Help feed young wild horses, rescued from the slaughterhouse ~ Winter is coming!

Dear friends of Wild Horses,

Please help the 14 Dry Creek wild orphans (WY14) ages 10 months to 2 years old who Mark Boone Junior and Anne Novak saved from the slaughterhouse. The Canadian slaughterhouse was holding them in their Montana feedlot before shipping the young wild horses by air to be slaughtered abroad and eaten as an expensive delicacy.

The WY14 were brutally chased by choppers into traps near Greybull, Wyoming. Terrified, their herd of 41 mustangs was quickly sold at auction. 4 foals were saved at the auction and are in the care of another group. All the other horses were purchased to be slaughtered. The Canadian slaughterhouse purchased the WY14 and took them to their feedlot but before slaughtering them but we negotiated them out of hell and to safety. Sadly before we got involved, 23 of their family members were slaughtered in Canada quickly after the auction–everyone age 3 and up. . .

You can help the traumatized WY14 with a tax-deductible hay donation. They eat so much that we need to gather funds again to buy a large quantity of hay to keep the price down. Hay is really expensive out West because of the drought. Prices are rising quickly and will skyrocket this winter. For this reason we must fill the barn with several truckloads now.

All direct tax-deductible donations made through www.PayPal.com or by mail means the money is going directly to feed and care for the horses. We are sponsored by the Andean Tapir Fund while our own 501c3 is in the works so your donations are tax-deductible.

This is the first time any wild horses have been rescued after being owned by and in possession of the actual slaughterhouse. Here is an article in Horseback Magazine about the rescue. Please help these youngster survivors so they can honor all the wild horses who have been slaughtered over the years.

Please share this fundraiser to raise the hay money. Together we can keep the WY14 fed and cared for while they heal from the trauma of the ruthless roundup that ended with their families being slaughtered. This winter is going to be very cold and they will need enough hay to keep warm so they don’t get skinny. Please help the today.

Our goal is to create an eco-sanctuary for the WY14 so you can come visit wild horses living in peace and harmony with nature. We are currently looking for suitable land for grazing to cut down the high cost of hay and make the eco-sanctuary sustainable. In the meantime we need to feed them good hay that is trucked in.

The WY14 need your help today. Please help with a donation and email this letter to your friends and family so the youngsters can get hay to eat.

Good hay helps them heal and grow strong. The 14 wild youngsters are so grateful for your caring support and help.

Many blessings,
Anne

Anne Novak
Executive Director
www.ProtectMustangs.org

 

 

Native wild horses are not pests ~ Stop managing them to extinction

Dear Friends of Wild Horses and Burros

Protect Mustangs is a national nonprofit organization making grassroots count. Our mission is to protect and preserve native and wild horses. Besides engaging mostly in outreach and education about the wild horse crisis, we advocate for holistic land management, self-sustaining herds and reserve design. We are calling for a 10 year moratorium on roundups for the herds to recover from the roundups and for studies to form good management plans. Right now there are no accurate census counts on the range so we don’t even have a clear picture of the few wild horses left living in freedom.

Our members don’t see an overpopulation or “excess” of wild horses on public land, even if the population is over BLM’s biased appropriate management level (AML). Livestock outnumbers wild horses more than 50 to 1 on the range. Yet wild horses are always scapegoated for damage by special interest groups.

We are deeply concerned that the use of FDA approved “restricted use pesticides” such as PZP–an immunocontraceptive made from pig ovaries that people call birth control–sterilizes mares after multiple uses and should never be used on nonviable herds, those herds with less than 150 wild horses. Genetic diversity is essential for survival and using PZP surely will curtail that. There is one herd in Nevada currently being treated by wild horse advocates that seems to have less than 50 wild horses. This worried us.

Wild horses are a native species and not pests. Sadly there are factions who are treating wild horses as individuals and ignoring the herd element and other factions treating wild horses as invasive pests.

Despite decades of experimental research on wild mares, the FDA would not approve PZP as safe. Eventually the EPA approved it as a restricted use pesticide. You can see the pesticide fact sheet here: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/chem_search/reg_actions/pending/fs_PC-176603_01-Jan-12.pdf

How can drugging mares with restricted use pesticides be honoring their freedom? Most of the time the BLM will need to round them up to dart them anyway. You can hear the BLM official speak about that here: http://www.thespectrum.com/videos/news/local/cedar-city/2014/08/06/13698391/

We are also concerned PZP and other sterilants affect behavior and that mares will be subjected to live in unnatural situations.

Ruining survival of the fittest and natural selection is our biggest concern if man chooses who breeds and how many foals are born. The herds must adapt to upcoming environmental and climate changes in order to survive, therefore genetic variability is essential at this pivotal time.

You can read about PZP on these various posts: http://protectmustangs.org/?s=PZP+&submit=Search

Here you can read about Gonacon on these posts: http://protectmustangs.org/?s=gonacon&submit=Search

This is also a good post to read about the ISPMB and Princeton study that shows wild horse herds with functional social structures contribute to low herd growth compared to BLM managed herds: http://protectmustangs.org/?p=6057

You can search other topics you might have questions about in our search bar too: http://protectmustangs.org

We are 100% volunteer and are working to help the wild horses without any conflict of interest as far as we can tell. We do not receive funding from influencers, corporations or organizations connected with the drug PZP, the pharmaceutical industry, Big Oil and Gas or other energy, ranching and mining sources. That’s why your donations are so important.

Our vision is to speak out for the voiceless, stop the BLM from being cruel to wild horses and work towards a solution for healthy management keeping wild horses on the range based on good science. We have a petition out for the 10 year moratorium on all roundups. Please sign and share it here: http://www.change.org/petitions/sally-jewell-urgent-grant-a-10-year-moratorium-on-wild-horse-roundups-for-recovery-and-studies

Thank you for reaching out to us. It’s important to do the research and find the answer for yourself so you can feel good about taking action to help save the last of the wild horses and burros.

We are grateful you care so deeply about saving America’s wild ones.

Many blessings,
Anne

 

Anne Novak
Executive Director
Protect Mustangs
San Francisco, California

Read about native wild horses: http://protectmustangs.org/?page_id=562

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheAnneNovak
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ProtectMustangs
In the news: http://protectmustangs.org/?page_id=218

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

 

 

It’s time for ACTION! BLM bring them shade

Calling all internet warriors YOU are needed this week! Wild horses DIED in the 2013 heat wave and it will happen again. We must demand BLM bring them shade now before more perish.

Wild Hoses in most BLM holding facilities are denied shade and shelter going against basic animal husbandry rules of 1.) Food 2.) Shelter 3.) Water. We must take action for BLM to change before more die!

Last summer we officially requested BLM bring shade to captive wild horses and burros to avoid deaths http://protectmustangs.org/?p=4501 but the feds denied our request and other requests for basic animal welfare.

Protect Mustangs held an investigation and discovered America’s wild horses were dying in the triple digit heat waves. http://protectmustangs.org/?p=4725

Watch the video report from the Protect Mustangs investigation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdM2NrJcX8o

Read the Associated Press article that went viral across the country in print, on TV News and on radio in 2013: http://www.denverpost.com/colorado/ci_23700887/blm-seeks-ideas-how-protect-wild-horses

Now let’s make this petition with more than 32K signatures go VIRAL before the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board Meeting in Wyoming on August 25th! http://www.change.org/petitions/bring-emergency-shelter-and-shade-to-captive-wild-horses-and-burros

Pictured is a photo from Protect Mustangs’ Investigation in the summer of 2013. We found SHADOW (name chosen by Jim Hart on the Protect Mustangs investigation) who had died SUFFERING in the heat wave. Others died too. Read the press release that went viral in the news http://protectmustangs.org/?p=4725

International News: July 2, 2013 Horsetalk, NZ: Captive wild horses need shade, advocates say http://horsetalk.co.nz/2013/07/02/captive-wild-horses-need-shade-advocates-say/#axzz2ZcyetMGy

International News: July 17, 2013 Horsetalk, NZ: Captive wild horses need relief from heat says HSUS http://horsetalk.co.nz/2013/07/18/captive-wild-horses-need-relief-heat-says-hsus/#axzz2ZcyetMGy

BLM wants everyone to forget the fact that BLM is CRUEL and ABUSIVE to wild horses and burros. TAKE ACTION and SHARE this so people know the truth!

TAKE ACTION: Write your elected officials a hand-written letter requesting wild horses and burros have access to shade and shelter at all holding facilities.

Join us to make change! www.ProtectMustangs.org

(Photo © Jim Hart for Protect Mustangs.org Investigation 2013)

Protest against wiping out Wyoming wild horses August 12 in Rock Springs

ROCK SPRINGS, WYOMING – Horse lovers, motorcycle enthusiasts and concerned citizens will rally in protest of the wild horse roundups scheduled for the Wyoming checkerboard. Focusing on the checkerboard, the protest will also address wild horse and burro roundups scheduled in the western states.

The rally starts at 1:00 on Tuesday, August 12th at the BLM field office, 280 U.S. 191, Rock Springs and then travels 3.2 miles to the Rock Springs Grazing Association, 200 2nd Street, for a second rally. The purpose of the rally is to convey that U.S. taxpayers do not support the removal of our wild horses and burros, especially at taxpayer expense. The majority of U.S. citizens do not agree with the use of our taxpayer dollars to subsidize private livestock owners.

“We used to have over 2 million wild horses on our public lands, and now we’re down to about one percent left of what we once had on the range,” state the organizers of the rally. “In the checkerboard, some of the private lands ranchers have grazing permits so their livestock are on our public lands. Perhaps it’s time to re-think this policy of allowing privately-owned livestock on our public lands.”

Facts and figures can be found here:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/vickeryeckhoff/2014/04/25/federal-grazing-program-in-bundy-dispute-rips-off-taxpayers-wild-horses/

And here:

http://www.sagebrushsea.org/pdf/factsheet_Grazing_Fiscal_Costs.pdf

A press conference will be held at the BLM field office releasing the facts on the wild horse and burro and the subsidies the public lands ranchers have been receiving.

ROUNDUP SCHEDULE: http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/whbprogram/herd_management/tentative_gather_schedule.html

Rally organizers are concerned citizens Beverley Hughes, Diana Kline and Deb McQueen

Media Contacts:

Beverley Hughes: 505.999.7778

Diana Kline: 816.842.9292

Associated Press reports: Feds seek extra holding space for western mustangs

Wild War Horse (Photo © Cynthia Smalley, all rights reserved.)

Wild War Horse (Photo © Cynthia Smalley, all rights reserved.)

by Martin Griffith Associated Press

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Federal land managers are under fire from animal welfare activists for seeking extra holding space for wild horses removed from western rangelands.

With current facilities nearing capacity, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management is accepting bids until Aug. 29 from contractors interested in either operating short-term corrals in 31 states in the Midwest and East or long-term pastures.

After removing horses from the range, the bureau places them in short-term facilities until they are either adopted or shipped to pastures in the Midwest where they spend the rest of their lives. The agency routinely thins what it calls overpopulated herds on public land.

BLM officials, in a statement Thursday, said they plan to open “multiple” short-term corrals that can handle at least 150 horses each in various states along and east of the Mississippi River. They also seek one or more long-term pastures that can accommodate from 100 to 5,000 mustangs each.

The bureau has not yet awarded contracts for bids it received earlier this year from contactors interested in running short-term corrals in 17 states in the West and Midwest.

Bureau spokesman Tom Gorey said the total number of new holding facilities and their cost would depend on the number and quality of bids submitted. About two-thirds of the agency’s budget covers holding costs.

“We want to get out of the holding business, but at the moment that’s not possible,” Gorey told The Associated Press. “The bottom line is we have to make sure we have enough off-range holding for horses that are removed.”

Budget constraints are prompting the bureau to remove just 2,400 wild horses and burros from the range during the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, down from 4,176 in 2013 and 8,255 in 2012. The vast majority of animals targeted for removal are horses.

But horse advocates criticized the agency’s plans for more holding space, saying it continues to “stockpile” horses at a growing cost to taxpayers with about as many mustangs now living in holding facilities as on the range.

“The BLM continues to refuse to reform its broken wild horse program,” said Suzanne Roy, director of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign. “The agency is intent on sticking American taxpayers with the bill for rounding up and warehousing captured mustangs instead of listening to the scientists and the American public, and humanely managing wild horses and burros on the range.”

Gorey said activists’ demands to halt the removal of horses from the range are unrealistic because herds grow at an average rate of 20 percent a year and can double in size every four years.

According to the latest figures provided by the BLM, a total of 49,209 horses and burros freely roamed 10 Western states as of March 1, the vast majority of them mustangs. That estimate exceeds by more than 22,500 the number the BLM has determined can exist in balance with other public rangeland resources and uses.

Off the range, there were 47,272 wild horses and burros in short-term corrals and long-term pastures as of July 30, the agency said.

Anne Novak of the California-based group Protect Mustangs accused the bureau of inflating horse numbers to justify their removal from the range to accommodate ranching, mining and oil and gas interests.

“The truth is we never see an overpopulation of wild horses on public land,” she said. “Overpopulation is a farce made to milk Congress for more money to clear public land for industrialization.”

Cross-posted from the Denver Post for educational purposes: http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_26264815/feds-seek-extra-holding-space-western-mustangs This article has gone viral.

Feds ignore environmental protocol to destroy wild herds

Where are wild horses?™

No Resource Management Plan or Environmental Assessment for roundup

BLM press release:

BLM Schedules Wild Horse Removal on Checkerboard Lands

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Rock Springs Field Office will remove all wild horses from checkerboard lands within the Great Divide Basin, Adobe Town and Salt Wells Creek herd management areas (HMAs) beginning approximately Aug. 20.

This removal comes at the request of private land owners and to comply with the 2013 Consent Decree for Rock Springs Grazing Association (RSGA) vs. Salazar, No. 11-CV00263-NDF, and Section 4 of the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971.

The three HMAs total approximately 2,427,220 acres, with 1,242,176 acres falling within the checkerboard. The majority of private land in the HMAs is in the checkerboard of alternating sections of public and private land and owned or controlled by the RSGA. Wild horses will remain in the non-checkerboard sections of the HMAs.

All removed wild horses will be examined by a veterinarian, dewormed, Coggins-tested and given booster shots.

“Animals removed from the checkerboard will be available for adoption through the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program,” said Rock Springs Field Office Manager Kimberlee Foster. “Those not adopted will be cared for in long-term pastures, where they retain their ‘wild’ status and protection under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.”

There will be opportunities to observe the removal. To be notified of these opportunities, please contact Shelley Gregory at 307-315-0612 or ssgregory@blm.gov to have your name added to the observation log.

For more information, please visit www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/info/NEPA/documents/rsfo/Checkerboard.html, www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/programs/Wild_Horses/14cb-removal.html or contact Wild Horse Specialist Jay D’Ewart at 307-352-0331.

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–Rock Springs Field Office 280 Highway 191 North Rock Springs WY 82901

Salt Lake Tribune: Two wild horses die at Utah roundup

Protect Mustangs . org & Photo © Taylor James

(Photo © Taylor James)

By Kristen Moulton | The Salt Lake Tribune

Published Jul 31 2014

A yearling mustang ran into a corral panel and died after she was rounded up on Utah’s west desert Wednesday, according to a Bureau of Land Management report.

The BLM also had to euthanize a 7-year-old mare that had previously fractured her right rear leg, the BLM’s Blawn Wash Gather website said.

The BLM is removing 140 wild horses this week from the Wah Wah Mountains in Beaver County, its only roundup of the year in Utah.

The BLM uses a contractor whose pilots fly helicopters over the area until they find a small band of horses. A chopper then “herds” the running horses into a corral temporarily set up on the range.

The horses are then loaded into trucks and taken to another corral, in this case, on a nearby ranch. That is apparently where the filly died Wednesday.

In a text message to a wild horse advocate, BLM spokeswoman Lisa Reid said the young horse died on impact when she ran into a corral panel. Reid could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday.

Anne Novak, executive director of the organization Protect Mustangs, criticized the BLM for the loss of the horses.

The yearling “was obviously terrified by the whole ordeal,” Novak said in an emailed statement. “Once they are terrified, the risk of injury is high. The BLM needs to train their staff to understand wild horse behavior so tragedies like this will never happen again.”

She also said the BLM was wrong to put down the 7-year-old mare whose broken leg had healed but who apparently was left with a deformed leg and protruding hip.

“The BLM should have made an effort to give her the best veterinary care possible. Horses heal and this mare had already recovered from an injury in the wild,” Novak said. “I’m sure someone would have adopted her to help her get well.”

The horses are being taken from an area that includes a large piece of state lands that were seeded over the decades with grass for livestock and are a magnet for the wild horses. The BLM’s management plan calls for no horses to be there, although they have ranged there for more than 100 years.

The roundup began Monday, and through Wednesday, the BLM had removed 101 horses, according to the website. They’re being trucked to the Central Utah Correctional Facility at Gunnison, where they’ll be examined, vaccinated and prepared for adoption. The prison inmates may keep some for training.

Even after the 140 horses are removed, Gus Warr, the agency’s manager for wild horses and burros in Utah, figured more than 100 would remain in the Blawn Wash area. Utah has nearly 4,000 wild horses, more than double the number the BLM has set as the upper limit.

Ranchers in the region sued the BLM, and county commissioners in Iron and Beaver counties threatened their own roundups if the agency did not reduce the numbers of wild horses.

Besides the Blawn Wash roundup, the BLM has trapped 25 horses and intends to trap 25 more when they go for water on private land in Iron County. The agency also plans to remove 10 from along State Route 21 in Beaver County, near Nevada.

No further information was immediately available Thursday on the animals that died Wednesday. The yearling filly who died after hitting the corral panel was gray and in good condition, the report said. The mare was a sorrel, with a body condition rated as fair.

Cross-posted from the Salt Lake Tribune: http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/58245670-78/horses-blm-wild-utah.html.csp for educational purposes only

 

Breaking: 2 wild horses killed at roundup–7 year old mare and yearling filly

Dear Friends of Wild Horses, This is hard news to announce. . . The BLM has rounded up 101 wild horses in Blawn Wash, Utah. Today thirty-one wild horses were rounded up–10 studs, 15 mares and 6 foals. 2 American wild horses were killed. Here is the death report according to BLM:

  • 7-year-old sorrel mare came in with a super enlarged right hock. The vet evaluated the injury and said that the hock had been broken for some time and had healed. Her leg was deformed, irregular hoof wear and hip protruding.
  • 1-year-old grey filly ran into a corral panel at the temporary holding facility dying on impact.

Here are the text messages between me and the BLM’s PR agent:      

I never received any photos of the 2 wild horses and we know BLM documents the wild horses at the roundups.

The BLM’s roundup report is here: http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/prog/wild_horse_and_burro/blwn/CedarReports.html

Politicians who want to get public land transferred to their state pushed for this roundup. They went all the way to Washington to convince elected officials that wild horses were starving and ruining the range despite the fact that cattle outnumber them more than 50 to 1 and the wild horses are healthy and fat. . .

These are the same politicians who are pushing for the Wild Horse Oversight Act, H.R. 5058 to let the states manage them and be able to ‘dispose of’ federally protected wild horses as they choose.

They want American wild horses ripped off public land in what seems to be retaliation for the Bundy Ranch incident and because local politicians have a deep conflict of interest favoring livestock grazing. They are trying to scapegoat range damage on wild horses when livestock is the culprit.

Elected officials in Utah have threatened to take the matter into their own rogue hands, round up native wild horses, kill them or sell them to slaughter! They don’t realize wild horses have a right to live on public land and grazing livestock is only a privilege. Their sense of entitlement to federal lands has warped their perspective.

Despite public outcry against the proposed roundup, BLM buckled under pressure and started chasing wild horses with helicopters on Monday. . . On day three, legendary wild horses are killed because of the roundup.

Roundups are cruel.

In March 2014, 37 Wyoming wild horses were sold to a Canadian slaughterhouse–after the BLM’s Dry Creek roundup–to be killed for human consumption. We saved 14  youngsters we call the WY14 but sadly 23 herd members were slaughtered before we got involved.

In August 2013, many wild horses were sold to kill-buyers after the brutal Fort McDermitt roundup . . .

Then there is Tom Davis who wasn’t able to account for the more than 1,700 wild horses the BLM sold and delivered to him for only $10 a head after the roundups.

The public wants an immediate moratorium on roundups for recovery and management studies. BLM’s roundups and removals have increased the birthrate because native horses fear extinction when their population drops too low. Wild horses are not overpopulated on public land. If anything they are so underpopulated their genetic variability is at risk.

Please share this post with your friends and family so they can learn the truth about how the feds are spending their tax dollars to harass American wild horses with helicopters and scare them to their death or kill them after they have been trapped.

Pray for America’s wild horses. We need a miracle for them to survive corrupt politics surrounding public land. May the mare and yearling filly who died today rest in peace . . . forever running free.

In sadness,
Anne

Anne Novak
Executive Director
www.ProtectMustangs.org
Anne Novak on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheAnneNovak
Protect Mustangs on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ProtectMustangs

Links of interest™:

Help feed the special needs wild horses Protect Mustangs has rescued from roundups: http://protectmustangs.org/?page_id=701 and read about the WY14 here: http://protectmustangs.org/?p=7064

Princeton University Wildlife and cows can be partners, not enemies, in search for food: http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S32/93/41K10/index.xml?section=featured

Bundy Ranch: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bundy_standoff

Wild Horse Oversight Act: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr5058/text

Facebook post: https://www.facebook.com/ProtectMustangs/photos/a.240625045996522.58710.233633560029004/732085626850459/?type=1&theater

#MustangMonday begins 3 days of action for wild horses

© Cynthia Smalley, all rights reserved

Young Wyoming wild horses rescued by Protect Mustangs from the slaughterhouse feedlot after a BLM roundup in March 2014 (Photo © Cynthia Smalley, all rights reserved.)

Three actions to take before Congress goes on summer break July 31st.

1.) Call and fax your county commissioners to request they stop supporting the resolution pushed through the national NACO meeting to give the states the ability to manage federally protected wild horses and “dispose” of them . Politely let them know you will hold them accountable if wild horses are killed or slaughtered and the states have a heinous history of “taking care of wild horses.” Explain that livestock is causing range damage because cattle and sheep outnumber wild horses more than 50 to 1. Let them know people in all states across the country enjoy wild horses and as a federally protected animal–they belong to everyone. Request a written response from your county commissioners.

2.) Call and fax your representative to politely insist they stop Chris Stewart’s (R-UT) Wild Horse Oversight Act of 2014, H.R. 5058 from gaining any momentum in the House. Explain to them that the Act is misleading and would allow states to dispose of federally protected wild horses by killing them or selling them to slaughter. Request a written response from your representative.

3.) Call and Fax your 2 senators and representative the Declaration by Llyod Eisenhauer, former BLM manager, who states the pending Wyoming Checkerboard Roundup appears to be in violation of the law. Ask your elected officials to stop the Checkerboard Roundup scheduled to begin August 20th. Request a written response from your elected officials.

Contact us with any questions via email to Contact@ProtectMustangs.org

Links of interest™: 

Contact Congress: http://www.contactingthecongress.org

Roundup abuse footage:

Defund the Roundups Petition: http://www.change.org/petitions/defund-and-stop-the-wild-horse-burro-roundups

Wild Horse Oversight Act of 2014, H.R. 5058 https://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/house-bill/5058/text

NACo passes horse resolution http://protectmustangs.org/?p=7000

Former BLM manager declares Wyoming roundup appears to be in violation of the law http://protectmustangs.org/?p=7021

An American writes to the BLM against helicopter roundups in Wyoming http://protectmustangs.org/?p=6996

Dangerous bill puts America’s wild horses at risk of slaughter  http://protectmustangs.org/?p=6967

Associated Press (viral) Bill seeks to allow states to manage wild horses http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/Bill-seeks-to-allow-states-to-manage-wild-horses-5617520.php

Former BLM manager declares Wyoming roundup appears to be in violation of the law

LEGAL DECLARATION filed by former BLM Rock Springs and Rawlins area manager, Lloyd Eisenhauer:

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTFOR THE DISTRICT OF WYOMING

Rock Springs Grazing Association, Case No. 2:11-cv-00263-NDF Plaintiff, v. Ken Salazar, et al.,Defendants,

DECLARATION OF LLOYD EISENHAUER

I, Lloyd Eisenhauer, declare as follows:

1. I live in Cheyenne, Wyoming. I am a former Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) official with extensive experience in the Rawlins and Rock Springs Districts in Wyoming and intimate familiarity with the public lands under BLM management in those areas.

I have reviewed the consent decree proposed by BLM and the Rock Springs Grazing Association (“RSGA”) in this case and provide this declaration based on my longstanding knowledge of, and management of, wild horses and livestock grazing in the Rock Springs and Rawlins Districts.

2. I grew up in Pine Bluffs, Wyoming with a livestock and farming background, served in the Marines for four years, and then owned a livestock business from 1952-1958. I enrolled in college in 1958, studying range management. From 1960-1961, BLM hired me to assist with collecting field data for vegetation assessments and carrying capacity surveys related to livestock and wild horses. These surveys were conducted in the Lander, Kemmerer, and Rawlins Districts. When I graduated in 1962, BLM hired me full-time to serve in the Rawlins District in Wyoming, where most of my work focused on grazing management involving sheep, cattle, and wild horses. From 1968-1972, I was Area Manager of the Baggs-Great Divide Resource Area in the Rawlins District. In 1971, the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act was enacted, and in the spring of 1972, on behalf of BLM, I conducted the first aerial survey of wild horses in Wyoming, recording the number of horses and designating the Herd Management Areas (“HMAs”) for the Rawlins District. After a stint as an Area Manager with BLM’s Albuquerque, New Mexico office, in 1975 I took over as the Chief of Planning and Environmental Analysis in BLM’s Rock Springs District for three years. I was the lead on all planning and environmental assessments. During that time, I also served as the Acting Area Manager of the Salt Wells Resource Area, which is located in the Rock Springs District. In 1979, BLM transferred me to its Denver Service Center to serve as the Team Leader in creating the agency’s automated process for data collection. I received an excellence of service awardfrom the Secretary of the Interior commending me for my work as a Team Leader. In 1982, I became the Head of Automation in BLM’s Cheyenne office, where I managed and implemented the data collection and processing of various systems related to BLM programs. I retired from BLM in 1986, and have stayed very involved in the issue of wild horse and livestock management on BLM lands in Wyoming, and have written articles about the issue in local and other newspaper outlets. I have won various journalistic awards, including a Presidential award, for my coverage of conservation districts in Wyoming. Along with a partner, I operated a tour business (called Backcountry Tours) for six years, taking various groups into wild places in Wyoming – without a doubt wild horses were the most popular thing to see on a tour, in large part due to their cultural and historical value. I also served six years on the governor’s non-point source water quality task force.

3. Based on my longstanding knowledge of wild horse and livestock management in the Rawlins and Rock Springs Districts, and in the Wyoming Checkerboard in particular, I am very concerned about BLM’s agreement with RSGA, embodied in the proposed Consent Decree they have filed in this case, under which BLM would remove all wild horses located on RSGA’s private lands on the Wyoming Checkerboard. The Checkerboard is governed by an exchange of use agreement between the federal government and private parties such as RSGA. However, due to state laws, property lines, and intermingled lands, it is impossible to fence the lands of the Wyoming Checkerboard, which means that both the wild horses and the livestock that graze there roam freely between public and private lands on the Checkerboard without any physical barriers. For this reason, it is illogical for BLM to commit to removing wild horses that are on the “private” lands RSGA owns or leases because those same horses are likely to be on public BLM lands (for example, the Salt Wells, Adobe Town, Great Divide, and White Mountains HMAs) earlier in that same day or later that same evening. Essentially, in contrast to other areas of the country where wild horses still exist, on the Wyoming Checkerborad there is no way to distinguish between horses on “private” lands and those on public lands, and therefore it would be unprecedented, and indeed impossible for BLM to contend that it is removing all horses on RSGA’s “private” lands at any given time of the year, month, or day, considering that those horses would only be on the strictly “private” lands very temporarily and intermittently on any particular day .

5. Another major concern with BLM’s agreement to remove all horses from the private lands of the Wyoming Checkerboard is that BLM is undermining the laws that apply to the Checkerboard, and wild horse management in general, which I implemented during my time as a BLM official. Traditionally, BLM officials (myself included) have understood that, pursuant to the Wild Horse Act, wild horses have a right to use BLM lands, so long as their population numbers do not cause unacceptable damage to vegetation or other resources. In stark contrast, however, livestock (sheep and cattle) have no similar right to use BLM lands; rather, livestock owners may be granted the privilege of using BLM lands for livestock grazing pursuant to a grazing permit that is granted by BLM under the Taylor Grazing Act, but that privilege can be revoked, modified, or amended by BLM for various reasons, including for damage to vegetation or other resources caused by livestock, or due to sparse forage available to sustain livestock after wild horses are accounted for. BLM’s tentative agreement here does the opposite and instead prioritizes livestock over wild horses, by proposing to remove hundreds of wild horses from the Wyoming Checkerboard without reducing livestock numbers – which, in my view, is contrary to the laws governing BLM’s actions as those mandates were explained to me and administered during the decades that I was a BLM official.

6. While I do not agree with every management action taken by BLM over the years in the Rock Springs District, I can attest – based on my longstanding employment with BLM and my active monitoring of the agency’s activities during retirement – that BLM has generally proven capable of removing wild horses in the Rock Springs District, including by responding to emergency situations when needed and removing horses when necessary due to resource damage.

7. Considering that wild horses exhibit different foraging patterns and movement patterns than sheep and cattle, and also than big game such as antelope and elk, no sound biological basis exists for permanently removing wild horses from the Wyoming Checkerboard at this time. In particular, wild horses tend to hang out in the uplands at a greater distance from water sources until they come to briefly drink water every day or two, whereas livestock congregate near water sources and riparian habitat causing concentrated damage to vegetation and soil. For this reason, the impacts of wild horses are far less noticeable on the Checkerboard than impacts from livestock.

8. In addition, because livestock tend to eat somewhat different forage than wild horses (horses tend to eat coarser vegetation such as Canadian wild rye and other bunch grasses, whereas cattle and sheep mostly eat softer grasses), there is no justification to remove wild horses on the basis that insufficient forage exists to support the current population of wild horses.

Also, because cattle and sheep have no front teeth on the front part of their upper jaws, they tend to pull and tear grasses or other forage out by the root causing some long-term damage to vegetation, whereas wild horses, which have front teeth on both their front upper and lower jaws, act more like a lawnmower and just clip the grass or forage (leaving the root uninjured), allowing the vegetation to quickly grow back. These differences are extremely significant because if there were a need to reduce the use of these BLM lands by animals to preserve these public lands, it might be cattle and sheep – not wild horses – that should be reduced to gain the most benefit for the lands, and which is why BLM, during my time as an agency official, focused on reducing livestock grazing.

9. BLM’s agreement with RSGA states that RSGA’s conservation plan limited livestock grazing, primarily by sheep, to the winter months to provide sufficient winter forage.This is a good example of “multiple use” management, since wild horses and sheep have very little competition for the forage they consume and the seasons during which they use parts of the Checkerboard. During winter, sheep use the high deserts and horses utilize the uplands and breaks (i.e., different locations) for forage and protection. During the summer, when sheep are not present, wild horses use various landscapes on the Checkerboard. This multiple use should continue for the benefit of the livestock, the wild horses, and the public and private lands involved.

10. I am also very concerned about BLM’s agreement with RSGA to permanently zero out the Salt Wells HMA and the Divide Basin HMA, leaving no wild horses in those areas that have long contained wild horses. I have been to fifteen of the sixteen HMAs in Wyoming, and to my knowledge none has ever been zeroed out by BLM. It is my view, based on everything I know about these areas and the way these public lands are used by wild horses and livestock, that BLM has no biological or ecological basis for zeroing out a herd of wild horses in an HMA that existed at the time the wild horse statute was passed in 1971, as is the case with both the Salt Wells and Divide Basin HMAs. And, again, because the wild horses have a statutory right to be there, whereas livestock only have a privilege that can be revoked at any time by BLM, there also is no authority or precedent, to my knowledge, for the agency to zero out these two longstanding wild horse herds simply to appease private livestock grazers.

11. The zeroing out of wild horses in the Salt Wells and Divide Basin HMAs is also concerning because it would mean that, in those two longstanding HMAs, there would no longer be the “multiple use” of these public lands as required by both the Wild Horse Act and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act. Currently, while there are other uses of this public land, such as by wildlife, hunters, and recreational users, the two primary uses in those HMAs are by wild horses and livestock. If BLM proceeds with its agreement with RSGA to zero out wild horses in those HMAs, the only major use remaining would be livestock use, meaning that there would be no multiple use of those BLM lands. Not only will that potentially undermine the laws that BLM officials must implement here, but it has practical adverse effects on the resources – multiple use is very beneficial for the environment, and particularly for sensitive vegetation, because different users (e.g., livestock, wild horses) use the lands and vegetation in different ways. When that is eliminated, the resources are subjected to an unnatural use of the lands which can cause severe long-term damage to the vegetation. As a result, zeroing out these herds would likely be devastating for the vegetation in these two HMAs, because livestock would be by far the predominant use in this area.

12. Turning the White Mountain HMA into a non-reproducing herd, as the agreement between BLM and RSGA proposes to do, is also a farce, and violates the meaning of a wild and free-roaming animal. This is essentially a slow-motion zeroing out of this HMA, and is inconsistent with any wild horse management approach I am familiar with that BLM has implemented on public lands.

Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1746, I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is trueand correct.

Lloyd Eisenhauer