Wild Equine Advocates want 30 days notice for public hearings on use of Helicopters at roundups
RENO (May 28, 2012)—Protect Mustangs has discovered that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) scheduled an important public hearing for 10 am the morning after Memorial Day weekend without adequately notifying the public. The hearing is scheduled for 10-11 a.m., at the BLM Carson City District Office, 5665 Morgan Mill Road, in Carson City, Nev. The wild horse preservation group is requesting the BLM reschedule the public hearing—regarding the use of helicopters and other motorized vehicles for roundups and management—in order to give the public at least 30 days notice.
“What happened to government transparency and public process?” asks Anne Novak, executive director of Protect Mustangs. “With 80% of America’s federally protected indigenous wild horses and burros living on public land in Nevada, the whole country should be given adequate notice to participate in person as well as via email. Most members of the public are against helicopter roundups. Is BLM trying to sneak this by without public input?”
On Saturday, the preservation group’s website alerted the public about the hearing, after they saw it posted in the Mesquite News online.”Through our social media channels the public began to hear about the public hearing that no one knew about,” said Novak. “Even horse advocates in Carson City hadn’t heard about the hearing.”
The group is collecting comments against helicopter roundups to take to Tuesday morning’s hearing. Members of the public may email them to Contact@ProtectMustangs.org
In the letter addressed to The BLM, Novak states, “The requirement for the public hearing was set in place to protect the public’s rights to participate in government and this must not be ignored.”
The BLM press release reads:
Before helicopters or motorized vehicles can be used, a public hearing is required in order to comply with Section 404 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act. The BLM proposes to use a helicopter, fixed wing aircraft and other motorized vehicles to estimate population numbers and obtain seasonal distribution information for wild horse and burro herds throughout Nevada. Also proposed is using a helicopter to assist in gathering excess wild horses and burros on gathers and complexes throughout the state during the coming year. The actual number of areas where gathers will be conducted or inventoried will depend on a number of factors including funding.
Members of the public can fax the BLM head office in Washington DC to request the helicopter hearing be rescheduled with a 30 day notice given to the public. The fax number is: 202-208-5242
Controversial helicopter roundups have harassed wild horses and burros—stampeding them for miles, often resulting in lameness and sometimes in death.
Besides being concerned about animal cruelty at helicopter roundups, Protect Mustangs believes that helicopters flying in the desert for days or weeks emit pollution that harms the environment and contributes to global warming. The group believes motorized vehicles damage the ecosystem—hurting many forms of wildlife, such as sage grouse, and other endangered species on the range as well.
The group opposes the use of helicopter and motorized vehicles (except in a state of emergency or for an accurate population head count—not an estimate.)
“If wild horses and burros are facing a water or food emergency then bring it out there but roundups must stop now,” states Novak. “A drought isn’t an excuse for roundups to zero out indigenous wild horses and remove them from their home on public land forever . . .”
- Wild Mares Giving Birth to Litters?(according to BLM population estimates, they do) (rtfitchauthor.com)
- BLM Nat. Wild Horse and Burro “Slaughter” Advisory Board Meets Today (rtfitchauthor.com)
- Salazar, Obama’s BLM Stick It to the Wild Horses, Burros and the American Public (rtfitchauthor.com)
- The Feds Unnecessarily Round Up Wild Horses, Then Complain About Costs (rtfitchauthor.com)
- Some Horse Sense at Last? (rtfitchauthor.com)
- Petition: Tell Interior Secretary to Dump Pro-Wild Horse Slaughter Appointee (rtfitchauthor.com)