Former Interior Secretary Sally Jewell Unwelcome in the Gem State


Sally Jewell, former Secretary of Interior under President Obama, took the gloves off last week when she gave a speech at Boise State. According to a story by the Idaho Statesman on September 26th, Jewell proceeded to berate the Trump administration for the way they are supposedly bullying federal employees. She said that they were taking away the tools needed to do their jobs.

If that is the case, we should be applauding the Trump administration for taking a vastly overstaffed and all-too-powerful agency and clipping their wings for the many problems they have created in our federally controlled lands. In case anyone forgets, it was Jewell who was in charge of the BLM during the BLM’s armed confrontation with the Bundy’s at their ranch in 2014.

If anyone is guilty of bullying, it is Jewell when it comes to ranchers dealing with the BLM. She is just one more Washington bureaucrat who wouldn’t know an elk from a white-tailed deer yet she was “managing” three-quarters of a billion acres of our country’s land under federal control. We applaud our president and his administration for taking charge of an out-of-control agency whose only job is to help manage our forest and mining interests for the benefit of the American people.

Unfortunately, this rogue agency under Obama decided that they needed more control and began to implement rules that infringed on rights held by ranchers for decades. Many of us need to remember that the BLM manages nearly 12 million acres of Idaho’s land or about 25 percent. Many Idahoans are new to our state with the great influx of new residents and don’t quite understand that 62 percent of our land is run or managed by the federal government between the BLM and the U.S. Forest Service.

These two agencies run our land as if it were theirs and not the people’s, and it is high time someone like President Trump took the bull by the horns and put these agencies in their place. Jewell complained that the Trump administration wants to move the BLM’s headquarters to Grand Junction Colorado, which would be a more fitting place for them to operate from as they would be in the middle of the majority of the land they manage.

It seems that former Secretary Jewell doesn’t like the idea of moving the bureau out of Washington because doing so would displace many of the bureaucrats that run it. She complains that they would be in the same building with companies like Chevron corporation and a state oil and gas association along with a natural gas exploration company.

I can’t think of a better group for them to be with as maybe they might learn something about management skills that would be helpful in overseeing the leasing, grazing of federal land, something which they seem to badly lack. While Jewell said that moving to Grand Junction would hamper the need for the BLM’s political leadership, we say get the politics out of the BLM and bring in some people who actually know how to manage our land.

If the people who work for the BLM in Washington don’t want to move, so be it; find them a place in another agency or let them quit and move on. Why anyone, in their right mind, wouldn’t want to take their children and themselves out of the Washington swamp to a place like Grand Junction, Colorado, is beyond my comprehension. Jewell intimated she would be willing to return to the Department of Interior to fix the disarray and help turn it around. I say it is turning around in the right direction and needs no further help from Sally Jewell or any of the other bureaucrats back in the muck and mire of our capital. Jewell is currently the interim director of “The Nature Conservancy,” and I for one wish her well in her new position and hopes she stays there.

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