Nevada Politicians Skew Figures and Falsify Facts in Public Propaganda War Against Wild Horses and Burros

“Once again Western Special Interest Politicians are grasping numbers out of their backside where their heads reside most of the time. Without science, fact or evidence they spout out numbers and figures that paint a false representation of what is really going on upon our western public lands. It is Babel speak as usual with the horses and burros catching the flack for the damage to the land that is, instead, caused by tens of thousands of privately owned cattle and sheep. According to these false prophets only the horses eat and poop while the welfare cattle and sheep simply live on air alone…it’s all so very disgusting. Time to vote into office individuals who speak the truth, listen to the public and truly care about our public lands; do such politicians exist? We can only hope.” ~ R.T.


Story By Henry Brean
Las Vegas Review-Journal

“…birth control treatments, “humane euthanasia,” roundups, adoptions and other efforts to shrink herds…”

Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation photographing members of the Cold Creek Herd, Sept. 2012 ~ photo by R.T. Fitch

Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation photographing members of the Cold Creek Herd, Sept. 2012 ~ photo by R.T. Fitch

Republicans in Congress want the Bureau of Land Management to answer for an “ineffective” strategy that has failed to halt the explosion of wild horse and burro populations both on the range and in captivity.

In a Nov. 4 letter to BLM director Neil Kornze, Sen. Dean Heller and Rep. Mark Amodei from Nevada and 18 other lawmakers requested a detailed report on what the agency is doing now and what it plans to do in the future to bring horse populations under control.

According to the letter, current strategies “have been largely unsuccessful” across the West, leading to overcrowding in BLM herd management areas and holding facilities, poor herd health and damage to range land.

“Almost half of the 100,000 horses under the purview of the Bureau of Land Management are located in holding facilities off the range, and adoptions have fallen by almost 70 percent in the last 10 years,” the letter says.

The lawmakers are asking the BLM for details on birth control treatments, “humane euthanasia,” roundups, adoptions and other efforts to shrink herds to the agency’s own “appropriate management level” for the West, which calls for a total population of no more than 26,715 horses and burros across 10 states.

As of March 1, there were some 58,150 horses and burros living free on the range, more than half of them in Nevada, according to BLM estimates.

In addition to information on current efforts, Congressional Republicans want Kornze and company to produce four to six detailed plans, including timelines and cost estimates, to “effectively curb the overarching trend of overstocked” herd management areas.

BLM spokesman Craig Leff said the agency is still reviewing the inquiry from Congress and is “committed to improving the health of the horses and the land.”

Leff said the bureau is already working to put its horse and burro program “on a more cost-effective, sustainable track” consistent with the recommendations of a 2013 report by the National Academy of Sciences that determined wild horse and burro populations on federal land in the West were growing at a rate of 15 to 20 percent annually.

“As part of our long-term strategy, the BLM in partnership with universities and the U.S. Geological Survey is developing more effective fertility control methods,” Leff said in an email.

The agency is also “promoting public-private eco-sanctuaries or off-range pastures to hold excess wild horses removed from western public rangelands and working to boost adoptions by making more trained horses available to the public for adoption,” Leff said.

The GOP letter comes two months after the BLM removed more than 200 wild horses said to be on the verge of starvation in the Spring Mountains northwest of Las Vegas. At least 28 of those animals collected from around the tiny community of Cold Creek were later killed because they were deemed too far gone to save.

The BLM’s appropriate management level for the 102,000 acres surrounding Cold Creek is 66 adult horses. In May, the bureau counted about 470 horses in the area.

The BLM rounded up 250 horses from the same herd in 2007 and treated some of the remaining animals with birth control chemicals. One of those mares and her newborn foal were among the horses removed from the range in August.

Heller spokesman Michawn Rich said the federal government has a responsibility to address the wild horse issue, especially in Nevada, where almost 87 percent of the land is under federal control.

“Without proper and responsible management,” said Rich in an email, “these wild horses will continue to suffer and have a devastating impact on range land, sage-grouse habitat, and other agricultural and natural resources.”

25 comments on “Nevada Politicians Skew Figures and Falsify Facts in Public Propaganda War Against Wild Horses and Burros

  1. WE NEED A CAMPAIGN TO GET THIS MISGUIDED AND TOTALLY FALSE INFORMATION TO THE PUBLIC. HOPEFULLY ENGAGING MORE PEOPLE TO SPEAK OUT FOR OUR WILD HORSE POPULATIONS….BEFORE ITS TOO LATE

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  2. About GovTrack.us
    The open government movement involves citizens, web developers, designers, researchers, writers, statisticians, government managers, and elected officials in a concerted effort to make data a national asset, to make government more transparent and effective, and to empower citizens to participate effectively in governance and in their communities.

    https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/mark_amodei/412500
    Rep. Mark Amodei [R]
    Representative from Nevada’s 2nd District

    Like

  3. First the Federally Protected Wild Horses & Burros
    Next…the Cattle
    Next?
    Warning to Nevada…WATCH OUT FOR YOUR WATER

    Arizona County Aims to Protect Water as Foreign Firms Arrive
    http://magicvalley.com/business/agriculture/arizona-county-aims-to-protect-water-as-foreign-firms-arrive/article_6b850b4b-bc45-5b54-b0b4-e3dc0528707f.html#utm_source=%5Bdomain%5D&utm_campaign=%2Femail-updates%2Fdaily-headlines%2F&utm_medium=email&utm_content=headline
    November 08, 2015

    Leaders of a rural Arizona county want help from the governor and other state officials to protect their water supply as companies from the Middle East move to the state to grow alfalfa they intend to ship overseas to feed their cattle.

    Companies from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have bought thousands of acres of land in the Arizona desert for large-scale farm operations.

    China-based companies have done the same in other parts of the West. Some of the companies are moving to the U.S. and elsewhere after running low on water in the Middle East.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh My God!
    If heller and amodei and all the other political airheads who signed that letter want to know ‘what happened’, they don’t have to look any further than their own mirrors:
    When, pray tell, was the last time any of you actually went out on these ranges? When was the last time any of you checked your facts regarding wild equine populations on the range? Remember, folks, that every piece of skewed data that hits your very posh offices is based on (wait fer it) ESTIMATE!
    Not actual bodies, but some magical algorithm based on what you haven’t removed in the past two years. Can you say, “Four Year Drought”??
    No fact checking! You see a number, hear an impassioned plea from a cattle person who’s pissed he can’t feed his animals dust for the grazing season and blame wild equines for the destruction!
    I submit none of you knows your collective backsides from a drought because it effects none of you personally. But please, grace us with your bright and shiny wisdom and explain to us how it is these animals – with extremely limited resources – decided that, with a lack of forage and water, mad, random sex was a great way to pass the time…
    Every animal that lives in an area of limited resource reduces breeding. Fewer deer, fewer elk, prong horn, even predators are taking a break from makin’ babies because there isn’t enough food or water to sustain either gestation or offspring.
    Every animal, that is, except wild horses and burros??! How stupid are you guys??
    This drought is killing them; we’ve seen the pics and video of the Cold Creek herds. Now imagine how many have died that we haven’t seen.
    You ignorant (God help me; I’m runnin’ out of clean swear words) legislate and poorly I might add, and you base your information, such as it is, on the same quality sources as Fox News, which is to say MISinformation. Try stepping outside every once in a while, or fact-check something other than the latest inner-office memo or whiny rant from a Public lands abuser.
    Nice grandstanding, though. Sheesh.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. When such a tripe and bullshit comes up in the media you can tell for sure that it’s election (or rather reelection) time.

    Not surprisingly, Heller -together with a bunch of far-right, crony-appeasing, Bundy-loving politicians- are facing a tough race next November, with the possible prospect of losing control of the Senate.

    http://www.politico.com/story/2015/07/senate-2016-election-democrats-119778

    This is particularly important to Mr. Heller, since his do-nothing, non-sensical political program built around his pet project of moving the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem (one has to wonder what’s the point in putting US diplomats into harm’s way by sending them to a warzone, besides allowing his masters at the FLDS -the ideological backbone of the Bundyites- to make a rather cheesy political point), turned out to be a flop.

    Heller and his cohorts needed desperately a populist, ideology-filled but fact-depleted slogan to rally support for his campaign while offering nothing at all to the average public, lest the big-buck agribusiness lose their privileges, and thus his team ran to the first-aid closet and came up with the prescribed prototypical band-aid for the Western lame politician: blaming wild horses for everything wrong under the sun.

    And to prove my point, here is some math pulled from Heller’s own foaming-at-the-mouth propaganda:

    According to Heller and BLM, the 102,000 acre Cold Creek’s maximum capacity is 66 wild horses.

    102,000 divided by 66 is 1,545 acres per horse or what is the same, a gigantic square patch whose sides are two and a half miles long… that for each single horse, including newborns that as per BLM’s policies are counted as individual entities unlike cow and calf pairs which are regarded as a single entity.

    For comparison, the place I live in is 12 square miles long and holds a population of 205,000 people. Therefore, if Heller’s and BLM’s skewed numbers were to be true, it means that this rather large town can only hold the mind-blowing amount of… 4.8 (5) horses… Wow Mr Heller, I’m impressed! Now that’s really on the verge of overpopulation; we got a real threat to civilization here…

    So there is… Heller’s letter asking BLM to mass-execute wild horses so the FLDS freeloaders can graze even more cattle at taxpayer expense is nothing but a load of good ole propaganda to sideblind average voters into thinking the root cause of all evil is the wild horse.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. R.T., I love the way you tell it like it is, politicians grasping numbers out of their backsides where their heads reside most of the time” Many thanks for your service also.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I don’t see the comments that I posted on the Las Vegas Review Journal site.
    I’ve noticed that many of the online news publications seem to like the arguments, but don’t seem to want to publish actual, verifiable data

    Like

    • It seems to me they just want the site visits (if they run ads then that’s money to them) but don’t want to question the supremacy of the establishment, either because they don’t want to tick off welfare ranchers or because the editor/owner of the paper shares ideology and wants it to prevail.

      Like

  8. REVIEW for the Las Vegas Review Journal

    BLM Awards $740,000.00 U.S. Tax Dollars to Wild Horse Stampede Contractor
    https://rtfitchauthor.com/2015/02/02/blm-awards-740000-00-u-s-tax-dollars-to-wild-horse-stampede-contractor/

    The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) awarded four contracts worth a total of more than $740,000 for wild “horse gathering” services in the western United States. The Department of Interior captures horses to control the populations in the wild. Some are taken and placed up for adoption, while others are given fertility-control drugs and released. The BLM has contracted with Cattoor Livestock Roundup to remove hundreds of horses from the land. In the four areas — primarily in Nevada — where the roundups will occur, BLM cites drought and horse overpopulation. The agency is running into complications, including a lawsuit and petitions. Cattoor has been working with federal agencies since 1975, according to its website.

    In 1992, BLM’s primary round-up contractor was indicted on federal charges of selling 77 wild horses to a Texas slaughterhouse after illegally rounding up the horses via helicopter.
    http://www.frontrangeequinerescue.org/documents/Cattoor_Indictment-GuiltyPlea_Hunting-Killing-WH-1992%5B1%5D.pdf

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  9. What the GOP has to do is challenge those who are doing wrong, even their supporters at times. Republicans shouldn’t be these welfare ranchers’ puppets. Rather, they need to take the lead. The party would be smart to promote common-sense animal welfare programs and encourage ranchers to take to heart their very own conservative values by not taking away from our wild horses, burros, and other forms of wildlife so that they can enjoy their own monetary gain. Otherwise, they are no better than the bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. who add to the national debt that we have to pick up the tab for while they are having a good time.

    Like

    • One of the authors of the letter (Wyoming Rep. Cynthia Lummis) has announced that she plans to retire:

      Wyoming GOP congresswoman retiring, Liz Cheney considers run
      http://news.yahoo.com/wyoming-gop-rep-cynthia-lummis-retiring-4-terms-225148559–politics.html
      Wyoming Rep. Cynthia Lummis announced Thursday she will not seek re-election and former Vice President Dick Cheney’s elder daughter, Liz Cheney, said she was seriously considering running for the seat

      Like

      • Glad to hear Lummis will be gone (she was eager to jump in all evil plans to resume horse slaughter and to sabotage the AHSPA / SAFE Acts), although I suspect she will make a comeback as lobbyist for AQHA, NCBA, Farm Bureaus or any other horse-hating think-tank.

        But chances are that Cheney would be even worst than Lummis given her hawkish, or rather vulturish, record:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liz_Cheney#2014_Senate_bid

        «In her first campaign appearance in Cheyenne since announcing her challenge to Enzi, Cheney said, “We have to not be afraid of being called obstructionists. Obstructing President Obama’s policies and his agenda isn’t actually obstruction, it’s patriotism.”[33] Cheney claims that Obama has “literally declared war” on the First and Second amendments to the United States Constitution as well as the interests of Wyoming ranchers and energy workers who face regulations from the United States Environmental Protection Agency.[33]»

        I cannot think of a worst pick for a Congressional seat, besides one of Wallis’ acolytes.

        Like

  10. Reality sets in for horse lovers. This population explosion was Intentional to Support reopening US slaughter. T ghost e plan was set in motion by Salazar and Davis cash for ponies program…..keeping the deeply pro horse slaughter Catoors slinging horses around violently and bringing in kill buyers to buy/not bid mind you…then the numbers game where they claim the horses multiply like rabbits then they hit the jackpot with people posting drought pics claiming the horses did it All. Famously known for alienating ranchers the BLM falls into the arms ofc their Only Alllies….Proslaughter to bring full circle the false need for slaughter. I stand on my position a plant would only have enough wild horses for 6 months so they want people NOT living in these. wild horse areas to believe their lies. This was Intentional abuse of the Wild Horse program. They have not tried to handle anything for 9 yrs except to climb further into bed with corruption and pro horse slaughter. The fact is they are brewing up chaos because they are attempting to thwart the Safeguard Americas Food and Export Act. This whole scenario was see through from the beginning. Worse yet theres been cattle industry talk of too many cattle and Not enough demand. If thats the case…then they overpopulated cattle more than even they themselves realized. Horses have been on these lands for decades yet All of a sudden this damage was done? Why wasnt . It done when 1 million wild horses roamed decades ago? Because they cannot track their lies as good as we can they forget their own tales. We havent got a battle between horses and cattle….this is a battle between Advocates and Proslaughter. The BLM can deny what they want but the facts show they are pro horse slaughter.

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  11. It seems however that ideology of one or other type is just an excuse to rake in votes and campaign donations and that the only thing that really matters is money. Following this line of thinking most politicians are there to protect the welfare of those who gave/have/make most money off public lands. And there is only one possible solution… vote them out!

    At least next year we will get rid of Reid, one of the most evil horse haters in the Senate, who conspired with Burns to legalize the slaughter of wild horses.

    Like

  12. I first learned about this nightmare for wild horses about four years ago.

    These BLM liars and cheats have been using that exactly figure for how many are on the range, for as long as I have been following this issue. Now we know how many thousands have been removed and the numbers do not remotely add up.

    Elizabeth Warren is correct. The system is rigged against us and cannot stop fighting the battle.

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  13. They obviously never took into consideration that the The Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 was passed under Richard Nixon’s administration; a REPUBLICAN administration. And I doubt that he was anything close to a “carrot-crunching hippy”, a term used by uninformed people with a God-complex. Preserving our beloved wild horses and burros should NEVER be a political issue, it’s a MORAL one.

    Like

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