Horse News

Opinion: A response to Chris Stewart’s and Mike Lee’s letter on Wild Horses

Source: St. George News

The BLM does not use scientific methods to discern what damage on public lands is caused by livestock

Sheep covering Adobe Town HMA ~ photo by Carol Walker

OPINION — As a Utah constituent located in Utah’s 2nd Congressional District, I will not – nor will I ever – consider Chris Stewart the “wild horse guy.” I would, however, consider him so deep in the pocket of the USDA, he wouldn’t even be able to tell the truth at this point in time if his life depended on it. The truth?

The truth is: The BLM does not use scientific methods to discern what damage on public lands is caused by livestock (aka they turn a blind eye).

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) filed a federal lawsuit because, after 27 years of pledges to reform, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management has yet to take even the most basic steps to stem illegal livestock grazing (aka ranchers are grazing cattle on public lands without submitting or paying the already drastically low grazing rights).

BLM excludes livestock grazing from Rapid Ecoregional Assessments conducted for six western regions, despite protests from scientists involved in the assessments. The BLM refused to consider livestock as “change agents” to be studied citing anxiety from “stakeholders,” fear of litigation and lack of available data on grazing impacts (aka corruption AND turning a blind eye at their finest).

It’s interesting that Chris Stewart would bring up the BLM’s directive to “maintain a thriving ecological balance” between wild horses, other wildlife, vegetation and livestock on federal lands. Please explain how the following numbers are balanced. Sources provided.

AUM = Animal Unit Month for cattle and sheep (cattle are counted as follows: a cow and calf = one unit and FIVE sheep = one unit). AML = Appropriate Management Level for horse (a horse = a horse, they do not count a mare and colt or filly as one unit).

Arizona

Cattle and Sheep: 658,155 AUM (that means the possibility 1,316,310 cow/calf and/or 3,290,775 sheep). Horses: 1,676 AML (that means the possibility of 1,676 horses).

California

Cattle and Sheep: 472,000 AUM (that means the possibility 944,000 cow/calf and/or 2,360,000 sheep). Horses: 2,200 AML (that means the possibility of 2,200 horses).

Colorado

Cattle and Sheep: 580,410 AUM (that means the possibility 1,160,820 cow/calf and/or 2,902,050 sheep). Horses: 812 AML (that means the possibility of 812 horses).

Idaho

Cattle and Sheep: 394,957 AUM (that means the possibility 789,914 cow/calf and/or 1,974,785 sheep). Horses: 617 AML (that means the possibility of 617 horses).

Montana

Cattle and Sheep: 1.4 million AUM (that means the possibility 2.8 million cow/calf and/or 7 million sheep). Horses: 120 AML (that means the possibility of 120 horses).

Nevada

Cattle and Sheep: 2 million AUM (that means the possibility 4 MILLION cow/calf and/or 10 MILLION sheep). Horses: 12,811 AML (that means the possibility of 12,811 horses).

New Mexico

Cattle and Sheep: 2,300 AUM (that means the possibility 4,600 cow/calf and/or 11,500 sheep). Horses: 83 AML (that means the possibility of 83 horses).

Oregon/Washington

Cattle and Sheep: 1.1 million AUM (that means the possibility 2.2 million cow/calf and/or 5.5 million sheep). Horses: 1,390 – 2,686 AML (that means the possibility of 1,390 – 2,686 horses).

Utah

Cattle and Sheep: 1.3 million AUM (that means the possibility 2.6 million cow/calf and/or 6.5 million sheep). Horses: 1,956 AML (that means the possibility of 1,956 horses)

Wyoming

Cattle and Sheep: 1.9 million AUM (that means the possibility 3.8 million cow/calf and/or 9.5 million sheep). Horses: 2,490 AML (that means the possibility of 2,490 horses).

How are those numbers balanced? Cattle and sheep are in the millions while horses and burros barely make it to one thousand in some cases and a few hundred in most. If anything, this is “so far out of balance,” as Chris Stewart would say, it’s the number of sheep and cattle currently enveloping public lands.

AMLs have nothing to do with carrying capacity of the land for wild horses. Instead, these “population limits” represent the number of horses the BLM has decided (without facts) to allow to live in designated areas of public lands after allocating more than two-thirds of available forage to private livestock.

The Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act was created for a reason, to protect the horses and burros and the over 30 million acres of public lands in the American West from corruption such as what Christ Stewart is proposing and the BLM, along with the U.S. Department of the Interior, is supporting.

The political rider that was attached to an annual appropriations bill that Chris Stewart mentions in his letter was created to purposefully limit the management tools the BLM could use for a reason.

Horses by law are meant to be the principal presence in their herd management areas, according to section 4710.5 of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act: livestock are to be removed from these areas for the health of the herds. Source: 43 CFR 4710.5

  • 4710.5 Closure to livestock grazing.

(a) If necessary to provide habitat for wild horses or burros, to implement herd management actions, or to protect wild horses or burros, to implement herd management actions, or to protect wild horses or burros from disease, harassment or injury, the authorized officer may close appropriate areas of the public lands to grazing use by all or a particular kind of livestock.

(b) All public lands inhabited by wild horses or burros shall be closed to grazing under permit or lease by domestic horses and burros.

(c) Closure may be temporary or permanent. After appropriate public consultation, a Notice of Closure shall be issued to affected and interested parties.

The only “nasty reality of wild horse management” is that Chris Stewart is attempting to support another revenue stream for the USDA that would include slaughtering wild horses and feeding the American public with their bodies.

Solutions proposed by the public and actual wild horse and burro advocacy groups

  • Demand an independent census of all federally managed wild horses and burros on the range and in holding areas (this would provide accurate numbers).
  • Institute an immediate moratorium on all roundups until this census is complete and policy can become science-based.
  • Repatriate horses in short and long term holding areas to their 22 million acres of legal herd areas that were taken out of inventory, a reduction of 41% from the original herd habitat. Cost to taxpayers: $0, versus the current costly “roundup and stockpile” paradigm.
  • Adjust the artificially low and and unscientific Appropriate Management Levels (AMLs) to accommodate current population levels and allow for preservation of wild horses and burros in genetically viable herds.
  • Adjust forage distribution so that wild horses are allotted more than 23% of their own herd areas, versus the 77% for livestock (and the overall statistics of 97% livestock to the 3% Wild Horses and Burros forage on public lands). A more, and truly balanced distribution.
  • Activate Section 4710.5 of the 1971 Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burro Act, which gives the BLM the authority to reduce or close areas to livestock grazing for the health of the herds. The law states that horses and burros are to be the principal presence on their herd areas, and that they are to be managed at the minimal feasible level possible.
  • Develop mechanisms to allow for voluntary retirement of grazing permits in wild horse and burro management areas and financial compensation to ranchers for grazing permit retirement, or non-use/reduced use of grazing allotments.
  • Reintroduce predators to public lands (and stop killing them to “protect” sheep and cattle) to actually establish a “thriving, natural ecological balance.”
  • Review the composition of any BLM wild horse and burro advisory board to include more actual wild horse and burro advocates and advocacy groups, and fewer individuals representing special interest groups.

The only true crisis occurring right now is that our wild horses, burros, wolves, bears, natural predators and all wildlife are at risk of extinction on public lands. If Chris Stewart gets his way, all our future generations will ever see will be sheep and cattle. There will be no “wild west,” all will be gone along with the buffalo.

The solutions proposed in this letter I am submitting are not unreasonable and equate a truly fair and balanced system. There will still be sheep and cattle grazing, but livestock will be the appropriately managed units and wildlife could be reintroduced and thrive on our public lands.

This is a message for you Chris Stewart, We the people will never give up. We know your true intentions and we are not giving our rights to experience wildlife, as intended, away. Please drop this nonsense before you lose the next election. It’s about time for a fresh perspective.

Submitted by MS. BULLOCK, West Valley City, Utah

14 replies »

  1. Get the Cattle & Sheep OFF the Government Land, It belongs to the people and the Wild Animals, HORSES!! Because of the legislators and the Lobby they have changed it for their good, not the law or the good of the people of this country. The CATTLE & SHEEP business, is just that, a Business belonging to the RANCHER, not the people of the U S. Do you want to share the profit from the Sheep & Cattle business you get with the public? Something has to change, the BLM is against the Wild Mustangs & Burros, and now They propose to sever the ovaries of the of the Mares. Such Cruelty!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • It wouldn’t surprise me if they planned to sell the ovaries, but that would clearly constitute theft and fraud of the American public, for private gain, and should be completely illegal. At a minimum any “processing” of our wild ones should be independently witnessed and fully documented, preferably by anyone voting for such a “final solution.”

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Amen! It is correct and so true! But it’s time to send these corrupt people backing!
    Time is not on their side right
    now! Just how did Americans
    let this happen? We MUST
    DEMAND Congress fire them
    all! WE need a MASS protest somewhere! DC at BLM office
    like we did before with corralating protests at district
    offices! We need to buy full
    page ads and bill boards showing these corrupt individuals. The Advocate
    groups need to unite ALL
    Americans in the fight for
    their survival! Set it up and
    the people will come Nationwide!

    I remember buying Wild Horse Annie’s book. I still have it to
    this day!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. A wonderfully thoughtful and educated response from Ms. Bullock with factual data neatly presented. Chris Stewart thinks that the public is buying in to the BLM’s spin on things, but thankfully that is far from the truth. Thank you Ms Bullock for speaking out for our wild horses and burros!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. There was a section of CBS this morning on the Wild Horse “problem”. Of course, Gus Warr was interviewed – no sign of livestock anywhere. This was highlighting the give away of $1,000.00 each, for anyone who took up to 4 wild horses! I have to say the two families they showed who did take horses seemed to be on the right track – one using the money to pay for a trainer! But unfortunately, the old 88,000 number was put out there. No one interviewed who disagreed with that or with the reasoning for this program.
    It also appeared that at least some of the horses they showed had some kind of handling – not all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Here is the link to that news segment AND more importantly here is the link to send CBS morning news your comment.

      https://audienceservices.cbs.com/feedback/feedback.htm

      Below is the comment I sent CBS morning news (feel free to use any part of it for your comments).

      Re: This morning’s Wild Horse segment. You need to know the real truth regarding Wild Horses and Burros who legally live on our public lands. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) annually posts their Wild Horse and Burro Herd Statistics and it is full of false statements. WHY is this so important? Because these are the figures that BLM gives to Congress when requesting funding for wild horse and burro capture and management plans.
      BLM states biologically impossible annual wild horse population rates and here is just one of many false statements as an example that BLM has published:
      High Rock Herd Management Area (HMA) a 107% increase in ONE year (a herd of 447 horses would have to produce 479 successful foals in one year which would require that every single horse – including the stallions! – have more than one surviving foal in one year). The previous year, BLM states that this same HMA had an increase of 138% in ONE year (a herd of 188 horses would have had to produce 259 successful foals in one year). Therefore, BLM states that this herd population jumped from 188 horses to 926 horses in two years. Biologically impossible.
      Horses and burros have an approximate eleven-month gestation period but as shown above and in their statistics, BLM continually gives biologically impossible annual herd increases. A recent study of 5,859 wild horses showed that although the average annual birth rate was about 20%, the survival to the age of yearling was only half of those – therefore a maximum herd increase of only 10%. In addition, adult mortality must be factored which therefore reduces the average herd increase to less than 10% annually. The National Academy of Science report cited two chief criticisms of the Wild Horse and Burro Program: unsubstantiated population estimates in herd management areas (HMA), and management decisions that are not based in science (NAS, 2013). The BLM’s biologically impossible and scientifically-indefensible population-growth rates constitute dishonest and fraudulent data, which the BLM uses to mislead Congress and the American people and the media.
      These wild horses and burros are, by law, to be protected on the land where they were found by the government agencies (BLM & USFS) as stated in the unanimously passed Congressional Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971.
      Please consider doing a truthful segment about the wild horses and burros. Thank you.
      More information:
      https://rtfitchauthor.com/2018/05/30/false-statements-are-a-federal-crime-punishable-by-prison-time-blm-releases-false-population-statistics-for-wild-horses-and-burros/

      Liked by 1 person

      • Super, GG,. Great to be able to comment directly! Yours was better than mine – as always. But I hit high spots too. Hope lots of others here do the same.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Wild horses & burros being removed for Richfield Tar Sands plan

    “The document goes so far as to say, ‘the management of wild horse and burro herds is not compatible within those portions of commercial tar sands lease areas.’”

    by Grandma Gregg

    In addition to the welfare ranchers, here is another major cause of our wild ones being captured & removed & sterilized … please become aware of the Richfield tar sands plan.

    The Richfield tar sands has already effected our wild ones and continues to do so as of TODAY with the BLM proposal to rid the White Mountain and Little Colorado of more/all of the wild ones and the same with the Sinbad wild burro HMA (comments due Monday).

    The Richfield tar sands plan has been in progress since about 2010 and if you look at the list below you will see that most of these HMAs (plus West Douglas HA) have been heavily captured/removed in recent years.

    The document goes so far as to say, “the management of wild horse and burro herds is not compatible within those portions of commercial tar sands lease areas”. How much clearer can it be. They want the wild ones GONE.

    Proof: http://www.riversimulator.org/Resources/BLM/OSTSdeis/OSTSfinal.pdf

    TABLE 3.1.3-1 Wild Horse Herd Management Areas within the Oil Shale and Tar Sands Study Area (page 3-167)

    UTAH

    Canyonlands

    Muddy Creek

    Range Creek

    Sinbad

    Colorado

    Piceance-East Douglas

    Wyoming

    Little Colorado

    White Mountain

    Salt Wells

    Adobe Town

    [PLUS Herd Areas which are not discussed in this report – such as the West Douglas HA]

    More Richfield tar sands information:

    http://www.oilandgasbmps.org/docs/UT33-RichfieldFinalPlan.pdf

    Sinbad Wild Burro EA information:

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Petroteq Energy Announces Proposed Resource Acquisition

    April 16, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) Petroteq Energy Inc. (“Petroteq” or the “Company”) (TSXV: PQE; OTC: PQEFF; FSE: PQCF), a fully integrated oil and gas company, is pleased to announce the execution of a definitive agreement for the acquisition of an additional 50% of the operating rights and interests relating to oil sands under U.S. federal oil and gas leases encompassing approximately 8,480 gross acres (4,240 net acres, less royalty) in the STATE OF UTAH . This acquisition, combined with the Company’s acquisition, completed and announced last week of 50% of the operating rights and interests under the same leases, will give the Company 100% of the operating rights for oil sands development under the leases. As previously reported, the lands included in the leases are located in P.R. Springs and the Tar Sands Triangle, two areas that have been designated as “Special Tar Sands Areas” by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

    https://www.oilandgas360.com/petroteq-energy-announces-proposed-resource-acquisition/

    Liked by 1 person

  7. We’ve heard it before, but this Utah tar sands operation says it’s poised to produce oil and actually make money

    Unlike the PR Spring project, however, Petroteq’s Asphalt Ridge project has drawn far less controversy and courtroom drama , unfolding largely UNDER ANTI-TAR-SANDS RADAR..

    Petroteq’s process has little in common with those used in Alberta’s water-intensive projects.
    It was developed by a Ukrainian chemist named Vladimir Podlipskiy, the firm’s chief technology officer.

    https://www.sltrib.com/news/business/2018/06/16/weve-heard-it-before-but-this-utah-tar-sands-operations-says-its-poised-to-produce-oil-and-actually-make-money/

    Liked by 1 person

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