“Just imagine what this does, in the form of welfare ranching, to our public lands and it’s effect on wild horses, burros and all other wildlife, let alone ourselves!” ~ R.T.
“Once again Western Special Interest Politicians are grasping numbers out of their backside where their heads reside most of the time. Without science, fact or evidence they spout out numbers and figures that paint a false representation of what is really going on upon our western public lands. It is Babel speak as usual with the horses and burros catching the flack for the damage to the land that is, instead, caused by tens of thousands of privately owned cattle and sheep. According to these false prophets only the horses eat and poop while the welfare cattle and sheep simply live on air alone…it’s all so very disgusting. Time to vote into office individuals who speak the truth, listen to the public and truly care about our public lands; do such politicians exist? We can only hope.” ~ R.T.
Story By Henry Brean
Las Vegas Review-Journal
Republicans in Congress want the Bureau of Land Management to answer for an “ineffective” strategy that has failed to halt the explosion of wild horse and burro populations both on the range and in captivity.
In a Nov. 4 letter to BLM director Neil Kornze, Sen. Dean Heller and Rep. Mark Amodei from Nevada and 18 other lawmakers requested a detailed report on what the agency is doing now and what it plans to do in the future to bring horse populations under control.
According to the letter, current strategies “have been largely unsuccessful” across the West, leading to overcrowding in BLM herd management areas and holding facilities, poor herd health and damage to range land.
“Almost half of the 100,000 horses under the purview of the Bureau of Land Management are located in holding facilities off the range, and adoptions have fallen by almost 70 percent in the last 10 years,” the letter says.
The lawmakers are asking the BLM for details on birth control treatments, “humane euthanasia,” roundups, adoptions and other efforts to shrink herds to the agency’s own “appropriate management level” for the West, which calls for a total population of no more than 26,715 horses and burros across 10 states.
As of March 1, there were some 58,150 horses and burros living free on the range, more than half of them in Nevada, according to BLM estimates.
In addition to information on current efforts, Congressional Republicans want Kornze and company to produce four to six detailed plans, including timelines and cost estimates, to “effectively curb the overarching trend of overstocked” herd management areas.
BLM spokesman Craig Leff said the agency is still reviewing the inquiry from Congress and is “committed to improving the health of the horses and the land.”
Leff said the bureau is already working to put its horse and burro program “on a more cost-effective, sustainable track” consistent with the recommendations of a 2013 report by the National Academy of Sciences that determined wild horse and burro populations on federal land in the West were growing at a rate of 15 to 20 percent annually.
“As part of our long-term strategy, the BLM in partnership with universities and the U.S. Geological Survey is developing more effective fertility control methods,” Leff said in an email.
The agency is also “promoting public-private eco-sanctuaries or off-range pastures to hold excess wild horses removed from western public rangelands and working to boost adoptions by making more trained horses available to the public for adoption,” Leff said.
The GOP letter comes two months after the BLM removed more than 200 wild horses said to be on the verge of starvation in the Spring Mountains northwest of Las Vegas. At least 28 of those animals collected from around the tiny community of Cold Creek were later killed because they were deemed too far gone to save.
The BLM’s appropriate management level for the 102,000 acres surrounding Cold Creek is 66 adult horses. In May, the bureau counted about 470 horses in the area.
The BLM rounded up 250 horses from the same herd in 2007 and treated some of the remaining animals with birth control chemicals. One of those mares and her newborn foal were among the horses removed from the range in August.
Heller spokesman Michawn Rich said the federal government has a responsibility to address the wild horse issue, especially in Nevada, where almost 87 percent of the land is under federal control.
“Without proper and responsible management,” said Rich in an email, “these wild horses will continue to suffer and have a devastating impact on range land, sage-grouse habitat, and other agricultural and natural resources.”
While the BLM cites the drought in the West to remove wild horses and burros from public lands PERMANENTLY, the BLM doesn’t enforce drought-related grazing restrictions in northern Nevada when cattle ranchers flagrantly defy the grazing restrictions. – Debbie
SOURCE: Elko Daily Free Press
BLM Allows Grazing on Closed Allotment to Avoid Confrontation
by Dylan Woolf Harris
ELKO – The Bureau of Land Management says it didn’t give ranchers permission to graze on a closed allotment made up of public and private land, but instead indicated that it “would not interfere” with the cattle turnout.
The Battle Mountain Complex, an area near Valmy that comprises both the North Buffalo and Copper Canyon allotments, falls in “checkerboard” land. Grazing was closed there in a 2013 decision, according to Nevada BLM spokesman Rudy Evenson.
With fewer and fewer spots available to graze due to drought, Dan and Eddyann Filippini decided to run cattle Tuesday on North Buffalo while the closure is in appeal.
The vast majority of AUMs on the allotment are privately held.
Acting BLM State Director John Ruhs told Eddyann Filippini that the agency wouldn’t attempt to stop the ranchers, according to Evenson. Instead, Ruhs reminded permittees that the federal land was still off limits.
“We’re not going to come out there and have a big confrontation,” Evenson said.
There aren’t fences, however, separating the land by ownership.
Former assemblyman and longtime rancher John Carpenter, who participated Tuesday to support the Filippinis, said whether the cows wander onto public lands shouldn’t be a problem.
“It’s not a resource issue because there’s plenty of grass,” he said. “There’s all kinds of grass there.”
Read the rest of this article HERE.
Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret is a groundbreaking feature-length environmental documentary following intrepid filmmaker Kip Andersen as he uncovers the most destructive industry facing the planet today – and investigates why the world’s leading environmental organizations are too afraid to talk about it.
Animal agriculture is the leading cause of deforestation, water consumption and pollution, is responsible for more greenhouse gases than the transportation industry, and is a primary driver of rainforest destruction, species extinction, habitat loss, topsoil erosion, ocean “dead zones,” and virtually every other environmental ill. Yet it goes on, almost entirely unchallenged.
As Andersen approaches leaders in the environmental movement, he increasingly uncovers what appears to be an intentional refusal to discuss the issue of animal agriculture, while industry whistleblowers and watchdogs warn him of the risks to his freedom and even his life if he dares to persist.
As eye-opening as Blackfish and as inspiring as An Inconvenient Truth, this shocking yet humorous documentary reveals the absolutely devastating environmental impact large-scale factory farming has on our planet, and offers a path to global sustainability for a growing population.
“There is a link from a screener floating around the internet and in good faith, I did not insert it, here, out of respect for the producers of this documentary. Instead, I went to their website and purchased the documentary for one dollar and received the email, below, hence my refusal to post the link but instead recommend that our readers follow my lead as we are a group with ethics and morals…even though the ones we fight are bereft of such virtues. Keep the faith.” ~ R.T.
Thank you so much for purchasing our film. Please be aware that this digital download is intended for home viewing only. Uploading, file sharing, burning, copying, selling or otherwise distributing the film in any form compromises our licensing agreements with distributors and would put us in a tough spot legally. Thanks for understanding!
“The sneering whine of self-serving profiteering is heard across the plains as a band of welfare ranchers plods along a trail to D.C. to protest an attempt to save the public land on which their private cattle graze at the expense of the U.S. taxpayer. Please excuse me for feeling no sympathy as I think of all the native wild horses that had been pulled from the same land while we shouted, ‘What about the damn cows?!?!’ The time to reconsider the practice of private individuals profiting from exploiting public lands is long over due.” ~ R.T.
They’re a dozen men and women riding horseback on a modern-day cross-country cattle drive, but with fistfuls of petitions instead of a herd of steers. Their wide-brimmed hats tipped low against the sun’s glare, they’re riding from Bodega Bay, Calif., to Washington.
They call themselves the “Grass March Cowboy Express” and they want the Bureau of Land Management to remove “an abusive federal employee” and “end BLM tyranny.”
The group contends that Doug Furtado, manager of the bureau’s Battle Mountain District, has unfairly blocked their legal right to graze their cattle on public land in central Nevada.
But environmentalists have lashed out at protesters as a selfish, entitled group with no business running private cattle on public lands, especially during years of prolonged drought.
Six months after Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s well-publicized face-off with bureau officials over grazing rights on public lands north of Las Vegas, tension still exists between many cattlemen and the federal government.
Bundy in April attracted an army of self-proclaimed citizen militia members, many of them with semiautomatic weapons, who challenged officials who had moved in to remove hundreds of cattle from federally administered land. The bureau later called off the roundup, but federal officials promise that Bundy could be held accountable in the courts for more than $1 million in unpaid grazing fees.
Organizers of the Cowboy Express, which started in Bodega Bay in Northern California on Sept. 26, say they have no connection to Bundy. They just want the Bureau of Land Management off their backs.
But in a message to supporters, one nonprofit criticized the riders for singling out Furtado because he had “the temerity to order drought-induced reductions in commercial grazing.”
The group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility also mocked the protesters for their use of the hard-bitten cowboy image often seen in cigarette commercials.
“The Marlboro Man evoked iconic cowboy imagery to sell cancer sticks,” it said in a news release. The “stunt called the ‘Cowboy Express’ also seeks to harness this romantic image to mask deeply selfish and destructive ends.”…(CONTINUED)
Sources: Multiple/Story by
BOISE IDAHO – A federal judge has ruled that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management once again violated federal laws when it issued grazing permits instead of analyzing how grazing could harm sage grouse in four allotments in south-central Idaho.
In a ruling released Monday, U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill found that the BLM failed to consider stopping grazing in any of the proposed management plans in the agency’s Burley Field Office.
The decision is round two of a lawsuit led by conservation group Western Watersheds Project that is challenging nearly 600 BLM grazing allotments spread across southern Idaho.
Winmill agreed that the BLM is allowed to automatically renew grazing permits without conducting lengthy environmental reviews.
However, it must still comply with federal laws requiring the agency to study rangeland degradation.
Several friends and I recently embarked on what we hoped would be a wilderness adventure in California’s high country. What we found was nothing like that.
When we picked up the wilderness permit for our hike in the Emigrant Wilderness in the Stanislaus National Forest, we envisioned the Sierra high country to be wonderful fish and wildlife habitat lined with huge, picturesque ponderosa pines and white granite cliffs. The otherwise helpful rangers made no mention of the ecosystem wreckage we were about to encounter.
Instead of the pristine trout creek we expected, the otherwise spectacular Kennedy Creek was lined with thousands of steaming piles of cow dung, swarms of black flies, cow-trampled banks and waterways and green algae-filled water. Instead of what should have been lush, wildflower-strewn meadows at Kennedy Lake, we sunk into a green quagmire of muck created by a steady stream of cows cooling themselves in the shallows.
As we scurried to get above the algae-clogged Kennedy Lake, we encountered several fly fishers, horse packers, photographers and hikers – all aghast and expressing the same sense of disappointment as we were. Why would the National Forest Service and the California legislative delegation continue the taxpayer-subsidized damage to some of the state’s best sub-alpine habitat, especially here, in this increasingly popular recreational area?
As we swatted flies and stepped over the excrement, we were struck by the notion that this hiker’s paradise should not be a taxpayer-subsidized feedlot. We understood that grazing allotments were grandfathered into many wilderness bills – obviously including the Emigrant Wilderness – when they were designated as such. We know that policy change is slower than molasses, especially when ranching culture and environmental issues are being discussed. But we could not understand how the U.S. Forest Service and California’s blue congressional delegation could let such taxpayer-subsidized harm continue to degrade one of our most preciously beautiful places, especially when species and habitat loss are also at stake.
Holding our noses from the stench of urine and feces, we asked ourselves, “Why is this occurring in our diminishing wilderness, some of the best fish and wildlife habitat left in the Sierra?”
According to the National Public Lands Grazing Campaign, grazing programs operated by the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management receive an annual taxpayer subsidy of almost $445 million to facilitate a program that doesn’t benefit the public, wildlife or the land. This defacement of our national treasures is occurring just so a few ranchers can cash in their welfare checks.
Private, unirrigated rangeland in the West rents for an average of $11.90 per cow and calf, while monthly grazing fees on federal lands are currently a paltry $1.35. Despite the extreme damage done, western federal rangelands account for less than 3 percent of all forage fed to livestock in the United States. If all livestock were removed from public lands in the West, beef prices would be unaffected.
Cattle destroy native vegetation, damage soils and stream banks, and contaminate waterways with fecal waste. After decades of livestock grazing, once-lush streams and riparian forests have been reduced to flat, dry wastelands; once-rich topsoil has been turned to dust, causing soil erosion, stream sedimentation and wholesale elimination of some aquatic habitats. The now cow-trodden ecosystem has been robbed of its natural function, as is painfully evident on the landscape…(CONTINUED)
Unedited Story, less headlines and bylines, by The Spectrumas published on
CEDAR CITY – After months of being under pressure from local ranchers and the Iron County Commissioners to bring the number of wild horses on public lands down to the appropriate management levels, the Bureau of Land Management is slated to begin a wild horse gather on Monday.
The gather, which is happening within the Bible Spring Complex between July 28 and Aug. 5, is open to the public to allow them to view the daily operations so long as the safety of the animals, staff and observers are not jeopardized and operations are not disrupted.
The BLM said it plans to gather and remove some 140 horses from the Blawn Wash Herd Management Area — one of four HMAs making up the Bible Spring Complex. Gather operations also will extend to the adjacent Highway 21, where BLM officials say 10-30 wild horses pose traffic safety hazards.
Those interested in watching the gathers can meet at 5 a.m. at the KB Express Convenience Store, 238 S. Main St., Milford.
From there, BLM officials will escort the parties out to the range that BLM spokeswoman Lisa Reid said will take about an hour and a half to get to.
Participants must provide their own transportation, water, and lunches. Reid recommends the public dress for harsh, summer field conditions. Four-wheel drives or vehicles with higher clearance are also recommended.
While Reid said she is going to try and allow viewers to be able to see as much as possible, she suggests bringing binoculars.
“It’s going to be hard because this range isn’t conducive to viewing and especially with 50 people out there,” she said. “I’m going to do everything I can though so that people get an opportunity to see as much as possible. I just can’t guarantee anything.”
Following the gather, the horses will be available for adoption through the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program. Animals not adopted will be cared for in long-term pastures…(CONTINUED)
June 6, 2014 | For months, ranchers in Utah’s Iron and Beaver counties have been pressuring the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to remove 697 out of 777 wild horses from public rangeland called the Bible Springs Complex.
What prompted them was a BLM request seeking voluntary reductions in livestock on public land suffering damage during the long drought. Faced with the loss of cheap forage for their cattle and sheep, the ranchers found a way to deflect the blame and economic burden.
Wild horses make an easy target; but that’s only as long as the BLM’s and the ranchers’ case for removal goes unexamined. The news media so far has done little probing into the issue—not in Utah, nor elsewhere ranchers lobby to get rid of wild horses.
Instead, the ranchers and BLM simply assert that the mustangs—and not privately owned livestock—are “overpopulating” and “overgrazing.” This claim is made without any scientific proof. Overgrazing as compared to what, exactly? Cattle and sheep? Neither the BLM nor the ranchers will provide data.
What is known is that the ranchers have nearly two million acres of grazing allotments in Iron and Beaver counties that overlap eight herd management areas (HMAs) where wild horses are protected. The four HMAs making up the Bible Springs Complex are just a fraction of the more than half-million acres where the wild horses (and private livestock) graze together under “multiple use” land policies. Another nearly million and a half acres of public lands provide further forage exclusively for cattle and sheep…(CONTINUED)
By Kristen Moulton | The Salt Lake Tribune
First Published May 06 2014 01:18 pm • Last Updated May 06 2014 10:10 pm
The BLM wanted to set up four more such “traps,” Miller said, and he wasn’t sure Tuesday whether the eight were captured in the original trap or a new one.The Bureau of Land Management on Monday removed eight wild horses from private land northwest of Cedar City, an Iron County commissioner said Tuesday.
“We’re pleased with anything, but it’s a drop in the bucket,” said Commission Chairman David Miller.
Iron and Beaver counties have been pressing the BLM to round up horses because there are far more than the agency’s own prescribed limits. According to May 1 numbers, the BLM estimates it has nearly 1,700 wild horses in western Iron and Beaver counties, an area where there are supposed to be just more than 600.
Ranchers say the horses are competing with cattle for feed and water, and the counties are threatening roundups this summer if the BLM doesn’t act.
To provide emergency relief in early April, the BLM set up corrals around a water trough on private land, but as of a week ago, not a single horse had been captured…(READ MORE)