Jonathan Ratner of Western Watersheds Project on Wild Horse & Burro Radio (Wed., Feb. 10th)

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Join us on Wild Horse Wednesdays®, Feb. 10th, 2016

4:00 pm PST … 5:00 pm MST … 6:00 pm CST … 7:00 pm EST

Listen to the archived show (HERE!)

You can also listen to the show on your phone by calling (917) 388-4520.

You can call in with questions during the 2nd half hour, by dialing (917) 388-4520, then pressing 1.

This is a 1 hour show.  It will be archived so you can listen to it anytime.

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Jonathan-Ratner

Our guest is JONATHAN RATNER, Western Watersheds Project’s Director for Wyoming, Utah and Colorado.  Jonathan joined WWP after a stint with the Forest Service in which he documented severe degradation caused by livestock grazing.  When his reports were consigned to the ‘round file’ by the Forest Service, he left and came across Western Watersheds Project and started WWP’s Wyoming Office.

Jonathan will talk about public lands ranching, the most widespread commercial use of public lands in the United States.  Jonathan will also talk about BLM grazing allotments within Wild Horse & Burro HMAs, and “Data Trespass,” Wyoming’s fancy name for it’s Ag Gag law.

Ranching is one of the primary causes of native species endangerment in the American West; it is also the most significant cause of non-point source water pollution and desertification.

Tonight’s show is hosted by Debbie Coffey, V.P. and Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

To contact us: ppj1@hush.com, or call 320-281-0585

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BLM and SITLA Enter into Wild Horse Management Agreement

 

Trust lands leases = the state of Utah leasing state land (“interspersed within public lands” ) for mining, oil and gas, grazing, and commercial development.  This is just one more way the BLM partners up with special interests to get rid of wild horses.  –  Debbie

gravel-pit-for-using-TL photo:  State of Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration

Source:  Emery County Progress

The Bureau of Land Management and Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA) announced on Feb. 3, they entered into an Agreement to effectively manage wild horses located on SITLA lands within areas across the State of Utah.

SITLA is an independent state agency that manages and develops the State’s trust-land assets for the benefit of Utah’s public education system and other state institutions. There are about 3.4 million acres of SITLA-managed land interspersed within and among the 22.9 million acres of public lands throughout Utah, with more than 555,000 acres of SITLA lands impacted by wild horses. The 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros (WH&B) Act prohibits SITLA from unilaterally removing wild horses from its trust lands. Only the BLM can remove wild horses and then only after it has consulted with and involved state wildlife agencies and other affected interests, and has entered into agreements as necessary when managing wild horses and burros. SITLA, in accordance with the 1971 WH&B Act, originally filed suit in federal district court against BLM on February 3, 2015, for failure to remove wild horses from school section lands held in trust by the State of Utah.

The suit alleged that the impact of wild horse populations has resulted in the damage and degradation of rangeland resources on these lands. SITLA argued that resource degradation caused by excessive numbers of wild horses has diminished its ability to effectively meet its mandate to manage and maximize revenues for the support of its beneficiaries.

In an unprecedented effort to work collaboratively and avoid a lengthy and expensive courtroom struggle, both parties met numerous times over this past year to come up with an acceptable solution. As a result of these efforts, the BLM and SITLA have entered into an Agreement that provides for a mutual commitment to work cooperatively to manage wild horses that have entered onto SITLA lands. The agencies will meet annually to identify priority removal areas, ensure environmental review, conduct aerial population surveys jointly, and monitor rangeland resources and improvements. The Agreement, which is subject to congressional appropriations, places priority on managing BLM herd areas (HAs) and herd management areas (HMAs) in the south-central and southwest areas of state, where the lawsuit was specifically aimed. However, the Agreement also calls for additional efforts in the rest of the state where other challenges arise between SITLA and BLM management.

“The BLM is pleased to be working closely with SITLA on this challenging issue of wild horse management,” said BLM-Utah Acting State Director, Jenna Whitlock. “We look forward to implementing this Agreement to ensure both the horses themselves and the rangelands they occupy are preserved and protected.” SITLA’s assistance in managing the wild horses that have entered onto its lands will complement BLM’s current wild horse management efforts and benefit the overall public interest by supporting healthy watersheds, productive rangelands, and sustainable ecosystems, while encouraging a strong locally based land ethic that will apply current scientific rangeland management principles.

SITLA Deputy Director Kim Christy said, “Management activities conducted pursuant to this Agreement are intended to enable SITLA to fulfill its trustee role in a more robust and effective manner by promoting healthy and productive rangelands on SITLA lands affected by wild horses and burros. We look forward to this unique opportunity of working proactively with BLM and pioneering workable solutions to problems we commonly share as landowners.”