Erika Schumacher is no complete stranger to emergency situation circumstances. She tackled the tremendous duty of mitigating the 2014 standoff between Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and federal representatives as the chief ranger for the United States Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Southern Nevada workplace.
Between managing high-stake crises to make sure the safety of her officers, Schumacher had to frequently choose the best ways to cover a large swath of land in the middle of dwindling resources on a dwindling spending plan.
It was a stressful– and sometimes thankless– task, however her time at BLM has actually prepared her to guide the upcoming generation on managing emergency situation occurrences.
Today, Schumacher is the program coordinator for the executive masters in emergency situation crisis management program in the School of Public law and Management, making sure trainees understand ways to take charge of a crisis and understand how growing problems such as terrorism have developed for many years.
What were a few of your battles at the BLM when it came to the spending plan?
We handle the Burning Guy celebration, which constantly brings in a large crowd (in 2007, the crowd was estimated at less than 10,000 and has grown because). At the very same time, the dry spell was affecting our herds over by Cold Creek. Having a lot of my staff at Burning Male and needing to manage Red Rock ended up being challenging. I needed to ask officers from other places to come assist us since I could not manage Red Rock and make sure that our personnel was safe to gather at Cold Creek for the horses.
Exactly what was your experience like in managing the Bundy standoff in 2014?
It turned into something that none of us expected. It was really frustrating. I truly think that the most significant failure was that the BLM and the National forest Service didn’t get the story out. We didn’t remain ahead of the media. I don’t think the federal government as a whole … is geared to deal with social networks.
For a month, I just hunkered down in the house and went to work. The hardest thing was aiming to keep my personnel of 15 individuals positive. I needed to remind myself why I entered the task. To this day, I still believe that we were doing the ideal thing.
Our task isn’t to market ourselves, however maybe that’s something that we need to start to do– to speak about the cool things that we carry out in communities. We provide a lot of locations for the public to recreate. Without the BLM, you would not have the ability to get energy from one location to another. When you see those big power lines, that is BLM land facilitating electrical energy concerning your neighborhood.
In 2014, there was an armed standoff in between Cliven Bundy and his advocates and the BLM regarding grazing fees the bureau stated the rancher owed. At the time, Bundy garnered some assistance from individuals who thought federal land needs to be under state control. What is the story you would desire the general public to learn about the standoff?
I would desire the general public to know the number of animals were out there as well as when that area had an authorization, the variety of cattle that were out there was never ever the allowed quantity. It isn’t sustainable for that quantity of cows and how dry of an environment and how little forage there is out there to handle animals.
Were there other challenges that you dealt with aside from budget plan issues and of course, the Bundy protest?
Most likely the hardest thing for us was the Miller occurrence when the Miller couple shot the two Las Vegas City Policeman at Cici’s Pizza. In some methods I felt responsible. Had Bundy not occurred, the Millers would not have actually popped into Clark County.
I keep in mind another huge part of my time at the BLM was attempting to keep the non-law enforcement personnel feeling comfy. After Bundy, individuals felt like they were being followed house. They hesitated to go out into the field. That was most likely the greatest shift after the Bundy standoff– being a land management firm as well as having to protect our building, personnel, Red Rock, and fire stations.
Exactly what are trainees finding out in the UNLV emergency situation crisis management program?
The trainees will get their masters in emergency management. They discover how to prepare, react to, and mitigate an emergency scenario. For instance, if the circumstance has something to do with dangerous products, the trainees will discover how to bypass a community instead of go through a community with those materials.
The majority of the trainees are established in the professions, whether it’s with the fire department or the armed force. We introduce the students to the Federal Emergency situation Management Agency and how emergency situation management has actually progressed because 9/11 and Typhoon Katrina. They find out about the science of disasters like an earthquake, cyclone, or tsunami.
What inspired you to become a part of the BLM?
I matured in Northern California. We spent the majority of our time outdoors growing up and valuing exactly what our public lands are for families and communities.