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

Feel Good Sunday: Benny the Therapy Donkey visits UT Law School

as published on The Statesman.com

“Leave it to the women of Wild Horse Freedom Federation to lead the way and shout volumes for the voiceless wild horses and burros.  Be it Debbie Coffey and her massive research and legal eagle stuff, Carol Walker out in the field documenting the beauty that is our wild equines, Terry Fitch behind the scenes keeping the books straight and donors informed to this week with our Director of Legal Affairs Dawn Reveley (also a law professor at the University of Texas) and our Director of Wild Burro Affairs, Marjorie Farabee…making news and ensuring that people, in this case law students, are getting the message.  Thanks to all of you for who you are and for what you do.  I am so privileged to call you my friends.” ~ R.T.


Click on Image to view video

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.”

The Lives of More Than 45,000 Wild Horses Are Still at Risk as Congress Waits for the Bureau of Land Management’s Plan

Source:  wildhoofbeats.com

by Carol J. Walker, Director Of Field Documentation, Wild Horse Freedom Federation

I want to personally thank all of you who called, emailed, faxed, wrote and met with your Senators and Representatives on behalf of our wild horses and burros before the Spending Bill was passed last week.  Congress did maintain protections for wild horses and burros BUT they demanded that the Bureau of Land Management, who is tasked with managing and protecting wild horse and burros on our public lands submit a “comprehensive plan and any corresponding legislative proposals” within 30 days.

Why is this a reason for concern?  Because the very language of the directive to the BLM points at drastic measure.  “the failure to address these problems is irresponsible and will result in irreparable damage to the landscape and the welfare of the animals protected.”

This leaves the door wide open for the BLM to recommend killing (this is NOT “euthanasia”) the 45,000 wild horses and burros in holding as well as the 45,000 still on our public lands who are deemed “excess”and allowing the BLM to to remove protections from wild horses and burros that are in captivity and transfer them to federal, state, and local agencies, send them overseas and put them in “partnerships” that are not in their best interests.  All of these alternatives will expose them to possibly being shipped to slaughter.

Wild Horses and Burros need to be humanely managed on the range, while wild and free on our public lands. Destroying them to pander to the Cattleman’s Association is not the solution.  We are concerned that once the report is delivered to Congress before the end of April that the BLM could start killing and transferring wild horses and burros very quickly.

Please continue to follow our alerts and posts and requests for action during this very crucial time.

To find out more about Wild Horse Freedom Federation and our work to keep wild horses and burros wild and free on our public lands visit

www.WildHorseFreedomFederation.org

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

Vern Buchanan Gets Horse Slaughter Ban and Funds to Fight Red Tide Across the Finish Line

Source:  Sunshine State News

Vern Buchanan Gets Horse Slaughter Ban and Funds to Fight Red Tide Across the Finish Line

“Red tide poses a serious threat to our environment, marine life and economy,” Buchanan said on Friday, noting the impact on the Suncoast. “We need to understand more about the toxins in red tide so we can stop the damaging effects.”

Vern Buchanan

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., scored some wins this month as his proposals fighting red tide and horse slaughter were signed into law.

Back in August, Buchanan announced that he would offer amendments to a government funding bill on those issues and protecting the Florida panther.

“Banning the slaughter of horses, curbing harmful red tide and funding the Endangered Species Act are important issues to the people in my district and the rest of Florida,” Buchanan said in August. “It’s time for Congress to end partisan gridlock and pass common-sense policies.”

Buchanan’s amendment on horse slaughtering would prevent the “reopening of horse slaughter facilities in the United States by prohibiting federal funding for health and safety inspections which is required by law at all meat processing plants.” Earlier in August, Buchanan announced his “Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act” had garnered 150 co-sponsors in the U.S. House. The proposal, which would end slaughtering horses for human consumption in the U.S. and stop exporting horses to slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico, also has a companion measure in the U.S. Senate. U.S. Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, Lindsey Graham, R-SC, Bob Menendez, D-NJ, and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-RI, introduced the Senate companion that same month.

With the federal ban on horse slaughter set to expire at the end of last week, Buchanan was able to bring the language of his amendment into the federal omnibus spending bill that President Donald Trump signed into law.

“The slaughter of horses for human consumption is a barbaric practice that must end,” Buchanan said on Monday, giving credit to congressional colleagues from both chamber and both paries as well as animal welfare groups for ensuring his language was included in the final bill.

“This was a successful team effort,” Buchanan, who helps lead the Animal Protection Caucus, said. “I hope we can build on this success and pass my legislation to permanently end the practice.”

Read the rest of this article HERE.

Great news in the 2018 Budget: America’s wild and domestic equines will be saved from slaughter and destruction

BREAKING NEWS!  In the 2018 Budget, AMERICA’S WILD AND DOMESTIC EQUINES WILL BE SAVED FROM SLAUGHTER AND DESTRUCTION!

Thanks to all of YOU for making the many phone calls, sending faxes letters and visiting with your Congressional representatives. 

The language for the Omnibus Spending Bill has been released and it contains provisions against horse slaughter and protections for America’s wild horses and burros!

While none of this will be official until both Houses of Congress vote on the bill, it is being reported that the votes to pass it with this language are there.

When passed, horse meat inspectors will remain defunded so that no horse slaughterhouses can open and operate in the U.S. Wild horses and burros will be protected from execution by the BLM and they will not be permitted to be sold “without limitation,” which means slaughter.

Much work still needs to be done.  Language that threatens the horses is in the 2019 Budget.  We need to pass a federal horse slaughter ban and the round-ups of wild horses and burros need to end and the captive ones need to be released back on the range..But at least for now, life and hope have triumphed over death and destruction.

Please be sure to send an email of thanks to Congressional Representatives who helped to save domestic and wild equines and defund horse meat inspectors.

 

How Welfare Ranchers Take Taxpayers for a Ride

Source:  Pacific Standard

How Welfare Ranchers Take Taxpayers for a Ride

Ranchers on BLM land have 94 percent of their grazing costs covered by taxpayers. And they target wild horses for removal in order to preserve the rangeland that makes this financial windfall possible.
                      
(Photo: Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images)
Congress is expected to vote sometime this week on an omnibus-spending bill that includes a proposal to kill wild horses captured from public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, and re-open horse slaughterhouses that were shut down in 2007. Should the main backer of this proposal—Congressman Chris Stewart (R-Utah)—get the required votes, 46,000 wild mustangs, and untold numbers of domestic horses, would be slaughtered.

Based on the claim that wild horses overgraze Western landscapes, the BLM routinely removes them and places them in temporary holding facilities—mostly in Nevada, Utah, and New Mexico—before moving the horses to permanent corrals. By closing these facilities and opting to put down the horses, backers of the bill note taxpayers will save $10 million a year. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke supports the measure on account of its fiscal belt-tightening.But that $10 million in savings requires some context. Ranchers leasing BLM land cost taxpayers an estimated $500 million a year (and probably much more—some say a billion dollars). According to Stephen Nash’s Grand Canyon for Sale, about 15,000 ranchers receive a $33,000 from the federal government annually.

This windfall of this bill comes in the form of radically reduced leasing fees (that some ranchers, such as Cliven Bundy, refuse to pay altogether). The cost of grazing cattle on privately owned land in the West is $21.60. BLM ranchers pay $1.41 per animal unit month (AUM), the amount of monthly forage eaten by a cow and her calf. In essence, ranchers on BLM land have 94 percent of their grazing costs covered by taxpayers. “Welfare ranchers,” as critics call them, target wild horses for removal in order to preserve the rangeland that makes this program possible.*

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE HERE.

Urgent! Wild Horses Need Your Help on Take Action Tuesday

Last Chance to Call Congress to Save Our Wild Horse and Burros on Take Action Tuesday

Wild Horses Rounded up in October Who Are Among the 45,000 at Risk of Being Killed or Sent to Slaughter

Congress is set to vote this week on the Spending Bill for 2018. The House’s version calls for killing 45,000 wild horses and burros in holding facilities and an additional 45,000 wild horses and burros deemed “excess” that are still free on our public lands. The Senate version protects our wild horses and burros. We need to call our representatives before the final vote at the end of this week. Please join us on Take Action Tuesday.

  1. Call the House and Senate leadership:“I’m calling to urge Senator/Representative _____ to keep horse slaughter out of 2018 spending legislation by maintaining the Senate versions of Agriculture and Interior Appropriations bills. Please stand with the 80% of Americans who oppose horse slaughter and want our wild horses and burros protected and not killed, “euthanized,” sterilized or slaughtered.
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: (202) 224-2541
  • Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer: (202) 224-6542
  • House Speaker Paul Ryan: (202) 225-3031
  • House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy: (202) 225-2915
  • House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi: (202) 225-4965
  1. Contact Your Senators:https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/Contact Your Representatives:https://house.gov/representatives/find/Tell them you stand with the 80% of Americans who oppose killing wild horses and burros, and want them protected and managed in viable herd numbers on our public lands.

Wild Horses in Captivity Need Your Help Now

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