Monday, November 7, 2011

Whose Pulling BLM’s Strings on Public Land Usage?

Straight from the Horse's Heart

Guest Editorial by Debbie Coffey from the PPJ Gazette

Resource Management Plans (for your land?)

How  does the UN, Monsanto, mining, and oil & gas companies get their  hands into Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Resource Management Plans and  Environmental Assessments to dictate the use of our public lands (and  our future)?
Well, I found one way.  I noticed that two companies, Tetra Tech and Environmental Management & Planning Solutions, Inc. (EMPSi), are preparing BLM (and Forest Service) Resource Management Plans (RMPs), Environmental Impact Statements  (EISs), Environmental Assessments (EAs) and other reports.  (So what do  we pay BLM employees to do, just look pretty in their uniforms?)    
Tetra Tech
It’s not some small environmental company.  Tetra Tech has 13,000 employees in 330 offices around the world.  Tetra tech owns about 25 other companies   and makes billions of dollars in annual revenues.  They work with  developers, nuclear power, energy, mining and minerals processing, etc.   On the Tetra Tech website, it declares: “Our Mission: To be the premier worldwide consulting, engineering, and construction firm.”
Tetra Tech even bought PRO-Intelligent,   an international security and intelligence consulting firm used by the  US State Department.  So they seem to have their hands in everything.
The most troubling aspect about Tetra Tech preparing the plans for the BLM can be seen by looking at Tetra Tech’s Board of the Directors: 
Hugh M. Grant is the Chairman, President and CEO of Monsanto.
(on Tetra Tech’s website, this fact was omitted in his bio).  Why would Monsanto’s CEO be on the Board of an engineering and construction company?
J. Kenneth Johnson is a Director of Alaska Air Group, which owns Coeur D’ Alene Mines Corp.  and Pioneer Natural Resources Co. (oil and gas exploration).  He’s President of Pacific Star Energy LLC, and managing director of Alaska Venture Capital Group (a private oil and gas exploration firm)  He was also an ARCO (BP) executiveAlbert Smith was an Exec V.P. at Lockheed Martin and worked for the CIA.
J. Christopher Lewis co-founded Riordan, Lewis & Haden  and is on the Board of Secure Mission Solutions.  Riordan, Lewis &  Haden has investments in Tetra Tech and Secure Mission Solutions.
Patrick Haden was a partner in Riordan, Lewis &  Haden and Director of TCW Strategies Income Fund and The TCW Funds.   (And USC’s athletic director.)
Richard H. Truly is Director of Xcel Energy, Inc. and is on the Board of the Colorado School of Mines.
Dan L. Batrack, has  a vague bio: Batrack “has served in numerous capacities over the last  30 years, including project scientist, project manager, operations  manager, senior vice president and president of an operating unit.  He  has managed complex programs for many small and Fortune 500 clients,  both in theUnited States and internationally.”
There seems to be possibilities for conflicts of interest.  And also a  possibility to exert some control over land, water and resources.
Tetra Tech has been contracted by the BLM to help the BLM Winnemucca, Nevada office  with their RMP.  Which is interesting, because within the Winnemucca  BLM district is the Rochester Mine, owned by Couer d’Alene Mines, which  Tetra Tech Board Member J. Kenneth Johnson may have an interest in,  since he’s on the Board of Directors of the company that owns Couer d’Alene Mines.
In Tetra Tech’s SEC filings, it states that in regard to revenues, it  received 21.9% from Department of Defense agencies, 11.3% from USAID  and 11.8% from otherU.S.federal government agencies.
It also claims that international business grew 195.0% in the third  quarter of fiscal 2011, and that they expected international business to  grow significantly in fiscal 2011 and continue strong demand for their  services in the mining and energy markets worldwide.
In 2011, they also acquired a mining engineering company in  Australia, which they expected to “enhance” their “technical expertise  in the mining and minerals processing sector” and expand service in  Australia and “serve as a gateway to new markets across Asia and  Africa.”
Sounds like they’re in the mining business to me.  Could they be creating “gateways” here in the USA to increase their business?
If Tetra Tech owns or has clients who own, energy and mining  companies, and they are preparing or helping to prepare the RMPs, EISs  and EAs, it seems like they might be tempted to cut themselves a good  deal.
Tetra Tech RTW mining services provides Heap Leach Facility Design,  Tailings Facility Design, Tailings Delivery Systems, and Mining Process  Fluid Management.    If they’re “providing” tailing delivery systems to  mines, isn’t this selling” this to mining companies?   And unless they’re providing their services for free, their business  depends on mining.  Most businesses want to keep their customers happy  and think of ways to make more money.
Tetra Tech has some interesting connections in the oil and gas industry.   They bought Halliburton’s subsidiaries Brown & Root Environmental  and Halliburton NUS (Nuclear Utilities Service Corp.) in 1997.
Tetra Tech EC designed and constructed more than 20 nuclear power  facilities from 1960 through 1990.  It’s a good thing Tetra Tech also  does remediation.  They could potentially clean up at both ends of the  deal.
Environmental Management & Planning Solutions Inc. (EMPSi)
The BLM Battle Mountain District Office (Nevada) awarded a $1.6  million contract to Environmental Management Planning Solutions Inc. to  prepare a resource management plan (RMP) “to guide development and  conservation on 10.5 million acres of federal land within Lander County,  Eureka County, Nye County, and Esmeralda County, Nevada.”
EMPSi was part of the “Outreach Core Team” to implement Programmatic Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) to facilitate geothermal development on “federal” lands throughout the western US.  It seems EMPSi was/is also doing geothermal permit development support for “confidential clients”  in Nevada.  So they’re preparing a Resource Management Plan for  development and conservation (which may mean just saving assets for  their clients) on the one hand, then on the other hand they’re helping confidential clients get their permits.
Who OWNS EMPSi?  It’s a private company and  it’s hard to find out much about it.  It seems that key employees of  EMPSi have also worked for Tetra Tech.  That includes John E. King, the  “Principal” of EMPSi, who has been at EMPSi since 2006.  Before that, he  was at Tetra Tech from 1982-2006, and was a Vice President.  EMPSi  lists Tetra Tech as a “Client.”
EMPSi was incorporated in Delaware in 2000, so it’s impressive that a  company that is only about 10 years old (again, it’s hard to find the  history of this company, even on its website) has clients including  about 11 US government agencies (including the Departments of Defense,  Interior, Agriculture) states, cities, banks and major energy companies.
EMPSi even assisted Solyndra in getting a Department of Energy loan guarantee.
The UN Connection
If you look at the services on EMPSi’s website , you see terms like socioeconomic & environmental justice, visual resource management and sustainable development.  These terms probably weren’t in US environmental assessments 30 years ago. Socioeconomic justice, also called “equity,” is communism.     
If you look on the UN’s website, specifically about sustainable development in the USA (and note in the heading on the link that this is Agenda 21), , be sure to take note of a sentence in the first paragraph “In the absence of a multi-sectoral consensus on how to achieve sustainable development in the United States, the PCSD was conceived to formulate recommendations for the implementation of Agenda 21.” (PCSD is the US President’s Council on Sustainable Development).
You’ll also see the subtitle “Integrated” Decision Making.  UN’s Agenda 21 is what is being integrated and implemented in the USA, sidestepping Congress and the Constitution.  Read Agenda 21:   .  There are chapters about “changing consumptive patterns” and  “promoting sustainable human settlement development” (this means moving  you out of rural areas and into stack and pack apartments in cities) and  “integrating environment and development into decision-making.” (This includes decision-making like RMPs, EISs and EAs.)
Both Tetra Tech and EMPSi have US agencies as “clients.”  U.S.  agencies that are members of the UN’s IUCN are: U.S. Departments of  State, Commerce, Agriculture (Forest Service), the Interior (Fish and  Wildlife Service and the National Park Service) and the Environmental  Protection Agency (EPA).  These agencies are also on the Rural Council. 
On the IUCN website, it states: “IUCN links its Mission  to the paramount goals of the international community on environment and  sustainable development, in particular Agenda 21…”   Agenda 21 expert Cassandra Anderson of states that Agenda 21 is the United Nations’ ACTION PLAN.
Tetra Tech “participates” in IUCN’s DCMC (DC Marine Community).  The World Bank is on the Advisory Board.  Tetra Tech implemented  a USAID funded a project,  the Forest Carbon, Markets and Communities  (FCMC) Program, led by Scott Hajost (Chief of Party).  Hajost is a  member of the IUCN-US Board, and has served on IUCN Commissions on law  and ecosystems.  Hajost was Senior Counsel to the Center for  International Environmental Law (CIEL) for two years.  (He was writing  the UN laws to be integrated and implemented.)
Resource Mangement Plans
RMPs are a big deal because a lot of BLM plans for “multiple uses”  are based on RMPs for 10 or 15 years.  An RMP (as described on the BLM  website), “will be to establish guidance, objectives, policies, and  management actions for public lands” and addresses:

  • Air Quality
  • Cultural Resources
  • Soil and Water Resources
  • Vegetation
  • Lands and Realty Management
  • Wildlife Habitat and Fisheries Management
  • Mineral and Mining Resources
  • Recreation and OHV Use
  • Visual Resource Management
  • Special Management Designations
  • Hazardous Materials
  • Other Issues

I guess with the “other issues,” the RMP covers everything.
RMPs, EISs and EAs give the green light to certain “multiple uses” on  our public lands (like expanding mining or a free-for-all on the oil  and gas lease sales of our public lands for as little as $2 an acre) or  take away things that were on our public lands, like removing our wild  horses to make room for other uses.
Tetra Tech received a $55 million contract from the EPA for a  Pollution Prevention Program and  a $20 million contract from State  Department US AID for a Climate Change Program.  Looking at the larger  picture, what really seems to be on the horizon in terms of “change”  is the loss pf  our democracy, and active participation in  “prevention”  of private land ownership.


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