BLM & Jay D’Ewart: Did the Salt Wells wild horses really increase by 522% in only one year?

Adobe Town wild horses (photo: Carol Walker)

Comments & Guest OpED by Bonnie Kohleriter

TO:         Jay D’Ewart, Wild Horse and Burro Specialist (See also cc below) 4700 (WYD04)

FROM:   Bonnie Kohleriter

RE:         Response to EA DOI-BLM-WY-D040-2017-0022EA    2017 AML Gather EA

This EA proposes to round up and remove 1560 wild horses down to the supposed low AML in Adobe Town, Salt Wells, and Divide Basin Herd Management Areas (HMAs).

BACKGROUND:

The last gather and removal in these 3 HMAs was completed in October, 2014. I am looking at the number of horses reported following the gather and removal in 2014 presented in the March 2015 National Statistics as well as the number of horses reported in 2016 and 2017 National Statistics. These numbers found in the National Statistics for 2015, 2016, and 2017 were generated by Jay D’Ewart.  I assume these numbers were accurately reported. I have read no evidence in your EA as to how you arrived at these numbers or your suggested excess numbers except for you to say adjustments were made. I assume a normal growth rate is 20-25% yearly as that is what the BLM repeatedly claims, true or untrue.  In light of the Allowable Numbers (AMLs) and the National Statistics the following information is presented here:

COMMENTS:

  • In 2014 your plan was to gather and remove horses to the low AML. Yet the results show you rounded up and removed horses well below the low AML in Salt Wells and Divide Basin. The low AML for Salt Wells is 251 but you left 117. The low AML for Divide Basin is 415 but you left 195. THIS IS WRONG.
  • In 2015 in Adobe Town you logged in 602 horses but in 2016, 1030 horses with a growth rate of 71%. In 2015 in Salt Wells you logged in 117 horses but in 2016, 728 horses with a growth rate of 522%. And in 2015 in Divide Basin you logged in 195 horses but in 2016, 670 horses with a growth rate of 241%.  71%, 522%, 241% growth rates are impossible, exaggerated, and fallacious measured against accepted rates of 20-25%  THIS IS WRONG.
  • In 2016 in Adobe Town you logged in 1030 horses but in 2017, 820 horses with a negative growth rate of -20%. It looks like no horses were born in 2016 and horses were dying more than the usual? In 2016 in Divide Basin you logged in 670 horses, but again in 2017, 650 horses with a negative growth rate of -2%. Negative growth rates of 20% and 2% are highly unlikely unless a catastrophe occurred which it did not. THIS IS WRONG.
  • In your EA you claim to have made adjustments from your scoping letter numbers in March of 2017 to April of 2017. For Adobe Town your numbers are now not 820 but 1123 with a growth rate of not -20% but 8%.  For Salt Wells your numbers are now not 825 but 976 with a growth rate of not 16% but 34%.  For Divide Basin your numbers are now not 650 but 737 with a growth rate of not -2% but 13%.  All of these numbers and percentages are out of the norm except for the original growth rate of 16 % in Salt Wells…-20%, 8%, 34%, -2%, 13% are unlikely growth rates.  THIS IS WRONG.
  • With all of Jay D’Ewart’s unlikely, impossible numbers he now wants to round up and remove not 1, 029 horses but 1,560 horses in the fall of 2017. It was pointed out to him in the scoping comment period of March 2017 that the numbers of horses  stated  in Adobe Town and in Divide Basin at that time were at near high AML which did not seem to warrant a gather and removal at this time. Of course, he subsequently raised the numbers in April, 2017 so that they now reflect over high AML.
  • Jay D’Ewart appears to do the fly-overs counting numbers of horses, is in charge of the development of the environmental assessment, and is the lead in gathering and removing the wild horses. With his highly questionable and outrageous numbers, I am concerned about his using these horses in order to continue to gain for himself meaningful employment. I am not only concerned about Jay D’Ewart, but also about other BLM Wild Horse and Burro employees, wherein the norm in this agency throughout the years has been the only tool for protecting, managing, and controlling these horses and burros, that of counting them, rounding ‘em up and removing them.

7) Not only does Jay D’Ewart want to round up and remove horses in the HMAs but he wants to round up and remove horses on private lands.  This is a number he has not told us in his EA. This requesting to remove horses or burros on private lands by welfare ranchers who have both public and private land for ranching, seems to have increased in recent years.

Through the years Jay D’Ewart knows I have questioned his numbers again and again. Back when gather numbers were being shown the public as well as facilities received numbers I called Jay D’Ewart to challenge the disconnect between the two sets of numbers only to notice the change within two days. Kimberly Foster and Dennis Carpenter, the Field Managers don’t appear to question D’Ewart’s numbers, June Wendlandt, the State Lead, doesn’t appear to question D’Ewart, numbers, Alan Shepherd in the On the Range Mgmt. office in the Washington D C  which decides on who will have gathers and removals doesn’t appear to question D’Ewart’s numbers. And so the gather and removal goes on with who now knows how many horses are left in the Adobe Town, Salt Wells, and Divide Basin Herd Management Areas in Wyoming on 2.4 M acres.

Stringent oversight, accountability, and decision making in the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program needs to be improved.  Overpopulation, overpopulation seems to be the mantra of the wild horse and burro program personnel as well as of the welfare ranchers on our public lands, but how much of the so called overpopulation is a result of inflated or made up numbers due to a desire for personal gain other than doing what is right for the horses and the burros and what is right for the land.

Bonnie Kohleriter

August 10, 2017

Cc Senators Feinstein, Udall, Murkowski, and Dean Bolstad, Director of the BLM WHB Program.

7 comments on “BLM & Jay D’Ewart: Did the Salt Wells wild horses really increase by 522% in only one year?

  1. grandmagregg
    April 18, 2016

    Well … I have heard it all now with this statement, [Conveniently there are no photographs during the flyover] “The survey lead indicated his reluctance to use photography,as it requires additional circling around groups that could cause air sickness.”
    First, a person prone to air-sickness does not volunteer and is not assigned to this kind of project and is therefore not an experienced wildlife aerial observer.
    Second, the BLM instructions (memorandum and census instructions) state:
    • “Take a camera – photograph all groups of twenty or more animals when possible”.
    • “Take a photo of any group bigger than 20 (preferably 10 or more)”.
    Third, BLM Instruction Memorandum (IM) establishes program guidance and policy for inventorying and estimating wild horse population numbers to supply the managers and the public with scientifically supportable and defensible population estimates of wild horse and burro populations. As noted in a recent Aerial Review Memorandum written by Bruce Lubow, IIF Data Solutions to the BLM, one major assumption in aerial wildlife population census projects is that the number of animals in each group is counted accurately. To verify accuracy of large animal census counts, photographs are to be taken and scrutinized after the flight.to verify accuracy of large animal census counts.
    Obviously, the lack of any photographs does NOT supply SCIENTIFICALLY SUPPORTABLE and DEFENSIBLE proof that the BLM’s aerial survey is credible
    https://rtfitchauthor.com/2016/04/18/stop-the-blms-illegal-plans-for-the-checkerboard-roundup-ii-comment-by-friday-april-22/#comments

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    • “The survey lead indicated his reluctance to use photography, as it requires additional circling around groups that could cause air sickness.”

      The BLM could contact the advocacy groups and we could provide volunteers who could take photos without getting air sickness. Likely, the BLM’s continued reluctance to use photography is because photos would disprove their exaggerated population estimates.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. What is shown here by Bonnie Kohleriter is the normal pattern for BLM’s annual population increases. This is absolute fraud against the citizens of this country and these lies are what BLM feeds to Congress and that is the main reason that the proposal to kill thousands and thousands of our wild horses and burros is now being considered by Congress – fraudulent lies have been told to Congress by BLM.

    To add to what Bonnie has shown us, here are a few more fraudulent Wyoming BLM population increases from recent years and keep in mind that this same fraud is typical in BLM reports in all states.
    Adobe Town HMA between 2008 and 2009 the increase as reported by BLM was 105% which would require the 2008 population of 498 wild horses to successfully produce 524 surviving foals.
    Antelope Hills HMA between 2010 and 2011 the increase as reported by BLM was 170% which would require the 2010 population of 60 wild horses to successfully produce 102 surviving foals.
    Crooks Mt HMA between 2013 and 2014 the increase as reported by BLM was 113% which would require the 2013 population of 54 wild horses to successfully produce 61 surviving foals.
    Dishpan HMA between 2010 and 2011 the increase as reported by BLM was 210% which would require the 2010 population of 50 wild horses to successfully produce 105 surviving foals.
    Fifteen Mile HMA between 2007 and 2008 the increase as reported by BLM was 109% which would require the 2007 population of 115 wild horses to successfully produce 125 surviving foals.
    Green Mt HMA between 2010 and 2011 the increase as reported by BLM was 188% which would require the 2010 population of 170 wild horses to successfully produce 320 surviving foals.
    Little Colorado HMA between 2014 and 2015 the increase as reported by BLM was 149% which would require the 2014 population of 104 wild horses to successfully produce 155 surviving foals.
    Lost Creek HMA between 2015 and 2016 the increase as reported by BLM was 108% which would require the 2015 population of 120 wild horses to successfully produce 130 surviving foals.
    Muscrat Basin HMA between 2010 and 2011 the increase as reported by BLM was 124% which would require the 2010 population of 160 wild horses to successfully produce 199 surviving foals.
    Stewart Creek HMA between 2013 and 2014 the increase as reported by BLM was 111% which would require the 2013 population of 143 wild horses to successfully produce 159 surviving foals.
    White MT HMA between 2006 and 2007 the increase as reported by BLM was 131% which would require the 2006 population of 295 wild horses to successfully produce 386 surviving foals.
    https://www.blm.gov/programs/wild-horse-and-burro/about-the-program/program-data

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  3. I agree that these numbers seem whacky, but over the years I have gathered considerable evidence also in the form of witness testimony to the fact that various parties, including especially ranchers, actually drive the wild horses from here to there according to their convenience in order to make it appear that the wild horses are reproducing and increasing at a terribly high rate. This is done deliberately to set the wild horses up and pseudo-justify their removal. Pretty soon, after so many of these sneaky and dishonest maneuvers, the wild horses tend to simply disappear from any given legal area on the BLM or USFS jurisdictional lands. This is a terrible conspiracy and I have written about many other such in my book The Wild Horse Conspiracy, which is available through amazon or on my website by the same name. I urge all of you to get your protest in on the Triple B-Antelope wild horse gather EA out of the Nevada Wells Field Office BLM, EA available on BLM’s website. It is truly outrageous and comments are due in by 4:30 pm Pacific time on Monday 21 Aug 2017, the say of the total eclipse of the Sun.

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