——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Massacre Lake EA. please include attachment with submitted comment
From: “Kathleen Hayden”
Date: Fri, September 27, 2013 9:43 pm
September 27, 2013
Bureau of Land Management
PO Box 460
Cedarville, CA 96104
Re Massacre Lake EA.
Dear Mr. Burke:
As BLM has prepared the EA to consider the environmental impacts of resulting from grazing livestock and wild horses at various levels. I submit to you the following as the basis for my comments. Also I emphatically question the allegation that wild horses contribute to the degradation of habitat if given access to their migratory and native ranges on this landscape.
1. livestock grazing impacts must be mitigated by retiring the allotment.
2. inventories of free roaming wild horses must be maintained at genetic violable levels as a special status species and/ or distinct population segment, and candidate for ESA listing based on loss of habitat.
3. Wild horse herds are eligible for inclusion on ACEC and Multiple Species Habitat plans.
4. BLM is required to consult with the counties and comply with local RMP policies regarding cultural historic preservation, and ESA mandates.
5. Compliance with National Preservation Act Sec 106..please include attachment into these submitted comments.
Per case law the BLMs powers to maintain and control the population of wild horses is severely restricted. As Federal Judge Rosemary M. Conyers stated in her ruling against the BLM in the Colorado Wild Horse and Burro Coalition caseBLMs authority to manage wild free-roaming horses and burros is expressly made subject to the provisions of this chapter[,] 16 U.S.C. § 1333(a), including the provision that [i]t is the policy of Congress that wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture . . . . Id. § 1331. It would be anomalous to infer that by authorizing the custodian of the wild free roaming horses and burros to manage them, Congress intended to permit the animals custodian to subvert the primary policy of the statute by capturing and removing from the wild the very animals that Congress sought to protect from being captured and removed from the wild.
Wild horses are native wildlife by fossil evidence, by Congressional designation, Heritage Preservation cultural landscape laws, and case law. They meet the criteria as rare, threatened and endangered for protection from extinction.
Mountain States v. Hodel Wild findings determined that horses and burros are no less wild animals than are the grizzly bears that roam our national parks and forests
and BLM states ” The issue of a wild horse as an invasive species is moot since the 1971 WHBA gave wild free-roaming horses “special” status based on their heritage of assisting man settle the “west”
A sensitive species pursuant to BLM’s 2001 Special Status Species Policy requires that sensitivespecies be afforded, at a minimum, the same protections as a candidate species for listing under the ESA. This was a confirmed finding in the sagegrouse decision.
Finding of fact from Mountain States v. Hodel In structure and purpose, the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act is nothing more than a land-use regulation enacted by Congress to ensure the survival of a particular species of wildlife.
The overabundance of livestock on these checkerboard lands diminish the natural ecological balance. For-profit livestock outnumber wild horses and burros approximately 150 to 1 on land that by law must comply with ESA mandates to ensure the continuity of wildlife species, also protected under the Doctrine of public trust.,
The BLM manual, section 6840 (Special Status Species Management), provides overall policy direction to BLM managers to conserve listed threatened or endangered species on BLM administered lands, and to ensure that actions authorized on BLM administered lands do not contribute to the need to list federal candidate, state‑listed or BLM sensitive species. USFWS also shares the responsibility for consultation under the for- mentioned mandates on RMP properties.
(§ 1610.7-2 ) Areas having potential for Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC)
Areas having potential for Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) designation and protection shall be identified and considered throughout the resource management planning process (see §§1610.41 through 1610.49).
(a) The inventory data shall be analyzed to determine whether there are areas containing resources, values, eligible for further consideration for designation as an ACEC. In order to be a potential ACEC, both of the following criteria shall be met:
(1) Relevance. There shall be present a significant historic, cultural, scenic value or wildlife resource
(2) Importance. The above described value, resource, system, process, shall have substantial significance and values. This generally requires qualities of more than local significance and special worth, consequence, meaning, distinctiveness, or cause for concern.
(b) The approval of a resource management plan, plan revision, or plan amendment constitutes formal designation of any ACEC involved. The approved plan shall include the general management practices and uses, including mitigating measures, identified to protect designated ACEC.
Proper enforcement of the law would support an RMP amendment while drastically reducing the budgets of both federal agencies charged with implementing the protection of wild horses and /or burros. Compliance with well established case laws requiring conservation/preservation/inventory, and maintenance would provide sufficient habitat critical to sustain the continuity of our heritage wild horse and burro herds as Congress intended.
Last but not least I would like to bring to your attention to the similarities of purpose between and ACEC and Herd Area to provide sufficient migratory ranges for a rare, threatened and endangered wildlife species.
Yours very Truly,