$11.5 million tax dollars are being given away to experiment on America’s last wild horses and burros based on a lie. The truth is free roaming wild horses are under-populated and there never has been an accurate headcount–only lies to get tax dollars from Congress.
The Care2.com petition to Take Collars off Wild Horses Now! hits close to 60,000 signatures and is going viral. This is what it says:
We request you immediately release federally protected Adobe Town Wild Horses from tracking collars! All collars can cause injury and death to wild horses.
As of March 30, 2017, at least 14 Adobe Town wild mares have been trapped, harassed and collared. There is a remote release feature that can free them in an instant. We request you push the button and end this harassment now!
In this video you can see how the wild mare is trapped and harassed as they put the collar on her–as part of an experiment. This sort of cruelty should never happen. The BLM wants to know their hiding places so they can shoot and kill them if they get permission later. The public is outraged!
Right now America’s free-roaming, federally protected wild horses are being abused and harassed in various sick and twisted experiments paid for with $11.5 million tax dollars. Read more about that here: http://protectmustangs.org/?p=10136 They should never be used as lab animals! Wild horses are supposed to be protected from harassment and abuse according to the law but that’s not happening. The public demands this cruelty stop!
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the University of Wyoming have forced collars on iconic wild horses from the Adobe Town herd to track their hiding places in the vast high desert. These collars are not only cruel, violate their right to freedom but they could cause death as they have in the past.
What happens if the wild mare gets caught on something? What happens when she fattens up after winter and the collar is too tight? Will the collar kill her?
There is no evidence of overpopulation according to the National Academy of Sciences, therefore population control with dangerous Pesticide PZP (http://protectmustangs.org/?page_id=6922), sterilizations and this tracking device to help hunt wild horses down in future roundups have no merit. It’s harassment, animal cruelty and a waste of tax dollars.
We want federally protected wild horses to be protected–so quickly release the collars to stop the harassment and cruelty now!
When I first heard about wild horses in the Pryor Mountains being brutally rounded up in 2009, Nevada was home to 80% of America’s federally protected wild horses. Wyoming was the next state who had the most wild horses and California only had a few herds left.
Today Nevada has only about 50% of America’s wild horses and I believe California now has the second largest population. In Wyoming, the feds are proposing to remove another 1,029 wild horses. One of their former congresswomen even wanted to kill them!
The Department of Interior is giving away grants for university students in Wyoming to cruelly collar mares from the Adobe Town herd. They want to find out where they hide in the desert. Then the agency in charge of protecting them can find them and wipe out the ancient Adobe Town mustangs too.
Invasive cruelty against America’s wild horses must stop. The law states they are to be left alone and not be abused. How dare they collar wild horses! This harassment will cause deaths and these deaths will be hidden. . . Hidden like the others.
The deception continues. People who once spoke out against mustang cruelty back in 2009 are now mute because they are playing a political game to get what they want. I’m disgusted and will never sell out. Never.
In 8 years of roundups, experiments, removals, pesticides for “birth control”, 3-Strikes to sell truckloads for slaughter and taxpayer-funded propaganda campaigns, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has decimated America’s wild herds on public land. Now wild horses are in danger of dying out because they lack genetic diversity, population and strength. Natural selection is being ruined by the “one foal” on the range breeding programs run by Pesticide PZP darters in partnership with BLM. Remember Pesticide PZP sterilizes wild horses after multiple use. Yes sterilizes. The public is fooled by those trusted to manage the last American wild horses and their nonprofit partners peddling for donations to “help” them.
Overpopulation is a lie. Population control is based on a false premise that wild horses are “pests”. Follow the money behind population control experiments and the donation cash cow for the nonprofit who claims they solved the wild horse “problem”.
Know the truth: Wild horses are native wildlife, period. Cattle and sheep are not.
Right now we are witnessing a wild horse and burro underpopulation crisis in the West. This is our last chance to help America’s wild horses and burros survive the ugly greed wiping out our herds. It’s time to expose the overpopulation lies. It’s time to expose all the trucks sneaking wild stallions to slaughter over the borders. . . expose the lies that there are “too many” wild horses on public land. Count them.
The truth must be exposed by your elected officials now before it’s too late.
America won’t be the same without our iconic wild symbols of liberty running freely on public land . . . The wild herds are to be protected by the law–but because of the greed for resources (oil, gas, livestock grazing, etc.) the law is being twisted, lies are spread in the media and spoon-fed to your elected officials acting on your behalf.
It’s time to know how many wild horses and burros are really left so we can all stand up to protect them.
Prayers and miracles are needed right now. Please contact me if you can help with a lawsuit to save America’s last wild horses and burros.
Tuesday the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled against the state of Wyoming pushing for more roundups.
“The Interior Department and the BLM responded that they don’t have a mandatory duty to remove wild horses from herd management areas. The district court issued an order dismissing the case, and the state filed an appeal with the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
“The state’s arguments, however are contrary to the plain language,” of the law, according to the opinion issued Tuesday by a three-member panel of the appeals court.
The Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 directs the BLM to maintain an inventory of wild free-roaming horses and burros on public lands, saying the inventory’s purpose is in part to determine whether an overpopulation exists and whether action should be taken to remove excess animals, the opinion said.
The second statutory requirement hasn’t been met, the opinion said, because “the BLM has not determined that action is necessary to remove the excess animals …. the BLM is under no statutory duty to remove animals from the seven HMAs at issue.”
Protect Mustangs intervened in the Bureau of Land Management’s law suit to stop the Checkerboard Roundup. We are so grateful for the outcome in the Court of Appeals.
Protect Mustangs is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of native and wild horses. www.ProtectMustangs.org
This letter responds to your request for substantive comments and informed analysis that BoLM Rock Springs Field Office (RSFO) should consider regarding the subject EA.I submit my comments as an interested party in behalf of the wild horses of the Adobe Town (AT), Great Divide Basin (GDB), and Salt Wells Creek (SWC) Herd Management Areas (HMAs) who are deemed to have roamed into the “checkerboard lands” — those where Federal and private property sections alternate in a checkerboard-like pattern — in numbers that exceed the arbitrary levels established by the Consent Decree.Please note that in all instances where text has been emphasized, either through bold and/or italics, the emphasis was added by me.
For ease of reference, here are the links to the Dear Reader letter and to the Webpage where the EA is posted:
BoLM unwisely and unethically committed itself to reducing wild-horse numbers at harshly-low levels in the Checkerboard sections of three HMAs at issue.Per the Consent Decree, once it was determined — or projected — that more than 100 wild horses were present (or might be) at some point in time in GDB, and/or that more than a combined total of 200 wild horses were (or might be) present at some point in time in AT and SWC, then RSFO would have them all removed.
Here are the number of horses that, BLM alleges that, per April 2016 surveys, were present in the checkerboard area of the following herd management areas (HMAs):
25 Adobe Town
272 Great Divide Basin
187 Salt Wells Creek
RSFO proposes to remove not just the 484, but an additional 16, for an even 500.RSFO acknowledges that it would not be removing “excess” wild horses.RSFO further admits that the proposed removals would drop the population below the low-bound of the established arbitrary management level (AML).
Wild Horses Roam — Their Presence Is Fleeting, Their Numbers Are Fluid
Just because RSFO’s survey allegedly counted 484 wild horses in the Checkerboard does not mean that 484 are still there or were there the day after the census was conducted.Wild horses are constantly on the move.Just because they visit an area on certain days does not make them permanent residents.
Public Lands Commandeered by Private Interests
The Checkerboard area encompasses 2,427,220 acres, or 3,793 square miles.Public lands total 1,695,517 acres — 2,649 square miles — and privately-held lands total 731,703 acres –1,143 square miles.Thus, public lands constitute 70%, and private lands comprise 30%, of the Checkerboard.
Per the EA, the Rock Springs Grazing Association (RSGA) owns or “controls” the “majority” of the 30% of the privately-held Checkerboard area.The EA does not reveal how significant that majority is, but it would have to be 51% or more, by definition, to be a majority.If it were a “great” majority, then surely that point would have been made.Thus, the conservative inference would be around 51%.But to make the computations easier, and to give the benefit to the doubt, 60% will be used.
So, 60% x 30% = 18%.What results is a minor percentage of private-profiteers calling the shots for how public lands are managed.Unacceptable.
Wild-Horse Population-Density — Even If All 484 Were Only on Private Land
Let’s assume for the moment that 484 wild horses have established permanent residence in the 731,703 acres — 1,143 square miles — of privately-held checkerboard land.The resultant population-density would be:
1 wild horse per 1,512 acres = 1 wild horse per 2.4 square miles.
Public Corruption — Appearance of
According to the Website of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, the Rock Springs Field Manager has stated publicly:
“For all intents and purposes, we consider all of the checkerboard private.”
If this direct quotation is accurate, then the Field Manager appears to be encouraging the private takeover of public lands.No wonder the Bundy brothers and company felt emboldened by such BoLM “dog whistles” to seize control of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge.Announcements like that suggest public corruption — abuse of public office to benefit private interests.
FRAUDULENT POPULATION ESTIMATES
Birth Rate versus Herd-Growth Rate
Before we examine BLM’s reported herd-growth rates of these HMAs, it is important to understand the difference between the birth rate and the herd-growth rate.The birth-rate is not the same as — and should not be equated to — the population growth-rate.BLM claims an average birth rate of about 20% a year in wild-horse herds.But the herd growth rate is unlikely to be that high.Here’s why: Horses and burros die.
An independent study (Gregg, LeBlanc, and Johnston, 2014) reviewed BLM roundup-records for a representative sample of four herd management areas and a robust sample-size of 5,859 wild horses.While the researchers found an overall birth rateof just under 20 percent, they also found that half of foals perish in their first year of life.Thus, the effective foal-to-yearling survival rate is just 10 percent.It is wrong for RSFO to use 20% as the growth rates.It may be administratively convenient to equate the birth rate to the growth rate, but it is not valid.
Adult Wild-Horse-and-Burro Mortality Rates Must Be Factored
But it is not only foals that die.Adult wild horses also perish.They succumb to illness, injury, and predation.The adult death rate must be taken into consideration.Adult mortality is at least as high as the 5% a year for horses that die in short-term holding, where they are fed, watered, and provided care.
Given the 50% foal mortality-rate, and the 5%-or-higher average annual death rate of adult wild horses on the range, herd growth could not increase 20% a year, and a herd-population could not double in 4 years — refuting yet another BLM myth.But BLM ignores mortality — foal and adult — in its population-estimates, a practice which exaggerates the numbers it posts.
The Herd-Growth Rate Must Necessarily Be Lower Than the Birth Rate
In light of the high foal-mortality rate and the expected adult wild-horse mortality rate, the herd-growth rate must always be lower than the birth rate.When BLM reports alleged herd-growth rates many times higher than 20% (horses) — that would necessarily mean birth rates substantially higher still.Such implausible rates are routinely found in BLM’s population data, including the year-to-year figures for the subject HMAs.Stealthily inserting bogus birth-rates into the data, wrongly conflating birth-rates with population growth-rates, and failing to factor in mortality-rates — those are just some of the ways BLM creates the false impression of a population-explosion.
Stochastic Events Also Reduce Herd Growth
BLM also fails to consider another factor limiting herd growth — stochastic events — which are random catastrophes such as wildfires or contagious diseases or pesticide treatments that suddenly wipe out mass-numbers of herd-members.Stochastic events can result in no-growth or even negative growth.
There was such an event recently in Kazakhstan, where 120,000 endangered Saiga antelope — half the world’s population — died off suddenly and inexplicably.
Imagine if such a catastrophe were to befall the subject herds.Note that the Saiga deaths involved antelope-mothers and their calves.What if these HMAs’ mares and their foals perished all of a sudden, leaving mainly stallions and sterile elderly mares?BLM must proactively manage the herds per IUCN guidelines, if only in case of stochastic events.
Maximum AML Set Below Minimum Viable Population
But “cooking the books” is not the only way BLM falsifies the population-picture.Another ruse BLM employs is restricting maximum herd-size below minimum-viable population (MVP) size.Then, whenever a herd is made to appear — via fictitious figures — to exceed the arbitrary management level, BLM screams “excess!” and declares an immediate need for mass-removals and sterilizations.It should be noted that more than 70 percent of the herds are “managed” below MVP, including the subject HMAs.What is the MVP?According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature: 2500 per equid species, which could easily be accommodated by the acreage composing each of the subject HMAs.
Fraudulent Population Figures
BLM-RSFO’s data reports that the herds-in-question grew at biologically-impossible reproduction-rates.Further, BLM-RSFO asserts that 484 of these imaginary horses were spotted in the checkerboard, thereby triggering their removal.
Name of HMA Population Population Percent
National OfcNational OfcIncrease
March 2015 March 2016
Adobe Town602 1,030 71.0%
Great Divide Basin199 670 236.7%
Salt Wells Creek117 728 522.2%
BLM’s population-growth figures are fraudulent.They are biologically impossible.Even if the “data” represented only the birth rates, they would be as much as 100 times the normal birth rate.Moreover, the bogus birth rates have been conflated with herd-growth rates.Themortality rateswere not factored.Consider how such errors will compound and magnify over time.
In light of these fictitious figures, no action is the appropriate alternative.BoLM-RSFO should be subjected to a forensic audit to determine who is behind the phony data.Those staffers must be held accountable.
But Is There a Mandate to Practice Scientific Integrity?
Yes.The Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Code of Scientific and Scholarly Conduct applies to all staff members as well as to contractors, partners, permittees, and volunteers.The Code states: “Scholarly information considered in Departmental decision making must be robust, of the highest quality, and the result of as rigorous scientific and scholarly processes as can be achieved.Most importantly, it must be trustworthy.”
BLM-RSFO’s wild-horse population estimates are without merit.
Societal Impact of Inflated Population-Data
The population-estimates for the subject HMAs are flawed, exaggerated.The political fallout of this error has been to keep the public — particularly state and local elected officials and permittees — in an uproar over a false “overpopulation” that BLM’s faulty figures portray.BLM needs to correct these errors and, more importantly, acknowledge them to the public.You must stop this phony-story-gone-viralof a wild-horse population-explosion.
Fraudulent Data Emboldens Scofflaw Ranchers, Costs Wild Horses Their Freedom
In many allotments throughout the West, permit-holders have refused to recognize BLM’s rules regarding season-of-use.The notorious Cliven Bundy and permittees Kevin Borba and Dan Filippini blatantly defied BLM’s authority; yet they were pacified with non-enforcement and concessions.BLM enables and rewards such bad behavior by caving in to it.Meanwhile, poor LaVoy Finnicum lost his life because, per precedent BLM stand-downs, he concluded that BLM and FBI would not enforce the law.
There are likely permittees in Wyoming emulating Bundy, Borba, and Filippini.Certainly RSGA has no respect for the Act that was meant to protect America’s mustangs.Wild horses must not lose their freedom merely so that BLM can placate greedy and rebellious elements in the human population.If you “come clean” and admit your errors, it will tend to deflate the “head-of-steam” that elected officials and ranchers are building due to the false appearance created by fictitious herd-growth figures.
Voluntary Non-Use of AUMs Reflects Lowered Demand for Beef
BLM and its permit-holders protest that a lot of the livestock AUMs are in non-use, sometimes mandatorily, other times voluntarily.They complain loudly, pointing to the seeming excess of wild horses — an illusion caused by BLM’s phony figures.
Bloomberg News published an article recently concerning the state of the beef market.In the US, consumer-demand for beef is down to levels not seen in 40 years.The US cattle-herd population is at a 60-year low and is expected to drop further.The article explored why this situation exists.
Bloomberg noted that beef is a premium product, with a significantly higher price-point.US consumers are turning to lower-cost meats, such as pork and chicken.Further, the strength of the dollar makes US beef exports less competitive in the global marketplace.Thus, it does not make economic sense for a rancher to produce more beef, given current conditions.So, reduced demand and lowered cattle-population are important reasons why AUM-usage is down.It has nothing to do with wild horses.
BLM also argues that actual livestock use is lower than authorized or permitted use.But because actual use is whatever the permit-holders report on Form 4130-5, and because BLM essentially takes the permit-holders’ at their word and bills accordingly … eventually … after-the-fact … maybe … or maybe not — see Bundy, Cliven — the actual-use number is unverified and likely grossly under-reported.
Actual Grazing Use Report — Form 4130-5
As alluded to above, permittees are required to submit an annual report of how many livestock they put out on their respective allotments and for how long.Form 4130-5 “Annual Grazing Use Report” is used for this purpose.It’s a one-page document that BLM estimates to take 15 minutes to complete “… including the time for reviewing instructions, gathering and maintaining data, and completing and reviewing the form.”
Form 4130-5 is the basis on which BLM bills the permit-holders.It is also the basis for the claim of reduced-use.Thus, grazing-use is a self-reporting, self-certifying system that is rarely verified.The ease with which permittees could game the system is obvious.Consequently, the veracity of the reports is suspect.
USDA Reports Beef-Cattle Now Weigh More — AUM Calculations Need to Be Reformed
The same Bloomberg article noted that the average weight of a beef-cattle animal has increased to 1,385 pounds, up 32 pounds from just the previous year.Please note that the AUM was originally set per a weight of 1,000 pounds.But, in the meantime, what the industry refers to as “genetics” — technologically-advanced selective breeding — has increased average weight by 38½ percent, with better-than two percent of that increase coming in the past year alone.BLM needs to charge more AUMs for cattle — as well as charge more per AUM — in accordance with true market-rates.
On the other hand, the AUM for a horse presumes a 1,000-pound saddle horse.But mustangs tend to be smaller and lighter, weighing 700 to 800 pounds.Moreover, in contrast to cattle, wild horses are “easy-keepers” that thrive on poor-quality forage.
BLM needs to revisit and reform how it assesses forage-usage for cattle versus wild horses.Cattle need an AUM surcharge; wild horses need an AUM discount that reflects the less-than-one AUM per horse, giving BLM the flexibility to place more wild horses on the range.
HELICOPTERS — Inappropriate for Counting Wild Horses
Aerial Inventories Produce Gross Over-Counts
BLM likes to attribute impossibly-high estimates to “improved inventory methods.”But as has been pointed out to BLM previously, the “mark-resight” and the “simultaneous double-count” methods, conducted by helicopter, overcount the population.Indeed, as the report by the specialty-contractor who conducted the Red Desert Complex (also in Wyoming) census emphasized, there are assumptions and caveats that must be considered when evaluating the numbers, including the potential for having double-counted due to “horse activity (moving).”The method itself exaggerates the numbers.See pdf-pages 84-87 at the link below.
I note that the 2015 Checkerboard Census Report also mentioned that assumptions had been used but contended that an under-count was likely.That assumption is not only incorrect but opposite to the facts.When more horses are “seen” than could possibly exist, the method is faulty and likely fraudulent, given the “cooperation” of RGSA.Finally, I note the absence of photographs.
Both the Roundup-Contractor and BoLM Are Looking to “Make Their Numbers”
A glance at the map of the HMAs in question reveals that they are contiguous, and public lands are interspersed with private lands.How easy it would be for a profit-motivated helicopter-pilot to “poach” wild horses from strictly public lands by driving them into the target-area.What would stop the helicopter-pilot from capturing wild horses that never set hoof outside outside their rightful HMA?
In its response to this topic, which was raised during scoping, BoLM said that it would monitor the helicopter’s flight-path to keep this from happening.But BoLM’s purpose in conducting equid cleansing is to please the permittees.BoLM has committed to removing 500 wild horses to comply with the Consent Decree, and the roundup-contractor expects to earn the amount that corresponds to 500 captured wild horses.The helicopter-pilot is looking to “make his numbers” but so is BoLM.Thus, BoLM has a conflict of interest in needing the contractor to remove any 500 horses that he can find.The wild horses are fungible — one is as good as another — to make the pilot his money and to enable BoLM to fulfill its agreement with the arbitrary Consent Decree.Consequently, wild horses would lose their freedom for the private profit of RSGA and the helicopter-contractor, and for the administrative convenience of BoLM.Unacceptable.
Dealing with Roving Equids
Horses will roam.It is their nature.It is management’s duty to keep them from places they should not be.Prevention is key.However, removing horses that have wandered into the checkerboard area just creates a vacuum for other horses to fill.Thus, removing them is an ineffective population-control strategy.The elimination of mustangs from an open, accessible habitat results in repeated colonization by more mustangs.The process begins almost immediately, as horses roam into the area and see that it is attractive and vacant.Thus, removal is not a true solution — it just perpetuates the situation and leads to the elimination of more mustangs than necessary.Moreover, the wanderers may be only temporary visitors or refugees, not permanent residents.Worse yet, they may have been driven into the checkerboard by the helicopter.RSFO acknowledges as much in the EA, but still pursues the removal-without-return alternative.
Recommendations:In legitimate instances of straying, RSFO should first encourage the wild horses to return to their proper place, then address those factors that caused the animals to leave home.Would palatable plantings draw the wild horses to the areas RSFO wants them to use?What about siting mineral licks deep inside the HMAs, away from the Checkerboard?Have guzzlers been installed to provide water sources deep within the boundaries?Aversive conditioning could also be employed to shoo the wild horses into the solid-block public lands.Certainly, positive reinforcement coupled with aversive conditioning would be an effective and cost-effective solution.RSFO should specify preventive and reactive measures in this regard as part of its management approach.Return outsiders to the solid-block public-lands areas of the HMAs, reward that return (hay, mineral-licks, guzzlers), and encourage their “retreat” from the Checkerboard (aversive techniques).
As cited in my scoping comments but reiterated here out of concern for staff-wellbeing, the American public considers travel-by-air to be safe, even routine.Crashes are rare, and fatalities, few.Thus, it is easy to assume that all flight is safe, which is not the case.
Helicopters are notorious for crashing.Please compare and contrast Wyoming’s aviation crash-records of scheduled air carriers versus helicopters during the 10-year period from January 1, 2006 to December 31, 2015 — per the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB):
Scheduled Air Carriers (“Part 121”)
1— Accidents (minor events excluded)
0— Accidents that resulted in fatalities
13— Accidents (minor events excluded)
1— Accident that resulted in a fatality
1— Number of persons that died in that accident
In Wyoming, for the period in question, there has been 1 accident involving a scheduled air carrier.Nobody died.Helicopters, in contrast, have had 13 accidents — 13 times more — including 1 thatinvolved a fatality.At the link below, you can replicate the searches to verify these data.
Helicopter Census Method Puts BLM Personnel at Risk
BLM’s environmental assessments often allude to the use of “multiple experienced observers” (presumedly BLM staffers) to count and photograph wild horses — or what they think are wild horses — while being flown in grid patterns over the range.
Given the crash-proneness of helicopters, BoLM could face a tragedy — with the loss of key personnel, friends, and colleagues in an accident.Counting wild horses does not justify this risky method.
HELICOPTERS — Dangerous to Horses
Inhumane Roundup Method
BoLM’s use of helicopters to round up the wild horses is inhumane.The horses are terrified by the thunderous, high-intensity noise as they are pursued by the low-flying helicopter.They are blasted with sand, dirt, and gravel from the rotor wash.Panicked by the chaos, they stampede, injure themselves, and become separated from their babies and bandmates.Mares miscarry.Foals become orphans.Many horses die from stress, even more have to be euthanized.Helicopter-style roundups are abusive, especially to foals, older horses, and pregnant mares.This is unacceptable.
Recommendations:Helicopter-style roundups must be abolished.Roundups in extreme temperatures — either the summer heat or the winter cold — must end.Stampeding horses for countless miles — causing them to lather with sweat and then bringing them to an abrupt halt — must be prohibited.Forcing the horses to run long distances over rough terrain, thereby wrecking the delicate hooves of the newborns and resulting in lameness and even death — must never happen again.
BoLM should institute the kind approach to gathering wild horses.Roundups should be done slowly, quietly, and gently using the bait-and-water trapping approach.This method also tends to preserve family unity, which is essential to wild-horse social structure.
Abusive Behavior by Helicopter Pilots during Gathers
As has been documented on video, helicopter-pilots conducting roundups become frustrated by horses’ lack of cooperation.Impatient to get the animals moving faster, the pilots ram the horses with the aircrafts’ landing skids, in some cases even flipping the creatures into a somersault.There is video documentation of such abuses, and a court found that they had indeed occurred.Worse yet, much of the abuse goes undetected because the roundup-pilot generally flies solo.
There has also been documentation of contractor-wranglers whipping horses in the face, kicking them in the head, dragging them by the neck with ropes, using electric prods on them.
No Horse Left Behind
Helicopter-contractors are incentivized to leave no horse ungathered.In addition to the flat fee-for-service, they earn a per-horse-fee.Thus, they have reason to go after every last horse in order to “make their numbers.”Indeed, during the November 2012 Wassuk (NV) HMA roundup, we saw how determined the contractors were to get their per-horse payment.We also observed how the attending USDA veterinarian and the BoLM officials present did nothing to stop the abuse.What’s more, this cruelty took place in plain view of observers holding video cameras.Imagine what went on out of sight and off camera.
HELICOPTERS — Dangerous to the Environment
Possibility of a Post-Crash Fire’s Leading to a Wildfire
The crash of a roundup-helicopter could result in a fuel-spill.Especially in these times of drought, when there is an abundance of dry brush, a wildfire could be sparked.Thus, even the environment is at risk from the use of helicopters to round up wild horses.It bears repeating that, because herd management areas are typically in remote locations, it would be difficult to put out a post-crash fire and keep it from getting out of control.
1.RSFO should repudiate the arbitrary and corrupt Consent Decree.
2.RSFO’s Field Manager should stop making seditious announcements, leading rogue ranchers to believe that public lands are private and emboldening them to break the law, putting public safety at risk.
3.RSFO should select either Alternative A — No Action, or Alternative C — Removal-and-Return.
6880 SW 27th ST
Miami, FL 33155-2916
§ 1334. Private maintenance; numerical approximation; strays on private lands; removal; destruction by agents THE WILD FREE-ROAMING HORSES AND BURROS ACT OF 1971 (PUBLIC LAW 92-195) Retrieved from
18 U.S. Code § 2383 – Rebellion or insurrection.Cornell University Law School.Retrieved from https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2383
18 U.S. Code § 2384 – Seditious conspiracy.Cornell University Law School.Retrieved from https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2384
American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign.(2016, August-September)BLM Wyoming Wild Horse Wipeout Continues – Action Needed Today!Retrieved from http://act.wildhorsepreservation.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=23543
Public corruption.Definition.Cornell University Law School.Retrieved from https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/public_corruption
Romboy, Dennis.(2015, December 18)“Judge sentences San Juan Commissioner Phil Lyman to 10 days in jail, 3 years of probation.”Deseret News.Deseret Digital Media.Retrieved from http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865643995/Judge-sentences-San-Juan-Commissioner-Phil-Lyman-to-10-days-jail-3-years-of-probation.html?pg=all
Protect Mustangs is a 501c3 nonprofit organization who protects and preserves native and wild horses.
The Bureau of Land Management (BoLM) is providing shade for the captive wild horses up for adoption at the Wyoming State Fair this weekend.
It’s time for the Wild Horse and Burro Program to follow their own example.
We would like to see the federal agency, who rakes in more than $4 billion a year in receipts, provide shade and shelter for all the captive wild horses in holding facilities. More than 43,500 people have signed our petition for shade and shelter (http://chn.ge/1DriOvN).
On June 9, 2013 Nevada State Senator Mark Manendo and Anne Novak, Executive Director of Protect Mustangs officially requested shade for the wild horses and burros at Palomino Valley Center, near Reno and elsewhere to ensure the welfare of these treasured equids. Their request for shade was refused and the sprinkler mitigation offered was unsuccessful because shelter is needed.
Now it is the summer of 2016 and due to public pressure some facilities are taking baby steps and some are conducting trials but it’s not enough. America’s captive icons of freedom deserve shade now!
The BoLM partnered with UC Davis for an expensive shade study that determined wild horses don’t need shade when they are in the corrals. It’s obvious they like having access to shade and use it as seen in the photo taken at Palomino Valley Center last week. The BoLM continues to conduct various shade trials while the years fly by and the wild ones suffer. Please sign and share the petition (http://chn.ge/1DriOvN) to get the BoLM to stop dragging their feet and do the right thing before more wild horses die.
Send this blog post to your congressional representative and two senators so they can get this done for the captives in the pens with no voice.
Protect Mustangs is a nonprofit organization who protects and preserves native and wild horses.
WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Department of Energy (DOE) and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) released in May a study that provides a foundation for upcoming regional reviews of energy corridors on western public lands to assess the need for revisions and provide greater public input regarding areas that may be well suited for transmission siting. The regional reviews will begin with priority corridors in southern California, southern Nevada and western Arizona, and provide more opportunities for collaboration with the public and Federal, Tribal, state and local governmental stakeholders.
The study examines whether the energy corridors established under Section 368(a) of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 are achieving their purpose to promote environmentally responsible corridor-siting decisions and to reduce the proliferation of dispersed rights-of-way crossing Federal lands. With the aim of encouraging more efficient and effective use of the corridors, the study establishes baseline data and presents opportunities and challenges for further consideration during the periodic regional reviews that BLM and USFS will conduct.
The corridors address a national concern by fostering long-term, systematic planning for energy transport development in the West; providing industry with a coordinated and consistent interagency permitting process; and establishing practicable measures to avoid or minimize environmental harm from future development within the corridors. Section 368(a) directed several federal agencies to designate corridors on federal lands in the 11 contiguous western states to provide linear pathways for siting oil, gas and hydrogen pipelines and high voltage transmission and distribution facilities. The contiguous states are Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
The BLM, USFS, and DOE, among others, undertook an unprecedented landscape scale effort, including a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement, starting in 2006 and completed in 2009–when the onslaught of mega roundups and removals started–that designated nearly 6,000 miles of corridors, issuing two Records of Decisions and associated land use plan amendments
As required by a 2012 Settlement Agreement that resolved litigation about the corridors identified, the BLM, USFS and DOE established an interagency Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to explain how the agencies will review the Section 368 (a) corridors on a regional basis. The MOU, signed in June 2013, describes the interagency process for conducting the reviews, the types of information and data to be considered, and the process for incorporating resulting recommendations in BLM and USFS land use plans.
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 sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of AmericaÂ’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands. –BLM–
Read what the Pro-Slaughter advocates say about wild horses below. They are publishing this in pork industry publications!
Meat of the Matter: Wild and worrisome
By Dan Murphy
Time for a brief quiz.
Question 1): How many wild horses and burros are currently roaming across the Western rangelands?
Question 2: How many wild horse and burros are adopted by private citizens each year?
Question 3): Absent “control measures,” how long does it take for the population of wild horses and burros to double in numbers?
Answers: 1). 67,000. 2). 2,500. 3). Four years.
In other words, each year there are thousands more of these feral animals being added to what is already an overpopulation across the semi-arid rangelands of Nevada, California, Utah and several other Western states.
In fact, the Bureau of Land Management announced last week that as of this March, there an estimated 67,000 wild horses and burros in the West public rangelands, which is a 15% increase over the estimated 2015 population.
The updated data are more than twice the number of horses on the range than is recommended under BLM land-use plans. It is also two and a half times the number of horses and burros that were estimated to be in existence when the Wild and Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act was passed 45 years ago in 1971.
“Over the past seven years we have doubled the amount of funding used for managing our nation’s wild horses and burros,” Neil Kornze, BLM Director, said in a statement. “Despite this, major shifts in the adoption market and the absence of a long-term fertility control drug have driven population levels higher.”
The major shift to which Kornze referred is a dramatic decrease in adoptions of wild horses, due to economics and other factors — ie, the fact that the wild mustangs, in particular, don’t adapt well to life in a stable.
Here’s the problem: The lifetime cost of caring for an unadopted horse removed from the range approaches $50,000 per animal. With 46,000 horses and burros already residing in off-range corrals and pastures, this means that without some way to place these animals with willing owners, BLM will spend more than a billion dollars to care for and feed them over the rest of their lives.
And there are plenty more where the current ones came from.
As The New York Times phrased the situation in a lengthy article two years ago, “There are now twice as many wild horses in the West as federal land managers say the land can sustain. The program that manages them has broken down, and unchecked populations pose a threat to delicate public land, as well as the ranches that rely on it.”
And the situation has only worsened since then.
A question of numbers
Keep in mind that the population of wild horses and burros affects not just agency budgets and wildlife populations, but impacts a significant economic and cultural resource: the grasslands of the West. When deer populations exceed their rural habitats east of the Mississippi, there is property damage and traffic accidents for suburban and rural residents to contend with, but there is far less impact on agriculture.
Not so out West. There simply isn’t carrying capacity for ever-expanding herds of horse and burros, while at the same time maintaining the grazing rights of ranchers and conserving the limited supply of grassland and water resources.
BLM officials are trying to address the challenge on a number of fronts, including:
Sponsoring research on fertility control, which to date is neither effective nor inexpensive
Transitioning horses from off-range corrals to lower cost pastures, which at best may offer modest mitigation of the cost burden
Working to increase adoptions with new programs and partnerships, which won’t even get the populations stabilized at the levels of 10 or 15 years ago, when horse adoptions were far more popular
None of those measures — even in combination — will be enough, however, and so the agency announced in a statement that it would request two new pieces of legislation: One to permit the transfer of horses to other agencies that have a need for work animals; and another that would create a congressionally chartered foundation to help fund and support adoption efforts.
Unfortunately, all the money in the world can’t turn adoption in to a sustainable solution. Wild mustangs and feral burros make lousy pets and equally undesirable work animals. It’s one thing to “domesticate” bison, another “wild” species dependent on rangelands. The time, trouble and expense of keeping them corralled represents an investment recouped by selling the meat and hides, whereas the only reason to keep horses around these days is to ride them, either for pleasure, for racing or for equestrian competition.
Most wild horses are highly unsuited to all of the above.
As is true with any invasive species, the spectrum of control measures starts out with the least intrusive, most humane interventions. But unless such a limited strategy actually works, efforts must be ramped up — all the way to forcible population control.
I’ve yet to hear from any activist with a better solution.
Or one with an extra billion they’d like to donate to the cause.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Dan Murphy, a veteran food-industry journalist and commentator. Cross-posted for education and discussion from PorkNetwork
Protect Mustangs is an organization who protects and preserves native and wild horses.
These elected officials call the wild mustangs just “horses” most of the time not “wild horses”. Obviously, this is a constructed subliminal move to wipe out the WILD ones that are to be protected since 1971. [Note: Be sure to always refer to mustangs as wild horses]
Members of Congress, elected by the public but who seem to serve special interests, seem to make false claims of: “overstocking” in HMAs, failure to “dispose” of horses and burros, significant ecological “damage” to riparian areas, “overgrazing” and “compromised water” resources, etc.
We know the public has been telling these elected officials the truth for years so why aren’t they listening? Are they getting paid off?
They also claim “adoptions have “fallen almost 70 percent” in the last 10 years. Is this true?
Is this why the BLM makes it so hard to adopt wild horses due to the worst customer service in America? Do they want the adoption program to fail so they can kill them all?
The BLM always wanted to “dispose” of our cherished wild horses & burros. Sterilization is the next best thing in their eyes. They NEVER wanted to use PZP. They label return-native wild horses as “INVASIVE SPECIES” aka PESTS as you see in their letter. Just like the PZP Pesticide applicant classified them in their 2012 PZP application.
The signers of the letter seem to falsely claim: “Improper management compromises equine health, habitat conservation efforts and allows for resource degradation and encroachment by invasive species that will affect wildlife, livestock producers and recreationalists for decades to come.”
What about the cattle and sheep at more than 100 head of livestock to 1 wild horse that is grazing on public land? Do they think the American public is so stupid to buy into the myth that range degradation is the fault of wild horses?
Contact your elected officials across America to let them know you want your voice in Congress to stand up for what’s right, stand up for the 1971 law, keep America’s wild horses federally protected and never give them to the states!
The letter to Neil Kornze, the Director of BLM, was signed by the following elected officials from the Republican Party:
Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.)
Mike Crapo (R-Idaho)
Steve Daines (R-Mont.)
Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.)
Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.)
Orrin Hatch (R-Utah)
Dean Heller (R-Nev.)
Mike Lee (R-Utah)
John McCain (R- Ariz.)
James Risch (R-Idaho)
Reps. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.)
Mark Amodei (R-Nev.)
Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah)
Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.)
Raul Labrador (R-Idaho)
Steve Pearce (R-N.M.)
Adrian Smith (R-Neb.)
Chris Stewart (R-Utah)
Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.)
Now in April 2016 Rep Chris Stewart’s plan has gained momentum as you see in the video below
Yesterday, February 24, 2016, I visited the valley where Protect Mustangs keeps its Wyoming 14 wild horses and was able to see them. They are in good condition and they are in a healthy natural area with an abundance of springs and grass.
They are being well cared for on a daily basis and all had full winter coats. They were not frightened of me which indicated that the people they are associating with are treating them well. The bright sheen of their coats indicates that their health is good, as does the fullness of their muscles. Their hooves are in good trim.
Quality grass hay is available to them, though most of the wild horses were eating the grass that is beginning to spring up at the end of the winter season. There is no swamp in the valley bottom, but only areas of seepage from the springs. As the grass grows higher there will be even more ample forage for them, both in the valley and in the hillside.
This area has several hundreds of acres and the horses are not over their carrying capacity here. The acreage is shared with cattle off and on.
After spring arrives much of the horse droppings will be more rapidly decomposed and reincorporated into the soils, thus reinvigorating them and reseeding many valuable plants for the various herbivores there. A rest rotation will occur to allow the valley plants to grow up to a healthy level during the spring.
The hillsides are composed of granite outcroppings and there is much decomposed granite that keeps the horses hooves in fine condition. The horses move around to a large degree and go up into the hills, which keeps their muscles as well as hooves in good shape.
The fences I saw were not hazardous and there was some profuse willow clumps, canyons and hollows where the horses could seek shelter during storms.
These are very fortunate wild horses and I was very pleased to see how they had restored their health since their initial rescue from the killer buyers by Protect Mustangs. I am attaching some pictures I took. These give a much more complete picture of the situation concerning these fortunate rescued horses.
From my knowledge of wild horses, I consider these to be the Indian Pony type (some had appaloosa traits) and well worthy of preserving as a reproducing lineage that could restore wild horses where they belong in many areas where they have been thoughtlessly eliminated.
I am alarmed by the mean-spirited and biased attacks on Anne Novak and Protect Mustangs and their laudable rescue of the Wyoming 14 wild horses. I note that these detractors seem determined to put a negative spin on this whole rescue operation. They take a few isolated snapshots and then spin their interpretation of these negatively. This is not objective science, but political dirty work and is obviously being motivated by a desire to destroy Protect Mustangs–perhaps associated with its valiant defense of the wild horses in the wild and maintaining their integrity.
Contact Anne Novak at 415-531-8454 or by email via Contact@ProtectMustangs.org if you would like to help create the Wild Horse Eco-Sanctuary for education and outreach close to San Francisco. This will be the permanent home for the WY14, Blondie, Tibet, Lennox, Amore, Sol & Val
Below are some photos of the group of wild horses known as the WY14–wild horses rescued back from the slaughterhouse in 2014 by Mark Boone Junior and Anne Novak.
WY14 grazing for the first time since the slaughter-bound roundup
Ghost Dancer arrives in California
Below are the Wild Horse Ambassadors who will have close contact with people at the Eco-Sanctuary
Amore was recently rescued front he Oklahoma kill pen. She was a riding horse.
Lennox was rescued from the Fort Mc Dermitt roundup and slaughter auction in Fallon, Nevada in 2013
Tibet and Blondie were both yearlings facing their 3rd Strike and were saved
March 4, 2013
March 3, 2013
Blondie & Brownie at BLM Litchfield corral with Sept. 2012
Val and Sol are from the Twin Peaks HMA and were saved as weanlings when BLM was selling truckloads of wild horses to kill buyers. Some scoundrels were collecting young ones to live ship for foal sashimi in Asia.
Protect Mustangs is a nonprofit organization who protects and preserves native and wild horses.