Gene Baur, author and Pres. of Farm Sanctuary, on Wild Horse & Burro Radio (Wed., 8/10/16)

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Join us on Wild Horse Wednesdays®, Aug. 10, 2016

4:00 pm PST … 5:00 pm MST … 6:00 pm CST … 7:00 pm EST

Listen to the archived show (HERE!)

You can also listen to the show on your phone by calling (917) 388-4520.

You can call in with questions during the 2nd half hour, by dialing (917) 388-4520, then pressing 1.

This show will be archived so you can listen to it anytime.

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Our guest tonight is Gene Baur, Pres. and Co-Founder of Farm Sanctuary.  Gene has been hailed as “the conscience of the food movement” by Time magazine.  For more than 25 years he has traveled extensively around the country, campaigning to raise awareness about the abuses of industrialized factory farming and our current food system.

A pioneer in the field of undercover investigations, Gene has visited hundreds of farms, stockyards, and slaughterhouses documenting their deplorable conditions.  His pictures and videos exposing factory farming cruelties have aired nationally and internationally, educating millions about the plight of modern farm animals.

Gene has also testified in courts and before local, state, and federal legislative bodies, advocating for better conditions for farm animals.  His most important achievements include winning the first-ever cruelty conviction at a U.S. stockyard and introducing the first U.S. laws to prohibit cruel farming confinement methods in Florida, Arizona, and California.  His efforts have been covered by top news organizations, including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and The Wall Street Journal.  In 2008, Gene’s book, Farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds About Animals and Food, became a national bestseller.

index Living the Farm Sanctuary Life

gene_with_animal

This show will be hosted by Debbie Coffey, V.P. & Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

To contact us: ppj1@hush.com, or call 320-281-0585 Continue reading

Wild Horses and Burros: FINDING COMMON GROUND

OpEd by Marjorie Farabee ~ Director of Wild Burro Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation
published on Facebook

“BLM employees on the ground are intimidated by ranchers and other powerful interest groups…”

photo by Marjorie Farabee

photo by Marjorie Farabee

In our own lives, we want to approach solutions to problems we encounter by utilizing logic, observation, consultation, and research and it is not unreasonable to believe this approach should be utilized when trying to shape public policy. Thus, it makes it extremely frustrating to find common ground on an issue when the other side has unlimited funds, to promote a hokus pokus program of glass and mirrors. It is impossible to come to a solutions based approach to improving our public lands because the nefarious interests of powerful politicians push science and logic aside in favor of profit. Through choice of language, and doctored data intended to deceive the public, special interests have influenced the destructive management choices being made on our public lands. Presenting undeniable data, and proof of the environmentally sound practice of leaving nature alone vs current management practices that science, data and observation prove has been disastrous for our public lands, cannot alone enact positive change. The profiteers do not want solutions, they want unfettered access to our public lands to satisfy their greed. To this end, they spend enormous amounts of money supporting politicians who can be bribed or have a vested interest in ignoring science and the public’s will. BLM (Bureau of Land Management) employees are promoted who tow the line making the agency itself corrupt from top to bottom. In other words, our wild horses and burros are being managed by hungry wolves.

BLM employees on the ground are intimidated by ranchers and other powerful interest groups, when they try to uphold their mandate to maintain a natural balance on our public lands. The ranchers ignore their lease agreement to remove cattle when they are supposed to and to not overstock. Instead, they call in their congressman and complain about the annoying BLM employee trying to protect the environment. There are guidelines the welfare ranchers are supposed to follow to protect our public lands from degradation. It is in their lease, yet BLM employees who try to uphold the contract do not last long. They must make a choice to throw their integrity in the trash and do as they are told, or quit. Only the corrupt survive.

This is what saving our public land’s health, and the wildlife that lives there, has come down to. This is what we are up against. We have dirty politicians who use their position to profit from our public lands, we have extremely wealthy ranchers and other special interests, intimidating BLM employees and buying off politicians. And we have BLM administrators who are compromised by this system and their own personal interests, who squeeze BLM employees from the top. None of them will listen to logic, facts or public opinion. The decision makers are quite happy to manipulate data, to the point where it is systemically accepted by employees all the way into the field. They comply and produce numbers meant to trigger a roundup. They could use a GO-Pro on their aerial counts to backup their numbers, but they don’t. They cannot produce proof of the numbers they turn in, but they could. Their field notes show a huge discrepancy between what they photograph and write down and the actual number they turn in. FOIA records showed that the Black Mountain aerial flight produced written and photographic documentation for a little over 200 burros, yet they stated they counted 1378. This number was turned into 2000 by Senator John McCain demonstrating how unreliable the BLM estimates of wild burros and horses really is. It is shameful and a crime against all of us. This pattern of inflating our wild horse and burro herds is pervasive across all of our HMA’s (Herd Management Areas).

The rules about maintaining a healthy NATURAL balance are completely ignored as 97% of forage is “allocated” to livestock and 3% is (allocated) to burros and horses on the small percentage of public lands that are supposed to be for the “principal” use of our wild horses and burros. The BLM is supposed to set up monitoring areas to check range health. If they find it degraded, livestock is supposed to be removed first off the HMA’s until conditions improve. To further add to the difficulties to survive imposed on our wild herds, the Department of Interior has sold off portions of HA’s (Herd Areas) to private owners too. Often this is critical habitat for all wildlife such as river fronts and lake properties. They add to this offense by not making it provisionally necessary that the new owner must allow access in his development plans for wildlife to get to water.

Bullhead City is still technically part of the Black Mountain HA. This did not stop the BLM from selling a twenty-five by five mile stretch along the river to a developer. As Bullhead City was developed, the burros were not considered at all in planning. During planning, construction of the highways and new buildings, thought should have been given to accessing water. Bullhead City lies inside the outline of the HA designated for wild burros making it clear that their survival needs should have been a part of the planning. Despite knowing they were developing critical habitat belonging to a federally protected species, no modifications were made to protect them or the public from harm. There are no under passed or overpasses included in planning. Furthermore, there is no lighting where the burros are most often hit as they make their way to the river. There are no warning signs for drivers and there are no fences keeping burros from entering a very busy highway. The burro strikes happen at the same spot over and over again because the terrain comes to a valley between two mountains. There is a wash that leads to the river and the burros follow it. It was a predictable outcome that there would be burros hit on that section, yet the politicians ignored the obvious and ignored the burro’s existence when construction took place. They knew the burros traveled through this section, yet they did not try to help them or stop them. They simply did nothing. But, of course, the burros are blamed for the city planners poor judgement

Bullhead City and the Black Mountain HMA are just one example of the systemic rot that exists within the BLM. The flagrant misuse and exploitation of our public lands is rampant. The laws governing protections are compromised and often ignored by a system that rewards corruption of the people put in place to enforce those laws. This isn’t going to change by removing a few low level employees. The stench comes from the top. Our public lands cannot be protected when profit is given preference over environmental health. It is up to us to look at voting records. To get a true measure of how your politician is looking out for your interests, look at their voting records which are made available to the public and easily accessed. If you want to see positive change, cleaning up the corruption pervasive throughout the Department of the Interior will require voting into office politicians who are dedicated to protecting our environment. Lasting change will not happen until we have people in place to clean up the corruption and secure real protection for our wild horses, burros.

I have been exploring ways to bring everyone on board including the ranchers who thus far have pushed back against any change in their behaviors. None of us can be speciests. All of the parts of an environment are important to the whole. So, to bring about the change we want, we need to find common ground with other organizations who have similar goals for their preferred species. All are important, and it is important for environmental groups to realize that we cannot pick and choose. Nature will do a fine job of reaching a balance, if we allow it. We have to work together, all of us to go after the core of what ails our public lands which is rampant greed.

We must look at voting records. Here is how:

http://www.hslf.org/our-work/humane…

http://legislation.hslf.org/?credit…

Current legislation depends on getting compassionate representatives in office who will listen to proven, demonstrable facts over lobbyists dollars. Looking at voting records tells you if they care about the environment, wildlife and animal welfare in general. The votes are a true snapshot super-ceding all political rhetoric.

There are solutions to the degradation of our public lands are that are sustainable. Holistic Range Management, Re-wilding, Reserve Design, and Natural Management all have at their core, allowing nature to be nature. Re-wilding in Europe is seeing fantastic success because of the cooperation between citizens and government. We can see that level of success here if we remove the profit motive currently used to drive policy. Corruption at the highest levels will only change if citizens first inform themselves and vote in every election, especially local

https://www.rewildingeurope.com/

I recently hosted a radio show for my first time (please forgive my unpolished presentation) exploring some of the approaches just discussed. We can reach out to ranchers who have a desire to leave behind a healthy environment. We can reach out to politicians who want leave a healthy environment to future Americans. We can find success if we work together to push out corruption. This will require a dedicated effort that starts with upholding laws already in place, building on those laws, and being vigilant about politicians who are not friendly to wildlife or the environment. Voting records do count. Politicians who vote against the interests of the American people and vote on the side of big moneyed interests need to be exposed and voted out of office. If you really care about wild horses, burros and wildlife in general then never skip a local election. These are the elections that count. Our representatives and senators are put in place locally. Congress sets the budget and they hold the purse strings. If you are serious about change vote locally. Look up the voting records of your representatives to make an informed decision. Then, vote.

About the radio show:

https://ppjg.me/2016/08/02/marjorie…

During my interview of Christopher Gill I wanted to get the information added that the dense hoof action described by Holistic Range Management proponents could easily be any ungulate, including horses and burros. He also confirmed the high mortality rate of foals confirming our findings of a 3-7% growth increase, as well as the fact that the burros do not compete with any other wildlife. Although he is clearly all about ranching in the traditional sense of grazing livestock, what he is doing could easily use wild horses and burros for the same affect. There are many valid approaches to managing our public land that will restore the natural balance including Craig Downer’s Reserve Design and the Re-wilding being attempted in Europe. We just need the will to do it, and commitment to vote to make it possible.

All of the most successful natural approaches to land renewal have elements that mirror each other. The core belief system being biodiversity and letting nature decide. Karen Sussman has worked with this system for over 30 years and she has had some successes. I deeply respect her knowledge and dedication to our wild horses and burros. But, she was a lone voice trying to set up an eco-team that the BLM was not committed to having succeed for the Black Mountain HMA. It was lip service. Imagine if they had followed through with the monitoring, and followed their own rules.

Clearly, until we can get the politics out of managing our public lands, we are all held hostage by each new threat against our wild herds. It is clear to us that our herds face the real possibility of being driven to extinction in the wild. The anguish we all feel for our wild ones is all too real and too raw. We hurt and we work to stop it from happening year after year. Our suffering and the suffering of our iconic herds is completely irrelevant to the profiteering policymakers. Yet, it is we who choose them by staying at home and not voting. If you care, look up the candidates running in your area and then look up their voting record. If they don’t have a record, ask a direct question to them by phone, at a rally or by letter. To save our wild lands and protect our beloved wild horses and burros we need to change the policymakers. Vote

Marjorie Farabee is the equine manager of TMR Rescue, Inc. where safe haven is provided for 46 wild burros and two mustangs in addition to the 350 domestic donkeys, mules and horses under their care. In addition, Marjorie is also director of wild burro affairs as a board member with Wild Horse Freedom Federation, and the founder of Wild Burro Protection League.

https://www.facebook.com/notes/wild-burro-protection-league/finding-common-ground/1107518069323543

WHO WANTS OUR WILD HORSES AND BURROS TO VANISH FROM THEIR LEGAL LANDS?

compiled by Grandma Gregg

There are no “excess” wild horses and burros on their legally designated lands…

NO EXCESS

NO EXCESS

For the past 40 plus years the BLM management appears to be politically driven by financial stakeholders, i.e. livestock permittees, mining and energy corporations, large lobbying trophy hunting “clubs” and many more. But let’s face it … the only persons that have worked for 40 plus years for the extinction of wild horses and burros are those with a financial interest. This has been and continues to be unacceptable.

There are no “excess” wild horses and burros on their legally designated lands. In 1971 when the wild horse and burro protection law was unanimously signed by the Congress of the United States, wild horses and burros were found roaming across 53.8 million acres; known as Herd Areas. The American people are being misled by our government agencies that are mandated by Congressional Law to protect these animals. The wild horses and burros already have a place to live; and it is not in government corrals.   These animals and this land do not belong to the government or the Bureau of Land Management; the wild horses and burros and the land belong to you and me.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has not established the true population numbers of wild horses and burros on their congressionally designated range lands and therefore there is no justification for any capture, removal, permanent or temporary sterilization of wild horses and burros. None.

In addition, the permanent or temporary sterilization of any wild horses or burros in conjunction with the Bureau of Land Management is in direct conflict with the recent National Academy of Science (NAS) report and recommendations. http://dels.nas.edu/Report/Using-Science-Improve/13511  The NAS findings clearly state that the BLM has failed to provide accurate estimates of the nation’s population of wild horses and burros.  Therefore, the NAS cannot conclude that a state of over-population exists and or provide a recommendation for artificial management considerations such as fertility controls to control populations for which the complex population dynamics are currently unknown.  The NAS institute said the report lent credence to accusations that the bureau [BLM] has been ignoring science and grossly mismanaging the wild equines.

Tresspass Sheep LawnmowerThis National Academy of Science report reviews the science that underpins the Bureau of Land Management’s oversight of free-ranging horses and burros on federal public lands in the western United States and the report goes on to say, “The Wild Horse and Burro Program has not used scientifically rigorous methods to estimate the population sizes of horses and burros, to model the effects of management actions on the animals, or to assess the availability and use of forage on rangelands.”

The NAS report continues:

  • Management of free-ranging horses and burros is not based on rigorous population-monitoring procedures.At the time of the committee’s review, most Herd Management Areas did not use inventory methods or statistical tools common to modern wildlife management. Survey methods used to count animals were often inconsistent and poorly documented and did not quantify the uncertainty attached to counts.
  • On the basis of information provided to the committee, the statistics on the national population size cannot be considered scientifically rigorous.The links between BLM’s estimates of the national population size and its actual population surveys – the data that underlie these estimates – are obscure. The procedures used to develop population estimates for the Herd Management Areas from counts of animals are not standardized and frequently not documented.

More than ever before, BLM field managers and wild horse and burro specialists are challenged to base management decisions on accurate and credible population estimates.

The Fort Collins Science Center who guides the BLM’s aerial population procedures states, “Because population estimates drive nearly all management decisions pertaining to wild horses and burros, accuracy is important.” “Given the demand for reliable information on which to base management decisions, wild horse and burro managers need standardized, tested, defensible, cost-effective, yet easy-to-use aerial population estimation techniques for wild horse and burro herds in a range of habitats and across a range of population sizes and densities. The accuracy and precision of current wild horse survey methods have not been rigorously tested. Thus, a statistically valid estimation technique is needed.

 Personal thoughts about wild horse and burro census taking:

  • The census numbers are important but what is also important is the documentation proving or disproving accuracy of BLM’s census and population counts.
  • What is required is objective science and not political pressure from government officials and for-private-profit corporations who realize the financial importance of these lands that were once believed to be worthless and are now found to be very valuable.
  • One easy and inexpensive example of providing proof of the BLM’s census counts would be the use of a video camera (such as a Go-Pro) on the helicopter.

Why has this not been done by BLM for wild horses and burros census? Is it because it would verify the inaccurate and inflated census counts of wild horses and burros that are reported by the BLM? The BLM’s aerial surveys are not scientifically supportable and not defensible and therefore not credible.

Wefare CattleThere is NO reason for these wild horse and burro removals and destruction procedures … because there are NO excess wild horses and burros on their legally designated land. In 1971, when Congress passed the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, these animals were found roaming across 53,800,000 million acres. That amount of acreage could support more than about 250,000 wild horses and burros but even after 22,200,000 acres were stolen from the American people by government agencies the remaining 31,600,000 acres could support more than 100,000 wild horses and burros today. It is currently independently estimated that less than 20,000 wild horses and burros are living on their legal land today and yet the government continues its aggressive removal and destructive management toward total wild horse and burro extermination.

Here are a few examples of BLM’s burro population census from the BLM published annual herd statistics (note the inflated and biologically impossible annual increases highlighted in yellow):

Lava Beds, NV
Burros Population Per BLM Herd Stats
Year       (March 1st) BLM AML     10-16 Increase /Decrease % Change
3/1/2016 350 0 0%
3/1/2015 350 310 775%
2014 40 7 21%
2013 33 11 50%
2012 22 0 0%
2011 22 2 10%
2010 20 0 0%
2009 20 0 0%
2008 20 2 11%
2007 18 2 13%
2006 16 14 700%
 

McGee Mts., NV

Burros Population Per BLM Herd Stats
Year       (March 1st) BLM AML     25-41 Increase /Decrease % Change
3/1/2016 36 -88 -71%
3/1/2015 124 64 107%
2014 60 10 20%
2013 50 5 11%
2012 45 -61 -58%
2011 106 10 10%
2010 96 53 123%
2009 43 4 10%
2008 39 7 22%
2007 32 3 10%

 

Bull Frog, NV
Burros Population Per BLM Herd Stats
Year       (March 1st) BLM AML       55-91 Increase /Decrease % Change
3/1/2016 204 0 0%
3/1/2015 204 116 132%
2014 88 12 16%
2013 76 -42 -36%
2012 118 -6 -5%
2011 124 4 3%
2010 120 19 19%
2009 101 26 35%
2008 75 43 134%

 

 

Wheeler Pass, NV
Burros Population Per BLM Herd Stats
Year       (March 1st) BLM AML         20-35 Increase /Decrease % Change
3/1/2016 190 1 1%
3/1/2015 189 25 15%
2014 164 27 20%
2013 137 -45 -25%
2012 182 -28 -13%
2011 210 35 20%
2010 175 148 548%
2009 27 4 17%
2008 23 4 21%

 

 

Chemehuevi, CA
Burros Population Per BLM Herd Stats
Year       (March 1st) BLM AML       97-108 Increase /Decrease % Change
3/1/2016 890 148 20%
3/1/2015 742 524 240%
2014 218 46 27%
2013 172 29 20%
2012 143 24 20%

 

 

Big Sandy, AZ
Burros Population Per BLM Herd Stats BLM AML       111-139
Year       (March 1st)   Increase /Decrease % Change
3/1/2016 1201 166 16%
3/1/2015 1035 135 15%
2014 900 146 19%
2013 754 504 202%
2012 250 41 20%
2011 209 27 15%
2010 182 -2 -1%
2009 184 25 16%
2008 159 22 16%

 

 

These outrageous and biologically impossible population increases are not the occasional “bookkeeping error” this is FRAUD and by stating these population increases; the BLM is in violation of a federal crime known as title 18 – making false statements (see below).

 If any employee of the Department of Interior / Bureau of Land Management has stated to you otherwise, then they are in violation of Title 18 (18 U.S.C. § 1001). Making false statements (18 U.S.C. § 1001) is the common name for the United States federal crime laid out in Section 1001 of Title 18 of the United States Code, which generally prohibits knowingly and willfully making false or fraudulent statements, or concealing information, in “any matter within the jurisdiction” of the federal government of the United States, even by mere denial 18 U.S. Code § 1519 – Destruction, alteration, or falsification of records in Federal investigations

Current through Pub. L. 114-38. (See Public Laws for the current Congress.)

US Code Per the US Department of Justice, the purpose of Section 1001 is “to protect the authorized functions of governmental departments and agencies from the perversion which might result from” concealment of material facts and from false material representations.

There are no excess wild horses and burros on their legally designated land. These animals and this land do NOT belong to the government … the wild horses and burros and the land belong to you and me.

Judge Rules in Favor of Pryor Mountain Wild Horses

CLAIR JOHNSON For the Independent Record

“By operating with an outdated AML when it made its 2015 decision, BLM’s excess animal determination was based, at least in part, on pure guesswork,”

A federal judge in Billings MT has ruled that the Bureau of Land Management used outdated information when it decided to remove wild horses last year as part of a population management plan at the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range.

Pryor Mountain Stallions ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Pryor Mountain Stallions ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

U.S. District Judge Susan Watters in a July 29 ruling said BLM’s reliance on the outdated management plan in making a decision that the range had excess horses that needed removal was “arbitrary and capricious.” Her order set aside the agency’s decision.

Watters’ ruling favored the Friends of Animals, a Connecticut-based advocacy group. The organization sued BLM last year after the agency said it would gather and permanently remove 20 young wild horses and continue removing six to 12 wild horses annually.

“We are thrilled the court didn’t let the BLM get away (with) violating the law,” said Jennifer Best, associate director of FoA’s Wildlife Law Program.

Watters’ ruling, Best said, recognizes “that BLM was removing wild horses from the Pryor Mountains before considering a reasonable alternative — determining what the appropriate population for the area is and whether the range could potentially support more wild horses.”

The judge’s order also found that BLM could “not ignore its promise to the public to do a more thorough analysis of the Appropriate Management Level before removing wild horses,” Best continued.

An AML, as defined by the agency, is the number of horses that can be sustained within a designated herd management area that maintains “a thriving natural ecological balance in keeping with the multiple-use management concept for the area.”

“I hope this decision sends a signal to the BLM that it cannot get away with ignoring its commitments and duties to protect these amazing wild animals, who are actually underpopulated,” Best said.

FoA alleged BLM violated federal laws by basing its 2015 Pryor Mountain horse removal decision on an outdated 2009 Herd Management Area Plan that established an appropriate management horse population of 90 to 120 wild horses. The appropriate management number, the group said, was based on a 2007 range evaluation, which the BLM was supposed to recalculate within five years.

BLM admitted it has not re-calculated the appropriate management level number since its 2009 decision.

Alyse Backus, a spokeswoman for the BLM, said on Wednesday a judgment had not yet been issued in the case and that BLM could not comment on pending litigation.

Backus said the 2015 horse removal did occur. The judge earlier denied FoA’s request for a preliminary injunction.

Watters’ ruling noted that BLM had stated in its 2009 decision that it would recalculate the appropriate management level within five years. “The Court finds that federal regulations, case law and its own representations to the public bind BLM to this commitment,” she said.

“By operating with an outdated AML when it made its 2015 decision, BLM’s excess animal determination was based, at least in part, on pure guesswork,” the judge wrote.

The Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range consists of more than 38,000 acres of desert, forest and high mountain meadows. There are no livestock grazing leases on the range, which was established in 1968 for exclusive use by wild horses and other wildlife. The herd is believed to be descended from horse used by Spanish conquistadors.

http://helenair.com/judge-rules-for-wild-horse-advocacy-group-in-blm-suit/article_4b58fc3e-a3ff-58e8-a3a6-f4d63580aa66.html

BLM Sets Meeting of National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board

Unedited Press Release from the BLM

“We let the cat out of the bag on this one, last week.  But here is the ‘official’ press release in all it’s propaganda infused glory.” ~ R.T.


Release Date: 08/01/16
Contacts: Dorothea Boothe , 202-912-7654

BLM Sets Meeting of National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board for September in Elko, Nevada

September 8–9 meeting will be livestreamed at http://www.blm.gov/live

BLM Bored Member, during March 2011 Advisory Bored meeting, actively engaged in protecting the future of wild horses and burros ~ photographer unknown

BLM Bored Member, during March 2011 Advisory Bored meeting, actively engaged in protecting the future of wild horses and burros ~ photographer unknown

The Bureau of Land Management’s National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board will meet September 8-9, 2016, in Elko, Nev., to discuss issues relating to the management and protection of wild horses and burros on Western public rangelands. The two-day meeting will take place on Thursday, September 8, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:15 p.m., and Friday, September 9, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (The meeting times are local time; Elko is in the Pacific Time Zone.) The meeting will be live-streamed at http://www.blm.gov/live.

The agenda of the upcoming meeting can be found in the August 1, 2016, Federal Register at http://go.usa.gov/x4TRJ. The meeting will be held at Stockmen’s Hotel and Casino, 340 Commercial Street, Elko, Nev. The hotel’s website address is www.northernstarcasinos.com/Stockmens-hotel-casino; its phone number is (775) 738-5141.

The Advisory Board provides advice and recommendations to the BLM as it carries out its responsibilities under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. The law mandates the protection and management of these free-roaming animals in a manner that ensures healthy herds at levels consistent with the land’s capacity to support them. According to the BLM’s latest official estimate, approximately 67,027 wild horses and burros roam on BLM-managed rangelands in 10 Western states.

The public may address the Advisory Board on Thursday, September 8, from 3:15 to 5:15 p.m., local time. Individuals who want to make a statement at Thursday’s meeting should register in person with the BLM by 3:15 p.m. local time, on that same day at the meeting site. Depending on the number of speakers, the Board may limit the length of presentations, set at three minutes for previous meetings.

Speakers should submit a written copy of their statement to the BLM at the addresses below or bring a copy to the meeting. There will be a Webcam present during the entire meeting and individual comments may be recorded. Those who would like to comment but are unable to attend may submit a written statement to: National Wild Horse and Burro Program, WO-261, Attention: Ramona DeLorme, 1340 Financial Boulevard, Reno, Nev., 89502-7147. Comments may also be e-mailed to the BLM (at whbadvisoryboard@blm.gov); please include “Advisory Board Comment” in the subject line of the e-mail.

For additional information regarding the meeting, please contact Ms. DeLorme, Wild Horse and Burro Administrative Assistant, at (775) 861-6583. Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may reach Ms. DeLorme during normal business hours by calling the Federal Information Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339.

The Advisory Board generally meets twice a year and the BLM Director may call additional meetings when necessary. Members serve without salary, but are reimbursed for travel and per diem expenses according to government travel regulations.

In its management of wild horses and burros, the BLM is taking a number of steps to ensure healthy horses and burros thrive on healthy public lands , including sponsoring a significant research program focused on fertility control; transitioning horses from off-range corrals to more cost-effective pastures; working to increase adoptions with new programs and partnerships; and requesting two new pieces of legislative authority — one to allow for the immediate transfer of horses to other agencies that have a need for work animals and one that would create a congressionally-chartered foundation that could help fund and support adoption efforts.

New Government Report on Trespass Livestock

Source:  Western Watersheds Project

“For decades our wild horses and burros have been scapegoated as the primary reason for ecological destruction on our western public lands while in reality, the documented destruction has come from private, welfare livestock allowed to graze our land at subsidized prices while far out numbering the federally protected wild equines. 

This may come as a bit of a shock (tongue in cheek) but several of our federal agencies (BLM and USFS for example) are critically ate up with collusion and cronyism leading to a system of ‘good ole boy’ favoritism towards federally subsidized welfare grazing with little or no control YET the agencies, along with their welfare ranching buddies, point fingers at the wild horses and burros for grazing damage while they hold actual research at bay that verifies it is their private cows and sheep that are doing the damage and NOT the wild horses and burros.

Instead of reducing or eliminated grazing permits the BLM and USFS spend tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to attack, harass, capture, abuse, torture, experiment upon, warehouse and even sell horses and burros off to slaughter AGAINST the will of American taxpayers and  politicians.

Although today’s installment does not address wild horses and burros specifically it speaks to the problem that is used as an excuse for the corrupt agencies to illegally remove the protected equines from public lands while welfare cattle and sheep run amok.  It is all so screwed up that it is difficult for a sane mind to wrap itself around, but for the sake of the wild horses and burros we need to “get it” and continue to fight and speak on their behalf.  Become conversant on the subject, please, and ensure that all who you know are equally aware as it is only through the force of numbers will we be able to win this war.  Keep the faith my friends and keep on keeping on.” ~ R.T.


July 29, 2016
Online Messenger #335

photo by Jonathan Ratner

photo by Jonathan Ratner

A recently released report from the Government Accountability Office conclusively found what many WWP members already suspected: 1) Trespass livestock grazing is a pervasive problem; 2) It causes widespread ecological damage on public lands; 3) Land management agencies don’t adequately document these violations; and 4) Forest Service trespass fees are too low to serve as a deterrent. These facts add up to a very grim picture about illegal grazing activities on the lands owned and cherished by all of us.

WWP has been documenting trespass livestock grazing for years, reporting observations of cows and sheep in the wrong pastures, staying too long on an allotment, and on sensitive areas that are supposed to be protected from damaging hooves. These types of reports don’t get taken seriously and the agencies – despite BLM regulations requiring them to take action – often just deal with permittees through a casual conversation rather than formal documentation.

The GAO report verifies that the agencies are intimidated by dealing with high-profile repeat offenders and anti-government protestors, leading to a cycle of increased trespass grazing. The GAO found that even when the agencies do deal with trespassers, the penalties assessed are often too low to act as a deterrent.  This is especially true for the Forest Service where the penalty for trespass grazing may be even less than the cost of permitted grazing elsewhere!  Some ranchers consider these penalties “the cost of doing business” – within a business model that already steals value from our public trust lands.

As if these findings weren’t bad enough, add them to the fact that the GAO found much the same thing in 1990. The agencies largely ignored the government’s recommendations then; will they pay any heed now?

The report is a useful update on the general status of this overlooked issue, and it is due to the hard work of WWP staff in D.C. that this report was requested by Representative Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Committee.

Congressman Grijalva released his own press statement on the GAO findings. Grijalva stated “federal agencies’ first responsibility is to ensure the public receives a fair return for the use of public land. Right-wing anti-government rhetoric should not prevent agencies from enforcing laws written to protect the environment and economy of Western states.”

Thank you, Congressman Grijalva. We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

News Flash: Next BLM Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board Meeting Scheduled

Unedited File

BLM Hines Holding Facility - Home of Frankenstein Sterilization Experiments ~ Photo by R.T. Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

BLM Hines Holding Facility – Home of Frankenstein Sterilization Experiments ~ Photo by R.T. Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

This document is scheduled to be published in the
Federal Register on 07/29/2016 and available online at http://federalregister.gov/a/2016-18025, and on FDsys.gov

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management

4310-84

[LLWO260000.L10600000.PC0000.LXSIADVSBD00]

Notice of Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board Meeting

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.

SUMMARY: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announces that the Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board will conduct a meeting on matters pertaining to management and protection of wild, free-roaming horses and burros on the Nation’s public lands. DATES: The Advisory Board will meet on Thursday, September 8, 2016, from 1:00 to 5:15 p.m. Pacific Time and Friday, September 9, 2016, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Pacific Time. This will be a one and a half day meeting.

ADDRESSES: This Advisory Board meeting will take place in Elko, Nevada at the Stockmen’s Hotel and Casino, 340 Commercial Street, Elko, NV, 89801, http://www.northernstarcasinos.com/Stockmens-hotel-casino, phone: 775-738-5141.

Written comments pertaining to the September 8-9, 2016 Advisory Board meeting can be mailed to the National Wild Horse and Burro Program,WO-260, Attention: Ramona DeLorme, 1340 Financial Boulevard, Reno, NV, 89502-7147, or sent electronically to whbadvisoryboard@blm.gov. Please include “Advisory Board Comment” in the subject line of the email.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ramona DeLorme, Wild Horse and Burro Administrative Assistant, at 775-861- 6583 or by email at rdelorme@blm.gov. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to contact the above individual during normal business hours. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board advises the Secretary of the Interior, the BLM Director, the Secretary of Agriculture, and the Chief of the Forest Service on matters pertaining to the management and protection of wild, free-roaming horses and burros on the Nation’s public lands. The Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board operates under the authority of 43 CFR 1784. The tentative agenda for the meeting is:

I. Advisory Board Public Meeting

Thursday, September 8, 2016 (1:00 – 5:15 p.m.)
Welcome, Introductions, and Agenda Review
Approval of April 2016 Meeting Minutes
BLM Response to Advisory Board Recommendations
Wild Horse and Burro Program Update
Public Comment Period will take place from 3:15 – 5:15 p.m.

Adjourn

Friday, September 9, 2016 (8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.)
Wild Horses and Burro Program Update
Working Group Reports
Advisory Board Discussion and Recommendations to the BLM Adjourn

The meeting will be live-streamed. The meeting site is accessible to individuals with disabilities. An individual with a disability needing an auxiliary aid or service to participate in the meeting, such as an interpreting service, assistive listening device, or materials in an alternate format, must notify Ms. DeLorme two weeks before the scheduled meeting date. Although the BLM will attempt to meet a request received after that date, the requested auxiliary aid or service may not be available because of insufficient time to arrange for it.

The Federal Advisory Committee Management Regulations at 41 CFR 101-6.1015(b), requires the BLM to publish in the Federal Register notice of a public meeting 15 days prior to the meeting date.
II. Public Comment Procedures

On Thursday, September 8 at 3:30 p.m., members of the public will have the opportunity to make comments to the Board on the Wild Horse and Burro Program. Persons wishing to make comments during the meeting should register in person with the BLM by 3:00 p.m. on September 8, 2016, at the meeting location. Depending on the number of commenters, the Advisory Board may limit the length of comments. At previous meetings, comments have been limited to three minutes in length; however, this time may vary. Speakers are requested to submit a written copy of their statement to the address listed in the “ADDRESSES” section above, email comments to whbadvisoryboard@blm.gov, or bring a written copy to the meeting. There may be a webcam present during the entire meeting and individual comments may be recorded. Participation in the Advisory Board meeting is not a prerequisite for submission of written comments. The BLM invites written comments from all interested parties. Your written comments should be specific and explain the reason for any recommendation. The BLM appreciates any and all comments. The BLM considers comments that are either supported by quantitative information or studies or those that include citations to and analysis of applicable laws and regulations to be the most useful and likely to influence the BLM’s decisions on the management and protection of wild horses and burros.

Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask in your comment that the BLM withhold your personal identifying information from public review, the BLM cannot guarantee that it will be able to do so.

(Authority: 43 CFR 1784.4-1)

Nancy Haug
Acting Assistant Director Resources and Planning

Download actual PDF file: https://app.box.com/s/n99l9e2famwyh862xunx2qhz9twsdn4l

Breaking News: Nonprofit Horse Rescue Group Challenges Inhumane Experimental Surgery

Source: Front Range Equine Rescue

Despite strong opposition, the Bureau of Land Management, (BLM), intends to move forward with gruesome and dangerous sterilization experiments on wild mares

HINES, Ore., July 26, 2016 – Front Range Equine Rescue (FRER), a national nonprofit working to end the abuse and neglect of horses through rescue, advocacy and education, announced today it is suing the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management to stop the BLM’s experimental sterilization of wild mares in Oregon. The lawsuit was filed late yesterday in federal court in Washington D.C.

Steens HMA wild horse family, about to be destroyed by BLM for experimental sterilizations ~ photo by R.T. Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Steens HMA wild horse family, about to be destroyed by BLM for experimental sterilizations ~ photo by R.T. Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

FRER’s suit contends the BLM’s intention to conduct surgical experiments on 225 wild horses, many in various stages of pregnancy, and potentially thousands more horses over time, causes harm and suffering in violation of federal law.
The sterilizations on wild mares proposed by the BLM, to be carried out in collaboration with Oregon State University, include three untested, dangerous procedures:

  • Slicing open the mare’s vagina while sedated, but awake and standing, and blindly pulling out her ovaries – a risky and controversial surgical procedure even for tame mares under the best of conditions, let alone captive wild horses in a holding facility
  • Burning and then cutting the sedated, but conscious horses’ fallopian tubes, a procedure that is surgically untested on horses
  • Using a laser, inserted through the vagina, to scar and seal the ovaries – another surgery that has never been studied in horses

“It is unjustifiable for the BLM to conduct such barbaric sterilization experiments with a host of known risks, including death, on captive wild horses,” said Hilary Wood, President of FRER. “Performing unproven surgeries in a holding pen, let alone on the open range, is contrary to the BLM’s congressional mandate to care for wild horses, especially when responsible alternatives like the PZP contraceptive vaccine already exist to maintain population levels and ensure herd viability.”

Earlier this year, FRER filed formal comments opposing the “research” that will be done on conscious animals in long-term holding. These comments – and comments submitted by more than 20,000 members of the public – were disregarded, prompting FRER to file its suit.

“These sterilization procedures are not documented, practiced, or analyzed in non-surgical settings; they are overly invasive, and they are unlikely to have applicability for mares on public lands,” said Laureen Bartfield, DVM, an expert in population control of wild horses and the social structure of herds. “Two of the three procedures have virtually never been performed on horses, and the unvisualized removal of the ovaries, while documented in the literature, is disfavored by reputable veterinarians. The BLM’s plan is not just clinically ill-advised, it constitutes animal cruelty on a large scale.”

The plans for eventual widespread sterilization of horses on the range will also run up an estimated cost to the taxpayers in the millions – and the first of the funds could be handed to OSU in the form of a BLM grant. This first group of mares to go under the knife are in BLM custody in the Hines Corral in Eastern Oregon.

FRER’s lawsuit says the experimental sterilizations represent a conflict of interest, and are not in the best interests of wild horses, but rather in the BLM’s own best interest by reducing their management load without considering their mandate to properly manage the horses.
This is not the first time the BLM has pursued surgical sterilization for wild horses. In 2011, a federal court found the bureau’s plans to castrate wild horses captured in Wyoming was of an “extreme and irreversible nature.” In 2012, the BLM was again forced to defend similar plans in federal court, and abandoned its efforts to castrate Nevada’s wild horses.

The grim reality facing these innocent wild mares includes

  • Invasive surgery performed in a non-sterile environment
  • No known studies on domestic mares for the tubal ligation procedure
  • No known studies on domestic or wild mares for the Hysteroscopically-guided laser ablation procedure
  • Procedures to be performed on wild mares in varying stages of pregnancy
  • Infection, hemorrhaging, colic signs, aborted foals, potential for abnormalities in foals born, and death “If any gestational group in any procedure meets a major complication rate greater than 20 percent” then the procedure will be stopped
  • Major complications leading to death or the need for euthanasia are “expected” to be less than 2 percent (225 mares are slated for the research; 25 in a control group; 200 divided up for the three procedures)
  • Wild mares will be frightened as they are separated from their herd mates They will be even more terrified when driven into a confined chute to be sedated and restrained for the surgery
  • Ovarian function plays a significant role in the endocrine (hormonal) system. To destroy this biological function will damage behavior and health of surviving mares
Update! Lawsuit Against BLM On Gruesome Wild Mare Sterilization

Call to Action: Complaint – Medical Malpractice Related to Unnecessary Surgery

Source: Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Home of BLM sterilization experiment lab at Hines, OR holding facility - photo by R.T. Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Home of BLM sterilization experiment lab at Hines, OR holding facility – photo by R.T. Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

“We are all, collectively, disgusted and dismayed at the concept of the Oregon State University (OSU) partnering with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to conduct cruel and unnecessary sterilization experiments on federally protected wild fillies and mares.  It is unconscionable and we do NOT want it to proceed and we surely don’t want to watch/observe it.  We want to STOP IT!!!

Many times our readers ask what they can do to help, how can they make a difference, what can be done to stop the madness…well here is your chance to speak out.

Printed below is a letter, minus your personal contact information, that you can update, print out, snail mail or email electronically to OSU and even cut and paste into the United States Department of Agriculture – Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s web form page.  We also have provided a link where you can download the letter in Word along with the contact information.

So have at it and please proceed with haste; enter your contact information and let it fly…the wild mares are running out of time.

If you need any assistance, feel free to contact me, personally, at rt@rtfitch.com or rtfitch@wildhorsefreedomfederation.org.

Get after it, my friends, spread the word…you have the tools!” ~ R.T.


Send To:

1.) Oregon State Veterinary Medical Examining Board
800 NE Oregon Street, Ste. 407
Portland, Oregon 97232

ovmeb.info@state.or.us

Attn: Veterinary Board Investigator

Re: Leon Peilstick, DVM

https://www.oregon.gov/OVMEB/Pages/howtofile.aspx
2.) United States Department of Agriculture
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (web form)

https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalwelfare/complaint-form


July 22, 2016

Oregon State Veterinary Medical Examining Board
800 NE Oregon Street, Ste. 407
Portland, Oregon 97232

ovmeb.info@state.or.us

Attn: Veterinary Board Investigator

Re: Complaint – Medical Malpractice Related to Unnecessary Surgery

Medical Malpractice Related to Unnecessary Surgery

By Law Offices of Barry G. Doyle, P.C.

Unnecessary surgery is a type of medical malpractice. A form of medical malpractice that has become an alarming and growing problem in the U.S. is unnecessary surgery.

This type of malpractice can lead to life-threatening complications and completely alter an individual’s life. When a surgeon performs an unnecessary surgery, it is an act of medical negligence. Doctors should take every precaution before deciding to prescribe any type of invasive surgery to a patient. When there is a failure to do this and it results in unnecessary surgery, they may be held legally liable. Unnecessary surgery can lead to serious or even life-threatening complications. Some of the risks include hemorrhaging, damage to organs, infection, amputation and anesthesia errors. Putting animals through unnecessary surgery where they face complications that could significantly alter their life is a form of medical negligence.”

The facilities in violation include the Oregon State University (OSU) & the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). BLM facility locations are the Burns Oregon and Hines Oregon wild horse holding locations but this complaint is in conjunction with any and all other government or private facility under direction of the BLM.

The Oregon State licensed veterinarian in violation of this medical malpractice related to unnecessary surgery is Leon Pelistick; and others – names of which are unknown to me at this time.

Name: PIELSTICK, LEON G DVM
Location: BURNS OR 97720
License Type: Veterinarian
License #: 1282
License Status: Active
Initially Licensed: 7/20/1973
License Expires: 12/31/2016
 

The United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in conjunction with the Oregon State University, is planning a cruel and completely unnecessary sterilization “research” which includes dangerous experimentation on pregnant wild horse mares. The surgeries will be overseen by the University’s Veterinary School. In coordination with BLM, veterinarians have been assembled by Oregon State University (OSU) to conduct these unnecessary and dangerous surgeries. Three additional veterinarians licensed in the State of Oregon will conduct the procedures.

Dr. Charles Mayo, of the famous Mayo Clinic, stated:

“I abhor vivisection … it should be abolished … I know of no discovery that could not have been obtained without it…”

What is vivisection? Vivisection is the practice of animal experimentation. This can include administering drugs, infecting with diseases, poisoning for toxicity testing, brain damaging, maiming, binding, and other painful and invasive procedures.

Don Moore, DVM is a respected Veterinarian who has extensive knowledge about wild horses and wild horse behavior. He states, “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 the benefit of the routine standard of care. Unlike domestic mare who are easily handled, the very handling of these wild mares presents additional pre-operative stressors, which cannot be mitigated.

The 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 care for domestic mares.

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.”

Cruelty to animals, also called animal abuse, is the human infliction of suffering or harm upon any nonhuman animal, for purposes other than self-defense or survival. Experimenting on wild horses and burros is cruel, inhumane and absolutely unnecessary. BLM and Oregon State’s cruel, inhumane torture of and experimentation on our wild horses is absolutely not acceptable. In no way does this sterilization proposal conform to the minimally intrusive management on the range that the Congressionally Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971 demands to protect these wild creatures.

 Sterilization is a term referring to any process that eliminates (removes) or kills (deactivates) all forms of life.  Sterilizing a wild horse or burro herd is the opposite of the intent of the 1971 Wild Free-roaming Horse and Burro Act (WFRHBA) and it fails to analyze an alternative that follows the Congressional Act that states, the wild horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death’. It would be anomalous to infer that by authorizing the custodian of the wild free roaming horses and burros to “manage” them, Congress intended to permit the animals’ custodian to subvert the primary policy of the statute by harassing and experimenting on the very animals that congress sought to protect from being killed and harassed and captured and removed from the wild.

The thinking, feeling animals who are used in experiments are treated like nothing more than disposable laboratory equipment. They are not only physically traumatized but they are psychologically traumatized and all of this is done unnecessarily. Animal experimentation is an inherently unethical practice. Under conceptual approaches to animal cruelty, performing unnecessary experiments or demonstrations upon animals that cause them substantial pain or distress may be viewed as cruelty.

There is nothing sterile about a holding facility, and these are wild mares that are going to be absolutely terrified by being confined in this chute and having an incision made in their vaginas so the veterinarian’s arm can reach in and rip out their ovaries. The possibility of the mares panicking despite the sedation is high, and they could break their necks in the chute. They can also die from sedation, or their hearts can stop from sheer terror. The sterilization procedures that BLM is proposing to conduct on federally protected wild mares are dangerous, costly and impractical for use in the field, including any BLM holding facility due to the serious health risks they pose to the horses and their unborn foals. BLM’s cruel, inhumane torture of and experimentation on our wild horses is absolutely not acceptable and in no way conforms to the minimally intrusive management on the range that the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971 was passed to ensure.

More information:

https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-front-office/projects/nepa/56292/75587/83697/Decision_Record_-_May_2016.pdf

Your action is urgently needed to prevent the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) plans to conduct cruel and unethical and unnecessary sterilization experiments on wild horses, including painful and life-threatening surgeries on pregnant mares and young fillies in non-sterile environments. The first sterilization experiments are slated to occur any day now in partnership with Oregon State University and under the direction of Leon Pelistick, DVM. Unless halted, these unnecessary and brutal experiments will begin immediately.

Sincerely,


To download in Word:  https://app.box.com/s/5ivxbqs9kpdsxl1d4qkf5i3l46bmvjfx

Vale OR BLM Postpones Wild Horse Stampede

Source: The Argus Observer

“Yesterday we commented that a helicopter stampede would be conducted in Oregon to kidnap more “fresh” mares for the BLM to brutally experiment on at their Hines Holding Facility; the torture was scheduled to begin next week on the 26th.  But it now appears that the horses will have a few more weeks to live in freedom,with their families and the mares with their ovaries.  The ridicules madness has been postponed until the end of next month.  The unedited article is listed below.” ~ R.T.


“…the appropriate management level for the area is 75–150 wild horses…(non-viable herd)”

8 month old fillies at BLM's Hines, Oregon holding facility...waiting for the "experiment"

8 month old fillies at BLM’s Hines, Oregon holding facility…waiting for the “experiment”

VALE — The Bureau of Land Management’s Vale District is postponing a planned gather of wild horses in the Three Fingers Herd Management Area.

The gather was expected to start July 26, but that has been postponed to a tentative date of Aug. 23.

The objective of the gather is to capture 100 wild horses from the Three Fingers management area and return 50 horses — 25 studs and 25 mares — to the range to re-establish an appropriate management level following the gather. The herd population is currently estimated at 202; the appropriate management level for the area is 75–150 wild horses.

The Three Fingers management area is approximately 25 miles south of Vale. It is bordered on the west by the Owyhee Reservoir, on the south by the Leslie Gulch Road, and on the north by the Owyhee Dam.

Extended drought conditions in the region and a horse population exceeding the management level have resulted in horses from the Three Fingers herd grazing well outside their area in search of water and forage. This grazing has extended into areas affected by the 2015 Soda Fire which burned nearly 280,000 acres in Oregon and Idaho. Grazing in these areas is especially destructive as the fire rehabilitation efforts are vulnerable to activity of any kind in the affected area.

Protecting these fire rehabilitation areas is necessary to prevent the spread of exotic annual weed species, which can potentially convert a burned area to a weed-dominated community. Additionally, heavy grazing by horses from the Three Fingers herd outside their management area jeopardizes the health of surrounding rangelands, wetlands, wildlife habitat, as well as the health and well-being of the Three Fingers herd.

Horses that are removed from the range will be transported to Oregon’s Wild Horse Corral Facility in Hines. The public can visit and view the horses once they arrive at the facility any time during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The horses gathered during this effort will be made available for adoption later this year.

The Vale District BLM will host public viewing days near the capture site as horses are gathered and sorted. Viewing may be scheduled on short notice but can accommodate a maximum of fifteen people each day.

Those interested in viewing can contact Larry Moore at l2moore@blm.gov or (541) 473-6218 for more information. Viewing opportunities and gather reports will be shared at: http://www.blm.gov/or/resources/whb/index.

http://www.argusobserver.com/news/vale-district-blm-postpones-wild-horse-gather/article_1bb554b4-4f67-11e6-a0bf-63236181457f.html