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

A privately held company in Dorris, CA. 

More Details for Porterfield Ranch

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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Companies like Porterfield Ranch usually offer: Cattle Business, Cattle Genetics, Classes Of Cattle, International Cattle Producer, Moment Amongst Cattle Breeders.



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.

Karen Sussman of International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros on Wild Horse & Burro Radio Wednesday, 7/16

painy

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Times for this Wednesday night (July 16th) show are:

THE SHOW will be starting 30 MINUTES LATE.  Problems with BLOGTALK

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

Listen Live Here!

Call in # 917-388-4520

This is a 2 hour show, and you can call in with questions during 2nd hour of the show.

The shows will be archived, so you can listen anytime. Continue reading

Burrowing in on Wild Horse and Burro Management

By Wayne Pacelle as published on Humane Nation

“…allow the transport of 100 burros to residents in Guatemala, for use as working animals?”

wild burro captured by BLM ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

wild burro captured by BLM ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Burros are among my favorite of the animals residing at our Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch, with their long ears and friendly stares. We have a couple hundred of rescued burros there, and visitors seem to have a special fascination with them, too. As with all of the animals at the ranch, they’ve landed there because of some tale of woe – in most instances, because the burros have gotten a raw deal from the federal government, which manages, or mismanages, their populations on the vast reaches of public lands in the West.

Under the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, the federal government, through the Bureau of Land Management, is mandated to maintain populations of wild horses and burros in the 11 western states where they live. There are only about 40,000 wild horses and only 8,000 burros, and three quarters of the horses are in just two states – Nevada and Wyoming. The remaining states have relatively small populations, typically with 3,000 or fewer animals.  There are millions of cattle and sheep on those federal lands, yet ranchers complain of too many wild equids.

The government has been rounding up and removing horses and burros, ostensibly to control these wild populations and minimize their ecological impact.  In the process, the feds have been building a captive equine population now in the tens of thousands, at short-term and long-term holding facilities. Just last week, the BLM released new information that its personnel and contractors would round up nearly 2,400 more wild horses and burros this year. The cost of the round ups and housing and feeding the animals is now cannibalizing about two-thirds of the budget for the program, which has been widely regarded through the years as a case study of mismanagement.

For years, we have pressed the Bureau of Land Management, which runs the program, to focus instead on fertility programs to manage populations – a solution that the National Academy of Sciences also recommended in a report commissioned by the BLM. The BLM has been slow to implement the recommendations of the NAS.

Now, in what can only be described as a case example of poor decision-making, BLM is undertaking a pilot program with the Department of Defense and Heifer International and intends to allow the transport of 100 burros to residents in Guatemala, for use as working animals. While burros have been traditionally used for this purpose, this use is at odds with the provisions of WFHBA, which requires that the BLM’s first priority has to be the humane treatment of wild burros in their care.

We are not insensitive to the difficult and challenging lives of people and animals in Guatemala and other developing countries, and we acknowledge the value and importance of working animals worldwide. Through Humane Society International (HSI) and the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Program (HSVMA) affiliates, we have a robust and proactive assistance program that helps provide veterinary care and other resources in these countries. But Guatemala has burros of its own, and does not need shipments of burros compliments of the BLM – a practice that simply relieves pressure on BLM to revamp its program and protect our nation’s heritage of responsibly managing wild horses and burros…(CONTINUED)

Click (HERE) to read more at Humane Nation

Houston Says Goodbye to the Voice for the Voiceless

by R.T. Fitch

Tribute to Brad Woodard

In yesterday’s “Feel Good Sunday” installation I alluded to the passing of one of the Houston area’s greatest and most articulate television reporters, Brad Woodard.

Brad first grabbed our attention with his stories about horse slaughter and cruelty to animals and over the years, our good friend Julie Caramante followed, worked with and grew to love Brad for his dedication and sincerity.

In memory of Brad, Julie has built a tribute page on Facebook which highlights many of his lifetime accomplishments.

Here we share with you Houston’s Channel 11’s tribute for the man who will be missed by many; many of which have four legs and just not two.

Click (HERE) to visit Brad’s tribute page

Feel Good Sunday: Never Say Never

OpEd by R.T. Fitch ~ president and co-founder of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

“This is the only voice we have, let’s use it well!”

Often times it is difficult to find something of value to recharge our batteries on ‘Feel Good Sunday’, that is especially the case this week.

Locally, in Houston, we witnessed the horrendous tragedy of a family of six being senselessly murdered, we buried a great animal advocate reporter, felt the pain of the death of an outstanding firefighter and struggle with the flood of unaccompanied Central American children over-running our borders.

On the national equine side of things the BLM has thumbed it’s nose at federal law and published an outlandish schedule to “zero out” the few remaining herds of wild horses in Wyoming. It feels as if pigs are flying and animals are talking…the world is surely coming to an end.

So yesterday I winked at Terry, climbed into the Jeep and headed to the local tattoo parlor; a place where faint of heart should not enter. I did not carry a gun, this time, nor was I ready for a fight but what I DID have holstered in my right pocket was a picture of my long departed saddle horse, Ethan.

I barged into the shop with my bald head gleaming and slapped Ethan’s photo down on the counter and growled to the group of tattooed patrons and owners:

“I know that you have tattooed everything from mothers, girlfriends to wives on men’s arms but have you ever done a dedication to a deceased horse?”

Only shaking heads and dropped jaws answered my question.

“So let’s get started, boys”, I snapped and the rest is a very blurry and painful memory but this morning, in the light of day, I sport a forever image forever inked of a forever horse on my left bicep. Ethan shall now be a physical part of me, forever.

So never say never, and don’t think for a moment that you are too old or too small to effect change. You can and you will make a difference because the world and the people who inhabit it cannot do one very fundamental thing to you; the one thing that truly make any animal’s blood run cold. All the ass-hats in the world might be able to beat and slap you around but they CANNOT eat you. That one, simple thought gives me great strength and invincibility…they can’t eat me (and even if they could, I would give them heartburn).

And with that simple thought, I close today…Ethan is on my arm, my conservative mother is moaning from above and the moon was fantastic last night…we are kicking ass this week, my friends, and that’s all there is to it, we are kicking ass and the bad guys can’t eat us; we are golden.

Keep the faith and never, ever say never.

Tat

BLM Releases 2014 Roundup Schedule Devastating to Red Desert Wild Horses

By Carol Walker ~ Director of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation
as published on Wild Hoofbeats

“Week by week, month by month and year by year the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) chisels away at what few herds of wild horses and burros remain on public lands while giving more and more concessions to welfare grazing interests.  While screaming that they have no money nor room for former free equines the BLM announced last week that they are going to rip yet another 2,500 equines from their rightful homes and virtually “zero out” or totally destroy several long standing Wyoming herds.

Equine photographer, and Director of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation, Carol Walker has taken the time to put the the math to the BLM schedule and sheds light on a very serious situation in her latest blog post.  Please check back often as we will attempt to keep you abreast of this rapidly developing story as the future well being of thousands of wild equines hangs in the balance as the BLM dances with the law and climbs into bed with private, profiteering grazing interests.” ~ R.T.


Mares rounded up in Salt Wells Creek in December 2013 ~ photo by Carol Walker

The BLM has finally released its roundup schedule for 2014:

http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/whbprogram/herd_management/tentative_gather_schedule.html

On this schedule are three roundups in Wyoming:

Adobe Town 8/20 – 8/24, plan to remove 177 wild horses

Salt Wells Creek 8/24 – 8-28, plan to remove 228 wild horses

Great Divide Basin 8/28 – 9/10,  plan to remove 541 wild horses

This is despite having just rounded up and removed 586 wild horses from Salt Wells Creek and Adobe Town in December 2013.

Looking at the numbers provided by the BLM, Great Divide Basin will be virtually zeroed out after this roundup and removal. The AML for the area is 415-600 wild horses. At their May 2013 count they said there were 439 horses and they estimated that there would be 579 in the summer of 2014.  Removing 541 would be almost all,  if not all, of them.

In Salt Wells Creek, the AML is 251-365. In their projected estimate before the 2013 roundup the BLM said there were 823 wild horses, they removed 586,  and they plan to remove 228. Even estimating a 20% population increase this year, this would bring the population below low AML.

In Adobe Town, the AML is 610-800 wild horses. The BLM projected the population to be 624 in 2013, they removed 14 in 2013 and they plan to remove 177, Even estimating a 20% increase in population this year, this would bring the population below low AML.

Currently, the Resource Management Plans for both the Rock Springs and Rawlins Areas are being revised. It is during the Resource Management Revision process that AML can be changed for herd management areas and herd management areas can be changed to herd areas, allowing them to be zeroed out. This process has NOT happened yet…(CONTINUED)

Click (HERE) to read the rest of the story