Notes From the Field: Belief-Based Science versus Fact Based Science with Evidence

John W. Cox MFA

Nature is a dynamic situation from day to day. Nature shows us, in particular those of us that are in the field daily or weekly and dealing with wildlife as well as terrestrial ecology, the way it interacts with one another. Many of us realized from the beginning that conflicts exist between belief-based-knowledge bias and experience-based-knowledge.

What we see in the field over the years, is an undisputed truth – that ecology habitats are not static, isolated, or independent landscapes. What most of us have seen is the fact these habitats are dynamic, integrated with larger landscapes, and certainly – beyond a doubt – affected negatively by human activity.

These “affects” generated by humans, DOI/BLM mostly, are nothing more than a captured indulgence of negative values, or twisting the term sustainability, awkwardly, at best. Their bias-perception, in government, favors management of wildlife and natural resources – and it should always be managed by human-manipulation. Their belief extends to, “. . . nature then, will survive, sustainable to infinity.”

Our government, i.e. a good example being the DOI/BLM Grazing Permit Program ($521-Billion in the past 20 years in subsides) awkwardly failing at every level, i.e. in reality, a Natural Resource Management and Business Management occasion that simply does not work; although, it is government management that keeps believing it will work out, and one day there would be no more conflicts and nature would survive, magically doing so . . .  As nothing else was placed into this myth, other than sever illusions of it working, eventually.

As crude as this sounds, this pretty much sums up the belief-base-bias, ironically, that we place so much significance upon, to resolve this nature–human conflict, accordingly . . . And oh yes, many bad-business and ranching people subsidized (why it is referred to as Welfare Ranching) and become very rich from the Grazing Permit Program. In truth, it is nothing more than “welfare” tagged as a subsidy – and many are members of the same church – coincidence?

Two immediate examples stand out in the world of Wild Horses and Public Lands, where management remains forced upon our natural environment through belief-based-bias, rather than reality. Evidence? The overpopulation of Wild Horses on Public Lands lies, based on belief and bias more than reality – and consummated by the belief-bias, these managers know, the over-population does not exist, yet force it on to the public as knowledgeable information – even though science and math obviously show us much different facts, as well as ignored evidence and laws.

We need-not go back very far in history to see that government, with their all-consuming ignorance, (i.e. inadequately suppressed fires also, but not in this conversation) removed wolves and coyotes from their natural settings. They say, “. . . to support the forests and the “good” game animals’ management paradigms – such as elk and deer; yet in reality, not factual-based science either, but bias as well, and supported by opinion rather than objective science and truthful data.

 According to those in government, managers of our natural resources and wildlife, it was logical to remove “bad influences” from government lands; which, many folks, both government and the average hunter, still believe this bias-motive, to control things $$$$, whether or not “bad or worse-yet” case scenarios blatantly exist, consistently show us how absolutely “wrong” it is (similar to many wild horse advocates, supposing they have to pick one bad non-profit opinion-based = One Option Fits All” as a resolution, when the solutions they speak-of, in truth, fixes nothing at all $$$$). This equates to a profound-ignorance that is based entirely upon bias, and simply does not work – never has done so, as evidenced by history and the current destruction of the governments Single-Use of industry on Public Lands, and to hell with anything else – and oh yes, call it sustainability . . . and refer to it as Multi-Use of America’s Public Lands.

Even though progress went from the early nineteen twenties and thirties all the way to the nineteen seventies and early eighties, toward better management – wildlife resolution, the DOI BLM neglected to pay attention. Little progress was made to move away from perceived notions of right and wrong in the matters of wildlife management, and to this day ignores science and ecology – with harmful effects to our natural resources and our Public Lands.

How profound is this ignorance I speak of here? Their god is developed by humankind in the form of pesticides, herbicides, and crude management principles, both wildlife and terrestrial, that promote belief-system-bias, rather than science, nor use facts and evidence. As one BLM Dir. we watched from afar on a video, announced his education and degrees proudly. He then followed up with some of the most blatant bias, ignorance, and outright lies, about wildlife and Wild Horses on our Public Lands one could ever imagine – All the while, ironically, backing the comments with his commitment to his degrees from college – as if everything was okay, as he received degrees, and upon that alone, his declaration to everything he said was some type of truth. One cannot make this type of hypocrisy or ignorance up, at all –

Many of us walked away from the video, after hearing enough belligerent and ignorant bias, shaking our heads and pondered the situation – and realized, this person in the video either did not see the things that were to his front in real time; or, was simply a very corrupt government employee, a criminal, with a college education. And this is the normal situation we deal with when dealing with DOI/BLM mentality (using the term loosely here) and management.

As Americans concerned with our Public Lands, precisely the bogus management of our Public Lands that we see daily now, we understand the need for a couple of very significant situations, in order to generate, or even appeal toward sustainability of our natural resources. A belief-based bias toward management of our nation’s wildlife and lands, quite frankly, destroys everything.

Here we envision a long-term management paradigm, that is based on adequate understanding of sound Ecological Habitat and system functions, that will prevail over belief-based-bias and ignorance. We realize we can reach sustainability 100% from consistent research of a quality that is required now, rather than ignored. We need to accept the paradigm shift from belief-based rhetoric to science-based natural resource management.


Posted by on February 5, 2023 in Uncategorized


Bureau of Land Management Forestry Corruption – or Is It a Disguised Grazing Permit Program?

John W. Cox, MFA

Field Notes: BLM Lumber and Wild Horse Corruption – Same Issues

It’s hard to imagine, those of us that have known the Bureau of Land Management over a few decades now, that they also manage a lot of our forestry in the 11 Western States. We find many BLM allotments, or timber stands/sales, in Washington State, Idaho, Oregon, California, and other states having developed timber-harvesting, with no environmental assessment, or any type of land management strategies, directly related to any dynamics of sustainability. Even though, they tell the general public they do so . . .

Examples abound in the matters of timber being harvested; then, not so ironic, failing to regenerate (proper reforestation) the land or timber-stands for future harvesting. So, these lands had been turned over to the BLM’s Grazing Permit Programs! Yup, cattle ranching.

Not so surprising, these lands eventually become nothing more than sagebrush mixed with weeds (directly related to Cattle grazing), or what the BLM refers to as “grasslands”. Ironically, some of these lands I mention here obtained a BLM – supposedly – Environmental Analysis. These documents targeted many timber-harvested areas for the reestablishment — or future timber harvests and forest stands, and yet become what we refer to as “Sagebrush-Grasslands.

Keep in mind that any type of reliable forest-management dynamic and accurate data, is directly related to sustainability. This is the fundamental dynamic toward proper Lands Management, inclusive of forestry and the Grazing Permit Program related to ranching. Further investigation shows the BLM simply does not manage our Public Lands for profit nor sustainability, what so ever – in another words their forestry programs are not related toward reforestation trends, cutting rates, or environmental law; we find shadows of the Grazing Permit Program with similar characteristics. . .

It is interesting to note here, that the BLM requires a 10 year Reinventory of Forest Lands for Timber Harvesting, as policy. What the actual, or reality, circumstance is – they do not do a 10-year Reinventory of Forestry Lands, but rely on situations and Reinventory reports from the nineteen seventies, nineteen eighties, nineteen nineties, and early 2000 Reinventory Reports.

Yes, just as they do the Environmental Impact Statements in the Wild Horse programs in the BLM. . . They take data and information from previous reports, both Reinventory Reports, as well as Environmental Impact Statements, from many decades ago — change the dates and some of the information contained at a desk in their office on their computer, stamp it with current dates, and submitted as a current management tool – for Timber Harvesting, or harvesting Wild Horses. It is all the same to them — to taxpayer’s not so much, because it costs $-millions!

The BLM budgets are then obtained, from this data, despite policy or regulatory issues that conflict with it directly, toward these antiquated reports, acreage statistics, and supposedly present timber stands. Then, because there is no transparency, they get away with what can only be explained as — continued “fraudulent activity”.

Upon review of several management program reports, myself and others found after 30+ years, there is no real modernization-activity in their forestry management programs and reporting process and methodology. As one attorney stated, “. . . the situation is clearly a contradiction with DOI / BLM laws and policy.”

So here is a new term for us all – phantom forest syndrome: BLM trees exist everywhere – on paper that is, in computer models and in resource plans – but not on the ground. If we looked hard enough, we would probably see a phantom Wild Horse behind every one of these phantom trees . . .This situation was looked into in the nineteen nineties as well as the early 2000’s, and it still exists today.

BLM has an inability to reforest, directly, any dynamic favoring sustainability, or areas within a planned time. This issue directly affects projected yields, and sustainability and economic returns for industry and government alike. Reforestation and restocking (i.e. inventories of tree stands) failures lead to overly optimistic sale projections, which results in over cutting and overabundant timber harvesting. I wonder if this has anything to do with the odd situation of Logging Corporations also have ownership and Grazing Permit Lease arrangements with the BLM – and the fraud and corruption goes on and on . . .

Due to these phantom forests, reforestation often compounded by livestock trampling and weed infestation. Reforestation failures have resulted in brush fields, where trees planted, die from nutrient and moisture stress.

I have also found several areas, and due to misinformation from old environmental assessments or old Reinventory reports, that promoted current BLM Lands that were previously clear-cut back in the eighties, nineties, and 2,000, still having regeneration problems today. And you know who gets the blame for these regeneration problems? Wild Horses.

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Posted by on February 1, 2023 in Uncategorized