Tuesday, October 6, 2009

BLM Employees Too Cozy With Advocacy Groups, IG Report Says

The New York Times

Published: October 5, 2009

"Bureau of Land Management employees appeared to be "less than objective" and created the potential for illegal behavior when coordinating with environmental groups over the National Landscape Conservation System, the Interior inspector general has found.

The Interior IG investigated the interaction between federal employees and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) after receiving a complaint that NLCS directors were potentially engaged in inappropriate relationships with advocacy groups and possibly violated anti-lobbying statutes and policies. The report (pdf) focuses largely on interactions with the National Wildlife Federation." More>>>

Excerpt from report>>>>

"Lobbying Congress through the National Wildlife Federation On November 28, 2007, Jeff Jarvis e-mailed a legislative representative for the NWF, a nonprofit based in Reston, VA, stating: “I am in Northern New Mexico. We are looking at some protected archaeological sites protected by law in Galisteo. The managers and staff want to be added to NLCS. I don’t want to complicate anything, but what would it take to add a few small areas to the legislation?” On December 5, 2007, the NWF legislative representative e-mailed Jarvis asking him to contact her “off line” concerning the Galisteo Basin.

We interviewed the NWF legislative representative who worked for BLM as the special assistant to the Director for five years. In 2006, she started working at NWF as the legislative representative, she said, and she was responsible for advocating for public lands policy and wildlife. She said her work included NLCS, mining reform, oil and gas reform, wildlife habitat, and oil shale issues. She first met Jeff Jarvis and Elena Daly when she worked for BLM, she said."

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