BLM secret memo outlines plan to lock up an area as big as Colorado and Wyoming combined

President Obama today was to announce the creation of a national monument in southern New Mexico — the 500,000-acre Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument.

It looks suspiciously like an opening round in a bid to carry out a plan — first outlined in a secret Bureau of Land Management in 2010 — that would lock up abut half of the BLM’s 264 million acres, about the size of Colorado and Wyoming combined, and halt most productive private use, such as ranching and mining and oil and gas exploration.

Gold Butte petroglyphs (Photo by Kurt Kuxnicki)

The Washington Times reported that about half of the land involved in today’s announcement is to be set aside as wilderness, meaning it would be closed to vehicles and construction and mining. Local ranchers say it’s a land grab that will interfere with their grazing rights.

The Congressional Western Caucus released the 2010 memo — which is headed “Internal Draft – NOT FOR RELEASE” and labeled “Treasured Landscapes” — Tuesday. It lists more than two dozen specific areas from which the agency seeks to lock out most human activity. Three of those are in Nevada.

The Times article warned that the New Mexico designation could lead to conflicts like the one recently in the Gold Butte area when the BLM tried to roundup Cliven Bundy’s cattle but were faced down by armed citizens protesting the confiscation.

Interestingly, the second item on the BLM’s list of Treasured Landscapes is: Gold Butte, Nev.:

“Northeast of Las Vegas, Gold Butte is named for a historic mining town and tent city of 1,000 miners in the early 1900’s. Gold Butte is much more than remnants of early mining. It is 360,000 acres of rugged mountains, Joshua tree and Mojave yucca forests, outcroppings of sandstone, and braided washes that turn into slot canyons. Gold Butte is important to numerous wildlife species, including desert tortoise, desert bighorn sheep, the banded Gila monster, great horned owls and a great variety of reptiles, birds and mammals. Gold Butte has abundant archaeological resources, including rock art, caves, agave roasting pits and camp sites dating back at least 3,000 years, and notable historical resources that deserve conservation, including Spanish and pioneer mining camps dating back to the 1700s.”

The memo also lists Heart of the Great Basin, Nev., which from the description appears to be a swath from roughly Austin to Tonopah in Lander and Nye counties. Another area is Owyhee Desert on the Nevada-Oregon border in Elko County. No acreage was listed these two areas.

The Western Caucus described the memo as outlining plans to grab millions of acres of Western land by using the list in the memo. “The President is going down the list, and sealing off vast swaths of the West on behalf of his special interest allies, who view our states as their personal playground.”

The BLM secret memo recommended that the president use the Antiquities Act to set aside National Monuments, which is what today’s announcement does. It also calls for “maintaining healthy wildlife populations, ecosystems, airsheds, watersheds, and riparian areas” — without deigning to mention that most of those watersheds and riparian areas include privately held water rights.

Western Caucus Co-Chairman Steve Pearce of New Mexico said this is the latest example of the president bypassing Congress and the American people to push his special interest agenda.

The 21-page memo: BLM Treasured Landscapes Plan

13 comments on “BLM secret memo outlines plan to lock up an area as big as Colorado and Wyoming combined

  1. Winston Smith says:

    Agenda 21 marches forward…Sieg Heil, Baby!

  2. Vernon Clayson says:

    There was a similar land grab in Southern Utah under the other wonderful president, Bill Clinton, soon to be first husband, land which also looked good for oil and gas exploration. Agenda 21 is still too diaphanous to me and most average people, i.e. the non-rich; who among us can conceive what the super rich really want. I can’t even dredge up why they want to associate with one another, their competitive nature made them rich and being what it is one would think they’d view each other with more than a little suspicion. Even farther out, why would individuals so self-obsessed and so concerned with self-preservation think they have to buy, or place, politicians to get their way, that would mean they care about laws that apply to ordinary people, graft for instance. Which of them needs politics to sustain their riches, why do they really need to buy a politician, certainly not for power and control, money already avails them of both. Maybe they involve themselves in politics merely to see individuals in powerful positions grovel for dollars, does anyone believe that individuals like Barack Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, etal., approach billionaires like they do to ordinary citizens? Speaking of Obama, why did those with money and power place him, a non-entity, little more than a Chicago street hustler, as president and what do they now feel with scandal after scandal hounding his heels? As for Harry Reid, how can he believe his remarks about the Kochs cause them a second’s stress? I think they should buy the building where Harry lives and rename it to Koch Towers plus the town of Searchlight and rename it to Koch Resort.

  3. Winston Smith says:

    Rand in the Senate today, fighting for the Bill of Rights:

  4. Winston Smith says:

    iShrug, nearly 20 years ago, I wouldn’t allow my kids to play Sim City, because I suspected it was just training to normalize the total control of populations. I’ll have to send that article to my kids 🙂

    Big government always loves to treat people like objects when implementing their “once-size-fits-all” agenda.

    WiP; FiS; IiS

  5. Athos says:

    There was coal under that Utah land, that would have been in direct competition with BJ’s big campaign contributor, wasn’t there? Didn’t Utah have a law suit against the Fed’s to recoup some of that money?

    And what’s up with the VA? Pinocchio claims it’s Jorge’s fault AND he’s getting the best people on it, AND he’s mad as can be?

    When will this nightmare end? WAKE UP Athos, WAKE UP!!

  6. Winston Smith says:

    I thought it was very effective of Rand to ask the Democrats today if they would be supporting Barron’s nomination if it had come from a Republican president, i.e., are they principle-driven or party-driven? The Republicans needed to be asked the same thing back when Bush was in power.

  7. Vernon Clayson says:

    “When Bush was in power”, I thought he did a decent job early on, he showed well in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. but the crap hit the fan after the libs controlled both houses. Now it makes little difference which party controls either house, they are as one under the current president.

  8. Athos says:

    Vernon, there is no one more odious to me, than that cretin that’s occupying the WH today. BJ runs a close second. And I was quite happy with what I thought was a Rep Pres, House and Senate (whoops, remember Jumping Jim Jeffords?) in 2001, BUT…..

    Jorge Bush did a LOT of Centralized Power governing, and there is no way I’d put the label “conservative” with Jorge (No child left behind? More Medicare obligations for drugs? Immigration? Ramos and Campean???) Of course the big one (in retrospect) was attacking the wrong middle east country!

    What up with Iraq? Iran is the country we should have liberated! At least the Persians are more Western and could actually govern themselves!

    All this was way before the disaster known as Reid/ Pelousy (in ’07) And who can ever forget that corrupt, immoral Barny Frank as head of Banking when the mortgage meltdown hit. Friends of Angelo (Mozilo), indeed!

  9. […] announcement this week designating a national monument in New Mexico was just an election year sop to the environmentalist wing of the Democratic Party, […]

  10. […] BLM secret memo outlines plan to lock up an area as big as Colorado and Wyoming combined May21 by Th… President Obama today was to announce the creation of a national monument in southern New Mexico — the 500,000-acre Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument. […]

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