As Wyoming swelters under the summer heat, as the ash and dust from its forest fires spread out across the Western states, as a sustained drought deepens the fissures in its barren expanses of scrub and rock, the battle over the fate of thousands of its wild horses has just exploded anew in court. Here is a nasty bit of litigation worth watching for many different reasons, not the least of which is that may help more people better understand the magnitude of the economic and political forces which are currently arrayed against the federally-protected American mustang.
A federal judge will require further evidence before deciding if federal management of wild horses has harmed threatened steelhead in Oregon’s Malheur National Forest.
Dayville ranchers Loren and Piper Stout contend that the U.S. Forest Service has violated the Endangered Species Act by allowing too many wild horses to “take” the federally protected fish by harming its habitat.
ELKO, Nev. —An Elko County commissioner and longtime critic of environmental restrictions on federal lands says a proposed eco-sanctuary for hundreds of wild horses in northeast Nevada will damage the range and could put some ranchers out of business.
COLO. SPRINGS, CO (Feb. 16, 2012) – The Obama Administration proposal to increase public land grazing fees from the regulatory minimum will do little to match the administrative costs of the program according to the Colorado-based, Cloud Foundation (TCF). The fee would increase by $1.00 per month for a cow/calf pair or five head of sheep. TCF has long advocated for a dramatic increase in the fees for “welfare” livestock ranching on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Forest Service lands.
I had this idea that I could rope a deer, put it in a stall, feed it up on corn for a couple of weeks, tame it and have a little petting zoo for the grandkids when they come over, they are getting bored with the cattle and I don’t have any horses so this could be a very cheap and natural way to go.
The first step in this adventure was getting a deer. I figured that, since they congregate at my cattle feeder and do not seem to have much fear of me when we are there (a bold one will sometimes come right up and sniff at the bags of feed while I am in the back of the truck not 4 feet away), it should not be difficult to rope one, get up to it and toss a bag over its head (to calm it down) then hog tie it and transport it home.
The use of public land for cattle grazing is a political hot potato and one that can easily burn the federal Bureau of Land Management. But the BLM can’t rightfully avoid dealing with the practice, no matter how unpleasant, because grazing can ruin riparian areas, dirty public waters and damage wildlife habitat.
And the agency’s mission is to balance multiple uses of public lands so that one doesn’t preclude the others.
Grazing is one of the West’s traditional industries and one that conservative lawmakers in Utah staunchly defend. But science now provides better data on its impacts. The BLM should follow its own policy, which prohibits political interference with, or manipulation of, scientific work.
WASHINGTON, (Western Watersheds Project) – Today the United States Supreme Court denied consideration of an appeal by the Public Lands Council of prior federal court decisions overturning Bureau of land Management grazing regulations promulgated during the George W. Bush administration. The decision affects over 160,000,000 acres of public land in eleven western states.
WACO, TEXAS (TSCRA) – A Waco man charged with 3 counts of third-degree felony cattle theft turned himself in to authorities at the McLennan County jail today.
Trenton Dale Saulters, 26, was charged with stealing cattle from auction barns and individuals in Erath, Gillespie, Rains and Johnson counties worth an estimated $165,000.
FORT WORTH, TEXAS – Special Rangers with the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) are looking for a man on the run charged with stealing cattle from auction barns and individuals in Erath, Gillespie, Rains and Johnson counties worth an estimated $165,000.
Original Story by Debbie Coffey from the PPJ Gazette Wild Horses Degrading the Range: Neigh or more accurately, MOO! In 2006, the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Livestock Environment and Development (LEAD), supported by US AID and the World Bank, put out a 416 page […]