Today is the day; BLM appointed special interest representatives will gather in what is called The Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board in Washington D.C. to forward their agendas to remove, mutilate and/or slaughter the last remaining federally protected wild horses and burros that graze on their rightful ranges of our public lands.
Grazing, Hunting, Extraction and Slaughter appointees will kick their so-called “humane” ideas around the room and feign interest/attention to massive public comments on why the wild equines should remain where Congress dictated they should rightfully be.
Many thanks to those who have traveled to D.C. in an effort to be the voices for the wild equines while the BLM has actually spread out across the U.S. and gone covert so that their actions are not so glaringly obvious. And likewise, those who have submitted their comments prior to the meeting. It takes guts, tenacity and a solid constitution to stay in the fight but the lies and false “facts” presented do wear on one’s soul.
If you could not attend but want to view online the circus of government corruption you may tune in at www.blm.gov/live from 08:00 – 17:00 Eastern, on Oct. 30th thru Halloween.
May God give us the strength to see this through.
God save our wild horses & burros. They need a miracle.
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They need a SANE voice in the Government. These people work for us and 80 % of the people of this country want them left alone, watered and food. The Wilds are Loved deeply, the Mustangs, & Burros must be saved!!!! No Slaughter, No sterilizing in the way recommended by the BLM, no selling to other countries. NO Horse should go Out of this country!!!
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So now the seasonal migration of the wild horses is screwing up the BLM’s “””counts”””! I really do not understand the point in having Herd Areas next? to the HMAs. The BLM is allowed to round up horses in herd areas even tho they supposedly dont have an AML in HAs? i must have missed the explanation regarding the difference between HMAs and HAs! I do wonder if the BLM has any understanding of the difference! It has become so darn frustrating to listen to these bureaucrats talk about a subject they know nothing about! Just babble on & on. Everywhere I look – this administration (dont get me wrong – others too) but this one wants so much to pave, drill & mine over and under every natural habitat in this country. From Alaska all across the country. This should be a public disaster to the american people. The wild horses & burros are one large part of that, as is every wild animal, predator and prey, in this country. It makes so very clear that far too many of our elected politicians have not even a tiny particle of knowledge of nature. Appears to just be something they “fly” over! An inconvenience.
Sorry for the rant – sometimes you just have to say how you feel!
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Just opened this up and am surprised at the “seasonal migration” comment. The HMAs are ever-shrinking and with the endless cries of “overpopulation” it would seem if there even are “seasonal migrations” the BLM would know where they happen. It’s not like there aren’t fences, and with areas (nearly all) sharing rangelands with livestock, those livestock are sought out and moved out mostly in autumn, so the folks on the ground would know where the wild horses and burros are. Why doesn’t the BLM? If ranchers can mostly keep track of millions of animals, why can’t the BLM do this for a few thousand?
And of course, in most of the HMAs there are only a few hundred (or even less) animals to track, and most of the areas also have winter snows to make things easier. Even microchipping one lead mare would let them find and track entire herds. And whatever happened to the “research study” of radio collared mares in Wyoming? Surely they can at least track those!
But I guess that’s too much science and math these days?
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Yeah – I really didnt think there was such a thing for our wild horses – every time they “migrate” off their areas its time for another roundup or the allotment users complain. Thats right Icy – whatever DID happen to all that research they were going to do – actually what happened to themares with radio collars. But science? Not the BLM’s thing, is it? Math isnt either.
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The Wyoming Checkerboard is a prime example of seasonal migration – the horses move from the northern area of Great Divide Basin and Salt Wells Creek to the more moderate climate of the southern areas which of course are right into the middle of the Checkerboard and of course the radio collar study in Adobe Town might provide information but I and others have received no response when requesting the information supposedly generated by this study. Wild horses should be studied and preserved on our public lands not rounded up and removed.
HAs are not managed for wild horses and burros – they used to be Herd Management Areas but were zeroed out.
Thanks Carol – I think I probably did know this (back a ways) but certainly clarifies it.
I thought the originals were Herd Areas, which were then reduced into Herd Management Areas (where horses and burros are allowed and “managed”) and the HAs, where they are not technically supposed to exist at all anymore. Some of the HMAs have also been zero’d out, as Carol noted, but all are subsets of the original HAs:
Here’s a few sources:
“The BLM distinguishes between “herd areas” (HA) where feral horse and burro herds existed at the time of the passage of the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, and “Herd Management Areas” (HMA) where the land is currently managed for the benefit of horses and burros, though “as a component” of public lands, part of multiple use management, and thus not exclusively as equine habitat.
List of Bureau of Land Management Herd Management Areas …”
“Today the BLM manages wild horses and burros in subsets of these HAs, known as Herd Management Areas (HMAs) that comprise 31.6 million acres, of which 26.9 million acres are under BLM management.”
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) posts their annual Wild Horse and Burro Herd Statistics annually, 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. And these are also the false (and ignorant) WH&B populations that this board uses when they are making decisions about our wild ones and that is frightening.
I wish I could have gone! Although I could not make this meeting, I support you 100% and am in Spirit with you all! I pray to God that he helps us to keep the horses and burros safe. And that WE can get rid of these disgusting people who are suppose to protecting our Wild Horses and BURROS! God speed for a safe journey for you all!
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God help please
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Shepherd-ing The Future
He was on the Team Conference Calls between July and September of 2008, after BLM announced they might euthanize tens of thousands of horses as he and others plotted “what to do”, which was finalized in the Draft Alternative Management Options Report (October 2008), so graphicly summarized by this recent Animal Law Coalition article by Laura Allen in, “BLMs Final Solution for the Wild Horses & Burros” and Equine Welfare Alliance’s, “BLM Slaughter Conspiracy” by Valerie James Patton and John Holland.
Now he is outlining the future of our mustangs and burros with strategies supporting the Salazoos and feedlots masquerading as “preserves”,
Researcher Marybeth Devlin corrects the misinformation in a biased OpEd written by Barry L. Perryman
Researcher Marybeth Devlin has corrected the misinformation in an OpEd in the Daily Caller, found HERE. This inaccurate OpEd, titled “It’s Five Minutes To Midnight: The Wild Horse And Burro Tragedy,” more aptly should’ve been titled “It’s Five Minutes to Bullshit: Let’s Ignore The Livestock Grazing Tragedy on Public Lands ” The OpEd was written by Barry L. Perryman, a professor of rangeland ecology at the University of Nevada, Reno. Our thanks to Marybeth Devlin for setting the record straight, and for allowing us to share her comments (below) with you.
Barry L. Perryman, who did not mention livestock grazing on public lands once in his inaccurate OpEd
by Marybeth Devlin
Tragedy … or travesty? The “overpopulation” of wild horses and burros is a pernicious lie. The government doesn’t have a wild-horse problem — the wild horses have a government problem. Overpopulation is a fraud. Birth control and roundups do not fix fraud.
Arbitrary management level (AML): The maximum number of wild horses that BLM says the Western range can sustain — 26,715 — is a political construct. BLM uses the AML to concoct the perception of a crisis. BLM must have a crisis. Why? Politically, agencies have to justify their existence. They must show they are needed. Nothing works better than a perceived “crisis” to secure continued and even increased funding. It’s a way to protect jobs and paychecks. BLM then chooses high-cost management-methods, such as multi-million-dollar contracts for helicopter-roundups — contracts against which the agency can add on its 20% administrative fee.
Sparsely populated, widely dispersed: Wild horses are few and far between. Per the 31,583,386 acres — 49,349 square miles — of dedicated wild-horse habitat across the Western states, the AML establishes a maximum stocking density of 1 wild horse per 1,182 acres — nearly 2 square miles. Imagine if cattle were held to the same standard! However, many herds are more severely restricted. Here are examples of stocking densities that BLM deems “appropriate” in Nevada.
Congress members in the states west of the Rockies have historically indicated that there is far too much conflict of interests in that camp. It was the pressure from the Public and Congress members on the eastern side of the Rockies that got the Wild Horse & Burro Act passed. I
Maybe, but the Act was passed unanimously (as I was taught) so that of course involved Congressional representation from every state.
IcySpots, I don’t have the specific counts on that vote, but from what I’ve read, it was an uphill battle and the states that have public lands grazing (as they do today) is where the battle (in Congress) was hardest fought. I may be wrong and it would be a good exercise to find those votes..just for good measure.
Are We Leading Our Wild Horses to Slaughter? (excerpts)
OCT 24, 2012
As a new book makes clear, Velma Johnston, a.k.a. “Wild Horse Annie,” must be rolling over in her grave at the peril thousands of America’s mustangs once again face today.
I just finished reading Alan Kania’s new book, Wild Horse Annie: Velma Johnston And Her Fight to Save the Mustang, a straightforward and indispensable account of one woman’s extraordinary success, 40 years ago, in helping to protect America’s wild horses from the human predators surrounding them. What happened to Johnston, and now to the federal law she pushed Congress to pass and President Nixon to sign, shows us why we often have to charge back again over hard-fought ground.
Even when Johnston won, she knew she had not really won. Even with the passage of her landmark law, the 1971 Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, Johnston knew that the industries arrayed against wild horses were not going to give up. She knew the horses were still in danger despite the protections they had just received from Congress. She knew that the BLM was, as ever, aligned closely with the industry it was supposed to regulate. She knew all this, and she was right. The value of Kania’s work, apart from his tender view of his subject, is that it shows us, relentlessly, how law can be and is subverted by political forces.
As near as anyone can tell, the Obama Administration has on our behalf received nothing in return from the grazing lobby, not even the promise of higher lease rates to ease the perception that the American people are victims of the dodge of “welfare ranching.”
So there are tens of thousands of new “welfare” horses being warehoused at the expense of taxpayers, while livestock and ranching industry operators enjoy the benefits of having their cattle or sheep graze on huge swaths of public land at less than market rates. For the humans involved, it’s a sweetheart deal: fewer wild horses drinking less water!
THE LESSON OF ‘WILD HORSE ANNIE’
The irony is that, for all the perceptions of her then and now, Johnston was no wild-eyed renegade. She did not advocate that all wild horses everywhere be protected at all costs. She did not oppose reasonable management of the herds. She recognized only that there was enough public land out West — millions upon millions of acres — to allow the wild horses to roam free among the cattle and sheep. She believed that there was a workable balance that could be found between competing interests, one that would generate a sustainable peace between the horses and their human enemies. Again, she was right.
Louie, there was always conflict, but unanimous means unanimous. The lesson here is that the public has power to move Congress, but only if we are focused and facing the same direction. The strategy of “divide and conquer” is still alive and probably stronger than ever in our country right now:
“In response to public outcry, Congress unanimously passed the “Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act” (Public Law 92-195) to provide for the necessary management, protection and control of wild horses and burros on public lands. President Richard M. Nixon signed the bill into law on December 15, 1971.”
IcySpots, you are right. The public DOES have the power. I probably should have stated that the “support” for Velma Johnston came largely (not totally) from Congress members from the eastern states where there is no public land. As I remember, there was always too much conflict of interests on the western side of the Rockies. There was some support, but not enough to push through legislation as controversial as the WH&B Act was at that time. It did ultimately come from public pressure and western legislators had to support it..at least in public
Even now, you will probably see that same pattern when you look at the voting records.
Dollars in the Wind
“The Big Lie of “overpopulation” is the pretext for BLM’s war against the wild horses. It’s BLM’s version of the “Shock Doctrine,” wherein BLM concocted a phony crisis to push through policies antithetical to the Wild Horse Act against the will of The People.
In fact, horses are a slow-growth species when it comes to reproduction. The gestation-period lasts over 11 months, and a mare produces just 1 foal. While an independent study of BLM’s records did confirm a nearly 20% birth rate, that study also found that 50% of foals perish before their first birthday. Thus, the effective increase in population from new foals is just 10%. However, adult mortality must also be taken into consideration. Adult mustangs succumb at a rate of at least 5% a year. So, what is a normal herd-growth rate? Around 5%, probably less. Thus, a herd could not double in 4 or 5 years, debunking another BLM falsehood. But BLM stealthily inserts herd-growth rates far higher than 20% in its reports — biologically-impossible herd-growth rates. For instance, in Wyoming, BLM declared that the Salt Wells Creek herd grew from 29 horses to 616 horses in 6 months (yes, months), a 2,024% increase. BLM’s “data” is chock-full of preposterous growth-estimates. So, when you hear talk of how the wild horses are reproducing “exponentially,” that’s a sure sign that BLM has falsified the data. You should also know that the National Academy of Sciences was required by the terms of its grant to draw conclusions per BLM’s figures — the falsified figures. The NAS was not allowed to collect data independently. Thus, BLM wired the results to confirm its lies.
Wild horses are underpopulated. Per the guidelines of BLM’s own geneticist, more than 80% of the herds suffer from arbitrary management levels (AMLs) set below minimum-viable population (MVP). Low AMLs enable BLM to claim an “excess” in herds whose numbers, even if they were over AML, would still not reach MVP. So being “over AML” is meaningless as well as misleading. But those low AMLs, combined with fraudulent, biologically-impossible herd-growth estimates, give BLM an excuse to scapegoat those few wild horses for the range-damage done by the millions of livestock that overgraze the public lands.
PZP is a potent weapon in BLM’s arsenal — for its biological warfare against the wild horses. PZP is a registered pesticide. Its mechanism-of-action is to cause auto-immune disease — tricking the immune system into producing antibodies that target and attack the ovaries. The antibodies cause ovarian dystrophy, oophoritis (inflammation of the ovaries), ovarian cysts, destruction of oocytes in growing follicles, and depletion of resting follicles. The mare’s estrogen-levels drop markedly as PZP destroys her ovaries. Ultimately, PZP sterilizes her. A recent study — which included the McCullough Peaks herd — found that PZP extends the birthing season to nearly year-round. Out-of-season births put the life of the foals and the mares at risk. Worse yet, radioimmunoassay tests indicated that PZP antibodies are transferred from mother to female offspring via the placenta and milk.
As for the wild horses held in captivity, they are the “legacy” of former Secretary Salazar’s equid cleansing era, during which he had tens of thousands of wild horses removed from the range. However, the mortality rate of captive wild horses is about 8% a year. So, obviously, since they are not reproducing, their numbers will steadily drop, showing that BLM’s billion-dollar figure for their care was bogus — it was just another Lie. But that Lie has ballooned. BLM has taken the $1 billion figure that it originally announced, multiplied it by 230%, and then multiplied that number by another 200%, amplifying the fraud. When BLM lies, it lies Big.
The Wild Horse and Burro program, if administered per the minimum-feasible management-model specified by Law, would not cost much at all. BLM does not lack for resources. There are 22 million acres of legally-designated wild-horse herd areas — which BLM previously took away for political expediency — that can be reopened as habitat. The horses now held captive can be released to those areas, where the cost of their upkeep will be $0.
Contrary to BLM’s disinformation campaign, wild horses do have natural predators — mountain lions, bears, wolves, and coyotes. But those predators are persecuted mercilessly. The government exterminates what the hunters don’t shoot. However, the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros — Wild Horse Annie’s foundation — notes that even without predators, their wild-horse herds self-regulate their numbers, with population-growth in the single digits.
Finally, adoptions have not declined. It’s just that BLM used to count sales-for-slaughter as “adoptions.” Now, only “forever-family” placements qualify. However, mustangs are not homeless horses. They are wild horses whose home is on the range.”
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Here is a portion of Don Moore, DVM’s comments. He is a respected Veterinarian who has extensive knowledge about wild horses and wild horse behavior.
Click to access DonMooreCommentsOregonSpayProposal.pdf
“The three surgical procedures for permanent sterilization of mares described in the mare sterilization research project, ovariectomy via colopotomy, tubal ligation and hysteroscopically-guided laser ablation of the oviduct papilla all require certain pre-operative and post-operative considerations for aseptic surgical protocol and pain management. Pre-operative bloodwork and a thorough examination are always performed on the relatively few domestic mares which are spayed. Other options other than surgery are always considered first due to the risk involved with any of these procedures. Aseptic surgical protocol and pain management is the standard of care for each and every surgery or the performing veterinarian would undoubtedly be sued by the owner and reprimanded by the state veterinary board.
Wild mares will not have their surgeries performed in a sterile surgical suite. Their surgery will be performed in a non-sterile chute or standing in stocks at the local BLM facility without benefit of routine standard of care. Unlike domestic mares who are easily handled, the very handling of these wild mares presents additional pre-operative stressors, which cannot be mitigated.
BLM does not possess the statutory authority to treat America’s wild free roaming mares as research test subjects to perform surgeries which are not the standard of care for domestic mares.
Case in point, is a photograph of Dr. Leon Pielstick as he was beginning to perform a surgery attired in bibs used predominately for working cattle and performing the surgery with a non-sterile plastic sleeve that is used to pregnancy check cattle. This is not acceptable for a domestic mare, why wild mares? To learn this procedures has been performed on some of the Sheldon wild mares, undoubtedly in a similar manner, is gross negligence and inhumane on the part of the Department of Interior and the veterinarians who performed the surgery in less than aseptic conditions.
This type of trial and error butchery is a violation of the least feasible management clause of the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act.”
“Mass experimental surgeries performed under these conditions outlined in the proposal, amounts to negligence and abuse. I believe experiments such as this proposal are unethical, inhumane and unwarranted. Any veterinarian(s) who would perform these experiments is in violation of the oath taken as a graduating veterinarian, “above all else, do no harm”. If a veterinarian in private practice performed these procedures in the manner described in this document they would most certainly be reported to and disciplined by the regulatory board of that state. Discipline would likely mean suspension of that veterinarian’s license to practice in that state.”
AWHPC’s video shows the brutal reality of the BLM’s plans to “spay” wild mares, and it isn’t pretty.
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Isnt it time to show up and Protest. Its t UK me to get in the news for Fighting to stop these travesties. Now is the time to Not just simply stand across the street but to call the News and head forward bcto speak out. Instead of letting them hide their destructive ways behind closed doors and propaganda it’s time to get into a protest that will attract attention across the US. Nightly News etc. Its time to stop standing back and head in. I’m all about peaceful protests but we Need attention on the plight of Americas Horses. You say wild or not wild but the Fact remains it Requires Attention. If that requires Shouting No more Murder of our Horses or what ever it takes to see the People involved we need to get it moving. These horses Will die. Period. The idea was the HSUS help save them but in bed with these other traitors what can happen shortly will. Its time to bang the drums! We need to be Heard to save the Wild Herds! It’s their America too. If there are Ferals they helped build the America we have today they have a right to freedom! America was built on horses backs, cattle drive here, communities and thriving cities built because of them. Our military won wars on horseback, our heritage in America was built on horses backs. Wherever they came from they dont deserve to die at slaughter, no Horse Deserves slaughter. The wild horses and ferals and I bcthey are feral they often break away from abusive people so why do they deserve to die? Because they didnt want to be abused. It’s time to FIGHT! HOW TO SAVE A LIFE BY VFB THE FRAY is on the radio and we should all have learned from our horses how to save a life, because many people times over the wild and domestic animals have saved Ours it’s our turn to not stand idly by but raise Hell to Save Theirs!!!
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Perhaps Dr. Lenz might have a bit more compassion (as well as humility) were he to undergo a vasectomy (or any kind of surgery) under the same circumstances that he suggests for WILD Mares that have been through the trauma of capture and captivity
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“We need good, scientific input………input beyond the emotional –something we can actually use in preparation of the plan.”
Renewable Resource Manager
BLM Las Vegas Field Office
Las Vegas Review Journal
by Keith Rogers, 7/08/06
It was this quote in the Las Vegas Review Journal’s July 8, 2006 story that changed my life and launched me into researching the Wild Horse & Burro Program
I had grown up in a rural area of Southern Nevada where wild horses and burros were part of the landscape throughout all my “stomping grounds” for many years. We also had horse companions for several years, as did many of our neighbors, and I loved nothing more than to spend time exploring the vast, empty landscapes with my friends.
Yet as I grew up and grew away, so did the wild ones, gradually disappearing one herd at a time. Busy with getting on with the business of life, jobs, relationships and adjusting to “city life”, over time their disappearances slid into the background as necessity forced a change in my priorities as it has done for so many of us.
It was that Review Journal article that woke me up, reminding me how much I loved them, caused me to reflect on how long it had been since I had seen them and I wondered – how could there possibly still be 1,000 wild horses and burros still left in our area?
At that time, I was intimidated by that quote and looking back, I have come to the conclusion that this is exactly what it was intended to do – intimidate the public from getting involved. It almost worked on me too and I swear, I sat in front of that article for what seemed like forever trying to decide if I would merely turn the page or answer the call of the wild ones embedded so clearly between the printed lines of BLM’s announcement.
I took Ms. Norris’s quote to heart and began to review everything and anything that had to do with BLM, the Wild Horse and Burro Program, environmental studies, laws, websites, etc. As I have stated before, I felt sympathy for BLM for having to try and deal with just “emotionally based” arguments and worked to try and find the facts to increase my understanding so that I could then contribute positive solutions to help the wild herds I loved so much.
May I also add that since that time, I have concluded BLM telling the public they weren’t interested in emotional input was just as calculated to prevent people from speaking from the heart as was their request to provide “scientific input” only
When the first one arrived, I could hardly believe my eyes as I found it unbelievable general, full of copy and paste kinds of formatting, often contradictory from one section to the next and very little “scientific input” comprising it at all. I later learned this was often the standard and as it turned out, BLM was not so interested in scientific input after all – at least from the public!
So there you have it, my “confession” and thanks for sharing this journey with me as we all strive together to learn more in our struggle to protect America’s wild horses and burros – both now and for future generations.
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Woudl someone who was able to watch live today please provide a summary of what was said? Even better, I suppose tomorrow they will make recommendations, which would be useful to know for all of us concerned “out here in America.”
Got this email today – must have made a comment at some point. Certainly proves our point concerning how many comments are actually considered “unique & substantive”! 118 out of 116,000? Telling isnt it?
Bakersfield Field Office Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) analyzing the potential effects of hydraulic fracturing associated with oil and gas development on new leases on public lands and Federal minerals.
The BLM held three public meetings and received approximately 16,000 comments, of which 118 comments were unique and substantive, during the Draft Supplemental EIS 45-day public comment period from April to June 2019.
What were the Advisory Board recommendations? They typically have them already prepared and announce at the end of the meeting.