Wild Horses: BLM’s Sterilization Studies are Barbaric and Unnecessary

SOURCE:  Wild Hoofbeats

by Carol Walker, Director of Field Documentation, Wild Horse Freedom Federation

The BLM has released more information about its proposed studies of wild horses, that they will be initiating 21 research studies for population control. They will be spending $11 million on these studies which will include  spaying of mares, gelding of stallions, chemical castration of stallions, chemical sterilization of stallions, and drugs causing permanent sterilization of mares. These barbaric practices will be performed in the field. The risk of infection and trauma to the wild horses is severe, especially with the likelihood of no medical follow up after these procedures.

The 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act requires managing wild horses and burros in order to maintain sustainable herds. Sterilization is counter to this requirement, and will inevitably lead to the ultimate extinction of our wild horses and burros. The current plans of the BLM require managing 78% of wild horse and burro herds in 10 western states at below genetically viable levels, which require least 150 adults in a herd.

Experimenting on our wild horses and burros is cruel, inhumane and absolutely unnecessary. There are proven methods of birth control that are safe and humane including PZP which has been studied for over 40 years. The Pryor Mountain Herd in Montana, the McCullough Peaks Herd in Wyoming, the Spring Creek Herd and Little Bookcliffs Herd in Colorado are all using PZP to successfully manage population growth, but the BLM refuses to use PZP on other herds.

Earlier this year I traveled to Washington D.C. with other groups to meet with BLM Director Niel Kornze and Deputy Assistant Director Mike Tupper to discuss solutions to wild horse and burro issues. Some of our recommendations included a significant expansion of  the number of mares treated with PZP in order to make a difference in population levels as well as possible voluntary retirement of livestock grazing permits in Herd Management Areas. We also discussed returning wild horses currently housed in Long and Short Term Holding facilities to Herd Areas that had been zeroed out. We offered to work with the BLM, and to find volunteers to help.

Mike Tupper was supposed to respond to our proposals but as yet has failed to do so. Instead, the BLM is embarking upon these sterilization studies, without public comment, without oversight, without protection for our wild horses and burros.

Despite the fact that these sterilization studies have been in the works for over a year (first announced in August 2014), the BLM has not released the names of the herds that will be experimented upon, nor have they responded to queries about this.

Sand Wash Basin Stallions - soon to be sterilized?

This unwillingness to work with wild horse advocates and commitment to dangerous and inhumane treatment of our wild horses clearly demonstrates the BLM’s ultimate goal – the destruction of our wild horse and burro herds.

http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/info/newsroom/2015/july/nr_07_07_2015.html

http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/whbprogram/science_and_research/fertility_control.html

BLM lies to media and public about dead Palomino Valley foal

John Neill of the BLM told the media that a foal was “successfully delivered” from a dead mare (photo below) at BLM’s Palomino Valley Center in Nevada.  We showed Neill’s statement and the graphic photo below of the dead mare (with what appears to be an unbroken amniotic sac protruding from her body), to veterinarian Holly Cheever.  Here is what Cheever said about the mare and her unborn foal:

“I revisited the photo of her taken from behind, and I observed the following:

1) Most important, she must have been dead for hours–too long for her in utero foal to survive with no oxygen–since her left hind limb is not resting on the ground (hoof contact) where gravity would place it, but is rather sticking out horizontally, which happens when the gut becomes bloated from bacterial action and the lack of gut motility induced by death.  This causes the whole peritoneal cavity to swell/bloat and, with rigor mortis of the limbs, causes them to elevate off the ground and stick out horizontally.<

2) Although I do not have excellent resolution in viewing this photo, it looks as if the foal is still wrapped in the fetal membranes (the amniotic sac) and therefore could not have access to air to breathe ex utero,  He/she would have suffocated quickly once the mare’s heart stopped and no longer supplied the foal with oxygen through the umbilical artery.”

—-Holly Cheever, DVM


The KTVN news story stated that the mare passed away “during childbirth,” and Cheever noted that the “the mare was experiencing “foaling”, not “childbirth.”

Thank you to wild horse & burro advocates, and veterinarians, who continue to try to bring accountability to BLM actions and truth to the public.  We are posting the most recent press release from Love Wild Horses below.  –  Debbie

____________________________________________________________________________________________

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

BLM’s HONESTY IN QUESTION, AS PUBLIC OUTCRY GROWS OVER MARE AND  FOAL’S NEGLECT AND DEATH

By Jetara Séhart, Love Wild Horses July 12, 2015

 (WARNING Graphic Photo below)

On Friday morning, July 10th, at approximately 7:00 AM., Patty Bumgarner, a Nevada resident and wild horse photographer, arrived at the BLM’s Palomino Valley Center (PVC) and discovered the body of a young mare with an unborn foal partially protruding from her birth canal. Bumgarner shared the story and photos with Love Wild Horses‘, and it went viral, reaching 50,000+ people in 24 hours.The mare and foal’s story caused a huge public outcry.At approximately 10:30 am, John Neill of BLM’s Palomino Valley facility contacted Channel 2 KTVN News, to respond to the incident. KTVN ran a story that stated,

“Photos surfaced online Saturday of a mare that passed away during childbirth overnight Thursday at the Palomino Valley Bureau of Land Management’s wild horse and burro holding facility.  John Neill of the Bureau of Land Management confirmed that the 2 year old mare was found  deceased when workers arrived early Friday morning. The mother and foal were removed from the pen and the foal was successfully delivered. The foal was taken to Northern Nevada Correctional Center where the BLM has an orphan care program.” Story here: KTVN NEWS:

The graphic photos taken by Bumgarner show a wild horse mare laying lifeless on the ground, the body stiffened with an apparent and visible light pink birth sac, unbroken and protruding from the mare.  The dead animals were in the pen with living mares and foals.

The young mare and her unborn were unattended and unaddressed for over an hour by BLM personnel, who busied themselves distributing hay for the living horses.  After an hour, they brought a backhoe to take away the mare’s body.

At approximately 11:00 AM., Coleen Denson, a Nevada resident, contacted the Northern Nevada Correctional Center.and was informed there were no new born foals present.

Coleen shared with us:

“I was transferred 3 times, before I was connected to “Kevin”, in the Stable Division. Kevin hadn’t heard about a Foal and dead Mare from Palomino Valley on Friday. He told me, that all they had in the Foal care program were 1 month andolder, no one day olds, or newer born foals.”

We contacted Dr. Lester Friedlander BA, DVM, regarding the possibility that the foal (called “Hope”), could still be alive, as BLM PVC’s Neill stated.  Dr. Friedlander stated “In my Professional Opinion, when the mare dies and she is in foal, the foal might live 1-2 minutes. The foal needs the oxygenated blood to survive.”

Author Terri Farley of Nevada is a frequent visitor to Palomino Valley Wild Horse corrals, and shared these thoughts regarding the mare and foal’s  death: “Is it possible this young mare might have died in wild? Until there’s a necropsy, we don’t know. We do know thatwild horses taken off the range are dependent — breath to breath — on human care and kindness.”

John Neill’s report to Channel 2 News KTVN is also in direct c onflict with the correctional facility’s information Denson received.  We reported the discrepancy to KTVN Channel 2 News and requested further investigation be conducted into the where abouts of the foal “Hope”, Neill claimed was saved.

We were informed “the BLM PVC Facility was closed until Monday” and at 4:47 PM, Channel 2 KTVN News announced:

“We are continuing to look into this matter. The story was removed after we received conflicting information from multiple sources. More parties have become involved than originally thought so until we can speak with all of them and get a clear understanding of what happened we will refrain from posting about the matter. Thank you for writing, we will do our best to look into this further.”

Concern within the community and social media is growing into the seeming misinformation provided by BLM’s Neill, and for the blatant disregard for the well being of this mare and her unborn foal and for all the wild horses assigned and held within this facility.  For two years, there has been much controversy and public outcry over the lack of shelter and additional water troughs that are needed for the many wild horses warehoused at this BLM facility.

Unfortunately and in fact, this is not the first time dishonesty and discrepancy exist in BLM PVC reports,of how many wild horses and burros, have died at their facility.  In May of 2013 a FOIA requested by the organization Animals’ Angels discovered “In addition to the contract itself, our FOIA request obtained all records of deceased horses and burros sent from the BLM holding facility to the rendering plant from January 1, 2010 through May 31, 2012.  During that time frame the BLM itself reported in the official Palomino Valley Mortality Detail Report that only 241 horses and burros died at the Palomino Valley facility and 50 at the Fallon facility.

However, the records from the rendering plant tell quite a different story.  According to the Nevada By-Product invoices for that same time period, a startling 577 dead horses were received from the Palomino Valley Facility. This is a shocking difference of 286 animals (336 horses if Nevada By-Products does not render the horses from Fallon), a number simply too large to ignore.”Full Story Here: “HORSE DEATHS AT PALOMINO VALLEY CENTER, MORE THEN TWICE AS HIGH AS REPORTED RENDERING RECEIPTS REVEAL.”

Adding insult to injury, poor public relations heightens for the BLM, due to BLM Staff negotiations with The Burning Man Festival’s Management, requesting building a $1,000,000 compound for BLM personnel, including 24/7 ice cream access and other luxury amenities.

The Bureau of Land Management wild horse & burro Palomino Valley and Indian Lakes holding facilities are located in the desert and nearby, thousands of federally protected wild horses and burros suffer, and some die, due to BLM’s failure to simply install needed shelter and more water troughs for the horses and burros.

Approximately two years ago, at this same BLM facility, advocates found a young filly, they named “Lil Angel” deceased upon the searing hot ground, that prompted a large public outcry for shelter and aid to be provided.  Instead of addressing the urgent need then, the BLM held a wild horse “Comfort Workshop” to discuss whether or not wild horses preferred shade.In June, 2013, Dr. Lester Friedlander, BA, DVM, President of Citizens Against Equine Slaughter, requested BLM’s management to act, warning that,

“If the wild horses and  burros do not get the proper protection from the environmental elements, found in that area, countless animals will be lost to disease, infections and heat related deaths. There is no adequate shelter found there and the wild horses and burros have no place to find shelter from the blistering heat.”

Yet, BLM management continues to ignore veterinarian opinion to protect the wild horses and burros, resulting in the death and disappearance of BLM captive horses and burros.

The Bureau of Land Management is charged by Congress and the American people to protect – not harass, harm, or cause death of America’s federally protected native wild horses and burros.  But instead of helping the wild horses survive in
the wild and within BLM holding facilities, the BLM is making their survival as a species impossible, and is managing
the horses and burros, to extinction.

Please contact your Legislatures and the White House and request immediate action be taken to

Save the Last of Our Native Wild Horses and Burros : To Give the 58,000 BLM captive wild horses and burros shelter and humane care, or set them free to survive and increase protections to secure freedom and their ability to reproduce, for the under 20,000 remaining free roaming native heritage horses and burros, to thrive, upon America’s vast 245,000.000 acres of public lands.Links for Reference:

http://rtfitchauthor.com/2015/07/11/federally-protected-wild-horses-die-trapped-in-blm-s-palomino-valley-nv-facility/
http://www.ktvn.com/story/29525970/blm-foal-taken-to-carson-city-prison-orphan-care
http://blogs.rgj.com/mostlydogs/2013/05/01/horse-deaths-at-blms-palomino-valley-facility-may-be-twice-as-high-as-reported-rendering-receipts-reveal/
http://rtfitchauthor.com/2013/07/12/
http://horsebackmagazine.com/hb/archives/22926
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/06/26/blm-vip-compound-burning-man/29340561/
http://www.kolotv.com/home/headlines/BLM-to-Hold-Workshop-on-Wild-Horse-Comfort-217636641.html
http://thewildhorseconspiracy.org/2013/07/02/exciting-article-about-by-phd-steven-jones-re-more-recent-surviving-native-horse-in-north-america/
Media Contacts:

Jetara Séhart, Executive Director, Love Wild Horses, www.lovewildhorses.org

Patty Bumgarner, Wild Horse Photographer(775)
301-6512
Coleen Denson (775) 384-9954
Dr. Lester Friedlander, BA, DVM, President of Citizens Against Equine
Slaughterwww.noequineslaughter.orgiamlfbadvm@pa.net
Photo: By Patty Bumgarner, 7:00 AM 7/10/15 BLM Palomino Valley Center, Nevada, a mare discovered  by a gate, lay lifeless in urgent distress, wild horse Mother advocates, have called “Teresa” with her unborn foal, named  “Hope”. Unfortunately, no help from BLM personnel
ever arrived. Several veterinarians, have carefully viewed this photo and determined the birth sac, is unbroken, due to
the color and form. Slightly after 8:00 AM, BLM staff responded, by bringing a backhoe to move
their bodies.

dead marePhoto: By Patty Bumgarner, photo taken two weeks before her death, on June 26, 2015, the beautiful pregnant dusted strawberry red roan, beside the fence, the mare now called “Teresa”.

The Cloud Foundation Clarifies BLM Action to Remove Select Young Pryor Mustangs

Removal of young Pryor Mustangs excludes helicopter use

Ginger filming Cloud and Family, May 2014 ~ photo by R.T. Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Ginger filming Cloud and Family, May 2014 ~ photo by R.T. Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO.  The Billings Montana BLM Field Office decision to remove 15 – 20 young horses from the Pryor Mountains this summer has met with an outcry and a lawsuit filed by an East Coast animal rights group, but not from The Cloud Foundation (TCF). “There is much misinformation being circulated about this herd and this removal, and we decided to underscore the facts,” stated Linda Hanick, TCF Board Member and Manager of the Foundation’s large Facebook page. “If every herd were this well documented, all our wild horse herds in the West would be in much better shape.”

The Billings BLM Field Office Decision Record outlines Alternative A, the Plan which they chose based on public comments. TCF clarifies much of the misinformation being circulated about this removal decision:

•  15-20 horses will be removed using bait-traps set up near water sources later this summer.

•  There will be no helicopter roundup.

•  The BLM is NOT removing all the horses on the mountain.

•  The herd will remain at a genetically viable level above 150 horses.

•  Specific horses are targeted for removal to create the least impact on the herd.

•  Horses from well-represented family lines are targeted first, so family lines and unique colors will be retained on the mountain.

•  There are no livestock grazing leases in the wild horse range. This wild horse range was established in 1968, (prior to the 1971 Wild and Free Roaming Act), for exclusive use by wild horses and other wildlife.

•  The population of this herd is not inflated nor unknown.

For over two decades, Ginger Kathrens, Founder and Executive Director of The Cloud Foundation (TCF) has documented and advocated for the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Herd on the Wyoming-Montana border. The herd has become famous, largely because of Cloud, an unusual pale, palomino stallion with an indomitable spirit, documented from the day of his birth by Kathrens’ who produced three award-winning documentaries about the charismatic stallion for the PBS Nature series.

Ginger would be the first to say that she and TCF have often had opposing views to the BLM when it comes to wild horse management on public land. But in recent years, TCF has begun working with the Billings BLM to develop an “on the range” management plan that does not include chasing the horses for miles down treacherous, rocky trails with a helicopter.

“Many BLM field offices do not take public comments into consideration,” states TCF Communications Director, Paula Todd King.. “If an animal rights group really wants to raise funds from the public and spend money on lawsuits to fight the BLM, there are many BLM offices far more deserving of effort, money and attention than the managers of the Pryor herd.”

“Our goal and the goal of the Billings BLM is to eliminate removals in the future,” Kathrens concludes. “We’re not quite there yet, and I’d rather see fewer than 15 young horses removed this time around, but I believe that the current management strategies are leading to a day when no young mustangs will be removed, and every single foal born wild, will live its life in precious freedom.”

The Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range consists of over 39,000 acres of desert, forests, and high mountain meadows.  The major issue facing wild horses in the Pryors is a shortage of rangeland.  The US Forest Service and National Park Service have withdrawn 2 prime grazing areas, which limits the number of wild horses that the existing range can support.

Burning Man and Bureau of Land Management in Standoff Over Choco Tacos

“BLM’s Winnemucca district manager Gene Seidlitz told the Gazette-Journal…’my staff and I have to be rested, well-nourished and accommodated to the bare minimum so we can ensure health, security and safety at the event.’ The ‘bare minimum’ apparently means ‘a 24-hour service bar that includes, but is not limited to, Choco Tacos, Chobani yogurt…chilled 100% fruit juice…sirloin steaks and ribeye during hot meals’.”

SOURCE: SFweekly.com

Posted By

Every summer brings new epitaphs and manifestos for Burning Man, and 2015 has been no exception. First came the debut of Burner Air, a boutique luxury airline that will ferry deep-pocketed passengers to the Black Rock desert (chartering an entire plane for a one-way flight costs little more than a facelift).

Now comes a standoff between festival organizers and the Bureau of Land Management. The Reno Gazette-Journal reported last week that BLM officials have requested a special camp for high-ranking agency officials that includes flush toilets, air conditioning, washers and dryers, refrigerators, couches, and vanity mirrors.

“A lot of folks think we’re like participants in that we are out there to enjoy the event and party,” the BLM’s Winnemucca district manager Gene Seidlitz told the Gazette-Journal. “But my staff and I have to be rested, well-nourished and accommodated to the bare minimum so we can ensure health, security and safety at the event.”

The “bare minimum” apparently means “a 24-hour service bar that includes, but is not limited to, Choco Tacos, Chobani yogurt…chilled 100% fruit juice…sirloin steaks and ribeye during hot meals.” The Gazette-Journal also reports that BLM officials expect Burning Man personnel to clean the specially installed flush toilets daily.

Per the Gazette-Journal, one BLM official likened the projected camp to those built for soldiers in Afghanistan, to which Jim Graham, a Burning Man spokesman, replied, “Burning Man is not Afghanistan.”

Fifteen to 20 BLM officials are expected at Burning Man this year. In the past, they lodged at motels in the nearby town of Gerlach, but Burning Man’s massive crowds have made a BLM presence at the festival more urgent.

Burning Man organizers say that constructing a tony camp for BLM agents would cost about $1 million, bringing the event’s total permit fee to an unprecedented $5 million. The BLM has not yet issued a permit for this year’s festival, which makes the business of negotiating an agency crashpad all the more delicate.

Nevada senator Harry Reid sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell on Friday that questioned the BLM’s “unprecedented and extravagant requests.”

While I agree that the BLM should take its permitting duties seriously and work with Burning Man to both guarantee the safety of its participants and the protection of the environment, providing outlandishly unnecessary facilities for the BLM and its guests should be beyond the scope of the permitting requirements. Part of Burning Man’s philosophy is self-reliance and living with the elements is part of the experience. Flush toilets and laundry facilities can be found about ten miles away in Gerlach, Nevada, if BLM’s employees need such amenities.

Not surprisingly, festivalgoers are lampooning the BLM’s requests on Burner forums and on the Burning Man subreddit. On Burn.Life, a blog about the festival, the BLM’s request is compared to Van Halen’s 1982 backstage concert rider, which infamously banned brown M&M’s from the dressing room.

“A famously indulgent rock band has requirements easier to fulfill than the BLM does. Seems pretty screwed up doesn’t it?” the aghast blogger wrote.

A Change.org petition calling for the BLM to issue a festival permit without “outlandish requirements” has also surfaced and already boasts 816 supporters.

Meanwhile, on Reddit, threads with titles like “BLM Demands Burning Man Provide 24-hour Access to Ice Cream” and “Gifting Idea: Choco Taco” have also appeared. One Redditor compared the BLM’s latest camp request to the Black Rock Station the agency constructed in 2011. Built for $3.5 million, the station serves as a “gateway” to the Black Rock desert and includes a “fire engine building, bunkhouse, warehouse and small administrative office.”

It likely does not include Choco Tacos.

BATTLE MOUNTAIN GRAZING SETTLEMENT SOWS SEEDS OF DISCORD

Forward by R.T. Fitch ~ Pres/Co-founder of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

“For the past several days I have been in a tizzy over the glamorization of the abusive and destructive horse racing ‘industry’ and last night several advocates reined me in and headed me back towards to wild horses and burros.  Sorry, but when it comes to our equines I see no silos.

Crybaby, welfare, subsidized ranchers have been in the news, as of late, for suing the BLM for not, allegedly, upholding the letter of the law by stripping federally protected wild horses from their rightful public range.  It’s all about entitlement and greed and what do the likes of these ‘ranchers’ do when things don’t go their way…they break the very laws that they have pledged to uphold.

The two couples highlighted below are actually quoted in the posted TV interview, below, as stating that YOUR public land is their ‘Private Property, bought and paid for’.  They pay pennies on the dollar for the right to graze their private cattle on your public land and it is considered, by them, to be THEIR land.  And when they break the law and graze their welfare cattle on the land in question the BLM caves to them, comes crying to them on all fours and begs them not to sue them any further.  I am both disgusted and flabbergasted.  Where is that BLM that I witnessed in person back at the Twin Peaks stampede in 2011 where 20 armed BLM rangers and law enforcement circled myself and three women, yes…me and 3 women…who only wanted to watch the roundup on our public lands; where are they now?  Oh, I forgot, we were wild horse advocates and considered dangerous while welfare ranchers are in bed and in cahoots with the BLM and Department of Interior.  Forgive me, I lost my train of thought there for a moment.

Back to the point, this is documented proof of the collusion and divisiveness that is in control of your public lands and hence, the destruction of our native wild horses and burros continues.  I, for one, have had enough.” ~ R.T.


SOURCE:  PEER.org

BATTLE MOUNTAIN GRAZING SETTLEMENT SOWS SEEDS OF DISCORD

Rancher Rewarded for Defiant Trespass as BLM Avoids Enforcement at All Costs

Eddyanne and Dan Filippini stating that our Public Land, which is home to wild animals such as horses, is THEIR land now they have violated the law and continue to ravage it with their destructive lack of proper management.

Eddyanne and Dan Filippini stating that our Public Land, which is home to wild animals such as horses, is THEIR land now they have violated the law and continue to ravage it with their destructive lack of proper management.

Washington, D.C. — Illegal livestock grazing on drought-stricken northern Nevada rangeland has now received Bureau of Land Management (BLM) approval, according to a settlement the agency reached with the ranchers. Western Watersheds Project and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) criticized the deal as encouraging more rogue grazing, and they have asked Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to instead support closure decisions made by BLM district managers to protect public lands.

This week’s settlement agreement is the latest in the long-running dispute over drought closures in Battle Mountain, Nevada. The dry conditions prompted the BLM to close two grazing allotments (North Buffalo and Copper Canyon) in May 2013. Shortly thereafter, ranchers Dan and Eddyann Filippini appealed the closure decision, which was ultimately upheld by an Administrative Law Judge in the Department of Interior’s Office of Hearings and Appeals. Dissatisfied with the continued drought protective measures in place on these public lands, the ranchers escalated the situation last week by releasing livestock onto the North Buffalo allotment and publicly daring the BLM to act.

Rather than move to get the trespassing cows off, BLM acted quickly to reach a deal with the ranchers. In the settlement agreement dated June 5, 2015, the ranchers are allowed to leave their cattle on the disputed lands, but the Filippinis agree that they have committed a “willful” grazing trespass and will pay an enhanced grazing fee only for the period that their cattle were illegally turned out. The agreement also specifies that the ranchers will dismiss further litigation in the case.

The North Buffalo allotment is a 100,768 acre allotment which is a checkerboard mix of 55% public lands and 45% private lands and has no internal fencing to keep livestock off of public lands. The allotment also contains priority Greater Sage-grouse habitat as defined by the recently released Nevada and Northeastern California Greater Sage-Grouse Proposed Land Use Plan Amendment and Final Environmental Impact Statement.

“Just two weeks after the new Greater Sage-grouse land use plans were released, the BLM once again shows us how little commitment they have to protecting important land and wildlife habitat when pressured by industry,” said Ken Cole, Western Watersheds Project’s Idaho Director. “What good are the new plans if the agencies cave in to every whim of the ranchers?”

“These stretches of desert were closed because they are suffering from longstanding drought on top of decades of grazing abuse,” stated PEER Advocacy Director Kirsten Stade, pointing to satellite imagery showing clearly visible effects of overgrazing but noting that these lands at issue here have never undergone legally required official assessment of their ecological health. “The livestock industry enjoys heavily subsidized grazing privileges but acts as if it has an entitlement to the public’s lands.”

After last year’s Bundy debacle, local BLM managers in Nevada are under pressure from above to resolve any resource disputes regardless of the terms or the long-term effects on the health of the public lands. The groups today sent Interior Secretary Sally Jewell a letter asking her to support local BLM enforcement decisions and to develop an effective range enforcement strategy, rather than backing down like the agency did in the case of Cliven Bundy, or reaching new agreements with lawless ranchers, as they have now done at Battle Mountain.

In response to a request from U.S. Representative Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Natural Resources, the Government Accountability Office is undertaking a review of the effectiveness of federal policies and practices “to detect and deter unauthorized livestock grazing on public range lands” in the words of a recent letter confirming the investigation.

_______________________

Video courtesy of Reason.TV
###

________________________

View the settlement

Read letter calling for Secretary Jewell to start enforcing grazing limits

See satellite images of the North Buffalo allotment

See a map of the entire allotment showing Greater sage grouse habitat

Trace Battle Mountain conflict

See GAO agreement to review grazing enforcement

See Administrative Law Judge order upholding the drought closure

Look at prior violations by these ranchers

See the Greater Sage-Grouse Proposed Land Use Plan Amendment

Explore PEER database displaying conditions of Western range lands

BLM rounding up more wild burros on the brink of extinction in the U.S.

Wild Burros

The “nuisance” BLM is rounding up and removing more wild burros, with a population already at critically endangered low numbers here in the U.S.  The BLM issued another Categorical Exclusion (CX).  It seems that the BLM is doing more CXs than ever.  The GAO issued a report in 2009 stating that the BLM had been issuing excessive CXs that did not comply with the law.  The GAO needs to look into all of the CXs the BLM has been issuing to round up wild horses & burros.   –  Debbie

SOURCE:  BLM

Goal of the Gather:

The BLM Phoenix District, Hassayampa Field Office is bait trapping up to 50 wild burros in the desert north of Phoenix and west of Interstate 17, near the Ben Avery Shooting Range. The intent is to remove animals that are creating a nuisance or endangering public safety. The field office has completed a categorical exclusion in accordance with the BLM Departmental Manual Part 516, Chapter 11.9.

Details of the Gather:

The BLM is gathering up to 50 wild burros. The gather is outside the Lake Pleasant Herd Management Area. The burros are getting on public rights-of-way, including State Route 74, Loop 303, Lake Pleasant Highway, Interstate 17, New River Road, and Castle Hot Springs Road. Animals on these heavily traveled roads are in constant danger of being hit by vehicles. Twenty-seven animals have been killed as a result of collisions with vehicles in the past eight months.

The gather is being conducted by BLM employees. Small corrals holding hay, supplement, or water are used to lure the burros through a gate, which closes behind them. The BLM will not offer public observation opportunities because the trap sites are not on Federal property.

Adoption:

Wild burros removed from the area will be transported to the Wild Horse and Burro Facility in Axtell, Utah, to be prepared for the BLM wild burro adoption program.

For more information on the Wild Horse and Burro Program, call 866-468-7826 or email wildhorse@blm.gov. For information about this wild burro gather, call Amanda James at 623-580-5568.

 

Do you see what I see?

Star Valley Com. Grazing Allt & Little Owyhee

by Grandma Gregg

I don’t know about you, but I know in my heart that the 78 horses referred to in the Public Notice below were MY wild horses that had strayed off the Little Owyhee HMA, but were still on public land when they were captured by the BLM (and/or associates), and then sent to auction and sold to the highest bidder, most likely to slaughter.  Gone.

Take a look at the attached map – you will see that the Star Valley grazing allotment (upper left), where the 78 unbranded wild horses were captured, adjoins the Little Owyhee HMA and is very near the Owyhee HMA.

The capture was on the Star Valley Community grazing allotment, near the corner of Oregon and Idaho and Nevada.  The Star Valley grazing allotment permittee ranchers are (per BLM RAS) Gene Watson and the Fort McDermitt Stockmen’s Assoc. (who use 6,836 of our public land AUMs to graze their livestock).

The source of the Public Notice was The Humboldt Sun (a Winnemucca, NV newspaper) but I found only one announcement of this sale online (Carson City, NV – hundreds of miles away) and I found no NEPA document (a “nuisance” complaint from the permittee usually results in the BLM issuing a CX or DNA).  Although requested, no NEPA document has been provided for this capture and removal.  BLM and their welfare rancher associates continue to make deals and work collusively behind the backs of United States citizens to eliminate all our wild horses and burros.

Timeline:

Feb 11-19, 2015 – 78 Wild Horses Captured and Removed by BLM from Public Lands within the Jordan Field Office, Vale District, Star Valley Community Allotment of the BLM in Malheur County, Oregon.

March 6, 2015 – Public Notice of Sale Printed in Carson City, Nevada (461 miles away).

March 11, 2015 – Wild Horses Auctioned off in Vale, Oregon, to the Highest Bidder (only 5 days after the sale notice).

I know we are all doing the best that we can for our wild ones, but meanwhile, the BLM continues to sneak around with their main mission, which is managing for extinction of our wild horses and burros.  Just thought you should know what is likely going on.

Sad … yes.

Wrong … yes.

Really happening behind our backs to our wild ones that belong to you and me and our future generations … yes.

I hope this auction sale did not include wild horses … but I’m afraid that I’m correct.

Nevada Public Notice

SOURCE:

County: Humboldt
Printed In: The Humboldt Sun
Printed On: 2015/03/06

Public Notice:
________________________________________
Legal No. 26451 PUBLIC SALE OF IMPOUNDED LIVESTOCK Pursuant to the U.S. Department of the interior’s regulations as contained in Title 43 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Subpart 4150 (including 4150.2, 4150.3, and 4150.4 through 4150.4-5 and the Notice of intent to Impound on public lands. On February 11, 12, 18, and 19, 2015, the BLM removed 78 unauthorized horses for the public lands within the Jordan Field Office, Vale District, Star Valley Community Allotment of the BLM in Malheur County, Oregon. An Oregon State brand inspector examined all 78 horses, and no brands were observed. Prior to the time of sale, the horses may be redeemed upon making settlement with the United States as provided for by 43 CFR 4150.1(b), 4150.3, and 4150.4-4 by payment of the following: 1. The value of the forage consumed. 2. The damage to the public lands and other property of the United States. 3. The cost of detecting, investigating, and resolving unauthorized use violations and for livestock impoundment including gathering and care of impounded livestock. Any claim for redemption and payment or settlement must be made before 10:00 am Mountain Time March 11, 2015, to the United States Department of the Interior, BLM, Vale District Office, 100 Oregon Street, Vale, OR 97918. Redemption will not discharge the remaining obligation to remove all unauthorized livestock for m public lands and the liability for continuing damage to public lands, the value of the forage consumed, and the costs associated with ongoing, unauthorized use/trespass. If the livestock are not redeemed as specified above the BLM will offer the animals for public sale to the highest bidder as specified under 43 CFR 4150.4-5. The sale will take place on March 11, 2015, at Producers Livestock Marketing Associates in Vale, Oregon. The horses are presently being held and will only be available for inspection by scheduling an appointment in advance. Appointments must be made by calling Field Manager Thomas Patrick “Pat” Ryan, Jordan/Malheur Resource Areas, at (541) 473-3144 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. If you have any questions, please contact Supervisory Rangeland Management Specialist Bill Lutjens or Field Manager Pat Ryan at the BLM Vale District Office at (541) 473-3144. Jerome E. Perez State Director Oregon/Washington Published in the Humboldt Sun March 6, 2015 (Humboldt)

 

How did wild burros in the Oatman area of Arizona (part of the Black Mountain HMA) catch equine influenza?

“the only way for unvaccinated animals to catch equine influenza is to be around it”

photo by Marjorie Farabee of Wild Horse Freedom Federation  photo by Marjorie Farabee, Dir. Wild Burro Affairs, Wild Horse Freedom Federation

SOURCE: havasunews.com

BLM issues alert on equine influenza

by

The best advice Darla Wright can give to the owners of unvaccinated domestic horses and burros right now is to stay away from Oatman.

Wright, an equine veterinarian at Wright Veterinary Services in Kingman, said the only way for unvaccinated animals to catch equine influenza is to be around it. Horses and burros that have been vaccinated are immune to it.

An equine influenza alert was issued Friday for the Kingman area by the Bureau of Land Management.

The alert warned that domestic horses or burros that have been in the Oatman area recently may have been exposed to some infected wild burros.

Recent veterinary tests confirmed that two burros in the Oatman area have died from the illness, one on May 19 and another on May 21.

Wright said an update on the situation was released several days ago by the Office of the State Veterinarian, but she hasn’t seen any local cases of the illness, which she called a common cold in horses and burros. Most of her equine clients have been vaccinated for it, she added.

“I don’t think it’s going to be a big problem for us because we’re not really that close to Oatman and most people ride around here,” said Wright. “The only way to prevent the spread of the illness is to stay away from infected animals and don’t use common water troughs there.”

The BLM also cautioned local horse and burro owners to limit contact with the wild burrows in the Black Mountain Herd Management Area, which includes Oatman. People also are advised not to feed wild burros or provide water to them, particularly near domestic animals.

The disease affects equines only and is not a threat to humans or other animals. The highly contagious respiratory disease, which occurs normally in horse and burro populations, can be spread through direct contact or sharing feeding or water troughs.

How the deck is stacked against wild horses & burros

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) streamlines “uses” like mining that use huge amounts of water (while there is a drought in the West), yet cites the need to remove wild horses and burros to maintain a “thriving ecological balance.”  Just one mine in Nevada, Barrick Gold’s Goldstrike mine, has pumped over 383 BILLION gallons of water from an aquifer.   It seems that the BLM FAVORS “USES” THAT GENERATE MORE MONEY, which is in violation of the Federal Lands Management Planning Act (FLPMA).

To learn more, read “The Mining of our Aquifers” and “Neil Kornze, A BLM Gift to the Mining Industry”.  You can read more about the Pan Mine Project, that Kornze refers to in the article below, HERE.  –  Debbie

5550dd0a15be2.image  Neil Kornze (photo:  Dylan Woolf Harris, Elko Daily Free Press)

BLM aims to lower mine permitting timeline

SOURCE:  Elko Daily Free Press

ELKO – From the planning stages to production, the time for a mine to be up and running can feel like a long wait – but it’s not as long as it used to be.

Bureau of Land Management Director Neil Kornze, who comes from a mining family and spent most of his childhood and teenage years in northeastern Nevada’s mining community, said the agency is actively working to cut down on the permitting process for mines on federal land.

“We’re requesting (from mining companies) more information up front, which allows us to be more timely in the processing of the application,” he said during a May stop in Elko.

Kornze cited the Pan Mine in White Pine County as a notable example. Exploration in 2011 led to an operating plan. The scoping period began in early 2012, and the record of decision was signed in December of 2013.

A few other projects were also permitted within about three years, he added.

“The prior standard used to be more like 10 years,” he said. “I think we’re pretty pleased with the big step forward on that.”

The long process has been criticized in the past by county officials.

“We’re very proud that mining continues to be a key driver of the economy here in Northern Nevada,” he said.

The plans for Midway Gold U.S. Inc.’s Pan operation called for main north and south pits. The BLM also approved three satellite pits, a heap leach pad, three rock disposal sites and a transmission line, altogether adding up to 3,301 acres of surface disturbance.

Kornze became BLM chief in December 2013.

At his confirmation hearing, Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., remarked on Kornze’s link to mining country.

“Neil Kornze is somebody that is just perfect for the job, raised in rural Nevada, Elko County,” he said. “Nevada has 17 counties. But in the northeastern part of the state is a large county that is really a remarkably beautiful place. It now has more mining in it than any place in America. The State of Nevada produced about 6 million ounces of gold last year, and much of it came from Elko County.”

 

Put in your 2 cents worth on BLM’s $2 per acre oil and gas leases on public lands

Please submit a comment in your own words, asking that the minimum rate per acre for oil and gas leasing be MUCH higher than $2 an acre, and ask the BLM to remove caps established by current regulations on civil penalties that may be assessed under the Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Management Act.

Most importantly, be sure to demand that the BLM NOT approve any more land for oil & gas development/leasing on Wild Horse & Burro Herd Management Areas (HMAs) (since there supposedly isn’t enough water and forage for wild horses and burros on their federally protected HMAs).  – Debbie

wis.Par.69820.Image.200.135.1 (photo: BLM)

BLM Extends Public Comment Period to June 19, 2015 on Oil and Gas Royalty Rulemaking

SOURCE:  goldrushcam.com

May 29, 2015- WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced today that it is extending the public comment period on its Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) to seek public comment on potential updates to BLM rules governing oil and gas royalty rates, rental payments, lease sale minimum bids, civil penalty caps and financial assurances.

Notice of the two-week extension, which extends the comment period deadline to June 19, 2015, will be published in the Federal Register on June 3, 2015.

Modernizing the BLM’s royalty rate structures can provide greater flexibility, especially given the dramatic growth of oil development on public and tribal lands, where production has increased in each of the past six years, and combined production was up 81 percent in 2014 versus 2008. Potential changes to BLM’s regulations would also respond to concerns expressed by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), Interior’s Office of Inspector General, and others that the BLM’s existing rules lack flexibility and could be causing the United States to forgo significant revenue to the detriment of taxpayers.

The GAO has repeatedly concluded that the BLM’s regulations do not provide a reasonable assurance that the public is getting appropriate fair share of the revenue from these resources. The BLM’s current rules lack the flexibility to offer new competitive leases at higher royalty rates.

The ANPR also addresses the value of these resources by inviting comment on how the BLM might update its rules regarding the minimum acceptable bid that must be paid by parties seeking a lease at auction, and the annual rental payments that are due after a lease is obtained. The current minimum acceptable auction bid is $2 per acre, which is well below the rate at which most parcels sell, suggesting that the rate could be higher. After obtaining a lease, a lessee is currently required to make annual rental payments until the lease starts producing oil or gas. These rental rates currently are $1.50 per acre for the first five years and $2 for years five through 10. The ANPR invites comment on how rental payments might be better structured to incentivize diligent development of leased areas.

The BLM encourages the public to be actively engaged in this process by submitting comments on the revised proposed rule before June 19 in one of the following ways:

Mail: U.S. Department of the Interior, Director (630), Bureau of Land Management, Mail Stop 2134 LM, 1849 C St. NW, Washington, DC, 20240, Attention: 1004-AE41.

Personal or messenger delivery: Bureau of Land Management, 20 M. St. SE, Room 2134 LM, Attention: Regulatory Affairs, Washington, DC 20003.

Online at the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments at this Website.

To read the original advance notice of public rulemaking go to: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-04-21/pdf/2015-09033.pdf