Public Comment Needed on Nevada Mine that will Use Over 2 Billion Gallons of Water in 10 Years (further threatening wild horses)

This map shows the Gold Bar Mine area, the approximate HMA (in solid red) and HA boundaries(in broken red lines), the approximate Mt. Hope Mine Project area and well field, and the approximate combined Gold Bar Mine and Mt. Hope Mine 10′ water drawdown area (in blue).  The 10′ water drawdown (in blue) effects almost the entire Roberts Mountain HMA.  The 1′ water drawdown will effect a much larger area.  (Streams can dry up with as little as a 1′ water drawdown.)

BE SURE TO LOOK AT ALL 8 MAPS AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS ARTICLE.

It’s best to write comments in your own words so that the BLM counts each comment as one, instead of counting a thousand similar comments/form letter as only one.  You can read the joint comments submitted by Wild Horse Freedom Federation and The Cloud Foundation below, and a quick summary on pages 5-41 of the DEIS HERE.  Comments are due by April 17, 2017.

Some suggested talking points are:

  1. Be sure to ask for the NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE.
  2. The Gold Bar mine project will use over 2 billion gallons of water in 10 years.  The BLM needs to take into consideration past (historic), current and likely future droughts and climate change when deciding if they will approve this DEIS.
  3. The Project will negatively impact the water, forage, safety, and “free-roaming” abilities of the Roberts Mountain wild horse herd on the Roberts Mountain HMA, as well as the nearby wild horse herds on Whistler Mountain and Fish Creek Herd Management Areas.
  4. The BLM is minimizing the area of impact by only indicating the 10′ water drawdown, and not the 5′ or 1′ water drawdown.  The 5′ and 1′ water drawdown will cover a much larger area of land.  A stream can dry up with as little as 1′ of water drawdown.
  5. When the nearby Mt. Hope mine becomes operational, it is proposed that it will use an additional 7,000 gallons per minute for the life of the mine (40-50 years).  Mt. Hope mine will use over 3 1/2 billion gallons of water per year and over 36 billion gallons of water in 10 years.
  6. The BLM refers to the Cyanide Management Plan (1992), (noted in Vol. 1A, 1.4.3) and the Solid Minerals Reclamation Handbook (1992), (noted in Vol. 1A, 1.4.4).  These are 25 years old and outdated.  Ask for updates of this Plan and Handbook for this DEIS.
  7. The area of Gold Bar Mine will be expanded by 40,000 acres or 62.5 square miles, creating more environmental degradation.

The DEIS is available online at HERE.   Interested individuals should address all written comments to Christine Gabriel, Project Manager, using any of the following ways:

Fax: (775) 635-4034

Email:  blm_nv_bmdo_mlfo_gold_bar_project_eis@blm.gov

Mail:  Bureau of Land Management

Mount Lewis Field Office

50 Bastian Road

Battle Mountain, NV 89820

Wild Horse Freedom Federation and The Cloud Foundation submitted these joint comments regarding the BLM’s Gold Bar Mine Project:

           

Bureau of Land Management

Mount Lewis Field Office

50 Bastian Road

Battle Mountain, NV 89820

Email: blm_NV_bmdo_mlfo_gold_bar_project_eis@ blm.gov

DATE:  April 5, 2017

Subject: DEIS MMI Gold Bar Mine Project

Dear Ms. Gabriel:

On behalf of The Cloud Foundation (TCF) and Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF), 501(c)3 non-profit corporations, and our hundreds of thousands of supporters throughout the United States, we would like to thank you for the opportunity to submit scoping comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for McEwen Mining Inc.’s (MMI) Gold Bar Mine Project (Project).

TCF, a wild horse and burro advocacy group and an advocacy group for all wildlife on our public lands in the West, and Wild Horse Freedom Federation, a voice for the protection of wild horses and burros and public lands, strongly oppose the expansion of the Gold Bar mining project and we urge the NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE in this DEIS for the following reasons:

Wild Horse Herds To Be Affected:

The Project will negatively impact the Roberts Mountain Wild Horse Herd as well as the nearby herds of Whistler Mountain and Fish Creek Herd Management Areas.

Sage Grouse Habitat Affected:

Not only wild horses will be affected in this area. All wildlife will suffer.

Open pit mining is the most environmentally destructive type of mining anywhere. Extreme weather events can overwhelm all mandated precautions, threatening migratory birds and small mammals. In the case of a flood, even large mammals like wild horses risk exposure to potentially lethal mining waste.

Direct habitat damage due to mining plus further fragmentation by roads and large equipment traveling on these roads will eliminate hopes for the recovery of the Greater Sage Grouse in this area. The transport process in itself is dangerous—accidents, dust, spread of contaminants, noise, etc.

Greater Sage Grouse were once so numerous that the “sky was black” with these large birds, according to Ginger Kathrens’ late Uncle, Allan Ralston, who spoke of this area after his return from WWII. Now the birds are threatened and a species of critical environmental concern. BLM should prioritize these risks.

Impacts on Water Sources:

Per the Gold Bar DEIS, page 4-147, under 2 different scenarios, the mine will either pump 380 gpm (gallons per minute) or 500 gpm (gallons per minute).

If the mine pumps 380 gpm, this equals 22,800 gallons per hour, 547,200 gallons per day, and 199,728,000 gallons per year.  Over 10 years, it will pump over 2 billion gallons of water.

If the mine pumps 500 gpm, this equals 30,000 gallons per hour, 720,000 gallons per day, and 262,800,000 gallons per year.  Over 10 years, it will pump over 2 1/2 billion gallons of water.

This does not include the water which the Mt. Hope mine will use once mining begins.  Mt. Hope is projected to use 7,000 gallons per minute for the life of the mine (40-50 years).

The project will deplete surface and ground water resulting in the drying up of ephemeral streams. Reducing water tables to dangerously low levels will negatively impact perennial streams. This DEIS minimizes the impact on water resources by not providing 5’ or 1’ water drawdown maps and thus minimizing the additional area of land that will be effected.  A stream can dry up with as little as 1’ of water drawdown.

Maps created by Wild Horse Freedom Federation are included in the Appendix.

Map 1 – (Figure 4.23-11 of DEIS) Gold Bar Mine Wild Horse CESA (Cumulative Effects Study Area).  On page 4-265 of the DEIS, it states “The CESA for the wild horses and burros includes Roberts Mountain, Whistler Mountain, and portions of the Fish Creek HMAs, as well as Kobeh Valley and Roberts Mountain HAs where wild horses existed based on past inventories, and where they could be potentially affected by the Project…”

Map 2 – shows the addition of the approximate 10′ water drawdown area – (Figure 4.19-3 of Gold Bar Mine Project), 500 gpm (gallons per minute) for 10 years.

Map 3 – shows the addition of the approximate HMA and HA boundaries.

Map 4 – shows the addition of the approximate Mt. Hope Mine Project area and well field – (Figure 3.13.1 Mt. Hope Project EIS).

Map 5 – shows the addition of the approximate Mt. Hope Mine 10″ water drawdown area – (Figure 3.2.18 Mt Hope Project EIS).

Map 6 – shows approximate sketch of Gold Bar Mine and Mt Hope Mine with HMA and HA boundaries

Map 7 – shows approximate HMA boundaries over grazing allotments map – (Figure 3.7 – 1, Gold Bar Mine EIS)

Map 8 – shows approximate mining, water drawdown, and grazing with the HMA and HA boundaries.

BLM writes in their description of the Roberts Mountain HMA: Water availability is a key influence to wild horse use during summer months. Wild horses will generally travel much farther to water than will livestock. In many HMAs water sources are plentiful and supplied by perennial streams, springs, and human constructed water developments such as livestock water tanks and ponds. In other cases, water sources are limiting, and in drought years, wild horses may have difficulty accessing sufficient water, (emphasis added) especially if the population exceeds the Appropriate Management Level (AML). In these cases, wild horse distribution is closely tied to the location of the available waters, which becomes very important to the health of the herd.

Drought Ridden Region

Drought is common in this driest state in the Union. Emergency removals of wild horses because of the lack of water are common. Removals of 14 wild horse herds occurred in 2009 south of Ely by BLM. The Agency cited the lack of reliable water sources as the reason for the removal of wild horses on 1.4 million acres of public land.

The proposed expansion and creation of more water dependent, extractive uses of the land is irresponsible.

Outdated Plan and Manual

This DEIS is based, in part, on a plan and a manual that are each about 25 years old and outdated.  We are referring to the BLM Cyanide Management Plan (1992), (noted in Vol. 1A, 1.4.3) and the Solid Minerals Reclamation Handbook (1992), (noted in Vol. 1A, 1.4.4).  We ask that you review these outdated materials and update them if you are going to base any part of this DEIS on these outdated plans.

Economic Uncertainty

The potential for failure of this project is so high that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) states: . . .in addition to greater uncertainty as to the economic feasibility of Mineralized Material compared to proven and probable reserves, there is also greater uncertainty as to the existence of Mineralized Material. U.S. investors are cautioned not to assume that measured or indicated resources will be converted into economically mineable reserves. The estimation of inferred resources involves far greater uncertainty as to their existence and economic viability than the estimation of other categories of resources.

Couple the above with the failure of the previous mine developers, Atlas Corporation, who filed for bankruptcy and abandoned the land in an unreclaimed condition in 1999.

Wide Scale Damage

McEwen Mining, a Canadian Mining company, is poised to take over and create even more environmental degradation. The area would be expanded by 40,000 acres or 62.5 square miles, or about 1/3 the size of the Colorado Springs metropolitan area where TCF is headquartered. In other words, this is destruction on a grand scale.

Damage from gold mining is permanent. No amount of mitigation can return the landscape to anything approaching a natural state. Over flights of the area reveal large-scale destruction. Increasing this permanent destruction for the hope of short-term gain is not a reasonable, and certainly not an environmentally friendly decision.

For the above reasons, we urge you to select the NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE for the Gold Bar Mine Project.

Thanks very much for your consideration of our position on this important issue.

Sincerely,

          

Ginger Kathrens                             Debbie Coffey

Executive Director,                         Vice-President,

The Cloud Foundation, Inc.          Wild Horse Freedom Federation

107 S. 7th Street                                P.O. Box 390

Colorado Springs, CO 80905        Pinehurst, TX  77362

MAPS:

Map 1

http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Gold-Bar-Mine-Map-1.pdf

Map 2

http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Gold-Bar-Mine-Map-2.pdf

Map 3

http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Gold-Bar-Mine-Map-3.pdf

Map 4

http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Gold-Bar-Mine-Map-4.pdf

Map 5

http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Gold-Bar-Mine-Map-5.pdf

Map 6

http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Gold-Bar-Mine-Map-6.pdf

Map 7

http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Gold-Bar-Mine-Map-7.pdf

Map 8

http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Gold-Bar-Mine-Map-8-with-mining-water-drawdown-and-grazing.pdf

Stop BLM’s cruel experiments using wild horses and burros as lab rats: Charlotte Roe, Founder of Wild Equid League of Colorado (& TCF Advisor) on Wild Horse & Burro Radio (Wed., 6/22/16)

painy

Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_Logo

Join us on Wild Horse Wednesdays®, June 22, 2016

6:00 pm PST … 7:00 pm MST … 8:00 pm CST … 9:00 pm 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.

________________________________________

Carol Walker (Dir. of Field Documentation) and R.T. Fitch (Pres. and Co-Founder) of Wild Horse Freedom Federation host tonight’s show.  Our guest is Charlotte Roe, Founder of Wild Equid League of  Colorado and Advisor to The Cloud Foundation.  We’ll be detailing BLM’s cruel experiments on wild horses and burros that are a launching pad for widespread use by BLM as “population suppression” on the remaining wild horses and burros on public lands.  These heartless experiments are the endgame for wild horses and burros.  We’ll also tell you how you can help to stop these experiments.

BLM experiments include senseless laser ablation on 8 month old foals and, with along with partner Oregon State University, risky ovariectomies via colpotomy (pictures below) performed by veterinarian Leon Pielstick.

Pielstick 6Pielstick 7To contact us: ppj1@hush.com, or call 320-281-0585 Continue reading

4 major wild horse & burro advocacy groups come out against BLM’s cruel plans to do sterilization research on wild mares (Mon., Feb 8th)

painy

Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_LogoSpecial action alert.  Join us on Monday, February 8th, 2016

6:00 pm PST … 7:00 pm MST … 8:00 pm CST … 9:00 pm EST

Listen to the archived show (HERE!)

You can also listen to the show on your phone by calling (917) 388-4520.

This show will be archived so you can listen to it anytime.

_____________________________________________

Four major wild horse and burro advocacy groups and advocates are uniting to speak out against Bureau of Land Management (BLM) plans for cruel sterilization experiments on wild mares (including pregnant mares).  The BLM extended the Environmental Assessment comment deadline until Feb. 10th, because American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC) asked for and received additional documents that the BLM had not made available to the public.  READ THE DOCUMENTS HERE.  AWHPC then requested additional time to review these documents.  (Information is given below so that after listening to this show, you can add YOUR comment to save the wild mares from these barbaric experiments.)

Our guests for this show include:

Suzanne Roy, Campaign Director, American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC)

Paula Todd King, Communications Director, The Cloud Foundation (Ginger Kathrens is in the Pryors, but she’ll try to call in)

Dr. Don Moore, DVM

Best-selling author Terri Farley (Wild at Heart: Mustangs and the Young People Fighting to Save Them)

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

Ginger Kathrens, Exec. Director, The Cloud Foundation

BLM’s heinous plans are to STERILIZE wild  horses, including “studies” (experimentation trials) using several methods on 225 wild mares: ovariectomy via colpotomy, tubal ligation, and hysteroscopically-guided laser ablation of the oviduct papilla.  The BLM is going to do this experimentation at BLM’s Wild Horse Corral Facility in Hines, Oregon, but will eventually do sterilizations out in the FIELD.

 pielstick-7

Leon Pielstick, DVM, inserting a chain ecraseur (and his arm) via colpotomy incision

 

 

 

 

 

A link to the Environmental Assessment is HERE.

Please submit your comments by Feb. 10th, by fax or email to the BLM Burns Office, with the heading:
Attention: Mare Sterilization Research
Mare Sterilization Research Project Lead
email to: blm_or_bu_mareresearchea@blm.gov
or Fax: (541) 573-4411
BLM Burns District Office:
Attention: Mare Sterilization Research
28910 Highway 20 West, Hines, Oregon 97738
(You may only want to put your name and email address on your comment, since entire comments – including personal identifying information – may be published as part of the EA and Decision Record process.)
Be sure to listen to Jonathan Ratner of Western Watersheds Project,
  on Wild Horse & Burro Radio on Wed., Feb. 10th.

Tonight’s show is hosted by Debbie Coffey, V.P. and Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

To contact us: ppj1@hush.com, or call 320-281-0585

Continue reading

Wild Horse Advocates Give Thumbs Down to Sterilization Plan

Story by Dianne L Stallings, Ruidoso News

Advocates warn the plan is a path to herd extinctions

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Officials with a group that advocates for wild horses on Bureau of Land Management ranges across the West criticized a plan by the agency to permanently sterilize a horse herd, claiming it is a path to herd extinction.

The executive director of The Cloud Foundation contended the BLM already is failing in its mission to protect wild herd, because of its “inhumane” helicopter roundups, massive removals and warehousing of America’s wild horses and burros. Now agency officials announced ther intention to sterilize the Saylor Creek wild horse herd in Idaho. The BLM’s Jarbridge Resource Management Plan would “treat all wild horses surgically or chemically to eliminate reproduction capability,” according to Ginger Kathrens, executive director of TCF.

“This chilling decision, if allowed to stand, will set a deadly precedent for all our wild horse and burro herds in the West,” she said in a news release from her organization. “Sterilizing a herd is the opposite of the intent of the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burro Act and the BLM’s long repeated mantra, ‘Healthy herds on healthy rangelands.’ How can a sterilized wildlife population be considered healthy?”

In mid-September, agency representatives said as part of its Range Management Plan, a 150-square mile area in southwestern Idaho will become a sanctuary of sorts for several hundred non-reproducing wild horses that have not been adopted.

The Saylor Creek Herd will be sterilized either chemically or physically, keeping the population between 50 to 200 horses, according to the plan manager. The process likely is years away as details are worked out, officials said.

The herd will be replenished with wild horses rounded up from Idaho and other states when resources are insufficient to support them. The agency estimates that more than 47,000 wild horses and burros are confined in designated corrals and pastures.

Several wild herds roam areas of Lincoln County. The state Department of Transportation installed signs warning drivers of their presence along the highway leading into the village. A local group advocates for their protection, which is managed by the New Mexico Livestock Board. Interest runs high locally about the fate of the BLM wild herds. One resident recently participated in the Extreme Mustang Makeover competition, which aims to train the wild horses in 100 days and to find them adoptive homes.

TCF, partnered with the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, argues that the plan violates both the National Environmental Protection Act and the WFRHBA, because it fails to analyze an alternative that restores access to the Snake River as a water source for wild horses; because it fails to adequately analyze the impacts of managing a non-reproducing herd in the Saylor Creek Herd Management Area; because it does not analyze the impacts to: the “wild” and “free roaming” nature of wild horses and other behavioral dynamics, the physical health of mares, genetic diversity and rangeland health; and because it proposed to manage a non-reproducing herd at Saylor Creek.

“The BLM has run rough-shod over the wild horse and burros for over 40 years, zeroing out almost half the herds that were identified for protection in the WFRHBA,” Paula Todd King, TCF communications director, said. “Now they want to turn the Saylor Creek Herd area into a ‘sanctuary,’ more accurately described as a dumping ground for other sterilized mustangs in holding.”

Many experts conclude there are safer, reversible ways to control wild horse populations in the wild, including the prestigious National Academies of Sciences in its 2013 Report to the BLM on the management of the Wild Horse and Burro Program, TCF officials pointed out.

“The NAS report clearly supports safe, effective and proven methods for controlling wild horse populations ‘on-the-range’ like the reversible fertility vaccine PZP,” Linda Hanick, manager of TCF social media followers, said. “By implementing field sterilization of mares and stallions as a means of population control, the BLM guarantees managing wild horses and burros to extinction.”

In 1971, 339 herds were identified for protection after the passage of the WFRHB Act. Only 179 herds remain. The vast majority of the remaining herds are managed at non-viable levels of under 150-200 adult animals, according to TCF. Eighty-three percent of forage in the 179 wild horse and burro herd areas is allocated to privately-owned livestock that cost taxpayers more than $120 million a year for administration of a flawed and range damaging program, TCF officials contend..

“This is just the beginning of the end for wild horse families in the wild if we don’t say ‘no’ as loudly and collectively as we can,” Kathrens said.

BLM to Sterilize Idaho’s Saylor Creek Wild Horses

wild_horses.Par.1257.Image.450.232.1

Saylor Creek wild horses (photo: BLM)

Drastic Plan threatens future of all wild horse herds in the West

The Cloud Foundation issued a Press Release warning that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), long criticized for its inhumane helicopter roundups, massive, indiscriminant removals, and warehousing of America’s wild horses and burros, announced their intent to sterilize the Saylor Creek wild horse herd in Idaho.  The BLM’s Jarbridge Resource Management Plan would “treat all wild horses surgically or chemically to eliminate reproduction capability.”

 “This chilling decision, if allowed to stand, will set a deadly precedent for all our wild horse and burro herds in the West,” states Ginger Kathrens, Executive Director of The Cloud Foundation (TCF).  “Sterilizing a herd is the opposite of the intent of the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burro Act (WFRHBA) and the BLM’s long repeated mantra, ‘Healthy herds on healthy rangelands.’  How can a sterilized wildlife population be considered healthy?”

The Cloud Foundation argues that the plan violates both the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) and the WFRHBA:

  • Violates NEPA because it fails to analyze an alternative that restores access to the Snake River as a water source for wild horses
  • Violates NEPA because it fails to adequately analyze the impacts of managing a non-reproducing herd in the Saylor Creek Herd Management Area (HMA)
  • Does not analyze the impacts to: the “wild” and “free roaming” nature of wild horses and other behavioral dynamics; the physical health of mares; genetic diversity; and rangeland health.
  • Violates the WFRHBA by proposing to manage a non-reproducing herd in the Saylor Creek HMA.

“The BLM has run rough-shod over the wild horse and burros for over 40 years, zeroing out almost half the herds that were identified for protection in the WFRHBA,” adds Paula Todd King, Communications Director for TCF.  “Now they want to turn the Saylor Creek Herd area into a ‘sanctuary,’ more accurately described as a dumping ground for other sterilized mustangs in holding.”

In 1971, 339 herds were identified for protection after the passage of the WFRHB Act.  Only 179 herds remain.  The vast majority of the remaining herds are managed at non-viable levels of under 150-200 adult animals.  83% of forage in the 179 wild horse and burro herd areas is allocated to privately-owned livestock that cost taxpayers over $120 million a year for administration of a flawed and range damaging program.

“This is just the beginning of the end for wild horse families in the wild if we don’t say ‘no’ as loudly and collectively as we can,” concludes Kathrens.

Links:

The Cloud Foundation: Say No to Sterilizatio

Record of Decision, Jarbridge Resource Management Plan

Feds Plan Wild Horse Sanctuary in Southwestern Idaho

Equine Rescue Group 
Tries to Block 
Wild Horse Roundups

By Charles Ashby as published in The Daily Sentinel

“The BLM is intent on removing an entire herd, but both the language and spirit of the Wild Horse Act protect wild horses from elimination…”

A Front Range horse rescue group is trying to block the Bureau of Land Management from doing any more horse gathers in the West Douglas Herd Area near Rangely, CO.

083015_They_Chute_Horses_600x400That group, Front Range Equine Rescue, filed an appeal with the U.S. Department of the Interior on Thursday, saying that a BLM decision in July ultimately calls for removing all horses in the 128,000-acre herd area.

The group’s main argument is that by removing horses from its land, the BLM is violating the federal Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971.

“As a matter of legal principle, BLM’s plan to zero out the wild horse herd in the (west Douglas area) conflicts with the agency’s mandate to protect wild horses and manage them as a component of public lands under the wild horse act,” the appeal says. “If the horses are a component and they are to be managed on the land, they must be there on the land, and BLM’s intentional decimation of the herd from the area violates the plan language of the wild horse act.”

Last month, The Cloud Foundation and Wild Horse Freedom Federation filed suit to block the gathers, but lost in federal court.

“The BLM is intent on removing an entire herd, but both the language and spirit of the Wild Horse Act protect wild horses from elimination,” said Hilary Wood, the rescue’s president. “This irreversible action will permanently alter the natural diversity of the range and damage herd health in the adjacent areas that are also under the BLM’s management.”

BLM officials, however, say they are trying to manage the horse herds, but said their job goes far beyond that. They also have other plant and animal life that they have to think about.

Additionally, much of its responsibilities in dealing the horse herds are in designated horse management areas, and the West Douglas Herd Area isn’t one of them.

“A complete gather would be extremely difficult and we have no immediate plans for a future gather that I’m aware of,” said BLM spokesman Chris Joyner. “The issue isn’t West Douglas. The issue is (allegedly) excess horses. It’s an area that we feel like can only sustain about 30 horses.”

The real herd management area is adjacent to that, east of Douglas Creek and in the Piceance Basin, and it has an even alleged bigger problem with horse overpopulation, Joyner said.

Last month, the BLM gathered 167 horses from the West Douglas area, leaving about 200 still there, far more than the area can sustain, Joyner said. He said the larger herd management area has about 390 horses, about 150 more than the land can sustain.

“We’re following the act exactly as it’s written,” Joyner said. “We have to look at the sustainability of the ranges and having to help the ranges for every species that’s out there. During the gather I saw my first badger, I saw a bobcat and I saw a black-footed ferret. Those are animals that need that range, too, and we have to manage it for all those species.”

“How about all of the private, welfare cattle that outnumber the horses 4 to 1 out there, Mr. Joyner…are you taking them off from the public land, also?” (we all know the answer) ~ R.T.

Controversial Wild Horse Roundup Ends with 2 Dead and 167 Removed from Herd

Source:  Multiple

West Douglas Stallion taken day of ruling Sept 15, 2015 by plaintiff Dr. Don Moore

West Douglas Stallion taken day of ruling Sept 15, 2015 by plaintiff Dr. Don Moore

A controversial horse roundup conducted by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) ended Wednesday after 167 horses were removed from Colorado’s West Douglas Herd Area.

The BLM used helicopters and bait traps to capture the horses. Two were killed during the roundup. A stallion fell while being loaded onto a trailer and another horse stepped on his neck. Also, a young foal broke its leg after being roped while trying to run away. He was eventually captured and then euthanized.

A lawsuit was filed in an attempt to stop the roundup but the federal judge allowed the BLM to move forward with their plans.

The lawsuit was brought by The Cloud Foundation (TCF), Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF), The Colorado Wild Horse and Burro Coalition (CWHBC), Dr. Don Moore and Toni Moore of Fruita, CO., and Barb Flores of Greeley, CO, to protect this herd and the neighboring Piceance East Douglas herd. “Sadly,” states Toni Moore, “the courts did not view the loss of an entire herd of wild horses as ‘irreparable harm.’ “

“Wiping out the West Douglas herd erases a whole distinct set of genetics, separate from nearby East Douglas horses,” states Linda Hanick, TCF Board member who testified in the Sept. 11 hearing on the case.  “The roundup disregards the importance of the historic recorded documentation of these horses since Sept 1776. This roundup closes the door on an important piece of Colorado’s wild horse history.”

“We’re very disappointed of course,” states Ginger Kathrens, Executive Director of TCF. “Wild horse families that have shared a history with this rugged Colorado landscape for hundreds of years will be swept away, while the real public land destroyers, the thousands of head of welfare livestock remain.  It is terribly unfair, but we continue to fight for those wild herds that remain!”

“Sadly, we did not prevail in stopping the BLM from proceeding to zero out the West Douglas Herd,” states Carol Walker, Director of Field Operations for WHFF. “We continue to fight the mismanagement and decimation of our wild horse herds. Our voices count, and are the only hope they have.”

R.T. Fitch, President of Wild Horse Freedom Federation responded: “For years the American public has attempted to keep these herds free on their rightful range and with a stroke of a pen their freedom, families and lives have been shattered. Once again American taxpayers have been betrayed by big government, big agriculture and big business; it is shameful.”

“I feel a deep sadness for any wild species on the brink of disaster,” concludes Kathrens. “These lovely wild horse families have no idea that the end of their wild lives is coming.  They are simply the innocent victims of greed and power.”

Court Gives BLM Green Light to Destroy Colorado’s Historic West Douglas Wild Horse Herd

Joint Press Release from The Cloud Foundation and Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Zeroing out entire wild horse herd not viewed as constituting “irreparable harm.”

West Douglas Stallion taken day of ruling Sept 15, 2015 by plaintiff Dr. Don Moore

West Douglas Stallion taken day of ruling Sept 15, 2015 by plaintiff Dr. Don Moore

Washington, DC (Sept. 15, 2015) – Today, Federal Judge Christopher R. Cooper denied a Preliminary Injunction to stop the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) from carrying out its decades old quest to remove the entire West Douglas wild horse herd. Tomorrow the BLM will begin a helicopter roundup and removal of wild horses in and around the herd area with the ultimate goal of zeroing out the herd (area).

The lawsuit was brought by The Cloud Foundation (TCF), Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF), The Colorado Wild Horse and Burro Coalition (CWHBC), Dr. Don Moore and Toni Moore of Fruita, CO., and Barb Flores of Greeley, CO, to protect this herd and the neighboring Piceance East Douglas herd. “Sadly,” states Toni Moore, “the courts did not view the loss of an entire herd of wild horses as ‘irreparable harm.’ “

“Wiping out the West Douglas herd erases a whole distinct set of genetics, separate from nearby East Douglas horses,” states Linda Hanick, TCF Board member who testified in the Sept. 11 hearing on the case.  “The roundup disregards the importance of the historic recorded documentation of these horses since Sept 1776. This roundup closes the door on an important piece of Colorado’s wild horse history.”

“We’re very disappointed of course,” states Ginger Kathrens, Executive Director of TCF. “Wild horse families that have shared a history with this rugged Colorado landscape for hundreds of years will be swept away, while the real public land destroyers, the thousands of head of welfare livestock remain.  It is terribly unfair, but we continue to fight for those wild herds that remain!”

“Rangeland impact of livestock in West Douglas is greater than 10 times the impact of wild horses,” states Barb Flores, plaintiff in the case who also testified in the Sept. 11 hearing. “Both use the area year round. While cattle are moved from pasture to pasture, wild horses migrate throughout the herd area on their own.”

“The BLM does not consider mortality rates in its population estimates,” Flores continues. “While we all expect the death of old, sick and injured wild horses, research shows that foal mortality is often 50%, and in many herd areas it is even higher. This means that less than half the foals make it to their first birthday. Shockingly, BLM’s 20% population growth rate assumes all foals live and no wild horses, of any age, die.”

“To add insult to injury, the helicopter contractor chosen to round up the West Douglas herd, is noted for their cruelty,” adds Hanick who personally witnessed a roundup in 2010 conducted by Sun J Livestock in which 12% of the horses were killed.  “We will hope for the best and attempt to record what happens this time around if granted adequate access.”

“Sadly, we did not prevail in stopping the BLM from proceeding to zero out the West Douglas Herd,” states Carol Walker, Director of Field Operations for WHFF. “We continue to fight the mismanagement and decimation of our wild horse herds. Our voices count, and are the only hope they have.”

R.T. Fitch, President of Wild Horse Freedom Federation responded: “For years the American public has attempted to keep these herds free on their rightful range and with a stroke of a pen their freedom, families and lives have been shattered. Once again American taxpayers have been betrayed by big government, big agriculture and big business; it is shameful.”

“I feel a deep sadness for any wild species on the brink of disaster,” concludes Kathrens. “These lovely wild horse families have no idea that the end of their wild lives is coming.  They are simply the innocent victims of greed and power.”

Media Contacts:

Paula Todd King

The Cloud Foundation

843-592-0720

paula@thecloudfoundation.org

Carol Walker

Director of Field Documentation

Wild Horse Freedom Federation

303-823-6642

www.LivingImagesCJW.com

www.WildHoofbeats.com

LINKS:

Legal Documents andPrior Press Releases

WestDouglas Herd Area Final EA 

BLM PressRelease July 29, 2015

 The Cloud Foundation (TCF) is a Colorado based 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of wild horses and burros on our western public lands.

 Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF) is a Texas based registered 501(c)(3) non profit which puts people between America’s wild equids and extinction.

 The Colorado Wild Horse and Burro Coalition (“CWHBC”) is a non-profit Colorado corporation, organized to educate the public and wild horse and burro adopters about wild horse issues and to protect wild horses and burros

 Ms. Toni Moore is a resident of the state of Colorado and is the Secretary/Treasurer of CWHBC and the Special Projects Coordinator of The Cloud Foundation, Inc. (“TCF”).

 Dr. Don Moore is an equine and small-animal veterinarian and has live in or near the WDHA and PEDHMA most of his life.

 Barb Flores, a resident of Greeley, Colorado is chair of the Colorado Wild Horse and Burro Coalition and has photographed and documented Colorado’s wild horse herds for over 20 years.

BLM Aims to Start Wild Horse Roundup Wednesday

By Dennis Webb as published in the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel

“…once the BLM comes in and gets them out they’re gone.”

West Douglas Wild HorsesThe Bureau of Land Management plans to start a local wild-horse gather on Wednesday, two days later than planned, following the recent filing of a lawsuit challenging the action.

Agency spokesman Christopher Joyner said the BLM pushed back the gather “to ensure the courts had time to review the case.”

However, “We plan to proceed with the gather unless told differently” by the courts.

Activists are seeking an injunction to prevent the roundup from beginning before the case is further litigated. A four-hour hearing was held Friday and a federal judge’s ruling is being awaited, said Paula Todd King with the Cloud Foundation, one of the plaintiffs.

The BLM is hoping to remove 167 “excess” horses located within the jurisdiction of the White River Field Office, based in Meeker. Its primary target is horses in the West Douglas Herd Area, west of Colorado Highway 139 between Loma and Rangely. The BLM considers that area inappropriate for wild horses for reasons including its remoteness and difficult access for management purposes, lack of summer range, and the range damage that has been occurring there, Joyner said.

On Sept. 4, the Cloud Foundation, the Wild Horse Freedom Federation, the Colorado Wild Horse and Burro Coalition, veterinarian Don Moore and Toni Moore of Fruita, and Barb Flores of Greeley sued seeking to stop the roundup. They argue the BLM failed to conduct the proper environmental analysis and abide by the requirements of the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act.

They contend horses have inhabited the West Douglas area for centuries, and the BLM is blaming horses for damage caused by privately owned livestock. They also worry that the BLM will eliminate horses there.

The BLM estimates the West Douglas area is home to about 365 horses, while wild-horse advocates argue the number is far less.

“I just hope for the people of Colorado that we can save that herd, because once the BLM comes in and gets them out they’re gone,” King said.

The BLM plans to use bait and water to try to attract horses, and a helicopter to help herd them. Among the concerns of horse advocates is potential physical harm to animals as a result of the operation…

BLM Sued Over Wild Horse Removal

Source: NBC11News.com

“Wild horses are a natural heritage species and to continue seeing them removed after a law was created to protect them is a travesty,”

A West Douglas Family Band ~ photo by Toni Moore

A West Douglas Family Band ~ photo by Toni Moore

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. A Bureau of Land Management’s plan to move 167 horses, that has been almost three years in the making, could be put on hold.

The BLM planned to move 167 horses from the West Douglas Range.  The movement was to start on September 14. The BLM alleges that this movement will help support the range’s health in hopes of preserving resources for all wildlife.

This week The Cloud Foundation, Wild Horse Freedom Federation, and The Colorado Wild Horse and Burro Coalition filed a lawsuit in hopes of stopping this movement by the BLM. They want the horses to remain on the range as they have for hundreds of years.

“Wild horses are a natural heritage species and to continue seeing them removed after a law was created to protect them is a travesty,” said Toni Moore of the Cloud Foundation.

Advocacy groups argue that wild horses are a staple of the west and that the BLM is driving some wild horse herds to extinction. Advocacy groups do not want to see the West Douglas horses become extinct so the organizations have filed an injunction in hopes of creating a restraining order that will delay the movement of the horses until further action can be taken.