Thursday, December 29, 2016

Locked out

Her husband will never return to trail the cows to winter range again, but Jeanette Finicum is determined that she will get the job done, eventually. Although she’s provided a check to fully cover fines assessed over the last year, the Arizona rancher continues to be locked out of both her winter and summer grazing ranges. Jeanette, whose husband Robert “LaVoy” Fincium was shot and killed by Oregon State Troopers last January, has managed grazing decisions on their northern Arizona ranch alone since his Jan. 26, 2016 death...

...The Finicums’ grazing fees have always been paid in full, she explains. Before traveling to Oregon to join protesters in opposition to the arrest of federal land ranchers Steven and Dwight Hammond, LaVoy had announced his plan to begin to pay his grazing fees to the county rather then the feds. He believed that constitutionally the state and county should be managing the land. “He made the announcement that he was no longer going to sign the contract, but the contracts were still in effect.” Because of of LaVoy’s untimely death, the contract remained intact and grazing fees were paid, Jeanette said. Jeanette said that the BLM fined her trespass fees for the days the cattle were on the winter allotment prior to Oct. 15, and fees continued to accrue, even after the Oct . 15 turn-out date came and went. In an effort to reduce the trespass fees to a more reasonable figure, Jeanette negotiated with the BLM throughout the spring. It came to her attention that she would not be allowed to use her “summer” range and she began to look for alternative pasture. Finding none, she felt like she had “nowhere to go,” and finally decided to dry-lot her cows and calves, taking them off winter range the first weekend in July. Although Tri-State Livestock News asked Arizona state BLM representatives a number of questions relating to this subject, their response was brief: “The Bureau of Land Management has been in contact with attorneys representing Jeanette Finicum and LaVoy Finicum’s estate since May 2016, in an attempt to resolve fines associated with a nearly year-long grazing trespass on the Tuckup Allotment,” said Amber Cargile, director of communications for Arizona’s BLM department. Jeanette continued negotiations with the BLM to not only lessen the trespass fines, but also to complete other paperwork the BLM was calling for because they were not recognizing her as the allotment owner. Rather than allow Jeanette to take over the grazing allotments after LaVoy’s death, state BLM representatives said she was not considered the heir to the allotments, even though she was the widow of one. They told her the grazing permits terminated upon his death and that she would have to start at square one with the application process to graze her (their) cattle on the allotment. Jeanette said the BLM also told her that her grazing rights are not “inheritable,” but she and her attorney disagree. “It is property and an asset to our estate,” she said. The BLM said an environmental impact study would have to be conducted to determine whether or not she was eligible to graze the allotments. Jeanette’s attorney advised her that under BLM rule 43 CFR 4110.2-3, the BLM is required to provide her two years to meet any paperwork requirements, and must allow her to continue to graze her cattle during those two years. Jeanette said she and her attorneys brought this law to the attention of BLM representatives and were told, “we don’t do it that way.”...


 “My husband is dead because he went out to help the Hammonds. He stood for them and now they (the federal government) are trying real hard to make an example out of my husband. This is what will happen if you dare stand up. It’s like they are saying ‘you get in your place and don’t get out of it again or we’ll put you in solitary confinement or we’ll kill you.’ That’s what I see happening — innocent people are in jail right now.” Jeanette Finicum

READ COMPLETE COVERAGE AT TRI-STATE LIVESTOCK NEWS


After being on U.S. Senator Domenici's staff for for several years (in the late 70s) I started noticing a pattern with the Forest Service:  The husband would die and the permit would need to be transferred to the widow, a child, or a new owner. It was at this point, when the widow/family was most vulnerable, the Forest Service would demand a cut in numbers before transferring the permit. No study, no EIS, just an arbitrary cut.

2 comments:

jay armstrong said...

BLM = TYRANNY ... F THE FED

Anonymous said...

There are no benevolent government bureaucracies, none, 0. They exist to grow and benefit themselves:
Government of the government, by the government, for the government, shall not perish from the Earth.