Welfare Ranchers Escalate War on Wild Horses

by Tracie Sullivan, less headline and byline, as published in The Spectrum

Federally Subsidized Cattlemen Want Exclusive Use of Public Land for Personal Profit

Privately owned welfare cattle being herded onto public land and wild horse habitat  ~  photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Privately owned welfare cattle being herded onto public land and wild horse habitat ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

In an effort to gather support for recent legislation introduced by Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT Iron County), Iron County Commissioner Dave Miller pushed a resolution through last week at the National Association of Counties that sends a resounding message back to Congress — let the states manage their own wild horses.

The resolution, which was also carried by County Commissioner Mark Whitney, Garfield County Commissioner Leland Pollock and Piute County Commissioner Darin Bushman, was unanimously passed by all 3,069 county members of NACo.

“It went through with very little to no debate,” Bushman said. “It was amazing.”

Stewart recently introduced the Wild Horse Oversight Act of 2014, H.R. 5058, that if passed would take jurisdiction from the Bureau of Land Management and give it to the states and Indian Tribes to implement their own management plans for the wild horses and burros according to their specific needs.

In an interview with The Spectrum and Daily News Monday, Stewart said NACo’s resolution will go far to help him in getting H.R. 5058 through Congress.

“It clearly helps us. This resolution was passed unanimously,” Stewart said. “We’re not talking about all conservative Republican counties here that passed it either but many political philosophies, and they all agreed that the states have the right to manage their own wild horses. Some of these counties are controlled by independents and Democrats, so this will help us to build a broad coalition of supporters. I’m very grateful for that.”

The resolution lends support for Stewart’s legislation, calling for the federal government to “give individual states exclusive authority to appropriate herd management levels and dispose of animals that exceed AMLs at state’s discretion, just like States do now for other wildlife species.”

Stewart said while it’s still early in the process, he hasn’t run into any issues with the Congressional delegation. He feels he may even have the support of Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, long a Democratic stalwart.

“I can’t speak for Sen. Harry Reid but the reality is his state has a much bigger problem with the wild horses and even he has expressed frustration with the BLM’s management of the wild horses,” Stewart said.

While at the NACo conference in New Orleans, Miller said he spent time with a few congressional leaders including Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu — who he believes will support efforts to turn the management of the wild horses over to the states.

Still, wild horse advocates argue the bill was introduced on behalf of “extremists” and believe they have the numbers to stop the legislation…(CONTINUED)

Click (HERE) to read the story in it’s entirety

4th Annual International Equine Conference

International Equine Conference - Click to Visit

Wellington, Florida

September 19, 20 & 21, 2014

We hope you can join us in Wellington, Florida for our 4th Annual Conference. 

We’ll have a preliminary list of presenters in the next few days and several announcements over the next few weeks as plans are finalized.

register now

Psychotherapist Borrows Horse Sense for Book on Human Behavior

as published in the LATimes

Hanging with the Guys ~ Terry and best friend, Apache the Mongalarga Marchador from Brazil.

Hanging with the Guys ~ Terry and best friend, Apache the Mangalarga Marchador from Brazil.

It’s ‘Feel Good Sunday’ and to be honest, my wife Terry and I took a little time off, yesterday, to just hang out with the horses.  No ground work, no trail riding, we just let the horses do their most favorite thing to do in the world, eat.  And to make it more special, we let them out of the pastures and allowed them to hang with us in the yard so that they could go over and poke at the dually, drink out of the Koi pond and turn over Terry’s potted plants.  But perhaps most importantly to note, with a very large area of fresh, green grass to chow down on, they were never more than 60′ away from us…they still wanted to be near us.  And with that in mind, we share this particular article with you today, it points to how much we as humans can learn about interaction through the behavior of horses.  Great food for thought and fodder for the soul.  Keep the faith.” ~ R.T


Psychotherapists have plumbed all sorts of relationships in their quest to understand and improve human communication, so perhaps it was only a matter of time before they studied horse sense. Herd behavior, changing habits, building trust — it seems that people have a lot to learn from Equus ferus caballus.

Psychotherapist Tara Bennett-Goleman long ago joined the ranks of those who appreciate the equine perspective. She makes a strong case for what horses can inspire us to do, as opposed to what we can train them to do, in her latest book, “Mind Whispering: A New Map to Freedom From Self-Defeating Emotional Habits,” which just came out in paperback.

After the publication of her first book, “Emotional Alchemy: How the Mind Can Heal the Heart,” Bennett-Goleman and her horse, a 12-year-old mare, began studying with renowned “horse whisperer” R.J. Sadowski, who trains horses with what he calls “horsemindship.” As she learned how to connect with horses, Bennett-Goleman came to see so many metaphors for human communication that she eventually attained a sort of equine equivalent to a Zen aha moment: “The way we humans act and think of ourselves as separate and in control of things must appear strange to a horse, even predator-like,” she writes. “But horses seem to accommodate our foolish ways, accept us anyway, and even find creative ways to remind us that we’re really part of the herd.”

In “Mind Whispering,” Bennett-Goleman synthesizes mindfulness meditation, cognitive therapy, a touch of neuroscience and Indian classical dance — and her long-standing love of horses. “Failing a common verbal language, you speak to a horse with body language, and we in turn begin to understand them through their movements.” There are, she believes, crucial take-aways for Homo sapiens sapiens: (CONTINUED)

Click (HERE) to read more at the LA Times

Feds Circumnavigate Protocol to Destroy Wild Horse Herds

Unedited, less headline and byline, BLM Press Release

No Resource Management Plan or Environmental Assessment, just Total Removal and Destruction

BLM Header

BLM Schedules Wild Horse Removal on Checkerboard Lands

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Rock Springs Field Office will remove all wild horses from checkerboard lands within the Great Divide Basin, Adobe Town and Salt Wells Creek herd management areas (HMAs) beginning approximately Aug. 20.

This removal comes at the request of private land owners and to comply with the 2013 Consent Decree for Rock Springs Grazing Association (RSGA) vs. Salazar, No. 11-CV00263-NDF, and Section 4 of the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971.

The three HMAs total approximately 2,427,220 acres, with 1,242,176 acres falling within the checkerboard. The majority of private land in the HMAs is in the checkerboard of alternating sections of public and private land and owned or controlled by the RSGA. Wild horses will remain in the non-checkerboard sections of the HMAs.

All removed wild horses will be examined by a veterinarian, dewormed, Coggins-tested and given booster shots.

“Animals removed from the checkerboard will be available for adoption through the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program,” said Rock Springs Field Office Manager Kimberlee Foster. “Those not adopted will be cared for in long-term pastures, where they retain their ‘wild’ status and protection under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.”

There will be opportunities to observe the removal. To be notified of these opportunities, please contact Shelley Gregory at 307-315-0612 or ssgregory@blm.gov to have your name added to the observation log.

For more information, please visit www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/info/NEPA/documents/rsfo/Checkerboard.html, www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/programs/Wild_Horses/14cb-removal.html or contact Wild Horse Specialist Jay D’Ewart at 307-352-0331.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2013, the BLM generated $4.7 billion in receipts from public lands.

–BLM–Rock Springs Field Office   280 Highway 191 North      Rock Springs WY 82901

Out of Respect: A Day of Silence

mh17“We laid down the swords, bended our knees and hung our heads with disbelief and sadness over the senseless tragedy that, once again, befell so many souls.

 Our travails pale in comparison to what so many have and are suffering so we offer this moment of silence for those who are in so much pain.

 Our hearts are broken.” ~ R.T.

Ranchers vs Wild Horses: Pure BS


 

“Avid readers and researchers brought this article to our attention WITH commentary. Often times we issue a “tissue” alert before reading a touching article; not so in this case, instead we will formerly issue a “GAG” alert as anything that is in your alimentary canal may want to take a fast exit after reading the facts about why ranchers really want wild horses removed.” ~ R.T.


 

http://www.opb.org/news/article/running-from-drought-dry-conditions-force-wild-horses-onto-private-land/

Herald And News: Dry Conditions Force Wild Horses Onto Private Land

The Klamath Falls Herald and News | July 12, 2014 8 p.m. | Updated: July 14, 2014 3:37 p.m. | Dorris, California

Contributed By:

LACEY JARRELL H&N Staff Reporter

http://www.opb.org/images/fetch/c_limit,g_center,h_350,q_90,w_220/http%3A/s3.amazonaws.com/p2x-photos/787a5bb4d6cb4be37bc32248228af15b_original.jpg

Roger Porterfield was a courteous, but reluctant host when 90 uninvited guests began showing up at his ranch, grazing his land and depleting his water holes. Even as the guests brazenly took hay from his cattle feeders day after day, Porterfield accommodated them, until one day enough was enough and he asked them to leave.

In late 2013, Porterfield, of Porterfield Ranch in Dorris, Calif., filed an official complaint with the Bureau of Land Management stating wild horses were moving off the nearby Red Rocks Lakes Herd Management Area and onto his property in search of food and water. At the time, Porterfield noted about 30 to 40 horses were bypassing his fences and helping themselves to his livestock stores.

“Feed and water are crucial for the ranch operation, especially in drought years,” the complaint read. “This situation is totally unacceptable.”

On June 10, BLM officials surveyed the 18,000-acre Red Rocks site and discovered all of its 17 water sources — including the area’s two namesake Red Rock Lakes — were completely dry.

“There’s not even mud in them,” said Doug Satica, manager of Litchfield Wild Horse and Burro Facility near Susanville, Calif.

Just two days later, the agency approved Porterfield’s complaint and began removing wild horses from his ranch. In all, 90 were collected — 30 studs, 45 mares, and 15 foals — and transported 170 miles to the Litchfield Wild Horse and Burro Facility, where they are awaiting adoption.

“Like the rest of the West, it’s abnormally dry. Northern California, by most accounts, is having one of the driest seasons on record,” said Jeff Fontana, BLM Northern California District public information officer.

Water sources dry up

The Red Rocks Lakes BLM Herd Management Area (HMA) is named after the Red Rocks Lakes that, when combined, cover about 75 acres. According to Litchfield manager Satica, they are the area’s main water source.

Alan Uchida, a rangeland management specialist with the Alturas, Calif., BLM office, said the lakes, although shallow, typically hold water for a few months after a wet spring, but the mild winter produced little snow and left fewer water reserves.

“The last time I visited the lakes, they were plumb dry,” Uchida said.

Uchida explained the Red Rocks HMA sits atop a ridge and is surrounded by private land on all sides. He said horses occasionally travel off the HMA in search of food or water, but he’s not surprised many are making regular visits to Porterfield’s property. Porterfield manages 2,000 head of cattle and has the most reliable water sources around, he said.

Fontana explained Red Rocks’ horses and livestock are sustained through summer months by 17 water holes, which are a mixture of natural water sources, like springs and the lakes, and manmade pits positioned to utilize natural runoff flows.

“But we haven’t had a drought like this in a long, long, time,” Satica said.

The drought, which encompasses most of the West, has left horse managers north of the California border, eying emergency plans as well. Jeff Clark, an Oregon BLM public information officer, said his agency hasn’t received any nuisance complaints about mustangs and private water sources yet, but it has plans in place if water becomes scarce for the state’s 4,200 wild horses: Some Eastern Oregon livestock grazers are working with the BLM to keep watering holes full even after their cattle have moved on, and last year in the Lakeview District, water trucks hauled hundreds of gallons of water to replenish wildlife watering holes.

“More than likely, that’s going to happen again,” Clark said.

All wildlife affected

In 1971, Congress passed the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act to protect, manage, and control wild horses and burros on public lands. The act is intended to allow the animals to roam within reasonable populations that are balanced with other species’ rangeland needs. Although the Red Rocks HMA has a management objective of 16 to 25 horses, officials initially estimated the herd could be as large as 80.

Since Porterfield’s complaint was approved in June, nearly 100 horses have been gathered from his ranch and officials believe there could be more on the HMA.

Rob Sharp, a wild horse management specialist in the Burns BLM office, said horses are no different than other livestock, and although they tend to travel quite a bit between water and forage sites, resources restrict how far they will go.

“When things get really poor, you’ll start to see horses congregate on whatever water source is left, along with other wildlife,” he said.

Fontana emphasized HMAs are not devoted exclusively to horses; domestic livestock, mule deer, pronghorn, upland birds and countless other species utilize the same water resources.

“If there’s no water for horses, there’s no water for wildlife,” Clark said.

Craig Foster, a district biologist for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, said the water situation in the desert east of Lakeview isn’t dire yet, but some animals are moving to higher elevations, where springs may have received more precipitation.

“If the 95-degree-plus weather continues, water is going to be an issue later in the summer,” he said.

Foster added research has shown when water gets tight, wild horses will protect and defend a resource, preventing other animals, such as deer and pronghorn, from using it. He said if conditions remain dry, it’s likely conflicts between the horses and wildlife will arise.

“It’s going to be a concern, especially in the Beatys Butte area,” he said, noting the Lakeview District’s horse population also is well over its management objective.

ljarrell@heraldandnews.com; @LMJatHandN


THE REST OF THE STORY

 

This little HMA (Red Rock) is north east of Weed and almost on the Oregon/CA border with a VERY small AML of 25 horses.

Just so you know, the guy Porterfield who is quoted in the below article, and who made the official complaints for wild horse removal has 1041 active AUMs on the HMA equal to about forage enough for 87 wild horses full time if just he didn’t run his cattle there.  In addition, I estimated the total AUMs (Porterfield and a few others) at 1795 AUMs which would be equal to about 150 wild horses if they would all get their cattle OFF.

To take it a step further for the sake of argument, if the horses got their legal principal share using multiple use – that would still allow for 88 full time wild horses and an almost equal but slightly smaller number of livestock.

(*** Above numbers from RAS but they are rounded and the grazing allotments used for calculation appear to be almost equal although not exact to the size of the HMA.)

Also, Porterfield received $149,913 in federal farm subsidies (2002-2012) and two of the other ranchers with allotments on the HMA received a combined total of about $300,000 in farm subsidies.  If these so-called “ranchers” can’t successfully manage their livestock on their own land without this federal welfare money – then they do NOT belong in the ranching business.

Porterfield is right about one thing … this situation is totally unacceptable BUT it is his personal for-profit livestock on my land and on the land that belongs principally to the wild horses that is unacceptable!

It is much more about the water than even the land.

The Red Rocks seems to be a small HMA (a friend used to go there and said it was very remote and very few horses) and if the ranchers own the water rights and they turn off the springs after removing their livestock (and they DO that!!!) then there would be a water shortage for the wildlife and wild horses.  There is no doubt that many of the water catchments (manmade) are dry this year and we must realize that drought is “normal” …… heavy rain years and light rain years are NORMAL.  That in itself is not the problem.  If the water (springs and natural lakes) was not sucked dry by irrigation then there would not be this problem and if you look at Red Rocks HMA on google earth, it is surrounded by BIG irrigated private fields.

Attached google earth photo I did … HMA is in the middle and surrounded by irrigated corps.

Red Rock HMA

As for Porterfield … They are listed as producing CATTLE GENETICS AND INTERNATIONAL PRODUCER OF CATTLE!  i.e. they are insisting that our wild horses be removed in favor of GMO cattle and beef for export (see below).

As for their exact location, I am not sure but believe their main ranch is just east of Dorris and north of the HMA – so I would say 99% sure they are sucking up the water for irrigation for hay for their cattle.  It is also common for big ranches to own other bits of ranches that have sold out, so they could have numerous lands in the area and in this article about him when he was awarded cattleman of the year … it does state that they irrigate.

http://www.heraldandnews.com/article_9f3c8fcb-1214-547f-a3e5-0577c252b1af.html

 

more:

Porterfield Ranch

5524 Dorris Brownell Road
Dorris, CA 96023 – View Map

Phone: (530) 397-4726

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Porterfield Ranch

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Categorized under Livestock Producers. Our records show it was established in 1965 and incorporated in California. Current estimates show this company has an annual revenue of 280000 and employs a staff of approximately 4.

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Report finds hope for US equine industry after prolonged decline

Source: The Equine Welfare Alliance

the price of hay in every state over the past decade with increases in many states of over 100%,

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

CHICAGO, July 15, 2014 — The Equine Welfare Alliance (EWA) with the assistance of the Animal Law Coalition has released the first Annual Equine Welfare Report. The report contains statistics and records obtained from federal and state agencies as well as breed registries.

“The findings are grim for the horse industry,” says EWA’s John Holland, “We found that the decline in new registrations which began in 2005 continued into 2013, with some breeds reporting registrations down as much as 75%.”

The report details the price of hay in every state over the past decade with increases in many states of over 100%, and some showing increases as much as 220%. Worst hit were the western and southwestern states, which were plagued by persistent drought.

The report, however, offers a glimmer of hope in recent increases in the amount of land allocated to hay production following the removal of corn ethanol subsidies that Congress terminated in 2011. This marks the first upturn in over a decade.

The report also finds the export of horses to slaughter declined in 2013, down from an almost two decade high in 2012.

An earlier EWA study found that the price of hay was the dominant factor in determining the likely rate of neglect, with the rate of unemployment coming in a distant second.

The report also contains a detailed record of legal and legislative battles that have raged over the past few years, especially as concerns horse slaughter. “Slaughter in the U.S. is now illegal again thanks to the tireless efforts of Americans who care about horse welfare,” said Laura Allen, president of ALC, “but the effort continues to ban the export of horses for slaughter in other countries.”

Finally, the report provides an update in the abuse and neglect rates in the five states where these records are kept at the state level. Only Colorado showed an increased rate of neglect, but it was the only state that reports such data within the drought plagued regions. “When the price of hay increases dramatically, you can be sure that the neglect rate will follow the same trajectory,” explained Holland.