Gayle Hunt (Pres.) of Central Oregon Wild Horse Coalition on efforts to preserve the wild horses in the Big Summit HMA in the Ochoco National Forest (Wed., 7/12/17)

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Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_LogoJoin us on Wild Horse Wednesdays®, July 12, 2017

5:00 pm PST … 6:00 pm MST … 7:00 pm CST … 8:00 pm EST

Listen to the archived 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.

(Photo: Central Oregon Wild Horse Coalition)

Our guest today is Gayle Hunt, President & Founder of the Central Oregon Wild Horse Coalition (COWHC), established as a non-profit organization in 2002.
The Ochoco National Forest is seeking comments on a proposal to revise the
Ochoco Wild and Free Roaming Herd Management Plan, and sent a Scoping Letter to the public that is vague and doesn’t state the proposed Appropriate Management Level (AML), the number of wild horses and burros that will be allowed to remain on this HMA. (The current AML is 55-65 wild horses – not allowing a high enough number to be viable ).
We’re asking YOU help save these horses and send in comments to the Forest Service requesting the AML be set at a viable herd number.  In order to have a viable herd number, the Forest Service needs to set an AML of a minimum of 150-200 horses, including 50 breeding age adults.  Also, please ask for a genetically sustainable herd. The Forest Service is doing genetic augmentation, so ask them to provide the public with all research and documentation for genetic augmentation, since their management decisions have included this.
On this show you’ll learn more about how COWHC is currently trying to preserve the current 130 or so wild horses currently on the Big Summit HMA, about 30 miles east of Prineville, Oregon. Check out the COWHC facebook page HERE for the latest updates. COWHC is boots on the ground and provides one of the most accurate herd inventories in the nation, annually bringing a cadre of about 80 volunteers to count these wild horses on their turf. They also work on on-the-ground improvements like water developments, forage improvements, fence removal and other projects.
Public comments for this plan for Big Summit wild horses are due by July 21, 2017 and can be submitted by email
to BLM_NV_East_Pershing_Complex_EA@blm.gov with “East Pershing Complex Gather” in the subject line.

Questions and written comments should be directed to: Samantha Gooch, Wild Horse and Burro Specialist, BLM Humboldt River Field Office, 5100 E. Winnemucca Blvd., Winnemucca, NV 89445.

You can also submit a comment electronically at https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public/CommentInput?project=46228
Commenters should be aware before including their address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in their comment, that their entire comment – including identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time.  While they can ask BLM in their comment to withhold personal identifying information from public review, BLM cannot guarantee that it will be able to do so.  Anonymity is not allowed for submissions from organizations or businesses and from individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations or businesses.
This show will be hosted by Debbie Coffey, V.P. and Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

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

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/marti-oakley/2017/07/13/gayle-hunt-pres-central-oregon-wild-horse-coalition

TO LISTEN TO ALL ARCHIVED WILD HORSE & BURRO RADIO SHOWS, CLICK HERE.

1/8/17 – Carol Walker, Dir. of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation on BLM’s dangerous Radio Collar Study on the Adobe Town wild horses in Wyoming. Listen HERE.

2/15/17 – Marjorie Farabee, Dir. of Wild Burro Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation and donkey advocate David Duncan (Donkey Rescue World), talk about the killing of the world’s donkeys for ejiao. Listen HERE.

3/8/17 – Marjorie Farabee, Dir. of Wild Burro Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation and Australian donkey advocate Andrea Jenkins, a member of Good Samaritan Donkey Sanctuary, on the ejiao issue in Australia. Listen HERE.

4/12/17 – Dawn Vincent, Head of Communications for The Donkey Sanctuary UK, and Marjorie Farabee, Dir. of Wild Burro Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation. In January 2017, The Donkey Sanctuary (UK) issued a report titled “Under the Skin,” about the global demand for donkey skins used to produce a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) called ejiao. Listen HERE.

5/24/17 – ELAINE NASH, Founder and Dir. of Fleet of Angels, and Palomino Armstrong, founder of CHILLY PEPPER – MIRACLE MUSTANG, on the logistics of the rescue of the ISPMB horses and about the many wild horses that still need to be adopted. Listen HERE.

6/14/27 – Nancy Turner, Pres. of This Old Horse, a Minnesota nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide sanctuary to retired, rescued, and recovering horses, and Elaine Nash, Founder and Dir. of Fleet of Angels, a not-for-profit organization offering crisis management and transportation assistance during equine-related emergencies, talk about the ISPMB horses that still need to be adopted. Listen HERE.

6/21/17 – Bonnie Gestring, Northwest Circuit Rider for Earthworks, on contamination of U.S. waters in perpetuity, caused by mining. Bonnie is co-author of the report Polluting the Future: How mining companies are polluting our nation’s waters in perpetuity. Listen HERE.

6/28/17 – Neda DeMayo, Founder and President, and Cory Golden, Advocacy & Communications Director, of Return to Freedom, on the need for ALL of us to urge Congress to stand against a presidential budget proposal that threatens the lives of tens of thousands of horses. Listen HERE.

7/8/17 – Ginger Kathrens, Founder and Exec. Dir. of The Cloud Foundation, John Holland, Pres. of Equine Welfare Alliance, Katlin Kraska, Equine Lobbyist for ASPCA, Cory Golden, Advocacy Coordinator for Return to Freedom, and R.T. Fitch, Pres. of Wild Horse Freedom Federation, on how to help save wild horses & burros from eminent danger of slaughter as outlined in the 2018 Budget. Listen HERE.

ANIMAL CRUELTY CASE VS. U.S. FOREST SERVICE SIDELINED

Source:  PEER (Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility)

Map of Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests

Two Horses and a Mule Died of Dehydration in Arizona’s Apache-Sitgreaves Forest

Washington, DC — An attempt to criminally prosecute U.S. Forest Service employees for acts of cruelty to animals resulting in the death of two horses and a mule has been dropped, according to court records posted today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).  The dismissals followed an assertion of federal sovereign immunity in order to block prosecution in state court.

More than most federal agencies, the U.S. Forest Service uses horses and mules in its daily operations. Consequently, care and maintenance of equine livestock is an important duty on many national forests.

But there was a major breakdown of those responsibilities on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona.  In May of 2016, two horses (named Snip and Diesel) and a mule (named Little Bit) were moved out of the forest’s corral to a place aptly called Rattlesnake Pasture, which had not been occupied by horses for at least a decade because it had no reliable water source.

The animals were left unattended for four weeks without water during the hottest time of the year, with temperatures in the area ranging from 105 to 112°F. In late June, someone finally checked and found all three animals dead from dehydration.

An internal Forest Service investigation produced a final “report” that was only one page long yet was a model of obfuscation. It concluded that:

“Contributing to this unfortunate outcome was a compilation of past practices, unknown policies, poor communication, failure of leadership, local fire conditions and accretion of duties to an inexperienced employee.”

In short, the Forest Service held no one to account. Greenlee County took a different view and in April 2017 filed nine misdemeanor animal cruelty counts stemming from the animals’ deaths against two Forest Service employees, including the district ranger (who has since retired) responsible for livestock care.

Read the rest of this article HERE.

Public Lands Issues effect on wildlife and wild horses and burros

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

by Bonnie Kohleriter

Our public lands are now under attack which has enormous consequences for our wild horses and burros and for our wildlife.  The attacks are coming from Trump’s cabinet members, particularly the Dept. of Agriculture and the Dept. of the Interior, and from Congressional Republicans.

First, Rep. Jason Chaffetz R UT, introduced a bill early in January, 2017, to sell off 3.3 M acres of Federal land to states.  With an outcry from conservatives and sports groups, he withdrew that bill.

Then Rep. Jason Chaffetz R UT, introduced a bill later in January, 2017, called the Local Lands Act, wherein Federal law enforcement on our Federal Forest Service (FS) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land, will be supplanted with State law enforcement with the States being given block grants.  The bill is currently in the Natural Resources Committee: Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry.

Then Rep. Don Young (R) AK, moved a bill, House Joint Resolution 69, through the Congress in February, 2017, wherein the Federal Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) on Federal Alaskan lands will no longer manage its Federal wildlife, and its Federal wildlife will be managed by the State of Alaska.  Resolution 69 went to the Senate, where Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) AK and Sen. Dan Sullivan (R) AK, moved the resolution through the Senate in March, 2017.

It is concerning as attempts are in process to take away Federal land and give it to the States, to take away Federal law enforcement on Federal lands and give it to the States, and to take away Federal management of Federal wildlife on Federal land and give the management to the States.  What’s next?  In addition to give aways, the Senate voted 51-48 to kill the 2.0 plan which was developed by the Dept. of the Interior.  That plan authorized public lands stakeholders to give input into the use of the land.  The killing of the 2.0 plan is designed to give the local and state governments more control over the Federal public lands for development such as use for businesses.

Now Ken Ivory, a Rep. in the Utah State Legislature, under House Concurrent Resolution 22, is asking the President and Congress to repeal the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 and grant authority and resources to the States to manage feral horse and burro populations within their jurisdictions.  The Legislature and Governor maintain the horses and burros are damaging the rangelands for wildlife and livestock that share the same areas.  This bill would authorize the States to geld the stallions.  Some outspoken ranchers and hunters want our public land for their gains.  The ranchers in Utah have expressed they want to “harvest” (slaughter) the horses and burros like they harvest cattle.

What else is coming?  Environmental groups have identified “Public Lands Enemies.  Interestingly they are all Republicans. They are:

Sen. Mike Lee           Utah    Sen. Lisa Murkowski Al    Rep Mark Amodei        NV

Sen. Orin Hatch        Utah    Sen. Dan Sullivan      AL    Rep Dean Heller           NV

Rep. Rob Bishop       Utah    Rep. Don Young        AL    Rep Tom McClintock   CA

Rep. Jason Chaffetz Utah    Sen. Jeff Flake           AZ     Rep Doug La Malfa      CA

Rep. Chris Stewart    Utah   Rep. Paul Gosar        AZ     Rep Steve Pearce        NM

Rep. Mia Love            Utah   Sen. Barrasso            WY   Rep Raul Labrador       ID

In California, McClintock is from the Central Valley and La Malfa is from NE California.  La Malfa is a 4th generation rice farmer and has received $ 5M in federal commodity subsidies starting in 1995, or on average a quarter of a million dollars every year from the federal government.  Now that’s the real “welfare” food stamps subsidy.

While Republican Congressional Representatives primarily supported by ranchers and hunters in their respective states, wrangle in Congress to take from the Federal government and give to the States, the Wildlife Services within the U.S. Department of Agriculture yearly brutally kills millions of carnivores and omnivores on our public lands to appease the hunters and ranchers.  The hunters claim the carnivores and omnivores kill the herbivores they want to hunt and the ranchers on our public lands claim the carnivores and omnivores kill their livestock.  The killings are brutal: aerial gunning, cyanide poisoning, steel jaw and leg trapping… In 2016 the Ag Dept. Wildlife Services killed 2.7 M animals on our public lands.  415 gray wolves, 77,000 coyotes, 407 black bears, 334 mountain lions, 997 bobcats, 21,000 beavers, 4000 foxes, …

Our public lands are to have a multiple use mandate, but it seems the powerful, monied hunting and ranching lobbies, as well as now, the gas, oil and mining lobbies in Washington are dictating what will go on with our public lands through their elected congressional representatives.  Get involved.  Contact your elected congressional representatives, especially those on the natural resources, agricultural, and appropriations committees in the House and the agricultural, nutrition, forestry, and environmental and public works and appropriations committees in the Senate.  Tell your representatives what it is you want on our public lands.

 

Wild Horses get Favorable Hearing in Battle with California Welfare Ranchers over Sanctuary

as published on The Sun Herald

“Judge Robert L. Wilkins called a government assertion “factually unsupported,””

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

A top federal court on Wednesday appeared ready to force changes in a Forest Service plan that reduced wild horse protections in a remote Northern California county.

With tough questions and some pointed statements, three judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit revealed their apparent skepticism about management of the Devil’s Garden Plateau Wild Horse Territory in Modoc County. The Forest Service shrank the territory by about 25,000 acres in 2013.

“You’ve got a problem here,” Judge Patricia Millett told a Justice Department attorney.

At another point during the 30-minute oral argument, Judge Robert L. Wilkins called a government assertion “factually unsupported,” while Judge David Tatel offered that the wild horse advocates “still have a case” even if the government prevails on one issue.

The tenor and the content of the oral argument held before what is often called the nation’s second-highest court suggested eventual victory for the advocates who are challenging the Forest Service. Underscoring the stakes, an attorney for the California Cattlemen’s Association, the state’s farm bureau and other groups sat at the table alongside the federal government’s team…(CONTINUED)

http://www.sunherald.com/news/nation-world/national/article125890144.html

Jonathan Ratner of Western Watersheds Project on Wild Horse & Burro Radio (Wed., Feb. 10th)

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Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_Logo

Join us on Wild Horse Wednesdays®, Feb. 10th, 2016

4:00 pm PST … 5:00 pm MST … 6:00 pm CST … 7:00 pm EST

Listen to the archived 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 is a 1 hour show.  It will be archived so you can listen to it anytime.

_____________________________________________

Jonathan-Ratner

Our guest is JONATHAN RATNER, Western Watersheds Project’s Director for Wyoming, Utah and Colorado.  Jonathan joined WWP after a stint with the Forest Service in which he documented severe degradation caused by livestock grazing.  When his reports were consigned to the ‘round file’ by the Forest Service, he left and came across Western Watersheds Project and started WWP’s Wyoming Office.

Jonathan will talk about public lands ranching, the most widespread commercial use of public lands in the United States.  Jonathan will also talk about BLM grazing allotments within Wild Horse & Burro HMAs, and “Data Trespass,” Wyoming’s fancy name for it’s Ag Gag law.

Ranching is one of the primary causes of native species endangerment in the American West; it is also the most significant cause of non-point source water pollution and desertification.

Tonight’s show is hosted by Debbie Coffey, V.P. and Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

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

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BLM is a Ranching Industry Tool

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Soil Conservation Service (SCS) reports “estimate that ‘Western rangeland is losing topsoil, mostly due to ranching, at least 4 to 5 times faster than it’s being replaced. Meanwhile, ranching industry servants like BLM are working to put more cattle on the land.”

Source:  San Diego Free Press

Pinyon-Juniper Forests: BLM is a Ranching Industry Tool

Public lands ranching is destroying the Western United States

Cattle watering station near Cave Valley, NV

Cattle watering station near Cave Valley, NV

by Will Falk

Public lands ranching is destroying the Western United States. It has pushed native plant species to the brink of extinction. It causes soil to erode so quickly the land cannot keep up. Livestock are poisoning and depleting water supplies, killing perennial stream flows, and are making it increasingly difficult for surface water to accumulate. Stockmen and the animals they raise have devastated populations of iconic American animals like bison, elk, pronghorn, and sage-grouse. Ranchers, ever jealous of the trees their stock cannot eat, encourage the clear-cutting of forests.

Livestock grazing is the single most ecologically destructive activity happening in the Western United States today. To stop the continued destruction of pinyon-juniper forests, to stop the continued destruction of the entire region, public lands ranching must cease.

I cannot decide whether writing this essay in the wake of Ammon Bundy’s arrest and Lavoy Finicum’s death at the hands of the FBI and Oregon State Police after their occupation of Northern Paiute land at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is good or bad. It could be good because this story has finally forced public lands ranching, or “welfare ranching,” and the policies of federal agencies like the Bureau of Land Management and US Forest Service into the public’s consciousness.

On the other hand, there is the risk that while Bundy and his angry white men waved their rifles in the faces of law enforcement complaining about federal agencies like BLM and the Forest Service, the public developed too much sympathy for those Bundy threatened. These agencies might look like the good guys against Big Bad Bundy while the agencies’ own atrocities go over-looked.

Do not feel sorry for BLM. Those of us who care about life in the region really should be angry with how these federal agencies are run. Now, I am certainly not saying we should be angry for the same reasons as Bundy. No, we should be angry with BLM and Bundy together because they play for the same team: the ranching industry.

In my last essay, Pinyon-Juniper Forests: BLM’s False Claims to Virtue, I explained how the Bureau of Land Management lies to support deforestation across the Great Basin. Undermining BLM’s bad science took up the bulk of the essay, so now I turn to answering why BLM lies like this.

[M]any commentators have confused the Forest Service and BLM with conservation. Neither the Forest Service nor the BLM have ever been concerned with the health of the land—except where the health of the land benefits livestock production.

BLM lies because BLM exists—and has always existed—to serve the ranching industry. Simply blaming BLM for pinyon-juniper deforestation without indicting the ranching industry fails to address the roots of the problem.

Lynn Jacobs gives an excellent history lesson and shows how both the Forest Service and BLM were created to serve the ranching industry in his book “The Waste of the West: Public Lands Ranching.” One of the problematic themes to emerge during Bundy’s occupation is the way many commentators have confused the Forest Service and BLM with conservation. Neither the Forest Service nor the BLM have ever been concerned with the health of the land—except where the health of the land benefits livestock production.

It is true that in the 1890s, powerful ranchers looked at range-lands and saw depletion of water supplies, soil, game animals, and economically useful vegetation. But, they never asked if livestock grazing was feasible. The only thing they were concerned with was how the declining health of the land affected their profits. Powerful ranchers watched the pie their livestock fed off be consumed by smaller nomadic herders, too. Instead of ensuring the survival of the pie, the most powerful ranchers were only concerned about gaining a larger slice for their livestock while restricting weaker ranchers’ access to that pie. Despite some conservation verbiage being used, the Forest Service and BLM were actually formed to ensure the dominance of already powerful businessmen over everyone else. This is a scenario that plays out continuously through the history of capitalism.

In 1905, the Forest Service was formed and Jacobs says that powerful ranchers were instrumental in placing it under the jurisdiction of the US Department of Agriculture instead of the Department of the Interior where it logically belonged. Many ranchers became district, forest, regional, and national Forest Service range and administrative officials and this is still true today. One of the first regulations enacted by the Forest Service set up grazing regulations, created allotments, issued permits, and charged a fee of five cents per month for each cow or 5 sheep grazed. This regulation effectively ended nomadic herding on Forest Service land.

BLM was formed in 1946, again under the influence of powerful ranchers … “In short, the Forest Service and BLM (and states etc.) functioned more as grazing industry tools than true regulatory agencies.”

BLM is a younger agency than the Forest Service and its roots are found in the congressional Taylor Grazing Act of 1935. Jacobs notes that the Act’s namesake, Representative Edward Taylor—a rancher from Colorado and “sworn enemy of conservationists”—pushed the bill through Congress with the express intent of eliminating nomadic herding. The Act created the Division of Grazing under the Department of the Interior and attacked nomadic herders by providing that only those with well-established, substantial private ranch holdings near public land could gain grazing leases.

The first director of the Division of Grazing was a Colorado rancher, Farrington Carpenter, who cemented the ranchers’ power over the Division by establishing local “grazing advisory boards.” The boards were elected by local ranchers. Jacobs explains that these advisory boards were “composed mostly of the same large scale, aggressive, politically savvy ranchers who helped create the Forest Service and Taylor Grazing Act and awarded themselves federal grazing permits…” The Division of Grazing was reorganized into the Grazing Service in 1939.

BLM was formed in 1946, again under the influence of powerful ranchers, when the old Grazing Service and General Land office were combined. Jacobs states that “grazing and ranching abuses and political, economic, and social injustice continued largely unchecked.” Jacobs describes the way many ranchers behaved after BLM was established. Notice how he could be describing the Bundy situation perfectly. “For many years, ranchers refused to obtain permits, pay grazing fees, or follow any regulations whatsoever. When agency personnel attempted enforcement, traditional grazing industry power neutralized the challenge by applying political, social, and economic pressure where needed. In short, the Forest Service and BLM (and states etc.) functioned more as grazing industry tools than true regulatory agencies.”

The same must be said of these agencies today.

“Soon, those who thought they were going to do something positive for wildlife learn to identify with their captors. The ones who bow down the most to industry rise to be managers.”

To be clear, there are many BLM and other federal agency employees that truly do desire what is best for life in the region. There are individuals of good heart in these agencies who strive to do the right thing. Unfortunately, BLM leaders remain captured by the livestock industry and non-stop intimidation like that expressed by Ammon Bundy make it incredibly difficult for employees charged with enforcing environmental laws to do so.

Consider what my friend, Katie Fite—a biologist and a woman with more experience advocating for the natural world against bad BLM policies than perhaps anyone in the world, has said about some BLM staff. Fite encourages us to “make a distinction between BLM the Agency and some of the staff that try to enforce protections that are supposed to exist … These people too become victims of the cattlemen—forced to lie, bury their heads in the sand, and bow to rancher thugs on a daily basis.” And, as so often happens in our dominant, capitalist culture where destruction is rewarded, Fite explains, “Soon, those who thought they were going to do something positive for wildlife learn to identify with their captors. The ones who bow down the most to industry rise to be managers.”

Fite’s insights, however, should not be an excuse. Despite the intentions of some good-hearted BLM and Forest Service staff, the operations of these agencies have been a disaster for life in the region.

In addition to providing essential historical research, Jacobs’ “The Waste of the West: Public Lands Ranching” is a comprehensive examination (602 text-book sized pages) of the physical impact of ranching on the lands comprising the Western United States. Jacobs research on what ranching does to plants, soil, water, and animals in the West paints a grim picture.

“Western rangeland is losing topsoil, mostly due to ranching, at least 4 to 5 times faster than it’s being replaced.”

Jacobs begins by explaining that grass and small herbaceous plants that cows, sheep, and goats eat form the “plankton of the land.” These countless trillions of small plants form the base of the complex food web that supports all of life in the Great Basin. These plants provide oxygen to the atmosphere, nourishment to animals, and maintain soil, water, fire, and atmospheric dynamics. Tragically, according to Jacobs, “Livestock grazing has destroyed the plankton of the land in the Western United States—and around the globe—more extensively than has any other human pursuit.”

Next, Jacobs notes that soil has been called “the soul of life itself” and reminds readers that “without adequate and fertile soil, most terrestrial plant and animal life ceases.” Of course, he means human life, too. Jacobs writes, “For over 100 years livestock grazing has been the major cause of both increased soil erosion and decreased soil fertility on Western public land. Most soil loss and damage is a result of livestock stripping off and trampling vegetation…”

To make this even scarier, Jacobs cites United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Soil Conservation Service (SCS) reports to estimate that “Western rangeland is losing topsoil, mostly due to ranching, at least 4 to 5 times faster than it’s being replaced.” Meanwhile, ranching industry servants like BLM are working to put more cattle on the land. It does not take a mathematical expert to conclude that if ranchers have their way, rangelands will run out of topsoil.

Read the rest of this article HERE.

 

Livestock Data Fills Gap in Ongoing Wild Horse Debate

SOURCE:  The Daily Pitchfork

Cattle-water_Bryce-Gray-620x264

Photography: Bryce Gray

BLM and USFS-reported grazing stats reveal the extent of private livestock production on millions of acres of overgrazed western public range and forest land, challenging rancher claims that wild horses and burros are to blame.

by Vickery Eckhoff

A side-by-side analysis of 2014 grazing data shows wild horses greatly outnumbered by millions of privately owned livestock across 251 million acres of western public grass and forest land.

The data includes 2014 year-end grazing receipts of $17.1 million published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the US Forest Service (USFS), a figure that equates to a livestock total of 2.1 million cattle. This is 37 times greater than the 56,656 free-roaming wild horses and burros estimated by both agencies in 2014.

Other BLM and USFS reported data show private livestock allocated 97 percent of the forage across all 251 million acres of BLM and USFS-managed lands. Wild horse and burros inhabit 12 percent of that land and are allocated 3 percent of forage overall.

Read the rest of the article, and find the link to read the fully footnoted analysis by the Daily Pitchfork HERE.

 

Judge dismisses Salt River horses lawsuit

SOURCE:  12news.com

by

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One horse rests in the shade, August 4, 2015  (photo:  Stacey Davis)

A federal judge has approved the dismissal of a lawsuit to protect the Salt River horses from a roundup by the U.S. Forest Service.

Simone Netherlands, president of the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group, said Tuesday that her group made a “strategic decision” to drop the suit after the Forest Service said it would seek to dismiss the case.

Since the Forest Service has no plan right now to move the horses, Netherlands said, there’s no basis for her group’s suit.

“Should the Forest Service make the wrong decision (on the horses), we will refile immediately,” Netherlands said in a phone interview from Prescott.

But she added: “We feel like their outlook has changed from definite roundup and removal to now being willing to look at all the options.”

Forest Service spokeswoman Carrie Templin said the agency is still meeting with stakeholders to find alternatives.

“We’re still trying to find a solution,” Templin said.

Back in August, the Forest Service was forced to back down from its plan to remove the herd of about 65 to 100 horses from their habitat along the Salt River near Saguaro Lake.

Hundreds of people protested the planned removal during an August rally at Saguaro Lake. Several top elected officials, including Gov. Doug Ducey and U.S. Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake, also stepped in to block the move.

In the wake of the protests, Tonto National Forest Supervisor Neil Bosworth postponed any decision on the horses’ fate for at least 120 days, about mid-December.

In a sworn statement Monday that was filed with the court, Bosworth said: “Presently, the Forest Service has not formulated a plan for addressing the stray horses.”

But Bosworth also reiterated the Forest Service’s rationale for wanting to remove the horses:

–He said the horses “are not ‘wild horses'” under federal law, and he denied that a wild horse territory was ever created in the National Forest.

–He maintained that the horses are a safety risk in their Salt River habitat. The risk was heightened this year, Bosworth said, by private citizens placing water, salt and feed in the forest’s high-traffic areas.

Environmentalists have also called for the horses’ removal. They say the horses are ravaging the river habitat for several species of birds.

PREVIOUSLY: Audubon Society wants horses removed

Netherlands said the lawsuit was getting in the way of negotiations with the Forest Service and others.

“Negotiations are somewhat difficult when there is a lawsuit involved,” she said. “It’s in much better faith when you can talk openly and things aren’t going to be held against you in court.”

“it’s going to take a while,” she said. “It’s a very long, arduous process.”

Netherlands says her group is offering a plan for “humane birth control” that would limit the herd.

The horses have been at the center of a social media firestorm since plans to remove them were made public this summer.

Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office confirms fatal shooting of a wild horse near Salt River

SOURCE:  ktar.com

horses-change.org_

(Change.org Photo)

by Associated Press

MESA, Ariz. — Maricopa County Sheriff’s officials now are confirming that one of the free-roaming horses near the Salt River was fatally shot.

The Salt River Wild Horse Management Group released a statement Sunday night saying that a 12-year-old mare was found dead Oct. 1 of an apparent shooting.

However, the Sheriff’s Office announced Monday there was no evidence that the wild horse was intentionally killed or evidence of gunshot wounds on the carcass found at the Coon Bluff Campground area near Mesa.

But sheriff’s officials said Friday that a veterinarian contracted to examine the horse’s carcass ultimately determined that the mare was shot by a small-caliber weapon although no projectile was found.

They said the investigation has been turned over to the sheriff’s animal crimes unit.

The Forest Service had originally planned to capture, auction off and dispose of the wild horses, but postponed any decision-making back in August.

An update on Forest Service plans to annihilate the Salt River wild horses, on Wild Horse & Burro Radio (Fri., 8/7/15)

 My apologies to Simone Netherlands and all of our listeners:  due to the fact that I didn’t realize Arizona isn’t on Daylight Savings Time, I miscalculated the time the show was to start in Arizona on Mountain time.  That is the reason Simone didn’t call in during our show.  Simone was prepared to call in the following hour, which would’ve been the correct time.

Join us on Friday, August 7, 2015

5:00 pm PST … 6:00 pm MST … 7:00 pm CST … 8:00 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 is a 1 hour show.  It will be archived so you can listen to it anytime.

_____________________________________________

Tonight’s show is hosted by Debbie Coffey, V.P. and Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

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

TO LISTEN TO THE MOST RECENT ARCHIVED SHOWS:

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