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BLM pick is wrong direction for agency

Karen Budd-Falen an attorney for the Bundy clan in the '80s and '90s named the head of BLM.

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If you were one of the many who reacted in dismay when Ammon Bundy and some of the other occupiers were acquitted after their takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, you'll probably be interested in the latest developments in the selection process for the head of the BLM.

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke has named Wyoming attorney, Karen Budd-Falen, as his pick to head the Bureau of Land Management. Budd-Falen is known for her work representing the Bundy clan in the '80s and '90s in Nevada, following Cliven Bundy's years-long refusal to pay grazing fees on public lands. She's also notorious for going after individual BLM employees under RICO, the anti-racketeering law that is typically used to prosecute organized crime.

Budd Falen
lost that case by a unanimous decision in the U.S. Supreme Court. That was just one of this nominee's many clashes with the BLM—the agency tasked with managing tens of millions of acres of public lands, which she could now lead. She's also advocated time and again against tenets of the Endangered Species Act. In short, Budd Falen has spent her career opposing the work of the BLM and public lands advocates.

Perhaps the only up-side to this is that thus far, the process for confirming the current president's nominees has been grindingly slow. With that in mind, there may still be time to share your dismay about this nominee. The BLM should be run by someone who understands the value of public lands and their role in protecting the wider environment.


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