(Salt Lake City/Washington DC)- The Deseret News reports the battle between Utah’s rural counties and the BLM is getting more heated. Garfield County Sheriff Danny Perkins in a recent meeting in Washington, was pretty direct, when he told the BLM’s national director of law enforcement that the BLMB has not been helpful to him in his county. Sheriff Perkins says he has spent over nearly 100-thousand dollars in helicopter time, officer’s hours on the ground and search and rescue funds in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. He says, quote, “I have been assisted nothing, zero, from the BLM. Parker and County Commissioners from Iron, Beaver and Garfield counties were in Washington and told authorities of the fractured and abysmal experience they have had with BLM Law enforcement. The Garfield sheriff say, quote: We have absolutely no relationship with the BLM…they do not respect the authority of the Sheriff at all. It is hard for them accept that this sheriff is the chief law enforcement officer in this county, unquote.
Several Utah rural counties recently passed resolutions declaring that such federal law enforcement is not recognized within their county. Sheriff Perkins does point out that he has an excellent working relationship with Forest Service and National Park Service officers.
The BLBM has let all law enforcement contract with counties in Utah, lapse and they have not been renewed. Some of Utah’s counties say that is because Chief Agent Dan Love, who ran the Bundy Ranch Operation and the Blanding Artifact Raids cancelled the contracts out of retaliation for a recent state law that attempts to rein in federal land powers. Full details are on the Deseret News web site.