Horse News

Action Alert: Urge Rejection of the Grazing Improvement Act of 2013

Issued by the Cloud Foundation and supported by Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Please call your Senators on the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, and ask them to REJECT the Grazing Improvement Act of 2013 (S. 258).

Privately owned welfare cattle being herded onto public land and wild horse habitat  ~  photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Privately owned welfare cattle being herded onto public land and wild horse habitat ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

This bill if passed would:

1. Limit public review of grazing decisions by excluding permit renewals from NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) analysis.

2. Double the term on grazing permits from 10 to 20 years.

3. Give the BLM, the Forest Service, and others the complete and exclusive authority on review of grazing permits

Over 265 million acres of lands already degraded by millions of head of welfare cattle and sheep may suffer even more with the passage of this inappropriately named Act. The only thing this Act might “improve” is the ability of welfare ranchers to have increased influence over the management of OUR public lands.  The bill could be voted on in committee on Thursday, November 21st, so make your voice heard today. If passed, wild horses and burros, already marginalized on these lands, could suffer even more, as would all other wildlife that share our public lands.

Pressure from private “welfare” ranchers on public lands drives brutal helicopter roundups and removals of federally protected wild horses and burros.  Even on designated wild horse lands, 82% of forage is allocated to livestock leaving only 18% for wild horses and burros. Don’t give them more power!

Contact Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, who chairs the Committee. Politely urge Senator Wyden to kill this bill. He has the authority to deny a vote in the committee he chairs.

Other states represented on Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources: OR, SD, LA, WA, VT, MI, CO, MN, WV, HI, NM, WI, AK, WY, ID, UT, NV, AZ, SC, TN, OH, ND

Go to Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

Of those members of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Mary Landrieu (LA), Bernard Sanders (VT), Brian Schatz (HI), Martin Heinrich (NM), and Tammy Baldwin (WI) are co-sponsors of S. 541 – the SAFE ACT to prevent the resurgence of horse slaughter in the United States. These Senators might be more likely to vote against the bill if encouraged by the public to do so.

Please take action now. Our wild horses and burros need your voice!

For more information on the Federal Grazing Program visit the links below:

21 replies »

  1. Don’t you just love the titles they give ” Grazing Improvement Act”?! The improvement’s certainly not for our wildlife, but like everything else, they sugarcoat to make it sound more appealing.Thank you and the Cloud Foundation for keeping us informed, so we can express our opinion on the subject. Once again, our wild horses and burros need our voices heard. The struggle for justice and fairness continues. )-:


  2. Currently, SB258 is still in the Public Lands, Forests, and Mining subcommitte, Joe Manchin D west Virginia is chairman. The bill is in line to be marked up but will not be marked up in November. Best information is that it will be marked up in this subcommittee anytime after recess (after Dec 6th, that is to say)
    If the bill makes it out of this subcommittee, *then* it will go to the Eneregy committee as a whole.
    This means we have two shots to kill the bill…we get a try in the subcommittee, but if they pass it on to the Energy committee propper, we get another shot at getting Ron Wyden to kill it.
    I did some research on Joe Manchin, subcommittee chair. Fiscal responsibility is a big issue with him so I taylored my own comments to that…particularly how the grazing leases program doesn’t generate enough money to even pay the administrative costs of running it, then ecological damage, soil erosion, and -last but not least – given the lack of transparency and all the ethical scandals and incompetance of involving the BLM in recent history – giving the BLM more power and less oversight with regard to any functions definitely is leaving the fox to watch the chickens. I think Joe Manchin will be very amenable to this argument.
    As concerns Ron Wyden, he’s a democrat and makes lots of supportive noises, but he needs to get a loud and clear message or he has a tendancy to wimp out. I expereinced this myself as a volunteer in a letter writing campaign about horse slaughter here in Oregon (Wyden prepresents Oregon). I wrote him letters for months but got only vague non-committal replies back. When push came to shove, it took an avalanche of letters and hints that Oregon democrats would be holding a grudge in the next election that finally brought a committment from him. Sources close to the Senator told me in confidance that though he is a democrat, he actually lives in a small eastern Oregon community where his friends and neighbors are literally welfare ranching interests…..
    I’ve been lucky to get a bit of coaching from senior advos in exchange for my promise to type til my fingeres fall off…ha ha ha…if anyone throws me anymore bones, I’ll be sure to dish.
    I had always heard that letter-writing campaigns sway lawmakers, but i never really felt it in my bones until I saw what it did here in Oregon in HSUS’ campaign to criminalize horse tripping…and we did criminalize it…right here in Oregon, and Oregon is a major major good ole boys state. Letters to every single state senator and state rep did it!!!
    This is a little issue, low on the radar….unlike slaughter which we still fight, each letter on this will have tons of leverage. SO LETS KEEP WRITING!!! 🙂


    • Bravo, FB! Spray some Teflon on those fingers, and keep firing away. Thanks for the feedback that letters sometimes do work. One question though…. I read recently that if folks sign a pre-fab letter or petition that the sum total is counted as ONE letter. In your experience is that true? I have been writing my own letters but sometimes from the prefabbed template, which makes me worry this too will be counted as ONE letter. Can you shed some light on this? I’ve lately been going onto individual politician’s websites and writing my own that way, worrying about the uselessness of the prefabs for anything other than someone to gather email lists.


      • I don’t have a crystal ball, but I would be surprised if prefab letters were *not* discounted to some extent.
        But if you are pressed for time, or feel you can’t write so on and so on its beats doing nothing.
        I suggest rewriting the first paragraph, or changing the order of the prefab so that the first paragraph is different. These are real people looking at these letters, they scan them quickly for major ideas like you do in school, and they get enough of them that they are not going to bother with a close exam to see if its a duplicate!
        If you are worried about your ability to write or spell DONT BE!!!
        For these folks, sincereity is what counts.
        Seriously, do your best and express **your** opinion. there are articulate letter writing who will make sure the facts are covered in an articulate way….


    • Michelle Zinitz Variations of this bill have been around for a couple of seasons. It has **already** **passed** house of representatives. It’s been quietly simmering without getting notice except by insiders.
      “Killing” it in committee is our best chance for an “easy kill” for a couple of reasons.
      First, committee is small, senate is big, and we are relatively few. We have only about 20 senators to spread our influence over instead of all 100 of them.
      Next, with the very serious matters before the senate we just might not get noticed by our enemies. I am not sure about this part….I need to ask the senior advo that is mentoring me.
      HERE is a ***KEY*** ADVANTAGE of attacking it in committee. This is a little complicated and subtle about how the senate works: Senators do not need to vote **against** a bill to kill it in committee. All they need to do is **not** let the bill **out of** the committee this session, at that point the bill is dead for this year (likely it would be re-submitted next year). This is important because politically, senators prefer not to have to come out and say they are “against” anything. And to kill it in committee all they need to do to kill it is to quietly not support it….
      I really havn’t interacted with committee chairman Joe Manchin on anything, and I’m no expert *but* the fact that his website makes a big deal about fiscal responsibility suggests that he prizes being associated with fiscal responsibility…that could be good for us, because every one of us in here knows how irresponible the range lease program and blm is….
      Hope this helps.


    • Steve, thanks for posting the POPVOX interactive poll. Just now it shows only 58 folks have registered an opinion.

      I just sent it to people in three states. Between us we can surely cover 50 states quickly? Go people!


    • Steve, thanks for the Costs link – I voted on the popvox site yesterday – my comment was there yesterday and its not there today! Wonder how many times that happens?
      Will go back & comment again – the comments were still all opposing which is good.
      But if the comments aren’t left on there – what happens?


      • Well apparently I commented on the Senate bill yesterday and today was the House version – so made my opinion known!!!


  3. I think that part of this is motivated by the desire to protect ranchers from federal agencies such as FWS, FS, and NPS that are identified through policy as partners with non-governmental organizations such as the IUCN, TNC, Wild Life Society, Sierra Club, Audubon Society, and others that partner with these federal lawsuits and Congressional hearings to present positions that they believe will benefit their membership. We opposed the Government Litigation Savings Act that would have limited which organizations could sue the government and have their attorneys reimbursed because it would have eliminated wild horse advocates. Had that bill passed, this one may not have been necessary. The BLM’s failure to follow NEPA put ranchers in danger of losing their livelihoods. Of course, no one proposes scraping these duplicitous federal agencies and starting over again from scratch, and getting environmental policies based on science rather than political agendas in place to manage public lands—. No we keep dancing around the bully elephants on the range. Federal land management is the responsibility of four scientifically challenged but overtly politically driven coalitions.


  4. Wow!

    What a scary and evil handful of land and resource hogs! (Apologies to porcines everywhere)

    20 years????? That’s a rubber stamp give away….the land and all on it ARE GONE! Akin to giving it to these cruds at taxpayer expense.



  5. A suggestion that I just received!!!
    Do you keep a file of links of older articles you liked? Here’s one for you then….
    Try to remember that while most senators want to do a good job for us, they also want to keep their jobs.
    This means they care about public opinion!!
    If you have links to older blog posts or news articles about BLM or abuse by the cattleindustry, send the links along **provided that at least 80% of the comments are against grazing and blm!)
    You can then with honestly point out that this issue did not pop up over night, but that many people have been fighting grazing for a long time!!
    ***DONT*** ***DRIFT*** OFF THE SUBJECT!!!
    This is *not* about wild horses
    This is *not* about horse slaughter


  6. One of my Washington state senators, “Maria Cantwell” is on the committee. I sent her a 3 paragraph email today describing the damage the cattle and sheep do to the areas where they graze. I described the damage to streams and the riparian landscapes and waterholes that are destroyed by cattle standing in the water dropping piles of manure along with the sheep/cattle pulling up forage and grass by the roots and killing the plants. This has happened to all small creeks and water sources where ever cattle and sheep are left to graze. They denude the land turning it into dusty desert.


  7. I wrote a long comment on Joe Manchin’s site – and didn’t mention the wild horses or burros once! (which was kind of hard) Maybe if he gets enough comments from the general public – it might color how he thinks.


  8. Supposedly this bill was heard first thing today, but the archived livestream won’t play for me. Anyone have any idea what, if anything, happened today on S258?

    And kiss about half Wyoming’s wild horses goodbye. Will their new state logo be a bucking bull?


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 )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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 )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.