Zinke: “It’s not the time for finger-pointing” Also Zinke: “I will lay this on the foot of those environmental radicals”

A day after President Trump blamed California’s wildfires on a lack of raking, Secretary Zinke told Breitbart that “It’s not the time for finger-pointing” regarding wildfires.

And then literally a few minutes later Zinke said “I will lay this on the foot of those environmental radicals that have prevented us from managing the forests for years … This is on them.”

Not climate change. Not record high temperatures. Not record drought. Not high winds. Not over-development in fire prone landscapes. Not PG&E power lines that sparked the Camp Fire. Nope.

It’s all the fault of “environmental radicals.”

Does anyone know if “environmental radicals” are also the same as “environmental terrorist groups,” whom Zinke blamed for wildfires in California back in August?

10 thoughts on “Zinke: “It’s not the time for finger-pointing” Also Zinke: “I will lay this on the foot of those environmental radicals””

  1. Secretary Zinki, We have hundreds of BLM Regional Advisory Council clean-up forest projects sitting in the wings waiting for you to release the funds that you have been sitting on for a year and a half. Mr. Secretary you need to take responsibility for your lack of action.

  2. Follow this link for STREAMING VIDEO of the new KUED documentary on the controversial Bears Ears National Monument. I thought it was well done, but parts of this film will no doubt give both sides of the issue heartburn. But it’s also the first time I’ve seen any mainstream media outlet attempt to even listen to BOTH sides of the debate, in a mostly evenhanded manner…it’s worth a look. You’ll be surprised that not all Native Americans were for the Monument and that even they are divided. They are no more together on issues than the United States is united or the European Union is a union. But the documentary was well done and provided voices from both sides. The diehards on both sides will most likely not be moved from their position. What it does illustrate is how there is not any type of political ideology which bring all peoples together on anything. Anyway, still worth a watch.


  3. Canyon Country Zephyr posted another interesting article that revealed the true “smoking gun” about the designation of Bears Ears National Monument.
    “To me, on election night 2016, the decision to designate a large national monument in San Juan County went from being a questionable theoretical proposition to a clear act of environmental negligence. There was no plausible scenario at that point in which the new monument would be implemented with any enthusiasm. A more realistic expectation was for the catastrophe that has unfolded.

    First, Do Harm

    It turns out Obama’s staff at Interior made a similar assessment of the situation in late 2016, but, remarkably, rather than conclude that designating the monument had become a colossally bad idea, they determined that it was the most responsible thing they could do.

    We know this for sure because of a presentation at John Hopkins University that involved several monument advocates. Much of the information presented is well-worn terrain, but there are also a number of novel and surprising claims made by all of the panelists.

    One such nugget comes about an hour into the presentation, when Tommy Beaudreau, Chief-of-Staff of former Interior Secretary Jewell, explains that the decision to launch the monument directly into the current political thresher was done with full knowledge that what has happened would happen. He acknowledges that the administration knew in late 2016 that the monument proclamation would be received as an act of provocation if not a declaration of total war. They knew there was no chance that the monument as designated would be properly funded or any other constructive steps taken toward its implementation. They knew the ensuing controversy would be protracted and the outcome of the fight uncertain. They knew this chain reaction would negatively impact the landscape and its cultural resources. And still they set it in motion.

    The obvious question is this: how could anyone make a risk assessment even superficially similar to the one outlined at the top yet reach a completely opposite conclusion about what constitutes a responsible course of action? The answer, it turns out, depends on whether you’re trying to protect a place or a particular interpretation of the Antiquities Act.

    This becomes clear during the same segment of the Johns Hopkins presentation, when Beaudreau explains in clear and relatively detailed fashion that what made some sacrifice of Bear Ears tolerable is that it represents the best opportunity to “prepare the battlefield” for a court fight over the limits of the Antiquities Act.”

    Here is the link: http://www.canyoncountryzephyr.com/2018/12/02/bears-ears-brinkmanship-with-friends-like-these-does-cedar-mesa-need-enemies-by-stacy-young/

  4. Thanks for these links, Kevin! I offer another reason.. by setting up a future environmental controversy, the stage could be set for anti-R donations to avoid the “no foreigners funding partisan politics” rules. More about skirting campaign finance rules and funding your candidates/policies with foreign donations and less about the Antiquities Act.

    • Sharon: – “Thanks for these links”

      The Zephyr has written about the giant corporations who have benefitted from Monument and wilderness designation and have donated large sums of sums monies to the right political peoples who lean towards their industrial outdoor recreational business wishes. Companies like Patagonia, Black Diamond, North Face, etc. Nobody demonizes these entities who wish to make their fortunes off such areas because it’s assumed they are more ecogreen and they also subscribe to all the other politically approved Social Justice Warrior causes. I had a friend whose photography I like and follow who posted an old article from earlier this year about all the evil Coal, Oil, Uranium and other Mining companies who were going to benefit from the Bears Ears demise by staking claims. It was from January 2018) I showed him another article from Business Insider a week after the government opened up the office for companies to make claims and nobody came. I asked Jim Styles about this and he said the area doesn’t have all that natural resource wealth as claimed and where there is large resources, it’s logistically too expensive to extract and no profit in it. What oil wells that do exist provide very little and most wells from years previous were dry wells. But the attention and fuss over this region has attracted large numbers of tourists with offroad vehicles, developement (hotels, B&Bs, Restaurant chains, Outdoor Sports Equipment store outlets, etc). The shear volume of these outdoor party goers all converging on this region has caused ruin as the Zephyr have been reporting on. I showed all this to my friend who is a huge serial Trump Basher (which I could care less since don’t ever vote), but his response was common from what I have heard others say.

      “It’s almost always a lose/lose situation, still, I believe I favor degradation via tourists rather than open pit mines ran by greedy corporations.”

      Patagonia, North Face, Black Diamond are also greedy corporations, but they get a free pass because they’re on the right side and support that side through donations. Fact, there’s no difference between sides here. It’s a matter of what flavour appeals to each individual I guess. The planet’s natural world just doesn’t have a chance.

  5. “The shear volume of these outdoor party goers all converging on this region has caused ruin.” If the alternative is mining, leading to boom and bust, I think most would go with preserving the goose for the community’s future golden eggs rather than building a future ghost town.

    I think there is also a difference in the on-site effects between mining infrastructure and recreation infrastructure, and in their irreversibility. If that’s the choice.

    • Jon Haber: “I think there is also a difference in the on-site effects between mining infrastructure and recreation infrastructure, and in their irreversibility. If that’s the choice.”

      Yup, except noone seems interested in mining this area. But on the point of mining effect, especially where we have the industrial version of strip mining, yeah, I’ve never really understood why there is no real enforced requirement to either put things back or at least a little restoration. There are some examples after years of pushing, but not enough.

      We also have another new cultural generation of outdoor recreational user who resents being told anything regarding responsibility and behaviour and they’re spreading.


    • Actually, Jon, I’m sure it really depends on the kind of mining and the kind of infrastructure. For example, I’ve reviewed EIS’s for both under and above ground coal mining- they’re very different. I think they were talking about uranium and oil and gas in Bears Ears, and those are very different as well.
      I’m really suspicious about how the uranium developed into a big story based on a sentence in the company’s comments, as I said here..
      “And Energy Fuels’ own interpretation of the sentence they wrote in the letter. “We pointed out the fact that there are uranium and vanadium deposits on some of the land (facts that anyone could find on USGS and other government reports). But, we as a company have no interest in mining the land in the original designated boundaries of the monument.” (from an email to me.)

      The Colorado Politics story refers to “Fortune magazine says that “while working as a lobbyist, Wheeler worked, along with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, to open part of Utah’s Bears Ears National Monument for uranium mining.” Which assumes, I guess, that at the lobbying meeting, Energy Resources lobbied for something they did not say in their letter. How would anyone know that? How could it be proven one way or another? I guess we have to wait and see if any applications come in to the BLM.”

      It’s 2018 now and so far there’s no application. Experienced folks know that it’s unlikely that anything could happen anyway before 2020 in terms of approving an application. I would use the term “beating a dead horse” in terms of scaremongering about this, except PETA tells us that I should use the term “feeding a fed horse” instead.


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