Horse News

BLM Smears Lipstick on Wild Horse & Burro Issues

(In My Humble Opinion) by R.T. Fitch ~co-founder/president Wild Horse Freedom Federation

“You Just Can’t Polish Horse Poop”

It appears that as wild horse and burro advocates we have finally struck a nerve in the federal cattle grazing agency operating under the clenched fist of cattleman Ken Salazar and known by the name of Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Weary of lawsuits (like our West Douglas litigation that has kept that Colorado herd free and roaming for years) and with evidence produced by Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF) that indicates the possibility that “YUP” the BLM might just have a hand, or turn their heads, in selling wild horses to slaughter, the agency decided to trump up some empty words and edicts to try to throw off the scent followed by the outraged public and taxpayers of the United States.  It just ain’t gonna work, boys.

Yesterday, Feb. 1st, 2013, the BLM released a packet of memorandums that they hoped would pacify the ever increasing ire of the public but it appears that they have missed the entire point of the controversy.

Yeah, they feebly attempted to address the media and public access controversy that was first brought to court by Grass Roots Horse in 2010 and then run through the 9th circuit by Wild Horse Freedom Federation with a private citizen selected as plaintiff.

And sure, they tried to answer the issue of humane care of captured wild horses which was brought to court, this time, solely by donations to Wild Horse Freedom Federation with the same plaintiff as the access case but BOYS, you have missed the entire point which simply put is;

STOP THE BLOODY ROUNDUPS!!!!

That’s the message, that is what needs be taken home and all the pretty paper and bows they use to try to dress up their war on horses and burros is nothing more than what falls out of the back end of an equine, which is crap.  (And theirs smells a whole lot better than the BLMs)

All this humane care, access and all the rest of the double talk is AFTER THE FACT.  The act of the roundup IS what is inhumane and the numbers that they base their removals on are all, once again, CRAP.

I, for one, am tired of the diluted, homogenized, pasteurized and filtered response to what Salazar’s grazing company is doing to the last of our national icons.  Forget chasing the BLM from roundup to roundup waving TROs, stop throwing money at languishing litigation that does not address the issue of the illegality of the BLM’s actions from the git-go.  It’s about stopping the abuse, halting the roundups, obtaining an accurate accounting of who and what is left on the range and if any sort of management is even required it should be through a stringent and well organized/documented/scientific/non-invasive birth control.

It’s just that simple and YES, it would be just that easy.

But there I go being rational again, sorry…I forgot.  We are dealing with a good ole boy, rough and tough mentality that thinks both horses and women are possessions that need to be “broke”.    Stupidity is a difficult thing to shake when your peers consider it to be an attribute.

We are not by any means finished here and we surely are not giving up on Mr. Salazar who thinks that he can run back to Colorado and all will be fine, I beg to differ.  Salazar and his boss Obama have destroyed the lives and stolen the freedom of over 35,000 federally protected horses that were living with their families on their rightful land.  There are dues to be paid, here, and that is what we intend to collect.

Wild Horse Freedom Federation stands with the members of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign and we share their angst.  This tacky attempt to throw off the troops has failed and failed miserably as we are not so easily had.

Tighten your cinches advocates; this ride is far from over so lets dump the dead weight and frauds; pick up the pace as there’s horses and burros that are counting on us and time is not on our side.

Keep the faith.

80 replies »

  1. Nothing like clearing the cobwebs!! Let’s move advocates now. What has to be done is spelled out here loud and clear.

    Delays and distractions have taken over – all to the detriment of our peace and the peace of the horses and burros.

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    • Glad to know who we have working diligently for the wild ones in the forefront and behind the scenes. And we will be adding some projects soon that may just involve more people than have had the opportunity to speak out and to show their support of the wild ones. Stay tuned.

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    • I will never give up hope!!! And reading your web site helps me keep up the fight, keep writing to officals and keeping my fingers crossed that all will be worth it in the end finally for our beautiful horses & burros!!!! KEEP THE FAITH RIGHT. Thanks for all that you have done and are doing!! 🙂

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  2. As always RT you tell it like it is. Thank you for your leadership, your insights and your understanding. Thank you for staying motivated, and motivating through all the crap. Eventually we will win or we will go down in the battle.

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  3. Thank you R.T.! They are trying to cover their butts so I say we ramp up the sharing of the bloody videos like the Calico Massacre and show the public just how compassionate and concerned they really are!

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    • That’s a good idea. I opened up my Facebook so it goes public a while back.There are pyramids of fb fans who read the shares and posts. I’m almost 60 years old so being labeled a terrorist really means nothing to me. By the time Salazar is gone so will be the herds of mustangs and wild burros. I will keep writing and sharing everything that i get and maybe people will get angry enough to do something about it.

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  4. Advocates are not holding their breath for change. The BLM was ORDERED by a judge to not violate First Amendment rights, yet there are pending cases on this same issue that they are actively FIGHTING. The President signed an executive order 4 years ago that science should drive government agencies. Yet the BLM abhors science based responses to their actions and ignore them. Their actions are pre-decided and take effect within hours of the close of public comment, there is no time for them to consider, let alone read those comments. The BLM is also supposed to be more “transparent”, yet most FOIA requests are denied or redacted to the point of being useless. They have been the agency in charge of wild horses and burros since 1971 and they don’t have a real (what has been provided is NOT real with a single person making decisions on a case by case basis) comprehensive humane handling and care policy. Even domestic carriage horses have humane care policy that prevents them from taking passengers when it is too cold or too hot, but the BLM says that these animals can be stampeded for hours if the lead COR determines that it is okie-dokie. The BLM is also just now coming up with these policies after how many years? How long do you really think it will take for them to actually implement it?

    If they are wasting taxpayer funds by abusing animals during and after a gather, denying the First Amendment and removing horses based on whim and not science they should not be funded until they PROVE they have made the appropriate changes. Ask Congress to de-fund the BLM until REAL changes are made.

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    • “Advocates are not holding their breath for change.” No, many are awaiting miracles and are not engaged in seeking change. What a shame when so many important aspects to the situation have been passed over for sensationalized incidents that are not aimed at stopping roundups at all. Do you think the people who get all worked up and shout out; “Stop the roundups Now!” realize their inspiration is only playing with band aids?

      Then there are people who are following the once effective comment system for allowing public input. That has been dead over a decade. Our comments are ignored. Decisions are made for political and economic reasons and no science that favors wild horses and burros is being sought. It is not welcome, although absent and in need of making an appearance.

      In 1971 when the WFRH&B act was passed it said that independent study was to be done to base management decisions upon. This has never been done. No policies are based on real solid field research that centers upon the wild horses first and foremost as the LAW states.

      BLM Policies towards the wild horses have failed because of lack of science and lack of the respect needed and the inclination to enforce and follow the ’71 LAW.

      WE are legally standing at square one and still need a functioning wild horse and burro program with out conflict of interest and with proper enforcement of the LAW towards all those who have been chasing, capturing and removing from their home ranges, zeroing out HMAs, over running them with cattle and mining and placing the subjects in holding, branding and gelding and selling to slaughter.

      Management of our wild horses and burros belongs on the ranges and must be done according to the LAW to use independent studies to create and implement their safest management possible inline with the conditions of the range and other wildlife. Cattle need to be backed off. They have been invading the HMAs inappropriately to the LAW and used to force wild horses and burros off their ranges. So to has the mining and pipeline interests.

      I still say that all of these invasive entities clearly owe the removed equines restitution to cover the re-establishment of those removed upon their proper ranges once again. Where possible, of course.

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    • The states I have lived in all have standards of care for Equines issued through the state’s departments of agriculture. Almost every horse rescue has standards of care. Pony clubs and 4-H clubs have standards of care. Horse rescues and the AAEP have standards of care. Whether a horse is self-managed as a herd member or human-managed in a domestic situation, the needs of the horse do not change. What changes is how those needs are met. In the wild, the horse will naturally know how to see that her needs are met. However, from the moment they are picked up by the helicopter the humans taking over their management should know what they are doing.

      Geez. Who would let their child get on a school bus driven by a blind person?

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  5. Hit the nail right on the head!
    “I, for one, am tired of the diluted, homogenized, pasteurized and filtered response to what Salazar’s grazing company is doing to the last of our national icons. Forget chasing the BLM from roundup to roundup waving TROs, stop throwing money at languishing litigation that does not address the issue of the illegality of the BLM’s actions from the git-go. It’s about stopping the abuse, halting the roundups, obtaining an accurate accounting of who and what is left on the range and if any sort of management is even required it should be through a stringent and well organized/documented/scientific/non-invasive birth control.”

    High on the list should be requiring the brand inspectors to record BLM brands in transfers! No more ‘transparency’…….

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  6. Just more BLM propaganda.
    Shawna Richardson , the wild horse “specialist” with the Diamond Complex roundup being done by Cattoor in the freezing cold in NV told me she has attended and helped roundup at least 27,000 wild horses. She said she “luvs” the babies and that often the hot-shots are used as an extended arm and the button isn’t being pushed. I am old but I am not senile-yet. BS !! Tiny foals are being taken from their moms way too young and it’s no tellings how many will die.
    Yes, the roundups and removals ALL need to stop NOW.

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  7. There have been many chances just over the last 4 years for BLM to change their spots, and it started after the first Calico massacre, when the BLM offered to settle the Sheldon wildlife WH contraversy lawsuit..offering up a “triplex” that would then combine HMAs and provide protections for the Sheldon horses..the minute the lawsuit was dropped, they further reduced numbers for the “complex” and proceded to remove all the Sheldon WHs and send them off to slaughter buyers, claming they were not wild horses but estray..”.Sorry”: would never be good enough, and really this is just for the benefit of congress, they KNOW we are not going to trust words unbacked by actions, and they don’t want their 80 million in funding cut for this program…and yes the buget decisions are just around the corner..My advice to BLM, don’t schedule any roundups for 2013, because we are going to make sure-you do in fact not get funded, the only way to stop a runaway train..blow up the tracks..and that is the money

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  8. Lyrics:

    I see the bad moon rising.
    I see trouble on the way.
    I see earthquakes and lightnin’.
    I see bad times today.

    CHORUS:

    Don’t go around tonight,
    Well, it’s bound to take your life,
    There’s a bad moon on the rise.

    I hear hurricanes ablowing.
    I know the end is coming soon.
    I fear rivers over flowing.
    I hear the voice of rage and ruin.

    CHORUS

    All right!

    Hope you got your things together.
    Hope you are quite prepared to die.
    Looks like we’re in for nasty weather.
    One eye is taken for an eye.

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    • Well Sara Palin calls herself a great white hunter and is all about women being second class citizens so she isn’t even qualified to speak. Ann Romney is an under her husbands thumb, stay at home mom with no say in anything including her husbands decision to tie their dog to the top of the car. Neither of those women can represent anything in my opinion. Try somebody with a strong back, not a couple of door mats.

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      • Teri, I know you think that you think your heart is in the right place, but our wild horses and burros are fighting forces I am sure you do not even see—for their rights to their Congressionally designated and legal herd management areas. Regardless of what you think personally of either of these women, their political points of view or those of their spouses, each of them has a set of accomplishments that indicate if either of them were in a position or interested in speaking up for our wild horses, the horses would definitely be getting more attention than they have received so far. When these women speak, other people listen, and each of them speaks to two somewhat different groups of people.

        Maybe you think that only “strong-backed” people should speak up for wild horses. One of the wonderful things about horses is that gentleness is much more effective than raw, physical power. The problems that our horse’s face are enormous. Interior and others are running more end arounds than you can imagine, and we do not even have enough people to keep eyes on all the places that need to be watched—even with the people we have.

        It will take good people, a lot of good people, a lot of people who may not see every issue we face in life from the same perspective, but we can not save our wild horses without good people who care and have some type of resources whether it be a “strong back,” a willingness to forego creature comforts to spend time in the field, an ability to bring people together to forge coalitions—but if we are going to start to act like we are some exclusive group of people who judge who can help the horses and who cannot—we are going to fail. The only requirement for advocates should be the willingness to put the welfare of the horses first.

        Horse people are people with strong opinions and almost every one of us believes we are right. The part we can’t lose sight of is that there can be more than one right answer as well as answers that are wrong. We need to bring people from all backgrounds to the table to save our wild horses.

        One of the great things about athletics is that they bring people together from all kinds of backgrounds. When you are either on the same team, or cheering for the same team there is at least some space in time that WE, whoever we are, actually act as one body either on the field or in the stands, We are for We. Animals do not care whether we are wealthy, famous, run a business, or are raising children. All they want is their essentially simple meals to prepare arrive on an essentially predictable schedule day after day, and that we spend time with them according to their needs. They size of our hearts is the essential thing, and I believe our animals have a much better sense of these matters than any human I have yet to meet.

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  9. I feel like I’m in an awkward place. I stand with you but I also stand with that private citizen. This person has done more than anyone else in court, has given her life for the horses and drives hours and hours every day to help us understand what is going on.

    I understand how you feel the round ups are cruel. They are. From the moment the helicopter picks them up to the point where they are captured in the traps its cruel. It’s cruel to rip families apart. It’s cruel to rip babies (esp nursing ones)from mama. Doesn’t matter if they try later in the day to pair them up. The damage has been done.

    The endless hotshots that were documented last fall is flat out more than wrong. In BLM handbook hotshots are only used in case of dire emergency. Being sick and tired because the horses won’t load and don’t respond to employees verbal directions or waving of arms is NOT A VALID REASON to use hotshots. I have a Hispanic housekeeper. It’s difficult to communicate because I know very little Spanish and she knows less English. My sister helps cause she’s fluent in Spanish. Would I use a hotshot? Heck no. And why would anyone think a wild horse or burro would understand some two footed monster waving his arms? You want to spook that horse onto the trailer? Great just another reason for that horse to hate and distrust humans.

    The gelding issue has deeply troubled me since I found out how non-sterile the whole thing is. Not only is the horse cut, oh he’s given a paralytic drug–which may or may not have any pain reliever in it–but that’s it. No after care. In fact, the horses are turned out into filthy dirty pens. If they live through this terrible injustice great. If not–no great loss. If any of us EVER gelded a stud in this manner you can bet HS would be called, or the police. You’d have some serious questions to be answering.

    Please RT help me find a reasonable balance here. It is about the horses. It isn’t about our own egos or personal agendas.

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  10. Many people may not realize how MANY advocates give their ALL, including their own money, for the horses. What has been done in court is with donations FROM A LOT OF ADVOCATES.
    Thousands of people are raising their voices and signing petitions. While somebody drives miles, somebody else goes to a job to earn money to support the cause of the horses, somebody else calls legislators and goes to Washington D.C., and some people rescue the wild horses and take on the responsibility for caring for them for the rest of their lives. No one or two or few people can save the horses: it takes ALL of OUR MANY voices.

    The BLM will NEVER stop what they are doing, no matter how nicely they try to package it, and the only agenda RT has is to STOP the roundups.

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    • Thank you. Many many people have lent their assistance to this cause so no matter if they sign a petition, call the white house to talk to some flunky aid, send money, rescue horses, it’s still something! It’s not about me..it’s about the horses and burros. Outs about right and wrong. The money needs to be cut from the budget, that’s a start. I think everybody who has done anything should be applauded and i think we ALL need to band together and be unified! We need to go after the big guns with all w got!

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    • Everything that has been done has been by the advocates. Never doubt this! Everything we have backed with our voices and our money. And it has been public outrage again and again that stopped the very things we cried out to be stopped; gelding in the field, use of Gonacon, mares being spayed in the field or anywhere, Geldings released on HMAs, horses and burros being harassed and hit with the runners of helicopters and there were other things over the years, and these things the advocacy did as one! With no leadership but the emails from EWA and Alerts from the Cloud Foundation and AWHPC and RT right here. You and I did this and more. Give credit where credit is due. Stop downplaying the huge role that is played by all of us because it is the Advocacy that is the Campaign! And it is the advocacy that wants to end the roundups, not make them safer and easier! We want them to end! Got it?

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      • Yeah I get it. I see it as the ultimate goal. But what about in the meantime? I know I asked this awhile back about taking this to the Supreme Court. I think I’m remembering this correctly. I hope I can phrase it the same way.

        We don’t want to go that route yet, because should we lose we have no appeal. It’s either pass or fail. We can’t afford to fail. Not one little step.

        I get that advocacy is huge. While I don’t fund WHFF, I do support that other advocate. And I do support the Freedom Fund horses. I just feel all mixed up because everyone has reasonable viable needs. And I don’t have funds for everyone.

        I sign my share of petitions. And some of you may get them from me (or vice versa). Please know where and when I can I do share them out. I know someone who has many other contacts. I hope my petitions are passed on.

        I suppose to that there are things happening that I’m not privy too. And that may be one reason I’m feeling pulled in so many directions.

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    • Yes, Debbie.

      But you have to admit that they are running (literally) out of wild equines to catch considering that they have been killing them before, during and after the signing of the 1971 Act.

      This and other agencies, including states have been systematically, cruelly and ineptly reducing/zeroing HMAs, exaggerating pop counts, migration and mixed use data devastation (ignoring cattle/sheep) via wild equines since the turn of the century with the help of EVERY ADMINISTRATION SINCE 1900…..to include Nixon.

      They will feign slowing down the roundups very soon because THERE ARE NOT ANY WILD EQUINES LEFT…save for the depressed, sterilized and deathcamp prisoners in LTH awaiting disease, injury and HCHS (if that many are left to count).

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  11. You are never going to have a “humane roundup” even bait trapping has its problems, the lawsuits highlight the abuses that roundups conducted by BLM create.and that is a good thing for the unkowing public..but it does nothing in a court of law to stop the never ending roundups..which ends with the ultimate inhumane treatment…slaughter

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  12. Just ask the BLM to POST the FACILITY reports monthly, instead of once every 2 or 3 months. You’d think they only had 3 people working for this agency that could type.

    So, with BLM’s claim to give TIMELY information to the public, they should post MONTHLY facility reports online.

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  13. The captives…ALL of them, must be released and returned to their LEGALLY DESIGNATED Herd Management Areas. The land that was taken from them must be returned and the roundups must STOP….PERIOD.

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    • For those of you who have not seen and read these two BLM PDFs- please do so. See what we have been up against for years. Decisions made are politically motivated and these outcomes BLM outlines are all illegal. Just as the removals and zeroing out and the long and short term holding are ALL illegal.

      The 1971 WFRH&B Act says so! Read that also if you have not.

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  14. It’s funny RT but i had very negative feelings about what i had read early this morning. Who do they think they are fooling and exactly what had changed in their new wording? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!! As a woman, I am anything but stupid and their lies have fine on far too long! I was just wondering when the advocates would say enough is enough! Something has to be done that will have an impact on the BLM. I have been saying for a long time to disband them. I an sincerely going that Obama makes the right choice with Grijalva and that this man can straighten out the mess. I’m afraid for the mustangs that have already been kidnapped and are being held hostage. I warned about the mustangs being in danger of being slaughtered. Canada does take them especially if the brands are assorted. Mexico will slaughter anything. The fight against house slaughter has been on for a long time and i believe this is our mustangs only hope. The viable hers are pretty much gone to private ranches (holding pens where the first buyers can slip hundreds out three back door with the BLM lying about what happened to them). Laws? What do they mean to the criminal scum of the earth, the BLM and the kill buyers? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! Remember there are ways to subvert the laws so boys and girls all this nice nice civil attitude is useless. You are dealing with criminals, thugs that make the mafia look like girl scouts! The courts are to slow to help anything! Horses are lost before they even hear a case, facts are thrown out and we look like a bunch of lame ducks. The omnipotent government officials don’t listen to the people ever!. We either stop the slaughter of equines a Whole out we lose everything. There’s nothing to stop these lying assess until we do.

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    • And when we do, what then? We need to have plans we can implement so we can insure the proper management for the wild ones is carried out. Independent studies have to be generated from us and we have to plan the grants and get the researchers and scientists we want out in the field. This is to guarantee we have wild ones in the future. It is up to us. Not BLM. We must begin to call the shots that will make the Law enforceable and the wild ones safe.

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  15. Memorandums don’t mean anything…the language of the contracts between BLM and contractors spells it all out…without spelling out consequences for injuring and killing wild horses, with incentives that encourage reckless haste at the expense of safety, horses will continue to be harmed

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  16. And our Burros….WHAT ABOUT OUR WILD BURROS? Are there any left?

    In September, this BLM contract was awarded to KERRY DESPAIN, who runs the Gunnison state prison wild horse program. This is a private holding facility but the BLM awarded the contract to the Gunnison WH&B program leader on his private land – seem a bit fishy?

    This contract is for holding 500 of our Wild Burros for 10 ½ months (option for additional two months).
    THEN what?
    WHERE will the burros be sent after that?
    WHAT will happen to them?
    WHAT are the BLM’s intentions for these 500 burros at the end of the contract this fall?
    WILL any of these burros even be around by then or will they have “disappeared”?

    https://www.fbo.gov/?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=18821a7030cc6f9820bec71c1c889cbb&tab=core
    Solicitation Number:
    L12PS01179
    Award of contract:
    https://www.fbo.gov/spg/DOI/BLM/UT/Awards/L12PX02101.html
    Contract Award Number:
    L12PX02101
    Contract Award Dollar Amount:
    $435000
    Contractor Awardee:
    DESPAIN, KERRY, M13500 S 1049 WAXTELLUT84621-5504US

    *** The captives – ALL of them – wild horses AND wild burros must be released and returned to their LEGALLY DESIGNATED Herd Management Areas. The land that was taken from them must be returned and the roundups must STOP….PERIOD.

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    • Just recently I saw BLM state that there are over 5,000 wild burros on ranges. Since the number was less than 2000 in 2011 and then more removals brought that number down, I think this is a fantasy.

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  17. I think that they have unlimited resources legally and we are chipping away at this little by little. It isn’t that we aren’t making headway, obviously we are. They put out those documents, so we rattled them at least a little. However, I think we can all agree that time is running out and if we buy into their “poop” (thanks RT for giving me a nicer way to say it) all the wild horses and burros will be gone from the wild. Should everyone just stop what they are doing? Heck NO! We just need to add calling for Congress to not fund the BLM to our current work. Perhaps Congress will get enough calls and we can finally get a full Congressional investigation. Then the WHOLE issue heard, not just tiny pieces of tiny pieces that we have been allowed in court. In a perfect world the funding stops, which stops the gathers and a Congressional hearing is held and heads roll, but at the very least perhaps we can at least get a hearing where we are on equal footing where ALL of the issues can be brought forward. Yes, Grijalva would be so much better, but short of firing all the BLM employees (which is absolutely not possible legally) it can take years for him to make real and lasting changes. In the meantime our wild ones are disappearing and being sold to slaughter.

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    • We need to add a comprehensive plan to be engaged in the wild horses and burros on their HMAs and continue to work for science based management. If we stop roundups we need to be able to fill in the gap and build a bridge to the future. It does not end with the last round up!

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      • It will never end as this agency and its legislative supporters are so underhanded and sneaky that we will never be able to sleep without keeping one eye open and our (figurative) shotgun in the corner.

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    • I might also suggest they not fund this department until they find what they did with the 168 billion of taxpayer dollars they seem to have lost. More than enough to fund some real scientific studies that include cattle this time around.

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    • There is absolutely, positively no excuse nada for the BLM not to be able to post daily notes from all their facilities. With the technology and systems that we have at our disposal today, once you decide what information needs to be reported and get your data base set up, it is not difficult to assign someone to update the data, make notes, etc. The software will time-date-stamp it, but the person who completes the data needs to sign his or her name to the entrees, so that employees are help accountable.

      It the employees at holding facilities were required to record certain types of data for the horses, and always had to sign their name stating that they have reported only what they have observed, and then they sign their names to their reports, some of the data that is weeks, months, and years old might get replaced.

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      • Mar,
        The ROAM Act passed the House in 2009. The Senate sponsor Senator Robert C. Byrd became ill that fall, and eventually left the Senate before his death in 2010.

        My concern with that bill was that it still left the BLM in charge of the horses, which is absolutely ludicrous.

        I believe that the time is approaching when legislation could be embraced by members of both Houses. The House should be easier than the Senate.

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  18. From AMERICAN HERDS (Our Wild Burros)

    http://americanherds.blogspot.com/2007/12/critically-endangered.html

    Critically Endangered

    In July 2000, Patricia Moehlman, Chairwoman of the Species Survival Commission and Equid Specialist for the World Conservation Union appealed to BLM to initiate more studies of our American wild asses in efforts to obtain relevant information for critically endangered asses throughout the world.

    However, the BLM had just released their “Strategy to Achieve and Manage Wild Burros at Appropriate Management Levels” in June of 2000, which authorized wild burro populations to be slashed nationally by at least 66%, despite their “federally protected status” – Dr. Moehlmans appeal for help was ignored. (1)

    (1) 66% reduction in wild populations was based on the 1971 census. Based on the 1974 census results, wild burro populations have been gutted by over 80%.

    The first census done by BLM in 1971 reported approximately 8,045 wild burros on public lands. This census was done by driving around in vehicles and counting burros when they saw them. In 1974, the first census was done using aircraft; BLM reported a wild burro population estimated at 14,374.

    In February 2007, BLM estimated the remaining national burro population was merely 2,874 burros with 369 more wild burros removed since the February estimates.

    While studies on wild asses stated their reproduction rate was only 4% in good years, the BLM has applied their “wild horse reproduction rate” of 20% per year (also in serious question) to wild burros as well.

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    • I have to laugh as we have spent over 3 long years here examining BLM math which only works for them when they want it to. But it has not worked for us one whit. And the wild ones have been repeatedly at the mercy of evil and lies and bad science and numbers. There are so few left. When BLM says there are so many wild ones they do damage we all know that is done by cattle- somewhere someone out there is thinking the government is right. But I grew up in a world where we always questioned what the government was doing. Always. It comes with the territory. Like notoriety.

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  19. Another placebo from the BLM. A cover-up to placate advocates…hold ’em off… It is getting too hot for Salazar after the neighbor Davis, wild horse slaughter & “punch out” to Dave Phillips. Salazar leaving, but still accountable for breaking-the-law. The pressure is on. Not to let up. Thank you, R.T.

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  20. Speaking of smearing lipstick … the new trapping contracts specifically state that the contractor cannot speak to the public about the trapping (number trapped / location of traps / condition of animals etc) plus roads in the area will be closed to the public plus hot-shots can be used on the animals except to the face, genitals and anus (it says it right in the contract!)… but there will be nobody there to watch them so what do you think the TRUE story will be behind the public’s back? Oh yeah … and some of these same contractors are highly suspected to have previously sold and/or been involved with the disappearance of our wild ones directly from the range even when the public did have access so now what do we think about the BLM’s new trapping contracts? I know what I think and it “ain’t” pretty!

    Quote from contract: “Hot shots shall only be used as follows:
    i. Hotshots shall never be applied to 3 areas: the head (defined as everything above the throatlatch),
    ii. anus and genitals (this includes the vulva, penis, and scrotum
    iii. as well as the anogenital area which includes the anal recess,
    (It also states that hotshots can be used on DOWN horses!)

    The contract is public information (and was approved and signed last June and in affect since July 1st). To see for yourself:
    Go to http://www.fedconnect.net
    Public Opportunities
    Ref# L12PS00229
    (on the right side will be “documentation”)
    The first one is the overview of the solicitation.
    The next one is the contract (45 pages) including the hotshots and the contractor “silence” and the road closures etc.

    In addition, there is a lot more to this BLM trapping policy and let me assure you that NONE of it is in favor of the horses or burros. An example is the current trapping contract on the Oregon Murderers Creek HMA – the census done last spring said there were 162 horses (no foals seen) BUT they put out a contract to have 200 trapped and removed! Does that sound like (minus) ZERO to you? All without any public observation and no accountability – all done with your tax money behind your back.

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    • This is the result of people concentrating on one thing; roundups. To stop them we have to know more than they do. ANd we must explore all the methods to help stop this further illegal removals of our wild horses by illegally sanctioned land owners.

      It all sounds like we have no rights and BLM is KING. Depose the King. Be able to function with out him.

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  21. Thank, Grandma Gregg for trying to alert advocates to the language contained in the bait trapping contracts…these are out of sight of any observers and not benign.

    Like

      • And didn’t the senate pass a government friendly law saying the public cannot sue the employees of the said government? Where was the population of the USA when that was passed? Duely informed but lacking the public’s rights to object and respond and lacking the where with all to do anything. In shock?

        Why does it have to be that we are working to protect a fragile species upon some of our last open range land and they have been made the scapegoat of government agencies and ranchers and corporate shysters and mining. They need to be protected from the Powers That BE!

        Stop removing these wild horses and burros, BLM/DOI. NOW. You are greedy land grabbers.

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  22. R.T., look at all the responses your impassioned defense of truth has engendered: 60 and counting. It’s so refreshing to have a “head honcho” leading the charge who doesn’t take guff, who is committed to a cause larger than himself, and who’s as honest as the day is long.

    You write: “We are dealing with a good ole boy, rough and tough mentality that thinks both horses and women are possessions that need to be ‘broke.'”

    And how did the cowboy crowd come by these beliefs? Well, this is a culture constructed on the ages-old premise that owning, controlling, manipulating, selling, killing, and eating other sentient beings is acceptable. Everything in the ranching industry rests on violence — violence toward the cattle and sheep (who are treated like profit-producing commodities), violence toward wildlife (who are regarded as either profit-draining pests or targets for trophies), and verbal violence toward any fellow human who threatens to upset this exploitive way of life.

    So is it any wonder that the “useless” horses would be treated like trash?

    I don’t know what R.T. stands for, but I suggest Roaring Tiger, or some such impressive moniker. Thanks for the rousing pep talk. We needed that.

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  23. Yes, we must not let BLM and USFS pull the wool over our eyes. They have been and continue to set the wild horses and burros up for failure by failing to fend for their basic rights on their legal lands under BLM and USFS jurisdiction. They try to “sugar o’er the devil” of injustice and scapegoating rather than cut back on livestock and other monopolizers of the public lands, as I expose in my book The Wild Horse Conspiracy. We must not let this happen. This is a General Public issue and the WFHBA was passed unanimously a little over 40 years ago. Rather than further cut the wild horses and burros must be restored. They are currently at non-viable levels and they are not being allowed to come to a natural harmonized adaptation by all this torture. For this reason as an ecologist I am following through on the Reserve Design plan that will do what the law originally intended and make them the principal presence in their legal herd areas/territories. The gift of true appreciation of the horses and burros and their right to be themselves here in the land of their origin and long-standing development is with those who know them for their real selves. We will not relinguish this vision. It is the wave of the future!

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  24. From AMERICAN HERDS:
    http://americanherds.blogspot.com/2008/11/88-million-acres.html

    88 Million Acres?

    Recently, I have again asked BLM and USGS to address where are they getting “…88 million acres of public lands” from? Obviously, if USGS is reporting the accurate acreage versus BLM, we are looking at a loss of over 53 million acres since wild horses and burros became “protected”, not 19 million acres as currently believed.

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    • The Interior has been doing land swaps. I was surprised to see on their web site that their explanation included the fact that some herd management areas had been lost due to land swaps. If someone had time to see what herd areas had been lost due to the necessity of swapping land—we might get closer to the source. I believe we have reason to believe that if some of this land has infringed on cattle grazing permits, that our horses are being removed to enable cattle grazing. In addition, there have been several national monuments designated as well as wilderness areas created and all that land is forever closed to grazing activities. Public land for public use is disappearing, and you can believe even more will be locked up before Salazar returns to Colorado.

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  25. Yahoo RT…I agree with the majority of the comments. If I lived out in the West, I would be right out in the field with all of our Advocates. Yes, justice seems to move very slowly, but where ever we can we all need to try and cut the BLM off at the knees. Keep the heat on where it counts. I called my US Rep and sent an email and asked if he would do a Congressional Inquiry. If all the Advocates around the country went to the US Congressional members, they certainly would take notice. Each time a letter, email or phone call is made to their office, they keep files on the issues. I feel very sad that this is the only way change is going to be made. We need to call them on the slick tactic of additing amendments to Appropriation bills which are detrimental to our Wild Horses and Burros and anything else that they do. Don’t ever forget that it only takes one voice to start the ball rolling. There are probably thousands of people reading this blog all over the World watching what is going on with our Wild Horses and Burros. What ever each one of us reading this can do adds to becoming closer to stopping the inhmane roundups and slaughter of our beautiful equines. If those of us in Illlinois gave up or stopped fighting Cavel, Intl, they still would be slaughtering equines in Illinois. It took one Illinois Rep, Robert Molaro to pick up the ball for us and head for the goal line. I understand the frustration of presenting documents after documents and seeming it was all for not. But trust me in the end it was worth it. We could not save those that were already gone, but we tried to save those that would come along. The only thing that is going to stop all this madness is the legislation that stops the slaughter and transportation of our equines out of this country. This may stop the need for all the roundups. However, in the mean time we must keep the heat on the BLM and Ken Salazar and demand action from our Legislators. If enough people call, they can’t silence our Voices. So please take the time and request that your Legislators do a Congressional Inquiry into actions of the BLM and the actions of Ken Salazar.

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  26. Everyone here who is fighting for justice and not willing to tolerate anything less is BILLY JACK. It’s going to take an entire nation full of Billy Jacks. There is a very clear line dividing Right from Wrong. Everyone has the choice as to which side he is on.

    Like

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