Done with the diversion

PM IA GAIA #8402 Carson July 2016

Pesticide PZP, promoted for birth control, has caused the divide, subterfuge, diversion, attacks and hate while at the same time revealing its connection to money, greed and politics. People are fooled. . . zealotry develops. . .hate mobs flourish. . . Wild horses suffer.

Focusing on a pesticide for birth control of a native species–that’s already being managed to extinction–is nuts.

What happened to “Stop the Roundups”? PZP doesn’t stop roundups. There are more wild horses being rounded up every year. PZP doesn’t stop slaughter either. The number of horses crossing the boarders to slaughter has increased.  PZP, made from slaughterhouse pig ovaries messes with native wild horses’ immune systems–that’s why it’s called an “immunocontraceptive’. Those pushing the pesticide call it as a “vaccine” for population control.

The fact that there are hardly any more wild horses left in the United States is ignored.

The fact that overkill is ruining the thriving natural ecological balance is ignored.

The fact that cattle and sheep are being poorly managed on public land and causing range damage is ignored.

Big mouths are scapegoating wild horses for range damage by sheep that’s wrecked havoc on the land years ago. Meanwhile America’s last wild horses endure living on public land that’s been ruined by livestock years ago.

We’ve done our part to educate people about PZP in the PZP Forum I created about 2 years ago. If people and organizations want to stick their head in the sand and ignore scientific facts about the many dangers of PZP (see the button above on www.ProtectMustangs.org) then they need to be held accountable when the wild herds are destroyed.

We aren’t working on PZP education anymore. That’s done.

Our focus in this movement is on helping to protect and save all the WILD horses we can save at this dire time in history. Please contact me by email Contact@ProtectMustangs.org if you want to adopt mustangs, purchase 3-Strikes wild horses, start a local network for saving wild horses or start a sanctuary of any size.

America’s wild horses need a huge herd of miracle workers to prevent their extinction at this point in history. You can make a difference now.

Many blessings,
Anne Novak

Founder and Director

Protect Mustangs and the American Wild Horse Institute

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




The Modoc National Forest starts wild horse roundup from private and tribal lands today

pm-devils-garden-meme

The Modoc National Forest started a wild horse roundup from private and tribal lands Sept. 26

According to the Forest Service, public viewing opportunities at the trap site will be available on a first come, first served basis for up to 14 people each day. Members of the public wishing to view the helicopters  chasing wild horses into traps must arrive an hour and a half prior to gather activities at Forest Headquarters, 225 W. 8th St., in Alturas, follow forest personnel to the trap site and remain at the viewing location until operations are completed for the day.

Viewers should bring plenty of water, lunch, stout footwear, hat and their own chair. There will be an approximate one-mile hike over rocky terrain from the parking area to each of the trap sites. The weather is expected to be hot and dry, and there is little shade available.

Members of the public will be asked to remain in a blind in order to avoid disrupting gather activities. Safety of visitors, gather personnel and the horses is top priority. The use of drones in the area will not be allowed due to safety concerns.

Public viewing will also be available at the temporary holding facility at Willow Creek Ranch, during the hours of 3–5 p.m. on days roundup activities occur. Operations may not occur every day, but as contractors determine.

Anyone interested in viewing roundup operations at taxpayer expense should contact Public Affairs Officer Ken Sandusky at (530) 233-5811.

Protect Mustangs is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of native and wild horses. www.ProtectMustangs.org




Will There Be a Healthy Future for America’s Wild Horses and Burros IN THE WILD?

PM Helicopter Mustang Roundup

(Roundup to administer Pesticide PZP for experiments)

PZP or Reserve Design? You Decide

By Craig C. Downer, Wildlife Ecologist, Wild Horse and Burro Fund

September 24th, 2016

On September 7th, 2016, I participated in the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board rangeland tour of the Antelope Valley Wild Horse Herd Management Area (HMA); and on September 8th, I again participated in this board’s official meeting at the historical Stockman’s Hotel in Elko, Nevada. Though both tour and meeting provided for some public input, these were “one slick operation” by BLM officials and certain members of the board. This event aimed to convince all board members as well as the public of a “wild horse overpopulation crisis” with a pre-meditated selection of sites to visit and points to make. And I can well understand why a person with little knowledge and background on wild horse and public lands issues or with a pre-existing selfish agenda could be easily stampeded into accepting the over-population myth.

Indeed, on Friday, September 9th, the board voted 8 to 1 to recommend disposal of ca. 44,000 wild horses and burros currently in holding throughout the United States. If accepted by the BLM, such a recommendation would result in the cruel killing of most of these national heritage animals.

Being all too aware of how wild horses and burros have been set up to fail, all too aware of how they have been used as scapegoats for ecological problems that overpopulated humans have basically caused, I was relieved that BLM officials did not – at least for now – accept their appointed board’s advice. I was also pleased to learn that BLM recently cancelled certain surgical sterilization experiments on over 200 captured wild mares in Oregon and others in Wyoming for which over $11 million dollars had been allocated.
The board’s recommendation would have been tantamount to murdering nearly all of the 44 thousand horses and burros in holding. This proposed bloodbath created an enormous national and international outcry, becoming a global bone of contention. And I find it heartening to see evidence that so many people care about the wild ones and their right to live freely and naturally.

Horses and their burro cousins are highly-evolved beings, fellow sojourners on planet Earth, companions who have lived and labored alongside us humans for many generations –even several millennia! What horses and humans have experienced together concerning Life’s unfolding story is truly awesome! Could this be why the cavalier disposal of the lives of so many horse souls rankles so deeply and with so many?

Today a great moral challenge stridently calls for us humans to more fairly and justly treat our fellow inhabitants of planet Earth. We must give these fellow conscious beings the life they deserve for a change! In the case at hand, horses present highly evolved beings present here on Earth for millions of years of free and natural living, often in wide-open spaces. In diverse ecosystems, they have developed intricate relationships with an astounding diversity of plants and animals and in a way that is truly splendid. As an ecologist, I realize that they are mutually complemental to the other species of fauna and flora. And that they are extraordinarily beautiful should give us some clue as to why they are pleasing to Heaven.

Such realizations occurred to those who established the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 (WFHBA). This was one of the first times Americans decided to do something major that was genuinely good for a fellow species. And it defied centuries, even millennia, of human self-absorption, thoughtlessness, cruelty and greed. For rather than merely continuing to take from, we humans actually chose to give back to horse kind something of true worth and excellence: their natural freedom to live on their rightful natural land, or home. In other words, to be themselves!

Along with the Wilderness and similar acts, the WFHBA was a “great forward leap for mankind.” Yet, an “all-points bulletin” today concerns our government’s emerging plans for America’s last remaining wild horses and burros. As a wildlife ecologist and even more as a human being who appreciates horses in the wild, I perceive their enemies not only among those traditionally opposed to them, but in our very government and even among people who claim to be wild horse advocates yet who are quick to overly compromise the future of these wild horses and burros as naturally living Earthlings! Why are the latter buckling under to the wild horses’ and burros’ traditional detractors and enemies? It seems that they are being duped into conceding to plans that will only ensure the decline of the wild herds? Many of us believe that this pusillanimous position must not pass! (No pasara! as we speakers of Spanish say.)

Core to what’s wrong are the so-called “Appropriate Management Levels” (AMLs) that have been assigned to the legal wild horse and wild burro herds on their legal lands throughout the West, both on BLM and US Forest Service lands. And along with these, the failure to fairly allocate natural resources for truly viable populations. These AMLs are simply much too low! They are genetically non-viable and would result in under-populated herds.

Any group of creatures that senses itself to be underpopulated usually “struggles to survive,” as Charles Darwin so aptly stated. Herd numbers as well as the locations and sizes of Herd Management Areas (HMAs) have been too arbitrarily set to fit the demands of cattle and sheep ranchers, big mining corporations, expansion-hooked land developers, ORV rippers up of the land, and the kill-focused hunting establishment. As is so typical, the root of the problem lies with that thoughtlessness and greed that infects too many humans today. The consequence has been many millions of acres of zeroed-out, though still legal, herd areas, and herd sizes and the sizes and habitat composition of HMAs (BLM) and Territories (US Forest Service) that are simply not adequate to the long-term survival needs of those wild horses and burros who still remain. To my very bones I feel that we humans must rise to the great moral challenge concerning the horses and burros and their right to live free. And this also has to do with our own success as a species, for it concerns obeying the laws of Higher Justice that govern the universe.

Truly realizing and living the noble intent of the WFHBA will make America great again, allow it to stand uprightly on solid moral ground. We shall learn to share the land and freedom with the wild ones, and this lesson shall be our salvation. We shall no longer restrict and exploit such “paragons of Nature” as the horses and their rightful lands in such a way that denies them their true place in the world we share with them as home. Today we have arrived at a crucial crossroad, a critical turning point:

Faulty PZP-type Choice for America’s Wild Horses and Burros

Shall we only continue to restrict and distort the true natures of the horses and burros and to ever greater degrees, as well as their proper habitats here on Earth? Shall we only continue to deny them genuine freedom here on Earth by condoning marginally productive, water-deprived, and un-whole habitats that have been carelessly and deviously assigned for them? Shall we be cornered into accepting the application of harmful, FDA-classified pesticides such as Porcine Zona Pelucida, or PZP, GonaCon, SpayVac, etc.?

These drugs, vaccines, inhibitors of healthy horses – call them what you like – only distort and suppress the true health and well-being of vigorous wild horses and burros! And then do we expect the wild horses and burros so violated to fit into unfairly small and inadequate habitats that do not provide their long-term survival needs? No! Such marginal habitats, substandard population numbers, and biologically compromised individuals are simply unacceptable! They would not be genetically viable and would only set the horses and burros up for inbreeding suppression while at the same time preventing their filling their ecological niches in a harmoniously adapted way. And these animals already face enough survival challenges without having to deal with the violation of their most intimate parts!

Is PZP really a solution that works for the horses/burros?

I have participated in many wild horse and burro meetings and heard talks given by experts describing PZP and its actions on wild horses, including by PZP’s inventor Dr. Jay Kirkpatrick and by Dr. Daniel Rubenstein, a behavioral zoologist who has studied PZPed wild horses in nature. I have also perused many scientific and popular articles about the effects of PZP upon wild horses, both short- and long-term, and both upon individuals and their social groups.

Here are some of the major proven damages to wild horses caused by PZP:

(1) PZP weakens immune systems of individuals and their herds since it inhibits reproduction in horses with stronger immune systems. Horses with weaker immune systems are precisely those who reproduce in greater numbers in PZP-treated herds. Eventually, PZP weakens wild horse herds’ overall immune systems. (Reference: Gray, M.E. & Cameron, E.Z. 2010. Does contraceptive treatment in wildlife result in side effects? Reproduction 139: 45-55.)

(2) Increased stress is experienced by mares who have been successfully darted by PZP and by other members of their social bands. This is because of PZPed mares’ frustration in completing their natural reproductive cycle, which affects the other members of their bands. Ironically, it is precisely the mature and stable, more content and non-PZPed bands that do, in fact, cause a slowing of reproductive rates, as years of research by the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros (ISPMB) and others abundantly proves. (Reference: Sussman, Karen. 6/6/2015. Suspicious deaths with use of anti-fertility drugs. ISPMB Journal. www.ispmb.org/BirthControlDeaths.html.)

(3) PZP adversely affects mares’ hormonal systems and consequently the social groups to which they belong. PZPed mares become irritable, aggressive, and more masculine, causing disharmony in their bands. PZP lowers estrogen and increases testosterone in mares and also produces ovarian cysts. Cysts increase testosterone levels. (Reference: U.S. National Library of Medicine. National Institutes of Health. Ovarian overproduction of androgens. (Reference: https://www.nim.nih.gov/medicineplus/ency/article/001165.htm.)

(4) Auto-immune oophoritis, aka ovaritis or inflammation of ovaries, and also stillbirths result from PZP. Autoimmune oophoritis can lead to the development of other autoimmune diseases. (Reference: Kaur, K. & Prabha, V. 2014. Immunocontraceptives: New Approaches to Fertility Control. BioMed Research International, Vol. 2014, Article ID: 868196.)

(5) PZP-darted herds in Little Book Cliffs, McCullough Peaks, and Pryor Mountains wild horse legal herd management areas gave birth nearly year-round, i.e. 341 days, rather than in the normal spring season. This exposed PZPed wild mares and their offspring to extremes of temperature, and, consequently, to suffering and death. (Reference: Ransom, J.I. et al. 2013. Contraception Can Lead to Trophic Asynchrony between Birth Pulse and Resources. PLoS ONE 8(1): e54972. Doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0054972.

(6) It is quite disturbing that PZP antibodies transfer to foals from the mare through the placenta while they are in the womb as well as through mare’s milk. These antibodies react with and bind to the zona pellucida of female newborns. Yet, BLM regularly administers PZP to pregnant and lactating mares in spite of these published scientific findings. (Reference: Sacco, A.G. et al. 1981. Passage of zona antibodies via placenta and milk following active immunization of female mice with porcine zonae pellucidae. Journal of Reproductive Immunology. 1981, December; Vol 3, Issue 6: pages 313-322.)

(7) Weakening of immune system subjects wild horses to mal-adaptiveness to unforeseen major changes such as are occurring due to Global Warming, or catastrophes such as epidemics or wildfires. (Reference: Gray & Cameron, 2010, op cit.)

(8) PZP causes the immune system to attack and destroy the ovaries and produces a large variety of adverse effects. (References: Gray & Cameron, 2010, op cit.; Kaur & Prabha, 2014, op. cit.)

(9) By extending the lifespans of PZPed mares, PZP creates abnormal numbers of aged, sterile mares. This disadvantages younger horses, who continue to be taken away by BLM roundups to reach arbitrary AMLs. This appeases livestock or other wild-horse-adverse interests on the public lands, rather than respecting the General Public, whose majority values wild horses and burros and wants them to be fairly treated. (Reference: Knight, C.M. & Rubenstein, D.I. 2014. The Effects of Porcine Zona Pellucida Immunocontraception on Health and Behavior of Feral Horses (Equus caballus). Princeton University thesis, Dept. Ecology & Evolutionary Biology.)

(10) PZPed mares are no longer reproductively active in the wild horse population, thus diminishing the genetic viability of the herd. The resources they consume would otherwise contribute to reproducing adults and their offspring and maintain the vigor of the herd into ongoing future generations that adapt to ongoing environmental changes, thus assuring their long-term survival. (Reference: Ransom, J.I. et al. 2013, op. cit.)

(11) PZP is a safety hazard to humans, especially to females who administer it. (Reference: Devlin, M. and Protect Mustangs 2015. Fact Sheet: The Truth about PZP. http://protectmustangs.org/?p=8749.)

For these and related reasons, I believe that PZP will seriously harm and undermine the vigor of wild horse and burro populations that our nation’s laws mandate us to protect and preserve, as well as to manage. The restoration and maintenance of herd vigor is essential to the ongoing ecological adaptation and long-term survival of each herd. Healthy reproduction is key to healthy wild horse and burro individuals, bands and herds. Tampering with reproduction produces a variety of aberrations that lead to dysfunctional and disordered wild horses. This results in a decline of the herds.

I have heard from many people who closely observe and/or live near wild horses treated with PZP. They describe many still-born or defective foals produced by mares in whom the effects of PZP have worn off, permitting them to again try to reproduce. Also please consider that after a few to several years of yearly application, PZP generally produces total sterility in mares, depending upon the strength of their individual immune systems. This calls into serious question the proclaimed “reversibility of PZP” to enable mares to reproduce again! To reiterate: of great concern is the fact that PZP is less effective in those mares with weakened immune systems. Hence, the wide-spread use of PZP among America’s last wild horse/burro herds – nearly all below minimum viable population (MVP) level – will seriously undermine their long term survival.

But thankfully there exists an honorable alternative to PZP, and similar horse-disrespectful “quick fixes”. As a wildlife ecologist, I have formulated a sound alternative to PZP and similar invasive proposals. This Reserve Design strategy would restore long-term viable, ecologically well-adapted, and naturally self-stabilizing populations of wild horses and burros throughout the West. (References concerning Reserve Design: Peck, S. 1998. Reserve Design. In: Planning for Biodiversity: Issues and Examples. Island Press, Washington, D.C. Pages 89-114; Soule, M.E. & Terborgh, J. 1999. Continental Conservation: Scientific Foundations of Regional Reserve Networks. Island Press, Washington, D.C.; Downer, C.C. 2010. Proposal for wild horse/burro reserve design as a solution to present crisis. Natural Horse Volume 12, Issue 5, pages 26 to 27; Downer, C.C. 2014. The Wild Horse Conspiracy, www.amazon.com/dp/1461068983, look up “Reserve Design” in Index.)

Reserve Design: the Intelligent and Caring Choice for America’s Wild Horses and Burros

If followed correctly, the unanimously passed WFHBA would have set aside somewhere between 54 million and 90 million acres for the preservation of wild horses and burros in the wild. Lamentably, the rights of these animals—and their human supporters—have been undermined by wild horse and burro enemies, including officials charged with their protection. Current policies toward these “national heritage species” are thinly disguised plans for reducing the herds to cripplingly low, non-viable population numbers. These levels would be unable to sufficiently and adequately reproduce so as to survive into the long-term future. Too often the plan has been to simply eliminate them from their legal areas, i.e. “zero-out”. Indeed, anywhere from 22 million to 40 or more million legal acres have been declared officially empty and “not for” the wild horses and burros or simply ignored at the onset of the WFHBA in the early years of this act (see Downer, C.C. 2014. The Wild Horse Conspiracy).

Some wild horse advocates and observers say there are only 33,000 wild horses and burros remaining on America’s public lands as independently estimated for mid-2016 (Louise, Katia, wild horse documentary filmmaker, pers. comm.). Even if the official BLM figure of 67,027 wild horse and burros remain on the public lands (55,311 horses & 11,716 burros [BLM report of March 1, 2016]), either level would be out of step with the amount of ecologically appropriate habitat where these animals have a legal right to live. The small number of horses and burros our government intends to leave on each of the ca. 179 remaining BLM-designated areas is a sure prescription for the over-fragmentation and isolation of wild horse/burro populations. This would only jeopardize their long-term survival, compromising their true vigor in the wild.

The nationwide population of wild horses and burros that our government plans to allow as the high end Appropriate Management Level is only 26,715. This would be composed of only 1,676 individual wild horses and/or burros in Arizona; 2,200 in California, 812 in Colorado, 617 in Idaho, 120 in Montana, 12,811 in Nevada, 83 in New Mexico, 2,715 in Oregon, 1,956 in Utah, and 3,725 in Wyoming. (Source: Herd Area and Herd Management Area Statistics as of March 1, 2016. BLM, Washington, D.C.) These assigned population levels are very unfair and cater to wild horse and burro detractors while largely disregarding the General Public that are strongly support this Quality of Life issue.

Our government’s current goal of and plans for drastically reducing small and genetically vulnerable wild herds include the partial—and very possibly total—sterilization of mares through PZP injection. These plans also include the unnatural skewing of sex ratios to establish excess males, even in the naturally harem social structure of naturally living horses in which females are usually more numerous. And even more invasive measures have been planned in the past and are likely to crop up again, including painful—often lethal castration of stallions and the ovariectomies (removal of ovaries) of mares (thankfully recently cancelled in Oregon and Wyoming), as well as the individually deranging and socially disruptive injection of sterilization drugs or vaccines, such as PZP.

Clearly, our wild horses and burros are in a very critical situation today. I judge them to be more imperiled than they were in 1971 just before the passage of the WFHBA when they were “fast disappearing from the American scene”—and I used to work with Wild Horse Annie. We must quickly respond with a well-conceived plan for reforms that will restore the true rights of wild horses and burros upon our public lands. These lands belong to all Americans, not just to resource exploiters, whether officials of corporations or private individuals. As a wildlife ecologist and deeply rooted native Nevadan personally familiar with many of the West’s wild horse and burro herds, I strongly urge the restoration of these deeply rooted North American native species. Their return to North America should be as genetically viable and naturally self-stabilizing herds that are allowed too adapt ecologically to each specific region where they have legal right. This can be accomplished by following the sound principles of Reserve Design. Such a plan would end cruel, disruptive roundups and reproductive manipulations – practices that mock the true intent of the 1971 WFHBA by causing untold suffering and death to these beautiful and highly evolved, sensitive, wise, and freedom-loving creatures.

Reserve Design combines ecological, biological, social, and political considerations in order to achieve desired results. Basically, it involves setting aside areas of complete year-round habitat where human intervention is buffered against and where natural processes are allowed to reestablish natural checks and balances. Reserve Design will achieve internal harmony for the diverse, yet interrelated, species living within each wild horse/burro-containing ecosystem.

Critical steps for realizing Reserve Design in wild horse and wild burro habitats are as follows:

[1] Properly identify the long-term survival requirements for viable equid population levels to be accommodated in each reserve. Our chief focus would be to promote wild horse/burro-containing ecosystems of adequate size and condition to sustain viable equid populations and where plant and animal species are allowed to adapt naturally over the generations and in inter-balanced fashion. The level of 2,500 individual has been recommended for the viability of an equid population by the IUCN SSC Equid Survival Group (Equid Action Plan, IUCN SSC ESG, 1992).

[2] Conscientiously identify appropriate ecological areas suitable for the implementation of wild horse/burro-containing reserves. This would involve travel to, on-ground inspection of, flights over, and GIS analysis of a wide variety of places throughout the West. This would also entail setting up Cooperative Agreements under Sections 4 and 6 of the WFHBA in order to achieve complete habitats around the federally designated wild equid lands and involving both private and other government lands such as state and local.

[3] Wherever possible, wisely incorporate natural equid predators (such as puma, bear, and wolf) that would both limit and tone/strengthen, wild horse and burro populations.

[4] Wherever possible, wisely incorporate natural barriers that would limit the ingress and/or the egress of certain species, including the wild horses and burros. This would avoid conflicts and set up conditions for the natural self-regulation of populations.

[5] Identify where buffer zones, artificial barriers, or other means of impeding movements in and out of a reserve should be established in order to keep the species in question from coming into conflict with humans. Buffer zones possibly involving non-injurious means of “adverse conditioning” could be employed as well as “positive reinforcement” as a means of encouraging the wild equids to stay within the reserve, as for example, by providing all of their habitat needs. Also, “semi-permeable barriers” that do not restrict most species but do prevent equids from passing out of the reserve may be used. These means would be described in practical detail and as tailored to fit each specific reserve area.

[6] Identify the presence and abundance of necessary food, water, shelter, mineral procurement sites, elevation gradients for seasonal migrations, etc., that will accommodate the long-term habitat needs of long-term viable wild equid populations. Such will also allow the natural rest-rotation of foraging between the natural subdivisions of the reserve. Fences within the reserve that impede the free-roaming lifestyle of the wild equids will be located and their removal accomplished. The intrinsic Carrying Capacity of the land in question will also be estimated as closely as possible. Such will be based upon the Productivity of forage adequate to at least a minimally viable population of wild horses/burros. Besides food, this determination will take into account other survival factors such as water, minerals, shelter, breeding and nurturing habitat, seasonal migrations, and needed protection from existing threats to the wild equids.

[7] Identify geographical regions whose human inhabitants are benignly disposed toward the creation and long-term implementation of extensive, ecologically balanced wild horse/burro-containing reserves. This would involve traveling to different areas and setting up meetings with pertinent individuals, town and government officials, etc. This also relates to the setting up of Cooperative Agreements under Sections 4 and 6 of the WFHBA, as mentioned above.

[8] Identify ways of and benefits from implementing Reserve Design that result in win-win relationships centered on the presence of wild horses and burros. Ecotourism is one major possibility here, and wild horse/burro viewing tours have already proven to be successful in several states, including Craig London’s tours to the Montgomery Pass wild horses of eastern California. Restoring native ecosystems, including soils and native species, would be a major ecological benefit. The reduction of flammable vegetation through equid grazing and the restoration of hydrographic basins through the enrichment of soils, would be other major, positive contributions by wild horses and burros. Another major benefit concerns the prevention of catastrophic wildfires that over-burn vegetation, sterilize soils and denature their stored seed banks. Such fires can set the life community back to very primitive evolutionary stages. Indeed, it can be strongly argued that the restoration of wild equids in North America is crucial to combating life-disrupting Global Warming itself.

[9] Of key importance is informing the public concerning the many ways that horses and burros, as ecological “climax” species, self-limit their own populations once their respective ecological niches are filled in any given bounded area. This knowledge is key to realizing a humane relationship with these animals, a relationship that does justice to and demonstrates respect for them. And it is this respect and appreciation on the part of us humans that is key to allowing the horses and burros to fulfill their important natural roles within the life community.

Whom to Contact to Help Wild Horses and Burros:

Please contact your Senators and Representatives, the President, the Secretary of Interior and its Bureau of Land Management; and the Secretary of Agriculture and its US Forest Service. Both of these agencies are mandated by the WFHBA to preserve and protect as well as to manage the wild horses and burros and their legal lands and resources for the benefit of the former.

Also contact your state governor and state, county, and municipal officials concerned with wildlife and natural resources. Get in touch with the media: newspapers, magazines, TV and radio stations. Make all of the above aware of what is needed to stop the over-reduction or zeroing-out of the herds and the cruel abuse of wild horses and burros, whether through drugging, vaccines, surgeries, or other unnatural and invasive methods. Rather, persist in the restoration of the wild horse and burro herds and their habitats to viable levels, healthy conditions and sizes. This will be to restore the pure intent of the law.

A key committee to contact right away is the U.S. House of Representatives’ Appropriations Committee, particularly its Interior, Environment & Related Agencies Subcommittee. The telephone number of the latter is (202) 225-3081. Emails of staff to contact are betsy.bina@mail.house.gov and Kristin.richmond@mail.house.gov. This subcommittee is now deciding which direction to take in regards to the wild horses and burros. It has been hearing too exclusively from traditional wild horse and burro enemies.

Those of us who value and appreciate the wild horses and burros and their rightful place in the world of nature must set the record straight for these wonderful and ancient presences on Earth. We must not allow their enemies or those ignorant of their worthiness prevail!

The spirited and intelligent horses and burros are depending on you and I!

In addition to contacting the above, be sure to contact the President of the United States and the White House staff at (202) 456-1111 (TTY/TTD: (202) 456-6213). Switchboard (202) 456-1414. You can also do this by email at http://www.whitehourse.gov/contact or president@whitehouse.gov.

You may contact your Senators and Congressmen/State Representatives (federal and state) by linking on internet with “Elected Officials / USA Gov”. This will provide you with the contacts you require for federal, state, and local offices. The link is: https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials.

And in closing I urge you to contact the natural resource and public lands committee and subcommittee in the U.S. Senate.

On behalf of our wonderful wild horses and burros, I sincerely thank all of you for your caring and for your effective action.

Craig Downer

 

Wildlife Ecologist. A.B. UCB; M.S. UNR; Ph.D. Cand. U. Durham UK. Link to his article The Horse and Burro as Positively Contributed Returned Natives in North America is http://www.sciencepublishinggroup.com/journal/paperinfo.aspx?journalid=118&doi=10.11648/j.ajls.20140201.12 Website to check out is www.thewildhorseconspiracy.org in which the links to the article and how to order his book are present.

Also please consider signing this important petition to stop this massacre of the wild horses and burros from happening: The link to this petition is: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/907/592/301/demand-nokill-45000-wild-horses-burros-in-holding/

Wild Horses Biodiversity and Ecological Zones — Wild Horses Benefit Our Lands

“What needs to stop, is the bad decisions based on what Bureau of Land Management personnel knows to be misinformation, and even out right lies!  These items so plentiful, and now coming from non-profits with conflicts of interest as well, and cannot be used to make further decisions upon and about the Wild Horses on our Public Lands. We need to demand truth!  And with the truth,, good science, good data, and those with the knowledge to understand the data and research statistics, only then can we make good reasonable decisions about the Wild Horses, and placing them back onto our Public Lands.  Time for the Special Interests and welfare ranchers to go, as they are all unnecessary as well as not needed there what so ever.”  — John Cox, The Cascades

When we discuss the Loss of biodiversity within Ecological Zones, we are discussing, with evidence we see first-hand combined with a thorough knowledge of history, a Reality. . . The 48% Overkill, or mass extinction of species, has become devastating – the reality becoming even worse within our wilderness environment. But less recognized is loss of biodiversity at the Ecological Zone or entire ecosystem level, which occurs when distinct habitats, species assemblages, and natural processes are diminished or degraded in quality.Federal Lands

America’s broken Wildlife Management System, based upon ignorance, fear, and obvious agenda-driven bad science, apparently assumes everything is okay in our wilds and with our wildlife – but it is not, and has not been for quite some time now . . . America is being invaded, not by another country, but that of mind-set = of blatant Ignorance and Illusory Perceptions of knowledge based on nothing more than ignorance or false premise.

Our Public Lands and other Federal Lands, currently, are experiencing the highest rates of species extinction in America’s history. However, biodiversity is being lost more widely than just on these lands. Habitats, such as freshwater-zones, desert and forested Public Lands, and old-growth forests in the Pacific Northwest, to name but four, are being destroyed very aggressively, with much ignorance and from government agencies, with total destruction eminent much sooner than perceived previously.

With this in mind, we stand to lose a far greater proportion of species (lands incapable of supporting these species due to interference from human’s), inclusive of America’s Wild Horses as well, within areas designated as cattle grazing permit zones, or areas settled and exploited within other activities by humans – both (i.e. due to ignorance and lack of positive driven actions) the causation and not the cure. The loss of biodiversity at the ecosystem levels, i.e. Ecological Zones Levels, have been greatest there so far, extreme in devastation.

Inward Perspective of Ecological Zones

Ecosystems can be lost, or tragically compromised, in basically two ways. The most obvious kind of loss is quantitative–the conversion of a native prairie to a cattle grazing allotment situation on Public Lands or on Forestry Lands, or just as extreme, construction of buildings or to a parking lot or oil exploration, et al. Quantitative losses, in principle, can be measured easily by a decline in areal extent of a discrete ecosystem type (i.e., one that can be mapped).

The second kind of loss is qualitative and involves a change or degradation in the structure, function, or composition of an ecosystem. At some level of degradation, an ecosystem ceases to be natural. For example, a ponderosa pine (e.g. Pinus ponderosa within the Klamath Basin) forest may be compromised by removing the largest, healthiest, and frequently, the genetically superior trees; a sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) steppe may be grazed so heavily that native perennial grasses are replaced by exotic annuals (becoming firestorm hazards); or a stream may become dominated by trophic generalist and exotic fishes (e.g. as cattle grazing those lands wreaked havoc with the indigenous species, which disappeared, and exotics simply invaded and took over, i.e. Murderer’s Creek for a good factual and data driven example).

Qualitative changes may be expressed quantitatively, for instance, by reporting that 99% of the sagebrush steppe is affected by livestock grazing, but such estimates are usually less precise than estimates of habitat conversion. In some cases, as in the conversion of an old-growth forest to a BLM grazing permit allotment, the qualitative changes in structure and function are sufficiently severe to qualify as outright habitat loss. Then the awkward question becomes, “How many of these habitat losses can we handle before the collapse of an entire Ecological System devastates the entire environmental complex?heavenly-pit

Frankly, within this modern age of information outlets, we have achieved several negative situations of a nature not so attractive, nor to take pride within, what so ever. Yes, ignorance and stupidity often questions good science, and moronic confusion follows. Often, ironically within this information age, political decisions, for example, sometimes based on outright lies, and the only credible situation that exists, well, no credibility what so ever for the decision at all.

In Oregon a Law was passed three years ago, that gives Rights to legislators to “Lie” about the facts and science in matters of passing Bills / Laws for the state. This year the wolves in the State of Oregon were Delisted from the Endangered Species List, due to falsification and lies about science, about the ESL itself, and lies in the matter of “facts-given” within the ratios of wolf-caused cattle attacks (less-kills by wolves a reality when compared to the facts given to other legislators on this subject material) – the cattle industry very questionable within integrity these days also, with no apparent credibility what so ever.

Ecological Zones and Destructive Invasive Situations

Conifer forests that are inner-dependent on circumstances from good management paradigms, e.g. fire suppression, notably ponderosa pine in the Cascade Mountain Range, have declined not only from logging, but also from invasion of non-indigenous animals, for example, by cattle and their obvious over-population. These kinds of change can cause the loss of a distinct Ecological Zone and entire ecosystem as surely as if the forest were clear-cut, which is also done for cattle – a very controversial situation indeed, but with BLM and Forestry, who remain overwhelmed with misinformation and lies and bad science, which is given to the public to cover-up the reality and destruction.

Ecological processes are also affected; widespread insect infestation and tree mortality east of the Cascade Mountains in the Pacific Northwest is blamed largely on past fire suppression, mostly by government sources. Then we look at other realities, specifically, cattle and their over-population once again.

One of the best examples is the Sage Grouse (and the supposed inter-cooperative agreements between welfare ranchers on Public Lands and Forestry Lands and the Department of the Interior (with BLM as the management portion, or mismanagement as many speak of the program itself, quite obvious to most, and costing taxpayers millions but based upon a false premise) –

The Reality: cattle hooves stomp the grasses that the Sage Grouse live within for shelter and to hide form their natural enemies, as they are a food source for many wildlife species, and the reason why they are endangered. Soon the Sage Grouse unprotected – and cattle-presence also attracts crows, and crows favorite food source? Yup, Sage Grouse. BLM’s response? “Let’s kill all the Crows. Government incompetence? Or, government imposes special interest favors, special agendas due to lobby groups, upon taxpayer’s dollars, and toward welfare ranchers – all guided by misinformation and false premise to conduct the travesty, or, the destruction of more Ecological Zones? The facts do not lie – although, in this case especially (one of many more) government personnel and welfare ranchers do lie.

Invasion and Destruction of Ecological Zones / Saving them

So what is it, logically and knowledgably, we discuss in the matters of Ecological Zones or overall ecosystem decline. Through research we find that the most endangered ecosystems are typically at low elevations and have fertile soils, amiable climates, easy terrains, abundant natural resources, and other factors that encourage human settlement, but worse yet, exploitation.

The Great Plains, for example, and here in Oregon, is a vast sagebrush steppe of the Intermountain West that is in many areas overgrazed by cattle, with a very noticeable over-population of cattle present almost year around. Regional studies of ecosystem status should address the many potential causes of biotic impoverishment to devise effective conservation and restoration strategies – but when cattle involved, reality-conservation paradigms are not discussed at all within our current government management agencies. Why? History (sound research and data gathering as well) shows us that Buffalo did not migrate over large parts of the Great Basin way back when, due to the shelf-crust to thin, which also exists today. Mother Nature at work with the Buffalo, much wiser than our human species, obviously. So cattle roam, and are very destructive on the thin crust of lands within the basin areas.

The functional ideology, or paradigms, favoring the growth of Ecological Systems, is to save species by protecting samples of the entire ecosystems themselves. This can be tested very easily, although not done so by current management agencies — and by determining whether declines of ecosystem types have been accompanied by declines and extinctions of species that depend on or are associated with those ecosystems. What many of us are finding, who are in the field all the time, is overwhelming indeed, and quite obvious.

The fact is – many species are being eliminated by the Bureau of Land Management and due to incompetence as well as blatant ignorance of Ecological-Factors, Wildlife Services, and welfare ranching combined – and one of the primary developing factors of the current 48% Over-Kill of America’s Wildlife, which destroys Ecological Systems, as well.

Conclusion

With a thorough investigation of facts, not of misinformation nor bias toward or favoring any group of facts over another due to special interests, we then conclude that the conservation of entire Ecological Zones/ecosystems, rather than recovery/sustaining of individual species of non-indigenous animals, becomes of paramount priority. Preservation of entire communities requires truthful and sound habitat management based on good science, nothing left out, or added, to favor special interests, and the ability to ascertain or understand the research material and good data recovery, to generate sound management paradigms and decisions. This we find is superior over isolation of certain recovery favored recovery areas.

Due to good data collection, as well as a good understanding and breaking down the data to an informative type of statistics, myself and others find that placing Wild Horses back onto their legitimate, and Legal by Law homelands, is good for all of the Ecological Systems that would make up the ecosystem landscape within its entirety.

john cams and vids maps tableThis also provides for the removal of the actual destructive elements, the non-indigenous cattle – for example, and allow the lands where previous grazing permits did exist, to replenish itself back to its natural habitat of a healthy Ecological system for its inhabitants – and that includes the human species as well. Obtaining a natural wilderness area is far superior, when compared to irresponsible management paradigms that specify a one-person or corporation more important than the taxpayer or American paradigm (nor certainly not of Constitutional grounds) and neglecting all others who are involved, and who pay for it; which, in truth remains environmental-complex areas, entire ecosystems, for use by Special Interests only.

We can no longer afford the Bureau of Land Management statistics that are untrue, for example: the misinformed and lacking information of a 20% growth rate of wild horses, when there are no other situations considered, such as death of wild horses at 18% to 24%, and the birth rates that show beyond a doubt that in the wilds it exists in reality at 51% to a high of +/- 64% undebatable statistics.

We cannot any longer, as well, consider the welfare ranching paradigm as a doable, nor positive situation on America’s Public Lands and within America’s Forests, as it is too destructive to all Ecological Zones and wildlife. And when we consider the actual facts: the less than 1% of sales domestically (DOI/USDAS/GAO Reports) from commercial markets of beef sales receipts; the 34% throw away of commercial beef from non-sales in markets yearly (USDA/GAO reports), and the tremendous amount of activity toward the 48% Over-Kill of America’s wildlife directly related to welfare ranching on Public Lands and Forestry areas — then our conclusion is easily developed by sound reasoning and common sense, also through good science, data gathering, statistics, and facts – welfare ranching is entirely unacceptable as well as unneeded on America’s Federal Lands — entirely.

What one will also discover, is those of us who have no Conflict of Interests, demand that Wild Horses be placed back onto their homelands, and to be allowed to let nature takes its course, and humans, with their bad management and incompetent behaviors, who have wreaked havoc enough within our natural areas and wilderness areas alike. We allow the facts to speak for us, not special interests nor greed, nor conflict of interest!

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Wilcox, B. A., and D. D. Murphy. 1985. Conservation strategy: The effects of fragmentation on extinction. American Naturalist 125:879-887.

Williams, J. E., J. E. Johnson, D. A. Hendrickson, S. Contreras-Balderas, J. D. Williams, M. Navarro-Mendoza, D. E. McAllister, and J. E. Deacon. Fishes of North America endangered, threatened, or of special concern. Fisheries 14(6):2-20.

Wilson, E. O. 1985. The biological diversity crisis. Bio-Science 35:700-706.

Wilson, E. O. 1988. Biodiversity. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.

World Resources Institute. 1992. The 1992 Information Please Environmental Almanac. World Resources Institute, Washington, D.C. *World Resources Institute, The World Conservation Union, United Nations Environment Programme. 1992. Global biodiversity strategy: guidelines for action to save, study, and use earth’s biotic wealth sustainably and equitably. World Resources

Institute, International Union for the Conservation of Nature, United Nations Environmental Program, Washington, D.C. *World Wildlife Fund Canada. 1993. Protected areas gap analysis methodology. Draft report. World Wildlife Fund Canada, Endangered Spaces Campaign, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Zeveloff, S. I. 1988. Mammals of the intermountain west. University of Utah Press, S

Cross-posted from John Cox http://bit.ly/2csth5p

Secret documents from 2008 reveal plan to kill and dispose of America’s wild horses and burros

© 2014 Anne Novak, all rights reserved.

© 2014 Anne Novak, all rights reserved.

 The Bureau of Land Management plots to wipe out wild horses and burros at taxpayer expense.  Is this how you want your tax dollars used?

“Jim says Burns takes them to a pit but they have always used it  . . .”

Notice that Pesticide PZP, made from slaughterhouse pig ovaries, is part of their wipe out plan. It sterilizes after multiple use. Their goal is zero population increase which would ruin natural selection and make it impossible for the species to survive climate change.

Members of the public and some organizations have been fooled into supporting Pesticide PZP as the “lesser of two evils”. Those who believe in the true spirit of the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 are attacked for speaking out against Pesticide PZP.

Follow the money if you want to understand who profits from forcibly drugging wild mares with Pesticide PZP for population control. . .

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is the registrant of Pesticide PZP https://www3.epa.gov/pesticides/chem_search/reg_actions/pending/fs_PC-176603_01-Jan-12.pdf. HSUS called native wild horses and burros “PESTS” on the EPA Pesticide Application. Have they changed the legal definition of wild horses and burros with the EPA application that should be revoked?

Scott Beckstead, who was born and raised on a working cattle ranch and now works for HSUS, reported at the BoLM’s Spring 2016 Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board meeting that HSUS is experimenting on a stronger form of Pesticide PZP. Does “stronger” mean their new form of Pesticide PZP will forcibly sterilize native wild horses and burros with one injection?

Wild horses and burros are underpopulated on public land which is overpopulated by beef cattle and sheep. Ranchers, BoLM and others try to scapegoat wild horses and burros for range damage when the truth is commercial livestock is destroying, or already has destroyed, the ecosystem.

July 29, 2008

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“GonaCon® is also a product that needs to be relooked at for sterilization of mares.” (Quoted from item 4 above)

Read about the GonaCon® experiment at Water Canyon that launched in 2015: http://protectmustangs.org/?p=8488 They have hopes to use GonaCon™ on the whole Antelope Complex.

 

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August 12, 2008

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PM Aerial Photo 6

Thanks to Jane Cheuvront for the Google Earth photo)

Read our August 11th blog post: What’s in the mounds, craters and pits at American wild horse holding facilities? http://protectmustangs.org/?p=9458

See all the notes from the secret conference calls in 2008 about killing off America’s wild horses and burros: pm-blm-secret-killing-conference-calls-2008

 

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Special thanks to Dr. Patricia Haight, RIP, with the Conquistador Equine Rescue for acquiring the documents through FOIA.

See the draft of the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program Alternative Management Options from October 2008 the result of the secret conference calls: pm-blm-killing-plans

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(Fred T. Woehl, Jr. and Sue McDonnell, PhD. for Wild Horse & Burro Research are some of the Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board members, who voted on September 9, 2016, to kill the alleged “unadoptable” wild horses and burros)

 

Protect Mustangs is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of native and wild horses. www.ProtectMustangs.org




Underpopulation and fraud

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In response to the Washington Post biased article pushing pesticide PZP on underpopulated wild horses and burros
Normal Growth Rate: Horses are a slow-growth species when it comes to reproduction. The gestation-period lasts over 11 months, and a mare produces just 1 foal. Gregg, LeBlanc, and Johnston (2014) found that the birth rate in wild-horse herds is almost 20%. Unfortunately, they also found that 50% of foals perish. At least 5% of adult wild horses also perish every year. Thus, the normal herd-growth rate for wild horses is only about 5%.
Fraudulent Growth Rates: Three herds were featured on the Advisory Board’s tour — Antelope Valley, Goshute, and Spruce Pequop. A review of BLM’s alleged growth figures for these herds showed biologically-implausible increases. From a combined total of 1,440 wild horses in 2013, BLM claimed the herds grew to 3,025 wild horses by 2016, a 110% increase. That would mean a 37% average growth rate, which is 740% times the norm. Moreover, if given a 37% growth rate, then to overcome foal mortality and adult mortality, the average birth rate would have to have been 84% — which is 420% times the normal birth rate. Ben Masters and fellow board members unknowingly “drank the Kool Aid” — they swallowed BLM’s propaganda. Truth be told, the range they toured had previously been overgrazed … by livestock.
Wild horses are underpopulated: Per BLM’s own geneticist, 83% of wild-horse herds suffer from arbitrary management levels (AMLs) set below minimum-viable population. For instance, the AML for Oregon’s Beaty’s Butte herd restricts the stocking-density to 1 wild horse per 7 square miles. If there are 2 wild horses per 7 square miles, BLM can technically declare an “overpopulation” because there is “double the number” that the preposterous AML allows. In contrast, BLM authorizes 119 cattle per 7 square miles. After eliminating 99% of the Beaty’s Butte herd, BLM replaced the wild horses with cattle to accommodate a rancher, who had secured a contract to supply grass-fed beef to an upscale grocery chain.
by Marybeth Devlin
Advisory Board Member for Protect Mustangs
Member of the Alliance for Wild Horses and Burros

Protect Mustangs is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of native and wild horses. www.ProtectMustangs.org




Demand an Urgent Congressional Investigation and Head Count of all Wild Horses and Burros in Captivity and in Freedom

 

This Change.org petition is going to the US Senate, the US House of Representative and the President of the United States

On September 9, 2016, the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board voted to kill the alleged 45,000 wild horses in tax-payer funded holding facilities and pastures. Do they want to cover-up the fraud that has been going on for years by killing the evidence?

Taxpayers and the general public want to know:

  • How much fraud has been committed regarding the wild horse and burro count on public land and in corrals?
  • How many budgets were approved using fraudulent information?
  • How many wild horses have gone to slaughter?
  • How many wild horses and burros have been shot and killed?
  • How many unbranded foals did the kill-buyers get to sell overseas?

We request an immediate Congressional investigation and independent head count, with photo IDs, of the alleged 45,000 wild horses and burros rounded up and held in captivity–at taxpayer expense.

In addition, we call for an immediate moratorium on roundups, transport and removals for a precise independent count, with photo ID, of all the federally protected wild horses and burros in the wild. This must occur before any more wild horses or burros are rounded up and/or transported, trapped, chipped, collared, removed, sterilized, given pesticide PZP, GonaCon®, SpayVac®, IUDs, etc., researched or experimented on in any manner to prevent further fraud against taxpayers as well as prevent abuse against wild horses and burros who should be protected from harassment and abuse by law.
We request a complete inventory of the wild horses and burros at the following locations:

  1. Every Herd Management Area
  2. Every Herd Area
  3. Every “Complex”
  4. Every temporary holding facility
  5. Every short-term holding facility
  6. Every long-term holding facility, pasture, eco-sanctuary, etc.
  7. Mustang Heritage Foundation facilities and all equids in their program
  8. TIP Trainers’ facilities
  9. All private contractors’ facilities
  10. Research facilities
  11. Any other locations where wild horses and burros are held in captivity and/or live on public land.

The public, voters of America and taxpayers are outraged and demand immediate action. Thank you.

Sign and share the Change.org petition

Link to the petition: https://www.change.org/p/u-s-senate-investigate-the-wild-horse-burro-count-in-captivity-and-freedom

Help fight the killing!

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




Response to Ben Masters’ justification of drastic measures toward America’s last wild horses and burros

PM Craig Downer by Rona Aguilar

CRAIG DOWNER·SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2016

I have just read Ben Masters’ justification for the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board’s recommendation to either adopt out, place, sell to killer buyers, or have BLM itself kill the 44,000 wild horses being held at public expense. His justification rests on the premise that the wild horses are destroying the habitats, not only in the Antelope Valley HMA’s eastern side around the Dolly Varden spring, but in many other similar areas throughout the West. I was also on this field trip and heard what the BLM officials had to say. It should be noted that on the west side there were much better habitat conditions and there were bands of wild horses here as well, though not as many. I also attended the Thursday meeting of the board and heard BLM’s presentations by Alan Shepherd, Nevada BLM wild horse and burro lead, and also by John Ruhs, Nevada BLM State Director, among others. I heard all the testimonies given, and was able to give testimony myself.

I think a lot is being overlooked and that there is a rushing to judgment concerning the wild horses and their effect on the ecosystem. Especially being overlooked is how the wild horses often find themselves being set up, placed into difficult situations, not allowed to adequately spread out. Much of this is due to not securing adequate water for them and to fencing. I am particularly concerned about the over-pumping of subterranean aquifers by ranchers and mining companies that lowers the water tables and causes many of the areas where wildlife still have a place to survive to be parched and declining ecologically speaking. This was particularly noticable in many parched mountain ranges above ranchers and also around large open-pit mining operations, where water tables have subsided at an alarming rate.

I have seen and photographed the graphic evidence of this during flights I have realized thanks to LightHawk pilots. One of the areas I overflew was eastern Nevada including in the Ely BLM district and also portions of the southern Elko BLM district where the Antelope Valley hma is located. I have been in this area several times before, hiked around,and spend considerable time there during two recent summers doing field investigation concerning the ecosystem, its condition, and the wild horses and other animals, including livestock and deer, sage grouse etc. What I noted was that the ranchers and miners are being given priority consideration and access to the most productive and intact portions of the Antelope Valley Complex as well as to the Triple B Complex of wild horse herd management areas just to the south in the Ely BLM District (White Pine County), and that the wild horses are being relegated to what’s left. This runs contrary to the provision of the Wild Horse and Burro Act that states that the legal 1971 lands where the wild horses and burros lived in 1971 be “devoted principally” (Section 2 c) though not exclusively to the welfare and benefit of the wild horses. What I see as happening is that the other interests are being given priority treatment and the wild horses left to defend for themselves. This is why they find themselves on the least productive lands.

And though Alan Shepherd repeatedly stated that no livestock had grazed the declining land around the Dolly Varden Spring for ca. 7 years, sorely lacking was a revelation of the historical use by livestock in past years. An area that has been severely impacted by decades of livestock grazing can take centuries to recover, and I have reason to believe that the area around the Dolly Varden spring is just such an area. During all these 45 years since the Wild Horse and Burro program has been in effect, there has been ample opportunity for our BLM and USFS to secure much more adequate and well-spaced watering and foraging areas that would have obviated the present crisis we witnessed around Dolly Varden.

I also noted how all of the wild horses both on the east and the west sides of Antelope Valley HMA as well as its south side coming along Hwy 93 were very flighty and took off immediately when our cars stopped to view them. On the northwest side of the Antelope Valley HMA at the end of the day (near Deer Spring), I stayed longer and tried to get closer to a few bands far off to the south. Though I drove a few miles, these bands and particularly their lead stallions would never let me get within a mile of them. From a lifetime of experience as an observer of the wild horses mainly in my home state of Nevada, I know this to be a sure sign that the wild horses are being persecuted, particularly shot at with long-range rifles. So now perhaps we know the reason why the wild horses from the east side are not coming over to the west side of the hma where the grass is lusher! The horses on the west side were considerably more frightened than those on the east side, though these too were quite afraid of people and their cars, clearly alarmed when our tour caravan came into view.

During my brief presentation I indicated how it is the human population and its impacts upon natural ecosystems both here in Nevada, in the U.S.A. and around the world, that are presently reaching crisis levels. How convenient it is then to shift the focus of attention upon such a noble and highly evolved animal as the horse, returning to living in its natural state, and to claim that it is the one who is overpopulating, all the while ignoring all of its many positive contributions to the ecosystem. I have written a book on this subject and in chapter II, I point out how the post gastric, caecal digestive system of the horses and burros provides a much needed balance to the monopolization of our public lands by ruminant digesting grazers such as cattle, sheep and deer. The horses and burros contribute much more humus to build the soils and many more intact seeds capable of germinating than do the ruminant grazers that much more thoroughly digest and break down what they eat. I go on to elaborate on this and to explain many of the positive benefits that accrue from this basic biological observation in my book. It is available through Amazon and is entitled The Wild Horse Conspiracy. You can read it as an ebook and considerable portions of it in the preview. www.amazon.com/dp/1461068983

I would also like for you to note that although Ben Masters alludes to similar extremely degraded conditions being caused by the wild horses throughout the West, again each area has its own special history, and the vying of special interests especially livestock ranchers, mining companies, oil and gas companies, Off Road Vehicle operators, and Hunters for the available resources often works very much against the wild horse and burro interests. In other words, they end up getting the short end of the stick, being placed on the bottom of the totem pole by profit-oriented individuals and corporations as well as the government officials who largely serve the latter rather than the General Public’s major interest in this Quality of Life issue. I have found this to be almost invariably the case in visiting and investigating many of the wild horse and burro herd areas/herd management areas on BLM lands and wild horse and burro territories on USFS lands in several states, as I discuss in some detail in my book.

I would also like to address Masters’ advocating for the intensive and widespread use of PZP to inhibit the reproduction of mares. The effects of PZP upon individual wild horses and their social units, be these bands or herds, have been studied by professional behavioral zoologists, such as Dr. Cassandra Nunez, and there are some serious detrimental effects that have been noted. These have been the subject of peer reviewed articles and used in court cases that have recognized their serious effects on the wild horses. In short, we should not overly compromise the future well-being of the wild horses in the wild, take away their natural vitality, in order to obtain a “quick drug fix” instead of doing right and providing adequate resources, space, habitat, etc. for long-term viable and thriving wild horses able to realize their ecological niche in their legal areas. We must not replace natural selection by artificial selection by people, as this will only thwart the natural, ecological adaptation of the horses and burros to each particular ecosystem. Remember that Section 3 a of the Act clearly states that the wild horses and burros must be allowed and managed “to achieve and maintain a “thriving natural ecological balance on the public lands” and “at the minimum feasible level” of management, or interference. The Act’s preamble also clearly states that they are to be considered “as an integral part of the natural system of public lands”. To me this clearly signifies being allowed to naturally adapt to the ecosystem where they have their legal rights. Why is this being denied them in spite of the law?!

As a Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, I have presented a Reserve Design proposal to the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board as well s to the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program itself. I had done so repeatedly and outlined a way forth that does not involve all these cruel and unnatural manipulations and restrictions upon the wild ones. I have presented this proposal as a way to achieve long-term genetically viable, ecologically well-adapted, and naturally self-stabilizing populations that would live in harmony with and contribute positively to all the other plants and animals in the legal herd management areas and territories. These wild horse/burro-containing ecosystems would be enhanced ecosystems, not degraded ones, if we people would only give them adequate habitat. Key to the success of Reserve Design is the provision of viably sized habitat of good enough quality for the horse/burro populations to realize the above. Such provision is what has been so sorely lacking in the past, and this is what must change today. Please check out my Reserve Design proposal at www.gofundme.com/mstngreservedesign and let me know what you think. I believe it is in the true spirit of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act and that we Americans both can and should restore the true and noble intent of this unanimously passed act. It is one that has to do with the Quality of Life we all experience and is a General Public issue.

I appreciate your listening to what I have to say. The horses are depending upon us. What is happening in Antelope Valley, the West, North America, or on Planet Earth today is not their fault. They are restorers of North American wildlife and ecosystems in many places, and they are of ancient and long-standing ancestry here. They are awesome presences and quickly revert to living in harmony with nature, reviving their age-old instincts. We should give them adequate areas where they can be themselves and prove their healing work in our world.

Submitted by Craig C. Downer, Wildlife Ecologist. A.B. UCB; M.S. UNR; Ph.D. Cand. U. Durham UK. Link to his article The Horse and Burro as Positively Contributed Returned Natives in North America is http://www.sciencepublishinggroup.com/journal/paperinfo.aspx?journalid=118&doi=10.11648/j.ajls.20140201.12 or just Google it by title and author. Website to check out is www.thewildhorseconspiracy.org in which the links to the article and how to order his book are present.

Listen to Craig Downer starting at 55 min mark on Big Blend Radio: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/big-blend-radio/2016/09/12/nature-connection-pipelines-and-wild-horses

Also please consider signing this important petition to stop this massacre of the wild horses and burros from happening: The link to this petition is: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/907/592/301/demand-nokill-45000-wild-horses-burros-in-holding/

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




#BREAKING: Protect Mustangs calls for nationwide protests against killing and sterilizing wild horses and burros

© 2014 Anne Novak, all rights reserved.

© 2014 Anne Novak, all rights reserved.

Protect Mustangs, a 501c3 nonprofit organization calls for protests against the Bureau of Land Management’s (BoLM) Wild Horse Advisory Board’s decision today to euthanize all the allegedly “unadoptable” wild horses in long-term holding. They also voted to push more wild horses through advertised adoption events to strike them out quicker! Under former Secretary Salazar, the BoLM has irresponsibly rounded up more wild horses than they could ever adopt out at once. Is it because Salazar is a fifth generation rancher paying back a promise to the Cattlemen’s lobby? Since then the federal agency has been hoarding America’s wild horses in captivity at huge tax-payer expense without correcting the failed adoption program. Now they want to kill the mustangs they call “unadoptable” and sterilize all the wild horses living in freedom on the range. Protect Mustangs is calling for the Bureau of Land Management to #PutThemBack on the 1971 herd areas in the West and stop sterilization. More than one-third of the herd areas have been zeroed out.

“We will fight this outrageous plan to kill and sterilize America’s icons of freedom and we will win,” states Anne Novak, executive director of Protect Mustangs. “The public is not going to tolerate this. The Bureau of Land Management is a rogue agency and their advisory board is made up of people favoring the livestock industry except for one person. The bogus board of mustang haters needs to be dismantled and recreated with wild horse and burro experts–not cattlemen with a huge conflict of interest. It’s time to put America’s wild horses and burros back on public land where they belong.”

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Who are the wild horses in long-term holding? Are they mostly 3-Strike mustangs from the BoLM’s failed adoption program with rotten customer service? Others are over 10 years old and should have been left out on the range to live their lives out in peace.

Check back here for updates and donate to Protect Mustangs for legal fees to fight with the law by clicking here www.PayPal.me/ProtectMustangs  or go here to donate on the crowd-funding site: https://www.gofundme.com/FightwithLaw

The fight is on!

 

Update on Cleo April 2012: We found an adopter for Cleo but the BoLM had already shipped her out. When we told the Nevada BLM that the adopter was willing to go to long-term holding (Midwest) to get her they said that was impossible. They said they would only sell 100 horses at a time out of long term holding. The adopter could only take Cleo. The BLM said it was impossible.

 

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




Fraudulent figures, sterilization and underpopulation

PM Burros Wild 2 © Carl Mrozek

To:  Heather van Blokland at KJZZ

Rio Salado College and Maricopa Community College, Arizona

I am emailing you directly because comments cannot be posted to your article.

http://kjzz.org/content/360434/feds-look-solution-wild-horse-burro-overpopulation

First, let me commend you for correctly identifying PZP as a “sterilization drug.” The Bureau of Land Management (BoLM) and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) both like to refer to it as “birth control,” but PZP is actually a sterilant.  More on that later.  The reason for my email is to alert you that BoLM has given you false information regarding the wild horses and burros.

While a reporter or any member of the public should be able to secure accurate data from government agencies, BoLM’s data is fraudulent as concerns wild horses and burros.  BoLM is aggressively pursuing a disinformation campaign against the mustangs, concocting a crisis that does not exist, and using scare-tactics to secure increased funding for itself.  Let me now address certain points cited in your article.

Herd-growth rates:  Equids are slow-growth species when it comes to reproduction. The gestation period for horses lasts 11 months, and a mare produces just 1 foal.  The gestation period for burros lasts 12 to 14 months, and a jenny is less fertile than a mare.  While an independent study of BoLM’s records did confirm an almost 20% birth rate for wild-horse herds, and an almost 15% birth rate for wild-burro herds, the study also found that 50% of foals perish before their first birthday.  Thus, the effective increase in population from new foals is just 10% for wild horses and 7% for wild burros.  Adult mustangs also die.  They succumb to illness, injury, and predation at a rate of at least 5% a year. So, what is a normal herd-growth rate?  Around5% for wild horses and about 2% for wild burros, probably less in each case.  Thus, a herd could not double every four years — that’s just BoLM propaganda.

Fraudulent figures:  There is no overpopulation except on BoLM’s falsified spreadsheets.  Reviews of the agency’s population-estimates reveal biologically-impossible herd-growth rates.  For instance, in Arizona, BoLM reported that the Big Sandy herd grew from 250 burros to 754 burros in one year, a 202% increase.  In Nevada, BoLM would have us believe that the Lava Beds herd grew from 40 burros to 350 burros in one year, a 775% increase.  In Wyoming, BoLM declared that the Salt Wells Creek herd grew from 29 horses to 616 horses in 6 months (yes, months), a 2,024% increase.  The agency’s “data” is chock-full of such preposterous growth-estimates.  So, when you hear talk of how the wild horses are reproducing “exponentially,” that’s a sure sign that the numbers have been falsified.

Wild horses and burros are underpopulated:  Per the guidelines of BoLM’s own geneticist, 83% of the wild-horse herds and 90% of the wild-burro herds suffer from arbitrary management levels (AMLs) set below minimum-viable population (MVP).  Low AMLs enable BoLM to claim an “excess” in herds whose numbers, even if they were over AML, would still not reach MVP.  For instance, the AML for Arizona’s Black Mountain herd was set at 382 to 478 wild burros.  The Black Mountain Herd Management Area comprises 925,425 acres, or 1,446 square miles.  Thus, per the AML, BoLM implies that each burro needs 1,936 to 2,423 acres, or about 3 to 4 square miles per burro.  If BoLM projects there to be 2 burros per 3 square miles, the agency declares an “overpopulation” because there is “double the number” that the AML allows.  As you can see, being “over AML” is meaningless as well as misleading.  But the low AMLs, combined with falsified, biologically-impossible herd-growth estimates, give BoLM an excuse to scapegoat those few wild horses and burros for the range-damage done by the millions of livestock that overgraze the public lands.

Adoptions:  Have not declined — let alone “disappeared” — contrary to what BoLM led you to believe.  It’s just that BoLM used to count the thousands of sales-for-slaughter as “adoptions.”  Now that only true adoptions — “forever-family” placements — qualify, it just seems as if the number has declined.  However, wild horses are not homeless horses.  They have a home — where they belong — on the range.

HSUS:  Is the registrant of PZP / ZonaStat-H with the Environmental Protection Agency.  Thus, HSUS’ information is not impartial because the organization has its reputation to protect.  Further, HSUS has submitted a proposal for a multi-year project in which BoLM would pay for HSUS staff to experiment on Arizona’s burros via “opportunistic” darting with PZP.

Pesticide:  PZP is not just a sterilant but also a registered pesticide that was approved by the EPA for use on wild horses and burros “where they have become a nuisance.”   However, PZP was registered without the standard testing requirements.  There is currently a lawsuit challenging the legitimacy of the registration, especially in light of new studies that have disclosed PZP’s many adverse side-effects.

Sterilizing mustangs:  PZP is a potent weapon in BoLM’s arsenal — for its biological warfare against the wild horses.  But population control for wild horses is unnecessary because there is no overpopulation.  Why would we contracept herds whose population is inadequate for genetic viability?  Why would we contracept herds based on falsified figures?  Logically we wouldn’t and ethically we shouldn’t.  Further, if PZP were going to stop the roundups, it would have done so long ago for the famous Pryor Mountain herd, home to Cloud, the stallion who was the subject of a number of documentaries that aired on PBS.  The Pryor Mountain mares have been darted with PZP for nearly two decades.  Yet roundups have been scheduled there like clockwork every 3 years and, in spite of intensifying the PZP treatments recently, BoLM tried to implement yearly roundups until stopped by a Friends of Animals lawsuit.

PZP — the anti-vaccine:  PZP causes disease — auto-immune disease.  PZP “works” by tricking the immune system into producing antibodies that target and attack the ovaries.  The antibodies cause ovarian dystrophy, oophoritis (inflammation of the ovaries), ovarian cysts, destruction of oocytes in growing follicles, and depletion of resting follicles.  The mare’s estrogen-levels drop markedly as PZP destroys her ovaries.  Ultimately, PZP sterilizes her.  Because PZP stimulates the immune system, it ironically works “best” — sterilizes faster — in mares that have strong immune-function.  Such mares respond to the anti-vaccine and produce quantities of PZP antibodies that destroy their ovaries.  But, conversely, PZP may not work at all in mares whose immune-function is weak or depressed.  Those mares fail to respond to PZP.  They keep getting pregnant and producing foals who, like their dams, suffer from weak immune-function.  So, the PZP pesticide works against the very horses that Nature has best equipped for survival-against-disease while favoring and selecting for the immuno-compromised.  Worse yet, radioimmunoassay tests indicated that PZP antibodies are transferred from mother to female offspring via the placenta and milk.

Health-risks to volunteers:  As for the well-meaning volunteers who dart wild horses, EPA’s Pesticide Fact Sheet for PZP advises that Personal Protective Equipment requirements include long sleeved shirt and long pants, gloves and shoes plus socks to mitigate occupational exposure.  EPA specifically warns that pregnant women must not be involved in handling or injecting ZonaStat-H, and that all women should be aware that accidental self-injection may cause infertility.  Unfortunately, PZP’s manufacturer misrepresented PZP as “so safe it is boring.”   But research shows that PZP is a powerful hormone disruptor.  Further, consider the magnitude of the risk — the PZP-in-question is a horse-sized dose.  If volunteers think PZP is safe, they will be less likely to protect themselves from this dangerous pesticide.

Mengelian experiments:  The Big Lie of “overpopulation” is the pretext for BoLM’s war against the wild horses, and the wild horses are prisoners of that war.  It’s BoLM’s version of the “Shock Doctrine,” wherein the agency concocted a phony crisis to push through policies antithetical to the Wild Horse Act against the will of The People.  Now, BoLM is funding surgical-sterilization studies on the equine POWs to develop a Final Solution to the “problem” — handing out $11 million for these diabolical experiments.  The grant money is surely intended to buy loyalty and silence potential criticism from academia.  Plus, BoLM, a corrupt, rogue agency, gets to cloak itself in respectability by affiliating with prestigious universities.

Should you wish to learn more about how BoLM is mismanaging Arizona’s wild burros, I would be happy to send you a copy of comments recently submitted.  Just let me know.

Sincerely,

Marybeth Devlin

Miami, FL

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