ACTION ALERT! USA TODAY Covers the lawsuit to PROTECT the Pine Nut Wild Horses #WildHorseWednesday

© Irma Novak, all rights reserved

© Irma Novak, all rights reserved

Send the USA TODAY article to your Congressional Rep and 2 Senators via email and fax. Tell them there are only 332 Pine Nut wild horses left on 90,000 acres close to Lake Tahoe and Carson City, NV. Ask your elected officials to intervene to PROTECT this federally protected and treasured herd who belongs to all Americans from coast to coast. Make sure they know they are UNDERPOPULATED (only 332 left on the vast range), healthy and loved by the community at large! Stop the Roundup and Stop Forcibly Drugging Native Wild Horses with PZP, Sterilizing them or Experimenting on them!

Here is the article in USA TODAY http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/01/28/nevada-pine-nut-wild-horse-roundup/22467797/  Thank you for publishing this!

Find your elected officials here: http://www.contactingthecongress.org

We have started an action group on Facebook and you are invited: PROTECT the PINE NUTS WILD HORSES here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/448585235292436/

This is just the beginning. JOIN www.ProtectMustangs.org for updates. $5 Membership fees can be sent to Contact@ProtectMustangs.org via PayPal.com and donation information is here. Thank you for taking action to protect the last remaining wild horses in America.

BREAKING NEWS: Protect Mustangs & Friends of Animals file lawsuit to stop Pine Nut Mountains roundup

 

Stop the Roundups!

 

For Immediate Release

Jenni Barnes, staff attorney, FoA’s Wildlife Law Program 720.949.7791; jenniferbarnes@friendsofanimals.org

Mike Harris, Director, Wildlife Law Program; 720.949.7791; michaelharris@friendsofanimals.org

Anne Novak, Executive Director, Protect Mustangs; 415.531.8454; anne@protectmustangs.org

Protect Mustangs & Friends of Animals file lawsuit to stop Pine Nut Mountains roundup

Advocates push for NEPA to be upheld when BLM snubs public comment

Reno, NV (Jan. 26, 2015)—Protect Mustangs and Friends of Animals (FoA) have filed a lawsuit against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to stop the round-up and permanent removal of 200 wild horses in the Pine Nut Herd Management Area (HMA) and the round-up of another 132 wild horses so that an estimated 66 mares would be forcibly drugged with the pesticide known as PZP for fertility control. In addition, the groups plan to file a temporary restraining order—asking the judge for an emergency ruling so that the BLM can’t round up any horses or administer PZP until the court has time to hear FoA’s and Protect Mustangs’ case. The roundup is expected to last for 10 days and is slated for late January/early February.

“The BLM abruptly made a decision in December of 2014 to round-up, permanently remove and forcibly administer fertility control drugs on our wild horses. This decision has long-lasting implications for wild horses,” said Jenni Barnes, attorney for FoA’s wildlife law program. “BLM violated the law by excluding the public from this decision and completely failing to consider its impacts. FoA and Protect Mustangs have filed this lawsuit to ensure that BLM does not destroy Nevada’s last remaining wild horses.”

“The American public is outraged elected officials aren’t doing anything to stop cruel roundups and sterilization experiments on our native wild horses,” said Anne Novak, executive director of Protect Mustangs. “It’s disgusting and shameful. Risky drugs like PZP and other forms of sterilization are a sham at this point because there aren’t any ‘excess’ wild horses on millions of acres of public land.”

“When wild horses don’t seem useful to the BLM, they’re resented. Rounded up. Sterilized. Killed or otherwise displaced,”said Priscilla Feral, FoA’s president. “In contrast, cows and sheep owned by large corporations and hobby ranchers are seen as having a dollar value, so ranchers are relieved from having to compete over water and grasslands with horses. Since horses are not hamburgers, Nevada and the BLM want them gone. People don’t want this madness anymore.”

The lawsuit states that the defendants did not prepare an Environmental Assessment for the proposed roundup and instead relied on the 2010 environmental assessment for the Clan Alpine, Pilot Mountain and Pine Nut HMA Gather Plan, which does not take into consideration science that shows the negative side effects associated with PZP. Furthermore, the BLM did not solicit public comments. In fact, FoA employees traveled to Nevada on Jan. 22 to participate in a BLM public meeting regarding the Carson City Resource Management Plan, which includes the Pine Nut HMA, but the BLM denied the public the ability to comment. When Edita Birnkrant, FoA’s campaigns director, got up and spoke at the microphone anyways, she was silenced—BLM shut off the microphone and ejected her from the meeting, just like BLM removes wild horses from public land.

“I was infuriated that the BLM dared to hold a ‘public’ meeting yet forbid the public from speaking,” said Edita Birnkrant, FoA’s campaign director. “BLM employees specifically said there would be no discussion of the Pine Nut roundup during the intro to the meeting. After the intro, I took over the microphone to call out the sham of a BLM public meeting that shut out the public. I said that FoA was there to oppose the BLM’s extinction plan for wild horses in Nevada.”

FoA and Protect Mustangs oppose all roundups of wild horses and the use of PZP, which destroy family structure within the herds, and believe the Appropriate Management Levels set for the Herd Management Areas in all states are too low, outdated and do not accurately reflect the number of wild horses that are needed to maintain genetic viability to prevent extinction and to create a thriving ecological balance.

The groups are adamant the BLM looks beyond data about PZP provided by the Humane Society of the United States, which has a vested interest in PZP as it is the registrant of the pesticide, and Jay Kirkpatrick, the director of the Science and Conservation Center, which produces the active ingredient in PZP. FoA believes the public needs to know there is a conflict of interest when it comes to PZP and it questions the motives of an animal charity pushing a harmful pesticide on wildlife rather than embracing holistic ways to manage public lands.

Novak pointed out that according to the National Academy of Sciences’ 2013 report, there is “no evidence” of overpopulation.

Ranchers scapegoat wild horses because they don’t want to share the public land they lease to graze their livestock. So they bully the Bureau of Land Management to remove wild horses. In Beaver and Iron County, Utah, where wild horses are scapegoated, data shows cows and sheep outnumber wild horses 10.6:1; in Oregon it’s 33:1. And prior to a massive roundup in Wyoming last summer, there were 356,222 cattle, 45,206 sheep, and only 1,912 wild horses. It seems that it’s easier for the BLM to accommodate ranchers and manage wild horses to extinction, than to consider holistic ways to manage our public lands.

“Wild horses need to be protected in Nevada,” said plaintiff Craig Downer, a wildlife ecologist who has studied the Pine Nut herd for decades and author of The Wild Horse Conspiracy. “They restore the ecosystem as a deeply rooted native in North America with a unique niche that helps the other species thrive.”

In his book, Downer, also the director of ecology and conservation for Protect Mustangs, advocates for reserve design , which involves utilizing natural and/or artificial barriers, natural predators, as well as community-involving buffer zones as a better way for BLM to manage public lands. Once available habitat is filled, wild horses, as climax species, would limit their own population as density-dependent controls are triggered.

“The bottom line is the BLM is ignoring the public’s right to be heard about a heinous roundup paid for with tax dollars on public land,” explains Novak. “And that’s just unAmerican.”

Protect Mustangs is a nonprofit organization who protects and preserves native and wild horses. www.ProtectMustangs.org

 Links of interest:

Complaint filed in court January 26, 2015: PM Complaint_As Filed_Pine Nut

Wild-horse activists kicked out of federal meeting in Nevada, (Associated Press) went viral: http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2015/01/24/3458044_wild-horse-activists-kicked-out.html?rh=1

Activists split on US agency”s plans to treat 250 mares with fertility-control drug in Nevada: http://www.greenfieldreporter.com/view/story/fd1cd3d9353349ddbffd22edbd1fa3d1/NV–Wild-Horses-Nevada

Wild Horse Conspiracy by Craig Downer: http://amzn.to/1wyxEcZ

Forum on PZP: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ForumPZPWildHorsesBurros

Protect Mustangs on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ProtectMustangs

ProtectMustangs on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ProtectMustangs

Anne Novak on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheAnneNovak

Read this press release online here: http://protectmustangs.org/?p=7806

PZP EPA Sterilisant

BREAKING NEWS: Sudden protest against BLM censorship, wild horse roundups and using PZP (pesticide) to manage wild horses to extinction

PM Edita Cat

 

BLM refused to hear public comments at “public” meeting

MINDEN, NV (January 22, 2015)—Edita Birnkrant, Campaigns Director for Friends of Animals (FoA) flew out from New York City with FoA correspondent Nicole Rivard to give public comments at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) public meeting about the Carson City District Draft Resource Management Plan which calls to zero out 6 treasured herds of wild horses. After being denied her rights at the public meeting, held at the Carson Valley Inn in Minden, Nevada this afternoon, Birnkrant took over the microphone at the BLM meeting and held up yellow crime scene tape while Rivard filmed the protest against censorship and managing wild horses to extinction. Birnkrant was threatened with arrest by Nevada Sheriffs while holding up her banner. The hotel manager made Rivard stop filming and told the advocates they were being thrown out of the hotel, even though they had booked rooms there that night.

 

Statement from Edita Birnkrant:

“While we were waiting to go into the meeting a man told a BLM staffer “I wanna open up a horse butcher shop”. Then a few other guys started making jokes about how tender horse meat is. The BLM guy just chuckled but didn’t tell them it was inappropriate.

I was outraged that the BLM dared to hold a “public ” meeting and forbid the public from speaking. I took over the microphone to call out the sham of a BLM meeting, that shut out the public, and I said that Friends of Animals was there tonight to oppose the BLM’s extinction plan for wild horses in Nevada. I said the BLM is managing wild horses to extinction through roundups and PZP and we are outraged and demand it stop. I held our banner that said “Stop the BLM’s Criminal Reign of Terror. Protect Wild Horses Under the Endangered Species Act” The sheriffs were surrounding me at that point threatening to arrest me unless I left. I still had the banner and was shouting “the BLM is charged with crimes against wild horses”.

Then the hotel manager at the Carson Valley Inn in Minden, Nevada—Phil Dohrn–started bullying us and got in Nicole’s face. He pushed against her—blocking the camera and told her she had to shut her video off and we were getting thrown out.

Three extremely hostile sheriffs and the Carson Valley Inn manager escorted us to our rooms and waited outside while we packed our bags. They pounded on the door to hurry us or they’d arrest us. They called additional sheriffs to the hotel during all this. We left the hotel shocked that the Carson Valley Inn treats paying guests who exercise their First Amendment rights in their meeting room like this.”

The federal plan for public land in the Reno/Carson area is of interest to all Americans from coast to coast. Citizens care about public land and want federally protected wild horses protected by the law that allows them to roam freely without harassment.

PZP is an EPA approved restricted-use pesticide (http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/chem_search/reg_actions/pending/fs_PC-176603_01-Jan-12.pdf) that sterilizes wild mares after multiple use. Americans are learning about the dangers of PZP and are outraged the BLM would allow this to be used on wild horses.

Friends of Animals, an international animal protection organization founded in 1957, advocates for the rights of animals, free-living and domestic around the world. www.friendsofanimals.org

# # #

Friends of Animals’ public comments that advocates were not allowed to read and were given to Collen Sievers the BLM BLM Project Manager for Carson City District at the public hearing on the draft resource management plan for Carson City District

Edita Birnkrant, FoA’s campaigns director 917-940-2725

The opinion of the American public, as declared through Congress is clear: “wild free-roaming horses and burros are living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West; they contribute to the diversity of life forms within the Nation and enrich the lives of the American people.” BLM has an obligation to consider wild horses as an integral part of the natural system of public lands.

It appears from the Carson City’s Draft Resource Management Plan (RMP) and Environmental Impact Statement that the BLM failed to take into consideration critical information about wild horses and failed to consider any alternatives that promote a free and viable wild horse population.

Friends of Animal is here to urge BLM to reevaluate its Resource Management Plan.

We ask that BLM consider an alternative that: (1) maintains all wild horse herd management areas; (2) prohibits conflicting uses on herd management areas; and (3) prohibits efforts to eradicate wild horses, such as round-ups, fertility control and sterilization. BLM must take into consideration the small population of wild horses and the potential that they will be listed as a threatened or endangered species under the Federal Endangered Species Act. From a scientific perspective, wild horses on our public lands are at risk of extinction if BLM does not change its management plans.

BLM does not provide adequate area for wild horses. Under the current RMP, approximately 4.8 million acres of public lands covered by the plan are open for private ranchers to graze cattle and sheep while only 1.2 million acres are reserved for wild horses. In the preferred alternative the ratio or area available for cattle and sheep grazing is also more than 4 times that available for wild horses.

Moreover, under no alternative, are cattle and sheep prohibited from grazing on wild horse herd management areas. BLM must consider an alternative that provides contiguous habitat for wild horses to roam freely.

Second, all alternatives for the proposed Resource Management Plan allows BLM to continue managing horses at artificially low populations, or appropriate management levels. This results in expensive, and cruel round-ups that tear the wild horses from their homes and families and place them in tax funded holding facilities. This is one of the largest threat to wild horses on U.S. lands. Experts have warned that the “majority of wild equid populations managed by the BLM are kept at population sizes that are small enough for the loss of genetic variation to be a real concern.”

The Equid Specialist Group of IUCN Species Survival Commission recommends minimum populations of 2,500 individuals for the conservation of genetic diversity. Others have warned that populations managed with a target size of fewer than 500 horses are at some risk of losing more than 90 percent of selective neutral genetic variation over a period of 200 years.

There are no herds that have a large enough population to meet the recommendation of the IUCN Species Survival Commission – 2,500 animals—and only 1 out of 17 of the herd management areas in this planning area has an appropriate management level set to 500 or more. Limiting horses to an artificially low number is short-sighted and ineffective because it could prompt short-term population growth.

Finally, Friends of Animals submitted a petition to the US Fish and Wildlife Service asking it to recognize wild horses as threatened or endangered. The Endangered Species Act requires the government to make final determination on the petition within 12 months – which would be this June. The BLM should not undermine this legal process by allowing BLM to round-up and remove wild horses from Carson City herd management areas. Not only would such actions undermine the Endangered Species Act, but they would also put the viability of the horses here at risk. Instead the plan should recommend BLM halt all efforts to remove wild horses, and allow Fish and Wildlife Service to review the law and facts in regards to wild horses.
Nicole Rivard, correspondent, FoA 203-910-1217

As my colleague just pointed out, all but one of the 17 herd management areas in the Carson City District has an appropriate management level set to 500 or more. Everywhere else the loss of genetic viability is a real concern. So additional roundups, which destroy social structure that can lead to population spikes, as well as consideration of administering fertility control, should be removed from this Carson City District Plan immediately if not sooner.
While some wild horse advocates may claim fertility control drugs, such as PZP, is the lesser of two evils, we at FoA believe birth control is equally harmful and inhumane as roundups. In most cases—even the BLM admits this—wild horses would still have to be captured to be treated with the pesticide before being released.

The widespread use of PZP is really very contrary to the true core intent of the Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971, which was to restore wild horses as naturally, integrated, harmonious components of the public land ecosystem who are not overly tampered with. Deciding which animal should give birth or not is a very invasive, unacceptable thing to do to these wild animals.

Studies have revealed adverse effects of PZP— that it sterilizes wild horses after multiple uses and results in risky foal birth out of season and significant behavioral changes that can affect the health of the herd.

BLM’s discussion regarding a population control program in the EIS is inaccurate and unsupported. They claim fertility control limits the stress of pregnancy on mares, and helps stallions as they will not be exerting extra energy fighting to control mares or raising foals.

What about the stress on mares of not being able to get pregnant as nature intended!

We urge the BLM to look beyond data provided by the Humane Society of the United States, which has a vested interest in PZP as it is the registrant of the pesticide, and Jay Kirkpatrick, the director of the Science and Conservation Center, which produces the active ingredient in PZP. For instance a 2009 Princeton University study of the horses on Shackleford Banks in North Carolina, who began getting PZP in 2000, showed that prolonged infertility has significant consequences on social behavior.

Researchers found that females who were receiving contraception were much more likely to change groups. Normally bands are really very stable, said researcher Cassandra Nunez, and mares will stay with males much if not all of their lives. That stability is really important for the health of the group members. Foal mortality increases when there are a bunch of different changes, and parasite load of animals in the group can go up because they are getting more stressed.

In a later study in 2010, Nunez found that recipients of PZP also extend the receptive breeding period into what is normally the non-breeding season, resulting in foal birth out of season.

Normally the winter is spent eating as much as they can, and everyone is more relaxed. Males tend to let females roam farther, which is good because food is patchier. So all of this is changing because of extended cycling.
Nunez also noted it’s taking a while for the contracepted mares, who were taken off PZP in 2009, to respond physiologically. So that flexibility that you think you have with PZP…it’s not really that flexible.”

It is imperative that BLM reduce the number of cattle and sheep allowed to graze on public lands, as well as consider holistic resource management plan, such as reserve design, which is described in detail in Craig Downer’s Book the Wild Horse Conspiracy. Both options would adequately protect these majestic animals so that they can persist for future generations.

Friends of Animals, an international animal protection organization founded in 1957, advocates for the rights of animals, free-living and domestic around the world. www.friendsofanimals.org

# # #

BLM Nevada News
CARSON CITY DISTRICT OFFICE NO. CCDO 2015-11
FOR RELEASE: November 28, 2014
CONTACT: Lisa Ross, 775-885-6107, lross@blm.gov

Draft Resource Management Plan Environmental Impact Statement Available for
BLM Carson City District

Carson City, Nev. – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is asking the public to review and comment on a Draft Resource Management Plan (RMP) and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Carson City District. The draft plan will affect approximately 4.8 million acres of public land. The comment period opened with the publication of a notice of availability in the Federal Register on November 28, 2014. Comments will be accepted during a 120-day period which closes March 27, 2015.

Public meetings to review and comment on the draft EIS will be announced at least 15 days in advance in local newspapers and on the BLM website.

The plan will address: Areas of Critical Environmental Concern, lands and realty, utility corridors, wind energy, travel management, recreation, fish and wildlife, minerals, wild and scenic rivers, public health and safety, and visual resource management.

Public meetings on the Draft RMP/Draft EIS are currently scheduled for 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.; on January 13, at the John Ascuaga’s Nugget (1100 Nugget Ave.) in Sparks, Nev.; on January 15, at the Fallon Convention Center (100 Campus Way) in Fallon, Nev.; on January 20, at the Mineral County Library (First & A Street) in Hawthorne, Nev.; on January 22, at the Carson Valley Inn (1627 US Hwy 395 N) in Minden, Nev.; and on January 29, at the Yerington Elementary School (112 N. California St.) in Yerington, Nev. An additional public meeting will be held from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., on January 24, at the Carson City Plaza Hotel and Event Center (801 South Carson Street) in Carson City, Nev. Additional public meetings are anticipated in coordination with local County Commissions and Boards of Supervisors.

Written comments related to the Carson City District Draft RMP/Draft EIS may be submitted by any of the following methods:
• Website: http://on.doi.gov/1uYBNGT• E-mail: BLM_NV_CCDO_RMP@blm.gov
• Fax: 775-885-6147
• Mail: BLM Carson City District, Attn: CCD RMP, 5665 Morgan Mill Rd., Carson City, NV 89701.

Copies of the Carson City District Draft RMP/Draft EIS are available in the Carson City District Office at the above address or on the following website: http://on.doi.gov/1uYBNGT

Visit The Facebook Forum on PZP for more https://www.facebook.com/groups/ForumPZPWildHorsesBurros

#horses #animals #AnimalCruelty #FreeSpeech #Nevada #Tourism #WildHorses #mustangs #Tesla #money #energy #mining #water #yelp #hotel #travel #Reno #Tahoe #Sheriff #Carson #PZP #EPA #roundup #America

Outdated 2010 Environmental Assessment proposed to roundup Pine Nut Mt. wild horses in 2015

PM Lennox meme

Read the Environmental Assessment here: PM Pine Nut 2010_EA The information about the impact of PZP on wild horses is found on pages 29-31. 

 

Here is a BLM “fact sheet” on the Pine Nut Herd  http://on.doi.gov/1DbqWyu

 

BLM picks their spot to make their case against wild horses on the BLM Pine Nut Mt. tour Friday, January 23, 2015 in the middle of winter.

Pinenuts wild horses featured in French TV documentary ~ STOP the ROUNDUP

 

La chasse au mustangs (2010)

 

“I’m grateful to have worked on this film together with the French director and cinematographer and thankful we were able to get such revealing footage. Thank you to Barbara Clarke at DreamCatcher Sanctuary and Laura Leigh who stood in for Craig Downer who was unreachable and out in the field the day we shot this. All the scenes in the wild were shot in the Pinenut Herd Management Area (HMA) near Carson City and close to Reno/Tahoe. These horrible roundups must be stopped. Contact your senators and representative and request they stop this tragedy paid for with tax dollars.” –Anne Novak, Executive Director of Protect Mustangs  (Video ©2010 TF1)

Now the BLM and the PZP Advocates want to roundup the Pine Nut Herd and give them the EPA restricted-use pesticide known as PZP-22 which sterilizes after multiple us. Protect Mustangs is against PZP and roundups. America’s wild horses deserve to be forever wild and free.

BLM Press Release Date: 01/20/15
Contacts: 775-885-6107
News Release No. 2015-15

BLM to Host Tour of Pine Nut Herd Management Area Gather

Carson City, Nev. – The Carson City District, Sierra Front Field Office is holding a public pre-gather tour on Friday, January 23, 2015. The public will meet at the Dayton Valley Dog Park (located at Old Como and Dayton Valley Road) in Dayton, Nevada, at 10:00 a.m. The tour is expected to last approximately three hours. Because of road conditions a four wheel-drive high clearance vehicle is required. Visitors must RSVP by calling the Gather Information Hotline at 775-861-6700, option 2 and leave a message, or call Lisa Ross, Public Affairs Specialist, at 775-885-6107, email lross@blm.gov.

“This pre-gather tour is being offered to provide an opportunity for the interested public to obtain information about the Pine Nut Gather, by interacting with BLM staff as they provide an overview of gather operations,” said Sierra Front Field Manager Leon Thomas.

The BLM will gather approximately 332 wild horses and remove approximately 200 excess wild horses within and outside the Pine Nut Herd Management Area (HMA). As many as 132 wild horses will be released back to the range following the gather. The gather area is located south of Dayton and east of Carson City and Gardnerville, Nevada within Lyon, Douglas, and Carson City Counties. The gather is scheduled to begin late January 2015.

A population inventory completed in August 2014 documented 332 wild horses. The Appropriate Management Level (AML) for the HMA is 119-179 wild horses. Based on the inventory, and monitoring data showing impacts from an over-population of the HMA, BLM has determined that removal of the excess wild horses is necessary to achieve a thriving natural ecological balance.
Protect Mustangs is against the BLM’s false comment here: Excessive grazing from wild horses has not only degraded the sage-grouse habitat, but has also reduced the availability of native forage grasses within the HMA, thereby decreasing the number of wild horses that can be supported by current range conditions. Wild horses are not the source of habitat degradation but off road vehicles are. It’s time for the BLM to tell the truth.
Of the approximately 132 wild horses released back to the range, an estimated 66 mares will receive a 22-month Porcine Zona Pellucida (PZP-22) immunocontraceptive vaccine treatment prior to release. This vaccine will extend the time between gathers, and reduce the number of excess wild horses that would need to be removed in the future. The sex ratio of the released animals will be dependent on the sex ratio of the gathered wild horses. [PZP is an EPA approved restricted-use pesticide as seen here: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/chem_search/reg_actions/pending/fs_PC-176603_01-Jan-12.pdf  For more information, facts and public discussion about PZP visit the PZP Forum on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ForumPZPWildHorsesBurros]
For more information contact Lisa Ross at 775-885-6107.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2013, the BLM generated $4.7 billion in receipts from public lands.
–BLM–
Carson City District 5665 Morgan Mill Road Carson City, NV 89703 http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/info/newsroom/2015/january/blm_to_host_tour_of.html

 

Deanna Tierney saves 72 wild youngsters from slaughter

PM NNER

Protect Mustangs sent awesome Nevada wild horse advocate and photographer Arla Ruggles over to document Deanna Tierney‘s Northeastern Nevada Equine Rescue, Inc (NNER) rescue of the first Shoshone foals and yearlings! Thanks to Barrick Gold Corp. Janet Schultz, Diana Kline, Teresa Cook, Sue Carter, Denise Maloney, Stephanie Allen, Tami Hottes, Arla Ruggles, all the wonderful donors and everyone helping to save these babies! Arla is taking photos and preparing them to put up soon. Get ready to adopt the love of your life!

WATCH them load here:

Special thanks to our donor who made sending Arla in possible! Congratulations everyone working to help save these Native American heritage horses known as the Dann Sisters’ Horses. You ALL ROCK!

Adoption information and Arla’s photos are coming soon.

Take Action: Save 6 wild horse herds BLM wants to wipe out!

PM Craig Downer by Rona Aguilar

Wild horse expert sounds alarm

As the new Director of Ecology and Conservation at Protect Mustangs and a concerned Carson Valley resident, I attended the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) “Carson City District Draft Resource Management Plan (RMP) / Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)” meeting at the Spark’s Nugget hotel casino on Tuesday, January 13, from 5 to 7 pm.

I spoke with several BLM officials including John Axtell, the Wild Horse and Burro Specialist for this district, and Leon Thomas, Field Manager for the Sierra Front Field Office. I voiced my concerns that stakeholders who previously gave much input for increased numbers and resources in regard to wild horses were being ignored in the Draft Resource Management Plan.

I heard the overview explanation of the document by Colleen Sievers, RMP Project Lead, and instructions for reviewing it. I had given earlier input during the 2012 Scoping meetings in Carson City, along with many other pro-wild horse stakeholders.

It’s important to note there are two new wilderness designations that have just been passed by Congress for this area: Pine Forest and Wovoka Wilderness Areas.

Wild horses need you more than ever to stand up for them and here’s why:

There are five alternatives presented in the RMP document, one of which is No Action, or status quo, that will include improvements for Sage Grouse survival, but little else. Another is for maximizing resource exploitation that would be disaster for many natural values upon which the long term survival of life depends. Another (Alternative C) is for maximizing conservation of nature, and another is for bringing a so-called balance of these (Alternative E). This is the preferred alternative although it does not allocate enough land, water and forage for native wild horses who are needed to reduce wildfires, restore balance to the ecosystem, and reverse desertification on public land.

The Conservation Alternative would greatly reduce livestock grazing and expand wilderness designations but pro-wild horse stakeholders and native wild horses themselves appear to have been ignored. Wild horses should be regarded as native restorers of these natural ecosystems, but in the BLM’s Draft RMP there are serious errors which imply that they are non-native invasive pests with no value to the ecosystem. This, of course, is false.

In my preliminary view, and pending a more thorough analysis of this document, it’s  outrageous to see that federal officials appear to have completely neglected the wishes of stakeholders favoring wild horses. They unfairly sided with wild horse enemies to zero out herd management areas (HMAs). The BLM’s preferred alternative are plans to zero out six wild horse “herd management areas,” (HMA’s) rendering them “herd areas.” This is a twisting of language by which the original designation of a “herd area” as an area for wild populations of wild horses/burros in perpetuity, now according to BLM means an area where the wild horses/burros have been eliminated, or “zeroed out.”

John Axtell told me that there was not enough forage or water in these areas and that their numbers were too low. However, he conveniently failed to mention how cattle and sheep have been given the great majority of forage allocations in these same areas, or how the BLM has intentionally failed to exercise the wild horses and burros’ Implied Federal Water Rights that come with any major federal act of Congress in order to secure their basic survival requirements.

The areas that the BLM appears to be planning to zero out in the preferred alternative includes some HMA’s north of Reno such as Granite Peak and Flannigan that have been assigned truly ridiculous, low appropriate management levels (AML)—plus or minus 20 or so horses.

The minimum number for a genetically viable herd is 2,500 wild horses, according to the IUCN Species Survival Commission Equid Specialist Group and these levels are even a far cry from the suspect 150 individuals that BLM documents often cite as being genetically viable for a population.

BLM also wants to eliminate the historic Wassuk wild horse herd in the Wassuk HMA just north of Mt. Grant–where Axtell told me about 125 wild horses still survive.

Axtell claimed there was not enough forage for the horses here. I can’t believe this. I have repeatedly visited this wonderful spirited herd of Spanish-type mustangs and over many decades.

Nevadan biologist and teacher Steven Pelligrini studied the Wassuk herd for his Master’s Degree in biology at the University of Nevada-Reno. His thesis was presented to the public and to the Congress in support of the passage of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, when he went to testify together with Wild Horse Annie and his professor Dr. John Pontrelli of UNR.

The Carson City BLM’s RMP is targeting our wild horses for removal yet it is mandated to protect them. There exists large-scale public support for them both among the local public, nationally and internationally.

We must stand up and fight for the Wassuk wild horses and for the other venerable wild horse herds that are being dishonestly used as scapegoats for abuses attributable to uncaring people.

I noticed that at the meeting leaders of the Toiyabe Sierra Club and long time wild horse enemies, were present, and engaged with the BLM wild horse specialists and other officials. It appears they have been working to undermine the wild horse presence on public lands for many years, and I am very disturbed about this.

In the “Toiyabe Trails” publication that goes out to many thousands as a free quarterly publication, their President, Tina Nappe seems to be given carte blanche to badmouth wild horses, while those who used to be afforded the opportunity to reply, such as myself, no longer are given this basic right, even in the form of a short letter to the editor.

In spite of the horrible news in the RMP, I was urged to make a strong statement concerning my reasons against the proposed “zeroings out”. These would include how the wild horses are not getting fair grazing allocations compared to livestock in their legal areas, failure to develop or fend for watering sources for the animals and illegal fencing prohibiting their “free-roaming” lifestyle, an inherent part of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.

Protect Mustangs is calling all wild horse supporters to speak out strongly in an informed and intelligent manner, for the wild horses and burros of the Carson City BLM District. This RMP/EIS revision will govern land use policy for the next 15-20 years and we must not allow it to be a death sentence for the wild horses and burros, which it largely appears to be.

This is the public’s chance to improve the treatment of the wild horses and burros, and we cannot allow another act of subterfuge.

The proposal can be viewed online at  http://on.doi.gov/IuYBNGT and more information can be found here: http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/carson_city_field.html

Here are some talking points:

1.) Both horse and burro evolution originate and have immense multi-million year duration in North America.

2.) As post-gastric digesters, different from ruminant digesters, the equids truly restore balance to the North American ecosystem. There is a lopsided preponderance of ruminants today, encouraged by established rancher, hunter, and other linked interests.

3.) Natural predators must not continue to be persecuted and eliminated, such as puma and wolf, natural predators of the wild equids.

4.) PZP and other tamperings with basic biology and social structure of wild horses and burros is contrary to the “minimum feasible” management tenet of the WFHBA as stated in Section 3 a. See my 19 points of law on pages xi to xiii of The Wild Horse Conspiracy. See sections on PZP  in the Index as well

5.) Also look up “Pine Nut wild horse herd area” in the Index of my book for more specific information http://www.amazon.com/Wild-Horse-Conspiracy-Craig-Downer/dp/1461068983

To be most effective, please make your own personal analysis of the pertinent sections of this document about which you are knowledgeable and/or concerned, especially the wild horses and burros. You can submit your comments electronically by email to:  BLM_NV_CCDO_RMP@blm.gov  or by US mail to: BLM Carson City District, Attn: CCD RMP, 5665 Morgan Mill Road, Carson City, NV 89701.

Send a copy of your comments to your two senators and your representative asking them to intervene.

The deadline for these comments is March 27th, 2015. Questions can be addressed to Colleen Sievers, Carson City District RMP Project Lead. Tel. 775-885-6000

Examples of what BLM consider to be substantive and nonsubstantive comments can be found at  http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/planning/nepa/webguide/document_pages/6_9_2_1__examples.html 

Thank you for standing up for the wild ones!

Craig
Craig C. Downer
Wildlife Ecologist
Director of Ecology and Conservation at Protect Mustangs
Author of The Wild Horse Conspiracy http://www.amazon.com/Wild-Horse-Conspiracy-Craig-Downer/dp/1461068983
and The Horse and Burro as Positively Contributing Returned Natives in North America (American Journal of Life Science) http://www.sciencepublishinggroup.com/journal/paperinfo.aspx?journalid=118&doi=10.11648/j.ajls.20140201.12

Protect Mustangs is a nonprofit organization who protects and preserves native and wild horses. Join us at www.ProtectMustangs.org