Horse News

BLM Allegedly Approves $300,000 for Wild Horse & Burro Projects

Bureau of Land Management logo

Bureau of Land Management logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Information supplied by BLM

Money to be Spent on Wild Horse & Burro Improvements Instead of Harassment?

(Unedited) ~As part of the Bureau of Land Management’s ongoing effort to engage volunteers in the stewardship of U.S. public lands, BLM Director Bob Abbey announced today that he has approved nearly $300,000 in the current fiscal year for 12 projects aimed at improving Western rangeland conditions where wild horses and burros roam. The on-the-ground work will also support the BLM’s forthcoming strategy to put its national Wild Horse and Burro Program on a sustainable path, as called for by the Government Accountability Office and members of Congress.

The “Director’s Challenge” initiative, announced by Abbey last October, seeks to offer citizen-based science opportunities to address land health issues within wild horse and burro Herd Management Areas (HMAs) across the West. The projects were reviewed by a team of BLM employees and Jim Stephenson, the Natural Resources Management representative on the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board. The approved projects include conducting inventories of water sources, monitoring riparian area conditions, removing invasive plant species, and protecting spring sources.

“I am delighted with the projects submitted by BLM field offices in response to this initiative,” Abbey said. “Citizens, organizations, agencies, and other stakeholders will now have new opportunities to take a hands-on role in the stewardship of America’s public lands.”

Abbey also commended the Bureau’s national volunteer program, which oversaw 114,027 hours of wild horse-related work by volunteers and organization-sponsored workers in Fiscal Year 2010. “Volunteers not only contribute their valuable time and labor, but also serve as the BLM’s best ambassadors in local communities across the West,” Abbey said.

The projects are:

· Stillwater Field Office, Carson City District, Nevada, Desatoya HMA: The objective of this project is to restore a large riparian complex that includes four spring sources, two wet meadows, and associated riparian areas. The project will use 50 volunteers and involve numerous partners, including the Nevada Department of Wildlife. Funding amount from the Director’s Challenge: $25,000

· Surprise and Eagle Lake Field Offices, Northern California District, California, in those offices’ HMAs: This project will provide answers to basic questions regarding aquatic and riparian functions, conditions, and trends to support evaluation of land-management decisions, including range allotment strategies and wild horse and burro herd management plans. Funding amount from the Director’s Challenge: $25,000

· Sierra Front Field Office, Carson City, Nevada, Pine Nut HMA, Dayton, Nevada: This project’s objective is to protect and promote the Pine Nut horses near the community and along well-established routes. The project will replace a temporary wire gate with a permanent metal gate and sign; an additional mile of fence will be replaced and repaired to keep horses off an airport runway. Funding amount from the Director’s Challenge: $12,500

· Little Snake Field Office, North West District, Colorado, Sand Wash HMA: This project is aimed at developing a Friends of the Sand Wash Basin group that would work with the BLM to, among other things, clean up the HMA by removing large quantities of old woven wire and remnants of structures and corrals. Funding amount from the Director’s Challenge: $25,000

· Grand Junction Field Office, Northwest District, Colorado, Little Book Cliffs Wild Horse Range: This project’s objective is to build on the Friends of the Mustangs partnership by providing additional materials and training while applying fertility control to mares to ensure a viable horse population and healthy rangelands into the future. Funding amount from the Director’s Challenge: $25,000

· Southern Nevada District Office, Nevada, Spring Mountains Complex (three HMAs and three territories): The objective of this project is to purchase and install six interpretive kiosks, 16 roadway signs, and 20 smaller “do not feed” information signs within the Spring Mountains Complex. Partners will include the Nevada Department of Transportation and Clark County. Funding amount from the Director’s Challenge: $25,000

· Tres Rios Field Office, Southwest District, Colorado, Spring Creek Basin HMA: This project is aimed at expanding the ongoing successful partnership with the Disappointment Wild Bunch Partners to include such actions as herd monitoring, fence repairs, invasive weed inventory and treatments, illegal route closures, and travel management sign installation. Funding amount from the Director’s Challenge: $25,000

· Ely District, Nevada, Silver King and Pancake HMAs: This project’s objective is to restore and develop spring sources within the Silver King and Pancake HMAs to reduce competition for water in the area. Partners will include the Nevada Department of Wildlife and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Funding amount from the Director’s Challenge: $15,000

· White River Field Office, Northwest Colorado District, Colorado, Piceance-East Douglas HMA: This project seeks to develop an HMA volunteer partnership to help the BLM monitor HMA rangeland health, maintain and install range improvements, collect wild horse census information, and develop a motorized viewing tour of the HMA with appropriate signage and a brochure. Funding amount from the Director’s Challenge: $20,200

· Ely District, Nevada, Triple B and Pancake HMAs: The objective of this project is to construct and install guzzlers (water tanks for wildlife) throughout the Triple B and Pancake HMAs where water sources are limited and being degraded by overuse. Volunteers helping the BLM will include wildlife organizations, wild horse advocates, and livestock grazing permittees. Funding amount from the Director’s Challenge: $25,000

· Mount Lewis Field Office, Battle Mountain District, Nevada, New Pass/Ravenswood HMA: This project is aimed at collecting data to complete a rangeland health evaluation within the New Pass/Ravenswood HMA. The project will be coordinated with the Great Basin Institute, an interdisciplinary field studies organization that promotes environmental research, education, and conservation throughout the West. Funding amount from the Director’s Challenge: $25,000

· Mount Lewis and Tonopah Field Offices, Battle Mountain District, Nevada: The objective of this project is to inventory and assess water sources within 28 priority HMAs administered by the Battle Mountain District. This project will be coordinated with the Great Basin Institute. Funding amount from the Director’s Challenge: $25,000


20 replies »

    Seriously, I am very happy for this step in the right direction. And no one had to sleep with Bob Abbey for it!! (or maybe someone did? It wasn’t me!)


  2. We all know that many things DO need to be done on the range for our WH&B but I will not be deceived into thinking that BLM has had a change in heart about our wild ones. If they did, then why would they continue with their accelerated capturing and torturing and selling them to slaughter?


    • Doesn’t seem like a lot of money for any of the projects…do we really think this is real or just a publicity band-aide?


      • Steve-
        I know what I think and I think you and many others think the same.

        BLM has had millions of dollars and many many years to “fix” problems on the WH&B legal range. As I have personally seen, the legal HMAs are covered with fences and rusty barbed wire and water sources that our WH&B are cut off from and non-Wild Horse Annie (non-safe) cattle guards and on and on and BLM wants us to now think that $300,000 is going to make everything better and we should be “happy”?

        And to top it are they asking for volunteers to do these things when BLM employees who are paid to “manage” the land sit on their back-sides and refuse to do scientific population counts or acknowledge true scientific research or take a sincere and hard look at public comments or even check to see if livestock are removed when the allotment is closed for the season? I have witnessed ALL of this personally and much more.

        When the wicked witch tells Hansel and Gretel it is safe for them to get in the oven … do they believe her? (I think that is how the fairy tale goes?)

        Actions speak FAR louder than words and anyone that has been paying attention at all knows the BLM is full of BULL. Pun intended.


  3. Stated above are responses from BLM Field Offices in only 2 (NV and CO) out of 10 western states all of which should have VIABLE wild horse and burro herds. Are responses forthcoming from BLM Field Offices in the other 8 western states that should be required to provide “improvements” for wild horse and burro herds? BLM Director Abbey’s plan mentions improving rangeland conditions where wild horses and burros roam and seeks public input on land health strategies but fails to address the crucial issue concerning BLM’s continued aggressive removals of what is left of America’s wild horse and burro herds.

    Along with improving range conditions for WH&B’s, BLM must focus on stopping roundups, removals and warehousing in long and short-term holding facilities, minimizing fertility control, stopping sex ratio adjustments and gelding on the ranges, repatriating wild horses and burros from holding facilities back to their legal range lands in 10 western states and amending the Land Use and Range Management Plans. The issue of Appropriate Management Levels (AMLs) must also be addrressed and set at a minimum of 150 adult wild horses and burros to maintain genetic diversity and herd health. A two-pronged approach of implementing range land improvements AND maintaining healthy genetically vialable herds at a minimum AML of 150 might just turn around the managing for extinction policies that have been in effect for 41 years.


  4. Have decided not to share with my extensive FB ‘save the horses’ family as I do not believe the BLM. They’re about to have their hands full with the public up north over the release of true wild Bison. A small herd was released into a pen in the middle of the night. The first such release in a long time if ever. Most of the current bison people see have been diluted by cattle. This herd is truly the wild Yellowstone bison and the ranchers are about to have a tizzy. Combine the wild bison and the wild horses and it sets up to be quite a dramatic summer.


  5. I agree Steve doesn’t sound like much money for any project, however, it does sound like a ‘cost of living’ raise for Abbey’s buddies in specific locations.


  6. Looks like a calculated ruse to me based on “NO POLICY CHANGE” (as stated above) and a PITTANCE for anything but maybe an excuse for the volunteers to fail; kinda’ like Big Bend Ranch State Park in Texas. TWPD continually insists that they had to go lethal when the “volunteers” failed to control and/or remove the burros.

    Skunks in Chanel clothing (no insult to real skunks….at least they serve a bio-diversity purpose).


  7. And they NEED THEIR LAND RETURNED…22-23 MILLION ACRES, and that is a conservative estimate. America’s Wild Horses and Burros need to be returned to their Legal and Rightful Herd Management Areas.


  8. And the captives need to be released. They should have NEVER been captured and removed from their Herd Management Areas in the first place.


  9. WOW, 6 kiosks, 16 roadway signs and 20 “DO NOT FEED” signs for our Cold Creek herds. BFD. I know from experience that “DO NOT FEED” signs are useless without enforcement. I think it’s safe to assume that 12 of those roadway signs will say, “Kiosk ahead 1/2 mile” (six on one side of the road and six on the other) So what will the other 4 say? I’m imagining 2 that say, “KIOSKS Courtesy of Bob Abbey, Director of the Bureau of Land Management” and 2 saying, “That’s All Folks!”.


    • We don’t even know yet if Cold Creek will get all the signs or if they will go mostly on HWY 160, as they have put some up there by Bonnie Springs for the Burros. I will be calling our BLM office today to find out what is planned. They have already put up two new Kiosks, but there is no postings in them, so I will also be suggesting a few things. I was told by a woman two weeks ago that a Forest Service guy told her it was fine to feed the horses as long as it wasn’t on the road. I really want that part of the 1971 Act Posted, illegal to feed, harass etc. But you are right Meliss, without enforcement, the words mean nothing.


  10. WHERE is the rest of the TAXPAYER MONEY going…or gone?

    All numbers above are verifiable

    Costs to Taxpayers:
    – $75.7 million: FY2011 total cost of BLM’s WH&B Program

    Compiled by Carla Bowers, 10/26/11, Revised 11/6/11
    For NAS/NRC Study Panel of BLM Wild Horse & Burro Program


Care to make a comment?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.