Here are some comments representing the many the public is sending in to Nevada BLM against helicopter roundups, etc.
Carson City District Office
Bureau of Land Management
5665 Morgan Mill Road
Carson City, NV 89701
June 5, 2012
The brutal helicopter roundups that your agency engages in have many adverse effects upon the wild horses and burros that are their victims. They cause physical injuries and even deaths in a significant number of the wild equids so pursued (5% or more). They break up the family (band) social structures and actually result in more uncontrolled breeding among those left in the wild. This is because the equid societies when in tact keep breeding suppressed especially in subdominant and younger members. This has been well documented (ref. Karen Sussman of ISPMB).
Additionally, the brutal roundups cause great anguish among the wild equids. Those wild horses and burros who lose their freedom in this insensitive manner suffer an equid form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for the rest of their lives, as attests how violently they react when a helicopter approaches overhead.
Other brutalities suffered during the penning and sorting process and standing around in crowded feedlots often for years on end also leave an indelible mark on their psyche. I consider your massive roundups by helicopter then chucking the horses and burros off to the holding pens to be a very insensitive and unintelligent way of dealing with them. It shows that whoever is running this program is from a livestock background and has little appreciation of the horse or burro in the wild — in fact its truer nature given its ancient, multi-million year development as a wild and free species.
These animals quickly revert to the wild when given the chance, and North America is their evolutionary cradle and place of long-standing development, though they also fit in well in the Old World. The equid is not an ruminant, but a post-gastric digester and as such contributes by building soils and dispersing intact seeds to a much greater degree than is the case with ruminant grazers — practically all the others in North America.
I urge you to study my book The Wild Horse Conspiracy, especially the part concerning Reserve Design for naturally self-stabilizing populations and how to achieve this. This would comply with the true intention of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, not the mayhem and suffering, social and ecological disruption that your draconian helicopter roundups and grossly unjust Appropriate Management Levels for the herds are presently causing. Please contact me for a copy of my book or portions concerning Reserve Design.
Best Wishes in fulfilling your important duty under this noble law that represents the will of the General Public.
Craig C. Downer, Wildlife Ecologist
We will post more soon. Keep sending in your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org The deadline is June 12th