Horse News

Nevada gets new director for state BLM office

When John Ruhs was a BLM Ely District Manager, Craig Downer was quoted in an article about wild horse removals under Ruhs’ “leadership.”

SOURCE:  Las Vegas Review Journal


John Ruhs (Courtesy BLM)

By Sean Whaley
Las Vegas Review-Journal Capital Bureau

CARSON CITY — Bureau of Land Management Director Neil Kornze announced Wednesday that he has selected John Ruhs as the agency’s new Nevada state director. Ruhs will report to the BLM Nevada state office in Reno later this fall.

Ruhs currently serves as the BLM eastern states director. He will lead the management of 48 million acres of public land in Nevada.

He served a four-month stint as acting state director in Nevada earlier this year.

Ruhs succeeds Amy Lueders, who will serve as the BLM New Mexico state director overseeing more than 13.4 million acres of public lands and 26 million acres of federal mineral resources in New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas.

Lueders had served as the BLM Nevada state director since 2010 and was the Nevada associate state director from 2004 to 2010. She has most recently been on detail to the BLM’s Washington, D.C., office overseeing the agency’s greater sage grouse planning effort as the acting assistant director for renewable resources and planning.

She served as state director during the failed federal effort to round up cattle belonging to Bunkerville rancher Cliven Bundy over a grazing fee dispute. The dispute turned into a standoff between federal law enforcement and Bundy and his supporters in April of 2014 before Bundy’s cattle were returned and the roundup was halted.

A native of Iowa and a Marine Corps veteran, Ruhs has worked in numerous positions throughout his career, including previous stops in Nevada where he held the positions of wild horse and burro specialist, fire management officer in Winnemucca, and district manager in Ely.

“John brings a great breadth of experience with him, and a real commitment to collaboration,” Kornze said. “I look forward to having him in this key leadership position.”

Read the rest of this story HERE.

Categories: Horse News

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14 replies »

  1. It figures considering the BLM cattlemen’s appointment of his ass. I just looked at him and passed judgement. He’s going to pull his six shooter on the seniors and little old ladies who stand for the horses and pander to the ranchers who draw down on their malicia for messing with their cattle graziing on public land for free. This shouldn’t surprise you at all…


  2. BLM’s Wild Horse Elimination Plan Angers Ecologist
    ELY, Nevada, July 7, 2009

    In a June 27 letter to BLM Ely District Manager John Ruhs, Downer calls the agency’s justification for removal of the wild horses “deceptive and untrue.”
    “You and your team, as public servants, are supposed to fairly represent diverse public interests on public lands, not just livestock, big game, mining and other extractive activities,” Downer writes. “What you are proposing and your justification for such constitute an abandonment of duty. You intentionally target wild horses for elimination in order to clear the way for other more politically pushy interests.”

    The agency’s environmental assessment of two of the 11 herd areas, Seaman and White River is typical of the agency’s justifications for removing the wild horses.
    The Seaman and White River herd areas are located about 80 miles southwest of Ely, in portions of Nye and Lincoln counties.

    Saying that the assessment “is tiered to the Ely Proposed Resource Management Plan/Final Environmental Impact Statement released in November 2007,” the agency concludes, “Removal of all wild horses from the Seaman and White River HA’s is needed at this time in order to implement this management direction and to prevent further damage to the range resulting from the current overpopulation.”
    But Downer calculates that the 11 wild horse herd areas cover a total of 1,386,992 acres, which are currently occupied by just 620 horses.
    “This signifies 2,237.08 legal acres per remaining wild horse,” he wrote in the letter to Ruhs. “Yet you still mean to tell me that in these vast areas wild horses are overpopulated and destroying the ecosystem?! I find this extremely hard to believe, especially given my knowledge of wild horse behavior and ecology as well as public lands politics.”

    The BLM claims that monitoring data collected during 2007, 2008, and 2009 shows that utilization by wild horses is “moderate to heavy.”
    “Trampling damage by wild horses is evident at most water developments and riparian areas. Heavy trailing by wild horses is evident throughout the HAs especially areas near water. Excess utilization and trampling is currently impacting range conditions and preventing recovery of key range ecological sites,” the BLM environmental assessment states.

    Monitoring also indicates wild horses move outside the herd areas in search of water, the BLM states.

    Downer argues that livestock fences keep wild horses from accessing the available water, but he is not the only one who questions these findings and criticizes the BLM’s plans to remove all the wild horses from these herd areas.


  3. cAN’T LIKE THIS POST WON’T LET ME I don’t know what is the matter. It tells me that is not my e-mail ( I have had it for over 10 years. Your questions covered the url of the WordPress ‘blog’ I was trying to “like”. Fot pete’s sake, I’m 87 and have enough trouble remembering my own name. HELP. I know I have an account because my user name appears on the blog when I go there. I DO NOT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THOSE “PROOF OF OWNERSHIPS” I SIGNED UP TO wORDPRESS SEVERAL YEARS AGO. I DON’T REMEMBER WHAT THEY SENT


    • That’s part of that “commitment to collaboration” described in the article. We all saw the live footage of BLM vehicles driving in with backhoes and fence panels, the later pits with dead cattle buried in shallow graves, and the “dangerous” bull shot from the air while standing in a pipe corral. The question is, collaboration between the BLM and who? Not Bundy, not the American public, not taxpayers (they did not collect back grazing fees it seems while spending over $1 million by some accounts), not the health of the land (shallow mass graves), not the wildlife (the first thing they did was tear apart the water supply), and not the cattle, who after all are innocent animals.


      • You can find CBD Article 8 (h) on the USDA’s web site. President Clinton signed it in 1993. President George H. W. Bush refused because he initially supported it and USC President Phyllis Windle was put in charge of coordinating and contracting with the authors of the project who are almost all members of the IUCN and TNC. Only recently did this sort itself it. I always wondered why Senator Byrd (d) WV sponsored the Restore Our Americans Mustang Act because this suggested a relationship between coal production, the Constitution, and wild horses. So I tried to find a source that recognized both the presence of coal in our country and the origin of the horse. I understand now that paleontologists rely heavily on geologist, so any of them might have known. However, the first person to make this pullically known to the same group of people who reappear over decades through banks, energy companies, minerals mining, etc, make Dr. Thomas Hernry Huxley’s 1876 lectures in NYC on “The Three Theories of the History of Nature” the most likely. Huxley had two grandson’s. One of them was Aldous Huxley, author of Brave New World. Aldous’s older brother was Dr. Julian Huxley, the first DG of UNESCO(1946-1948). He decided that the S needed to be part of a separate organization, so he founded the IUCN as the scientific research arm of UNESCO. He especially wanted UNESCO to research the social sciences that are related to how people from different social groups learn and how individuals with particular traits learn. These are subjects that also interested me when I taught because I have enormously diverse demographic factors and these, when added to the complex variations of individuals that fall into the category of 13 year old kids who love science forced me to understand that I had to really, really get to know what made my students tick. But while my intentions were for the purposes of helping my students master cucrricula, the IUCN’s purpose was to understand how linguistics could be used to change culture and society to share a common global vision. As long as Julian Huxley was alive our horses were safe because the IUCN would not have dared to falsify one of the most scientifically important lectures their founder’s grandfather gave. But Julian Huxley died in 1976, conveniently, the same year young Al Gore and President Jimmy Carter arrived in D.C. and the same year Hay proved that the Milankovitch Theory of orbital cycles best explain climate change. Any or all of these factors may have been related. This is what is known. NPS purchased the 26 ponies that lived on the land NPS purchased for Assateague Island National Seashore because they knew how much people enjoyed seeing horses in the wild. In 1978, a five year study of these horses and their effect on plants on the Island was begun. At the conclusion of the study, the Penn State biologists reported that the plants in the areas where the horses grazed showed wear during grazing periods, but recovered completely and even showed greater productivity that previously see. He reported that there was no long term damage, and possible improvement as a result of grazing. He recommended that the herd be allowed to grow to the planned population of 150.

        This was not the result that the IUCN wanted, and so plans began to draft the authority to remove these animals from everywhere they were found in North America. Much more alarming is the possibility that the IUCN intends to eradicate cows and horses globally along with other large herbivores.

        In the US the connection between grazing herbivores and their ancient evolutionary homes is clear. What becomes clear is you can get the right kind of topographical map is that the European Steppe and the western grasslands are where vast natural resource wealth is concentrated. I will try to start my blog. We live in dangerous times and I fear we are in great peril. Julian Huxley and Margaret Sanger had a decades long relationship and they had ideas that are not supported by genetic scientists. The bottom line is that though our federal agencies are carrying out these unbelievable atrocities, they originated with the IUCN-TNC Harvard cronies VP Al Gore and President Clinton empowered.


  4. BLM Stands Down to Avoid Confrontation with Another Rancher
    By Susanne Posel
    June 7, 2015

    According to local media in Nevada, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) have decided against enforcing drought-related grazing restrictions to avoid confrontations with ranchers who are defying the order.

    Rudy Evenson, spokesperson for the BLM explained that one such rancher is Dan Filippini, who was notified of the closure order 2 years ago, but continues to use public land covering an access of 150 sq miles in the Battle Mountain region.
    Filippini said John Ruhs, acting-state director of the BLM, told him the agency would not try to stop Filippini from grazing while they continue negotiating a compromise.

    As journalist Ralph Maughan explained : “Despite ongoing good faith negotiations by the agency and conservation organizations to authorize limited turnout in a different allotment this year, the Filippini family has apparently decided their livestock operations are above the law.”


  5. The statement: “this is our private property” is absolutely false! I remember reading this article back in June – and there were NO comments! Had to be Facebook. I honestly cannot think the best business plan is to buy some acreage simply because you can graze cattle on the public land! I’m sorry they stand a chance of losing their cattle ranch – BUT for many years they have existed by running their cattle on public land & paying a very small lease amount – plus the subsidies given by the government! The idea that while negotiations are going on – they can continue to use the public land thats at issue – they are NOT above the law! Until the BLM starts enforcing restrictions on cattle & mining industries – rather than only the wild horses & burros – these public lands are being devastated!


  6. Public Land Arson: Ranchers finally get the prison time the law requires

    Ralph Maughan says:
    October 11, 2015 at 9:42 am
    According to some email discussion about the original judge, Judge Hogan of the light sentence, “who retired the day after openly flaunting the law for at least the 100th time, was the son of a right wing mill owner and previously a Portland bankruptcy judge. He was put on the bench as a joke on environmentalists by George HW Bush in 1995.”


  7. BUT….it’s Wild Horses & Burros that are removed from their Legal Herd Management Areas:

    I-Team: Mines using large amounts of water
    By George Knapp, Chief Investigative reporter , Matt Adams, Chief Photojournalist
    Published 07/08 2015

    Dr. George Fennemore, the operations manager for the Barrick Gold Corporation’s Cortez Mine, says water is a legitimate concern, and he doesn’t question people’s motives in raising water concerns. Managing water is one of Fennemore’s top priorities each day.

    He admits that Barrick’s Cortez Mine pumps an enormous amount of water, and that it had to lower the water table by 1,000 feet. He gave the I-Team a tour of the vast facilities that funnel the water back into the aquifer.
    “It is just being relocated from one part of the aquifer to another part of the aquifer and what it does is preserve the water balance in the basin,” explained Fennemore.

    Barrick acquires water rights from its neighbors, like ranches, and then pumps the water back to its original owners so it can be used for agriculture.
    Thousands of gallons per minute do not get returned, he admits, but the law allocates water to its highest use, which is usually expressed in economic terms.


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