Protected: Salt River wild horse preservation begins in 2018

By Ashlee DeMartino, 3TV/CBS 5

“We are a little slow on the draw, here, but hats off to Simone and our good friends at Salt River Wild Horse Management Group, job well done.” ~ R.T.


The Salt River Wild Horse Management Group celebrated with champagne. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

SALT RIVER, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) – With champagne in hand, the volunteers with the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group chanted and cheered on Monday.

“We are not just celebrating New Year’s today, we are celebrating that we preserved a true piece of Arizona history,” said Simone Netherlands from the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group.

The Salt River wild horses are officially protected.

“They are protected from harassment, from shooting. They are protected from someone causing them any injury and protected from slaughter,” said Netherlands.

[RELATED: Advocates of wild horses deliver 300,000 signature petition to Sen. Flake]

If anyone is caught doing any harm to the horses, they will face a misdemeanor charge.

“I think everyone is thrilled at this that they get to stay,” said state Rep. Kelly Townsend, R-Mesa.

The group, along with Rep. Townsend have spent two and a half years working with the Governor’s Office, the U.S. Forest Service and the Arizona Agriculture Department.

“It was a long drawn out effort and so such pleasure to finally be done with it and start to move forward with management,” said Townsend.

The next step is to work with a nonprofit on humanely managing the horses.

The Salt River Wild Horse Management Group hopes they will be chosen to do so.

“So glad future generations will see these amazing historic animals that have been here for hundreds of years,” said Netherlands.

“If there’s [sic] the seven wonders of Arizona our horses would at least be in the top three,” said Townsend.

NM Memorial Means to Murder Wild Horses

Unedited Report from The Taos News

“A Senate Joint Memorial wants the U.S. Department of Interior to better manage a growing wild horse population even if that means euthanasia and unrestricted sales to people who might haul the animals off to meat-packing plants in Mexico…”

The memorial is sponsored by Sen. Pat Wood, a Republican from Broadview, New Mexico, who represents Curry, Quay and Union counties.

New Mexico’s Wild Horse’s Fate?

More than 50,000 wild horses now roam public lands, and too few people exist to adopt them all, according to a legislative analysis of the bill.

The memorial asks the federal government to “follow the federal Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act and utilize all of the management tools provided in that act, including unrestricted sales and euthanasia, to achieve ecologically sustainable wild horse and burro populations. Additionally, this memorial encourages Congress to restore funding to that department to facilitate those activities.”

The memorial will be heard first in the Senate Rules Committee, but with barely a week left in the legislative session, not much time is left for the bill to wend its way to a final vote from both houses.

Carson National Forest has one band of wild horses on the El Rito Ranger District.

http://www.taosnews.com/stories/memorial-seeks-to-reduce-wild-horse-herds,46088

BLM Investigates Killings Of Wild Horses In Red Desert; Reward Offered

“While the killings happened in November and January, she didn’t know why the BLM chose to delay releasing the information until now, she said.”

Source:  K2Radio.com

(photo:  Getty images)

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is investigating the deaths of five federally protected wild horses that were found on public land in Wyoming’s Red Desert, a BLM spokeswoman said Tuesday.

“We’re also offering a reward of $1,000 for information that leads to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or people involved in the death of these horses,” said Sarah Beckwith, BLM spokeswoman for the Lander field office that covers the Wyoming, Wind River, Bighorn Basin District.

Beckwith said three horse corpses were found in early November: one on Green Mountain, and two near the Three Forks/Atlantic City Road in the Pickett Lake area.

Two more horses were found in mid-January near the same road south of Crooks Mountain.

“Preliminary findings suggest that all five horses were shot,” Beckwith said, adding she doesn’t have any other information about how they were shot.

While the killings happened in November and January, she didn’t know why the BLM chose to delay releasing the information until now, she said.

Read the rest of this article HERE.

 

Judge Gives Yellowstone Bison Second Chance For Endangered Species Protections

as published on Wyoming Public Media

A federal judge ordered the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to reconsider its decision to deny Endangered Species Act protections for the Yellowstone bison.

The service initially concluded there was not enough evidence that the buffalo needed protection under the Endangered Species Act back in 2015. A study by Natalie Halbert, a research assistant at Texas A&M, showed current management techniques for the mammal are harmful and would benefit from the Endangered Species Act protections.

Currently, bison are managed as one herd. But Josh Osher, Montana director for Western Watersheds Project, said studies show they should be managed as two distinct herds. One of the studies was done by Natalie Halbert, through Texas A&M.

“Halbert’s findings suggested that management approach can endanger the genetic integrity of one or both of those subpopulations,” said Osher.

The judge ruled this week that the service must thoroughly consider all scientific evidence, including Halbert’s study. Now U.S. Fish and Wildlife service must redo their original 90-day finding blocking protections.

“Unless the Fish and Wildlife Service can say somehow the Halbert study is an error and not appropriate to be used for consideration,” said Osher, “then the Fish and Wildlife will have to find that bison may be warranted for listing and move on to their more stringent 12-month review.”

Conservationists are hoping this a right step towards adding the mammal to the endangered species list.

http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/judge-gives-yellowstone-bison-second-chance-endangered-species-protections#stream/0

Zinke Flips Westerners the Bird

by Jesse Prentice-Dunn as published on WestWise

Interior Secretary set to ignore overwhelming public feedback in scrapping landmark sage-grouse conservation plans

Dinky Zinke, “Ya buddy, I could pop-off one of those puffed up puppies right now.!”

In less than one year on the job, Interior Secretary Zinke has taken a wrecking ball to America’s public lands legacy. From the unprecedented step of dramatically shrinking national monuments to proposing massive entrance fee hikes for national parks, he has made his doctrine clear — public lands are for extractive industries, not the American people.

Zinke has justified his actions by saying he’s merely listening to the public, but a closer look shows the public overwhelmingly supports conserving our public lands for future generations and opposes selling out our lands to oil, gas, and coal companies. For example, more than 2.8 million Americans, along with local businesses and the burgeoning outdoor industry, asked Zinke to leave our national monuments intact. He expressly rejected that input in recommending that President Trump dramatically shrink six national monuments.

Now, after Zinke announced his intent to eviscerate collaborative land management plans that balance sage-grouse conservation with energy development, Westerners are asking him to honor the deal that was struck and leave the plans alone. The feedback has been overwhelming:

  • The Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service collectively received nearly 400,000 comments urging them to leave sage-grouse conservation plans intact.
  • At 15 public meetings scattered across the region, sportsmen and women, ranchers, business owners, and conservationists urged the agencies to honor the deal they brokered in 2015.
  • Western governors of both parties, including Matt Mead (R-WY), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Brian Sandoval (R-NV), and Steve Bullock (D-MT), made it clear that major changes to the plans are not needed.
  • A poll just released by Colorado College found that 64 percent of Westerners support keeping the existing plans in place.
  • Editorial boards and opinion writers around the West have asked Zinke to leave the sage-grouse plans alone.

Will Secretary Zinke listen?….(CONTINUED)

View story at Medium.com

BLM and Forest Service Announce 2018 Discount Welfare Grazing ‘Fees?’

Move over Wild Horses, Burros and other native critters as private “welfare” cattle, sheep and goats are coming to destroy the forage on public lands near YOU!!!

Welfare Cattle herded into Antelope Complex as wild horses are being rounded up ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation


News Release WASHINGTON, DC

 Contact: BLM: blm_press@blm.gov Forest Service: pressoffice@fs.fed.us

 For immediate release Date: January 30, 2018

 BLM and Forest Service announce 2018 grazing fees

 WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Federal grazing fee for 2018 will be $1.41 per animal unit month (AUM) for public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management and $1.41 per head month (HM) for lands managed by the USDA Forest Service.

 The 2017 public land grazing fee was $1.87. An AUM or HM—treated as equivalent measures for fee purposes—is the use of public lands by one cow and her calf, one horse, or five sheep or goats for a month.

The newly calculated grazing fee was determined by a congressional formula and takes effect March 1, 2018. The fee will apply to nearly 18,000 grazing permits and leases administered by the BLM and nearly 6,500 permits administered by the Forest Service.

The formula used for calculating the grazing fee was established by Congress in the 1978 Public Rangelands Improvement Act and has remained in use under a 1986 presidential Executive Order. Under that order, the grazing fee cannot fall below $1.35 per AUM/HM, and any increase or decrease cannot exceed 25 percent of the previous year’s level. The annually determined grazing fee is established using a 1966 base value of $1.23 per AUM/HM for livestock grazing on public lands in Western states.

Sheep covering Adobe Town HMA ~ photo by Carol Walker of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

The figure is then calculated according to three factors—current private grazing land lease rates, beef cattle prices, and the cost of livestock production. In effect, the fee rises, falls, or stays the same based on market conditions.

 The BLM and Forest Service are committed to strong relationships with the ranching community and work closely with permittees to ensure public rangelands remain healthy, productive working landscapes.
 Fifty percent of the collected grazing fees deposited into the U.S. Treasury are returned to the Range Betterment Fund for on-the-ground range improvement projects. Portions of collected fees are also returned to the states for use in the counties where the fees were generated.
The grazing fee applies in 16 Western states on public lands administered by the BLM and the Forest Service. The states are: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Permit holders and lessees may contact their local BLM or Forest Service office for additional information.

Humans take up too much space — and it’s affecting how mammals move

Release from the FieldMuseum.org

Study found that human-modified landscapes shrink mammal movements by up to half

Human beings take up a lot of real estate — around 50-70 percent of the Earth’s land surface. And our increasing footprint affects how mammals of all sizes, from all over the planet, move.

A study recently published by Science found that, on average, mammals living in human-modified habitats move two to three times less far than their counterparts in areas untouched by humans. What’s more, this pattern persists globally: from African forest elephants to white-tailed antelope squirrels in North America, the human footprint infringes upon the footprints of mammal species both big and small. The study, led by Marlee Tucker of the Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre in Germany, is the first of its kind to log movement behaviors for such a wide range of mammals globally.

“All organisms need space,” Bruce Patterson, a co-author of this study and MacArthur Curator of Mammals at The Field Museum in Chicago, explained. “They need space to gather their resources, find mates, and perform their ecological services.” For instance, bats need room to find and consume insects and pollinate plants (which amount to $3.5 to 50 billion worth of agricultural labor annually in the US alone), and apex predators need room to hunt and control other species’ populations.

In the study, more than 100 researchers contributed information on 803 individual mammals representing 57 species in total. Patterson offered up data on the movement of lions in a pristine wilderness area of Tsavo, Kenya. From 2002-09, he followed three lions using high-tech collars that continuously tracked individuals’ movement via GPS — the data he contributed to the Science study. One of those lions, in its natural habitat, patrolled an area twice the size of Chicago (1400 km2) to find food, attract mates, and repel intruders.

But habitat loss and fragmentation disrupt these critical animal behaviors. Clearing rainforest is an example of habitat loss — the destruction and loss of usable area for a given species. Constructing a road through the savannah, on the other hand, constitutes habitat fragmentation — the division of habitat area into smaller, discontinuous spaces. When suitable habitat spaces become too small or too isolated, animals can no longer afford to visit them, changing their space use.

As habitats become compromised, resources like food and living space that animals rely on become scarce. Sometimes, when resources are limited, animals traverse larger areas to get what they need — if there’s not enough food in a five-mile radius, they might move to a ten-mile radius. However, this study shows that on the whole, that sort of additional movement tends not to be an option — if there’s no uninterrupted landscape available, then the affected animals simply can’t live there.

To that end, the Science study found “strong negative effects of the human footprint on median and long-distance displacements of terrestrial mammals.” Patterson put it more simply: “Human dominion over Earth’s landscapes gets in the way of animals doing their thing.” Some species, like mice, can make do with less room, but animals that need lots of space, like lions, tigers, and elephants, simply can’t live in areas with lots of humans.

“It is important that animals move, because in moving they carry out important ecological functions like transporting nutrients and seeds between different areas. Additionally, mammalian movements bring different species together and thus allow for interactions in food webs that might otherwise not occur. If mammals move less this could alter any of these ecosystem functions,” says lead author Marlee Tucker.

Across the wide array of species its data encompasses, the study points to a singular, and grim, conclusion: For mammal species, the effects of habitat loss and habitat fragmentation don’t discriminate by geographic location, body size, or where that species sits on the food chain — the human footprint threatens most other mammals.

Still, Patterson remains hopeful that the Science study can guide further research and change our approach to human land use. “Ultimately, it would be good to know whether there are critical thresholds in the human footprint for the species living around us. Are there specific points beyond which resources become limiting and species are excluded?” he asked. “As we continue to transform the landscape and as the human population expands, we’re limiting the space and resources that other mammals need to live.”

BLM Reschedules Hearing on use of Helicopters and Motorized Vehicles for Wild Horse Mismanagement

An opportunity to offer input on your mismanaged public lands

BLM Antelope Complex attack on Nevada wild horses in 2011 ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

CHALLIS, Idaho – The Idaho Bureau of Land Management invites the public to submit comments as part of a statewide hearing regarding motor vehicle and helicopter use in wild horse management operations; in particular, aerial census flights. The hearing has been rescheduled to take place Feb. 6, from 1-2 p.m.at:

BLM Challis Field Office
721 East Main Avenue, Suite 8
Challis, ID  83226

This public hearing is being held to obtain information and your views, comments and suggestions about the BLM’s use of helicopters and motorized vehicles in managing wild horses within Idaho during the coming year (Feb. 2018 to Jan. 2019).  The BLM believes that partnerships and inclusion are vital to maintaining sustainable, working public lands.

Comments submitted to BLM should include your address, phone number and e-mail. Please be aware your entire comment, including your personal identifying information, may be made publicly available at any time.  While you may request we withhold your personal information from public view, we cannot guarantee we will be able to do so.

If you are unable to attend the hearing in person to submit your comments, you may submit written statements to BLM_ID_WHB_MotorizedHearing@blm.gov

https://www.blm.gov/press-release/blm-reschedules-hearing-use-helicopters-and-motorized-vehicles-wild-horse-management

‘From Wild to World Champion’: A New Song About Cobra the Mustang

Story by as published on Horse Nation

A country song telling the true story of how a three-strikes mustang became a dressage champion, with a music video starring the actual horse and trainer themselves? YES PLEASE!


“Although we would prefer to have seen Cobra live out his life, naturally, on his rightful range it warms ones heart to see someone take a chance, step forward and save this ‘3 Strikes’ pony from further abuse and possible slaughter.  A true love story and a definite tissue alert is warranted.  Thanks to all who made this tribute to a magical rescue possible.  May God bless.” ~ R.T.


As someone who is attempting to bring a mustang up the levels in dressage, one of my biggest inspirations is Marsha Hartford-Sapp and her mustang Cobra. After being returned to the BLM three times, he was deemed unadoptable: a three-strikes horse. In 2010 Marsha selected Cobra as her Extreme Mustang Makeover horse after seeing a 15-second video of his lovely, uphill movement.

Cobra turned out to be a dressage natural, winning Adequan/USDF All-Breed Award Reserve Champion title for First Level in his first year of competition. He has gone on to achieve great things as a dressage horse, most notably 2015 all-breed champion for Prix St. George. 2015 was also the year he discovered western dressage and earned western dressage champion for level 1 freestyle and level 1 test 1.

Cobra’s story inspired country artist Peter Prince to write a song telling the tale of how this unlikely horse went from wild to world champion. If this song and the accompanying music video doesn’t give you the feels, you’re a monster.

Go Cobra! Go riding!

THE TRUTH #16 – FOIA documents reveal that Dave Duquette, employed by pro-horse slaughter organization Protect the Harvest, and 2 others, bought the 12 wild mares from the BLM that were spayed and sold in the “First Annual Wild Spayed Filly Futurity”

Wild Horse Freedom Federation issues THE TRUTH to share Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) documents and information with the public.  Be sure to subscribe HERE to Wild Horse Freedom Federation, so that you can receive email alerts.

THE TRUTH #16 – FOIA documents reveal that Dave Duquette, employed by pro-horse slaughter organization Protect the Harvest, and 2 others, bought the 12 wild mares from the BLM that were spayed and sold in the “First Annual Wild Spayed Filly Futurity”

To give some background and put the FOIA documents below into context, on August 17, 2017, pro horse slaughter organization Protect the Harvest posted:     “Protect the Harvest presents the First Annual Wild Spayed Filly Futurity: We are very excited and proud to announce the First Annual Wild Spayed Filly Futurity!  We want to thank the Burns, Oregon, Wild Horse and Burro managers for working with us to present this unique opportunity benefiting horses of the American West.  Ten selected fillies will be offered for sale at the 2017 Reno Snaffle Bit Futurity.  These fillies are invited back to the 2018 Reno Snaffle Bit Futurity to compete in their own division for a $25 K purse.”

(Note, 12 wild fillies were offered.)  On the Protect the Harvest website, on the page called “Meet the Fillies” you can see all 12 of these once wild horses.  On the Protect the Harvest page called “Wild Spayed Filly Futurity” they promote the barbaric spaying of wild mares.

In 2016, a lawsuit was filed by Front Range Equine Rescue against the Bureau of Land Management to stop the archaic and barbaric ovariectomies via colpotomy and two other experimental surgical sterilization procedures that had never been performed on any horses, domestic or wild.

Things seem to get murky because Protect the Harvest did not buy these fillies from the BLM.  Dave Duquette, employed as a “horse expert” by Protect the Harvest, and 2 other people personally bought the fillies.  It seems that Dave Duquette and the others then had the fillies spayed and sold as an activity of Protect the Harvest.  Another murky area is the question “Are wild horses being sold by the BLM to promote or fund experimental spaying or horse slaughter?”  Also, in FOIA records that we obtained regarding the OIG investigation into the BLM selling wild horses to kill buyer Tom Davis, it was clearly stated that the BLM had a policy to not sell wild horses for use in rodeos.

According to the Reno Snaffle Bit Futurity facebook page, they are already selecting wild horses for the 2019 Snaffle Bit Futurity at the BLM Burns Corrals in Oregon.  On January 22, “Chilly morning in Burns Oregon @ the Wild horse and Burro corrals. We are here selecting the fillies for the 2019 Reno Wild Spayed Filly futurity.”

NOW FOR THE FOIA DOCUMENTS OBTAINED BY WILD HORSE FREEDOM FEDERATION:

From a snippet from a BLM sale log obtained by FOIA, you can see that Dave Duquette bought 4 wild mares, Mollyanna Russell bought 4 wild mares and Peter Laizure bought 4 wild mares from the BLM’s Burns Preparation facility in Hines, Oregon.

We had to match freezemark numbers to names in the FOIA request above, since the names were redacted on the FOIA documents below.  All of the applications and Bills of Sales provided in the FOIA documents below have what seems to be “United Horsemen” (another pro-horse slaughter group) at the top of all of the pages.  The handwriting on Dave Duquette’s application and Mollyanna Russell’s application appear to be the same.  Both applications are dated July 31, 2017 and state that the intended use of the animals was “competition.”  Peter Laizure’s application, also dated July 31, 2017, asks in box #7 “Do you have wild horse, wild burro or livestock experience?”  The Yes box was checked, and in answer to “(if yes, include detailed description)” the word “Roundup” was written.

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE AND SEE THE REST OF THE FOIA DOCUMENTS HERE.

 

Be sure to subscribe HERE to Wild Horse Freedom Federation, so that you can receive email alerts.

Read all of THE TRUTH and see other FOIA documentation HERE.

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