Incident Briefing: BLM decision to close planning meetings to the public.
Apparently "transparency" means different things to different people.
BLM's Wyoming Office has indicated that it will not permit public access to meetings in which land use plans and management strategies will be developed. Such actions appear to be in sharp contrast to the White House's commitment to transparency in Federal government operations.
BLM spokesperson Mary Wilson told the Associated Press that the meetings were part of a long planning process, and that the agency was concerned that people who attended only one or two people would get an inaccurate sense of what was going on.
Horse advocates and representatives of other interest groups have criticized this policy, arguing that the public's right to observe and learn about how Federal land policies are developed exceeds by a great margin any issues involving how a spectator may or may not perceive the activities taking place at any given meeting.
As one horse advocate explained, "In a highly charged environment where BLM has been accused of making decisions in a smoke filled room and is trying to regain its credibility, it's puzzling that Wyoming BLM would send out for another box of cigars."
The original AP story can be viewed on the
KIFI (Idaho Falls Channel 8) website.