LAST EDITED ON Sep-18-17 AT 09:17 AM (MST)
More Trump administration sleight of hand. Roll out a vague, sweeping directive that drops the ball directly onto the agencies that are still reeling from budget cuts, without telling them exactly what they are supposed to do or how. Never mind that they don't have the budget or any legal authority to get it done. This way when nothing happens, the administration can blame it on the agencies, fire some people, and still count it as a win, without actually changing anything.
"Directing agencies to improve public access" is a smoke screen.
"Directing agencies to improve public access by:
1. Purchasing more easements to improve accessibility of "landlocked" parcels;
2. Reopening closed access roads;
3. Revising the land use lease policy;
and providing the budget and legal authority to do it is progress.
I had cautiously high hopes for Zinke at first, but he has been first in line for the Trump Kool-Aid. Of course, if he wasn't he'd have been fired and replaced. There has been a definite pattern (not just in Interior, but across the administration) of tearing down the existing structure and then dumping the burden of replacing it on agencies that were never intended to create rules, but to administer already existing rules.
Call these things what they are- publicity stunts. The Trump administration rolls out something like this, and the hunters and fishermen cheer. Later, the (Trump-appointed) courts tell them the Constitution doesn't allow it, and the antis cheer, because they stopped those evil hunters. The intent is to get a technical win for both sides, and nothing actually changes.