“…animals that are at least 10 years old will be put up for sale “without limitation” for $1 apiece if they aren’t adopted within 30 days…”
A controversial roundup of 1,000 wild horses, some of which could wind up being sold for slaughter, began Wednesday in Modoc National Forest despite an eleventh-hour appeal from U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
The U.S. Forest Service, which is overseeing the roundup, said the horse population needs to be reduced to “sustain the natural ecological balance” of the forest’s Devils Garden Plateau Territory.
About 3,900 horses currently roam the territory in a space designated for no more than 402, according to a Forest Service planning document, and area ranchers say the horse population is interfering with grazing activities.
Although the Forest Service has been planning the roundup for years, the Modoc roundup is the first “horse gather” on public lands in 13 years, and media attention intensified in recent days.
Forest Service spokesman Ken Sandusky said the horses were being herded by a helicopter hovering overhead. The helicopter directed the horses “at a comfortable pace” into a corral. Eventually they’ll be taken to a contractor’s holding facility in the Modoc forest, where they’ll be treated and evaluated. The roundup is supposed to take a month.
About 60 horses had been captured in the first few hours, said agency spokeswoman Sally Carter.
Sandusky said all of the horses will be put up for adoption, although the animals that are at least 10 years old will be put up for sale “without limitation” for $1 apiece if they aren’t adopted within 30 days.
That’s where the protests come in. The American Wild Horse Campaign, a group based in Davis, said it fears the animals that aren’t adopted will be “sold to slaughter plants to produce horse meat for foreign consumption.”
“While we understand the Forest Service’s desire to reduce the Devils Garden wild horse population, the agency must do so in a humane and socially acceptable manner,” the group added.
Suzanne Roy, the group’s executive director, said in an interview Wednesday that several animal rights groups plan to ask California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to intervene. She said California law forbids the slaughter of wild horses.
She said the horses are protected from slaughter by the federal Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act, but that law only covers the Interior Department, not the Forest Service, which is under the Department of Agriculture. In previous administrations, the Forest Service followed the law anyway, but that’s changed under the Trump administration, she said.
“It’s basically a legal technicality,” she said.
Feinstein sent the Forest Service’s acting chief, Vicki Christiansen, a letter late Tuesday asking for a halt to “any sales of wild horses” unless the agency can “certify that no horses that are sold will be transferred to third-party buyers who may end up slaughtering the animals for commercial use.”
Ranchers, meanwhile, said the roundup is badly needed to control a horse population that has wrecked livestock grazing in the national forest.
The horses “have eaten the grass to the point that there’s nothing growing,” said Ned Coe, a Modoc County rancher, county supervisor and California Farm Bureau Federation field representative. He said ranchers had to remove all their cattle from the area this year because of the outsized horse population.
Asked about the protests, Coe said it’s “extremely inhumane to maintain … 10 times the maximum appropriate number of animals on the range. The horses are running out of feed and running out of water.”
He said the roundup will leave the area still grossly overpopulated. “We’re not gaining any ground here,” he said.
Categories: Horse News, Horse Slaughter, Wild Horses/Mustangs
“Ranchers, meanwhile, said the roundup is badly needed to control a horse population that has wrecked livestock grazing in the national forest.” Right – every national forest NEEDS livestock grazing, right?
Number one, they lied about this being this first roundup in 13 years. They had a round up last year. They claim lack of water and forage but they plan on dumping cattle out ther and expanding their “grazing program”. No program, just let the welfare trash take over
Why do the ranchers even have a say in this?
God we need you to end all the round up please amen.
This letter could use a rebuttal
Forest Service: Wild horse plan humane, good for the environment
Randy Moore, Speak Your Piece
In regards to the article you published on the U.S. Forest Service’s wild horse gather that began on Oct. 10, I am writing to correct some inaccuracies, make clear our intention and inform citizens on how they can help.
Randy Moore is the regional forester for the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Region.
Yes it certainly could use a rebuttal – but I dont have a Facebook acct! This would be a very good common sense article BUT no mention of livestock – which – since the main purpose in removing wild horses is to create the opportunity to bring in cattle – AND the ranchers have -GASP – had to cut back on the number of cattle on the grazing allotments (AND I really dont get exactly WHY grazing is allowed in the first place in a NATIONAL FOREST! I wonder how long it will take until the 5000 or 6000 cattle are brought back in. And then there is the number of wild horses that the FS claims is in this WHT – 4,000??????????? Hard to believe.
The history of the USFS documents that livestock grazing was not only planned but desired, as a response to the “Big Burn” and similar massive wildfires. The argument was that introduced cattle would graze down the ladder fuels and thereby reduce the incidence and scale of wildfires in the national forests.
Why this argument only works for cattle, but against horses, remains unexplained.
Also not sure of the location or date of the USFS photo included with this article, but those horses are clearly very well fed and hydrated. Would like to see photos and Henneke Scale info on those being removed now.
Also not explained: how introducing a non-native species into the national forests was ever a good ecological decision. Whenever I read of these things I change the word “cattle” to “kangaroos” to highlight the utter absurdity and law of unintended consequences as one bad decision leads to another, which leads to another, ad nauseum.
When you consider that cattle given their choice will graze near & around a water source & horses obviously WILL graze in a forest – kind of makes the USFS argument moot! I’m betting the horses being removed now are also well fed! But if so, there will be nothing mentioned about it (well, unless someone manages to get pictures).
Another BIG reason for concern
Congressman Doug LaMalfa is the U.S. representative for this district which includes the Devil’s Garden in Modoc County.
This committee made the recommendation that would have allowed Wild Horses & Burros to be “euthanized” or sold without restrictions, which would have removed ANY protection from slaughter.
Just got an email from Mustang Monument – there were photos!
This was a month ago – I dont remember seeing anything about it before – ??
DEAD HORSES CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF MISMANAGEMENT YET AGAIN
ELKO COUNTY, Nevada – September 12, 2018 – Wild horses were shot in August, 2018 and many more remain at risk on Boone Springs in a remote and rugged part of Elko County, Nevada due to actions by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), an agency within the United States Department of the Interior. Madeleine Pickens, owner of Mustang Monument and nonprofit Saving America’s Mustangs, owns the private land at Boone Springs which lies unfenced and intermingled within nearly 600,000 acres of public lands managed by Elko BLM through Jill Silvey, District Manager. Ms. Pickens tried to develop the water at Boone Springs in 2016 to provide a reliable source of water for livestock, wildlife and wild horses. However, she was unable to develop the springs because Elko BLM refused to maintain a government road so she could access the springs with the necessary equipment. Fast forward today – there is now a crisis at Boone Springs and the adjacent public lands due to a lack of a reliable source of water for at least wild horses.
It all began when Pickens acquired the Ranch in 2010 within the 600,000 acre Spruce Allotment in northeast Elko County – with the vision to establish a one-of-a-kind, unique partnership with BLM to care for wild horses while still sustaining a livestock operation upon the allotment. A significant step to establish the intended partnership required Pickens to complete deferred maintenance upon a significant number of Wells and Springs riddled across the large allotment to enhance the sources of water for livestock, wildlife and wild horses. Pickens committed to do this at her expense, but from the start, Elko BLM and Jill Silvey crossed her. On the one hand, Elko BLM would demand that the maintenance be completed with threat of sanction if it was not timely done. On the other hand, Elko BLM would second-guess the maintenance that was done with threat and actual sanction that she allegedly worked outside of the authorizations. It was a constant “gotcha style of management by Elko BLM,” says Pickens, “totally lacking any cooperation and now exemplifying itself in the crisis at Boone Springs.”
When Pickens first learned of the crisis at Boone Springs she was willing to allow the natural environment do its work – however tragic and harsh the natural environment can be in such a remote and rugged part of Nevada. However, when BLM began meddling in its crisis management and shooting horses, that crossed the line, in view of Pickens. At that time, Pickens reached out to BLM, even offering up to BLM the use of her private land at Boone Springs so BLM could install temporary water troughs and haul water to Boone Springs. Pickens even offered to haul BLM’s temporary water trough to Boone Springs, but Jill Silvey said no.
All of this, however, seems to be a little too late for the wild horses near Boone Springs – demonstrating yet another example of the continued “crisis” management by BLM of wild horses in the West, as opposed to implementing a sustainable suite of actions to move the yardsticks up the line. It seems that BLM attempts to excuse its “crisis” management by citing to a lack of money from Congress, and while that may be a part of the problem, it remains a lack of leadership at BLM.
Pickens has been an advocate in the community and even nationwide, going out of her way to help animals. During Hurricane Katrina, she personally rescued 800 dogs and cats successfully.
This is a continuation of activities that have plagued Mustang Monument since she bought the ranch in 2010 to try and create a place where the American people could come and see wild horses in their natural setting. But the powers that be in Congress and the BLM, the federal agency that manages the wild horses, have never been willing to put their whole-hearted support behind Pickens’ project.
This is just… Beyond.Belief. So the Natl. Forest Service is over riding every group making protest including a direct cease and desist letter from Diane Feinstein? Accountability is again not in their vocabulary, just like all the devastating BLM policies that have been railroading this annialation of Mustangs at an astounding rate for the last year .
If these horses go to horrific slaughter on a “legal technicality”, can the perps be brought to justice with a class action lawsuit? What kind of precedent does this set for the future of the thousands and thousands that have been taken already and are wasting away in long-term holding (if they aren’t already gone to this fate).
As long as good ol’ dirtbag Ryan Zinke and his BLM drones CAN rape and pillage our HMAs and every wild horse herd or burro herd that isn’t producing a cash flow for their agenda, they WILL. These sorry excuses for human beings are the lowest reptiles, and the corruption is all too obvious. The cattle leases that they covet so much will eventually backfire on them, as CATTLE are the most destructive to the fragile ecosystems than any other animal. Our Wild lands will be Waste lands.
There needs to be a stronger legal stance with these morons if our precious wild herds are going to escape extinction. There needs to be a concentrated and direct cooperative effort to STOP them! And I hope to good God that someone, somehow, can rescue the Modoc horses from the kill buyers….. this is insane! It just cannot be allowed to happen.
See attached letter from Senator Dianne Feinstein to National Park. Despite her mumblings of supporting Mojave burro herds, She did nothing to stop them any more that she will instruct the agency to comply with the internt of the law. She is either ignorant or definant of that intent sugesting that USFS applifation of 1971 Free Roaming Wild Horse and burro Act laws management is any differant than DOI. If her mouth is moving it dilutes the intent of law.
On Thu, Oct 11, 2018 at 4:05 AM Straight from the Horse’s Heart wrote:
> R.T. Fitch posted: “By Dale Kasler as published on The Sacramento Bee > “…animals that are at least 10 years old will be put up for sale âwithout > limitationâ for $1 apiece if they arenât adopted within 30 days…” A > controversial roundup of 1,000 wild horses,” >
So… YOUR point is?
The Senator is stating a definite ‘halt’ order in her letter. It is being run over obviously, and litigation and an immediate injunction to stop this atrocity is needed to save these lives. How many more people with the ability to do this are stepping up?
If you are a Californian, let your voice be heard. CALL the Senator, and every Congressional official that could potentially litigate this. Where are all of the advocacy groups in the state? Will they be there before the torture and slaughter begins?
Between Valifornia Law and Federal Petfood Ban from Slaughtering remind Law Enforcement, Senators, Legislators and kill buyers it’s illegal to broker, purchase, sell to slaughter from Modoc California. Period!
Horses are banned from Pet Food Federally so cannot transported to any plant even outside borders as petfood slaughter, so coupled with Californias law stating no transport/sale to slaughter from California to anywhere they cannot ship, sell to slaughter. The https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2018/10/11/feds-start-controversial-modoc-county-wild-horse-roundup/
Wild Horse article here clearly indicates that these advocates are Allowing slaughter. I’m tired of seeing articles by wanna be horse experts and saviors agreeing that some slaughter might help! Bull#### Not one horse needs that type of end! Theres even a tribal member claiming oh now I’m slowly accepting it, what F### ever! Theres zero tolerance of horse slaughter. It needs stopped and Real advocates working to stop it need to be doing All interviews, these interviews are flailing! There’s no shipment of wild horses to slaughter from Modoc period! Get your Warriors back on this! We wont tolerate horses being murdered! Its horrifying anyone would say they would accept it from our side. Your either Protecting them or NO LONGER an Advocate, theres no fence to stand on making decisions, your either on the side With living horses or standing on stacks of body parts with bloody hands. I’m working to make changes in the dark yet when I read the internet heresy folks not realizing we have Nearly won it All giving in! NO, Never Ever Give In! The horses are depending on us! The Forestry bullies need to stop trying to March them to slaughter!
It’s all about the goddam Almighty Dollar. Even to some slick advocacy groups that talk,talk,talk and sit back and do nothing. The BLM is steamrolling slaughter through ahead of the coming Congressional election in November. The Modoc travestry is under BLM guidance.
If you are human and have a pulse, try honoring your own soul and speak out against this HOLOCAUST of the wild herds everywhere. And that very much includes the Native American people who should see the similarities to the Holocaust of their own Nations.
It is Red Alert time, please open your eyes and see this.
This statement from the BLM rep:????
“You can see where the horses have bitten up this Medusa Grass, realized it’s not good food, and spit it back out all over here,” said Sandusky.
Kind of an odd statement at the least! So hes saying there are cuds of grass “all over”? Really?
I find it really hard to believe there are 4,000 wild horses out there in the first place. I’m betting they wont be able to find 1,000 wild horses to round up. The thought of selling a wild horse or any other horse for $1.00?
Considering the number of roundups that have been held or are being held by the BLM – this is just one more example of the push by both BLM & FS to get rid of them all over the West. THATS the goal.
Yes, and no longer going for “petfood”, but for HUMAN consumption. The transport across borders of Mexico and Canada for slaughter or transport live to countries like Japan (for sushi), is a mega business and doors are wide open for despicable kill buyers to easily capitalize on corruption through out the States.
Thousands and thousands of horses and burros are the victims of this totally horrific pipeline each year. And now, this bloody monster may swallow up all of our Wild Mustangs in it’s filthy jaws.
The SAFE ACT, HR113, has been introduced and endorsed by many in Congress… it is to prevent this transport of our American equines across borders to be slaughtered for human consumption. So far, it is still sitting there with no action as far as I know.
Please, CALL your Congressional officials and let them know that you support this being signed into law.
Don’t give up. This is a crisis that will NOT go away if it is ignored. It will only worsen beyond anything you could imagine.
Medusahead grass is an INVASIVE SPECIES, spreading throughout the West (like Cheatgrass) which is nearly inedible for many species:
WHERE DID IT COME FROM AND HOW IS IT SPREAD?
Medusahead is native to Spain, Portugal, southern France, Morocco, and Algeria. It was introduced to the United States in the late 1800s. The grass reproduces by seed, which is dispersed locally by wind and water. The long-awned seeds cling to the coats of grazing animals, such as sheep or cattle, and in this way are transported to more distant sites. Seeds can also disperse by attaching to machinery, vehicles, and clothing.
WHAT PROBLEMS DOES IT CAUSE?
Medusahead outcompetes native grasses and forbs, and, once established, can reach densities of 1,000 to 2,000 plants per square meter. After seed set, the silica-rich plants persist as a dense litter layer that prevents germination and survival of native species, ties up nutrients, and contributes to fire danger in summer. Because of its high silica content, medusahead is unpalatable to livestock and native wildlife except early in the growing season. The sharp awns can injure the eyes and mouths of livestock.
It’s wrong to say that the US Forest Service is not included in the Wild free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act as it is mandated in that act along with BLM to defend the wild horses and this includes those of Devils Garden and Modoc National Forest. Leave these horses alone and don’t let ranchers livestock monopize the wild horses legal area. Here they are real ecological healers and catastrophic wildfires preventers. Do what the law really intends, Forest Service! 400 is much too low a population of mustangs for this area!