Along with Wanting to Slaughter America’s Wild Horses and Burros, Ryan Zinke is Erasing ‘Public’ from Lands He’s Meant to Guard

as published in The Seattle Times

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s actions show his priority is to fossil-fuels companies and whether they will be able to profitably access the public lands they’ve long relied on for cheap natural resources.

‘Dinky’ Zinke, “I’ve had a hankering to slaughter those wild horses and burros for years. Just check my past record, it speaks for itself you turkeys.”

Shortly after taking office in March, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke declared his department would work on increasing access to America’s public lands. This sounded laudable — of course it should be easier for Americans to visit and enjoy our forests, mountains, deserts and rivers. But there was a catch: Secretary Zinke wasn’t really interested in making it easier for families to visit our public lands, only in greasing the skids for the industries that exploit those same lands.

Last week the National Park Service announced it intends to raise the entrance fees at the 17 most popular national parks to $70 per vehicle starting next year. This would almost triple the entry fee to Mount Rainier and Olympic national parks, the two parks in our state that would be impacted. The price of a weeklong entry pass for a noncommercial vehicle would go up to an astounding $70 under the proposal, from the current $25.

This proposal, if implemented, will be a de facto barrier to entry for many of us wishing to visit some of the country’s grandest landscapes. National Parks visitation already skews whiter and older than the general population. The Interior Department has acknowledged this must change if our national park system is to remain relevant. But raising entrance fees by 180 percent will only further skew the demographics of park visitation.

Two other moves by Zinke show he is worried whether fossil fuels companies will be able to profitably access the public lands they’ve long relied on for cheap natural resources.

Back in March, Zinke rescinded the federal moratorium on coal leases on public land. The halt had no effect on existing coal leases or mining but prohibited the Interior Department from offering new leases. The moratorium had been put in place last year by Sally Jewell, the previous Interior Secretary under President Barack Obama, so that the department could evaluate coal’s impact on climate change (40 percent of U.S. coal comes from public lands).

Zinke, however, scoffed at the notion of a societal cost of carbon and claimed the moratorium was unnecessary. He quickly cleared this impediment to coal companies’ access to the resource under public lands.

Then, in August, he repealed an Obama administration rule that ended a scam coal, oil and gas companies had long relied on to make deceitfully small royalty payments to the federal treasury.

The rule put an end to the practice of these companies extracting natural resources from public lands, selling the resources to affiliated companies at artificially small markups, and then having the affiliates resell the materials at a substantially higher price. Royalties paid to the public were calculated on the low initial sales price to the affiliates rather than on the price of the resource on the open market.

After receiving “numerous comments from the regulated community,” Zinke repealed the rule. Fossil-fuels companies can once again shortchange the public out of its royalties.

What truly rankles about Zinke’s selective concern for public-lands access is that the additional revenues raised from jacking up park entrance fees would be more than lost by canceling the rule that had fixed the royalty scam. Interior estimates higher entrance fees would raise an additional $70 million, while Taxpayers for Common Sense has calculated lost annual revenue from reopening the royalty loophole at $75 million.

We can expect to see more examples of this one-sided concern for public lands access. Last month came reports that President Donald Trump will follow through on Zinke’s recommendation to shrink Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments. Shrinking the monuments would open up additional public lands to fossil-fuels development while doing nothing to make those lands more accessible to the general public.

Be aware, when Zinke talks of improving public access to federal lands, he has an extremely narrow subset of the public in mind.

 What can we do? The good news is there’s still time for the public to fight back the proposed fee increase, as the National Park Service is taking comments until Nov. 23. More broadly, Congress needs to prohibit the Department of the Interior from giving special access to the fossil-fuels industries through rules that enable and encourage profiteering on our public lands.

Wild Horse & Burro Slaughter Endorser, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, Is Embroiled In More Than One Scandal

by as published on ThinkProgress.org

“It started with trying to legalize horse slaughter plants in his home state and has only gone down hill from there…”

Dinky Zinke asks; “Filly Fillet in this hand and Bucking Bronc Burger in this hand, which would you pick?”

A controversial contract benefiting a small company based in his hometown is only the latest possible corruption scandal linked to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who has come under fire for his spending habits as well as his connections to special interests and potential misuse of campaign funds.

On Monday, nonprofit watchdog group the Campaign Legal Center (CLC) accused Zinke’s dormant congressional campaign of dodging rules prohibiting individuals from converting political donations into individual revenue. According to an official Federal Election Commission complaint, the campaign allegedly purchased an RV from Zinke’s wife, then sold it to a friend at a steeply discounted price a year later, lowering the car’s price from $59,100 to $25,000. The recipient, Ed Buttrey, is a Montana state senator rumored to be in the running to be nominated Interior assistant secretary.

The CLC cited the RV sale along with Zinke’s earlier hotel stays in the Virgin Islands and New York — trips he took on the Interior Department’s dime — as possible efforts to skirt federal contribution campaign rules.

“When you combine the disregard for campaign finance laws when Zinke was a candidate with the disregard that Zinke as Interior secretary has shown for the ethics laws, you certainly get a picture of an individual who may not be taking his responsibilities as an officeholder seriously,” said Brendan Fischer, who submitted the complaint on behalf of the CLC.

Zinke’s other ethical close-calls, as the CLC noted, are plentiful.

Last week, a two-person for-profit private company from Zinke’s hometown of Whitefish, Montana secured a $300 million contract to help rebuild Puerto Rico. The U.S. territory has struggled for over a month following a devastating hurricane and much of the island stills lacks access to power and water. But many officials questioned the decision to award Whitefish Energy Holdings the contract and even the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) criticized the deal. The company eventually lost the contract amid “significant concerns” about its ability to adequately perform necessary relief work, as well as increasing scrutiny and calls from Puerto Rico’s governor, Ricardo Rosselló, to cancel the deal. An audit of the deal is underway on both a federal and local level.

Zinke has denied any connection to the contract, blaming the growing scandal on coastal elitism and a bias against small towns.

“I had absolutely nothing to do with Whitefish Energy receiving a contract in Puerto Rico,” the interior secretary wrote in a statement on Friday.

“Any attempts by the dishonest media or political operatives to tie me to awarding of influencing any contract involving Whitefish [Energy Holdings] are completely baseless,” Zinke continued. “Only in elitist Washington, D.C., would being from a small town be considered a crime.”

But the Whitefish controversy has very little to do with the small town roots of Whitefish Energy Holdings and far more to do with alarm over possible corruption. Zinke has been connected to a number of other scandals — many of them ongoing and drawing increasing scrutiny.

As the overseer of approximately 500 million acres across the United States, Zinke plays a crucial role in crafting President Trump’s domestic climate policy. Under Trump’s budget, the Department of the Interior faces steep cuts, including an 80 percent reduction in funding for climate efforts.

Zinke himself has taken an apathetic approach to climate change and environmental protection on a broader level. He has called the Paris climate agreement — signed by virtually every country in the world apart from embattled Syria — a “badly negotiated deal” and has supported Trump’s decision to leave the landmark decision. He has also questioned the impact of climate change — claiming that “no models” exist proving the phenomenon’s impact on the planet — and sought to heavily downsize national monuments, despite outcry from activists and indigenous tribes.

As a Montana congressman, Zinke took thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from oil and gas companies, many of whom drill on the same public lands he now oversees. Zinke received a total of $345,000 between 2013 and 2017 from donors like these, with one oil-and-gas executive giving the now-secretary as much as $11,600, according to Federal Election Commission data. These numbers have caused many to worry Zinke’s stances are being shaped by oil, gas, and coal lobbyists, as well as by climate skeptics more generally.

The secretary’s lavish trips are also alarming watchdog groups. This summer, Zinke took a $12,375 chartered flight from Las Vegas to an area near his Montana home, when a commercial equivalent would have cost around $300. That trip was aboard a private plane owned by a Wyoming oil-and-gas exploration firm, once again concerning climate activists.

In March, Zinke also took a taxpayer-funded trip to the aforementioned U.S. Virgin Islands, where he attended a Republican Party fundraiser and donors paid up to $5,000 per couple for a photo with the secretary. That event was one of many Zinke attended with major donors and other political figures on Interior Department-funded trips, according to documents reviewed by Politico.

Earlier this month, 26 House Democrats wrote in a letter that Zinke’s trips “give the appearance that you are mixing political gatherings and personal destinations with official business.” Other figures have also expressed concern — Zinke’s Virgin Islands trip, which are mentioned in its complaint, attracted CLC’s attention three weeks ago.

“This activity constitutes impermissible solicitation of political contributions if event organizers conditioned the opportunity to take a photograph with Secretary Zinke on paying a higher fee,” CLC’s senior director for ethics, Walter Shaub, wrote to the Justice Department’s Office of Special Council. Shaub requested a Hatch Act investigation in order to determine whether Zinke violated rules restricting federal employees from partisan political events and dealings.

Monday’s complaint comes amid a Special Counsel investigation into Zinke’s spending habits, as well as a separate investigation opened by Interior Department’s inspector general.

Audits into Puerto Rico’s canceled contract with Whitefish Energy Holdings are also ongoing.

https://thinkprogress.org/zinke-scandals-papertrail-26c2e725f345/

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Brutal Outlook for Healthy Wild Horses and Burros: BLM Calls for Shooting 90,000

By Return to Freedom

“There needs to be a fairer distribution of resources—not more biased reports and recommendations aimed at capturing, removing or killing wild horses…”

On Thursday, the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board recklessly voted to approve recommendations that call on the Bureau of Land Management to shoot tens of thousands of healthy wild horses and burros.

At its meeting in Grand Junction, Colorado, the advisory board recommended that BLM achieve its on-range population goal of 26,715 wild horses and burros while also phasing out the use of long-term holding facilities—both within three years.

If Congress allowed BLM to follow through on the independent board’s recommendations, that would mean the government shooting at least 90,000 healthy animals. The advisory board has no power to control policy.

The board also called for allowing international adoptions and sales, which have not been allowed before. During its deliberations, the board repeatedly referenced a proposal made by a private party to have American taxpayers pay to ship upwards of 20,000 wild horses to Russia—where they would serve as prey animals for big cats.

“Killing tens of thousands of wild horses and burros would be a betrayal of millions of taxpayers who want wild horses protected as intended in the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act and who have invested tens of millions of dollars in their care,” said Neda DeMayo, president of Return to Freedom Wild Horse Conservation.

“BLM has been tasked by Congress with the responsibility of protecting wild horses. The agency has failed over and over, wasting time on think tanks, challenge concepts and meetings that go nowhere instead of directing resources toward actually managing land, water and habitat on the range and building a robust volunteer effort to help with critical projects benefiting wild horses and other wildlife.”

BLM has been close to its Appropriate Management Level before, but the agency balked at using fertility control despite ample evidence that it was safe and effective. The number of wild horses on the range stood within 1,071 animals of BLM’s own population goal in 2007, yet even then the agency chose not to aggressively implement fertility control.

In fact, BLM has never spent as much as four percent of its Wild Horse & Burro Program budget on this safe, proven and humane solution for wild horse population control; instead, it spends upwards of 65 percent of its annual budget capturing, removing and warehousing animals.

Return to Freedom’s American Wild Horse Sanctuary was among the first of many projects to use fertility control with great success. It has used the vaccine PZP for 19 years with an efficacy rate of 91 to 98 percent.

Meanwhile, wild horses continue to be dramatically outnumbered on federal land by privately owned livestock, which graze there at a fraction of the cost that ranchers would pay on private property.

“A balance must be struck between ranching and mining interests and wild horses and other wildlife as part of a fair interpretation of BLM’s multiple-use mandate on the range,” said DeMayo. “There needs to be a fairer distribution of resources—not more biased reports and recommendations aimed at capturing, removing or killing wild horses.

“BLM and the U.S. Department of the Interior must stop catering to those who profit from public lands and manage them for all Americans. It is time to stop treating America’s wild horses and burros like an unwanted invasive species and start becoming real stewards by using the safe, proven and humane tools available, in keeping with the spirit of the Act and the will of the public.”

Polls have repeatedly shown that about 80 percent of Americans oppose horse slaughter and a similar percentage want to see wild horses protected.

A March 1 BLM estimate—made before this year’s foal crop—placed the on-range population of wild horses and burros at 72,674. As of August, the agency reported that 44,640 captured wild horses and burros were living in off-range facilities, including 32,146 on leased pastures referred to as long-term holding.

On Thursday, wild horse advocate Ginger Kathrens of the Cloud Foundation was the lone dissenting vote on recommendations that BLM achieve “Appropriate Management Level” of 26,715 in three years, close long-term holding in three years, and allow international sales and adoptions. She joined the others on the board in voting to recommend that BLM increase its funding of reversible fertility control to $3 million by fiscal year 2019, up from about $100,000 in 2017.

Kathrens noted that BLM’s arbitrarily set Appropriate Management Level is only about 1,000 wild horses and burros more than the estimated population at the time of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act was signed. The law—which Congress passed unanimously—stated that wild horses and burros were “fast disappearing from the American scene.”

The advisory board’s recommendation would have BLM spend money saved on long-term holding on on-range management and increasing adoptions. Those adoptions would likely spare only a fraction of wild horses on the range or in holding from death. In 2017, BLM has adopted out only about 4,200 wild horses—its best total in years.

In September 2016, the advisory board voted to recommend destroying captive wild horses and removing all restrictions to their sale, which would allow buyers to purchase them on the cheap and transport them to Canada or Mexico for slaughter. Again, Kathrens was the lone “no” vote.

In July, the House Appropriations Committee approved an amendment to the Interior Appropriations bill that removed language that would bar BLM from killing healthy wild horses. The Senate Appropriations Committee could vote on its version of the Interior bill as soon as next week.

“It will take time, commitment and diligence—and a real plan—but we have science that clearly shows the path to a sustainable future for wild horses and burros,” DeMayo said. “It’s not going to happen overnight, but it must be done and it must start now. The American people need to rally and urge Congress to force BLM to humanely manage these iconic, federally protected animals on the range.”

BLM’s Mouthpiece Board Recommends Death to America’s Wild Horses And Burros

It’s official, AGAIN, the BLM’s Wild Horse and Advisory Board recommends killing off Long Term Holding horses and any “excess” on the range…they even brainstormed about sending horses off to Russia to feed their Siberian Tigers.

Banner from America’s Wild Horse Advocates (AWHA) with Melissa Ohlsson, Vice President of AWHA as artist

Rumors abound on the internet but here are the ACTUAL recommendations by the puppets as reported to us:

Increase the budget in FY2019 to 3 million for reversible fertility control. 

BLM Immediately (over the next three years) remove excess animals from the range to achieve AML.  (MURDER)

Phase out long-term holding over the next three years. (MURDER)

Increasing funding to support successful adoption programs and on the range management, and consider possibilities for international adoptions. (MURDER)

BLM utilize all tools specified in the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 to achieve and maintain AML. (MURDER)

Examine and and adjust AML as appropriate on various HMAs. (MURDER)

Enemy to wild horses and member of the puppet patrol, Bed Masters, outlined his intentions to use lethal means in his self-indulging ‘blog’ post today …(more on my opinion of this later)

https://www.facebook.com/notes/ben-masters/wild-horse-burro-advisory-board-oct-19-2017/1769325596697949/

In the meantime, tighten up your cinches as we are in for the fight of our lives, here.

Send this information out far and wide, hit the news anchors, the networks, we need this to go viral.

More to come…keep the faith.

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Update: Senate Appropriations Interior Subcommittee markup session postponed now indefinitely

by R.T. Fitch

Good News for the Wild Horses and Burros…

…as it gives us more time to concentrate our campaign of information and truth with the 14 associated Senators but we really have not hammered out, with clarity, what happens next.

  • On one side we have folks telling us that session was delayed due to Senator Cochran’s ill health.
  • And on the other side we hear that Udall and Murkowski canceled it and Dinky Zinke is losing his cookies, damn I love the image of that picture.

So stay tuned and we will attempt to clarify as soon as we get credabal information but keep up your good works, I think that we are beginning to get our point across.

Keep the faith.

ACTION ALERT UPDATE! SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE TO DECIDE FATE OF AMERICA WILD HORSES AND BURROS NEXT TUESDAY AND THURSDAY: CONTACT SENATORS NOW!

Open Letter from Daniel Cordero Fernandez

Dear Friends of Equines,

The moment has finally come. We have just learned that the Senate Appropriations Committee has finally scheduled the markup sessions for the FY2018 Interior appropriations bill next Tuesday 17th and Thursday 19th.

Potential Future Carnage of our Native Wild Horses and Burros ~ this horror will be real!

As you likely already know, last July, acting at the request of the Trump administration and specifically Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, the pro-slaughter lobby led by representatives Chris Stewart (R-Utah), Mark Amodei (R-Nevada), Ken Calvert (R-California), Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) and Adrian Smith (R-Nebraska) moved to remove from the FY2018 House Agriculture and Interior Appropriations bills long-standing bans preventing BLM from killing and selling at will without restrictions (including for slaughter) wild horses and burros in holding and freshly captured, as well as banning USDA from conducting mandatory pre-slaughter inspections of horses at slaughter plant, hence preventing new horse slaughter plants from opening up in the US.

With such move, both the Trump administration ( which takes advice directly from horse slaughter lobbyist and anti-animal activist Forrest Lucas) and Congress’ horse meat and welfare ranching lobbies, attempt to bring horse slaughter back to US soil and, particularly, to kill by whatever means possible (most likely gunshot) all the federally-protected wild horses held at BLM corrals or those freshly captured that are deemed “in excess” arbitrarily by BLM. The intention behind this hideous move is to make room at BLM facilities for all remaining wild horses in the range to be rounded up, institute a mass extermination mechanism using tax-payer funds to get rid of them as new horses come in BLM facilities and, ultimately, eliminate all wild horses, releasing the resources for welfare ranchers like Cliven Bundy to allocate more cows and for the ultraconservative, anti-animal lobby to make an ideological point about the place and value of wildlife in our society, which according to them is none. If Trump, Zinke and Stewart get their way, approximately 75,000 wild horses , counting the 45,000 in holding plus the remaining 30,000 in the range, will be murdered in the coming years, resulting in the largest massacre seen in US since the extermination of the buffalo. This is, indeed, Trump’s “final solution” to his wild horse and burro “problem”.

Regrettably, the House of Representatives turned a blind eye to this travesty and passed their FY2018 omnibus appropriations bill without the languages preventing new horse slaughter plants from operating in the US and prohibiting BLM from killing healthy wild horses and burros and selling them for slaughter at will.

Fortunately, Senators Tom Udall (D-Colorado) and Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) are aware of this travesty and are attempting to reverse the situation. Last July, senator Udall inserted back in the Senate agriculture appropriations bill the language preventing horse slaughter plants to operate in the US (by withholding funds for mandatory pre-slaughter inspections). Now, it is time for the Senate Appropriations Committee to markup and the Interior appropriations bill, which will decide the fate of America’s wild horses and burros.

Next Tuesday 17th at 09:30 EST, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies, chaired by senators Tom Udall and Lisa Murkowski will hold a markup session in which they will present the draft text of the FY2018 Senate Interior appropriations bill, allow debate for the introduction of amendments and then vote it to present the approved text to the full committee. Then, two days later, the full Appropriations Committee will hold a markup session at 10:30 hrs on the bill text presented by the subcommittee, allowing the introduction of further amendments shaping the final language of the bill that will be referred to the full Senate for a vote.

The Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies can decide whether to carry the language banning BLM from using funds to kill and sell without limitation wild horses and burros in its care from the last Interior budget bill that was passed into law or insert it again as an amendment. Since the last Senate Interior bill contained the wild horse protection language, the former is the most likely outcome. Similarly, if the language is not carried over from the previous budget or inserted by the subcommittee, it will have to be inserted during the full committee markup by means of an amendment . Similarly, even if the language is carried over, it may be removed by pro-slaughter forces by means of an amendment. In either case, this is the last chance to save wild horses and burros from being slaughtered or shot to death by Bundite cowboys. If the wild horse protection language is not present in the bill’s committee report referred to the full senate, it is over for wild horses and burros.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Keep calling and faxing all members of the Senate Appropriations Committee –and particularly the members of the Subcommittee on the Interior- asking them to oppose any language allowing BLM to sell without restrictions wild horses in holding or authorizing the killing of healthy wild horses in holding or on the range as “management option”. Tell staffers that you don’t want government to shoot and slaughter wild horses and that all arguments put forward by those wanting to slaughter wild horses like as Stewart and Amodei, such as that wild horses are starving and killing them “is the right thing” are completely false. There are tools available for BLM to manage wild horses and burros on the range but BLM always refused to use them, stating privately during the infamous “Slaughter Summit” that they will only consider slaughter and shooting. The move by the House to authorize the mass killing and slaughter wild horses and burros is just a handout to welfare ranchers for purely ideological reasons.

Enclosed at the bottom of this message you can find a list of all members of the Senate Appropriations Committee with phone and fax numbers for their DC offices, plus a link to a template fact sheet (courtesy of Linda Loman) you can use when faxing them to follow up with your call in order to support our position. Faxing is best since it forces them to take down your comment, name and address and log it. You can use a free online faxing service to send them, such as FaxZero (https://faxzero.com/) or GotFreeFax (https://www.gotfreefax.com/), this is the cheapest and fastest way to do it. Since there is a limit on the number of faxes you can send per day, combine any of the services described at https://www.lifewire.com/free-fax-services-2378048 to reach all members of the Appropriations Committee. The template has been optimized to only 3 pages-long, hence being possible to be sent through the FaxZero service at no cost.

Right after calling and faxing try to follow up by posting messages in their Twitter and Facebook accounts. You can find their accounts by looking for the members of the Senate Appropriations Committee at https://www.contactingcongress.org/ (select Senate Appropriations from the drop down menu on the upper right corner).  You may also follow up by calling or emailing their staffers in charge of animal welfare issues

Again, I cannot stress any stronger how important is to get the language banning BLM from killing wild horses included in the bill text passed by the appropriations committee. This is the last thing that stands in the way between mustangs and their death at the hands of BLM and the welfare-ranching lobby. If we fail to get this amendment passed, it is game over and you better start kissing wild horses goodbye. We will post further updates, including live ones during the committee ‘s markup sessions in the next few days.

Thank you.

SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE

Phone                     Fax

(CHAIR) Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS)       202-224-5054        202-224-5321

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL)             202-224-5744        202-224-3416

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)             202-224-6665        202-224-5301

Sen. John Boozman (R-AR)               202-224-4843        202-228-1371

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)           202-224-3841        202-228-3954

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT)               202-224-4041        202-224-9750

Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE)                202-224-5042        202-228-3075

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)                202-224-3041        202-228-0285

Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HW)               202-224-3934        202-228-1153

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL)                202-224-2152        202-228-0400

Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS)                202-224-6521        202-228-6966

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)            202-224-2541        202-224-2499

Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA)               202-224-4623        202-228-0447

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME)              202-224-2523        202-224-2693

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)           202-224-4654        202-228-0629

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO)                  202-224-5721        202-224-8149             (Pro-slaughter shill, Don’t bother with him)

Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT)                 202-224-2644        202-224-8594         (Don’t bother with him)

Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT)               202-224-2651        202-228-1236          (Don’t bother with him)

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)             202-224-2841        202-228-3194

Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM)                  202-224-6621        202-228-3261               (He is our sponsor, no need to contact)

Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND)                202-224-2551        202-224-7999

Sen. James Lankford (R-OK)             202-224-5754        202-228-1015

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR)               202-224-3753        202-228-3997

Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI)                  202-224-4642        202-224-4680

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)             202-224-5972        202-224-3808              (He is also our sponsor, no need to contact)

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN)            202-224-4944        202-228-3398          (Pro-slaughter shill, Don’t bother with him)

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT)              202-224-0238        202-224-3479

Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA)               202-224-2621        202-224-0238

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)              202-224-5653        202-224-9787

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)       202-224-6472        202-224-7665

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV)                202-224-3954        202-228-0002

LINK TO FACTSHEET

https://www.dropbox.com/s/zt56mxu8tgohyvz/Senate_Appropriations_Staffers.pdf?dl=0

photo – horsetalk.co.nz

Update:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/tjvlhpow10a65me/Senate_Appropriations_Committee_staff.pdf?dl=0

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Horse Slaughter Proponent “Dinky” Zinke Caught Raising Political Funds During Taxpayer-Funded Trips

Opinion: Scheme to Kill Nevada’s Wild Horses Built on Greed

By Charlotte Roe as published on The Reno Gazette-Journal

Zinke claims “humane euthanasia” (e.g. killing) is the only solution to overpopulating “starving” wild equines that allegedly harm the range and wildlife. No evidence substantiates his spin.

Longtime Horse Slaughter Proponent, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, wants America’s Wild Horses and Burros Killed/Murdered.

In Southeast Nevada’s high desert Silver King Herd Management Area, wild horses coexist with elk, deer, antelope and sage grouse. They are vastly outnumbered by cattle and sheep.  Although federally protected, they are in peril. The Bureau of Land Management intends to round up nearly 1,000 to achieve its absurdly low population target of 60 adults and foals, leaving one horse per 10,000 acres. In the huge Antelope Valley and Triple A Complex, the BLM plans to remove over 7,000 mustangs. The Trump Administration wants captured horses sent to slaughter.

In April 2017, Congress directed the BLM to economize by presenting a “a plan to achieve long-term sustainable population on the range in a humane manner.”  Instead, the BLM’s inhumane, unsustainable FY18 budget request, pushed by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, proposes to eradicate up to 92,000 wild horses and burros, by selling those in holding to slaughterhouses and destroying those arbitrarily deemed “excess” on the range.

 This despicable plan was conceived through propaganda, deception and what conservative columnist David Horowitz terms a takeover by the cattle lobby. Zinke claims “humane euthanasia” (e.g. killing) is the only solution to overpopulating “starving” wild equines that allegedly harm the range and wildlife. No evidence substantiates his spin. BLM estimates there are 73,000 wild equines in 32.6 million acres of public lands, an average of one horse per 456 acres.  Federally subsidized cows and sheep number in the millions.

The BLM’s wasteful system makes millionaires of a few helicopter contractors. It distracts attention from the devastating damage done by livestock overgrazing and by commercial exploitation of federal lands. Humane management solutions for wild horses and burros have long been available. They include safe, reversible birth control vaccines; the repatriation of captive wild equines to the 21 million acres the BLM removed from their historically designated ranges; readjusting “appropriate management levels” (AMLs); and ending the agency’s counterproductive system of roundup and removal. In its 2013 report, the National Academy of Sciences stated that roundups increase reproductive rates, and that AMLs are arbitrary, inflexible and groundless.

 Secretary Zinke urges further eroding of environmental regulations and undoing federal monuments to accelerate the development of public lands by extractive industries. Wild horses and burros are an obstacle to this greedy plan.

Wild mustangs run in harmony with herds of elk in Nevada’s Antelope Valley. Free-roaming equines graze down fire-prone vegetation and underbrush. They break ice and dig water holes, helping other wildlife to survive harsh winters. They attract visitors from around the world to struggling rural communities. The vast majority of Americans want them safe and free. Please urge your senators and representative to maintain the ban on selling wild equines to slaughter and to oppose budget language that allows killing these iconic animals.

http://www.rgj.com/story/opinion/voices/2017/08/31/scheme-kill-nevadas-wild-horses-built-greed-opinion/621805001/

Federal and State Horse Haters Lock Out Media and Advocates from Utah Sponsored “Slaughter-fest”

Article by Max Roth of Salt Lake Fox 13

“Propaganda, Lies and Deceit Permeate Secret Wild Horse and Burro Planning Meeting to Organize Murder and Extermination of National Icons”

Click on Image to View Video

SALT LAKE CITY — Wild horses bring out the romance and the longstanding divisions at the heart of the American West, and that dynamic was clear as the Bureau of Land Management, the State of Utah, and a number of private and non-profit groups met in a closed-door meeting in downtown Salt Lake City to discuss the animals’ fate.

The deputy chief of staff to Utah Governor Gary Herbert expressed both the romance and the sense of cold reality.

“We love them and they’re an iconic part of our landscape,” Mower said, adding, “There’s just simply not enough feed for the horses and not enough water.”

A collection of Wild Horse advocates gathered on the sidewalk outside of the Marriott Hotel, where the Wild Horse and Burro Summit was taking place.

“I serve on the BLM’s national wild horse advisory board as their humane advisor and yet I was not invited,” said Ginger Kathrens, a filmmaker and Executive Director of The Cloud Foundation.

Alongside Kathrens were representatives from the Wild Horse Campaign, the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group, and a number of Utah volunteers like Shauna Muztafago.

“I felt compelled to be here today to be a voice to those who have no voice,” said Muztafago, who took the day off from her job at a mortgage company to protest the event she couldn’t attend.

The Director of the Utah Department of Natural Resources, Michael Styler, said his goal is all about being humane to the horses.

“They’re running out of feed. They’re running out of water. How could you be so heartless as to let horses starve or die of thirst by mismanagement?” Styler asked.

The state and the Bureau of Land Management say sustainable population levels for wild horses are somewhere near 27,000 animals and the current population is closer to 73,000.

The advocates who were not invited to the meeting say those numbers are more a reflection of the government’s priority on profitable livestock over wild horses. They cite a 2013 study conducted by the National Academy of Science that found no basis for the 27,000 horse population target. They also cite their own work with horses.

“We actually manage wild horses on the range, we document them, we have stats and data on each and every wild horse,” said Simone Netherlands, Executive Director of the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group.

Netherlands said her volunteers regularly dart the horses on their range in Arizona with a chemical called PZP-22, which slows reproduction rates to maintain herd populations.

That’s likely among the solutions discussed by the Wild Horse and Burro Summit, though that’s impossible to know because the news media was also not invited into the Wild Horse Summit discussions, just to a brief press conference in a separate room.

Wild Horses & Burros Need Your Voice More Than Ever!

Source: Return to Freedom and endorsed by Wild Horse Freedom Federation

“Yesterday, the House Appropriations Committee passed an amendment that would allow the Bureau of Land Management to kill – shoot – healthy, unadopted wild horses and burros!”

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

As infuriating as that is, as saddening as that is – and it is both — we cannot give up.

We’ll return to the House vote in a moment, but first we need you to make a call on behalf of horses to each of your senators TODAY. That’s because on Thursday, the Senate Appropriations Committee will vote on an amendment to keep a ban on horse slaughter in place.

Please call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 (if you reach a full voicemail, look for district office phone numbers on your senators’ webpages and call them).

Urge your senators to oppose any provision that:

  • allows horse slaughter,
  • allows the Bureau of Land Management to kill wild horses,
  • or removes sale restrictions, opening the door for BLM to sell wild horses to kill buyers.

Remind your senators that proven humane solutions that would enable the management of wild horses and burros on the range have long existed. We do not need to kill national icons.

All of this can be as confusing as it is upsetting. What’s happening is that we’re fighting provisions on parallel tracks, in the House and Senate, which threaten all horses as well as wild horses and burros. To be clear:

The horse slaughter votes are part of the agricultural funding process. In the absence of a total federal ban on horse slaughter, advocates push each year to bar the U.S. Department of Agriculture from using our tax dollars to hire horsemeat inspectors. On July 12, the House Appropriations Committee narrowly rejected this year’s anti-slaughter amendment. If the bill becomes law without it, slaughter plants could reopen in the United States for the first time since 2007. That affects all kinds of horses, domestic and wild, so now we need the Senate to step up and pass an amendment to make sure that does not happen.

Meanwhile, the wild horse votes are part of the interior funding process. As noted above, the same House Appropriations Committee voted to remove language preventing BLM from killing healthy, unadopted wild horses and burros. The amendment passed on a voice vote, meaning individual votes were not recorded. Again, that means that we need to turn up the pressure and ensure our senators stand up for wild horses in the days ahead.

We’ve written that the situation is as precarious for wild horses as it’s been in Return to Freedom’s 19-year history. We wish we were wrong. Alas, today’s vote was still more proof:

Proof that we must keep calling and writing Congress. Proof that we must keep encouraging our friends and family to do the same. Proof that we must keep writing letters to the editor and sharing information on social media, so that others know what’s happening.

The cost of inaction could mean the needless deaths of thousands – even tens of thousands – of wild horses and burros.

We need to push back against propaganda that blames wild horses (never livestock) for range degradation or that falsely claims scores of wild horses are starving and dying – so many that shooting captured wild horses in government corrals or on long-term pastures is held up as a “humane” alternative. We need to push back at the lie that fertility control has been a failure when BLM has never spent more than 3.88% of its budget on PZP.

We need to demand thoughtful nonpartisan leadership that will work with advocates and scientists to create a proud, long-term plan that provides wild horses with a sustainable future on the range.

The American people still have the power to avert a tragedy in the making, but it will take all of us.

Let’s get after it!