Slaughter-horse hauler’s sentencing delayed

SOURCE:  WSMV.com

Reported by Nancy Amons

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A man who made his living shipping horses to slaughter in Mexico was in court Friday, but his punishment was delayed because of a hidden infusion of money.

This would have been the final chapter in the saga of Dorian Ayache, but there was a snag in his sentencing.

Ayache did not want to talk about his criminal case Friday, and he won’t learn his fate until January.

Ayache was the slaughter-horse hauler whose trucks overturned twice on the interstate, killing several horses.

Federal regulators cited Ayache for a long list of safety violations and for continuing to haul horses under a new company name, even after he’d been shut down by the government.

It turned out that most of the charges against Ayache couldn’t be criminally prosecuted. The case against him was falling apart.

Ayache appeared to be facing very little jail time, possibly even probation.

But Friday, Judge Aleta Trauger took a tougher stance. She was angry after learning Ayache inherited $300,000, but didn’t use any of the money to pay his fines.

Ayache owes the government about $36,000.

The federal prosecutor now wants Ayache to serve three months in prison. But because of the new information, the case was continued.

Trauger had some strong words for Ayache, saying even though the only charge that still stuck was a minor violation, she would consider his entire history.

“He is highly regulated by the government and he could care less what the government tells him to do,” Trauger said.

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

Click (HERE) to comment directly at the Teton Valley News

Waste Water from Oil Fracking Injected into Clean Aquifers

I repeat, wild horses being driven to extinction by the BLM is the canary in the coal mine of what is happening on America’s public lands and to America’s water.  –  Debbie Coffey

SOURCE:  nbcbayarea.com

In a time when California faces an historic drought, the NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit has uncovered that state officials allowed oil and gas companies to pump billions of gallons of waste water into protected aquifers. Investigative Reporter Stephen Stock reports in a story that aired on November 14, 2014.

State officials allowed oil and gas companies to pump nearly three billion gallons of waste water into underground aquifers that could have been used for drinking water or irrigation.

Those aquifers are supposed to be off-limits to that kind of activity, protected by the EPA.

“It’s inexcusable,” said Hollin Kretzmann, at the Center for Biological Diversity in San Francisco. “At (a) time when California is experiencing one of the worst droughts in history, we’re allowing oil companies to contaminate what could otherwise be very useful ground water resources for irrigation and for drinking. It’s possible these aquifers are now contaminated irreparably.”

California’s Department of Conservation’s Chief Deputy Director, Jason Marshall, told NBC Bay Area, “In multiple different places of the permitting process an error could have been made.”

“There have been past issues where permits were issued to operators that they shouldn’t be injecting into those zones and so we’re fixing that,” Marshall added.

In “fracking” or hydraulic fracturing operations, oil and gas companies use massive amounts of water to force the release of underground fossil fuels. The practice produces large amounts of waste water that must then be disposed of.

Marshall said that often times, oil and gas companies simply re-inject that waste water back deep underground where the oil extraction took place. But other times, Marshall said, the waste water is re-injected into aquifers closer to the surface. Those injections are supposed to go into aquifers that the EPA calls “exempt”—in other words, not clean enough for humans to drink or use.

Read EPA’s letter to state regulators

But in the State’s letter to the EPA, officials admit that in at least nine waste water injection wells, the waste water was injected into “non-exempt” or clean aquifers containing high quality water.

For the EPA, “non-exempt” aquifers are underground bodies of water that are “containing high quality water” that can be used by humans to drink, water animals or irrigate crops.

Are Regulators Ignoring California’s New Fracking Law?

If the waste water re-injection well “went into a non-exempt aquifer. It should not have been permitted,” said Marshall.

The department ended up shutting down 11 wells: the nine that were known to be injecting into non-exempt aquifers, and another two in an abundance of caution.

In its reply letter to the EPA, California’s Water Resources Control Board said its “staff identified 108 water supply wells located within a one-mile radius of seven…injection wells” and that The Central Valley Water Board conducted sampling of “eight water supply wells in the vicinity of some of these… wells.”

“This is something that is going to slowly contaminate everything we know around here,” said fourth- generation Kern County almond grower Tom Frantz, who lives down the road from several of the injection wells in question.

According to state records, as many as 40 water supply wells, including domestic drinking wells, are located within one mile of a single well that’s been injecting into non-exempt aquifers.

That well is located in an area with several homes nearby, right in the middle of a citrus grove southeast of Bakersfield.

This well is one of nine that were known to be injecting waste water into “non-exempt” aquifers. It’s located just east of Bakersfield.

State records show waste water from several sources, including from the oil and gas industry, has gone into the aquifer below where 60 different water supply wells are located within a one mile radius.

READ THE REST OF THIS STORY HERE.

Stop the BLM from sending older wild horses to slaughter

PLEASE SHARE THIS LINK ON YOUR FACEBOOK PAGES!  The older wild horses are the most vulnerable to end up in the slaughter pipeline.  We need to find adopters.

painy

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Listen to the ARCHIVED SHOW Here!

This is a 1 hour show, recorded Nov. 19, 2014.

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Tonight’s guests are Carol Walker, Dir. of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation and Ginger Kathrens, the Founder and Executive Director of The Cloud Foundation.  

Both fought to keep wild horses on federally protected Herd Management Areas in Wyoming, and both witnessed the roundups of these wild horses.  And both are among those posting photos of the wild horses that were captured in Wyoming, so that these horses can be adopted rather than end up going to slaughter in the future.

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You can read Carol Walker’s article HERE, but some excerpts are below:

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Beautiful young mares 1-4 years old in pen 21

I have broken the photos down into age groups.

First are the foals and weanlings in this link:

http://www.livingimagescjw.com/CLIENTS/14NovemberCanonCityWeanlings/

Images 1-5 in pen 13A, images 6-57 are in the two adjoining weanling pens, 36C and 36D, images 146-149 are in pen 23.

Then the young mares, ages 1-4 in this link:

http://www.livingimagescjw.com/CLIENTS/14NovemberCanonCityYoungMares/

Images 59-93 are in pen 21, images 94-100 are in pen “No Man’s Land”, images 101-125 are in pen 22 and images 126-145 are in pen 25.

Then the young stallions, (soon to be gelded) ages 1-4 in this link:

http://www.livingimagescjw.com/CLIENTS/14NovemberCanonCityYoungStallions/

Images 150-155 are in pen 8B, images 156-225 are in pens 3 and F, images 226-246 are in pen G.

The older mares, ages 5 and up are here:

http://www.livingimagescjw.com/CLIENTS/14NovemberCanonCityOlderMares/

Images 339-387 are in pen 26, images 388-441 are in pen 18. You may notice hip brands on some of these mares – this is because they were treated with birth control, PZP either in December of 2013 and/or October of 2010.

The older stallions, 5 and up:

http://www.livingimagescjw.com/CLIENTS/14NovemberCanonCityOlderStallions

Images 247-313 and 327-338 are in pens 19b and 19C, images 314-327 are in pen 9.

photo below, 2 of the older stallions

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photo below, some older mares

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PLEASE NOTE, MARES COULD BE PREGNANT, SO YOU COULD BE GETTING 2 FOR THE PRICE OF 1, BUT BE AWARE WHEN FACTORING IN THE PRICE OF HAY AND CARE, TO MAKE SURE YOU CAN AFFORD 2 HORSES.

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Two stunning weanlings, a dun 9135 and a grulla 9133 in pen 36C

 

You can use the neck tag numbers on the horses for identification purposes.

Some notes about the horses – the 9000 numbers are from Great Divide Basin, the 7000 numbers are from Salt Wells Creek and Adobe Town.  They do not list any horses as being from Adobe Town, but there are Adobe Town horses mixed in with the Salt Wells Creek horses.

These are NOT all the horses brought in during the Checkerboard Roundup.  The other 600+ are at Rock Springs Corrals.  They are not ready for adoption there yet.  There are also about 100 weanlings and yearlings and two year olds from Salt Wells Creek that went to Axtell, Utah’s wild burro facility.

IF YOU CAN ADOPT A HORSE:

You can call to adopt at anytime with an approved adoption application).  To find out more about individual horses or to download adoption forms can be found at these links:

http://www.blm.gov/co/st/en/BLM_Programs/wild_horse_and_burro.html

https://www.blm.gov/adoptahorse/onsitegallery.php?horseCategory=99

Through the Canon City BLM office, the first 150 miles of shipping is FREE!  (If 5 people in the same area adopt, that means 750 miles are free, so buddy up!)  There are group shipping options as well for folks that are interested in the horses, but live a distance away.  Please contact the BLM office directly for specifics.

Lona Kossnar at (719) 269-8539, or email her at lkossnar@blm.gov

Please be kind to and patient with Lona – she will have lots of folks contacting her and I know she will do her very best to help all of you!

Pam Nickoles was also there photographing and you can view her images here:

(http://www.nickolesphotography.com/f106188461) entitled “Canon City BLM Checkerboard Horses”

And Amanda Wilder, who has images on her Facebook page with each horse identified by tag number:

https://www.facebook.com/amanda.wilder.9/media_set?set=a.956769531003850.1073741848.100000124357258&type=1&pnref=story

and photos are also on The Cloud Foundation website

This radio show is hosted by Debbie Coffey, Vice-President & Director of Wild Horse Affairs at Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

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

LISTEN TO ARCHIVED RADIO SHOWS: Continue reading

Captured mustangs victims of animal cruelty

SOURCE:  thereddingpilot.com       by Adam Tarchoun

Lind-Larsen will go to trial for animal cruelty charges

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After three pretrials and months of delay, Redding resident Lisa Lind-Larsen, 75, will be going to trial to face two charges of animal cruelty after a judge declined her appeal for rehabilitation.

In July, Ms. Lind-Larsen’s mustang horses, Chinook and Cheyenne, were seized after the Department of Agriculture’s animal control division became aware of the animals’ malnourished state.  The horses were shown to have been locked in unsanitary stalls for long periods with insufficient food and contaminated water.

Ms. Lind-Larsen’s appearance in court was preceded by last month’s pretrial closing on an appeal for accelerated rehabilitation, a program offered by some state criminal systems to give offending parties a “second chance” and avoid criminal charges.  Ms. Lind-Larsen did not plead guilty nor was she convicted of any charges. The accelerated rehabilitation would function as a way to bypass a trial. Some programs can last up to two years. A key qualification is that the individual have no prior criminal history.

Ms. Lind-Larsen failed to meet that qualification. She faced a judge and assistant district attorney without any representation as she tried in vain to appeal for accelerated rehabilitation.  Ms. Lind-Larsen has not had an attorney by her side in defense since she parted ways with Stephen Harding on Sept. 17.  The two parted because she “didn’t feel comfortable with his representation.”

Deborah Mabbett, an assistant district attorney with the Judicial District of Danbury, brought to light Ms. Lind-Larsen’s ineligibility for accelerated rehabilitation by citing an outstanding criminal charge.  “Regarding the appeal for accelerated rehabilitation, we find that the defendant is not eligible due to a charge from 1992,” Ms. Mabbett said.

The charge has since been cleared through a probationary program but because the charge still reflected a criminal record, Judge Susan Reynolds dismissed Ms. Lind-Larsen’s appeal.

The case will now go to trial as there is no longer an option for rehabilitation.  The trial means that the courts will find a resolution to the charges against Ms. Lind-Larsen. Following the dismissal, Ms. Mabbett requested on behalf of Ms. Lind-Larsen “the longest continuance that your honor can give,” in order for the defendant to find an attorney and to wait for the outcome of a separate court case involving her horses.  The continuance is a postponement of action until a later date.  The period of waiting will give Ms. Lind-Larsen the time to prepare for trial.

“I am waiting for a decision to come down from another court regarding my horses,” Ms. Lind-Larsen said in seeking a continuance.  The decision concerning the horses is pending a ruling by the Hartford civil suit.

The case will resume on Dec. 2. Until then, the status of Ms. Lind-Larsen’s horses, her defense, and criminal charges against her all remain unresolved.

The mustangs, Chinook and Cheyenne, were once wild horses before being rounded up in Nevada in 2002 and Utah in 2003.  They are currently in the care of the state Department of Agriculture at a facility in Niantic.

Mare leads horses to safety through floodwaters

SOURCE:  Horsetalk.co.nz

A black mare leads the horses to safety from floodwaters in the River Slaney. Photo: Wexford SPCA/Facebook

A brave black mare in Ireland has led a dozen horses to safety across a swollen river’s flood plain.

The horses were trapped in floodwaters from the River Slaney at Enniscorthy, which burst its banks in County Wexford, after heavy rain across the region.

The Facebook pages  of charities in the region reported several groups of trapped horses, with rescue personnel monitoring the stranded animals and carrying out rescues when conditions were deemed safe.

However, in this case, the horses found their own way to safety.

South East Animal Rescue reported on Facebook how the mare led the horses to safety.

“One brave horse led the rest to safety, it was incredible,” the charity reported.

“That black mare saved all those horses.

“They had been stranded on a bit of high ground for hours, nobody able to get to them.

“She very carefully led them one way and another through the water till she found the best route. What a clever, clever lady.

“All the horses also waited for the one at the back who was obviously limping.”

Friends of the Wexford SPCA and South East Animal Rescue on Facebook voiced their concern about the grazing of horses in and around floodprone areas beside the river at this time of year.

The Wexford group commented on the rescue: “Safe at last … until the next time.”

 

A new map shows rangeland health nationwide

SOURCE:  HIGH COUNTRY NEWS

Searchable BLM reports and satellite images for 20,000 grazing allotments.

by Tay Wiles

When the Bureau of Land Management ordered the removal of cattle from public rangeland this summer near Battle Mountain, Nevada, the state was in its third year of severe drought. Conditions were too dry to sustain the number of cattle that were grazing there, the BLM contended. Locals responded in part by announcing a “Cowboy Express” ride from Bodega Bay, California to Washington, DC to protest federal overreach and to demand that local District Manager Doug Furtado be ousted.

Disagreements like the one in Battle Mountain are hardly novel in Western politics. But this week, a new tool to understand livestock impact on public lands was thrown into the mix. Washington, DC-based non-profit Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) released an interactive map that collates over 45,000 BLM records that diagnose 20,000 allotments across the nation. The map is seven years in the making, the result of Freedom of Information Act requests PEER and Western Watersheds Project put to the BLM.

Damage to the land from livestock can be seen in satellite images.

According to the map, 29 percent of allotted land, or 16 percent of the number of allotments, has failed to meet BLM standards of rangeland health due to impacts of livestock. Those assessments are based on a specific set of criteria, including things like watershed conditions, water quality, soil health and habitat for at-risk species.

 

 

Shaded areas indicate where rangeland has failed to meet BLM health standards between 1997 and 2013.

In addition to looking at the macro-scale numbers of how much land has passed the BLM health test, the new map shows satellite images of each individual allotment—a way to “sky truth,” as PEER puts it, what the agency is reporting. So, if the BLM says a piece of land is doing just fine, or if the BLM claims the landscape is taking a beating, anyone can zoom in to look for themselves and get details like the number of cattle on how many acres. Soil and vegetation disturbances from mining, agriculture, livestock or off-road vehicles are visible in the satellite images. A group of allotments in eastern Montana, for instance, are categorized as healthy, but are also clearly being used to grow crops. And they’re sitting in prime habitat for Greater sage grouse—a species that U.S. Fish & Wildlife is currently considering listing as endangered. (There’s an optional map layer that allows you to overlay grouse habitat.) PEER Advocacy Director Kirsten Stade says examples like this raise the question of how an area dedicated to crops or livestock could be considered “meeting all standards,” when the majority of native vegetation has been supplanted.

 

 

In some cases, the map shows a whole bunch of unhealthy, red-tinted, allotments butting against green-tinted, healthy ones. That kind of scenario may be an indication that adjacent district offices are interpreting rangeland health differently and calling “healthy” what the manager next door may deem “unhealthy” or vice versa, even though they’re in the same ecosystem with similar needs. In the case of Argenta, where the cowboy express came from, the fact that the allotment in question (which itself appears to have an incomplete assessment and tinted grey) is surrounded by either red or un-assessed land “suggests that maybe Doug Furtado wasn’t so far off in his call that grazing needed to be reduced on this allotment,” Stade said.

The Argenta allotment is highlighted in blue. Red areas failed to meet BLM rangeland health standards because of livestock impacts. Yellow allotments failed for non-livestock reasons, and orange allotments failed for unknown reasons. Grey areas have either no or incomplete assessments, according to PEER’s data.

For its part, the BLM responded to an initial PEER report from 2012 with qualms about the non-profit’s methodology. In any given unhealthy allotment, there may be a number of acres that are actually healthy, despite the fact the parcel on the whole is deemed a failure. But the non-profit was grouping all acres as unhealthy, which the BLM said skewed the data to be worse than it actually was. The BLM website says that the agency is creating its own mapping system that will show rangeland health acre-by-acre, instead of by allotment.

The agency also says it has “taken action to correct grazing management on 86 percent of the 1,925 allotments where livestock grazing was determined to be the cause for not meeting land health standards.”

The PEER map includes blue-tinted areas that represent Greater sage grouse habitat, underneath the tens of thousands of tinted grazing allotments.

One reason PEER is publicizing the new data set is to push the BLM to be more consistent in its rangeland health evaluations. The agency is supposed to complete assessments of each allotment every decade, but many of the allotments PEER inquired about had reports that were 15 years old or more. The project is also meant to bring information together that, until now, has been scattered throughout district field offices across the country, PEER says. Tools like this one could help the land agency take a more landscape-scale approach to management,

Blue highlights indicate where BLM rangeland health assessments mentioned oil development. The PEER map can be searched for a range of impacts to ecosystem health.

 

looking at full watersheds rather than just one piece at a time. And best-case scenario, these types of tools will add another layer of real information to the often emotion-driven debates around public land use in the West.

For more High Country News coverage of public lands debates, see our recent investigation, Defuse the West, which looks at threats to public-land employees and confrontations with local land users.

Tay Wiles is the online editor at High Country News.  Homepage photo of the Argenta allotment in Nevada courtesy Western Watersheds Project.