BLM Rescinds Permit for Deadly Wolf Derby

“Good news for the Wild Horses & Burros on two counts:

  1. Leaving predators on public lands may FINALLY allow mother nature to manage wildlife correctly as she has since the beginning of time.
  2. Hope that public pressure/opinion truly can have an impact on the BLM and the means in which they mismanage public lands…keep the faith!” ~ R.T.

Defenders of the predator’s introduction decry what they call Idaho’s “War on Wolves.”

TWIN FALLS • The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has withdrawn its permit to allow a wolf and coyote derby on public land near Salmon.

Seven groups had been suing to stop the derby planned by the hunter rights group Idaho for Wildlife to hold on public land in January.

The lawsuits and pile of public comments in opposition to the derby likely led to the BLM’s decision, Defenders of Wildlife spokesman Shawn Cantrell said Tuesday.

“I think one can infer some combination of those two led to the decision,” he said. “We’re obviously very pleased that they have.”

The BLM had approved the five-year permit a couple of weeks ago, saying no significant environmental impact from the derby was apparent.

Now the derby will be held on private land, as it was last year, said Idaho for Wildlife spokesman Steve Alde. The BLM permit would have roughly doubled the land available by providing access to federal land.

“The BLM at the D.C. level has become too politically influenced and motivated,” Alde said, as requiring an extensive environmental review “for only 100 to 150 hunters to cover over 3 million acres is absurd and ridiculous.”

The first derby in December 2013 drew about 100 hunters and negative media attention from outside Idaho. The news website Vice ran a lengthy article by someone who went undercover to participate.

Last year, 21 coyotes were killed but no wolves. The wolves were the focus, though, of derby supporters and opponents.

Wolves were largely eradicated decades ago, but they have been a controversial issue in Idaho and elsewhere in the West since their reintroduction in the 1990s, often pitting environmentalists against ranchers, hunters and others who didn’t want to see wolves return.

Defenders of the predator’s introduction decry what they call Idaho’s “War on Wolves.”

Wolf hunting started in Idaho in 2008. The political argument since has been how much hunting to allow and how much state money to spend controlling the wolf population.

The Republican-dominated Legislature, with Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter’s strong support, created a Wolf Depredation Control Board earlier this year to oversee the killing of problem wolves.

daho Democrats tend to favor killing fewer wolves and spending less money to do it. Environmental groups in Blaine County, one of Idaho’s few blue bastions, have been leading the way, working with local sheepherders on non-lethal wolf-control methods.

The green groups that were suing cheered the BLM’s decision, saying the derby undercut the wolf population’s recovery.

“The public spoke loud and clear against this wildlife killing competition, and we are glad to see senior officials at the Department of the Interior ultimately respond to the public’s opposition by directing that the permit be withdrawn,” said Suzanne Stone, of Defenders, in a news release. “By denying the permit, BLM is supporting sound wildlife management practices as opposed to endorsing archaic killing competitions on our public lands that Americans so clearly oppose.”

“We’re so glad that the deadly derby has been canceled this year,” said Amy Atwood, senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. “These sort of ruthless kill-fests have no place in this century. We intend to pursue every available remedy to stop these horrible contests.”

Alder said derby participants will have to sign a waiver saying any animals taken on public land won’t qualify for the derby. Idaho for Wildlife started the application process early, as BLM advised, he said.

He blamed the BLM’s D.C. office for revoking the permit and said his group will “push for more legislative oversight of this out-of-control agency that is now caving to the radical anti-hunters.”

Alder said the group again will offer two cash prizes. Excess money will be given to charities, including to support a rancher who, Alder wrote, lost most of his calves and 13 adult cows to wolves over the summer and may have to get a job at ShopKo to make ends meet.

The derby will be held Jan. 2 to 4.

Despite rumors, the Budweiser Clydesdales “will” appear in a Super Bowl commercial this year

Story By: as published in USA Today

“The story this morning may have left a wrong impression…”

screen-shot-2014-11-24-at-4-25-36-pmAfter a Monday morning story in the Wall Street Journal detailed a new marketing strategy for Budweiser that will focus more on “Jay Z and zombies” than the iconic American images normally associated with the brand, there was much worry that the company’s iconic Clydesdales would fade from the Super Bowl advertising landscape they’ve been a part of since 1986.

But fear not, lovers of the famed horses. Though a younger vibe will indeed be prominent in Anheuser-Busch advertisements in the future, the Clydesdales will continue to be featured in Super Bowl advertising in February.

“The story this morning may have left a wrong impression – the Budweiser Clydesdales will, in fact, be featured in next year’s Super Bowl advertising and are also a part of upcoming holiday responsible drinking advertising,” Anheuser-Busch said in a statement.

The company’s 2014 spot “Puppy Love,” embedded above, which featured a Clydesdale chasing after a departed canine friend, was the runaway winner of USA TODAY’s Super Bowl Ad Meter.

Another Clydesdale-inspired spot was named the winner in 2013.

Second Call for Nominations for BLM Wild Horse and Burro Special Interest Advisory Board

Forward by R.T. Fitch ~ president/co-founder Wild Horse Freedom Federation
Press Release – BLM.gov

“Well it appears that the BLM and Department of Interior just did not get enough horse slaughter, hunting and cattle proponents nominated to their horse hating advisory board so they are going out for a second round hoping for more horse eaters and sterilizers to come forward.  Last year, when they turned their back on Ginger Kathrens’ nomination, by a congressman no less, for the advocate position I lost all faith in anyone being able to make a difference on this board of wild horse and burro haters.  Several current members publicly and in print promote horse slaughter while others want to sterilize mares IN THE FIELD. 

The only ray of sunshine in this entire mess is that the BLM makes up their own rules as they go so they don’t even listen to the advice that their own special interest mouthpieces give…their program of managed extinction simply rolls on with a vengeance. 

Sadly, there may come a day when they won’t need the bunch of phonies anymore because there just simply won’t be any more wild horses and burros left to torture and maim.  Our public lands will be “multi-purposed” into oblivion and the sound of thundering hooves will be nothing more than a very distant and fond memory.  If we do not stop them and stop them soon, that picture will surely be painted.” ~ R.T.


Release Date: 11/18/14
Contacts: Tom Gorey, 202-912-7420

BLM Advisory BoardThe Bureau of Land Management today announced a second call for public nominations over a 30-day period to fill three positions on its national Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board.  To be considered for appointment, nominations must be submitted via email or fax by December 18, 2014, or postmarked by the same date. The BLM announced its second formal request for nominations in today’s Federal Register (November 18) at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-11-18/pdf/2014-27273.pdf.

Those who have already submitted a nomination in response to the first call for nominations (published in the Federal Register on August 29, 2014 (79 FR 51601)), do not need to resubmit.  All nominations from the first and second calls will be considered together during the review process.

Nominations are for a term of three years and are needed to represent the following categories of interest: wild horse and burro advocacy, veterinary medicine (equine science), and public interest (with special knowledge of protection of wild horses and burros, management of wildlife, animal husbandry, or natural resource management).

The Board advises the BLM, an agency of the Department of Interior, and the U.S. Forest Service, an agency of the Department of Agriculture, on the protection and management of wild free-roaming horses and burros on public lands administered by those agencies. The Board generally meets twice a year and the BLM Director may call additional meetings when necessary.  Members serve without salary, but are reimbursed for travel and per diem expenses according to government travel regulations.

The Advisory Board comprises nine members who represent a balance of interests. Each member has knowledge or special expertise that qualifies him or her to provide advice in one of the following categories: wild horse and burro advocacy; wild horse and burro research; veterinary medicine; natural resources management; humane advocacy; wildlife management; livestock management; public interest (with special knowledge of equine behavior); and public interest (with special knowledge of protection of wild horses and burros, management of wildlife, animal husbandry, or natural resource management).

Individuals shall qualify to serve on the Board because of their education, training, or experience that enables them to give informed and objective advice regarding the interest they represent. They should demonstrate experience or knowledge of the area of their expertise and a commitment to collaborate in seeking solutions to resource management issues.

Any individual or organization may nominate one or more persons to serve on the Advisory Board; individuals may also nominate themselves.  In accordance with Section 7 of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, Federal and state government employees are not eligible to serve on the Board.

For those interested, please submit a nomination letter and full resume. The following information must be provided: the position(s) for which the nominee wants to be considered; the nominee’s first, middle, and last name; business and home addresses and phone numbers: e-mail address; present occupation/title and employer; education (colleges, degrees, major field of study); career highlights; qualifications: relevant education, training, and experience; experience or knowledge of wild horse and burro management; experience or knowledge of horses or burros (equine health, training, and management); and experience in working with disparate groups to achieve collaborative solutions. Applicants must also indicate any BLM permits, leases, or licenses held by the nominee or his/her employer; indicate whether the nominee is a federally registered lobbyist; and explain why the nominee wants to serve on the Board. Also, at least one letter of reference from special interests or organizations the nominee may represent must be provided.

Nominations may be submitted by e-mail, fax, or regular mail. E-mail the nomination to stbohl@blm.gov.  To send by the U.S. Postal Service, mail to the National Wild Horse and Burro Program, Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, 1849 C Street, N.W., Room 2134 LM, Attn: Sarah Bohl WO-260, Washington, D.C. 20240.   To send by FedEx or UPS, please send to the National Wild Horse and Burro Program, Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, 20 M Street, S.E., Room 2134 LM, Attn: Sarah Bohl, Washington, D.C., 20003. Or fax to Ms. Bohl at 202-912-7182. For questions, please call Ms. Bohl at 202-912-7263.

How do Horses Show Affection?

Original Essay by Franklin Levinson

“It’s ‘Feel Good Sunday’ and there is nothing that warms the soul more than talking about a little ‘horse huggin’.  Keep the faith, my friends.” ~ R.T.


Pele, Harley and R.T.Horses are extremely affectionate. If you get a chance to see them in the wild they are mutually grooming each other, scratching each other, leaning gently into each other, sharing breath with each other (a very intimate activity done by putting their noses together and sharing the air). These are all manifestations of affection. Mares and their foals are always nuzzling each other and the babies are always rubbing up against their moms. Sometimes they hang their heads over each other’s necks and gently hug with their necks. When a horse gently brings his head even slightly in your direction, it is affection and acknowledgement (unless you are holding a treat in your hand or pocket, then it is probably about the treat). The low, soft ‘nickering’ sounds they make at each other are other ways they show affection. However, love is the great carrot and the great treat. Real, unconditional love is the best form of affection and the greatest gift we can bring to our horses.

On the human end this is usually what occurs: We unconsciously reach into the animals face and want to pet and touch his muzzle (nose). If I reached into someone’s face and petted their nose, it would be rude, thoughtless and disrespectful. We do it to horses all the time. We think because he brings his head to us curiously checking us out that it’s OK to pet his nose. Or if he is sniffing us to investigate and get to know us that they are all right with us touching their faces. They do not have arms and hands and do not touch each other in this manner and, additionally, what we are doing is uninvited. We are touching their faces for us not for them. Most of the time they try to move their heads away from the oncoming hand, but to no avail. They react to the intrusion by moving their heads sideways or up and down. But we do not notice this reaction. We want to pet that soft nose and what we want takes all our attention, not the horse’s reaction to what we are doing. This is unfair and disrespectful to the horse.

When we reach into a horse’s physical space, no matter what, we stop its affection coming back towards us. Horses focus on one thing at a time. They are consciously either giving or receiving input, but not both simultaneously. So if the horse is trying to show us affection (which they really want to do) and we take it as an opportunity to input (touch or pet) them, we immediately stop their attempts at being affectionate towards us. This creates lop sided relationships with humans and horses where the human is always inputting the horse with what they think is affection. The horse, meanwhile, never really gets a chance to show it’s affection to the human. Stand and receive the horse’s affection. Keep your hands and arms down. Let them nuzzle you and gently bring their heads to you. Be still and quiet with your mind and body if you want to join with them. Empathize with the feelings you get from the horse. They live empathetic lives and look for that in their companions. Certainly you can put your arms around your horse and hug him, scratch him or reassuringly stroke him. He will get that you mean to be affectionate. But wait and do it when invited by the horse’s demeanor and body language.

When a herd leader wants to allow affection from another horse, she turns sideways and seemingly ignores that horse (goes about her business of grazing). She allows the other horse to approach her and show acknowledgement and affection. It may not involve actual physical contact. But, rather feelings of acknowledgement and acceptance shared and demonstrated through body gestures, postures and mutual awareness (empathy).

I encourage humans to be more like horses and perhaps understand that less is more with horses. By that I mean we could try not to be so forward with horses. We could try to make our desires requests rather than demands. We can chose to lead like Gandhi; lovingly, firmly and quietly. We could abandon leadership like Mussolini, with his loud, controlling, fear based dictatorship. I can now understand the kind of humans who only want to be with horses. There is no self-serving ego to deal with, nor trickery or dishonesty with the horse. There is not much drama either. The horse is impeccable and that’s a fact. They are honest, no matter what. They have personalities and disorders like we do but not the ego.

When your loved ones are affectionate with you know how it feels. It’s the same with horses. Loving touches are noticeable and stand out more than casual physical acknowledgement like hand shakes and pats on the back. Tune in to how you feel when your horse is showing you attention. Receive the attention/affection and just say ?Good Boy?. There is no need for anything else. You will both understand what has occurred. You will have been mutually affectionate as giving and receiving are actually the same thing.

If you are able to establish a great amount of mutual trust with your horse, this will lead to more affection and a stronger bond. Being a great parent/leader is a wonderful way to show affection for your horse. Being the great Mom or Dad for your horse means you are there for his feelings of safety and trust first and foremost. What kinder and more wonderful way to show affection than attention to another’s sense of well being. What is more affectionate than kindness? What feels more wonderfully loving than kindness? In the face of the most fearful and potentially dangerous horse, kindness is the major component in its rehabilitation (just as with an abused human). Giving your best is affection also. When your horse gives you his all and the best he’s got that is his affection coming straight to you.

I guess I could sum this up by merely saying; if it feels like affection and you are not holding a carrot, it probably is. Don’t try to figure the horse out too much. I think it is better to experience and empathize with how he feels. That is the real key.

BLM Issues Deadly Permit for Wolf Derby

Source: The Teton Valley News

The BLM’s self-righteous propensity to play God over the native creatures of our public lands stretches far beyond the destruction of our wild horses and burros but all the way to the very predators that would naturally regulate the herds, IF they even needed to be regulated.  Nature has been doing just fine for eons without the interference of human management but the rouge feds prefer to deal with special interest groups and the collusion of monetary gain instead of making sound decisions on scientific data and facts.” ~ R.T.


The BLM Idaho Falls District received 40,000 comments on the environmental assessment, many indicating concern over the proposed type of action occurring on public lands.

shot-wolfLast week the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued a decision to approve Idaho for Wildlife’s special recreation permit for a competitive event to have a wolf and coyote derby on public lands in southeast Idaho. The proposed event is scheduled to occur January 2015.

Just hours after the BLM’s decision on Thursday, Nov. 13 four environmental groups filed a lawsuit.

The BLM Idaho Falls District received 40,000 comments on the environmental assessment, many indicating concern over the proposed type of action occurring on public lands.

“We are aware of the social controversy regarding the event,” said Joe Kraayenbrink, Idaho Falls District Manager. “However, from our analysis, we could not find significant conflicts with other environmental resources that would prohibit the competitive event from occurring.”

In a press release the BLM said every year thousands of hunters and recreationalists conduct dispersed activities on public lands. The proposed activity comes under review only because it is advertised as a competitive event, where individuals register and compete for prizes. Without the competitive nexus, no permit would be necessary.

According to the Associated Press, Defenders of Wildlife, the Center for Biological Diversity, Western Watersheds Project and Project Coyote say the BLM’s actions are contrary to the federal government’s wolf reintroduction efforts.

The permit request came from Idaho for Wildlife a group who’s mission is to protect Idaho’s hunting and fishing heritage and fight against animal rights and anti-gun organizations, according to their website.

Last year, Idaho for Wildlife held their first ever derby on private and U.S. Forest Service land. They reported that no wolves were harvested during the derby in 2013, and 21 coyotes were taken.

The derby is a two-day event where two-man teams compete to harvest wolves and coyotes for prize money. Last year there was a $1,000 prize offered to the team who killed the biggest wolf and another $1,000 awarded to the team that bagged the most coyotes. The event drew around 100 hunters and 230 people in total in Salmon, Idaho.

Further explaining their decision, the BLM release said “hunting is legal in the state of Idaho, is a protected right under the Idaho constitution and is managed by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDF&G). Wildlife populations are tracked and managed by IDF&G, not by the BLM. Competitive hunts are allowed by the state and no federal law forbids this type of activity. As a land management agency the BLM is tasked with ensuring resources such as cultural, vegetation, air, water, soil, etc. will not be significantly impacted by participants.”

The permit analyzed whether up to 500 people recreating on 3.1 million acres of public land would negatively impact the resources within the BLM’s jurisdictional authority to manage. After analysis and discussion with other agencies, the BLM determined a finding of no significant impact, read the release.

A copy of the decision record, environmental assessment and supporting documentation is available online at: https://www.blm.gov/epl-front-office/eplanning/planAndProjectSite.do?methodName=dispatchToPatternPage&currentPageId=53582

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NV Wild Horse Rescued from Sticky Situation

Source: Reno’s News 4

SPARKS, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) — One wild horse found herself in a sticky – and smelly – situation on Tuesday.

According to Lyon County officials, wild horse advocates and the Lyon County Technical Large Animal Response Team responded Tuesday afternoon to a Virginia Range wild mare that found her way into the Truckee Meadows Waste Water Treatment Plant on Cleanwater Drive in Sparks.

The mare was found by facility personnel stranded in a waste water settling pond, which contains waste solids. She was apparently in the water for about four hours.

Two of the volunteers trained in both HazMat and large animal rescue were ready to don HazMat suits and go in the gooey material to secure the animal for extrication, when she gave a mighty try and managed to get her front hooves on solid ground. The volunteers were relieved to see the mare pull herself onto solid ground and avoided taking a murky swim.

The volunteers built a decontamination corral and gave the smelly horse a thorough decontamination wash down under the supervision of a facility manger before she was let loose to rejoin her companions.

Ironically, the horse entered the facility during a project in which the fencing was being upgraded to prevent such things as curious horses.

Veterans Day 2014: An Anniversary Worth Notice

By Stacey Oke, DVM, MSc as published in theHorse.com

More than 8 million horses served in World War I and only a fraction survived

In December 2013, a massive ice storm hit the northeast, rendering millions without power. Our elderly neighbors “rescued” my children and me, and we stayed huddled in front of their fire, which served as our only source of heat and light for several days.

The primitive living conditions reminded my neighbors of growing up in the midst of World War II, diving head first into the trenches lining the perimeter of the school yard when the sirens sounded and standing in the bomb shelters reciting times tables whilst breathing as hard as possible to make their gas masks puff ever so slightly from their faces to produce a flatulence-like sound.

Sgt Reckless the real War Horse

Sgt Reckless the real War Horse

Just like young people continue to find small joys in childhood even in the midst of war, horses and other equids continue go to work helping their human companions in any way they are asked. It is simply their nature. While many human soldiers bravely elect to serve their countries, equids have been called to duty over the centuries, without choice or complaint.

Recall some of the following facts:

  • More than 8 million horses served in World War I and only a fraction survived;
  • The British Army alone recruited 1 million horses—more than 90% died;
  • In addition to direct attacks, causes of death in war horses were due to disease, starvation, thirst, and exposure to the elements;
  • In World War II, Germany reportedly used 2.75 million horses, while the Soviets used 3.5 million; and
  • After surviving a war, horses were rarely returned to their homes. Instead, they were repurposed and sent to other war zones.

Every Nov. 11, people throughout the world remember, thank, and celebrate veterans in different ways. And, for the past several years, TheHorse.com has recognized the role of horses in warfare, each year with a different goal—unwanted horses, maintenance of equine war monuments, a moment of silence for horses, for example.

This year, we seek to raise awareness regarding the continued war efforts that horses make through equine therapy. Our human heroes return from war expected to rejoin society despite bearing physical scars and emotional wounds. Yet again, our equine companions give selflessly to help our veterans heal as highlighted in the award-winning documentary Riding My Way Back.

There are a number of organizations offering healing services to veterans, such as the Injured Marie Semper Fi Fund’s Jinx McCain Horsemanship Program  and Saratoga Warhorse that “provides each individual with a unique experience that helps to release stress.”

Many more veterans could and would benefit from equine therapy. This Veterans Day, during the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I, consider making a donation to an equine therapy organization to show support not only for the veterans horses help today but also the scores of service animals lost to the trenches over time.

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