Act” (the LOCAL Act).

The LOCAL Act’s provisions appear aimed at two primary goals: fostering relationships between federal agency officials and their local governments, and giving local governments more say over major federal actions. The draft bill specifically targets federal land acquisition as an action that would require local community support.

Engaging with local communities

“Federal agencies engaging in cooperative dialogue with local communities is just common sense,” said Jerrie Tipton, a Mineral County, NV, commissioner and rancher who testified at the hearing. “Unfortunately, the current practice is to make this kind of engagement a discretionary activity for the agencies. The sad fact is many federal officials simply choose not to engage.”

The LOCAL Act would require USFS and BLM officers to participate in the regular business meetings of local counties dominated by federal land; to be posted in the same region for at least three years; and to “coordinate” with and offer “cooperating agency status” to local governments on decisions that will affect the community.

Both of the agency officials posited that most of the bill’s communication and coordination provisions were unneeded.

“We have demonstrated our commitment to local coordination at every level of our organization throughout the country,” said USFS Deputy Chief Leslie Weldon, “and fully understand the critical role local government agencies play in land stewardship.”

Karen Mouritsen, a Deputy Assistant Director for the BLM, chimed in on behalf of her agency.

“Frequent communication and close collaboration are hallmarks of our work across the West,” Mouritsen said.

But several western members of Congress at the hearing argued that one of the chief complaints they get from their constituents is that the agencies don’t listen to the advice and concerns of the counties. Two county commissioners who testified affirmed that the LOCAL Act contains needed provisions to improve relationships between the federal agencies and local governments. 

Coordination and cooperation

The agency officials claimed that the “coordination” and “coordinating agency status” provisions of the LOCAL Act are unnecessary, as they duplicate existing federal laws. Indeed, a look at existing laws and regulations shows that the concepts are already on the books.

According to a white paper commissioned by Public Lands Council (PLC) in 2012, coordination is “a federally mandated process” required by the Federal Land Policy and Management Act and the National Forest Management Act of 1976 for BLM and USFS, respectively. Coordination calls for “negotiation on a government-to-government basis,” the white paper says, and requires the federal agencies to “seek consistency between federal land-use planning and local land-use plans and policies.” Although many local governments do not avail themselves of the coordination process, says the PLC white paper, it is already a federal requirement.

But when it comes to “cooperating agency status,” the LOCAL Act does seem to offer something new. This status is a special standing offered to local governments under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Currently, local governments may be granted this status by the lead federal agency, usually BLM or USFS. That’s where the LOCAL Act makes a significant departure: It declares that the lead federal agency “shall extend an offer, in writing,” to any local government that may have an interest in the proposed action.

Tipton said that being granted cooperating agency status is important to counties such as hers, because otherwise local government input is often “given the same weight as that of [nongovernment agencies]” when it comes to federal land management decisions.

Indeed, a cooperating agency is meant to have influence far above and beyond that of ordinary members of the public. Whether it’s for a land-use planning process or a project-specific NEPA analysis, having cooperating agency status makes local governments part of the “interdisciplinary team” responsible for putting together the NEPA analysis. That means working side-by-side with the BLM or USFS from early on, identifying important issues; determining what scientific data are needed for the analysis; helping to form alternatives; analyzing the impacts of the alternatives; and giving input on selecting the final alternative.

But NEPA does not require BLM or USFS to grant cooperating agency status— let alone proactively offer that status to local governments—when the agencies are thinking about taking a major action.

“In many cases, the onus is on the county to identify federal actions that may impact them and take all the steps necessary to initiate a cooperating agency agreement,” Tipton said. “Unfortunately, local staffing and budgetary realities mean it is simply unrealistic for … county governments to sift through hundreds of pages of federal publications every day and identify each agency action that may impact them.”

The LOCAL Act, Tipton said, offers a “common sense solution” by requiring the federal agencies to notify in writing local communities that could be impacted by agency actions, and offer them “a seat at the table” as a cooperating agency. Significantly, the draft bill also appears to pre-approve the local government entity as a cooperating agency.

Limiting federal land acquisition

The LOCAL Act would also give local governments more of a say when it comes to acquisition of more land by the federal government. Additionally, it would require the federal agencies to conduct a thorough study on the expected local economic impacts of a proposed acquisition. Weldon and Mouritsen indicated that neither agency supported these and other LOCAL Act provisions placing limits on land acquisition in the West. Tipton, however, said the provisions “[take] a positive step toward assessing the true costs of federal land acquisition…for the impacted counties in which the land is located.”

“This bill makes it clear that engaging, becoming a part of a community and consulting with those that are directly impacted by federal land management decisions is not going the extra mile; it is the bare minimum the federal government can do,” said Tipton. “I hope that today’s discussion will promote not just an exchange of information between federal agencies and local elected governments but also a true ongoing and collaborative working relationship.”

— 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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American Stewards request coordination process with BLM on its newest Planning Rules

American Stewards of Liberty, Bureau of Land Management, Coordination process OR -- Fred K. Grant, CORRUPTION, Federal gov & land grabs

Coordinating Local Governments

Kane County, Utah
Garfield County, Colorado
Chaves County, New Mexico
Big Horn County, Wyoming
Custer County, Idaho
Modoc County, California
Winkelman NRCD, Arizona
Hereford NRCD, Arizona
Dona Ana SWCD, New Mexico

April 14, 2016

April 12, 2016, six Counties and three Conservation Districts representing seven Western states (the Coordinating Local Governments) issued a letter to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Director, Neil Kornze.  The letter request that he coordinate the agencies proposed planning rules with the local governments as required by Section 202 (c) 9 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA).

The BLM issued notice it intended to change its existing planning rules on February 25th of this year (81 Fed. Reg. 9674).  The proposed rules have been in development for some time; however, no effort was made by the BLM to coordinate with local governments during this process.  The changes are sweeping and would significantly reduce the role of State and local governments in public land use inventory and planning and management activities contrary to the statutory provisions of FLPMA.

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Fred Kelly Grant and “coordination” with the feds in Wisconsin

Coordination process OR -- Fred K. Grant

NOTICE OF GREAT LAKES TIMBER PROFESSIONALS ASSOCIATION AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT COORDINATION INFORMATIONAL HEARING REGARDING THE IMPACT OF GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS ON WISCONSIN NATURAL RESOURCES— OCTOBER 4-5, 2013 AT NICOLET COLLEGE, RHINELANDER, WISCONSIN

The Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association, representing the timber industry in Wisconsin and Michigan, will conduct a coordination informational hearing on October 4 and 5, 2013 at Nicolet College, Rhinelander, Wisconsin.  The hearing will be held from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on October 4, and if not completed, will continue from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. or close of testimony on October 5, 2013.

Relevant information will be received regarding (1) federal EPA rules such as, but not limited to, the Boiler Mact and related rules (2) federal plan to designate a National Heritage Parkway on the Fox-Wisconsin Rivers in a corridor running diagonally across Wisconsin through 15 counties,  from Green Bay to the Mississippi River, (3) local government proposals for pilot timber projects, (4) EPA driven rules regarding phosphorous run-off and shore line land uses,  and (5) coordination by federal/state agencies with Great Lakes Timber Professionals and local governments. agencies and to the Congress and state legislature.

A Hearing Officer will conduct the Hearing in a process that assures that an accurate record can be kept and transcribed.

Persons with relevant information regarding these issues are invited to attend and present oral and/or written information. Any person who wants to present relevant information should notify Fred Kelly Grant % Great Lakes Timber Professionals,  telephone 715-282-5828, PO Box 1278, Rhinelander, WI 54521, or annewolf@frontier.com.  no later than 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 26, 2013 in order to secure time for presentation.  The schedule for witness testimony will be prepared on Friday, September 27, 2013 and any person who has provided his/her name to Grant or Wolf will be notified of the time for his/her testimony, with the caution that the schedule may vary because of questions from the Hearing Panel that will consist of elected officials and members of the Great Lakes Timber  Professionals Association Board of Directors.

Persons who do not meet the contact time may testify and present documents at the hearing only if time allows.  Relevant documents may be filed with the Hearing Officer prior to the hearing by hand delivery at Great Lakes, or electronically by submitting it to the email address listed above. The hearing record will be kept open until 4:00 p.m. on October 18, 2013 for submission of written responses to information presented during the hearing.

Following the informational hearing, Great Lakes and the participating local governments will issue Findings to be submitted to federal and state agencies,  Congress and the state legislature.  A map showing the proposed Fox-Wisconsin National Heritage Parkway is available on the Great Lakes website at www.timberpa.com.

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Shasta-Trinity Forest will open an extra hundred miles to OHVs

Coordination process OR -- Fred K. Grant, Forestry & USFS

PNP comment: Hooray for Sylvia Milligan, who began demanding the USFS “coordinate” over this issue of cutting the public off from the use of the “Public’s Land.” Attorney Fred K. Grant worked with Sylvia and her group aiding the coordination process. This is a WIN for the coordination process, which is NOT cooperation. — Editor Liz Bowen

Forest Service opens more land

Redding.com

  • Posted December 6, 2012 at 11:45 p.m.

In response to complaints from off-road enthusiasts and local officials, the Shasta-Trinity National Forest has opened an additional 100 miles of forest roads to off-highway vehicles.

The move has pleased former critics who slammed the U.S. Forest Service two years ago for issuing a Travel Management Plan they said cut off areas to motorcycles and all-terrain  vehicles.

“It’s outstanding. Sharon Heywood has done an incredible thing for the community,” said Sylvia Milligan, of Anderson, chairwoman of the Recreation Outdoors Coalition, referring to the Shasta-Trinity National Forest supervisor.

The Travel Management Plan designated which areas on the forest are off-limits to off-highway vehicles and which forest service roads are open to them.

Read it:

http://www.redding.com/news/2012/dec/06/shasta-trinity-forest-will-open-an-extra-hundred/?partner=newsletter_headlines

 

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American Stewards win with the coordination process

Agriculture, American Stewards of Liberty, Coordination process OR -- Fred K. Grant, Federal gov & land grabs

Southern Edwards Plateau HCP

  • Stopping a Regional Habitat Conservation Plan

    By Dan Byfield

    120909 sephcp

    Whether you’ve witnessed our federal government creating a “federal” plan in your community or not, this story typifies what is going on nationwide.  We were called upon to help one community in South-Central Texas fight a federal plan and won. Take this as an example of what you can do in your own community and start taking your home and land back from the radical environmentalists and federal government who are destroying your private property rights and local economies all in the name of “saving the environment.

    Over a year ago, we were contacted by individual landowners and the Exotic Wildlife Association in South Central Texas to help them stop a regional habitat conservation plan called the Southern Edwards Plateau Habitat Conservation Plan (SEP-HCP).

    The SEP-HCP was being developed by Bexar (pronounced “bear”) County and the City of San Antonio located within Bexar County because they were told by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) they had endangered species that required protection from housing and business development going on in their county.  This “protection” was a regional habitat conservation plan, a plan devised by our government for our government.

    In reality, this whole issue stems from the early 1990’s when the Service made their initial move in Texas by listing two song birds – the golden-cheeked warbler and black-capped vireo – as endangered.  The Service initially attempted to declare 33 Central Texas counties had critical habitat for the two birds that needed protecting.

    When we discovered their plan, we began exposing it causing an immediate uproar from thousands of private landowners.  Within four weeks, we organized landowners from the Hill Country and led over 5,000 of them down Congress Avenue in Austin, Texas and stopped the federal U.S. Fish and Wildlife dead in their tracks.  But, they never gave up.

    When they couldn’t control 33 counties, they went to Plan B – single-county conservation plans and the first was with Travis County and the City of Austin where they were able to create the Balcones Canyonlands Conservation Plan.  They then set their sights on Williamson County north of Austin and through threats of fines of up to $100,000 and one year in jail, they got their second conservation plan.

    But, that still wasn’t enough and eventually, they went after more Central Texas counties down around San Antonio and attempted to create the SEP-HCP, a seven-county regional plan that included Bexar, Bandera, Blanco, Comal, Kendall, Kerr, and Medina counties.

    This plan was much more subtle and sophisticated because they not only enlisted the help of the local governments of Bexar County and the City of San Antonio, but the U.S. Army and Camp Bullis – an Army base whose mission is to “provide training lands, ranges and infrastructure in support of military operational and institutional requirements, to enable mission success on the battlefield.”

    Camp Bullis, like hundreds of other military bases across America, has become a pawn in the environmentalist’s strategy using our fine military as their excuse to demand more land be protected.  At Camp Bullis they have an official “Environmental Department” that has issued rules and regulations for “Environmental Compliance.”

    They have areas within the camp where our soldiers must “obey signs that present a sensitive area such as: endangered species, caves and closed landfills” and “ignoring these signs could endanger you or others and may result in police action.”  One can only assume the “police action” would be from our federal U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service enforcing the Endangered Species Act upon our fine military men and women.

  • Read more clink on link:

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Coordination Shoves Lizard off the ESA List

Coordination process OR -- Fred K. Grant, Endangered Species Act

From American Stewards of the Range

Coordination Works | By Dan Byfield | July 2, 2012

1207 DSLvictory newsOn June 14, 2012, American Stewards of Liberty had a remarkable victory.  After a year of working with the oil and gas industry, eight counties in Texas and New Mexico and one soil and water conservation district, we prevented the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) from listing a three-inch lizard known as the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard (DSL) as endangered.

Although we have had critical victories fighting the listing of species using the coordination process before (such as the Sonoran Desert Tortoise), last month’s victory was a new milestone.  The DSL has been a “candidate” species since 1994, meaning the Service has believed it to be endangered since that time.  In 2011 they made the decision to move it to the official “endangered” list, providing it the full protection of federal law.  Using the coordination process, local leaders did more than just prevent the listing; they moved it off the list, entirely.

Statewide politicians, universities and government bureaucrats are taking credit for the victory, but it was the four counties of Ward, Gaines, Winkler, and Andrews from Texas, Chaves, Eddy, Lea, and Roosevelt from New Mexico, and the Sandhills Soil and Water Conservation District from Texas who stood firm and backed the Service down.

For us at American Stewards, it all started in April of 2011 when Tim Dunn, president of CrownQuest, an independent oil and gas company located in Midland, Texas, called us to help his industry fight and possibly stop the Service from listing the lizard.

He introduced us to the Ben Shepperd, executive director of the Permian Basin Petroleum Association in Midland, who upon hearing what we did hired us to begin organizing all the counties where over 20 percent of our nation’s oil and gas exploration occurs in a region known as the Permian Basin.

Ben introduced us to all the county judges and commissioners who all agreed to use our coordination strategy against the Service to stop them from listing the DSL.  Our first step was to draft all the resolutions that the counties and conservation district adopted stating: 1) they opposed the listing, 2) the science was flawed, and 3) they demanded coordination with the Service.  We then drafted the cover letters to the Service and from that point forward, the Service was publicly noticed and legally bound to begin coordinating with the counties and soil and water district.

It was obvious to everyone after we all began reviewing their science that it was totally inadequate and agenda-driven. We knew we had an amazing opportunity to use the Endangered Species Act to prove they didn’t have what was needed to list the DSL.

We then began, with the help of the PBPA, to locate the most credentialed biologists in the country to analyze the science the Service relied upon and to perform studies where data was lacking.  As it turned out, we had the brightest biologists in our own backyard in Lubbock, Texas at Texas Tech University.  Once they began reviewing the government’s science and our biologists started performing their own studies, all the new data pointed to the same conclusion; the lizard was not endangered.

Under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the only information the Service can consider in deciding to list a species is the “best scientific and commercial data available.” They are directed to do this after they have taken “into account those efforts…being made by any…political subdivision of a state…to protect such species…”

So, our plan was to organize the counties, demand coordination, hire expert scientists to put together the best scientific data available, and force the Service to take into account the local efforts.

In September of 2011, we had our one and only coordination meeting with the Service where we utilized the language from the ESA and the Information Quality Act forcing the Service to consider our new science and, at the same time, we destroyed the credibility of their science they depended on to make their decision.

It was after this meeting that Wally Murphy, a Field Operation’s Supervisor from the Service’s

Albuquerque office came up to me and very quietly asked: “If we don’t list the lizard, will you defend us in court if we get sued by the environmentalists?”

My answer was a resounding “YES!”

From that point forward, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service refused to coordinate with any of our other government entities because they knew we had them boxed into a corner.  But, that didn’t stop us or the counties.  We continued our strategy through correspondence where we presented the Service with new scientific studies and continued to peer-review their science to show how inadequate it actually was.

Read more:

https://www.americanstewards.us/index.php?option=com_flexicontent&view=category&cid=29&Itemid=138&utm_content=lizbowen%40sisqtel.net&utm_source=VerticalResponse&utm_medium=Email&utm_term=Read%20Article%20%26gt%3B&utm_campaign=Coordination%20Shoves%20Lizard%20off%20the%20ESA%20List…

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News in Jefferson Country 7-13-12

Coordination process OR -- Fred K. Grant, Jefferson News Service, KSYC radio, Sheriff Jon Lopey

Broadcast on KSYC 103.9 FM radio Yreka, CA

July 13, 2012

 

Attorney Fred Kelly Grant supports Sheriff Jon Lopey

News in Jefferson Country from Pie N Politics.com editor Liz Bowen: After reading the slams against Siskiyou Sheriff Jon Lopey supposedly written by author Glen Martin, in the liberal blog Huffington Post, land rights attorney Fred Kelly Grant weighed-in on the situation.

Grant has worked closed with Sheriff Lopey and many of the Constitutional Sheriffs in California and Oregon aiding them in a legal government process called “coordination.” This is guaranteed by Congress through several Policy Acts. Coordination expects a federal agency to work with and be “consistent” with local governmental policies.

Unfortunately, coordination was ignored by many government agencies at all levels during the last 40 years, giving liberals and Greenies power and the upper-hand. Attorney Fred Grant explained today in a Press Release that under Congressional approval, elected sheriffs, like Siskiyou’s Jon Lopey can and should take a lead in the coordination process. This is the law.

It looks like Huffington Post’s article slandered Sheriff Lopey, especially since the author did not have the courage to call up Lopey and ask for responses to fictional allegations.

# # #

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Land Rights Attorney Fred K. Grant responds to Huffington Post’s slander

Coordination process OR -- Fred K. Grant, Sheriff Jon Lopey, Support Rural America

July 13, 2012

From Fred Kelly Grant

On July 2, Glen Martin wrote and published a post in the Huffington Post viciously attacking Sheriff Jon Lopey of Siskiyou County, in northern California.  Martin accused Lopey of misrepresentation, using “incendiary rhetoric”, overstepping his authority “to an alarming degree”, and apparently coveting the title of “Emperor of Northern California”.

Martin, an environmentalist writer called his assault “Above the Law”.   He is probably protected from the laws of slander and libel because the good Sheriff would now be considered a “public personality”.  Otherwise, Martin would be at the precipice of having gone overboard as to the truth.  Ironically, the post was published on the 2nd of July—-because the independence that emanated from the Resolution signed on that day allows and protects freedom of speech.  As well as I know Sheriff Lopey, I know that he would not object to Palmer’s right to speak freely, even if inaccurately, and neither do I.  What I object to is that such a formidable site as Huffington Post would publish such a story, with no chance for rebuttal being offered to the elected official attacked.

That fact demonstrates the danger of the internet, e.g., it allows publication of articles that have no semblance of truth, that have been written without any effort to learn the truth or written inaccurately with full knowledge of the truth.  But, the Martin article also points out the awesome power of the internet, because it offers the medium for responding with the truth.

During the past two decades of work in helping local governments and elected officials use the “coordination” authority granted to them in federal laws passed by Congress, I  have many times been counseled to ignore attacks like Martin’s.   My friends, often wiser than I am in matters of political niceties, have contended that responses only prolong the impact of the attacks.  But, in my old age, as I settle into retirement, I have decided to ignore that sage advice.  I believe it is important to tell the public about the authority their local officials have to protect them against federal and state agency over-reach.  The knowledge of “coordination” has helped wherever the process is used.  If more people knew about it, understood it, and worked through organizations like Trademark America, the power of DC based agencies would diminish.

So, I choose to respond to Mr. Martin, and I hope that local officials and citizens who have benefited from local government exercise of “coordination” will also respond—with factual articles that help the general public understand that there is a way to diminish the awesome power that has been built up by the agencies themselves.

Sheriff Jon Lopey knows and understands the United States and California Constitutions.  He understands the position of a sworn County Sheriff in California as the chief law enforcement officer for his jurisdiction.  He knows that the primary duty of the Sheriff is to keep the peace, a peace that can be threatened when federal and state agencies take or infringe on private property rights, particularly when the exercise of those rights control whether or not a person can provide for himself or his family.

He knows also that the revenue base of the County has to remain strong if he is to have the funds needed to keep the peace and perform all other duties assigned him by law.   The plans and management actions of the environmental and natural resource agencies greatly affect the County’s revenue base and economic stability.  So, it is certainly within the Sheriff’s duties to help the County’s citizens protect their property rights, the exercise of which keeps them economically capable of paying their ad valorem taxes that produce revenue needed to provide vital County services.

Congress has recognized the importance of the Sheriff’s duties, and has directed federal agencies to “coordinate” with them.   Congress defined the term “coordinate” in the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, 43 USC 1712, by directing the Secretary of Interior to “coordinate” with local elected officials to resolve inconsistencies between federal and county operations.   The National Forest Management Act requires coordination by Forest Service with the Sheriff; the National Environmental Policy Act requires the same during all NEPA planning and studying.

The legislative history of FLPMA shows clearly that Congress recognized the adverse impact on a County’s revenue base that would result from the monstrous number of federally non-taxed acres in western counties, and from management actions of the federal agencies that manage those federal acres.  Congress thus mandated that federal agencies and personnel work closely with local officials to insure consistency of policy and management.   The method through which this close work is to be performed is “coordination”.

Moreover,  the agencies themselves understand the burden placed on them by Congress.  The Bureau of Land Management, the Forest Service, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Corps of Engineers, the Highway Administration, the Department of Transportation and the Department of Justice all have issued regulations or planning rules setting forth how their personnel must coordinate with Sheriffs throughout the nation.

FLPMA has been interpreted and applied by the federal court in Utah where the Court set aside a Bureau of Land Management plan that was not consistent with the County plan.  The National Forest Management Act has been interpreted and applied in the federal district court for the Northern District of California where the court set aside a Forest Service plan that was not consistent with a state policy as to providing roadless areas in the national forests.   A California state appellate court has ruled that the “coordination” process means and demands far more than mere cooperation and working together.  It means, according to the court, that local officials have a meaningful role in the planning and management process and that federal officials must attempt to reach a mutually acceptable result.

Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama have issued Executive Orders directing all federal agencies to coordinate with local officials in the spirit of federalism that is required by the United States Constitution, particularly the Tenth Amendment.   I have not read any other of Mr. Martin’s writings which, according to his bio, have appeared in Audubon, National Wildlife, The Nature Conservancy Magazine, Sierra, Outside, Trout, Discover, Wired, and Men’s Journal.  But, based on my experiences of the last fifty years, my bet would be that he is not a fan of either federalism or the Tenth Amendment which Sheriff Lopey understands fully.

California’s legislature has also passed over twenty statutes that require California agencies such as the Fish and Game Department to “coordinate” with the Sheriff.  I have not seen the letter from the Fish and Game Director to which Martin refers, but if it says what Martin attributes to it, the Director really needs to bone up on California law, as well as federal laws that apply to him

Martin obviously understands none of the above.   He wrote without even researching the laws forming the base for Sheriff Lopey’s actions and words.  Or, he intentionally ignored the truth.   Had Martin even  one iota of concern for the truth, he would have talked with Sheriff Lopey before accusing him of mis-using his position to gain personal esteem.

Martin attacks the Sheriff because of his opposition to the Klamath Agreement, knowing that most of his readers will not know the mischief that is inherent in that Agreement that calls for destruction of dams on the Klamath River, at least one of which is generating useful electricity that serves most of Siskiyou County.    Putting aside the illegality of the Agreement (It was negotiated and settled in violation of California’s open meeting law), I move to Martin’s suggestion that destruction of the dams will restore to the Klamath “its once-mighty salmon runs.”  What Martin does not tell his readers is that dam destruction will not save the salmon.  It makes no provision for neutralizing the silt behind the dams, silt that contains heavy metal materials that are toxic to fish.

When dams were destroyed on the Rogue River in Oregon, the heavy metals from the silt killed all the fish in the river, salmon included.  A year ago, Sheriff Gil Gilbertson took me to the River in Grants Pass where a mining expert demonstrated the black, sticky “glunk” of heavy metals that he could pick out of the water with a magnet—-analysis showed that it contained more than the amount of some toxins than would be permitted by federal agencies if a private company deposited them.  The environmental study for the Klamath destruction ignored these facts in the agency’s analysis of impacts from destruction of dams.

The federal government’s own “independent” study and analysis acknowledged that it is only speculative that destruction of the dams will help salmon recovery. When the dams are destroyed, that silt will be moved so far through the countryside that it will almost assuredly affect coastal ports.  It will move so slowly that it will take years and years to settle out, destroying valuable land, wet lands and waterways as it does.

Even with that environmental destruction assured, environmental organizations support destruction.  The groups for which Martin writes stand ready to cash in on $93 MILLION a year authorized by the Agreement in grants to environmental organizations for salmon projects FOR YEARS FOLLOWING DESTRUCTION.    Amazing that the Administration cannot determine how to stabilize social security and medicare, but can consider such massive expenditures.

Sheriff Lopey has the obligation to question the Agreement and its implementation.  The economic loss to ranchers who will lose at least one harvest if irrigation storage is lost will have a huge effect on  the economy of the County, and that will have a huge effect on the funds available to the Sheriff to fund keeping of the peace.  Moreover, if the destruction results in economic loss from water loss, the Sheriff will have the duty to keep the peace among people desperate for water.

The Siskiyou County Supervisors, sharing Sheriff Lopey’s concerns about the County’s citizens,  used their “coordination” authority to advise the Secretary of Interior that he had not complied with the law requiring him to “coordinate” with them and take into proper consideration the economic and environmental effects of the dam destruction.  They and the County Attorney were prepared to file a lawsuit to prevent destruction on the grounds, among others, that Congress had never authorized such action on the Klamath River.  At the very time that Supervisors were in Washington DC with representatives of Trademark America Foundation to discuss the Secretary’s action, he backed away, announcing that he would await Congressional authority.  Had it not been for Siskiyou’s elected officials engaging the Secretary’s department through the “coordination” authority, the Secretary’s order would no doubt already have been issued.

Sheriff Lopey is rightfully concerned about his citizens’ losing their water rights because that loss constitutes a deprival of a private property interest.  It is deprivation of a civil right which the United States Supreme Court has held to be one of the most critical to our ordered society.  Martin cautions that the water rights of the Yurok and Karuk Indians “likely supersede those of the ranchers” along the Klamath.    The active word is “likely” because Martin does not know the status of any such rights.   Moreover, Martin ignores the fact that even if their rights “supersede”, the term “supersede” does not equate to “destroy all secondary” water rights.   The Agreement will ultimately deprive ranchers, farmers and municipal populations of water rights—-and without the compensation that is required by both the California and United States Constitutions.

Martin also attacks the Sheriff for his efforts to see that logging resumes in Siskiyou County.  Martin says, inaccurately, that there is no viable logging left because the forests were clear cut long ago.  He uses his work in the Forest Service and information from the “70s” as his source.  If Martin is as active with environmental groups as his writing would suggest, he knows this is a completely false statement.   This is 2012, the forests are in sick and dying condition today, not from over-logging, but because of lawsuits and disruptions of logging caused by some of  those for whom Martin writes.  The Forest Service for which he worked even acknowledges that logging is critical today to return forest health.   But obstructionist environmental organizations still work to prevent logging at the risk of seeing the forests die.  Siskiyou County, as others throughout the northwest know that if they had the management decisions for even a portion of the Forests, they could let contracts that would put people back to work, and reduce federal expenditures that are being made in lieu of former logging receipts.  Sheriff Lopey knows this, and it is his duty as the elected law enforcement representative of the County’s citizens to push the agencies toward getting past the environmentalist obstructionism.

Jon Lopey stands tall along with several other California sheriffs who have determined that they will exercise the authority granted them by federal and California law.  Those grants of authority are consistent with the Tenth Amendment’s reservations of sovereign authority of states and local governments in matters related to the “police powers”, that is, those powers necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare.    I am proud to have worked with him.  He serves his citizens well, and is the kind of Sheriff every county deserves.

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From TradeMark America on Grizzly Bear Amendment

Coordination process OR -- Fred K. Grant, Federal gov & land grabs, Forestry & USFS

by Staci Grant

Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell has a short window of opportunity to make right a wrongfully denied request for a hearing on an appeal of the “Grizzly Bear Amendment”.

Deputy Regional Forester Jane Cottrell has wrongfully denied a request for a hearing on the Grizzly Bear Amendment.

The Sanders Natural Resource Council (SNRC) had filed a timely and valid appeal of the Amendment on Dec. 23, 2011. On June 1, 2012 the SNRC was formally denied their appeal. Between the filing and now, the SNRC submitted numerous requests for a hearing and supported those requests with a supplemental brief and letters outlining changes in circumstances. Those requests and supplemental information were completely ignored by the Appeal Deciding Officers and subsequently by the Regional Forester. The denial letter did not address any of the SNRC’s concerns.

The “Grizzly Bear Amendment” (Forest Plan Amendments for Motorized Access Management Within the Selkirk and Cabinet-Yaak Grizzly Bear Recovery Zones) has been under development since 1983 by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee, of which the Forest Service is a dominant member. The first attempt at passing this Amendment, in 2004, was set aside by federal court. The 2nd attempt by the Forest Service was quietly released with a Record of Decision on Nov. 9, 2011.

Federal law makes it clear in many places that the public have every opportunity for their wishes to be clearly heard by agencies making public land use decisions. One such law is:

16 USC 1612 (a)Adequate notice and opportunity to comment. In exercising his authorities under this subchapter and other laws applicable to the Forest Service, the Secretary, by regulation, shall establish procedures, including public hearings where appropriate, to give the Federal, State, and local governments and the public adequate notice and an opportunity to comment upon the formulation of standards, criteria, and guidelines applicable to Forest Service programs. “

The 28 year long development process of this Amendment, which covers Western Montana, the Idaho Panhandle and the northeast corner of Washington, has been afforded a small survey during the late 1990s plus very limited and sparsely attended public meetings. The survey was not of substantive nature thus no follow up afterward was given to the public. As of today, the owners of private property that has been mapped inside of Forest Service Bear Management Units have not been contacted by the Forest Service. The SNRC has held one public meeting and is scheduled to hold a 2nd meeting on June 7 to provide detailed information to the public regarding future access restrictions on both pubic and private property to be expected if the Amendment is approved.

The term 911 is reserved for emergencies. I believe we are in that type of state today. These plans for change may be in Montana and Northern Idaho today but rest assured if you are not affected today, you will be tomorrow. The plan is called The Grizzly Bear Amendment plan but it really should be called The Access Restriction plan. The 5 Alternatives to the plan fail to follow the law in that the Forest Service has not provided adequate input from the local governments or the public. The Forest Service has decided to blatantly ignore the request for a hearing prior to making a critical decision.

The SNRC has requested a hearing to protect your rights. Any of the alternatives besides Alternaative A will restrict your Forest access. The amount of proposed reduction in road access ranges from 228 miles to 2,222 miles. The risk of miles lost is too great for the SNRC and the public it represents. Imagine leaving your favorite activities such as berry picking, logging, firewood cutting, hunting, hiking, camping, bird watching, snowmobiling and many other recreational activities to chance! The Forest Service has failed to provide adequate maps outlining proposed trail and road closures even though multiple requests have been made. It is clear the Forest Service is attempting to push the Grizzly Bear Amendment plan as quickly and as quietly as possible. If the public and the local governments had been involved in the process, this plan would not have 5 alternatives nor would any changes to a plan take over 20 years wasting tax payers dollars!

As I stated earlier, Chief Tidwell has a option today regarding the Grizzly Bear Amendment. For a short window, until June 16th, he has the authority to request a Discretionary Review which would delay any decision of alternatives and allow for the requested hearings. We need your help! We need your letters demanding the Forest Service follow the law and request the Discretionary Review be done. We need to support the SNRC’s efforts to obtain critical information, hold public hearings and formal responses to the appeals submitted prior to any decisions.

Your letters need to be directed to Chief Tidwell and cc’d to your state representatives, Congressional delegates and your local county commissioners. When sending your letters please include a cover letter urging them to contact Tidwell and to request the Discretionary Review. Please do not delay your letters, it is critical before all access is lost!

Below is the contact information for Chief Tidwell-

Send Regular and Express Mail To:

USDA Forest Service
Attn: Tom Tidwell
201 14th Street SW
Washington, DC 20024

email: ttidwell@fs.fed.us

voice: (202) 205-8439
fax: 202-205-1765

Sincerely,
Staci Grant

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Trademark America Newsletter from Attorney Fred Kelly Grant 5-30-12

Bureau of Land Management, Coordination process OR -- Fred K. Grant, Federal gov & land grabs, Forestry & USFS

After nearly a decade of revising the Travel Management Plans it is clear the Bureau of Land Management is making an attempt to close off all access to federal lands regardless of current or past use. As County officials and their citizens are scrambling to meet the deadline to petition the final draft, I applaud their efforts and recognize a strong need for each County to make their own engagement with any Federal Agency who challenges our 10th Amendment Rights.

The time is now folks, it’s not too late to bring the BLM to the negotiating table and insist their plans be consistent with your County.  We have some success where a NGO (non-governmental organization) has brought a Federal agency to the table however, utilizing the Counties authority with this mandated statute 43 U.S.C.§ 1712 (c) (9) to the extent consistent with the laws governing the administration of the public lands, coordinate the land use inventory, planning, and management activities of or for such lands with the land use planning and management programs of other Federal departments and agencies and of the States and local governments within which the lands are located……is a clear rule that the Federal Agency cannot ignore.

If you are a County official reading this and wondering how to get started, please contact our office.  Perhaps, you are becoming overwhelmed by requests from your citizens to engage in coordinating with the BLM, Fish and Wildlife, Forest Service or even the EPA.  Getting the necessary training will provide your County with lasting tools to be successful with any agency. We have qualified people to help train your County and walk you through the process.

If you are a fired up citizen fed up with losing access, don’t despair there are a few things you can do.  First of all, your County needs your support in coordinating with the Federal Agencies, you may be a valuable tool to inform your local officials on how coordination can help resolve the issues.  You may also be a good candidate to serve on an advisory committee or a strong resource for the County.  Call us today and we can help advise you better depending on the issues facing your County. Our number is 208-465-0304.


Join us for a FREE webinar!
Coordination v. Cooperation

June 27, 2012

7:00 pm – 8:00 pm (MST)

Call our office at 208.465.0304 to register. Space is limited to 20 people.


Successful Coordination for Stevens County and Ferry County

by Staci Grant

On April 27th  Stevens County WA and Ferry County WA successfully accomplished their first joint Coordination meeting with the Colville National Forest in Washington State.  The well prepared Commissioners led a confident and productive meeting focusing on getting their issues resolved to reach consistency with the County’s management plans and with the Forest Service.

The meeting was led by Chairman Brian Dansel of Ferry County WA who has received extensive training by the Trademark America Coordination Team.  Many thanks to veteran coordinator Ron Olfert who spent many hours prepping and sharing his expertise in coordinating with Federal agencies. One of our biggest goals is to prepare our local governments for “long term” relationships with the Federal agencies.  Expecting to have all issues resolved within a one-day meeting is unrealistic, it is necessary to have an ongoing relationship to insure the County’s plans are continuously put into the forefront of any changes that may impact the County.  Sometimes this means preparing the Federal agency to expect a continued relationship after the first meeting.

Commissioner Dansel heeded that critical advice and prior to adjourning he set the next meeting for May 30, 2012.  The three governments can expect to tackle a few open issues such as protection of  private property, planning for increased timber harvest and other multiple uses plus the planning of habitat for endangered species, among others. Local government involvement from the beginning will ensure that the citizens’ economic, welfare, and safety concerns will be taken into account to ultimately produce a Colville National Forest Plan that is acceptable and according to law.

We look forward to helping counties like Stevens and Ferry who needed a little training to get over their first hurdle. We will continue to report on their success and if you would like to get your county to receive additional training, please visit our web site at www.trademarkamerica.org or call our office today at 208-465-0304.


San Juan Islands – The West Coast Focus for Coordination

by Ron Olfert

The citizens of the San Juan Islands, off the coast of Washington State, have taken great pride in and care of the unique and interesting natural sites on the islands for many decades, while at the same time leading productive lives involving farming, ranching, fishing, recreation and other entrepreneurial ventures.  The federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) manages approximately a total of 1000 acres in and around the islands.  The BLM lands are comprised of many small outcroppings of rocks plus a few larger pieces of property, including a lighthouse and recreation sites.

A handful of wrong-headed environmentalists have gone through the back door of the federal government and have convinced some government officials, both local and federal, to seek federal designation of these BLM holdings as either a National Conservation Area or a National Monument.  Many of the local citizens became alarmed at the implications of this impending designation and sought a way to bring their concerns through the front door of the BLM.

They rallied around a community leader, Frank Penwell, President of Citizens Alliance for Property Rights – San Juan (CAPR-SJ), a nongovernmental organization of local citizens.  He had been in extensive communications with Trademark America regarding possible ways to tackle their concerns with the BLM and other federal and state agencies.  Under the authorization provided in Presidential Executive Order 13575 Frank initiated coordination with the BLM to begin information exchange and negotiations regarding the future management of these BLM lands.  Ron Olfert, coordination consultant with Trademark America was enlisted to advise and help CAPR-SJ with the process and methods to ensure effective coordination.

The first coordination meeting between the BLM and CAPR-SJ was held May 15, 2012.  Because proper protocol was followed potential objections were laid to rest early and a productive discussion of CAPR-SJ’s concerns and proposals was conducted.  As is usually the case in a first meeting, not all of the planned issues were brought to the table.  Additional issues to be brought up in future meetings will center around a plan for local citizens to manage the San Juan Islands BLM sites, and regarding local involvement in development of a revised Resource Management Plan which will take into meaningful consideration the economic and social needs of the citizens of the islands.

The meeting ended on a positive note with an agreement to mutually determine the next meeting date as soon as possible, to include higher level management in the BLM.


Would you like to attend a conference for FREE?

Become a sponsor!

Trademark America provide educational, training, and support services to help you initiate and work with formal coordination processes in your community.  Our work is resource-intensive, and our costs are not fully met by the fees associated with our events.   We need your support.

Please consider becoming a yearly sponsor of Trademark America at a cost of $40.00 per person or $70.00 per couple.  Your sponsorship provides you with many benefits as a Trademark America supporter, including:

    • One seat at your choice of upcoming events (two seats if you sponsor Trademark America as a couple), a significant savings because our per-attendee cost for online or in-person events ranges from $50.00 to $150.00 per seat, depending on the type and length of event.

    • A sponsor’s discount for all other Trademark America events.

    • A sponsor’s discount for other members of your attending party (to a maximum of five people) for any event.

    • A 10% discount on all Trademark America merchandise.

One (or two, if you sponsor as a couple) paid seat(s) at one of our upcoming conferences.  (This is a significant savings for you, because the per-attendee cost for our online and in-person conferences ranges from $50.00 to $150.00 per seat, depending on the type and length of event.)  You will also receive a discount for other members of your party (to a maximum of five people) for any conference and a 10% discount on all Trademark America merchandise.

Call 208.465.034 to take advantage of this offer and save your seat for the conference of your choice!

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