Horse News

Combination of Welfare Cattle and Fires could Spell Extinction for Wild Horse and Burro Herds

Guest OpEd (IMO) by Grandma Gregg (SFTHH Exclusive)

“… why would the BLM allow the fire to continue burning and not put it out quickly?”

Magic and his mare, Hope, near fence one year ago…the same area the fire swept through last week with the horses still unaccounted for ~ photo by Grandma Gregg

The Twin Peaks Herd Management Area fire (Rush fire) might have started with lightening but allowing it’s non-stop devouring of 313,911 acres (so far) was a management decision.  Why do I think that?

The Herd Management Area does have peaks and valleys but is generally gentle slopes with mainly grasses and sage with some juniper trees (see photo).  The over-story (tree cover) in most places is so lacking that a person can see for many miles in most directions.  I have some fire and heavy equipment background when I tell you that a lowbed truck and trailer hauling in a fire dozer could easily and safely get to most areas on the Herd Management Area.  A forest fire often jumps from tree top to tree top and is very difficult to put out but this was not a forest fire – it was a high desert fire.  A few rings around the fire would have made an efficient firebreak before it got past the very first day – a couple of hundred acres along with some dousing of hot spots and the fire would have been out.

So … why would the BLM allow the fire to continue burning and not put it out quickly?  Let’s look at the history and management issues and future of this and other public lands and ask ourselves some questions.  Twin Peaks is completely covered by grazing allotments – nine of them. Based on year round usage, only 18% of the forage is designated for wild horses and burros and the remaining 82% is given away to livestock. In the minds of livestock ranchers, any and all wild horses and burros are taking the forage right out of their livestock’s mouths and the money out of their pockets.  By the way if history repeats itself, all the burned grazing allotment fences will be replaced using our tax dollars, and the ranchers will also be able to apply for extra federal cash subsidies because of the fire and their “losses”.  Follow the money.

The grazing allotments on the Twin Peaks Herd Management Area are crisscrossed by lots and lots of fences and cattle guards – all are a potentially death trap for wild horses and burros caught in a firestorm.  Since the livestock use the public forage why would it help to let it burn?  Because the fire will have burned the majority of the native forage – sage and juniper and grasses – the BLM will claim the erosion control will become the utmost concern before the winter arrives.  That makes sense, but exactly what are they going to plant for the erosion control?  If the BLM follows its most recent policy it will seed with non-native grass seed especially useful for livestock.  Starting to ring any bells yet?

The great basin sage-steppe wild lands are an important natural resource, including critical habitat for sage grouse among other native wildlife.  Ah Ha!  Another species that the BLM will be glad the fire destroyed – the sage grouse itself and its natural environment.  So the fire got rid of three of the major head-aches for the BLM – Wild Horses and Burros, Sage Grouse and the native Sage and Juniper habitat.

It appears to me that although the land itself may be damaged from the fire for a while, the seeding and then of course chemical herbicides that will be applied for the next few years to eradicate the unwanted cheat-grass will ultimately make a lot of money for large biological chemical companies and the livestock permitees and the final result will be the BLM will have a clear slate for energy extraction, wind and or solar or whatever other money making deal they can arrange behind the public’s back – and into their pocket.  Oh … did I mention that at the tax-payers’ expense the fire contractors (dozers and water trucks and fire crew kitchens and even showers) are all paid big dollars per day that they are on the fire … the more days … the more money.

Then to top it off, the BLM will then say the land is not feasible to manage for Wild Horses and Burros.  Their next step will be to remove any remaining Wild Horses and Burros that were able to survive this tragic fire.

Please understand that I highly respect and appreciate all the fire-fighters on this or any fire.  They risk their lives every day they are out there fighting and they hold a very high place in my mind and heart.  It is the agency’s corrupt decision-makers MIS-management of our land and our wildlife and our Wild Horses and Burros that disgusts me.

In summary, the BLM’s behind the door decision to allow our Twin Peaks Herd Management Area land and it’s wildlife and Wild Horses and Burros to be decimated is a win-win for BLM management and a lose-lose for our wild ones and for you and me.

36 replies »

  1. Because of the inadequate management these wild ones already have there is no tracking system and nothing we can do right now except demand that someone look for them as soon as possible from the air. I do not doubt your assessment of this situation, Grandma Gregg. Allowing any large piece of public land to burn is normally announced and taken severely by people in the region. This was not done to avoid an outcry? BLM sees dollar signs they do not have in requesting the area be saved if possible and the wild ones, also. So they allow Twin Peaks to burn. Great decision.

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  2. BLM again sticks it to the horses.

    I read earlier today tht the filly who died last Thurs–the one with no food in her stomach was the one the Cattoor’s roped and hogtied.

    I sent RT a copy but guess it hasn’t made it’s wy to being posted yet…

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  3. Grandma Gregg, you make so many frighteningly logical, indisputable points. Thank you for untangling and exposing the secret motives and deliberate non-actions of this out-of-control-like-a-wildfire government agency.

    Your scenario of the biotechs preparing to make a mint by selling genetically altered grass seed to the government (which WE are forced to pay for) fits with this documentary on chemtrails, titled “WHY in the world are they spraying?” and published by Truthmediaproduction last week.

    Both the Twin Peaks fire and the weather manipulations in the movie are examples of what political economist Paul Craig Roberts wrote yesterday: “As Karl Marx said, money turns everything into a commodity that can be bought and sold: government, honor, morality, the writing of history, legality. Nothing is immune to purchase. This development of capitalism has reached the highest stage in the US . . . .”

    Yes, our wild horses are being commoditized. Water is being commoditized. Seeds are being commoditized. And the weather is being commoditized.

    Where is God in all of this?

    “And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.” ~ I Kings 19:11,12

    It’s getting harder and harder to hear that “still small voice.” But listen for it we must.

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  4. The Desatoya Environmental Assessment is an example of what Grandma Gregg is talking about:
    ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT

    Desatoya Mountains Habitat Resiliency, Health, and Restoration Project

    Page 23
    Imazapac would be applied using ground spray methods, vehicles, or manual application devices.

    About one month after herbicide application, the fuels treatment area would be seeded with a combination of fire resistant non-native and native species. Species composition and application rate would be determined prior to implementation. Species under consideration for this project are: Forage kochia (Kochia prostrata), Siberian wheatgrass (Agropyron fragile (Roth)), fourwing saltbush (Atriplex canescens), Sandberg‘s bluegrass (Poa secunda) and bottlebrush squirreltail (Elymus elymoides). Due to the amount of rock in the project area, a combination of aerial, drill seeding, ATV, and hand applications would be used to plant the seed. Project design features (PDF‘s-Appendix A) for herbicide application would be followed with the exception of not spraying in fall.

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  5. It is not our earth and animals. We r borrowing it from our children and granchildren. One day soon I hope all the corrupt people get fired and placed in prison for their missuse of the money and land and wildlife they r charged with to protect. May gia (mother earth) not revolt before that happens.

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  6. BLM has adopted the Forestry service policy of “Let it burn”. They are letting the our forests burn across the country from fires that were intentionally started in many cases. IF these fires were actually started by “unknown arsonists”……..its only because the federal employee who lit the match wasn’t identified. A big crap contest is now starting over the Colorado River. Not a peep about the massive amount of water used for mining and drilling. The focus is on farming and wild animal populations drinking too much water.

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  7. According to John Neill at PVC ALL male wild horses will be gelded. This is the 1st time since 1994 that this was done to the Pryor Mt. ones. Destroying the genes and precious bloodlines is more “managing for extinction”.
    Now with the endangered sage grouse removed from Twin Peaks the BLM can open it up to anything , mining , fracking, wind farms, etc.

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  8. This country is lost. It has evolved into nothing but greedy, self serving bastards (not those who have been active but those who choose to ignore it until it rears its ugly head at their door). God will bless those who are trying to help save the animals maybe not here but some day. It sickens me to see that the evil ones are taking over and the innocent must suffer at their hands.

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  9. ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT

    Desatoya Mountains Habitat Resiliency, Health, and Restoration Project

    Page 47
    Through a cooperative agreement, SMITH CREEK RANCH and the BLM developed a long-term monitoring program that provides feedback to the grazing program based on cooperatively collected baseline data. Upland monitoring included species composition, frequency, cover, and utilization data. Riparian monitoring included greenline, riparian cross section, aspen density, and stubble height data. Innovative solutions to resource issues on Porter and Edwards Creek allotments have resulted in significant improvement in riparian and upland vegetation conditions, which in turn benefits wildlife habitat. However, riparian and upland objectives are not being met due to PJ encroachment coupled with overpopulation of wild horses that have degraded wet meadows and sagebrush plant communities.

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  10. See http://tinyurl.com/8zbp5x6 from American Wild Horse Preservation- get the truth. The info from BLM about the fire was put out by their PR person . Now they will open this HMA to anything they want to , plant non-native grasses, use herbicides, etc. Correction about sage grouse–they have been proposed for the endangered list but they are still hunted. No tellings how many were killed by the fire along with many other animals.

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  11. Barbara, THANK YOU for that link. I followed it and read the article. THIS caught my eye and I have to respond and add that MOST of the Interested Public who commented on the Desatoya project would probably prefer to take their own “tour” of the area WITHOUT BLM.

    “Due to the remote location of the tour, only three members of the public were able to attend — including AWHPC’s Deniz Bolbol. The BLM emphasized the lack of public attendance at the tour. We explained that, while thousands of citizens are concerned about wild horses and burros, most people are not able to travel the distance to these remote locations, incur the costs of travel and take time off from work for a weekday tour.”

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    • Louie, I’m sure the BLM was counting on most people not being able to come. Glad you found the link helpful. So much of what you post informs us all. Many thanks.

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  12. This is just SO bad – and thats an understatement. Had read the article from American Wild Horse Preservation – I get their emails. Wonder what the good old BLM would say if enough of us COULD get to these so called tours. They have it made when so many of us are from out of the area where the horses are.
    These immoral bums (boy, could I think of other descriptions) are right out there in the open killing the horses, the sage grouse (that supposedly they are so concerned about) & every other living thing thats in that area. To remove the native plants & grasses! How can they whine & complain about the horses damaging the native grasses & bushes when they are actually getting rid of them by fire or whatever means they can use – THEN to plant cattle fodder – which is what they are doing -is just thumbing their nose at all of us & all of the public.
    Another thing – the only reason the horses dont have any natural predators might just have something to do with the bounty on mountain lions. And I’m sure the ranchers are happy about THAT.
    I’m sorry I have gone on & on – really just repeating what we’ve all been seeing – but why isnt anyone else interested in this? (besides us)

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    • Just looked at these pictures – arent they fantastic?
      How I do envy everyone who can actually get close &SEE these horses.
      Really appreciate all your information always. Have learned so much from your postings.
      Keep them coming!
      Maggie

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  13. Yes, and I am sick and tired of the horse thieves stealing OUR wild horses and burros. No wonder my B/P is out of control. I’m sure the BLM would like to wipe us out too.
    BTW there will be a wild horse “adoption” in Ohio at Franklin Furnace on Sept. 15th.

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  14. Thank you for exposing this vile corruption, Yes, this goes on all over the west. It is as though these people never learned one iota from the mistakes of mankind’s past history. This is so very wrong. The WFHBA was one great step forward, but such terrible reactionaries stepped in to undo all the tremendous good that its true implementation would have achieved in this life and in this world of ours!

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