ACTION ALERT: comments to save White Mountain & Little Colorado wild horses due end of day tomorrow (Jan. 14th)

I, personally, do not support the use of PZP because most of our wild horse and burro herds are non-viable, but although there is disagreement among advocates on this issue, I am posting Ginger Kathren’s post as written.  You are free to use or omit the comments about PZP in your personal comment.  Also, be sure to include your personal thoughts with suggested talking points so that the BLM will count your comment.  –  Debbie

SOURCE:  The Cloud Foundation

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(left to right) Fuego (challenger), Fermat (band stallion), Lovely, Mac, Taylor (Mac’s mother), and Hypathia (rare Curly mare) Photo: Ginger Kathrens and Lisa Friday

by Ginger Kathrens

Help Save the White Mountain and Little Colorado Wild Horse Herds!

Comment on BLM’s Plan to Sterilize Mares! Deadline: Thursday, January 14th

Dear Friends of our Wyoming Wild Horses;

BLM is planning to sterilize the mares in the White Mountain Herd Management Area. . .unless we can stop them. White Mountain is the most visible, most photographed, most approachable wild horse herd in Southern Wyoming with a driving loop and signage to facilitate the viewing experience. The White Mountain Herd is the biggest tourist attraction in the immediate Rock Springs area, and the herd is also within the BLM’s “Appropriate Management Level of 205-300 horses.

Despite all these facts, the BLM proposes to use the White Mountain mustangs in a mare spaying research experiment to be conducted with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The adjacent Little Colorado Herd would serve as the control group.

BLM proposes to conduct helicopter round ups, removing all wild horses over the “Appropriate Management Level” on over 1 million acres of mostly public lands. Currently, BLM estimates 268 wild horses in White Mountain. Little Colorado numbers are estimated to be 330 with an AML of only 69-100 on over 600,000 acres of Federally owned land. This amounts to one wild horse allowed for every 6,000 acres!

Once rounded up, approximately 300 horses would be permanently removed. In White Mountain 30-50 mares would be fitted with radio collars and stallions would have tracker tags placed in their tails. One year later the horses would again be rounded up with helicopters and mares would be spayed using surgical techniques as yet unspecified and then tracked to determine changes in behavior/band fidelity/mortality in comparison to the control group in Little Colorado.

The bands would be destroyed in both herds as the stallions will be separated from the mares after capture so the band fidelity and behavior data will be useless. We don’t want to think about the mortality rate as we know horses will be killed during and after the helicopter stampedes and may die as a result of the collaring and subsequent operations.

Politely express your outrage! We suggest the following talking points:
1.Conduct field research to determine the habits and natural behaviors of the White Mountain-Little Colorado using non-invasive techniques (i.e. ground observations/photographs/GPS recorded locations, etc.)
2.Conduct behavioral research while field darting with the reversible vaccine PZP. Over 50 mares in these HMAs received PZP-22 in 2011 and will only require a booster shot to render them infertile for 1 to 2 years.
3.Conduct any removals in the late winter/spring months using bait or water trapping. Do not chase them with helicopters! Keep traps in place for several weeks to recapture for boostering young mares that did not receive PZP-22 and are not dartable (most, if not all mares in White Mountain, can be field darted). Mares in a trap can be darted without touching them.
4.Do not put collars on mares or tail tracker tags on stallions. This is not necessary in the White Mountain HMA. It will require capture and will result in the shattering of the bands just to put on the collars and tail tags.
5.Do not operate on the mares. Sterilized wild horses are no longer wild horses!
6.Raise the AML of 79-100 in Little Colorado to a genetically viable number of 150-200 adult animals. Reduce livestock grazing. There are 6,000 cows with potentially 6,000 calves or 30,000 head of sheep in the two legally designated wild horse herd management areas!
7.Collaborate with interested organizations and individuals to conduct the above field darting and record-keeping. (Data sheets are already compiled for over 200 of the White Mountain wild horses!)
8.Save millions of taxpayer dollars and manage the herds on the range, living in freedom with their families.

Send your comments to:
Wild Horse and Burro Specialist
BLM Rock Springs Field Office
280 Highway 191 North
Rock Springs, Wyoming 82901
Fax: (307) 352-0329
Electronic comments must be sent to the following email address to be considered:
Rock_Springs_WYMail@blm.gov
(Include “White Mountain & Little Colorado EA Comments” in the subject line.)

Here are the links to the BLM Scoping Letter and Documents. http://www.blm.gov/style/medialib/blm/wy/information/NEPA/rsfodocs/whitemtn_littlecolo/FY16.Par.25386.File.dat/ScopingLetter.pdf

http://www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/info/news_room/2015/december/16-wh-wmlc.html

Please do what you can! This is nothing more than a wild horse extermination plan dressed up as a research project. Time is short, send your comments by days end Thursday, January 14. Thanks!

 

17 comments on “ACTION ALERT: comments to save White Mountain & Little Colorado wild horses due end of day tomorrow (Jan. 14th)

  1. One word of warning when sending in your comments.
    It has been observed that when links are provided (in order to validate comments) the information tends to disappear from the web. It is best to make hard copies of data before you submit your comments, or save it by whatever means available.

    One good example is the Legal Declaration provided in the Rock Springs Grazing Ass versus Wyoming Wild Horse lawsuits. The information is now UNAVAILABLE to the Public, unless they have already saved it…which many have.
    Check out the link..it leads NOWHERE,, therefore removing the information from the Public

    https://docs.google.com/file/d/15XxDMsR1HKkjS_tWEb4QDIEKvMwrrSoiWlxlFWfbkLe8-boHU1lBYiuqd6pH/edit?pli=1
    DECLARATION OF LLOYD EISENHAUER

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  2. WILD HORSE POPULATIONS: FIELD STUDIES IN GENETICS AND FERTILITY
    Report to the Bureau of Land Management U.S. Department of the Interior Committee on Wild Horse and Burro Research Board on Agriculture National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1991

    1991 WILD HORSE POPULATIONS: FIELD STUDIES IN GENETICS AND FERTILITY Report to the Bureau of Land Management U.S. Department of the Interior Committee on Wild Horse and Burro Research Board on Agriculture National Research Council

    Between 1987 and 1989, [the] number of horses involved in the study suffered injuries to their necks and ears that were caused by the collars used to locate and identify the experimental animals. Serious questions have been raised concerning the deaths of some of these animals, the nature and extent of the wounds, and possible changes in behavior of the animals as result of collar problems.

    Mortality Caused by Collars
    The research team has attributed two deaths to collar-related problems. The first was 25-year-old mare that died at Stone Cabin after being darted to treat tight collar. The second loss occurred when stallion fell off cliff after being darted at Clan Alpine. Other animals with collars were found dead. One had its collar imbedded in its neck, but no cause of death was determined. Another animal was found dead 12 days after she had been darted but failed to succumb. She was judged to have been dead for days. The causes of both of these deaths were classified as “other.” The research team classified as natural the deaths of an additional 21 collared horses (4 with marker collars and 17 with radio collars) that were found dead before August 1988.

    Four other animals died during collaring procedures, and two more with collars were found dead but their deaths were classified as “other.”
    “…wounds caused by the tight collars appeared to be quite painful and if the collars were not removed or adjusted more serious damage and the possibility of death”.

    LOSS OF THE CLAN ALPINE HORSES
    In late August and early September 1987, BLM representatives and the
    research team began to round up animals from the Clan Alpine area for
    experiments. However, by September 1 the number of animals rounded up
    was insufficient for a satisfactory sample size. A decision was made to
    augment the Clan Alpine numbers with animals from the adjacent Augusta
    Mountain area.

    A fence separates the Clan Alpine and Augusta Mountain areas. On
    September 2 and 3, 133 animals were rounded up in the Augusta Mountain
    area and driven to a trap on the Clan Alpine side of the fence. Some horses
    were driven as far as 15 or 20 miles. The weather was hot and dry, and the
    horses were in relatively poor physical condition.

    Of the 133 captured animals, 42 mares were implanted with placebo
    capsules and equipped with radio collars, bringing the total number of pla
    cebo-implanted mares in the Clan Alpine study area to 49. Another 33 were
    fitted with marker collars, bringing the total untreated, marker-collared popu
    lation to 109. The animals were then released on September 2 and 3 in the
    vicinity of the trap.

    Between September 17 and October 30, 48 horses were found dead on
    the Clan Alpine side of the boundary fence. These included 17 radiocollared
    animals, 11 animals with marker collars, and 20 unmarked animals.
    A team composed of a veterinarian and BLM law enforcement and management
    personnel investigated the situation and concluded the following (U.S. Department
    of the Interior, 1987):

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  3. WILD HORSE POPULATIONS: FIELD STUDIES IN GENETICS AND FERTILITY
    Report to the Bureau of Land Management U.S. Department of the Interior Committee on Wild Horse and Burro Research Board on Agriculture National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1991
    COMMITTEE ON WILD HORSE AND BURRO RESEARCH
    FREDERIC H. WAGNER, Chair, Utah State University
    JOEL BERGER, University of Nevada
    DALE R. McCULLOUGH, University of California, Berkeley
    JOHN W. MENKE, University of California, Davis
    EDWARD S. MURRAY, Spur Veterinary Hospital, Spur, Texas
    BILL W. PICKETT, Colorado State University
    ULYSSES S. SEAL, Veteran’s Administration Medical Center,
    Minneapolis, Minnesota
    MAITLAND SHARPE, Izaak Walton League of America, Arlington, Virginia
    Staff
    RICHARD WILES, Project Officer
    AMY GORENA, Senior Project Assistant

    Like

  4. WILD HORSE POPULATIONS: FIELD STUDIES IN GENETICS AND FERTILITY
    Report to the Bureau of Land Management U.S. Department of the Interior Committee on Wild Horse and Burro Research Board on Agriculture National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1991

    The animals were attempting to return North to their home range and were
    prevented from doing so by the fence. Therefore, not knowing where water
    sources were located south of the fence, the animals walked the fence in both
    directions until they died from dehydration.
    The committee has received four other versions of the incident, including
    one account that there were no gaps in the fence and the horses were driven
    excessive distances around it.

    The committee deeply regrets this tragic incident, but it is in no position
    to impute culpability.

    A total of 48 animals had collars permanently removed. Twenty were
    radio-collared animals that formed part of the experimental population. Three
    additional radio collars slipped off animals in the field. In all, 23 animals
    were lost from the experimental population due to collar removal or loss.
    The other 28 collars that were removed were marker collars with no radio
    telemetry devices attached.

    Two other animals died while being captured to have collars adjusted or removed.

    Like

    • WILD HORSE POPULATIONS: FIELD STUDIES IN GENETICS AND FERTILITY
      Report to the Bureau of Land Management U.S. Department of the Interior Committee on Wild Horse and Burro Research Board on Agriculture National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1991

      A total of 273 mares and 45 stallions in the experimental populations
      survived roundup and initial collaring. Eighteen placebo-treated mares died
      at Clan Alpine shortly after being rounded up and collared. The stallions
      were collared first, and subsequent collar problems with males involved
      loose collars that slid up over the animals’ ears. By the end of the study
      period, 13 of 20 vasectomized animals in the Flanigan site had lost collars
      and 2 others had died. In Beaty Butte, 7 of 20 lost collars over the course
      of the study and 2 other collared animals had died. This gradual loss of
      collars and a lack of controls throughout the vasectomy study make the
      results of the vasectomy experiments difficult to interpret.

      The issue arose again after the 1989 field season, sparked by a memorandum
      (Sweeney, 1989) that was based on field observations by BLM employees
      who accompanied the research flights, in a separate helicopter, to identify
      collared mares and to observe foals. They recorded instances during 1989
      when the BLM observers feared that foals may have been separated. After
      17 flights over the Wassuks and Clan Alpine areas, one observer wrote,

      “In my opinion, at least five foals were likely permanently separated from their
      mares. … I believe that the [actual] number of foals [lost] … is greater than the five.” Sweeney’s memorandum concludes “an undetermined number are left behind to become orphaned.”

      Like

  5. WILD HORSE POPULATIONS: FIELD STUDIES IN GENETICS AND FERTILITY
    Report to the Bureau of Land Management U.S. Department of the Interior Committee on Wild Horse and Burro Research Board on Agriculture National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1991

    The wounds caused by tight collars were unquestionably grim in appearance.
    In some cases, the horse grew into the collar material, so that the collar
    became imbedded in the animal’s neck. In other cases, the collar abraded
    the skin under the neck where the radio unit was attached, causing an open
    sore that subsequently became infected. Loose collars rode up on the animals’
    necks and over their foreheads, causing sores on the ears.

    In 1987, after neck wounds were first observed, seven animals were
    darted at Stone Cabin to treat collar sores. One collar was removed, and six
    collars were loosened. One animal was subsequently recollared. In 1988,
    28 animals were darted to treat collar problems; 19 collars were removed, 6
    were adjusted, 2 horses were released without adjustment, and 1 mare died
    as a result of recapture.

    Like

  6. WILD HORSE POPULATIONS: FIELD STUDIES IN GENETICS AND FERTILITY
    Report to the Bureau of Land Management U.S. Department of the Interior Committee on Wild Horse and Burro Research Board on Agriculture National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1991

    A total of 273 mares and 45 stallions in the experimental populations
    survived roundup and initial collaring. Eighteen placebo-treated mares died
    at Clan Alpine shortly after being rounded up and collared. The stallions
    were collared first, and subsequent collar problems with males involved
    loose collars that slid up over the animals’ ears. By the end of the study
    period, 13 of 20 vasectomized animals in the Flanigan site had lost collars
    and 2 others had died. In Beaty Butte, 7 of 20 lost collars over the course
    of the study and 2 other collared animals had died. This gradual loss of
    collars and a lack of controls throughout the vasectomy study make the
    results of the vasectomy experiments difficult to interpret.

    The issue arose again after the 1989 field season, sparked by a memorandum
    (Sweeney, 1989) that was based on field observations by BLM employees
    who accompanied the research flights, in a separate helicopter, to identify
    collared mares and to observe foals. They recorded instances during 1989
    when the BLM observers feared that foals may have been separated. After
    17 flights over the Wassuks and Clan Alpine areas, one observer wrote,

    Like

    • So Louie, its obvious that they (as usual) learned NOTHING from these disasters! I have to say that collaring wild horses (prey animals) certainly to my uneducated mind is just asking for trouble. The fact that the collars themselves are enough to blow these horses minds – then to leave them alone as the horses grow??????????????????? I think this agency is nothing more than a bunch of morons “playing” with the lives of living creatures! How the hell do we stop this? I’ve commented several times on the current “research” project – but honestly these dipsticks dont have to listen to us and theres no one in authority who cares, I guess.

      Like

      • And they don’t answer their phones either Maggie. All you get is a message on the answer machine….especially when there is a scheduled roundup or other controversial project in the works. They most often are (out of the office).
        Are they even IN their offices?

        Like

  7. WILD HORSE POPULATIONS: FIELD STUDIES IN GENETICS AND FERTILITY
    Report to the Bureau of Land Management U.S. Department of the Interior Committee on Wild Horse and Burro Research Board on Agriculture National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1991

    “In my opinion, at least five foals were likely permanently separated from their
    mares. … I believe that the [actual] number of foals [lost] … is greater than the five.” Sweeney’s memorandum concludes “an undetermined number are left behind to become orphaned.”

    Like

  8. Thats a NO and a NO on my behalf and many others we Iknow who are against this Frankenstein experimental field spaying on the wild horses of the White mtn and the Mesa Verde wild horses.
    It’s way too risky as infection can easily set in. Totally unjustified reasons for doing this, Why zero out these beautiful iconic horses
    TOO many of the BLM are getting paid big bucks for this nonsense while insulting our intelligence.
    zero out the BLM. The world will be a better place!

    Like

  9. The Bureau of Land Management needs to be nice to these wild mustangs I think they should split some acres of land so that way fairs fair you know they should leave a good amount for the wild mustangs because they deserve to be left alone and in peace just like the bald eagle we need to respect their horses and wild mustangs they bring peace and freedom I just wish the government would be more considerate and not so excuse

    Like

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