CALL YOUR SENATORS THIS MORNING: REMOVE PUBLIC LAND RIDERS FROM DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION BILL

Wild Horse Freedom Federation also supports the action below suggested by environmental groups.  Thank you to The Cloud Foundation for preparing this alert. Please call your Senators this morning!
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The Cloud Foundation endorses the following action taken by environmental groups:
GRASSROOTS COALITION BLASTS PUBLIC LAND PROVISIONS IN DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION BILL
Grassroots environmental groups from across the country are issuing a LETTER demanding the removal of damaging public land “riders” that have been added to the Defense Authorization Bill now headed for the Senate. Title XXX (30) of the bill includes several controversial and harmful public land proposals, including an exchange of National Forest land to a foreign-owned mining company seeking to operate a mine on land sacred to the Apache, a giveaway of 70,000 acres on Alaska’s Tongass National Forest to Sealaska Corporation, notorious for its scorched-earth logging practices, and a stealth provision that removes protections from two Wilderness Study Areas in eastern Montana. The bill also contains numerous public land conveyances as well as Wilderness bills with special provisions allowing helicopter use and habitat manipulation.A coalition of 47 organizations is calling on the Senate to remove Title XXX from the Defense Bill. Some proposals thrown into the mix would gain the groups’ strong support as stand-alone legislation, but the bill’s numerous “poison pills” mean that too high a price would be paid for a few conservation gains. The groups are submitting their letter to Senators ahead of its being brought to the Floor Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2014

European Union suspends Mexican horsemeat imports

south-america

SOURCE:  Canadian Horse Defence Coalition

The European Commission has implemented a conditional ban of the import of horsemeat from Mexico following a series of audits by the Food and Veterinary Office. The audits consistently identified serious problems with the lack of traceability of horses slaughtered for EU export with origins in the United States and Mexico, particularly regarding veterinary medical treatment records.

Please continue reading this exciting development here.

 

Wyoming sues feds, claiming too many wild horses

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Photo by Carol Walker, Director of Field Documentation, Wild Horse Freedom Federation
CHEYENNE — Wyoming filed a federal lawsuit Monday seeking to force the federal government to reduce the number of wild horses that roam the state.

Wyoming claims the U.S. Department of Interior has failed to follow federal law in controlling wild horse populations.

Gov. Matt Mead said too many wild horses can harm habitat used by other wildlife species, including sage grouse, deer and elk. He says overgrazing by horses can even threaten the horses themselves.

“It is my belief, and the belief of other western governors, that the BLM does not have the resources to manage wild horses effectively,” Mead said. “By filing suit, it sends a message that wild horse management is a priority and the BLM must be provided the funding necessary to manage them.”

The Western Governors’ Association passed a resolution last weekend at its meeting in Las Vegas stating that federal agencies’ inability to rein in rising wild horse and burro populations is an urgent concern.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management earlier this year estimated there were 3,771 wild horses in Wyoming. In its lawsuit, Wyoming claims the horse population exceeds appropriate levels in seven herd management areas by about 475 total horses while populations are constantly increasing.

An attempt to reach a BLM spokeswoman for comment on the state’s lawsuit wasn’t immediately successful Monday afternoon.

While Wyoming is complaining that the federal government isn’t doing enough to reduce wild horse populations, the federal agency is also under fire from wild horse advocates who claim it’s doing too much.

Horse advocate groups sued the BLM this year in an unsuccessful effort to stop the agency from rounding up wild horses from herd management areas around Rock Springs. The agency announced in October that it had rounded up 1,263 wild horses in the Great Divide Basin, Adobe Town and Salt Wells Creek herd management areas.

Although the BLM makes wild horses available for adoption, the supply greatly exceeds the demand and thousands of horses are kept in federal holding facilities.

The Friends of Animals group held protests at the BLM’s Rock Springs office this fall to protest the roundups. The group is petitioning the U.S. Department of Interior to grant wild horses and burros federal protections under the Endangered Species Act. It’s also pressing a federal lawsuit charging that the BLM failed to follow environmental laws in approving this fall’s roundups.

Although Wyoming is suing the Department of Interior in this newest lawsuit seeking to reduce the wild horse population, the state has entered the lawsuit filed by Friends of Animals to argue with the federal government that the roundups conducted this fall were proper.

Edita Birnkrant, spokeswoman for Friends of Animals, said Monday she was shocked by Wyoming’s lawsuit seeking to remove more wild horses from the state.

“It’s just mind-boggling, after the egregious roundup that just happened a few months ago, the idea that Wyoming thinks that they’re not doing enough to roundup wild horses, is just nothing short of insanity,” Birnkrant said.

“They’re so out of touch with the residents of Wyoming, and of states all across the country that treasure and want protection for wild horses,” Birnkrant said. “And here we have these out-of-control states with the mentality that says wild horses should be wiped out. There’s no other way to read what’s going on here.”

Wild burros being removed from Route 160 in Pahrump Valley

Burros in the northern Pahrump Valley are being gathered and moved to prevent roadside hazards along state Route 160, according to the Bureau of Land Management.

About 30 to 40 burros will be corralled on private land where they’ve been causing property damage, drawn there by hay and water. At least five burros were killed or euthanized because of vehicle collisions since October 2010, according to the BLM.

Depending on the burros’ movements in the area, gather corrals will remain in place for up to several months. “We are waiting for them to walk in and close the gate,” said BLM spokeswoman Kristen Cannon.

The burros have been seen near the Johnnie Herd Management Area and are being relocated because “they pose a safety hazard,” the BLM said in a prepared statement. Since November, six people have complained to the BLM about issues with wild burros in the Pahrump Valley.

No injuries or fatalities related to these incidents have been reported, the BLM said.

“These particular burros … have lost their normal wild characteristics and have become public safety hazards and are causing issues on private land,” wild horse and burro specialist Krystal Johnson said.

Burro-related vehicle accidents and private land owner issues usually increase as the weather cools off, making the gathering timely, the BLM said.

The burros caught will be available for adoption.

Monster Wells: Despite Drought, Hundreds of Fracking Sites Used More Than 10 Million Gallons of Water

Monster Wells

Despite Drought, Hundreds of Fracking Sites Used More Than 10 Million Gallons of Water

By Soren Rundquist, Landscape and Remote Sensing Analyst & Bill Walker, Consultant
Former EWG Staff Attorney Briana Dema and former EWG Stanbeck Intern Elizabeth Kerpon contributed to this report.


When it’s confronted with the growing concern about the vast volumes of water used in hydraulic fracturing of gas and oil wells, industry tries to dodge the question.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) points out that drilling wells with hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling technology, commonly called “fracking,” consumes far less water than other commonplace activities such as raising livestock, irrigating crops or even watering golf courses. According to the Institute, the amount of water used to frack one natural gas well “typically is the equivalent of three to six Olympic swimming pools.”1

That amounts to 2-to-4 million gallons per well of a precious and, in many parts of the country, increasingly scarce resource.2 For its part, the Environmental Protection Agency says it takes “fifty thousand to 350,000 gallons to frack one well in a coal bed formation, while two-to-five million gallons of water may be necessary to fracture one horizontal well in a shale formation.”3

But data reported and verified by the industry itself reveal that those “typical” amounts are hardly the upper limit. An analysis by Environmental Working Group reveals that hundreds of fracked gas and oil wells across the country are monster wells that required 10 million to almost 25 million gallons of water each.

Between April 2010 and December 2013 (the latest figures available), data from the industry-operated website FracFocus.org, acquired by Skytruth.org, show that there were 261 wells fracked with at least 10 million gallons of water each (Table 1). EWG’s analysis found:

  • It took a grand total of more than 3.3 billion gallons of water to frack the 261 wells – an average of 12.7 million gallons each. Fourteen used more than 20 million gallons each.
  • About two-thirds of the wells, requiring a total of about 2.1 billion gallons, were in drought-stricken areas.

It’s far more relevant to compare those figures to basic human needs for water, rather than to swimming pools or golf courses. The 3.3 billion gallons consumed by the monster wells was almost twice as much water as is needed each year by the people of Atascosa County, Texas, in the heart of the Eagle Ford shale formation, one of the most intensively drilled gas and oil fields in the country.4 Like almost all of the Lone Star State, Atascosa County, south of San Antonio, is in a severe and prolonged drought. Last year, the state water agency cited oil and gas exploration and production as a factor in the dramatic drop of groundwater levels in the aquifer underlying the Eagle Ford formation.

Fracking fluid used by gas and oil drilling companies is a mixture of water, chemicals and sand, which is injected into rock formations deep underground to open up hard-to-reach oil and gas deposits. Fracking fluids typically are more than 95 percent water.

Most of that is fresh water from surface or ground water sources, although brackish water, treated wastewater and recycled fracking water previously are also used in some areas. Some companies have also used alternative fluids such as liquid propane or butane, but these alternatives are rare.

EWG matched data from FracFocus with the drought status of all 261 monster well locations at the time each one was drilled, as tracked by the U.S. Drought Monitor,6 a project of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska.

The data show that about two-thirds were drilled in areas beset by drought or abnormally dry conditions and used more than 2.1 billion gallons of water. About one-third were located in areas of severe, extreme or exceptional drought.

Map

Click HERE to go to interactive map

The impact on water supplies does not end once the well is fracked. If 10 million gallons of water are injected into a well, millions of gallons of contaminated water come back up. It has to go somewhere.

According to the EPA, 10- to-70 percent percent of the water used for fracking returns to the surface,7 and it can contain high levels of salts, metals, radioactive contaminants and toxic chemicals. It generally cannot be reused without treatment. Because of the high costs and technological challenges of treating this water, most of it is instead re-injected into deep underground wells for permanent disposal.8 But it often doesn’t stay there.

In 2012, an investigation by journalists at the non-profit ProPublica found that disposal wells “have repeatedly leaked, sending dangerous chemicals and waste gurgling to the surface or, on occasion, seeping into shallow aquifers that store a significant portion of the nation’s drinking water.” ProPublica quoted a former EPA expert on underground disposal wells who said: “In 10 to 100 years we are going to find out that most of our groundwater is polluted.” 9

In August of this year, Stanford University researchers reported that in Wyoming, drillers are fracking at “far shallower depths than widely believed, sometimes through underground sources of drinking water,”10increasing the risk of contaminating water supplies with fracking fluids.

To read the rest of the story, click on EACH PAGE below:

Texas Town Went Dry

Industry Website is Flawed and Incomplete

The Biggest Monster Wells

Where Monster Wells Were Drilled

Six Companies Drilled Monster Wells

Monster Wells Are Common in Drought Areas

Conclusion and Recommendations

References

Wild Horse Letter to Santa

Submitted by Grandma Gregg

“Hi R.T.-

BLM removes Adobe Town wild horses, and now considers drilling

All over the West, while the BLM blames wild horses and burros for “degradation” to the range and removes them, BLM favors other uses that make money (in violation of FLPMA), and often gives those other uses Categorical Exclusions (CXs).  You can find out more about the BLM Rock Springs Field Office HERE, and Samson Resources HERE.  –  Debbie

SOURCE:  Casper Star Tribune

Critics blast plan for drilling near Adobe Town

OKLAHOMA COMPANY WANTS TO DRILL UP TO 17 NATURAL GAS WELLS

54792a4dd5b9b.image Plates of rock line the rim of Adobe Town in the Red Desert of south-central Wyoming. Environmentalists are protesting an Oklahoma company’s plan to drill 17 wells in the region. (photo:  file/Star-Tribune)

Environmentalists are assailing a plan by an Oklahoma-based company to drill up to 17 natural gas wells near the colorful badlands of Adobe Town, in Wyoming’s southwestern desert.

Samson Resources’ plan calls for development of about 117 acres near the Adobe Town Wilderness Study Area, managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

Much of the controversy centers on the development’s proximity to the wilderness study area. The project area is within two miles of Adobe Town, and the closest well is some 1,000 feet away from the study area’s boundaries. The company’s plans are subject to BLM approval.

“Adobe Town is one of the important crown jewel landscapes in the entire BLM system,” said Erik Molvar, of Wildearth Guardians, a conservation group. “It has national-park-quality landscapes that we should be protecting for not just this generation but all generations to come.”

This is not the first time Samson and environmentalists have squared off over drilling in the Adobe Town area. In 2011, the company withdrew a proposal to drill two wells in the area after an outcry from environmentalists.

Multiple attempts to reach the company for comment were unsuccessful.

Spencer Allred, a natural resource specialist at the BLM’s Rock Springs field office, said Samson’s plan calls for development of five well pads on BLM leases in the area.

The project falls inside the Monument Valley Management Area, where development is subject to a series of restrictions.

“It is supposed to blend in to the landscape,” Allred said.

The bureau has begun an environmental analysis to understand the effect of the proposed development. Scoping, the first step, in which the outlines of the study are set, was finished earlier this month.

There is no firm timeline for completion of the analysis, Allred said, noting that the last study of Samson’s plan took two years.

The company initially proposed drilling one well. It then proposed drilling two, he said.

The BLM pushed for the 17-well study, as that is the maximum amount of development the area can likely accommodate, Allred said. It is possible, he noted, the company could drill one exploratory well and give up on the plan altogether.

Julia Stuble, public lands advocate at the Wyoming Outdoor Council, said the proposed development’s proximity to the neighboring wilderness study area is a concern.

WSAs, as they are often called, are managed under tight conservation guidelines intended to preserve a parcel for potential designation as wilderness in the future.

The BLM should require Samson to submit the location of all five well pads before approving the plan, given the sensitive nature of the landscape, she said.

The bureau should seek to mitigate the impact of drilling. However, if mitigation measures fail to meet conservation goals spelled out in the region’s management plan, the BLM should reject the proposal, she said.

“It’s not an ideal place for a project,” Stuble said.

Mead says Wyoming will continue to challenge the federal government on wild horse management

SOURCE:  dailyjournal.net

“The wild horses just can’t catch a break in the state of Wyoming, where they use footage of wild horses in an effort to attract tourists.

Last year the largest,viable herds were decimated by the out of control BLM and now the Governor of the state has also crawled into bed with the voting welfare ranchers and is attempting to placate them with support for the BLM and their efforts to remove every single last horse from their rightful range.  It is cows versus horses and the wild ones don’t stand a chance. 

Below, Mead speaks to the federally subsidized ranchers and you can almost smell the stink of politics through the printed text, it’s disgusting…but see for yourself and say a little prayer for the horses; some where, some how, some one is going to wake up and smell the roses but it sure isn’t these good ole boys, at least not today!!!” ~ R.T.


 

MattMead_Portrait_2011

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead

CASPER, Wyoming — Wyoming will continue to challenge the federal government on wild horse management, Gov. Matt Mead told ranchers.

Speaking to ranchers Wednesday at the annual winter meeting of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association, Mead said that he will continue litigation to pressure the U.S. Bureau of Land Managementv and Congress to consider alternatives for wild horse management.

Federal officials gathered more than 1,200 wild horses from the checkerboard lands of southwest Wyoming in September. The agency spends more than $80 million nationwide for wild horse management, and the BLM’s long-term holding facilities in Rock Springs are nearing capacity.

“They don’t have the resources needed to properly manage wild horses,” Mead said. “We have to make sure that the wild horses are appropriately managed, and we have to make sure the BLM has sufficient funding to do that.”

READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE HERE.

Copiah County landowner charged with ‘animal cruelty’ in horse case

SOURCE:  wjhl.com

Posted on wjhl.com by Brad Conaway

6140068_G Jerry Earls. Source: Copiah Sheriff’s Department

COPIAH COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) -The Copiah County Sheriff has confirmed they have arrested Jerry Earls in relation to the horses found on his property. Earls is facing 4 counts of Animal Cruelty, misdemeanors, for allegedly neglecting to get horses proper medical care.

According to Sheriff Harold Jones, one horse has an old gunshot wound. Two others have infected injuries and another unable to walk due to a leg injury.

So far, 90 to 95 horses have been accounted for. 14 horses were found dead and not buried – another clear cut violation of state law.

READ THE REST OF THE STORY HERE.

New Company Eyes Horse Slaughter in New Mexico

SOURCE:  koat.com

Company has ties to Valley Meat, AG says

By

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ROSWELL, N.M. —Processing horse meat for human consumption may still happen in New Mexico, but state officials are fighting to stop that.

For years a Roswell company called Valley Meat tried to slaughter horses in New Mexico and ship the meat overseas for people to eat. The company gave up the fight after years of court battles and a judge’s decision forcing it to stop.

Now a new company is trying to do the same thing, and the Attorney General is trying to stop it.

“Many of the same people who were behind Valley Meat are behind this new enterprise,” said Assistant Attorney General Ari Biernoff.

The AG argues the new company, called D’Allende Meats, is using the same plant and is proposing the same plan. Officials said the judge’s decision to stop the old company should stop the new one.

The attorney representing D’Allende Meats said none of the accusations by the AG’s office are true, and the new meat company has a right to go through its own process.

The attorney said this new company doesn’t have that history. He believes dirty politics, not the law, are driving this new fight.

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The AG’s office is asking a judge to quickly make a decision. The state’s Environment Department said the new meat company has requested a permit and is now in the normal review process.