Then Congressman from Montana, Ryan Zinke, and Senator Steve Daines at the Safari Club International Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada. From left to right Ryan Zinke, Mike Degerness, Monty Howe, Scott Campbell, Dennis Hickman, John Clements and Steve Daines. (2/6/16)
Records below indicate that on April 11, 2017, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke spent half an hour with billionaire Forrest Lucas, owner of Lucas Oil, who is also the Founder and Executive Director of Protect the Harvest, a non-profit that is pushing for horse slaughter to be reinstated in the U.S.
Dave Duquette, an employee of Protect the Harvest, and Ramona Hage Morrison, a “property rights” advocate, were listed as “consultants” for Forrest Lucas. Ramona Hage Morrison is the daughter of the late Wayne Hage, a leader of the “Sagebrush Rebellion” in Nevada.
Other attendees included Larry Murphy (CEO), KK Jense (President & Founder), John Clements (Dir. of Research & Development) of Proof Research, a company that manufactures and sells firearms, that was established in Zinke’s hometown of Whitefish, MT. Also attending was Brian Kelly of BK Strategies, Proof Research’s registered lobbyist in Washington, D.C.
“PROOF Research Inc. was first established in 2011 in Zinke’s hometown of Whitefish, Montana, under the name Extreme Precision Armaments Inc., according to state of Montana business records.”
“Zinke provided consulting services for the company in 2012, according to local Montana news reports and a disclosure he filed as a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives two years later listing $16,975 in compensation.”
READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE AND SEE DOCUMENTS HERE.
“Warning: Ensure that you do NOT have a mouthful of liquid, or food, when you watch the antics of these equine comedians. I am certain that anyone who is, or was, a guardian of a horse or donkey will find several comical behaviors here that you have personally experienced with your four legged children. Smile, giggle and enjoy your day. May God Bless all of you who give those who cannot speak a voice. You are very, very spacial, indeed.” ~ R.T.
TUCSON, Ariz.— Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is the winner of the Center for Biological Diversity’s 2017 Rubber Dodo award. The statue is awarded each year to the person or group who has most aggressively sought to destroy America’s natural heritage or drive endangered species extinct.
“Ryan Zinke seems to wake up every day wondering how he can tear apart America’s public lands, ramp up oil and gas development and put endangered species on a fast track to extinction,” said Kierán Suckling, the Center’s executive director.
Zinke and President Trump announced massive cuts to Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments in Utah. Days later his Interior Department opened bids for the largest oil lease-sale ever offered in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve — potentially turning over more than 10 million acres of prime wilderness and wildlife habitat to oil development.
Zinke’s Interior Department also proposed vastly ramping up offshore drilling in the Arctic, the Gulf of Mexico and along the West Coast and East Coast. If the plan is enacted, it could lead to more than 5,000 oil spills and contribute 49.5 gigatons of carbon dioxide pollution, the equivalent of the emissions from 10.6 billion cars driven for a year.
He overturned President Obama’s moratorium on federal coal leasing and wants to open three marine monuments to industrial commercial fishing: Northeast Canyons and Seamounts in the Atlantic; Pacific Remote Islands; and Rose Atoll in the South Pacific.
Zinke’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service this fall tried to roll back an Obama-era ban on trophy elephant imports from Zimbabwe; he has denied protections to species like the Pacific walrus.
“Zinke’s an extension of Trump’s greed, callousness and corporate cronyism,” Suckling said. “It’s hard to imagine anyone else who has done more this year to drive our environment straight into the ditch, along with the future of America’s wildlife and public lands.”
Zinke won the Rubber Dodo award after an online contest where tens of thousands of people were asked to choose between him, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) and Sonny Perdue, head of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Previous Rubber Dodo award winners include Rep. Rob Bishop (2016), Monsanto (2015), the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services (2014), the Koch brothers (2013), climate denier Senator James Inhofe (2012), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (2011), former BP CEO Tony Hayward (2010), massive land speculator Michael Winer (2009), Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (2008) and Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne (2007).
Background on the Dodo
In 1598 Dutch sailors landing on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius discovered a flightless, 3-foot-tall, extraordinarily friendly bird. Its original scientific name was Didus ineptus. (Contemporary scientists use the less defamatory Raphus cucullatus.) To the rest of the world, it’s the dodo — possibly the most famous extinct species on Earth after the dinosaurs. It evolved over millions of years with no natural predators and eventually lost the ability to fly, becoming a land-based consumer of fruits, nuts and berries. Having never known predators, it showed no fear of humans or the menagerie of animals accompanying them to Mauritius.
Its trusting nature led to its rapid extinction. By 1681 the dodo had vanished, hunted and outcompeted by humans, dogs, cats, rats, macaques and pigs. Humans logged its forest cover while pigs uprooted and ate much of the understory vegetation.
The origin of the name dodo is unclear. It likely came from the Dutch word dodoor, meaning “sluggard,” the Portuguese word doudo, meaning “fool” or “crazy,” or the Dutch word dodaars meaning “plump-arse” (that nation’s name for the little grebe).
The dodo’s reputation as a foolish, ungainly bird derives in part from its friendly naiveté and the very plump captives that were taken on tour across Europe. The animal’s reputation was cemented with the 1865 publication of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
Based on skeleton reconstructions and the discovery of early drawings, scientists now believe that the dodo was a much sleeker animal than commonly portrayed. The rotund European exhibitions were likely produced by overfeeding captive birds.
Arbitrary management level (AML): The maximum number of wild horses that BLM declares the Western range can sustain — 26,715 — is a political construct. Per 49,349 square miles of wild-horse habitat, the upper bound of the AML establishes a maximum stocking density of 1 wild horse per 2 square miles! However, BLM manages down to the low bound of the AML — 16,310. That creates a stocking density of 1 wild horse per 3 square miles!
Sparsely populated, widely dispersed: Many herds are restricted even more severely. Here are stocking densities to which BLM restricts herds in Nevada.
1 wild horse per 3,102 acres — 5 square miles — Antelope Complex
1 wild horse per 3,566 acres — 5½ square miles — Triple B Complex
1 wild horse per 6,606 acres — 10 square miles — Eagle herd
1 wild horse per 9,591 acres — 15 square miles — Silver King herd
Contrast with livestock density: BLM allows 1 cow-with-calf pair (or 5 sheep) per 76 acres, which means 8 cow-calf pairs (or 40 sheep) per square mile. Further, within dedicated wild-horse habitats, livestock are awarded most of the grazing slots (AUMs). Examples from Nevada:
94% of AUMs to livestock — Triple B Complex
96% of AUMs to livestock — Antelope Complex
Normative annual herd-growth = at most, 5%: Gregg, LeBlanc, and Johnston (2014) found the average birth rate among wild-horse herds to be about 20%; but 50% of foals perish. The population-gain from surviving foals (10%) minus a conservative estimate of adult-mortality (5%) equals a normative herd-growth rate of 5%.
Fraudulent figures on the range: BLM’s herd-growth figures are falsified. Repeatedly, we find BLM reporting one-year increases that are beyond what is biologically possible. Some examples from Nevada:
260% — 52 times the norm — Shawave Mountains
293% — 59 times the norm — Diamond Hills South
418% — 84 times the norm — Black Rock Range East *
* BLM claimed the Black Rock Range East’s population grew from 88 horses to 456 horses in one year, an increase of 368. If so, to overcome foal-mortality (50%) and adult-mortality (at least 5%), that would mean each filly and mare gave birth to 17 foals.
Fraudulent figures off the range: A comprehensive report was recently issued following a 5-year investigation by Wild Horse Freedom Federation. It revealed that BLM has been publishing fictitious figures regarding the number of wild horses removed from the range and now supposedly boarded in private pastures. BLM is paying, but where are the horses? http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/white-paper/
No to birth control, no to euthanasia, no to slaughter: The population-explosion exists only on BLM’s falsified spreadsheets.
In 2004, Congress recognized the first official National Day of the Horse, and expressed this:
Encouraging citizens to be mindful of the contribution of horses to the economy, history, and character of the United States and expressing the sense of Congress that a National Day of the Horse should be established.
Whereas the horse is a living link to the history of the United States;
Whereas, without horses, the economy, history, and character of the United States would be profoundly different;
Whereas horses continue to permeate the society of the United States, as witnessed on movie screens, on open land, and in our own backyards;
Whereas horses are a vital part of the collective experience of the United States and deserve protection and compassion;
Whereas, because of increasing pressure from modern society, wild and domestic horses rely on humans for adequate food, water, and shelter; and
Whereas the Congressional Horse Caucus estimates that the horse industry contributes well over $100,000,000,000 each year to the economy of the United States: Now, therefore, be it Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That Congress–
(1) encourages all citizens to be mindful of the contribution of horses to the economy, history, and character of the United States;
(2) expresses its sense that a National Day of the Horse should be established in recognition of the importance of horses to the Nation’s security, economy, recreation, and heritage; and
(3) urges the President to issue a proclamation calling on the people of the United States and interested organizations to observe National Day of the Horse with appropriate programs and activities.
Thanks to all of you who rescue, care for and advocate for all equines.
Love Wild Horses® is creating a new life saving, eco-friendly and permanent water spring to save 400+ Deer Springs wild horses from drought. This Water for Wild Horses Project installation is scheduled to begin in early April.
This past July, just 6 months ago, Love Wild Horses (LWH), presented a natural, compassionate sustainability design, to ease suffering and improve the survival for our wild horses to the Bureau of Land Management’s Elko, Nevada, District Office. An agreement was reached, and Love Wild Horses is now creating and securing needed drinking water for the Deer Springs wild horses, so that they can survive the coming drought.
Love Wild Horses’ Public Relations Manager & Nevada Boots on the Ground, Jeanne Bencich-Nations, has been closely monitoring the Deer Springs water source and presently reports that the horses have just enough water, but with not much rain in sight and a dire drought forecast, the timing to launch this Water for Wild Horses Project is happening at the perfect time.
This agreement to bring water to the wild horses was successfully reached in one of the most challenging parts of our country, the Great Basin Desert, in the heart of cattle, sheep, oil, mining and ranching interests.
If you want to learn more or find out how you can help to bring life saving water to these horses, contact:
“The story below is presented unedited so you will see the word ‘feral’ used often. I do not claim to possess abundant knowledge as to the origins of the horses on Navajo land, but I cringe when I hear that word applied to the wild horses on public lands as they are at the very least, a reintroduced natural species (fodder for an OpEd, later). So tighten up, you are about to enter Feral Land.” ~ R.T.
A controversial hunt was aimed at reducing the numbers of feral horses near Teec Nos Pos, Arizona
This Scenario Averted – for the time being
FARMINGTON — A wild horse hunt aimed at thinning a herd in an Arizona trophy hunt area was abruptly cancelled on Monday as opposition to the hunt grew and a protest was planned.
The tribal government’s natural resource regulators last week issued a proclamation declaring the 2018 feral horse management hunt. It was designed to remove 60 horses from the Carrizo Mountains near Teec Nos Pos in northeast Arizona.
President Russell Begaye said in an emailed statement that the hunt will be postponed and the proclamation was rescinded to allow for public input and education.
Protest was planned
Tens of thousands of feral horses roam Navajo Nation lands — and the Navajo Nation Department of Fish and Wildlife is seeking ways to reduce that population.
Following the release of the hunt proclamation horse advocates, including members of the Facebook group Indigenous Horse Nation Protector Alliance, organized a rally for Friday morning in Window Rock, Arizona, to protest the hunt.
Gloria Tom, the director of Navajo Nation Department of Fish and Wildlife, said the public outcry led to the cancellation.
Hunt should go before tribal leadership
In an email statement, Navajo Nation Speaker LoRenzo Bates said his office was not aware that the executive branch had made a decision to issue permits for hunting feral horses.
“As Navajo people, we are taught to respect all life forms and that includes horses,” Bates said. “Considering the cultural and historical factors and concerns over water shortages and overgrazing — this is certainly an issue that should have been brought before Navajo leadership and medicine people to discuss and consider.”
If the hunt had not been rescinded, hunters accompanied by wildlife conservation officers would have been able to kill non-branded horses that were at least two years old. Hunters would not have been permitted to kill mares that have foals with them.
Begaye said the Carrizo Mountains near Teec Nos Pos in northeast Arizona has been critically impacted by the feral horses. He said the Navajo Nation Department of Fish and Wildlife’s proclamation specifically targeted the Carrizo Mountains.
The proclamation called for removing up to 60 horses over a six-day span from the Carrizo Mountains.
Tom said the Corrizo Mountains is one of the trophy hunt areas of the reservation. She said the department was concerned about the impacts of the horses on the habitat, especially about the impact on mule deer.
She said the severe drought in the region will increase competition for food and water.
“We’re looking at a very severe outlook for lack of precipitation through July this year,” she said.
Tom said the drought was one reason the department hoped to remove horses to reduce the stress on the landscape and wildlife…(CONTINUE)
“We received this information from Elaine Nash last night” – R.T.
Earlier this month, the Navajo nation had announced a plan to sell hunting permits to 60 Navajo hunters, with the first hunt scheduled for March 27, 2018. As of today, due to the diligent work of wild horse advocates, that very bad plan to shoot 60 wild horses has been canceled.
There will probably be many new efforts launched to help the Navajo people with their wild horse management issue. Please support these efforts. Donate, participate, educate, adopt. This very close call definitely got the attention of the wild horse advocacy community. Now, let’s be sure that we do what we can to be sure it never happens again. It might not be canceled the next time.
(To be clear, Fleet of Angels nor I should be credited with this save. We did no more to stop this effort than any other organization that posted about it, shared information, and encouraged the public to make their displeasure known. As far as I know, the very loud collective public outcry heard ’round the world was as responsible for this change in direction as any one person or organization. If I learn that there was a key person or key organization that should be credited with this reversal in the Navajo nation’s plan, I will make that information known far and wide.)
“Scientists – and horse owners – often wonder exactly how horses were domesticated.”
“As many of you may remember, my wife Terry and I trekked on horseback across the mountain steppe region of Outer Mongolia, several years ago, in an effort to photograph and learn more about the reintroduction efforts aimed at bringing back the prehistoric Przewalski’s horse or more correctly, the Takhi. Our expedition was chronicled in both trueCOWBOY and HorseBack Magazines.
Our Mongolian Team
It was our intent to study and learn more about this reintroduction program because in our humble opinion, we may one day be attempting to do the same for our wild horses and burros of North America after the BLM succeeds in destroying the fragile families that remain on their rightful range.
So it is with great interest that we read, digest and investigate any material that points back to the roots of the North American equines that we love and respect.
With that said we share with you this article that attempts to detail the difficult struggle in learning just exactly where our present equine partners originate from. It is a most interesting and elusive mystery.” ~ R.T.
There’s still a lot we don’t know about how, and where, horses were first domesticated. Experts long thought that all modern horses were probably descended from a group of animals that belonged to the Botai culture, which flourished in Kazakhstan around 5,500 years ago.
But now, a new study published in Science suggests that the Botai horses were not the ancestors of our modern equine companions – and challenges what we thought we knew about one of the only “wild” horse species left today: the Przewalski’s horse.
There are now very few, if any, genuinely wild species of horse, which have never been domesticated. Scientists have known that Przewalski’s horse is not an ancestor of modern domestic horses, since studies were carried out on equine mitochondrial DNA in 2002. But now it seems that far from being the last remnants of a truly wild horse species, the Przewalski’s horse is the feral descendant of the domesticated Botai horses.
Let’s take a look at the science.
Led by Charleen Gaunitz from the Natural History Museum of Denmark, the study’s 47 authors sequenced the genomes of 42 ancient horses from Kazakhstan and various sites in Eurasia, and compared them with published data from 46 ancient and modern horses.
Their analysis showed that Przewalski’s horse and the most ancient horses from Eurasia were not genetically similar, as might be expected. In fact, the Przewalski’s horse were found to be most closely related to the Botai horses, while all modern domesticated horses belong to a separate group. If this is right, it turns what we thought we knew about wild and domestic horses on its head.
But one of the difficulties of drawing conclusions from the DNA of a modern Przewalski’s horse, is that the species suffered a massive decline in the first half of the 20th century. The last one seen in the wild was spotted back in the 1960s, and it was declared extinct in the wild. A captive breeding programme began, and all of today’s Przewalski’s horses trace their ancestry back to 13 individuals, which were in zoos around the world at the time. Equus ferus przewalskii was reintroduced to the wild at the end of the 20th century.
Prehistoric Takhi reintroduced into Outer Mongolia ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation
Gaunitz and her colleagues suggest that there has been considerable invasion of modern horse genes into the species. But the team were fortunate enough to have DNA from one specimen dating to the 19th century, before the population collapse occurred. This allowed them to show that the Botai horses were direct ancestors of another breed of horse from the early bronze age, called Borly4, and that these Borly4 horses were the direct ancestors of the pre-collapse Przewalski’s horse.
This leaves the origins of modern horses shrouded in mystery. It seems they are descended from a completely different group of horses, but the genomic analysis suggests that they managed to interbreed with the Botai horses to a small degree as the population expanded across the continental landmass. The authors of the study suggest that Hungary, in Eastern Europe, might be one of a number of places where the ancestors of modern horses were first domesticated, because the oldest horse remains were recovered from there.
Earlier studies have suggested Iberia, North Africa and Eurasia as possible sites of domestication. And it seems likely that horses – like dogs – were independently domesticated in a number of different places and over a long period of time.
Scientists – and horse owners – often wonder exactly how horses were domesticated. It has been suggested that they were originally prey animals that humans began to protect and breed to ensure a steady supply of meat. Over time their keepers began to use them for milk, hides and transport. Alternatively, they may have been deliberately brought under human control to help with the hunting of wild horse herds.
Whatever the method, it now seems likely that the very robust horses of the Botai were not the ultimate ancestors of the delicate modern thoroughbred racehorse, nor of the heavy draft horses that were the staple workforce of agriculture in many parts of the world until the beginning of the 20th century.
The Botai horse genes are preserved only in the small and precarious populations of Przewalski’s horse, which struggle to survive in the areas of the Gobi desert and the mountain steppe regions of Mongolia where they were reintroduced. All the more reason then, to continue to ensure the survival of this species – possibly the last repository of ancient horse DNA.