Horse News

Stop U.S. Interior Department Proposed Rule That Threatens Wild Horses

by Ginger Fedak as posted on IDAUSA.org

We must speak up now to help protect the wild horses and burros of America!

photo by Carol Walker of Wild Horse Freedom Fedration

During the current government shutdown, the U.S. Department of the Interior quietly proposed changes to broaden its ability to block Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. Wild horse and burro advocates have long used these requests to effectively root out information detrimental to wild horses and burros that the Department tries to keep hidden. We must speak up now to help protect the wild horses and burros of America!

Even though the Interior Department is affected by the government shutdown, it managed to publish notice in the Federal Register on December 28 to satisfy the requirement for public comment on a new proposed rule. If the devious people there were hoping that government watch groups would not see the notice during this time of enforced hiatus, they were mistaken.

The Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility Executive Director Jeff Ruch warns, “These changes are designed to facilitate more official stonewalling and delays in producing public records…” This would include the Agency’s ability to simply not honor a request among other nefarious and vague stipulations in the proposed changes.

As a real-life example of the necessity for FOIA requests, an advocate asked a Bureau of Land Management wild horse holding facility for the number of horses that died there in a year. She was told “five foals” and that she would have to file a FOIA request for more information. The FOIA document then revealed that the facility had 34 foal deaths, 48 mare deaths, and 101 stillborn fetuses in one year!

Please act now to help protect and save wild horses and burros!

What YOU Can Do:

Public comments to the Department must be received by January 28, 2019. Please submit comments on the rulemaking to the U.S. Department of the Interior through this email letter.

13 replies »

  1. Not only are these actions against wild horses and burros a mismanagement of government funds, they are also an example of extreme animal cruelty and abuse. The FOIA was established to provide citizen oversight of our government. Any actions taken to impede FOIA diminish the transparency required for our democracy to thrive and lend credence to the claims of malfeasance and animal abuses.

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  2. Please do the right thing. Everyone knows there is a terrible bias towards cattle to use this government land. Beautiful horses are being slaughtered needlessly so that wealthy cattlemen can have grazing land. Everyone knows this. Please do the right thing. Please.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I object. Do not allow any changes to the FOIA laws. This information must be public and easily available. Not blocked, not slowed down, not hidden in any way.

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  4. From PEER (Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility)

    NTERIOR DEPARTMENT GAMING THE SHUTDOWN
    Staff Ordered to Perform Nonemergency Work to Serve Special Interests
    Posted on Jan 22, 2019

    The U.S. Department of Interior has ordered employees in several bureaus to perform nonemergency work in potential violation of the law, according to a complaint filed today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Despite the government shutdown, Interior staff are now being directed to process oil and gas drilling permits and prepare environmental analyses for expanded hunting in national wildlife refuges, among other tasks that fall outside the shutdown law’s exception for “cases of emergency involving the safety of human life or the protection of property.”

    The complaint asks the Government Accounting Office (GAO) to immediately investigate the circumstances and sources of funding for Interior deploying staff to work on –
    Processing oil and gas permit applications;
    Preparing environmental reviews for offshore oil and gas leasing; and
    Rushing to complete environmental reviews of expanded hunting and fishing on hundreds of thousands of acres on more than sixty national wildlife refuges, as well as staff to handle current hunting programs on 38 refuges.

    “Interior appears to be gaming the system to circumvent the shutdown,” stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, pointing out that in some instances affected staff are told that they are being paid with carryover funds from the prior fiscal year. “These Interior agencies have never previously reported budget surpluses, especially excesses large enough to last well into the second quarter of the current fiscal year.”

    https://www.peer.org/news/press-releases/interior-department-gaming-the-shutdown.html

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  5. It’s no wonder why our citizens don’t trust our government; they are sneaking, uncaring, down right dirty, and take our money in the form of taxes. I believe we have the right of representatives with taxes? Taxing without representing is a crime! Lock all of them up until they give us representatives who use taxes for things we want? Instead of putting our money in thier bank accounts! You representatives can fool some of us sometimes, but, can’t fool all of us all the time! Turkeys! Americans are getting angry more and more every day! If you don’t wish to be voted out, then; work for us, not yourself! We pay too many taxes without representation! Enough is Enough! Shame on you fat cats in Washington!!! The day will come when we will have to do something about it in our way? It won’t be pretty either! If you don’t work for us get out of your easy chairs! If you can even stand up fat cat butts? For once work for us, not against us

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  6. PUBLIC LANDS

    $1B sale, 0 bids: Highs and lows of BLM Sept. lease auctions
    Pamela King, E&E News reporter
    Energywire: Friday, September 21, 2018

    A lease sale in Nevada this month spurred a rare kumbayah moment between an oil and gas industry association and a public lands advocacy group.

    The Bureau of Land Management’s Sept. 11 auction of 295,174 acres in the Silver State drew zero bids, fueling green groups’ criticisms that the federal government is ignoring market demand in its quest for “energy dominance” on public lands. The sale was one of several held by BLM this month.

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  7. Government works for US the people and must answer to us- the people! Most Americans want wild horses and burros to be PROTECTED! This is the Law! Amendments have been made to alter the FREE ROAM ACT. Please STOP truing to pass hills and amendments that are NOT aid the people but self serving. America’s wild horses deserve their freedom, deserve respect, and humane treatment the the very outfit that legally is supposed to be protecting them. They have gotten such a raw deal. Please KEEP THE FREEFOM OF INFORMATION ACT! It’s our right, it’s their right!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Post-shutdown, an ocean of outrage greets Interior’s proposed FOIA changes

    Local, regional, and national organizations including the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC), the Wilderness Society, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), the Center for Biological Diversity, and the Sierra Club are among those who submitted comments on Tuesday panning the Interior Department’s plans to reign in Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. They were joined by organizations representing the media, including the Society for Environmental Journalists and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

    The proposal to limit FOIA requests was introduced in late December by former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke just prior to his departure at the end of the year. As part of the change, requests would be transferred to Deputy Solicitor General Daniel Jorjani, a former advisor to the mega-donor conservative Koch brothers. Interior career staff previously oversaw the requests, while Jorjani is a political appointee.

    https://thinkprogress.org/130-organizations-interior-foia-zinke-trump-bernhardt-9caf8abb6834/?fbclid=IwAR2NnCIcXwtPltFTjK7HkkTjAA1vR0ASNieyUTKni2jZsHB33-dmHrnZTOE

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