Horse News

Opinion: Wild Horses, Deception and the Despicable Feds

OpEd by R.T. Fitch ~ president/co-founder of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

This past week proved to be a very dark day in Dodge

It's all Spades for the BLM

It’s all Spades for the BLM

Almost a half a decade ago myself, my wife Terry and a team of competent, animal law attorneys huddled in conference calls and discussed multiple ways and means in an effort to halt the BLM from attempting to zero out the Adobe Town wild horse herd of Wyoming. Money was spent, research was done, plaintiffs were identified and one wild horse advocate and photographer was given hope that the herd which she loved might be saved, and then the potential promise was yanked out from under her, just as it was done this past week when history repeated itself much to the chagrin and pain felt by photographer Carol Walker of Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

I have always felt guilty about the impotence experienced when attempting to save the Adobe Town herd; of being handcuffed and helpless in failing to be of any assistance. And I have talked openly about letting Carol down, I was hoping that it would be different, this time, but sadly it was not.

We struggle to keep our heads held high as we plod forward in the fight to keep our wild ones free. Often times it is difficult to do while the enemy breaks the law, rewrites history and caters to those who truly abuse and destroy our fragile public lands. But move forward we must.

Some falter at times like this, when it appears that we and the horses have lost and truly, there are many equine families that are about to loose it all over this latest court debacle…but that does not mean that we raise our arms in despair, give in to the moment and admit defeat and doom, far from it. It’s events like this that energize me, give me strength, conviction and focus because in the best form of the English language it is quite fair to say that what just happened sincerely and totally “Pisses Me OFF!

The BLM fails to realize that each time they twist the law and flagrantly flip off the very public which feeds them that they unwittingly pound another nail into their own wretched coffin. The corrupt managers and supervisors of the BLM might feel that they are above the law and are not required to answer for their crimes against this nation and nature but with each dastardly deed they draw themselves deeper into the dark web of deception from which they have lost their ability to escape. And as they sink further and deeper into the abyss there is a quiet army that is working in the background severing their ties, tearing down their means of escape and shoveling in the dirt atop the grave of the deceivers…the day of reckoning is drawing near with deliberate determination.

The BLM has not won, instead they have lost even more of their sparse credibility and have soiled themselves further with their collusion and lies while we grow wiser, tighter and even more resolved to put an end to the abomination known as the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro extermination department.

On the surface it appears that the horses have lost and in individual herds and families there will be great suffering. But the Horse Nation, as a whole, stands resolute in being the canary in the cave that draws the focus of what is wrong out into the open so that those who are pure in heart have a definitive and obvious target onto which they can focus…we know where the problem lies and we might even know how to stop it.

Another herd passes from the land, but not it’s spirit; we will not let the heart of the horses and burros be wrested from our precious, public lands. That will never happen. Embrace the pain, learn from the action and plan for the future, as it is ours.

We will never quit.

Keep the faith.

54 replies »

  1. I thought we had so many powerful celebs and Congressmen behind us. Why is there no one but a few grass roots folks even trying to stop these round ups? Have all these supposed people with power just not want to stand up now when they are needed? Did they get their 5 minutes of notoriety and now they don’t care about the horses anymore? Where is Redford, Richardson, Hannah? Where are all those people on the support lists? Willy! Its just like all those advocates who say they care but don’t even go to any of the rallies, local or DC or make calls to their Congressmen. We can’t save the horses if we don’t have more then just a few on the front lines. We need people to make the calls, send the emails and stand up and yell if we are going to save the few wild horses left. Thanks RT and Terry for all you have tried to do but you can’t do it alone. We need more people to stand up! I do see the numbers of advocates edging up but we need more action from everyone. We need more people to respond to the requests from those who are trying to lead the fight. This fight should not be just up to a few if we really want to save the last of our American Wild Horses and Burros.

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    • Some of those we thought were helping deliberately misdirected us. But what is going on was carefully concealed and were in not for FWS’s hubris, it would remain a mystery.

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  2. I have always believed that a judge cannot render a favorable decision to someone who has broken the so written law

    Perhaps a law suit should be filed against the judge who has allowed this to take place

    And I absolutely agree get the actors and actresses on board their every move is in the media for I don’t think too many people in USA are aware of this struggle

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  3. If we might know how to stop this vicious attack on our Mustangs we must for Petes sake use it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  4. Meanwhile, the BLM is also planning to “provide for a more cooperative and collaborative planning process” … with who?

    ###
    Public Listening Sessions on BLM Planning 2.0 Initiative Slated for Denver and Sacramento

    Ongoing effort works to improve the way we plan together
    As part of its ongoing effort to improve the management of the nation’s public lands by working more efficiently with the public and partners, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will hold two public listening sessions on its Planning 2.0 initiative in Denver and Sacramento during October. Both meetings will provide an overview of the effort as well as a group discussion on methods to improve the BLM’s planning process.

    The Planning 2.0 effort is aimed at creating a more dynamic and efficient way of developing the Resource Management Plans (RMPs) that provide the framework for the management of public lands. Congress has directed the BLM to develop RMPs under the principles of multiple use and sustained yield and in consultation with the public and with its partners from tribal, state, and local governments and other federal agencies. RMPs provide the basis for every action the BLM takes and serve as its primary tool for providing the public a voice in the management of public lands.

    The initiative addresses the goals set forth in the Roadmap for Success and incorporates elements of the landscape approach into the BLM land use planning process to create a framework to allow more effective and efficient planning across landscapes.
    Specifically, the Planning 2.0 effort seeks improvements in the agency’s ability to:

    Respond to environmental and social change in a timely manner.
    Provide for a more cooperative and collaborative planning process.
    Plan across landscapes and at multiple scales.
    The Denver meeting will convene October 1, 2014, 1pm to 5pm, MDT, at the Denver Marriott West, 1717 Denver West Boulevard, Golden, CO 80401. The Denver meeting will have a livestream option for people to participate remotely. The meeting can be accessed at http://www.blm.gov/live/.

    The Sacramento meeting will take place October 7, 2014, 1pm to 5pm, at the Double Tree by Hilton Sacramento, 2001 Point West Way, Sacramento, CA 95815.
    Individuals interested in preregistration for the listening sessions or subscription to the Planning 2.0 email contact list can contact the agency through the project’s website at http://www.blm.gov/plan2. Pre-registration is optional and is intended to help us plan for meeting setup.

    http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/info/newsroom/2014/september/nr_09_05_2014.html

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  5. Personally, I want to end horse slaughter . Then I’ll worry about where these horses and burros have landed. I have made my share of calls, signed petitions, sent emails, I have listened to the lies, read the lies from Congress and the BLM, I haven been ignored legislators, have argued, pleased with, shown proof and threatened them tip no avail. Don’t tell me about being in the ranks because I can’t drop my job and run out west and east and all over the world on a whim. Just like so many working people, I have to work, and I have animals to support. No, I can’t fly out At a drop of a hat to attend these useless BLM meetings or visit DC politicians for my cause. So, if attendance is the only thing that makes an advocate, then I’m a poor supporter. Top bad! I’m going to continue to do what i can do and not worry about judgmental people. I’ve been in this about as long as John Holland and I have great respect for the man. If there is a plan, then I feel that we should know what it is. I’m at a loss for ideas but although I read these blogs including the comments, I’m not seeing any plans for action here. I see slot of rhetoric but nothing else. Thanks RT and Debbie for keeping us updated. This I do appreciate and don’t think I’m not mad as hell about what’s going on in this country from horses, to wolves, to Americans rights to our standard of living which has also been eroded.. I hears this all was coming back when I was in 8th grade social studies class and now I’m seeing it…seeing it all come to pass.. I could go on and on but I won’t because it won’t change a thing.

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    • Terry, we are all frustrated and trying to be responsible citizens, too, expecting those we pay already to protect and manage our wild horses and burros to do so.

      But in keeping with RT’s “card” illustrating today’s entry, it is evident the BLM is holding all the cards here, except perhaps one. Discouraging people into despair only strengthens and perpetuates the needless tragedies. The one card we have is the American citizenry, only some of whom are aware of what is going on (at their expense) and some who are aware and do not care or are actively hostile. We need somehow to get ALL Americans talking about this issue but my efforts to get a Town Hall meeting held in every state of the union in this election year went absolutely nowhere. Politicians at least pretend to listen to their constituents but are not obliged to unless many voices are raised in unison.

      So we are forced to face an ugly prospect: that America doesn’t give a damn if we have a future where there are no wild horses left in the wild, reproducing naturally in their designated homelands. If the majority rules, and the majority doesn’t care, then all is lost. The one card I see is knowledge and information being spread virally to get the voice of the nation stirred as Wild Horse Annie proved is possible. There is no other power stronger than the bureaucratic Medusa methodically strangling our wild horses and burros. Many more voices must speak up, and soon.

      Has anyone tried crowdsourcing for funds for legal fees or to send protesters, photographers, and observers to document the demise of our wild horses and burros, for example? Crowdsourcing is a whole different audience and may raise awareness, and action better than all of us preaching to the choir here.

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      • I could not have said it better. These are my feelings exactly. I even tried myself to get Bruce Springsteen involved, by running up to the stage and throwing a whole package of information to him, which unfortunately ended up behind the stage and was eventually picked up by a roadie who promised to give it to him. I’m sure he didn’t.

        There must be someone in our ranks who has connections to these big celebrities who can do a concert or plan an event.

        I don’t have the clout.
        I wish someone would.

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    • I can’t jump and run either. I’m 2000 miles away. I do what I can though. Talk to my reps and go over the packets I put together for them. I call the President. I and a friend organized a rally at our State Capital. My main contribution is bringing awareness in an area where a lot of folks do not even know that we have wild horses in
      our country. So keep on keepin on! It really does make a difference. Thank you

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    • Terrimi think most of us feel your pain and disappointment. How this happened I don’t know. I know last year they were given the go ahead and I thought the roundup this year was just a continuation of that.

      But then word came about how we weren’t given a chance to vocalize our opposition to this. I’m not sure that would’ve changed anything but it would’ve been nice to say “I oppose this for the following reasons”…

      Then finding out how the EA’a and NEPA was never addressed. Sadly even if the Courts later find BLM did in fact “break the law” on this the whole thing becomes MOOT because the roundup is done and over.

      One our biggest hurdles to climb is the MOOT thing. We have to be able to show the Courts that so etching isn’t MOOT because the roundup happened.

      MOOT is one of those fancy schmancy names to indicate that something no I longer matters because the roundup is over.

      Honest I feel for Carol cause I know she loves this herd. I know when Breeze was taken from the Pryors that it about killed when my family said no to any horse. I’m sure it was 100 times as difficult for Carol.

      I’m still so angry and it really doesn’t have any outlet–I just want to spit nails. I don’t understand how ranchers could be so freaking selfish. The only thing I can do is pledge to NOT visit Rock Springs (and if I do find accommodations elsewhere so as to not let Rock Springs benefit anymore than need be financially from me). I also pledge no red meat till the ranchers learn to share.

      My immediate concern is the welfare of the horses trapped at Gunnison who have to be rehomed by Oct 6 as well as the hundreds BLM is about to,trap, capture and kill. You will hear No Roundup Related Deaths. You’ll hear that everyday. The other thing you’ll hear daily is how BLM euthanized (they shot the horse)a preexisting injury. The horse managed just fine on the range but because it isn’t pretty enough, is maybe blind in one eye or has recovered from a broken leg–they’ll be shot. And it isn’t counted as roundup related.

      I might remind one and all about how Dave Cattoor was caught on camera–talking about how they won’t give us that shot were looking for. That if a horse goes down “same as, same as”. Apparently they have a system in place for dumping dead horses and never reporting them.

      I absolutely believe BLM will try to slip horses out the back gate at Gunnison. Any horse they can “get rid of” and not claim is room for another horse. They will also try to “hide” all the deaths they can at Sand Wash.

      Mr. H. Alan O’Connor (Chief Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s brother)spoke to this in his book that was released last spring. He spoke how someone at BLM ordered 1/2 the herd SUDDENLY ADOPTABLE”. Were talking horses that had been deemed not adoptable cause of age, blindness, weren’t pretty enough etc. Somehow 750 horses were suddenly adoptable. Later in the book Mr. O’Connor spoke how people at BLM wanted him taken down a peg because of his relationship with his sister.

      I wish I had an answer. I wish I could say something of comfort but I find myself as angry as the rest of you. The one thing I do know is this. The land never recovered after the DustBowl. After the horses are gone the land will NEVER recover. It won’t be your fault or mine. We tried to stop it. We can rightfully blame the ranchers and BLM.

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    • terri- i’m with you , i do what i’m able to do from this wheelchair, infacy i just sent another message to mt state rep.’s for all the good it does me . out of the last 20 mess. that i have sent i have gotten 0 replies. i send snail mail and 0 replies . what do i do???

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  6. I am in Denver and I’m staying in Denver through the 2nd so that I can attend the meeting in Denver. We are trying to get some folks out on the street to stand up for the wild horses and hopefully get some attention. It would be nice if Redford showed up since it’s not to far from his “home”.
    Yes – WHERE are the celebrities that gave a tiny bit of FaceTime and say they are giving money in the background, but do nothing to truly step forward and stop this. Robert Redford and Willie Nelson are old enough and well established – they could take a public stand against these roundups. Why haven’t they? I wrote the PR person at Rock Springs yesterday after receiving her announcement of the roundups, but also the bureaucratic, “gosh, we just don’t know exactly when we’ll actually do the roundups because of weather, etc. so you’ll have to fly in/drive in and stay in a hotel until we let you know.” I thanked her for making attending the roundups so difficult for out-of-towners. And I told her they could make cutting the grass a complicated task with their red tape and bloated bureaucracy. I wished her high winds and wrote “shame on all of you”. The BLM is disgusting. Period.

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  7. I was just thinking that there may be people that can be won over in BLM or anywhere. In Ferguson Mo, a group from Cincinnati came to help with information on how change and healing was accomplished in their town. http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/michael-brown-shooting/blueprint-peace-what-ferguson-can-learn-cincinnati-n191911 Also check this out: https://www.facebook.com/notes/linda-horn/adobe-townsalt-wells-roundup-blm-caves-to-powerful-rock-springs-grazing-associat/792063484161145 Although, at this point, I would rather do something that could block or stop this illegal action–Keep them on the range if they’re still there, or keep them from slaughter, if not. I wonder if that BLM official in the article just above could be of any help since he sounds like he agrees with us.

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  8. To allow this roundup to take place without having first heard the merits of the case shines a spotlight on the American courts, judges and legal system.

    For those who haven’t read the Declaration

    LEGAL DECLARATION filed by former BLM Rock Springs and Rawlins area manager, Lloyd Eidenhauer

    In a declaration filed by former BLM Rock Springs and Rawlins area manager Lloyd Eisenhauer
    Katherine A. Meyer
    Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal
    1601 Connecticut Ave., N.W.
    Suite 700
    Washington, D.C. 20009

    (202) 588-5206
    Timothy Kingston
    408 West 23rd Street, Suite 1
    Cheyenne, WY 82001-3519
    (WY Bar No. 6-2720)

    (307) 638-8885
    Attorneys for Defendant-Intervenors

    IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
    FOR THE DISTRICT OF WYOMING

    Rock Springs Grazing Association, Case No. 2:11-cv-00263-NDF
    Plaintiff,

    v.
    Ken Salazar, et al.,
    Defendants,

    DECLARATION OF LLOYD EISENHAUER

    I, Lloyd Eisenhauer, declare as follows:

    I live in Cheyenne, Wyoming. I am a former Bureau of Land Management
    (“BLM”) official with extensive experience in the Rawlins and Rock Springs Districts in
    Wyoming and intimate familiarity with the public lands under BLM management in those areas.

    I have reviewed the consent decree proposed by BLM and the Rock Springs Grazing Association (“RSGA”) in this case and provide this declaration based on my longstanding knowledge of, and management of, wild horses and livestock grazing in the Rock Springs and Rawlins Districts.

    2. I grew up in Pine Bluffs, Wyoming with a livestock and farming background,
    served in the Marines for four years, and then owned a livestock business from 1952-1958. I
    enrolled in college in 1958, studying range management. From 1960-1961, BLM hired me to
    assist with collecting field data for vegetation assessments and carrying capacity surveys related to livestock and wild horses. These surveys were conducted in the Lander, Kemmerer, and Rawlins Districts. When I graduated in 1962, BLM hired me full-time to serve in the Rawlins District in Wyoming, where most of my work focused on grazing management involving sheep, cattle, and wild horses. From 1968-1972, I was Area Manager of the Baggs-Great Divide Resource Area in the Rawlins District. In 1971, the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act was enacted, and in the spring of 1972, on behalf of BLM, I conducted the first aerial survey of wild horses in Wyoming, recording the number of horses and designating the Herd Management Areas (“HMAs”) for the Rawlins District. After a stint as an Area Manager with BLM’s Albuquerque, New Mexico office, in 1975 I took over as the Chief of Planning and Environmental Analysis in BLM’s Rock Springs District for three years. I was the lead on all planning and environmental assessments. During that time, I also served as the Acting Area Manager of the Salt Wells Resource Area, which is located in the Rock Springs District. In 1979, BLM transferred me to its Denver Service Center to serve as the Team Leader in creating the agency’s automated process for data collection. I received an excellence of service award
    from the Secretary of the Interior commending me for my work as a Team Leader. In 1982, I
    became the Head of Automation in BLM’s Cheyenne office, where I managed and implemented the data collection and processing of various systems related to BLM programs. I retired from BLM in 1986, and have stayed very involved in the issue of wild horse and livestock management on BLM lands in Wyoming, and have written articles about the issue in local and other newspaper outlets. I have won various journalistic awards, including a Presidential award, for my coverage of conservation districts in Wyoming. Along with a partner, I operated a tour business (called Backcountry Tours) for six years, taking various groups into wild places in Wyoming – without a doubt wild horses were the most popular thing to see on a tour, in large part due to their cultural and historical value. I also served six years on the governor’s non-point source water quality task force.

    3. Based on my longstanding knowledge of wild horse and livestock management in
    the Rawlins and Rock Springs Districts, and in the Wyoming Checkerboard in particular, I am very concerned about BLM’s agreement with RSGA, embodied in the proposed Consent Decree they have filed in this case, under which BLM would remove all wild horses located on RSGA’s private lands on the Wyoming Checkerboard. The Checkerboard is governed by an exchange of use agreement between the federal government and private parties such as RSGA. However, due to state laws, property lines, and intermingled lands, it is impossible to fence the lands of the Wyoming Checkerboard, which means that both the wild horses and the livestock that graze there roam freely between public and private lands on the Checkerboard without any physical barriers. For this reason, it is illogical for BLM to commit to removing wild horses that are on the “private” lands RSGA owns or leases because those same horses are likely to be on public BLM lands (for example, the Salt
    Wells, Adobe Town, Great Divide, and White Mountains HMAs) earlier in that same day or
    later that same evening. Essentially, in contrast to other areas of the country where wild horses still exist, on the Wyoming Checkerborad there is no way to distinguish between horses on “private” lands and those on public lands, and therefore it would be unprecedented, and indeed impossible for BLM to contend that it is removing all horses on RSGA’s “private” lands at any given time of the year, month, or day, considering that those horses would only be on the strictly “private” lands very temporarily and intermittently on any particular day .

    5. Another major concern with BLM’s agreement to remove all horses from the
    private lands of the Wyoming Checkerboard is that BLM is undermining the laws that apply to the Checkerboard, and wild horse management in general, which I implemented during my time as a BLM official. Traditionally, BLM officials (myself included) have understood that, pursuant to the Wild Horse Act, wild horses have a right to use BLM lands, so long as their population numbers do not cause unacceptable damage to vegetation or other resources. In stark contrast, however, livestock (sheep and cattle) have no similar right to use BLM lands; rather, livestock owners may be granted the privilege of using BLM lands for livestock grazing pursuant to a grazing permit that is granted by BLM under the Taylor Grazing Act, but that privilege can be revoked, modified, or amended by BLM for various reasons, including for damage to vegetation or other resources caused by livestock, or due to sparse forage available to sustain livestock after wild horses are accounted for. BLM’s tentative agreement here does the opposite and instead prioritizes livestock over wild horses, by proposing to remove hundreds of wild horses from the Wyoming Checkerboard without reducing livestock numbers – which, in my view, is contrary to the laws governing BLM’s actions as those mandates were explained to me and administered during the decades that I was a BLM official.

    6. While I do not agree with every management action taken by BLM over the
    years in the Rock Springs District, I can attest – based on my longstanding employment with
    BLM and my active monitoring of the agency’s activities during retirement – that BLM has
    generally proven capable of removing wild horses in the Rock Springs District, including by
    responding to emergency situations when needed and removing horses when necessary due to resource damage.

    7. Considering that wild horses exhibit different foraging patterns and movement
    patterns than sheep and cattle, and also than big game such as antelope and elk, no sound
    biological basis exists for permanently removing wild horses from the Wyoming Checkerboard at this time. In particular, wild horses tend to hang out in the uplands at a greater distance from water sources until they come to briefly drink water every day or two, whereas livestock congregate near water sources and riparian habitat causing concentrated damage to vegetation and soil. For this reason, the impacts of wild horses are far less noticeable on the Checkerboard than impacts from livestock.

    8. In addition, because livestock tend to eat somewhat different forage than wild
    horses (horses tend to eat coarser vegetation such as Canadian wild rye and other bunch grasses, whereas cattle and sheep mostly eat softer grasses), there is no justification to remove wild horses on the basis that insufficient forage exists to support the current population of wild horses.

    Also, because cattle and sheep have no front teeth on the front part of their upper jaws, they tend to pull and tear grasses or other forage out by the root causing some long-term damage to vegetation, whereas wild horses, which have front teeth on both their front upper and lower jaws, act more like a lawnmower and just clip the grass or forage (leaving the root uninjured), allowing the vegetation to quickly grow back. These differences are extremely significant because if there were a need to reduce the use of these BLM lands by animals to preserve these public lands, it might be cattle and sheep – not wild horses – that should be reduced to gain the most benefit for the lands, and which is why BLM, during my time as an agency official, focused on reducing livestock grazing.

    9. BLM’s agreement with RSGA states that RSGA’s conservation plan limited
    livestock grazing, primarily by sheep, to the winter months to provide sufficient winter forage.
    This is a good example of “multiple use” management, since wild horses and sheep have very little competition for the forage they consume and the seasons during which they use parts of the Checkerboard. During winter, sheep use the high deserts and horses utilize the uplands and breaks (i.e., different locations) for forage and protection. During the summer, when sheep are not present, wild horses use various landscapes on the Checkerboard. This multiple use should continue for the benefit of the livestock, the wild horses, and the public and private lands involved.

    10. I am also very concerned about BLM’s agreement with RSGA to permanently
    zero out the Salt Wells HMA and the Divide Basin HMA, leaving no wild horses in those areas that have long contained wild horses. I have been to fifteen of the sixteen HMAs in Wyoming, and to my knowledge none has ever been zeroed out by BLM. It is my view, based on everything I know about these areas and the way these public lands are used by wild horses and livestock, that BLM has no biological or ecological basis for zeroing out a herd of wild horses in an HMA that existed at the time the wild horse statute was passed in 1971, as is the case with both the Salt Wells and Divide Basin HMAs. And, again, because the wild horses have a statutory right to be there, whereas livestock only have a privilege that can be revoked at any time by BLM, there also is no authority or precedent, to my knowledge, for the agency to zero out these two longstanding wild horse herds simply to appease private livestock grazers.

    11. The zeroing out of wild horses in the Salt Wells and Divide Basin HMAs is also
    concerning because it would mean that, in those two longstanding HMAs, there would no longer be the “multiple use” of these public lands as required by both the Wild Horse Act and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act. Currently, while there are other uses of this public land, such as by wildlife, hunters, and recreational users, the two primary uses in those HMAs are by wild horses and livestock. If BLM proceeds with its agreement with RSGA to zero out wild horses in those HMAs, the only major use remaining would be livestock use, meaning that there would be no multiple use of those BLM lands. Not only will that potentially undermine the laws that BLM officials must implement here, but it has practical adverse effects on the resources – multiple use is very beneficial for the environment, and particularly for sensitive vegetation, because different users (e.g., livestock, wild horses) use the lands and vegetation in different ways. When that is eliminated, the resources are subjected to an unnatural use of the lands which can cause severe long-term damage to the vegetation. As a result, zeroing out these herds would likely be devastating for the vegetation in these two HMAs, because livestock would be by far the predominant use in this area.

    12. Turning the White Mountain HMA into a non-reproducing herd, as the agreement
    between BLM and RSGA proposes to do, is also a farce, and violates the meaning of a wild and free-roaming animal. This is essentially a slow-motion zeroing out of this HMA, and is
    inconsistent with any wild horse management approach I am familiar with that BLM has
    implemented on public lands.

    Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1746, I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true
    and correct.

    Lloyd Eisenhauer

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  9. BLM “team” conference calls and Alternate Management Options were obtained by the Freedom of Information Act by The Conquistador Program, a non-profit equine welfare organization in Phoenix,

    At the beginning of the BLM “team” notes: “All correspondence that is generated by
    this team” will not be “for the public”.

    BLM Alternative Management Options http://www.equinewelfareallian

    BLM Approved Minutes-Sacramento 06.15.09
    http://www.equinewelfareallian

    BLM Team Conference Calls 05.13.09 http://www.equinewelfareallian

    If large numbers of animals become eligible for euthanasia at one time or at one
    location…euthanasia could be performed on- or off-site.

    Under this option, any facility could become a focal point for public, media
    or Congressional attention. Increased levels of security would be needed at all
    locations, or the activity may need to be moved off-site to a more appropriate
    and secure facility.

    Increased support from public relations and management staff would also be needed to insulate those doing the actual work from public,media and Congressional scrutiny/criticism.

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    • Louie, this is what I have been trying to tell you. In 2005 the 97 Update of the International Plant Convention went into effect. In 1996 an experts group of the FAO met in Rome and agreed to include UN CBD Article 8 (h) into the 97 Update of IPPC.
      At signing, the US added three reservations. #3 was that there was nothing in the treaty that would prevent any nation from carrying out its own invasive species program. The BLM did not get into this (on paper) until 2005 because the 1971was still in effect. As of Oct. 2, 2005,international law did a de facto repeal of the 1971 Act.

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      • HoofHugs, you are right. We found that out when the Fish and Wildlife Service change the scientific listing of our Wild Burros and removed them from the Endangered List so that they could be captured and removed from the Cibola-Trigo Herd Management Area.

        FISH & WILDLIFE SERVICE SUED OVER SCIENTIFIC FRAUD DOCUMENTS
        Records Show Why Director Did Not Act After Investigations Proved Misconduct
        Posted on Jul 08, 2014
        http://www.peer.org/news/news-releases/2014/07/08/fish-and-wildlife-service-sued-over-scientific-fraud-documents/

        The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is wrongfully withholding documents detailing why top agency officials refused to act on findings of scientific integrity reviews confirming serious scientific misconduct by agency managers, according to a federal lawsuit filed today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). This stalemate signals that the vaunted new scientific integrity program inside FWS has broken down completely, apparently at the instigation of its Director Dan Ashe.
        In spring of 2013, two separate panels found two managers of the FWS Oklahoma Ecological Services field office guilty of scientific misconduct in two separate cases. Months followed without any action by FWS leadership. Approximately one year ago on July 11, 2013, Deputy Interior Inspector General Mary Kendall issued an extraordinary public rebuke in the form of a Management Advisory stating:
        “The Office of Inspector General (OIG) requests that immediate action be taken to address an unreasonable and inappropriate response regarding the discipline of two Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) supervisors who engaged in scientific misconduct and apparently retaliated against three FWS employees in 2012. The failure to take timely and appropriate management action by FWS senior leadership, including Director Dan Ashe, damages the credibility and integrity of the Department of Interior (DOI) and the FWS Science Program as well as senior leadership.”
        Besides Ashe, the OIG named Regional Director Benjamin Tuggle and Deputy Director Rowan Gould. Days later, FWS issued a statement that it “is pursuing all appropriate disciplinary actions to address the matters raised in the Inspector General’s Management Advisory.” Subsequent events, however, suggest that statement was untrue. A year later, there is no sign of the “appropriate” actions promised by FWS:

        The two guilty managers were not demoted or suspended. Instead, they were kicked upstairs through prestigious details until they ultimately found other jobs. One, Luke Bell, left to work for an oil company. Dixie Porter, the senior manager, eventually secured a high-level position with the U.S. Forest Service, although it is unclear if her new employers was apprised of the scientific integrity review findings about her deliberate misconduct;

        The three whistleblowing scientists who suffered a series of unpaid suspensions and other punishments have yet to get FWS to agree to redress the career damage they suffered; and

        FWS took no steps to withdraw a fraudulent paper cooked up by Porter and Bell to create a phony paper trail supporting their actions. The journal moved to withdraw the paper only after being contacted by a journalist.

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      • I am so sorry I have not replied to you. I have been ill for almost a year and a half, but I am coming back. I appreciate this so much. I have begun paying attention again to what is going on with the wild horses. Congress took the the ability of APHIS, USDA, FS for the. 2014 farm bill under the section of plant protection. I see other changes that could or could not have anything to do with finally finding people in Congress or people in the community who could add pressure possibly through state government. We had legislation to protect NC’s Corolla Wild Horses that passed the House in 2011, 2013, and 2015. Sen. Reid stopped all of them from going anywhere.
        On September 2015 President O included E. O. 13112 The Invasive Species Act in a larger E.O. to continue certain presidential advisory boards. Then on December 15, 2016, he issued an amended E.O. 13112. This shows that the left is determined to keep this land. FWS is not listed as the experts group in 44’s EO. I think FS and BLM are. This just shows that O knew what Sen. Reid was doing and had no objection to it. This began in 1971 when the US agreed to ratify the International Plant Protection Act. For the record, E.O. 13112 is Article 8h of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

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      • And there’s more

        FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE
        Service Manufactures Scientific Studies to Support Politically Negotiated Deals
        Posted on Feb 10, 2014
        http://www.peer.org/news/news-releases/2014/02/10/from-wolves-to-beetles-–-fish-and-wildlife-science-tarnished/

        One common element of two embarrassing episodes is that FWS officials tried to support the agency position by writing their own scientific studies and placing them in non-peer-reviewed journals. In the case of the gray wolf, the agency’s proposal rested on one FWS study which rewrote the entire taxonomy of the species. The expert panel, which FWS tried to purge last summer, rejected that gambit, declaring “unanimity among the panel that the rule does not currently represent the ‘best available science.’” In discussing the FWS study, one peer reviewer stated:
        “I checked the authorship of the paper and they are four people who work for the Service. I don’t know how the USFWS works in general, but if you are trying to say ‘this is the best available scientific evidence’ and then have the paper written internally?”

        Another reviewer concurred, adding:
        “I agree it is problematic….It is curious why they only involved FWS scientists and it be published in Flora and Fauna. I think it is a journal that hasn’t had an issue since 1991.”

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      • There really are no international laws only international treaties, and the only way a treaty can be signed is if Congress agrees. PL92-195 is still in effect, albeit with the Burns Amendment slipped into the appropriations bill in 2005 without anyone in Congress knowing/debating it. It cannot be stripped because committee reports cannot be amended — this is a flaw in our system with crooks like Burns taking advantage. In 2006, Burns was one of the 20 most corrupt members of Congress.

        Liked by 1 person

      • President Clinton signed the Convention of Biological Diversity June 4, 1992, after President George H. W. Bush refused to sign it because he said it would destroy our economy. However, some lobbyists from the American Sheep Institute came across what is known as the Wildlands Project. They lobbied Senator Mitchell not to vote on it, so he postponed it. By the months end, they had been sent a global map of the Wildlands Project at which time, Senator Mitchell, decided with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee not to bring the treaty for a vote. Needless to say this was a big blow for the Clinton-Gore administration. Article 8h of the treaty was based on President Carter’s E.O. 19870 The Exotic Organism’s Act on May 24, 1976. was in effect and had been used in the 80’s and 90’s to remove feral livestock from NC’s OBX and then to test wild Spanish Mustangs, closely related to the last wild horses in the US, for EiA. The NPS & NCDOA classified those that tested appeared healthy though their blood test was positive as non-infected carriers. These two agencies euthanized 85 members of the herd.

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  10. Thank you for again R.T for speaking the truth and for the pep talk – I needed that.

    Although there are many pieces to this puzzle and all are worth our time to pursue with letters and phone calls and emails and research and spreading the word and definitely worthy of our outrage, the one thing that haunts me daily is the comparison of seeing our wild ones suffering in BLM holding feed-lots vs seeing our wild ones with their families on their land wild and free as mother nature (and the law) requires. This makes my heart hurt and my eyes leak tears. It is my belief that the horses’ and burros’ hearts break from this too. They have done no wrong.

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    • My eyes are leaking tears too, grandmagregg. How can we fight a corrupt system where scientific names can be changed willy-nilly, and “professionals” are not held accountable. How do we fight corrupt judges, and ignorant agency bureaucrats? We do it by not giving up, and by providing a sound plan that will bring back our desertifying lands. Holistic range management is a proven method that brings back the land through animal impact and timed grazing just as the million strong herds of mustangs and bison of old did. We offer them proof that what they are doing destroys the land it does not help it. We fight them with the law, we fight them with citizen awareness. We fight them. We don’t give up. With tears streaming down my face, we don’t give up. We can’t.
      Marjorie

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  11. A very dark day indeed, R.T..)-: It breaks my heart knowing that more of our beautiful wild mustangs will be losing their families and their freedom to roam, as they have for so many years. I agree, we can never give up, because justice will and must prevail, eventually, for those seeking it. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtfully committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead Thank you R.T.

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  12. Under Interior’s various agencies, BLM is the largest, yet is allocated the least amount of money…hardly a coincidence, when you consider what they have to manage and who they have to please, and it’s no accident, either.
    Letters from celebrities and Congress yield no action. BLM is well-insulated from responsibility. In an RAC meeting a few years ago, a private-lands rancher asked a field office manager why the grazing fees on Public land remain so low. The manager replied, somewhat sarcastically, that it would literally take an act of Congress to change the status quo.
    Our wild horses and burros are managed by an agency that is in turn ‘advised’ by a group of people – all of whom have virtually no interest in protecting these animals. Unlike Fish and Wildlife, who will defend in documents many of the animals under their purview, the Bureau is so careful to remain either neutral or full on adversarial concerning wild horses and burros.
    So protecting them falls to us.
    It’s a matter of pride how many advocates have become citizen scientists and book-learned lawyers. Every time an advocate delivers a well-studied response to an Environmental Assessment or cites a portion of the law so deeply buried it hasn’t seen the light of day in a decade, a chip comes off the wall. And while the Bureau scrambles to fix the hole, advocates run off in another direction, doing a little more damage.
    It’s slow, and labor intensive and expensive. But I believe it’s producing results. And finally, there will be no place for piss-poor wild horse and burro management to go but into defending these animals.

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  13. HoofHugs, I have paid attention to what you have said and have even reposted some of your research on various public formats where others can read and evaluate it.
    What we need is enough specific data, including names, so that a plan of action can be implemented.

    Like

  14. All on here speak to our hearts – we feel helpless and flustered, not heard or listened to. We do what we can, but there are so many on here who do so much of the hard work and put in so many hours of their time – I know they sometimes must feel even worse than most of us who only put in our time emailing, writing, calling and donating, we are spread so far around the country and so much more in our lives is happening—we are all angry and hurt- but we will figure this out for the horses- for me it is only for the horses.

    This little guy tells it like I know most of us feel every day. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VaxQmvfbWaY&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    Like

      • Everyone should get to see this. I’m going to post it on my page. Even without the ultimate end at the slaughter house, there is only so much a person can look into those eyes and not see the terror and the fear. For what? So we can use more public land for private beef. We own those horses. We the people, not the Federal Government . That’s our land and we should have a bigger voice in how it is used than the big private Cattle Ranchers,

        Like

      • the range was being overgrazed by domestic livestock and wild horses SO THE ONLY ALTERNATIVE WAS TO REMOVE THE WILD HORSES!!! Well that mindset hasn’t changed, has it? And it makes no more sense now than it did than…

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    • Martha – watched both videos (12 & 32 year old) This girl was amazing at 12! How sad & irresponsible (of all of us) that so little has changed since then. Looking back at the response to Wild Horse Annie & what she accomplished mainly with the help of kids – our world needs that kind of caring more than ever. Thanks so much for that video – will share it.

      Like

  15. Enough is enough. I think it is time for all advocates to contact the Department of Justice, and RESPECTFULLY request help based on all the the corruption and fraud going on with them here, and in so many other cases. Be specific in your request. Begin your note with: I need your agency to (investigate) (stop) (help) (prevent) etc. Cutting and pasting this entire blog would be a good way to start, and copy any comments and paste that are relevant. …. I would probably just go with the AskDOJ@usdoj.gov email address, and Title it to Eric Holder, Attorney General of the United States.
    I would also let them know about the Wyoming atrocity that is going to start soon. Carol Walker: ‘BLM is being “very vague even about when they will allow public observation, saying it depends upon weather, if it is on private land or not, and told us they will inform us the night before public observation is available – basically making it as hard to get there and be there as possible.”

    Louie…you’re an encyclopedia of information to get to them……. 🙂

    This is the contact information page. http://www.justice.gov/contact-us.html

    Here is a clean copy to paste into your contact email with a link to the Gazette article.

    “Ex-BLM Officials Indicted in Elaborate Fraud Scheme
    By Clair Johnson as published in the Billings Gazette

    http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/ex-blm-officials-indicted-in-elaborate-fraud-scheme/article_d7c75cd2-9070-5ee5-be61-cb1a45747628.html

    Two former high-level federal Bureau of Land Management officials who worked in Virginia, including a deputy state director from Montana, have denied criminal charges accusing them of defrauding the government in an employment scheme.

    A federal indictment filed in U.S. District Court in Great Falls accuses Larry Ray Denny, 66, of Box Elder, and John Grimson Lyon, 60, of Clifton, Va., of devising a scheme in which Denny continued to receive his $112,224 annual salary and benefits as a BLM deputy state director even though he left and never returned to his job.

    Rather, Denny relocated to Montana where he contracted with the Chippewa Cree Tribe for drilling and consulting work.

    Prosecutors also allege Denny claimed sick leave and regular pay while gone from his BLM job but that bank records showed he visited various golf courses and traveled to Las Vegas, Arizona and around Montana.

    Denny, who was deputy state director for natural resources for the BLM’s Eastern States Office in Springfield, Va., pleaded not guilty to four counts during a Sept. 4 arraignment before U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith Strong in Great Falls.

    Denny’s attorney, Penny Strong of Billings, could not be reached for comment Thursday.

    Lyon, who was the BLM state director for the Eastern States in Springfield, Va., pleaded not guilty to three counts during an Aug. 19 arraignment before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Holter. The indictment was filed in July and unsealed with Lyon’s appearance.

    Lyon is represented by Evangelo Arvanetes, an assistant federal defender in Great Falls. Arvanetes could not be reached for comment. Holter ordered Lyon to pay $300 a month for attorney fees.

    Laura Weiss, a spokeswoman and prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, could not be reached for comment.

    The BLM fraud case is the latest in a series of indictments that have come from investigations by the U.S. Department of Interior’s Office of Inspector General into fraud and corruption on Rocky Boy’s Reservation.

    The investigations already have led to convictions of former state Rep. Tony Belcourt and several contractors who provided kickbacks on federal contracts.

    The indictment charges Denny and Lyon with wire fraud, false claims and theft of government property. Denny also faces a count of federal false statements regarding outside income.

    Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Weldon said in the indictment that under the scheme, Denny left his BLM post “with the knowledge and approval” of Lyon, his supervisor, to relocate to Montana to pursue other business interests as a consultant with the Chippewa Cree Tribe and “for all intents and purposes” abandoned his federal job “without relinquishing payment” as an employee.

    Lyon is accused of perpetuating Denny’s fraudulent wage claims by approving and submitting false information to the BLM.

    The scheme began in about June or July 2012, the indictment said, when Denny told Lyon he needed to return to Montana to “overcome health-related issues.” Denny left BLM’s Springfield office in July 2012 and never returned.

    But from July 2012 until March 23, 2013, Denny was paid for 550 hours of regular work, 461 hours of sick leave, 389 hours of annual leave and 72 hours for federal holidays, the indictment said. During that time, bank account activity showed Denny went to golf courses and traveled to Las Vegas, Arizona and in and around Montana.

    In a 2012 job appraisal, Lyon rated Denny’s performance as “exceptional,” which led to Denny getting a $3,262 cash award in November 2012, the indictment said.

    When BLM employees asked about Denny’s status for business reasons, Lyon refused to provide any information, claiming federal laws about releasing health information prohibited him from disclosing such information, the indictment said.

    Meanwhile, in January 2012, the Chippewa Cree Tribe, located on the Rocky Boy’s Reservation in north central Montana, contracted with Denny Technical Services for drilling-related services, including exploration, energy use projects, research on mineral lease agreements, development of drilling programs and communication with relevant agencies.

    Denny negotiated the contract with the tribe, while his daughter, Misty Ann Denny, also known as Misty Brooks, executed the agreement, the indictment said.

    For a year beginning in March 2012, Denny received about $67,243 from the tribe in addition to his BLM salary and benefits, the indictment said. Of the amount from the tribe, Denny received about $49,000 during 2012 and did not report it on a federal confidential financial disclosure report, the indictment said.

    The indictment also includes forfeiture allegations seeking a money judgment of $112,302 and other property that may be traced to the alleged crimes.

    If convicted, Denny and Lyon face a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the wire fraud charge.

    Both men were released pending trial. The case will be heard by U.S. District Judge Brian Morris of Great Falls.”

    Like

    • Christy, this information is probably the tip of the iceberg when looking for corruption at the BLM. They are crooks turned loose in a vault, unable to control their greed. Excellent links and sound advice to share. Thank you.

      Like

  16. They choose a time when our Presidents entrenched in International life or death issues so that the rats can play while Serious Issues are entrenching everyone. Thats the name of their game.

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    • Dear Coltswesternshop with all of the Presidents problems , this is the easiest to fix , one stroke of his pen !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! an Execurive Order !!!!!!!

      Like

      • Wow! I didn’t think of that! Here’s where we can email Obama–they say that’s the fastest way to reach him, on the prior page, which I’ll post too in case some want to phone or write. http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/submit-questions-and-comments http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/write-or-call#call I’m going to ask for an executive order on the whole BLM, Wyoming especially, but all states too, to stop the criminal roundups immediately, at the minimum, remove BLM from their job and give i to all of us protecting the horses and burros and land and revoke the grazing permits and laws. We may as well ask for everything, environment, human rights, no more killing. On and on. I think it is common practice for presidents to do near end of term. Maybe get the horsies saved, then see if he can fix the election process and the big money criminal stuff–it may help the rest be easier to fix.

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  17. Seems like if we all band together somehow, and also ask for any attorneys who might like to donate time and energy (pro bono) especially attorneys who might be familiar with these types of issues, working to oppose these slick lobbyists, and moneyed ghouls, just wish this terrible time in our history was behind us.

    Like

  18. Hoping there might be some attorneys out there who would be willing to donate some time and energy, to the wild horse and burro issue, especially attorneys or legal assistants who are familiar in dealing with these slick lobbyists, and political machines.

    Like

    • I also hope that they will, even knowing no monetary gain, but could they just imagine , the exposure would be phenominal !!!!!!! Just knowing the astonomical effect on the world !!!! WOW it would be so worth it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and the sadisfaction of saving the most wanted, needed ecologically , enviormentally sound , most beautiful animal to ever grace our earth !!!!!!!!! Line up aspirering Law Atturnies !!!! !!!!!!! This is your chance to do something awesome !!!!!!!!!!!! And secure yourself !!!!! Your name in the annuals of History !!!!!! GO for it !!!!!!!!!!!

      Like

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