Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes at the BLM’s homepage

Yesterday, the homepage of the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management looked like this:

Today, (at least as of 5:15 pm EDT) the homepage of the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management looks like this:

Read more here.

17 thoughts on “Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes at the BLM’s homepage”

      • Well here is an update to this photo rotation software program started by the Obama Administration that has been used as propanda to play the blame game. A Chaparral member (Bradley Owens of Casper Wyoming) over on the California Chaparral Institute’s Facebook page explained that the program with those rotating photos was created by the Obama Administration and not the present one. He said it was an ongoing work in progress and had nothing to do with the present government in power. He apparently has an inside track on this subject. He had four posts explaining all of this and now those posts have been deleted. I’m through over there. While I do love the chaparral ecosystems and have enjoyed some past posts and articles about nature over there, I have no use whatsoever for all this politics. Apparently the coal photo, even when being exposed for what it truly was, this ongoing lie is being viewed as a necessary evil for the greater good. So I’m finished with them. I have not heard back from Bradley on his posts, but either way it’s done.

    • I just read Sharon’s reply down below on the BLM website having a photo rotation program built within their website. I found another source for this on your own post the same day Matthew posted this Huffington Post article. The person is one of your own Chaparral Institute’s own members, Bradley Owens from Casper Wyoming apparently where the photo was taken. He apparently has some inside track as to what is going on with the BLM website:

      “It is a rotation. This is actually part of the new website implementation that actually was in the works during the last Obama Administration. Expect to see multiple use reflected on the landing page imagery, not just wilderness and recreation. The website is still finding its feet. Over time, it will do a better job showing the wider scale of the agency. It simply isn’t done yet. Big mission = difficult message to convey. Fun fact (about new image): I took the photo of the fly fisherman. It’s the North Platte River just outside of Casper.”

      He confirmed what I previously posted in his reply. You refused to acknowledge that. But you did acknowledge what another Chaparral member, Mike Boeck, said in reply to me when I stated that the politicking there was tiring. This tells me you did read what myself and Bradley Owens said, but you made a decision not to correct your own post slamming the Trump Administration for deliberately pushing Coal on the BLM website, when clearly in actual fact this rotation program of photos being changed at the start of every week was the Obama Administration idea, not Trump. But then neither did Huffington or Matthew check that facts out clearly either since demonizing a political worldview of an opposing side (which you clearly all hate) was the ultimate goal. As I’ve stated to you before, I’m not political, nor do I favour one side over another. But you Institute has become less about nature and chaparral and more about pushing politics of a specific political agenda. That apparently goes against the rules of being a non-profit. Therefore I will no longer post over there. I’ll also go back and delete references to your organization in my blog articles if my not taking your side’s political views.

      I just wanted everyone to know the truth here about what and who was really behind the BLM photo scandal conspiracy, which apparently is NOT!

  1. I actually like the coal one better. BLM has not been historically the Park Service, and has a different mission and legal requirements. Plus I get my grid energy from CO/WYO federal coal, and the states and feds are getting $ back, plus jobs. But that gives me an idea…

  2. Maybe it’s about time to let the Park Service manage parks, and the BLM manage the multiple use lands, which include grazing, mining, timber, hunting,and recreation? The idea that we can fund the holding of all the federal lands with tax revenue is both wasteful and short sighted. When was the last time a company was successful with no incentive to produce and/or improve?

  3. I agree with BLM’s multiple use mission and believe they do a pretty good job with the near-impossible balancing act.

    But no one goes to the BLM website to see a photo of coal. Seems excessive to have that as the cover photo even if only for a couple of days.

    Seems kind of like a jerk move.

  4. I wouldn’t care if the front page of the BLM’s website featured a full color picture of Matthew Koehler in nothing but Bermuda shorts — as long as the website worked!

    The BLM’s web presence has been barely functional for years. In Utah, websites for individual field offices are completely non functional. Locating key planning documents is all but impossible. Just the other day I had to bother the Utah State Office lead Rec and Wilderness staffer just to get a copy of the latest edition of a planning Instruction Memo. Apparently the link to Utah BLM Instruction Memorandums hasn’t worked for years.

    This is an agency of the US government with a budget of around $10 billion.

    A few BLM employees might be embarrassed. But nobody will be fired. Or demoted. Or even a bad note placed in their performance review. There is no accountability.

    • Brian, I also tried to check the website to see if it had changed and ran into the same kind of problem. Weird. I assumed it was a problem with my rural broadband, but apparently not. PS I noted the Acting Director of the BLM appears to a Diverse Person. #Thingsnotlikelytobereportedbythehuffpost

      My dream: the FS and the BLM would design their websites by assembling a team of users (recreationists, users of various stripes and so on) in an iterative design process. We could put that on our list of “suggestions for the new leadership” when they get into place…

      • What, and wait years? With no guarantee of improvement? And no accountability? No. Way. I vote we instead lobby for a DOI budget line item, give Andy the budget, have him select the website creators and insist all involved vigorously employ his KISS principle.

        • I’ll go for this as well..:) but in the interests of efficiency we could put Andy in charge of the BLM and FS sites..

  5. I think the point is that the website is being used as a propaganda tool, spreading an image of creating jobs for Trump voters. But giant dump trucks on a blasted landscape would be more honest.

    There’s no reason to promote amenity values; it just creates more of a constituency to preserve them.

  6. Here’s what the E&E news said here : they are rotating the photos. Personally I think this is overreacting. Surely there must be something more important on the public lands for the Sierra Club to get outraged about than a photo on a website? Anyway there are interesting facts about the BLM..

    “A picture swap on the home page of the Department of the Interior’s flagship minerals management agency is sparking internet outrage.

    Until Wednesday, according to the online archive Wayback Machine, the Bureau of Land Management’s home page featured a photo of a young boy and an adult male carrying hiking packs, gazing out over an expanse of grassy landscape. Now the page features a rich, black coal seam.

    A Wikipedia image search shows that the photo is of the largest coal mine in the United States, the Peabody Energy Corp.-owned North Antelope Rochelle Mine in Wyoming.

    BLM spokeswoman Kristen Lenhardt said the coal seam image is part of a new initiative. Each Friday, she said, the agency will change up the banner photo in order to “showcase our multiple-use mission.” She said the agency posted the new coal seam image on March 31, not yesterday as reported on the Wayback Machine website.

    “As part of the BLM’s transition to a new website design, we will be regularly rotating the banner with photos that reflect the many uses our public lands have to offer,” she said in an email. “The coal photo posted last Friday started a weekly rotation of our website banner. Tomorrow, the second photo in our rotation will be posted, reflecting recreation on public lands.”

    BLM is responsible for managing 245 million surface and 700 million subsurface acres of public lands, primarily across the West. The agency’s portfolio includes management of National Conservation Lands; the Wild Horse and Burro Program; the grazing program; and the federal coal, renewable energy, and onshore oil and gas programs.

    About 40 percent of U.S. coal is produced from public lands, almost exclusively in the Powder River Basin of Montana and Wyoming. Overall, BLM manages 30 percent of the nation’s mineral resources.

    Some environmental groups hinted that the image update illustrates the contrast between the Obama administration’s priorities on public lands and those of the new Trump administration.

    Writing in Sierra, the Sierra Club’s national magazine, senior editor Paul Rauber noted, “Obviously, the Trump administration is moving rapidly to put its stamp on the federal agency that administers nearly 250 million acres of public land, mostly in the Western United States.”

  7. For whatever it’s worth….

    The coal picture on the BLM website is from Peabody Energy’s North Antelope Rochelle Mine, the largest coal mine in the U.S and in the world.

    Peabody Energy has been in the news recently. I wonder if President Trump or Secretary Zinke, or anyone in the top levels of the Trump Administration have financial ties, or interests, with Peabody Energy? If yes, isn’t using the BLM’s website to promote Peabody Energy’s mine a conflict of interest?

    Big Coal Funded This Prominent Climate Change Denier, Docs Reveal

    SNIPS: One of the world’s largest coal companies, Peabody Energy, paid a prominent scientist and dozens of others to promote climate change denial, new documents reveal.

    The company’s list of creditors, filed to comply with financial disclosure requirements as part of its recent bankruptcy, shows just how many different organizations and individuals Peabody Energy paid to deny climate change. The watchdog group Center for Media and Democracy published a breakdown of creditors that details their affiliations.

    Nation’s largest coal mining company files for bankruptcy protection

    SNIPS: Peabody Energy, the country’s largest coal company, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Wednesday. The filing comes on the heels of several other bankruptcy declarations from major coal companies, including Arch Coal and Alpha Natural Resources.

    Analysts have been warning for months that Peabody might be headed for bankruptcy. The company reported a loss of over $2 billion in 2015 and its stock price has plummeted in the last year. In February, the company reported that one of its major lenders was pushing for a bankruptcy declaration. In March, Peabody itself said it might file for Chapter 11 after it missed a major debt payment. Then, late last month, the company laid off 15 percent of the workforce at its flagship Wyoming mine, North Antelope Rochelle….

    The other major factor in Peabody’s collapse is the substantial debt the company took on to acquire metallurgical coal mines at the height of the market. Metallurgical coal is used in steel production. In 2011, Peabody took on substantial debts to pay for the $5 billion purchase of a large Australian metallurgical coal company, in anticipation that the market for met coal would continue to grow as China expanded. Instead, China’s economy has slowed down and the debt has become an albatross for the company….

    “The biggest coal giant has fallen, and Peabody’s bankruptcy should serve as a wake-up call to anyone promising that coal’s heyday will return. As Peabody grapples with the reality that the world is turning away from coal, it’s essential that they don’t turn away from their obligations to workers, communities, and the environment,” said Mary Anne Hitt, the director of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign in a statement.

    In Wyoming, Peabody has $866 million in reclamation obligations that are self-bonded, meaning the state has no money in hand to back them up. Bankruptcy judges have approved deals allowing Arch and Alpha to set aside money for just a fraction of their reclamation obligations in Wyoming as they restructure. The hope is that if the companies emerge from bankruptcy, they will then put up third-party collateral to cover their reclamation costs.


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