Horse News

15 Investigations And Counting: DOI’s Zinke Under Scrutiny

as published on

Since taking power at the U.S. Interior Department last year, Secretary Ryan Zinke has been the subject of more than a dozen investigations by the DOI’s Office of Inspector General. Some are ongoing and the latest report was released Monday…

It concludes that early in his tenure, Zinke misused government vehicles and invited political supporters and his family along for a tour of the Channel Islands in California.

The Interior Department said those political supporters were experts on the area, and Zinke later reimbursed the government for his family’s travel.

But Aaron Weiss, media director for the Center For Western Priorities, isn’t buying it.

“This boat ride in California was just a little celebration cruise for the Zinkes and some of their friends that they tried to pass off as official business,” he said.

Weiss’ organization has been critical of Zinke in the past. He said he’s also concerned over news reports from last week that said the U.S. Interior Department’s chief investigator was about to be replaced by a Trump appointee.

That news came from a leaked email from Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson congratulating the employee, Suzanne Tufts, for her new job. But then an Interior spokesperson said the news was false.

“That just reeked of political interference because the Inspector General currently has at least four, probably more, open investigations into Secretary Zinke,” Weiss said.

Tufts abruptly resigned from the federal government Friday.

7 replies »

  1. Zinke needs to go. He is heading an all out onslaught on our wild horses. He has t
    Thousands in holding pens and still rounding up mor.e. this needs to stop!. All for greed, they horses are in the way of mining and drilling co leases. These American icons should be protected. Zinke is driving them to extinction

    Liked by 1 person


    San Francisco, CA (October 22, 2018) . . . Late Friday, two California-based national advocacy organizations filed a federal lawsuit to block the U.S. Forest Service from selling federally-protected wild horses in California for slaughter. The lawsuit, filed by the Animal Legal Defense Fund and the American Wild Horse Campaign, aims to protect wild horses currently being rounded up from the Devils Garden Wild Horse Territory in the Modoc National Forest near Alturas, California.

    Breaking with past policy and practice, the Forest Service intends to sell captured wild horses over age 10 “without limitation” on slaughter after a period of 60 days. This would allow middlemen known as kill buyers to purchase the horses and truck them across the border where they would be horrifically butchered in slaughter plants to produce horsemeat for human consumption overseas.

    “The vast majority of Americans want our iconic wild horses protected on our public lands, not slaughtered,” said Suzanne Roy, Executive Director of the American Wild Horse Campaign. “The Forest Service’s decision to treat these national treasures like trash by selling them by the truckload into the slaughter pipeline is unconscionable. Even worse, this is happening in California, a state that has banned the cruel practice of horse slaughter for two decades.”

    “The Forest Service’s sudden decision to knowingly permit unrestricted sales of wild horses from the Devil’s Garden Wild Horse Territory will likely cause hundreds of wild horses to end up slaughtered,” said Stephen Wells, executive director for the Animal Legal Defense Fund. “The government’s haphazard and horrifying change in policy failed to consider public input and violates several laws that protect these iconic creatures.”

    The legal complaint, produced on behalf of the plaintiffs by William Eubanks of Meyer Glitzenstein and Eubanks, alleges that the Forest Service broke several federal laws in dramatically altering its longstanding policy and practice of selling horses “with limitations” on slaughter without engaging in required decision-making processes and analysis. The plan to sell horses without limitation on slaughter is also violates California Penal Code section 598c, which makes the holding and export of horses for slaughter for human consumption a felony in the state.


  3. California State Assemblyman Todd Gloria and 22 state legislative colleagues, Democrats and Republicans, also want the horse roundup stopped. In a letter (pdf) to Christiansen, the lawmakers demanded assurances wild horses will not be sold for slaughter. Gloria wrote, “It is unconscionable that the federal government would stoop this low and come after California wild horses with the possibility of sending them into the slaughter pipeline.”

    Letter from California legislators:

    Click to access Gloria%20Letter%20to%20USFS%20Re%20Wild%20Horse%20Roundup%20in%20Modoc%20National%20Forest.pdf

    Please call the numbers below and thank them for speaking up for California’s Devil’s Garden wild horses.
    .S. Senator Dianne Feinstein
    • Washington, DC: (202) 224-3841
    • San Francisco: (415) 393-0707
    • Los Angeles: (310) 914-7300
    • San Diego: (619) 231-9712
    • Fresno: (559) 485-7430

    • Todd Gloria (San Diego): (619) 645-3090
    • Richard Bloom (Santa Monica): (310) 450-0041
    • David Chiu (San Francisco): (415) 557-3013
    • Laura Friedman (Glendale): (818) 558-3043
    • Jesse Gabriel (San Fernando Valley): (818) 904-3840
    • Eduardo Garcia (Coachella): (760) 347-2360
    • Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (San Diego): 619-338-8090
    • Ash Kalra (San Jose): (408) 277-1220
    • Marc Levine (Marin County): (415) 479-4920
    • Monique Limon (Santa Barbara): (805) 564-1649
    • Brian Maienschein (San Diego): (858)-675-0077
    • Jose Medina (Riverside): (951) 369-6644
    • Al Muratsuchi (Torrance): (310) 375-0691
    • Mark Stone (Monterey Bay): (831) 425-1503
    • Tony Thurmond (Richmond): (510) 286-1400

    • Ben Allen (Santa Monica): (310) 318-6994
    • Jim Beall (San Jose): (408) 558-1295
    • Cathleen Galgiani (Stockton): (209) 948-7930
    • Jerry Hill (San Mateo): (650) 212-3313
    • Anthony Portantino (La Canada Flintridge): (818) 409-0400
    • Henry Stern (Canoga Park): (818) 876-3352
    • Scott Wiener (San Francisco): (415) 557-1300

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Today I am praying to a merciful God for the release of the Modoc horses into responsible and caring human hands. Please let it be so. Release them from these reptiles and let them return to their home.

    Today, I am praying for a miracle, that not one more wild horse or burro will suffer this fate, that all those imprisoned by the BLM will be returned to their rightful places to live and thrive again in freedom.


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