Wild Horse Freedom Federation issues THE TRUTH to share Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) documents and information with the public. Be sure to subscribe HERE to Wild Horse Freedom Federation, so that you can receive email alerts.
THE TRUTH #20 – National Park Service gives Mark Meyers of Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue all of the wild burros in Death Valley National Park and the Mojave National Preserve.
Wild horses and burros on National Park Service lands fell through the cracks on being protected when the Wild Free-Roaming Horses & Burros Act of 1971 was passed.
The National Park Service (NPS) is not paying Mark Meyers of Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue (PVDR) to remove all of the wild burros from Death Valley National Park and the Mojave National Preserve over the next 5 years. NPS seems to just be signing a Memorandum of Understanding to give Mark Meyers/Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue an estimated 2,500 wild burros, the last remaining wild burros in this Park and Preserve, to do with as he will. Mark Meyers has to come up with about $5 million to pay for this project.
NPS may have bypassed the U.S. Government’s contracting bidding process open to the public by just giving away the wild burros to Mark Meyers/Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue and only signing a Memorandum of Understanding. However, in a 10/17/2017 email, Debra Hughson of NPS notes (in talking about Mark Meyers/Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue) “They appear to be worried about investing in this project and then us having someone come in and under cut them out of the process or directly competing with them.”
Josh Hoines of the NPS initially contacted Mark Meyers about this project, but there was no mention in any of the FOIA records we received about any other burro rescue groups being contacted.
A rough draft of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is below, but it seems that this is still under review by the NPS legal team and is NOT a final version. This is being posted so that the public can be aware of what is being considered at this point.
This MOU states “Upon capture, the NPS relinquishes any rights to the feral burros.”
Per this version of the MOU, Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue “Maintains detailed records of animals collected from the Park and Preserve.” However, unless PVDR gives these records to the NPS, the detailed records, including the exact number of wild burros that are captured and removed, will not be available to the public with the Freedom of Information Act.
The bottom line is that the NPS is relinquishing any rights upon capture, and these burros become the property of PVDR. The public will never have accountability regarding what happens to these wild burros down the line.
In an Aug. 3, 2017 email from Mark Meyers to Josh Hoines of NPS, Meyers states “Also, I have been contacted by a person that is interested in underwriting a large part of this project. More details to follow.”
The big question about this is who would donate almost $5 million for about 2,500 wild burros, and more importantly, why?
Read the rest of this article and see the FOIA documents HERE.
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Read all of THE TRUTH and see other FOIA documentation HERE.
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Categories: Wild Burros