Stupid Alert: Just When You Think It Couldn’t Get Any More Cruel and Insane for Wild Horses and Burros

“A saying from my work culture simply goes something like this, ‘If you see it, you own it’ and with that being said, I cannot in good conscious pass idly by and ignore a letter to an editor published on a Big AG website, recently.

Mobile Slaughter Units answer to wild horse problem’ (posted below)

Two simple issues are immediately brought to light when reading that headline (of course there are many but to keep it short and sweet)

  1. What sort of demented and twisted soul would write about a concept that is both illegal and cruel?
  2. What sort of editorial staff would consider publishing such trash?

Well, to shed some light on the first question the writer of this article hails from Hermiston, OR which bears the blackeye of being home to Dave Duquette, remember him, lap dog to the now dead Sue Wallis known better as “Slaughterhouse” Sue?  Ole Dave has been trying to legally kill and eat horses for years and the folks in Hermiston have blocked his drivel about attempting to open up such a sick operation in their rural town.  Perhaps this author is the singular friend that Duquette has in town…she talks just like him.

The second question is more difficult to answer, was it for it’s shock value as the rest of the articles are boring and mundane?  Don’t know, but it is not surprising that a horse hating letter would pop up in such publication that in part caters to the welfare rancher and their sympathizers.

None the less, take a second and read the article, if you have the stomach for it,then pass by the page where it is posted and comment directly to the letter at their website.  (Posting comments to the author here will not go to the site)  Mobile slaughter units answer to wild horse problem

I am certain that the poor demented darling who penned this note is all excited about having something published, first time for everything, and that she has told her family and friends how wonderful she is…but for the sake of the wild horses and burros, let’s prove otherwise.” ~ R.T.


Mobile slaughter units answer to wild horse problem

This is the latest tourist attraction for our Public Lands? A horse organ dump ~ actual photo of dump outside of Canadian Horse Slaughter Plant

This is the latest tourist attraction for our Public Lands? A horse organ dump ~ actual photo of dump outside of Canadian Horse Slaughter Plant

The Capital Press and the East Oregonian during the past year have had articles on mobile slaughter trailers. As I read these articles I thought this might be the answer to the surplus wild (feral) horse problem faced by the BLM. They are presently holding 47,000 horses in corrals and feeding them at a cost to taxpayers of $50 million per year. I have advocated that these surplus animals be slaughtered and fed to the poor.

After visiting Iceland and rediscovering how savory horse meat can be and learning how nutritional it is, I propose it be marketed as a health food. These horses exist because of the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971. The BLM is charged with maintaining an Appropriate Management Level which presently is 26,715 animals.

Currently it is estimated there are over 67,000 roaming the land, and they are increasing at 15 to 20 percent per year. These numbers are damaging the range, waterways, grouse habitat and are fouling remote wildlife water holes.

Those animals found to be exceeding the AML should be removed, but holding them in corrals would seemingly be violating the spirit of the Wild Free-Roaming Act. Slaughter is the only logical solution and these mobile units might be the answer.

In as much as the BLM is spending over $1,000 per horse per year it would seem they would see the value of spending the $70,000 per unit mentioned in the East Oregonian article. I could see the BLM leasing these units to enterprising individuals. I can see Oregon Food Bank utilizing one or more of these units since they are always short of meat. Doing the math, it is obvious that it will take a number of these units.

Since these animals do not receive medications they would be an excellent source of an organic health food. In a recent survey 64 percent of respondents say would not eat horse meat but this would indicate that 36 percent might. Winners would be the local fabricators who would build the units and the butcher-operators who would gain steady employment. People who would like to obtain a tasty source of a nutritionally superior meat free of additives could do so.

Those who might oppose a slaughter house in their back yard might favor horse slaughter if it was removed from their neighborhood. These units might also give the wimps in the BLM and Congress the courage to do the right thing.

Carlisle Harrison

Hermiston, Ore.

Please post comments at: http://www.capitalpress.com/Opinion/Letters/20160630/mobile-slaughter-units-answer-to-wild-horse-problem

Feds Plan to Capture Oregon Wild Horses for Inhumane Experiments

Source: http://www.blm.gov/or/resources/whb/fingers2016.php

Below is unedited information from the Bureau of Land Management‘s (BLM) Oregon Office.  Don’t be duped into believing all that you read as an unpublished motive for conducting this cruel stampede is to collect “fresh” mares in various stages of pregnancies to experiment sterilization techniques upon at the Hines, holding facility.  They are currently bait trapping horses in the South Steens area and will be chasing the Three Fingers horses around with helicopters commencing at the end of this month.

Carol Walker and I visited the Hines facility and the nearby HMAs, Steens was one, just two weeks ago…you can view her report (HERE).” ~ R.T.


2016 Three Fingers Wild Horse Gather

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

The Three Fingers Herd Management Area (HMA) is 25 miles south of Vale, OR. The HMA 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. The herd population is currently estimated at 202—the Appropriate Management Level for the area is 75–150 wild horses.

Details of Gather

Our overall goal is to maintain a thriving ecological balance of the Three Fingers HMA, surrounding rangelands, to maintain the integrity of Soda Fire rehabilitation efforts and to preserve the health and well-being of the Three Fingers herd.

THREE FINGERS HERD MANAGEMENT AREA: TOTAL GATHER STATS
Total horses gathered:
Foals
Mares
Studs
Notes:
Total horses shipped to holding facilities:
Total horses released back into HMA:

Several factors have influenced the decision to gather. The most urgent factor is the impact of wild horse grazing on fire rehabilitation projects. The 2015 Soda Fire that burned nearly 280,000 acres in Idaho and Oregon did not burn into the Three Fingers HMA. However, because the herd exceeds Appropriate Management Level (AML) and due to extended drought conditions, the Three Fingers herd is grazing well outside the HMA into the area affected by the Soda Fire while searching for increasingly scarce forage and water. Protecting these fire rehabilitation areas is necessary to prevent the spread of exotic annual weed species that can potentially convert the area to a weed dominated community. In addition, the heavy horse grazing outside of the HMA is jeopardizing the health of surrounding rangelands, wetlands, wildlife habitat and ultimately, the health and well-being of the horses themselves.

Fertility control treatments will be implemented for this gather because of the need to reduce population growth. Although summer application of Porcine Zona Pellucida (PZP), an equine immunocontraceptive, has lower efficacy rates than winter applications, there is still a benefit of using this fertility control.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) proposes to gather 100 wild horses from the Three Fingers HMA and return 50 horses (25 studs and 25 mares) to the range for a population of 152 horses with the HMA following the gather.

Gathers of this HMA typically require an average of two to three temporary traps and one holding facility. Traps are typically 800 square feet in size and holding facilities are approximately 2000 square feet. Trap wing configuration will vary, depending on terrain and materials. Trap sites will be selected during the gather operations. Traps are built as close to the horses’ location as possible.

All capture and handling activities, including capture site selections, will be conducted in accordance within the guidelines identified within the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documentation which can be found here: http://1.usa.gov/28OA9rm.

Public/Media Gather Viewing Opportunities

The public is welcome to attend the Three Fingers wild horse gather and must read the Field Observation Protocol (PDF) information before visiting. Observation will be held daily during the gather, with a maximum number of 15 people attending each day.

If you are interested in observing the gather, you must contact Larry Moore at the BLM’s Vale District Office (l2moore@blm.gov or 541-473-6218) to have your name added to the viewing list. Observation will be offered in order of request. If for some reason you are not able to attend, please notify Mr. Moore as soon as possible so that your slot can be offered to the next person.

The estimated gather start date is proposed for July 26 and is expected to take no longer than four days. Dates are subject to change depending upon weather and gather operations. Some days of the gather may not provide a viewing opportunity at the capture site, due to variable circumstances such as moving the trap location (not gathering), no safe area to view activity or disguise vehicles, etc. Viewings may be canceled on short notice—perhaps the day before or the morning of the gather operation.

BLM Roundup: Blood, Guts and Death

Source: http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/prog/wild_horse_and_burro/conger-frisco_gather/gather_report_conger.html

“It’s business as usual; armed with bogus numbers/statistics and backed by welfare cattlemen the BLM has conducted yet another wild horse stampede where precious wild lives have been lost, not to mention that your hard earned tax dollars bankrolled this travesty.  (See below, in their own words)” ~ R.T.


CongerFrisco Stampede

Letter: OSU is Complicit in Wild Horse Scandal

Letter written by Janelle Ghiorso as published on Corvallis Gazette-Times

I have been trying to plead for a stop to these atrocious experiments for months and without any replies from OSU or the BLM.

I am an Oregon State University alumni from 1996. I am ashamed and shocked that OSU would partner with the Bureau of Land Management to perform unprecedented and barbaric sterilization experiments on the wild horses that belong to all Americans!

Photo by Carol Walker of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Photo by Carol Walker of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

The BLM and ranching interests want these horses eliminated and continue to make absurd overpopulation claims in order to get backing for cutting the population. Any educated person knows what happens when the mares are sterilized! The wild horses will decline and eventually be eliminated. Aside from the pain and suffering the horses will be subjected to in the immediate future, the BLM and ranchers and the big bucks OSU makes from jumping on this corrupt and selfish agenda is worse than shameful!

I will never feel the same about the university. I am among a majority of Americans who prefer the continued freedom of these symbols of freedom in America, not their zeroing out via sterilization! I guess the only thing that matters to OSU is money!

How many residents are aware of the partnership between OSU and the BLM in a horrible attempt to destroy our iconic wild horses in Hines, Oregon? I have been trying to plead for a stop to these atrocious experiments for months and without any replies from OSU or the BLM. There are countless cattle on the range and there lies the real problem. The horses are being scapegoated.

Janelle Ghiorso
Sonora, Calif. (June 28)

Wild Horses and Burros: Twin Peaks and Buckhorn Herd Areas

June 2016 Report by:

Jesica Johnston, Environmental Scientist and
Grandma Gregg, Environmental Researcher
Photographs by Jesica Johnston

Introduction

Buckhorn Road - Wild Horse and Burro Herd Area

Buckhorn Road – Wild Horse and Burro Herd Area

I wish I was in the high desert with our wild horses and burros this very minute … but, I am sitting here at the computer and trying to think how to explain to people what a magnificent world our public lands and wildlife are and how magical it is to actually be there soaking up the fresh air and sounds of the songbirds and screech of the hawks and smell of the sage and the beauty of the wildflowers and landscape and especially what a thrill it is to actually be in the presence of our native wild horses and burros. In the wild.

As two experienced wildlife observers, we searched for two days for wild horses and burros and other wildlife in Northern California-Nevada Twin Peaks and Buckhorn Wild Horse and Burro Herd Areas. These areas are specifically designated for the protection of our wild horses and burros and is subject to the management of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). We traveled approximately 155 miles over 2 days and spent over 17 hours in the two herd areas. We drove slowly with many stops; some off-road hiking and almost constant searching with binoculars for signs of wild horses and wild burros. After 2 days, a total of only 25 wild horses and 5 wild burros were observed in total in the two herd areas. Of those, we saw no burro foals, two wild horse foals and two yearlings. All observed horses and burros appeared to in excellent physical condition. What was most obvious in our journey was the notable absence of signs of wild horses and burros or even tracks and traces of them like trailing, or stud piles on their legally authorized acres of public land. There was a noticeable absence of our wild equines and those we saw were very few and far between.

During our survey there were times that only a short distance could be seen due to canyon walls, but for the majority of the time we could see for more than a mile in all directions and further with binoculars. This allows us to estimate that approximately 18% of the Twin Peaks HMA and 27% of the Buckhorn HMA were observed as a rough approximation plus additional areas observed twice. Even though time and mileage were documented and a map available, herd area boundaries are vaguely marked, so some mileage and hours in the herd areas are rounded or estimated

Thursday 6/9/2016

Twin Peaks Wild Horse and Burro Herd Area: 54 miles, 7 ½ hours – Rye Patch Road, Big Springs, Painter’s Flat and Horne Ranch Road Areas

 On day one, our first sighting of a wild horse family was a band we have seen before on the herd area near highway 395. There are now two stallions and two mares, a yearling and new foal in this group. They have made this area their home range for at least a few years now. Although wild horses do often roam, they typically have home ranges where they feel safe and where they know where the water and forage resources are available to them. Other wildlife we saw on the herd areas were a golden eagle and its nest, ravens, vultures, hawks, jackrabbits and cotton tail rabbits, water birds and many song birds, ground squirrels and several small herds of pronghorn antelope, mule deer and sadly a dead adolescent mountain lion on the edge of the herd area. BLM continually states that there are no predators in the Twin Peaks herd area but years of observation by many people have proven that to be inaccurate. Both live and dead mountain lions have been seen on the herd area. Two years ago a big healthy stallion was photographed with a massive open-wound neck injury believed to have been caused by a mountain lion as the stallion was protecting its family. In recent years, a full grown mare was found half-eaten and foals have been observed and then disappeared within a few weeks. In this herd area, mountain lions are a contributing factor in self-regulating and stabilizing the population for wild horses and burros. It is nature’s way.

The Twin Peaks Herd Area contains diverse ecosystems with both year-round streams and forage and juniper trees as well as dry high-desert regions. Most of the forage is recovering since the massive 2012 Rush wildfire although miles of dead Juniper trees and the post-fire highly invasive and non-native cheat grass can be seen everywhere. The few places of BLM’s post-fire plantings of native shrubs show no sign of life and only the plastic wrappers are left to show the shrubs were even planted. This worthless and costly planting was at our tax money expense and more importantly demonstrates mismanagement of our public lands by BLM.

Except for the fact that most native juniper trees had been burned past the point of recovery and the fact that the highly invasive cheat grass was seen covering many acres of what once was good native grasses, the forage in this area was lush and showed almost no sign of grazing. There are only a few small bands of wild horses and burros in this area that have been documented and it appeared that private/corporate domestic cattle had not yet been turned out in this Spanish Springs area. The grasses were at least knee high and the variety of many colored wild flowers flourished.

Spanish Springs Wild Horse Family

Spanish Springs Wild Horse Family

After many miles without seeing any wild horses or burros we spotted a massive bay stallion grazing in the distance. He was stunning and in the prime of his life but he was all alone. We were almost at Big Spring and decided to have lunch in this incredibly beautiful spot with a flowing stream and where we could see the big bay stallion and he could see us too. Although he watched us with curiosity and kept a big distance between us, he didn’t move away. He peacefully grazed and we peacefully snacked on our lunch and listened to the multitude of meadow larks sing.

Something amusing happened as we headed out near Painter’s Flat. Just as we both started to simultaneously remark about the five burros we had seen near some junipers about three years ago, suddenly we spotted the same five burros in the same exact spot. The burros were easily identifiable because one was noticeably very light colored. These burros had obviously found their niche in nature. As they stood motionless and facing us, they almost appeared to be statues. Although seeing the same burros in the same exact spot three years later might have been a coincidence, it certainly gave us insight to burro behavior and family units and reminded us that in the “big picture” of the world, nature judges time almost in another dimension.

We had a goal to try to get to a particular place near Accommodation Springs which is further into the back-country of the Twin Peaks Herd Area. This was a place where many wild horses had recently been photographed from the air during an independent wild horses and burro survey. When we finally arrived it was obvious that the large group had long-since dispersed and the only signs of them now were some old tracks in the dry mud and some old weather beaten manure. It was many miles of very slow and very bumpy “roads” to get to this spot. We observed an abundance of forage and plenty of water in this part of Twin Peaks but no wild horses or burros were to be found and no fresh manure or stud piles, but it was definitely a challenging and remote area of the Twin Peaks area to visit. The road as seen below is definitely one that has not been traveled frequently or recently.

The final leg of our first day’s journey gave us a chance to see the often photographed pair of wild horses known as “Sox” and his very pregnant mare “Sage”. This pair of wild horses has been documented as having survived the massive Rush wildfire in 2012 and as having foals in the recent years but not a single foal survived to the age of yearling. Because this part of the Herd Area has rich vegetation and easily available water and because both the mare and the stallion are in prime condition it is a representation of low foal survival even in a prime location within the herd area.

Twin Peaks and Buckhorn Wild Horse and Burro Herd Areas: 101 miles, 9 ½ hours – Buckhorn Reservoir, Buckhorn Byway, Round Coral, Pilgrim Lake, Burnt Lake, Dodge Reservoir and Rye Patch Road Areas.

We know that nature operates in cycles and it was great to see that Round Corral, Dodge, Buckhorn and Pilgrim Reservoirs/Lakes were once again brimming with water after the past few years of low precipitation; although we found no wild horses or burros near any of those water sources.

What we did find here were 500+ domestic sheep grazing in the middle of Burnt Lake. This is an example of BLM’s setting up wild horses and burros for failure by allowing livestock to strip the nutritious forage earlier in the year leaving the wild horses and burros very little to survive on during the winter months. This is also an example of BLM’s mismanagement of our riparian areas on our public lands and an example of favoritism to the domestic livestock ranchers. As with some other parts of the west, in this Northeast part of California ranchers take precedence on the public lands. In addition, BLM generally attributes this kind of riparian damage and over-use to the wild equine.

Livestock grazing has damaged approximately 80% of stream and riparian ecosystems in the western United States. Although riparian areas compose only 0.5-1.0% of the overall landscape, a disproportionately large percentage of approximately 70-80% of all desert shrub, and grassland plants and animals depend on them. The introduction of livestock into these areas 100-200 years ago has caused significant ecological disturbances. Livestock seek out water, succulent forage, and shade in riparian areas, leading to trampling and overgrazing of stream banks, soil erosion, loss of stream bank stability, declining water quality, and drier, hotter conditions. These changes have reduced critical habitat for riparian plant species and wildlife, thereby causing many native species to decline in number or go locally extinct.

Anyone who has read the BLM assessments regarding wild horses and burros doing damage to riparian areas should be aware that we do not find any wild horses or burros in large numbers in water ways or riparian areas. In contrast, we have observed and documented mass amounts of privately owned livestock being grazed in riparian areas. See below past year photos of livestock damage on the Twin Peaks herd area – cattle inside water trough and sheep in the Pilgrim lake bed.

Grazing livestock on public lands disturbs natural ecosystems and throws off the thriving natural ecological balance that the BLM is responsible to obtain on behalf of the public.  See excerpt below from a very informative book that is a must read for those that care about protecting the future of our public lands.

The majority of the American public does not know that livestock grazing in the arid West has caused more damage than the chainsaw and bulldozer combined. Welfare Ranching: The Subsidized Destruction of the American West is a book featuring articles and photographs by expert authors and photographers on the severe negative impacts of livestock grazing on western public lands. http://www.publiclandsranching.org/book.htm

Twice we visited the area of Rye Patch Road looking for the white stallion “Magic” and his family that we have been observing for a few years, but they were not to be found. We hope that Magic and his band are up in the surrounding hills enjoying the lush forage and bubbliing springs as he and all wild horses deserve and are legally entitled to under the Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act.

Toward the end of our two long days of searching, we were thrilled to finally see one small wild horse band that we have been following for about four years. We call them the little Spanish family because they are usually found not far from the Spanish Springs area of Twin Peaks. This band has a bay stallion, charcoal grey mare and bay and black offspring and this year a new foal!

What was most obvious is the notable absence of wild horses and burros on these legally authorized herd areas. It may seem trivial to some people, but anyone who has ever looked for wild horses and burros knows that seeing tracks and manure piles is a very important clue to the whereabouts and number of wild equines in an area. Therefore, manure or stud piles are encouraging to see for wild horse and burro researchers, observers, and photographers. When searching for bands of wild horses a few stud piles is generally the first and most obvious sign of horse activity.

These large piles of manure are territorial markings left by
stallions. Recent horse activity is determined by the freshness of these piles. Repeated defecation in a particular area results in accumulation of fecal matter into large mounds, which are known as “stud piles”. These stud piles are particularly useful as a means of communication and declares to other horses not only who the horse is, but also how recently the horse had been there.  For this reason, a stallion tends to defecate over his own feces as this notifies others of his continued presence and avoids unnecessary conflict. For persons looking for wild horses a stud pile is a clear sign of horses in the area and the lack of stud piles is an indication of the absence of wild horses and burros in that area.

Final Thoughts

The few wild horses and burros we observed in the Twin Peaks herd area are in great condition with shiny coats and healthy weight but unfortunately, we recognized that there are very few of them to be found on their congressionally designated land. These ground surveys are extremely important in order to document band locations, animal and resource conditions as well as impacts of livestock grazing, juniper removal and fire restoration.

BLM’s nearby Litchfield wild horse and burro holding facility near Susanville, California appeared to be about one-third full with approximately 300 wild horses and burros still standing in a “feedlot” situation, while literally just over the hill the legally designated wild horse and burro herd area is noticeably absent of wild horses and burros. These wild horse and burro captives have no shade from sun and no shelter from the winter winds and snow and have lost their families forever.

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.

Mules Ears and Observation Peak

Mules Ears and Observation Peak

BLM’s latest wild horse and burro population estimate for this Twin Peaks area is approximately 1935 wild horses and 518 wild burros but independent aerial and field surveys indicate there are far fewer remaining out there on their Congressionally designated lands. Of course, regardless of the mode of transport when independently surveying this Herd Area, we do not expect to see all of the wild ones but after numerous independent observations over many years, it is more than obvious that BLM’s population estimates are exaggerated. And now they are proposing to capture and remove wild horses and burros from the Twin Peaks Herd Area continually for the next ten years.

The BLM says our wild horses and burros on this Twin Peaks herd area are over their ill-conceived appropriate management level (AML). Thus far, no objective, scientifically supportable and credible surveys of wild horse and burro populations have been done by any government agency. The total Twin Peaks Herd Area land could support more than 4,618 wild horses per BLM’s “240 acres per wild horse” statement. Under the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act, Wild Horse and Burro Herd Areas are to be managed “principally, but not necessarily exclusively to their welfare” (WFRHBA, 1971). In the Twin Peaks Herd Area, livestock are permitted to use 82% of the forage allocations; where wild horses and burros are provided less than 18% of the available forage allocations.

As the district court explained in Dahl v. Clark, the test as to appropriate wild horse population levels is whether such levels will achieve and maintain a thriving, ecological balance on the public lands. Nowhere in the law or regulations is the BLM required to maintain any specific numbers of animals or to maintain populations in the numbers of animals existing at any particular time. The only law that requires the BLM to maintain populations is the 1971 Congressional law. The law must be followed and the law states, “that wild free-roaming wild horses and burros are to be considered in the area where presently found [1971]. As an integral part of the natural ecosystem of the public lands”. Thus, an AML established purely for BLM administrative reasons because it was the level of the wild horse and/or burro use at a particular point in time or imagined to be an advantageous population for BLM cannot be justified under statute.

“We do not agree with the BLM’s position that our statement reveals a misunderstanding about how BLM develops its appropriate management levels. We understand that wild horse levels are prepared as part of the land use planning process mandate by FLFNA. However, we do not believe that a level can be justified as representing a sound management decision merely because it is recorded in a land use plan. If a level is developed without regard to land conditions or wild horse range impact, its inclusion in the land use plan does not make it more useful or appropriate. In this connection, BLM provides no evidence to refute our finding (along with the finding of Interior’s Board of Land Appeals) that wild horse levels are being established arbitrarily without a sound factual basis.” The Report 1990 the Government Accountability Office (GAO)http://www.gao.gov/assets/150/149472.pdf

Per the 1971 Congressional Act, the land is to be devoted “principally”, but not exclusively, to the wild horses’ and wild burros’ welfare in keeping with the multiple-use management concept of public lands.   Definition of “principally” is first, highest, foremost in importance, rank, worth or degree, chief, mainly, largely, chiefly, especially, particularly, mostly, primarily, above all, predominantly, in the main, for the most part, first and foremost.

There are no “excess” wild horses and burros on their legally designated lands and certainly not on the Twin Peaks and Buckhorn Herd Areas. 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.

Modern equids are survivors. Equids evolved to be resilient herd animals, migrating between resources with the seasons. They are long-lived, and populations are able to persist through droughts and harsh winters if their numbers are sufficiently large and interconnected. This resiliency allows them to thrive on some of the most marginal grazing habitat so long as they have regular access to water and room to roam. Modern equids are limited, however, in their ability to thrive in a world increasingly dominated by humans.

Although hopeful, our many trips to Twin Peaks always start with the optimism that we will see many of the wild horses and burros that BLM states are currently living on the Twin Peaks Herd Area. Regardless of the number or background or age or experience of observers or the time of year or the many miles and many hours and many days that have been spent over the many years by many independent observers searching and regardless of the mode of transport – be it hiking or driving or flying over the herd areas only a very small population of wild equines can be found. Instead, we find… miles and miles of beautiful open public land with very few wild horses and burros.

References and More Information and Videos

Twin Peaks 2011 Master’s Thesis by Jesica Johnston: http://csus-dspace.calstate.edu/handle/10211.9/1492

Twin Peaks Independent Aerial Survey Video: Counting Wild Horses: An Aerial Tour of Twin Peaks Wild Horse and Burro Habitat

Twin Peaks Independent Aerial Survey Report: https://rtfitchauthor.com/2014/02/15/twin-peaks-wild-horse-and-burro-aerial-population-survey/

2012 Rush Fire Report: https://rtfitchauthor.com/2012/10/08/twin-peaks-rush-creek-wild-fire-report-where-are-all-the-wild-horses-and-burros/

Twin Peaks May 2013 Report: https://rtfitchauthor.com/2013/05/31/citizen-report-wild-horses-notably-absent-from-california-herd-area-after-blm-roundup-and-fire/

Twin Peaks August 2013 Report: https://rtfitchauthor.com/2013/08/28/exclusive-wild-horse-and-wild-burro-good-news-and-bad-news-from-twin-peaks-hma/

Wild Horse Population Growth Research Report: https://rtfitchauthor.com/2014/04/28/report-wild-horse-population-growth/

Twin Peaks October 2013 Report: https://rtfitchauthor.com/2013/11/02/exclusive-report-where-have-all-the-wild-horses-and-burros-gone/

Twin Peaks June 2014 Report: https://rtfitchauthor.com/2014/06/23/field-report-life-and-death-wild-horses-and-burros-of-twin-peaks/

Twin Peaks October 2014 Report: https://rtfitchauthor.com/2014/10/30/wild-horses-and-burros-twin-peaks-coppersmith-and-buckhorn-herd-management-areas-october-2014/

Twin Peaks video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llb8jejdBt0&feature=youtu.be

Twin Peaks video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDxWwfsclIQ

Twin Peaks video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0nKi7Ai7pM

Survey of Livestock Influences on Stream and Riparian Ecosystems in the Western United States http://lshs.tamu.edu/docs/lshs/end-notes/survey%20of%20livestock%20influences%20on%20stream%20and%20ri-1577607170/survey%20of%20livestock%20influences%20on%20stream%20and%20riparian%20ecosystems%20in%20the%20western%20united%20states.pdf

To download report complete with photos click (HERE)
To download BLM Twin Peaks Letter to Interested Parties click (HERE)

 

Call to Action: Strike Back Against Bogus Wild Horse & Burro Resource Committee

Prologue by R.T. Fitch, co-founder/president of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

idoiots“Remember that idiot, dog and pony show put on by the League of Horse Haters in DC several weeks ago? (click HERE) Well here’s your chance to both fight back and have your voice heard.

We have been told that the Committee is accepting public input until the end of business, tomorrow, July 6th.

A friend of SFTHH has taken the time to pen a rather poignant note as an example for you to use, below. It should be sent, with your personal information inserted, to the email address listed below.   Likewise, please send to your Congressional Representative (to find your Rep. click (HERE) and to your Senator.

With the celebration of our freedom showcased by the 4th of July fresh in our minds, what better way to dedicate one’s self than to lock down the liberty and freedom of our nation’s wild horses and burros.

Please, for the safety, security and future welfare of our wild equines, email or fax your letter today.

Keep the faith.” ~ R.T.


July 5, 2016
 
Natural Resources Committee
Attn: Tom McClintock
 
It is clearly visible that last week’s Natural Resources committee meeting led by Tom McClintock, was a clear example of regulatory capture of an agency – the Bureau of Land Management. The information provided to the committee was not scientifically supported and not credible – especially the populations of the public’s wild horses and wild burros both on the range and in the holding facilities. The proposed and recent wild horse captures and removals and sterilization procedures are completely politically and monetarily motivated decisions. This is not in keeping with the law or the wishes of the American people who own the land and who own the wild horses and wild burros – it is completely biased and favored toward special “favored” interest groups. This in itself is illegal and often called “Regulatory Capture”.
 
Regulatory capture is a form of political corruption that occurs when a regulatory agency, created to act in the public interest, instead advances the commercial or special concerns of interest groups that dominate the industry or sector it is charged with regulating. Regulatory capture is a form of government failure; it creates an opening for firms to behave in ways injurious to the public (e.g., producing negative externalities). The agencies are called “captured agencies”.
 
For the past 40 plus years the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and associates have been chipping away at these legal wild horse and wild burro lands and obviously the recovery and reinstatement of wild horses and wild burros would be unfavorable to any 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, illegal and the American citizens including me are disgusted at the “sell-out” of our lands and resources by the agency that is responsible to protect them … the Bureau of Land Management.
 
I require each of the committee members and speakers admit to the public their political and financial connections to the agencies and private/corporate benefactors of the destruction of the wild horses and wild burros and the selling leasing of our public lands and resources – i.e. admit their connection to regulatory capture and then remove all committee members and speakers who have this conflict of interest which will be a big step in returning our country to the great America it truly is.
 
Sincerely,
(your name)
(your email)
 
Receipt Requested
Response Requested

Revisit: Multi-Millionaire Cowpoke Ladd Drummond & Pioneer Woman put on explosive fireworks show for wild horses AGAIN!

by Debbie Coffey, V.P. and Director of Wild Horse Affairs, Wild Horse Freedom Federation

After two years in print, this article continues to get hundreds of reads every week and is the most commented article on SFTHH!

Click (HERE) to review.

Lummis Talks Hate and Bloodshed for American Wild Horses and Burros

Prologue by R.T. Fitch, article by David Louis as published in the Rawlins Daily Times

“Who would have thunk it, Wyoming’s infamous and now deceased “Slaughterhouse” Sue Wallis is speaking from the grave through her mouthpiece, Rep. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo.  Once a buddy of ole dead Sue, Lummis has now positioned herself to be on a committee that may, or may not, have sway over what happens to our beloved wild equines.  Like her former horse eating buddy, Lummis spews lightly veiled rhetoric on how we must butcher and kill off our protected wild horses and burros to make way for government subsidized, welfare cattle that are privately owned by the ranchers who fund her political aspirations; remember that one slimy hand washes the other.

Below is an unedited article where Lummis is said to boast about “taking aim” at you and me; tax paying Americans who see the big picture and strive towards persevering our public lands for the benefit of generations yet to come.  To coin a much overused phrase I say, “Off with her head!” in hopes of seeing yet another damsel of depravity slip off into the slimy darkness from whence she came.

Evil simply does not learn and keeps repeating itself over and over again while utilizing the same tired and failed methods.  But keep the faith, with your help, truth and honesty shall prevail.” ~ R.T.


Wyoming Congresswoman Mocks Advocates While Recommending Death and Slaughter to Wild Equines

Rep. Cynthia Lummis (WY) channeling "Slaughterhouse" Sue Wallis' horse hater rhetoric

Rep. Cynthia Lummis (WY) channeling “Slaughterhouse” Sue Wallis’ horse hater rhetoric

RAWLINS — As a member on the U.S. House Natural Resources subcommittee for public lands, Rep. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo. joined her fellow lawmakers last week taking dead aim at groups who advocate against euthanizing wild horses.

Although the committee realized it was taking on an issue that does not have any easy answers, Lummis stressed that the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act is not being followed.

The law requires the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to remove wild horses from private land, if requested by the landowner, and also allows for their destruction if wild horses held by the agency are not adopted.

However, because of Congressional direction, BLM has not been allowed to slaughter wild horses for several years.

Compounding the issue, since 2012 Congress has required anyone who adopts a wild horse to contractually agree not to resell them for slaughter. The BLM has argued against lifting that restriction.

“This is a terrible problem without a good solution,” Lummis said. “The fact is that the law requires the BLM to maintain range resources in good condition. But this does not square with animal rights activists’ view of wild horses as the superior species on the range.”

According to the Associated Press, BLM Deputy Director Steve Ellis expressed his frustration during last week’s testimony, offering a glimpse of the challenges facing the agency that has been struggling for decades with what is described as a $1 billion problem.

During the at-times emotional hearing, highlights included Nevada’s state veterinarian calling for the roundup and surgical sterilization in every overpopulated herd, followed by a protester who briefly interrupted with shouts denouncing “welfare ranchers” turning public lands into “feedlots.”

“I was surprised that we had an animal rights activist come to the meeting who disrupted it so thoroughly that the Capitol Police had to be called,” Lummis said. “I don’t want to be insensitive, but when people come and testify saying ‘no’ to everything, they are being inflexible, unrealistic and emotional.”

Lummis knows that the question of how to control the wild horse population is a political football and passions run deep; she doubts that common ground will be found.

“I’m not sure we all do want the same thing. People assume and assert if you take all the cattle off the range then everything will be fine. That’s simply not the case,” she said.

“Now BLM is experimenting with castration and neutering, and activists find that unacceptable. The problem I had with the disruptive witness was that she wanted no castration. No neutering. No holding pens. All she wanted was horses released from government corrals and turned back out onto the range.”

During subcommittee testimony, Ellis estimated there were 67,000 wild horses and burros on federal land in 10 states, 2.5 times more than the range can support.

However, government corrals and leased pastures are maxed out, where 47,000 horses nationwide cost taxpayers about $50,000 per head over the course of the animal’s lifetime.

“You can’t give the activists what they want and responsibly manage the land,” Lummis said.

“There are way too many horses on the range to do this, and they are way over objective population numbers. Wild horses double in number every four to seven years and this is completely unsustainable. We don’t do that with elk. We don’t do that with deer, don’t do that with any other wild specie.”

Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., chairman of the House Natural Resources subcommittee on public lands, objected to those who stood staunchly against euthanizing wild horses “and yet seem perfectly willing to watch them succumb to excruciating death by starvation, dehydration and disease.”

“That is the future we condemn these animals to if we don’t intervene now,” the California Republican said.

“I don’t know if there is common ground among us that can be found to create a win-win strategy with every single horse,” Lummis said, “but there have been some successes.”

The first of its kind in the United States, the Deerwood Ranch Wild Horse EcoSanctuary, located 35 miles west of Laramie, is home to a heard of 130 wild horses. Open fields invite long runs and lazy afternoon grazing.

The BLM established the EcoSanctuary project in 2013.

“I would think this type of an arrangement, although expensive for the taxpayers, would be an acceptable alternative, but advocates are opposed to neutering these animals,” Lummis said. “Until this hearing I didn’t realize just how unrealistic and unachievable the activist’s goals are.”

Though no one has come up with a one-size-fits-all solution to managing the wild horse population, and Lummis doubts there ever will be one, there are other alternatives that may include euthanizing animals in government pens, she said.

“I think that humanely euthanizing the animals and disposing of their remains without using them for food is certainly an acceptable alternative,” she said. “I could go either way, but if we can find the ultimate, compassionate, calming process — that’s a better alternative than holding them in pens until they die of old age.”

Many in the top jobs at BLM admit the wild horse program is broken and straining under its own weight.

“The committee understands BLM is between the ultimate rock and hard place,” Lummis said.

“I think this is an impossible situation on a large scale to find a solution that is acceptable for everyone. I suspect BLM is as frustrated as I am. I don’t fault the BLM. They are trying to thread the needle so that they are not beaten to a bloody pulp by people who are against them.”

Click this link to comment directly on the Daily Times: http://www.rawlinstimes.com/news/2016/06/lummis-takes-on-horse-advocates/

Gruesome Wild Mare Sterilization Experiments by BLM & Oregon State University Begin Next Month

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Beautiful family in South Steens

Source:  wildhoofbeats.com

By Carol Walker, Dir. of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation

I just returned from 5 days in Burns, Oregon, and while I was there, the BLM finally released their Decision Record for the Mare Sterilization Experiments that they are planning to do at the Short Term Holding Corrals in Hines, Oregon.

Here it is:

http://www.wildhoofbeats.com/FONSI06242016MareSterilization.pdf

They had been sitting on this decision and not releasing it to the public for at least a month, no doubt since it is spectacularly unpopular with the American public. Despite thousands of emailed and mailed comments sent to the BLM in opposition to the plan, as well as thousands more emails and phone calls to Oregon State University, who will be supervising and overseeing the cruel and barbaric experiments, the BLM has tuned a deaf ear and plans to go forward with this, the first in a series of sterilizations for our wild horses. 225 wild mares will be sterilized using three different procedures.

You might ask why. It is because sterilization is the keystone in the BLM’s long term goal of completely eradicating our wild horses from our public lands. Despite hysterical claims of Congressmen and BLM while pushing for approval of the 2017 Appropriations Bill, there is no overpopulation of wild horses and burros on our public lands. In fact, in the vast majority of wild horse herds there are not even enough adult members to ensure genetic viability  – 150 minimum according to the leading geneticist for wild horses, Dr. Gus Cothren.

Why am I opposed to this sterilization study of wild mares? First of all, our wild horses do not belong in holding corrals, nor should they be experimented upon like lab rats.

Second, 100 mares in this study are going to be in various stages of pregnancy. The outdated, dangerous and barbaric procedure of ovierectomy via colpotomy will be used by veterinarian Leon Pielstick, and using this method which is NOT used any more because there are much better, safer and more humane methods available. The mares in the early stages of pregnancy are likely to absorb their foals, while those in the later stages may abort their foals. Then there is serious risk of infection given that they are doing the procedures at the Hines Short Term Holding Facility which is anything but a sterile environment, and there is risk of evisceration, hemorrhaging, colic and death. Despite extremely compelling letters from respected equine veterinarians against using this procedure, this will go forward.

Wild mares have never been touched by humans. Even coming close to the fence at the Hines corrals scared these mares. Can you imagine how terrified and panicked these wild mares will be, forced into this squeeze chute, restrained, tranquilized, and being operated upon? Many mares will simply die of fright.

Another very disturbing aspect of this experimentation is the sterilization of foals. They plan to sterilize fillies over 8 months old – they only have to weigh 250 pounds, and they will do laser ablation. Torture of foals who in the wild would still be nursing their mothers is absolutely outrageous. In the wild, fillies don’t usually leave their families until 1 1/2 years old to or 3 years old, once they reach esterus.

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Mare and foal in South Steens

Where will these mares come from? Currently at the Hines facility there are 400 wild mares and fillies who were rounded up from the Beaty Butte HMA in November, 2015. But most of the mares have already foaled so they need “fresh mares” that are still pregnant. We were told that 100 more mares will be taken from two upcoming Oregon roundups in the fall at both the Three Fingers Herd Management Area, which will be rounded up by helicopter, and mares from the South Steens Herd which will be bait trapped.

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Mare and foal in South Steens

Three Fingers:

http://www.blm.gov/or/resources/whb/jackiebutte-threefingers_gather.php

South Steens:

http://www.blm.gov/or/districts/burns/files/BU_SouthSteensBaitTrapGather_July1.pdf

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Peacefully grazing in the early morning in South Steens

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Will these two South Steens Fillies be in the experiment?

Visiting the South Steens Herd for the first time, I was charmed by these gorgeous, healthy horses whose families were large and who seemed to be very peaceful in close proximity to each other. I tried not to think about what was going to happen to some of these spectacular horses in the herd that is a favorite to many, in a few short months. The horses would be losing their homes, their families, and some will end up being experimented upon and possibly dying. It was also hard to imagine that the wild horses are overpopulating the area given that I counted over 300 head of cattle in the same area, courtesy of the Roaring Springs Ranch.

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE HERE.

Carol’s website is http://www.wildhoofbeats.com/ and you can see her photography of wild horses at http://www.livingimagescjw.com/

 

BLM Wild Horse Butcher Shop: Opening Soon in Oregon

text and photos by R.T. Fitch

BLM Recipe for Unimaginable Cruelty:

  • 1 part mares over 11 years
  • 1 part 8 month old fillies
  • 1 part pregnant mares
  • 3 parts non-sterile instruments and environment
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”

First begin by sorting your current inventory of captured mares. Segregate the old useless mares into one corral, first. Repeat the process for 8-month-old fillies but be sure to separate your pregnant mares into the three stages of gestation for ease of identification.

Assess your on-hand supply; if short on quantity needed to satisfy blood lust initiate cruel and destructive bait trapping and helicopter roundups in both South Steens and Three Fingers HMAs.

Steens HMA wild horse family, about to be destroyed by BLM

Steens HMA wild horse family, about to be destroyed by BLM

Once fully stocked with frightened wild horse mares and babies locate a suitable location to prepare the gruesome concoction; any unsanitary, non-sterile environment such as a dusty, fly ridden, feces filled corral area will do.

You are now ready to proceed with an unprecedented attack upon America’s federally protected wild horses and the complete disregard for the will of the tax-paying American public.

If in doubt on the proper slash and dash techniques feel free to contact your local, unethical, state funded College for mindless guidance on how to torture and ultimately doom wild mares and babies to a gruesome and grisly death.

Home of BLM butcher shop at Hines holding facility

Home of BLM butcher shop at Hines holding facility

As you proceed be certain to rush the process with little regard for the lives that you are destroying. Be sure to cause as much pain and misery as possible. Ensure that the public has no access to your operation. Once completed give minimal oversight for recovery and survival.

Next, log your statistics of deaths and survivors in a secret journal and be certain to sell any surviving mares and babies off to slaughter so as to remove any form of evidence from the American public.

Congratulations, you are now qualified to prepare your deadly concoction on wild mares and babies in the wild and on the range; rest assured, you have made BLM management and their special interest bedfellows (Welfare Ranchers) very proud.