“Meet Tarzan, a 6-7 week old colt orphaned during an ’emergency’ roundup of the Seaman NV herd. He was fortunate to be adopted by photographer Jeanne Nations who used an old tarp to make him this simple shaded shelter in the corner of his paddock. It’s Tarzan’s shade, shelter & sanctuary. Do the foals at Palomino Valley need and deserve any less?” ~ Carl Mrozek, filmmaker and Advisory Board Member of Protect Mustangs.
Read Jeanne’s description of Tarzan’s attachment to his shady retreat:
“Tarzan wanders in and out of the shelter all day. He will go eat some hay, drink water then go back to the shade, especially during the hot afternoons where he’ll take siestas. If he ‘s frightened by dogs, thunder, loud noises…anything, he’ll run there. It’s his safe haven and he spends the night there too.
Summer temps here hit 90-95 degrees & sometimes the 100s, so there is definitely a need for horses to have shade and burros too.”
Jeanne is planning a more permanent shelter, but didn’t want Tarzan to suffer through the heat of summer without some kind of shade. Why can’t BLM do the same ? They demand no less from all adopters!”
Please sign and share the Petition for Emergency Shade: http://www.change.org/petitions/bring-emergency-shade-for-captive-wild-horses-and-burros
Letter to the Secretary of Interior, Sally Jewell on Flag Day
June 14th, 2013
Dear Secretary Jewell,
First of all we would like to congratulate you on your new position as Secretary of Interior.
The National Academy of Sciences published a report last week. According to a press release from NAS released Wednesday, “The U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) current practice of removing free-ranging horses from public lands promotes a high population growth rate, and maintaining them in long-term holding facilities is both economically unsustainable and incongruent with public expectations, says a new report by the National Research Council.”
Despite the fact that there is no evidence of overpopulation, The NAS is suggesting a broad use of fertility control–sterilization and risky birth control approved by the EPA as a “restricted use pesticide”.
You can read about the issue in the Washington Post here as it went viral around the world: http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-06-05/national/39747528_1_roundups-fertility-population-growth
The FDA would not approve this fertility control drug for equines. If the drugs/pesticides/birth control are not dangerous, then why haven’t they been approved for domestic horses?
Science has proven wild horses are returned-natives. Any designation of them as “pests” surely will be challenged in the courts in the near future.
We are requesting a moratorium on roundups and a scientific study to determine the actual population as well as birthrate–without the herds feeling an urgent need to reproduce because of excessive roundups since 2009. We kindly request this occur before any action to sterilize or give birth control labelled a “restricted use pesticide” to America’s wild horses and burros.
There are several health risks involved with giving free-roaming mares PZP, GonaCon® and other immunocontraceptives as well as sterilizing them or the stallions. I will provide more information in another letter.
We also request you consider the fact that managing wild horses and burros with fertility control would domesticate them because man would be choosing who breeds when, for more than a million years, Equus caballus has evolved through the survival of the fittest model.
The environment is changing and with it wildlife must evolve to survive. We are deeply concerned that using fertility control would manage them to extinction due to human interference with natural selection.
We don’t have any conflicts of interests as we are not funded by organizations and or companies connected to fertility control products and services. We are asking you for your help during this crisis because we represent many Americans who care about wild horses and burros.
Advocates estimate there are only 18,000 wild horses left in the wild. The BLM has been claiming their numbers are in the high 30,000 to justify large-scale, costly roundups and removals since 2009. The BLM has a huge budget for the program and no scientific proof of population–no headcount. Their overpopulation claim lacks scientific evidence as we claimed and was determined by the National Academy of Sciences
It’s time for wild horses and burros to be managed using real science not junk science. We encourage you to put a moratorium on roundups and complete a comprehensive scientific population study before you agree to using any fertility controls on our wild herds.
Thank you for helping save America’s wild horses and burros from being managed to extinction.
San Francisco Bay Area
As seen in the Washington Post
Read about native wild horses: http://protectmustangs.org/?page_id=562
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Protect Mustangs is devoted to protecting native wild horses. Our 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.
#WildHorses #Environment #animals #horses #fracking #food #water #green #science #Foodie #America #Nature #News #Breaking @SecretaryJewell
Kathleen Hayden’s list
1. The 1971 Wild horse Act is superseded by the Wildlife Trust laws whose basis was the Magna Carta which can be seen in the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.
2. Changes in English common law enacted in 1641, ruled that the Magna Carta had settled the question of who owns fish and wildlife.
3. Wild horses and burros are no less “wild” animals than are the grizzly bears that roam our national parks and forests (Mountain States v. Hodel)neither the states of the federal government have the right to harm Our Heritage Wildlife as found by Supreme court 1995 Ruling Babbit v.Sweet Home.
4. The Babbit v Sweet Home case found that The term “take” means to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct. 16 U.S.C. § 1532(19).
5. By a 6-3 vote, the Court upheld the statutory authority of the Secretary of the Interior to include “habitat modification and degradation” as conduct which constitutes “harm” under the ESA.
In addition to the statutory provisions described above,
6. Section 5 of the ESA authorizes the Secretary to purchase the lands on which the survival of the species depends. Accordingly, Sweet Home maintained that this Section 5 authority was “the Secretary’s only means of forestalling that grave result [i.e. possible extinction).
7. As a result, based upon “the text, structure, and legislative history of the ESA the Supreme Court concluded that “the Secretary reasonably construed the intent of Congress when he defined ‘harm’ to include ‘significant habitat modification or degradation that actually kills or injures wildlife species.
8. Pursuant to BLM’s 2001 Special Status Species Policy requirement that sensitive species be afforded, at a minimum, the same protections as candidate species for listing under the ESA. It called on BLM managers to obtain and use the best available information deemed necessary to evaluate the status of special status species in areas affected by land use plans . . . This statement by BLM was from the May 2003 Proposed Nevada Test and Training Range Resource Management Plan and Final EIS Comment 87, BLM Response, pg. E-25″The issue of a wild horse as an invasive species is moot since the 1971 WHBA gave wild free-roaming horses “special” status based on their heritage of assisting man settle the “West”.
For immediate release:
Is it safe to use pesticides on an indigenous species?
WASHINGTON (June 7, 2013)–In light of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report on wild horses and burros lacking data for an overpopulation claim, Protect Mustangs calls upon Secretary Jewell for an immediate halt to roundups and to return the 50,000 wild horses in government holding to the more than 30 million acres of herd management areas in the West to reduce costs quickly. The native wild horse conservation group calls on the Department of Interior to acknowledge wild horses are native, implement holistic land management and reserve design thus creating a win-win for wild horses to help the ecosystem and reverse desertification. Protect Mustangs requests that ‘survival of the fittest’ should be the only form of fertility control considered because indigenous wild horses must not become domesticated on the range. Artificial management such as pesticides and sterilizations should never be used on a native species such as Equus caballus.
“With the gluttony of roundups and removals, wild horses reproduce at a higher rate to prevent extinction,” explains Anne Novak, executive director of Protect Mustangs. “We need more studies to establish what the normal reproduction rate is and discover truths about alleged overpopulation on the more than 30 million acres of public wildlands designated for their use. Today there is no scientific proof of overpopulation to merit fertility control.”
In July 2010, Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) spearheaded a letter signed by members of Congress, requesting an investigation of the Wild Horse and Burro Program by the National Academy of Sciences. This was a direct result of public outcry and media exposure of roundup carnage. Three years later, the NAS report was released last Wednesday.
According to a press release from NAS released Wednesday, “The U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) current practice of removing free-ranging horses from public lands promotes a high population growth rate, and maintaining them in long-term holding facilities is both economically unsustainable and incongruent with public expectations, says a new report by the National Research Council.”
“Making decisions to apply a fertility drug to wild horse herd mares would put wild horse herds in danger of a die-off if any natural or manmade disaster struck the herd management area–be it wildfire, an extreme winter, mass predation or something else,” explains Kathleen Gregg, environmental researcher. “If a majority of the mares are non-reproducing and thus zero or even just a few births, then it is easy to see that the entire herd would be in jeopardy, both genetically and physically, and would diminish their ability to survive into the future. Then we have a herd that is not safe on its own range. Wild horses must to be protected as the law states they shall be.”
“Unfortunately, the Academy quickly recommends fertility control as a better solution without considering the ‘do nothing’ or ‘placebo’ option which is an integral component of every credible field trial for pharmaceutical and other ‘treatment’ plans,” states Carl Mrozek, filmmaker of Saving Ass in America. “Had they searched for examples of herds with minimal or no culling in the past decade or so, they would have found multiple examples of herds which appear to have achieved homeostasis (equilibrium) or something approaching it, naturally, without BLM roundups or fertility treatments.”
“The NAS findings clearly state that the BLM has failed to provide accurate estimates of the nation’s population of wild horses and burros,” states Jesica Johnston, environmental scientist and biologist. “Therefore, the NAS cannot conclude that a state of over-population exists and or provide a recommendation for artificial management considerations such as ‘rigorous fertility controls’ to control populations for which the complex population dynamics are currently unknown.”
Recently fertility control, in the form of immunocontraceptives for wild horses, was erroneously passed by the EPA as “restricted use pesticides”. The EPA inaccurately named indigenous wild horses “pests” in order to pass the drug. Pesticides (PZP, GonaCon®, etc.) should never be used on native species such as E. caballus.
“PZP and other fertility control should not be used on non-viable herds either,” states Debbie Coffey, director of wild horse affairs at Wild Horse Freedom Federation. “Most of the remaining herds of wild horses are non-viable. The NAS and any advocacy groups that are pushing PZP and other fertility control have not carefully studied all of the caveats in Dr. Gus Cothran’s genetic analysis reports along with the remaining population of each herd of wild horses.”
Equus caballus originated in North America more than 2 million years ago. Equus survived extinction through migration and E.caballus could have returned to America with the Spanish unless some had remained on the continent the entire time. Today researchers question historical records–written with Inquisition censorship–that claim the Spanish brought the first horses to America. Even so, if no horses remained when the Conquistadors arrived they would not be introducing the species but “returning” E.caballus to its native land.
“It’s time for land managers to come out of the dark ages–use native wild horses to heal the land and reverse desertification,” states Novak. “We’d like to see the BLM manage the land using wild horses as a resource in partnership with the New Energy Frontier–at virtually no cost to the taxpayer.”
In 1900 there were 2 million wild horses roaming in freedom in America. Today native wild horses are underpopulated on the range. Advocates estimate there are less than 18,000 left in the ten western states combined.
Protect Mustangs is a conservation group 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.
# # #
NAS Study Review
Anne Novak 415.531.8454 Anne@ProtectMustangs.org
Kerry Becklund, 510-502-1913 Kerry@ProtectMustangs.org
Links of interest:
Washington Post: Independent panel: Wild horse roundups don’t work; use fertility drugs, let nature cull herds http://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
Congressional letter requesting an NAS investigation: https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=ZGVmYXVsdGRvbWFpbnxhbWVyaWNhbmhlcmRzNHxneDo1ZTFlMDQ1MzY4MzZiMzI3&pli=1
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
Sacramento Bee, Panel: Sterilize wild horses to cut population Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/06/06/5475171/study-sterilize-horses-to-drop.html#storylink=cpy
GonaCon press release spins wild horse overpopulation myths: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/newsroom/2013/02/horse_vaccine_approval.shtml
ZonaStat-H EPA Pesticide Fact Sheet: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/chem_search/reg_actions/pending/fs_PC-176603_01-Jan-12.pdf
Princeton University: Wildlife and cows can be partners, not enemies, in the search for food http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S32/93/41K10/index.xml?section=featured
Gone viral~ The Associated Press, March 24, 2013: Budget axe nicks BLM wild-horse adoption center http://www.denverpost.com/colorado/ci_22862206
US property exposed to wildfire valued at $136 billion says report: http://www.artemis.bm/blog/2012/09/17/u-s-property-exposed-to-wildfire-valued-at-136-billion-says-report/
KQED Horse fossil found in Caldecott Tunnel: http://science.kqed.org/quest/2011/05/26/new-fossils-from-the-caldecott-tunnel/
Horseback Magazine: Group takes umbridge at use of the word “feral” http://horsebackmagazine.com/hb/archives/19392
Protect Mustangs in the news: http://protectmustangs.org/?page_id=218
Protect Mustangs’ press releases: http://protectmustangs.org/?page_id=125
Twin Peaks Post Fire Survey
May 18th and 19th 2013
Twin Peaks Wild Horse and Burro Herd Management Area
Three experienced wildlife observers with binoculars: Jesica Johnston, Carrisa Johnston, and Kathy Gregg
91 miles traveled in 11 hours – we drove slowly with many stops to look for animals
1 horse and 8 burros found
Many juniper trees burned beyond survival but many were not burned or will survive the fire damage. Sage areas clearly show the patchwork pattern of the fire, with many areas completely unburned within the Rush Fire perimeter.
Saw some bitterbrush drill seeding along Rye Patch Road. Very little black burned grass noticeable now compared with last fall immediately following the Rush fire (see Rush fire report http://protectmustangs.org/?p=2729 ) and now most of the burned area is covered with spring vegetative growth.
Most notable was the lack of any animal trailing that can usually be seen and would have been very obvious with the new carpet of forage – believe this is because #1 no livestock on the public land and #2 very few wild horses and burros left on the Twin Peaks Herd Management Area. Also noticeable was the lack of horse and burro tracks and manure on the HMA.
Other animals observed: one coyote, two golden eagles, vultures, crows/ravens, two rabbits, birds, ducks and geese at Horne Ranch reservoir, 2 deer, ~ 20 antelope, two curlew, small fish in the Robbers Roost pond and some burrowing ground squirrels and pika.
Unless otherwise noted, all photographs were taken by Jesica Johnston and Carrisa Johnston.
[side note: BLM Litchfield Wild horses and burros facility approx. 200-300 animals maximum] Saturday 5/18/2013
Smoke Creek Road
42 miles on HMA – 4 hours
Very few signs of any Wild horses and burros in this area (trailing/tracks/manure)
1 adult brown burro 8 miles east of Hwy 395 and 1 adult dark brown burro 15 miles east of Hwy 395
Wild Burro- Smoke Creek Road
Turned around at Smoke Creek Ranch owned by Bright-Holland Corporation – gate locked with no trespassing signs and 150+ cattle visible and lush green fields all fenced off.
Rye Patch Road
10 miles on HMA – 2 hours
One set of fresh horse tracks on road and few manure piles but not stud pile (mare or only one horse?) In the past (pre-fire) numerous manure piles and eight horses seen in this area.
We saw one old wild horse stud pile at Spanish Springs trough – new looking barbed wire strewn in pathway (very dangerous for any animal – we moved it) No recent signs of horse.
Horne Ranch Road
26 miles approximately half in twin Peaks – 2 hours at dusk
Shinn Ranch Road
13 miles– 3 hours
6 Burros (5 adults and 1 yearling) north side of road about ¼ mile east of Highway 395
In our two days of observation we saw very few signs of any wild horses or burros and only saw one dark horse about a mile south of Shinn Ranch Road about 4 miles in from Hwy 395 – it was far off but 99% sure it was a horse in the far canyon and the only wild horse we saw on this trip.
For immediate release:
No accountability for dead foals at Nevada wild horse facility
RENO, Nv. (May 1, 2013)–Protect Mustangs™ calls for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Nevada to provide accurate wild horse and burro death counts for all government funded facilities as well as at roundups. Currently the BLM is not recording the dead foals or other unbranded newborn dead wild horses at the Palomino Valley National Center, a facility near Reno used for processing and adoption. Faulty roundup protocol also allows the BLM to attribute deaths to pre-existing conditions to avoid attributing them to the roundups. The native wild horse conservation group discovered that 37 wild horses died at the Nevada facility from January 1 to April 1, 2013 but the additional deaths of the unbranded have gone unrecorded.
“It’s shocking that the BLM is not counting the unbranded dead foals and dead newborns,” states Anne Novak, executive director of Protect Mustangs™. “This lack of transparency and lack of accountability needs to stop. Taxpayers don’t like knowing baby mustangs are dying after roundups–especially when Americans want native wild horses to live in freedom.”
Protect Mustangs™ is very concerned the BLM facilities are not keeping an accurate death count related to roundups and holding facilities. The BLM admits they are not including the unbranded foals, aborted fetuses, animals born dead nor dead newborns in their count. One must ask, “How many are really dying in holding facilities after roundups?
Animals Angels recently uncovered a discrepancy in the mortality numbers at Palomino Valley Center.
“If they are not counting the dead correctly then are some young foals being sold into the slaughter pipeline as well?,” asks Novak. “Why is there no accountability regarding the unbranded young wild horse population?”
Tom Davis, who purchased many wild horses from the BLM said in a Propublica interview, “Hell, some of the finest meat you will ever eat is a fat yearling colt. What is wrong with taking all those BLM horses they got all fat and shiny and setting up a kill plant?”
# # #
Anne Novak, 415.531.8454 Anne@ProtectMustangs.org
Kerry Becklund, 510.502.1913 Kerry@ProtectMustangs.org
Photos, video and interviews available upon request
Links of interest:
BLM’s email revealing they are not counting the unbranded dead amongst the 37 dead mustangs at the Nevada facility http://protectmustangs.org/?p=4220
Wild-horse advocates: Rallies held in 50 states to drum up opposition to roundups, slaughter http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/80561cc4e8a64b43ae909f7d09a0473e/NV–Wild-Horses-Rallies
Animals Angels investigative report: http://www.animalsangels.org/the-issues/horse-slaughter/foia-requests/497-blm-nevada-mortality-records-a-nevada-rendering-animals-angels-foia-request-reveals-discrepancies.html
ProPublica: All the missing horses: What happened to the wild horses Tom Davis bought from the gov’t?http://www.propublica.org/article/missing-what-happened-to-wild-horses-tom-davis-bought-from-the-govt
Washington Post 4/30/13 USDA secretary says New Mexico horse slaughter plant expected to open soon http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/usda-secretary-says-new-mexico-horse-slaughter-plant-expected-to-open-soon/2013/04/30/95f16c7e-b1b1-11e2-9fb1-62de9581c946_story.html
Protect Mustangs’ Advisory Board member offers holistic management based on Reserve Design as opposed immunocontraceptives approved by the EPA as pesticides
April 15, 2013
Mr. James M Sparks, Billings Field Manager
BLM, Billings Field Office
5001 Southgate Drive
Billings, MT 59101-4669
Re: 4700 (MT010.JB): Scoping Notice for Increased Use of Fertility Control on Wild Horses within the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range
Dear Mr. Sparks and To Whom It May Concern:
Montana BLM has zeroed out six of its seven original wild horse Herd Areas. The only one that still has any wild horses left is the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Refuge, which was established prior to the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act (WFHBA). In fact, Montana BLM has decided to zero out 82% of the original legal acreages that should have been set aside “principally” for the wild horses in the wild. This is a greater percentage of zeroing out than any other Western state. New Mexico comes closest at 77%. Given this initial injustice, it would seem that in the remaining area still home to wild horses, they would be treated much more fairly and given the resources and the Appropriate Management Levels (AML) that would assure their long-term viability. But such has clearly not been the case in the Pryors, where the AML range of 90 to 120 falls far short of the 250 individuals that is recommended for long-term viability in the wild by the IUCN SSC Equid Specialist Group (1992).
So I take this opportunity to thank you for sending me this scoping notice. I have reviewed this and wish to oppose the intensified use of PZP on the Pryor Mountain wild horses. They have been assigned an AML that is non-viable; and the further tampering with and inhibition of their reproduction would make them even more non-viable, especially in view of their long-term future survival, as well as their ecological adaptation to the Pryor Mountain ecosystem.
As a wildlife ecologist who appreciates these animals for the returned North American natives they are, I am particularly concerned that BLM’s repeated semi-sterilization of mares (often resulting in permanent sterilization of the mares) will cause serious social disruption. The logic is this: those mares who fail to achieve pregnancy quickly become disaffected with their band stallions and go off with other stallions in their futile attempts to achieve pregnancy. Similarly the stallions become desperate in their repeated futile attempts to impregnate the mares. This leads to widespread discontent and disruption, both within and between the wild horse bands composing the Pryor Mountain – as any – herd. This results in the serious neglect by adults of their duties to educate the younger members of their bands who are not as inhibited in their breeding as before. These immature individuals attempt to breed prematurely when the social units are in disarray. If intact they would be learning the very important lessons for survival in the demanding Pryor Mountain ecosystem, with its harsh winters, etc. As the effect of PZP wanes and some mares come back into a fertile condition, many give birth out of the normal Spring and early Summer birthing season, even in the late Fall or Winter when cold and storms cause them to greatly suffer and even die, along with their offspring. This is totally opposite the true intent of the WFHBA!
The intensified PZP approach to reducing reproduction in the Pryor Mountain wild horse herd is not the correct policy to adopt. It does not adhere to the core intent of the WFHBA. It is a major step toward domesticating these wild horses and seriously compromises their true wildness and natural adaptiveness. What I am offering in place of this “quick fix drug” approach to preserving, protecting, and managing this cherished herd (and all herds should be cherished) is a major and widely employed branch of the science of wildlife conservation known as Reserve Design. If properly and conscientiously applied, this would: (a) obviate the need to drug the Pryor Mountain mustangs by creating a naturally self-stabilizing horse population that would truly become “an integral part of the natural system of public lands” (preamble of WFHBA); and (b) “achieve and maintain a thriving natural ecological balance on the public lands” and “at the minimum feasible level” of interference by man. Both of these mandates come directly from Section 3 a of the WFHBA and should be adhered to by authorities of the BLM and USFS, the two agencies charged with fulfilling the act.
To accomplish these goals, you should:
(1) Incorporate the Pryor Mountain’s natural barriers such as the steep cliffs along the eastern side of the refuge that lead down to the Bighorn River. These will limit the expansion of the herd. Where necessary they could be complemented by artificial semi-permeable barriers.
(2) Restore natural horse predators such as the puma and wolf whose effect upon the wild horses would accord with natural selection and produce a more fit and well-adapted population in the Pryor Mountains. It has been a mistake to have puma hunting season reopened in the Pryors, and this should be rescinded in collaboration with Montana’s wildlife department.
(3) Avail yourself of options provided by Section 4 and 6 of the WFHAB in order to secure truly long-term-viable habitat for a truly long-term-viable wild horse population that is not subject to inbreeding and decline. Section 4 allows private landowners whose properties lie adjacent to the Pryor Mountain wild horse refuge to maintain wild, free-roaming horses on their private lands or on land leased from the government provided they protect them from harassment and have not willfully removed or enticed them from public lands. This is an outstanding opportunity for the public to help in preserving and protecting the wild horse herds at healthy population levels, i.e. to complement federal Herd Areas (BLM) and Territories (USFS). Section 6 of the WFHBA authorizes cooperative agreement with landowners and state and local governments to better accomplish the goals of the WFHBA. This allows for providing complete and unimpeded habitat for long-term viable wild horse populations. BLM should invoke Section 6 to establish cooperative agreements with both the National Parks Service (USDI, same as BLM) re: McCullough Peak national monument (which I believe already has such an agreement) and Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, as well as the Custer National Forest (USDA) in order to expand available habitat for the Pryor mustangs. As concerns the Custer National Forest, the USFS officials should not be allowed to get away with the fence they have erected and that restricts the wild horses’ traditional access to summer grazing meadows. This is on the west side of East Pryor Mountain and consists of a two-mile long buck and pole fence. This area was occupied by the wild horses in 1971 and should be a recognized legal area for them, as was documented by Dr. Ron Hall who did his study of the Pryor Mountain wild horses. It is also a prime public viewing area with great scenic visits, as I recall from my visit there in June of 2003. By erecting this fence, Custer National Forest officials defied their mandate to protect and preserve wild horses under the WFHAB; this is subject of an ongoing legal suit. BLM officials must insist this fence be taken down!
(4) Once a complete viable habitat is secured with adequate forage, water, minerals, shelter, wintering and summering habitat components, etc., the Pryor Mountain wild horses should be allowed to fill their ecological niche here and to naturally self-stabilize. This they will do as ecological climax species, as species belonging to the mature ecological sere, if only given the time and the space and the requisite non-interference by man. Thus, the socially and ecologically disruptive roundups will come to a halt; and the wild horses will harmonize with all the unique and fascinating animal and plant community that is found here. Given the opportunity, the wild horses will enhance the Pryor Mountain ecosystem and people will come to appreciate the virtue of a wild-horse-containing ecosystem.
(5) Semi-permeable fences could be constructed along the refuge’s peripheries but only where necessary. Buffer zones around the Pryor Mountain wild horse refuge should be established in order to contain the wild horses and keep them out of harm’s way. Within this buffer zone, mild forms of adverse conditioning techniques could be employed to keep the horses within their refuge. Win-win cooperative agreements with local people whereby they benefit from the wild horses as through giving paid eco-tours, providing lodging and meals, participating in monitoring and protection of the horses, etc., should be stressed. These positive opportunities should be expanded in order to make Reserve Design a success.
I go into greater detail as to how Reserve Design can be successfully applied in my recently published book: The Wild Horse Conspiracy, where I also describe the Pryor Mountain situation. I hope that you can get a copy and read it with an open mind. Look under Reserve Design in the Index. Let me know if you want a copy.
Hoping you will give serious consideration to the points here raised. Anxiously awaiting your response.
Craig C. Downer
P.O. Box 456
Minden, NV 89423
Craig C. Downer is a wildlife ecologist (UCalifBerk, UNevReno, UKanLawr, UDurhamUK) who has extensively studies both the wild horses of the West and the endagered mountain tapirs of the northern Andes. He has given speeches and written many articles, including encyclopedic, and several books. His works are both popular and scientific, in English, Spanish and translated to German. Several of these concern wild horses, their ecological contribution, their North American evolutionary roots, their great natural and social value and their survival plight. Downer is an Advisory Board member for Protect Mustangs, a member of the World Conservation Union, Species Survival Commission, a Board member of The Cloud Foundation and has written the Action Plan for the mountain tapir (1997). Downer’s current book, “The Wild Horse Conspiracy” points directly to the root cause of the disappearance of America’s wild horses. The book is on sale at Amazon
Sign and share the petition here: http://www.change.org/petitions/defund-and-stop-the-wild-horse-burro-roundups
Wild horses are a native species to America. Rounding up federally protected wild horses and burros has been documented as cruel. Warehousing them for decades is fiscally irresponsible. Clearing mustangs and burros off public land–for industrialization, fracking, grazing and the water grab–goes against the 1971 Free Roaming Wild Horse and Burro Act put in place to protect the living legends of the American West.
We request you defund and stop the roundups immediately.
There is no accurate census and the Bureau of Land Management figures do not add up. We request an independent census because we are concerned there are less than 18,000 wild horses and burros in the 10 western states combined. More roundups will wipe them out.
Wild horses are not overpopulating despite spin from the forces that want to perform heinous sterilizations in the field. Humane fertility control can be looked at as an option after a census has been taken that proves overpopulation but now that’s premature.
Field observers have noticed a worrisome decline in wild horse and burro population since the BLM’s rampant roundups from 2009 to this day.
The Associated Press reports another 3,500 wild horses will be rounded uphttp://www.idahopress.com/news/state/feds-plan-roundup-for-wild-horses-burros/article_5f02fad7-d0c5-52d4-ae5f-5e1e8c9b0c20.html
Kindly allow native wild horses and the burros to reverse desertification, reduce the fuel for wildfires and create biodiversity on public land–while living with their families in freedom.