Wild Horses/Mustangs

Letter to the Editor: It’s time to hold the BLM to account

Source:  St. George News

by MARYBETH DEVLIN

OPINION — Elected officials and ranchers are being misled by BLM. Representative Chris Stewart, Senator Mike Lee and Utah’s public-lands ranchers are understandably alarmed by the statistics BLM publishes on wild horse population growth.  I am too, but for an entirely different reason.

Close inspection and analysis of BLM’s reports have disclosed numerous instances of impossible herd-growth figures. What is a normal population-growth rate?

Using BLM’s own herd-demographics data, independent studies have determined that the average birth rate across wild-horse herds is, at most, 20%. However, also on average, 40% or more of foals perish before their first birthday. Thus, the birth rate is just a temporary blip in the data.

Annual adult-mortality runs at least 10%. Consequently, the normal year-to-year population-growth rate is approximately 2%. The birth rate cannot be used as the growth rate because it fails to factor in the mortality rates. Yet, that is exactly what BLM does – it uses the birth rate (20%) as the population-growth rate.

Impossible growth-figures

In practice, things are actually worse. BLM has repeatedly been caught reporting one-year growth rates many times higher than even the 20% birth rate.  Among scores of examples, below are some that pertain to Utah. BLM officially reported the following biologically-impossible one-year population-growth rates for the following Utahn herds:

161% — Chloride Canyon
164% — Mt. Elinor
235% — Bible Spring
256% — Choke Cherry

Overpopulation is a concocted crisis. It is wrongful to take wild horses from the range and inject them with chemical sterilants because the rationale for doing so – overpopulation – is fake.

The real crisis is found on BLM’s falsified reports, where phony figures are used to support a bloated budget. Those are the places where culling and cutting are needed.

Wild horses prevent wildfires 

Meanwhile, overlooked in the uproar over BLM’s exploding spreadsheets is the critical service that wild horses perform: Lowering the risk of fire.

Wild horses thrive on marginal forage – that coarse dry stuff that cattle don’t like. The horses’ grazing strategy helps reduce the fuel load that would otherwise feed catastrophic wildfires. Wild horses are perfect for fire-prevention duty.

Read the rest of this opinion HERE.

7 replies »

  1. Dems request $2.5M more funding for Interior watchdog after increase in probe requests

    “Two top House Democrats are asking Congress for additional funds for the Department of Interior (DOI) top watchdog following a steep increase in investigation requests.

    House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chairman TJ Cox (D-Calif.) sent a joint letter to the House Committee on Appropriations Tuesday asking for $2.5 million in additional funding for the Interior’s Office of Inspector General (OIG).

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    “The funds would allow the OIG to meet the growing need to address oversight of grants, cybersecurity, and the bureaus with troubling track records, as well as potential ethical lapses, conflicts of interest, waste, fraud, mismanagement, and abuse at DOI,” the lawmakers wrote.

    In their request, the lawmakers note that the OIG received only a 2 percent increase in funding between fiscal years 2015 and 2018, and, during that time period, complaints filed against Interior increased 48 percent.

    The percent of cases opened by OIG have not reflected the increase in requests. Lawmakers say the office opened 7 percent of requested cases in 2018 compared to 14 percent in 2015.”

    https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/437029-dem-lawmakers-request-25-million-more-funding-for-interior-watchdog

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Must be something in the water in Utah? Wonder how this case ever played out:

    https://rtfitchauthor.com/2011/09/15/utah-indictments-come-down-in-blm-mustang-killer-buyer-case/

    HOUSTON, (Horseback) – Two men from rural Utah were indicted by a federal grand jury following a rare investigation of a wild horse scam by the Bureau of Land Management.

    The men, Robert Wilford Capson,, 59, and Dennis Kay Kunz, 56, face charges of wire fraud and making false statements after bureau agents impounded 64 slaughter bound horses on a one way trip to a Mexican abattoir.

    The animals were impounded after a routine port of entry stop near Helper, Utah. Capson’s unlikely story that he planned to use the Mustangs as rodeo stock raised agents suspicions.

    The horses were purchased “on paper” from the bureau’s wild horse and burro facility at Herriman, Utah and were delivered to Willard whre Kunz’ residence is located. Kunz is a long time “killer buyer” for the slaughter industry. The horses were being loaded on a trailer bound for the notorious slaughter pens of Presidio, Texas which are now under investigation by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and other agencies.

    The horses were purchased from BLM at a reduced rate.

    The indictment says the men used the Internet and phone lines to fax the transactions to the BLM.

    BLM requires buyers to sign a document that horses will not be re-sold as is typical in a slaughter transaction where the killer buyer sells the horses to a slaughterhouse.
    The men are alleged to have falsified a federal questionnaire.

    Capson and Kunz face four counts of wire fraud, making false statements, and aiding and abetting. They could face up to 20 years in a federal penitentiary.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope they and their BLM associates who helped facilitate this fraud and animal abuse are serving 20 years in the penitentiary … but they probably are all sitting around laughing at how sly they are for stealing our horses and selling them to slaughter.

      Like

  3. This just makes me so angry and so sad, to think people, men, are getting away with this is sick. No Slaughter and No to any of our horses going to another country for abuse, consumption and torture. Taking care of these Spirit animals should be the first priority, to keep them safe as the law was written and you are breaking, and to make sure there is water and food for them as belonging to the public. No Grazing of cattle or sheep as a business. That is not the priority of the Government, The horses belong to all of us!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. We just have to be on top of BLM’s nasty programs to hurt our wild horses and burros. It is time we demand they show bloated statistics. Our wild horses deserve to be treated humanely and given the best outcome. Being a Horticultural Professional that I am, wild horses and burros dispersal of seeds from plants, trees, scrubs is a no brainer. Wild horses and burros need to be roaming and they do prevent forest fires. The more the merrier out on the range doing what they do best, eat and move, eat what ever they can find and move. They need more grasses, other than cheat grasses, and thorny shrubs. We need to revise and plant more grasses they can get to. Take all fences down and let them freely roam. Take out the cows, sheep. Move them to completely different locations. Let our wild horses back on the ranges. There is a better way to monitor them instead of these horrible roundups. Keep family bands together. The BLM has messed up a fine tuned wild horses and burros communities. Shame on the government. We know how to build manmade watering systems for our wild ones and give them better chances to survive. We can do this. Government cronies we know your plan for extinction. WE WILL NOT STAND IDLE AND WATCH OUR INCREDIBLE WILD HORSES AND BURROS DIE AT YOUR ABUSIVE HANDS MADE OF STEELE. WE LOVE OUR WILD ONES AND WILL FIGHT EVERY HOUR OF THE DAY AND NIGHT FOR THEIR FREEDOM. DAMN THE GOVERNMENT. WE CAN RUN THIS PROGRAM BETTER THAN YOU CAN. You all know who you are that can run this better, calling all confident wild horse warriors and educators out there. THEIR ARE MANY OF US WITH HORSE EXPERIENCE OUT THERE. I KNOW SOME OF YOU GREAT PEOPLE. LETS GET BUSY AND BRING OUR WILD ONES BACK HOME ON THE RANGE WHERE THEY BELONG. NOT IN HUGE MANMADE PENS, SPLIT HORSE FAMILIES. WE NEED TO GET THEM BACK OUT ON THE RANGES. WE HAVE LOST SO MANY ALREADY. LETS DO THIS NOW.

    Liked by 1 person

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