A GAO Report released Monday documents incidents where employees of the Forest Service, BLM, Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service were threatened or assaulted. The security review was requested by the Democratic chairman of the U.S House Natural Resources Committee, Rep. Raul Grijalva, and there is a hearing today before a House subcommittee. According to Snopes (so it must be true):
Grijalva said the findings underscore growing concerns over the safety of government workers on public land. The Arizona lawmaker also criticized the Trump administration’s appointment of Bureau of Land Management Acting Director William “Perry” Pendley, who has expressed support for Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy. Bundy’s family played central roles in a 2014 standoff over grazing fees in Nevada and the 2016 occupation of Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. “Making a folk hero out of Bundy, that sets a dangerous precedent,” Grijalva said. “At the top of the agency, they reinforce and embolden some of these actions by doing nothing and previously being in support of them.”
Professor John Freemuth, an expert on U.S. land policies at Boise State University, said it was true that the Trump administration’s pro-development policies could help quiet resentments toward the government. But Freemuth added that anti-government rhetoric also gets legitimized when it’s espoused by prominent figures.
Also, as the Washington Post points out:
In a formal response to the GAO report, Interior Department Assistant Secretary Scott Cameron agreed with recommendations to carry out security assessments at hundreds of government facilities. In a separate response, Forest Service Chief Victoria Christiansen also agreed with the recommendation for security review. Neither response gave details on when the security work would occur.
It’s a tough time to work for the “deep state.”