Information supplied by

Blames Lack of “Seamless Data” for Excluding Livestock from Range Assessments

BLM: “The (Welfare) cows ate my homework!”

Private Cattle being moved on Antelope Complex while the BLM was removing wild horses ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Private Cattle being moved on Antelope Complex while the BLM was removing wild horses ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Washington, DC — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) says it was an absence of “reliable data”—and not politics—that caused it to exclude consideration of commercial livestock impacts from multi-million dollar assessments of environmental conditions on Western range lands. BLM thus rejected the first scientific misconduct complaint filed against it by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), which today released a detailed rebuttal of BLM’s self-exoneration.

In a letter dated January 2, 2013, Louis Brueggeman, the BLM Scientific Integrity Officer, rejected the PEER scientific misconduct complaint filed more than a year earlier, on November 30, 2011. He concluded that the complaint had “no merit” since the decision to exclude grazing was reached independently by study team leaders (all BLM managers) solely for “technical reasons” relating to the “lack of sufficient existing data” about livestock impacts.

In reaching this conclusion, BLM ignored meeting minutes produced by PEER in which BLM managers are quoted saying that study of grazing impacts would concern “stakeholders” and the Washington Office due to “fear of litigation.” The claim that the real reason was lack of data does not hold water because:

  • Attempts to exclude grazing began at the earliest stages of the study, before data availability was even examined. Further, BLM assertions of data gaps were never examined, let alone verified;
  • Other factors being studied, such as invasive species, also have data gaps but these issues did not prevent invasive species from being selected as a study focus; and
  • BLM managers hid the existence of a major livestock database which was never given to researchers.

“Caught with its pants down, BLM would have us believe it is wearing ankle warmers,” stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, noting that the $40 million study was the biggest in BLM history but will end up being largely useless. “As by far the biggest disturbance factor on Western range lands, commercial livestock grazing simply cannot be left out of a scientific landscape assessment.”

PEER today asked Dr. Suzette Kimball, the Scientific Integrity Officer for the entire Interior Department, to reject BLM’s findings and institute an independent review. This is the first scientific misconduct complaint filed against BLM under rules purporting to prevent political manipulation of science.

“Unless some standards of credibility are applied, agencies will be able to simply deny instances of scientific misconduct, no matter how well documented or compelling,” Ruch added. “This scientific integrity process will become a complete joke if BLM can get away with claiming ‘the cows ate my homework.’”

See the original scientific integrity complaint

View the BLM response

Read the PEER letter to Dr. Kimball

Examine line-by-line rebuttal

Look at the damage wreaked by commercial livestock

Related Articles


  1. If hundreds of thousands of wildlife, wild equine and environmental advocates call thee an ass, pay them no mind (cuz ya won’t, anywayz…)

    If an organzation like PEER – PUBLIC Employees for Environmental Responsibility – call thee an ass, Saddle Up!!

    And another favorite quote, from Aldous Huxley:

    “Facts Do Not Cease to Exist Because They Are Ignored.”


    • Exactly Lisa, It is not that they COULDN’T count cattle, they just didn’t WANT TO. Big difference between the two. Big enough gap to slide 50,000+ horses through.


  2. This is priceless…

    “Caught with its pants down, BLM would have us believe it is wearing ankle warmers,” stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, noting that the $40 million study was the biggest in BLM history but will end up being largely useless…”


  3. And they are getting by with this and other atrocities especially the
    “managing for extinction” of our wild horses and burros. There are BLM employees who do care but if they did speak up they’d lose their jobs . Our D.C. politicians need to FINALLY call for a Congressional investigation of the corrupt DOI/BLM.







  5. Congress is disfunctional. The House cannot raise the debt ceiling without a fight. The debt ceiling has always been raised, no questions asked, since the country started! And we “expect” the BLM to be rational???


  6. On the same subject of BLM ignoring science to the edge of fraud … remember about a year ago BLM was asking for volunteers to do studies on HMAs?

    Someone close to me called about it and had a long conversation with the person in charge who CLEARLY and REPEATEDLY stated that no monitoring of livestock would be done by the volunteers – only WH&B usage was to be looked at. When asked how that could be done if there was both livestock and WH&B using the same resources (land and water) BLM became agitated and said he didn’t care because ALL USAGE was to be documented as WH&B usage – period. Not kidding!

    IMO they were trying to get a supposed “public study” that said that WH&B were the cause of any over-usage problems. In other words, they apparently were going to entice the public into doing a fraudulent study and then use it against the WH&B thus using the public against the WH&B.

    Does anyone have further information on how this volunteer plan went?







  7. OHHHHHH Pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee !!!!! Oh they are right , they couldnt track a skunk under their noses, Greed powers them, they dont know Horses either””””””””””” Where in the HECK is that Congressional Investigation ????????


    • Arlene, You crack me up !! Your remark that they couldn’t track a skunk under their noses is a riot.
      The 1990-91 GAO study proved the millions of cattle destroy the range and riparian areas –not the few wild horses left even then.


      • its the truth isnt it????????????? one might say they dont know their a– from a hole in the ground !!!!!!!! iF one knows that a horse only eats the tops of Foliage, a a cow wraps its tongue around foliage and tears it out by the roots, couldnt one deduct from that who is devastating the Land???????


  8. I remember reading the report that opened with the researchers complaining the BLM strictly forbade them to add livestock into the mix. I thought I had copied it but can’t put my fingers on it right now…it was laughable.

    No wonder the federal judge last year called the “Studiously Ignorant”!


  9. Very true. They have literally gotten away with murder of our mustangs and burros and need to be stopped from lying to the powers that be. The hiding of information in itself is misconduct, mismanagement. How is it that they just keep getting away with it?


  10. You know – it would be funny how unbelievably stupid & idiotic these jerks are BUT for the inhumane way they are treating the horses & burros. Seems if you have no brain or qualifications for a job – go to the BLM – theyre hiring!!!!!!!!!!!! Its beyond me how many of THEM there are in one place, and apparently all of one so-called mind. Unfortunately, anyone with compassion and smarts either quits or retires – leaving the morons in charge. Studiosly ignorant certainly describes them.


      • Diann\a, the Cattlemen Assoc. and the Farm Bureau are all against our wild horses and take up for the welfare ranchers. Cattle even in KY cause destruction to the land and riparian areas and pollute water with E. coli also. My father raised cattle and I see what they do to farmland every day.–erosion, creek banks destroyed , ditches , algae and feces contamination of water, etc. on near-by farms. Red meat is especially bad for your health also.


      • diana628:

        Not from the COO labels I read….but I suspect you are talking about cow/calf and feeder operations that sell to the megalith meat corporations. Maybe not and let’s not even discuss non local processed ground beef.

        I am disturbed how small and local farmers and ranchers are being decimated by good old capitalism…..let’s discuss the Tyson model per Sen J Tester of MT (D)….the farmer/poultry rancher pays the labor and taxes and TYSON rolls merrily along. Hmmm….

        But please (seriously), enlighten me.


  11. If you read the volumes of cases won by WWP concerning the negative efects of cattle grazing..backed always by in the field scientific methods of data collection..the BLM have absolutely no grounds to claim ignorance or a lack of data..there is volumes of it produced in those cases, and the federal judges who sit on these cases regularly chastise the BLM, for their disingenious lies and mismanagement..How many millions of dollars of taxpaper dollars has BLM lost in these suits??(they have to also pay plaintiffs costs when they lose) and they never win…we have paid for everyone in the BLM to go get a college education..Management..its their job..and they are claiming ignorance related to management duties…you’re FIRED


  12. So to get past the BS: What Sandra says is enticing. But, my understanding from the article is the decision rests with Dr. Suzette Kimball, the Scientific Integrity Officer for the Interior Dept. Either she accepts the report and the BLM explanation or dismisses it and requests a new report. Is this true? Does she have to request another 40 million for a new report.. I’m thinking that could be a real stumbling block. Since she is not an actual Federal Judge, but a Federal Employee, would letters and emails and texts and tweets reach her, to let her know that many others are concerned about the outright lies contained within this report. What does anyone know about this?


  13. All we need to do is pull out every RMP for every distrixt going back 20 years. Before the truth was shut out, every one of them refers to livestock grazing having the most deleterious affect on the ranges.

    These reports were of course generated before Stupid or Ignorant became the name of the game.


      • You can request FOIAs out the yin-yang…check out the 9 exemptions to provide same….pretty overwhelming (including the stall). The Feds got more slippery with this in the late 80s-early 90s.


      • I’m unclear what you want to FOIA?

        I think the RMP’s should be available online for each BLM field office. Here is one RMP as an example:

        If it is livestock grazing information (each allotment and who owns the grazing permit and how many animals/AUMs are allotted) then you can find that on this site:

        Go to:
        “Run Reports”
        “Authorized Use by Allotment”
        and /or
        “Operator Information”
        then just start experimenting and searching the site (it’s cumbersome – but the info is there).

        This gives some info on previous CA/NV RMPs which might take you to links to older RMPs or at least contact info. to request it. The retired RMPs are something I think BLM would have easily available to email you directly from the field office without FOIA.

        Hope that helps.


    • $40. Million study for naught. This agency is beyond redemption or repair. Overhaul is what it needs or restructuring. Reassignment. Re-creation. The years of making their own rules have caught up and this shows the absurdity in trying to produce any kind data. Reality does not exist. Dumbed down data. Coverup? Conflict of Interest. Arrogance to the point of idiocy. Cut them off. Close them down. Send them home without their gov’mint pensions. Fire the lot. Start over. But stop all removals of wild horses. Stop all hauling and start the Moratorium NOW.

      Back off BLM/DOI. You have no science to show a thing about what you have been doing to the wild horses and burros. Just as we have been pointing out for years. It is out the window. Legally you must STOP all activities and decisions involving the wild ones. Not even the Prairie Chicken excuses hold any truth. Cattle are the causes and the problems until you add extraction and then you get another load of BS on them. No attempts at studies there because they are the big guns; international corporations who create jobs for BLM/DOI to shuttle back and forth to for greater gain. All these agencies do is take care of their own. The wild ones have lined many a pocket, too. The abuses of resources is the the head of this dragon. Maybe the truth will finally slay it.


  14. Diana628, yes, most of the beef we Americans eat is probably raised on private land where the ranchers pay a far higher price to graze their cattle on it…..heres the problem however, those cattlemen that pay the higher prices still will not turn on their free loading breathren unless THEY (private grazing land ranchers) are hit harder in the wallet because beef is boycotted and also know precisely WHY it is being boycotted across the board…..I have NOT eaten beef in over a year, and even though I live in Northern Nevada surrounded by BLM and State land where cattle graze and OUR wild horses are being eradicated from both federal-public and state-public land, I most likely did not eat much of our locally raised Open Range beef in the first place.
    My goal is to smack the private grazing ranchers even harder in the wallet then they already are by them spending probably $14 AUM instead of what our welfare guys out here pay of $1.35 AUM and when the private grazing ranchers KNOW their beef is not getting purchased by people BECAUSE of the open range welfare ranchers working the system (and they are sociolists as soon as they accept even one penny of subsidies, but when you say that too them, boy oh boy, do they ever get MAD! lol), perhaps then they will realize that not only is Open Range cattle ranching an archaic practice, it is also hurting the bottom line big time of the private grazing cattlemen who not only have to pay so much more to graze their cattle then the guys out here, but they are also being punished because of the guys out here being greedy, obnoxious and INTENT in eradicating our wild horses and burros.
    They either need to learn to play nice in this big sandbox of the Open Range States and leave OUR wild horses and burros alone, or we will make Open Range cattle ranching go the way of the dinosaurs…..their choice, so hopefully they’ll learn to be nice or else “bye-bye guys”.
    And after the first month, NOT eating beef was really, really easy too.


  15. So, the DOI and USDA over count wild equines and can’t count bovines or ovines (sheep)…..I would say we have a mathematical nonstarter here or a theorem of failure from the get go.

    It that doesn’t stink of incompetence, intent and criminal activity, I don’t know what does constitute same.

    And the courts let them get away with this???????


  16. Hmmm….$40 million dollars…Yeh,who was the recipient of this money? I see this as another waste of tax payers dollars. No truth here..Your all absolutely correct. Perhaps if enough of us protest and
    complain to our Congressional leaders, we could push for a congressional investigation, Does anyone in their right mind believe any moral employee employed by the BLM is going to come forward. The only ones who might come forward are those who understand that there would be a good chance of being terminated. Then of course they would be called disgruntled employees. As I see it $40 million dollars could produce a darn good aerial study. Not hard to tell the difference between cattle and horses. I still say we need someone in the air to document the roundups and the cruel injustices and the inhumane treatment of the Wild Horses and Burros. Any additional litigations should request change of venues out of the political charged areas. We all know where all the political contributions are coming from. Too bad Harry Reid couldn’t be replaced. He sure is not making any friends with his deals with his position on the flibusters. At any rate, we all need to push for the congressional inquires.


    • In independent hands $40. million could cover 40 years of aerial studies or begin a new Wild Horse and Burro Program that stands on its own and calls the shots for the designated lands left. Independent study was never allowed although specifically called for because; how could they let anyone wade out there and find and tell the truth? We were never going to have our law enforced and the wild ones protected with friends like these who needed enemies?


  17. Thanks Grandmagregg. Just the info that I wanted. I will play around to see if I can find anything helpful. And I really don’t think the USDA has anything to do with the Wild Horses,Right? I also heard Sen. Tester. He said that he and some other Senators were trying to take the “Tyson” model out of the AG subsidies. Would this effect the welfare cattle ranchers?


    • USDA manages Forestry Department…Forestry put up the fences to stop the migration of Cloud’s Herd (can’t remember the specific wild horse range name).and Ginger reported deaths from those fences.

      Yes, Forestry removes wild equines.

      As to Tyson and Tester and welfare ranching…depends on what he is proposing, but he doesn’t like where a lot of the Farm Bill money is going (corporate v private, small farmers and ranchers)…corporate ag is building a monopoly.


  18. The BLM like all government agencies..will NEVER reform themselves.we can hollar “we were right” until the “cows come home”… will have to be thru the courts..congressional recomendations..they have been ignored..the courts via WWP have steadily removed grazing allotments, based on mismanagement abuse and threats to endagered species..proven scientifically..we can know what we know and that changes nothing..BLM will do what they always do..announce “sweeping changes” to keep the courts off their backs and then continue on..BLM found the “KEY” to removing wild horses thru reducing HMAs WHs once they developed “multiple use.–by not having real numbers for the invalidates tthe allocation of resources in that MU land use planning


    • Has anyone else ever read the book “How Do You Kill 11 Million People?” (When The Truth Matters More Than You Think)? Well, if you haven’t, you should …..heres a quote from the book for those who haven’t read it: “How do you kill 11 million people? The answer is breathtakingly simple. And it is a method still being used by some elected leaders to acheive various goals today. Lie to them.”
      Basically, the BLM and the factions that seek to take OUR public land for their very own but still will manage to force we taxpayers to pay for everything, have woven an “intricate web of lines, to be delievered in stages” in order to eradicate the wild horses and burros. I can’t even count the number of times since I moved to Northern Nevada over 20 years ago that I’ve told people “don’t let the BLM lull you with their lies” because as trusting people, we really want to believe that people would not be this rotten…..the problem howver is that we are NOT dealing with “people” and are instead dealing with “agencies”, “the government”, “coporations”, “the legal system”, the “good old boy” system, etc, and these factions usually have a lot of money, whether theirs or OUR taxpayer dollars being used to fight against us.
      I believe its long past the time where we need to unite with anyone who loves wild horses and burros and wants to see them primarily managed in the wild, or with people who maybe don’t care so much about the horses and burros but do like to recreate on the land to hike, bike, ride motorcycles and quads, camp, fish, etc, or maybe just people who will never come out west and see the horses or use the land to recreate on but do NOT want their tax dollars going to pay subsidies to the private businesses running their businesses on OUR public land at the expense of US being able to use the land, wild horses and burros being on their rightful land, and with NO benefit to US using OUR money when they do make boatloads of money.
      Seriously, even if I didn’t live out here and got to see wild horses every day (I had a stallion with his band that includes a young buckskin foal passing across the top of my property at 6 AM this morning), and even if I didn’t like to go on MY pubic land to ride and hike, I still do NOT want my tax payer dollars going to support somebody else’s PRIVATE BUSINESS that does NOT benefit me in the least. Being a business owner myself, I’d be embarrassed to take other peoples money by force to pay to run my business, but once again everyone, we’re NOT talking about people here, we’re talking about factions and entities and agencies.
      I believe we need to join with anyone that wants to keep OUR PUBLIC LAND unfenced AND public, and not let these creeps take it over just because we couldn’t unite with other groups of people with their own reasons they want the public land to remain unfenced and public……we NEED the majority of the general ta paying public to get educated on everything that is being taken away from us while we are still being forced to pay for them to run their private businesses on OUR land with NO benefit to us.
      And never forget, the reason the wild horses and burros are being targeted for eradication is that unlike other animals occupying the public land and who are killed off (called “sanitizing”) every year by the hundreds of thousands because it is legal to do so, the wild horses and burros are protected from being killed AND they are to remain “free roaming”, so these factions CANNOT put up fences as they would like to (although, they have managed to string a bunch of fencing along our highways out here in Northern Nevada at the tax payers expense to prevent the cattle from getting hit by cars which happens a lot out here because of the antiquated practice called “Open Range Cattle Ranching”), so enter the BLM with their corrupt and bogus “facts and figures” that are mostly lies designed to fool the uninformed majority general public as far as I can tell.
      If we can educate and expose the lies, and also unite with groups we might never interact with, we couldjust win this war for all of the right reasons and we’d ALL get what WE the public want: our public land to remain OURS!
      On Facebook at The Starlight Sanctuary where we fight the good fight for animals every day!


  19. The agency can be taken down, but you still have to go after “who” and “what” is pulling the strings behind all of this or like crab grass, the same problem (and the SAME PEOPLE) will just show up under a different disguise.


    • The Wild Horse and Burro Program is so vulnerable and all these lives are in the balance. They need safety and they need to be removed from the mess of BLM/DOI while whatever fate awaits them is played out. This little office could continue with it’s own budget and a core crew from each of the districts. The HMAs need to be monitored and the advocacy needs to become a real watchdog group that functions in the field and with the local economy and community outreach.


  20. Arlene, perhaps not so much an Achilles heel as a “Giant Tsunami”. You and everyone who has refused to let up on this is part of that Tide of Public Pressure, which is gaining momentum. I do think we have to be cautious as to anything that looks like reform, even a different agency. We can not EVER relax our guard or depend on politicians to protect what belongs to us.


    • Dear Louie I have watched in HORROR, for years the BLM , completely do everything WRONG and UNLAWFUL and UNNECESSARY to our Mustangs !!!! I am saddened that the MUSTANGS have suffered so long without The Challenge of the people , I am resigned to helping the Mustangs to be returned to where they belong and that is the FREE RANGE, look at what has already happened, The Balance needs to be restored the Land calls to them , wildlife calls for them, they are an needed intregal part of all Nature …… I have not been to the mountains to see the Mustangs , but I have been to the desert to see them hundreds of times !!!!!!!!!!! The Mustangs rocked my world , each and everytime !!!!!! WE need to fix thisTRAGEDY of HORRORS NOW !!!!!


  21. What a great letter to Salazar, and hooray for our heroes there in Congress. I certainly want to hear the response to that letter in 10 days. what do you think the chance is of that???


  22. Well it almost makes sense doesn’t it? They can’t count mustangs correctly either. Guess those dirty b*stards don’t have enough fingers and toes between em to count all those cows.


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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s