Special Interests Hide Inside their “No Science” Summit

Keith Norris

by Bonnie Kohleriter

A “Summit,” a conference called the National Wild Horse and Burro Management Summit, is being held in Salt Lake City August 22-24. 2017.

The “Summit” is by “invitation only” which is a cue that this is a conference with orchestrated propaganda to secure a desired outcome.

  • Keith Norris will “frame the issues.” Keith Norris is the Chair of the National Horse and Burro Rangeland Management Coalition and Director of Wildlife Policies and Programs within the Wildlife Society.  The Coalition is made up of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the NRA, the Masters of Foxhounds Association, the National Association of Conservation Districts (Ms. Callie Hendrickson’s affiliation, our slaughter queen advocate), Elk, Mule Deer, and Safari Club groups, as well as The Wildlife Society.
  • Keith Norris’s position is that the wild horses and burros should be brought to the AMLs, which means to their allowable numbers as stated in the Range Management Plans.  He doesn’t care that if only 17,000 to 26,000 wild horses and burros can be on our public lands, that then their existence as a species will be threatened moving toward extinction.  He doesn’t care that of the 168 wild horse and burro herds, 80%, if brought to AML, would be genetically unsustainable as stand alone herds.  Keith Norris thinks that any horse above the arbitrary numbers of 17,000 to 26,000 should be euthanized.
  • Keith Norris shows up at National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board Meetings, meeting after meeting.  He speaks frequently using the word “science” as if that word give validity to his opinions and desires.  The problem is, his Coalition and his Wildlife Society, who seem to like to throw around that word, science, don’t seem to show the principles, methodologies, or proofs behind what is said that show real science.  Noted in his “Summit” workgroups this week, he uses the word science again, ‘On the Range Science and Management’ and ‘Off the Range Science and Management.’
  • Though Keith Norris faithfully shows up at as a spokesperson for The Wildlife Society, where are the groups such as Wild Earth Guardians, The Center for Biological Diversity, the Natural Resources Defense Fund, The Wilderness Society, and more, who are not attached to the welfare public lands ranchers on our public lands as are Keith Norris’s groups?

A few questions may be asked of Keith Norris’ group.  Are our public lands not to be used for multiple use?  So why are 3 million livestock on our public lands when only 17,000 to 26,000 wild horses and burros can be on our public lands, which is questionably a non-sustainable number, which is against FLPMA?

So why are millions of mule deer, 1 million elk, 750,000 pronghorn antelope allowed on our public lands when only 17,000 to 26,000 wild horses and burros are allowed?  So why doesn’t the Coalition and Wildlife Society work on adjusting the numbers of livestock and wildlife to preserve our range lands?  It seems the coalition of ranchers and the wildlife hunters would be experts in offering management decisions on livestock and wildlife, but from where comes their expertise on managing wild horses and burros?

Is Rick Denvir, a mainline speaker at this Summit conference, an expert on management strategies and approaches for wild horses and burros, when he has spent his livelihood on managing wildlife in a Mormon livestock ranch?

13 comments on “Special Interests Hide Inside their “No Science” Summit

  1. These are the members of the National Horse & Burro Rangeland Management Coalition:
    Steering Committee
    Steering Committee members are national or international organizations that work together to direct the actions of the Coalition and advance management of horses and burros for the good of the rangelands.

    American Farm Bureau Federation
    American Sheep Industry Association
    Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation
    Masters of Foxhounds Association
    Mule Deer Foundation
    National Association of Conservation Districts
    National Association of Counties
    National Association of State Departments of Agriculture
    National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
    National Rifle Association
    National Wildlife Refuge Association
    Public Lands Council
    Public Lands Foundation
    Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
    Safari Club International
    Society for Range Management
    The Wildlife Society – Coalition Chair
    Wild Sheep Foundation

    General Members
    General members are local, statewide, regional, or national groups interested in achieving appropriate management levels of horses and burros for the health of the rangeland.

    Colorado Wool Growers Association
    Montana Farm Bureau Federation
    Nevada Association of Counties
    Wyoming State Grazing Board Central Committee
    Wyoming Stock Growers Association

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    • It is worth noting there is a membership screening process for this organization:

      Membership in the Coalition is open to organizations that share a common commitment to this purpose. All applicants will be considered on a case-by-case basis and must be approved by the Coalition Steering Committee. To become a member, please download and send your completed application form to horseandrange@gmail.com.

      http://www.wildhorserange.org/join.html

      There doesn’t appear to be any membership fee, but declaring loyalty to their official policy statement is required. Find it here:

      http://www.wildhorserange.org/policy-statement.html

      POLICY POSITIONS
      In addition to our general Policy Statement, members of the National Horse & Burro Rangeland Management Coalition Steering Committee have agreed to the following policy positions regarding the management of free-roaming horses and burros.

      The National Horse & Burro Rangeland Management Coalition…

      1. Supports multiple-use concepts for BLM and USFS lands.

      2. Supports appropriate levels of funding that allow BLM and USFS to meet their obligations under the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, as amended, and asks Congress to encourage federal agencies to focus dollars towards on-range population management and habitat restoration.

      3. Supports gathers and removals of horses and burros via passive trapping and active roundups to achieve and maintain appropriate management levels on the range.

      4. Is neutral on the issue of horse and burro processing.

      5. Supports the removal of language in the annual appropriations bill that restricts management options for the BLM, and encourages implementation of the full suite of management actions permitted and directed under the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, as amended, by federal agencies to reach and maintain Appropriate Management Levels in cost-effective ways.

      6. Supports research into and then implementation of sterilization techniques deemed scientifically-sound and safe, as part of a suite of management tools, including, but not limited to:
      a. spaying of mares (ovariectomies)
      b. gelding of stallions
      c. the use of chemical vasectomies

      7. Supports and encourages the robust use of scientifically-sound, safe, and effective fertility control drugs, and the development of long-term fertility control options in horses and burros, as part of a suite of management tools in areas where such application is practical and will help reach and maintain appropriate management levels.

      8. Supports the establishment of non-reproducing herds as a management tool within Herd Management Areas.

      Updated and Approved 22 December 2016.

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      • As for 6. I would like him to explain why it is that many in the veterinary community have been very outspoken against ovariectomy surgeries being done on wild horse mares. Hell, even an anti-Mustang ranching group opposed it. That tells you a lot!

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  2. How disgusting! It should be some kind of violation of the law by not having any members speaking for the Wild Horses and Burros. These are public lands NOT private, even though they have the idea its theirs to take over. All those on this summit are a disaster for our Wild Horses and Burros. I believe we should all be contacting our Congressional members and asking them why there are no representatives from the community or advocates present at this summit. Again, this is not a private business, these are public land which belongs to all Americans. Its hard to get anything done with the toxic atmosphere in Washington now. Just shameful!! May God help our Wild Horses and Burros!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wildlife $ociety and Wildlife $ervices…connecting the Dot$

    THE WILDLIFE SOCIETY PARTNERS
    http://wildlife.org/supporters/

    About our partners program/STRATEGIC PARTNERS….WILDLIFE SERVICES

    The killing agency: WILDLIFE SERVICES’ brutal methods leave a trail of animal death
    By Tom Knudson

    The day began with a drive across the desert, checking the snares he had placed in the sagebrush to catch coyotes.
    Gary Strader, an employee of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, stepped out of his truck near a ravine in Nevada and found something he hadn’t intended to kill.
    There, strangled in a neck snare, was one of the most majestic birds in America, a federally protected golden eagle.
    “I called my supervisor and said, ‘I just caught a golden eagle and it’s dead,’ ” said Strader. “He said, ‘Did anybody see it?’ I said, ‘Geez, I don’t think so.’
    “He said, ‘If you think nobody saw it, go get a shovel and bury it and don’t say nothing to anybody.’ ”

    http://www.sacbee.com/news/investigations/wildlife-investigation/article2574599.html

    Liked by 2 people

    • Honestly, a “wildlife” society being partners with Wildlife Services? That right there should discourage anyone from being a member! Well, that is, if someone didnt already know their view on wild horses.

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  4. Great. Government behind closed doors. Do these people even remember where we live, & to whom they are ultimately responsible? Nothing good will come of this …

    Like

  5. GRAZING PUNTED FROM FEDERAL STUDY OF LAND CHANGES IN WEST

    Scientists Told to Not Consider Grazing Due to Fear of Lawsuits and Data Gaps

    Posted on Nov 30, 2011 | Tags: BLM, Grazing Reform, Scientific Integrity

    Washington, DC — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is carrying out an ambitious plan to map ecological trends throughout the Western U.S. but has directed scientists to exclude livestock grazing as a possible factor in changing landscapes, according to a scientific integrity complaint filed today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). The complaint describes how one of the biggest scientific studies ever undertaken by BLM was fatally skewed from its inception by political pressure.

    Funded with up to $40 million of stimulus funds, BLM is conducting Rapid Ecoregional Assessments in each of the six main regions (such as the Colorado Plateau and the Northern Great Plains) covering the vast sagebrush West. A key task was choosing the “change agents” (such as fire or invasive species) which would be studied. Yet when the scientific teams were assembled at an August 2010 workshop, BLM managers informed them that grazing would not be studied due to anxiety from “stakeholders,” fear of litigation and, most perplexing of all, lack of available data on grazing impacts.

    Exclusion of grazing was met with protests from the scientists. Livestock grazing is permitted on two-thirds of all BLM lands, with 21,000 grazing allotments covering 157 million acres across the West. As one participating scientist said, as quoted in workshop minutes:

    “We will be laughed out of the room if we don’t use grazing. If you have the other range of disturbances, you have to include grazing.”

    In the face of this reaction, BLM initially deferred a decision but ultimately opted to –

    Remove livestock grazing from all Ecoregional assessments, citing insufficient data. As a result, the assessments do not consider massive grazing impacts even though trivial disturbance factors such as rock hounding are included; and
    Limit consideration of grazing-related information only when combined in an undifferentiated lump with other native and introduced ungulates (such as deer, elk, wild horses and feral donkeys).

    “This is one of the screwiest things I have ever heard of. BLM is taking the peculiar position that it can no longer distinguish the landscape imprint of antelope from that of herds of cattle,” remarked PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, noting BLM has far more data on grazing than it does on other change agents, such as climate change or urban sprawl, that it chose to follow. “Grazing is one of the few ‘change agents’ within the agency’s mandate to manage, suggesting that BLM only wants analysis on what it cannot control.”

    Earlier this year, the Interior Department, parent agency for BLM, adopted its first scientific integrity policies prohibiting political interference with, or manipulation of, scientific work. The PEER complaint charges that BLM officials improperly compromised the utility and validity of the Ecoregional assessments for reasons that lacked any technical merit and urges that responsible officials be disciplined.

    “This is like the Weather Service saying it will no longer track storms because it lacks perfect information,” added Ruch, pointing out that an extensive formalized Land Health Assessment database, including range-wide assessments of livestock grazing across the sagebrush biome, has existed since at least 2008. “If grazing can be locked so blithely into a scientific broom closet, it speaks volumes about science-based decisionmaking in the Obama administration.”

    ###

    Read the PEER scientific integrity complaint

    View the Workshop Minutes

    See summary factsheet

    Examine Interior scientific integrity review process

    Find out more about the Ecoregional Assessments

    https://www.peer.org/news/news-releases/grazing-punted-from-federal-study-of-land-changes-in-west.html

    LINK TO ECOREGIONAL ASSESSMENTS
    https://www.blm.gov/search?search_api_views_fulltext=Ecoregional+Assessments

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    • Exactly how is the BLM managing to prevent livestock grazing from ever being studied in these reports? This happened with the NAS study, also. Perhaps its time some part of the government was allowed to actually do research on the devastation of the range without BLM’s interference!
      By the way, it seems the DOI Secty. has gotten himself into a little bind by threatening the Alaska representative to get the health bill passed!

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  6. This is a quote from Norris’s National Wild Horse and Burro Rangeland Management Coalition website: “Horse and burro population have surpassed the Appropriate Management Levels (AMLs) set by the Bureau of Land Management and their scientific team, and are damaging native plant and animal species.” The BLM’s “scientific team”? Least we forget that the National Academy of Sciences explicitly stated, “How Appropriate Management Levels are established, monitored, and adjusted is not transparent to stakeholders, supported by scientific information, or amenable to adaptation with new information and environmental and social change.” If AML’s aren’t scientifically defensible, how can he be so sure that wild horse and burro herds are overpopulated, especially considering that there’s photo and video evidence that proves that most herds (including those over AML) are healthy?

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  7. Before posting the following article, it’s important to note that we all know that Horses & Burros, whether wild or domestic, have been attacked under both administrations and this isn’t a partisan issue…at least not for us.
    There’s enough blame to go around for all who have $old out the American Public.

    WHY DO REPUBLICANS WANT TO KILL HORSES?
    An unpalatable and indefensible initiative that cannot end well.
    August 4, 2017
    David Horowitz
    http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/267470/why-do-republicans-want-kill-horses-david-horowitz

    Like

  8. Demand that they produce the actual research that supports their premise. And demand that it be more than the observations of range riders. But, above all, boycott all range raised beef….

    Liked by 1 person

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