The Force of the Horse

Midwest Ranchers Find Gold in Nevada’s Wild Horses

by Valerie James-Patton ~ Vice President, Equine Welfare Alliance

BLM plan: Wild Horse Now, Cattle Next?

A two sentence article appearing in the Nevada Ely Times, November 3, 2010, only stated that “Chairman of the Governor’s Wildlife Commission, Scott Raine of Eureka, has designated a new Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners’ Feral Horse Committee “consisting of” what Raine calls “five of the foremost experts on the issue of feral horses in the State of Nevada.” The Chairman is Mike Stremler and members Commissioner Hank Vogler, Wayne Hage, George Parman and Floyd Rathbun.”

The title of the article was “Wildlife Commission subcommittee to oversee wild horse issues”, which begs the question: which horses and what issues?  More importantly, what is the purpose of this committee and what is the goal regarding feral horses?

With no information available on this committee on the internet, a quick search on the committee “experts” revealed rather startling information, although nothing that appeared to qualify these men at experts on wild or feral horses.

Besides being ranchers and one being a former mustanger, a couple of these new committee members had recently published their thoughts on wild horses.

George Parman, a former mustanger and cattle rancher, who was appointed to the committee by Scott Raine, advised in a January 1, 2010 letter posted on Raine’s blog:

“what we need to do, is to let the ranchers and the mustangers take care of the problem, just as they did in the old days, back when, along in the Fall a handful of cowboys would take their saddle horses – throw a bunch of grub and their bedrolls in the back of a pickup – and off they’d go to do a little mustanging. It was a perfect system. The most qualified and experienced people were engaged. The horses were automatically kept at reasonable numbers. It cost the taxpayer nothing. The best of the horses were put on the market for people to use and enjoy. The remainders of the older and less undesirable animals were euthanized via a facility that made good use of the end product.”

An article by the chairman of the new Feral Horse Committee dated August 16, 2010 reads: “there is no beneficial use of water for the Federal government’s mustangs, wild horses, or feral horses depending on how you define them. Furthermore, neither the Nevada Department of Wildlife nor the US Fish and Wildlife claim that these animals are wildlife and under their jurisdiction. Given that there is no beneficial use for wild horses to use the waters of the State of Nevada, that the waters within most of the Nevada rangelands grazed by domestic animals are owned by the rancher, and that the Federal government has no law that supersedes the State of Nevada’s water law (in accordance with the Tenth Amendment); then why not stand on our rights? Water rights!

Now all that we need to do is to stand on our rights. We are not welfare ranchers. We own the most valuable asset in the world, water. We as ranchers have the right to decide how and when our water is to be used, not the Federal government, and not the general public. I personally believe that the ranchers, farmers, and the wildlife have the laws on our side not the wild horse advocates.”

Fearing that Mr. Stremler’s intent was to allow wild or feral horses to die of thirst, Mr. Stremler was contacted and answered questions by telephone.

He stated the new committee’s name was an error and should be named the Wild Horse Committee since their issue was regarding wild horses under the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) jurisdiction. He admitted that they are not actually experts on wild horses, but rather, they are experts on protecting the rancher’s land and water rights on both public and private lands. Their complaint is the BLM does not keep the wild horses at the Appropriate Management Levels or AML. Stremler says when there are too many horses, the BLM forces the ranchers to remove the cattle without properly compensating them for the rancher’s water rights and they feel they are unfairly providing the wild horses and burros with water that belongs to them.

The ranchers understand wildlife must have access to the water regardless of their water rights. But Mr. Stremler explains that ranchers do not believe wild horses meet the definition of wildlife under Nevada state law and are therefore not entitled to the ranchers’ water free of charge.

But wild horses and burros are protected under a federal law, the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, (WFRHBA) 16 U.S. C. Sections 1331 et seq.  This law was passed in 1971 specifically to protect wild horses and burros. When states tried to challenge the WFRHBA in Kleppe vs. New Mexico, the Supreme Court upheld Congress’s authority to pass legislation to protect wildlife species across state lines. Therefore, regardless of whether state law recognizes wild horses and burros as wildlife, the issue has been preempted by federal law. According to the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burro Act of 1971, [16 USCS §§ 1331 et seq.]–wild horses are defined as: (b) “wild free-roaming horses and burros” means all unbranded and unclaimed horses and burros on public lands of the United States; and, (a)  All wild free-roaming horses and burros are hereby declared to be under the jurisdiction of the Secretary for the purpose of management and protection in accordance with the provisions of this Act. The Secretary shall– “(1) protect and manage wild free-roaming horses and burros as components of the public lands”.

In the case of Kleppe vs. New Mexico, 1976,  the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government has the authority to regulate wildlife under the Property Clause, and “where state laws conflict with the Wild Free-Roaming Horse & Burro Act, or with other legislation passed pursuant to the Property Clause, the law is clear: the state laws must recede…”

Despite the ranchers state owned water rights, the horses and burros remain federally protected as “components of the public lands” and are entitled to roam free in areas where they were as of the date of the WFRHBA, 1971.

Perhaps there is a compromise here that would work for the wild horses and burros and the ranchers. Why not identify herd management areas or herd areas where a compromise could be reached with ranchers for water and other resources or property for the wild horses and burros? The boundaries of herd management areas could be adjusted, fences removed, and water and resources otherwise made accessible so wild horses and burros could be preserved in their natural habitat which was the intent of the WFRHBA. Thus, ranchers would be compensated for their water and other property rights.

Fertility control would need to be addressed. The BLM’s current aggressive fertility control methods are aimed toward the extinction of the wild horses. New drugs the BLM has been using such as SpayVac and Gonacon is believed to have the ability to cause permanent sterilization in mares. The BLM’s effort to create non-reproducing herds by administering long lasting or permanent sterilization drugs to mares, capturing stallions and returning gelded males to the herds, adjusting herd ratios to favor males, and reducing herd numbers to below genetic viability and unsustainable numbers, is a violation of the WFRHBA, 43 CFR 4700.0-6 (a), which states: “Wild horses and burros shall be managed as self-sustaining populations of healthy animals in balance with other uses and the productive capacity of their habitat.”

Millions of taxpayer dollars would be saved if the BLM paid the ranchers for water rights rather than continued removals and holding wild horses and burros in holding facilities which, despite the mandate of the WFRHBA, is the BLM’s current method for managing wild horses and burros.

While Nevada’s ranchers are fighting to get rid of wild horses in Nevada, the BLM pays ranchers in the Midwest millions of dollars annually to keep wild horses from the west on their land. The horses have become a pot of gold to many ranchers in Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Kansas. John Hughes of Oklahoma has been receiving millions of dollars annually from the BLM since 1993 for keeping the wild horses on his ranch. This year alone, Hughes received well over $3 million for his contract to keep the horses, while other ranchers such as the Reed Brothers Ranch profited this year with over $2 million, as did the Drummond Ranch, Trentman Ranch, Cross Bell, and many others. This is a prime example of “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”, and the BLM is paying Midwest ranchers a fortune for the “gold” Nevada’s ranchers are throwing away.

Although ranchers have historically been at odds with wild horses, times have changed. As development and urbanization continues to expand, putting increasing pressure on the ranching lifestyle, many ranchers may fail to realize that having wild horses around actually increases protection.

In areas where wild horses or burros were eliminated in the guise of protecting habitat, livestock operations can find themselves targeted next. The cultural and historic values of the ranching community are only strengthened by the inclusion of wild horses and/or burros, not diminished. Ranchers may want to reconsider how prejudices of the past might be weakening their position in modern times and recognize the age old strategy of “divide and conquer” might actually apply to them as well.

If Nevada’s newly formed Feral Horse Committee took their blinders off and approached the wild horse issue with a new vision, they might realize that by demanding the BLM to comply with the 1971 Act by keeping the horses on their land instead of paying a fortune to the ranchers in the Midwest to keep them, Nevada’s ranchers could receive some of that compensation for themselves. But are they capable of viewing the wild horses not as pests, but with a new concept as a pot of gold on the land?

Would it be too farfetched to wonder if Nevada’s ranchers and wild horse advocates might actually come together to protect the rancher’s rights as well as the wild horses and burros, against their common adversary: the BLM?

41 replies »

  1. Excellent article, Valerie , that ends with a question that hopefully the ranchers will realize a answer to it makes good “horse” sense.

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  2. This kind of response from the local power brokers is a bit over the top. The horses are disappearing like pygmy rabbits and now they have another organization telling the nation they want control of the wild horses before the advocates. These people made money off the mustang in the past and they want to do it again? The beleagured wild horses of Nevada have someone else wanting a cut from their lives? I have read some of this before… it has been floating around. Let the ranchers run the show? It is amazing how the laws protecting wild horses have been ignored, overstepped, negated and misinterpreted in order to suit the state, the BLM, DOI, the locals and USDA. This is another tip of another iceberg that had broken off of the general attitudes of Nevadans over wild horses. It sets there and wants attention and power over something there are laws to protect from it. Sort of. Just what laws will work to save wild horses from theses people?? mar

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  3. I read the article yesterday in the Elko paper and was alarmed. I can see concern was well founded now that the intent of the “Horse Committee” is further described. Fact is, the BLM can’t remove horses fast enough for the locals from Elko. I can see the committee taking the law into their own hands, herding wild horses onto private land so they can be sold at auction. Thus far, Lifesavers has been able to step up, but they may not be able to continue saving our icons due to lack of space and financing. What will this committee decide to exclude from the “wildlife” list next?

    On the good news side, yesterday in Pahrump’s news, locals are in the beginning stage of planning a wild horse visitor’s center for the public to promote tourism! Comments on this article from the locals were very positive, upbeat for a change. They get it!

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  4. Millions of dollars are spent on round ups, transport, and feed. If the horses stay where they are, this money could be given to local caretakers. Even if the ranchers dismiss wild horse welfare and just look at the money, leaving the horses where they are could be a financially viable situation for everyone, except the midwest ranchers. And, there’d be money left over for updating the ecological data. Ranchers need to make money, taxpayers don’t want to spend more than they have to and horse advocates are trying to save lives and family bands — why couldn’t this work for everyone?

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    • Yes, that’s reason this article was written, although it didn’t start out this way.
      Don’t we want the horses to stay on the land where they are now? More than half of them are in Nevada. Why pay cattle ranchers in the Midwest to keep the horses? If the Nevada ranchers could get compensation to allow the horses to stay in the west, wouldn’t that be a better solution for the horses?

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      • If the horses can stay in the West is the question… it can be worked out. Several things could be workable together depending on the land and BLM intentions. If BLM will not stop the violent roundups we are stuck trying to save individuals and losing families to their destructive actions. No matter what BLM wants to do they must stop the roundups in order to allow another course of action.

        It is time to stop the roundups because there is no where for all these wild ones to go. This push and shove has done enough damage to that which are not BLM property but protected American Wild Horses and Burros. Time to work out the end of BLM reign and the beginning of the new era for the last of wild ones to have a future. BLM free.

        There needs to be acknowledgment from BLM that the public has had it with the terror and killing and we will do all that is necessary to create wild horse havens that are good for all wildlife. This is an important aspect to future wild horse management; we can help all the species within a horse management area far better than BLM ever did. The pressure would be off the horses and this alone will improve habitats for all without the presence of cattle. mar

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  5. I just don’t know how individuals demonstrating an amazing lack of scientific, legal and factual knowledge are:
    (1) allowed to be in charge of anything, much less
    (2) allowed to make so many outrageous comments without their superiors stepping in, correcting and apologizing to the public of Nevada AND the US!
    (3) not fired!

    The arrogance and selfish stupidity is just staggering.

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  6. These horses do not belong to Nevadans to do as they see fit. These horses belong to Americans and are protected (sort of) by Federal, not state law.

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    • Ahhh the beauty of the shell, err movement/migratory nature of our wild herds DOI and states refuse to acknowledge.

      The law does not recognize their migratory requirements (made no stipulations), nor does it recognize specific individuals (the BLM does no identifying and tagging until capture, mostly for removal). Factor in the reduction of acreage, any yahoo can play in the feral v. wild equine game.

      Question: Does BLM or any other so called wild equine expert authority, bag, tag and release? I don’t think so…..and they don’t becauseeee……

      Seriously. They don’t do it because they don’t want the real numbers out there for public consumption AND it would fubar their removal/extinction plan. Remember how we all have problems with population counts?

      I know why.

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  7. I’m sorry, but this article is VERY confusing! First of all, I’ve never heard or read anywhere, that the “cattle were made to move, so the wild horses could have access to water”, & that the government/BLM were treating the ranchers “unfairly”!! What a JOKE!! I thought it was the other way around, let the cattle graze & drink water to their heart’s content, make the ranchers fatter & happier, remove the wild horses, take more & more of their land away, kill as many as you can along the way, & so on. This sounds very bad for the wild horses because if the stupid cattle ranchers think the BLM can’t, or isn’t, doing their job of maintaining & controlling the wild horses, then they somehow think they can just take matters into their own hands!!?? Are we going to just sit here & let them get away with that?? It seems like whenever we cross one hurdle for the horses, more are put in front of them. And, just my opinion, but, I think most all those cattle ranchers need to go back to school, maybe even graduate & get their high school diploma, & learn about “wildlife”, &, it’s definition, & learn that the horse IS a true native species that evolved on this continent, & our wild mustangs are direct descendents of the early Spanish horses that were RE-introduced to the America’s hundreds of years ago!!

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    • Some folks that ranch, farm and own land think they have no accountability.

      BLM (versus it’s genesis) has many adversarial rulings and regulations for many “land owners”. The difference here is that BLM is destroying the herds and wild equines. What the “ranchers” don’t like is being told….”you’re over grazing”, “trashing the raparian area”, polluting the water”, etc.

      Livestockers have been told to remove; but some have also sued (and won) saying that BLM or local state ag/wildlife weenies are wrong in their initial rulings.

      Bottom line is there is no “reputable” policy or science that mitigates issues properly….we all have complaints. Ergo…these weenies are nonconsumable weenies (can’t put them on the bar-b and enjoy), leaving a ton of mess, destruction and special interest craziness because they can. Seriously folks, these guys are like the IRS! Scarey!!!!

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  8. I think we are going to have a turning point as WWPs lawsuit challenging the validity of decisions made in the RMPs(34) across the west- most are in HMAs..This is where the BLM has illegally tampering with the AUMs and AMLs, allowing ranchers to make the decision based on their own self interest-as to the exclusion of wild horses-from grazing lands previously accessed by the horses..I hope at the time these lawsuits are won, WE are prepared to set up and demand the wild horses be reinstated on these lands

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    • AMEN!

      Just watched John Wayne in “Chisolm”. Listen to what the character Forrest Tucker says about controlling water and being King of the Pecos.

      Good god!

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    • Whiskey’s fer drinkin’, water’s fer fightin’, and start layin’ in the booze!

      I spent most of the day (and could easily spend the rest of my life) trying to wade through who-owns-what water AGAIN, not just in Nevada, but throughout the country. Much of it comes down to who-owns-what KIND of water – surface, springs, aquifers, developed, undeveloped, navigable … on and on. States claim they own the water within their borders and have the legal right to manage those waters, but, when push comes to shove, the Feds are the big shovers, especially when Fed money has been involved in any way.

      Along comes the 2009 Public Lands Omnibus Act, with funding for the USGS WaterSMART Availability and Use Assessment for the entire U.S., and special emphasis on the three largest drainage basins in the country. Think of it as a census with the intent of putting our water where it does the most good for the most people. It’s supposed to take about three years. Maybe three years to complete the study, but the lawsuits will likely run into the next millenium!

      In October, Ken Salazar announced that a Colorado River inventory will be done.
      “You can’t manage a resource that you don’t measure,” Salazar said. “The WaterSMART initiative is all about measuring our water supplies and how we use them. This water census will provide crucial information to water managers to improve our efforts to wisely balance competing demands.” “Competing demands” like Las Vegas, Phoenix, LA, and the big one nobody seems to want to talk about … the Imperial Valley? For heaven’s sake, the Feds just signed the agreement on “remanaging” the Upper Colorado Basin LAST YEAR, and here we go again?

      Earlier this month, the OUTGOING President (all-around crook who never met a dollar he didn’t want in HIS pocket) of the Navajo Nation, Joe Shirley, signed an agreement literally giving up ALL Navajo Water Rights to the Southern Colorado Basin FOREVER in exchange for $500 million (not BILLION, which is more like what it’s worth) in water “improvements” to benefit the Navajo people. A chicken in every pot, faucet in every hogan sort of thing … REDICULOUS when you consider the sheer size of the rez and the remoteness of the hogans. Who’s next in line? See above list.

      So I guess Nevadans AND ALL THE REST OF US should be watching our water. It may either be gone or coming out of the tap in flames!!!

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      • The Navajo Settlement will also be in court for years, and we taxpayers will likely be footing both sides of the bill. It’s called the “Full Employment for Lawyers Act”!

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  9. Globally, animals with migratory habits are in peril. Habitat loss and the insatiable drive to find and own every resource will not end tomorrow. This is a complicated issue tied to our own survival.

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  10. The bottom line is: Congress needs to pass laws stopping all future roundups, stop transportation of all United States citizen’s horses, wild, feral, or domesticated across U.S. borders to slaughter houses elsewhere. Make sure laws are written to ensure that no slaughterhouses return to the United States. The ultimate result: The wild horses need to be returned to their original ranges with their families intact. Unfortunately, those that have given the ultimate sacrifice will not be returning with their families, but those now remaining will be able to again enjoy their freedom and families as God intended. All feral horses should be either returned to the ranges or to rescues and sanctuaries with the domestic horses until new homes are found for them. In addition, Congress should pass a law that removes all cattle from the horses rangees. Then, Congress needs to pass upon its citizen’s request, the punishment of all people employed by the BLM having anything to do with the roundups, killings of the horses, and the helicopter companies and its employees, and this punishment needs to be at the fullest extent of the law, demanded and approved not only by Congress but the citizens as well. After all, we the citizens should have a sayso in their punishment and the punishment should be swift and painful. Noone is these United States should be allowed to take matters in their own hands and do as they have done to these beautiful animals and not pay the ultimate price. Secondly, any person(s) with the agriculture an mining departments having any attachment to the decisions formerly made by the BLM where they gained, should also pay the price. Cattlemen and oil and gas companies need to be warned that their dominance with our ranges are stopping immediately and will never be allowed again.

    Lastly, may we all rejoice when we can see our wild horses, feral horses, and burros returned to their former ranges. May we rejoice when all the other horses are in rescues and sanctuaries until new homes can be found for them.
    And, for generations to come, may it be written that the citizens joined hands and by appearing and approving in a Court of Lawfor, demanded and won the right to see their beloved horses continue to run free with their families

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    • AMEN, Lynne. I couldn’t agree more, as probably all or most others here would. Now we need a solid plan to expedite all of the above – especially the moritorium on roundup and removal, AND stopping BLM (or any other entity bent on destructive practices) from dealings with or about the Wild Horses and Burros.

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  11. I would like to know why there is not one wild horse advocate on the wildlife board? These men are all cattle ranchers and I am sure that they would like to see every last wild horse removed from the face of the earth.. The article in the newspaper states they are considered experts on wild horses, I would like to know what makes them experts, who determines their qualifications?
    Someone from one of the wild horse groups should be on that board or a couple of people to even things out.
    These cattle ranchers have no credentials to make them wild horse experts or as they call them, feral horse experts, they claim to be the best in the state on wild horse issues.
    They want the wild horses gone plain and simple so they can have more room for their cattle and sheep. This is a one sided wildlife board .What exactly are their so called duties anyway? Does anyone know?
    This is all we need a wildlife board with a bunch of sheep and cattle men on there trying to find a way to get rid of the “feral horses”, maybe they might suggest to go back to the old mustanger way of things, in fact one of the men on the board is a self proclaimed mustanger himself.
    Scott Raine believes the horses that are out their now on the range are not wild horses, he states that is not scientifically accurate, that they are feral horses who have escaped from their owners or have been released. For one thing domestic horses could never survive in the wild with the true wild horses, it would be extremely cruel to turn a domestic horse loose into the wilderness and if there are ones out there with brands on them, then the owners should be tracked down and proscuted for animal neglect.
    So it seems these cattle ranchers are on the board to protect wildlife and see what impact the “feral horses” have on the resources of the range.
    Why is it always the wild horses who are the first animals that don’t have a right to the water, forage or the land? Their seems to be plenty for every other living creature, but I am sure that this fine group of experts will come up with some very good scientific evidence as to why this is always the case. They have already determined that there are feral horses out there, not wild ones, imagine that! I agree with Lynn return the wild horses to their ranges~

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  12. This is from Debbie Coffey’s article in PPJ GAZETTE–July 28, 2010
    This is where Nevada’s water is going:

    Just one mine in Nevada (Barrick Gold’s Goldstrike Mine) has pumped over 383 BILLION gallons of water from an aquifer. (and that was a 2005 statistic, so it’s much more than that by now) According to a New York Times article by Kirk Johnson, nearly 10 million gallons of water a day is draining away from the driest state in the nation.
    To make one gold wedding band, about 20 tons of earth must be excavated.

    Large scale open-pit mining takes millions of gallons of water, mostly to dilute the cyanide used to soak the ore and separate its microscopic bits of gold. About 20 of Nevada’s major gold mines may not last much longer than 2015, but that’s when the biggest problems will begin. The vast pits they leave behind will create a deficit in the aquifer, and scientists estimate it could take 200 years or more to replenish the groundwater.

    When these mines close, about 40 pits, from Goldstrike’s Betze-Post to smaller mines like Newmont’s Lone Tree, will start to fill with water. These artificial lakes will store an estimated 500 billion gallons or more of water. This sounds good, BUT in the hot desert sun, the water will constantly evaporate, and for every gallon of evaporation, the lakes will draw another gallon from the aquifer beneath them. They will be sucking water from the aquifer forever. Some lakes are expected to be poisonous (laced with arsenic and selenium) and others may have metal and acid concentrations toxic to fish.

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  13. Hi – new to all this, just learning.

    The statement “we are not welfare ranchers” leads me to wonder if (some? Nevada?) ranchers do not want to accept the compensation because of pride – they associate it with “welfare.”

    However, what they would be providing is a service – by allowing herds to graze and water on their land, they are contributing to the protection of an endangered species.
    The $ compensation is for this service to the wild horses & burros and to the American people. With that $, those ranchers could explore working with scientists to install methods that would not only preserve water, but would also even produce water. I wonder if the compensation was presented to ranchers as $ for services, and if the Midwest ranchers could be brought together to speak with Nevada ranchers, there could be progress that would benefit all…just a thought.

    I agree that at the heart of this conflict is the issue of water – who owns it, and who gets to decide who drinks it, where, and how much. If only the ranchers could see that in this case, they and the wild horse are the same. Both need land, grazing, and water. The ranchers have decided that they must take control of “their” water, and that working with? BLM will benefit them. But in the long run, it seems they too will face a battle with the BLM, who finally is in control of who drinks it, who owns it, etc. and one day, it will be the ranchers, along with the horses and other wildlife, who will be driven off the land by poor water and land management. We all may be facing a similar situation with our water, too. Meanwhile, the horses as always are teaching us by providing us with an opportunity to step back and see the long range vision of what is to come, and we (and Nevada) are missing the opportunity to find a way to share and preserve water and habitat for all generations of Wildlife – including human beings.

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  14. Beth, you are right about the water. There is a great deal of information about water and water rights in the PPJ Gazette. I don’t think most of us are even aware of all the laws that have been and are being passed that impact water issues. We had all better start becoming informed.

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  15. THE RANCHERS ARE COMPLAINING SO MUCH ABOUT THE WATER BUT HAVE THEY EVER CONSIDERED WHAT OPEN PIT MINING OF COAL, GOLD, AND ALL THE OTHER NEW INDUSTRIES THAT ARE COMING INTO NEVADA ESPECIALLY ARE GOING TO USE. WHAT LITTLE WATER THE HORSES WOULD USE IS NOTHING COMPARED TO WHAT THESE INDUSTRIES WILL CONSUME AND SOON THEY WILL FIND THERE IS NO WATER FOR THE CATTLE. THE RANCHERS SHOULD REALIZE ONCE THE HORSES ARE GONE THE CATTLE WILL BE NEXT.

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  16. Not only will there be very little left, what is left will be full of toxic chemicals. Current technology can not remove these toxins from the water. If I were living in Nevada right now, I’d be real sure I knew where the water was coming from that my family was using. Some of this subterranean water that assists in mining is likely already polluted. At least wild horses didn’t poison the water they drank. I can not believe that people in Nevada are willing to sit back and let the government destroy their state.

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    • One theory about wild equine removal is that the authorities know exactly what is happening to the water and don’t want to have an immediately recognizable PR nightmare…..wildlife/equines dropping noticeably dead in large numbers due to NO water and lethally poisoned watering areas (horses will drink if thirsty enough…just like eating toxic plants if hungry enough). The press and public would be all over them (authorities) like stink on human pooh and then they would have some serious explaining to do about pollution, utilization of public lands, etc.

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    • The town of yearington nevada has to use bottled water supplied by either the gov or the mining company there that poluted the aquafers, people still shower in that water and say it burns their skin and causes rashes. If people in Nevada support the mines they deserve it tattoed on their tombstone..maybe they should rename their town..or the whole state the “tombstone cemetary”

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  17. Brilliant article!!I feel the time is right to sit down and have a serious talk with the Nevada Ranchers. I was thinking about this before, along the same lines as Valerie pointed it out. The current “system” is completely inept and fiscally irresponsible. Ihe grazing fees are ridiculously low, and under current circumstances they should be raised. However here is the “bargaining point”; any rancher willing to share water and the range with livestock could graze at the existing low fees! I am not aversed to paying some incentive to Nevada Ranchers, from the money saved by not rounding the horses up and trucking them all over the country. The other thing these Rancher folks need to understand, PUBLIC does NOT MEAN RANCHER ONLY! PUBLIC means folks in NY, San Francisco, and all over the nation. City folks, country folks, EVERYONE IN THE USA!! So let’s get along and let’s get together to discuss vital issues like responsible CARING ADULTS….I truly believe in a WIN WIN situation!!

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    • Ironically, there will soon be no wild equines to blame for anything. Good news….the killers will be stopped; bad news…the wild equines will be gone.

      There are just not that many wild equines left deserving this extreme method of removal.

      It is a stall tactic to the real disaster that is going on with our public (and in some circumstances, our private lands that pollute and destroy the remaining). WWP get’s it.

      Wish we could find the resources and legal accumen to do the same for the wild ones.

      Wild equines aren’t the problem (numbers don’t support it), humans are most definetly the causation. Mr. Salazar……?……you are running out of wild equines!

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      • There is WWP mentality we need to get onto and go after BLM. We could also be exploring the use of other large ranches that are looking to convert from cattle to wild horses.

        A National Foundation could be raising funding that would seriously turn things around for this campaign and create solutions that come from the advocates all banding together to become a source of the funding and direct action.

        We will do nothing without coming together and working on a large scale solution; through the courts and legislators and through our own work attempts to raise money. We need more than an ad in the NYT. We need a foundation and money. mar

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      • Yep, Mr. Salazar, got those horses wisked out of Sheldon Wildlife refuge just in time..full 2 page color spred of cats, hoes and trucks tearing the Hell out of Sheldon, of course there wasn.t much left of Sheldon after those wild horses tore out all those miles of trees…18 wheeled through streams and damaged habitat for a generation..YOU sorry SOBs

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      • Where are all those tree spiking monkey wrenching crazy environmentalists when you need one..Get out of retirement and off your butts and do something!!

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      • Maybe we need to ressurect the SDS-this time as Seniors for a Democratic Society-what the hell do we have to live for anyway???old age??? LOL..Must be the 60s/70s music I am listening to tonight…

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  18. In listening to one of the online radio shows from PPJ GAZETTE, one of the commentators stated that there has been somewhat of a shift. Now the cattle and the ranchers are being blamed for the water pollution. First the horses, then the cattle.

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    • My understanding is that more than a few environmentalists have been tracking livestock; BLM does not do the same (or wild equines for that matter).

      Livestock (not feral or wild equines do tons of damage IF NOT MONITOERED OR REMOVED (per contracts/leases) in a timely fashion. The level of effort and expense by state’s or Feds re: wild equines does not justify by population and lack of science alone.

      And that is why they continue the carnage because: (1) wild equines in pathetic numbers are being removed, (2) they are protecting their proverbial, wonton cas-cows….pun intended….becaue it ain’t about the wild equines…it’s about budgets, special interest and protectionism of mining, energy and livestock.

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  19. Join us Sunday evening at 8 CST on The Truth Squad Radio Show.

    The Truth Squad Radio Show with Marti Oakley and Barb Peterson

    Date / Time: 10/24/2010

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  20. Bringing this forward from October for anyone who might have missed this program:

    by Barbara Peterson of the PPJ Gazette

    Join us Sunday evening at 8 CST on The Truth Squad Radio Show

    The Truth Squad Radio Show with Marti Oakley and Barb Peterson

    You can Hear the Show by Clicking (HERE)
    Date / Time: 10/24/2010

    6:00 pm PST

    8:00 pm CST

    9:00 pm EST

    Call-in Number: (917) 388-4520

    URL: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/marti-oakley

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  21. What a sad state of affairs! Greedy people and the likes if these members talking about old ways. That’s just what they are-old methods of training and torture for one of the most magnificent and smart animals on the planet. Obviously they haven’t kept up with the times. Cruelty is not necessary and humans should take note of how the family groups operate. No different from ours. The mom’s in charge and the dad usually provides protection. No one in the Midwest uses forest preserve land or land set out as public lands to run their livestock on. Its called buying and running your own farm/ranch. What gives the cattlemen and ranchers the idea that they own public land? Let the Free Rides end before we have no more wilderness areas! Just a note: U called Washington about leasing land out there and NEVER got a return call from anyone!

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