Today: Livestream link to watch BLM’s National Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board meeting

The Bureau of Land Management’s National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board starts today in Redmond, Oregon.

Wednesday, April 13, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific Time

Thursday, April 14, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific Time

You can watch the live stream of the meeting at http://www.blm.gov/live.

AGENDA

Wednesday, April 13, 2016
1:00 pm
Welcome and Introductions, Fred Woehl, Chair, Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board
Agenda Review, Kathie Libby, Facilitator
BLM Opening Remarks, Kristin Bail, Designated Federal Officer, Acting Assistant Director, Resources & Planning, BLM
Welcome/Introduction to Oregon, Lee Folliard, Acting Deputy State Director, Oregon, BLM
Oregon Wild Horse and Burro Program, Robert Sharp and Bob Hopper, Co-State Leads, Oregon, BLM
1:50 pm  – Approval of Minutes from September, 2015 Meeting, Fred Woehl, Chair Decision
2:00 pm  – BLM Response to Advisory Board Recommendations, Dean Bolstad, Division Chief, Wild Horse and Burro Program, BLM
2:30 pm – Wild Horse and Burro Program Update, Dean Bolstad, Division Chief, Wild Horse and Burro Program, BLM
3:00 pm  – Break
3:15 pm – 4:45 pm – Public Comment Period
4:45 pm – BLM Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Demand Study Research, Update from contractor Lori Mitchell Dixon, Ph.D, President of Great Lakes Marketing Research
5:15 pm  – Adjourn
***********
Thursday, April 14, 2016
8:00 am  – Welcome, Fred Woehl, Chair
8:05 am  – U.S Forest Service Update, Barry Imler, Rangeland Program Manager, USFS and Amanda McAdams, Forest Supervisor for Modoc National Forest, USFS
8:50 am – Mustang Heritage Foundation Update, Kali Sublett, Exec. Dir. Mustang Heritage Foundation
9:20 am  – Budget Update  Renee Fuhrman, Acting Budget Specialist, Wild Horse & Burro Program, BLM
9:35 am  – Research Update  Paul Griffin, Research coordinator, Wild Horse & Burro Program, BLM (calling in remotely)
10:15 am  – Break
10:30 am – On-Range Update, Bryan Fuell, On-Range Branch Chief, Wild Horse & Burro Program, BLM
11:15 am  – Off-Range Update, Holle’ Hooks, Off-Range Branch Chief, Wild Horse & Burro Program, BLM
11:30 am  – Wild Horse & Burro Webmap Update, Jason Lutterman, On-Range Public Affairs Specialist, Wild Horse & Burro Program, BLM
11:45 am  – Wild Horse & Burro Update – Eastern States Office, Karlee Yurek, Branch Chief Natural Community Resources and Acting State Lead for Eastern States, BLM
12:00  – Lunch
1:00 pm  – Ecosystem Services, Rebecca Moore, Economist Contributor to Wild Horse & Burro Program, BLM
1:45 pm – Working Group Reports
2: 45 pm  – Break
3:00 pm  – Advisory Board Discussion and Recommendations to the BLM
5:00 pm  – Adjourn

The elephant in the room at BLM’s National Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board meetings

elephant-in-the-room

The elephant in the room (photo: bassamsalem)

This is a public comment letter that K.R. Gregg, Environmental Researcher, sent to the BLM’s National Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board:

April 10, 2016

National Wild Horse and Wild Burro Program National Advisory Board Members

Attention: Ramona DeLorme, 1340 Financial Boulevard, Reno, Nevada, 89502-7147

whbadvisoryboard@blm.gov

I request that this letter be provided to all board members and also be included in the official minutes and the administrative record for the meeting.  Thank you.

Re:  National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board Public Comment

Dear Sirs/Madams:

I have heard people talk about the “elephant in the room” during BLM meetings and then ignore the REAL elephant in the room, which is that there are NO excess wild horses and burros on their congressionally designated legal lands.

Do not allow the BLM and USFS and Farm Bureau, the extractive and mining giants, hunting lobbyists and the domestic livestock grazing associations to pull the wool over your eyes. There are no excess wild horses and burros on their legally designated land.

Per the 1971 Congressional Wild Horse and Burro Act, the land is to be devoted PRINCIPALLY, although not exclusively, to the wild horses and wild burros’ welfare in keeping with the multiple-use management concept of public lands. 


Definition of “principally”: First, highest, foremost in importance, rank, worth or degree, chief, mainly, largely, chiefly, especially, particularly, mostly, primarily, above all, predominantly, in the main, for the most part, first and foremost.

There is NO reason for these wild horse and burro removals and destruction procedures … because there are NO excess wild horses and burros on their legally designated land.

In 1971, when Congress passed the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, these animals were found roaming across 53,800,000 million acres. That amount of acreage could support more than about 250,000 wild horses and burros, but even after 22,200,000 acres were stolen from the American people by government agencies, the remaining 31,600,000 acres could support more than 100,000 wild horses and burros today.

It is currently independently estimated that less than 20,000 wild horses and burros are living on their legal land today and yet the government continues its aggressive removal and destructive management toward total wild horse and burro extermination.

 

There is NO reason for these wild horse and burro removals and destruction procedures because there are NO excess wild horses and burros on their legally designated land.

 

 

BLM data show oil and gas industry is hoarding an area the size of Alabama

“…a total 19.3 million acres are sitting idle and locked up from other uses while the the oil industry pays no royalties, shortchanging taxpayers.”

(The BLM News Release with statistics can be read HERE.)

Source:  The Wilderness Society

UT_BigFlats_BLM_MasonCummings_R_151125_57-as-Smart-Object-1---Copy

Energy development in Utah.   Mason Cummings.

The oil and gas industry wants the public to believe that it needs access to more of our lands, but new statistics released by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on April 11 show the industry isn’t bidding on all of the land offered for lease by the BLM.  Even when oil and gas companies do decide to lease, they aren’t developing the land they have.

According to the data—Sixty percent of oil and gas leases on our public lands did not produce any oil or gas in fiscal year 2015.  This means a total 19.3 million acres are sitting idle and locked up from other uses while the the oil industry pays no royalties, shortchanging taxpayers.


5 ways the system is rigged in favor of the oil and gas industry


There seems to be a common theme when it comes to the oil and gas industry operating on public lands.  There seem to be few barriers in place to keep companies from accessing or holding on to lands once they are leased.

As recent analysis and trends have shown, nearly 90 percent of BLM lands are open for leasing—including wild areas that are important for recreation or too sensitive for drilling.  When the industry leases these lands, they have left a large percentage undeveloped and have essentially been squatting on large tracts of public lands—through a tool known as suspensions.  Right now the industry holds about 10 percent of all leased lands—3.25 million acres—in suspended leases.

BLM’s data also show a growing stockpile of unused drilling permits—which is a drain on BLM resources and taxpayer dollars.  In FY 2015 there was a record high of 7,500 approved permits that were not used.

Hoarders-art-2_color_0

Illustration by Max Greenberg.

While industry claims that BLM regulations (issued to protect other resources and taxpayers) are harming drilling on public lands, the evidence shows an overall decline of drilling on non-federal lands in the Rockies.  Drilling is tied to when and where oil and gas prices will allow industry to turn profits.

Meanwhile, production levels from federal lands remain high and industry continues to benefit from the way oil and gas is managed. The stockpiles of leased acreage and approved drilling permits highlight many of the systemic problems with how oil and gas development is currently managed in ways that harm the taxpayer and our wildlands.  Through common sense regulations and ongoing updates of out-of-date practices, the BLM can bring its practices into the 21st century.