The Three Great Myths about America’s Wild Horses

by as published on HorseTalk

One of the favorite tools used by the cattle industry to push competing grazing animals off the lands they covet is that of supporting outright myths and also funding questionably designed studies and then promoting the highly questionable results.

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Throughout American history, the cattle industry has been for the most part unreasonable to other livestock producers. The American range and Sheep Wars of the 18th and early 19th centuries are clear evidence of this statement, as is outlined in this summary:

Wikipedia: The Sheep Wars, or the Sheep and Cattle Wars, refers to a series of armed conflicts in the Western United States which were fought between sheepmen and cattlemen over grazing rights. Sheep wars occurred in many western states though they were most common in Texas, Arizona and the border region of Wyoming and Colorado. Generally, the cattlemen saw the sheepherders as invaders, who destroyed the public grazing lands, which they had to share on a first-come, first-served basis. Between 1870 and 1920, approximately 120 engagements occurred in eight different states or territories. At least 54 men were killed and some 50,000 to over 100,000 sheep were slaughtered…(CONTINUED)

Read more at https://www.horsetalk.co.nz/2017/10/23/three-great-myths-america-wild-horses/#PXpdyTuImrxqT47k.99

Congress Targets our Wild Horses and Burros

Many thanks to Susan Wagner, Pres. of Equine Advocates, for writing this excellent OpEd for the New York Daily News.

SOURCE:  New York Daily News

photo by Carol Walker of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

by Susan Wagner, Pres. of Equine Advocates

Special interests in the ranching, oil and gas and mining industries and the lawmakers who do their bidding have a nefarious but underreported agenda: to round up and destroy the wild horses and burros on America’s public lands.

This is not the first time they’ve tried, but this time, the stars are aligned in the worst way, and they just might succeed.

First, some quick history. Back in the 1950s, wild horses were at the brink of extinction. They had no federal protections. People known as Mustangers were chasing, rounding up and selling them for slaughter by the thousands. Anyone who has seen the classic 1961 Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe film “The Misfits” has a sense — albeit a sanitized, Hollywood sense — of this dirty work.

That changed when activist Velma Johnston, famously known as Wild Horse Annie, inspired the passage of the Wild Horse Annie Act in 1959, which provided some protection for these animals. That law was followed by even stronger legislation — the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971. It expressly prohibited the hunting, capture, injury and disturbance of wild horses and burros.

Over the years, however, lawmakers have chipped away at this legislation, removing many of its vital protections. Tremendous damage was done by the 2004 Burns Amendment; it passed without so much as a hearing and permitted the sale of these animals for commercial purposes. Many ended up at slaughter.

The biggest threat to wild horses today is a group of ranchers — known as “welfare ranchers” — who use federal lands to graze their cattle. They have made it clear that they want the horses and burros gone. They believe they are entitled to the land and water rights for their livestock.

Though they style themselves as independent pioneers, these ranchers are given huge subsidies by the federal government, enabling them to lease our public lands for a pittance, while the wild horses and burros are rounded up and sent to holding facilities operated by the Bureau of Land Management, a division of the the Interior Department.

According to the Center for Biological Diversity, this program has cost the American taxpayer more than $1 billion over the past decade and is “ruinous to the public lands and the wildlife that inhabit it.”

There is no doubt that our wild horses and burros can be managed humanely, but that is not what is going on. Nearly 50,000 healthy animals are now being held captive in Bureau of Land Management holding facilities. Many suffer and die horrible deaths during the roundups, which are cruel and unnecessary.

Making matters worse, a five-year investigation released in July by the Wild Horse Freedom Federation accuses the bureau of deliberately trying to deceive American taxpayers and members of Congress about the costs and consequences of their actions.  READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE HERE.

 

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I-Team Video Update: NV Elko County’s Strict Building Codes Biased Against Mustang Monument?

By George Knapp , Matt Adam as published on LasVegasNow.com

“You take the hatred of horses aside, there is no good reason why anybody should be opposed to this here, or anywhere else,”

LAS VEGAS – A California businesswoman who invested $25 million in creating a tourist attraction in rural Nevada says she probably wouldn’t make the same decision again.

The founder of the Mustang Monument wild horse sanctuary in Elko County says that further investment would be a waste of money because she’s been blocked from opening, not only by the BLM, but also by Elko County officials who say they don’t want to support anything that keeps wild horses on the range.

Madeleine Pickens is rich, blonde, female, and is from California, and those are four strikes against her in some circles.

But the fact that she wants to create a sanctuary for wild horses in a county known for its ranching industry is what probably doomed her Mustang Monument project. Ranchers are not fans of the BLM, but animosity toward wild horses is the one issue on which both of those camps can agree.

At travel expos around the world, including Europe and China, Madeleine Pickens pitched her Mustang Monument eco-sanctuary as something different for high-end tourists, a chance to interact with wild horses in the same region where the first horses on earth were born.

Travel agents loved it, state tourism promoted it, and the visitors who stayed last year were overwhelmed. It looked like 2016 would be a huge success, but it never happened.

“We had to reimburse them. We had to cancel reservations. It’s terrible,” she said.

Pickens knew she would have trouble with the BLM if she tried to put mustangs on her public acreage, but she continued to pour millions of dollars into fixing up her 20,000 deed acres with new water systems, massive pivots to grow alfalfa, first class guest accommodations and a hangar filled with expensive SUV’s and customized coaches.

Local contractors were hired to do the work, local ranch hands to care for the mustangs. The monument represented jobs, tourists, and tax dollars but from the beginning Elko County said no thanks.

County commissioners, several of them cattle ranchers, voted against the sanctuary in 2010. In the minutes of public meetings, commissioners said they opposed any use of water rights for wild horses. Another said he didn’t have enough information to make a decision, but still didn’t like Pickens’ idea. Elko is cattle country, and ranchers see wild horses as a threat.

“You take the hatred of horses aside, there is no good reason why anybody should be opposed to this here, or anywhere else,” said Clay Nannini, Elko realtor.

Since the county commission’s vote, Pickens encountered obstacles at every turn. Building inspectors imposed and enforced standards unknown in Elko County and delays became commonplace.

“They don’t discriminate. They all apply the same standard, which is, it’s Madeleine Pickens. She can wait a little while. She’s from California, so she can wait,” said Jerry Reynoldson, wild horse advocate.

“Every time the building department comes by, they now want me to fix another building for another $750,000. They don’t like this. They don’t like that,” Pickens said.

Example, an old house converted into a dining hall and kitchen. It took two years to get the permits and cost a million dollars.

She intended to build a kitchen that could handle up to 45 diners maximum to match the ranch’s capacity, but instead had to construct a stainless steel mega-kitchen that looks like it belongs at the MGM Grand.

“You could see this kitchen in a restaurant in San Francisco that served 500 people, and you know it’s totally out of place here. She will never use what’s there but they just made her build it because they could,” Reynoldson said.

Kitchen mops had to have their own walled-off section, and it required its own permit. A walk-in refrigerator was nearly approved, until an inspector wanted to see evidence it was earthquake-proof.

“So I asked the engineers, the builder and he said, ‘We’ve never been asked for this kind of information on a walk-in refrigerator,'” Pickens said.

Pickens spent a million dollars buying what she calls safari tents, tee-pees, to provide visitors with an upscale western experience. The county required that each tent sit atop a slab of concrete and rebar 7 feet thick, then added, the tents would need their own sprinkler systems in case of fire.

“I said, I’m out of this. I rolled up the tents. They’re all stored and I will probably sell them in another state or somewhere else,” she said. “They’ve all had a wink and a nod. In other words, give her a hard time. That’s hard to take. You come in, you’re sincere, but after a while, you don’t want to continue to throw money away.”

Not only has the BLM prohibited Pickens from putting mustangs on her public acres, she couldn’t open her own property to visitors if she wanted to. That massive mega kitchen still doesn’t have a permit to operate commercially, and she was told she can’t even use it for family dining. The airplane hangar of custom SUV’s will likely be sold off, without the vehicles ever being used at all.

The I-Team called Elko County for a comment and will let you know what they have to say when they call back.

http://www.lasvegasnow.com/news/i-team-elko-countys-strict-building-codes-raise-questions

Can wild horses co-exist with ranchers and their grazing cows?

Story by James McWilliams ~co-founder of The Daily Pitchfork ~ as published on The Pacific Standard

“Anytime a self-actualized journalist turns an inquisitive eye to the plight of our nation’s wild horses and burros it is time to celebrate as they are the ones who cannot speak for themselves.  But when editors, mostly unaware of the facts surrounding a story, cast a headline with skewed numbers/counts of said equine it instantly slants the story into the favor of the adversaries of the wild one before the first word of the article is ever read by John Q Public.  So is the case with the story below, written by animal journalist and co-founder of the Daily Pitchfork, James McWilliams.  James and Vickery Eckhoff have been champions for and of the truth regarding not only horse slaughter and the wild equines but animal agriculture in general.  We highly recommend the Daily Pitchfork and likewise ask you to read and visit the article below which features quotes from our own Debbie Coffey and a photo of our Carol Walker in the field documenting the disaster of mismanagement that goes by the name of BLM.  A very good read.” ~ R.T.


Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation at Palomino Valley

Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation at Palomino Valley

Twenty miles north of Reno, after casinos and strip malls yield to the high desert, the Bureau of Land Management holds 1,100 wild horses in a series of corrals. From the highway, the federal facility—the National Wild Horse and Burro Center at Palomino Valley—looks like a dusty feedlot, the kind of place you might smell before you see passing through some forlorn corner of Texas or Oklahoma.

But walk down the hill from Route 445 and stand alone among the pens as the sun rises in late July, and you’ll find that the place smells fine, sort of earthy and clean. Instead, what concentrates the mind is something altogether unexpected: silence. Somehow, amid 1,100 wild animals held in confinement, the only sound I hear is the wind whistling across the plastic lid of my coffee cup.

These horses and burros are a mere fraction of the roughly 45,000 kept in BLM holding facilities across the country. The primary reason they’re confined is the nearly 18,000 ranchers grazing an estimated 747,963 “animal units”—a bureaucratic term that can represent either a horse, a cow/calf pair, or five sheep—on 155 million acres of land. The horses might be silent, but lately these cattlemen have been quite loud indeed...(CONTINUED)

The Rest of the Story: http://www.psmag.com/nature-and-technology/western-cattlemen-square-off-against-60000-mustangs

21 Alleged Stray Horses Killed in Wyoming

Unedited article from The Casper Star-Tribune

“Have Wyoming’s Welfare Ranchers Raised the Bar on their Wild Horse War?”

Dead HorseTHERMOPOLIS — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management says it’s investigating the killing of 21 stray horses on federal and state land northwest of Thermopolis.

A BLM spokesperson said the horses were found Wednesday. Investigators believe they were killed sometime in the last two weeks.

Wild horses also roam parts of northern Wyoming but BLM spokeswoman Sarah Beckwith said Friday these horses were stray domestic horses.

The horses were abandoned on public land and have been seen running loose for the past few years, Beckwith said.

Beckwith declined to provide additional information including whether the horses may have been shot or poisoned. She said the BLM doesn’t want to compromise the investigation by federal, state and local officials by disclosing too much information.

The BLM is offering a reward of up to $2,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those involved.

The Hot Springs County Sheriff’s Department, state officials and a local brand inspector are assisting with the investigation, according to a news release.

In 2010, the Hot Springs County undersheriff shot and killed a horse 100 feet from its owner’s home because he assumed it had been neglected and decided to put it out of its misery.

Chris and Larry Bentley later settled a lawsuit with former undersheriff David Larson, who agreed to pay the cost of the horse along with legal fees.

In a separate suit, a jury awarded the couple $25,000, saying a Sheriff’s Department policy that allowed deputies to kill sickly or dangerous animals was too broad and infringed on the Bentleys’ constitutional rights.

Under Wyoming law, abandoned horses that come under the care of the state can be sold to cover the cost of their care, or euthanized by a veterinarian.

People who abandon horses can be required to pay costs required for the state to round up and care for the animals, and may face fines or jail time.

“Data Trespass,” Wyoming’s Fancy Name for Ag-Gag

By Sue Udry, Dissent NewsWire | Op-Ed

Jonathan Ratner tests water. He visits streams in Wyoming, takes samples and tests it for E. coli. He’s been testing streams for years, concerned that waste from Wyoming’s 1.3 million cattle is polluting streams. And it is.

There's a lot of BULL rambling around in the office of Wyoming's Governor

There’s a lot of BULL rambling around in the office of Wyoming’s Governor

Ratner sends his results to the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, or DEQ so that streams with too much E. coli can be put on the impaired waters list. That list goes to the Environmental Protection Agency, and, under the Clean Water Act, state and federal regulators should then take action to reduce the level of pollution. Ratner says that means keeping cattle from grazing too close to streams.

But this is Wyoming, “the cowboy state,” and ranchers don’t take kindly to being told where their cattle can roam. So last week, Governor Matt Mead signed Senate file 12, a bill that makes it a felony to trespass to unlawfully collect data, and prohibits any data collected “unlawfully” from being used in and civil, criminal or administrative proceeding. Animal rights and environmental activists are calling it an “Ag-gag” law, and, according to Wyoming Public Radio, “Wyoming agriculture interests are supporting the bill to thwart environmental researchers, who, they claim, often collect environmental data to support their legal efforts.” But legislators say it’s all to do with property rights and privacy.

“I want to remind the body that this is information, this data, is private information,” said Senator Larry Hicks during debate. “In a lot of ways it is no different than your social security number.  It has some of the same ramifications if that resides in the public domain.”

Ratner has been collecting his samples on public property, he isn’t sneaking onto private ranches in the dark of night. But the bill would still make what he does a felony. To understand that, you need to understand this about Wyoming: it’s big, there aren’t a lot of people, and while most land in the state is public, the roads everyone drives on often cut through private property. Ratner says it’s not uncommon for the Bureau of Land Management to build a road on private property and not bother to get an easement from the owner. They’re mostly just dirt roads anyway.

Because of this quirk of Wyoming roadways, which force people to drive on private land (and therefore, trespass), the law “makes millions of acres of BLM land off limits to me,” Ratner says.

The sense around the state is that the law is specifically targeted at Ratner and his organization, Western Watersheds, but it could apply to whistleblowers in various industries. Paige Tomaselli, a senior attorney at the Center for Food Safety told Wyoming News “Our reading of the law is it is broad enough that it could apply to any facility, including animal processing facilities or factories. It might not specifically say it deals with animal facilities, as a law in Idaho does, but we think it would still apply.”

An amendment that would have specifically exempted data having to do with “the health, treatment or welfare of a domesticated animal” was defeated on a voice vote, according the Wyoming News.

 

Greedy welfare ranchers dictating public land use…Wyoming wild horse roundups to begin

CarolWalkerWyoming_331

PLAINTIFF Carol Walker, Dir. of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation writes:  BLM is being “very vague even about when they will allow public observation, saying it depends upon weather, if it is on private land or not, and told us they will inform us the night before public observation is available – basically making it as hard to get there and be there as possible.”

WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO ATTEND THE ROUNDUPS.

Appellate Court Denies Emergency Motion and Allows Unprecedented Wyoming Wild Horse Roundups On Public Lands At the Request of Private Landowners

Denver, CO (September 10, 2014) – Today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit denied an emergency motion to block the Bureau of Land Management”s (BLM) wild horse roundup in the Wyoming Checkerboard. The motion was filed by the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC), The Cloud Foundation, Return to Freedom and wild horse photographers Carol Walker and Kimerlee Curyl.

The one-sentence decision by the Tenth Circuit does not address any of BLM’s admitted violations of the Wild Horse Act and clears the way for the roundup of more than 800 wild horses from public and private lands in the Adobe Town, Salt Wells Creek and Great Divide Basin Herd Management Areas. The helicopter capture operation is scheduled to begin this week after being twice delayed by the lawsuit filed by the wild horse preservation groups and advocates on August 1, 2014.

Read the rest here.

The U.N. and “Livestock’s Long Shadow”

Original Story by Debbie Coffey from the PPJ Gazette

Wild Horses Degrading the Range: Neigh or more accurately, MOO!

In 2006, the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Livestock Environment and Development (LEAD), supported by US AID and the World Bank, put out a 416 page report titled “Livestock’s Long Shadow.”  Statements made in this document should make American ranchers and farmers look for the United Nation’s long shadow over their land and water.

We’ll start off with some points the FAO made in the report, then some of their solutions (which, by the way, seem a lot like communism).  Then I’ll tell you why I think this report is, pardon the pun, bullshit.

THIS FAO REPORT STATES:

“The livestock sector emerges as one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global. 

The findings of this report suggest that it should be a major policy focus when dealing with problems of land degradation, climate change and air pollution, water shortage and water pollution and loss of biodiversity.”

“The environmental impact per unit of livestock production must be cut by half,  just to avoid increasing the level of damage beyond its present level.”

LAND DEGRADATION“The livestock sector is by far the single largest anthropogenic user of land. The total area occupied by grazing is equivalent to 26 percent of the ice-free terrestrial surface of the planet. In addition, the total area dedicated to feedcrop production amounts to 33 percent of total arable land. In all, livestock production accounts for 70 percent of all agricultural land and 30 percent of the land surface of the planet.”

ATMOSPHERE and CLIMATE – “With rising temperatures, rising sea levels, melting icecaps and glaciers, shifting ocean currents and weather patterns, climate change is the most serious challenge facing the human race.  The livestock sector is a major player, responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions measured in CO2 equivalent.”

WATER – “The world is moving towards increasing problems of freshwater shortage, scarcity and Depletion…The livetock sector is a key player in increasing water use, accounting for over 8 percent of global human water use, mostly for the irrigation of feedcrops…in the United States, with the world’s fourth largest land area, livestock are responsible for an estimated 55 percent of erosion and sediment, 37 percent of pesticide use, 50 percent of antibioticuse, and a third of the loads of nitrogen and phosphorus into freshwater resources. Livestock also affect the replenishment of freshwater by compacting soil, reducing infiltration degrading the banks of watercourses, drying up floodplains and lowering water tables.  Livestock’s contribution to deforestation also increases runoff and reduces dry season flows.”

BIODIVERSITY“Livestock now account for about 20 percent of the total terrestrial animal biomass, and the 30 percent of the earth’s land surface that they now pre-empt was once habitat for wildlife. Indeed, the livestock sector may well be the leading player in the reduction of biodiversity, since it is the major driver of deforestation, as well as one of the leading drivers of land degradation, pollution, climate change, overfishing, sedimentation of coastal areas and facilitation of invasions by alien species.”

“…livestock actually detract more from total food supply than they provide.  Livestock now consume more human edible protein than they produce. In fact, livestock consume 77 million tonnes of protein contained in feedstuff that could potentially be used for human nutrition…”

THE SOLUTIONS THAT FAO SUGGESTS:

“Many producers will need to find alternative livelihoods.” 

“Small family-based livestock producers will find it increasingly difficult to stay in the market, unless effective organizational arrangements, such as contract farming or cooperatives, can be designed and used… the loss of competitiveness requires policy interventions, not necessarily to maintain smallholder involvement in agriculture, but to provide opportunities for finding livelihoods outside the agricultural sector and to enable an orderly transition.” 

“By restricting access to grazing land, for example, land and related feed resources become relatively scarce, so technical change will move towards making more efficient use of these resources…The same applies to all other natural resources that feed into the livestock production process, such as water or nutrients. Likewise, new costs associated with… livestock production, such as emissions of ammonia or other forms of waste, will lead to increased efforts towards their avoidance.”

“Most frequently natural resources are free or underpriced, which leads to overexploitation and pollution. Often perverse subsidies directly encourage livestock producers to engage in environmentally damaging activities… One requirement for prices to influence behaviour is that there should be secure and if possible tradable rights to water, land, use of common land and waste sinks.”

“Public policies need to protect and enhance public goods, including the environment. The rationale for public policy intervention is based on the concept of market failures. These arise because many local and global ecosystems are public goods or “commons,” and the negative environmental impacts that livestock have on them are “externalities” that arise because individual economic decisions usually consider only private individual costs and benefits.”

“Achieving greater efficiency in irrigation in the broader sense may mean giving up water to other sectors where it has higher value uses, even if sometimes that implies reducing the value of agricultural output.”

“…the removal of subsidies has been shown to have a strong potential to correct some of the environmental damage caused by livestock production.” 

WHY FAO’S REPORT IS BULLSHIT:

The United Nation’s FAO, along with its CODEX ALIMENTARIUS, has been PUSHING ANIMAL CLONING FOR YEARS.  So this issue isn’t about too many animals on the earth, or the environment, or feeding the hungry – it’s most likely about who owns the patents for the cloned animals and biotechnology, and who will own and control all food (and people, land and resources) in the future.

FAO issued a statement about cloned animals:

“The statement was published in March 2000 on the occasion of the ‘Codex Alimentarius Ad Hoc Intergovernmental Task Force on Foods Derived from Biotechnology’ meeting in Japan.

Biotechnology provides powerful tools for the sustainable development of agriculture…When appropriately integrated with other technologies for the production of food, agricultural products and services, biotechnology can be of significant assistance in meeting the needs of an expanding and increasingly urbanized population in the next millennium.”

(Apparently, this urbanized population would be increased after they run small farmers and ranchers off their land and force them to find “alternative livelihoods.”)

THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE – INTERNATIONAL OVERVIEW

On the U.S.D.A website, there is a page with an “International Overview” stating “All of agriculture has become global. For example, the success of the U.S. farm sector is increasingly dependent on our ability to trade and compete with other nations. Similarly, the science of agriculture depends on international research partnerships to address national issues of food safety, sustainability, resource management, biotechnology, and crop and livestock disease prevention.

In 2007, the U.S.D.A. signed an agreement with the FAO to support the development of sustainable agriculture (agricultural biotechnology) in developing countries.

U.S.D.A.’s CSREES has been actively promoting animal cloning and biotechnology.  (It’s ironic that the U.S.D.A. also has the National Invasive Species Information Center.)

In a U.S.D.A. Foreign Agricultural Service document, Framework Agreement on Increased Cooperation between U.S.D.A. and the FAO, the U.S.D.A. was to agree to “further USDA’s goal of cooperating with international agricultural organizations in activities that promote and further develop the global agricultural system.  USDA will provide funds and resources to support FAO projects that advance that goal, that advance FAO’s work towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in developing countries, and that contribute to the realization of FAO’s programme of work/mid-term strategy as approved by FAO’s Governing Bodies.”

U.S.D.A. was also to agree that No member of the United States Congress will be admitted to any share or part of this Agreement or any subsequent Programme Agreement, or to any benefit arising thereof.”

What about the U.S. Constitution?  What about the American taxpayers, who pay for FAO’s projects while we have cuts to our Social Security?

The U.N.’s Agenda 21 (Chapter 38) states: All agencies of the United Nations system have a key role to play in the implementation of Agenda 21.”  Is the FAO, with the help of the U.S.D.A., implementing Agenda 21 in America?

AUTHOR’S NOTE:  I’ve been going to the roundups of our wild horses (the Bureau of Land Management is removing the wild horses from their federally protected Herd Management Areas, then leasing the same land for $2 an acre for oil and gas lease sales, or permitting new mining and mining expansions to foreign owned companies).  Some ranchers think these wild horse roundups will help them gain more grazing for their livestock.  I think the wild horses are the canary in the coal mine.  Ranchers, your cattle and sheep will be next.  As go these American icons that stand as symbols of our freedom, so goes our freedom.      

TO LEARN MORE:

“Right on the money” articles by Marti Oakley:

http://ppjg.wordpress.com/2011/06/29/it-isn%E2%80%99t-you-causing-global-warming%E2%80%A6it-is-cow-farts/

http://ppjg.wordpress.com/2011/06/19/just-another-brick-in-the-wall-un-agenda-21-in-us-law/

Excellent articles by Cassandra Anderson:

http://morphcity.com/agenda-21

 

SOURCES:

ftp://ftp.fao.org/docrep/fao/010/a0701e/a0701e.pdf

http://www.fao.org/english/newsroom/highlights/1997/971209-e.htm

http://www.fao.org/DOCREP/004/Y2775E/Y2775E00.HTM

http://www.fao.org/biotech/stat.asp?lang=en

http://www.csrees.usda.gov/newsroom/news/2009news/04231_cattle_genome.html

http://www.csrees.usda.gov/nea/international/international.cfm

http://www.csrees.usda.gov/nea/education/pdfs/10_nov_global.pdf

http://www.csrees.usda.gov/nea/education/in_focus/education_if_global_endeavor.html

http://www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/about.shtml

http://www.fas.usda.gov/itp/agreements/FAO_USDA_FrameworkAgreement07.pdf

http://www.communityfood.com/articles/articles/116/1/-USDA-and-FAO-Sign-an-Agreement-on-Agricultural-Biotechnology/Page1.html

http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/agenda21/

http://wildhorseeducation.org/

Click (HERE) to Visit the PPJ Gazette

Wild Horses in Nevada Catch a Break

(The News As We See It) by R.T. Fitch ~ Author/Director of HfH Advisory Council

“Welfare Ranchers” Shoot Selves in Foot

Update:  SFTHH has just received a phone call that Nevada Legislators did not pass the controversial bill AB329 which would have stripped wild horses and burros of their “wildlife” classification and left them without access to water in the one of the country’s most arid states.

Originally proposed by a group of special interest welfare ranchers the bill went to great lengths to identify wildlife from antelopes to mollusks and attempted to point out that, in their opinion, wild horses and burros did not fit into the wildlife criteria even though they have been documented as wildlife for centuries if not for ions.

Welfare ranchers are allowed, at taxpayers’ expense, to graze their private cattle upon federal public lands, designated by law to the wild horses and burros, for a mere $1.35 cents a month per animal.  Their collective feeling of “entitlement” has put them at odds with the voting public of the United States as the group strives to hoard public resources for personal gain, water being one of those resources.  The federally protected wild horses are seen by the ranchers as a threat to said resources and, to date, they have done everything from crawl into bed with the Bureau of Land Management to initiating bogus legislation in an effort to rid our public ranges of our national icon, the American wild horse.

Thanks to all of the individual advocates and groups who helped to present the facts to the law makers of the state of Nevada.  Special thanks to Simone Netherlands and Laura Leigh for their individual input to this report and for taking a stand, clear evidence that collective voices, speaking reason, can make a difference.  The horses have finally caught a break.

Update from Simone Netherlands:

Nevada State Senator Manendo

At the committee vote on AB329 today Senator Manendo said: “I see no reason why this legislation is necessary.”

Senator Manendo was not fooled by the proponents of AB329 and said that there was a contradiction in their testimony.

He said that there were not enough facts presented and that the bill was a point of contention. The proponents claim that the wild horses and burros could still get water, and the State engineer mentioned that there were other avenues in which the wild horses and burros could get water rights.

However if it excludes Wild horses and Burros from the designation Wild Life from which they gain water rights through beneficial use, than what is the point of this piece of legislation, he asked.

“Because they are federally protected, if we as a state deny the horses and burros water, we set ourselves up for cruelty without gaining anything for the state, that is not the image that we want to portray. I see no compelling reason why this bill is needed.”

However he advised that a longer look may be needed to take a look at the facts and details of this bill. He wrote a draft letter and in the interim (which is in September) the public lands committee may further discuss this bill.

In the draft letter however, he states that it was a contentious piece of legislation and that over 2 hours of contradicting testimony was heard.

He also stated that over 10,000 people contacted his office that is an incredible number! When the horse advocates had not heard about this bill, and no one was there to give testimony, this same bill actually passed the state senate by an overwhelming majority!

This was a great example of how we all can come together and really truly makes a difference in legislation.

Now on to the next task, let’s come together in the same big way and get this summers foaling seasons Round-ups to cease and desist!!