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  • Staci-lee Sherwood

Legal bribery? Federal agencies have their own ‘non profit' with corporate polluters as donors


By Staci-lee Sherwood



Every year the ritual of battling over the budget takes center stage in the nation’s capitol. There is the usual list of politicians posturing for their donors. Each agency and department make the trip to the Hill to make their plea for more tax dollars. They bring a list of programs they point to as justification for the invariable increase. The one thing most American can agree on despite political or religious leaning is that the federal government is out of control with spending. Corruption seems to be at an all time high.



School kids learn that the United States government was founded on the principle of by the people for the people. Take a step back and look at how the government operates. The public has little stake in policy decisions or even elections when you think how the electoral college removes the equality of each vote. Despite all the battles for voting rights we do not have a very active citizenry when it comes to politics. Even in a banner year we never come close to 90% of eligible voters voting.



Corruption spreads because public participation and oversight is lacking. Every year billions of tax dollars are awarded to the Department of Interior and their agencies, along with the Department of Agriculture’s agency the Forest Service. If you thought there was any real accountability for their funding there isn’t. In reality these agencies operate as independent rogue agencies without any input from the public. There is a crinkle that few are aware of. Each of these agencies has a so called ‘non profit’ foundation that raises hundreds of millions of dollars from ‘donors’. You can guess who the donors are and they aren’t your average Joe.



When we think of how these agencies use their funding we assume and hope it’s for their stated purpose. The Department of Interior (DOI) has several agencies charged with being good stewards of our land and the wildlife that call it home. Perusing the policies that currently guide them their actions go against good stewardship. Each agency; Fish and Wildlife, Bureau of Land Management and Park Service have all been co-opted by hunters, ranchers and the energy and mining sectors.



None of these industries has any interest in conservation and will do anything to eradicate whatever obstacle gets in their way including endangered species. The Department of Agriculture (USDA) has its own rogue agency the Forest Service. They also have Wildlife Services that kill millions of native wild animals at the request of ranchers, farmers and homeowners including endangered species. This is done without any verification of damage claims.



Nature has sustained itself for billions of years long before humans showed up. In fact Mother Nature was balanced and thriving until humans decided they knew better. Who really benefits from the billions Congress doles out every year to fund all these so called conservation agencies? It’s not the land, water, air or wildlife it’s only the people whose jobs depend on tax dollars and the industries looking to influence their policy.



Donating to their non profit arm buys face time in a cleaner way and has the added benefit of a tax deduction in exchange for the donation. It also allows for greenwashing for some of the biggest polluters. Why else would oil companies ‘donate’ to the government for a conservation program ? A few million is nothing to them and comes under the heading of cost of doing business. It’s almost like legal bribery isn’t it?



Wrapped in glossy photos and designed to make the public think this will lower taxes ask yourself how billions of dollars already allocated isn’t enough? Ask yourself how wildlife and land truly benefit? Truth is our water is highly contaminated as is our air and soil. We are in the final mass extinctions due to over hunting, over development, out of control human population growth, lack of enforcement of conservation laws and toxic birth control given to many species. What is really being saved when the veneer of conservation is removed and the ugly truth is revealed ? Look at the board and staff not a genuine environmentalist or animal advocate in sight. The positions are filled with industry polluters not looking to save the planet but exploit it.



NATIONAL PARK SERVICE FY 2021 Budget $2,800,000,000

How is it that with a budget in the billions they can’t seem to get anything done without citizens, and mostly corporations, ‘donating’ to their non profit branch? The NPS was established in 1916 as a means to protect our national treasures. These would be areas so stunning they need full protection from development and human encroachment. Over the years their policies did not match their mission statement of The National Park Service preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations.. In fact for many years park rangers conducted a war on wildlife especially predators like wolves. Eventually wolves were wiped out only to be re-introduced in late 1990s.



Are we the taxpayers to believe that their billion dollar budget is not enough to protect the parks? Keep in mind there is another huge agency paid to protect the wildlife in the parks and yet another even larger agency that is suppose to guard over even more public land. How much money does it really take to make sure our national parks don’t burn to the ground or turn into shopping malls?



If the public started questioning just how they spend all your money I bet they wouldn’t be so quick to squander what is more than enough to get the job done. Other than some road maintenance or fire damage restoration and salaries what else do they really need money for? Mother Earth did fine for billions of years protecting things for future generations. The only thing that changed is human destruction. Adding to their many lies is the fact that 11 national parks allow non native cattle and sheep to graze public land by private companies for pennies. These invasive animals do millions of dollars of damage the taxpayer then has to pay for. How does that ’preserve unimpaired natural resources’? It doesn’t because the park service lies and banks on you not questioning them.



Here are some species the NPS is NOT protecting for future generations. In fact these imperiled species are being killed off if not by park rangers directly than by outside hunters.


Tule Elk being fenced in and starved. There are several lawsuits against the park service to reverse their policy of shooting ‘excess’ elk to make room for the 5,000 dairy cows that trample the park. Their population is almost half what it used to be and without water and food they could die off. The Dept of Justice is arguing in court to give cover to the policy of death.


Read more here

https://www.realitycheckswithstacilee.com/post/the-tule-elk-hang-on-by-a-thread-while-insanity-reigns-over-point-reyes-national-seashore



Bison have been killed or as they call it ‘culled’ because they claim there are too many. They used to number in the millions but now a few thousand are deemed too many and end up hunted. Once the icon of the west, and the logo of the NPS, the agency seems less concerned about saving them and more interested in promoting hunting them.


Read more about that here

https://www.realitycheckswithstacilee.com/post/national-park-service-makes-history-with-first-hunt-on-park-soil-of-bison

nps


Mountain Goats are being wiped out in Grand Tetons but allowed to live just a few miles away at Yellowstone. The absurdity almost sickness of killing wildlife that is native shows the parks true colors despite the glossy pages on their website. They could have been relocated as other parks have done but Wyoming preferred to kill them in trophy hunts with the agency’s blessing.


Read more about this here

https://www.realitycheckswithstacilee.com/post/why-are-mountain-goats-considered-native-in-one-park-but-not-in-another-right-next-door

nps


Wild Horses are being removed from Mesa Verde National Park. The small herd that has been experimented on by government ‘scientist’ is probably going to be wiped out too at Teddy Roosevelt National Park. Despite federal protection granted by law in 1971 these two parks want them gone. At Mesa Verde six horses died in 2014 from dehydration after the park superintendent, citing “standard protocol for wildlife management on public lands,” blocked their access to available water. This is what the park service has become. The lie that wild horses are ‘livestock’ is a way for the government that you pay for gets around the laws that you pay them to enforce.


Read about them here https://nmaco.org/mesa-verde/ and about those at TRNP https://www.us-parks.com/theodore-roosevelt-national-park/wild-horses.html


Mesa Verde horses

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Teddy Roosevelt NP horses

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National Park Foundation total revenue 2021 $106,000,000

Established by Congress in 1967 this was the first non profit foundation formed as a partner to a federal agency. Their mission statement sounds a lot like that of the federal agency so what’s the difference and why the need? As the official nonprofit partner of the National Park Service, the National Park Foundation generates private support and builds strategic partnerships to protect and enhance America’s national parks for present and future generations.”



They list the Secretary of Interior as Ex-Officio Director. Among conservationists Deb Haaland is thought to be the worst head of the Dept of Interior. Her decisions are rabid anti wildlife in favor of hunters and ranchers, just as she is one. Another board member is Melani Walton from the Walmart Corporation. They’re known for putting many local businesses out business and selling banned products that cause harm such as the infamous Chinese toothpaste and lead based jewelry. Their chair is Rick L. James who founded Metal technologies. I wouldn’t call any of these board members conservationists in the true sense of the word.



UNITED STATES FISH & WILDLIFE SERVICE FY 2021 Budget$2,800,000,000

Hunters have always infiltrated this agency and now the head is a hunter so expect more killing and less conservation. With a budget in the billions there are a ton of species that could benefit from real conservation that are not getting it. The lawsuits that are continually filed just to get them to do their job are countless. What they actually do with the billions they get from tax payers is anyone’s guess but it sure isn’t going toward conserving our wildlife.



At every turn they are lobbying to have a species removed from the Endangered Species List while increasing the number that can be killed in hunts. Nothing this agency says is true and their budget should be zeroed out if based on honesty. The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people”. How hunting endangered species can be classified as conserving, protecting or enhancing is anyone’s guess. Perhaps their definition is different from everyone else’s.



Here are some of the endangered species the USFWS is working to wipe out by actions. Despite their PR spin for a media that refuses to research and print the truth they are little more than a government sanctioned hunting group.



Wolves were exterminated in the lower 48 states by the 1930s thanks to the National Park Service. Then in the 1990s USFWS spent a lot of time and money on their wolf re-introduction program. It was hailed as an example of government program done right. The Yellowstone wolves brought in millions of tourist dollars from around the world. However shortly after the first killing of the most famous alpha wolf the agency abandoned them. Thirty years later we had a drastic slaughter cutting their population in half with reckless wolf hunts.



Thanks to this agency bending over for hunters and ranchers wolves are back again at being endangered. The agency that once proudly protected them is now stalling about re-listing them on the Endangered Species List, which they should never have been removed from.


Read more about what wolves really go through here https://www.realitycheckswithstacilee.com/post/the-timberline-wolf-pack-centuries-of-hatred-and-persecution-led-to-wolf-pups-unjust-death



Sage Grouse is one of those species the agency claims trying to save and therefore that factors into their budget. How much could they really want to save the species when they still allow hunting? Making a claim to need money to save a species you can still hunt is fraud. If we were a country that valued integrity in government we would call out their lies and remove the entire staff for corruption. A quick Google search shows that while FWS was claiming to protect this species several states were promoting yet another hunting season.


Read more about all the places to hunt them https://www.google.com/search?q=hunting+sage+grouse+2021+&rlz=1C1UEAD_enUS933US933&sxsrf=ALiCzsZiP9W8o1XhLxMTwF1CrVd_RxwacQ%3A1651103728537&ei=8NdpYveyIJS6sAfokaOwAg&ved=0ahUKEwj36ufZuLX3AhUUHewKHejICCYQ4dUDCA4&oq=hunting+sage+grouse+2021+&gs_lcp=Cgdnd3Mtd2l6EAwyBQghEKABMgUIIRCgATIFCCEQoAEyBQghEKsCOgcIABBHELADOgoIABBHELADEMkDOgUIABCABDoGCAAQFhAeOgUIABCGA0oECEEYAEoECEYYAFC6B1jOFGCtL2gBcAF4AIABkAGIAe4FkgEDMC42mAEAoAEByAEIwAEB&sclient=gws-wiz

usfws


Sea Turtles have been in trouble for decades. Archie Carr knew this in the 1960s. The Green Sea Turtle was literally eaten into extinction in US waters. For twenty years American biologists went to the Caribbean to collect turtle eggs which they relocated to US hatcheries. It takes about twenty years for them to mature so in the 1980s the first hatchlings born in the 1960s came back to their natal beach to lay eggs. Over the years their numbers increased and eating turtle soup outlawed.



Every year millions of hatchlings die from light pollution. The state of Florida is loathe to fix the problem siding with profiteers from tourist industry. The USFWS is only too happy to close an eye to the beaches covered with death tracks from hatchlings that should have been able to make it to the ocean but were denied life.


Read more about that here

https://www.scubaverse.com/floridas-latest-assault-on-sea-turtles-and-why-the-global-community-should-be-concerned/


Unfortunately for sea turtles their biggest threat to survival is the state they nest in most abundance, Florida. The state lobbied to have them removed from the Endangered Species List based on false information. Fish and Wildlife couldn’t accommodate them fast enough. No sooner was protection removed than their nesting numbers dropped. The critically endangered Leatherback is allowed to be experimented on. These experiments have nothing to do with saving the species but rather it’s to protect the jobs and grants for the scientists and university.


Read more about that here

https://www.realitycheckswithstacilee.com/post/florida-abuses-sea-turtles-by-allowing-experiments-on-endangered-hatchlings


Leatherback hatchlings from a morning hatch waiting for release at night



Manatees have been starving for over a year now. The promised ‘emergency’ funding has never come. The water quality has become toxic over years of dumping waste, leaking septic tanks and spraying deadly herbicides. At no time did this agency ever ask the state of Florida to stop, if anything they give the state FWC agency cover for lack of action. While this endangered species only found in 1 state barely hangs on the USFWS is lobbying for donations from oil companies and other polluters for their ‘non profit’.


Read more about manatees here

https://www.realitycheckswithstacilee.com/post/manatee-death-rate-skyrockets-while-florida-s-fwc-covers-up-the-cause-lies-to-tourist

James R.D. Scott / Getty Images



National Fish and Wildlife Foundation total revenue 2021 $392,000,000

The chair is J. Michael Cine who is multi millionaire that just bought a Palm Beach home for $21,000,000. He’s the founder of a tech company that works within the healthcare system. He’s also a board member of The Conservation Society headquartered at the Bronx Zoo in New York City. Just a thought but I wouldn’t envision a wealthy tech guy who supports captivity and zoos as the leader of conservation for wildlife.



Their Vice Chair is Sydney Mcniff Johnson who hails from the energy sector. According to her resume ‘Sydney received a BA in Political Science and Economics from Colorado College, where she wrote her thesis, "A Cost Comparison of Nuclear versus Coal for Electrical Generation 1985–2000.’ I think her resume speaks for itself. Lastly we have another board member Bruce Culpepper former president of Shell Oil, a hunter and life member of Houston Livestock and Rodeo. It seems there is a theme here more in line with CONservation than anything else. Their corporate partners reads like a who’s who of industry from BP and Shell oil to Cargill, UBS and Wells Fargo. Anyone want to guess what they really do with a 1/3 of a billion dollars?



Some of their industry partners



UNITED STATES FOREST SERVICE FY 2021 Budget $7,400,000,000

With a budget over 7 BILLION dollars what could they possibly need more money for ? Broken down to what would truly help the forests there are just a few things. Clearing non native invasive plants would be top priority. After that removing some, but not all, dead trees and plants from a fire and planting trees and wildflowers. Nature will take care of the rest better than any person ever could. “Caring for the Land and Serving People,” captures the Forest Service mission. As set forth in law, the mission is to achieve quality land management under the sustainable multiple-use management concept to meet the diverse needs of people: It includes:”



One of their guiding principles is ‘We follow laws, regulations, executive direction, and congressional intent. ‘ They don’t follow the 1971 Wild Free Roaming Wild Horse and Burro Act because they’re busy rounding up and killing off the horses. They list this as one of their visions ‘We are an efficient and productive organization that excels in achieving its mission.’ If that were true why isn’t $ 7,900,000,000 enough to do their job ? If this is one of their mottos ‘Providing technical and financial assistance to cities and communities to improve their natural environment by planting trees and caring for their forests’ then why is Subaru donating to their non profit to plant trees?

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/subaru-of-america-expands-partnership-with-national-forest-foundation-with-commitment-to-plant-one-million-trees-301413204.html

Wildfires are becoming a year round crisis. Larger and longer lasting there seems no end in sight. Preventing them is suppose to be the main function of this agency. The billions of damage the fires do, the millions of animals killed and all the homes destroyed you would think the agency would jump at a natural safe sustainable way to mitigate and prevent this right? Instead they fight it preferring to take a reactionary policy and spray toxic chemicals putting out the fires. They also have fires get out of control with their prescribed burns.



Nature was balanced until the forest service came in and signed off on commercial logging and hunting of herbivores. Before that the land was healthy. Now they have lifelong job security putting out fires and pretending to protect the forests when their policies say otherwise.


One of the best ways to prevent wildfires would be to restore the wild horse population that this agency and the Bureau of Land Management are trying to wipe out. Wild horses help restore and maintain a healthy ecosystem while grazing because unlike cattle, the horses are native and designed to work with the ecosystem.


Read more here https://www.wildhorsefirebrigade.org/post/canwildhorseshelppreventwildfiresinthewest

Josh Edelson / AFP - Getty Images



Wild Horses in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest herds are to be wiped out. This is being done at the urging of the Center for Biological Diversity who claim the horses are doing damage to the habitat of an endangered mouse and frog. Cattle are also there and they are the ones doing the damage. Horses have lived here for thousands of years and never caused any species to go extinct. The forest service is only too happy to oblige with a round up.


Read more about this herd being removed here

https://www.courthousenews.com/forest-service-plans-to-cull-arizona-wild-horse-herd/



Tongass National Forest is a one of kind. It is the largest forest we have and home to many imperiled species, like bears, pushed out of other areas. It’s been logged and is under constant pressure to expand logging and build roads. Neither of these will protect the forest. The agency needs ongoing reminders to not sellout to logging companies as they have in the past.


Read more about this forest and the roadless rule here https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/articles/2021/01/12/the-roadless-rule-is-good-for-the-tongass-national-forest-and-the-economy

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National Forest Foundation total revenue 2020 $25,000,000

The chair is Rob Leary, a lawyer from the asset management and banking industries and is also a hunter. He worked for the law firm White & Case whose clients include Sony, Panasonic and the oil company Saudi Aramco. Board member Caroline Choi hails from the energy sector. Another board member is Timothy Proctor Schieffelin also from wealth management where he worked as an executive for Bank of America and Citicorp. The marketing industry is where Hugh Wiley another board member comes from, he too is a hunter.



Imagine if the board were made up of firefighters, scientists and environmentalists. With all the millions this non profit gets they could do some real forest restoration to a healthy sustainable balance. We don’t need logging companies and hunters in charge of policy you see where that has gotten us.



BUREAU OF LAND MANGEMENT FY 2021 Budget $1,100,000,000

This agency is best known for brutally rounding up native wild horses. Their failure to enforce and abide by a law they are paid to with millions of tax dollars has become a national disgrace. They manage hundreds of millions of acres of public land yet often treat it like their own. Their policies clearly favor the ranching and energy industries with little to no oversight when the public’s land has been over grazed or polluted.



Currently they seem to be in a race to lease as much land as possible to be dug up by the private mining companies for the benefit of the few. This is not how public land should be managed. “The Bureau of Land Management's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.” Their mission statement and policies are in contradiction of each other.


Here is the truth that has been reported on for decades yet nothing changes no one held accountable. Refusal to enforce the law should be immediate grounds for dismissal yet the employees get a free ride on the taxpayer dime.



Wild Horses have been rounded up, abused and sent to slaughter shortly after supposedly getting full legal protection to prevent that. The agency charged and paid to enforce the law and protect them is responsible for all the misery they suffer. Thought to be the most corrupted of all government agencies they routinely lie about the health of wild horses. Aside from being protected the horses actually help restore the ecosystem including helping to prevent wildfires. Knowing this you would think the BLM would be saving them not exterminating them but you would be wrong.



Conditions are so bad at the holding facilities many call for defunding the agency. Many misguided groups call for the use of toxic birth control only adding to the plight of the horses. The health of horses drastically declines once in government custody. Few get adopted even fewer get adopted by loving homes as the BLM has a cozy transactional relationship with many kill buyers. While in custody the public rarely gets to see the truth which is poor food, dirty water and horses living and sleeping in their own poop. Imagine if human children were treated this way.


Read more about the truth of the roundups here https://www.realitycheckswithstacilee.com/post/the-wild-horse-roundups

Jen Rogers


Read more about the abuses wild horses endure here https://www.realitycheckswithstacilee.com/post/madmen-of-the-prairie-making-millions-killing-america-s-wild-horses-burros


A foal sleeps in filth at the Delta holding facility in Utah one of the worst and privately owned

Jen Rogers



Burros have been given the same legal protection as the wild horses yet are often forgotten when it comes to lawsuits by all the wild horse groups. They too are rounded up, abused, assaulted and mostly shipped to China for the donkey skin trade. They have a unique ability to make drinking wells in the desert which other species depend on. Despite their legal protection and symbiotic relationship with other desert animals they’re treated like trash by this agency.

Read more about our Burros here

https://www.realitycheckswithstacilee.com/post/the-wild-burros-the-forgotten-equine

platero project



The Arctic Wildlife Refuge is the country’s most important onshore denning area for polar bears. Here we have another critically endangered species that is allowed to be hunted because of good old fashion corruption and stupidity. Every year the hope of drilling in ANWR is floated and so far has not come to pass. Despite public outcry against drilling on the public’s land this agency seems bound and determined to plunder and destroy. Their stupidity is like none other since all the major oil companies have said there isn’t enough to make it worthwhile and insurance companies have refused to insure. Despite overwhelming evidence drilling would be an unparalleled disaster the BLM persist. Never discount the inability to penetrate cement with facts.


Read more about drilling in ANWR here

https://www.wilderness.org/wild-places/alaska/oil-drilling-arctic-national-wildlife-refuge


Polar Bears try to hang on

Eric Regehr/usfws



Foundation for America’s public Lands

Newly formed they don’t yet have a public history. Congress authorized its creation in 2017. The head of the BLM, Tracy Stone-Manning a.k.a. stone cold Manning, will serve as an ex officio board member. She’s a hunter so we can assume more of the same yielding to hunters and ranchers wrapped in the blanket of multi-purpose. Other board members include former Montana Gov. Steve Bullock and former BLM director Neil Kornze. History of the agency and the non profit’s board show it’s safe to assume things won’t really change except for a thin veneer of greenwashing.



If you are disgusted by this blatant lack of ethics and the absurdity of donating to the government that already gets high taxes there are some things you can do.

*Spread the word about this don’t let the government hide in plain sight

*Make calls to your elected officials and get them riled up about these unethical practices

*Go to hearings and speak up

*Research who you donate to most would not want to donate to the government

*Research who you vote for ask questions and demand answers

One voice won’t change anything but a million together will. If you are not disgusted by this you should go back to school and study what a democracy is and what a government that represents its people is. This is not it but there is always a chance for change.



Wrap it up in fancy words THIS is what it’s really all about.




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