Get real, John Ruhs

  John Ruhs, BLM Nevada State Director

                   

    Yosemite Sam, Ruhs’ doppelganger

Dadgummit!  After John Ruhs, Nevada’s BLM State Director, said that he wanted to round up 4,000 wild horses in Elko County last summer (supposedly in response to the continued lies blaming wild horses and burros for the “deterioration of drought-stricken rangeland”), we’re noting that many mines that will use billions of gallons of water are now on the verge of expanding in Nevada.

Ruhs recently spoke at the Elko Convention Center, and stated that “We are pretty proud of the fact that this last year we have worked with the Nevada Cattlemen’s Association, the Nevada Department of Agriculture, the Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife Service and NDOW to provide some public opportunities to talk about sage grouse land use amendments and what they mean to the grazing program. A lot of work still needs to be done.”

The BLM ALWAYS works with the Nevada Cattlemen’s Association.  And the National Cattlemen’s Association.  Actually, the BLM works FOR them.  Notice that the focus of talking about sage grouse land use amendments is all about what they mean to the grazing program?

Ruhs also lamented that wild horse and burro issues dominate a large part of the Nevada BLM and Ruhs went on to talk about the difficulties in wild horse management.

Wild horse and burro issues dominate?  Like, bigger than all of the mines and outnumbering all of the livestock?

And talk about difficulties?  How about all those abandoned mines in Nevada, John?

And management?  There is only wild horse and burro “MISmanagement.”

Ruhs then said “We are somewhere in excess of 37,000 horses on the rangeland that is a big priority for us and it’s one of the things that I hope in the new administration that we will see some changes that will finally allow us to get some work done on the ground.”

We hope that the work that Ruhs is referring to getting done “on the ground” will include getting an accurate count of the wild horses and burros, rescinding some livestock overgrazing permits and making sure the extractive industries don’t use every last drop of water.

Why even bother to imply that the BLM “manages” anything, except impending environmental damage from the “multiple uses” that make a buck?  Don’t stash the truth, John.

15 comments on “Get real, John Ruhs

  1. First of all I’d be willing to bet that there are less than 15000 nationwide. The way tyre agencies have been doing away with the horses there’s no way that his numbers are even close. The BLM has always sided with corporate cattle because they ARE corporate cattle ( look up the backgrounds of each and every board members). This isn’t and never had been about horses or sage grouse. It’s all about Cattle and sheep.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 40 US Mines are Causing Water Pollution that Will Last for Centuries, Says New Report
    Water treatment for these mines could cost as much as $67 billion per year

    The report by the mining watchdog group Earthworks, reveals that an estimated 17 to 27 billion gallons of polluted water will be generated by 40 existing hardrock mines (e.g. gold, copper, uranium mines) in the US each year, every year, in perpetuity. It says water treatment for these mines will cost as much as $67 billion per year.

    Perpetual management of mines is a rapidly escalating national dilemma as several new mining projects are being planned across the United States. Yet, the enormous and increasing water use at mines has gone almost unnoticed, says the report titled, “Polluting the Future: How Mining Companies are Contaminating Our Nation’s Waters in Perpetuity.” The report, also reveals that four proposed mines could additionally pollute for perpetuity, another 16 billion gallons of water a year.

    “The scale of the problem is enormous, and growing,” says Bonnie Gestring, Earthworks northwest organizer and author of the report. “Every year, mines will pollute enough water to fill 2 trillion water bottles — enough bottles to reach to the moon and back 54 times.”
    http://www.earthisland.org/journal/index.php/elist/eListRead/us_mines_are_causing_water_pollution_that_will_last_for_centuries_says/

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    • The horse should be the keystone species, not the sage grouse. This makes scientific and political sense unless you’re the Sierra Club. The modern horse originated and evolved in N. America for 55 to 60 some million years ago. Their ancestors and they have survived post rifting from Eurasia, continental drift from the point at a latitude not much above the equator.. They survived millions of years when we were nothing more than a steamy swamp mostly covered by shallow sea water from above northern Canada that flowed almost to the Gulf of Mexico. Now Canada is sitting next to the Arctic Circle and we have gone from a Tropical hotspot for most of our land mass which is still basically moderate. Horses are a very adaptable species and share 70% of the same genetic material as we do. We’re into the future and Nevada BLM and the cattle ranchers would be better off limiting sage grouse territory and welcoming horses–wild horses and burros, whose teeth have each adapted to eat certain grasses, a wide variety for both species, but they share the human range of survival and what is optimal or less than optimal.

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  3. Nevada Mining Fact Sheet

    Massive pit lakes are being created in Nevada, almost all of which will have questionable water quality, and effectively none of these lakes are being planned for future public access and use. These pit lakes represent a large loss of groundwater from surface evaporation, and that loss will affect water availability and spring water production for centuries.

    The massive quantities of earth moved for mining — and the exposure of elements and compounds once safely underground to air and water — starts a chemical chain reaction that is known to pollute our streams, rivers and lakes over the long term for centuries.’

    EPA estimates that more than 40 percent of western watersheds have been contaminated with mine waste. U.S. taxpayers took on $2.6 billion in Superfund and other federal cleanup of mines in the past decade — and are on the hook for an estimated $50 billion more.

    Meantime, every year the industry takes billions in gold and other hardrock minerals without compensating taxpayers as a whole, states like Nevada, or covering cleanup costs.

    Barrick paid $5 per acre when it patented approximately 1,000 acres of public land in Nevada that contained more than $10 billion in recoverable gold reserves, under the 1872 Mining Law.

    An estimated 424,000 acres of public land in Nevada – an area more than half the size of Yosemite National Park– have already been sold to private interests for either $2.50 or $5.00 per acre. This subsidized sale of public lands is allowed under the federal 1872 Mining Law
    .
    The General Accounting Office reports that multi-national gold mining conglomerates refuse to provide figures for the amount of gold and other minerals they take from public lands belonging to all the people. But it is estimated that $2.4 billion hardrock metals alone are taken from public lands every year.

    http://www.planevada.org/nevada-mining-fact-sheet/

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    • Sounds like the mining corporations follow the same playbook as the horse slaughter plant owners used to! So, tell me, how does the State of Nevada (and I presume other states) justify the environmental destruction done by “multinational corporations” AND get no profit from it? Actually like the grazing allotment program that a certain federal agency “manages”. Lots of destruction to the environment & it doesnt pay for itself!

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  4. Nevada Mining Fact Sheet (continued)
    Land, Water and Wildlife Impacts

    According to the US EPA, a total of 529 million pounds of toxic chemicals were dumped into Nevada’s land, water and air during 2011. Mining accounted for 98% of these releases. Seven of the10 biggest polluters in Nevada are mines owned by transnational mining conglomerates Barrick and Newmont.
    Nevada Department of Wildlife scientists and wildlife advocates are gravely concerned that Barrick’s fast-track expansion of its massive Bald Mountain Mine northwest of Ely will cut off the north-south migratory route for 23% of Nevada’s deer population. The decline in herd health and numbers from separating the deer from water and food sources in summer and winter seasons is unknown at this time, but thought to be significant. Yet, Barrick has been unwilling to accommodate mule deer corridors that would allow safe passage.
    Impacts on Great Basin Native American Communities

    The Western Shoshone consider Mt. Tenabo in central Nevada a sacred place figuring back to their creation stories. Today, Barrick mining is tearing it down; it is the second-largest and most profitable gold mine in the world.

    Because of mining pollution, members of the Yerington Paiute Tribe cannot drink the water on their reservation; it could kill them
    http://www.planevada.org/nevada-mining-fact-sheet/

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  5. Nevada Mining Fact Sheet (continued)

    Conclusion

    According to former Nevada State Archivist and historian Guy Rocha, the mining industry of Nevada Territory was so opposed to the level of mineral extraction taxation in the draft Nevada constitution of 1864, it compelled the constitutional delegates to draft new language that was much more favorable to the mining industry. Today, mining still bullies lawmakers in order to protect its unique and generous tax advantages.

    In Nevada, 90% of mining is from gold, and 90% of gold mined is from two transnational mining conglomerates, Barrick and Newmont. Not surprisingly, their campaign contributions dwarf those of all other mining corporations combined. The Nevada Mining Association is the 3rd-largest contributor. They made big investments in lawmakers in 2012 and are now expecting to be repaid by having SJR 15 killed in the 2013 session.

    It’s time for mining’s free ride to end.
    http://www.planevada.org/nevada-mining-fact-sheet/

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  6. There doesn’t appear to be any place for comments here

    BLM Wild Horses
    by KENV
    Friday, April 7th 2017

    Nevada’s wild horse population continues to swell as the tools the BLM previously used to manage populations were reined in by congress.

    Nevada BLM Director John Ruhs may address the issue while on a Washington DC detail, he believes the answers will come with collaboration.

    More than half the wests’ wild horse population is in Nevada, with more than 30-thousand-animals roaming the high desert range.

    MORE VIDEO
    http://kenvtv.com/news/local/blm-wild-horses

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  7. From PUBLIC EMPLOYEES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY (PEER)

    Public Trust Betrayed

    Employee Critique of Bureau of Land Management Rangeland Management
    BLM reports that rangelands are in their best condition ever, and refuses to even acknowledge the problems of overgrazing and industry domination of BLM land. District managers, fisheries and wildlife biologists, and conservations show how these practices damage and exhaust public land, destroy habitats, and degrade adjoining waterways. more >>

    https://www.peer.org/assets/docs/whitepapers/public_trust_betrayed.pdf

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  8. Just a small portion of a much more in-depth article (photos included)

    From COUNTERPUNCH

    by KATIE FITE
    JANUARY 8, 2016

    Argenta Allotment Settlement
    There has been prolonged, severe drought in Nevada. In 2014, defiant public lands ranchers resisted Battle Mountain BLM drought closures and cattle cuts in the Argenta allotment. They were emboldened by the Bundy incident. The ranchers set up a “Grass Camp”, aided by instigator Grant Gerber, across from the BLM office. They have waged an intimidation campaign against agency staff. They whined incessantly to cattle friendly Nevada politicians Amodei and Senator Heller. The Elko paper did not really report, but instead was a worshipful cheerleader against the BLM. The ranchers denied there even was a drought. At the very same time, they received lavish federal drought disaster relief payments.

    The cattle damage became so severe that by late summer that the local BLM finally closed the sensitive sage-grouse habitats in mountain pastures of the Shoshone Range to grazing. The ranchers and states rights politician John Carpenter appealed the protective closure. In spring 2015, an Interior Department Office of Hearings and Appeals administrative law judge finished review of a mountain of documents, and ruled in favor of the closure.

    But within weeks, BLM folded. All of Argenta was again flung open to grazing. Leadership under Nevada BLM Director JOHN RUHSJohn had forced a settlement deal indulging the ranchers every whim. Ruhs, bonded at the hip with the Cattlemen, had been “Acting” Director, and then officially became Nevada Director.

    The deal was greased through by the “National Riparian Team“, composed of livestock industry sycophants from within BLM and the Forest Service, and outside cattle consultants.

    The Team, while claiming to be a neutral party, immediately took the ranchers side – with Team members railing against perceived interference by the local BLM staff that had sought to control cattle damage to the public lands. So its no surprise the settlement flung open sensitive closed sage-grouse habitats to full bore grazing. Herds of several hundred cows were allowed to trample and devour “forage” across the drought-stricken public land in 2015.

    The settlement out the Team in charge of a Coordinated Monitoring Group “(CMG”) dominated by ranchers and a token enviro group to take control of monitoring, to direct management actions, and run interference with the local BLM so the Argenta ranchers would not be accountable grazing damage or trespass.

    The cabal bars the public and press from observing their monitoring of grazing damage, and from their closed door discussions that dictate management. The group tells BLM what to do to keep the ranchers happy.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/01/08/blm-leadership-coddles-hostile-and-law-breaking-nevada-ranchers/

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  9. From PUBLIC EMPLOYEES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY(PEER)

    BLM WEIGHS WILD HORSE IMPACT MUCH MORE HEAVILY THAN CATTLE

    Agency Sage Grouse Review Puts Thumb on Scale to Magnify Wild Horse and Burro Effects
    Posted on Sep 16, 2014

    The method used by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to assess range conditions is seriously skewed toward minimizing impacts from domestic livestock and magnifying those from wild horses and burros, according to an appraisal by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). As a result, the BLM’s approach to range management targets scattered wild horses and burros while ignoring far more numerous cattle.

    The agency’s assessment is part of a 2013 report on factors influencing conservation of the Greater Sage-Grouse, a ground-dwelling bird whose numbers have declined as much as 90% across the West and which is under consideration for protection under the Endangered Species Act. That report concludes that twice the area of sage grouse habitat is negatively impacted by wild horses and burros than the area negatively impacted by livestock. A PEER appraisal of the methodology found –

    • BLM calculates the “area of influence” of wild horses and burros on sage grouse habitat based merely on their presence within Herd Management Areas in sage grouse habitat, while it considers livestock impact to have occurred only when livestock grazing allotments fail the agency’s Land Health Status (LHS) standard for wildlife;
    • If the agency used the same approach for calculating the area of influence of livestock within BLM grazing allotments on sage grouse habitat as it did for wild horses and burros, the area of influence for livestock would be roughly 14 times that given in the report and more than six times that of wild horses and burros; and
    • Within BLM’s own grazing allotment LHS database records, livestock grazing is cited as a cause of failure to achieve a land health standard 30 times more often than are wild horses and burros.

    “At BLM apparently not all hooves are created equal,” said PEER’s Advocacy Director Kirsten Stade, noting that the LHS evaluations cover more than 20,000 grazing allotments and examine whether a grazing allotment meets the agency’s standards for rangeland health with respect to several vegetation and habitat conditions. “This helps explain why wild horses are regularly removed from the range but livestock numbers are rarely reduced.”

    The BLM assessment influences not only the agency’s range management decisions but also will figure into the Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision on whether to list the sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act.
    Last year in response to a complaint by PEER filed under agency Scientific Integrity policy, BLM claimed that it does not have enough “reliable data” about commercial livestock impacts to include them in current assessments of environmental conditions on Western range lands. Yet, BLM has more data on the grazing that it authorizes through permits than virtually every other topic.

    “When it comes to cattle, BLM plays with a marked deck,” Stade added, pointing out the PEER analysis that will become part of PEER’s new grazing reform web center set to launch in several weeks. “We are posting BLM’s own data in a way that allows apples-to-apples comparisons while displaying satellite imagery that depicts the true livestock landscape impacts.”
    See the PEER Analysis

    https://www.peer.org/news/news-releases/blm-weighs-wild-horse-impact-much-more-heavily-than-cattle.html

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  10. The BLM and other land management agencies have broken federal law by implementing fraudulent written policies to undermine the 1971 Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act. EO 11987, the Exotic Organisms Act, issued by President Carter on May 24, 1977, claimed that it was an amendment to the Lacey Act, but the Lacey Act of 1900 was created to PROTECT exotic, migrating birds that were being targeted due to their feathers which were used in hat making. Other than references to native, migrating, and exotic birds, the Lacey Act has no.intent in common with the EO 19877.

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