Carol Walker to detail BLM plans to sterilize wild horses on Wild Horse & Burro Radio (Wed., 1/20/16)

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Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_Logo Join us on Wild Horse Wednesdays®, January 20th, 2016

6:00 pm PST … 7:00 pm MST … 8:00 pm CST … 9:00 pm EST

Listen to the archived show (HERE!)

You can also listen to the show on your phone by calling (917) 388-4520.

You can call in with questions during the 2nd half hour, by dialing (917) 388-4520, then pressing 1.

This is a 1 hour show.  It will be archived so you can listen to it anytime.

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Our guest is Carol Walker, Dir. of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

Carol will be detailing Bureau of Land Management (BLM) heinous plans to STERILIZE wild  horses, including “studies” (experimentation trials) using several methods on 225 wild mares: ovariectomy via colpotomy, tubal ligation, and hysteroscopically-guided laser ablation of the oviduct papilla.  The BLM is going to do this experimentation at BLM’s Wild Horse Corral Facility in Hines, Oregon, but will eventually do sterilizations out in the FIELD.

The BLM has not, as of this time, posted the Environmental Assessment (for public comment) for this sterilization plan on the Oregon BLM websites.  The only people who have received it are people who are on the “interested party list” in Oregon.  The deadline for public comment is 2/2/16.   A link to the Environmental Assessment is HERE.

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Leon Pielstick, DVM, inserting a chain ecraseur via colpotomy incision

Carol’s website is http://www.wildhoofbeats.com/

and you can see her photography at http://www.livingimagescjw.com/

Tonight’s show is hosted by Debbie Coffey, V.P. and Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

To contact us: ppj1@hush.com, or call 320-281-0585

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BLM seeks comment on another Long Term Holding Pasture

The BLM is considering a contract for a new Long Term Holding Pasture (which is now called an Off Range Pasture…probably because the BLM knows the horses or burros won’t really be there “long term,” but only until the horses or burros can be secretively hauled away into the slaughter pipeline.)

Tate Farms, LLC is a business owned by Joseph and Jenifer Tate of Milwaukee, WI.  Tate Farms is a cattle company.  Scott Noll, a pilot, is listed as the agent for/member of Tate Farms.  So, who will be tending to the wild horses?  A pilot?   Wealthy individuals who live in a mansion in another state?  Long term holding shouldn’t be about just sticking the horses on a piece of land. The BLM should give a public accounting regarding the experience of the people who will be tending to the wild horses, including their knowledge of, and experience with, horses.   –  Debbie

SOURCE:  thehorse.com

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BLM Seeks Comment on Potential Wild Horse Off-Range Pasture

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Utah’s Richfield Field Office is seeking public comment on an environmental assessment (EA) analyzing a proposed wild horse off-range pasture (ORP).

The proposed action is for the BLM to fund a contract for a wild horse ORP facility on the Tate Farms property, located on both sides of Highway 132 near Fountain Green, Utah, totaling approximately 3,900 acres. The application is from Scott Noll, who manages the family-owned Tate Farms. The estimated capacity of the Tate Farms property is a maximum of 700 horses.

The EA can be viewed on ePlanning at http://go.usa.gov/cTkMe or by accessing the main ePlanning Register page and using the “Advanced Search” feature to search for NEPA #: DOI-BLM-UT-C020-2016-0001-EA or project name “Fountain Green Off-Range Pasture.”

Written comments will be accepted by letter or e-mail until Feb. 15. Please note that the most useful comments are those that contain new technical or scientific information relevant to the proposed action. Comments should be as specific as possible. Comments which contain only opinions or preferences will not receive a formal response but might be considered in the BLM decision-making process. Please reference “Fountain Green Off-Range Pasture EA” when submitting comments.

Written comments can be submitted via mail or e-mail using the following addresses:

Mail—BLM Utah State Office
Attn: Julie Carson
440 W 200 S, Suite 500
Salt Lake City, UT 84101

E-mail—blm_ut_rf_mail@blm.gov

Before including an address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in any comments, be aware that the entire comment—including personal identifying information—could be made publicly available at any time. Requests to withhold personal identifying information from public review can be submitted, but the BLM cannot guarantee that it will be able to do so. The BLM will not consider anonymous comments. All submissions from organizations and businesses, and from individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations or businesses, will be available for public inspection in their entirety.

For additional EA-specific information, please contact Julie Carson at 801/539-4245.

Today, (by 4 p.m. Mountain time) is last chance to comment to save White Mountain HMA wild mares from spaying

Don’t forget to also call the White House and your Congressional representatives.

SOURCE:  Wildhoofbeats.com

by Carol Walker

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Today is the last day to comment on the BLM’s disastrous plan to sterilize wild mares in the White Mountain Herd Management Area in Wyoming. Despite the herd numbering only 268 wild horses, which is within the AML of 209- 300 wild horses in the area, the BLM plans to team up with USGS and conduct a study, first rounding up the herd using helicopters, removing horses until there are 209 left, and putting radio collars on the mares and tail tags on the stallions to study behavior for 1 year. They plan to put radio collars on the mares, and the last time the BLM did this in 1991 many horses died. This is just not safe.  Then they plan to round them up again using helicopters, and then spaying 30-50 wild mares in the field, which is an incredibly dangerous procedure, certainly fatal to many of the mares. The sterilization of this and other herds targeted for research by the BLM and USGS spells the beginning of the end of wild horses on our public lands.

Please comment today by 4pm Mountain Time. Your own words will be the most powerful and effective for having an impact on the BLM and their plans.

You can read more here in my blog:

http://www.wildhoofbeats.com/blog/wild-horses-please-comment-on-blms-disastrous-plans-to-study-and-spay-white-mountain-mares

You can use the Cloud Foundation’s excellent talking points here:

http://us1.campaign-archive2.com/?u=b16d80346618d3ce64e8e9877&id=010bafe18c&e=936756a5da

Or if you have just enough time to write a few sentences, please be sure to cover the following points:

1. Do not round up and remove horses from White Mountain Herd Management Area. The horses are within AML. If you must round them up, use bait trapping at known water sources not a helicopter roundup.

2. Do not put radio collars and tail tags on the stallions. This is unsafe and potentially fatal for the horses. Use observation of people int he field, interns or staff, to obtain information. The horses are easily identifiable and most are easy to approach – this invasive and dangerous method is not necessary.

3. Do not spay wild mares. This is cruel, inhumane, potentially fatal for many of the mares. It is completely unnecessary. If you must use birth control on this herd, use the proven, safe, humane and reversible native PZP or PZP-22 that can be given using bait trapping and/or field darting.

Send your comments to:

BLM_WY_whitemtn_littleco_hma@blm.gov

Put “White Mountain and Little Colorado EA” in the subject line of your email.

These need to be in by 4 pm Mountain Time on today, Thursday the 14th of January. Please pass this along.

Here is the link to the BLM and USGS project:
If you want to know what is really driving this and the other Checkerboard Roundups:
Related Posts:

https://reevesimagery.wordpress.com/2016/01/06/white-mountain-roundup-spaying-scoping-the-more-you-know/

http://www.wildhoofbeats.com/blog/wild-horses-blms-sterilization-studies-are-barbaric-and-unnecessary

Biologist’s comments to save White Mountain & Little Colorado wild horses (Today is the last day YOU can comment)

CarolWalkerWhiteMountain-001                                                                                                        White Mountain Wild Horses (Photo:  CAROL WALKER)

by Robert C. Bauer, Biologist

Wild Horse and Burro Specialist
BLM Rock Springs Field Office
280 Highway 191 North
Rock Springs, Wyoming 82901
Fax: 307-352-0329
307-775-6014

Ms. Wertz and to those whom it may concern;

I am writing in reference to the proposed action of the Bureau of Land Management,
concerning the wild horses of the White Mountain and Little Colorado HMA’s of Wyoming, and its
accompanying research project. This, according to the scoping letter, involves the radio collaring of
mares, placing of tail trackers on stallions, and subsequent spaying of mares. This will be coupled
with reducing numbers of wild horses, in both areas, down to the BLM’s appropriate management
level, a number which combined, for both areas, comes to 1 horse for every 1838 acres of BLM
controlled land. I would like the bureau to consider several scientific and ecologically sound
principles directed against its proposed action.

1. It must be realized that nature through its own mechanisms is fully able to maintain natural
ecological balance, without human intervention. It does this through physiological differences,
found within each species inside any given ecosystem. Each of those differences, contribute as a
vital factor in a broad ecological equation, allowing each species, including wild equine to fill a vital
niche in the balance of nature. It also accomplishes this through the numbers or density of any
given species of animal or plant within that system, in conjunction with competitive species, and the
carrying capacity of the land. Sterilization and or contraceptives have been proposed to check wild
equine population growth disregarding the presence of its predators, natural environmental
factors, and competitive grazers. Natural predation and environmental impacts are vital in
regulating the numbers of ungulates and ruminants alike in any given area. Density dependent
inhibition, however, must not be ruled out and plays an important role as well. In this scenario, the
numbers or density of wild equine, versus competing ruminants, as the pronghorn antelope, will
each fluctuate in response to the other based upon the carrying capacity of the land, yet always in
perfect balance. In essence, the pronghorn and other ruminants, need the presence of wild horses
and burros and vice versa. Each population will have the effect of keeping the numbers of another
competing population at levels that are ideal for the carrying capacity of the land.

2. Within the physiological and behavioral makeup of the wild horses and burros, there also
exist what could be called self-regulating mechanisms. These mechanisms serve to govern
reproduction and subsequent population growth or the lack thereof. An increase in the gestation
period of wild horses, (delayed implantation), and spontaneous abortion come into play during
periods of environmental stress within a system, as well as selective breeding by a stallion within a
band, if indeed the stallion breeds at all. In short, environmental stress has the overall effect of
limiting reproduction. Added to this are annual mortality rates established in a NAS study which
range between 14% to 50% in wild horses up to 1 year, and 5% to 25% for horses older than this.
These above mechanisms do, indeed maintain the proper density of wild horses in any given area,
perfectly, in balance with competitive grazers and predators. It does this without sterilization,
without the PZP contraceptive, and without roundups. It therefore establishes at any given time,
nature’s own appropriate management levels, levels which nature adjusts continually, based on the
above biological factors. This alone puts to rest the idea that a research project is necessary,
requiring the tracking, spaying, or removal of wild horses to examine behavior and band fidelity,
not to mention the spatial ecology and demography of these areas or any areas. A sound and
exhaustive understanding of herd dynamics and band behavior can be attained without
manipulating the wild equine in any manner.

3. Also, what must be understood is that nature is dynamic, and not static. This infers that it
continuously fluctuates and adjusts itself, through its own feedback loops, from the molecular, all
the way up the scale of organisms. Because it is dynamic and not static means that its functions
cannot be confined to finite thinking, and fixed statistics but must be allowed, through its own
mechanisms to maintain itself, hands off, so to speak. In other words, nature cannot be limited at
any given time to a given number, or average of numbers, that mankind deems appropriate. An
example of this is the Bureau of Land Management’s, “Appropriate Management Level”, of wild
horses in their legally designated lands. Mankind’s sole responsibility has to be focused on keeping
the restrictions off of nature, so that nature can be itself, and not an offspring of man’s seemingly
brilliance. The moment mankind seeks to alter nature according to a fixed number, or an average
of numbers, is the moment that nature and balance itself begins to break down. At first it occurs
little by little, yet as artificial alteration persists, the breakdowns become greater and greater. This
has occurred in every branch of nature, where mankind has endeavored to manage natural
balance, assuming nature to be static and not dynamic.

4. Another issue that must be considered is that the numbers of the wild horses remaining in the
wild are not even in the teens of thousands anymore, contrary to the BLM’s assertions to the
contrary. This statement may seem bold yet is based upon BLM’s own statistics, factoring in
reproduction, PZP, adjustment of sex ratios, and the thousands of wild horses and burros that have
been continually removed. Factored in also, are mortality rates, already mentioned above, both first
year and adult, that nature herself applies. These issues combined, have driven numbers in most
areas out west down to levels where genetic viability has been compromised and far below total
numbers that the BLM have stated as still existing in the wild. Also, with continued use of the PZP
contraceptive, population growth will be driven down even further. Reproduction will continue to
decrease dramatically because of PZP, but mortality percentages will remain the same. In essence,
with the use of the contraceptives, or sterilization methods, mortality will completely overwhelm
reproduction, accelerating population decline in our wild equine.

5. The free roaming habits and social behavior of the wild horses and burros, allow them to
harmoniously coexist with every competing ruminant. Their physiological makeup coupled with
continual movements have a revitalizing effect on soil and vegetation. This in turn positively
impacts other grazers, and subsequently predators as well, who prey upon them. The presence of
wild equine in a multitude of ecosystems has proven to result in a beneficial cascade effect,
rejuvenating entire areas where they have been reintroduced, both in terms of flora and fauna. This
has been documented in many geographical locations throughout the world. Noting these
indisputable facts, the wild horses and burros can without question be considered a keystone
species. Removing our native equine from their legally designated areas and or tampering with
their numbers has and will continue to have a reverse and detrimental effect on our western
rangelands.

Conclusion. The answer to ecological balance, therefore, in our western ranges doesn’t lie in
experimentation, sterilizations, contraceptives, adjustment of ratios, or the institution of removals.
The answer lies in the termination of all roundups and a release of the wild horses and burros, in
holding facilities, back into the areas from where they were taken. This must be followed by an
elimination of the Wild Horse and Burro Program of the BLM, which has proven to be unscientific
in its pursuits, motivated by greed and prejudice, and has opposed every intent of the Wild Free
Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971. All that is necessary for a “Thriving Natural Ecological
Balance”, is to keep the restrictions off of nature, and allow her to regulate herself untouched.
The wild horses and burros will continue as the poetically beautiful, yet vital components of
ecological balance if, and only if, we allow nature alone, through its own dynamic methods to
dictate the numbers in the wild that are to exist, at any given time.

ACTION ALERT: comments to save White Mountain & Little Colorado wild horses due end of day tomorrow (Jan. 14th)

I, personally, do not support the use of PZP because most of our wild horse and burro herds are non-viable, but although there is disagreement among advocates on this issue, I am posting Ginger Kathren’s post as written.  You are free to use or omit the comments about PZP in your personal comment.  Also, be sure to include your personal thoughts with suggested talking points so that the BLM will count your comment.  –  Debbie

SOURCE:  The Cloud Foundation

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(left to right) Fuego (challenger), Fermat (band stallion), Lovely, Mac, Taylor (Mac’s mother), and Hypathia (rare Curly mare) Photo: Ginger Kathrens and Lisa Friday

by Ginger Kathrens

Help Save the White Mountain and Little Colorado Wild Horse Herds!

Comment on BLM’s Plan to Sterilize Mares! Deadline: Thursday, January 14th

Dear Friends of our Wyoming Wild Horses;

BLM is planning to sterilize the mares in the White Mountain Herd Management Area. . .unless we can stop them. White Mountain is the most visible, most photographed, most approachable wild horse herd in Southern Wyoming with a driving loop and signage to facilitate the viewing experience. The White Mountain Herd is the biggest tourist attraction in the immediate Rock Springs area, and the herd is also within the BLM’s “Appropriate Management Level of 205-300 horses.

Despite all these facts, the BLM proposes to use the White Mountain mustangs in a mare spaying research experiment to be conducted with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The adjacent Little Colorado Herd would serve as the control group.

BLM proposes to conduct helicopter round ups, removing all wild horses over the “Appropriate Management Level” on over 1 million acres of mostly public lands. Currently, BLM estimates 268 wild horses in White Mountain. Little Colorado numbers are estimated to be 330 with an AML of only 69-100 on over 600,000 acres of Federally owned land. This amounts to one wild horse allowed for every 6,000 acres!

Once rounded up, approximately 300 horses would be permanently removed. In White Mountain 30-50 mares would be fitted with radio collars and stallions would have tracker tags placed in their tails. One year later the horses would again be rounded up with helicopters and mares would be spayed using surgical techniques as yet unspecified and then tracked to determine changes in behavior/band fidelity/mortality in comparison to the control group in Little Colorado.

The bands would be destroyed in both herds as the stallions will be separated from the mares after capture so the band fidelity and behavior data will be useless. We don’t want to think about the mortality rate as we know horses will be killed during and after the helicopter stampedes and may die as a result of the collaring and subsequent operations.

Politely express your outrage! We suggest the following talking points:
1.Conduct field research to determine the habits and natural behaviors of the White Mountain-Little Colorado using non-invasive techniques (i.e. ground observations/photographs/GPS recorded locations, etc.)
2.Conduct behavioral research while field darting with the reversible vaccine PZP. Over 50 mares in these HMAs received PZP-22 in 2011 and will only require a booster shot to render them infertile for 1 to 2 years.
3.Conduct any removals in the late winter/spring months using bait or water trapping. Do not chase them with helicopters! Keep traps in place for several weeks to recapture for boostering young mares that did not receive PZP-22 and are not dartable (most, if not all mares in White Mountain, can be field darted). Mares in a trap can be darted without touching them.
4.Do not put collars on mares or tail tracker tags on stallions. This is not necessary in the White Mountain HMA. It will require capture and will result in the shattering of the bands just to put on the collars and tail tags.
5.Do not operate on the mares. Sterilized wild horses are no longer wild horses!
6.Raise the AML of 79-100 in Little Colorado to a genetically viable number of 150-200 adult animals. Reduce livestock grazing. There are 6,000 cows with potentially 6,000 calves or 30,000 head of sheep in the two legally designated wild horse herd management areas!
7.Collaborate with interested organizations and individuals to conduct the above field darting and record-keeping. (Data sheets are already compiled for over 200 of the White Mountain wild horses!)
8.Save millions of taxpayer dollars and manage the herds on the range, living in freedom with their families.

Send your comments to:
Wild Horse and Burro Specialist
BLM Rock Springs Field Office
280 Highway 191 North
Rock Springs, Wyoming 82901
Fax: (307) 352-0329
Electronic comments must be sent to the following email address to be considered:
Rock_Springs_WYMail@blm.gov
(Include “White Mountain & Little Colorado EA Comments” in the subject line.)

Here are the links to the BLM Scoping Letter and Documents. http://www.blm.gov/style/medialib/blm/wy/information/NEPA/rsfodocs/whitemtn_littlecolo/FY16.Par.25386.File.dat/ScopingLetter.pdf

http://www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/info/news_room/2015/december/16-wh-wmlc.html

Please do what you can! This is nothing more than a wild horse extermination plan dressed up as a research project. Time is short, send your comments by days end Thursday, January 14. Thanks!

 

“Field spaying”: what the BLM is going to do to our WILD mares

For our newer readers, we are re-posting excerpts from a 2013 article from this blog (The BLM & Fish and Wildlife Service are experimenting on our wild horses and burros) so that you will know exactly what “field spaying” looks like and what the BLM plans to do to the wild mares of the White Mountain Herd Management Area (HMA) in Wyoming.  This will likely be done on other HMAs in the future.  Please call the White House at (202) 456-1414, and your Congressional representatives and ask them to halt this experimentation on wild horses and burros.  –  Debbie Coffey

(Warning: the photos below may be disturbing to some)

The BLM and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (also a Department of the Interior agency) are partnering in EXPERIMENTING on our wild horses (and, in the case of the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge, “feral” horses).  The BLM National advisory board was even discussing tubal ligation for mares (which seems to have been in trials in 2004).

Below is a presentation seemingly by LEON PIELSTICK, DVM, the veterinarian who has been conducting experiments on the field spaying of mares, and it shows (possibly Leon Pielstick himself) spaying a mare at a wild horse sanctuary.

Your tax dollars are paying for this experimentation.

SOURCE:     POPULATION CONTROL IN WILD HORSES,  Leon Pielstick, DVM

(this is a portion of the presentation of an ovariectomy with chain ecraseur via colpotomy incision)

Pielstick 1

Pielstick 2

Pielstick 3

Pielstick 4Pielstick 5

Pielstick 6

Pielstick 7

Pielstick 8

(And the presentation states this:)

pielstick 15

However, other veterinary sources are concerned about a high incidence of peri-operative complications, including post-operative myopathy/neuropathy, wound infections, wound dehiscence, eventration, vaginal adhesions, peritonitis, post-operative pain and hemorrhage.  Also, looking at the 3rd bullet point above, others estimate the prep time for surgery to be 10 minutes for standing sedation, 10-15 minutes for epidural anesthesia, and 10 minutes for the aseptic preparation.  And the part about this being a “One time treatment, no need for further round ups” – wouldn’t “no need for further round ups” mean doing this to more than a few mares and could this create a NON-REPRODUCING HERD?

 

 

What This Heartbreaking Picture of Wild Horses Running for Their Lives Has to Do With Your Burger

Story by as published in OneGreenPlanet

This picture by the Wild Horse Freedom Federation reveals the heartbreaking reality of roundups.  

BLM chasing protected mustangs from the air ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

BLM chasing protected mustangs from the air ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Animal agriculture certainly takes an enormous toll on our planet. It consumes around 70 percent of the Earth’s freshwater supplies, and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that livestock production is responsible for 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions while other organizations like the Worldwatch Institute have estimated it could be as much as 51 percent. Not only that but it also occupies around 50 percent of the world’s land. This destructive industry is also having a devastating impact on wildlife. In the U.S. alone, livestock grazing impacts 14 percent of threatened or endangered animals, but some of the most frequent victims of livestock expansion are the wild horses.

In the U.S., wild horses have been particularly hard hit by the meat industry’s demand for more land on which to raise cattle. In recent years, The Bureau of Land Management‘s (BLM) practice of “rounding up” horses using cruel helicopter-driven chases has drawn widespread criticism from animal advocates and concerned members of the public, who know how this traumatic practice impacts animals.

The BLM has continuously maintained that the roundups are “necessary and justified,” with Joan Guilfoyle, head of the Wild Horse and Burro Program, insisting that the numbers of wild horses on U.S. land doubles every year and that the herds must be thinned out to preserve ecological balance. She said, “If we stopped gathering animals, the population would continue to grow and grow and the rangelands would continue to be overgrazed.”

However, as Suzanne Roy – director of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaignpointed out: “The reality is that there are a small number of wild horses out there, fewer than 32,000, and there are millions of cattle and sheep. We don’t have an overpopulation of wild horses. We have an overpopulation of livestock on our public lands.”…

…Once the horses have been captured, they are often sent to live in captivity or put up for auction (where most end up being sold for meat). The separation of families, friends, and even mothers and babies is a routine occurrence. There have also been a number of recorded cases of BLM contractors selling the horses to slaughterhouses. It is an unspeakable tragedy that wild horses – the animals traditionally regarded as an emblem of freedom, beauty, and grace – are being subjected to this treatment.

However, by leaving meat off your plate, you can take a stand against this outrageous practice. With a lower demand for meat, less land will be required for cattle ranching, and fewer wild horses will suffer. To learn more, read some of the articles below:

Image Source: Wild Horse Freedom Federation/Facebook

To read this article in it’s entirety click (HERE)

More Unscientific, False Claims by BLM

Source:  San Diego Free Press

Pinyon-Juniper Forests: BLM’s False Claims to Virtue
by Will Falk
BLM_dramatic_pic_of_me_in_front_of_clearcut

The author surveying the devastation of Pinyon-Juniper deforestation (Photo: Max Wilbert)

 
 Once I recovered from the shock I experienced witnessing the carnage produced by a Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) so-called “pinyon-juniper treatment project” just south of Spruce Mountain in Nevada, all I wanted was the destruction to stop. In order to stop the destruction, we have to ask the question: “Why are they doing this?”

BLM’s justifications [are] moving targets … Once a justification is proved to be based on bad science and incomplete research, BLM throws up a new target.

To learn the answer, I embarked on a long, strange trip through BLM documents, books on pinyon pine trees, You-Tube propaganda, and countless scientific articles. I found so many justifications, my head was spinning. On a phone call with staff from the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA), Field Attorney Neal Clark described BLM’s justifications as “moving targets.” Once a justification is proved to be based on bad science and incomplete research, BLM throws up a new target. Meanwhile, the destruction of pinyon-juniper forests intensifies.

The BLM, Carson City District, Sierra Front Field Office is proposing a vegetation treatment project in the Virginia Mountains area north of Reno and west of Pyramid Lake in Washoe County, Nevada. The Virginia Mountains Vegetation Treatment Project would destroy “approximately 30,387 acres” of pinyon-juniper forest.

The BLM’s online notice lists some of the most common excuses used for pinyon-juniper deforestation. Those excuses include: to “reduce the potential of large-scale high severity wild land fire,” “provide for public and firefighter safety and protection of property and infrastructure,” “maintain sagebrush habitat, riparian plant communities, wet meadows, and springs,” and “protect and enhance historic juniper woodland habitat.” In order to achieve these goals, the BLM’s online notice says the “proposed treatments include mechanical mastication, mechanical removal, hand cutting, chemical treatments, chaining, and seeding.”

BLM’s claims in their campaign against pinyon-juniper forests directly contradict the body of scientific literature.

Of course, the notice ends with the currently fashionable nod to protecting greater sage-grouse habitat and reads, “treatments would be designed to address threats to greater sage-grouse from invasive annual grasses, wildfires, and conifer expansion.”

When BLM claims that their proposed pinyon-juniper treatment projects will achieve the results like the ones listed in the Carson City District, Sierra Front Field Office’s notice, they are making claims that are not supported by scientific research. In fact, many of BLM’s claims in their campaign against pinyon-juniper forests directly contradict the body of scientific literature.

Since I began researching pinyon-juniper forests, writing this Pinyon-Juniper Forest series, and participating in a grass-roots campaign to demand a nationwide moratorium on pinyon-juniper deforestation, I have heard BLM’s claims replicated many times. It is time their erroneous assertions are put to rest. In this essay, I will address the common justifications BLM uses for destroying pinyon-juniper forests and show how BLM is lying.

The first reason BLM’s Carson City District, Sierra Front Field Office uses to support its proposal to clear-cut 30,387 acres of living forest is typical in the nationwide assault on pinyon-juniper forests. BLM claims their proposed project will “reduce the potential of large-scale high severity wild land fire.” According to BLM, this will “provide for public and firefighter safety and protection of property and infrastructure.”

BLM’s justification suggests that there is a serious potential for high severity, wild land fire in pinyon-juniper forests, but is that true?

William L. Baker and Douglas Shinneman wrote an article “Fire and Restoration of Piñon-Juniper Woodlands in the Western United States: A Review” (PDF) which is considered one of the leading reviews of fire incidence in pinyon-juniper forests. Baker and Shinneman argue that there simply is not enough scientific evidence for land managers to apply uniform fire and structural treatments like BLM’s proposed Virginia Mountains Treatment Project in pinyon-juniper forests.

[The BLM’s proposed] treatments have actually been found to increase pinyon-juniper forests’ potential for burning.

Not only are scientists cautioning BLM not to assume pinyon-juniper forests have a serious risk of large scale fire, mechanical treatments have actually been found to increase pinyon-juniper forests’ potential for burning. Allison Jones, Jim Catlin, and Emanuel Vazquez, working for the Wild Utah Project, wrote an essay titled “Mechanical Treatment of Piñon-Juniper and Sagebrush Systems in the Intermountain West: A Review of the Literature” (PDF). Their essay is a comprehensive review of the scientific literature surrounding pinyon-juniper forests and their review undermines many of the goals often given as the reasons for prescribed mechanical treatments of pinyon-juniper forests.

In regards to using pinyon-juniper mechanical treatment as a tool for reducing the potential of wild land fire, Jones et al. write, “There are… many studies that report when piñon-juniper is mechanically treated and if cheatgrass and/or other exotic annuals are present in the system before treatment, then cover of these species will increase post-treatment.” Cheatgrass, of course, is an invasive species that quickly outcompetes native grasses. The relevant problem with cheatgrass is that it is more flammable. When cheatgrass dominates rangelands, it speeds up the natural fire interval of those rangelands. In other words, cheatgrass makes the land it occupies more prone to wild fires.

Regardless of what BLM says, what they are actually doing is contributing to global climate change, a longer wildfire season at home, and hastening the destruction of the entire planet.

When BLM rips up pinyon-juniper forests in the interests of reducing the potential for wildfires, their destruction produces the opposite of their stated goal. Instead of providing for public and firefighter safety, BLM is actually making it easier for cheatgrass to choke out native species which in turn makes it more likely the Great Basin will burn. On the global scale, we know that deforestation speeds climate change. Trees sequester carbon and the prevalence of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is a leading cause of climate change. Warming climates lead to longer and more intense wildfire seasons. Wildfires burn forests releasing more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and the vicious cycle intensifies. Regardless of what BLM says, what they are actually doing is contributing to global climate change, a longer wildfire season at home, and hastening the destruction of the entire planet. “Public and firefighter safety”? Hardly.

Read the rest of this article HERE.

It’s not just Wild Horses and Burros the Feds are Illegally Kicking off our Public Lands

“A longtime reader and friend sent me the email I am posting below, with permission.  I am not condoning the actions of a few out in Oregon but the corruption of the BLM knows no bonds and the information below is rather startling, to say the very least.  Take a few moments and watch the enlightening video, it is truly eyeopening and probably seriously frighting.  How did we stray so far from the path?!?!?” ` R.T.


photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

If we want to know why wild horses are being booted off the land designated to them by federal legislation in 1971, we first need to understand that, according to the U.S. Constitution, this land never should have belonged to, or been set aside by, the federal government in the first place.     

In a new nine-minute video, constitutional attorney and educator Krisanne Hall explains exactly which article, section, and clause in the Constitution confines the federal government’s legal property to (1) 100 square miles in Washington, D.C., and (2) the amount of land necessary for “forts and ports”—with “necessary” being determined by the states.  

In other words, the federal government, formed by the states to be the servant of the states, for the sole purpose of conducting foreign affairs—war, peace, negotiations, commerce—with other countries, has no constitutional right to own, take over, or trespass upon any other acreage in the entire United States of America. (Or elsewhere around the world, for that matter!)

With that fact in mind, please watch this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T424sWq1SkE (below) and forward to whomever you think is ready to hear this non-partisan warning—whomever you think may be prepared to reclaim their constitutional rights.

When I think about it, it’s no wonder we feel helpless in the face of the wild horse and burro round-ups. For, having lost sight of how to defend our own rights, how can we possibly protect the rights of the creatures entrusted to our care?   

By the way, you’ll find all of Krisanne’s current and archived podcasts and videos about the U.S. Constitution—and the federal government’s constant encroachment on and subversion of it—at her website, www.KrisanneHall.com.

In the spirit of freedom for humans and horses alike,     

CQ

P.S. So long as we see this issue through partisan or ideological lens, we won’t be able to take back the property rights of states and individuals. We’re being required to rise above the Republican-vs.-Democrat, right-wing-vs.-left-wing divide (a “fight” that’s fomented by corrupt elements buried within the federal government and by their hidden “controllers”), so that we can unite against whomever and whatever would steal our God-given liberty.  

Wild Horses: Please Comment on BLM’s Disastrous Plans to Study and Spay White Mountain Mares

Source:  wildhoofbeats.com/blog

“Spaying domestic horses in sterile, hospital conditions is one thing, and it is not a common practice. But most large animal veterinarians agree that the surgical environment needs to be completely sterile and recovery time is at least a month – this is NOT a suitable procedure to do in the field, on wild mares.  The risk of infection and death is far too high.  Some of the mares may die from shock.  I do not care if they plan to submit their plans to the Colorado State University Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (which by the way, mainly reviews laboratory procedures) prior to the spaying, it is too dangerous, inhumane, cruel, and certain to result in the senseless death of many wild mares.”  – Carol Walker

CarolWalkerWhiteMountain-001 White Mountain Wild Horses

by Carol Walker

My first visit to the White Mountain Herd Management Area in Wyoming was in November of 2006. This herd is touted as a tourist attraction by the State of Wyoming, with its “loop tour” that is easily accessible to visitors to the town of Rock Springs. You might imagine that being a tourist attraction would save this herd from molestation, given that tourism is Wyoming’s 3rd largest source of income. But think again. http://www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/field_offices/Rock_Springs/wildhorses/tour.html

wild horses, mustangs in White Mountain, WY - red roan stallion and mares and foals

wild horses, mustangs in White Mountain, WY – red roan stallion and mares and foals

At the time of my visit, plans were already in the works to roundup and remove most of the horses in 2007. I had no trouble finding horses, even though the Herd Management Area itself is almost 400,00o acres. There were horses in the southern and in the northern parts of the area, and the family bands were large – this is a hallmark of a herd that has not been rounded up for a few years. The dominant stallions tend to accumulate large families, and watching the interactions of the mares and youngsters and stallions in these large families is amazing. I found healthy, beautiful families of wild horses, and my favorite encounter of this trip was with a very proud and beautiful bay roan stallion with a large family. He stopped and looked at me, making sure to be between me and his family, and I was captivated by him.

CarolWalkerWhiteMountain-029  The Bay Roan Stallion

I visit this herd about once a year, but I never saw him again after the roundup. Imagining that proud and beautiful stallion in a holding facility still makes my heart hurt. They removed 654 of the 817 wild horses in White Mountain, and the mares returned to the area were given PZP, a one year birth control drug. There was no follow up with the birth control for the mares. It was too much trouble for the BLM to go into the field and keep darting the mares each year in order to keep the population in check. It was much easier to just round them up again in 3-4 years and remove most of the horses.

CarolWalkerWhiteMountain-034   Running to water 

In 2011 the herd was again rounded up, and this time they removed 696 wild horses, leaving 209 wild horses, with the sex ratio of stallions to mares skewed, releaseing 98 stallions and 51 mares. In the wild, the ratio of stallions to mares ends up being about 50-50. One of the BLM’s unproven brilliant ideas is that the population will grow less if there are less mares than stallions. In my experience, all it does is create more turmoil, as the stallions spend more time battling other stallions and defending or winning the much fewer number of mares. The mares were also given PZP-22, a two year birth control drug. Again, despite this being a small herd and easy to find and approach, the BLM did not follow up and administer birth control every one or two years to keep the population in check.

Read the rest of this article HERE.