Horse News

Contraceptives For Wild Horses Are Just What The Government Ordered

by Vickery Eckhoff, Contributor from the pages of Forbes

Your Tax Dollars Squandered by Obama’s BLM

Click Image for Forbes Photo Gallery by Terry Fitch and Laura Leigh

Here’s a $70-80 million-dollar-a-year welfare program sure to bring out the wild beast in every taxpayer, regardless of religious or political affiliation. Private accommodations for unwed mothers, fathers and their offspring? Check. Free food? Check. Free contraceptives, sterilization and medical care? Check. Check. Check.

Before you go accusing Obamacare of promoting immoral behavior at taxpayer expense, let me clarify a few things: The program got started under the Nixon administration; its recipients have been protected by law since 1971; and it’s brought to you by a government agency usually associated with allowing large oil and mining companies to despoil public lands without paying either you or me or the rest of the public much for the privilege.

I’m speaking, of course, of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which manages 245 million acres of public land under the Department of the Interior.

And the “beneficiaries” of this spending program? Well, that’s in dispute. The BLM says it’s wild horses and burros. Wild horse and burro advocates and quite a few members of Congress, however, disagree. To them, the mustangs and burros are nothing short of pawns being zeroed-out—contrary to the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971—to benefit ranchers, hunters, mining and energy companies.

About the only thing the two sides can agree on is this: 45,000 wild horses that used to roam free on public lands are now living in short and long-term holding pens where some will remain for the rest of their lives unless they are adopted or sold.

Sorry, Pardner

It’s not every day you find out that more wild horses and burros are being held in pens by the BLM than run free on public rangelands—and that you are picking up the tab. But that, in fact, is the state of things today, thanks to the BLM’s “Wild Horse and Burro Program.”

This is how the BLM manages wild horses and burros, which roam 179 separate herd management areas (HMAs) scattered over 10 Western states (although half live in Nevada). This equates to 26 million acres —a little more than 10% of the total land overseen by the BLM.

The purpose of the Wild Horse and Burro Program, according to the BLM, is to keep horses healthy and rangeland healthy so that others can also use it (think recreational users, cattle and sheep ranchers, and, of course, mining and energy companies seeking grazing, water and mineral rights on the land the horses and burros have roamed for hundreds of years).

The BLM accomplishes this via “gathers,” which is a rather gentle term for mass round-ups involving low-flying helicopters, government trap sites and mass equine pandemonium.

The purpose is to remove horses that the BLM has determined are in “excess” of Appropriate Management Levels (AMLs), which is the optimal number of animals that results in a “thriving natural ecological balance” on public lands and “avoids range deterioration,” according to the BLM Web site.

The scheduled “gathers” take place between July and March of every year in temperatures ranging from below zero to more than one hundred degrees…(CLICK) to continue

Please click (Here) to continue and to support Vickery getting the news out on Forbes, don’t forget to comment!!

8 replies »

  1. A very good article that Vickery puts out. Did I understand the part on what the BLM Wild Horse and Burro program was really started for? I think I saw that they were not begun to oversee the livelyhood of the animals out on the ranges, but to find a way to eliminate them to make room for humans needs. To that end they are doing a good job………scum bags!!!!!


  2. We also need to comment on the Mount Hope Mining Project in Nevada and comments are due in tomorrow. Read Laura’s blog and you can readily see how this ALL ties in.. Water, Land, America’s Public Lands and Resources…THAT’S why Federally Protected Wild Horses and Burros are being removed:
    ACTION: Mt Hope Project
    Comments URGENT on EIS for Mount Hope Project (Due March 1, 2012)
    Full draft EIS for the Mt. Hope project can be found here:
    PLEASE send comments to:
    via email (subject line ATTN: Angelica Rose / EIS MT. Hope Project Comment)
    postmarked by March 1 via US mail to: BLM Battle Mountain District Office attn: Angelica Rose – 50 Bastian Road – Battle Mountain NV 89820
    Tell BLM that they must choose the NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE.
    Sample points below:
    1) The proposed impact to the populations of effected wild horseHMA’s is unacceptable. The population numbers are already below genetic viability and the potential impact to water and legal grazing area is not acceptable.
    2) One foot and five foot water draw down maps must be created before any decisions can be proposed for the project. To formulate a record of decision without this information is inappropriate and negligent to the mandate of “thriving ecological balance.”
    3) This project encroaches on considerable acreage within three HMA’s. Roberts Mountain has over 13,000 acres within the scope of the project with over 5,000 acres of proposed surface disturbance. Whistler Mountain HMA has more than 8,000 acres within the project scope and over 3,000 projected for surface disturbance. Fish Creek also has areas that would have surface disturbance.
    4) As the populations in this area are confined (predominately re: Fish Creek) by boundary lines that include limited to no water and move from those HMA’s the impact to these areas and consequence to any future populations must be of primary focus as “multiple use” is mandated under law.
    5) The project will require 7000 gallons of water per minute for the lifetime of the proposed use (40-50 years) and will remove more than 11,300 acre feet of water annually. This is not acceptable considering the already fragile sources available to wild herds.
    6) The known patterns of movement of these horses in these three areas indicates that HMA boundary lines were/are flawed. The lack of water sources within the boundary lines indicate they were faulty in their inception.
    7) It is not enough to mitigate for spring repair after the projects construction phase has ended. If the project is to be considered new boundary lines should be mitigated to ensure that populations do not go any lower than they already are. Mitigation needs to ensure that the horses do not lose any grazing acreage available to them. In the event of impact that adjacent, equal acreage is provided.
    8) This project does not fully study the impacts and potential areas for mitigation for Wild Horses.
    The “No Action” Alternative must be chosen until the full impacts to this legally mandated use is appropriately assessed.
    PLEASE comment on the EIS for this project or you will be commenting on an EA to remove animals from this area next. By the time we get to wild horse EA’s it is often “too late.”
    Horses Released in Battle Mountain District’s Stone Cabin Area. Last removed in 2007. 2012 roundup in this area saw adults returned after birth control.


  3. Thank you, RT as always, and to Vickery for providing such an excellent article on the information and facts behind the roundups of our wild horses and burros.


  4. Thank you to Vickery & to R.T. I had the same thoughts as far as “them” trying to open a horse slaughterhouse here in my state of Missouri. If we allow horse slaughter in America, it just opens the doors wide for the BLM to ship all those mustangs “in excess”, held in short & long-term holding, straight to the slaughterhouses, no questions asked. They will be able to come out of the closet, out of the dark, & kill them right in front of us, instead of doing it behind our backs! Well, I have some bad news for those proposing horse slaughter in MO., we DON’T want it, nor will we allow it! We WILL stop them come hell or high water, one way or another.


  5. I realize the value and contributions of HSUS….but they are involved in this genocide.

    I am not pleased with them since my shelter canine/feline days. However, I recognize their lobbying might. But they are way off the range with the birth control, BLM/state wild equine abuse, LTH/STH problems, etc.


    BLM’s sweet deal (paid for with your tax dollars, of course!)

    April 17, 2011 Debbie Coffey
    Investigative reporter/PPJ

    While many Americans have lost their homes or worry about losing their homes, and worry about finding or keeping their jobs, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) seems to be spending your hard earned tax dollars like high rollers.
    The BLM has its hand out at appropriations hearings asking for even more money for their mismanaged Wild Horse and Burro Program. Where’s your money going?
    Look at one example. Troy Adams/Broken ArrowUSAhas the contract for theIndian Lakes Road(AKA Broken Arrow) short term wild horse and burro holding facility inFallon,NV. How does a guy fromCalifornia, who sold a cloned cow, get enough knowledge in wild horse behavior, and enough ability in safely handling wild horses, to win a bid to manage a facility that can hold up to 3,000 of our wild horses?
    Troy Adams/Broken ArrowUSAcontract with the BLM is for 5 years (1/01/2010 to 12/31/2015):
    Base year (2010 – 2011) – $2,525,000 with an option for “additional labor” for $127,920 ($24.60 per hour, per laborer) to FREEZEBRAND, RETAG, TRIM FEET, ETC. (same tasks apply to years below)
    Year 1 (2011-2012) – $3,640,875 with an option for “additional labor” for $130,468 ($25.09 per hour)
    Year 2 (2012 – 2013) – $3,759,500 with an option for “additional labor” for $133,068 ($25.59 per hour)
    Year 3 (2013 – 2014) – $3,832,500 with an option for “additional labor” for $135,720 ($26.10 per hour)
    Year 4 (2014 – 2015) – $3,905,500 with an option for “additional labor” for $138,424 ($26.62 per hour)


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