Public comments needed on BLM’s plans to roundup wild horses on the Onaqui HMA in Utah

(Photo: BLM)

Public comments are due by Oct. 31 on a BLM Salt Lake City Field Office Scoping Notice for a roundup of wild horses in the Onaqui Herd Management Area in Utah.  Send a personal comment to  blm_ut_cedarmt_onaqui@blm.gov   and in the subject line, put Onaqui Wild Horse Gather/Population Control and Research

We are sharing this public comment written by our friend, wild horse & burro advocate (and beekeeper) Susan Rudnicki:

To: blm_ut_cedarmt_onaqui@blm.gov

BLM—           It has come to my attention that the Utah BLM is considering removing a majority of the Onaqui Mountain wild horse herd—325 horses out of a herd of 450.   This is a reckless gutting of the genetic viability of this herd, a 72% decrease that can not sustain genetic resilience, a authoritative opinion of Dr Gus Cothran, equine geneticist.

   The citation by BLM that the horses are to be removed to preserve sage grouse habitat also is not underpinned by the facts at hand.  The public is well aware of the proposal by the current administration to ACTIVELY REDUCE sage grouse habitat protection, as announced  by  Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke,  who released the recommendations of his sage-grouse “review team”.  A short summary of some of the recommendations does not seem to support the contention by Utah BLM that wild horses are a significant impact to Sage Grouse.  Instead, the list tries to damage the already concocted 5 year planning process that went into the good-faith flexibility of the 2015 Approved Resource Management Plan Amendments (ARMPAs) and test how far the Interior Department can bend the rules without getting sued. Where is the “protection of Sage Grouse”,  as purported to be driving a removal from Onaqui HMA?
   In fact, the BLM plan for wild horse removals is factually contradicted by a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service study released in 2012 that did not cite wild horses as one of the top five threats to sage grouse. Instead, it cites energy development, transmission right of ways, fire, invasive species, and commercial development as the top threats.   Interestingly, these human installations are the very things Zinke has openly committed to smoothing the way for opening on our public lands.  
 
   The round-up proposed by BLM in Onaqui would seem to be driven instead by industrial considerations, as described in the list below, gleaned from Zinke’s team list.    I am a citizen and taxpayer able to discern when scapegoats, such as the wild horses, are being used for distraction purposes.   
   The Zinke report and the forthcoming processes that will revise the ARMPAs  are determined to weaken any provisions that inhibit industry, including proposals to:
  • Narrow the buffer zones that would protect leks from fossil fuel development disturbance;
  • Remove Sagebrush Focal Area restrictions (“SFA” the most important habitat) for fluid mineral operations, and ultimately consider getting rid of SFA altogether;
  • Train staff to weaken grazing Habitat Objectives so that they are not included as terms and conditions of livestock grazing permits in key grouse habitats;
  • Encourage captive breeding of grouse and increased predator killing – which science has proven don’t work – instead of habitat protection which does; and
  • Create the false impression that livestock grazing is good for sage-grouse habitat, when in fact there is no scientific evidence that even light grazing by domestic livestock is beneficial.
   I am a astute reader and am able to discern conflicts of interest masquerading as cover for “takings”  Sage Grouse AND wild horses are protected and stand to get in the way of industrial development for private profit.
 
  The removal of the wild horses by BLM in the Onaqui HMA must change,  to focus instead on fertility control. The plan to treat 60 mares in FY2018 is not adequate to slow reproduction. Volunteers with the Wild Horses of America Foundation are ready and able to implement a larger population control program.
 
   I do not want my taxpayer dollars used on another expensive round-up and stockyard impoundment for wild horses. 
 
   Finally, per the most recent recommendation of the BLM National Advisory Board, all wild horses in holding are to be slaughtered or sold to foreign countries for slaughter in the next three years.   This is NOT acceptable to the public at large, who are granted by the 

 WILD FREE-ROAMING HORSES AND BURROS ACT OF 1971
(PUBLIC LAW 92-195)

to be the public which enjoys and oversees the animal’s protection.  Any horses taken in the Onaqui HMA could become caught in this tug of war between Federal agencies.   
 
I remain a active, informed American taxpayer,
Sincerely, Susan Rudnicki

Aide to wild horse opponent Rep. Stewart named BLM deputy director

Source: Return to Freedom

“…no evidence that wilderness land designations result in positive economic outcomes for local economies.”

A BLM contractor’s helicopter pursues a stallion as cattle graze undisturbed during a 2016 roundup at Blawn Wash Herd Management Area in Utah. RTF file photo by Steve Paige.

The Bureau of Land Management has appointed Utah Republican Rep. Chris Stewart’s former chief of staff as the agency’s new deputy director of programs and policy.

Brian Steed, who served as Stewart’s chief of staff since 2013, has already started the job, according to sources. He is listed in the position on an organizational chart on the agency’s website.

Steed’s connection to Utah and its Republican-led congressional delegation is no accident. His appointment comes as Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has recommended that President Trump reduce the size of the Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears national monuments in Utah. Grand Staircase-Escalante is managed by BLM, and Bears Ears is overseen by BLM and the Forest Service.

Stewart and other members of Utah’s congressional delegation have been vocal critics of those national monument designations by Presidents Clinton and Obama, respectively. Steed would likely be in charge of overseeing any changes in management if both monuments are reduced in size or eliminated altogether.

BLM’s deputy director of programs and policy position is a political appointment and separate from acting Deputy Director of Operations John Ruhs, a career Senior Executive Service employee who oversees the day-to-day functions of the agency’s roughly 10,000 employees.

It’s not clear what Steed’s specific duties will be, though he is expected to help the agency carry out Trump administration priorities, including increasing oil and gas drilling and mining activities on federal lands.

As a political appointee, Steed likely will be heavily involved in the ongoing effort by the Interior Department to reorganize BLM and other agencies. That reorganization effort has already resulted in the removal of three BLM state directors in Alaska, Colorado and New Mexico.

A BLM spokeswoman declined to answer questions about Steed, referring inquiries to Interior. The department’s communications staff did not respond to requests for comment on this story in time for publication.

But Steed was introduced to members of BLM’s executive leadership team during a conference call this week, and sources said he made a positive first impression on the career employees.

Prior to becoming Stewart’s chief of staff in January 2013, Steed served as the congressman’s campaign manager, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Before that, he taught economics at Utah State University’s Jon M. Huntsman School of Business, as well as political science at the university. He served as deputy county attorney in Iron County, Utah, from May 2003 to August 2005, according to the LinkedIn profile.

Steed was the co-author with other Utah State University researchers of a paper published in the fall 2016 edition of the Journal of Private Enterprise titled “Boon or Bust: Wilderness Designation and Local Economics.”

Its authors concluded there is “no evidence that wilderness land designations result in positive economic outcomes for local economies.” Rather, wilderness designations “impose costs on local economies” that call for the need to develop “a consensus-building approach to new wilderness area designations.”

He earned a doctorate in public policy from Indiana University Bloomington in 2010 and a law degree from the University of Utah in 2002.

Sources said it is unusual for the agency to name a permanent top political deputy prior to the appointment of a permanent director.

BLM is currently being led by acting Director Mike Nedd.

Steed’s duties are likely to be similar to his predecessor in the Obama administration, Linda Lance.

Lance was heavily involved in energy policy, helping BLM develop a rule regulating hydraulic fracturing on federal lands and mitigation plans for large-scale solar power projects.

Lance had decades of Beltway policy experience that was the polar opposite of Steed’s.

She was senior counsel for former Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) before joining BLM. She was associate director at the White House Council on Environmental Quality during the Clinton administration and, after that, a lobbyist for the Wilderness Society from 2001 to 2008 (Greenwire, Jan. 14, 2014).

While at CEQ, Lance worked with then-Chairwoman Kathleen McGinty on the Clinton administration’s designation of the 1.7-million-acre Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

https://returntofreedom.org/2017/10/04/aide-to-wild-horse-opponent-rep-stewart-named-blm-deputy-director/

U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop of Utah “jokes” at the Slaughter Summit, “The French think every horse should be Sea-Brisket”

Utah’s Rep. Rob Bishop (photo: BYU)

What did Utah’s Congressman Rob Bishop, who chairs the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee, say at the recent secretive “Slaughter Summit” in Salt Lake City, Utah?  (That he likely wouldn’t say publicly.)

“U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop of Utah took the stage holding a children’s toy stick horse and cracked a joke about riding a horse to work as Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has done in the streets of Washington.

Bishop, who chairs the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee, said that despite his holding a toy, the summit was addressing a serious issue that many across the country and in Congress don’t understand because they’ve been swayed by activists “who care more about fundraising opportunities than the animals.”

“There are members of Congress who truly believe that every horse is Seabiscuit.  Of course, the French think every horse should be Sea-Brisket,” he joked.  (Source:  Las Vegas Sun)

Hey, Rob what about all the money that Dave Duquette gets paid by Protect the Harvest to pimp for horse slaughter?  Duquette is really the one who “cares more about fundraising opportunities than the animals.”  Duquette, as you can see on his facebook page, is even building himself a big ol’ house outside Hermiston, Oregon.

This “Slaughter Summit” consisted not only of Rep. Rob Bishop’s bad “joke” and false “facts,” but also of secretive, closed-door meetings between special interest groups and the government employees pandering to them.  But, what happened in Utah will not stay in Utah.

 

 

Ginger Kathrens, Founder & Pres. of The Cloud Foundation, on Wild Horse & Burro Radio (Wed., 8/30/17)

painy

Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_LogoJoin us on Wild Horse Wednesdays®, this Wednesday, August 30, 2017

5:00 p.m. PST … 6:00 p.m. MST … 7:00 p.m. CST … 8:00 p.m. 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.

Ginger Kathrens and wild horse & burro advocates outside of the National Horse and Burro Rangeland Management Coalition Summit (AKA the “Slaughter Summit”) in Salt Lake City, Utah

Our guest tonight is Ginger Kathrens, Founder and Exec. Dir. of The Cloud Foundation, and member of the BLM’s National Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board.

The countdown is ticking quickly on the fate of our wild horses and burros.  There is language in the 2018 Budget that would mean 46,000 of our wild horses & burros in BLM holding facilities, and tens of thousands more on public lands, would be killed immediately.

Special interests, under the guise of the National Horse & Burro Rangeland Management Coalition, held a secretive “Slaughter Summit” at Utah State University last week.  This closed door 3 day Summit was not open to the public.  However, Department of the Interior and Bureau of Land Management officials were speakers and in attendance.

Ginger will be covering many topics tonight.  Carol Walker, Dir. of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation, will be calling in with the latest update on Wyoming’s wild horses.  Don’t miss this show!  Keep calling your Senators and Congressional Representatives and tell them NOT to approve language in the 2018 Appropriations bill to kill, “euthanize,” or sterilize our wild horses & burros.  Tell them you want our wild horses & burros to be protected.  You can find their phone numbers here: https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials
This show will be 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

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/marti-oakley/2017/08/31/ginger-kathrens-founder-pres-of-the-cloud-foundation-slaughter-summit

TO LISTEN TO ALL ARCHIVED WILD HORSE & BURRO RADIO SHOWS, CLICK HERE. Continue reading

Agenda for this week’s Wild Horse & Burro Killers’ Summit in Salt Lake City, Utah

(Be sure to also read our Hall of Shame below the Agenda.)

THE HALL OF SHAME

     Utah Gov. Gary Herbert – In May, 2016, Herbert was criticized for unethical campaign fund-raising activity. In a tape that was made without his knowledge, as Herbert was trying to get donors to contribute his campaign finance money, Herbert said that he would go anywhere and do whatever it takes. “I’m available. I’m available Jones!” he was heard saying on the tape. Although he did say that there would be no quid pro quo he also said to the lobbyists in attendance that even if he did not agree with them that he would make them happy. (KUTV 2 News)

    Secretary of the Department of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, shown here giving BLM’s false information to Congress.  Zinke will be at the Summit to support the killing (and sterilizations) of over 46,000 wild horses and burros.

     Rep. Chris Stewart of Utah has lied to Congress by implying there was a 41% increase in wild horse & burro population in only 5 months, and by showing a photo of one thin horse, and claiming that a majority of the wild horse population on the range were starving or dying from dehydration.  Stewart was CEO of the Shipley Group, which consults government agencies on navigating through government regulations in the energy sector.  Among the bills Chris Stewart co-sponsored was H.R.334, the Keystone For a Secure Tomorrow Act.  This bill supported the building of the Keystone XL pipeline.  Chris Stewart’s brother, Tim, is a lobbyist for American Capitol Group, a Washington D.C. lobbying firm.  American Capitol Group has lobbied for fossil fuel interests like the Western Energy Alliance, a group mainly comprised of fracking and oil companies.  Tim Stewart lobbies for EnergyNorthAmerica, a company he co-founded to lobby for the Fossil Fuel Industry.  Read more about Chris Stewart’s family ties HERE.

     Keith Norris – Is both the Chair of the National Horse & Burro Rangeland Management Coalition AND the Director of Wildlife Policy & Programs for The Wildlife Society.  Read the testimony that Norris gave to the House Natural Resources Committee in June, 2016 HERE.

     Rick Danvir – Formerly the wildlife manager at Deseret Western Ranches.  (The Deseret Land & Livestock Ranch, DLL, consists of 200,000 acres owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.)  Danvir is now a private consultant (Basin Wildlife Consulting) leading the Wildlife and Range Programs for the Western Landowners Alliance.  The Board of Directors for Western Landowners Alliance includes Mike Phillips, a Montana State Senator, who also represents Ted Turner’s 2 million acres across fifteen ranches in the US and South America (1.2 million of those are in Montana and New Mexico).

Danvir’s Board and other affiliations include the BLM National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Committee, the Utah Wildlife Board, the Cooperative Wildlife Management Unit Association, the Utah Foundation for Quality Resource Management, The Wildlife Society, the Society for Range Management, the Quivira Coalition, and the Center for Holistic Resource Management.

 

Did Utah Sheriff’s Personnel Harass Wild Horses?

Source: Salt Lake Tribune story by

“With our continued coverage and focus on upcoming Appropriation Committee votes that could spell death to wild horses and burros and put American Equines on European dinner plates we have, regrettably, let other news slip through our fingers.  For this we apologize so today we would like to share with you a story that might just be another case of government officials behaving poorly, in a phrase we all know way too well, because “They Can”.  Please continue to endeavor to get the Wild Horse & Burro White Paper in front of your legislators.  For additional information please visit last weekend’s post on this important topic.  Click (HERE) and keep the faith, my friends.” ~ R.T.


Utah Official’s Disdain for federally protected horses may have spilled over into public view

photo courtesy of Laurie Kline

The Bureau of Land Management and the Emery County Sheriff have opened investigations into what a citizen reported as illegal hazing of wild horses by members of the sheriff’s search and rescue team.

The July 9 incident came to light after Laurie Kline, a Bicknell-based photographer, visited McKay Flat to photograph horses that roam the Muddy Creek Herd Management Area in the San Rafael Swell, south of Interstate 70.

She wound up photographing men on dirt bikes and an ATV apparently pursuing the horses in violation of federal law that protects free-roaming wild horses and burros. Kline’s photographs show the sheriff’s logo on the door of the truck that hauled vehicles to the site.

After Kline provided her video and still images to the BLM, the agency’s law enforcement began investigating, according to spokeswoman Lisa Reid.

“That is not a BLM-approved activity. We did not know of the activity until we were notified by Ms. Kline,” Reid said Friday.

A spokeswoman for Emery Sheriff Greg Funk confirmed on Monday that four search and rescue volunteers were in the area on July 9 after locating a lost father and his 13-year-old daughter, reported missing the day before by a ranger in Goblin Valley State Park.

Sheriff’s spokeswoman Janalee Luke said in a statement that once the missing pair — found suffering from exposure and dehydration — had been safely evacuated via ambulance, the volunteers drove to McKay Flat, unloaded their dirt bikes and began exploring the Behind the Reef trail “in an attempt to see if they could find a faster alternative route into the area where they had located the missing persons.”

That exploration, Luke said, brought them into proximity with the wild horses. “The horses just happened to be where they unloaded their motorcycles to look for the other road,” Luke said Monday in an interview.

Upon the volunteers’ return, she said, one of the men reported to the sheriff that there might be a complaint about the incident.

The sheriff then launched an internal inquiry, notified BLM officials and has placed the four non-paid volunteers on suspension pending further investigation of the matter, she said. Emery County Sheriff’s Capt. Kyle Ekker also had contacted Kline “to keep her informed and to assure her” the sheriff’s office “is taking the complaint seriously,” the statement said.

The incident comes amid heightened tensions over wild horses on Utah’s public lands. Some county officials are chronically upset with the BLM for not removing wild horses from the public range fast enough and some have even threatened to round up horses even though they are protected under federal law. Each year, BLM removes thousands of horses from the Western ranges and holds many for life in corrals.

Although plenty of ranchers are frustrated with the presence of horses on their grazing allotments, Emery County has gotten along with the BLM over horses, according to Reid. Neither Emery County officials nor ranchers who graze Muddy Creek have complained to the BLM about horses recently, she said.

According to Kline, she was photographing the horses that Sunday when she saw a truck and trailer drive up and park nearby. A second truck, the one bearing the sheriff’s logo, then arrived and five men unloaded dirt bikes and the ATV, she said. Her photographs show one man wearing a search-and-rescue tee-shirt wielding a hand-held radio transmitter.

Kline claimed she overheard one of the men say he didn’t mind if they killed a few of the horses, she wrote the next day in a hand-written statement addressed to Reid and Gus Warr, who supervises the BLM’s horse program in Utah…(CONTINUED)

http://www.sltrib.com/news/2017/08/01/did-emery-sheriffs-personnel-harass-wild-horses/#gallery-carousel-3023460

Judge Rejects Utah Welfare Ranchers Bid to Evict Wild Horses

Source: The Salt Lake Tribune – Story by

“Public lands » Utah argues BLM is failing its duty to manage wild horses, while advocates decry ‘inhumane’ roundups…”

Last terrorized seconds of freedom for native wild horses being rounded up on public lands ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

A federal judge on Tuesday tossed a lawsuit brought by Utah ranchers demanding the Bureau of Land Management remove “excess” wild horses from several areas in the West Desert they say are overrun with free-roaming horses that displace their cattle.

Represented by Karen Budd-Falen, a Wyoming lawyer who sources say is undergoing final vetting to serve as the BLM’s next director, the ranchers argued that federal law requires the removal of horses that exceed population targets the agency has set for particular herd areas. But U.S. District Judge Jill Parrish ruled that roundups are not compulsory, unless certain conditions are met.

“Once BLM determines that an overpopulation in fact exists in a given area, the agency has wide discretion in how it addresses that overpopulation,” wrote the former Utah Supreme Court justice in her ruling. “BLM may address the identified overpopulation through removal or through other methods it deems more suitable.”

In recent years, the BLM has been working with contraceptives as a less costly, more humane alternative to the endless cycle of roundups on Western ranges that have resulted in 50,000 horses incarcerated for life in private pastures off the range.

Current federal law prohibits selling these animals for slaughter to nations where horse meat is commonly used for human consumption, although pending legislation in Congress could relax these restrictions.

The Utah ranchers, angry with BLM requests that they slash their cattle’s time on the public rangelands, formed the Western Rangeland Conservation Association in 2014, pooling their money to bring the lawsuit. The Utah Farm Bureau Federation, national Public Lands Council and Iron and Beaver counties all pledged financial support and filed amicus briefs, while the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign intervened on the BLM’s side.

The ranchers’ suit sought to compel removals from particular management areas where horse numbers exceed designated “appropriate management levels,” or AMLs, which set high and low target populations. In Utah and many other Western states, horse numbers chronically remain two to three times the upper limits of AML, creating endless conflict with the ranchers who hold grazing allotments in those areas and their allies on rural county commissions…(CONTINUED)

http://www.sltrib.com/home/5501502-155/judge-rejects-utah-ranchers-plea-to

Utah U.S. Attorney asks Judge to Toss County Wild Horse & Burro Suit

Source: Multiple

“…the county allegations didn’t include enough specifics or proof.”

BLM’s war on America’s wild horses and burros ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

The U.S. Attorney for Utah Wednesday asked a federal judge to toss Utah’s Beaver County’s case alleging that federal managers have not done enough to address the assumed growing populations of native, wild horses.

The county alleges in a lawsuit filed last February that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management broke the law by failing to prevent, in their opinion, “explosive” population growth of wild horses. It also claims that birth control vaccines given to some herds didn’t do enough to address their problem, and that the horses threaten welfare grazing and its alleged positive impact on it’s tax base.

On Wednesday, John Huber’s office filed the motion to dismiss the suit in U.S. District Court in Utah, saying federal managers were not obligated to corral all federally protected wild horses and that the county allegations didn’t include enough specifics or proof.

The filing is the latest effort by Utah officials’ long running push to speed up wild horse roundups and to appease their federally subsidized grazing constituency. The state does not have the authority to act on its own to euthanize, deliver birth control or to put the horses in holding pens.

Counterpoint: Wild Horse and Burro advocates have claimed that native, wild horses are best managed on public lands with low cost birth control and appropriate documentation.  They further allege that the BLM has used just enough indiscriminate birth control to prove, by their reckoning, that it does not work.

The U.S. Department of the Interior previously argued the county had waived any such objections under a roundup agreement with the BLM.

BLM Violates Own Wild Horse Welfare Standards

Source: The Cloud Foundation

Roundup Incident Sparks Outcry

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO – On February 12, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) conducted a helicopter roundup of wild horses at Cedar Mountain Herd Management Area (HMA) in Utah.  The Cloud Foundation (TCF) and advocates across the country contend that BLM’s actions at the roundup violate standards in their own Comprehensive Animal Welfare Program (CAWP).

Eyewitness, Mosie Trewhitt, a professional horse trainer, photographed the incident of a lone pinto mare being driven by a helicopter. The mare could not keep up with her band but the helicopter kept pushing her. Then a wrangler joined the pursuit and both helicopter and wrangler chased the mare on a dead run along a barbed wire fence line. The wrangler tried to rope her numerous times and was finally successful. The mare lurched and flipped over or tried to jump the fence. She became entangled in the barbed wire, and ended up on the other side of the fence.

The mare escaped, dragging the rope behind her and has not been seen since the incident according to BLM who also contend she was uninjured. Trewhitt’s blog, Voices of the Herd, documents the incident with vivid photographs. Fears persist that this mare who appears to be pregnant may be strangled by the rope or suffer from infection due to an obvious gash on her right rear leg.

“I’ve witnessed roundups since 1994 in which inhumane actions were common and often ignored,” states Ginger Kathrens, the Executive Director of the Cloud Foundation and the BLM’s Humane Advocate on the National Wild Horse and Bureau Advisory Board. “To their credit BLM responded to growing concerns about the inhumane treatment of wild horses and burros during and after roundups by creating the CAWP.”

In 2011 BLM began the process of creating humane roundup standards.  The final product, published in 2015, tried to reduce incidents like this.  “Years were spent on this document at considerable expense, but the document does no good if the BLM does not follow or enforce the standards,” adds Paula King, TCF Communications Director.

After extensive review, TCF cites the following violations of the CAWP:

 1.     II. Capture Techniques. B Helicopter Drive Trapping, Para. 1 “Regarding helicopter driving, the standards state “the helicopter must be operated using pressure and release methods to herd the animals… and should not repeatedly evoke erratic behavior in the WH&Bs causing injury or exhaustion. “

2.     II. Capture Techniques. B Helicopter Drive Trapping, Para. 4 “When WH&Bs are herded through a fence line en route to the trap, the Lead COR must be notified by the contractor.  The Lead COR must determine the appropriate width of the opening that the fence is let down to allow for safe passage through the opening.”

 3.      II. Capture Techniques. C. Roping, Para.1  “The roping of any WH&B must be approved prior to the procedure by the Lead COR.” 

 4.     II. Capture Techniques. C. Roping, Para.3  “Ropers should dally the rope to their saddle such that the animals can be brought to a stop as slowly as possible and must not tie the rope hard and fast to the saddle so as to intentionally jerk animals off their feet.”

 5.     Instruction Memorandum No. 2015-151 Policy/Action  “At all times, the care and treatment provided by the BLM and our contractors should be characterized by compassion and concern for the animal’s well-being and welfare needs.”

 6.     Instruction Memorandum 2013-60 “The Incident Command will ensure that everyone involved in gather operations receives a copy of these expectations prior to the start of the gather and the Lead Cor and all BLM employees present shall ensure that gather operations are conducted in compliance with these expectations.”

 7.     Instruction Memo 20133-59  “…animal condition and fatigue will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine the number of attempts that can be made to capture the animal.  Animals will not be pursued to a point of exhaustion or distress.”

BLM issued a statement about the account but has made no mention of any disciplinary actions they plan to take against the COR, the helicopter contractor, the wrangler or the BLM staff at the trap.

 “Who is responsible? Who was the COR on this operation? Why are contractors not required to comply with standards?  Why is no one held accountable for these abuses?” King asks. “This should never have happened.  Responsible parties must be named and held accountable,” she concluded.

Eyewitness Trewhitt writes: “With the impact, the cuts she must have gotten from the barbed wire and the trailing noose around her neck…there is no saying what could happen out there.  I hate to think about it, but we need to understand the consequences of these actions.”

“I have a basic question: what was the reason to endlessly pursue this terrified, pregnant mare to exhaustion?” Kathrens asked.

“This contractor has been rounding up wild horses for nearly 40 years, and should be aware of BLM’s humane standards,” states Lisa Friday, TCF Board Member who has extensive experience with wild horse herds in Utah. “Their helicopter pilot must have known that the mare was exhausted. Yet he continued the pursuit, and when a wrangler on horseback was dispatched the mare was run some more. This is a clear violation of the CAWP.”

“Contractors make millions of dollars at the expense of our beloved wild horse families – and at the expense of the American taxpayers,” Kathrens concludes. “They should not be rewarded for this kind of inhumane behavior and we ask that penalties be imposed on those involved.”

LINKS of Interest:

Escape of the Paint Mare

http://voicesoftheherd.com/escape-of-the-paint-mare/

 BLM Comprehensive Animal Welfare Program

https://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/whbprogram/comprehensive_animal.html   BLM COMPREHENSIVE ANIMAL WELFARE PROGRAM.

COMPREHENSIVE ANIMAL WELFARE PROGRAM FOR WILD HORSE AND BURRO GATHERS  -Standards  https://www.blm.gov/style/medialib/blm/wo/Information_Resources_Management/policy/im_attachments/2015.Par.70807.File.dat/IM2015-151_att1.pdf

BLM INSTRUCTION MEMO No. 2015-151 Comprehensive Animal Welfare Program for Wild Horse and Burro Gathers  https://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/info/regulations/Instruction_Memos_and_Bulletins/national_instruction/2015/IM_2015-151.html

BLM INSTRUCTION MEMO: NO. 2013-059

https://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/info/regulations/Instruction_Memos_and_Bulletins/national_instruction/2013/IM_2013-059.html

BLM Response to Cedar Mountain Roundup

https://www.blm.gov/programs/wild-horse-and-burro/about-the-program/common-questions-from-the-public#quickset-wildhorse_aboutqa18_0

Charge the BLM & contractor for animal abuse for the inhumane handling of a pregnant mare.

https://www.change.org/p/representative-suzanne-bonamici-charge-the-blm-contractor-for-animal-abuse-for-the-inhumane-handling-of-a-pregnant-mare?recruiter=359330900&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=fb_send_dialog

Utah Flips-Off Feds by Voting To Butcher Protected American Wild Horses

By | The Salt Lake Tribune

Subsidized Welfare Cattle Okay – Federally Protected Wild Equines to be Slaughtered

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Federal management of wild horses has been a dismal failure, resulting in ecological and economic havoc on Utah’s public ranges, according to new legislation that seeks repeal of the 1971 statute protecting free-roaming horses and burros.

Two bills and an appropriation request promote state management that envisions sharply reducing horse numbers through slaughter and permanent sterilization — measures sure to draw stiff opposition from horse advocates.

But Utah lawmakers and county commissioners are fed up with the Bureau of Land Management‘s approach, which they say allows horses to proliferate at the expense of range health, livestock operators and native wildlife while wasting $50 million a year confining horses that could be slaughtered for their meat.

“The fragmentation coming out of D.C. is tremendous,” Rep. Ken Ivory, R-West Jordan, told the House Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environmental Quality Committee on Wednesday. “This is a hell for the ecosystem, it’s is a hell for the wildlife species, it’s is a hell for those on the ground who are told the solution is to cut back their livelihoods and their herds. It’s a hell for the animals themselves; they are starving and dying. Clearly we can do this better.” Ivory is the sponsor of HCR22, a resolution calling on the federal government to either take immediate steps to “humanely preserve the feral horse and burro populations in the West at established population management objectives” or cede that authority to the state.

Horse advocates reject the premise of this measure, which is one component of a package of legislative actions targeting wild horse management.

Rep. Keven Stratton, R-Orem, is seeking $1.1 million to manage Utah’s 19 herds, whose population now exceeds 5,000, or about 2½ times the BLM’s target. He is also sponsoring a bill that lays out a state management plan. Stratton and others have made it clear state management could entail slaughtering horses, but horse advocates say such proposals would face a buzz saw of controversy.

“Utah is a beautiful state. I would hate to see it get a black eye with these crazy inhumane plans,” said filmmaker Ginger Kathrens, executive director of the Cloud Foundation and member of the BLM’s wild horse advisory board. “You would have to have the law changed where Utah is this special place where they get management and their plan is to kill them. That’s jumping through an awfully narrow hoop. It irks me that they are so blind to the benefits [of free-roaming horses] and can’t see beyond their ignorance. They are so out of step with what the American public wants. When you talk about killing healthy animals and trafficking them to Mexico, it’s just disgusting.”

But lethal population control is in line with positions advocated by Interior Secretary nominee Ryan Zinke as well as the BLM advisory panel, which urged the agency last September to offer “all suitable animals in long- and short-term holding deemed unadoptable for sale without limitation or humane euthanasia. Those animals deemed unsuitable for sale should then be destroyed in the most humane manner possible.” Advisory panel members said they were not endorsing slaughter for meat, but after a negative public reaction, the BLM pledged it would not destroy healthy horses and burros.

Ironically, Utah’s new legislative push comes as the BLM conducts its most aggressive roundups in Utah in years. Last month, 700 horses from the Sulphur herd were gathered in Beaver County and the agency is currently rounding up the Cedar Mountain herd west of Tooele. So far, 534 horses have been gathered with a goal of 600 to 700. In both these gathers, the BLM planned to administer a fertility vaccine to 200 mares and return them to the range with an equal number of stallions. That decision prompted a lawsuit from Beaver County, alleging the BLM should not return horses to the Sulphur herd area, where horse numbers still exceed the “appropriate management level.”

The Utah operations deploy birth control known as PZP-22, which activates the immune system to thwart conception. This drug is effective for a year or two, and Utah lawmakers want to see something longer lasting. In addition to lethal measures, Ivory’s resolution calls for scaled-up use of GnRH-based vaccines, a new fertility-control technology that “can permanently sterilize a young horse by inhibiting the hormones that would make it sexually mature.”

Most horse-advocacy groups endorse PZP, but that is not the case with GnRH, or GonaCon, which they say has not been proven safe…(CONTINUED)

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