Please Comment to Protect Wyoming’s Wild Horses from the Devastating 2017 Checkerboard Roundup

Source:  wildhoofbeats.com

Adobe Town Family

by Carol Walker, Dir. of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Please Comment by April 4, 2017 on the Checkerboard 2017 Roundup

The BLM was unable to roundup wild horses from Salt Wells Creek, Adobe Town and Great Divide Basin in 2016 because we won a lawsuit that prohibits the BLM from managing the wild horses in the Checkerboard using only Section 4 of the Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act, which allows them to remove wild horses from private lands.  Because the Checkerboard includes public lands, it is illegal to manage them as if they were privately owned by the ranchers demanding these roundups.  In order to legally roundup wild horses from the Checkerboard, the BLM must prove that the numbers are above Appropriate Management Level, or AML.  Now, they are not even conducting a census to prove this, instead they are “projecting” that the horses are over the high end of AML.

Roundups cause the destruction of hundreds of wild horse families, as well as injuries and death to the horses as they are chased by helicopters and flee in terror into traps.  These captured wild horses are chased into trailers and taken away from the only home they have ever had to end up spending the rest of their days languishing in holding corrals with no shelter.  Only a lucky few are adopted by members of the public and these do not always mean good homes – the return rate back to the BLM for adopted or purchased wild horses is over 50%.  Many many of these horses will end up at slaughter in Mexico.  There is no good reason to roundup and remove these horses from Adobe Town, Salt Wells Creek and Great Divide Basin.

I have been following and observing and photographing the wild horses in these three herd management areas for the last 13 years. These horses are uniquely suited to this sometime harsh high desert environment.  They are the last three largest herds in Wyoming, and they deserve to be preserved on our public lands.  Although the Checkerboard presents challenges to BLM management because of its pattern of public alternating with private lands, that is no reason to cave into petty demands from the Rock Springs Grazing Association, which is made up from less than 25 members.  These wild horses are valuable to us, the American public, and so every effort must be made to preserve them here where they were found at the time the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act was passed.  These horses were here long before the Grazing Association, and now what needs to happen is land swaps to consolidate blocks of public land that the horses can continue to roam upon.  Managing the wild horses on the range, on our public lands where they can continue to roam free and making these necessary land swaps happen is what the BLM needs to be working on, not perpetuating this every 3 year pattern of roundup, removal, then warehouse our wild horses.  The Field Manager of the Rock Springs BLM Field Office has been quoted as saying: “For all intents and purposes, we consider the Checkerboard private.”  But it is NOT private.  In fact, over half of the Adobe Town, Salt Wells Creek and Great Divide Basin Herd Management Areas are public land, that belongs to us, the citizens of the United States of America, not the Rock Springs Grazing Association.

Great Divide Basin Family

This time, the BLM wants to remove 1029 wild horses: 584 removed from Salt Wells Creek, 210 removed from Adobe Town, and 235 removed from Great Divide Basin.

They are not even calculating their numbers from an actual aerial census – they are making these numbers up.  Every year, the BLM conducts and aerial census in late April, but now they are just “projecting” the numbers.

Read the rest of this article and find out how YOU can comment HERE.

36 comments on “Please Comment to Protect Wyoming’s Wild Horses from the Devastating 2017 Checkerboard Roundup

  1. FYI…and I hope this helps you

    Yesterday the BLM was stripped of their powers over the States

    The power to make decisions was given back to the People for the People and by the People

    By President Trump

    Check it out to see how it can help you

    Like

  2. Leave the wild horses run free and live out their lives in their true home. Stop harassing them!
    In my opinion, the overseers / managers of these magnificent creatures, if truly needed, should be the Native Americans. They have respect for the land and the inhabitants.

    Like

  3. The wild horses and other wildlife should be given priority over the people who are using our public lands to graze their cattle on which they are making a profit on. Anywhere else and they would have to buy the land they graze their livestock on. I, like many others have to buy my own land so explain to me how fair is that.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. The magnificent wild horses of the American plains must be protected. They stir our hearts, quicken our breath, shine in our eyes. They are noble and free, and they do not deserve to be taken forcibly from their range and be subject to the confinement by men or death in the slaughterhouses.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Our Iconic Wild Horses are scapegoats for the cattle $$$ making freeloaders.
    BLM does not know how to manage them, are corrupt and make up numbers so as to round them up when it is misinformation !!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. DECLARATION OF LLOYD EISENHAUER

    Katherine A. Meyer
    Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal
    1601 Connecticut Ave., N.W.
    Suite 700
    Washington, D.C. 20009
    (202) 588-5206
    Timothy Kingston
    408 West 23rd Street, Suite 1
    Cheyenne, WY 82001-3519
    (WY Bar No. 6-2720)
    (307) 638-8885

    Attorneys for Defendant-Intervenors
    IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
    FOR THE DISTRICT OF WYOMING
    Rock Springs Grazing Association, Case No. 2:11-cv-00263-NDF
    Plaintiff,
    v.
    Ken Salazar, et al.,
    Defendants,

    DECLARATION OF LLOYD EISENHAUER
    I, Lloyd Eisenhauer, declare as follows:
    1. I live in Cheyenne, Wyoming. I am a former Bureau of Land Management
    (“BLM”) official with extensive experience in the Rawlins and Rock Springs Districts in Wyoming and intimate familiarity with the public lands under BLM management in those areas. I have reviewed the consent decree proposed by BLM and the Rock Springs Grazing Association (“RSGA”) in this case and provide this declaration based on my longstanding knowledge of, and management of, wild horses and livestock grazing in the Rock Springs and Rawlins Districts.
    2. I grew up in Pine Bluffs, Wyoming with a livestock and farming background, served in the Marines for four years, and then owned a livestock business from 1952-1958. I enrolled in college in 1958, studying range management. From 1960-1961, BLM hired me to assist with collecting field data for vegetation assessments and carrying capacity surveys related to livestock and wild horses. These surveys were conducted in the Lander, Kemmerer, and Rawlins Districts. When I graduated in 1962, BLM hired me full-time to serve in the Rawlins District in Wyoming, where most of my work focused on grazing management involving sheep, cattle, and wild horses. From 1968-1972, I was Area Manager of the Baggs-Great Divide Resource Area in the Rawlins District. In 1971, the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act was enacted, and in the spring of 1972, on behalf of BLM, I conducted the first aerial survey of wild horses in Wyoming, recording the number of horses and designating the Herd Management Areas (“HMAs”) for the Rawlins District. After a stint as an Area Manager with BLM’s Albuquerque, New Mexico office, in 1975 I took over as the Chief of Planning and Environmental Analysis in BLM’s Rock Springs District for three years. I was the lead on all planning and environmental assessments. During that time, I also served as the Acting Area Manager of the Salt Wells Resource Area, which is located in the Rock Springs District. In 1979, BLM transferred me to its Denver Service Center to serve as the Team Leader in creating the agency’s automated process for data collection. I received an excellence of service award from the Secretary of the Interior commending me for my work as a Team Leader. In 1982, I became the Head of Automation in BLM’s Cheyenne office, where I managed and implemented the data collection and processing of various systems related to BLM programs. I retired from BLM in 1986, and have stayed very involved in the issue of wild horse and livestock management on BLM lands in Wyoming, and have written articles about the issue in local and other newspaper outlets. I have won various journalistic awards, including a Presidential award, for my coverage of conservation districts in Wyoming. Along with a partner, I operated a tour business (called Backcountry Tours) for six years, taking various groups into wild places in Wyoming – without a doubt wild horses were the most popular thing to see on a tour, in large part due to their cultural and historical value. I also served six years on the governor’s non-point source water quality task force.
    3. Based on my longstanding knowledge of wild horse and livestock management in the Rawlins and Rock Springs Districts, and in the Wyoming Checkerboard in particular, I am very concerned about BLM’s agreement with RSGA, embodied in the proposed Consent Decree they have filed in this case, under which BLM would remove all wild horses located on RSGA’s private lands on the Wyoming Checkerboard.
    4. The Checkerboard is governed by an exchange of use agreement between the federal government and private parties such as RSGA. However, due to state laws, property lines, and intermingled lands, it is impossible to fence the lands of the Wyoming Checkerboard, which means that both the wild horses and the livestock that graze there roam freely between public and private lands on the Checkerboard without any physical barriers. For this reason, it is illogical for BLM to commit to removing wild horses that are on the “private” lands RSGA owns or leases because those same horses are likely to be on public BLM lands (for example, the Salt Wells, Adobe Town, Great Divide, and White Mountains HMAs) earlier in that same day or later that same evening. Essentially, in contrast to other areas of the country where wild horses still exist, on the Wyoming Checkerborad there is no way to distinguish between horses on “private” lands and those on public lands, and therefore it would be unprecedented, and indeed impossible for BLM to contend that it is removing all horses on RSGA’s “private” lands at any given time of the year, month, or day, considering that those horses would only be on the strictly “private” lands very temporarily and intermittently on any particular day .
    5. Another major concern with BLM’s agreement to remove all horses from the private lands of the Wyoming Checkerboard is that BLM is undermining the laws that apply to the Checkerboard, and wild horse management in general, which I implemented during my time as a BLM official. Traditionally, BLM officials (myself included) have understood that, pursuant to the Wild Horse Act, wild horses have a right to use BLM lands, so long as their population numbers do not cause unacceptable damage to vegetation or other resources. In stark contrast, however, livestock (sheep and cattle) have no similar right to use BLM lands; rather, livestock owners may be granted the privilege of using BLM lands for livestock grazing pursuant to a grazing permit that is granted by BLM under the Taylor Grazing Act, but that privilege can be revoked, modified, or amended by BLM for various reasons, including for damage to vegetation or other resources caused by livestock, or due to sparse forage available to sustain livestock after wild horses are accounted for. BLM’s tentative agreement here does the opposite and instead prioritizes livestock over wild horses, by proposing to remove hundreds of wild horses from the Wyoming Checkerboard without reducing livestock numbers – which, in my view, is contrary to the laws governing BLM’s actions as those mandates were explained to me and administered during the decades that I was a BLM official.
    6. While I do not agree with every management action taken by BLM over the years in the Rock Springs District, I can attest – based on my longstanding employment with BLM and my active monitoring of the agency’s activities during retirement – that BLM has generally proven capable of removing wild horses in the Rock Springs District, including by responding to emergency situations when needed and removing horses when necessary due to resource damage.
    7. Considering that wild horses exhibit different foraging patterns and movement patterns than sheep and cattle, and also than big game such as antelope and elk, no sound biological basis exists for permanently removing wild horses from the Wyoming Checkerboard at this time. In particular, wild horses tend to hang out in the uplands at a greater distance from water sources until they come to briefly drink water every day or two, whereas livestock congregate near water sources and riparian habitat causing concentrated damage to vegetation and soil. For this reason, the impacts of wild horses are far less noticeable on the Checkerboard than impacts from livestock.
    8. In addition, because livestock tend to eat somewhat different forage than wild horses (horses tend to eat coarser vegetation such as Canadian wild rye and other bunch grasses, whereas cattle and sheep mostly eat softer grasses), there is no justification to remove wild horses on the basis that insufficient forage exists to support the current population of wild horses. Also, because cattle and sheep have no front teeth on the front part of their upper jaws, they tend to pull and tear grasses or other forage out by the root causing some long-term damage to vegetation, whereas wild horses, which have front teeth on both their front upper and lower jaws, act more like a lawnmower and just clip the grass or forage (leaving the root uninjured), allowing the vegetation to quickly grow back. These differences are extremely significant because if there were a need to reduce the use of these BLM lands by animals to preserve these public lands, it might be cattle and sheep – not wild horses – that should be reduced to gain the most benefit for the lands, and which is why BLM, during my time as an agency official, focused on reducing livestock grazing.
    9. BLM’s agreement with RSGA states that RSGA’s conservation plan limited livestock grazing, primarily by sheep, to the winter months to provide sufficient winter forage. This is a good example of “multiple use” management, since wild horses and sheep have very little competition for the forage they consume and the seasons during which they use parts of the Checkerboard. During winter, sheep use the high deserts and horses utilize the uplands and breaks (i.e., different locations) for forage and protection. During the summer, when sheep are not present, wild horses use various landscapes on the Checkerboard. This multiple use should continue for the benefit of the livestock, the wild horses, and the public and private lands involved.
    10. I am also very concerned about BLM’s agreement with RSGA to permanently zero out the Salt Wells HMA and the Divide Basin HMA, leaving no wild horses in those areas that have long contained wild horses. I have been to fifteen of the sixteen HMAs in Wyoming, and to my knowledge none has ever been zeroed out by BLM. It is my view, based on everything I know about these areas and the way these public lands are used by wild horses and livestock, that BLM has no biological or ecological basis for zeroing out a herd of wild horses in an HMA that existed at the time the wild horse statute was passed in 1971, as is the case with both the Salt Wells and Divide Basin HMAs. And, again, because the wild horses have a statutory right to be there, whereas livestock only have a privilege that can be revoked at any time by BLM, there also is no authority or precedent, to my knowledge, for the agency to zero out these two longstanding wild horse herds simply to appease private livestock grazers.
    11. The zeroing out of wild horses in the Salt Wells and Divide Basin HMAs is also concerning because it would mean that, in those two longstanding HMAs, there would no longer be the “multiple use” of these public lands as required by both the Wild Horse Act and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act. Currently, while there are other uses of this public land, such as by wildlife, hunters, and recreational users, the two primary uses in those HMAs are by wild horses and livestock. If BLM proceeds with its agreement with RSGA to zero out wild horses in those HMAs, the only major use remaining would be livestock use, meaning that there would be no multiple use of those BLM lands. Not only will that potentially undermine the laws that BLM officials must implement here, but it has practical adverse effects on the resources – multiple use is very beneficial for the environment, and particularly for sensitive vegetation, because different users (e.g., livestock, wild horses) use the lands and vegetation in different ways. When that is eliminated, the resources are subjected to an unnatural use of the lands which can cause severe long-term damage to the vegetation. As a result, zeroing out these herds would likely bedevastating for the vegetation in these two HMAs, because livestock would be by far the predominant use in this area.
    12. Turning the White Mountain HMA into a non-reproducing herd, as the agreement between BLM and RSGA proposes to do, is also a farce, and violates the meaning of a wild and free-roaming animal. This is essentially a slow-motion zeroing out of this HMA, and is inconsistent with any wild horse management approach I am familiar with that BLM has implemented on public lands.
    Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1746, I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.
    Lloyd Eisenhauer

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is a wonderful DECLARATION for our government to read. It’s impossible for BLM to round up only horses on private land. We all know what the BLM does anyways, they run the Wild Horses horses from OUR public land to private land.

      Thank God there are several good people, experts wiling to give of their time to submit DECLARATIONs like this to the courts. Those people are HEROS FOR HORSES

      Like

  7. I find it appalling that Republicans are driven to destroy our wild life in all forms including: Killing hibernating Bear Cubs and Wolf Pups in AK, changing EPA regulations and laws that affect all living creatures on the planet! Now, the Republican party finds it necessary to kill wild horses? Voter’s will remember this atrocity!

    Like

    • Giving the power back to the States puts the power back into the hands of the people

      Not happy with the elected officials in your State

      Then vote them out and put your own people up for election

      Complaining and name calling never gets anyone anywhere

      Like

      • I try to see the issue from both sides. Although I could understand why some people would want to give state governments more control over certain things, it is my understanding that the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 only applies to horses managed by the BLM under the federal government. My question is won’t the protections of the Mustangs and burros be stripped away if the states were tasked with their management? Also, in states were anti-wild horse sentiment is rampant, I fear that certain herds would be obliterated. For that reason, I’m extremely wary about states having control over the very animals that “We the People” cherish so much. That being said, I agree that that shouldn’t stop us from being involved in our local and state governments and voting for pro-animal welfare candidates. I also believe that we should have a Plan B in place God forbid if the states are tasked with wild horse and burro management — in other words, have advocates in each state where free-roaming equines reside in organized and ready to work at the local level to do everything in their power to preserve our wild ones.

        Like

      • Wild horses and burros, as well as the public lands, belong to 325 million American citizens, not just the handful of states where they happen to be located. Handing over these massive public resources to states which will benefit financially by their fragmentation, extermination, and sale, is not only unethical, it defeats one of the most cherished of our democratic traditions, that really being the equal “power of ALL the people” not just those with a way to profit from the loss of all others.

        I agree states should run their own states, but to extrapolate that into a reason to empty the entire US citizenry of some of our most distinctive and cherished publicly owned assets is an indefensible position. I live in Colorado, for example, which is nearly half public lands that surely are worth a lot on the development market, but which belong to ALL US citizens. Elected officials in a single state have not and should not have the authority to rob the national interest to benefit only a few.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Both my senators (NY) seem to feel & vote pretty much as I do. Representative? Not so much. Very frustrating to watch too many western states reps. do what they do!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Maggie, it’s all about “follow the money” but as Wild Horse Annie proved, the sleeping giant of the American public can be awakened. The strength of even some fraction of 325 million citizens standing up and speaking up is something no elected official can long ignore.

        Our society’s disfunction depends on people remaining pacified and narcotized as witnessed by fewer than half those who could have voted last November even showed up, and of those that did, a scant half chose our current “leadership.” Our system was intended and designed to be participatory; we get what we deserve as a society if apathy reigns.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Please, we the American People are begging you to STOP this insanity.and let the horses live free on their land or atleast make it MANDATORY THE BLM gives the horses back LAND &sign in to never disturb them again..THE LAWS PUT INTO place for the horses have been abused ignored& Broken.
    My heart breaks for these AMAZING BEAUTIFUL TREASURES having never wronged ANYONE! THEY are repeatedly under ATTACK. DESTROYING THEIR herds taking their homes freedoms & babies etc.
    Is their no BEING HUMANE in being human anymore???
    HORSES are the greatest gift EVER created…& here’s why…
    1) They help children w/ autism
    2)They help Veterans w/PTSD
    3)Prison programs train men to be horse trainers upon their release date GIVING them a trade to lean on not leaving them worse off than before they went in….
    4) HORSES cultivate OUR🇺🇸land’s for free& help it thrive& flourish; healthy
    5) the horses can live off land for free especially now after killing a million of them off for believing BLM LIES…
    6) HORSES fought in wars for the this COUNTRY& helped build IT TOO.
    7) we have let TOO many down as it is thousands suffer in Auschwitz hell pens breaking their spirit& pride.they are gifts.
    8) they SYMBOLIZE AMERICA PERIOD
    9) 3 out of4 TAX PAYERS OPPOSE ROUND-UPS & using our money to do💔
    10) The horses are PROTECTED for a LOGICAL REASON. It’s INSANE& CRIMINAL TO REMOVE OR HURT ANYMORE!!! Please DON’T ALLOW the lies to take more INNOCENT HORSES LIVES!!!! WE ARE BEGGING U TO GIVE SOME LAND BACK IN FRACK FREE PIPELINE FREE AREAS!!!!
    ANYTHING else now is just WRONG we LOVE& RESPECT them & our Gov.& State’s should too!!! Please STOP this please💔
    Speaking from the heart of over 75% of the American People!!! STOP PUTTING horse costs on U.S. after making us secretly pay for you to steal them..then give short deadlines or have to send to SLAUGHTER!!! Thats a bold faced lie no horse EVER HAS TO GO TO SLAUGHTER. THESE people are repeatedly LYING and you are believing them over the horses the land’s best interest & the people’s pleas get ignored…So more can die…? UNACCEPTABLE &on OUR dime. It is Beyond cruel. Puppy mill’s get shut down for less cruelty but OUR GOV.gets away with this torture onto OUR American Mustangs, buffalos& donkeys!!! Please be kind WE ARE mankind after all shouldn’t we also be kind!!! ESPECIALLY to the voiceless. Please hear us NOW…
    💔🇺🇸💙Thank you for listening, Rachel Prater TRUE HORSE LOVER!!

    Like

  9. Kangaroos (NON-Native) introduced into Wyoming for wildlife viewing and hunting
    while
    Wild Horses are removed ?!

    First 90 Kangaroos released in Wyoming
    Fabian Lobera POSTED ON APRIL 1, 2017

    The Wyoming Wild Game Department (WWGD) partnering with the Wyoming Migration Initiative (WMI) have released the first of 5 planned batches of 90 Antilopine Kangaroos into the Wyoming outdoors.
    Dubbed “Project Sage Hopper” by the WWGD team responsible for evaluating the viability of Wyoming’s habitat for Australian marsupials, it has been in the planning stages for 3 years. The goal is two-fold: Create new and interesting wildlife viewing opportunities for tourists, and in several years, potentially provide additional hunting opportunities.
    http://buckrail.com/first-90-kangaroos-released-in-wyoming/

    Like

  10. This article is for real
    ABC NEWS

    Why Are They Killing the Wild Horses?

    While coyote hunting in the open federal lands of central Wyoming, Chuck Reed recently made an ugly discovery
    .
    The officer for the Rawlins, Wyo., division of the Bureau of Land Management spotted a mound of brown against the white snow. As he drew nearer, he realized he was looking at the corpses of three recently shot wild horses.

    Reed says it’s not uncommon to find single corpses of horses that have been sickly and then shot out of mercy. But as he inspected the two young mares and one stallion, he concluded they could not have been killed with any good intention.

    “The animals were fat and healthy,” recalls Reed. “There was no point in looking for a noble motive. It was obvious they’d been murdered.”

    Graceful and Contested

    Reed’s discovery raised the total number of wild horse killings in Wyoming to 37 since December. And while the spate of killings has inspired outrage and disgust among all kinds of groups, it also highlights a continuing source of tension between animal-rights activists and ranchers: how to manage the estimated 49,000 wild horses that roam free in Western states.

    To people like Andrea Alococo, director of Wyoming’s Fund For Animals, ranchers and the government should do everything possible to allow these graceful animals to run free and wild. To ranchers like Leonard Hay, president of Wyoming’s Rock Springs Grazing Association, the horses nibble the grasses that are vital to livestock, and need to be controlled.

    In compliance with the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971, the BLM manages flourishing wild horse populations by keeping tabs on their numbers and regularly gathering hundreds of wild horses using helicopters, fences and wranglers. The horses are taken to temporary holding pens, where they’re fattened up with rich grains and then sold for adoption.
    “They’re going to manage wild horses into extinction,” says Alococo.

    Alococo’s group also finds big problems within the BLM’s mustang adoption program. The Animal Fund recently sued the bureau for failing to protect more than 575 adopted horses from slaughter last year despite a 1997 court settlement requiring the BLM to enforce tougher oversight of the adoption process.

    Slaughtered Adoptees

    Alococo points out that too often, adopters either slaughter their adopted horses before or just after gaining titles to them. BLM officials say they work with slaughter houses to try and ensure no untitled horses are processed. But they argue there is little the bureau can do once the horses become private property.

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=94255&page=1

    Like

Care to make a comment?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s