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.


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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Wilcove, D. S., C. H. McLellan, and A. P. Dobson. 1986. Habitat fragmentation in the temperate zone. Pages 237-256 in M. E. Soulé, editor. Conservation Biology: The Science of Scarcity and Diversity. Sinauer Associates, Sunderland, Mass.

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

The Role of Livestock in Sage Grouse Decline



By, George Wuerthner Grazing, Livestoc

Cross-posted from: http://bit.ly/2ad8Hni for educational purposes

The Greater Sage Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) is the largest grouse in North America. The grouse is found in sagebrush steppe from Alberta to New Mexico and throughout the Great Basin region of Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Colorado and Wyoming.  The sage grouse is extirpated from much of its former range and is no longer found in British Columbia, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Arizona and New Mexico.

Habitat loss, combined with habitat degradation has led to its decline from a previous estimated population of 16 million to the present 250,000-500,000 across its remaining vast geographical range.  Because many of the remaining populations are small and fragmented, the bird’s population continues to decline due to random stochastic events like local winter storms that might cause an isolated group to wink out and perhaps as a consequence of genetic issues related to inbreeding depression.  The bird is currently under petition for listing under the Endangered Species Act.

The decline of the sage grouse is symptomatic of the overall decline of the ecological health of the sage brush steppe with which it is intricately entwined. In parts of the bird’s range, much of the sagebrush habitat in eastern Washington, northern Montana, and parts of Northwest Oregon has been converted to wheat and other agricultural croplands.

In parts of Wyoming, Montana, Colorado and Utah oil and gas development has led to significant habitat fragmentation of the sage brush steppe and thus declines in sage grouse.

In small areas, habitat has also been lost to urban and rural development, wind farms, power line corridors, and other factors.


But the common denominator in the bird’s decline across its entire geographical range is livestock production.

With the exception of the habitat acreage lost to agricultural production, these other factors have only recently become an issue for sage grouse survival. Sage grouse numbers have been falling for decades, long before some of these other factors like oil and gas development, power lines, wind farms, subdivisions, and so forth were an issue across much of its habitat, however, livestock have been degrading sage grouse habitat for a century or more.

Livestock affect sage grouse at every step of their life history.


Sage grouse lack a muscular gizzard so can’t eat seeds. They must consume soft foods. Although sage grouse depend on sage brush, they also do consume forbs (flowers) insects and perhaps even grasses at certain seasons. In summer months forbs can make up to 40% of the adult diet. Since cattle also eat these same plants, in many areas, cattle are consuming the food that might otherwise sustain sage grouse. In drought years (when competition between cattle and grouse is more intense) sometimes grouse will simply forgo breeding in low nutrition years. By contrast, hens in good nutritional shape will produce more eggs, and healthier chicks. So the mere presence of cattle and sheep grazing sage grouse habitat is literally taking food out of the mouth of sage grouse.

Sage grouse require good grass/forb cover under or near sage brush as hiding cover for nesting habitat to avoid predators. Grazing removes a lot of that cover, making hens vulnerable to predation from coyotes, ravens, and even ground squirrels. In Idaho they are poisoning ravens to “boost” sage grouse numbers–instead of leaving more grass behind to give sage grouse sufficient cover. If the grass cover is good, the hens are less vulnerable to predators.


Another impact of grazing on nesting success has to do with micro-climate. Males do not help raise the young or guard the eggs, thus the female must leave periodically to feed. During this time, it’s critical for the nest and eggs to have enough cover to moderate the nest environment. Temperatures either too hot or too cold can be disastrous to the eggs. Again livestock grazing often reduces this critical cover component.

Unlike some other “chicken like” birds say pheasant, sage grouse tend to have fewer eggs. They are a long-lived bird, but they can’t sustain high nest losses year after year.


After the chicks hatch, they feed mostly on insects and forbs in wet meadows and riparian areas. Forbs constitute up to 50% of their diet for the first 11 weeks. Insects are also important and may be as much as 75% of their diet in the first couple of weeks.

Unfortunately the activity that has destroyed more riparian habitat and wet meadows than any other is livestock grazing. Cattle trample the soils reducing the infiltration of water reducing the physical extent of wet meadows. They break down stream banks creating down cutting of stream channels which then causes the water table to fall, again reducing the extent of wet meadows or riparian vegetation.  Livestock trample springs, and/or ranchers often “develop” springs to water stock, in either case limiting their output which is the source for summer flows in many streams, again reducing the riparian influence.

Livestock are naturally attracted to wet meadows and riparian areas and preferentially graze these areas because high soil moisture increases overall plant production and palatablity. Yet the vegetation in these wet meadows and riparian area  is critical as hiding cover for chicks so they are not eaten by predators.

This effect of plant cover loss is amplified in drought years to the detriment of grouse. Since lower precipitation means less grass production and cover, chicks are already more vulnerable to predators. But in drought years, wet meadows are especially attractive to cattle which often graze them down to billiard table lawns with no cover for chicks or adult hens.

Yet another way that livestock production has impacted sage grouse is the loss of the best habitat to livestock production. Sage grouse do best on flat to slightly sloping terrain with some streams or wetlands close by. Of course, throughout the West, this is exactly the habitat that has been converted into private ranchlands. Native wet meadows and riparian areas have been destroyed and particularly the low elevation terrain has been converted to alfalfa fields and other exotic grasses. Overall across its vast geographical range this loss of this critical habitat element has reduced sage grouse numbers just as the conversion to wheat fields has negatively impacted the bird.


Sage grouse are vulnerable to habitat disturbance. Sage grouse are weak fliers. They prefer to walk. When there is anything like seeding projects or hay fields, or even a road, it can fragment habitat and make sage grouse either abandon habitat or avoid those areas, even if good habitat may exist beyond the barrier.

One of the linear barriers to sage grouse movement as well as habitat loss throughout sage grouse habit range is fences. A surprising number of sage grouse just fly into fences.  A number of studies have documented significant mortality from fences, particularly among young grouse.

Fences also provide perches for avian predators (i.e. golden eagles, hawks, ravens, etc.) that survey the surrounding terrain for sage grouse. Because sage grouse recognize that perches are a predator trap, some studies have shown that grouse avoid fences for up to a half mile on either side of the fence. That means for every mile of fence out there, you are losing a mile wide patch of habitat. Multiply this by all the livestock fences in the West, and you start to understand what a big impact fencing has upon grouse.

Why are there fences all over the open spaces of the West? One reason–livestock.

Of course sage grouse get their name because they eat sage brush most of the year. Without sage brush they starve. Plus sage brush provides cover from predators and thermal cover in winter when there is cold weather. This is particularly important in winter when “wind chill” can greatly increase metabolic demands. Grouse will even burrow into the snow under the branches of sage brush in cold weather. Thus they are sage brush obligates.


One of the biggest negative impacts on sage brush has been livestock management practices on sage brush itself. In many parts of the West federal agencies like the BLM, FS, etc. have and/or are either spraying herbicides and/or burning it to eliminate sage brush to produce more grasses for livestock to eat. Millions of acres have been impacted. This is less common today than in the past because of the potential listing of sage grouse, but one cannot underestimate how much damage has been done to the grouse over the years by sage brush elimination programs. Unfortunately it still occurs. Sage brush burning proposals designed to increase livestock forage in occupied sage grouse habitat are being implemented across western states.

There are also seeding programs that have had the same effect. The notorious Vale Project in eastern Oregon eliminated millions of acres of sage brush to plant crested wheatgrass, an exotic grass from Russia, that has little value for wildlife, but is grazed by cows. Again why was this done? To increase forage for livestock on the public lands.


One of the threats to sage grouse are range fires burning through sage brush. Wildfires are a natural occurrence and natural process in sage brush habitat, however, over the past few decades, the fire frequency has been greatly accelerated due to the widespread establishment of cheatgrass in the sage brush steppe. Cheatgrass is highly flammable.

Cheatgrass doesn’t magically appear and it has a difficult time invading healthy sage brush habitat.

However when sage brush steppe is degraded by livestock grazing, it reduces the competitive ability of the native grasses to complete with cheatgrass. Cattle prefer to graze on the native grasses (hence the name cheatgrass because in the old days ranchers felt “cheated” when cheatgrass replaced the natives). So while the native grasses are grazed and must recover from grazing, the cows largely ignore the cheatgrass.

The second factor in the spread of cheatgrass related to cows has to do with biocrusts. Biocrusts grow on the soil surface in-between the native grasses and sage brush. These soil crusts do several things including reduce soil erosion. But they also prevent the seeds of cheatgrass from getting into the soil. Cheatgrass as an annual plant has small seeds, and if the seed doesn’t get roots into the soil quickly they die. Native grasses have large seeds, and have enough energy to get roots through the crusts. Also since native grasses are long lived–up to 150 years–they only have to get a few seeds into the soil once a century to replace themselves.

By far the worst thing that cattle do is trample the biocrust. And it’s important to note that the entire Great Basin  did not have large herds of grazing animals like bison in historic times. The plant communities are therefore not adapted to trampling and heavy hooves tearing up the soil.

Worse for range recovery most native grasses require a decade without any grazing at all to begin to recover from a fire, but due to the pressure from ranchers, most rangelands seldom get more than 1-2 years rest before cattle are moved back on to them. This greatly reduces the recovery and favors cheatgrass again.


Another way that livestock has impacted sage grouse has to do with water troughs. In many of the drier parts of the West, ranchers have put out stock tanks to provide water. Stock tanks are good breeding habitat for mosquitoes. Mosquitoes carry West Nile Virus which kills sage grouse. In some populations, as much as 29% of the birds have died from the infection.


As sage grouse populations decrease, the negative effects of inbreeding regression sets in further eroding the viability of the species. So it may not seem like a big deal if a few breeding leks disappear or there remain some “strongholds” with grouse, keep in mind that grouse are a tournament species, meaning that a relatively few males do the bulk of all breeding. This significantly reduces the genetic diversity in small populations, making them further likely to wink out.

States and Wildlife Agencies are engaged in these so-called “Sage Grouse Working Groups” to avoid listing under the ESA.   But, those groups ignore livestock impacts and management that would leave sufficient cover of grasses and forbs in riparian areas and meadows during the summer brood rearing season.  Further, these groups are channels for Federal tax dollars to provide more vegetation treatments, more seedings, more range water developments, fences and infrastructure while not addressing the basic problem, overstocking and poor to no direct control over livestock.

Take Action: Save 6 wild horse herds BLM wants to wipe out!

PM Craig Downer by Rona Aguilar

Wild horse expert sounds alarm

As the new Director of Ecology and Conservation at Protect Mustangs and a concerned Carson Valley resident, I attended the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) “Carson City District Draft Resource Management Plan (RMP) / Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)” meeting at the Spark’s Nugget hotel casino on Tuesday, January 13, from 5 to 7 pm.

I spoke with several BLM officials including John Axtell, the Wild Horse and Burro Specialist for this district, and Leon Thomas, Field Manager for the Sierra Front Field Office. I voiced my concerns that stakeholders who previously gave much input for increased numbers and resources in regard to wild horses were being ignored in the Draft Resource Management Plan.

I heard the overview explanation of the document by Colleen Sievers, RMP Project Lead, and instructions for reviewing it. I had given earlier input during the 2012 Scoping meetings in Carson City, along with many other pro-wild horse stakeholders.

It’s important to note there are two new wilderness designations that have just been passed by Congress for this area: Pine Forest and Wovoka Wilderness Areas.

Wild horses need you more than ever to stand up for them and here’s why:

There are five alternatives presented in the RMP document, one of which is No Action, or status quo, that will include improvements for Sage Grouse survival, but little else. Another is for maximizing resource exploitation that would be disaster for many natural values upon which the long term survival of life depends. Another (Alternative C) is for maximizing conservation of nature, and another is for bringing a so-called balance of these (Alternative E). This is the preferred alternative although it does not allocate enough land, water and forage for native wild horses who are needed to reduce wildfires, restore balance to the ecosystem, and reverse desertification on public land.

The Conservation Alternative would greatly reduce livestock grazing and expand wilderness designations but pro-wild horse stakeholders and native wild horses themselves appear to have been ignored. Wild horses should be regarded as native restorers of these natural ecosystems, but in the BLM’s Draft RMP there are serious errors which imply that they are non-native invasive pests with no value to the ecosystem. This, of course, is false.

In my preliminary view, and pending a more thorough analysis of this document, it’s  outrageous to see that federal officials appear to have completely neglected the wishes of stakeholders favoring wild horses. They unfairly sided with wild horse enemies to zero out herd management areas (HMAs). The BLM’s preferred alternative are plans to zero out six wild horse “herd management areas,” (HMA’s) rendering them “herd areas.” This is a twisting of language by which the original designation of a “herd area” as an area for wild populations of wild horses/burros in perpetuity, now according to BLM means an area where the wild horses/burros have been eliminated, or “zeroed out.”

John Axtell told me that there was not enough forage or water in these areas and that their numbers were too low. However, he conveniently failed to mention how cattle and sheep have been given the great majority of forage allocations in these same areas, or how the BLM has intentionally failed to exercise the wild horses and burros’ Implied Federal Water Rights that come with any major federal act of Congress in order to secure their basic survival requirements.

The areas that the BLM appears to be planning to zero out in the preferred alternative includes some HMA’s north of Reno such as Granite Peak and Flannigan that have been assigned truly ridiculous, low appropriate management levels (AML)—plus or minus 20 or so horses.

The minimum number for a genetically viable herd is 2,500 wild horses, according to the IUCN Species Survival Commission Equid Specialist Group and these levels are even a far cry from the suspect 150 individuals that BLM documents often cite as being genetically viable for a population.

BLM also wants to eliminate the historic Wassuk wild horse herd in the Wassuk HMA just north of Mt. Grant–where Axtell told me about 125 wild horses still survive.

Axtell claimed there was not enough forage for the horses here. I can’t believe this. I have repeatedly visited this wonderful spirited herd of Spanish-type mustangs and over many decades.

Nevadan biologist and teacher Steven Pelligrini studied the Wassuk herd for his Master’s Degree in biology at the University of Nevada-Reno. His thesis was presented to the public and to the Congress in support of the passage of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, when he went to testify together with Wild Horse Annie and his professor Dr. John Pontrelli of UNR.

The Carson City BLM’s RMP is targeting our wild horses for removal yet it is mandated to protect them. There exists large-scale public support for them both among the local public, nationally and internationally.

We must stand up and fight for the Wassuk wild horses and for the other venerable wild horse herds that are being dishonestly used as scapegoats for abuses attributable to uncaring people.

I noticed that at the meeting leaders of the Toiyabe Sierra Club and long time wild horse enemies, were present, and engaged with the BLM wild horse specialists and other officials. It appears they have been working to undermine the wild horse presence on public lands for many years, and I am very disturbed about this.

In the “Toiyabe Trails” publication that goes out to many thousands as a free quarterly publication, their President, Tina Nappe seems to be given carte blanche to badmouth wild horses, while those who used to be afforded the opportunity to reply, such as myself, no longer are given this basic right, even in the form of a short letter to the editor.

In spite of the horrible news in the RMP, I was urged to make a strong statement concerning my reasons against the proposed “zeroings out”. These would include how the wild horses are not getting fair grazing allocations compared to livestock in their legal areas, failure to develop or fend for watering sources for the animals and illegal fencing prohibiting their “free-roaming” lifestyle, an inherent part of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.

Protect Mustangs is calling all wild horse supporters to speak out strongly in an informed and intelligent manner, for the wild horses and burros of the Carson City BLM District. This RMP/EIS revision will govern land use policy for the next 15-20 years and we must not allow it to be a death sentence for the wild horses and burros, which it largely appears to be.

This is the public’s chance to improve the treatment of the wild horses and burros, and we cannot allow another act of subterfuge.

The proposal can be viewed online at http://on.doi.gov/1uYBNGT and more information can be found here: http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/carson_city_field.html

Here are some talking points:

1.) Both horse and burro evolution originate and have immense multi-million year duration in North America.

2.) As post-gastric digesters, different from ruminant digesters, the equids truly restore balance to the North American ecosystem. There is a lopsided preponderance of ruminants today, encouraged by established rancher, hunter, and other linked interests.

3.) Natural predators must not continue to be persecuted and eliminated, such as puma and wolf, natural predators of the wild equids.

4.) PZP and other tamperings with basic biology and social structure of wild horses and burros is contrary to the “minimum feasible” management tenet of the WFHBA as stated in Section 3 a. See my 19 points of law on pages xi to xiii of The Wild Horse Conspiracy. See sections on PZP  in the Index as well

5.) Also look up “Pine Nut wild horse herd area” in the Index of my book for more specific information http://www.amazon.com/Wild-Horse-Conspiracy-Craig-Downer/dp/1461068983

To be most effective, please make your own personal analysis of the pertinent sections of this document about which you are knowledgeable and/or concerned, especially the wild horses and burros. You can submit your comments electronically by email to:  BLM_NV_CCDO_RMP@blm.gov  or by US mail to: BLM Carson City District, Attn: CCD RMP, 5665 Morgan Mill Road, Carson City, NV 89701.

Send a copy of your comments to your two senators and your representative asking them to intervene.

The deadline for these comments is March 27th, 2015. Questions can be addressed to Colleen Sievers, Carson City District RMP Project Lead. Tel. 775-885-6000

Examples of what BLM consider to be substantive and nonsubstantive comments can be found at  http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/planning/nepa/webguide/document_pages/6_9_2_1__examples.html 

Thank you for standing up for the wild ones!

Craig C. Downer
Wildlife Ecologist
Director of Ecology and Conservation at Protect Mustangs
Author of The Wild Horse Conspiracy http://www.amazon.com/Wild-Horse-Conspiracy-Craig-Downer/dp/1461068983
and The Horse and Burro as Positively Contributing Returned Natives in North America (American Journal of Life Science) http://www.sciencepublishinggroup.com/journal/paperinfo.aspx?journalid=118&doi=10.11648/j.ajls.20140201.12

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


BLM weighs wild horse impact much more heavily than cattle

Agency Sage Grouse Review Puts Thumb on Scale to Magnify Wild Horse and Burro Effects

Washington, DC — The method used by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to assess range conditions is seriously skewed toward minimizing impacts from domestic livestock and magnifying those from wild horses and burros, according to an appraisal by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). As a result, the BLM’s approach to range management targets scattered wild horses and burros while ignoring far more numerous cattle.

The agency’s assessment is part of a 2013 report on factors influencing conservation of the Greater Sage-Grouse, a ground-dwelling bird whose numbers have declined as much as 90% across the West and which is under consideration for protection under the Endangered Species Act. That report concludes that twice the area of sage grouse habitat is negatively impacted by wild horses and burros than the area negatively impacted by livestock. A PEER appraisal of the methodology found –

BLM calculates the “area of influence” of wild horses and burros on sage grouse habitat based merely on their presence within Herd Management Areas in sage grouse habitat, while it considers livestock impact to have occurred only when livestock grazing allotments fail the agency’s Land Health Status (LHS) standard for wildlife;
If the agency used the same approach for calculating the area of influence of livestock within BLM grazing allotments on sage grouse habitat as it did for wild horses and burros, the area of influence for livestock would be roughly 14 times that given in the report and more than six times that of wild horses and burros; and
Within BLM’s own grazing allotment LHS database records, livestock grazing is cited as a cause of failure to achieve a land health standard 30 times more often than are wild horses and burros.
“At BLM apparently not all hooves are created equal,” said PEER’s Advocacy Director Kirsten Stade, noting that the LHS evaluations cover more than 20,000 grazing allotments and examine whether a grazing allotment meets the agency’s standards for rangeland health with respect to several vegetation and habitat conditions. “This helps explain why wild horses are regularly removed from the range but livestock numbers are rarely reduced.”

The BLM assessment influences not only the agency’s range management decisions but also will figure into the Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision on whether to list the sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act.

Last year in response to a complaint by PEER filed under agency Scientific Integrity policy, BLM claimed that it does not have enough “reliable data” about commercial livestock impacts to include them in current assessments of environmental conditions on Western range lands. Yet, BLM has more data on the grazing that it authorizes through permits than virtually every other topic.

“When it comes to cattle, BLM plays with a marked deck,” Stade added, pointing out the PEER analysis that will become part of PEER’s new grazing reform web center set to launch in several weeks. “We are posting BLM’s own data in a way that allows apples-to-apples comparisons while displaying satellite imagery that depicts the true livestock landscape impacts.”


See the PEER Analysis

Compare BLM claims to what their data reveal

livestock vs. wild horse and burro areas of influence on sage grouse

The relative negative influence area of feral ungulates with respect to domestic livestock based on BLM’s spatial analysis approach (USGS OFR 2013-1098) are completely at odds with BLM’s own land health standards (LHS) evaluation causal data, used to inform BLM’s analysis. BLM concludes in OFR 2013-1098 that the negative area of influence of feral ungulates is twice that of domestic livestock, when the records show that only 3% of grazing-related failures of standards are attributed to wild horses and burros.

See the 2013 BLM/USGS report

Revisit BLM claim of unreliable livestock grazing data

Conservationists question sage grouse protection plans



Cross-posted from New Science Magazine

By Chelsea Biondolillo 10 July 2014

The U.S. government should be cautious about adopting the state of Wyoming’s strategy for protecting the greater sage grouse—a grassland bird at the center of a national controversy—conservationists argue in a report scheduled to be released tomorrow. The critics say the state, which is home to an estimated one-third of the country’s remaining sage grouse, is pursuing a strategy that fails to preclude intrusive development in key habitat, provide adequate buffer zones, and preserve winter habitat. The critique comes as federal officials have begun to adopt portions of Wyoming’s approach to protecting the bird on federal lands, saying it offers a promising way to balance conservation and economic development.

The grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) makes its home in sagebrush steppe in 11 states and is the largest grouse in North America. Biologists estimate its current population is between 200,000 and 400,000 birds. That could be as low as 1% of historic levels, says Mark Salvo of Defenders of Wildlife in Washington, D.C., a lead author of the white paper. In 2003, the population decline prompted many scientists and environmentalists to ask the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to add the sage grouse to its list of animals protected by the Endangered Species Act. In 2010, the agency ruled that the bird warranted listing, but that other animals were of higher priority, and said it would reconsider the issue in September 2015.

That deadline is looming, and state officials and agencies across the grouse’s habitat have been scrambling to come up with management plans that they hope will prevent the bird being listed as endangered. State officials fear that a listing would force a wide range of development controls on lands owned by the federal government, which account for more than half of the territory of some western states. Nearly one-half of Wyoming, for example, is federal land, including areas key to the mining and oil and gas industries.

In a bid to avoid listing, Wyoming’s governor in 2011 outlined the state’s strategy in an executive order. It is based on a concept called core area protection, and recently the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced it was adopting major elements of the strategy in a long-range plan for protecting more than 800,000 hectares of federal land around Lander, Wyoming. The plan, officially known as a Resource Management Plan (RMP), is the first of 15 such plans BLM is developing across the 11 sage grouse states.

Rick Vander Voet, field manager at the Lander BLM office, says that the RMP was chosen as the best and most balanced mix of options among the alternatives considered. He says this plan “reflects years of extensive collaboration with cooperating agencies, non-governmental organizations and the public.” The Lander Field Office is unique among the other areas in the state considering RMPs, in that 99% of BLM land under their jurisdiction is sage grouse habitat—and nearly two-thirds of it is considered core habitat. Vander Voet says that in and around Lander, “every other resource, from archaeology to wilderness study areas will in some way influence greater sage grouse.”

The report concludes that the RMP’s version of the core area strategy will not prevent future declines in grouse populations. Among the specific concerns:

Buffer zones aren’t big enough. The plan establishes “surface occupancy buffer zones” around grouse leks—the areas where the birds gather for mating displays—which means no oil or gas infrastructure within about 1 kilometer of active leks. But that number is not supported by any scientific literature or studies, the report argues. Instead, Salvo notes, the best available scientific literature recommends about a 6-kilometer buffer. Critics note that a BLM draft of an alternative plan that was not adopted quoted a 2007 study which concluded that buffers of about 1 to 3 kilometers wide failed to prevent population declines of sage grouse. The agency should heed such research and widen the buffer zones, the report argues.

Too few controls on surface disturbances in critical sage grouse habitat. Such disturbances can include roads, oil and gas development, and construction. Wyoming’s plan allows for up to 5% of “suitable sage grouse habitat” to be disturbed, although a 2011 review prepared for BLM by nearly two dozen federal and state biologists and land managers recommended 3% or less surface disturbance. The Wyoming plan allows “too much drilling … in the wrong places,” Salvo argues.

It ignores threats to wintering grounds. The plan restricts development activities in sage grouse habitat that the birds use during the winter months, but eases up when the birds move elsewhere in the spring and summer. Research, however, suggests the birds will avoid returning to wintering grounds if they have been disturbed, critics say. They urge BLM to follow the advice of its 2011 review panel, which recommended prohibiting surface disturbance in or adjacent to winter habitat any time of the year.

The authors of the report hope BLM officials will take such issues into account as the agency finalizes its remaining management plans, including three more for Wyoming. The state “is key to sage-grouse conservation,” Salvo says.

BLM’s Vander Voet says the goal for his office, in administering the RMP, will be to balance the “primary drivers of the local economy” (oil and gas, tourism, recreation, and agriculture) while protecting important cultural and natural resources—including greater sage grouse—for the future.

*Correction, 11 July, 1:25 p.m.: The current sage grouse population compared with historic levels has been corrected. Additionally, FWS ruled in 2010, not in 2011, that the sage grouse warranted listing. Finally, a link to the report has been added.

Public comments requested for BLM Pine Nut Land Health Project under the National Historic Preservation Act

From a BLM press release dated February 4, 2014

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Carson City District, Sierra Front Field Office is requesting public comments under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) for the proposed Pine Nut Land Health Project (Project) in Douglas, Lyon and Carson City Counties, Nevada. The draft Programmatic Agreement (PA) is available for review, and the public is invited to provide written comments through March 5, 2014. 


The Project involves vegetation treatments that would be implemented over a 10 to 15 year period on public lands in the Pine Nut Mountains. When a project is phased over multiple years, a PA is often used to outline the steps BLM will take to comply with NHPA, including identification of historic properties and avoiding or resolving adverse effects that could be caused by the project. 


Information including the draft PA, maps, and descriptions of treatment areas and methodsare available on the Project website at: http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/carson_city_field/blm_information/nepa.html.

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.

For more information, contact: Rachel Crews, Archaeologist, 5665 Morgan Mill Rd, Carson City, Nevada 89701 or email: rcrews@blm.gov, 775-885-6152. Comments can also be faxed to: 775-885-6147, Attn: Rachel Crews.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2013, the BLM generated $4.7 billion in receipts from public lands.



Press Release: Government shutdown puts 50,000 captive wild horses at-risk of neglect

Truck in the pens (© Anne Novak, All rights reserved)

Truck in the pens (© Anne Novak, All rights reserved)


For immediate release:

Government shutdown puts 50,000 captive wild horses at-risk of neglect

Conservation group call for moratorium on removals for scientific studies

RENO, NV. (October 1, 2013)–The government shutdown jeopardizes 50,000 American wild horses stockpiled in federally funded holding facilities. For example, today some mustangs are caught in limbo from the controversial Sheldon Wildlife Refuge roundup in Nevada orchestrated by the Forest Service. Protect Mustangs has been warning the Department of Interior and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) about the fiscally irresponsibility to remove close to 80% of the native wild horses and burros off the range in order to fast-track the New Energy Frontier at great ecological expense. The BLM’s claims of overpopulation have been debunked by The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report stating there is “no evidence” of overpopulation.

“The public is up in arms wanting to know who will feed and care for the wild horses and burros during the shutdown,” states Anne Novak, executive director of Protect Mustangs. “This is a perfect example of why wild horses and burros should be living on the range and why 80% of America’s wild horses and burros should not be kept in federally funded facilities. That said, we don’t endorse the use of fertility control without population studies first. We want good science to govern policy. Tobacco science and guesstimates got the feds and the American taxpayer in this mess in the first place.”

Today some wild horses are stuck in limbo at temporary holding. They were rounded up from the Sheldon Wildlife Refuge and haven’t been given to government contractors who receive $1,000.00 per horse to take them off the feds hands and adopt them out.

“We are concerned the wild horses are suffering in pens without care,” states Kerry Becklund, director of outreach for Protect Mustangs. “We want to have access to monitor captive wild horses to ensure their care. We have volunteers who will help at all the holding facilities as needed during the government shutdown. We’re here to help.”

Protect Mustangs is against the removal of native wild horses from public land especially from a wildlife sanctuary where they belong. Wild horses are not an invasive species nor are they “pests” as the EPA wrongly named them in order to pass a controversial “restricted use pesticide” known as Porcine zona pellucida (PZP) under the name ZonaStat-H, for use on wild horses and burros. PZP is an immunocontraception made from pigs ovaries and did not pass the FDA.

This year the NAS released a report on the Wild Horse and Burro Program wherein they stated there was “no evidence” of overpopulation. Despite the statement by the esteemed scientific Academy, the BLM continues to endorse myths of alleged overpopulation.

The BLM has pumped up their population guesstimates to justify federal spending increases to roundup and warehouse the majority of America’s wild horses and burros who are using less than 3% of public land.

“It’s the Emperor’s New Clothes,” reveals Novak. “Everyone is being fooled there is an overpopulation issue when in fact they are underpopulated on the range today. We are calling for an immediate moratorium on roundups and removals for scientific population studies.”

“With the gluttony of roundups and removals, wild horses reproduce at a higher rate than normal–to prevent extinction,” explains Novak. “We need scientific studies to establish what the normal reproduction rate is, under normal circumstances and discover scientific truths about wild horses and burros. Today there is no scientific proof of BLM’s alleged overpopulation to merit fertility control, roundups or removals.”

The Wild Horse and Burro Program costs have been rising rapidly, from $38.8 million in Fiscal Year 2007 to $74.9 million in Fiscal Year 2012. Now 59 percent of the funding ($43 million) goes to holding costs. Despite a troubled economy, the administration wants to remove additional native wild equids and requested an additional $4 million in the Fiscal Year 2013 budget.

When the wild equids live out on the range it costs virtually nothing to “keep” them on their native habitat. They help reduce the risks of wildfires and reverse desertification. That’s the beauty of native wildlife filling their niche in the ecosystem.

The New Energy Frontier push is the reason for massive roundups on public land since 2009-10, when the former Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, introduced his “Plan”.

In 1971 the Free Roaming Wild Horse and Burro Act designated 339 herd areas on 53.8 million acres. Today only 179 herd areas remain on 31.6 million acres. The herd areas have been zeroed out for oil, gas, livestock and mining interests to capitalize on the land legally allocated to wild horses and burros for primary, but not exclusive, use.

In 1900 there were 2 million wild horses roaming in America. Today less than 17,000 estimated wild horses remain in all 10 western states combined. The BLM’s estimate, over 37,000, is grossly inflated to justify additional removals and hide the true threat of extinction facing America’s wild horses and burros.

“We want to find the win-win–to return all the wild horses and burros to their native range so they can balance out the environmental devastation caused by the New Energy Frontier,” states Novak. “There is a way for this to work out but first we need scientific studies to make sure it’s done right.”

Protect Mustangs is a San Francisco-based conservation group, with an international membership base, devoted to protecting native wild horses. Their mission is to educate the public about the indigenous wild horse, protect and research American wild horses on the range and help those who have lost their freedom.

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Media Contacts:

Anne Novak,  Anne@ProtectMustangs.org, 415-531-8454

Kerry Becklund,  Kerry@ProtectMustangs.org, 510-502-1913

Photos, video and interviews available upon request

Links of interest™:

Roundup footage & abuse:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yF49csCB9qM (Preview)

Wild Free Roaming Horse & Burro Act http://www.wildhorseandburro.blm.gov/92-195.htm

NEPA http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Environmental_Policy_Act

Horse slaughter investigation https://soundcloud.com/cbs-radio-news/horse-slaughter-investigation

Washington Post: Independent panel: Wild horse roundups don’t work; use fertility drugs, let nature cull herdshttp://www.washingtonpost.com/national/energy-environment/independent-panel-to-recommend-changes-in-blm-wild-horse-program/2013/06/05/b65ba772-cdb3-11e2-8573-3baeea6a2647_story.html

Information on native wild horses: http://protectmustangs.org/?page_id=562

NAS Press release June 5, 2013: http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=13511

NAS Report: Using Science to Improve the BLM Wild Horse & Burro Program: A Way Forward http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=13511

No proof of overpopulation, no need for fertility control http://protectmustangs.org/

ZonaStat-H EPA Pesticide Fact Sheet: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/chem_search/reg_actions/pending/fs_PC-176603_01-Jan-12.pdf

Appropriations Committee members: http://www.appropriations.senate.gov/about-members.cfm

Sheldon Wildlife Refuge: www.fws.gov/sheldonhartmtn/sheldon/horseburro.html‎

Wild burros of Airizona Black Mountains on CBS: http://tuesdayshorse.wordpress.com/tag/carl-mrozek/

Sage Grouse and other wildlife threatened by oil and gas development: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mw1d7zp2vB8&feature=youtube_gdata_player

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

Protect Mustangs in the news: http://protectmustangs.org/?page_id=218

Protect Mustangs’ press releases: http://protectmustangs.org/?page_id=125

Protect Mustangs on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ProtectMustangs

Anne Novak on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheAnneNovak


Link to this press release: http://protectmustangs.org/?p=5280

Comments needed about #fracking for oil and gas on public land in Nevada @GASLANDmovie

Photo © Karen McLain Evening Light | Design by Anne Novak for ProtectMustangs.org

Photo © Karen McLain Evening Light | Design by Anne Novak for ProtectMustangs.org

BLM Seeks Public Comment on Public Lands Nominated for Oil and Gas Exploration and Development

Ely – 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 30-day public comment period concludes Monday, July 29.

The BLM received requests to lease 216 nominated parcels of public land, totaling more than 399,000 acres.  The BLM deferred several of the nominated parcels to protect sage grouse habitat.  Other parcels were removed because of proximity to the Kirch Wildlife Management Area, the Robinson Mine Plan of Operations or the Confederated Tribes of the Goshute Reservation.  The remaining 202 parcels have been analyzed for potential impacts in the 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 draft EA is available for public review at: https://www.blm.gov/epl-front-office/eplanning/nepa/nepa_register.do.  Select Nevada, Ely District, 2013 and DOI-BLM-NV-L000-2013-0004-EA to display the project webpage.

Interested individuals should address all written comments to the BLM Ely District Office, HC 33 Box 33500, Ely, NV 89301, Attn: Emily Simpson or fax them to Simpson at (775) 289-1910.  Comments may also be submitted to e-mail address: blm_nv_eydo_dec2013ogsale@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 will be conducted on December 10, 2013.  Additional information about the sale is available at http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/prog/energy.html.

For more information, contact Emily Simpson, at the BLM Ely District, at (775) 289-1832 or esimpson@blm.gov.


Chris Hanefeld
Public Affairs Specialist
#Fracking #Environment #News #Water #Foodie #Travel #Tourism #Nevada #Ely #Reno #Tahoe #LasVegas #Climate #Energy #Pollution