Horse News

Noted Wild Horse Photographer and Author Seeks Help in Saving Wild Horse Herd

An Appeal, as posted on Wild Hoof Beats ,by Carol Walker – Advisory Board Member of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Carol: “The BLM has issued a scoping notice for the McCullough Peaks Herd near Cody, Wyoming – I have been following and photographing this herd for 8 years.”

The number of foals is way down this year due to birth control ~ photo by Carol Walker

From the BLM: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Cody Field Office is seeking public input on the use of bait trapping as a tool for managing the population of wild horses in the McCullough Peaks Wild Horse Herd Management Area (HMA).

The BLM proposes the use of bait trapping to gradually remove wild horses when the herd has exceeded its appropriate management level. Maintaining a population of approximately 100 adult wild horses will help prevent deterioration of rangelands and balance wild horses with other public rangeland resources and uses.

Public input is valuable early in the process and will enable the BLM to develop a well-informed environmental assessment. Comments may be emailed by Aug. 3, 2012, to: BLM_WY_McCulloughPeaksHMA@blm.gov

Comments may also be mailed to Tricia Hatle, BLM Cody Field Office, 1002 Blackburn Street, Cody, WY 82414 and postmarked by Aug. 3, 2012. This notice extends the deadline for input from July 30, the date in the original scoping letter sent to interested parties, to Aug. 3, 2012.

Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment – including your personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

For more information, please contact BLM Wild Horse Specialist Tricia Hatle at 307-578-5900, or stop by the Cody Field Office at 1002 Blackburn Street.”

From Carol:

Things that you need to know:

*The Herd area is 110,000 acres. Currently the population of wild horses in the Herd Area is 167, including foals.

*The BLM wants to bring the herd down to 100 horses, which is below the level needed to sustain genetic viability (150 adults). Bringing the numbers of horses down to 100 will seriously jeopardize the genetic viability of the herd.

*FOAL, Friends of a Legacy, a group in Cody has been working in partnership with the BLM to improve the range and also on using birth control to control the numbers in this herd.  Currently there are only 7 foals born in 2012, so the birth control is working. They have darted the mares with PZP again this summer – let all their hard work pay off and leave the herd alone, let the birth control work.

*There are livestock lessors who run cattle on the range.  If the BLM wants to improve the conditions on the range, they should curtail use by livestock.  This is a herd management area and as such the horses should be treated as the primary species in the herd area.

*The range is suffering from drought conditions this year. This is a natural cycle, and part of managing wild horses is dealing with these conditions.  It is still cheaper to haul water to the horses than to remove them and put them into holding facilities where they will face an uncertain future.

*This is a very popular herd for the public to visit.  It is close to Cody and relatively easy to access. The BLM should seek to preserve this herd, not endanger it.

Please submit your comments, in your own words, by email or mail by August 3.

Click (HERE) to visit Carol’s blog and to view the spectacular pictures of this herd

29 replies »

  1. So tell me – does the fact that any personal information we give “may be made publicly available”
    change anyone’s feelings about emailing the BLM?
    I get the feeling that they believe this will cut down on the amount of feedback they will get!
    Funny but it just makes me all the more determined to comment.
    Hope everyone feels that way. Just really wish we could change whats happening to these wonderful horses – looking at those 2 beautiful foals in the picture – nothing inbred or homely about them. And all of the horses in the pictures I’ve seen are decent size – great color – just good looking horses. Its just rotten whats being done to them.

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  2. I agree, Maggie; I’d like to Bureau to know who I am. I want to be on their mailing lists, and have access to decision documents, instead of having to cruise the internet and hope for the best. I’d like to be notified when critical decisions regarding my lands, it’s animals and it’s uses are being bandied back and forth by people who’s opinions apparently matter, so much more than mine.

    I want to comment on those decisions – let the Bureau know why I agree or disagree on a particular course of action, and I want them to know that I’ve studied these issues by the comments I submit.

    Of course, I’m just one li’l old lady and these Records of Decision routinely dismiss my concerns, research and opinions but those comments are now a part of the Public Record – and may some day jump up and bite someone in the backside. And when this occurs? I want the Bureau to know EXACTLY who I am.

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  3. ” Maintaining a population of approximately 100 adult wild horses will help prevent deterioration of rangelands and balance wild horses with other public rangeland resources and uses.”

    Why should the these horses be balanced with anything other than their range? There is nothing supposed to compete for that with them on their range. This is under viability for an historic herd.

    What else is going to be moved onto this little HMA?

    With PZP having cut foaling down this is just overkill for a herd that has survived since the 1890s or so. If I am wrong on this date, please tell me. The harsh winters have helped create a fine wild horse, like in the Pryors and another nearby herd (? I have moved all my info and do not have it at hand).

    We are losing historic herds that are small and do not have to be strategic for oil and gas or other mining and ranching interests to keep moving onto their lands. Why else do you preserve the land and the animals in the first place? This is another tragedy in the making. It does not have to happen. Why can’t we reason with DOI/BLM and corporate intrusion? We need to get our national interests and needs inline with the people again.

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    • You’re “right on” Mar with your comments and I totaly agree. None of this makes any sense ..we’re losing our horses and the people are losing their rights to protect them. This is not management…it’s total distruction and our powers to be are allowing it to happen. This small herd should and could be left to live peacefully on the land that’s been their home, if the BLM would just listen and reason with the public. The future of our wild ones are very much at stake and it’s time the American people take a strong stand for their protection, now!

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  4. No matter what we say the BLM will continue doing as they damned well please. Also we are under threat of having our personal information put out to harass us (or maybe put us on the terrorist list with homeland insecurity). I am beginning to develop a deep hatred for this government and all the lemmings who follow it over the cliff.

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  5. Keep hammering. These Wild Horses and Burros belong to ALL of us, as do the Public Lands where they belong. This is worth fighting for.
    McCullough Peaks Wild Horses Slideshow

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  6. There is more than sufficient land for these remarkable horses. They have roamed here for years, without interference from the BLM. Do they destroy the land? No… Cattle trample and destroy the lands. Using birth control on these animals, as with all of the Wild Mustangs, is wrong!! The BLM is destroying our precious heritage. Please cease rounding them up.. They deserve to live free. Likewise for Cloud’s Herd. The Douglas Herd, etc.

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  7. All Wild Mustangs have earned their freedom , we thought Congress provided that Freedom, in 1971 unanimously, through the lieing cheating and greed we have found this FREEDOM Compromised , now it is up to us to get THIS LAW reinstated…………………………………WHAT DO WE NEED TO DO THIS????? Also , it is up to us to get the Slaughter BAN in effect for every State adding this to the words no slaughter trucks are allowed to pass each States borders, no access to Slaughter here or aboard, this is eminent to do , every one get to your State reps of the Assembly. and start this process immediately , do not waste time !!!!!! I have a meeting with John Barnes Jr in OHIO……………………………

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  8. What is needed for a televised Debate with the BLM?????? Getum on screen to defend their lies , we know they cant , expose them on National TV…………………………..If they decline we would do a debate on tv With whomever they have to represent them, this would be a challenge to expose them for the lairs they are !!!!! They cannot afford to decline can they ?????

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  9. A bit of history on the McCullough Peaks Wild Horses. Go to AMERICAN HERDS to read the full article:
    TUESDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2008
    Rigged?
    The BLM Cody Field Office in Wyoming is requesting public input regarding the drilling of up to seven new natural gas wells, three of them proposed for the McCullough Peak Herd Management Area (HMA). The proposal is listed under the title of the Rocktober Drilling Project. (Click Here)
    The McCullough Peaks HMA is one of the few nationally “dedicated ranges” supposedly devoted principally to wild horses but with a current allowable management level (AML) of merely 70-140 wild horses over a 109k acre range, one would hardly know it.

    The AMLs were established in 1985, re-affirmed in 1992, ruled on by the Interior Board of Land Appeals in 1993 to maintain a population of 100 adult horses and then in 2003, when the State of Wyoming took BLM to court for failing to keep wild horse populations within their allowable range, the 2003 Consent Decree stipulates the wild horse herds are to “operate at the low end of AML but keep herd viable”. (1) (Click Here to view 2003 Consent Decree).

    There is also the startling revelation that experimental fertility control pellets were used on most of the remaining McCullough Peak mares after the last removals in 2004 and since then, 16 of 34 mares have failed to reproduce at all. (4)

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  10. Extinction is imminent unless people start blocking these effen trap pens. Birth control for an endangered species, $41 million budget for it (YOUR TAX $). No money for schools, fire departments, etc. but birth control for “protected” (ha!), endangered species? Gov has plenty for that. Genocide department’s fiscal budget is now 1.1 billion.

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  11. « UN Small Arms Treaty & Obama’s six-point plan for global war
    TS Radio: Wyoming activists vs The BLM

    July 25, 2012 by ppjg

    __________________________________________________________________

    Join us Wednesday evening , July 25th 2012, at 7:00 CST!

    5:00 PST… 7:00 CST… 8:00 EST

    Listen live here!

    callin # 917-388-4520

    Wyoming activists vs The BLM:

    Jerri Tillett joins us from Wyoming along with Nikki Spotted Eagle, and Cathy Bryarly, to discuss the malfeasance of the Bureau of Land (mis)Management (BLM) and the deceptive practices used by the agency in favor of invested stakeholders in the BLM. All three women have worked tirelessly to expose the deceptive practices of the BLM in their area.

    Jerri Tillett and Nikki Spoted Eagle have spent more than twenty years documenting the harm done by the BLM especially to the wild horse herds in Wyoming. This has culminated in the filing in the US District Court in Billings, Montana a case attempting to halt any further eradication of the wild horse herds in that area. Filing as a pro se, her case is docketed as CB-12-87-BLG-RFC/ Billings District.

    Cathy Bryarly has concluded a three year investigation into the BLM and has documented numerous instances of deceptive practices and lack of accountability within the BLM in her area.

    At issue here is the lack of accountability by a federal agency. Numerous lawsuits against the BLM highlight the lack of transparency, malfeasance and the continued deceptions used against the public and in the courts to implement unlawful plans by the agency.

    ___________________________________________

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  12. Essentially an HMA is supposed to be designated “principally” for the welfare of WH&B and the FLMPA says they will be provided resources “comparatively” with other resource users.

    “Principally” is in the WH&B Act
    “Comparatively” is in the FLMPA

    BLM and basic arithmetic:
    From my research, it appears that there are five grazing allotments on the McCullough Peaks HMA with a total of 8,619 AUMs (animal unit months) for cattle. 6,196 active and 2,423 suspended. 8,619 AUMs divided by 12 months equals 718 head of cattle.

    If we use the BLM’s proposed 100 head of horses times 12 months it would equal 1,200 AUMs. In other words, the BLM has allocated over SEVEN times more forage to privately owned cattle than to publicly owned Wild Horses on this legally designated McCullough Peaks HMA – our legally designated wild horses on our legally designated land.

    In addition, keep in mind that the cattle graze mainly during the best forage productive months of the year (including 1000 cattle on one allotment during part of the year) and the Wild Horses have to survive year round on what forage is left behind after the cattle are removed. We all recently saw the results of this on the Jackson Mountain Wild Horses.

    This scenario is typical on most HMAs but we all need to be aware of it and let BLM know that you and I aware of it and their bogus math is illegal per the 1971 Congressional WH&B Act as well as the FLMPA law.

    I personally believe that ALL HMAs should be devoid of any private livestock … but using their figures, if BLM believes that these 110,000 acres are capable of supporting 9819 AUMS total – 818 total animals – and we divide that in half then there could be 409 cattle grazed and 409 Wild Horses on the HMA. Better yet would be zero privately owned livestock and 818 Wild Horses!

    As stated in Carol Walker’s article: “This is a herd management area and as such the horses should be treated as the PRIMARY species in the herd area.”

    http://www.blm.gov/ras/
    (BLM Range Administration System – use “run reports” “authorized use by allotment” for Red Point, Reclamation 15, East-West, Whistle Creek and Reclamation allotments in the Cody Field Office section)

    Like

  13. Essentially an HMA is supposed to be designated “principally” for the welfare of WH&B and the FLMPA says they will be provided resources “comparatively” with other resource users.

    “Principally” is in the WH&B Act
    “Comparatively” is in the FLMPA

    BLM and basic arithmetic:
    From my research, it appears that there are five grazing allotments on the McCullough Peaks HMA with a total of 8,619 AUMs (animal unit months) for cattle. 6,196 active and 2,423 suspended. 8,619 AUMs divided by 12 months equals 718 head of cattle.

    If we use the BLM’s proposed 100 head of horses times 12 months it would equal 1,200 AUMs. In other words, the BLM has allocated over SEVEN times more forage to privately owned cattle than to publicly owned Wild Horses on this legally designated McCullough Peaks HMA – our legally designated wild horses on our legally designated land.

    In addition, keep in mind that the cattle graze mainly during the best forage productive months of the year (including 1000 cattle on one allotment during part of the year) and the Wild Horses have to survive year round on what forage is left behind after the cattle are removed.

    I personally believe that ALL HMAs should be devoid of any private livestock … but using their figures, if BLM believes that these 110,000 acres are capable of supporting 9819 AUMS total – 818 total animals – and we divide that in half then there could be 409 cattle grazed and 409 Wild Horses on the HMA. Better yet would be zero privately owned livestock and 818 Wild Horses!

    This scenario is typical on most HMAs but we all need to be aware of it and let BLM know that you and I aware of it and their bogus math is illegal per the 1971 Congressional WH&B Act as well as the FLMPA law.

    As stated in Carol Walker’s article: “This is a herd management area and as such the horses should be treated as the PRIMARY species in the herd area.”

    http://www.blm.gov/ras/
    (BLM Range Administration System – use “run reports” “authorized use by allotment” for Red Point, Reclamation 15, East-West, Whistle Creek and Reclamation allotments in the Cody Field Office section)

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  14. I looked at your link to blm.gov/ras/, GG (thanks)
    In 2008 the Authorized use/grazing lands showed AUM authorized 68,220 cattle(& buffalo?) and 672 horses! At Burro Creek there were 880 AUMS – 23 for 4 horses!!! and 857 for 152 cows.
    Nice of the BLM to put all this info right out there for us, isnt it?
    Have to assume that the past 3 years were the same if not worse.
    Loved the slide show – those horses are magnificent. Again – cant get over the colors & conformation.
    Will be sure to listen to the radio tonight. (Thought I had posted some of this before – guess not)

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    • Maggie-

      The BLM RAS website is a little bit tricky to maneuver so not sure where you were when you discovered those 2008 numbers – regardless, you are on the right track. The McCullough Peaks HMA has five (per map I found) cattle grazing allotments. Red Point, Reclamation 15, East-West, Whistle Creek and Reclamation.

      To take it a step further (for those of us with inquiring minds) the site also gives names of owners of grazing allotments. The authorization number is the owner of the permit > Run Reports > Operator Information.

      By the way, grazing allotments are usually granted for ten years with designated beginning and ending dates and I know from personal observation that BLM is not watching to see if the permitee is removing livestock on the date their grazing period ends. Do you think that your landlord would just look the other way if your lease ended? We used to call this “the fleecing of America”.

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  15. WOW !!!!!!! Those Photos and wild Mustangs are some of the most beautiful I have seen, They are so worth fighting for , the Mustangs are worth everything to fight for……………..Freedom for them is essential and a given, Instilled inside of me, once again visually,…………..I will not ever give up, they never gave up on me…………………….or us, the promise we gave them of Freedom , has been compromised by Greedy poor excuses for human beings, the Mustang to me has earned Freedom, and I intend to get it for them………………………………..There is nothing more worth Saving than His Majesty the American Wild Mustang !!!!!!!!!!

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  16. We here are all familiar with the force of the Horse, that said isnt time we start using the force of the people who demand that our Mustangs be given back their Land !!!!!!!! and our Mustangs LIVE FREE ON THE RANGE < I want them OUt of ALL TERM HOLDING !!!!!! In order to accomplish this we need to become a force that will not let a Completely Rogue Agency , who believes they are immune to the Law and What the People are paying them to do protect Our Mustangs………………If they are incapable of doing this , then they need to be REPLACED !!!!!! In America BLM the People RULE !!!!!

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  17. Grandma Gregg – had to go back & look at where I had gone on that link – it was under the public land statistics. It amazes me how irresponsible the BLM & DOI are considering any of us can go & look at these records & see how they are rooky dooking all of us. Fleecing America is right. Missed the radio program with the Wyoming gals. Hopefully I’ll be able to find it somewhere else at some point.

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  18. Thanks again Louie – just listened to the program – full of information. Hadnt heard of any of the three women on the program before – good to know they are out there trying to help the horses.
    Really tells us all how much & how long the BLM has been screwing all of us(mainly the horses)

    Like

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