Federal employees protecting public lands now wear oil rigs on their lapels

The Bureau of Land Management gave out new identification cards with illustrations of oil rigs and cowboys.

Under the Trump administration, the Bureau of Land Management has some new branding, one that prominently features oil rigs.

The Bureau of Land Management gave out new identification cards for all its employees to wear out in the field — complete with illustrations of oil rigs and cowboys. Under the heading “our vision,” the card also outlines the agency’s current vision: “to enhance the quality of life for all citizens through the balanced stewardship of America’s public lands and resources."


The cards also highlight the agency’s “multiple-use mission” in sustaining the “productivity of the public lands” and pursuing “excellence in business practices.” The language also mentions the work the agency does for “customers” and “stakeholders” — words have become code for industry under the Trump administration.

Government watchdog group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) provided photos of the cards, shown below, to VICE News. The Washington Post and EE News independently confirmed their distribution.

“These vision cards were created and sent out several months ago by the Washington office to encourage employees to be aware of the BLM's core values. No one was ordered to wear them by anyone at headquarters,” the agency’s spokesperson Michelle Barret told VICE News in an email.

Employees, however, told PEER that they were “ordered” to wear the cards on their lapels.

Under the Obama administration, the Bureau of Land Management promoted imagery that had more to do with public access to public lands rather than the agency’s role in fostering business. The Bureau of Land Management’s current website notes how the agency’s “multiple-use approach puts America First.” Before the Trump administration, the bureau’s public-facing mission statements focused on “eco-regional assessments” and “expanding the collection of native seeds,” though the language did mention providing for energy development on public lands.

In April of last year, however, the primary image on the Department of the Interior’s website switched from a photo of a family looking wistfully over public lands to a guy standing next to his truck with an American flag pinned to its roof and looking up at a huge pile of coal.

Cover image: A side-by-side photo of the front (left) and back (right) of the Bureau of Land Management's new "vision" cards. (Provided to VICE News by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility)