Wild Burros

Activists: Government plan to kill wild horses is all a profit scheme

photo:  Carol Walker

Source:  Salon.com

Activists: Government plan to kill wild horses is all a profit scheme

Trump’s Interior Secretary has some ugly plans for America’s wild animals

by Matthew Rozsa

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has raised red flags for a number of reasons during his short tenure. He seems to care less about protecting America’s national monuments than allowing them to be exploited by special interest groups and has been caught up in one corruption scandal after another. You would think that it’d be difficult for a man like that to do anything else that could make people who don’t bleed money-green to despise him.

Unfortunately, the lives of 50,000 wild horses and burros are in Zinke’s hands, because Congress is preparing to negotiate appropriations for the Interior Department and whether to allow for the unlimited slaughter of wild horses and burros.

It all stems back to the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 a bill that offered protections to the horses and burros that roam the United States — and, of course, was immediately opposed by special interests in Big Agriculture who were determined to erode its protections. The interests’ first major success in doing so occurred in 2004 after Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont., attached a provision to an omnibus bill that removed most of the legal protections established in 1971 and privatized the animals themselves.

That’s where Zinke comes into play. In 2009, the Montana State House introduce a bill to build a horse slaughterhouse in the state at a time the country had been two years without one.

Zinke wanted to bring slaughter back so ranchers and others in the horse business could dispose of their unwanted, unhealthy or inconvenient horses quickly and for a profit,” Susan Wagner of Equine Advocates and Debbie Coffey of Wild Horse Freedom Federation told Salon by email. “The [Montana] bill did not pass but fast forward to today, and now all these animals are facing extinction. The Interior Department’s budget being slashed by more than $1 billion also doesn’t help.





6 replies »

  1. Trump’s Leaked Infrastructure Plan Suggests A Future Sell-Off Of Public Land

    By Chris D’Angelo

    The president and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke have both said they are against transferring control to states.
    But a leaked White House infrastructure plan has many conservation groups concerned that Trump and Zinke could soon be singing a different tune: that of the Republican Party, whose platform calls for transferring control of federal lands to states.
    The draft plan, which Politico and Axios obtained this week, includes this line: “Disposition of Federal Real Property: would establish through executive order the authority to allow for the disposal of Federal assets to improve the overall allocation of economic resources in infrastructure investment.”
    Jennifer Rokala, executive director of the Center for Western Priorities, said in a statement that the draft infrastructure plan is the latest example of Zinke saying one thing and doing another.
    “This plan calls for the disposal of federal lands, it’s right there in black and white,” she said. “The secretary owes the American public an honest answer: Will he continue to be complicit in President Trump’s attempts to sell off our public lands?”



  2. It just keeps getting better…stay tuned

    New Uniform “Vision Cards” Display Images of Oil Rig and Livestock Grazing
    Posted on Mar 15, 2018

    It is not clear from where the order to wear the Vison Cards emanates. BLM has no permanent director nor has the Trump White House even named a nominee. During the past year, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and a small band of political appointees in DC have dictated BLM policy. While reports of the mandatory card display have reached PEER from the West, the organization is still trying to determine whether the order is national in scope.



  3. The Interior Department Is Giving Business to Secretary Zinke’s Billionaire Pal

    But there may have been additional and previously unreported questionable uses of public funds related to Zinke’s Montana trip.
    HuffPost has found that at least one high-ranking Interior Department official who attended the WGA meeting in Whitefish with Zinke stayed at the Whitefish Mountain Resort-a sprawling ski and lodging facility just west of Glacier National Park owned by none other than Zinke’s friend and donor William Foley.

    The Interior Department staff person who stayed at the lodge is acting director of the
    BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT (BLM) MICHAEL, who spent three nights there. Timothy Williams, deputy director of the Office of External Affairs, also attended the conference, but an Interior Department spokesperson did not respond by the time of publication to requests for clarification on whether he lodged at the resort.

    According to Nedd’s work calendar, which the website AltGov2.org obtained through an open records request and HuffPost reviewed, Nedd departed Washington, DC, on June 25 and traveled to Kalispell, just south of Whitefish. He stayed the night at the resort. The next day, Nedd held several morning meetings around town, and attended the WGA annual meeting in the afternoon. The schedule lists more meetings the next day, including one with former Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal and Rob Wallace to discuss “sage grouse plans.” Wallace, a former lobbyist for GE Energy (now GE Power), currently heads government affairs at the socially-conscious investment firm i2 Capital. After another night at the resort, Nedd departed for meetings in Missoula, Montana, on June 28.

    Whitefish Mountain Resort is solely owned by a company called Winter Sports Inc., according to business records filed with the Montana secretary of state’s office. Foley is listed as a director for Winter Sports, and SEC filings indicate that he first purchased an interest in the company in 2005.
    The resort is situated on federal land in the Flathead National Forest, which the US Forest Service, an arm of the Department of Agriculture, administers. But the Interior Department’s BLM is also involved in matters concerning the forest in some cases. For example, BLM handled recent public comments on the Forest Service’s proposal to raise campground fees in the area.



    • There is a legal term for how the BLM operates. It is “Regulatory Capture”. Regulatory capture is a form of political corruption that occurs when a regulatory agency, created to act in the public interest instead advances the special interest groups’ desires that dominate the industry or sector it is charged with regulating.


  4. Not sure where to post this but think it should be noticed as it surely also relates to the matters of wild horses and burros. Why is 3,000 considered a genetic viability threshold for a Bison population but only 150 is considered adequate for a wild horse herd, and even less for the already scarce wild burros? Neither reproduces more numbers or more frequently than Bison, they all live about the same number of years, and all are iconic, historic species on our public lands.

    “The suit against Fish and Wildlife argued the agency did not properly consider all of the available scientific literature, presented by Buffalo Field Campaign and other environmental groups, in a petition to have Yellowstone bison listed under the Endangered Species Act. Judge Christopher Cooper ordered the agency to take a second look at protections for bison, writing that it cannot “simply pick and choose between contradictory scientific studies.”

    The decision found that Fish and Wildlife improperly dismissed a 2012 study led by Texas A&M researcher Natalie Halpert, that found evidence of two genetically distinct herds of bison in Yellowstone. The agency’s decision preferred the conclusions of National Park Service biologists Patrick White and Rick Wallen, who said that distinctions between the central and northern herds were artificial and shouldn’t determine conservation efforts.

    Current management plans for Yellowstone bison set the target herd size for the entire park at around 3,000, the baseline for a viable bison population. If the central and northern herds are genetically unique enough to merit conservation, as Halpert’s study finds, then both herds should be managed with a target population of 3,000 each…”



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