The Lives of More Than 45,000 Wild Horses Are Still at Risk as Congress Waits for the Bureau of Land Management’s Plan

Source:  wildhoofbeats.com

by Carol J. Walker, Director Of Field Documentation, Wild Horse Freedom Federation

I want to personally thank all of you who called, emailed, faxed, wrote and met with your Senators and Representatives on behalf of our wild horses and burros before the Spending Bill was passed last week.  Congress did maintain protections for wild horses and burros BUT they demanded that the Bureau of Land Management, who is tasked with managing and protecting wild horse and burros on our public lands submit a “comprehensive plan and any corresponding legislative proposals” within 30 days.

Why is this a reason for concern?  Because the very language of the directive to the BLM points at drastic measure.  “the failure to address these problems is irresponsible and will result in irreparable damage to the landscape and the welfare of the animals protected.”

This leaves the door wide open for the BLM to recommend killing (this is NOT “euthanasia”) the 45,000 wild horses and burros in holding as well as the 45,000 still on our public lands who are deemed “excess”and allowing the BLM to to remove protections from wild horses and burros that are in captivity and transfer them to federal, state, and local agencies, send them overseas and put them in “partnerships” that are not in their best interests.  All of these alternatives will expose them to possibly being shipped to slaughter.

Wild Horses and Burros need to be humanely managed on the range, while wild and free on our public lands. Destroying them to pander to the Cattleman’s Association is not the solution.  We are concerned that once the report is delivered to Congress before the end of April that the BLM could start killing and transferring wild horses and burros very quickly.

Please continue to follow our alerts and posts and requests for action during this very crucial time.

To find out more about Wild Horse Freedom Federation and our work to keep wild horses and burros wild and free on our public lands visit

www.WildHorseFreedomFederation.org

Donate Here: http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/donate/

51 comments

  1. What were the problems mentioned in the plan ? Did it mention the range and riparian area destruction the millions of cattle cause ? Of course not–am sure wild horses are lied about and blamed as usual.. This is very alarming.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Here is what Congress said:
      “Wild Horses and Burros.-The Committees are extremely disappointed that the Department has failed to provide a comprehensive plan, as directed by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017 (P.L. 115-31) to address the fast-rising costs of the Wild Horse and Burro program and overpopulation of wild horses and burros on the range. The failure to address these problems is irresponsible and will result in irreparable damage to the landscape and the welfare of the animals protected by the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act. The Committees reiterate their belief that there is no one solution to the problems with this program, and that Congress and the Administration must work together to correct them. Until the Department provides a comprehensive plan and any corresponding legislative proposals to the appropriate authorizing committees, the Committees will maintain the existing prohibitions and reduce the resources available for the program. Reprogramming requests will only be considered for urgent needs. At a minimum, the Committees expect a science-based, detailed plan that 1) reduces the complexity and cost of contracting policies and procedures; 2) eliminates unnecessary environmental reviews; 3) simplifies and expands the use of partnerships and cooperative agreements; 4) identifies statutory and regulatory barriers to implementing the plan; and 5) has the goal of reducing costs while improving the health and welfare of wild horses and burros, and the range. The Committees direct the Department to provide the report within 30 days of enactment of this Act.”

      Like

  2. “At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour.”
    ~ Edward Abbey

    Liked by 2 people

  3. These 2 requirements could be a bit worrisome:
    1) reduces the complexity and cost of contracting policies and procedures; 2) eliminates unnecessary environmental reviews;
    Should the environmental reviews really be eliminated? Seems to me they haven’t been all that strict, nor have they really reviewed what will happen to the environment!
    And then – the question of livestock – which is the question WE ask, but apparently no one else seems to realize how important that is.
    Barbara, this is true – good behavior doesn’t seem to be rewarded, does it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • This strikes me as hypocritical since the primary argument for removals is “destruction of range health” so environmental reviews are indeed necessary, and of course SCIENCE BASED, and of course must therefore also include impacts from introduced livestock.

      Without environmental assessments wild horses and burros can be readily removed without proof of cause, and will be.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. So the little thing I heard last week is absolutely true. That’s the one I was the most angered by. I was waiting for confirmation. As I understand it this 30 day plan was enacted by horse slaughter supporters to circumvent Congress by saying no slaughter while constructing their plan. Last time the BLM was asked to return a 30 day plan it’s my understand from a Representative that they did not. His concern is they are manipulating Congress to appear as though they have no alternate route. I will say again, ADVOCATES NEED TO SUBMIT A PLAN BEFORE THE BLM 30 DAY PERIOD. It HAS TO INCLUDE THE OPTION TO RELEASE ALL HORSES FROM THE 3 STRIKES PROGRAM, RETURNING ALL HORSES TO ELIGIBILITY FOR ADOPTION. WITHOUT THAT THERE’S NO DICE. WE HAVE TO EXPLAIN WHY THE PROGRAMS 3 STRIKES RETENTION PLAN IS THE ACTUAL DISASTER. IT NEEDS TO INCLUDE A LINK TO THE STORY I PROVIDED REGARDING THE MANIPULATIVE BLM EMPLOYEES WALKING TO ADMINISTER 1 TO 4 CONTRACEPTIVES A DAY. THIS IS NOT EVEN CLOSE TO A PLAN TO CONTROL POPULATION, CONGRESS NEEDS TO READ THEM BRAGGING ABOUT SUCJ FOLLISH IDEAS WASTING TAX PAYERS DOLLARS. MASS CONTRACEPTIVES NEED DONE, NOT 1-4. YOU NEED TO SUBMIT A PLAN EXPLAINING AGED HORSES IN HOLDING NEED TO RETURN TO THEIR NATURAL STATE, OR BE ADOPTED. YOU ALSO NEED TO SHOW THEM THERE ARE INCRESIBLE USES FOR THESE HORSES IN Veterans care and therapy programs, police horse, therapy animals for abused people, competition animals, companions, physical therapy and mental and emotional therapy programs. YOU NEED TO INCLUDE EVERY AVAILABLE PURPOSE FOR THEM. IF YOU DO NOT IT’S GOING TO BE UPHILL BATTLE….I WILL FIGHT AND ROLL ANY BOULDER UPHILL WE HAVE TOO, HOWEVER, IF WE CAN START AT THE TOP OF THE HILL AND LET THE BOULDER ROLL DOWNWARDS AND RIGJT OVER PROSLAUGHTER PROPAGANDA WE WILL DO MUCH BETTER. IT’S NOW A MARKETING AGENDA WE HAVE TO GET ON TOP OF. I KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT, SO LET’S GET A PLAN SUBMITTED WITHIN THE 30 DAYS. INCLUDE RANCH HORSES, COW HORSES, WILD HORSES CAN DO ANYTHING, SHOW IT ALL TO CONGRESS. THESE HORSES HAVE UNTAPPED POTENTIAL. YOU EITHER OUT TO SAVE 1 OR ALL. I’M IN FOR ALL. THE PLAN NEEDS TO BE WILD HORSE OPPUTUNITIES ARE ENDLESS AND SHOW CONGRESS WHY. INCLUDE PHOTOS OF WILD HORSES BEING RIDDEN, GROOMED, TRAINED AND HANDLED, ACTUAL PHOTOGRAPHS, INCLUDE TONS OF THEM. THEY NEED TO SEE THESE HORSES IN ACTION. DON’T RELY ON THE INTERNET ALONE, THIS HAS TURNED INTO A PHYSICAL BATTLE FOR THEIR LIVES. PHYSICAL PHOTOS, OF HORSES ENJOYING THEIR JOBS PREVIOUSLY WILD AND NOW WANTED AND LOVED. I WROTE THE BLM SLOGAN THAT RAN FOR 25 PLUS YEARS, IT’S TIME WE REJUVENATE THE PROGRAM. I’M PONDERING A NEW SLOGAN. YOU MADE A PROMISE TO THOSE HORSES, WE NEED TO MAKE THAT PROMISE REAL. IT’S TIME TO SHOW CONGRESS HOW USEFUL THOSE HORSES IN HOLDING ARE AND WHAT THEY CAN DO! INCLUDE TRAINING PROGRAM IDEAS, REHOMING IDEAS, BUT DEFINITELY LOCK IN REMOVAL OF THE 3 STRIKES PROGRAM PERIOD! THE local animal agencies can’t believe any adoption program has a 3 strikes, they said they would never get anything adopted. So we can keep some on the range and save the others. Please, let’s not delay.

    Like

  5. I posted this in response to a question from another reader in a recent article.

    Wild Horse & Burro advocates have been petitioning for ON THE RANGE MANAGEMENT coupled with RESERVE DESIGN for years.

    There are things that have to be corrected first.

    An ACCURATE census.
    Wild Horse Freedom Federation White Paper gives proof positive that BLM population numbers are false.
    The Multiple Use clause allows MANY other uses of public lands and much of that has landed in Wild Horse & Burro habitat.
    Mining, gas and oil extraction, pipelines to name a few. All of these industries have huge impacts upon the land, not the least of which is water use. That’s another story and the public really should be aware of what’s happening to their public lands.

    22 MILLION Acres have been taken from Wild Horse & Burro habitat AND from the taxpaying public.
    That Legally Designated land must be given back.

    We should start there.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Who is drafting this plan and how do citizens get involved? Congress will not see the plan until it is put before them, so the time to get in the loop is now. Who are those now hard at work and how will public input be incorporated, especially since the timeline is now ridiculously short for any “science-based” comprehensive plan. It is likely something is already written but won’t see the light of day until the last minute — once again subverting the public interest and public will. How do we get in the middle of this, and who should we communicate with? Can the two unified statements recently sent to Congress be incorporated as part of this 30 day wonder plan?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. When is all this going to end! When are people going to realize those in Congress are NO friends to people or animals. Bison being killed and sent to slaughter and the Wild Horses and Burros being threatened over and over again! Folks we have a chance to dump those who want are horses gone and dead! Wake up and vote these damn people out! Time is running out! Its time for more PROTESTS! Do we have to learn from the Youth? Dismantle the BLM and start over!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. This is the LAW

    The Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971

    “It is the policy of Congress that wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death; and to accomplish this , they are to be considered in the area where presently found as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands.” Defined as… ” the amount of land necessary to sustain an existing herd or herds of wild free-roaming horses and burros, which does not exceed their known territorial limits, and which is DEVOTED PRINCIPALLY but not necessarily exclusively to their welfare…”

    Liked by 2 people

  9. 4 years ago..how much more taxpayer $ has disappeared since?

    $619 billion missed from federal transparency site
    Gregory Korte, USA TODAY

    The DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR did not report spending for 163 of its 265 assistance programs because, the department said, its accounting systems were not compatible with the data formats required by USASpending.gov. The result: $5.3 billion in spending missing from the website

    Like

  10. BLM rushes to deliver herd management plan to Congress

    Scott Streater, E&E News

    The Bureau of Land Management is poised to deliver a long-awaited comprehensive plan to Congress outlining strategies to reduce growing herds of wild horses and burros on federal rangelands and the escalating costs to manage them.

    BLM is rushing to finish the report after congressional appropriators in the recently approved fiscal 2018 omnibus spending bill admonished the agency for failing to “provide a comprehensive plan” to Congress (Greenwire, March 22).

    “The failure to address these problems is irresponsible and will result in irreparable damage to the landscape and the welfare of the animals protected” by the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, the bill states.

    The omnibus directed BLM to deliver the plan to members of the Senate and House appropriations committees within 30 days of the bill’s enactment, or roughly by the end of April.

    BLM is now in the “final stages of developing a plan to Congress” that will outline “several management options aimed at putting the Wild Horse and Burro Program back on a sustainable and fiscally responsible track,” Amber Cargile, BLM’s acting national spokeswoman, said in an email to E&E News.

    Cargile said the report “is still under internal review.” She added, “Until it’s finalized, I’m unable to speculate on the report contents.”

    But sources said the plan will at least broach the subject of allowing the agency to more easily transfer wild horses and burros removed from federal rangelands to other federal, state or local government agencies, and to consider lifting restrictions on the limited use of euthanasia.

    President Trump’s $1 billion fiscal 2019 budget request for BLM proposes allowing rounded-up wild horses and burros to easily be transferred to other government agencies and, in cases involving older, injured or sick animals, to be euthanized — an idea that has sharply divided members of Congress (Greenwire, Feb. 13).

    Trump included a similar request in his fiscal 2018 budget request. The omnibus spending package approved this month, however, left in place long-standing “prohibitions” on unrestricted sale and euthanasia.

    BLM officials have long argued, to Congress and the public, that bold action is needed to address the 75,000 wild horses and burros roaming across roughly 27 million acres of federal herd management areas — approaching 50,000 more animals than the appropriate management level, or what regulators believe is the maximum number the rangeland can handle without causing damage to vegetation, soils and other resources.

    BLM spends more than $50 million a year — roughly two-thirds of the annual Wild Horse and Burro Program budget — to feed and care for the thousands of wild horses and burros removed from the range in off-site corrals and holding pens.

    The agency has warned Congress that it could cost as much as $1 billion to feed and care for the rounded-up horses and burros over their lifetimes.

    “Managing the nation’s wild horse and burro herds on public lands remains a challenge for BLM as herds continue to rapidly increase beyond what the land can sustainably support,” Cargile said in her email. “Nearly every wild horse and burro herd on public lands is overpopulated, which degrades the health of our public lands while increasing the risk of starvation and thirst for all animals that share the range.”

    Cargile added that BLM “is committed to working with Congress, states, local governments and our partners to find commonsense solutions that reduce the chronic overpopulation of wild horse and burro herds on public lands.”

    But several sources cast doubt about BLM’s confidence in the report or what the final report to Congress will recommend.

    One source said BLM last week held a “crisis” meeting to discuss the report, along with several other outstanding reports on different topics that are due to Congress.

    Another Interior source said BLM completed a version of the comprehensive plan last fall but determined that the report was “poorly written” and never sent it.

    That would be consistent with public comments made last year by Kristin Bail, BLM’s assistant director of resources and planning.

    Bail told members of the BLM National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board in October that the agency’s comprehensive report would be delivered to Congress by November (Greenwire, Oct. 18, 2017).

    The national advisory panel at that meeting later voted to recommend that BLM take definitive steps to remove — and destroy if necessary — thousands of excess animals that federal officials concede the vast Western rangelands can no longer sustain (Greenwire, Oct. 20, 2017).

    Such recommendations in the forthcoming report would spark controversy among elected leaders and draw staunch opposition from wild horse advocates.

    The issue has long perplexed the Interior Department. In an interview published this week in a Public Lands Foundation quarterly newsletter, former Interior Secretary Sally Jewell touched on its complexity (Greenwire, March 29).

    According to the newsletter, Jewell said she had been “warned” by her predecessor, Ken Salazar, to tread lightly around the issue. “Stay away from it if you can, because there are no solutions without changes in the law,” Jewell said.

    But there are plenty of opinions.

    The U.S. Cattlemen’s Association has lobbied Congress to allow BLM to sell without restriction excess horses on federal rangelands and in holding pens and corrals — and to euthanize those animals that have been unsuccessfully offered for adoption more than three times (E&E News PM, Nov. 9, 2017).

    But the American Wild Horse Campaign (AWHC) and other advocacy groups have countered that Congress needs to provide additional funding to carry out darting of horses and burros with fertility vaccines, specifically porcine zona pellucida, or PZP, which renders mares infertile for roughly a year.

    They have also lobbied for more funding to train captured horses and burros to make them more desirable for adoption, and for BLM to actively partner with volunteers to do most of the fertility vaccinations.

    Suzanne Roy, AWHC’s executive director, said in an email that Congress would never support “mass killing and slaughtering horses.”

    Roy added, “Bottom line: BLM must stop pushing slaughter of tens of thousands of horses and start focusing on humane solutions to reduce population growth rates and keep wild horses on the range where they belong.”

    Originally posted by E&E News

    https://americanwildhorsecampaign.org/media/blm-rushes-deliver-herd-management-plan-congress

    Like

  11. I just found this in E&E news, sorry it is older but is of interest here, as evidently Lara Trump is a horsewoman and supporter of humane care and rescues:

    https://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1060063177/search

    General animal welfare’ with Lara Trump

    Prior to jetting off to Denver to address the American Legislative Exchange Council and Western Conservative Summit on July 20, Zinke squeezed in a 30-minute meeting with Lara Trump. She was accompanied by Blair Brandt, a real estate entrepreneur, reality TV star and self-proclaimed “pet welfare activist/advocate,” according to his Instagram account.

    The calendar entry said the two wanted to discuss “wild horses; DOI’s Doggy Days policy; improving animal welfare.”

    Lara Trump is an ardent supporter of animal adoption from rescue organizations, and her Instagram account features many photos of the couple’s two rescue dogs, Charlie and Ben, as well as a link to donate to the Humane Society of the United States. Earlier this year, she told Politico she was trying to convince the Pences to adopt a dog, adding that “it’d be a dream” to get a rescue pup into the White House.

    Over Labor Day weekend, Lara Trump, who recently gave birth to a baby boy, posted a photo from a year ago of herself on horseback with the caption, “Countdown is on until I can ride again!!! Come on baby!”

    The Bureau of Land Management is responsible for the care and management of an estimated 73,000 wild horses and burros roaming federal lands across the West. The agency says it cannot handle the escalating costs of caring for and feeding the nearly 50,000 additional animals it has already rounded up in holding pens and corrals. How the agency should deal with the animals — through sale or euthanasia — is a sharply divisive issue. It is unclear where Lara Trump comes down on the issue.

    A request to the Trump Organization for more information regarding her position on wild horses was not answered. A White House spokeswoman referred a request for comment to the Interior Department, which did not respond.

    https://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1060063177/search

    Like

  12. TESLA LOVES THEIR WILD MUSTANGS – AND THEY ARE A BIG ATTRACTION

    WILD HORSES
    Tesla’s home in the desert wants to keep its mustangs
    Published: Tuesday, March 13, 2018

    The manager of the world’s largest industrial park yesterday urged Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) to cancel a plan to transfer nearly 3,000 wild horses to private ownership — and possible slaughter.

    Lance Gilman heads the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center, which is home to a massive Tesla Inc. battery factory, data storage centers for big tech companies and about 2,000 of the horses.

    The state canceled a humane management agreement for the herd with the American Wild Horse Campaign in October, and now it plans to replace state ownership “with a reputable animal advocate organization,” Nevada Department of Agriculture Director Jim Barbee said yesterday.

    Gilman and wild horse advocates say that would almost certainly lead the horses to slaughter.

    Gilman said he’s worried about the economic impact of potentially killing off the horses because they’re a big draw for tenants of the industrial park.

    Tesla CEO Elon Musk has reportedly fallen for the horses, and Walmart Inc. has painted a mural of the mustangs on its distribution center at the park.

    “I’m a pure capitalist. For 40 years, I’ve been marketing land,” Gilman said. “You’ve got to make the money heard” (Scott Sonner, Associated Press, March 13). — NS

    https://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1060076193/search?keyword=wild+horses

    Like

  13. Okay, one more here since it is current and topical. MT has only one HMA and it is strictly controlled, as well as was reduced by the erection of a USFS fence a few years ago which cut these horses off significant parts of their historic range, in a fairly extreme climate.

    WILD HORSES

    Lawsuit seeks federal protections for Mont. mustangs
    Published: Friday, April 6, 2018

    Animal rights advocates have sued the Trump administration in a bid to win Endangered Species Act protections for wild mustangs in Montana.

    Previous attempts to win protections for wild horses across the country have faltered. But Connecticut-based advocacy group Friends of Animals hopes this effort will succeed, since it concentrates on a narrow segment of the population in the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range.

    The range is home to around 155 mustangs thought to be descended from the horses of Spanish conquistadors who arrived in the Americas in the 1500s.

    Friends of Animals argues in the lawsuit that the Fish and Wildlife Service illegally ignored a petition filed last June seeking protections for the horses. It asks U.S. District Judge Susan Watters to force federal officials to respond to the petition within 60 days.

    The petition was rejected because the group did not contact Montana officials before submitting it to FWS, but Friends of Animals says that requirement is against federal law.

    Mike Harris, director of wildlife law for Friend of Animals, said the horses in the range are unique because they’ve long been isolated from other herds.

    “It’s able to trace its lineage back to some of the earliest wild horse herds and some of their unique markings and characteristics,” Harris said. “We’re going after those herds at most risk.”

    FWS spokesman Steve Segin said there’s no precedent for horses being protected under the 1973 Endangered Species Act (Matthew Brown, Associated Press, April 5). — MJ

    https://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1060078341/search?keyword=wild+horses

    Like

  14. BEWARE
    20 Western Governors Trying to Seize Power Over Endangered Species Act

    Whitefish, Montana – On June 28, 2017, the Western Governors’ Association (WGA) released its 2017 recommendations to alter the Endangered Species Act (ESA) after its annual meeting in Montana. The resolution arrived at calls for an increase in state power over ESA implementation and an easing of the endangered species delisting process.

    Jamie Rappaport Clark, President and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife (Defenders), issued this statement regarding the resolution:
    The Western Governors’ Association’s call for legislative changes to the Endangered Species Act opens a Pandora’s box in this hostile Congress. Since 2015, Congress has introduced more than 150 bills, amendments and riders that would undermine the ESA and weaken conservation measures for imperiled species. We cannot risk opening the Act to the avalanche of destructive amendments that would gut our nation’s most effective law for protecting endangered and threatened wildlife.

    WGA’s resolution, titled, Western Governors’ Association Policy Resolution 2017-11, Species Conservation and the Endangered Species Act (the Resolution) calls on “Congress to amend and reauthorize the Endangered Species Act of 1973 based upon seven broad goals,” which are:
    • “Require clear recovery goals for listed species, and actively pursue delisting of recovered species.
    • Increase the regulatory flexibility of the services to review and make decisions on petitions to list or change the listing status of a species under the ESA.
    • Enhance the role of state governments in recovering species.
    • Ensure the use of sound science in ESA decisions.
    • Incentives and funding for conservation are essential.
    • Foreseeable future must be defined.
    • States should be full partners in listing, critical habitat designations, recovery planning and delisting decisions, particularly when modeling is used in analysis.”

    https://www.environews.tv/071117-17-western-governors-trying-seize-power-endangered-species-act-green-groups-say-no-way/

    Like

  15. From IN DEFENSE OF ANIMALS (there is also a petition)

    Stop Western Governors’ Association’s War on Community Cats!

    The Western Governors’ Association (WGA) has just gone all out to criminalize animals and plants whose only crime was to be born or sprouted as a result of human oversight, laziness, or idiocy. The WGA is even planting misinformation and stirring hatred against our nation’s beloved community cats.

    The WGA just released its first ever Top 50 Invasive Species in the West list, which includes 25 aquatic species and 25 terrestrial species. Surprisingly, humans aren’t number one on the list. In fact, humans don’t appear anywhere on the list, which is outrageous considering that we humans have by far the hardest negative impact on native wild animals and plants. Sickeningly, cats are posted on the detestable list – at unlucky number 13. WGA calls them “feral” and has the nerve to even include community cats who have been “fixed” through a trap-neuter-return program.

    This is a slap in the face to those of us who love community cats, work to protect them, and ensure their numbers are humanely reduced through trap-neuter-return programs. Also, since no animal protection groups were consulted or asked for input on WGA’s list – the scientific basis for the inclusion of “feral” cats is dubious at best.

    Like

  16. Wild Horses May Hold a Solution to Slowing Spread of Fatal Chronic Wasting Disease in Deer, Elk

    A Colorado State University scientist is investigating the role wild horses may play in slowing the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), a 100 percent fatal and contagious brain-destroying infection, ravaging the country’s deer and elk herds.

    Zabel said he has “pretty strong evidence” he hopes to publish this year demonstrating that one of the most common ways for CWD to spread is when cervids browse on vegetation contaminated from infected saliva, urine, and feces. Hence, he said it’s possible that horses can consume some of the CWD-tainted material and “interrupt that indirect transmission of CWD prions from cervid to cervid.”

    https://www.environews.tv/022718-wild-horses-may-hold-solution-slowing-spread-fatal-chronic-wasting-disease-deer-elk/

    Like

  17. Wild Horse Freedom Federation would like to thank the many organizations and individuals who joined us in signing a letter for Recommendations on Wild Horse & Burro Management that was sent to members of the Senate and House of Representatives. Please feel free to copy the letter below and send it to your Congressional representatives.

    Our recommendations for the management of wild horses & burros are:
    • Do not “euthanize,” kill or sterilize America’s wild horses & burros

    • Reintroduce the wild horses & burros that are now in BLM off range facilities back to their historic ranges, where they can graze for free. When Congress enacted the Wild Free-Roaming Horses & Burros Act of 1971 (16 U.S.C. §§ 1331–1340), the wild horses & burros were to be protected in their historic herd areas. In 1971, wild horses & burros occupied 53.8 million acres managed by the BLM, but the BLM now only allows wild horses & burros on half that original range area: on only 26.9 million acres. We recommend the reintroduction of wild horses & burros that are in BLM off range facilities back to their historic herd areas, and that the BLM use on-the-range management.

    • Revise and amend all BLM and Forest Service Land Use Plans, including Resource Management Plans and Environmental Assessments, to allow for wild horse & burro numbers that are high enough to maintain a viable herd in their “Appropriate Management Level” (AML), which would be a minimum of 150-200 animals, with at least 150 breeding age adult animals.

    • Livestock grazing levels should be adjusted to accommodate viable herd numbers of wild horses & burros, pursuant to 43 CFR 4710.5, which authorizes the BLM to reduce or eliminate livestock grazing. Permittees could be offered financial compensation or tax cuts in exchange for grazing permit retirement, non-use or reduced use on wild horse habitats.

    • Accept public input. For example, Wild Horse Freedom Federation prepared a White Paper using the BLM’s own records, obtained by the Freedom of Information Act. This White Paper is available online here: http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/White-Paper.pdf The White Paper Exhibits are here: http://www.wildhoofbeats.com/White-Paper-Full-Exhibit-1-17-2.pdf

    • Accept public assistance with management of wild horses & burros. Right now, there have been offers from advocacy groups, including Carol Walker of Wild Horse Freedom Federation, to help facilitate, publicize and promote adoptions of the 1,730 wild horses currently being held at the Axtell off-range corrals in Utah, and her emails have either been ignored or her offer of help has been denied.

    • Reintroduce predators to public lands so that there can be a “thriving, natural ecological balance.”

    • Implement accurate population estimates and accountability. We request that the BLM equip the airplanes used for aerial population surveys with a GoPro camera, or some other video camera that is able to get 180 degree, real time, documentation to prove the raw data numbers they use as the basis for their population modeling. We also request that the raw data be made available to the public.

    • Review and set up oversight of the BLM’s record keeping. Wild Horse Freedom Federation obtained records from the BLM’s Wild Horse & Burro System Database, supposedly describing all horses & burros captured in the period of 1980-1999. There were 131,559 entries, but on other BLM records, the BLM claims that during this same time, 168,627 equids were captured. This indicates that 37,068 wild horses & burros were somehow left out of the BLM’s Wild Horse & Burro Program System Database.

    • Stop all removals of wild horses & burros from public lands (including “emergency” removals, that have now become routine), until accurate, scientifically defensible population estimates can be confirmed for all Herd Management Areas, and until all BLM and Forest Service Land Use Plans have been amended to allow for viable herd numbers.

    • Stop use of all forms of fertility control, including all forms of PZP (Porcine Zona Pellucida), GonaCon, sex ratio skewing and sterilizations, including the outdated and cruel hysterectomies via colpotomy on wild mares and gelding/chemically castrating stallions in the wild, and only consider after such time as there are accurate and scientifically defensible population estimates, all BLM and Forest Service Land Use Plans are amended to include viable herd numbers on all HMAs, predators are reintroduced, and all of our other recommendations for management are in place. Hysterectomies via colpotomy on wild mares should never be done.

    • However, if the BLM does use any type of fertility control on herds, the Appropriate Management Level in the BLM and Forest Service Land Use Plans for the areas where fertility control is being administered on herds should be set higher than the minimum of 150-200 members to each herd, with at least 150 breeding age adult animals, to allow for the genetic viability of the herd.

    • We request that all BLM Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Boards, including the BLM’s National Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board, consist of fewer individuals representing special interest (and self-serving) groups, and include more “real” wild horse & burro advocates and advocacy groups. We also request that these advisory boards allow more time for public comment periods.

    http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/news-alerts/recommendations-wild-horse-burro-management/

    Liked by 1 person

  18. A much more cost/effective recommendation and far better for the taxpayers:

    Reintroduce the wild horses & burros that are now in BLM off range facilities back to their historic ranges, where they can graze for free. When Congress enacted the Wild Free-Roaming Horses & Burros Act of 1971 (16 U.S.C. §§ 1331–1340), the wild horses & burros were to be protected in their historic herd areas. In 1971, wild horses & burros occupied 53.8 million acres managed by the BLM, but the BLM now only allows wild horses & burros on half that original range area: on only 26.9 million acres. We recommend the reintroduction of wild horses & burros that are in BLM off range facilities back to their historic herd areas, and that the BLM use on-the-range management.

    http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/news-alerts/recommendations-wild-horse-burro-management/

    Like

  19. Reintroduce the wild horses & burros that are now in BLM off range facilities back to their historic ranges, where they can graze for free. When Congress enacted the Wild Free-Roaming Horses & Burros Act of 1971 (16 U.S.C. §§ 1331–1340), the wild horses & burros were to be protected in their historic herd areas. In 1971, wild horses & burros occupied 53.8 million acres managed by the BLM, but the BLM now only allows wild horses & burros on half that original range area: on only 26.9 million acres. We recommend the reintroduction of wild horses & burros that are in BLM off range facilities back to their historic herd areas, and that the BLM use on-the-range management.
    http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/news-alerts/recommendations-wild-horse-burro-management/

    Like

    • What is the suggestion if those lands are gone — many were sold, developed, or sucked dry of resources. Some remain but the trend is relentlessly in the fragment/sell/develop direction as our human population is also relentlessly increasing. Here’s a “real time” clock so you can watch — almost 44 million births so far just this year, and it’s only April:

      http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/

      Like

      • IcySpots, there is still public land available for the few Wild Horses & Burros that remain.
        There is just one thing that I would correct in the following article.
        The federal government does NOT own public land
        Public lands are SUPPOSED to be protected by the various agencies…BLM, U.S Forest Service, National Park Service and Fish and Wildlife Service.
        The public lands belong to US.

        The Massive, Empty Federal Lands of the American West
        The U.S. government owns half of the land in 11 western states-but almost no one lives there.
        But out west, the government lays claim to huge, state-sized swaths of land-more than 630 million acres, greater than the landmass of Texas, California, Florida and New York combined. In some states, government agencies are the biggest landowner; in Nevada, 80 percent of land is federally owned.

        https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/01/federal-land-ownership/422637/

        Liked by 1 person

      • Louie, that’s great but since wild horses and burros are restricted to only those places identified in 1971, the overall public land picture isn’t applicable unless the law is changed. Among the places they were legally allowed to exist, a lot of acreage has been forever rendered out of reach, which is why I asked the question.

        It’s a fair question to ask just how many of the 22 million acres now emptied of wild horses and burros actually could still support them. I don’t know the answer, do you?

        Like

  20. IcySpots, there are, undoubtedly, many in the WH&B advocacy that are well qualified to evaluate the Herd Areas (which have been zeroed out) as well as the remaining Herd Management Areas. They have been doing just that for a long time in the process of documentation.
    As Craig Downer states, “they are the healers of the land”. His report on some of the Oregon HMAs was just published recently.
    This is just an excerpt from o his letter to the Appropriations Committee:

    Craig Downer’s letter, which he has also sent to US Senators on the Appropriations Committee, appears in full below :

    Before closing, I strongly and particularly emphasize the importance of the wild horse and wild burro herds in preventing catastrophic wildfires on our public lands. This is a most serious issue today due to exacerbating Global Climate Change, aka warming; and the wild equids could do a world of protective good for both the natural ecosystems they should be inhabiting as viable populations numbering in the thousands and for humanity itself. They would perform this great ecological and economic service but only if they are allowed to return to the vast ecosystems, particularly in the West, where the can reduce abundant vegetation. Later in the summer or fall, or even in the late spring, this vegetation often dries and converts itself into a tinderbox of fuel that a lightning bolt, or a careless camper’s campfire, or an off-highway-vehicle striking a rock and igniting a dry clump of grass, can easily spark into a very terrible and destructive, gruesome conflagration. This past year has been the hottest on record; and the West has experienced the most serious wildfires of any year on record. We would all do well to heed this year’s, as recent decades’, warning. I therefore strongly recommend that the US government release the many thousands of wild horses and wild burros who have been excessively cleared off the public lands. They should be set free from their holding pens or short and long-term pastures back into the many millions of acres where they have legal right on BLM-USDI and USFS-USDA lands. Also, through cooperative agreements, they could be placed into other areas where they could perform this same fire-prevention and life-saving role on a very large scale. Private, municipal, county, state, military and other agency lands should seriously consider this option, for the wild horses and wild burros are perfect reducers of exuberant vegetation that so often becomes dry and flammable later in the year, and they can access many remote, steep, and rugged areas, where traditional methods of fuel-load abatement are either extremely difficult or prohibitively costly.
    https://www.horsetalk.co.nz/2017/10/17/avoid-selfish-interests-wild-horses-ecologist/

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agreed, and I am well acquainted with Craig and his work. However, I was responding to your post about putting wild horses and burros “back on their historic ranges,” some which we all know are no longer available or suitable.

      Please publish if you come across anything which indicates what legal areas that have been zero’d out may in fact still be realistic repatriation areas, as this is important information that seems to be impossible to find.

      Like

      • IcySpots, I believe that Herd Management Areas where roundups and removals have occurred in the last few years would be a good place to start. They were conducted without any justification and with absolutely no proof what-so-ever of either “over-population” or range degradation due solely to Wild Horses. There are many first-hand accounts of range conditions reported by those “boots on the ground” dedicated souls who spend their own money and time to check for themselves. They do the work that the taxpayer-funded agencies are SUPPOSED to be doing.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Louie, yes, I do keep up, but have not found a single resource which compiles all the “historic” ranges which have since been zero’d out. My question is about only those areas, and of those, how many acres are no longer habitable for wild horses and burros, and for what reasons.

        Have to quibble with the “no justification” since the BLM has set their arbitrary management levels (AMLs) and uses those indeed to justify removals. They have the authority to do this despite the many “boots on teh ground” which discover different information.

        I don’t agree with much of anything about how this system fails all around, but remain curious about the total acreages no longer available for wild horses and burros (often mentioned as 22 million acres) which have been sold off, developed, dried out, ripped up for tar sands or otherwise made uninhabitable for their repatriation. This should be public information but surely is not easily located in a single report, but should be.

        Like

      • 16 U.S.C. § 1333(b)(2) (1994). “[E]xcess animals” are defined in the Act as wild horses “which must be removed from an area in order to preserve and maintain a thriving natural ecological balance and multiple-use relationship in that area.” 16 U.S.C. § 1332(f) (1994).

        Like

      • This report is 377 pages

        A report presented to the National Academy
        of Sciences Committee to Review the
        Management of Wild Horses and Burros
        Prepared by:
        Animal Welfare Institute
        October 2012

        The NAS Study 4
        Summary of 1980 NAS report
        Summary of 1982 NAS report
        Summary of 1991 NAS report

        Science is integral to establishing AML as specified in BLM policy and guidelines.
        Indeed, as discussed in more detail below, a wealth of scientific information is required to be collected and analyzed to set or reevaluate AML. While the specific scientific data necessary to properly and credibly establish AML is debatable, the fundamental issue here is whether the BLM complies with its own policies, to rely on science to set AML.

        If the BLM had and disclosed all data used to establish current AML, the data itself could be subject to scientific analysis to determine if the BLM’s use and interpretation of the data is defensible. Without such data, the only possible scientific analysis of AML is to assess the credibility of the laundry-list of data that is supposed to be collected to set or reset AML, and the credibility of the collection procedures. As to the latter, although
        procedures are delineated, there are significant questions regarding their actual use in the field. While it is unclear if the data needed to set or adjust AML is collected, if it is collected, there are credible concerns about the veracity and completeness of the data, whether the data is up-to-date, and whether or how the data is used by the BLM to set orreevaluate AML

        Like

  21. Great, thanks. I have the AWI report and maps, and have used them, but they are a bit out of date today. I know we’ve had one HMA zero’d out in CO since then, and understood that in WY the plan was/is to do the same for at least three HMAs, and keep White Mtn. as a non-reproducing herd, so that makes at least 5 either emptied forever or about to be in the past couple of years.

    Beyond that, I think it’s an important question to ask how much of those lands have been sold or leased to other users. For instance, there is unfenced land being sold in the WY Checkerboard area literally dirt cheap, as well as what some here have posted on heightened mining interest, including Lithium, tar sands, and solar/wind arrays. How much of this was formerly legal wild horse area? This area has been contested since before the 1971 protections were enacted.

    And does anyone believe no wild horses lived in Montana prior to 1971? There is currently only a single, small HMA in the entire state, though the law mandated protections where they roamed pre 1971. From the AWI report: “It is not known if the BLM has ever managed wild burros in Montana but, at present, no wild burros are managed by the BLM in the state.”

    This is important to consider since the Secretary of the DOI is from MT, a state which has a long history of supporting horse slaughter, including a quick haul into Canada for the unlucky.

    Like

  22. From AMERICAN HERDS

    Fiscal Year 2004
    Note: While BLM continues to publish adoption, removal and population reports dating back from 1996 or earlier in the Program, they eliminated the 2004 HA/HMA statistical data from public electronic access. A cross-referencing of the statistical data between 2004/2005 may suggest why….

    2004 National Program Data Summary

    Arizona: 2004 HA/HMA Statistics

    California: 2004 HA/HMA Statistics

    Colorado: 2004 HA/HMA Statistics

    Idaho: 2004 HA/HMA Statistics

    Montana: 2004 HA/HMA Statistics

    Nevada: 2004 HA/HMA Statistics

    New Mexico: 2004 HA/HMA Statistics

    Oregon: 2004 HA/HMA Statistics

    Utah: 2004 HA/HMA Statistics

    Wyoming: 2004 HA/HMA Statistics

    Fiscal Year 2005

    2005 National Program Data Summary

    Arizona: 2005 HA/HMA Statistics

    California: 2005 HA/HMA Statistics

    Colorado: 2005 HA/HMA Statistics

    Idaho: 2005 HA/HMA Statistics

    Montana: 2005 HA/HMA Statistics

    Nevada: 2005 HA/HMA Statistics

    New Mexico: 2005 HA/HMA Statistics

    Oregon: 2005 HA/HMA Statistics

    Utah: 2005 HA/HMA Statistics

    Wyoming: 2005 HA/HMA Statistics

    http://americanherdsxtras.blogspot.com/2011/07/library.html

    Like

Care to make a comment?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.