Horse News

More Fake News in Nevada about Wild Horses

Wild horse & burro advocate Bonnie Kohleriter gives her opinion below about an article in Range Magazine written by Rachel Dahl, a sixth generation Nevadan.  Dahl worked as a campaign manager for the former Sen. John Ensign and served on his Senate staff by managing his Carson City office.  (Sen. John Ensign later resigned after an ethics investigation.)

Private Cattle being herded onto public land at Antelope AS wild horses are being stampeded away ~ photo by Terry Fitch

The Queen of Fake News in Nevada

by Bonnie Kohleriter

Rachel Dahl is a writer for the Range magazine in Nevada, a pro cattle magazine, and is a resident in Mesquite, Nevada.

Grabbing a twisted tidbit from here and a twisted bit from there, Rachel Dahl attempts to impress her readers as a journalist. Having read her winter rant in the Range magazine, I feel compelled to retort with the following comments.

As Ms. Dahl reported, in the fall of 2016, at the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board Meeting, the Board did not vote to remove excess horses nor did it vote to sell the animals with no limitations or to euthanize the sick and the aged.  The Board, on the other hand, voted to euthanize 47,000 wild horses and burros in holdings off the range.

The horses, according to Ms. Dahl, are to blame for the ruinous condition of our public lands.  All hope is rested in removing them.  Or is all hope rested in removing cattle from the 27 M acres where the horses only are able to be and allowing cattle to be on the other 155 M acres of our public lands where they are currently.  It is understood cattle grazing on our public lands is a privilege and not a right as some ranchers want the public to believe.  Then, in addition, perhaps all hope is rested in the ranchers not being allowed to divert and cut off water from the horses.  Oh, horrors, Ms. Dahl, that there should be another way to look at managing our resources.

Again as Ms. Dahl reported, in the fall of 2016, the Board spent the day viewing where horses forage and viewing dead horses.  The Board spent the day viewing no dead horses and viewing where horses drink.  Dead horses were dramatically reported by Goicoechea who is a known horse hater and multi-generational cattle rancher.  The devastated land, according to the permittee, was done when overgrazing was done by  animals other than horses and burros and not by the horses themselves.

According to Ms. Dahl, Ben Masters, a member of the Board,  said the viewing that day was “one of the worst disasters he had ever seen.”  Ben is a young man who made a “movie” using Mustangs who were abused in the movie.  It is an absurdity that Ms. Dahl should use him as a source to substantiate her argument that horses have devastated our public lands.  Masters is no expert on our public lands.  He is also new to the wild horse and burro issues on our public lands.

Then Ms. Dahl brought up the name of Boyd Spratling to substantiate her argument as well.  Boyd Spratling had been on the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board and is from Elko, where the Board was currently conferring.  Boyd is primarily a cattle veterinarian, represents cattlemen on the State Agricultural Board, promotes harvesting our wild horses, and presents falsified pictures to tug at the heartstrings to convince the public of those poor, poor horses on the range.  But he can’t tell you where he gets his pictures and the dates they were taken.  Boyd Spratling is a traitor to wild horses and burros.  He does not have their best interests in mind.

Ms. Dahl sounds the alarm wild horses and burros are dying everywhere on the range and in private sanctuaries in Nevada and even in WOW!   South Dakota.  Wild animals die in times of environmental disaster just as humans are dying due drought  and famine in Kenya, South Sudan, and Niger.  Is the answer to kill them?

Ms. Dahl has pulled out all stops to degrade horses using Mrs. Pickens and Mrs. Sussman, who have taken care of wild horses, but have nothing to do with our herd management areas for wild horse and burros on our public lands.  Can she find any other areas in which to attack horses or the people who have and/or care for horses.  Her article is like “Let’s talk about dinner foods, now think about Cheerios.”

“Every ranch kid learns you are responsible for taking care of an animal when you take custody of them,” says Ms. Dahl.  So Ms. Dahl, you are a part of the public who by law, has custody of our wild horses and burros?  Are you simply going to kill them for meat because some ranchers and politicians have manipulated their allowable numbers on the range to be less than genetically viable numbers for perpetuity?  Or are you going to try to come up with solutions for them to keep them on the range as healthy horses, celebrating their place on our public lands as part of our cultural, historical heritage?

8 replies »

  1. Will wild horses be dragged away?
    Posted on Apr 14, 2017 by Tuesday’s Horse

    LAS VEGAS, Nev. (Wild Horses) There is an interesting program on wild horses on Nevada Public Radio.

    The article gives us this grim reminder, “Secretary of the Department of the Interior Ryan Zinke supported measures for horse slaughter when he was a Montana Congressman.”

    What we found most helpful was in public comments, written by Marybeth Devlin, which should give anyone interested in America’s wild horses, whether you are new or have been following this issue for a long time. Here is what Devlin wrote:

    1. Overpopulation: Is the Big Lie, the pretext for BLM’s war against the wild horses. According to the guidelines of BLM’s own geneticist, the arbitrary management levels (AMLs) of 83% of wild-horse herds — and 90% of wild-burro herds — are set below minimum-viable population (MVP).

    2. Normal Rates: Horses are slow to multiply. Gestation lasts 11 months, and a mare produces 1 foal. Per independent research, the average herd-growth rate of wild horses is 5%, while the growth rate of burro herds is 2%.

    3. Bogus Rates: BLM reports growth rates orders-of-magnitude higher than normal. Here are a few examples of biologically-impossible 1-year increases reported by BLM for herds in Nevada: Eagle Herd 52% — 10 times the norm, Silver King Herd 109% — 22 times the norm, and Lava Beds Herd (burros) 775% — 388 times the norm. These false figures have been called to the attention of BLM, but the data have not been corrected.

    4. Criminal: By publishing false information, BLM appears to be violating Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001, which prohibits making false or fraudulent statements knowingly and willfully. BLM also appears to be in violation of the Information Quality Act and the Department of the Interior’s Code of Scientific and Scholarly Conduct, which require it to disseminate information obtained through “as rigorous scientific and scholarly processes as can be achieved.”

    5. Overgrazing, Under-Billing: It is the millions of non-native livestock that are degrading the public lands. BLM lets ranchers self-report whether they run cattle or not, and then bills them accordingly. If permittees don’t report use, BLM doesn’t bill them. BLM calls it “voluntary non-use.” According to Taxpayers for Common Sense, the direct and indirect costs of the Federal Grazing Program may result in the loss of as much as $1,000,000,000 – that’s one billion (1,000 million!) dollars – every year.

    6. Rogue Permittees: Conditions are egregious, particularly in Nevada, where permittees defy BLM’s authority to rest allotments from grazing. The renegade ranchers go ahead and put cattle out on the range anyway, despite the drought. But instead of penalizing the scofflaws, BLM panders to them, waiving fines and allowing the illegal grazing to continue. As the Cliven Bundy affair evidenced, BLM has lost control of the range. BLM administrators are intimidated by aggressive ranchers and their “Oath Keeper” supporters, heavily armed with sights trained on BLM employees. So, BLM has kowtowed to the graziers, whether or not they have a valid permit, submit required reports, pay their grazing-fees, comply with the grazing-season, or recognize BLM’s authority.

    7. Resource v. Use: Wild horses and burros are a resource of the public lands – like other wildlife. Commercial livestock-grazing, in contrast, is a use of the public lands. The distinction between a resource and a use is important and — as Clarke and Leigh (2016) pointed out – that difference needs to be understood. Livestock-grazing (a use) negatively impacts wild horses and burros (a resource).

    8. PEER Reveal: Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) found that BLM’s method of assessing range conditions is skewed to minimize impacts from domestic livestock and to magnify those from wild horses and burros. BLM thus favors “use” and blames “resource.”

    9. Predators: The right way to right-size the wild-horse population is Nature’s way — predators. But those predators — mountain lions, bears, wolves, and coyotes — are persecuted mercilessly. Herd-areas must be made safe for predators. Cost: $0.

    10. Restore Habitat: For political expediency, BLM closed 22,229,731 acres of the mustangs’ original habitat. That land must be reopened, and the captive wild horses and burros returned to their range. Cost: $0.

    By the way, “The BLM declined to be interviewed for this panel.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Louie C., for your analysis and hard work. It is really appreciated. Re: Tuesdayshorse blog, while looking for these bills on POPVOX I noted another mis-direction and anti-horse bill HR 1338, Horse Protection Amendments Act, brought forth by Rep Scott Desjarlais-TN, which seeks to get around HR 1847 (Anti-Soring Act). I would encourage all of us to voice protest against this bogus legislation. And also to support sponsors and co-sponsors of HR 113 & HR 1847 to try to help horses.


  2. Treasure for the Taking: America Gives Away Billions’ Worth of Hardrock Minerals
    Treasure for the Taking
    America Gives Away Billions’ Worth of Hardrock Minerals
    Mining companies, many of them foreign-owned, take billions of dollars’ worth of gold, silver and other hardrock minerals from America’s public lands every year—free of charge. They are able to do this because of the anachronistic General Mining Act of 1872, which was originally passed to help settle the West. The law allows companies to freely prospect for hardrock minerals across almost 500 million acres of federal “public domain” lands,[1] stake unlimited claims for deposits, and mine their claims without paying royalties to the American people.
    If existing hardrock mines on these lands were charged a 4 percent royalty rate, as proposed in new legislation introduced by Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-OR), the federal government over 2012 and 2013 would have collected an estimated $384 million from the owners of 46 of the nation’s top-producing hardrock mines, according to calculations performed for this report (see Tables 1 and 2). This number understates the total royalties that would have been collected in those years—possibly by a significant amount—because there was inadequate data to assess at least 26 other top-producing mines on public domain lands.
    The Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which administers the General Mining Act, does not require mining companies to report data on the hardrock minerals they extract from federal public domain lands. Ranking Member DeFazio therefore requested this report to provide a better sense of what is being taken and the amount that could be collected if the federal government charged royalties for hardrock minerals.
    • The owners of these mines would have paid royalties of $182.56 million in 2013 and almost $202 million in 2012 if the DeFazio legislation had been law.[8] Royalties would have been higher in 2012 than previous years because of a general rise in hardrock mineral prices. The price of gold, the number one hardrock mineral taken from federal public domain lands, increased 49 percent between 2008-2012; the price of silver and palladium increased by 50 percent and 45 percent, respectively; and the price of copper increased 14 percent. Hardrock mineral prices mostly declined from 2012 to 2013—palladium had the only price increase among minerals we looked at—but remained high compared to earlier years (see Table 5).
    • Eleven foreign-owned companies operate 21 of the largest mines located at least partly on federal public domain lands. As explained earlier, the 46 mines examined for this report are owned by 20 companies. Eleven of these companies are foreign-owned, including nine Canadian companies, a Mexican company, and a British company. These companies, which own 21 of the 46 mines, took more high-priced gold than American companies and consequently may have paid more in royalties had the DeFazio legislation been law. The 21 mines owned by these foreign companies produced about $18.85 billion in 2013 and 2012 combined.[9] This production figure includes both private land and federal public domain lands. We chose not to estimate public-domain-land production and foregone royalties for these 21 mines because of the data limitations described above.
    • The two mines located completely on public domain lands would have paid $36.15 million in royalties over the last two years if the DeFazio legislation had been law. These mines produced $903.67 million worth of platinum group minerals over the last two years, all from public domain land. One, the Stillwater mine located in Montana, would have paid $13.26 million in royalties in 2013 and $12.54 million in royalties in 2012. The other, the East Boulder mine also located in Montana, would have paid $5.9 million in royalties in 2013 and $4.45 million in royalties in 2012.


  3. So this nuts at it again? I cannot believe she crawled out from under her rock after I Commented her article last year to the point of rendering her mute on the Wild Horse subject, just goes to show you…..proslaughter muck is like horse cr@@ you can wash it off you boot but it will shill stink. This broad has to have her head examined…..once wild horses are pulled OFF the range the conditions will WORSEN….then what blame the sage grouse? Delusions of grandeur? The horses spread what seed for forage there is left, they dog for water when they can, cattle consume, trample, stomp, populate, destroy all including chewing the seeds to oblivion. The Dustbowl will increase and finally the Welfare Ranchers will truly Apply for Food Stamps for their cattle. The entire scheme to remove horses is hinged on the public’s gulibility. The fact is None of these people have any idea the devastation having no horses will bring, in fact the Earth was lush until they killed off 2 million Mustangs leaving less to help rejuvenate the ground. The issue is so large that the Plan to remove horses costs money, which the helicopter pilot has a couple of people write articles to support cause God knows they need every million they can get. The scheme is to bulk the Agency’s funding through these roundups and holding is to appear as though we are overtaxed and keeping horses from appearing to be adoptable in news releases decreases the belief they can be used after a certain age. It’s all outlined in article across the web. Yet the lands were flush with water, forage, and healthy animals while horses ran free. The fact that some animals will always become thin is fact, and Those are the specific animals holding was created for not the healthy viable young stock. The BLM and it’s this muse about being antislaughter work closely to get writers to display a warped reality against anything they want. In turn as many people see the term fake news they realize the departure from facts like in the article above against the horses and demanding removal is to deceive not inform. The Public is taking notice and Congress should as well. The fake news and commentaries about population issues started exactly the minute the population dropped drastically. They were being rounded up for SLAUGHTER and employees of the BLM received bonuses for fake adoptions. The Old West is marred by Tall tales of Monstrous eating machines called horses when in reality if you look closely you’ll see some TH pages where there are already plans to turn loose domestic horses to graze and be retrieved once the pests are Under control. So the theory of horses being a detriment is again yet another deceptive smokescreen and authors of such garbage should be taken behind ye old shed and given he old boot to the rear.


  4. I guess we have to consider where this article was printed! Havent seen one THAT one-sided in a long time. Somehow I doubt that this Indian rancher goes & spends lots of money on stud horses & is “known for the stock horses” he breeds – considering they are all running with wild horse bands! I think this article is an opinion piece – NOT journalism!


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