Wild horse population wildly exaggerated

Beatys Butte 2015 wild horse roundup (photo:  BLM)

SOURCE:  heraldandnews.com

by Marybeth Devlin

Arbitrary management level (AML): The “overpopulation” of wild horses is a concocted crisis.

Per the 438,140 acres — 685 square miles — of mustang habitat, BLM manages the Beatys Butte herd down to the AML’s low end — 100 — restricting the stocking density to one wild horse per 4,381 acres — almost seven square miles!

Sparsely populated, widely dispersed: Other herds in Oregon besides Beatys Butte are similarly restricted.

 One wild horse per 4,500 acres — seven square miles — Warm Springs.

One wild horse per 5,062 acres — 8 square miles — Paisley Desert.

Most grazing slots given to cattle: Within Beatys Butte — where wild horses are, by law, supposed to receive principal benefit of resources — livestock occupy 90 percent of the grazing slots — called “animal unit months” (AUMs).

Normative annual herd-growth equals at most, 5%: Gregg, LeBlanc, and Johnston (2014) disclosed the average birth rate among wild-horse herds is 20 percent, but 50 percent of foals perish.  The population-gain from surviving foals (10 percent) minus a conservative estimate of adult-mortality (5 percent) equals a normative herd-growth rate of 5 percent.

Fictitious figures: BLM’s herd-growth figures are falsified.  Repeatedly, BLM reports one-year increases far beyond what is biologically possible.

From Oregon:

  • 170 percent — 34 times the norm — Stinking Water.
  • 179 percent — 36 times the norm — Paisley Desert.
  • 256 percent — 51 times the norm — Beatys Butte **
  • 317 percent — 63 times the norm — Jackies Butte

** BLM reported that the Beatys Butte population grew from 117 horses to 416 horses in one year, an increase of 299.  If so, to overcome foal-mortality (50 percent) and adult-mortality (at least 5 percent), that would mean each filly and mare gave birth to 10 or more foals.

Overpopulation is a false flag: Excess is found only on BLM’s falsified spreadsheets.

 

THE TRUTH #19 – The sale of wild horses to American Mustang Germany: Discrepancies in a Decision Memorandum by Dean Bolstad, BLM’s Division Chief of the Wild Horse & Burro 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 #19 – The sale of wild horses to American Mustang Germany: Discrepancies in a Decision Memorandum by Dean Bolstad, BLM’s Division Chief of the Wild Horse & Burro Program

On Feb. 23, 2017, BLM Wild Horse & Burro Division Chief Dean Bolstad sent a Decision Memorandum for the Assistant Director, Resources and Planning, to request approval to sell 26 sale-eligible wild horses to American Mustang Germany, to be used in one of Mustang Heritage Foundation’s Mustang Makeover Events in Germany.

The first discrepancy is simple: in the Subject line, and again in the first and second paragraphs, Bolstad states that 26 wild horses were to be sold.  Steve Tryon approved the sale of 26 wild horses on the memorandum.  But the Bills of Sale to American Mustang Germany, authorized by Sally Spencer, only indicate that 21 wild horses were sold to American Mustang Germany.  What about the other 5 wild horses?  Will they be sold to American Mustang Germany in the future?

The second discrepancy is: In the first paragraph under Background, Bolstad noted (about Silke Strussione, the founder of American Mustang Germany) “In the past year, she has arranged for nine adoption and six sales of horses to Germany.  The adopted horses will remain in Georgia until they are sold to Silke Strussione and then they will be exported to Germany.” 

Bolstad stated that Strussione arranged for “six sale horses to Germany.”  However, BLM Sale logs provided to Wild Horse Freedom Federation during this time period indicate that Silke Strussione only bought 4 wild horses from the BLM the prior year.  There were no prior sales to American Mustang Germany – the 21 wild horses sold to American Mustang Germany were pending the approval of this memorandum.

If Mustang Heritage Foundation, or their TIP trainer, is acting as a third party and selling wild horses to go overseas, that is an issue that needs to be addressed.  They are receiving taxpayer dollars.

All BLM Bills of Sale, Adoption Agreements and Private Maintenance and Care Agreements should be revised to contain language stating that wild horses & burros may not ever be sold to or shipped out of the country (reason below).

The third discrepancy is that Bolstad states “All horses that arrive in Germany are required to have German papers and a chip implanted.  The owner decides if their horse can be slaughtered or not when they get their papers and chip.  Strussione will sign the horses up as ‘no slaughter horses.’  The papers and chip will designate each horse as a no slaughter animal.  The slaughter facilities are not allowed to accept horses without their paperwork and also scan the implanted chip.”

Since Bolstad stated that “The owner decides if their horse can be slaughtered or not when they get their papers and chip, what if American Mustang Germany sells the horse to someone, and then that person, in turns sells the horse to someone else?  It seems that new owners may not “sign the horses up as no slaughter horses.”  And when the horse is older, could it be sold online or at an auction and end up going to slaughter?

Bolstad was included in prior email discussions about selling wild horses & burros overseas, and top level BLM employees agreed that the BLM has no oversight once horses & burros are sold overseas.  Examples of what was stated in the 2011 emails between BLM employees are:

“The idea is if we sell horses to over seas recipients knowing we have no authority as to how they are treated or dealt with it is the same as selling without limitation and we are not allowed to do that under the omnibus…

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.

Read all of THE TRUTH and see other FOIA documentation HERE.

Donate here: http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/donate/

Bureau of Land Management looks to limit Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests

If the BLM would raise the livestock grazing fees, even just a little bit, they’d have plenty of money to be transparent.  Also, there is little that can possibly “slow down the agency’s decision-making process” since it remains in the dark ages.

Source:  muckrock.com

“Media requests only make up a fraction of the total requests agencies receive, but the new policy setting an organizational “cap” on requests could severely hamper the work of journalists – and concerned citizens – trying to use FOIA for its intended purpose.”

Bureau of Land Management looks to limit the number of FOIA requests organizations can file with the agency

Recommendations appear to target media requests, and raise the cost of already prohibitive processing fees

Written by JPat Brown
Edited by Michael Morisy

According to records obtained by the Washington Post, the Bureau of Land Management is recommending new legislation that would limit the number of FOIA requests individuals and agencies could file with the agency, create stricter criteria for fee waivers, as well as increased fees for “search and redaction.”

For justification, BLM cites the agency’s limited resources, which in turn causes requests to “slow down the agency’s decision-making process.” In Financial Year 2016, the report states, the agency’s FOIA work cost $2.8 million, which was approximately .2 percent of the agency’s total budget of $1.3 billion that year.

As has been written about before, the vast majority of FOIA requests are by commercial entities. For some agencies, the percentage of commercial requests are as high as 95 percent.

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE HERE.

Environmental Impact Statements a Key Tool for Reporters, But for How Long?

Source:  Society for Environmental Journalists

An Oakdale, Calif., resident examines a map during a public meeting in June 2016 showing plans for Sacramento District parks and projects along the Lower Stanislaus River. The National Environmental Policy Act requires such projects prepare environmental impact statements, which are invaluable resources for reporters. Photo: U.S. Army/Paul Bruton

TipSheet: Environmental Impact Statements a Key Tool for Reporters, But for How Long?

For more than four decades, the environmental impact statement has been among the best friends of journalists covering environment and energy.  Now they are under attack.

The National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA, requires any federal agency contemplating a major action to prepare a study of what its impacts on the environment would be — and to compare the impacts to those of possible alternative actions.  The result is an often-long document chock-full of facts you don’t have to discover on your own the hard way.

NEPA became law on Jan. 1, 1970, marking the dawn of a key era of environmental concern and major legislation in the U.S. It covers major federal actions — which can certainly mean the construction of a dam or highway or sewage treatment plant.

But it can also mean the issuance of a federal permit, and since those permits may be required of local governments or private companies, NEPA’s reach stretches well beyond federal projects.

Not every project is “major” enough, though, to require a full EIS.  Sometimes only the less rigorous environmental assessment is needed, or nothing at all.

Long court struggles over the adequacy of EISs are common.  Sometimes, when a local group opposes a project for non-environmental reasons (e.g., “not in my backyard’), they will use NEPA as a tool to obstruct or delay the project.  But not always.

Whatever the bona fides of the objectors, however, courts usually make fair and factual decisions, and any valid environmental concerns are considered.  Those court fights are conflict, and conflict is news.

So the mere fact that an EIS is being prepared should signal you that news may be in the offing.

A key reporting tool and resource

Even just as a reporting tool, EISs are priceless.  They are generally prepared by professional environmental analysts who know what they are talking about and are trying to write a document objective enough to stand up in court.

In a typical action, a “draft” EIS is prepared by the lead agency contemplating an action.  The draft is then put out for public comment, sometimes at public meetings.  Sometimes the meetings are boring; sometimes they are overcrowded with angry people who want to be on TV.  Sometimes those people are concerned about environmental impacts that should have been considered, but haven’t been.

Environmental reporters are advised that this great resource is endangered and may not be around in current form forever.

The draft EIS also goes to other agencies with their own viewpoints on the project — more potential conflict.  When an EIS goes “final,” it usually means the lead agency is ready to move ahead with the project.

Keep in mind that EISs often have decent graphics, which (because they are in a government document) are public domain.  You can use these directly (remembering to credit the agency) or have your art department make them better.  Editors like this.

Read the rest of this article HERE.

Special, extra SUNDAY show: Carol Walker (Dir. of Field Documentation, Wild Horse Freedom Federation) with updates on BLM’s roundups of wild horses & foals in the Checkerboard area of Wyoming (Sunday, 10/1/17 on Wild Horse & Burro Radio)

painy

Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_LogoJoin us on Wild Horse Wednesdays®

Join us for a special, extra show this Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017

6:00 p.m. PST … 7:00 p.m. MST … 8:00 p.m. CST … 9:00 p.m. 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.

This is a wild family in Salt Wells Creek that has no idea what is going to happen to them.

Our guest tonight is Carol Walker, Dir. of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation. Carol has been at the Bureau of Land Management’s roundups of wild horses in the Checkerboard area of Wyoming. This roundup will result in the devastation of the three largest remaining herds in Wyoming.

Carol has an important update for the public. The BLM is not giving the public accurate numbers in reports.

Carol’s website is http://www.wildhoofbeats.com/ and you can see her photography of wild horses at http://www.livingimagescjw.com/

This show will be hosted by Debbie Coffey (V.P. and Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs) of Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

To contact us: ppj1@hush.com

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/marti-oakley/2017/10/02/carol-walker-blms-round-up-of-wild-horses-amp-foals-checkerboard-wyoming

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

‘No Results Found’: Thousands of Climate Science Links Purged From USGS Online Database

Source:  Ecowatch.com

Yet another U.S. agency has deleted climate change information from its website. This time, the U.S. Geological Survey’s “Science Explorer” website—a tax-payer funded online database for the public to browse USGS science programs and activities—has been purged of thousands of formerly searchable climate science links.

The startling discovery was made by Peter Gleick, a climate scientist and member of the U.S. National Academy of Science.

“I didn’t realize how badly Trump has eviscerated access to federal #climate data, so I went and looked at the USGS site,” he tweeted Sunday.

In a series of tweets, Gleick noted the extent to which climate-related links have been expunged from the site a month after Donald Trump took over the White House:

  • In December, there were 5,932 climate science items linked there (9 were just pictures). Today there are 416 and 292 are just pictures.
  • In December 2016, 320 of those items were links to #climate data. Today, 0 links to data. 5,271 were web links. Now, 0 web links. “And the USGS “Effects of #Climate Change” webpage had 2,825 items in December. Today, that page has zero items.
  • And the USGS “Effects of #Climate Change” webpage had 2,825 items in December. Today, that page has zero items.

Gleick found the archived pages with the Wayback Machine, but pointed out on Twitter that “archived pages are no substitute for real public access.”

He also told ThinkProgress: “This is shocking in the extent of the changes, and distressing in the sense that publicly funded data and science should be easily accessible, not hidden, and the changes move us in the wrong direction. Every federal agency website has undergone changes like this.”

Read the rest of this article HERE.

Zinke’s Sham National Monument Review Still Shrouded in Secrecy

The Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument

Source:  Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, August 24, 2017

Contact:  Randi Spivak, (310) 799-4894, rspivak@biologicaldiversity.org

Records Request Demands Zinke’s Report to Trump on National Monuments

Sham National Monument Review Still Shrouded in Secrecy

WASHINGTON— The Center for Biological Diversity filed a Freedom of Information Act request today for Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s report to President Trump on the fate of 27 national monuments.

The Interior report, which was sent to Trump today, has not been released. According to reports, Zinke has recommended removing protections for some national monuments.

“This entire review has been a lawless, secretive sham,” said Randi Spivak, the Center’s public lands director. “Now Trump and Zinke are hiding the report so they don’t have to face public backlash for trying to sell out America’s public lands to fossil fuel development and logging. They’re asking for a court battle. And they’ll get one.”

The report concludes the Trump administration’s controversial 120-day review of 27 national monuments spanning more than 1 billion acres of public lands and oceans.

Zinke visited only eight at-risk monuments during his review, meeting almost exclusively with monument opponents, including representatives of the oil, gas and timber industries. He arbitrarily “pardoned” six national monuments, without providing any criteria for his decisions to leave current protections in place.

A vast majority of Americans support national monuments and oppose removing protections. More than 2.7 million people wrote to the Interior Department urging Zinke and Trump to preserve the 27 monuments.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.3 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

www.biologicaldiversity.org

BLM & Jay D’Ewart: Did the Salt Wells wild horses really increase by 522% in only one year?

Adobe Town wild horses (photo: Carol Walker)

Comments & Guest OpED by Bonnie Kohleriter

TO:         Jay D’Ewart, Wild Horse and Burro Specialist (See also cc below) 4700 (WYD04)

FROM:   Bonnie Kohleriter

RE:         Response to EA DOI-BLM-WY-D040-2017-0022EA    2017 AML Gather EA

This EA proposes to round up and remove 1560 wild horses down to the supposed low AML in Adobe Town, Salt Wells, and Divide Basin Herd Management Areas (HMAs).

BACKGROUND:

The last gather and removal in these 3 HMAs was completed in October, 2014. I am looking at the number of horses reported following the gather and removal in 2014 presented in the March 2015 National Statistics as well as the number of horses reported in 2016 and 2017 National Statistics. These numbers found in the National Statistics for 2015, 2016, and 2017 were generated by Jay D’Ewart.  I assume these numbers were accurately reported. I have read no evidence in your EA as to how you arrived at these numbers or your suggested excess numbers except for you to say adjustments were made. I assume a normal growth rate is 20-25% yearly as that is what the BLM repeatedly claims, true or untrue.  In light of the Allowable Numbers (AMLs) and the National Statistics the following information is presented here:

COMMENTS:

  • In 2014 your plan was to gather and remove horses to the low AML. Yet the results show you rounded up and removed horses well below the low AML in Salt Wells and Divide Basin. The low AML for Salt Wells is 251 but you left 117. The low AML for Divide Basin is 415 but you left 195. THIS IS WRONG.
  • In 2015 in Adobe Town you logged in 602 horses but in 2016, 1030 horses with a growth rate of 71%. In 2015 in Salt Wells you logged in 117 horses but in 2016, 728 horses with a growth rate of 522%. And in 2015 in Divide Basin you logged in 195 horses but in 2016, 670 horses with a growth rate of 241%.  71%, 522%, 241% growth rates are impossible, exaggerated, and fallacious measured against accepted rates of 20-25%  THIS IS WRONG.
  • In 2016 in Adobe Town you logged in 1030 horses but in 2017, 820 horses with a negative growth rate of -20%. It looks like no horses were born in 2016 and horses were dying more than the usual? In 2016 in Divide Basin you logged in 670 horses, but again in 2017, 650 horses with a negative growth rate of -2%. Negative growth rates of 20% and 2% are highly unlikely unless a catastrophe occurred which it did not. THIS IS WRONG.
  • In your EA you claim to have made adjustments from your scoping letter numbers in March of 2017 to April of 2017. For Adobe Town your numbers are now not 820 but 1123 with a growth rate of not -20% but 8%.  For Salt Wells your numbers are now not 825 but 976 with a growth rate of not 16% but 34%.  For Divide Basin your numbers are now not 650 but 737 with a growth rate of not -2% but 13%.  All of these numbers and percentages are out of the norm except for the original growth rate of 16 % in Salt Wells…-20%, 8%, 34%, -2%, 13% are unlikely growth rates.  THIS IS WRONG.
  • With all of Jay D’Ewart’s unlikely, impossible numbers he now wants to round up and remove not 1, 029 horses but 1,560 horses in the fall of 2017. It was pointed out to him in the scoping comment period of March 2017 that the numbers of horses  stated  in Adobe Town and in Divide Basin at that time were at near high AML which did not seem to warrant a gather and removal at this time. Of course, he subsequently raised the numbers in April, 2017 so that they now reflect over high AML.
  • Jay D’Ewart appears to do the fly-overs counting numbers of horses, is in charge of the development of the environmental assessment, and is the lead in gathering and removing the wild horses. With his highly questionable and outrageous numbers, I am concerned about his using these horses in order to continue to gain for himself meaningful employment. I am not only concerned about Jay D’Ewart, but also about other BLM Wild Horse and Burro employees, wherein the norm in this agency throughout the years has been the only tool for protecting, managing, and controlling these horses and burros, that of counting them, rounding ‘em up and removing them.

7) Not only does Jay D’Ewart want to round up and remove horses in the HMAs but he wants to round up and remove horses on private lands.  This is a number he has not told us in his EA. This requesting to remove horses or burros on private lands by welfare ranchers who have both public and private land for ranching, seems to have increased in recent years.

Through the years Jay D’Ewart knows I have questioned his numbers again and again. Back when gather numbers were being shown the public as well as facilities received numbers I called Jay D’Ewart to challenge the disconnect between the two sets of numbers only to notice the change within two days. Kimberly Foster and Dennis Carpenter, the Field Managers don’t appear to question D’Ewart’s numbers, June Wendlandt, the State Lead, doesn’t appear to question D’Ewart, numbers, Alan Shepherd in the On the Range Mgmt. office in the Washington D C  which decides on who will have gathers and removals doesn’t appear to question D’Ewart’s numbers. And so the gather and removal goes on with who now knows how many horses are left in the Adobe Town, Salt Wells, and Divide Basin Herd Management Areas in Wyoming on 2.4 M acres.

Stringent oversight, accountability, and decision making in the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program needs to be improved.  Overpopulation, overpopulation seems to be the mantra of the wild horse and burro program personnel as well as of the welfare ranchers on our public lands, but how much of the so called overpopulation is a result of inflated or made up numbers due to a desire for personal gain other than doing what is right for the horses and the burros and what is right for the land.

Bonnie Kohleriter

August 10, 2017

Cc Senators Feinstein, Udall, Murkowski, and Dean Bolstad, Director of the BLM WHB Program.

The Bureau of Land Management is scrubbing their trail on the internet

After NBC News wrote about the Bureau of Land Management featuring a photo of a coal bed at the top of their website, the BLM changed it… to now feature this photo of an oil & gas pipeline.

by Debbie Coffey, V.P. & Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs, Wild Horse Freedom Federation                                                                    All Rights Reserved.          Copyright 2017

The Bureau of Land Management is scrubbing most of its links off of the internet, and in doing so, erasing much of its history from public view.

Many of the blm.gov links that are still remaining on the internet at this point say “page not found,” or the links are no longer cached.

The BLM also suddenly removed state and district websites.  Instead, you will now find “landing pages” that direct you to only one main Bureau of Land Management website.  (You can look at the new BLM website HERE.)

I called a BLM Public Affairs Specialist to ask some questions about the defunct websites and links.  This person said in the past there were about 90,000 pages (and then a bit later stated that it could possibly be only about 60,000 pages) of BLM content on the internet, but that all of these pages couldn’t be maintained or updated, and weren’t centralized.  This person said the BLM’s prior content management system was outdated.

Most importantly, this person also said there were now standards to reduce the amount (of pages/content).

Who made the decision to even have a standard to reduce content available to the public on the internet?  During this website transition, who is making the decisions, and on what basis, of what data to migrate, or not to migrate, to the new BLM website?  These decisions cherry pick what information will be available to the public in the future.

Make no mistake, this “reducing the amount” of content on the internet is erasing many of this agency’s past actions, activities, and government documentation.  Many of these links had historical value.  For example, the BLM activities of BLM employees Sally Spencer and Lili Thomas over the years are now gone.  These types of links on the internet didn’t need to be “maintained” or “updated.”  They were historical in nature.

In the past, in doing a google search for Sally Spencer (a longtime BLM employee, and the Marketing Specialist famous for selling so many wild horses and burros to kill buyer Tom Davis), she was included on many, many BLM government links.  I went to the BLM’s new website and searched “Sally Spencer,” and only 3 items appeared.  When I searched “Lili Thomas” (another longtime BLM Wild Horse & Burro Program employee who oversaw the BLM’s Long Term Holding facilities for wild horses for many years), only 4 items appeared.  And when I searched “John Neill” (a longtime Palomino Valley Center manager), all that came up was “No results found.”

These individuals are BLM personnel who have been central in management issues in the BLM’s Wild Horse & Burro Program, as evidenced by FOIA documentation garnered by the late Dr. Patricia Haight of The Conquistador Program.

Even when I searched the new BLM website for “Dean Bolstad” (the Division Chief of the Wild Horse & Burro Program) only 2 items appeared.

(Although, luckily, thanks to In Defense of Animals, you can still go online and see this youtube video of Lili Thomas saying “working with wild horses is not a pretty sight” at a public meeting.)

What I can’t understand is, if the new content management system is bigger and better, why couldn’t the new content management system have contained all of the old data along with new data?  If this agency were truly transparent, they would add data, not reduce data, available to the public on the internet.

At first the Bureau of Land Management only removed the Directories for District offices and Field Offices, making it difficult, for example, to find out who was the Wild Horse & Burro Specialist, Hydrologist, Range Management Specialist or other personnel in any particular district or field office or to find an email address or telephone number for them.  BLM personnel frequently transfer to other offices and states, so it was already hard enough to try to keep up with who was where.  But now the public really doesn’t have a clue who is doing what or where.

You used to be able to go to the home pages of BLM state and district websites, and get a quick overview of not only roundup plans for wild horses & burros, but mining expansion plans, oil & gas lease sale plans, and other uses of our public lands in that area, all in one place.

Now, the BLM has divided these by topics or by “regions,” on their new website.   Under the “region” of Nevada (we call them states here in the U.S.A.), there isn’t a box for wild horses & burros (only oil and gas leasing, greater sage grouse, Great Basin Landscape Conservation Cooperative, Information Access Center, Nevada Resource Advisory Councils & Federal Register Notices).

By scattering information all over this one “centralized” website, the BLM has made it much harder for the public to put together the pieces of information for a clear picture about the multiple uses of our public lands in any one area.

The Program Data page for the Wild Horse & Burro Program is HERE.  When I clicked on the box for Historical Program Data and Public Lands Statistics, I noticed something was missing that used to be available to the public.  It was the column on Adoptions by Locations & Date.  Information from the years 2009-2015 were previously available.

The biggest reason this data was important is because it let the public know the dates of adoption events (including internet adoptions), the locations of the events, the number of the wild horses and burros offered for adoption (until Fiscal Year 2014) and the number of wild horses and burros that were actually adopted at each event.

The BLM likely stopped reporting the number of horses & burros offered at adoption events in Fiscal Year 2014 because it didn’t want the public to know how many horses & burros were racking up “strikes” by not being adopted.  When a wild horse or burro isn’t adopted after 3 events and gets 3 “strikes” it can be sold without restriction (to slaughter), no matter how young it is.  Even this seemingly small reduction of data indicated a lack of transparency by this agency.

Another reason this data is important to the public is because it let the public see what areas of the country adopt the most (and the least) wild horses & burros.

While the new BLM website contains a lot of information, it seems we have lost much more information that was once available on the internet, but was not migrated to the new BLM website.  For example, the BLM News Release on its promised investigation into the deaths of wild horses at the Scott City feedlot is on the internet, but as of today, is not one of the 63 News Releases available to the public on the BLM’s new website.

We will never know how much, or what, the BLM has removed from the internet.  The BLM’s scrubbing of their trail on the internet has not only erased part of the history of this government agency, it is censorship, and it is the equivalent of a modern day book burning.

SEE EXAMPLES REFERENCED ABOVE HERE.

Stunning Lack of Tranparancy in BLM’s and University of Wyoming’s Adobe Town Wild Horse Study

Source:  Wild Hoofbeats

b54p0090

USGS holding radio collars, the one on the right is for the study

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

The BLM and the University of Wyoming are conducting a Radio Collar Study on wild mares in the Adobe Town Herd Management Area. I have done several blog posts about this study, calling for people to send in comments and calling for more clarification on how this study is going to be conducted. Some of my concerns are the the health and well being of the mares that will be captured by bait trapping, trailered to Rock Springs, put into squeeze chutes and have these collars put on. These collars will remain for 2 years. Then the mares will be transported back supposedly to where they were captured and released. This alone will be very traumatic for the mares and their families who will lose a family member.

But what happens when the mare gets her foot caught in the collar, or it grows into her neck because it is being put on when she is at her thinnest, and she will put on weight in the summer especially if she is pregnant? How will they be able to release the collar if she is in trouble?

bi4i2360

Moving the mares into the shed to put collars on

These were not popular questions at the Q and A that USGS conducted yesterday at the Rock Springs corrals. I was told that they “left room” in the collars for the mares to gain weight – wouldn’t that allow her to get it caught on something more easily? And yes there were studies of mares being injured and dying in the field due to radio collars but supposedly this design was much improved. They do have a tag they can put into the mane instead but these will fall off too soon. I did ask about using direct observation as a way of gathering data but that was deemed impossible, even though it is much less intrusive. The researchers would rather track the mares on their computers rather than on the ground, in the field. I also asked weren’t they concerned about the mares being released all alone, not with their families? There was no answer to that.

bi4i2354

The geldings in the front corral know something is going on

Before I even went to Rock Springs I had been very concerned about the lack of observation of the whole process that the BLM was allowing. Public observation helps to prevent abuse of the horses, and I am a firm believer in this.  A week ago American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign asked attorney Nick Lawton of Meyer, Glizenstein& Eubanks to write a letter asking for the opportunity to observe the bait trapping and the collaring as well as the release of the mares, as well as giving sufficient notice of at least 2 days so I could get out there. The BLM did not change its stance on the bait trapping and the collaring or the notice but did say that “the mares will be held at the facility for 24 hours after they are radio collared, and the public will be able to observe the mares from the overlook during this time period.”

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Mares that were not collared

This did NOT happen. The mares after they were collared were being kept in a pen that was completely not visible from the overlook and when I asked it if could see the mares I was told no, that they have to be be kept quiet. Somehow all the torment that these mares went through was totally acceptable but having members of the public view them, even at a distance, was too hard on them.

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Where the collaring was done

I could see the heads of the mares that did not have collars on, and occasionally their bodies, using my long lens. Apparently they captured 9 mares who they brought to the facility, but 5 were too young. Even I could see one of the mares looked like a yearling or at the most a two year old filly – how on earth could the people trapping the horses not be able to tell the difference between very young and mature mares? And why put these poor young mares though the stress of taking them away from their families, hauling them to the facility then hauling them back, for nothing? If they had allowed me to observe the bait trapping I could have told them these mares were too young because I have spent 13 years observing these wild horses in Adobe Town.

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE HEREYou’ll want to find out more about this…

b54p0084

Tracking device to track collars on the ground

http://www.wildhoofbeats.com/blog/stunning-lack-of-tranparancy-in-blms-and-university-of-wyomings-adobe-town-wild-horse-study