(October 18, 2018) Yesterday, the Associated Press announced the appointment of Wyoming attorney Karen Budd Falen as deputy solicitor for the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI). She will provide legal council for the DOI and primarily, the Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke. This should be troubling news to anyone that cares about our western public lands and the wild animals who live on them.
AWHC attorneys have often squared off against Budd Falen in federal court, most recently in Salt Lake City on April 11, 2017.
Falen has made her career representing publicly subsidized ranchers seeking to wrest control of the public lands, which belong to all Americans, from the federal government. She is a frequent opponent of environmental groups seeking to document environmental damage to public lands caused by livestock grazing. She also represents ranchers challenging federal grazing restrictions and seeking to force the government to remove thousands of federally-protected wild horses and burros from our public lands.
Budd Falen is the daughter-in-law of John Falen, who heads the Public Lands Council, a lobbying group for ranchers who graze livestock on our public lands. Her appointment continues a disturbing trend at the Interior Department toward disaster for our wild horses and burros and the public lands they inhabit.