Wild horses impacted in BoLM’s landscape project (Carson district)

PM Photo WY © Stephaie Thomson

Please comment to help the wild horses stay on public land and stop the BoLM from using herbicides

From a BoLM press release:

Carson City, Nev. – The Bureau of Land Management (BoLM), Carson City District, Stillwater Field Office, has completed an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Cow Canyon, Clan Alpine, and Dixie Valley Allotments Landscape Project. The BoLM is also seeking public input under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act for the Project. This includes seeking information and identifying historic properties in our near the Project area. Public comments will be accepted through September 26, 2016.

The EA analyzes seven alternatives that include proposals for livestock grazing permit renewals, range improvements, wild horse management, community mineral material pit designation, invasive, nonnative and noxious weed treatments, interim visual resource management class establishment and adaptive management.  The alternatives include changes in season of use proposals, reductions in livestock numbers proposals, no grazing and the no action alternative (status quo).

The EA and associated documents are available on the Project webpage at: http://bit.ly/2blRZFp  during the 30-day comment period.  Please send written comments to Linda Appel, Project Lead at the address in the letterhead, via fax at (775) 885-6147 or via email to: blm_nv_ccdgrazingea@blm.gov. Comments should include “CCD Landscape Project EA” in the subject line. If you have any questions, please contact Linda Appel or Angelica Rose at 775-885-6000 or at the above address.  For input or questions regarding historic properties please contact Jason Wright at 775-885-6015 or the address in the letterhead above.



Madeleine Pickens’ Eco-RESORT?

By U.S. Government [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Cross-posted from the PPJG

September 12, 2012 by ppjg

Debbie Coffey     (c) Copyright 2012  All Rights Reserved

When you read Madeleine Pickens letter to friends and supporters yesterday (9/11/2012), did any of you catch the fact that she called her planned Mustang Monument a “Wild Horse Eco-resort?”  So when did this plan go from being a wild horse eco-sanctuary to an eco-resort?

(Not to even mention that the word “monument” can mean something erected as a memorial or as a marker at a grave or tombstone.)

Mrs. Pickens’ explains that her eco-resort plan will supposedly reduce the numbers of wild horses held in short term holding pens.  Let’s do the math.  If you take 900 horses out of short term holding to put in this eco-resort, but then you round up all of the horses off of the 3 HMAs, and they are then sent to short term holding, then haven’t you just added about the same amount of horses TO short term holding as you took out?  Maybe you’ve even added more.

Mrs. Pickens wants us to believe this eco-resort “serves the greater good for our wild horses.”  Let’s see, they’ve all had their “nuts” chopped off and will live with the same sex for the rest of their lives, without any children around them.   Is this good?  It’s certainly not natural.

In this letter Mrs. Pickens states “Already there are many people on both sides of this issue making assumptions and concluding the worst possible scenarios based on ‘proposed’ alternatives in the scoping documents.”  (Doesn’t this sound dismissive of REAL concerns?)  Well, yes, to some of us, removing horses from 3 Herd Management Areas and knowing that these 3 Herd Management Areas will then most likely be zeroed out and NOT Herd Management Areas anymore, and replaced with an eco-RESORT, is an assumption.  But we see a pattern to what the BLM is doing.  We can foresee that the BLM is removing ALL of the wild horses and slowly replacing them with non-reproducing herds.

Maybe the BLM and Mrs. Pickens would assume we wouldn’t think ahead and assume anything about Mrs. Pickens eco-resort plan and BLM’s other eco-sanctuary plans.  Maybe they, and the BLM, didn’t assume anyone would care enough to spend many hours poring over Dr. Gus Cothran’s genetic analysis reports (thank you Bonnie Kohleriter, who is almost blind by now because she prepared spreadsheets that will soon be available to the public) and realize that the herds that are left are either not viable or at risk of losing viability.  But we do.
We see what the BLM is doing.  When we look at the facts, we see that the worst case scenario IS happening.

Mrs. Pickens also claims “I will never accept any proposed plan that threatens the life of a wild horse. We will do everything we can to hold all the existing horses harmless”  But, the BLM’s eco-sanctuary plans DO threaten the lives of wild horses when they plan to remove more horses off of their federally  protected HMAs.   When the BLM removes horses from the HMAs, it DOES threaten the lives of horses during roundups and in holding facilities.  We see this in person with our own eyes at roundups and when we look at the BLM’s own facility reports.   Most importantly, the eco-sanctuaries could be on public lands that are NOT HMAs.   And they should be, so that other wild horses won’t have to be removed from HMAs.

Mrs. Pickens’ letter states: “If any horses are required to moved, they will have a permanent home at Mustang Monument.”  Really?  Even those wild horses that will be removed from the 3 HMAs after your eco-resort is up and running?  Will they also be left in their family bands?
Mrs. Pickens states “I hope you will continue to put your trust and faith in me and Saving Americas Mustangs to find the best way to do this… I pledge to do this in the most benign way possible, always bearing in mind that the ultimate goal is free-roaming wild horses but so many that will never have that experience again without the creation of Mustang Monument.”
This isn’t about putting trust and faith in you, it’s about holding the BLM accountable for the details and asking for their transparency.

It is NOT benign is that the public is not yet aware of all the details, which by BLM’s own admission are not even formulated yet.   This is like buying a car without taking a test drive.
Is Mrs. Pickens going to make the trust, which will detail what will happen to the eco-resort in the future, available to the public, so that we can read it?  Otherwise, this is asking you to go along with and support something you know little about.  Would you sign any legal document without reading it?

Mrs. Pickens says that the “Mustang Monument is going to seem like a “dream come true” to the wild horses who go there.   Will it be a dream come true when the remaining wild horses on these 3 HMAs are rounded up?  Or will it be the usual nightmare that roundups are, and be a part of a BLM plan to whitewash the fact that it’s removing all of the wild horses off of their HMAs.

Mrs. Pickens  states “we must work with the BLM to reach a conclusion that involves compromise.”  Why do we have to compromise?  This is all paid for with tax dollars (including BLM’s salaries, lest they forget), and we’ve already had to compromise way too much.

Madeleine Pickens states that “the ultimate goal is free-roaming wild horses” but the millions of dollars spent for this eco-resort would have gone a long way in legally stopping the BLM from removing the wild horses off of their HMAs.   Otherwise, this is just a shell game.

Link to the original article: http://ppjg.me/2012/09/12/madeleine-pickens-eco-resort/



Livestock’s Heavy Hooves Impair One-Third of BLM Rangelands

33 Million Acres of BLM Grazing Allotments Fail Basic Rangeland Health Standards

WASHINGTON – May 14 – A new federal assessment of rangelands in the West finds a disturbingly large portion fails to meet range health standards principally due to commercial livestock operations, according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).  In the last decade as more land has been assessed, estimates of damaged lands have doubled in the 13-state Western area where the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) conducts major livestock leasing.

The “Rangeland Inventory, Monitoring and Evaluation Report for Fiscal Year 2011” covers BLM allotments in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.  The report totals BLM acreage failing to meet rangeland health standards in measures such as water quality, watershed functionality and wildlife habitat:

  • Almost 40% of BLM allotments surveyed since 1998 have failed to meet the agency’s own required land health standards with impairment of more than 33 million acres, an area exceeding the State of Alabama in size, attributed to livestock grazing;
  • Overall, 30% of BLM’s allotment area surveyed to date suffers from significant livestock-induced damage, suggesting that once the remaining allotments have been surveyed, the total impaired area could well be larger than the entire State of Washington; and
  • While factors such as drought, fire, invasion by non-native plants, and sprawl are important, livestock grazing is identified by BLM experts as the primary cause (nearly 80%) of BLM lands not meeting health standards.

“Livestock’s huge toll inflicted on our public lands is a hidden subsidy which industry is never asked to repay,” stated PEER Advocacy Director Kirsten Stade, noting that the percentage of impairment in lands assessed remains fairly consistent over the past decade.  “The more we learn about actual conditions, the longer is the ecological casualty list.”

Last November, PEER filed a scientific integrity complaint that BLM had directed scientists to exclude livestock grazing as a factor in changing landscapes as part of a $40 million study, the biggest such effort ever undertaken by BLM.  The complaint was referred to a newly appointed Scientific Integrity Officer for BLM but there are no reports of progress in the agency’s self-investigation in the ensuing months.

At the same time, BLM range evaluations, such as this latest one, use ambiguous categories that mask actual conditions, employing vague terms such as “making significant progress” and “appropriate action has been taken to ensure significant progress” that obscure damage estimates and inflate the perception of restoration progress.  For example, in 2001 nearly 60% of BLM lands (94 million acres, an area larger than Montana) consisted of grazing allotments that were supposed to be managed to “improve the current resource condition” – a number that has stayed unchanged for a decade.

“Commercial livestock operations are clearly a major force driving degradation of wild places, jeopardy to wildlife, major loss of water quality and growing desertification throughout the American West,” Stade added, while noting that BLM has historically been dominated by livestock interests.  “The BLM can no longer remain in denial on the declining health of our vast open range.”


Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) is a national alliance of local state and federal resource professionals. PEER’s environmental work is solely directed by the needs of its members. As a consequence, we have the distinct honor of serving resource professionals who daily cast profiles in courage in cubicles across the country.

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) Links:
Posted from the PEER press release