Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Sunday, May 08, 2016
2.0, REINS, and ASSES
2.0, REINS, and
By Stephen L. Wilmeth
The use of
acronyms by the federal machine long ago became annoying.
Tuesday night was a monumental
example. Americans are fed up to their eyeballs by the endemic nonsense that
seems to be contagious when elected officials travel to Washington. It is somewhat reminiscent to a
comment I remember hearing from a Park Service official at the Gila Cliff
“This would be a great place if all
these people would stay away!”
The contradiction of the public
support for Trump and yet the avalanche of opposition by the Republican
National Committee against him has been a great divide. If the party brokers
don’t think we saw and grimaced at their actions, they are bigger fools than
they appear. The Vermont
‘Berners’ must find it equally condescending and incredulous. They lose more even
when they win.
The combination clearly
demonstrates Americans are tired of being taken for granted. Moreover, the
unaltered conduct by political party leadership is going to have long lasting
implications. Without us, there would be no one way ticket to their wealth and
stardom. If this is a great place, it is because our people are resilient and
have survived regardless of the assault waged against us. We don’t want business
as usual. Our reward is not life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Our reward has increasingly become
… the cupboard that is robbed as a matter of course.
So, the elected officials who will
have to interact with the new president are going to have to start
demonstrating allegiance to their oaths by going to the well in bursts of
native cleverness. Many of them, too, face reelection and they have to once
again convince the folks they actually represent their best interests. As an
indicator, they have started the search for novel ideas for attention. In one
case, they are creating laws that force the enforcement of other laws. On April
28, one such draft was discussed. On that day, the Subcommittee on Federal
Lands held a legislative hearing on ‘Locally-elected Officials Cooperating with
Agencies in Land Management Act’ or The Local Management Act.
They elevated LOCAL into
LOCAL is designed to mitigate the
exploding agency jurisdiction through uninterrupted regulatory expansion. All
of the debilitating impacts of the unrelenting growth of regulations and
expansion of the federal estate which contributes directly to the loss of tax
base, the destruction of local custom and culture, and the collapse of rural
communities have finally reached a committee hearing. In order to alter the
trend, the law is intended to make agencies actually read and conform to
The legislation is designed to
mitigate problems by demanding federal agencies actually coordinate with the local
governments that find themselves weighed down with mountains of bureaucratic
burdens maintaining communities adrift in a sea of federal domination. It is
intended to legislate communication between local administrative agency
bureaucrats and local governments in land use decisions.
It also intends to offer a more
responsible approach to federal land acquisitions, but that is not the issue.
The issue is the hypocrisy of the entire effort. Major legislation such as the
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Federal Land Policy and
Management Act (FLPMA) already set forth the requirement to coordinate with
local communities. The agencies have simply ignored the law and written
regulatory enforcement policies that administer the laws as they see fit. They
are already required to coordinate. They are already required to respect multiple
use management and the real needs of local communities, but what have they
done? They have blatantly altered the landscape and the dictates of the laws.
They simply ignore the requirements.
If Congress was really interested
in altering the devastating impact of this federal agency management on rural
communities, they’d send a real signal. They’d cut the budgets. Instead, they
raise budgets and explicitly support the actions leading to agency abuse.
Their LOCAL discussion is gutless.
2.0 and REINS
In February, the BLM doubled down
on the elimination of coordination with local governments.
The agency issued notice to amend
their existing regulations that establish the procedures used to prepare,
revise, or amend land use plans pursuant to the FLPMA. A preliminary review of
the proposal clearly indicates the changes are not procedural, but represent a
fundamental reduction in the role of local governments in the planning process.
Coordination isn’t just being diminished. It is being eliminated. The process
was done with minimal public discussion and no oversight under NEPA. This is
hugely troubling and illegal.
Having nothing to do with the BLM
announcement (although it addresses the very concerns of what has been dubbed 2.0
in the West) Utah Senator Mike Lee has attacked the regulatory expansion in a
parallel manner to LOCAL. He details his approach by trying to capture the
majority belief by the American people.
“Many Americans assume that they’re
being lied to when their elected lawmakers blame someone else for the rules
that are raising their costs of living and eating away at their paychecks.”
Really Senator … assume?
His understatement reaffirms the
concern that unelected bureaucrats simply impose their will unilaterally and do
so by crafting more favorable regulations that reflect their agenda. In order
to fix the problem (which he and his colleagues can’t fix by using their constitutional
authority), he proposes an abomination named ‘Regulations From the Executive in
Need of Scrutiny Act’or REINS.
This bill would require
congressional approval for all major regulatory rules so that members of
Congress could no longer blame executive agencies for costly regulations. The
problem is they, the elected officials, would have to have to expand their
staffs in order to be informed of what to do. We must remember they demonstrate
little aptitude to actually think and act in unison. The outcome would only add
to the cavernous layering of Washington
No, if Congress was really
interested in altering the devastating impact of the federal agency management
on rural communities, they’d send a real signal. They’d cut the budgets and
impeach the suggested Executive in Need of Scrutiny that is eviscerating this
nation. Instead, they raise budgets, and, in doing so, explicitly support the
actions leading to agency abuse.
So, theREINS discussion emerges as a gutless, demonstrative wet noodle
that offers lipstick service toward the real issues that are killing the West.
From the Burris Pasture, however, we have
determined that an acronym can actually make sense. It was purely
circumstantial in its discovery.
The ‘Assemblage of Stereotypical Scofflaw
and other Elected Snakes’, or, ASSES, was revealed and adopted after
encountering the third rattlesnake of the year only days ago in Apache Flats. The
snake wasn’t nearly as lethargic as he should have been after a morning that
started in the mid to upper ‘40s, but he surely was a Crotalus atrox. He
announced his presence while we were trying to navigate a big Tabosa bottom
that can swallow a horse if the wrong holes are not avoided.
Horse and I got balanced as best we
could and the deadly contest began.
Me, with my 5/16th inch
true, extra soft lay rope with its exposed honda swinging, and he, atrox with
his mad on and his camouflage blending into the thick grass buzzing, the
encounter proceeded. Feint there and miss, strike there and miss, and the horse
jerked loose and ran backwards as the battle raged. Finally, an opening was
offered as the scofflaw, head raised stationary as the coils beneath him drove
him crablike toward an escape route. The velocity of the swinging honda broke
down through the thick grass and a convincing blow was landed. Again and again
the vote was tallied and the outcome was concluded. Horse was retrieved,
soothed for a few seconds, and reminded all was well. The rope was coiled and
laid across the pommel as the horse stood relaxed as I remounted.
Every eye, every ear, and every
sixth sense, though, was arrayed and on duty as the remainder of the
treacherous bottom was navigated. We emerged unscathed.
We have to be the same way in
November. Acronyms have long become tedious. It is time to talk straight, and it is time to act with constitutional authority.
L. Wilmeth is a rancher from southern New
Mexico. “Listen … the people are speaking.”
Will they let you take a rope into the voting booth? No more "rope a dope" from DC. Put a couple flying U's across their ASSES and send the culls scurrying.