Charles W. Sylvester
P.O. Box 155
LaSalle, CO 80645
Farm_Cowboy@msn.com (970) 284-6874
Secretary Sally Jewell
U.S. Department of Interior
1849 C. St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20240
July 31, 2015
Dear Secretary Jewell,
Regards: Fraudulent Property Accounting Complaint
Please consider this my formal complaint regarding the engagement of Fraudulent Property Accounting on Federal Land in Wyoming by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) under the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI).
Reason for my complaint:
BLM has gone outside the lawful scope of their assigned administrative duties, choosing instead to engage in *Fraudulent Accounting of *Settled Property on Federal Land (in Wyoming). This has burdened me with a financial loss, which, by law, is considered as a Takings due Just Compensation.
In 1993, an Interim Agreement was made between the DOI (BLM) and Wyoming Granite Mountain Open (GMO) No. 1636 Allotment Owners (AO – and also known as Stockholders and Permittees).
The Lander BLM agent explained to GMO Stockholders that an agreement was necessary for conservation and range rest. He said that unless we signed the agreement, we wouldn’t get any “improvements” – i.e. cooperation from BLM.
We, the stockholders, believed him. We believed the agreement was as stated, “interim – i.e. temporary,” and that BLM would honor their commitment to improvements, so we agreed to voluntarily give up 45% AUM’s., leaving 55% of AUM’s based on 1993 numbers…NOT the highest historic levels.
GMO Allotment Owners have run considerably less than their highest historic number over the past 30 or so years; since 1993, they’ve run likely a quarter (maybe an eighth) less.
Knowing the Grazing Fee each Allotment Owner pays goes into a Range Management Fund from which Allotment Owner may draw upon when needed for range Improvement on their specific Allotment, I assumed BLM would simply match that which was already mine.
Though I honored my part of the agreement, I noticed within a few years that the BLM did not honor theirs. They chose instead to increase the feral horse herds far beyond the management levels of 160 (minimum) and 250 (maximum) with roundups every 3 years. Feral horse numbers have not been maintained at levels less than 250 over the past 22 years.
On a 2006 range tour, Roy Packard (then in charge of the Feral horse program), bragged there were probably 800 horses; BLM employees reported up to 1,100 at one time on the GMO.
So began the Allotment Owners request the “temporary” agreement be terminated. In a February 22, 2012 letter, BLM agent Richard Vandervoet finally did terminate the Interim Agreement.
My Water and Range rights had vested in the late 1800’s. These rights to forage and water have never been waived, extinguished or voluntarily abandoned.
Said forage and water constitute my private property; private property BLM’s excess feral horses stole.
On settled Federal Land, BLM is administrative only. BLM has never been given authority to manage the private businesses of Allotment Owners.
BLM’s refusal to recognize my *Vested Property Rights on Federal land has directly contributed to harming my business by leaving me a financial loss.
Under historic statues, State and U.S. Constitutions, these government generated losses are wholly recognized as takings compensable to Allotment Owners.
It appears that because BLM does not recognize settled property on Federal Land, they are engaging in Fraudulent Property Accounting.
Secretary Jewell, I want you to fix the problem of BLM’s engagement in Fraudulent Property Accounting.
Here are some recommendations that will help fix this problem:
1) Identify all settled and or adjudicated (or both) property on Federal Land.
2) Order BLM agents to recognize these property owners and thereon not engage in managing their private business.
3) Order BLM agents to not knowingly deny property owners use of their property.
4) Unless deputized by the County Sheriff, remind BLM agents they have no law enforcement authority.
5) Order BLM agents to stop engaging in actions outside their authority; actions that include threatening, harassing and coercing Allotment Owners.
6) Either give property owners equal Department of Justice (DOJ) protections as enjoyed by BLM agents, or strip BLM agents DOJ protections and mandate they seek and pay for their own attorney fees as do property owners. This Equal Standing would eliminate agents going rogue, and hold them accountable for their individually executed actions.
7) Educate public on which property is settled and which is not, so they don’t unknowingly trespass or interfere with Allotment Owners business.
8) Order Endangered Species Act (ESA) to never deny Allotment Owners their right to “do business as usual.”
9) If ESA designates a living thing “endangered” status, and substantiates “need” to use Allotment Owners property, mandate ESA honor “just compensation” for “takings” - with payment in full and in advance of commencement of takings.
10) Mandate that any entity that generates a meeting that involves Allotment Owners property, be prepared to compensate Allotment Owner whatever costs Allotment Owner accrues attending meeting.
11) Acknowledge bills submitted for financial losses accrued by property owners due to BLM agents denied use of property.
12) Justly compensate in full each property owner injured by BLM takings.
Here’s my financial loss breakout accrued for years 1993 through 2013.
Secretary Ken Salazar received the 2013 bill, and Secretary Sally Jewell received the 2014 updated bill. To date, no word from either and the bill remains unpaid.
Using assigned number of 2,108 AUM’s, subtract the 45% cut, equals 948 AUM’s. Feral horse AUM’s have been figured at approximately 79 head over 12 months at an annual basis. To house feral horses, government pays private property owners in the range of $1.50 to $1.75 per head per day. Forgiving the Federal Government $0.50 to $0.75 I’ll use $1.00 per head per day - or $30.00 per month. Take $30.00 times 12 months times 20 years’ time 79 head of feral horses equals $568,800 total, less $25,596 the BLM fees I would have paid, leaves a balance of $543,204. Bill Summary 2013: Granite Mountain Open Allotment Owner Charles W. Sylvester
2108 AUM’s Granite Mountain Open Allotment -45% Volunteer give up = 948.6 12 Months of year
79 Horses per year @ $1.00 per 30 day month (Compared to $1.50 - $1.75 BLM per day BLM pays sanctuaries.) = $30.00
$2,370.00 X’s 12 Months in year = $28,440 Total per year
X’s 20 Years of excess feral horses =’s $568,800 Total
- $25,596 Less BLM for my bill
= $543,204 Total owed to Charles Sylvester
Bill Summary update 2014: GMO Allotment Owner Charles W. Sylvester
2108 AUM’s Granite Mountain Open Allotment
-45% AUM cut =’s 948.6 AUM’s between January 1993 through December 2012.
79 head feral horses X’s $1.50 =’s $118.50 per day X’s 365 days =’s $43,225.25 $43, 225.25 per year X’s 20 years =’s $865,050.00 less $25,596.00 I would have paid on BLM fees =’s $839,454.00.
5% interest on DOI’s unpaid balance of $543, 204.00 =’s $4,080.82.
$839,454.00 + $4,080.82 =’s
$843,534.82 due Charles W. Sylvester by DOI as of September 2014
It is my understanding that additional Allotment Owners will be filing their own independent Fraudulent Property Accounting complaints and bills for Just Compensation.
I expect your immediate attention to addressing my Fraudulent Property Accounting complaint and payment of my bill.
Taking the steps I recommended will truly reestablish justice for many injured Allotment Owners, and return our rights to do business and enjoy our property without fear.
Please contact me anytime! H# (970) 284-6874 C# (970) 430-0110.
Charles W. Sylvester
Cc: DOJ, Senator’s Barrasso and Enzi, Governor Mead, Congressman Lummis and interested parties
- Vested Property Rights: Allotment Owner owns (aka has settled and or is adjudicated and therefore gains Equitable Title - Vested Property Right): Beneficial use of water, trailways (easements), improvements and forage. These rights have never been extinguished.
- Settled – aka appropriated. Federal only manages federal land which has not been settled (unappropriated). On settled land, federal owns the naked land (and whatever may be specified such as and including mineral).