“I know this is a bad plan. If you found my blog, then odds are good that you know this is a bad plan too. It cannot be allowed to happen. We kill all the predators and then maim all the prey and for what? To put European sheep in the middle of a high altitude desert. Cover-up all your screw ups by making even more mistakes. It doesn’t matter what you do so long as the ends justify the means. Isn’t that the true American dream?
At the very least, now you have the facts and hopefully a better understanding of the BLM’s schemes. Comments are due by Thursday January 14th.” – Rachel Reeves
by Rachel Reeves
Well, the day I have been dreading for over 3 ½ years has finally arrived. I suppose I should be thankful they waited so long instead of having it show up in August, but really, I would have been perfectly fine waiting forever only to have it never show up.
What am I talking about? The BLM has released a scoping statement for the White Mountain Wild Horse Herd. This is the first step of the process. Basically, they are announcing their intentions. The public has the opportunity to comment, at which point the BLM goes back and write a more detailed Environmental Assessment. There is another comment period on the EA. After that the BLM, having done their bureaucratic due diligence, proceeds to do whatever they want.
Vimes’ Band. Left to right: Striker, Guinivere, Saran, Chasma, Bink, Nova
Exciting prospect, I know. The short version is that the scoping period (now) is the time when the public has the best chance of influencing the BLM in their decisions. Anything after that point generally requires lawyers and a strong constitution to wade through all the BS the BLM likes to fling.
I am going to (hopefully) break everything down for you. From there, you can email your personal thoughts and comments to: email@example.com. The subject line should be titled “WMLC Scoping Comment”.
The BLM’s plans for White Mountain involve a research project performed by the United States Geological Survey (USGS). The USGS is actually planning similar studies in another 5 HMAs in the West, though I do not know which ones yet.
Here’s what it looks like:
Step 1: Helicopter Roundup this summer/fall. The BLM plans to remove horses in White Mountain and their neighboring herd Little Colorado, bringing White Mountain down 205 horses and Little Colorado down to 100 horses.
Step 2: The USGS will be putting radio collars on some mares and tail tracker tags on some stallions in both herds, and then releasing them. From there the USGS will be studying the horses, their movements, birth rate, death rate, etc. The BLM will be doing… whatever the BLM does when they’re not removing horses. This is the USGS’s show.
Step 3: A second helicopter roundup would be conducted in White Mountain in 2017. 30-50 mares will then be spayed and released. The “ideal” number will be roughly 50% of the mares in White Mountain. Little Colorado will be left alone.
Step 4: The USGS will study birth rates, death rates, etc. and determine the “effectiveness” of spaying horses in the wild.
Yeah. I wasn’t too thrilled either.
Now that you know the plan, I’m going to break it down further. You can find the FAQs on all of this here. Please note that some of the information in this blog does not show up in the BLM’s fact sheets. I had a telephone conversation with Jay d’Ewart, the Wild Horse Specialist for these herds, and he is the one who gave me the scoop on said details.
Please be sure to read the rest of this article HERE.