BREAKING: Citizen Investigators Called to Find the Wild Burro Killers!

Call the BLM crime hotline phone number at: 1-800-521-6501 with your tips to catch the killers!

BATTLE MOUNTAIN, Nev. – The Bureau of Land Management is working with the Nye County Sheriff’s Office regarding burros that were found shot to death on public land outside of Beatty, Nev. A report of three burros found dead of gunshots was first made on Saturday, May 5. Soon after an investigation was launched, an additional 10 wild burro carcasses were discovered. Due to the location and similar cause of death, they are believed to be linked to the three reported earlier.

The area is near the BLM Battle Mountain District’s Bullfrog Herd Management Area (HMA), located outside of Beatty.

The BLM currently manages thousands of wild horses and burros in accordance with the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, which gives the agency a mandate to protect and manage the animals. Federal Regulations 43 CFR 4770.1 prohibit the following acts: maliciously or negligently injuring or harassing a wild horse or burro, destroying a wild horse or burro…except as an act of mercy and treating a wild horse or burro inhumanely. Killing a wild burro is punishable by up to one year in prison and thousands of dollars in fines.

The BLM has opened an official investigation into the 13 reported wild burro deaths and will be working closely the Nye County Sharif’s Office to bring the culprit(s) to justice. Individuals with information about this case are encouraged to call the BLM crime hotline phone number at: 1-800-521-6501

from a BLM press release

Photos by filmmaker Carl Mrozek

Outrage over winter roundup likely to cause deaths

Feds to conduct cruel and costly wild horse helicopter stampede

ELY, Nev. – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is planning a helicopter roundup stampeding native wild horses for miles over harsh icy terrain into traps on or about January 23 despite no concrete evidence of wild horse overpopulation in the Triple B Complex.

The Eastern Nevada complex near Ely and Elko is made up of the Triple B HMA, Maverick-Medicine HMA, and Cherry Springs Wild Horse Territory (USFS). Together these three legal wild horse areas contain 1,682,998 acres.

Instead of protecting or preserving America’s indigenous wild horses using holistic land management methods, the feds intend to chase our icons of freedom with helicopters for miles to round them up, break up their families, probably killing some.

Please sign and share the Petition to Defund the Roundups: https://www.change.org/p/defund-and-stop-the-wild-horse-burro-roundups Members of Congress are watching this petition. If one million people sign the petition then together we will stop the roundups.

The BLM’s roundup for “population control” plans on permanently removing at least 1,000 native wild horses, forcibly drugging approximately 250 indigenous mares with dangerous population control Pesticide PZP-22. Then the feds plan to release those drugged wild mares back into the gigantic Eastern Nevada complex–along with about 250 stallions. At least 1000 native wild horses will lose their homes despite returning some.

Right now all the wild horses in federally funded holding facilities are at risk of being shot or sold to slaughter because of poor management choices, overpopulation, lies and nasty politics.

As if that’s not bad enough, the BLM is planning on adding 1000 more wild horses to their broken captivity system with expensive holding facilities and an adoption program with rotten customer service.

It’s essential for Congress to know exactly how many wild horses and burros are living in the wild and in captivity. We have a petition you can sign and share that demands a head count and an investigation into the BLM’s sketchy program: https://www.change.org/p/u-s-senate-investigate-the-wild-horse-burro-count-in-captivity-and-freedom . Please send your elected officials the petition and take it with you to meetings to be a voice for the voiceless.

(Sadly the only paid lobbyists seem to be pushing Pesticide PZP so elected officials are getting the wrong education.)

Congress should insist the BLM take wild horses out of costly holding facilities to repatriate them into the wild in friendly areas, where neighbors appreciate them, and onto legal but empty Herd Areas to help prevent catastrophic wildfires and heal the land. The BLM must not put more native wild horses in costly holding facilities.

The Bureau of Land Management and the Department of Interior want to find ways to dispose of our national treasures so they can control and make billions of dollars off the public’s land.

Helicopter contractors, earning millions from roundups, will be paid to stampede native wild horses for miles and miles over snow, ice, and dangerous rocky terrain. Stampeding wild horses is cruel, unnatural and terrifying.

Then the wild horses will be shoved, sweating, into trap corrals with a fog of steam emanating from their wet, stressed bodies in freezing temperatures . . . The wild ones’ muscles can seize up after the terrifying stampede causing severe pain, and the wild horses’ upper respiratory systems will suffer.

The expensive helicopter roundup–which is expected to last approximately a month in freezing temperatures–will put native wild horses at risk of upper respiratory diseases such as strangles and equine pneumonia. Some may die.

These deaths won’t be counted as “roundup related” because the wild horses will die painful deaths while suffering in holding facilities. Dead bodies of native wild horses will be scooped up by BLM tractors before public watchdogs can notice.

The Triple B roundup is being conducted by the BLM Ely District Office which is conflicted with extreme energy industry and mining bias. The Bureau gets a kickback from what is extracted on BLM land–whether it’s gold, copper, lithium, oil, natural gas or other resources. The BLM has boasted that they made more than 4 billion dollars last year. Most of that is from the extractive industry polluting the environment on public land. The agency only cares about money.

Less than 2,700 wild horses will remain in the vast Triple B Complex if this cruel roundup starts and it isn’t stopped in the courts.

In 2010, when the BLM managers were shipping wild horses to slaughter through middleman Tom Davis, the vast Herd Management Areas had many more wild horses living in freedom. The Bureau then decided it could lower the allowed numbers through a sleight of hand, by joining all the HMAs into a “complex.” No one challenged the formation of complexes in court, so the BLM went ahead with their plan to reduce the number of wild horses allowed in the area.

The Triple B Complex is made up of 1,682,998 acres. To leave only 2,766 wild horses on that vast amount of acreage translates to 608 acres per wild horse. With 200 acres per wild horse 8,414 wild horses could live on the huge landscape and with 100 acres per wild horse 16,829 wild horses could stay living wild and free at virtually no cost to the American taxpayer.

The public should know how much privately owned domestic livestock, cattle, and sheep would be allowed to graze in the Triple B Complex after native wild horses are rounded up.

Through control of gathering data, BLM scapegoats native wild horses for livestock damage made by one million head of domestic cattle and sheep on public land.

Public Relations campaigns funded through the BLM claim that the purpose of the roundup is to prevent degradation of public lands by an “excess” of wild horses, and to restore a “thriving natural ecological balance” and create “multiple-use relationship’ on public lands, consistent with the provisions of Section 1333(b) of the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act (WFRHBA)

Yet the BLM has never proved that there are any “excess” wild horses. The key word in the BLM’s PR phrase is “relationship”. Instead of working with local public land users to create healthy rangelands using wild horses as a resource for holistic land management, the BLM and the locals are ignoring possibilities to take land management out of the dark ages.

The reality is that the agency doesn’t think twice about the ecological damage associated with a helicopter roundup, stampeding wild horses for miles over the terrain and into trap corrals. The BLM ignores that trucks and trailers would be destroying the habitat and the amount of greenhouse gas polluting the environment as a result of a million dollar roundup.

Million dollar roundups fund the BLM’s mess of a Wild Horse Program. They need the “problem” to keep the flow of cash coming in from Congress. The reality is there is no overpopulation and no problem, only out of date land management.

The truth is, the current population for the Triple B Complex is unknown. The BLM’s guess is “approximately 3,842 wild horses” in the Triple B Complex consisting of 1,682,998 acres. As discussed above, more than 16,829 native wild horses could live in the Triple B complex with 100 acres per wild horse. That’s 12,987 more wild horses than the BLM claims are living there now!

The BLM’s management level for all the Herd Management Areas within the targeted Triple B Complex helicopter stampede is ridiculously low–at only 472 to 884 wild horses for 1,682,998 acres. The BLM must revise management levels and be honest about unfair grazing allocation to livestock and stop blaming native wild horses for livestock damage from years beforehand as well as today.

The BLM plans to roundup 1,500 wild horses and remove approximately 1,000 indigenous wild horses forever. The BLM will only release about 250 mares that they will forcibly drug with the dangerous population control pesticide PZP-22 to slow the population growth for 2 years despite the fact that the National Academy of Sciences found there is no evidence of overpopulation. PZP-22 is dangerous.

PZP wreaks havoc with the law of nature, the mustangs’ immune systems, hormones, social behaviors and sense of well-being–and ruins federally protected wild horses’ right to freedom from harassment, branding, and abuse.

All forms of the EPA Restricted Use Pesticide PZP will sterilize wild horses after multiple applications. Only 250 stallions will be returned to the range yet established families (harem bands) will be destroyed.

These wild captives will be subjected to the horrors of the BLM’s processing facilities where families are ripped apart, males are separated from females, and ID numbers are tattooed on their bodies. Some American wild horses will be cruelly abused in population control experiments, and they all will be at risk of death.

The lack of compassion and violation of the federal law protecting wild horses from abuse and harassment opens the BLM up to costly lawsuits and continued waste of tax dollars. It’s time to look at this whole situation differently and come up with holistic management that works!

For the Wild Ones,
Anne Novak

Executive Director
Protect Mustangs
Contact@ProtectMustangs.org

Protect Mustangs is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of native and wild horses. www.ProtectMustangs.org



Note: The roundup is being conducted under the DOI-BLM-NV-E030-2017-0010-EA Antelope and Triple B Complexes Gather Plan Environmental Assessment decision signed on December 21, 2017. The decision record and determination of National Environmental Policy Act adequacy can be accessed at the national NEPA register at www.goo.gl/HQJ73h.

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Regan TJ, Taylor BL, Thompson G, Cochrane JF, Merrick R, Nammack M, Rumsey S, Ralls K, Runge MC. 2009. Developing a structure for quantitative listing criteria for the U.S. Endangered Species Act using performance testing: Phase I report. La Jolla, California: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Southwest Fisheries Science Center. NOAA Technical Memorandum, NOAA-TM-NMFS-SWFSC-437. Available: http://www.sefsc.noaa.gov/turtles/TM_NMFS_SWFSC_437.pdf (November2011). Ruhl J. 1990. Regional habitat conservation planning under the Endangered Species Act: pushing the legal and practical limits of species protection. Southwestern Law Journal 44:1393–1425.

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Virginia Range Wild Horse Program Terminated

November 7, 2017

“RENO, Nev. (KOLO) – A two-year-old agreement between wild horse advocates and the Department of Agriculture will be discontinued by the end of the month. That’s the word coming from the Nevada Department of Agriculture, which says the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign is not holding up its end of the bargain.

. . . But according to the NDA, the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign is only interested in one thing.

“They only wanted to participate in the fertility control portion,” says Doug Ferris, Nevada Department of Agriculture Animal Industry Division Administrator.

As a result, the NDA has terminated the contract as of November 25, 2017.

“Yeah, hurray, finally,” was Anna Orchards reaction.

Orchard says because of that laser focus on birth control for the horses, all other aspects of the program have gone by the wayside.”

Watch the Kolo TV News report and read more here: http://www.kolotv.com/content/news/Virginia-Range-Wild-Horse-Agreement-terminated-455984833.html

cross-posted for educational purposes

Roundups for fracking?

Is the BLM wiping out wild horses in Nevada because of the upcoming fracking boom for oil and natural gas? Of course they don’t want a bunch of dead wild horses pointing to the fracked poisoned water. People might notice they are poisoning the environment just like they did in Josh Fox’s Oscar nominated documentary GASLAND. (www.GASLANDthemovie.com) GASLAND 2 mentioned that wild horses are being rounded up where they are going to frack the land. Sadly many wild horses ended up sold to slaughter.

Are you aware of the infrastructure they are building in Nevada to store and ship Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) to Asia?

Please read this http://protectmustangs.org/?p=10428 and send your comments into BLM. They were hoping you wouldn’t notice.

For the Wild Ones,
Anne Novak

Volunteer Executive Director
www.ProtectMustangs.org
Dedicated to protecting and preserving native and wild horses.

Is BLM rounding up wild horses to frack for oil and gas?

From a  Bureau of Land Management press release:

BLM Seeks Public Comment on Public Lands Nominated for Oil and Gas Leasing

ELY, Nev.–The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Ely District is asking the public to review and provide comment on parcels of public land nominated for potential oil and gas exploration and development. The public comment period concludes Monday, Sept. 18, 2017. America’s free markets will help determine if energy development on public lands is feasible.

The BLM received requests to lease 208 nominated parcels of public land, totaling 388,960 acres. Leasing would occur in areas where oil and gas development is allowed under the 2008 Ely District Resource Management Plan. The decision to offer parcels for lease does not authorize any drilling or development. Impacts of leasing the parcels are analyzed in the preliminary environmental assessment (EA), in accordance with the Oil & Gas Leasing Reform mandated in 2010. Lease stipulations identified in the Ely Resource Management Plan (2008) are attached to some parcels to help protect certain resources. The preliminary EA is available for public review at http://bit.ly/2vH21Ix.

Interested individuals should address all written comments to the BLM Caliente Field Office, PO Box 237, Caliente, NV 89008, Attn: Dec. 2017 O&G Lease Sale or fax them to the Caliente Office at (775) 726-8111. Comments may also be submitted electronically with the subject, “ATTN: 2017 Oil & Gas Lease Sale” to blm_nv_ely_oil_and_gas2017@blm.gov.

Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment – including your personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

A Competitive Oil and Gas Lease Sale is scheduled on December 12, 2017. Additional information about the sale including the sale notice and parcel list will be posted to https://on.doi.gov/2nntQCJ as it becomes available.

For more information, contact the BLM Caliente Field Office at (775) 726-8100.

Protect Mustangs is keeping the public informed

Protect Mustangs is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of native and wild horses. www.ProtectMustangs.org



Agency is wiping out America’s last wild horses based on fake numbers

Photo by BLM, public domain

 

“My family helped settle Oregon and I’ve always liked going out into the wild to see the wild herds,” says Bob Pritchett. “Now I go out there and don’t see any. BLM is lying. The truth is they are underpopulated.”

So called “humane fertility control”, Pesticide PZP, etc. will eventually manage wild horses and burros to extinction. Overpopulation is Fake News planted to then fear monger the public with BLM’s killing/slaughter proposal yet their goal is to ultimately push for public approval of sterilization using the Problem -> Reaction -> Solution Hegelian Dialectic method. Sterilized wild horses will eventually die off leaving no more wild horses on public land. This #WildHorseWipeOut is what they want. The American public wants land and forage given to native wild horses and burros for their principal use according to the 1971 law.

Right now an independent head count is needed! Demand an Urgent Congressional Investigation and Head Count of all Wild Horses and Burros in Captivity and in the Wild: https://www.change.org/p/u-s-senate-investigate-the-wild-horse-burro-count-in-captivity-and-freedom  

Marybeth Devlin reports that America’s wild horses are Underpopulated:

Per the guidelines of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) own geneticist, the arbitrary management levels (AMLs) of 83% of wild-horse herds are set below minimum-viable population (MVP). Further, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature says the MVP should be 16 times higher for the species to survive and thrive.

Sparsely Populated: Wild horses are few and far between.

In Wyoming, BLM limits the Red Desert herds to 1 wild horse per 1569 acres that’s 2½ square miles. In Oregon, BLM restricts the Beaty’s Butte herd to 1 wild horse per 4381 acres (7 square miles). In Nevada, BLM limits the Silver King herd to 1 wild horse per 9591 acres (15 square miles).  *Note: figures are based on BLM’s low AML which is their management protocol.

Fraudulent figures: BLM reports biologically-impossible population-growth-figures. Normal herd-growth = 5%. Here are just a few examples of BLM’s growth-figures:

418% — 84 times the norm — Black Rock Range East
293% — 59 times the norm — Diamond Hills South
237% — 47 times the norm — Divide Basin
417% — 83 times the norm — Nut Mountain
260% — 52 times the norm — Shawave

How many wild horses have been rounded up and shipped to slaughter?

 

Protect Mustangs is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of native and wild horses. www.ProtectMustangs.org



Expose BLM’s backdoor to slaughter!

How many are left?

When I first heard about wild horses in the Pryor Mountains being brutally rounded up in 2009, Nevada was home to 80% of America’s federally protected wild horses. Wyoming was the next state who had the most wild horses and California only had a few herds left.

Today Nevada has only about 50% of America’s wild horses and I believe California now has the second largest population. In Wyoming, the feds are proposing to remove another 1,029 wild horses. One of their former congresswomen even wanted to kill them!

The Department of Interior is giving away grants for university students in Wyoming to cruelly collar mares from the Adobe Town herd. They want to find out where they hide in the desert. Then the agency in charge of protecting them can find them and wipe out the ancient Adobe Town mustangs too.

Invasive cruelty against America’s wild horses must stop. The law states they are to be left alone and not be abused. How dare they collar wild horses! This harassment will cause deaths and these deaths will be hidden. . . Hidden like the others.

The deception continues. People who once spoke out against mustang cruelty back in 2009 are now mute because they are playing a political game to get what they want. I’m disgusted and will never sell out. Never.

In 8 years of roundups, experiments, removals, pesticides for “birth control”, 3-Strikes to sell truckloads for slaughter and taxpayer-funded propaganda campaigns, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has decimated America’s wild herds on public land. Now wild horses are in danger of dying out because they lack genetic diversity, population and strength. Natural selection is being ruined by the “one foal” on the range breeding programs run by Pesticide PZP darters in partnership with BLM. Remember Pesticide PZP sterilizes wild horses after multiple use. Yes sterilizes. The public is fooled by those trusted to manage the last American wild horses and their nonprofit partners peddling for donations to “help” them.

Overpopulation is a lie. Population control is based on a false premise that wild horses are “pests”. Follow the money behind population control experiments and the donation cash cow for the nonprofit who claims they solved the wild horse “problem”.

Know the truth: Wild horses are native wildlife, period. Cattle and sheep are not.

Right now we are witnessing a wild horse and burro underpopulation crisis in the West. This is our last chance to help America’s wild horses and burros survive the ugly greed wiping out our herds. It’s time to expose the overpopulation lies. It’s time to expose all the trucks sneaking wild stallions to slaughter over the borders. . . expose the lies that there are “too many” wild horses on public land. Count them.

The truth must be exposed by your elected officials now before it’s too late.

I urge you to sign and share the petition to investigate the wild horse and burro count in captivity and freedom: https://www.change.org/p/u-s-senate-investigate-the-wild-horse-burro-count-in-captivity-and-freedom Join us to double the numbers on the petition in the next 7 days!

America won’t be the same without our iconic wild symbols of liberty running freely on public land . . . The wild herds are to be protected by the law–but because of the greed for resources (oil, gas, livestock grazing, etc.) the law is being twisted, lies are spread in the media and spoon-fed to your elected officials acting on your behalf.

It’s time to know how many wild horses and burros are really left so we can all stand up to protect them.

Prayers and miracles are needed right now. Please contact me if you can help with a lawsuit to save America’s last wild horses and burros.

For the Wild Ones,
Anne Novak
Volunteer Executive Director
Protect Mustangs

Contact@ProtectMustangs.org

Protect Mustangs is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of native and wild horses. www.ProtectMustangs.org



Help get wild horses to safety!

Now that the election is over let’s get America’s at-risk wild horses out of holding facilities to safety! Don’t forget the Bureau of Land Management’s Advisory Board voted to kill all the wild horses in holding facilities. They are all at risk of losing their lives.

Please Help SARA (#1709) Get To Safety! 

She was passed over in the Internet Adoption and has another STRIKE against her

pm-adopt-sara-1709-blm-fallon-nov-2016

SARA (#1709) seems to be a very bright yearling filly who needs to get out of the clutches of the Bureau of Land Management! She will respond well to leadership, respect and love once she knows she can trust you. She is growing. She seems to be very intelligent– holding ancient herd wisdom lost with so many wild horses being slaughtered. But with that comes an eye that will watch to see if she can trust you. Show her pure love and patience so SARA can shine. Adopt her with a buddy so she will feel safe and less stressed as she is gentled and learns to trust you. Take it slow with her. SARA seems to be the kind of wild mustang who will love you forever.

Adoption is $125 and 3-Strikers for purchase cost $25

This is what the Bureau of Land Management says about SARA:

Sex: Filly Age: 1 Years Height (in hands): 13.1

Necktag #: 1709 Date Captured: 04/01/15

Freezemark: 15621709 Signalment Key: HF1AAEDIE

Color: Sorrel Captured: Born in a Holding Facility

Notes:
1709 IS A YEARLING BORN AT A FACILITY
This wild horse is currently located in Fallon, NV. For more information, please contact Jeb Beck at (775) 475-2222 or e-mail: j1beck@blm.gov

More wild horses at-risk will be posted soon!

Please share this post to help 3-Strikers and those close to 3-Strikes get to safe homes, sanctuaries and trainers. It’s much cheaper to adopt and or buy them now than later from a kill pen for seven times the price.

Contact us by email at Contact@ProtectMustangs.org if you need help navigating the Bureau of Land Management’s red tape or get discouraged. Problems can be solved so you can save wild horses. Our goal is to support you to make your adoption or 3-Strike purchase a happy experience.

Check back on this page daily as we will be updating this page with mustangs who need to be saved. Thank you and Bless you!

For the Wild Ones,
Anne Novak

Volunteer Executive Director
Protect Mustangs
P.O. Box 5661
Berkeley, CA. 94705
www.ProtectMustangs.org

Protect Mustangs is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of native and wild horses. www.ProtectMustangs.org




BLM Hauls Water to Wild Horses in Eastern Nevada

pm-sue-borba-photo-moody-springs-sept-8-2016

Photo by Sue Borba from Facebook

ELY, Nevada – The Bureau of Land Management (BoLM) Ely District is hauling water to wild horses in the Big Sand Spring Valley portion of the Pancake Herd Management Area (HMA), about 60 miles west of Ely, Nev., to supplement spring sources impacted by a drop in the water table from drought, mining and other uses.

According to the BoLM, the District has since Aug. 30, been hauling water to Martilletti Spring, which is estimated to be flowing at a rate of a half-gallon per minute, insufficient to meet the demands of the 75-plus wild horses that depend upon the water.  After receiving a phone call on September 8th from a member of the public reporting three deceased wild horses, the District immediately began hauling water to nearby Moody Spring. Because of the drop in the water table, the spring is flowing at a rate of about one gallon per minute, insufficient to meet the needs of the estimated 200-plus wild horses gathering to drink.

The BoLM claims they continually monitor drought conditions, district wide.  As late as July, water sources in the area were keeping up with usage, in part due to precipitation received in May and June.  Those sources have since dried up, resulting in additional wild horses seeking water at the few remaining springs.

The federal agency in charge of protecting America’s wild horses does not have accurate head counts and estimates there are 1,800-plus wild horses in the Pancake HMA, about 1,000 of them in Big Sand Spring Valley.

Unverified reports have come in that the BoLM is dumping water in a dry pond creating a deplorable mud pond and not providing troughs for fresh water.

Protect Mustangs is a 501c3 nonprofit organization who protects and preserves native and wild horses.




What will be different this time? #Fracking and wastewater in Elko

Photo credit Jim Bleche. Nobel Energy Fracking rig in Colorado

  • Larry Hyslop/Elko Free Press Correspondent

Part 2 Cross-posted from the Elko Free Press for educational purposes

This column is the second in a series looking for answers to the question: what is going to be different this time around? What will prevent Elko County from facing the many problems faced by so many other states where hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is being used for oil and natural gas exploration and production? What combination of natural conditions, Noble Energy (Noble) and state/ federal oversight is going to make fracking a good experience for Elko County residents? These columns are not an endorsement of fracking and they focus on Noble although other oil companies may come into the county.

The liquid used in fracking a well is 98 to 99 percent water and sand. About a dozen chemicals are typically added to that, some of which are toxic, to ensure fracture stimulation. Each well uses a slightly different chemical mix but they all usually include acids, clay controls, friction reducers, scale inhibitors, iron controls, biocides and gellants.

Anyone can view the list of chemicals used in each fracking job at fracfocus.org. Under the new state regulations, Noble lists the chemicals within 60 days of each well completion. Go to fracfocus.org, click on Find a Well, select Nevada and Elko County. Wells are listed by an API number, but the correct well can be found using the provided well’s latitude and longitude along with a map.

After fracking, fluids flow back up the pipe. This “flowback” must then be disposed of, treated, recycled or re-used. During oil well production, water from the rock formation also comes up with the oil, called produced water. This and the oil itself must be dealt with safely. Chandler Newhall is Noble’s Rockies business unit asset manager. He said Noble will always contain produced water and flowback in steel tanks or pipes, they will not use lined pits.

For the first two wells, this flowback and produced water was shipped to a licensed facility in Eastern Utah for treatment. If Noble enters a production phase, they will develop a water management program to include treatment, recycling and reuse. In a grouping of future oil wells, produced water could be piped to a central location to be treated and piped back out to be used in fracking other wells. Noble will not use evaporation ponds for disposal. “When the company has to dispose of any water, we will obtain the appropriate regulatory permits and use only state-approved commercial disposal facilities or permitted underground injection,” explained Chandler. The Nevada Division of Environmental Protection would issue a permit for any proposed re-injection well.

Re-injection of wastewater has been a problem in other areas, where this process has caused a series of small earthquakes. Many re-injection wells have not caused these problems. It appears this concern can be reduced through control of the amount of water injected per day and the pumping pressure. NDEP regulations do not address any potential seismic issues.

In some areas, radioactive minerals have returned in the produced water. This has not been seen in Nevada. If it does happen, a special permit must be obtained and the radioactive sludge disposed of properly. Very little, if any, natural gas is expected so flaring is unlikely. In North Dakota, such flares light the night skies. Actually, Noble hopes to find a little natural gas to use for powering well site generators.

Spills of produced water and oil are always concerns. Chandler says Noble has strict guidelines for the companies they hire. Emergency response plans will be in place for spills, along with spill prevention programs. If spilled, produced water could seep into the ground, and further actions will be taken to remove the contaminated water and even the contaminated soil. NDEP would become involved in any spills.

This is so early in the exploration process, it is hard to know the future of oil production in Elko County. Only the first well is producing oil in a long-term production test to understand the potential production. Noble’s success scenario would be to produce 50,000 barrels of oil per day at peak production. Chandler says this will be different from the Bakken Oil Field in North Dakota where they produce 900,000 barrels of oil per day. Nevada is currently producing 900 barrels per day.

The initial wells will be vertical wells, to study the subsurface geology and test various zones for oil production. Noble may use horizontal wells in the future, which will use more water and create much more wastewater.

“Horizontal wells minimize the surface impact while recovering more of the resource potential. This would enable us to replace many vertical wells with one horizontal well,” said Chandler.

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