Action Alert: Call your U.S. Senators to save wild horses & burros!

Horses from the upcoming Checkerboard roundup could be killed.  (photo: Carol Walker)

The wild horses & burros need YOUR voice.  Now.

Language in the 2018 Budget would allow 46,000 wild horses in BLM holding facilities and tens of thousands more on public lands to be killed.  Your phone calls are the only chance the wild horses & burros have to stop this from happening.

Please fax (your letter will get to them quickly) even a simple handwritten note and/or make phone calls to your U.S. Senators, and tell them you are a constituent and:

1) You do NOT want our wild horses and burros to be killed, “euthanized” or sterilized.

2) Do NOT remove the sales restrictions that protect our wild horses and burros from being sold into the slaughter pipeline.

3) You oppose horse slaughter in the U.S.

Call or fax a note to YOUR U.S. Senators, and then also call of fax a note to:

SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE

PHONE & FAX NUMBERS

(CHAIR) Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) 202-224-5054   202-224-9450
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) 202-224-5744   202-224-3416
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) 202-224-6665   202-224-5301
Sen. John Boozman (R-AR) 202-224-4843   202-228-1371
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) 202-224-3841   202-228-3954
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) 202-224-4041   202-224-9750
Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) 202-224-5042   202-228-3075
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) 202-224-3041   202-228-0285
Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HW) 202-224-3934   202-228-1153
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) 202-224-2152   202-228-0400
Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) 202-224-6521   202-228-6966
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KS) 202-224-2541   202-224-2499
Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) 202-224-4623   202-228-0447
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) 202-224-2523   202-224-2693
Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) 202-224-4654   202-228-0629
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) 202-224-5721   202-224-8149
Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) 202-224-2644   202-224-8594
Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) 202-224-2651   202-228-1236
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) 202-224-2841   202-228-3194
Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) 202-224-2551   202-224-7999
Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) 202-224-5754   202-228-1015
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) 202-224-3753   202-228-3997
Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) 202-224-4642   202-224-4680
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) 202-224-4944   202-228-3398 (Big Pro-Horse Slaughter Supporter)
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) 202-224-0238   202-224-3479
Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) 202-224-2621   202-224-0238
Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) 202-224-5653   202-224-9787
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) 202-224-6472   202-224-7665
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) 202-224-3954  202-228-0002

Please only call Senators Udall and Graham to thank them for the Udall-Graham Amendment:

Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) 202-224-6621   202-228-3261                                                                                                                                           Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) 202-224-5972   202-224-3808

 

THE TRUTH #9 – Why did the BLM’s Palomino Valley wild horse & burro facility (or, the BLM, for that matter) spend taxpayer money to have CALVES rendered at Reno Rendering?

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 #9 – Why did the BLM’s Palomino Valley Wild horse & Burro facility (or, the BLM, for that matter) spend taxpayer money to have CALVES rendered at Reno Rendering?

Below is invoice #723617, dated 1/31/15, from Reno Rendering to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), that includes rendering costs for 6 calves.  However, our records indicate that the contract for Reno Rendering is an agreement with BLM’s Palomino Valley Center, where only wild horses and burros are kept in holding.  No cattle are kept in the BLM’s Palomino Valley Center.  Where did these calves come from?  Why would Palomino Valley, or the BLM for that matter, send calves for rendering?

Read the rest of this article and see the FOIA document (HERE).

BLM’s Palomino Valley Wild Horse and Burro Center (PVC)

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

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Secretive Slaughter Summit speakers slither out from under a rock

The National Horse & Burro Rangeland Management Coalition has released the videos of speakers from their “Slaughter Summit” that was recently held in Salt Lake City, Utah.  In a video that initially looks like the speaker is a talking hat and beard, we soon see it is actually John Ruhs, who is the Bureau of Land Management’s Nevada State Director and the BLM’s Acting Deputy Director of Operations.  You can watch this video HERE.

  John Ruhs

 Yes, John, there IS something wrong.  The wild horses & burros wouldn’t cost taxpayers “$50 million” a year if the BLM would manage wild horses and burros on the range, and we can save this money and solve this “problem” if the BLM would give back the 22 million acres of federally protected Herd Areas that the BLM took away from the wild horses and burros, (where they were grazing for free) and return all wild horses and burros that are currently in BLM holding facilities back on this land.  By the way, J.J. Goicoechea, 4th generation rancher and Nevada state veterinarian, is also a speaker on this video, and can be seen about 52 minutes into the presentation.

Well known Wild Horse Hater Callie Hendrickson can be seen HERE, at about 1 hr. and 4 minutes into the presentation.

You can watch Karen Budd-Falen, a prospective Trump choice to lead the BLM, HERE.

Rabid proponent of horse slaughter, The Wildlife Society, claims that “Over 100 groups representing youth, educators, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), Native American tribes, wildlife management and conservation groups, environmental organizations, public and private land managers, and horse advocates attended…” the Slaughter Summit.

But Ginger Kathrens, Exec. Dir. of The Cloud Foundation and member of BLM’s National Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board, was not invited to attend.

No list has been provided to the public of the “100 groups” that were invited to attend this Summit.  You’d think that if these groups were so proud of what they were doing, they’d be proud to come out from under their rocks.

Here’s a list of the Steering Committee (the group that “invited other parties and helped determine the content of the Summit”):

Arizona Sportsmen
Audubon Society
Beaver County Commission
Berryman Institute
Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus
Idaho Wildlife Federation
National Horse and Burro Rangeland Management Coalition
Nevada Division of Wildlife
Oregon Cattlemen’s Association
Society for Range Management
Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife
The Wildlife Society
Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership
University of Wyoming
Utah Department of Natural Resources
Utah Public Lands Policy Coordination Office
Utah State University Extension
Western Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies
Western Landowners Alliance
White River and Douglas Creek Conservation Districts
Wyoming State Grazing Board

BLM Releases Decision Record plan to wipe out the Red Desert Complex after they destroy the Checkerboard

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

BLM has announced it will be removing 2200 wild horses from the Red Desert Complex, starting in October 2017.  This would be after the Checkerboard Roundup, where the BLM is planning to remove 1560 wild horses starting in September.  This means 3760 wild horses will be removed from their homes and from their families, and this is over half the wild horses remaining in Wyoming.

This is insane.  Right now, Congress is considering the 2018 Budget which now includes language that will allow the killing of the 46,000 wild horses in short and long term holding as well as thousands more on the range.

Adding 3760 more horses makes absolutely no sense.  There is nowhere to even put this number of horses in short term holding unless the BLM has already begun shipping wild horses in holding to slaughter.

Rounding up and removing these horses is a death sentence to them if this budget passes without an amendment to protect the horses.

In the Red Desert Complex, the 5 herds will all be reduced to numbers below the 150-200 adults needed to maintain genetic viability. Stewart Creek will be at 150, Lost Creek at 60, Antelope Hills at 60 Crooks Mountain at 65 and Green Mountain will be left at the closest to the number needed, at 170.

The rationale is that the horses travel back and forth between areas so they consider the Complex as a whole at 480 wild horses.  But I dispute this.  There may be some mixing of the members of herds at the boundaries, but these are vast areas and horses tend to be territorial – they cannot guarantee that the horses will mix sufficiently to maintain genetic viability.  There is data provided on each herd’s genetic viability but most of this is very old data, not from the most recent roundup in 2011 and 2012.

Then they plan to use PZP-22 on all mares over 1 year old that are released back into the area.

This is a recipe for destroying these unique herds, not preserving them.

The BLM is making the worst possible decisions for the wild horses under their care, as they have been for decades.

Be sure to read Carol Walker’s blog, Wild Hoofbeats.

The Audacity of Horse Killers & How They Could Win

Magnificent Nelson, rescued Wild American Mustang, © Photo by Terry Fitch

By Susan Wagner, Pres. of Equine Advocates

It is quite unbelievable that in the midst of all the turmoil taking place in our country now due to natural disasters that horse slaughter proponents in the House of Representatives and the special interests from whom they take their marching orders would move to satisfy their deadly agendas by voting to kill the more than 46,000 healthy Wild Horses and Burros being held captive in BLM holding facilities.

The Stewart Amendment, inserted in the House Omnibus Bill by Rep. Chris Stewart of Utah, allows for the killing and sale “without regulation or limitation” (meaning to slaughter) of Wild Horses and Burros, thus removing any remaining federal protections they have.

The only hope left for these animals is for the U.S. Senate to act to protect them by passing the Udall-Graham Amendment. Senators Tom Udall of New Mexico and Lindsay Graham of South Carolina will introduce this amendment during the mark-up session of the Interior Appropriations Bill which would prevent the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) from going through with these murderous acts.

This is literally now a matter of life and death for these animals and the last chance to stop the pro-horse slaughter factions of our government from carrying out their heinous agendas which also includes the return of horse slaughter to U.S. soil.

What We All Must Do:

• Please call and fax the members of the Senate Appropriations Committee asking that they vote for the Udall-Graham Amendment. Emails are not effective at all. Faxing and following up by calling them are the most effective ways to reach these members. Please see the full listing of the members below.
• Fax and call your own two U.S. Senators even if they are not on the Appropriations Committee and ask them to support the Udall-Graham Amendment. Tell them that you want America’s Wild Horses and Burros to be protected and preserved, not slaughtered, killed, “euthanized” or sold “without regulation or limitation” which means, slaughter! Also tell them that you oppose the return of horse slaughter to the United States and support a permanent ban on this horrendous practice.

(FYI – There are free online faxing services that you can use including Fax Zero and Got Free Fax.)

I know this is a lot to ask, especially during this time of national crisis. However, those who are committed to destroying America’s last remaining Wild Horses and Burros will stop at nothing until these animals are extinct. They do not care about anything except the greed that drives them. They want the horses gone and they want to be able to slaughter any wild or domestic equine at will despite the fact that the vast majority of Americans are opposed to horse slaughter and support the preservation and protection of our Wild Horses and Burros.

Thank you for taking action. Stay tuned for new developments.

SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE

PHONE & FAX NUMBERS

(CHAIR) Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) 202-224-5054   202-224-9450
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) 202-224-5744   202-224-3416
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) 202-224-6665   202-224-5301
Sen. John Boozman (R-AR) 202-224-4843   202-228-1371
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) 202-224-3841   202-228-3954
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) 202-224-4041   202-224-9750
Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) 202-224-5042   202-228-3075
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) 202-224-3041   202-228-0285
Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HW) 202-224-3934   202-228-1153
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) 202-224-2152   202-228-0400
Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) 202-224-6521   202-228-6966
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KS) 202-224-2541   202-224-2499
Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) 202-224-4623   202-228-0447
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) 202-224-2523   202-224-2693
Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) 202-224-4654   202-228-0629
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) 202-224-5721   202-224-8149
Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) 202-224-2644   202-224-8594
Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) 202-224-2651   202-228-1236
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) 202-224-2841   202-228-3194
Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) 202-224-2551   202-224-7999
Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) 202-224-5754   202-228-1015
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) 202-224-3753   202-228-3997
Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) 202-224-4642   202-224-4680
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) 202-224-4944   202-228-3398 (Big Pro-Horse Slaughter Supporter)
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) 202-224-0238   202-224-3479
Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) 202-224-2621   202-224-0238
Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) 202-224-5653   202-224-9787
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) 202-224-6472   202-224-7665
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) 202-224-3954  202-228-0002

Please only call Senators Udall and Graham to thank them for the Udall-Graham Amendment:

Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) 202-224-6621   202-228-3261                                                                                                                                           Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) 202-224-5972   202-224-3808

BLM’s Sally Spencer, who authorized sale of about 1,000 wild horses to kill buyer Tom Davis, gets “promoted” to Acting District Manager

Source:  eplanning.blm.gov

BLM’s Sally J. Spencer

by Debbie Coffey, V.P. & Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs, Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Sally Spencer, as the Supervisory Marketing Specialist for the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse & Burro Program, personally authorized the sale of almost 1,000 of the wild horses (that ended up going to slaughter) to kill buyer Tom Davis.  Spencer was also willing to sell 10,000 wild horses to slaughter in Canada.   In 2017, Sally Spencer signed a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for an oil and gas lease sale, as the “Acting District Manager” for BLM’s Southeastern States District Office.

The BLM must’ve been very happy with Spencer’s work selling wild horses & burros to slaughter, to allow her to be an Acting District Manager and make major decisions about selling off our public lands.

FONSI signed by Sally J. Spencer as Acting District Manager (see the entire FONSI HERE.)

Bill of Sale to kill buyer Tom Davis signed by Sally J. Spencer (note: the year at the top of the document is 2012, and the year by Tom Davis’ signature is 2012, BUT, Sally Spencer wrote in the year as 2011.)

THE TRUTH #8 – The BLM’s own records indicate its plans for sterilizations and non-reproducing herds for wild horses & burros could be challenged by law

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 #8 – The BLM’s own records indicate its plans for sterilizations and non-reproducing herds for wild horses & burros could be challenged by law.

Note the following “LIMITATIONS AND BARRIERS” in the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) records below, and then note the “NEEDS” in the column on the far right, where they even state they need a “clarification” in the WH & B Act to indicate that non-reproducing herds are acceptable. And that they also need a “Change to the WH & B regulations to eliminate the phrase ‘Shall be managed as self-sustaining populations.'”

There is no question that the BLM intends to manage to wild horses & burros to extinction.

Here are a few “population suppression methods” with the BLM’s comments in italics:

Regarding Non-Reproductive or Minimally Reproducing Herd“Certain litigation challenge WH & B regulation states to manage for sustainable populations. Solicitors indicate this presents gray area of uncharted waters to navigate legal challenge.”

Regarding Ovariectomy“Likely to be litigated. Challenges are presented because ovariectomies conducted in first 100 days of conception have been shown to cause spontaneous abortions. About 75% of captured mares are pregnant. Spaying is traditionally conducted in sterile surgery room on non-pregnant domestic mares, and is considered highly invasive. Has been conducted on experimental basis in field Sheldon Wildlife Refuge wild mares, but no data were recorded on mortality or rate of abortions.”

Regarding Non-Reproductive Herd Components“Certain legal challenges. Higher controversy if ovariectomy is involved. Unknown behavioral effects.”

Regarding the fertility control SpayVac“Unknown efficacy and unknown exact mechanism of action. Field trials will be litigated w/o further data from pen trials.”

Read the rest of this article and see the FOIA documents HERE.

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

THE TRUTH #7 – The BLM considered sending 2,000 wild horses to Russia to be used as prey for Siberian tigers and Amur leopards in a “pilot program.”

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 #7 – The BLM considered sending 2,000 wild horses to Russia to be used as prey for Siberian tigers and Amur leopards in a “pilot program.”

On 3/30/2011, Lon Ball of Trout Lake, Washington sent the BLM an application to buy wild horses.  Ball said he was affiliated with the Hasan Ranch division of Bio Rice 000, and listed their address as Ussurisk, Primorye, Russia.  He requested that the sea travel for these 2,000 wild horses to a Vladivostok, Russia area port be paid for by the BLM (with your tax dollars).

That same day, Sally Spencer, BLM’s Supervisory Marketing Specialist, emailed Ball to inform him that she sent his application for further processing.  Lon Ball then sent her an email stating:

“Thank you for your quick reply, I am gratified.  Does this mean the BLM would consider transferring wild horses outside the US?  I realize that the BLM is on the defensive from all the animal rights activists.  I have polled many groups and some individuals with my idea of a sanctuary where there are predators and gotten nothing but positive response so far.  This is habitat for both the critically endangered Amur leopard and the endangered Siberian tiger.  Poachers keep the ungulate numbers critically low and the habitat is nearly sterile for lack of prey.  We could take up to 2,000 head as a pilot program, seriously.  I would appeal to non-profit groups who promoted the anti-slaughter bills to pay for transport.  How could they conscientiously refuse? lol”

Sally Spencer forwarded Ball’s application to Karla Bird, the Acting Division Chief of the BLM”s Wild Horse & Burro Program at that time, and BLM’s Dean Bolstad (who is currently the Division Chief of the BLM’s Wild Horse & Burro Program), and asked “Is this something we should consider?”

Most of us would consider selling 2,000 wild horses to be used as prey for Siberian tigers in Russia, as selling the horses for slaughter. However, as you can see from the emails below, the BLM actually considered this idea, instead of issuing an outright “no.”  In these emails, there was no mention of how horrendous of an ordeal it would be for the horses to be transported over the ocean on a ship. And it seems like Dean Bolstad was trying to find a way to justify this sale, by bringing up 2008 National Advisory Board recommendations related to “selling animals and relocating them overseas.”

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

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

BLM Web Disaster

SOURCE:  climatewest.org

“The Bureau of Land Management has already been under fire for using its website to promote fossil fuel industry interests, but this absolute elimination of online access and information is a scandal of epic proportions.”

Trump’s BLM Web Disaster

By

For those who don’t know, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management has been moving to a new website over the last several months. Far from a seamless transition, however, the move has been a complete disaster.

In the last several weeks, the agency seems to have completely disconnected its old website, effectively erasing any content that once existed on the web. While this wouldn’t be a bad thing if the Bureau had migrated all its content to the new website, unfortunately, this hasn’t happened. Making matters worse, the new website seems to be incomplete, lacks cohesion and any semblance of organization, is slow to load, and barely registers on web searches.

The result has been a complete web catastrophe: Information that was once publicly available is no longer accessible, public access to information and web pages seems to have been eliminated, and, more than ever, Americans are in the dark when it comes to the functions and actions of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

Let’s be clear, no matter what your interest or agenda is, this is a major affront to transparency. It also underscores how President Trump and his Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, are bent on shutting out the public out of the management of public lands and resources.

For years, the American public has relied on the Bureau of Land Management’s websites to access all sorts of information: recreation maps; instructions for filing applications for permits and claims; reports and analyses; news updates; staff contact information; and more. Now, it’s pretty much all gone.

Read the rest of this article HERE.

BLM is “cowed” by Livestock Industry

Privately owned welfare cattle being herded onto public land and wild horse habitat DURING a BLM roundup at Antelope Complex, NV. ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Below is a letter to the Editor of the Elko Daily Free Press by George Wuerthner

SOURCE:  Elko Daily Free Press

Editor:

The recent August 11 editorial approving of Secretary of Interior Zinke’s review of the sage grouse recovery plans may sound good to the livestock industry but it does not represent the best science.

As a former BLM botanist and an ecologist, I can attest to the fact that the BLM is “cowed” by the livestock industry. And the assertion that “well managed” grazing “may” be beneficial to sage grouse, is like saying chemo treatments might be good for one’s health. Only in rare instances, can livestock be considered “beneficial” to sage grouse.

The fact remains that livestock grazing is the SINGLE biggest negative impact on sage grouse. Livestock production impacts sage grouse at multiple stages of its life cycle. For instance, the BLM and the editorial in the Elko Daily appear to suggest that “invasive plants (meaning cheatgrass) and wildfire are the greatest threat to sage grouse.”

This is true as far as it goes. It’s like suggesting that diabetes is a threat to American health without naming sugar and obesity as the ultimate factors. Livestock, by disturbing biocrusts, promotes the establishment of cheatgrass. In addition, by preferentially consuming the native grasses, livestock reduces their competitiveness, giving the advantage to cheatgrass.

Of course, the widespread invasion of the highly flammable cheatgrass, promoted by livestock grazing, is a major factor promoting so many large range fires.

Livestock also consumes the forbs (read flowers) that sage grouse chicks need during the first few months of their lives. Sage grouse chicks also require wet meadows and riparian areas for foraging on forbs and insects, and nothing has done more damage to western arid riparian areas and wet meadows than trampling by livestock.

Let’s not forget that fences are a major source of mortality for the slow flying sage grouse, and what factor is responsible for most of the fences on western rangelands? Livestock!

Livestock grazing, by reducing the height of residential vegetation, also reduces the hiding cover for chicks and adult grouse, making them more vulnerable to predators. And fence posts are a preferred lookout for raptors which can p

Indeed, due to predation risk, some studies suggest sage grouse will avoid fence lines for up to a mile—removing a significant amount of the habitat that might otherwise be available to them.

Stock troughs are also a breeding ground for mosquitoes that carry West Nile Virus, which in some parts of the sage grouse range is a major source of mortality.

These are only a few of the ways that livestock production harms sage grouse. The only reason the BLM says livestock may be beneficial is that it is weak-kneed and has been systematically had its scientific staff ignored, demoralized and eliminated.

George Wuerthner