Horse News

I-Team finds serious problems in public land report

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LAS VEGAS — A task force believes Nevada could reap hundreds of millions of dollars annually if it can wrest control of vast chunks of federal land.

Nevada legislators armed with the report from the Nevada Land Management Task Force are expected to ask Congress for more than 7 million acres, and that’s just for starters.

What this potential change could mean for hunters, hikers and others who have had unfettered access to public land remains unknown. But is the report slanted?

Nevada has tried many times before, either through requests, demands or threats, to gain control of more public land from federal agencies that oversee more than 80 percent of the acreage within state boundaries. Other western states have done likewise, but the heat has really been turned up in recent months.

A closer look at the task force report shows that it uses many of the same arguments and specious evidence that have been advanced across the West. While some arguments in favor of the land swap are persuasive, the 8 News NOW I-Team found serious problems with the study.

The task force, which was created by the Nevada Legislature, issued recommendations that represent a blueprint for a public land revolution in the state. As the I-Team recently reported in a project about public lands, Nevada has the highest percentage of federal land in the country and has been griping about it since the 1970s.

Anger bubbled to the surface last spring outside Cliven Bundy’s cattle ranch in Bunkerville. That’s where Bundy and his supporters engaged in an armed standoff with law enforcement authorities over a grazing dispute on land overseen by the Bureau of Land Management.

The task force report argues that federal control has stifled economic development and that the state could do a better job managing public land. One projection is that the state could reap more than $200 million annually if given control of more than 7 million acres identified in the report, much of it along the Interstate 80 corridor in northern Nevada. Other targeted land includes all BLM acreage designated as solar energy zones and all land with geothermal potential.

“I think the people who live and work in this state have a better idea of what resources are available and how they can best be managed,” said Geoff Lawrence, director of research and legislative affairs at the Nevada Policy Research Institute.

The free market think tank has joined the chorus of voices seeking large-scale land transfers to the state, agreeing with the task force that Nevada stands to make more money from such uses as mining, hiking, hunting, movie production and even pine nut picking.

There’s little doubt, though, what the big money maker could be…(CONTINUED)

Click (HERE) to read the rest of the story and to comment at Channel 8

13 replies »

  1. Good article, although I don’t like BLM management, Nevada state management could be wayyyyy worse! Greedy ranchers and energy developers!


  2. FYI


    What is the current status of this investigation?


    The BLM has still not received an update from the IG on this investigation. Until they provide a report, we have nothing else to report. The investigation is on their time schedule, not BLM’s. Thank you.
    Debbie Collins
    Bureau of Land Management – National WH&B Program
    405-234-5935/918-625-5292 –
    200 NW 4th St, Room 2401, OKC,OK, 73102

    Question: What is the BLM’s reaction to allegations regarding horse sales to Tom Davis of Colorado, as reported by Pro Publica?
    Answer: The BLM condemns any sale of wild horses for slaughter. We care deeply about the well-being of wild horses, both on and off the range, and it has been (and remains) the policy of the BLM not to sell or send wild horses or burros to slaughter. We take seriously all accusations of the slaughter of wild horses or burros. The Office of the Inspector General at the Department of the Interior has initiated an investigation into the situation and will work in conjunction with the State of Colorado throughout its investigation. We look forward to the results of that inquiry. Anybody that is found to have violated the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act should be held accountable.


  3. LAST “UPDATE” SEPT. 15, 2014
    Release Date: 08/15/14
    Contacts: WHB Information Line , 866-468-7826

    BLM Investigates Wild Horse Deaths at Kansas Corral

    Scott City, Kan.—The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has launched an investigation into the cause of death for 57 wild horses that were recently transferred to a corral in Scott City, Kan. The BLM, which manages 49,200 wild horses and burros on the range and 47,300 in open pastures and corrals, strives to ensure that herd sizes on the range remain in a healthy balance with other public rangeland resources and uses and places a priority on the well-being of the animals in its care.

    After removal from the range, the BLM aims to place animals that are not adopted onto open pastures, often in the Midwest. In March 2014, an open-pasture contractor in Kansas informed the BLM that he would not renew his existing five-year contract, requiring the BLM to remove about 1,900 animals (1,500 mares and 400 geldings) by June 1, 2014. Due to concerns about the older age of many of the animals and the stress associated with being moved, the BLM worked to find an appropriate facility as close as possible to the open pasture. The BLM located an in-state facility that could accommodate the animals and began moving 1,493 mares to the Scott City corral. The transfers were completed on June 22.

    On Aug. 5, the contractor informed the BLM that a number of the transferred mares died between June 22 and Aug. 5; as of Aug. 15, a total of 57 transferred mares had died. On Aug. 12, a team of BLM personnel and a veterinarian from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service arrived on site. The team is investigating the situation; determining the causes of death; evaluating the facility, the corral feed and feeding practices; and taking actions to support the short- and long-term needs of the horses. After arrival, the team euthanized an additional 13 mares that were determined to have little to no chance for survival due to health issues.

    Preliminary findings from the team’s USDA large animal veterinarian indicate that the animals died as a result of their age combined with stress from the recent relocation, the shift from pasture to corral environment and the change from pasture feed to processed hay feed. There is no indication of infectious or contagious diseases being the cause.

    “Our team is working closely with the corral operator to make adjustments to the care of the animals,” said USDA veterinarian Dr. Al Kane, who is on the investigation team. “The horses have been fed three times a day since the beginning. In addition to increasing the amount of feed being offered during feedings, we’ve worked with the onsite veterinarian and the operator to increase the energy density of the horses’ feed by increasing the ratio of alfalfa to grass in the hay mix. This helps support the horses’ nutritional needs during the transition from open-pasture to the corral environment,” he added.

    Once the investigation is concluded, the team will complete a report that will be made publicly available.

    The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2013, the BLM generated $4.7 billion in receipts from public lands.
    Last updated: 09-15-2014


    • Why isn’t the BLM giving an update on Scott City? they claim to be transparent, but the BLM’s website is mostly PR spin, and very little data. why do we, the American taxpayers, need to file Freedom of Information Act requests for meaningful, true data?


  4. Re: Scott City
    About a month ago, the following questions were asked of BLM:
    Please provide me with an update of the Scott City, Kansas wild horse situation.
    I understand that preliminary necropsy reports are generally available within 48 hours and final reports are available between 15-45 days.
    Have the necropsy reports been completed for the Scott City wild horse deaths last summer?
    When will the necropsy reports be available to the public?
    What is the total death count?
    How many horses were examined, i.e. underwent the necropsy procedure?
    What facility did the necropsies?
    What were the findings of the necropsy reports?
    What procedures were activated to prevent a further and future occurrences wild horse deaths at the Scott City facility?

    Eventually got this response from BLM:
    Until I have the final report that will be posted online, I do not have the info you requested. However, we will not be reporting any necropsy results. I would have to check to see if those are available or if you will need to request them through a FOIA. I’ll get back to you and let you know for sure. Thank you.
    Debbie Collins
    Bureau of Land Management
    National WH&B Program Specialist


  5. There should also be an audit to follow the money that changed hands along the way… the roundup contractor, the short term holding facility, the first long term holding facility, the stock yard in Scott City and all of the transport costs along the way.
    Those captive Wild Mares should never have been captured in the first place.


      • Starry-I had no idea this agency even existed, this whole government is so out of control, it boggles the mind and if we don’t think those “bait ” animals they use aren’t being shot from the plane and they don’t include horses and burros along with other wildlife – well they consider the horses and burros pests so why not. We know they aren’t using cows as bait.


  6. Oldie but goodie from the Government Accountability Office:
    For BLM lands and western Forest Service lands, grazing is a major program … In fiscal year 2004, federal agencies spent a total of at least $144 million … The 10 federal agencies’ grazing fees generated about $21 million in fiscal year 2004–less than one-sixth of the expenditures to manage grazing.


  7. I think congressman Harry Reid has a lot to do with Nevada wanting to take over a huge chunk of public land, keep in mind he represents that state in DC and his sons are relatively wealthy so where did all of them get their money? Mr.Reid was born and raised in a poor trailer park in Nevada now he lives in a swank hotel in DC when he is in town. This man is only one of the crooked politicians in both the Senate and the House that have blocked every bill introduced to stop horse slaughter.


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