HAVE YOU TRIED TO BALANCE YOUR WILD HORSE AND BURRO “CHECKBOOK” LATELY?

Guest OpEd by Grandma Gregg

“…only about half of the foals survive to become yearling age…”

I am sure you are aware that the BLM wild horse and burro populations are almost always wrong and that they usually use 20% annual increase as their standard. Independent research has shown that the “average” annual foaling rate is about 20% (SEE LINK https://rtfitchauthor.com/2014/04/28/report-wild-horse-population-growth/).

Even an Elementary School Dunce knows math better than the BLM

Even an Elementary School Dunce knows math better than the BLM

The issue that the BLM refuses to consider is that only about half of the foals survive to become yearling age (less than reproduction age). This gives us an annual herd population increase of only about 10%. Additionally, adult mortality must be factored which reduces the increase even further … to even less than 10% actual herd increase per year. I am aware that this is only average and that many factors (disease, climate extremes, changes in habitat, etc.) vary from year to year, but facts and simple math certainly contradict the BLM’s average herd increases of 20%.

With that in mind, take a look at the BLM’s population numbers and increases for our Oregon Three Fingers HA (below chart). Note that one year they even used a 67% increase – and this herd has been PZP’d in the past. Using this knowledge, it is my estimate that there are only about 100-140 or so wild horses on the Three Fingers, which is even less than the 150 planned capture/removal proposal.

If you have ever tried to balance your checkbook, you are aware that if you continue to take more money (or horses) OUT than what is being replaced … it is not long until you have a negative balance. That is what the BLM is doing – managing for extinction.

Three Fingers Oregon HMA per Herd Stats

ThreeFingers

From: “Moore, Larry” <l2moore@blm.gov>
Date: August 29, 2016 9:24:22 AM PDT
Vale District BLM Plans Emergency Wild Horse Gather

Vale, Ore. – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Vale District is announcing a plan to conduct an emergency gather of wild horses in the Three Fingers Herd Management Area (HMA).

The Cherry Road Fire, that started August 21, 2016, burned approximately 90 percent of the Wildhorse Basin pasture, where more than half of the estimated 279 horse herd resides. The remaining horses reside in the Riverside pasture. Currently, the remaining 10 percent of the Wildhorse Basin pasture has limited water resources or forage.

For this reason, the BLM’s Vale District is planning to gather approximately 150 wild horses and transport them to the Wild Horse Corral Facility in Hines, Oregon. It is estimated that between 80 and 120 wild horses will remain in the Riverside Pasture in the southern end of the HMA.

The post-fire recovery period for the HMA is generally two active growing seasons for upland vegetation. The removed horses which exceed the low end of the Appropriate Management Level (AML) will be prepared to be included in the adoption program. The Appropriate Management Level for the area is 75 to 150 wild horses.

The start date of the gather has yet to be determined, but is expected to take place as early as August 29, 2016. The length of the gather is currently unknown.

Statistics associated with the gather can be found at: http://go.usa.gov/xW2Zk.

The Three Fingers HMA is approximately 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 Cherry Road Fire has so far burned more than 35,000 acres to the west of the Owyhee Reservoir.

The public can visit and view the horses once they arrive at the Wild Horse Corral Facility any time during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Additional information about the BLM’s wild horse and burro program is available at:

http://www.blm.gov/or/resources/whb/

Larry Moore

Public Affairs Officer

Bureau of Land Management, Vale District

U.S. Department of Interior

(541) 473-6218

(541) 709-1457

R.T. Fitch on Voices Carry for Animals Radio Show on Tuesday night

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JOIN US on Tuesday, August 30th, 2016 at 7:00 pm CST
DEBS LOGA
5:00 pm PST … 6:00 pm MST … 7:00 pm CST … 8:00 pm EST

LISTEN LIVE (HERE!)

Call In (917) 388-4520 press 1 to speak

Hosted By Debbie Dahmer

_______________________________________________________________

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Guest will be: R.T. Fitch- President of  Wild Horse Freedom Federation
 WILD HORSE FREEDOM FEDERATION
“Putting People between Wild Equines and Extinction.”
Wild Horse Freedom Federation advances the power of individuals to take informed and compassionate action to ensure the safety, welfare and lawful disposition of free roaming wild horses and burros.  Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF) is an organization particularly focused on wild equine protection, research and education.  They do so by monitoring wild equine habitat conservation, advocating awareness for the environment and conditions as they relate to wild horses and burros, non-invasive research programs, legal intervention and more.
RT’s blog:  Straight from the Horse’s Heart    https://rtfitchauthor.com/
“Voices Carry for Animals” 2nd Year Anniversary! Special Thank You goes out to Marti Oakley, All former guests, and All Listeners for making this show a total success. The more voices and actions takers the stronger we become to get positive changes made for the animals in need. They so well deserve. All Lives Matter and All Ages Matter including all the animals. Put a little love in your heart and do your part. Help the voiceless, helpless, innocent, and defenseless. All animals should live in Peace, Comfort, Love, & Freedom. It’s up to all of us to make it happen. Thank You ALL So Very much! – Debbie Dahmer

Continue reading

Video Update: Few Clues in Murdered Wild Mustang Case

Story by George Knapp as broadcast on LasVegasNow.com

“Let the Finger-Pointing Begin!”

Please Comment on the BLM’s Long Term Plans for and Removals of Wild Horses at Sand Wash Basin

Update from Carol Walker as published on Wild Hoofbeats

The Colorado BLM published the Environmental Assessment for the Sand Wash Basin Herd in Colorado on August 6. The deadline for comments is September 4, 2016.

Corona of Sand Wash Basin ~ photo by Carol Walker

Corona of Sand Wash Basin ~ photo by Carol Walker

It is extremely important that you write and comment because the way that the EA is set up, on the surface it looks as though it is a proposal for a simple bait trapping of wild horses, giving at least 80% of the mares PZP-22 for birth control and then removing 50 horses. You might say “well, that’s not so bad.” But in actuality, it is a 10 year plan that opens the door for helicopter removals down to low AML over the period of 10 years, with no opportunity to comment later on the plan. This part of the EA must be changed. Currently, if you look on the BLM’s eplanning website for the project here:

https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-front-office/eplanning/projectSummary.do?methodName=renderDefaultProjectSummary&projectId=59798

The length of the project is 10 years, with the start date at 03/28/2016 and the end date of 9/30/2016.

And the paragraph that really concerns me is this one:

“In 2016, it is estimated that up to 50 excess wild horses would be sent to the GEMS for adoption. The number of excess wild horses removed in the future may vary depending on holding space at the GEMS or BLM preparation and holding facilities. The number of excess horses removed from the HMA would not reduce the population to below the low end of AML within the Sand Wash Basin following implementation of the proposed action.”

This opens the door for the BLM to remove more horses down the road, without public comments, possibly even down to low AML which is only 163 horses. This urgently needs to be removed from the EA. If what the Wild Horse and Burro Expert Ben Smith told me is true, that they are only doing removals this year and the 10 year part is just for the annual administration of PZP-22, then that needs to be spelled out clearly.

Current population estimate of the Sand Wash Basin Herd is 550 wild horses, and that number does not include foals born this year – there are estimated to be 57 foals born this year. Appropriate Management Level, (AML) for the Sand Wash Basin Herd is 163-362.

This population estimate was made doing an actual ground count by volunteers, the very best way to get an accurate count. I applaud the BLM for this paragraph: “Population estimates in the Sand Wash Basin HMA are likely to be close to the actual number of horses due to the volunteers that observe the horses in a consistent manner, and track foaling and death loss.”

The biggest concern I and others have had was that the BLM could schedule a helicopter roundup and remove 444 wild horses. They do not have room for these horses in short and long term holding. So they worked out a plan to use bait trapping, intending to capture 80% of the mares in the herd and give them PZP, and then remove 50 young horses who will be sent to the Great Escape Mustang Sanctuary (GEMS) for training and placement. You can read about them here: http://greatescapesanctuary.org/

There are three alternatives in this EA:

Alternative A: Bait trapping, Fertility control using PZP-22 and removal of 50 horses which will be sent to GEMS

Alternative B: Bait Trapping, Fertility control using PZP-22, No removal of horses

Alternative C: No Action

The Sand Wash Basin Herd Management Area is 157,730 acres, and there are 4 grazing allotments for livestock ranchers grazing sheep in the area. It is a very dry and arid area, and some years have better rain than others. But in my opinion the very best thing that could happen for this herd would be to raise the AML to 350-600 and retire all the livestock grazing leases, and make Sand Wash Basin a Wild Horse Range. Sand Wash Basin wild horses should be managed as the principle species in this Herd Management Area, as mandated in the 1971 Wild Horse and Burro Act.

This is the BLM response to raising the AML:

“Current monitoring data does not support raising the AML for wild horses within the current multiple use balance established under the RMP. This alternative was not brought forward for detailed analysis because it is outside of the scope of the analysis, and would not be in conformance with the 2011 Little Snake Field Office ROD and Approved RMP which direct the Secretary to immediately remove excess wild horses, and is inconsistent with the BLM’s multiple use mandate.”

This is the response regarding managing wild horses as the principle species and making Sand Wash Basin a wild horse range:

“Alternative D of the Little Snake Proposed Resource Management Plan/Final Environmental Impact Statement (October 2011) analyzed an alternative under which the Sand Wash Basin HMA would be designated as a wild horse range and managed principally, though notexclusively, for wild horses. This alternative would still have included population management,though the AML may have been raised as AUMs allocated for livestock grazing would have been reallocated to wild horses. This alternative was not selected in the RMP.”

Usually RMPs are changed about every 20 years. This is not acceptable. This needs to change.

I encourage you to select alternative B or C – the horses are going to be safest in their homes, with their families.  And make sure you ask that the 10 year part of the plan be only applicable to the administration of PZP-22, and that any future removals of wild horses from the range needs to comply with NEPA and have a public comment period beforehand. I would also recommend that you ask that the public be able to observe the bait trapping.

Please comment by September 4, 2016.

Public Comments Can be mailed to:

Little Snake Field Office at 455 Emerson St., Craig, CO 81625

or submitted via email to blm_co_sandwash_hma@blm.gov.

Comments are due by September 4, 2016.

Update: Former Wild Horses found dead, $100K reward offered to find culprits who sabotaged horse preserve

Story by I-Team’s George Knapp on LasVegasNow.com

A dozen or more wild mustangs at a preserve in Elko County died of thirst after someone disabled all of their water sources.

A reward of $100,000 is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the persons responsible for a disturbing act of animal cruelty.  WARNING: Some of the images you are about to see are disturbing.

A dozen or more wild mustangs at a preserve in Elko County died of thirst after someone disabled all of their water sources.  The mustangs were living at the preserve because they were rescued by businesswoman Madeleine Pickens.  In addition to the dead horses, dozens of others are now missing.

“They got little Scarlet,” Pickens said.  “She wasn’t a pony — just a small horse. She was so sweet.”

Pickens said when she arrived Monday afternoon to her Elko County ranch, one of the first dead horses she saw was a mare known at the ranch as Scarlet. Pickens named her.

The withered remains of 11 more Mustangs were found in and around the water sources that had been installed for the horses. Each of the pumps and wells used to provide water to the horses had been sabotaged, disabled, dried up, which meant the 60 or so horses living in that sector had no water in the summer heat.

Reward: $100,000 offered

“The horses know where all the water is,” Pickens said.  “Every one of them was off, so all they could do is die of thirst, and it’s not a  pretty death. It’s horrible to see them laying there.”

It’s not the first time Picken’s property has been vandalized.  She’s spent seven years, along with $25 million turning a barren, overgrazed cattle ranch into the 600,000 acre Mustang Monument.

The Mustang Monument is an eco-resort and sanctuary for 700 or more wild horses which were ransomed and rescued by Pickens before they could be sent to a slaughterhouse.

However, due to the continued opposition by the BLM and Elko County officials — the eco-resort is closed. Pickens and her staff still operate the monument as a self-sustaining foundation, and when she’s on the property, she helps feed the Mustangs.

The sabotage occurred in the northeast corner of the property, more than an hour’s drive from the main ranch house.  Ranch hands check every week on the herd living out there. They found the carnage over the weekend.

But it was more than random vandalism. Every gate was open and every fence was cut and laid down. A few horses were still alive when they were found, but they were too weak to stand.

“I feel so guilty because I rescued these horses from the killer-buyers and from going to slaughterhouses,” Pickens said.  “They’re on a 12,000-acre private piece of land — all fenced in with wells and springs — and they should be safe. But some hoodlums, some outlaws come in and kill them.”

Pickens staff contacted the Elko Sheriff’s Office, but they’re not confident there will be much of an investigation, so Wednesday afternoon, she told the 8 News NOW I-Team she was offering a reward of $100,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the persons responsible.

“I’m in shock. It’s so disturbing when you drive by and see these beautiful bodies lying on the ground,” Pickens said.

If you have any information regarding these crimes against Saving America’s Mustangs and Mustang Monument, please call Rean Wegley immediately at 858-759-5517 or contact her by email on rwegley@savingamericasmustangs.org.

The I-Team had recently visited Mustang Monument as part of a planned news series.

http://www.lasvegasnow.com/news/i-team-mustangs-found-dead-100k-reward-offered-to-find-culprits-who-sabotaged-horse-preserve

Advocates Carla Bowers & Bonnie Kohleriter on 83% of wild horse & burro herds set to collapse, on Wild Horse & Burro Radio (Wed., 8/17/16)

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Join us on Wild Horse Wednesdays®, Aug. 17, 2016

6:00 pm PST … 7:00 pm MST … 8:00 pm CST … 9:00 pm EST

Listen to the live show (HERE!)

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

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

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

________________________________________

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Wild horses from the Carter Reservoir Herd Management Area on the California/Nevada border. (photo: BLM)

Our guests tonight are Carla Bowers and Bonnie Kohleriter (retired science teacher), who are wild horse and burro advocates and two of the best researchers in the advocacy.  They will tell you why 83% of wild horse and burro herds are on the brink of collapse, and explain the real numbers and genetics, not the fuzzy math and inaccurate information that the BLM doles out to the public.

These women each personify the meaning of the phrase “one person can make a difference.”  After attending helicopter roundups of wild horses in the Twin Peaks Herd Management Area (HMA) in northeastern California about 6 years ago, and seeing the reality of the actions of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Carla and Bonnie each got involved and started to go to BLM meetings, travel to HMAs around the West, and dig for answers.

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

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

Reward Increased in Deaths of 3 Arizona Wild Burros

BLM to Target Wild Horses in Utah to Appease Cattle Ranchers

Unedited excerpt By of The Salt Lake Tribune

“The Utah ‘Good Ole Boy’ club comes out this week with their guns a blazing as the BLM bends to the pressure of a law suit where local politicians, in the pocket of cattle ranchers, want wild horses cleared off the land so their welfare cattle can strip the range clear of any foliage.  Gotta just love the mentality of the ‘Bubbas’ as most of them refer to the 6th grade as their ‘Senior Year’ and it shows.  (meanwhile, back in Texas, we buy land, fence it, pay taxes on it and maintain it for livestock…no bovine welfare in the Lone Star State, oh dang, I used a big word again.  Bovine=Cows, boys…get it?)” ~ R.T.


The Bureau of Land Management this week launches another roundup to remove wild horses from Utah’s open range, this time targeting Blawn Wash in Beaver County, where ranchers have complained free-roaming horses are degrading the range.

Privately owned welfare cattle being herded onto public land and wild horse habitat . ~  photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Privately owned welfare cattle being herded onto public land and wild horse habitat . ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

The roundup fulfills a legal settlement with state officials who took the BLM to court last year over the proliferation of wild horses on state trust lands in the West Desert. That settlement calls on the feds and the state to work cooperatively to manages horses there. These animals, which are protected under federal law, have become a sore point for ranchers and county commissioners who say the BLM is failing to keep horse numbers in check.

The agency spends millions gathering horses off the range and housing them for life in contract corrals.

Starting on Wednesday, the BLM will deploy helicopters to drive up to 150 horses into traps. The public is invited to observe the operation each day. Those interested must meet BLM staff at the KB Express, 238 S. Main in Milford, by 5 a.m. Call 801-539-4050 for details.

Last month, the BLM removed 370 horses from the Conger and Frisco herd-management areas. About 60 were returned to the range as part of a population-control research project.

Under a 2001 land exchange, the School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration amassed a 26,000-acre block of land about 35 miles southwest of Milford at Blawn Wash, representing 43 percent of what was then a federal herd-management area and more than two-thirds of its forage.

The state has routinely pressured the BLM to rid these lands of horses, but their numbers bounced back after each of the previous four roundups. Since 2000, the BLM has pulled 550 horses from Blawn, including 143 as recently as two years ago.

Some of the gathered animals are adopted out, but most join thousands of other formerly free-roaming horses spending their lives in captivity at the expense of U.S. taxpayers. Federal law prohibits the killing of wild horses except for humanitarian purposes.

Horse advocacy groups, which had tried to intervene in the suit, were displeased with the BLM court settlement, asserting it puts the narrow interests of ranchers ahead of the broader public’s.

http://www.sltrib.com/home/4194649-155/utah-roundup-will-target-wild-horses

Opinion: BLM Seeks Roundup of Ethical Wild Burros

“In my humble opinion” by R.T. Fitch ~ pres/co-founder of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

“Say what…?”

Here we go again; the BLM, our federal agency with bumbling communication skills and horrific math abilities, is back at it in their continued attempt to both amaze and confuse the American public straight into numbed oblivion.

"REALLY...?"

“REALLY…?”

Last week they wanted us to comment on their Black Mountain Wild Burro atrocity but our comments were to follow the strict guideline of “Comments are not considered substantive that are emotional in nature or in favor or against the project.”, and we got that. We are not to give a crap nor have an opinion either way, cool. Simple logic coming from a government employee but that is not all that they mean to instruct us upon, there are more golden nuggets that they want to share.

In the BLM’s Final Black Mountain Ecosystem Management Plan and Environmental Assessment we get a little lesson on wild burros;

Burro populations appear to be relatively unaffected by drought or predation”…got it, we have been telling you for years that they are tough little rascals that will actually dig watering holes in the desert that other creatures, both wild and domestic, utilize to stay alive, yet you hunt them like they are vermin.

MORTALITY for most age classes of burros is low, however…”, however?

That’s sort of scary, kinda like ‘ You look good, but…’ or ‘We were planning to give you a substantial raise, however…’, sorta makes your blood run cold, but let’s proceed with just a little bit of a drum roll because I believe the BLM is about to address a super-important factoid for the sake of enlightening the ever stupid American public;

…however, MORALITY apparently increases dramatically for animals approaching six or seven years of age.” Holy Cow, Batman, let me riddle this one for ya!

The MORALITY of wild burros increases, they get more civil and more politically correct, as wild burros age. What the hell, that is news that puts the wild burros ahead of Homo-Sapiens as we simply become drooling dirty old men as we get older, our morality disappears into the mist of memory and is replaced by online skirmishes in the wee hours of the night. I must say, I am very, very impressed.

Armed with this new knowledge, I believe that the Wild Horse and Burro advocacy should take another approach in how we fight the BLM’s continued attempt to mismanage wild horses and burros into extinction. Instead of taking our case to politicians, who obviously don’t give a rat’s ass about what is happening, we should take our case to the clergy, the morale guardians of our souls and politically correct behavior.

I mean, REALLY, folks; these are the bumbling fools that we, with open eyes, allow to manage the national treasure that are our wild horses and burros? Their math sucks and is nothing more than obvious, contrived lies. They harass, hurt, round-up, conduct cruel experiments upon and even kill our wild ones; and between the lot of them they can’t even put together a document, that they use to justify their cruel behavior, any better than an average freshman in college. We got problems! We got BIG problems and instead of showing signs of improvement, the BLM continues to spiral out of control and into a realm where true MORTALITY and common sense no longer exist.

I know that I laugh and poke fun at the lack of decorum and scientific data but the crisis is real, and the problem is huge. The BLM needs to do what they do best, fight fires and save lives in that manner instead of playing with ovaries of wild horses and decimating our last, few remaining herds of wild horses and burros.

If it all were not so terribly sad, I would be rolling on the floor with laughter but instead, I feel the urge to lose my breakfast and bury my head into a pillow while I scream to the injustice of the entire, screwed-up situation.

We will never abandon the wild ones, nor shall we cease to speak out in their behalf. If it were not for you, the advocates, the last whinny or bray would now be a distant memory on the public lands that Congress has deemed home for the wild equines.

Please; continue to share, speak for and enlighten others on the plight of our wild horses and burros as knowledge and awareness are the most powerful weapons of defense that we wield and one thing is most obviously certain; we can make our case much better than the BLM and in the end, truth and facts will win over subversion and lies. It will happen, so let us make it so.

Burros to be removed in Spring Mountain Ranch State Park

See the news video HERE.

By Caroline Bleakley | cbleakley@8newsnow.com, Vanessa Murphy | vmurphy@8newsnow.com

Burros who have made their home in the Spring Mountain Ranch State Park are being captured by the Bureau of Land Management and will soon be transported to California for adoption.

According to the BLM, the burros are being gathered because they pose safety hazards on the park’s roadways and are damaging the park’s restoration efforts. Currently, there are from 90 to 108 burros in the park.
In the past, moving the burros has been controversial.  A BLM spokeswoman says it’s out of the public’s view to make sure the process runs smoothly.

She explained corrals are set up for bait and trap, so the animals go to an area to eat or drink; a gate closes behind them, and she calls this process “low stress” for the burros.

Alan Levinson who co-owns Bonnie Springs Ranch next to the park says he is concerned about the heat and the affect it can have on the younger and older burros.  Levinson says he believes the BLM should be more transparent with the process.

“Anything in the government these days is such a problem that I think that if they’re rounding them up — if they’re baiting some corrals in the area — the news crews should at least be able to go in and get video of what’s going on and check it out so they can make the public feel at ease,” Levinson said.  “That it is being done humanely, nobody is being chased around with helicopters which has happened in the past.”

Approximately 40 will be gathered using a bait and water trap method to lure them into temporary corrals. No helicopters will be used.

You can call (702) 515-5095 for an update on the burro gather or visit:  http://on.doi.gov/2aUTacxRead the rest of this article HERE.