Proposed Federal Budget Could Spell Annihilation for America’s Wild Horses and Burros

“The potential for our worse possible nightmare to become a reality is knocking on our barn door, as I type, and we need to stop it and stop it NOW!

Below is a video plea from our good friend, Ginger Kathrens and both myself and Wild Horse Freedom Federation stand shoulder to shoulder with Ginger and The Cloud Foundation in urging you to take action in an effort to block the possibility of our wild equines being slaughtered.

When I snapped this photo on my iPhone I had the shutter sound activated and I was promptly reminded by Ginger to deactivate it as you can see it stimulated Ohanzee’s curiosity, big time.  Thanks for the insight, Ginger.

Ginger’s video is especially poignant for me as her equine guest is Ohanzee, the son of Cloud. I was fortunate enough to be with Ginger when we first came upon Cloud and his newborn son on a beautiful May day in 2014. We spent several days watching, videoing and photographing the youngster while in the evenings we struggled to come up with a name for him.

After much research and a few sips of adult beverages we arrived at the perfect selection which was Ohanzee, a Sioux name meaning ‘Shadow’ which was just what he looked like.

Ohanzee become my totem and further sealed my conviction to fight for those who cannot speak for themselves so for him to be featured with Ginger further lights my fire to do what is right, just and whatever is necessary to ensure the future safety, health and well-being of our federally protected wild horses and burros.

Please call the White House and voice your concerns, although I do not believe this to be a premeditated assault on our wild equines it can and will turn into a death sentence for the horses and burros if we don’t stop the bean counters from pulling the trigger…Now!

Please act, this is your opportunity to make a difference.  Thank you, my Friends.” ~ R.T.


“The remainder of the funding decrease will be achieved by reducing gathers, reducing birth control treatments, and other activities deemed inconsistent with prudent management of the program. The long-term goal is to realign program costs and animal populations to more manageable levels, enabling BLM to reorient the WHB program back to these traditional management strategies.”

The BLM contends that the horses on the range exceed the ridiculously low national AML of 26,700 by over 40,000 animals. There are over 40,000 animals in long and short term holding. 80,000 could be killed if we, the American people do not speak up!

There has never been such a grave a threat to the existence of our wild horses as right now!

Use the links provided in the video to call the WHITE HOUSE, your U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, and your 2 SENATORS. We must flood and overload the phone lines with calls. This will take only 4 phone calls—probably 1 minute each.

Never has it been more important for you to speak up on behalf of the future of our wild horses and burros!

CALLING INSTRUCTIONS

1. Leave your name (spell it), and the town where you live

2. Give 2 or 3 short sentences on your explicit concerns for the preservation and protection of our wild horses and burros.

3. Give your name again and express thanks for the opportunity to give comments.

4. You will probably get a Voicemail—but that’s ok. These elected officials must understand how important this is to you, and phone calls are all logged. If 50,000 of The Cloud Foundation followers will call, that adds up to 200,000 phone calls to Washington DC!

Thank you! Now let’s all get to work and make those phone calls for our wild horses and burros.

Links to Documents:

Boise BLM wild horse adoptions on hold due to equine distemper

Source:  kboi2.com

Members of the public interested in adopting a wild horse or burro should contact the BLM Boise District Office at (208) 384-3300 to provide their contact information.

by KBOI Staff

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) – The Bureau of Land Management has temporarily suspended wild horse and burro adoptions at the Boise BLM Wild Horse Corrals due to strangles, or equine distemper, in several horses.

Strangles is an upper respiratory tract infection in horses and although usually not fatal, is highly contagious.

While the symptomatic horses are quarantined and being treated by a veterinarian, the BLM has decided to close the corrals to adoptions and public visitors as a precaution until further notice.

Read the rest of this article here.

 

 

BLM offers rare tour of Bruneau, Idaho, off-range corrals on June 8th

SOURCE:  kboi2.com

Public tour of Bruneau off-range corrals offered in June

by Natalie Hurst

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) – The BLM in Idaho will offer a public tour of the Bruneau off-range corrals on Thursday, June 8.

Two public tours will be offered — the first will begin at 10 am and the second will begin at 1 pm.

Each tour will last about two hours and can accommodate up to 20 people.

Spaces will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

The public can sign up to attend and receive driving directions to the facility by calling BLM at (208) 329-4534.

Please RSVP for one of the two tours by June 5.

Details about the tour:

• Tours start promptly at the scheduled time, so be at the facility a few minutes early or the wagon may leave and we cannot come back to pick you up

• Bring comfortable shoes and clothes. Hats and sunscreen recommended

• Bring your own water

• Cameras and video cameras welcome

• Visitors will not be able to walk around the facility unaccompanied. They must travel with the group in the wagon at all times

The Bruneau off-range corrals are located at 28536 Jacks Creek Road, and are privately owned and operated.

About a 75-minute drive southeast of Boise, the facility provides care for over 1600 wild horses.

The facility encompasses 80 acres containing 39 large holding pens, each pen measuring 70,000 square feet that will safely hold approximately 100 horses.

Read the rest of this article here.

The Devil is in the Details as BLM again removes thirsty wild horses due to “emergency” in the Antelope Valley HMA in Nevada

Antelope Valley grazing allotments (2008)

Before you read BLM’s version of this “emergency” below, be sure to read Cindy MacDonald’s 2008 article “The Devil’s in the Details” on American Herds Blogspot.  We have to wonder how many acres of public lands that the “private land owner” (mentioned by the BLM below) uses to graze their own private livestock, since it seems the entire HMA is used for livestock grazing.  The BLM seems to be giving the public the same ongoing bullshit (literally). –  Debbie

“traditionally the wild horses spend the summers in Antelope then migrate to Antelope Valley for the winter ~ except the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) strung up a new fence up on Hwy 93 effectively trapping the horses and in one area, completely cut them off from any water at all.

Speaking to BLMs Kyle Hansen in the Ely Field Office, Mr. Hansen explained range conditions were so bad due to drought that it “looked like an atom bomb went off” and provided photos as evidence of the dust bowl conditions the wild horses would be forced to try and survive in over the winter in if they were not immediately removed.

He also stated compounding the problem was a local rancher who had allowed wild horses to drink water from his property for years but finally “had enough”,  fenced the area and now the horses that remained would probably die of thirst.” – Cindy MacDonald

Source:  BLM

2017 Antelope Valley Emergency Wild Horse Gather

Progress as of Monday, May 22, 2017

Purpose of Gather:

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Elko District, Wells Field Office, in coordination with the BLM Ely District will begin a wild horse water bait trap gather to remove wild horses on private lands near the Boone Spring Area. The gather is taking place due to a request from a private land owner to remove the excess wild horses.

Details of Gather:

BLM plans to humanely gather approximately 60 wild horses through the use of a water bait trap.

Public Observation: 

Because of the nature of the water gather method, wild horses are reluctant to approach the trap site when there is too much activity. In addition, the gather operations are being conducted on private land. Therefore, only essential gather operation personnel will be allowed at the gather site during operations.

Adoption Information: 

The wild horses removed from the range will be transported to the Indian Lakes Off-Range Corral in Fallon, NV to be prepared for the BLM’s Adoption Program. Learn more about how to adopt a wild horse or burro from the BLM.

Background:

This gather will attempt to remove excess wild horses from private land near the Boone Spring area of the Antelope Valley Herd Management Area. The private land owner has requested removal of the horses. The Antelope Valley HMA has an Appropriate Management Level (AML) of 155-259 adult wild horses. As of March 1, 2016, the BLM estimated the population at 1,013 wild horses (not including foals born this year). The BLM Wells Field Office has determined that even though there has been above average amounts of precipitation this winter and spring, there are still no known water sources in the area for wild horses to obtain water later this spring and summer. Learn more about the Antelope Valley HMA.

 

Wild horse trained as therapy horse in running for international award

SOURCE:  postregister.com

Steve Drippon displays affection to Rooster; loving a special horse. Jerry Slagle / for the Post Register

SALMON — A horse named Rooster is an equine without equal if you ask the volunteers and staff at Whitewater Therapeutic and Recreational Riding Association.

The Salmon-based association offers horseback experiences to riders of all ages whose challenges can include everything from a physical disability to a psychological trauma.

In the decades since the accredited nonprofit was founded, dozens of horses have been either selected or donated for the purpose of providing equine therapy but few have gained the profile and elicited the adoration of Rooster.

Whitewater workers say Rooster has all the mannerisms of a courtly gentleman even though he once was a wild horse from the Challis area before adoption through a U.S. Bureau of Land Management program.

“I’ve dealt with a lot of good horses but Rooster has a special place in my heart,” said Joyce Scott, Whitewater’s executive director. “He’s an elegant and powerful horse who personifies peace and calmness. Everyone who rides him falls a little bit in love with him.”

In a first for Whitewater, Rooster has been nominated in the regional round of a contest for therapy horse of the year with the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International.

Read the rest of this article HERE.

Special Report: KPVI Investigates Cyanide traps and the USDA

story by as broadcast/published on KPVI.com

“This is not the first time the USDA had a run in with the Gate City…”

It’s almost been two months since a Pocatello family lost their dog and almost their son to a cyanide trap set 300 yards behind their house. Since then the USDA says they’ve taken all the traps out of the Gem state. But that hasn’t changed anything to investigators who say they were never notified of the deadly chemical, meant to kill predators, planted around Bannock County.

The incident began in the Buckskin area back in March. Canyon Mansfield says, “I panicked and sprinted down to get my mom.” The 14-year-old and his dog Kasey were 300 yards away from their house. He describes, “Suddenly there’s like a pop and then orange gas spews out.” The Mansfield family dog died and they almost lost their son as well. Theresa Mansfield, Canyon’s mother says, “We didn’t want to believe it was from Cyanide poisoning, but deep down it scared the crap out of us.”

The Cyanide trap was placed on BLM land with no warnings in sight. Investigators found a second trap not far from the first. Bannock County Sheriff Lorin Nielsen says, “We’re not Alaska. There are wilderness places where people go. I don’t care what the purpose is. If it’s endangering public it shouldn’t be there.”

Since the death of Kasey there’s been a worldwide outcry. The Bannock County’s Sheriff’s office has launched their investigation. The city has also stepped in. In March Pocatello’s Mayor Brian Blad wrote a letter to the USDA asking them to stop manufacturing Cyanide Traps, or M-44’s, in the city. Since then the agency reached out to the mayor. He says he toured the facility, learned about their safety precautions and products “They’re going to continue to do their practice until congress acts,” said Blad.

This is not the first time the USDA had a run in with the Gate City. Seven years ago the agency was responsible for illegally setting “Quick Kill” traps, meant for Rock chucks within city limits. Obtained by KPVI in an incident report by Pocatello’s animal control, an elderly woman called them after finding a cat trapped alive in a “quick kill” trap or Conibear trap in her backyard. She admitted to the city she requested the traps from the USDA. She says at least three cats had been killed before and they were removed by the local USDA representative Todd Sullivan. Sullivan is the same man involved in the Mansfield investigation. In 2010 the charges against Sullivan were dismissed by a federal judge.

The city and USDA came to an agreement that they would not place Conibear traps in Pocatello without notifying the city first. The USDA declined to speak to KPVI on camera, but gave us a written statement answering our questions. They told us, the incident involving the Mansfield Dog is still under investigation and can’t comment. But claimed they had “107 M-44’s set on 16 properties in the state and all have been removed.” Our request to tour the Pocatello manufacturing facility was denied, they say because of security concerns.

The agency tells us the Pocatello location has been manufacturing M-44 deceives since 1969. And also handles, “Gas cartridges for fumigating rodent burrows, rodent grain baits…, predator lures, and repackages other products such as order control products and animal immobilization drugs.”

The sheriff’s investigation is now left in the hands of county prosecutors to find if any state laws were violated. In the meantime, the sheriff says this to residents, “We now have to be aware of our surroundings. If there is something that is out there that is not part of… leave it alone, leave it alone,” Nielsen said.

BLM Transfer Provision in Omnibus Outrages Advocates

by Scott Streater, as published on E&E News

“The provision in the latest omnibus bill was requested last year as part of President Obama’s fiscal 2017 budget proposal (Greenwire, Feb. 10, 2016).”

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

The omnibus spending package the Senate approved today contains a provision that would make it easier for the Bureau of Land Management to adopt out or transfer wild horses and burros, reducing the growing number of animals under the agency’s care.

But the provision has angered animal rights advocates, who say it contains too many loopholes to protect thousands of wild horses and burros from being slaughtered.

At issue is a section in the omnibus package to fund the federal government through September — originally requested by the Obama administration last year — that would allow the Interior secretary to “transfer excess wild horses or burros” BLM has removed from federal rangelands “to other Federal, State, and local government agencies for use as work animals.”

The provision would authorize the secretary to “make any such transfer immediately upon request” of a government agency, such as the U.S. Border Patrol. The provision includes language stating that the animals cannot be killed or sold or transferred to any entity that would slaughter them “for processing into commercial products.”

But it allows transferred horses and burros to be euthanized “upon the recommendation of a licensed veterinarian, in cases of severe injury, illness, or advanced age.”

It’s that language that has wild horse advocates outraged.

Ginger Kathrens, executive director of the Colorado-based Cloud Foundation, said BLM “has a history of misinforming the public” about issues related to wild horses.

“Couple this with the vague ‘illness’ and ‘advanced age’ language” in the omnibus provision, “and the potential exists for the killing of thousands of horses,” said Kathrens, a member of the BLM National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board…(CONTINUED)

https://www.eenews.net/eenewspm/2017/05/04/stories/1060054082

BLM offers whistle stop tour of wild horses imprisoned at Indian Lakes Rd. facility in Fallon, NV

Once wild horses at Indian Lakes Rd. facility in Fallon, NV (photo:  Debbie Coffey)

Get ready to jump on the wagon for a BLM PR blitz…

Edited Press Release       Source:  BLM

RENO, Nev. —The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will host two free public tours of the Indian Lakes Off-Range Wild Horse and Burro Corral in Fallon, Nevada, on Friday, May 12. Tour attendees will be taken as a group by wagon around the facility to learn about it, the animals, and BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program.

About a 90-minute drive east of Reno, the corral is located at 5676 Indian Lakes Road, Fallon, and is privately owned and operated. The public tours will begin at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. and each will last about one hour and accommodate up to 20 people. Attendees should wear comfortable shoes and clothes; hats and sunscreen are recommended, and photography is welcome. On-site portable toilets will be available.

Horses at the Indian Lakes facility are made available to the public for adoption or purchase throughout the year at off-site adoption events and through BLM’s Internet Adoption program. For more information on adoption opportunities, visit https://on.doi.gov/2iByqXD.

To register for the tour or to get driving directions to the facility, please contact the BLM at (775) 475-2222.

 

BLM’s Wild Horse & Burro Program in a Death Spiral

Open Letter by Author Terry Farley

“BLM’s wild horse and burro math is statistically bizarre…”

As a journalist, I first interviewed BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program staffers in 1976, shortly after I moved to Nevada. Since then, I’ve followed the program’s death spiral.

Those who say wild horses and burros ruin the range claim there are too many of them, and yet there’s little agreement about how many wild equines remain on America’s public lands.

BLM’s wild horse and burro math is statistically bizarre. Even the National Academy of Sciences, charged by BLM to analyze the program (2013) concluded: “The Wild Horse and Burro Program has not used scientifically rigorous methods to estimate the population sizes of horses and burros …”

NAS warned “continuation of business-as-usual practices will be expensive and unproductive for BLM and the public it serves.” Worse, NAS pointed out that BLM’s lack of science has actually backfired on its stated goal of protecting the range.

BLM’s reaction? Keep paying independent contractors to chase, trap and corral the West’s remaining wild horses and offer $10 million to anyone who found a new means of mustang birth control.

BLM asked for a new method because PZP “didn’t work,” ignoring recent science and BLM personnel who admitted that — counter to instructions – contraceptives are not always kept frozen or even cold in the field.

Band dynamics: During round-ups, family bands are shattered, routinely divided into stallions, mares and contractor-determined weanlings. Horses are prey animals. They know safety is with the band and the resulting cacophony and blood of these separations is haunting. Fewer than 2 percent are ever reunited.

Injury: Compare injection site abscess to BLM documentation of a single round-up in which 113 mustangs died. Death from shattered pelvises, broken necks, skulls and spine were sometime attributed to natural causes or pre-existing conditions. Those diagnoses would strain my credulity even if I hadn’t been there.

If you still oppose contraception, please consider this: Proponents of selling wild horses without limitation have made in-roads at BLM and those who’d destroy mustang captives as they stand in government pens have visited the White House.

The extermination of a Western icon is near, and your choice can hasten or slow its approach.

PZP is reversible. Death is final.

More Fake News in Nevada about Wild Horses

Wild horse & burro advocate Bonnie Kohleriter gives her opinion below about an article in Range Magazine written by Rachel Dahl, a sixth generation Nevadan.  Dahl worked as a campaign manager for the former Sen. John Ensign and served on his Senate staff by managing his Carson City office.  (Sen. John Ensign later resigned after an ethics investigation.)

Private Cattle being herded onto public land at Antelope AS wild horses are being stampeded away ~ photo by Terry Fitch

The Queen of Fake News in Nevada

by Bonnie Kohleriter

Rachel Dahl is a writer for the Range magazine in Nevada, a pro cattle magazine, and is a resident in Mesquite, Nevada.

Grabbing a twisted tidbit from here and a twisted bit from there, Rachel Dahl attempts to impress her readers as a journalist. Having read her winter rant in the Range magazine, I feel compelled to retort with the following comments.

As Ms. Dahl reported, in the fall of 2016, at the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board Meeting, the Board did not vote to remove excess horses nor did it vote to sell the animals with no limitations or to euthanize the sick and the aged.  The Board, on the other hand, voted to euthanize 47,000 wild horses and burros in holdings off the range.

The horses, according to Ms. Dahl, are to blame for the ruinous condition of our public lands.  All hope is rested in removing them.  Or is all hope rested in removing cattle from the 27 M acres where the horses only are able to be and allowing cattle to be on the other 155 M acres of our public lands where they are currently.  It is understood cattle grazing on our public lands is a privilege and not a right as some ranchers want the public to believe.  Then, in addition, perhaps all hope is rested in the ranchers not being allowed to divert and cut off water from the horses.  Oh, horrors, Ms. Dahl, that there should be another way to look at managing our resources.

Again as Ms. Dahl reported, in the fall of 2016, the Board spent the day viewing where horses forage and viewing dead horses.  The Board spent the day viewing no dead horses and viewing where horses drink.  Dead horses were dramatically reported by Goicoechea who is a known horse hater and multi-generational cattle rancher.  The devastated land, according to the permittee, was done when overgrazing was done by  animals other than horses and burros and not by the horses themselves.

According to Ms. Dahl, Ben Masters, a member of the Board,  said the viewing that day was “one of the worst disasters he had ever seen.”  Ben is a young man who made a “movie” using Mustangs who were abused in the movie.  It is an absurdity that Ms. Dahl should use him as a source to substantiate her argument that horses have devastated our public lands.  Masters is no expert on our public lands.  He is also new to the wild horse and burro issues on our public lands.

Then Ms. Dahl brought up the name of Boyd Spratling to substantiate her argument as well.  Boyd Spratling had been on the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board and is from Elko, where the Board was currently conferring.  Boyd is primarily a cattle veterinarian, represents cattlemen on the State Agricultural Board, promotes harvesting our wild horses, and presents falsified pictures to tug at the heartstrings to convince the public of those poor, poor horses on the range.  But he can’t tell you where he gets his pictures and the dates they were taken.  Boyd Spratling is a traitor to wild horses and burros.  He does not have their best interests in mind.

Ms. Dahl sounds the alarm wild horses and burros are dying everywhere on the range and in private sanctuaries in Nevada and even in WOW!   South Dakota.  Wild animals die in times of environmental disaster just as humans are dying due drought  and famine in Kenya, South Sudan, and Niger.  Is the answer to kill them?

Ms. Dahl has pulled out all stops to degrade horses using Mrs. Pickens and Mrs. Sussman, who have taken care of wild horses, but have nothing to do with our herd management areas for wild horse and burros on our public lands.  Can she find any other areas in which to attack horses or the people who have and/or care for horses.  Her article is like “Let’s talk about dinner foods, now think about Cheerios.”

“Every ranch kid learns you are responsible for taking care of an animal when you take custody of them,” says Ms. Dahl.  So Ms. Dahl, you are a part of the public who by law, has custody of our wild horses and burros?  Are you simply going to kill them for meat because some ranchers and politicians have manipulated their allowable numbers on the range to be less than genetically viable numbers for perpetuity?  Or are you going to try to come up with solutions for them to keep them on the range as healthy horses, celebrating their place on our public lands as part of our cultural, historical heritage?