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)

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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

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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?

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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…

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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

BLM’s Palomino Valley wild horse & burro holding facility looks like a ghost town

We tried to bring good cheer over the holidays, but unfortunately, we need to keep you informed as we try to keep pace with the BLM’s accelerated shuffling, during bad weather, of our wild horses and burros.  After hearing from multiple sources that BLM’s Palomino Valley facility (in Sparks, Nevada) looked like a ghost town, author Terri Farley went there on Dec. 30, 2015.   Below are just a few of the photographs she took.  We’ll keep you updated as we find out more facts, but here is the firsthand account from Terri Farley’s facebook page:

“Where have all the horses and burros gone?  These images are from today’s visit to Palomino Valley Wild Horse facility.  Many corrals are empty. Most held fewer than 10 mustangs or burros. Wrangler on the scene said there were 1200 horses there.  When I was dubious, he suggested I check with a second BLM source.  I did & was told 1,134 horses were there on Dec. 22.  I am waiting for an update on where horses have shipped and why. I’ll post a complete blog when I have answers — or at least more information.”

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