Action Alert! Please Comment by July 12 on BLM’s Plans to Decimate the Onaqui Wild Horse Herd

used with permission

Please Comment by July 12 on the BLM’s plans to remove 90% of the Onaqui Herd in Utah This Fall                                

By Carol Walker, Director of Field Documentation, Wild Horse Freedom Federation

The Bureau of Land Management has issued a plan to remove 90% of the wild horses currently in and outside the 205,394 Acre Onaqui Herd Management Area. There are estimated to be 450 adult wild horses plus foals currently living in the area, and this removal would take 379 of them, bringing the herd size down to low Appropriate Management Area for this herd, which is 121 wild horses.

This number is below the number of wild horses necessary to have in a herd in order to maintain genetic viability. The leading geneticist on wild horses, Dr. Gus Cothren says that there must be 150-200 breeding aged adults in order to maintain genetic viability. Removal down to this number is a recipe for disaster for this well known and much beloved herd.

Wild horses should be managed on the range, on our public lands where they belong, not rounded up with helicopters, ripped from their families and the only home they have ever known and warehoused in feedlots and potentially killed or sent to slaughter. This herd does not deserve this fate.

There had already been volunteers working on administering fertility control to maintain the numbers of this herd. Yet the BLM proceeds to plan to roundup and remove all these horses anyway. The BLM should work with volunteers and use fertility control to maintain the numbers of wild horses on the range.

If the BLM does remove any wild horses from this herd, they must not skew the sex ratio to 60% stallions v. 40% mares. The BLM wrongly assumes that more stallions and less mares means a lower birth rate. What its really means is more instability in the family structure, more fighting, less safety for the horses. Wild horse naturally maintain a 50% stallions 50% mares balance. This must be maintained for the health and safety of the herd.

The BLM should reduce livestock grazing in this area and manage wild horses as the principle species here, as they are mandated to do. The Appropriate Management Level should be increased to 450 and the land that was taken away from this Herd Management Area should be restored to active HMA status so that once again the Onaqui Herd Management Area is 507,681 acres. Land continues to be taken away from our wild horses, and this must be stopped.

Some other factors that must be considered is that wild horse viewing and photographing is an important activity for this herd, and a massive removal will severely impact these recreational uses by the public. This area should not be managed primarily for livestock grazing, instead livestock grazing should be greatly reduced. The removal of these horses will greatly impact the county’s tourism income from people traveling to visit these wild horses. The costs to roundup and remove these wild horses plus the additional cost of warehousing them in holding facilities and feed lots is far greater than managing them on our public lands.

The last major concern that must be taken into account is what will ultimately happen to these horses that are rounded up and removed? Right now Congress is considering BLM’s own plans to destroy thousands of healthy wild horses, ship them overseas, and send them to slaughter. The 2019 Appropriations Bill in the House calls for that. Given that our wild horse’s fate is hanging in the balance, these  wild horses would be much safer left in the wild, in their homes.

used with permission

What can you do to help? Make your comments today, by July 12 at the latest, in your own words.

Put these comments on the BLM site where they must be considered.

This treasured herd needs your help.

Please submit your comments by 4pm July 12, 2018. You can go to the BLM site and fill out their comment form:

https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-front-office/eplanning/comments/commentSubmission.do?commentPeriodId=67002

If you have trouble with the BLM form, AWHC has provided another online form that may work better:

https://americanwildhorsecampaign.org/media/save-utahs-onaqui-wild-horses

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

18 comments

  1. Please leave the horses on the land set aside for them ,no round ups , no equine slaughter, please care about them .thank you

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  2. Since cattle ranchers want the BLM to do everything for their cattle, they will destroy all of what is beautiful to the American public. BLM doesn’t realize that’s what is happening. I’ve seen the comment made on another post. These wilds were here way long before any of us were thought of and for the dollar and greed they will be gone. Gave them birth control and leave them be. Hopefully the safe act will be passed by then. I am letting cosponsors know that the BLM has decided that they will be performing the experimental sterlizations on some. I usually don’t say this word but I HATE the BLM. They kill, injure and displace families doing these kind of things. Horses will no longer exist if they get their way.

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  3. ONE of these places is in Utah
    We have to start helping the public to understand that these are WILD Horses not feral

    10 great places to see wild horses
    Larry Bleiberg, Special for USA TODAY

    While the eagle might be our national symbol, the wild horse seems just as fitting. “It’s a very iconic American ideal. Wild horses represent freedom. There’s definitely a romantic vision,” says Darley Newman, host of the Emmy-award winning PBS series Equitrekking.

    Onaqui herd
    Dugway, Utah

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/destinations/10greatplaces/2017/07/14/wild-horses/476800001/

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  4. this is absolutely HORIBLE no horse should go for slaughter or be killed! Re-think your choice. Horses are beautiful animals! They deserve to live! Let them be free what did they do to deserve this?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dear Sirs, it has comes to my attention that your company wants to harm these beautiful historical wild horses..This land is theirs not no.others..they were born and raised here..and you people want to decimate them and why???…I don’t understand why you people want to do anything to any of the horses running wild out west anyway..they have roamed these.plains since the Spaniards came…it’s there home it’s their families history…please as an American citizen I ask you not to remove or harm them..they have a right to be here as much as a cow..deer..or whatever you BLM wants to bring in..its unjust as to what you do…please let them alone..let them run wild and free…I would like for my grandchildren to see them and their grandchildren..it’s an American wild west thing…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The latest Trump “pardon” seems to be the Hammonds who were charged & jailed (briefly) for setting fire to public land! I guess its par for the course.

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  7. I just saw that Maggie.
    How about some publicity showing captive Wild Horses & Burros being freed from prison, released back with their families and allowed to go back to their Homes on the Range

    “Trump has been especially pleased with news coverage of his actions, which included commuting the sentence of Alice Johnson, a woman serving a life sentence for drug offenses whose case had been championed by reality television star Kim Kardashian West.
    He has repeatedly referenced emotional video of Johnson being freed from prison and running into her family members’ arms, and has said he’s considering thousands more cases both famous and not.”

    Trump pardons ranchers in case that inspired 2016 occupation
    By JILL COLVIN and ZEKE MILLER Associated Press

    President Donald Trump has pardoned two ranchers whose case sparked the armed occupation of a national wildlife refuge in Oregon.

    Dwight and Steven Hammond were convicted in 2012 of intentionally and maliciously setting fires on public lands. The arson crime carried a minimum prison sentence of five years, but a sympathetic federal judge, on his last day before retirement, decided the penalty was too stiff and gave the father and son much lighter prison terms.
    Prosecutors won an appeal and the Hammonds were resentenced in October 2015 to serve the mandatory minimum.
    The decision sparked a protest from Ammon Bundy and dozens of others, who occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near the Hammond ranch in southeastern Oregon from Jan. 2 to Feb. 11, 2016, complaining the Hammonds were victims of federal overreach.

    The armed occupiers changed the refuge’s name to the Harney County Resource Center, reflecting their belief that the federal government has only a very limited right to own property within a state’s borders

    Trump has been especially pleased with news coverage of his actions, which included commuting the sentence of Alice Johnson, a woman serving a life sentence for drug offenses whose case had been championed by reality television star Kim Kardashian West.
    He has repeatedly referenced emotional video of Johnson being freed from prison and running into her family members’ arms, and has said he’s considering thousands more cases — both famous and not.

    https://trib.com/news/state-and-regional/trump-pardons-ranchers-in-case-that-inspired-occupation/article_de37d903-234f-579e-89af-908925a3eefb.html#utm_source=trib.com&utm_campaign=%2Femail-updates%2Fbreaking%2F&utm_medium=email&utm_content=66C041A6DB0DAC32FE48018EC208D852193B173E

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  8. UTAH

    From THE NEW YORK TIMES

    The Looting of America’s Public Lands
    By The Editorial Board

    The protections put in place over the last half-century by both political parties to guarantee Americans clean air, clean water and bountiful open space have been coming apart at the seams since President Trump took office. The last few weeks have been particularly brutal for conservationists and, indeed, anyone who believes that big chunks of America’s public lands, however rich they may be in commercial resources, are best left in their natural state.

    The arguments in both cases were the same: America needs the energy buried beneath these lands — oil in the case of the refuge, coal in Utah. And both arguments were equally spurious: Coal is in free fall as an energy source, feared as a major cause of climate change and run off the market by cheaper natural gas. Oil, meanwhile, is in such plentiful supply that America’s net imports are at their lowest since 1970.

    A more honest accounting is that the people doing the trampling are, in fact, a small handful of Utah lawmakers. Most prominent among them is Senator Orrin Hatch, who is most chummy with the president, but other members of the Utah congressional delegation have also resented public ownership of Utah’s lands. But they do not, by any means, have ordinary citizens behind them.

    Somewhere, in retirement, Dick Cheney, who as vice president was the main architect of Mr. Bush’s retrograde environmental policies, has to be smiling. Mr. Trump is doing what Mr. Cheney always wanted to get done. The silver lining for the other side (admittedly a barely detectable one these days) is that Mr. Cheney ultimately failed.

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  9. Wild horses were before anyone on this earth they a ever right to stay free and wild. They are husman too and chance live life let fight for them and stand up to save them because we have no wild beautiful horses see run free.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Leave the wild horses and burrors alone soon there won’t be anything free for future generations to see and enjoy . Stop letting the cattlemen and oil companies run this country

    Liked by 1 person

  11. UTAH 2017
    Photojournalist – Journalist

    From The current EA, FLPMA, or NEPA legal process has not been met for Utah Roundup

    I find it interesting that the Bureau of Land Management, also allowed by the Department of the Interior (oversight agency), to complete such obvious Illegal Activities – as no legal process has been given to the taxpayer public that the Conger and Frisco Roundups are being done legally.

    I. Current EA legal process must be met and signed – a 2015 EA, whether updated or not, and left unsigned as well, is unacceptable legally to complete a legal roundup;

    2. An unsigned EA does not fulfill the legal process for the BLM to conduct a roundup at the Conger and Frisco Heard Management areas;

    3. FLPMA as well as no NEPA requirements, legally, have simply not been met for a legal roundup within these Utah HMA areas;

    4. Population Research Control (BLM’s bogus title in an attempt to make it sound valid) is a false title and irrelevant, when the other elements of qualifications for rounding America’s Wild Horses up have, very simply, not been met
    ;
    5. Worse yet, the bogus biology at these particular HMA’s are essentially biological-impossibilities (very dishonest) within these groups of Wild Horses, and the previous 2015 EA shows the impossibilities very well – updates based upon the 2015 EA (with no other qualification processes and left unavailable), and as Federal Courts have ruled previously, and clearly, BLM is to provide current EA’s (I.e. FLPMA, NEPA documents as well and current), not random EA’s copied elsewhere and simply the date changed . . .

    https://prophoto7journal.wordpress.com/2017/12/03/the-current-ea-flpma-or-nepa-legal-process-has-not-been-met-for-utah-roundup/

    Like

  12. My comment will always be that is all Our Land. Not ranchers ect. We Want to Keep Our Free Lands. The wild horses are part of us. Please. Leave them. You have made the herds so small. Taken their land for cattle and other herds. We The People Don’t want this on Our Land. Cattle do much more destruction and well we just want some land left for the Wild Critters. We have taken more than Enough From The Land. Before everything is pushed to extinction just Stop please. I want my grandchildren and their grandchildren to have something beautiful left

    Liked by 1 person

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