Scandals Pile up for Interior Secretary Zinke

by Rebecca Worby as published on HCN.org

“This article does a very good job of chronicling the current and ever growing list of  ‘Dinkie’ Zinke’s indiscretions and questionable behavior but it falls short of describing his checkered and horse hating past.  We will bring information forward that provide verification that Dinkie does not only hold disdain in his heart for the American tax payer but also harbors a sick blood-lust for our equine companions be they domestic or wild.  He needs to be removed from his position before he forever damages the beauty of our public lands and the wild life that lives therein, he has got to go.” ~ R.T.


Ryan Zinke faces a range of accusations, and some investigations are underway.

In recent weeks, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has taken a lot of heat for his decisions. Conservation groups have lambasted him over the secretiveness of his department’s monuments review. The final review has yet to be made public, though a draft of the report leaked to the press in September. Conservationists have also critiqued his moves to undo years of collaborative planning for sage grouse protection.

Amid all this, several events have come to light that raise questions about Zinke’s ethical practices. The now-revoked Whitefish Energy contract for grid repair in Puerto Rico — though the tiny firm hails from his hometown, Zinke denies any involvement — is only the latest example. Some of his rumored transgressions have quickly dissipated; for example, he reportedly laughed off claims that he threatened Alaska senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan before a health care vote. He tweeted a photo of himself and Murkowski sharing beers a few days later. But some of the controversies — including allegations that Zinke has mixed professional and personal business, dodged campaign finance laws and generally demonstrated dubious ethics — have led watchdog groups to call for investigations. Here are the Zinke scandals we’re watching…(CONTNUED)

Click the link to read more about Dinkie Zinke and his exploits:

http://www.hcn.org/articles/scandals-pile-up-for-interior-secretary-zinke

Government Watchdog Probes Wild Horse Hater Ryan Zinke’s Use Of Private Planes

It’s a No Brainer: Republicans Should be Opposed to Horse Slaughter

as published on The Hill

The push to slaughter wild horses is coming from a narrow – but powerful – special interest lobby in the D.C. swamp made up of millionaire and billionaire cattle ranchers on America’s federal lands.

Zinke: “Mmmmm, Good under saddle, tasty on the grill…I love my little Filly Burger.”

Thanks to the greed of tiny but powerful industry lobby, congressional Republicans are about to legalize the slaughter of America’s wild horses – and commit political suicide in the process. Polls show that 80 percent of men, 90 percent of women and 86 percent of Trump supporters oppose horse slaughter. With nine Republican House seats up for grabs according to the Cook Report, opposition should be a no brainer. But this hasn’t stopped Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke from leading the charge, while House Republicans have already passed legislation that would legalize an inhumane practice that has been outlawed for fifty years.

The push to slaughter wild horses is coming from a narrow – but powerful – special interest lobby in the D.C. swamp made up of millionaire and billionaire cattle ranchers on America’s federal lands. Public-lands ranchers make up just 2 percent of U.S. cattle operators, represent just 0.06 percent of total employment in 11 western states and produce only 3 percent of American beef. They already enjoy steep public subsidies not available to 98 percent of America’s 1.1 million cattle ranchers who do not hold public lands grazing permits. But not surprisingly they are eager to expand their advantage, even though it will come at the expense of Republican representation in Congress, perhaps even jeopardize the Trump presidency, and result in the unnecessary slaughter of tens of thousands of wild horses.

The slaughter process begins when a “kill buyer” outbids a rescuer at an auction. The horse is then loaded onto an overcrowded truck, stunned, hoisted up by a leg, and pulled apart piece by piece – which is exactly what the Republican legislation sanctions. As Humane Society president Wayne Pacelle has said, “We don’t do this to dogs or cats when we don’t have homes for them, and it should be unthinkable to do this to the domesticated animal that helped settle the nation.”

The goal of the horse slaughter lobby is to clear public lands of horses and replace them with cattle. Naturally the justification offered for the indefensible carnage this entails is that it will benefit the victims. The wild horse herds need to be thinned for their own good lest they starve – so the argument goes. Opening slaughter houses in America would save horses currently being shipped to their deaths in Canada and Mexico from the miseries of the journey. But this is just sickening hypocrisy. Absent the cattle industry land grab, the thinning of the herds can be accomplished in a cost-effective and humane way by the use of PZP birth control. The problem for the land grabbers is that this would delay and thwart their designs to take the land for themselves…(CONTINUED)

Click the link to read the rest of the story: http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/politics/352770-its-a-no-brainer-republicans-should-be-opposed-to-horse

Zinke’s Secret Burdens Report No Doubt Focused on Oil & Gas Giveaways

by as published on Western Values Project

Another report created behind closed doors for special interests not available to the public

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke’s report to the White House that focused on supposed burdens to public lands energy development was due September 24th. Now, with both the Department of the Interior (DOI) and the White House silent, the public cannot confirm whether the report was submitted at all.

The report, required by President Trump’s “American Energy Independence” executive order from March, was due to the White House on Sunday and has not been made public by the DOI or the White House. It is widely expected that this report will eliminate key protections for western public lands and waters, sweeten an already great deal for industry at the expense of American taxpayers, and prevent the public from having a say in where and how development takes place.

Chris Saeger, Director of the Western Values Project, issued the following statement: 

Since being appointed to manage the nation’s public lands, Secretary Zinke has been giving back to special interests in the oil and gas industry at the expense of all other public lands users, like hunters and anglers. After recommending the largest reduction of protected wildlife habitat in U.S. history, which could benefit a few oil, gas and mining corporations, and pushing irresponsible development in sagebrush country, we have no doubt that this report is another giveaway to the industry that backed Zinke’s political ascension. In an administration that favors special interests over public lands users, it’s no surprise that the American public has been kept out of the conversation.”

Analysis by the Western Values Project in the Rigged series found that industry is already given preferential treatment to develop public lands. Even the oil and gas industry is concerned by the unchecked regulatory rollback, asking the administration to ‘pump the brakes,’ fearing one BP type catastrophe could be disastrous.

Background:

The outdoor recreation industry is one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the country, generating $887 billion in consumer spending each year and support 7.6 million jobs. Thus far, not one representative from the outdoor recreation industry has been appointed to a position at Interior.

Oil and gas development is already the dominant use of America’s public lands, with leasing already allowed on 90 percent of public lands in the west. Over the past few months, Secretary Zinke’s Bureau of Land Management announced a series of oil and gas leases bordering or close to some national parks and national monuments.

In scrapping the collaborative sage-grouse plans adopted in 2015 with bi-partisan support, Secretary Zinke took nearly every recommendation requested by the oil and gas industry and ignored input from Western Governors. Sagebrush country supports over one billion dollars in recreation-related economic activity.

Taxpayers are subsidizing the development of oil and gas on public lands as industry exploits loopholes for extravagant corporate profits and CEO pay while Western state budgets languish.

The biggest burden oil and gas development faces on public lands are market prices, not common-sense regulations that protect hunting, fishing, habitat, wildlife, water, other users and taxpayers.

http://westernvaluesproject.org/zinkes-secret-burdens-report-no-doubt-focused-on-oil-gas-giveaways/

BLM Struggling to find Anti-Horse, Special Interest Individuals to Sit on Wild Horse & Burro Extinction Board

Unedited Press Release – Forward by R.T. Fitch, pres./co-founder Wild Horse Freedom Federation

BLM Advisory BoardHere’s your chance; if you belong to a special interest group that is pro-horse slaughter, large game hunting, welfare ranching and mining oriented then this is your perfect chance to jump into bed with the Department of Interior and their rogue Wild Horse and Burro outlaws.  This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to aide in managing wild horses and burros into extinction through on range ovarectimies, roundups and mismanaged sterilization drugs.  Just think of it, under the cloak of giving a damn you can sway government opinion to put more money into your pocket and maybe aide some of your federal agency buddies too, all who are exempt from accountability, investigation and prosecution.

Have no fear, regardless of all the public nominees that are truly knowledgeable about wild horses and burros, you can be a shoe-in as these are “appointed” positions so public opinion, common sense and good morale conduct means nothing.  You da man…or woman.

So gather up all your bogus credentials, start working on anti-equine statements and spread your desire to be an instrument of wild equine destruction among your colleagues and “Vim-Vim-Bala-Bim, Presto Chango” you are a member of the BLM Advisory Board.

It is really that simple, just like you.


BLM announces second call for nominations to Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board

BLM Bored Member, during March 2011 Advisory Bored meeting, actively engaged in protecting the future of wild horses and burros ~ photographer unkown

BLM Bored Member, during March 2011 Advisory Bored meeting, actively engaged in protecting the future of wild horses and burros ~ photographer unkown

The Bureau of Land Management this past week issued a second call for public nominations to fill three positions on its national Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board. To be considered for selection, nominations must be submitted via email or fax by December 28, 2015, or postmarked by the same date. The BLM published its second request for nominations in the Federal Register at https://federalregister.gov/a/2015-30019.

Nominations are for a term of three years and are needed to represent the following categories of interest: humane advocacy groups, wildlife management organizations, and livestock management organizations.

Those who have already submitted a nomination in response to the first call for nominations (published in the Federal Register on Aug. 14, 2015 (80 FR 48910), do not need to resubmit. All nominations from the first and second calls will be considered together during the review process.

The Board advises the BLM, an agency of the Department of the Interior, and the U.S. Forest Service, an agency of the Department of Agriculture, on the protection and management of wild free-roaming horses and burros on public lands administered by those agencies. The Board generally meets twice a year and the BLM Director may call additional meetings when necessary. Members serve without salary, but are reimbursed for travel and per diem expenses according to government travel regulations.

The Advisory Board comprises nine members who represent a balance of interests. Each member has knowledge or special expertise that qualifies him or her to provide advice in one of the following categories: wild horse and burro advocacy; wild horse and burro research; veterinary medicine; natural resources management; humane advocacy; wildlife management; livestock management; public interest (with special knowledge of equine behavior); and public interest (with special knowledge of protection of wild horses and burros, management of wildlife, animal husbandry, or natural resource management).

Asking Questions of the BLM is UnAmericanIndividuals shall qualify to serve on the Board because of their education, training, or experience that enables them to give informed and objective advice regarding the interest they represent. They should demonstrate experience or knowledge of the area of their expertise and a commitment to collaborate in seeking solutions to resource management issues.

Any individual or organization may nominate one or more persons to serve on the Advisory Board; individuals may also nominate themselves. In accordance with Section 7 of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, Federal and state government employees are not eligible to serve on the Board.

For those interested, please submit a nomination letter and full resume. The following information must be provided: the position(s) for which the nominee wants to be considered; the nominee’s first, middle, and last name; business and home addresses and phone numbers; e-mail address; present occupation/title and employer; education (colleges, degrees, major field(s) of study); career highlights; qualifications: relevant education, training, and experience; experience or knowledge of wild horse and burro management; experience or knowledge of horses or burros (equine health, training, and management); and experience in working with disparate groups to achieve collaborative solutions. Applicants must also indicate any BLM permits, leases, or licenses held by the nominee or his/her employer; indicate whether the nominee is a federally registered lobbyist; and explain why the nominee wants to serve on the Board. Also, at least one letter of reference from special interests or organizations the nominee may represent must be provided.

BLM and ScienceNominations may be submitted by e-mail, fax, or regular mail. E-mail the nomination to ccowan@blm.gov. To send by U.S. Postal Service, mail to the National Wild Horse and Burro Program, Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, 1849 C Street, N.W., Room 2134 LM, Attn: Quiana Davis, WO-260, Washington, D.C. 20240. To send by FedEx or UPS, please mail to the National Wild Horse and Burro Program, Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, 20 M Street, S.E., Room 2134 LM, Attn: Quiana Davis, Washington, D.C., 20003. Or fax to Ms. Davis at 202-912-7182. For questions, please call Ms. Cowan at 405-234-5938.

BLM to Remove 1,300 Wild Horses in West this Summer

by Martin Griffith as published in the Deseret News

“The agency still has not gotten the message that the removal of wild horses from our Western public lands is inhumane, unsustainable, unscientific, and must come to an end…”

RENO, Nev. — U.S. Bureau of Land Management officials say they plan to remove only 1,300 wild horses and burros from the range across the West this summer because of budget constraints and overflowing holding pens.

Overall, they intend to remove about 4,800 of the animals from the range during the current fiscal year ending Sept. 30, compared with 8,255 in the last fiscal year. The vast majority of targeted animals will be wild horses.

Nine of the BLM’s 16 summer roundups will be conducted in Nevada, home to roughly half of the estimated 37,000 free-roaming wild horses and burros in the West. The agency plans to remove 855 wild horses and burros in Nevada, 140 in Oregon, 105 in Arizona, 65 in New Mexico, 50 in Colorado and 25 in Idaho.

The BLM made the announcement Friday, about a month after 30 U.S. representatives urged new U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to make reforming the government’s wild horse management program and its spiraling budget a priority.

The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign coalition criticized the BLM’s plans, saying the captured animals will be added to government-funded holding facilities that are already at capacity with 50,000 wild horses and burros.

“The BLM is galloping ahead with rounding up more wild horses, despite the high cost to taxpayers and animals as well as the findings of an independent scientific review, which recommends against continued roundups,” coalition spokeswoman Suzanne Roy said in a statement.

“The agency still has not gotten the message that the removal of wild horses from our Western public lands is inhumane, unsustainable, unscientific, and must come to an end,” she added.

BLM spokesman Tom Gorey said most of the upcoming “gathers” have been scheduled in response to emergency conditions spurred by drought, and by public safety issues related to animals that roam near highways and residential and agricultural areas.

He said the schedule is subject to change because of continuing drought conditions across the West that are resulting in limited water and forage for wildlife, livestock and wild horses and burros.

“BLM managers are monitoring animal and range conditions, reducing livestock grazing, enacting fire restrictions and providing supplemental water in some locations for wild horses,” Gorey said in a statement.

Six roundups in Nevada will use helicopters to guide the animals to pens, while the rest of the operations will use bait and water to trap them in corrals.

The BLM has no plans to administer fertility control vaccines to horses this summer except for some mares in Colorado, Gorey said. Instead, the agency intends to use fertility-control treatments during roundups before breeding season — between November and February — when the vaccines are most effective.

An independent scientific review of horse roundups, which was released in May, recommended that the government invest in widespread fertility control of the mustangs and let nature cull any excess herds instead of spending millions to house them in overflowing holding pens.

The 14-member panel assembled by the National Academy of Sciences‘ National Research Council and Management concluded BLM’s removal of nearly 100,000 horses from the Western range over the past decade is probably having the opposite effect of its intention to ease ecological damage and reduce overpopulated herds.

By stepping in prematurely when food and water supplies remain adequate, BLM is producing artificial conditions that ultimately serve to perpetuate population growth, the committee found.

Click (HERE) to comment at the Deseret News

New Interior Secretary Can Turn Around Broken Wild Horse Program

Source: A Humane Nation ~ Wayne Pacelle‘s Blog

“…the situation unfolding at Palomino Valley is yet another symptom of a broken horse and burro program…”

"Why", the question asked at Palomino Valley ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

“Why”, the question asked at Palomino Valley ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Those of you who regularly watch our good friend Jane Velez-Mitchell’s show on HLN may have seen me last night in a brief segment talking about a potentially dangerous situation for 1,800 captive wild horses at a Bureau of Land Management facility near Reno, Nev., where temperatures have been reaching record highs exceeding 100 degrees this month. Despite the fact that the BLM requires those adopting wild horses from the agency to provide adequate shelter, there is no shelter for the horses at the Palomino Valley National Adoption Center. Our request is hardly unprecedented, since the BLM has installed shelters at other facilities, like the one in Ridgecrest, CA.

After several wild horse advocates brought this matter to our attention, we wrote a letter to the BLM, urging the agency to develop a shelter to provide some protection from the sun at the Palomino Valley National Adoption Center. Thus far, the BLM has installed a sprinkler system, but no shelter. Newly confirmed Interior Secretary Sally Jewell can take action to show she’s serious about reform of this program.

While an important welfare issue for the horses, the situation unfolding at Palomino Valley is yet another symptom of a broken horse and burro program. The central problem is that the BLM continues to round up and remove thousands of wild horses and to aggregate more horses than it can responsibly care for at short-term and long-term holding facilities, all at an enormous expense to taxpayers and to horses, and in defiance of the spirit of the federal law designed to protect them.

We have only about 40,000 wild horses and burros living on our public lands today, but we have almost 50,000 in holding facilities. This is not what the drafters of the original Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act could ever have imagined, and the BLM knows that it’s removing more animals from the range than the agency can possibly hope to adopt out to loving homes – yet the round up and removal treadmill persists. This is the larger problem that Secretary Jewell confronts.

The only way the BLM will ever right the sinking ship that has become its Wild Horse & Burro Program is by immediately implementing the recommendations of a report prepared by the National Academies of Sciences’ National Research Council panel which, among its key findings, urged the agency to end its reliance on short-sighted roundups, and instead, to keep horses on the range while humanely limiting reproduction through the application of a contraceptive vaccine. And just recently, The HSUS also developed and presented a proposal to the agency for a bold new program that meets the challenges of the budget, the horse population and land-use issues head on.

We are ready to work with the BLM to address its continuing troubles in this area and to solve them for the long term. But in the meantime, the BLM needs to do right by the animals in its care and the best place to start is by providing the 1,800 wild horses at PVC with the shelter they so desperately need.

Dept. of Interior Responds to Congressional Letter on Wild Horses

KRNV Reno News 4

Ken Salazar may be gone but the damage he caused the wild horses and burros still remains.

Ken Salazar may be gone but the damage he caused the wild horses and burros still remains.

You’ll have to click on the link above to read the article, since AP is not allowing this copyrighted material to be published or redistributed, we cannot copy the text here.

Just as BLM set a very narrow scope in the parameters of the study by the National Academy of Sciences, after 30 Congressional representatives sent a letter to Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell, to ask for the reform of the Wild Horse & Burro Management Program, it seems the Dept. of Interior will only be responding to “additional opportunities for population control.”

But, it’s a big deal they even responded.  Ken Salazar didn’t bother to respond.

It is our hope that the Department of the Interior doesn’t omit reform issues like humane handling and BLM’s fraudulent Environmental Assessments that blame degradation of the range on only the wild horses, while there is an increase in oil and gas development (AND FRACKING), mining, livestock grazing and other uses.  We’re tired of wild horses getting the short end of the stick, and we just won’t stand for it.  No more “You have to go slow to go fast,” as Senior Consultant Dean Bolstad kept using as an excuse at the National Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board meeting.

Many wild horse advocacy groups are going over the National Academy of Sciences report with a fine tooth comb, and we will give you, as well as CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVES AND THE MEDIA, our assessments.

The heat is on, thanks to so many of YOU who have been making phone calls and writing letters.  Keep it up!

Lawmakers Press for Changes to Broken Wild Horse & Burro Program

Source: Multiple, written by Scott Sonner

“This is an untenable situation, both for America’s wild horses and for American taxpayers.”
Former Wild Horses at feeding time in private long term holding facility outside Oklahoma City ~ photo by Terry Fitch

Former Wild Horses at feeding time in private long term holding facility outside Oklahoma City ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

RENO — Thirty U.S. representatives urged new U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell on Thursday to make a priority out of reforming the government’s wild horse management program and its spiraling budget that they say has created an “untenable situation” for both the mustangs and taxpayers.

Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva, the ranking Democrat on the House Natural Resources subcommittee on public lands and environmental regulation, wrote the letter appealing to Jewell “as a conservationist and outdoor enthusiast” to help bring “long overdue” changes at the U.S. Bureau of Land Management charged with protecting the horses.

“Given the importance of wild horses to the American people and considering the ever-tightening budget situation, we believe that this is a problem that demands your urgent attention,” he wrote.

Florida Rep. C.W. Young, a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, was the lone Republican to sign the letter.

The majority of the co-signers were from states in the East and South, but several joined from states that are home to some of the estimated 37,000 free-roaming wild horses and burros on federal land in the West, including Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., five representatives from California and three from Oregon.

Grijalva said they’re asking for renewed attention to the program after an independent scientific review of horse roundups. The review, which was released last month, recommended that the government invest in widespread fertility control of the mustangs and let nature cull any excess herds instead of spending millions to house them in overflowing holding pens.

The 14-member panel assembled by the National Science Academy’s National Research Council and Management concluded BLM’s removal of nearly 100,000 horses from the Western range over the past decade is probably having the opposite effect of its intention to ease ecological damage and reduce overpopulated herds.

By stepping in prematurely when food and water supplies remain adequate, BLM is producing artificial conditions that ultimately serve to perpetuate population growth, the committee stated.

BLM spokesman Tom Gorey referred inquiries Thursday to Jewell’s office where a spokeswoman said press secretary Jessica Kershaw was not immediately available to comment.

Grijalva said BLM’s wild horse budget has doubled since 2009 as the agency “escalated its unsustainable roundup-remove-and-stockpile approach to wild horse management.” Last year, BLM spent 60 percent of its wild horse budget on holding facilities alone, more than $40 million.

“In fact, the U.S. government today maintains more wild horses in captivity than remain in the wild,” Grijalva said. “This is an untenable situation, both for America’s wild horses and for American taxpayers.”

New Interior Secretary Sally Jewell Waiting for Study on Wild Horses?

Source: By Allison Sherry ~ The Denver Post

Mainstream Article, once again, skewed against wild horses and burros…
BLM Antelope attack in 2011 ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

BLM Antelope attack in 2011 ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

WASHINGTON — New Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said Tuesday that she is still undecided about how to handle a burgeoning? wild horse and burro population that is eating more than half the horse budget at the BLM and sparking outrage among wild horse advocates.

Jewell said in an interview with The Denver Post that she is awaiting a National Academy of Sciences study, slated to come out in early June (and directed by the BLM not to look at the millions of welfare cattle grazing on the same land), to determine how best to handle the horses.

“It’s going to help identify what’s the sustained capacity of our public lands to handle our wild horses, what is the effectiveness of things like birth control methodology to try and deal with the issue,” Jewell said Tuesday. “So we appreciate their help and we look forward to that response.” (How about the millions of private cattle?)…(CONTINUED)

Comments needed and rest of the story located (HERE)