BLM Aims to Start Wild Horse Roundup Wednesday

By Dennis Webb as published in the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel

“…once the BLM comes in and gets them out they’re gone.”

West Douglas Wild HorsesThe Bureau of Land Management plans to start a local wild-horse gather on Wednesday, two days later than planned, following the recent filing of a lawsuit challenging the action.

Agency spokesman Christopher Joyner said the BLM pushed back the gather “to ensure the courts had time to review the case.”

However, “We plan to proceed with the gather unless told differently” by the courts.

Activists are seeking an injunction to prevent the roundup from beginning before the case is further litigated. A four-hour hearing was held Friday and a federal judge’s ruling is being awaited, said Paula Todd King with the Cloud Foundation, one of the plaintiffs.

The BLM is hoping to remove 167 “excess” horses located within the jurisdiction of the White River Field Office, based in Meeker. Its primary target is horses in the West Douglas Herd Area, west of Colorado Highway 139 between Loma and Rangely. The BLM considers that area inappropriate for wild horses for reasons including its remoteness and difficult access for management purposes, lack of summer range, and the range damage that has been occurring there, Joyner said.

On Sept. 4, the Cloud Foundation, the Wild Horse Freedom Federation, the Colorado Wild Horse and Burro Coalition, veterinarian Don Moore and Toni Moore of Fruita, and Barb Flores of Greeley sued seeking to stop the roundup. They argue the BLM failed to conduct the proper environmental analysis and abide by the requirements of the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act.

They contend horses have inhabited the West Douglas area for centuries, and the BLM is blaming horses for damage caused by privately owned livestock. They also worry that the BLM will eliminate horses there.

The BLM estimates the West Douglas area is home to about 365 horses, while wild-horse advocates argue the number is far less.

“I just hope for the people of Colorado that we can save that herd, because once the BLM comes in and gets them out they’re gone,” King said.

The BLM plans to use bait and water to try to attract horses, and a helicopter to help herd them. Among the concerns of horse advocates is potential physical harm to animals as a result of the operation…

27 comments on “BLM Aims to Start Wild Horse Roundup Wednesday

  1. Excess horses? There are no excess horses, the way the BLM operates, there won’t be ANY wild horses left. It is a tragedy that our heritage is being rounded up and sent off to slaughter. What is wrong with saving the horses? why doesn’t our government help the horses? Just makes me sad and angry.

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  2. Disgusting! Excess horses? They are damaging the range? More like livestock damaging the range Wild horses , burros are a very important part of the eco system What part of wild and free the BLM don’t understand? Please, leave them alone nation wide! This is unjust! All for what? The almighty dollar? God is watching and the BLM will have to answer to God for their souls one day! God is very unhappy I am sure of that There are only 367 wild horses left in thid area and they want to capture 167? 😥 Wow! Just stop BLM get lost and stay lost including the ranchers Leave wild anything alone free as they should be! Grrrrrrrr!!!! Heartbroken!!!!! 😥

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      • its not we need the courts in favor of stopping this. call yr reps. a shade study is also on our dime how can blm fws big ag manage anything when they take our money while horsees die in feedlots and they say they dont kno that all animals and people seek shelter since time began? really?

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      • Actually, Janet – that was a bit of sarcasm there!! Its such an oddity for any interest in the horses’s lives – other than the advocates that work so hard for them.

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  3. Under CFR 4710.5 and 4710.6, BLM has the authority to curtail or cancel livestock grazing privileges on public lands in order to ensure thriving, healthy herds of wild horses and burros on their legal lands. In Section 2 c of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act (WFHBA) of 1971, it clearly states that in the 1971 legal areas where the wild horses and burros occurred, this land shall be “devoted principally” to the welfare of the wild horses and burros, not principally to any other use.

    BLM is not really interested in range conditions. No one believes the wild horses and burros are being removed because of range conditions or lack of water. The BLM has been trying to “zero out” (eliminate all wild horses from) the West Douglas HA for years and the agency makes it clear that energy development/oil drilling in the area and the desire to continue to allocate forage for livestock grazing are the reasons behind the agency’s desire to eliminate these horses.

    The WFRHBA requires our wild horses and burros to be protected in their herd areas where they were living in 1971 and that is what the BLM have a legal and moral duty to do. Indeed, the agency sells and leases thousands and thousands of acres of the publically owned wild horse and burro herd areas for development and private/corporate profiteers. BLM plans “multiple use” of the herd areas but without any wild horses!

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  4. From ANIMAL LAW COALITION
    http://animallawcoalition.com/can-the-wild-horses-and-burros-be-saved/

    Wild horses and burros are supposed to be treated as “components of the public lands”. 16 U.S.C. § 1333(a) The law is clear that “wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death” and entitled to roam free on public lands where they were living at the time the Act was passed in 1971.

    Even designated ranges managed under a multiple use concept are to be “devoted principally” to wild horses and burros. The wild horses and burros on these lands are not to be eliminated for cattle or mining or recreation or even secondary to these other uses.

    There is no authority for BLM’s “herd management areas” under WFRHBA
    The BLM has authorized itself to divide herd areas into “herd management areas”, something not authorized by WFRHBA. 43 CFR 4710.3-1. In this way, with no statutory authority at all, BLM has limited wild horses and burros’ access to thousands of acres that were historically their herd areas.
    Neither WFRHBA nor FLPMA authorizes BLM’s multiple use concept for all herd areas

    In fact, the statute makes clear that the protections under WFRHBA take precedence. FLPMA, 43 U.S.C. § 1732 (a) Yet, despite this, BLM has issued a regulation that provides “[w]ild horses and burros shall be considered comparably with other resource values in the formulation of land use plans.” 43 C.F.R. §4700.0-6(b).

    Limiting BLM’s power – Colorado Wild Horse and Burro Coalition, Inc. v. Salazar
    ‘[t]he principal problem in maintaining wild horses in the West Douglas Herd Area is a major shift in wild horse grazing use patterns that has occurred since the early 1980’s. …It is probable that intense energy exploration and development occurring in the northern part of the herd area has concentrated use in the south….This change of use has resulted in overgrazing the Texas Creek drainage, and horse use in Missouri and Evacuation Creeks that are not a part of the 1971 herd area…. Accordingly, it is this shift in the West Douglas Herd’s grazing patterns, likely caused by human development, and not overpopulation, that formed the basis for BLM’s decision to remove the West Douglas Herd.’

    BLM’s management of the wild horses and burros is now focused on removing them from public lands:

    From 1971 through 2007, over 267,000 wild horses and burros were removed from their homes by BLM. In 2001, BLM stepped up removals. According to the Government Accountability Office, “[s]ince then, about 10,600 animals have been removed, on average, per year.” Just since 2001 the BLM has removed over 74,000 wild horses and burros. “BLM has reduced the nationwide population in the wild by about 40 percent since 2000.”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. From PEER (Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility))

    BLM DUMBING DOWN REPORTS ON LIVESTOCK RANGE CONDITIONS
    Complaint Demands Restoration of Data Quantifying and Qualifying Grazing Effects
    Posted on Dec 22, 2014
    http://www.peer.org/news/news-releases/2014/12/22/blm-dumbing-down-reports-on-livestock-range-conditions/

    The new report is a significant departure from prior RIME reports which had been showing a disturbing trend of more and more lands failing to meet range health standards for water, vegetation, soils and the ability to support wildlife principally due to commercial livestock operations. In the last decade as more land has been assessed, estimates of damaged lands have doubled across the 20,000 BLM grazing allotments. Crippling drought in much of the Sagebrush West is undoubtedly further aggravating conditions.

    “BLM is obscuring the very information Congress and the public need to gauge the success or failure of rangeland management,” said PEER Advocacy Director Kirsten Stade, calling out the new report as “RIME without reason.” “BLM cannot escape accountability by editing its books to remove all the modifiers.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • its not we need the courts in favor of stopping this. call yr reps. a shade study is also on our dime how can blm fws big ag manage anything when they take our money while horsees die in feedlots and they say they dont kno that all animals and people seek shelter since time began? really?

      Like

      • Janet – just read some of the last BLM “advisory” board mtg – one of the things they are “studying” is to CHANGE the requirement for adopters to provide shade! That certainly makes sense (BLM sense) – then we cant complain about the lack of shade in the pens! Honestly, if this whole subject wasnt so deadly serious – their actions or complete lack of integrity & decency would make a great satirical cartoon!

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  6. From PEER ( Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility)

    ABANDONED UNCAPPED WELLS POCKMARK WESTERN PUBLIC LANDS
    Records Show BLM Does Not Shoulder Responsibilities to Ensure Reclamation
    Posted on Mar 30, 2015
    http://www.peer.org/news/news-releases/2015/03/30/abandoned-uncapped-wells-pockmark-western-public-lands/

    PEER is requesting that the Interior Department Office of Inspector General audit BLM compliance with requirements to reclaim non-producing wells on BLM lands in in Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming, active petroleum-producing states that the PEER record review did not cover.

    “Oil and gas companies should not be allowed to use public lands as a scrap heap,” Dumais added. “We think an audit would motivate BLM to start enforcing its own reclamation policy.”

    Read PEER request for Interior IG audit
    http://www.peer.org/assets/docs/blm/3_30_15_IG_audit_request.pdf

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  7. Did some quick math from BLM RAS data and if the welfare ranchers removed their private/corporate domestic invasive livestock OFF the West Douglas Herd Area there would be about 10,000 AUMs for the wild horses which would allow over 800 wild horses to live in peace on these legally designated wild horse herd lands.

    What can be done to address the problems associated with public lands livestock grazing? There is a simple answer: end it. Get the cows and sheep off, let the wild creatures reclaim their native habitat, and send the ranchers a bill for the cost of restoration.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Per BLM RAS
    There are other ranchers and allotments that effect the West Douglas wild horse Herd Area but here is the major one. About ¾ of the Twin Buttes grazing allotment # 6346 is on the West Douglas Herd Area and is mostly controlled and used by the Twin Buttes Ranch Co. who runs thousands of their cattle on this wild horse Herd Area public land.
    And on top of that, per the EWG farm subsidy website, the Twin Buttes Ranch Co received payments totaling $428,189 from 1995 through 2012.
    http://farm.ewg.org/persondetail.php?custnumber=A09393053

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The BLM doesn’t care about the wild horses. They just want to get rid of them so they don’t have deal with them. Leave the wild horses alone. Stop it now

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  10. I pray you had enough evidence to present to the court in order to save these beautiful horses also that the courts are not in the BLMs hands.

    Like

  11. Wow, the NAZIS, the BLM , is at it again. They are the SHAME, for this Country, They are a Black spot on our Globe. The BLM, they have been Stealing our Wild Horses, AGAINST the Voice. of the American people !! The BLM, instead of taking CARE of OUR wild Horses, they Round them Up, and prison. them in camps, the so called Pens, (no shelter seen in those), And who comes in, into the land given to the Horses long time ago????, the Livestock , !!!. Discusting!. Solvejg.zaferes.s

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  12. Since when is have “remoteness” and “difficult to reach” become guidelines to managing wildlife, in the wild? By this argument virtually all our remaining wildlife would have to be removed and caged to be effectively “managed.”

    How about Mountain Goats? Is any government organization clamoring for their removals due to their preferred habitats? Let’s roundup and remove all the grasshoppers while we’re at it, it would at least be something the public could support.

    One has to wonder if it is so difficult to access and accurately inventory wild horses here how it can also be claimed they are “overpopulated.”

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Reblogged this on angelfarm and commented:
    From ANIMAL LAW COALITION
    http://animallawcoalition.com/can-the-wild-horses-and-burros-be-saved/

    Wild horses and burros are supposed to be treated as “components of the public lands”. 16 U.S.C. § 1333(a) The law is clear that “wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death” and entitled to roam free on public lands where they were living at the time the Act was passed in 1971.

    Even designated ranges managed under a multiple use concept are to be “devoted principally” to wild horses and burros. The wild horses and burros on these lands are not to be eliminated for cattle or mining or recreation or even secondary to these other uses.

    There is no authority for BLM’s “herd management areas” under WFRHBA
    The BLM has authorized itself to divide herd areas into “herd management areas”, something not authorized by WFRHBA. 43 CFR 4710.3-1. In this way, with no statutory authority at all, BLM has limited wild horses and burros’ access to thousands of acres that were historically their herd areas.
    Neither WFRHBA nor FLPMA authorizes BLM’s multiple use concept for all herd areas

    In fact, the statute makes clear that the protections under WFRHBA take precedence. FLPMA, 43 U.S.C. § 1732 (a) Yet, despite this, BLM has issued a regulation that provides “[w]ild horses and burros shall be considered comparably with other resource values in the formulation of land use plans.” 43 C.F.R. §4700.0-6(b).

    Limiting BLM’s power – Colorado Wild Horse and Burro Coalition, Inc. v. Salazar
    ‘[t]he principal problem in maintaining wild horses in the West Douglas Herd Area is a major shift in wild horse grazing use patterns that has occurred since the early 1980’s. …It is probable that intense energy exploration and development occurring in the northern part of the herd area has concentrated use in the south….This change of use has resulted in overgrazing the Texas Creek drainage, and horse use in Missouri and Evacuation Creeks that are not a part of the 1971 herd area…. Accordingly, it is this shift in the West Douglas Herd’s grazing patterns, likely caused by human development, and not overpopulation, that formed the basis for BLM’s decision to remove the West Douglas Herd.’

    BLM’s management of the wild horses and burros is now focused on removing them from public lands:

    From 1971 through 2007, over 267,000 wild horses and burros were removed from their homes by BLM. In 2001, BLM stepped up removals. According to the Government Accountability Office, “[s]ince then, about 10,600 animals have been removed, on average, per year.” Just since 2001 the BLM has removed over 74,000 wild horses and burros. “BLM has reduced the nationwide population in the wild by about 40 percent since 2000.”

    Like

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