BLM seeks public comment of Environmental Analysis for Wild Horse Gather in Southeastern Utah

NOTE:  The link to documents in the BLM notice below isn’t working.  Here is a working link to the planning documents:  https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-front-office/eplanning/planAndProjectSite.do?methodName=renderDefaultPlanOrProjectSite&projectId=93501&dctmId=0b0003e880e86803

News Release

Utah State Office

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

April 20, 2018

Media Contact: Lisa Reid  (435) 743-3128

BLM seeks public comment of Environmental Analysis for Wild Horse Gather in Southeastern Utah

Price, Utah—The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Price Field Office is seeking public comment on an environmental assessment (EA) analyzing a proposed wild horse gather, removal and fertility treatment in the Muddy Creek Herd Management Area (HMA).

The Muddy Creek HMA is located in Emery County, approximately 20 miles south of Ferron, Utah, in the San Rafael Swell. It consists of approximately 283,400 acres of public and state lands.

The EA analyzes a proposal to gather and remove excess wild horses and apply fertility control between two and four times over a ten-year period. The EA, including maps, is available on ePlanning at: https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-front- office/eplanning/nepa/nepa_register.do; search for project name “Muddy.”

Written comments will be accepted by letter or e-mail until May 20, 2018. Special attention will be given to those comments that contain new technical or scientific information relevant to the proposed action. Comments should be as specific as possible. Comments that contain only opinions or preferences will not receive a formal response but may be considered in the BLM decision-making process. Please reference “Muddy Creek Wild Horse Gather Plan EA” when submitting comments.

Written comments may be mailed or e-mailed using the following:

Mail
BLM Price Field Office
Attn: Price Field Office Manager
125 S. 600 W. Price, UT 84501

E-mail
blm_ut_pr_whb@blm.gov

Those who provide comments are advised that before including their address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information, they should be aware that the entire comment – including the personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time. While those commenting can ask in their comments to withhold personal identifying information from public review, the BLM cannot guarantee that they will be able to do so.

For additional EA-specific information, please contact Mike Tweddell at (435) 636- 3600. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to leave a message or question with the above individual. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Replies are provided during normal business hours.

-BLM-

Follow us on Twitter @BLMUtah

Wild Horse Hater Ryan “Dinkie” Zinke refers to himself as a geologist: That’s a job he’s never held

Exposed: Horse Hater “Dinky” Zinke’s shell game to undermine Interior career employees and civil servants

by as published on Western Values Project

Interior Inspector General’s report released on “Dinky’s” reassignments

“Can’t afford to be surrounded by staff smarter than me, could make me look like a DINK!”

The Interior’s Inspector General released a report on Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke’s politically motivated efforts to reassign career civil servants at the department. The report found that there was no plan or reason for the reassignments, which follow a long list of other ethical lapses by the Secretary.

According to the report, of the 31 reassigned employees who were interviewed, only 8 had positive perceptions of their reassignment, while “17 senior executives selected for reassignment questioned whether these reassignments were political or punitive, based on a prior conflict with DOI leadership, or on the senior executive’s nearness to retirement. Many executives speculated that multiple reasons applied.” The report concluded that Interior officials should create a plan with criteria, document the reassignment process and consult with department leadership among other recommendations.

Western Values Project’s Executive Director Chris Saeger released the following statement on the report:

“This report confirms what we already knew – Ryan Zinke thinks there’s one set of rules for himself and another for everyone else.

Secretary Zinke has failed at just about every turn as the nation’s leading land manager, and this report is just one of many examples of his attempts to politicize the way our nation’s outdoor heritage is cared for. Much like the lack of documentation on his questionable travel expenses, Zinke seems to be skirting the law by failing to document his actions.

What is really hard to understand is how someone like Zinke is now attacking the very civil servants and career employees that ensure our national parks and public lands are maintained and managed now and for future generations.

Given his continued contempt for the career employees he now manages and how he’s stacked the deck for special interests, it is not hard to imagine that morale at the department is at rock bottom.”

Stacking the deck at Interior:

Western Values Project (WVP) has been documenting Interior’s revolving-door between lobbyist and appointees under Zinke at www.departmentofinfluence.org.

After a WVP Freedom of Information request, Interior released of the names of the Executive Resources Board (ERB), which was entirely comprised of political appointees until Interior included two career employees in November 2017. Interior has not released the current makeup of the board to determine if it is indeed ‘nonpartisan.’

One of the new employees on the board had previously been appointed to a Deputy Director position under President Bush and was involved in several controversial decisions, including mountaintop removal, that benefited industry. The other new board member was part of Interior’s efforts to scrap the 2015 hydraulic fracturing rule.

WVP filed suit against Interior in federal court to force the disclosure of documents related to the board’s work.

Contempt for career civil servants:

Zinke called civil servants ‘serpents’ when suggesting he’d like to privatize campgrounds across the nation’s national parks.

He told an oil industry group that he had ‘30 percent of the crew that’s not loyal to the flag.’

Zinke threatened to eliminate 4,000 employees at Interior through draconian budget cuts. A memo from the acting director of the Bureau Land Management (BLM) was sent to employees saying that they should expect to lose 1,000 positions by 2017.

The IG investigation was opened in September 2017 regarding the “extraordinary and politically suspect reassignment of dozens of Senior Executive Service (SES) members.”

Urgent! America’s Wild Horse and Burros Need You to Take Action NOW!

“Our good friends and partners at Equine Advocates beat us to the punch on this news blast so we are re-blogging it here asking you to be the voice of the voiceless.  Let’s dig in and get this done…it may be our last chance!!!” ~ R.T.


The Lives of Wild & Domestic Equines Are Hanging in the Balance as Congress is Scheduled to Vote Friday, March 23rd!
 
Horse Slaughter Could Return to U.S. Soil
 
The Government Wants to Kill the 50,000 Healthy Wild Horses & Burros Being Held Captive in BLM Holding Facilities and Tens of Thousands More on the Range!

By making just three important phone calls, you can help save our horses!


 

This is the “Humane” process in Mexico

Last year, majorities in both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees voted on totally opposite sides with respect to vital issues affecting America’s wild and domestic equines:
  • The House Committee voted to fund USDA horse meat inspectors which would permit horse slaughterhouses to operate  in the U.S. and to allow our wild horses and burros to be stripped of all of their protections and be killed or sold without limitation – which means slaughter!
  • The Senate Committee voted to keep the language defunding USDA horse meat inspectors in the new federal budget so that no horse slaughterhouses can be built and operate in the U.S. Its members also voted to restore protections for our wild horses and burros so that they are not killed or sold for slaughter.
Because the two committees voted on opposite sides, the matters involving both of these issues are now before Congressional Conference Committees where lawmakers on both sides are fighting it out.
NOW is the time to call your three U.S. lawmakers to make sure horse slaughter does not return to U.S. soil and also so that our wild horses and burros are preserved and protected…And NOT “managed” into extinction!
 
FIRST – Remember, everyone has just one Member of Congress in the House of Representatives and two U.S. Senators – that’s only three phone calls you need to make. It’s easy and if you don’t know who your lawmakers are, just follow these instructions: Click here and type in your address and your zip code…and the names of your three lawmakers will appear along with their contact information.
SECOND – There are two things you need to tell each of your three lawmakers:

1. Please keep USDA Horse Meat Inspectors defunded so that NO horse slaughterhouses can open and operate in the United States.
2. Please call for the protection and preservation for ALL of America’s wild horses and burros so that NONE are killed or sold “without limitation” which means slaughter!
Please make these three calls right away. If you have already made them, please do so again!  Also, please ask your friends and relatives to make these calls as well. If you are not able to reach one or more of your lawmakers at one office, then please try one of their other offices.

Time is of the essence!
 
Thank you for taking action!
Sincerely,
Susan Wagner, President
Equine Advocates
We at Wild Horse Freedom Federation LIKEWISE endorse this action and thank Equine Advocates for their love, care and concern for the future safety and welfare of American Equines.
R.T. Fitch, President

Secretary Zinke is Out Over His Skis

story by Andre F. Miller as published on WestWise

After failing to consult with governors or lawyers, the Interior Secretary has to withdraw plans yet again

“My telligence is this big!!!”

Last week, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke was forced to backtrack, having gone too far and too fast on three proposals that were overly ambitious and unpopular.

Is Secretary Zinke getting ahead of himself? The Interior Department is tasked with balancing energy development and conservation of America’s natural heritage — a job that requires diligence and painstaking processes. However, Secretary Zinke has repeatedly attempted to implement unprecedented plans without consultation from lawyers, governors, or Congress, then quickly reversed after intense push back. As Representative Raul Grijalva put it, “He’s in over his head.”

The lack of consultation during Secretary Zinke’s push to roll back common sense energy policies is forcing him to walk back his schemes.

Offshore Drilling

The Interior Department is obligated by law to consult with governors and congressional delegations as a part of a deliberative process before allowing drilling. In an unprecedented move, Secretary Zinke announced plans to open up nearly the entire U.S. coast to offshore oil and gas drilling in a series of giant lease sales. A few days later, the Secretary tweeted out a photo of himself and Florida Governor Rick Scott, saying he would exempt Florida from the offshore drilling plan, claiming Florida’s coasts were “unique and heavily reliant on tourism.”

Almost immediately, a bipartisan chorus of 15 governors from nearly all the coastal states opposed the plan and called for their states to also be exempt from drilling. A dozen attorneys general from coastal states signed a letter to Secretary Zinke urging him to cancel the entire drilling proposal, threatening to “unquestionably” sue if he moved forward. On top of that, Axios reported that Secretary Zinke’s actions took the White House by surprise, paving the way for lawsuits.

To clean up the mess he made, Secretary Zinke decided that he would meet with every coastal governor to discuss the status of their state. Last week, the Secretary met with California Governor Jerry Brown “regarding the state’s strong opposition to the federal government’s decision to expand oil and gas drilling off of California’s coast.” The series of events led the Washington Post editorial board to ask the question: Is Ryan Zinke cynical or incompetent? “I think Incompetent is the clear choice for Dinky Zinke!!!” ~ R.T.

READ MORE (HERE)

View story at Medium.com

Ryan “Dinky” Zinke Wins 2017 Rubber Dodo Award

Press Release from The Center for Biological Diversity

“Dinky Zinke is a Dodo Dud!”

“Dinky” Zinke

TUCSON, Ariz.— Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is the winner of the Center for Biological Diversity’s 2017 Rubber Dodo award. The statue is awarded each year to the person or group who has most aggressively sought to destroy America’s natural heritage or drive endangered species extinct.

“Ryan Zinke seems to wake up every day wondering how he can tear apart America’s public lands, ramp up oil and gas development and put endangered species on a fast track to extinction,” said Kierán Suckling, the Center’s executive director.

Zinke and President Trump announced massive cuts to Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments in Utah. Days later his Interior Department opened bids for the largest oil lease-sale ever offered in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve — potentially turning over more than 10 million acres of prime wilderness and wildlife habitat to oil development.

Zinke’s Interior Department also proposed vastly ramping up offshore drilling in the Arctic, the Gulf of Mexico and along the West Coast and East Coast. If the plan is enacted, it could lead to more than 5,000 oil spills and contribute 49.5 gigatons of carbon dioxide pollution, the equivalent of the emissions from 10.6 billion cars driven for a year.

He overturned President Obama’s moratorium on federal coal leasing and wants to open three marine monuments to industrial commercial fishing: Northeast Canyons and Seamounts in the Atlantic; Pacific Remote Islands; and Rose Atoll in the South Pacific.

Zinke’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service this fall tried to roll back an Obama-era ban on trophy elephant imports from Zimbabwe; he has denied protections to species like the Pacific walrus.

“Zinke’s an extension of Trump’s greed, callousness and corporate cronyism,” Suckling said. “It’s hard to imagine anyone else who has done more this year to drive our environment straight into the ditch, along with the future of America’s wildlife and public lands.”

Zinke won the Rubber Dodo award after an online contest where tens of thousands of people were asked to choose between him, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) and Sonny Perdue, head of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Previous Rubber Dodo award winners include Rep. Rob Bishop (2016), Monsanto (2015), the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services (2014), the Koch brothers (2013), climate denier Senator James Inhofe (2012), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (2011), former BP CEO Tony Hayward (2010), massive land speculator Michael Winer (2009), Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (2008) and Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne (2007).

Background on the Dodo
In 1598 Dutch sailors landing on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius discovered a flightless, 3-foot-tall, extraordinarily friendly bird. Its original scientific name was Didus ineptus. (Contemporary scientists use the less defamatory Raphus cucullatus.) To the rest of the world, it’s the dodo — possibly the most famous extinct species on Earth after the dinosaurs. It evolved over millions of years with no natural predators and eventually lost the ability to fly, becoming a land-based consumer of fruits, nuts and berries. Having never known predators, it showed no fear of humans or the menagerie of animals accompanying them to Mauritius.

Its trusting nature led to its rapid extinction. By 1681 the dodo had vanished, hunted and outcompeted by humans, dogs, cats, rats, macaques and pigs. Humans logged its forest cover while pigs uprooted and ate much of the understory vegetation.

The origin of the name dodo is unclear. It likely came from the Dutch word dodoor, meaning “sluggard,” the Portuguese word doudo, meaning “fool” or “crazy,” or the Dutch word dodaars meaning “plump-arse” (that nation’s name for the little grebe).

The dodo’s reputation as a foolish, ungainly bird derives in part from its friendly naiveté and the very plump captives that were taken on tour across Europe. The animal’s reputation was cemented with the 1865 publication of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Based on skeleton reconstructions and the discovery of early drawings, scientists now believe that the dodo was a much sleeker animal than commonly portrayed. The rotund European exhibitions were likely produced by overfeeding captive birds.

Wild-Horse Overpopulation Is a Lie

Letter to the Editor of Mesquite Local News

BLM’s Big Lie: The “overpopulation” of wild horses is a concocted “crisis”. The government doesn’t have a wild-horse problem — wild horses have a government problem.


Arbitrary management level (AML):  The maximum number of wild horses that BLM declares the Western range can sustain — 26,715 — is a political construct.  Per 49,349 square miles of wild-horse habitat, the upper bound of the AML establishes a maximum stocking density of 1 wild horse per 2 square miles!  However, BLM manages down to the low bound of the AML — 16,310.  That creates a stocking density of 1 wild horse per 3 square miles!

Sparsely populated, widely dispersed:  Many herds are restricted even more severely.  Here are stocking densities to which BLM restricts herds in Nevada.

1 wild horse per  3,102  acres  — 5    square miles  —  Antelope Complex

1 wild horse per  3,566  acres  — 5½ square miles  —  Triple B Complex

1 wild horse per  6,606  acres  — 10  square miles  —  Eagle herd

1 wild horse per  9,591  acres  — 15  square miles  —  Silver King herd

Contrast with livestock density:  BLM allows 1 cow-with-calf pair (or 5 sheep) per 76 acres, which means 8 cow-calf pairs (or 40 sheep) per square mile.  Further, within dedicated wild-horse habitats, livestock are awarded most of the grazing slots (AUMs).  Examples from Nevada:

94% of AUMs to livestock — Triple B Complex

96% of AUMs to livestock — Antelope Complex

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

Fraudulent figures on the range:  BLM’s herd-growth figures are falsified.  Repeatedly, we find BLM reporting one-year increases that are beyond what is biologically possible.  Some examples from Nevada:

260%  —     52 times the norm — Shawave Mountains

293%  —     59 times the norm — Diamond Hills South

418%  —     84 times the norm — Black Rock Range East *

*  BLM claimed the Black Rock Range East’s population grew from 88 horses to 456 horses in one year, an increase of 368.  If so, to overcome foal-mortality (50%) and adult-mortality (at least 5%), that would mean each filly and mare gave birth to 17 foals.

Fraudulent figures off the range:  A comprehensive report was recently issued following a 5-year investigation by Wild Horse Freedom Federation.  It revealed that BLM has been publishing fictitious figures regarding the number of wild horses removed from the range and now supposedly boarded in private pastures.  BLM is paying, but where are the horses?  http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/white-paper/

No to birth control, no to euthanasia, no to slaughter:  The population-explosion exists only on BLM’s falsified spreadsheets.

Marybeth  Devlin

Navajo Nation Cancels Plans for Wild Horse Hunt

story by Hannah Grover as published Daily Times

“The story below is presented unedited so you will see the word ‘feral’ used often.  I do not claim to possess abundant knowledge as to the origins of the horses on Navajo land, but I cringe when I hear that word applied to the wild horses on public lands as they are at the very least,  a reintroduced natural species (fodder for an OpEd, later).  So tighten up, you are about to enter Feral Land.” ~ R.T.


A controversial hunt was aimed at reducing the numbers of feral horses near Teec Nos Pos, Arizona

This Scenario Averted – for the time being

FARMINGTON —  A wild horse hunt aimed at thinning a herd in an Arizona trophy hunt area was abruptly cancelled on Monday as opposition to the hunt grew and a protest was planned.

The tribal government’s natural resource regulators last week issued a proclamation declaring the 2018 feral horse management hunt. It was designed to remove 60 horses from the Carrizo Mountains near Teec Nos Pos in northeast Arizona.

The Navajo Nation Division of Natural Resources this afternoon rescinded the proclamation, according to a notice on the Navajo Nation Department of Fish and Wildlife’s website.

President Russell Begaye said in an emailed statement that the hunt will be postponed and the proclamation was rescinded to allow for public input and education.

Protest was planned

Tens of thousands of feral horses roam Navajo Nation lands — and the Navajo Nation Department of Fish and Wildlife is seeking ways to reduce that population.

Following the release of the hunt proclamation horse advocates, including members of the Facebook group Indigenous Horse Nation Protector Alliance, organized a rally for Friday morning in Window Rock, Arizona, to protest the hunt.

Gloria Tom, the director of Navajo Nation Department of Fish and Wildlife, said the public outcry led to the cancellation.

Hunt should go before tribal  leadership

In an email statement, Navajo Nation Speaker LoRenzo Bates said his office was not aware that the executive branch had made a decision to issue permits for hunting feral horses.

“As Navajo people, we are taught to respect all life forms and that includes horses,” Bates said. “Considering the cultural and historical factors and concerns over water shortages and overgrazing — this is certainly an issue that should have been brought before Navajo leadership and medicine people to discuss and consider.”

If the hunt had not been rescinded, hunters accompanied by wildlife conservation officers would have been able to kill non-branded horses that were at least two years old. Hunters would not have been permitted to kill mares that have foals with them.

Begaye said the Carrizo Mountains near Teec Nos Pos in northeast Arizona has been critically impacted by the feral horses. He said the Navajo Nation Department of Fish and Wildlife’s proclamation specifically targeted the Carrizo Mountains.

The proclamation called for removing up to 60 horses over a six-day span from the Carrizo Mountains.

Tom said the Corrizo Mountains is one of the trophy hunt areas of the reservation. She said the department was concerned about the impacts of the horses on the habitat, especially about the impact on mule deer.

She said the severe drought in the region will increase competition for food and water.

“We’re looking at a very severe outlook for lack of precipitation through July this year,” she said.

Tom said the drought was one reason the department hoped to remove horses to reduce the stress on the landscape and wildlife…(CONTINUE)

http://www.daily-times.com/story/news/local/navajo-nation/2018/02/26/wild-horse-hunt-canceled-navajo-nation/374931002/

Wild horses: Are they being managed to extinction?

by as published on HorseTalk

a report by Wild Horse Freedom Federation suggested that figures regarding the number of wild horses removed from the range and now boarded in private pastures did not appear to add up.”

Photo by Carol Walker

What will we do when the wild horses are no more? And what impact might that have on all the interdependent species and ecosystems, as well as domestic horses breeds?

That is a question that must be addressed if wild horses continue to be removed from the ranges essentially based upon how they look. Some wild horses who may appear ‘ugly’ on the outside to some, but may carry key genes that could be critical to the long-term survival of the equine species.

Science does not have all the answers today, and any such meddling by humans may result in a genetic bottleneck.

As far as preserving the very best wild horses, no man can do the same job that is accomplished by the continuous process of natural selection inside a natural ecosystem. There are hundreds of stressors that affect wild horses in the true wilderness that strengthen their genetic lines and none of those involves people who think they know which horses are the best…(CONTINUED)

Read more at https://www.horsetalk.co.nz/2018/02/24/wild-horses-managed-to-extinction/#0CBdWI2Kz8QJEEYr.99

Breaking News: Navajo Nation Sells Permits to Hunt Wild Horses

https://nndfw.org/2018_feral_horse_proclamation.pdf

Navajo Nation Department of Fish and Wildlife


This is not the first go around on this issue but we need to act fast as permits have already been sold.

https://rtfitchauthor.com/2013/07/22/former-governor-bill-richardson-and-robert-redford-join-fight-to-stop-horse-slaughterhouses/

https://rtfitchauthor.com/2013/07/27/richardson-meets-agriculture-secretary-in-washington-to-halt-horse-slaughter/

https://rtfitchauthor.com/2013/10/08/navajo-leader-drops-his-support-for-slaughter-of-wild-horses-on-the-reservation/

https://rtfitchauthor.com/2013/11/14/navajo-president-lies-too-reservation-horses-being-round-up-for-slaughter/

https://rtfitchauthor.com/2015/06/04/navajo-officials-renegotiating-wild-horse-agreement/

https://rtfitchauthor.com/2015/06/06/navajo-nation-eyes-agreement-reining-in-slaughter-of-wild-horses/

https://rtfitchauthor.com/2015/09/14/new-mexico-ag-requests-further-injunction-on-horse-slaughter/