Proposed Collection of Information on Wild Horses and Burros; BLM Requests Comments

The BLM is now planning to do a “knowledge and values study” on wild horses & burros using focus groups.  The focus groups are to include the usual special interest groups (the same ones that are so vocal against wild horses & burros on the BLM Resource Advisory Councils/RACs).

Most of us aren’t perusing the Federal Register on a daily basis, but an advocate alerted us to the notice below.  We should all ask WHO will APPOINT/SELECT the people who will take part in these focus groups.  The BLM proposes to have “guides” (a prepared agenda) for the groups, presumably to limit the topics you can talk about.  The questions/discussions will then likely be designed to lead you to whatever predetermined outcome the BLM wants.  Read HERE about the BLM and use of the Delphi Technique.

This is not free speech.  Will the topics include the delay of the issuance of the investigation report of the 1,700 wild horses Tom Davis bought?  Will the focus groups be updated on the current number of deaths of wild horses at the BLM’s Scott City, Kansas feedlot?  Will the participants be able to review any vet reports or necropsy reports from the Scott City feedlot?

This undemocratic process seems to be a way for the BLM to feign interest in listening to the public,  while in reality, it continues its efforts to contrive what could seem to the public to be some sort of a consensus.

I wonder if the BLM will ever have focus groups or advisory councils on wild horse & burro issues that are composed ONLY of real wild horse & burro advocates, who all care about the welfare of the wild horses and burros (instead of special interest “stakeholders” who focus on how to get rid of them).  The comment period for this proposed focus group farce ends May 11, 2015.  This is destined to be another unscientific “study” as the BLM continues to operate like a dog chasing its tail. – Debbie Coffey


This document has a comment period that ends in 58 days (05/11/2015) How To Comment

Action

60 Day Notice And Request For Comments.

Summary

In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will ask the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to approve the information collection (IC) described below, and invites public comments on the proposed IC.

Table of Contents

DATES:

Please submit comments on the proposed information collection by May 11, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

Comments may be submitted by mail, fax, or electronic mail. Mail: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, 1849 C Street NW., Room 2134LM, Attention: Jean Sonneman, Washington, DC 20240. Fax: to Jean Sonneman at 202-245-0050. Electronic mail: Jean_Sonneman@blm.gov. Please indicate “Attn: 1004-NEW” regardless of the form of your comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Sarah Bohl at (202) 912-7263. Persons who use a telecommunication device for the deaf may call the Federal Information Relay Service on 1-800-877-8339, to contact Ms. Bohl. You may contact Ms. Bohl to obtain a copy, at no cost, of the draft discussion guides for the focus groups and in-depth interviews described in this 60-day notice. You may also contact Ms. Bohl to obtain a copy, at no cost, of the regulations that authorize this collection of information.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Proposed Information Collection

Title: Knowledge and Values Study Regarding the Management of Wild Horses and Burros.

OMB Control Number: 1004-NEW.

Frequency: On occasion.

Respondents’ obligation: Voluntary.

Abstract: The BLM protects and manages wild horses and burros that roam Western public rangelands, under the authority of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act (Act), 16 U.S.C. 1331-1340. The Act requires that wild horses and burros be managed in a manner that is designed to achieve and maintain a thriving natural ecological balance on the public lands. 16 U.S.C. 1333(a). Stakeholders and the general public hold a variety of views on how wild horses and burros should be managed. The BLM has determined that conducting focus groups, in-depth interviews, and a national survey will lead to a better understanding of public perceptions, values, and preferences regarding the management of wild horses and burros on public rangelands.

After reviewing public comments and making appropriate revisions, the BLM will include the discussion guides in a request for OMB approval. Upon receiving OMB approval, the BLM will conduct the focus groups and in-depth interviews. The results of focus groups and in-depth interviews will be used to help design a national survey, which will be the second and final phase of the research.

The BLM will prepare a draft of the national survey and publish a second 60-day notice and invite public comments on the draft national survey. After reviewing public comments and making appropriate revisions, the BLM will include the national survey in a request for OMB approval. Upon receiving OMB approval, the BLM will conduct the national survey.

Need and Proposed Use: The proposed research was recommended by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences in a 2013 report, Using Science to Improve the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program: A Way Forward. Conducting the focus groups and in-depth interviews will enable the researchers to characterize the range of preferences that exist for wild horse and burro management. The national survey will then assess the distribution of these preferences across the larger population. The research results will assist the BLM to more effectively manage wild horses and burros by providing information to:

  • Help evaluate the benefits and costs of competing rangeland uses and various management options;
  • Help identify areas of common ground and opportunities for collaboration with stakeholder groups; and
  • Communicate more effectively with the public and with stakeholder groups.

Description of Respondents: The BLM intends to survey a variety of respondents for this project by conducting focus groups, in-depth interviews, and a nationally representative survey. For the focus groups and in-depth interviews, the primary respondents will be individuals belonging to a variety of organizations that have previously lobbied, commented on program policy or activities, or have otherwise sought influence with the BLM in regard to its wild horse and burro program. Representatives of wild horse and burro advocacy groups, domestic horse owners, wild horse adopters, the Western livestock grazing community, environmental conservationists, hunters, and public land managers will be included. Nine focus groups across three locations around the country and up to 12 in-depth interviews will be conducted with individuals from these groups. Focus group participants will be recruited by BLM’s research contractor through a variety of approaches tailored to the communities participating in the discussions. In addition, four focus groups (spread across two locations) will be conducted with the general public to explore public understanding of various terms and issues involved in wild horse and burro management so that the questionnaire for the national survey can effectively communicate the relevant topics.

II. Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping Burden

The estimated reporting burden for this collection is 142 responses and 272 hours. There will be no non-hour burdens. The following table details the individual components and estimated hour burdens of this collection.

Activity Estimated number of respondents Estimated number of responses per respondent Completion time per response Total burden hours
Focus Groups 130 (13 groups) 1 120 mins 15,600 mins/260 hrs.
In-depth Interviews 12 1 60 mins 720 mins/12 hrs.
Totals 142 272 hrs.

III. Request for Comments

OMB regulations at 5 CFR 1320, which implement provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501-3521), require that interested members of the public and affected agencies be provided an opportunity to comment on information collection and recordkeeping activities (see 5 CFR 1320.8(d) and 1320.12(a)). The BLM will request that the OMB approve this information collection activity for a 3-year term.

Comments are invited on: (1) The need for the collection of information for the performance of the functions of the agency; (2) the accuracy of the agency’s burden estimates; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information collection; and (4) ways to minimize the information collection burden on respondents, such as use of automated means of collection of the information. A summary of the public comments will accompany the BLM’s submission of the information collection requests to OMB.

Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

 Jean Sonneman,

Information Collection Clearance Officer, Bureau of Land Management.

[FR Doc. 2015-05623 Filed 3-11-15; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4310-84-P

22 comments on “Proposed Collection of Information on Wild Horses and Burros; BLM Requests Comments

  1. Google “The Delphi Technique” and you will see that, on this specific issue (like many others) it is a perfect description of DOI/BLM behaviour and their plan of action. Berman teaches this to his “clients”

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  2. I will be submitting my comment. BLM changed their “Strategy” 10 years ago in response to comments – unfortunately, the comments were obviously from industrialists, livestockers and domestic grazers. Ask to be part of the interview process. BLM is processing this notice because they HAVE to. Do NOT allow “advocate” groups to feed you letters to send with inbred multiple endorsements from under their umbrellas.

    Speak as the American you are. One person, one voice, one vote.

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    • Ten years ago was 2005. This was the year that the 1997 Update of the International Plant Protection Convention (ratified 10/2000) went into force. This was when Senators Reid and Burns rider to allow sale of horses over ten to be sold for intended slaughter w/o limitation. There are policies in place that are posted, but we either ignore or do not understand that they were put there to get rid of our horses.

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    • We thought the enemy was corporations, but over and over again in the horse peace, the corporations fund the non-governmental organizations to tie up use of land that the corporations want to control. It is so obvious through the wild horse and burro threads, and though present in several other threads, the key parts are continually omitted.

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  3. I don’t know what type of curricula you studied when you went through high school and college or what you may have learned on the job or on your own, but there are characteristics of the ways scientists do research and how they document that research. When you get to an original article on a subject and those tools and techniques are absent and a story is in its place, it is not science. Much of what is happening to us as a nation is because people have a political agenda they have tried to disguise as science. Therefore, it is critical when we real something to get to the original source. I think the problem is that because so many of us would never do what has been done to us because we just aren’t wired up that way, we cannot imagine that someone else would do this to us. Now there are so many falsehoods that many believe to the center of their being are true, it is going to be difficult to present information in such a way that the the truth can be seen and understood.

    We must insist on scientific transparency. When we hear propaganda about Congress insisting on seeing original data and research, we must understand that this is common practice in research. In fact, most scientific papers are presented in public meetings and the scientists explain their research or the research is published in peer reviewed journals. However, research that is peer reviewed by some groups is worthless because they are all involved in telling the same false narratives. Therefore, we can not just settle for the explanation that the article was peer reviewed. Some of these groups have 100’s of members and can call up a consensus in a heartbeat.

    They believe that they do not need to show up research because we are so weak and easily led, that if they can get the consensus large enough they can convince us to give up what is helpful or at least not harmful if they convince us our survival depends upon it. Survival being defined as food and water, our livelihoods, our reputations, or the survival of our clan. On the other hand, these insidious smiling fraudsters believe they can also use consensus to get us to behave in ways that are harmful to us and against our best interest if we believe that the consensus of experts are telling us that we need to do it.

    The IUCN experts spend a lot of time writing articles about how to use language to connect to our neurological pathways to get us to change our perceptions about phenomena–why I guess the horse is now a plant trampling pest that threatens the environment—though the horse has been present since the continent was practically sitting on the equator and the land was largely covered with shallow seas. Here is the quandry—they know they are committing fraud because the cover up is so complete. Scientists in our country that study the latest news in the multiple disciplines that inform us about the history of the horse in North America know the truth, but still journals themselves have become political—therefore, we must be diligent and find those sources.

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  4. At first I was angry that the BLM Report did not address the origin of the horse. But perhaps what the authors of the study did say was more powerful—if we recognize it for what it is. They repeatedly said that they were limited the scope of their report to science alone. My first reaction was, “Well, then you should address this question because it is answered through science.” Except, in this country, science is not providing the answer. The answer is political. Therefore, by not addressing but adding that the paper was limited to science, they essentially admitted that the truth was there, but they could not tell it. Then, they referred to an open access article published in 2005,(also referred to in Jensen’s Rise of the Horse–as he, too, failed to answer the question correctly through limiting himself to fossils alone–).

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  5. Yes, Hoofhugs, you need to submit your comment. i want to be a fly on the wall when they start to read your rational, fair and precise thought process and understand. Thank you! And you too Louise C – everyone PLEASE do it.

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  6. Talk about BLM chasing its own tail – and their supposed “scientific research” – here is a good example.

    You may remember that a few years ago the BLM Director’s Challenge awarded $300,000 to assist field offices in on-the-ground volunteer field research about our wild horses and burros and our public lands. When contacted, the Eagle Lake (Twin Peaks) field office representative stated that the volunteers would be assigning ALL use and/or abuse found on the public lands range to the wild horses and burros. When asked how the usage would be differentiated between the domestic livestock (about 82% per BLM AUM data) and the wild horse and burro usage (about 18%) the BLM representative said again and again that ALL usage discovered and documented would be shown as wild horse and burro usage – regardless of the fact livestock was permitted about 5 times more than the permitted wild horses and burro usage. No kidding!

    BTW, per information I acquired, the Eagle Lake/Surprise BLM field offices never approved a single volunteer for this project although they did KEEP $ 9,000 of the $ 25,000 that was supposed to go to this research.

    http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/info/newsroom/2012/march/nr_03_22_2012.html

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  7. Good information here to bring to the BLM’s attention:

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/enhanced/doi/10.1111/1365-2664.12166/;jsessionid=3D9A321DA1522D4F24D9D3E0537F5C79.f04t03?regionCode=US-CO&identityKey=e76083f4-8775-4244-9eca-208ee13af2a9&isReportingDone=true

    [the following is all quoted material]

    REVIEW: Ecological feedbacks can reduce population-level efficacy of wildlife fertility control

    Jason I. Ransom, Jenny G. Powers, Heidi M. Garbe, Michael W. Oehler, Terry M. Nett, Dan L. Baker, Behavior of feral horses in response to culling and GnRH immunocontraception, Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 2014, 157, 81
    Summary

    Anthropogenic stress on natural systems, particularly the fragmentation of landscapes and the extirpation of predators from food webs, has intensified the need to regulate abundance of wildlife populations with management. Controlling population growth using fertility control has been considered for almost four decades, but nearly all research has focused on understanding effects of fertility control agents on individual animals. Questions about the efficacy of fertility control as a way to control populations remain largely unanswered.
    Collateral consequences of contraception can produce unexpected changes in birth rates, survival, immigration and emigration that may reduce the effectiveness of regulating animal abundance. The magnitude and frequency of such effects vary with species-specific social and reproductive systems, as well as connectivity of populations. Developing models that incorporate static demographic parameters from populations not controlled by contraception may bias predictions of fertility control efficacy.
    Many population-level studies demonstrate that changes in survival and immigration induced by fertility control can compensate for the reduction in births caused by contraception. The most successful cases of regulating populations using fertility control come from applications of contraceptives to small, closed populations of gregarious and easily accessed species.
    Fertility control can result in artificial selection pressures on the population and may lead to long-term unintentional genetic consequences. The magnitude of such selection is dependent on individual heritability and behavioural traits, as well as environmental variation.
    Synthesis and applications. Understanding species’ life-history strategies, biology, behavioural ecology and ecological context is critical to developing realistic expectations of regulating populations using fertility control. Before time, effort and funding are invested in wildlife contraception, managers may need to consider the possibility that many species and populations can compensate for reduction in fecundity, and this could minimize any reduction in population growth rate.

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    • NEVADA

      569.008. “Feral livestock” defined
      “Feral livestock” means any formerly domesticated livestock or progeny of domesticated livestock which have become wild and are running at large upon public or private lands in the State of Nevada, and which have no physical signs of domestication.
      The term does not include horses or burros that are subject to the jurisdiction of the Federal Government pursuant to the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, 16 U.S.C. §§ 1331 to 1340, inclusive, and any regulations adopted pursuant thereto, or any other federal statute or regulation.
      http://nationalaglawcenter.org/wp-content/uploads/assets/fencelaw/nevada.pdf

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      • Louie, interesting. I wonder how anyone can identify the offspring of feral horses and positively differentiate them from offspring of wild horses––especially as bachelors are exiled from their home bands, and fillies get added to other harems?

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  8. The Agenda for the 21st Century, UN Agenda 21, is the action plan to inventory and control all land, water, minerals, plants, animals, construction, means of production, energy, means of exchange, education, law enforcement, information, and human beings in the world.

    Moving human beings out of rural and suburban areas and into dense city centers where they can be managed, controlled, and surveilled is vital to this plan. Blocking dissent and propagandizing the populace is key to the implementation of this global totalitarian plan.

    The Delphi technique can be overcome if you work in teams and continue to do outreach. Please see our websites for more information on anti-Delphi. Debbie Coffey has done tremendous research linking BLM’s destruction of the wild horse and UN Agenda 21.
    Rosa Koire
    Post Sustainability Institute

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  9. Thank you Rosa.
    This could all be connected to the systematic removal of America’s Wild Horses and Burros from Public Lands AND to the International Horse slaughter trade…is that a reasonable conclusion?
    This would explain why American Horses are still being shipped over the border to be slaughtered…ASIAN Markets.

    From PUBLIC CITIZEN

    http://www.citizen.org/TPP
    Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): Job Loss, Lower Wages and Higher Drug Prices
    Have you heard? The TPP is a massive, controversial “free trade” agreement currently being pushed by big corporations and negotiated behind closed doors by officials from the United States and 11 other countries – Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.
    The TPP would expand the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) “trade” pact model that has spurred massive U.S. trade deficits and job loss, downward pressure on wages, unprecedented levels of inequality and new floods of agricultural imports. The TPP not only replicates, but expands NAFTA’s special protections for firms that offshore U.S. jobs. And U.S. TPP negotiators literally used the 2011 Korea FTA – under which exports have fallen and trade deficits have surged – as the template for the TPP.

    Although it is called a “free trade” agreement, the TPP is not mainly about trade. Of TPP’s 29 draft chapters, only five deal with traditional trade issues. One chapter would provide incentives to offshore jobs to low-wage countries. Many would impose limits on government policies that we rely on in our daily lives for safe food, a clean environment, and more. Our domestic federal, state and local policies would be required to comply with TPP rules.

    The TPP would even elevate individual foreign firms to equal status with sovereign nations, empowering them to privately enforce new rights and privileges, provided by the pact, by dragging governments to foreign tribunals to challenge public interest policies that they claim frustrate their expectations. The tribunals would be authorized to order taxpayer compensation to the foreign corporations for the “expected future profits” they surmise would be inhibited by the challenged policies.

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    • The TPP is the biggest threat to American workers since NAFTA. President Obama wants to fast tract it. Why?
      Asian countries will set the rules and given their history, there should be no question that they will be interested in investing in horse meat production.

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  10. These federal agencies are being used as tools by private and corporate
    $pecial interests…to what end?

    From American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign

    Public Comment Due by March 23, 2015.

    The U.S. Forest Service (FS) is seeking public scoping comments on a massive helicopter roundup of 1,200 wild horses from public and tribal lands in and around the Fort McDermitt Paiute-Shoshone Reservation in northern Nevada. The FS intends to capture the horses, which it considers “estray livestock” originating from the reservation, and deliver them to the tribe to be sold for slaughter!

    The move comes less than two years after the FS withdrew, amidst intense public scrutiny and outcry, from participating in a similar roundup of Fort McDermitt horses. The tribe proceeded with the roundup without FS assistance, and 149 of the unbranded horses captured were rescued after legal action by AWHPC and our coalition partners blocked their sale at the slaughter auction.

    The FS claims that no wild horses are present in the capture area, even though it is adjacent to the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM’s) Owyhee Herd Management Area (HMA). The plan lacks credible provisions for preventing the capture of federally protected wild horses who may have wandered outside the Owyhee HMA.

    Please weigh in today against this plan to use our tax dollars to roundup and deliver horses — possibly including federally protected mustangs — to a tribe that will sell them for slaughter!

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  11. Icy-
    I believe your question is moot because …
    “The term [feral] does not include horses or burros that are subject to the jurisdiction of the Federal Government pursuant to the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act…”

    Like

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