Barry Whites of horse world get all the mares

by Mia Rozenbaum as published on NewsScientist.com

Preferring a deep voice is not confined to horses, humans tooSpeaker are subject to the “Barry white” effect

 photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Would Black Beauty have made the cut? It turns out mares prefer stallions with deep whinnies. Female horses look for the strongest stallions, but when their view is obscured, they depend on voices to size up potential mates.

In the wild, horses live in harems of adults and juveniles led by a stallion. When the young reach sexual maturity, they usually move to another group to mate. Alban Lemasson and his team from the University of Rennes 1 in France have shown that, when given the choice, mares go for groups led by stallions with deeper voices – a factor linked with size and fertility.

“Female choice of harem often occurs from afar, where sound is the most effective form of communication for a first encounter,” says Lemasson. So females get a first impression of the stallion based on his concert.

The same authors had previously shown that stallions with deeper voices were larger on average. They have now found that such horses also have a slower heart rate and sire more offspring. By listening to calls, mares might be finding the toughest, calmest and most fertile males – the ones with the potential to be good fathers and protective mates.

The finding could help horse breeders select the best stallions, too. “Breeders will be able to choose the most fertile stallions that excite mares the most so that reproduction happens in an optimal manner,” says Lemasson. “And now all might be able to make that decision based on sound, rather than costly sperm tests.”

Preferring a deep voice is not confined to horses, humans tooSpeaker are subject to the “Barry white” effect. And a similar preference has been recorded in a variety of animals, from deer and bison to giant pandas and koalasMovie Camera.

“In humans, men with lower, more attractive voices also seem to have more attractive faces, and possibly movements and body odours,” says Tamsin Saxton, from Northumbria University, UK. “The cues seem to work together to advertise one’s suitability as a partner.”

But, in humans, there can be too much of a good thing. “Women like deeper voices, but not too low. Too much masculinity might be good for short term relationships but not to build a family,” says Saxton. “And if you try to fake a deeper voice, it might well make you sound more dominant and confident, but probably won’t necessarily lead to people perceiving you as more attractive.”

What is BLM Director Neil Kornze saying about wild horses?

“According to the article below, Kornze didn’t even mention wild burros, probably because there are hardly any left on public lands.  It is troubling if he brought up sterilization of the herds.  And, if Kornze thinks capturing wild horses and maintaining them throughout their lives is “too expensive,” he should leave them on their federally protected Herd Management Areas.”  – Debbie

“Kornze also asked for more money to reduce the herds of wild horses that trample sage-grouse habitat and otherwise imperil the rangelands, as HCN has reported.  He said some 50,000 wild horses now roam BLM rangelands, about twice what the territory can handle.  Some $10 million of the funding would go to develop better techniques for birth control vaccines or sterilization of the herds. 

Kornze suggested that capturing a horse and maintaining it throughout its life with federal funds is too expensive. “We spend $45,000 on that horse, and that’s a good college education,” Kornze said.  The government already supports 50,000 in captivity.”

NeilKornze  Neil Kornze

SOURCE:  High Country News

BLM seeks Congressional OK for new fees, private donations

by Elizabeth Shogren

The director of the Bureau of Land Management sat across a big oval table from members of the U.S. House of Representatives this week and made his case for more money. The agency needs increased funding, he said, to manage challenges as diverse as a drilling boom and an overabundance of wild horses across vast stretches of public lands.

But before BLM Director Neil Kornze even had a chance to pitch President Obama’s $1.2 billion budget proposal for his agency, the chairman of the panel, Rep. Ken Calvert, R-CA, said the request didn’t match the “very constrained funding environment” in Congress.

Kornze pressed for approval of proposals to expand BLM’s funds without getting more cash from Congress. He asked the panel to create a BLM foundation, so the agency can raise private funds, and to approve BLM’s plan to charge the oil and gas industry for inspections on federal land.

Currently, the BLM has 159 inspectors for 100,000 wells, but Kornze says it needs at least 220. “This is a major industrial activity on public lands and it needs oversight,” he said.

The administration’s proposal would raise an estimated $48 million in 2016, but cost companies only about $1,000 per well, which Kornze said isn’t much for companies that have invested at least $8 million to drill each well.

The BLM also wants to start charging an administration fee for grazing, which would help the agency clear its big grazing permit backlog more quickly.

Calvert, who chairs the House Committee on Appropriations subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies, did not oppose the proposals outright but said they should be considered by the House Natural Resources Committee, which oversees BLM, not the panel that funds the agency.

The highest-ranking Democrat on the panel articulated the problem with that logic. “How do we get the authorizing committee to do their job?” said Betty Louise McCollum, D-Minnesota. “Maybe they should stop doing leases then if we can’t do inspections,” she said, adding quickly that no one wants that outcome.

The biggest increase in the administration’s budget is the request for $60 million — a four-fold increase — for the agency’s sage grouse program.

Republicans on the panel seemed inclined to provide that money — if cuts are found elsewhere in the budget. As HCN has reported, the 11 states with grouse territory are working with the federal government to try to reduce risks to the bird, so that it doesn’t end up on the endangered species list. In part, the money would go to plant strips of fire-resistant vegetation and cut down juniper and piñon trees that have flourished over what had been native sagebrush and grass habitat. This will increase the birds’ territory and reduce the risk of wildfires, which burn millions of acres of rangeland each year.

“If we go ahead and do everything — from this committee, the states, localities —and the sage grouse is still listed; that’s not going to bode well for future cooperation,” Calvert warned.

Kornze also asked for more money to reduce the herds of wild horses that trample sage-grouse habitat and otherwise imperil the rangelands, as HCN has reported. He said some 50,000 wild horses now roam BLM rangelands, about twice what the territory can handle. Some $10 million of the funding would go to develop better techniques for birth control vaccines or sterilization of the herds.

Kornze suggested that capturing a horse and maintaining it throughout its life with federal funds is too expensive. “We spend $45,000 on that horse, and that’s a good college education,” Kornze said. The government already supports 50,000 in captivity.

McCollum pressed Kornze on what the agency is doing about Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, who as HCN has reported had a standoff with BLM officials about a year ago at his Nevada ranch. Bundy has yet to be charged for illegal grazing or his unpaid grazing fees. At least one of the hundreds of people gathered at his ranch aimed a rifle at federal agents; that person has not been charged either.

“Mr. Bundy and his band of armed thugs are dangerous. They have committed acts that are criminal by threatening federal employees. They should be held accountable. They should be prosecuted,” said McCollum.

Kornze failed to specify what the federal government is doing about Bundy. “It is absolutely essential that those who have broken laws are brought to justice,” he said.  “The grazing issues persist. This will be something that will continue to get my highest level of attention.”

Controversy surrounds MS Charity Horse Show – “Big Lick”

Posted by Marsha Thompson at WDAM Channel 7

Blair E. Batson Children’s Hospital recently turned down charitable donations from the Mississippi Charity Horse Show

Click Image to View Video

Click Image to View Video

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) – Controversy is swirling around an upcoming Tennessee Walking horse show that features ‘Big Lick’ classes.

A group called the Walking Horse Alliance says this is cruel and abusive.

Blair E. Batson Children’s Hospital recently turned down charitable donations from the Mississippi Charity Horse Show. Over 5 thousand people have signed a petition to stop the “Big Lick” competition, according to Oxford attorney Clant Seay.

Seay sent us numerous USDA documents citing previous abuse at this Jackson horse show.

Blair E. Batson’s Children’s Hospital says the national controversy over the way Tennessee Walking horses are trained and handled, particularly those performing the “Big Lick style”, brought them to the decision.

Here is the statement from UMMC:

After careful reflection, the administration of Batson Children’s Hospital has asked the organizers of the Mississippi Charity Horse Show to discontinue donating proceeds of the event to the hospital for the benefit of its patients. We are grateful for the generous support of the Charity Horse Show over the last several years. This support has included not only monetary contributions but also opportunities for patients under our care to be involved. Although we are comfortable the Mississippi show complies with all applicable laws for the protection of horses, the national controversy over the way Tennessee Walking Horses are trained and handled – particularly those that perform in the “Big Lick” style – has brought us to this decision. We are not in a position to evaluate the strongly held beliefs and assertions on either side of this issue, so our decision is intended to remove the Children’s Hospital from the controversy.

Big Lick is a horse picking up it’s hooves higher than it’s natural motion.

The Humane Society says some competitors have been known to illegally ‘sore’ the horses ankles by applying a caustic chemical that burns them. Chains and stacked shoes are then applied. The horses react to the pain and step higher.

Robert Taylor, the show promoter, tells me USDA veterinarians and USDA inspectors will be at the show to catch those who abuse horses.

Some 300 horses from around the southeast are expected to compete in the show March 26-28th. Taylor, a retired show promoter says this show is legal.

Taylor also says he is disappointed Blair E. Batson has declined donations. He says other deserving charities will receive donations.

Last year Batson received $45, 000.00.

The cull of Alberta Wildies – Part 4

rat_in_hole_6

Here is an update from our friends at Help Alberta Wildies (HAW):

OUR BATTLE WITH ESRD – Part 4

GONE TO GROUND

SOURCE:  equines.ca

February 4, 2015, another cull of our majestic Alberta wildies was issued. Environment and Sustainable Resource Development’s (ESRD), Duncan MacDonnell, was asked how many horses could the rangeland support. He stated, “We don’t know how many horses is too many, just less than what there is now.” Attempts to contact any senior ESRD employee that day got the message …..”I am away from the office”….. Gone to Ground! Cowardly and contemptible are the words I come up with.

Newspaper releases showed up in the Calgary Herald, CTV News, and Global News announcing a cull of up to 60 wild horses in the Ghost Equine Zone of Alberta. All articles stated that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) would oversee the roundup and would be responsible for hiring the horse wranglers. Except, that wasn’t true. It turned out to be just another lie issued by ESRD to try and thwart the wildies advocates. I have to say, that if this was a scare tactic to try and prevent us from protecting our wildies, it didn’t work, but from the onset, it just didn’t ring true for me.

I made numerous phone calls to local Detachments, who in turn made numerous phone calls to other Members trying to find out the truth. None of the RCMP Members I spoke to seemed to know anything about being involved with the horse cull. I asked so many questions, that one Member called the RCMP Media personnel and I received a telephone call from Cpl. Franks to discuss the situation. Cpl. Franks stated that the RCMP were not involved in the cull, as they were not mandated to do so. A Canada-wide news release would be issued that day, Friday, February 5, 2015, retracting all previous newspaper articles, denying that the RCMP had anything to do with the cull or hiring horse wranglers. True to her word, those retractions appear in the evening papers.

I wrote to ESRD requesting immediate corrections in all the newspapers, but as usual, I never received a reply back. That prompted me to write to Justice Minister Jonathon Denis, requesting that he intervene, as it seemed ESRD was out of control.

Now, ESRD telling the General Public big whoppers, is nothing new. If you’ve been following from the beginning, you will be well aware that ESRD lies to the General Public just about any time it suits them. They’ve lied about the cull in 2014, and gave advance notice to a privileged few, prior to informing the General Public. They’ve lied about the number of wild horses on Public Lands. They’ve lied about the wild horses not having any predators. They’ve lied about the wild horses damaging the grasslands. They’ve lied about how fast the wild horses reproduce their numbers. They’ve lied about the wild horses having Equine Infectious Anemia. They’ve lied about the Alberta SPCA being on the Feral Horse Advisory Committee, and this year, 2015, the big whopper is, the RCMP involvement. That’s quite a list isn’t it?

Here’s one of the biggest whoppers of all. The wild horses are all formerly domesticated horses, non-native, feral, released in the early 1900’s, from logging operations, from the RCMP who helped settle the prairies, barnyard escapees, former pack string horses, with their halters on, and iron shoes intact.

Except, those horses would have been mares and GELDINGS, as stallions are far too difficult to work with, so there must have been an awful lot of immaculate conception going on for them to increase their numbers. Good Lord! There is ample proof that horses are native to North America, and as such they have a right to roam free and protected on our Public Lands.

Last year there was double dealing and backstabbing going on with WHOAS and ESRD, and this year there was double dealing and backstabbing going on with WHOAS, ESRD, and another group. This particular group was started by someone who seemed to be afraid that if the PZP vaccine was successful at controlling wildie numbers, that somehow it would then be tried on deer and elk, and he sure didn’t want that, as it would severely limited the animals he could kill for pleasure and sport. I can just imagine the meetings that took place, with big gelatinous bellies hanging over waistbands 3 sizes too small, and jiggling with guffaws. One good ole boy, butt-slapping another, and feeling so proud of themselves for coming up with a secret game plan to enable them to capture wildies and send them to slaughter. Now I’m pretty sure these good ole boys thought they were pulling a fast one on all the horse advocates working to save the wildies and keep them on Public Lands, but when you break it all down, the final picture is, these guys and ESRD want to send horses to slaughter. Their new plan was to appear to offer the horse advocates some of the things they wanted. They allowed a trial of the PZP Program, and they offered ALL captured horses to WHOAS to be adopted out. The undesirable older horses that WHOAS didn’t take, then went to auction and were made available to the General Public. If the General Public didn’t buy them, well, golly gee, they tried didn’t they, but HEY still too many horses out there destroying the rangeland, so sorry, we have to get them off of there. Before they did that however, here is what was done to the wild horses first.

They terrified them by chasing them down, and forced them into a small enclosure, so they could not run from danger. They separated family groups, separated mares from their foals and yearlings, forced them into trailers, confining them even more than the capture pens, and drove them several hours to the auction, where they would be auctioned off. Most of the mares were heavily pregnant, and last year one of the captured mares was under such stress, she aborted her 25 lb. fetus, became septic, and died a horrible death. This year, an entire herd of 11 was trapped. Those bloodlines are forever lost.

The trappers ran the herd from behind, through snow drifts and debris filled cutbacks, and corralled the foals, then used them to lure in the mares and stallion. Not satisfied with trapping this herd, they spotted another herd and went after them and managed to rope 2 young foals, and dragged them by their necks, into the capture pens. They were all loaded and shipped directly to the auction house. These good ole boys are not unique to Alberta, but we certainly seem to have the vast majority of them within our borders, and many of them sit on the one-sided, pro-slaughter, Feral Horse Advisory Committee, which is hand-picked by ESRD.

Let’s talk about another group that has Gone to Ground. WHOAS’ role in the original management program presented to ESRD, was to offer rescue to those horses that wandered onto private property, or foals that were found abandoned or otherwise in trouble. ESRD’s redrafted Memorandum of Understanding, signed by WHOAS, now made WHOAS a participator in the cull, and turned their rescue into a receiving and holding facility for culled horses. WHOAS became an enabler so that ESRD and the trappers could remove wildies from Public Lands, siphon off the undesirable older horses by taking them straight to auction, and then call WHOAS to come and pick up the young desirable ones, and take them to their holding facility. The young desirable wildies could easily be gentled and sold for a quick turn-around. Here’s another little “twist” in this arrangement. It was stated by one of WHOAS Administrators on their Facebook Page, that she thought it was time for some of the other groups who had been so vocal, to “put their money where thier (sic) mouth was” and step up and buy the undesirable older horses that WHOAS didn’t take. If the undesirable older horses did go to auction and were bought by kill buyers, somehow it was the General Public’s fault for failing to buy them.

WHOAS also signed on the dotted line and agreed to cull the wildies themselves, when ordered to do so by ESRD. I suppose the General Public will be blamed, yet again, if those wildies go to slaughter.

The General Public had no input on any of the above. We’ve made it clear, we want the horses to stay free and protected on our Public Lands. We never agreed to have any wildies removed from their birthright while the PZP trial was going on. The PZP trial was offered as an alternative to captures and culls, not double the number of horses being removed. Certainly, no one was consulted, or agreed to, putting WHOAS in charge of anything. Anyone who promotes and assists in removing the wildies from their rightful place on our Public Lands, as WHOAS is now doing, does not have the wildies best interests foremost.

Now any questions put to WHOAS, as to why they were assisting in the removal of our wildies from Public Lands, were immediately deleted from their Facebook Page, and those people blocked. Gone to Ground.

There are only around 850 wildies left on a vast area of 2.2 million acres. On this vast area of 2.2 million acres, cattle ranchers, who have Government issued grazing permits allowing them to make money off our Public Lands, are allowed to graze 240,000 head of cattle. The ratio of horses to cattle is 1:283. Arguments in favor of the cattle are: the cattle are only allowed to graze for a few months of the year and are pulled in the winter, while the wildies are out year round; the wildies are out damaging early spring grass, whereas cattle are put out after the spring grass has time to grow and strengthen; the wildies damage the grass with their teeth, by ripping it out by the roots. Seriously?

If the horses, all 850 of them, damaged all the grass before the cattle got out there, then wouldn’t the grass disappear? If the horses, all 850 of them, ate all the grass before the cattle got out there, then wouldn’t the grass disappear?? If the horses, all 850 of them, damaged the grass with their teeth by ripping it out by the roots, then wouldn’t the grass disappear??? What exactly are all these 240,000 head of cattle eating if there is no grass, and why would the cattle ranchers put cattle out on a barren landscape, where they would surely starve? Should we talk about how 240,000 head of cattle can damage grasslands? Nah, probably not.

How about the forestry industry? Have you been out there and seen with your own eyes, the massive clear cuts and the devastation left behind from them? How about the spraying of Glyphosate? Sundre Forest Products, a Member of the Feral Horse Advisory Committee, use this herbicide to control undesirable vegetation hindering new tree growth. Should I mention that wind, drainage and snow melt can cause drift of herbicides into our watershed? Should I mention that deer, elk and moose, not to mention our wildies, are eating this herbicide treated grass? Should I mention how spraying with Glyphosate creates super weeds? Should we talk about how the forestry industry is damaging the grasslands? Nah, probably not.

How about all the campers and recreational vehicles? I’ve seen pictures posted of the mess and destruction left behind by holiday campers. Read story after story, of fields, forests and campgrounds covered with human feces, plastic bags, broken bottles, tin cans, and all other manner of garbage left behind to rot. The same can be said for ATV’s and motorbikes ripping up the ground, and polluting waterways. Should we talk about how these things damage the grasslands? Nah, probably not.

Time after time, lie after lie has been shown for what it is, and logical, factual information has been provided in its place. Time after time, logic and facts are ignored, and the wild horses are rounded up and sent to slaughter.

Time after time, the wildie advocates have tried to present humane management plans to deal with wildie numbers, but no matter what is put forward, and no matter what seems to be agreed to between advocates and ESRD, the wild horses are rounded up and sent to slaughter.

It was stated outright in 2014 by Don Livingston of ESRD, …..”The grasslands are 50% for cattle and 50% for wildlife”…. There you have it in a nutshell.

This year’s cull was supposed to end on February 28, 2015. Here it is March 2, 2015, foaling season for the wildies, and the roundups are continuing. The wranglers have been videoed chasing down the last horse standing on the Wigwam. It was chased at a full gallop, through a cutback of downed trees and logging debris for over 10 minutes, while the wranglers tried to lasso it. The horse ran into the forest with the wranglers in hot pursuit and disappeared from sight. On Sunday, March 1, 2015, a very young wildie stud, was dropped off at the auction with what appeared to be rope burns around his neck.

Several horse advocates have been camping out and sleeping in their cars, keeping a watchful eye on the unnecessary and inhumane treatment our wildies are being forced to endure.

In 1993, our glorious Government took the wildies into their jurisdiction to protect the horses from being run down “cowboy” style. The following Regulation was enacted:

ALBERTA REGULATION 59/94
Stray Animals Act
HORSE CAPTURE REGULATION

Capturing

7(1) A licence holder shall not use a snare, weapon or vehicle to capture or attempt to capture a horse.

 (2) In this section,

(a) “snare” means a device that consists of or includes a cable, rope, wire or other form of material and that is used or set to capture a horse by tightening a loop around the neck, foot or leg, with the energy to tighten it coming from the horse or from a spring, triggering device or other mechanism;

(b) “vehicle” means a motorized device, including a boat or aircraft, in or by which a person or thing may be transported;

(c) “weapon” means a firearm or other projectile propelling device used to frighten, injure or kill.

AR 59/94 s7;5/2008

The video was sent to Minister Kyle Fawcett, ESRD, demanding that he immediately put a stop to this inhumane and cruel treatment, and uphold the Government’s own Regulation, but the Minister chose to ignore it.

Complaints were made to Alberta SPCA, regarding the young foals that were chased, separated from their mothers, and dragged by their necks into capture pens. Complaints were made to Alberta SPCA regarding the heavily pregnant mares that were being chased for miles and driven into the capture pens. Telephone calls to ESRD went straight to message, and were not returned. Emails and letters were sent to ESRD, and were ignored. This Ministry and the Alberta Government are a total disgrace.

In 1994, ESRD issued a complete cull of the 1200 wild horses on the Suffield Military Base. Only approximately 200 were rescued by private citizens to preserve the bloodlines, with the remaining 1000 going to slaughter. It seems they intend to do this again with the few remaining Alberta wildies left on Public Lands. Round them up, and send them to slaughter, because we all know NO ONE, andNOTHING, causes damage to our Public Lands EXCPET those 850 wild horses (sarcasm intended!).

If you find this as offensive as I do, you can contact ESRD at…..oh, gee willikers, I forgot…..”I am away from the office”….. Gone to Ground.

ESRD Contact Information:

Minister Kyle Fawcett323 Legislature Building10800 97 AvenueEdmonton, ABCanada T5K 2B6Phone: (780) 427-2391Email: ESRD.Minister@gov.ab.ca

Deputy Minister Bill WerryEnvironment and SustainableResource Development915 – 108 StreetEdmonton, ABT5K 2G8Phone (780) 427-1799

Email: bill.werry@gov.ab.ca

Shannon Flint, AssistantDeputy Minister Policy Div.Environment and SustainableResource Development 11th Fl. Petroleum Plaza St.

9915 – 108 Street

Edmonton, AB

T5K 2G8

Phone: (780) 422-8463

Email: shannon.flint@gov.ab.ca

 

Helen Newsham Section HeadRangeland Integration SectionEnvironment and SustainableResource Development4th Fl. Great West Life Bldg.9920 – 108 StreetEdmonton, AB

T5K 2M4

Phone: (780) 427-4764

Email: helen.newsham@gov.ab.ca

March 17, 2015

This Abusive Practice Still Happens At Horse Shows; Here’s How One State Is Cracking Down

By Ameena Schelling as published on The Dodo

“You cannot have a big lick without pain”

walkinghorseshoesIn an effort to stop soring — the brutal practice of injuring horses’ feet to make their walk more “attractive” — North Carolina has ended a 30-year-old state fair show that features Tennessee walking horses performing their token exaggerated gait.

The breed’s already distinct walk is often amplified into a “big lick” gait for performance competitions, usually by adding heavy platforms to the horse’s front shoes.

However, advocates argue that such competitions encourage the illegal but all-too-common practice of soring, an inhumane process where horse’s feet are cruelly injured. The pain causes them to lift their feet up quickly and emphatically, creating a more dramatic walk.

One common method of soring involves burning horses’ feet with toxic chemicals such as diesel, kerosene and mustard oil, then wrapping their legs in plastic wrap and leaving the chemicals to blister the skin.

Another method, called pressure shoeing, involves trimming a horse’s hoof almost to the quick to cause excruciating pain. Some trainers also hammer nails and tacks into sensitive areas of the horse’s hooves.

“The big lick is a pain-induced gait,” Clant Seay of the All American Walking Horse Alliance told The News & Observer. “You cannot have a big lick without pain.”

Though no one’s being charged, the decision to ban the walking horses from the North Carolina State Fair comes after protests at last year’s event and an online petition that garnered nearly 20,000 signatures.

Soring was banned under the U.S. Horse Protection Act of 1970, but the practice is still quite common because it gives an advantage in gait competitions. Many judges still use criteria that favors sored horses, and trainers are often skilled at hiding soring from show-mandated veterinary inspectors.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, some trainers may apply numbing agents to horses’ feet so they don’t flinch when they’re handled by vets, and some even beat horses during staged practice sessions so the animals learn that flinching will only lead to worse pain.

A bipartisan group of congressmen and horse enthusiasts have rallied around the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act, which would increase USDA oversight, increase penalties and ban the use of devices associated with soring. The bill should be reintroduced this year.

BLM to hold public hearing in Fallon, NV, on Thursday (3/19/15)

Flanigan_Dogskin_Mountain_and_Granite_Peak_Horse_Gather.-WidePar-000101-Image.WideParimage.2.2 photo:  BLM

Wild horse & burro advocates, please attend if you can.  All future roundups and Environmental Assessments in this BLM District will be based on this 10-15 year Resource Management Plan (RMP).  Tell the BLM to make sure to use a viable herd number, 120-150 breeding age adults, for the Appropriate Mangement Level (AML) of wild horses and burros on each of the HMAs.  Also, ask the BLM if they are counting the foals as part of the total number.  The Carson City District Office has many wild horse Herd Management Areas, and we have put the low to high AML (from BLM statistics as of March, 2014) next to the name of the HMA, along with the number of acres in the HMA.

Sierra Front Field Office:
Dogskin Mountains (10-16 wild horses)  6,895 acres

& Granite Peak (11-18 wild horses)  3, 886 acres
Flanigan (80-125 wild horses)   17,101 acres
Pine Nut Mountains (118-179 wild horses)   90,000 acres

Stillwater Field Office:
Clan Alpines (503-979 wild horses)   314,986 acres
Desatoya (127-180 wild horses)   161,000 acres
Garfield Flat (75-125 wild horses)   141,800 acres
Lahontan (7-10 wild horses)  11.000 acres
Marietta Wild Burro Range (75-104 wild burros)  68,000 acres
Pilot-Table Mountain (249-415 wild horses)   255,040 acres
South Stillwater (8-16 wild horses)  10,000 acres
Wassuk (109-165 wild horses)  54,000 acres

For more information, click HERE.

Written comments can be sent to:  Carson City RMP,  Bureau of Land Management,  Carson City District Office, 5665 Morgan Mill Road, Carson City, NV  89701    FAX: (775) 885-6147    Email comments can be sent to blm_nv_ccdo_rmp@blm.gov   (You can put your name and e-mail address, but if you put your home address, make sure to prominently state in your letter that you don’t want your home address to be made public.)

BLM to hold public meeting in Fallon on Thursday

Source:  Nevadaappeal.com

The Bureau of Land Management Carson City District is holding on Thursday a public hearing on the Carson City District Draft Resource Management Plan.

Speakers will be required to sign in to speak. There will be a three-minute time limit for each speaker and a court reporter will be present to document all public comments.

Public hearing comments will be incorporated into the official record and will be included in the final document. BLM managers and staff will be available from 5-5:45 p.m. to interact with the public and answer questions.

The formal public hearing will begin at 6 p.m. The public hearing will take place from 6-8:30 p.m. in the Churchill County Commission Chamber, 155 N. Taylor St.

BLM to Hold Scoping Meetings on Fate of Near Extinct Wild Burros

“Attention all wild horse and burro advocates; our disappearing wild burros need your voice at an upcoming BLM scoping meeting to be held April 1-2. If you can arrange to attend please do so and speak on their behalf. Thanks, in advance, for your dedication and commitment…keep the faith.” ~ R.T.


The information below supplied by “The Daily Miner

Wild Burros in BLM holding ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Wild Burros in BLM holding ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

KINGMAN – How the Bureau of Land Management manages burros will be the topic of discussion when a pair of scoping meetings are held in Mohave County April 1-2.

The bureau will focus on the management of wild burros in the Black Mountain Herd Management Area, located about 15 miles west of Kingman. The area parallels the eastern bank of the Colorado River for 80 miles, from Hoover Dam south to the Needles Bridge on the Arizona-California border.

The first meeting takes place in Bullhead City from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. April 1 and the second will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. April 2 at the BLM Kingman field office, 2755 Mission Boulevard off of Hualapai Mountain Road.

The first half hour features poster presentations for viewing. The formal presentation begins at 6:30 p.m. and the following topics will be discussed:

• The current population estimate

• Vegetation utilization data

• Fertility control

• The appropriate management level

• Burros outside of the herd management area

Attendees can comment on issues, data and any other concerns following the presentation.

For more information, contact BLM Wild Horse and Burro Specialist Chad Benson at (928) 718-3750.

NC State Fair Cancels Walking Horse Show After Protest

as published in the The News & Observer

Advocates say unscrupulous trainers use painful tactics to achieve the ‘big lick’ gait the Tennessee Walking Horses are known for…

After more than 30 years, the N.C. State Fair will no longer offer the show featuring performances by the high-stepping Tennessee Walking Horses.

The decision comes in the wake of a protest at the fair during the October show and a petition with 19,700 signatures demanding the State Fair ban the performance category for the breed. Protesters claimed that the training methods to prepare a horse for this type of show are cruel and inhumane.

The protest, the petition and many emails calling for its cancellation were all factors in the state Department of Agriculture’s decision to ban the performance category, said Chief Deputy Commissioner N. David Smith. But he added, “It was a culmination of many factors including a lack of horses that participated, and the added cost of those particular shows when we had to bring in vets to certify the horses.”

Tennessee Walking Horses will still be welcome at the fair’s non-trotting, open-horse shows, but the breed is known for its unique high, quick-step gait. During performance category shows, the horses trot around the ring raising their feet as high as possible, a gait nicknamed the “big lick” that has drawn criticism.

“The big lick is a pain-induced gait. You cannot have a big lick without pain,” said Clant Seay, spokesman for the All American Walking Horse Alliance, a national group of professional horsemen and owners of Tennessee Walking Horses.

The high step is achieved by stacking the horse’s shoe, making it heavier to exaggerate the steps. Advocates to end big lick shows allege some trainers use what are called soring techniques to sensitize the hooves and ankles to pain, resulting in more dramatic steps.

They also claim that some trainers use chemicals such as diesel fuel and kerosene to create blisters on the horse’s ankles and attached chains to the stacked shoes designed to irritate the sores. They say some trainers will even stick sharp nails or tacks into the sensitive area of the hoof to increase pain.

These allegations led to increased inspections of the horses before and after shows by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. But Seay said this does not stop soring, it only causes trainers to abuse their horses further so that they will not react to pain during inspections.

“These horses are trained sore at the barn, and then they are brought to shows and manipulated to pass inspection,” he said. “Often the trainers use pain-masking numbing agents so the soring is difficult to detect.”

Petition prompts action

SoringJeannie McGuire, founder of the All American Walking Horse Alliance, said she has rehabilitated retired big lick show horses with not only physical scars but also mental damage similar to post-traumatic stress disorder

“We are very pleased that the big lick horse and the abuse that goes with that has been taken out of the view of families and children that attend the North Carolina State Fair,” she said.

The Change.org petition and protest to end the big lick event at the State Fair was spearheaded by Raleigh resident Michelle Disney, who was unaware the fair held the big lick event until last fall. But she never expected the petition to get more than 1,000 signatures.

“I was surprised how it took off,” Disney said. “I really want to thank the fair and Department of Agriculture for their great response. They already reviewed their policies and did the right thing and made the right decision.”

With victory in North Carolina, these advocates are taking their cause to Washington, D.C.

Keith Dane, vice president of equine protection for the Humane Society of the United States, said North Carolina was the last state fair in the nation to hold the big lick performance category. But there are many other Tennessee Walking Horse competitions across that U.S. that are federally regulated.

A bill in Congress to ban abusive tactics had strong, bipartisan support in 2013 but was not voted on, Dane said. He expects it to be reintroduced in both houses this spring.

The bill would strengthen enforcement of the federal Horse Protection Act of 1970, by eliminating in-house industry inspectors and putting the USDA in charge of oversight. It aims to end the use of stacked horse shoes, chains and other devices attached to the shoe. And the bill would heighten the penalty to a felony for violators of the Horse Protection Act, according to Dane.

“There is no question that this will pass as soon as it goes to a vote,” Dane said.

In 2012, the Humane Society conducted an undercover investigation into a major big lick training barn in Tennessee and released the video to ABC news, which brought a lot of negative publicity to the industry. The organization caught trainers on film soring the horses’ hooves and beating them with rods.

The president of the Walking Horse Trainers Association, Bill Young in Shelbyville, Tenn., acknowledges that there has been horse abuse in the big lick industry in the past.

“There is no question that in the industry, many years ago, there was horrific abuse to our horses. I cannot tell you in all honesty that that never happens anymore,” Young said in an interview Friday.

“Whatever sport you are in, some people are not going to follow the rules. We try to weed those people out, but there are people that are going to cheat,” he said.

Young said there is a lifetime suspension penalty for those caught pressure shoeing – inserting sharp objects into the sensitive soring_2_01part of the horse’s hoof.

Young denied the claim that soring techniques are essential to training. A horse with a big lick gait is achieved through a combination of selective breeding and weighed horse shoes, he said. The shoe weighs between 3 and 5 pounds and is 2 inches thick, and a band on the top of the hoof is used to hold it in place. Young said the shoes do not harm the horse.

“I think the longevity of our horses that are showing today would prove that there is no damage done to the horse,” he said. “Some show until they are 20 years of age.”

Young said negative public opinion is probably the main cause of the decision to end big lick at the N.C. State Fair, and added that the industry has not done enough to discredit some of the allegations.

The Walking Horse Trainers Association is in favor of federal legislation. Young said they hope to work with Tennessee representatives to introduce something that would bring scientific objectivity to horse show inspections, including blood testing of the horses.

“Hopefully that day is coming,” he said “Our compliance rate in 2013 to the Federal Horse Protection Act was 98.6 percent. That figure has been much lower in the past.”

Proposed Collection of Information on Wild Horses and Burros; BLM Requests Comments

The BLM is now planning to do a “knowledge and values study” on wild horses & burros using focus groups.  The focus groups are to include the usual special interest groups (the same ones that are so vocal against wild horses & burros on the BLM Resource Advisory Councils/RACs).

Most of us aren’t perusing the Federal Register on a daily basis, but an advocate alerted us to the notice below.  We should all ask WHO will APPOINT/SELECT the people who will take part in these focus groups.  The BLM proposes to have “guides” (a prepared agenda) for the groups, presumably to limit the topics you can talk about.  The questions/discussions will then likely be designed to lead you to whatever predetermined outcome the BLM wants.  Read HERE about the BLM and use of the Delphi Technique.

This is not free speech.  Will the topics include the delay of the issuance of the investigation report of the 1,700 wild horses Tom Davis bought?  Will the focus groups be updated on the current number of deaths of wild horses at the BLM’s Scott City, Kansas feedlot?  Will the participants be able to review any vet reports or necropsy reports from the Scott City feedlot?

This undemocratic process seems to be a way for the BLM to feign interest in listening to the public,  while in reality, it continues its efforts to contrive what could seem to the public to be some sort of a consensus.

I wonder if the BLM will ever have focus groups or advisory councils on wild horse & burro issues that are composed ONLY of real wild horse & burro advocates, who all care about the welfare of the wild horses and burros (instead of special interest “stakeholders” who focus on how to get rid of them).  The comment period for this proposed focus group farce ends May 11, 2015.  This is destined to be another unscientific “study” as the BLM continues to operate like a dog chasing its tail. – Debbie Coffey


This document has a comment period that ends in 58 days (05/11/2015) How To Comment

Action

60 Day Notice And Request For Comments.

Summary

In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will ask the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to approve the information collection (IC) described below, and invites public comments on the proposed IC.

Table of Contents

DATES:

Please submit comments on the proposed information collection by May 11, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

Comments may be submitted by mail, fax, or electronic mail. Mail: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, 1849 C Street NW., Room 2134LM, Attention: Jean Sonneman, Washington, DC 20240. Fax: to Jean Sonneman at 202-245-0050. Electronic mail: Jean_Sonneman@blm.gov. Please indicate “Attn: 1004-NEW” regardless of the form of your comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Sarah Bohl at (202) 912-7263. Persons who use a telecommunication device for the deaf may call the Federal Information Relay Service on 1-800-877-8339, to contact Ms. Bohl. You may contact Ms. Bohl to obtain a copy, at no cost, of the draft discussion guides for the focus groups and in-depth interviews described in this 60-day notice. You may also contact Ms. Bohl to obtain a copy, at no cost, of the regulations that authorize this collection of information.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Proposed Information Collection

Title: Knowledge and Values Study Regarding the Management of Wild Horses and Burros.

OMB Control Number: 1004-NEW.

Frequency: On occasion.

Respondents’ obligation: Voluntary.

Abstract: The BLM protects and manages wild horses and burros that roam Western public rangelands, under the authority of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act (Act), 16 U.S.C. 1331-1340. The Act requires that wild horses and burros be managed in a manner that is designed to achieve and maintain a thriving natural ecological balance on the public lands. 16 U.S.C. 1333(a). Stakeholders and the general public hold a variety of views on how wild horses and burros should be managed. The BLM has determined that conducting focus groups, in-depth interviews, and a national survey will lead to a better understanding of public perceptions, values, and preferences regarding the management of wild horses and burros on public rangelands.

After reviewing public comments and making appropriate revisions, the BLM will include the discussion guides in a request for OMB approval. Upon receiving OMB approval, the BLM will conduct the focus groups and in-depth interviews. The results of focus groups and in-depth interviews will be used to help design a national survey, which will be the second and final phase of the research.

The BLM will prepare a draft of the national survey and publish a second 60-day notice and invite public comments on the draft national survey. After reviewing public comments and making appropriate revisions, the BLM will include the national survey in a request for OMB approval. Upon receiving OMB approval, the BLM will conduct the national survey.

Need and Proposed Use: The proposed research was recommended by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences in a 2013 report, Using Science to Improve the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program: A Way Forward. Conducting the focus groups and in-depth interviews will enable the researchers to characterize the range of preferences that exist for wild horse and burro management. The national survey will then assess the distribution of these preferences across the larger population. The research results will assist the BLM to more effectively manage wild horses and burros by providing information to:

  • Help evaluate the benefits and costs of competing rangeland uses and various management options;
  • Help identify areas of common ground and opportunities for collaboration with stakeholder groups; and
  • Communicate more effectively with the public and with stakeholder groups.

Description of Respondents: The BLM intends to survey a variety of respondents for this project by conducting focus groups, in-depth interviews, and a nationally representative survey. For the focus groups and in-depth interviews, the primary respondents will be individuals belonging to a variety of organizations that have previously lobbied, commented on program policy or activities, or have otherwise sought influence with the BLM in regard to its wild horse and burro program. Representatives of wild horse and burro advocacy groups, domestic horse owners, wild horse adopters, the Western livestock grazing community, environmental conservationists, hunters, and public land managers will be included. Nine focus groups across three locations around the country and up to 12 in-depth interviews will be conducted with individuals from these groups. Focus group participants will be recruited by BLM’s research contractor through a variety of approaches tailored to the communities participating in the discussions. In addition, four focus groups (spread across two locations) will be conducted with the general public to explore public understanding of various terms and issues involved in wild horse and burro management so that the questionnaire for the national survey can effectively communicate the relevant topics.

II. Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping Burden

The estimated reporting burden for this collection is 142 responses and 272 hours. There will be no non-hour burdens. The following table details the individual components and estimated hour burdens of this collection.

Activity Estimated number of respondents Estimated number of responses per respondent Completion time per response Total burden hours
Focus Groups 130 (13 groups) 1 120 mins 15,600 mins/260 hrs.
In-depth Interviews 12 1 60 mins 720 mins/12 hrs.
Totals 142 272 hrs.

III. Request for Comments

OMB regulations at 5 CFR 1320, which implement provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501-3521), require that interested members of the public and affected agencies be provided an opportunity to comment on information collection and recordkeeping activities (see 5 CFR 1320.8(d) and 1320.12(a)). The BLM will request that the OMB approve this information collection activity for a 3-year term.

Comments are invited on: (1) The need for the collection of information for the performance of the functions of the agency; (2) the accuracy of the agency’s burden estimates; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information collection; and (4) ways to minimize the information collection burden on respondents, such as use of automated means of collection of the information. A summary of the public comments will accompany the BLM’s submission of the information collection requests to OMB.

Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

 Jean Sonneman,

Information Collection Clearance Officer, Bureau of Land Management.

[FR Doc. 2015-05623 Filed 3-11-15; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4310-84-P

Teen Essay: For those who never gave up wanting a pony


Alder Jakovac is an 8th-grader at Mendocino K-8

Alder Jakovac is an 8th-grader at Mendocino K-8

Many of us go through that “I want a pony!” phase. For a lot of us, that dream is never fulfilled. However, there are many horses out in the world who are considered “unwanted” or “extra.” Many of these are perfectly sound, healthy horses.

When looking for a horse to buy, many good options are not even considered. Rescue horses are most commonly overlooked. This is because rescue horses are usually believed to have problems. These problems could include the horse not being perfectly sound, having small health problems. The horse could even have trust issues or be spooked easily due to neglect from past owners. Their owners may have been unable to give them proper care, and so they gave them up. There’s a chance that the horse just wasn’t able to perform in the discipline their owner rides in. Sadly, even a small problem like this causes careless owners to send their horses away.

Eighty percent of first-time horse owners reportedly get rid of their horse within 5 years. Many of these horses are sent to auctions, and some are purchased by buyers who intend to kill them. Often such buyers can outbid those interested in giving a horse a good home.

Horses can be saved from such a tragic fate, however. Horse rescues across the United States work hard to save these animals from being slaughtered. Lots of rescue horses are available to adopt for a reasonable price, and it only takes a little research on the Internet to find one near you.

When considering a horse, you first have to decide if you are ready to take on the responsibility. Owning a horse is a lot of work, but by taking that work on, you gain an amazing friend and companion. Aside from that, you save the life of an innocent animal.

Next you have to decide where the animal will stay: on your own property or boarded at a nearby stable. Wherever your new family member is living, make sure to clear up some time in your schedule to spend time with the horse and gain its trust. Depending on the horse’s past and what information the rescue center provides, you may be able to ride the horse after he or she settles in. Even if a horse is not rideable, it is still a great companion for anyone. Just spending time with horses is shown to help people relax and may even lower blood pressure, improving overall health and mood…(CONTINUED)

Click (HERE) to read the rest of the story and to comment at the Press Democrat