Can Utah’s Mike Noel Run the BLM, an Agency He Despises?

By | The Salt Lake Tribune

“The BLM manages some of the America’s most spectacular and iconic landscapes, landscapes that are integral to outdoor recreation, sportsmen, biodiversity, and native Americans’ and America’s high quality of life,”

As Utah state Rep. Mike Noel actively courts support for his bid to become the next director of the Bureau of Land Management, conservation and outdoor business interests are questioning the Kanab lawmaker’s ability to effectively run an agency he has relentlessly condemned since quitting it 20 years ago.

“The BLM manages some of the America’s most spectacular and iconic landscapes, landscapes that are integral to outdoor recreation, sportsmen, biodiversity, and native Americans’ and America’s high quality of life,” said Black Diamond Equipment founder Peter Metcalf. “We need a BLM leader aligned with this mission, one who recognizes the role these well-stewarded landscapes play in the vibrancy of one of America’s most important and sustainable economic sector.”

“Mike Noel,” Metcalf said, “is the opposite.”

The retired CEO joined 15 other Utah business leaders and conservationists in penning a letter to the Trump administration opposing Noel’s possible selection as BLM director.

An influential Republican, Noel has staked his political career on challenging federal land management and sparring with environmentalists and Salt Lake Democrats over limiting resource extraction to protect Utah’s striking red rock landscapes, wildlife, rivers and archaeological resources. Noel believes such limits do more to harm the land than protect it and suck the life out of rural communities that traditionally rely on access to forage, timber and minerals.

Noel did not respond to a request for comment.

Several Utah agencies and political leaders. meanwhile, have eagerly lined up behind his BLM candidacy.

The Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration also sent a letter to the Trump transition team calling Noel an “excellent choice.” Most of SITLA’s 3.2 million acres are 640-acre islands scattered in a sea of federal lands. BLM policies complicate SITLA’s efforts to generate revenue off these isolated sections, according to the Nov. 18 letter signed by trust lands board Chairman James Lekas.

“We look forward to working with a Department of Interior led by people who can change the direction of public lands management back toward BLM’s traditional multiple use mandate,” Lekas wrote. “Rep. Noel would be a great addition to that team.”

If Noel has his druthers, the BLM would no longer exist as an agency, at least in Utah, where he is leading the state’s charge to seize title to 31 million acres of public land — most of it administered by BLM.

But worse from environmentalists’ perspective is Noel’s unwillingness to engage with stakeholders who disagree with his notion of “multiple use.”

In recent years, Noel has promoted the ideas that law enforcement on pubic lands should be overseen by county sheriffs; Utah should invest millions of dollars in a lawsuit to take title to the lands owned by all Americans; grazing and energy extraction are the best uses of places that others value for scenery and ancient American Indian artifacts; the state should cover legal costs of county commissioners who get in trouble standing up to federal authority on behalf of their constituents.

“Rep. Noel has also demonstrated his disregard for the thoughtfully and collaboratively crafted management plans of the Bureau he hopes to direct, instead throwing his support behind illegal protests on BLM land and the extraction companies that hope to expand their activities on public lands to the detriment of the protection and other uses of those lands,” states the conservationists’ letter, sent Wednesday by Alliance for a Better Utah to Vice President Mike Pence and Interior Secretary-designate Ryan Zinke. “His history strongly suggests that he will not be a good steward over these public lands that all Americans use and enjoy.”

Noel, who runs a ranch and the Kane County Water Conservancy District, worked as a realty specialist in BLM’s Kanab field office before leaving after the 1996 designation of the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. A former colleague in the Kanab office contends Noel is the wrong person to lead BLM because of “his disdain for federal government management and his personal and biased agenda.”

“The next BLM director will need to ensure the BLM mission to provide enduring values and uses of those lands is sustained. Noel does not have that vision and is not that leader,” wrote Verlin Smith, now retired and living in Murray, in a letter to the editor.

Noel has since become a leading extremist in the movement to blunt conservation prerogatives on public lands, according to Metcalf, and in the process has earned a reputation as a dogmatic bully.

“This intransigent nature would hamper Rep. Noel in performing the duties that come with being BLM director, which include balancing all of the competing needs and uses that arise in managing our vast public lands,” the letter states.

http://www.sltrib.com/home/4858088-155/can-utahs-mike-noel-run-the

Hearing for Ryan Zinke to be Secretary of the Interior

Source:  U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

Both Trump and Zinke say they oppose the transfer of federal land to states, but when it came to vote last week, Zinke voted to make it easier to do land transfers.  This would not be good for the wild horses and burros.

natresourceshearing_032615Congressman Ryan Zinke (Montana)

Tuesday, Jan. 17 2017
11:15 Pacific Time, 12:15 Mountain Time, 1:15 Central Time, 2:15 Eastern Time
366 Dirksen 02:15 PM

This notice is to advise you of a hearing before the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. The hearing will be held on Tuesday, January 17, 2017 at 2:15 p.m. in Room 366 Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, DC.
 
The purpose of the hearing is to consider the nomination of the Honorable Ryan Zinke to be the Secretary of the Interior.
 
The hearing will be webcast live on the committee’s website, and an archived video will be available shortly after the hearing is complete. Witness testimony will be available on the website at the start of the hearing.

Auction Date Set for “Sanctuary” Wild Horses

Source: SD Dewey County Sheriff’s Office

Neglected Former Wild Horses Face Auction Block

UPDATE
SALE DATE 12-20-16
57ef2233a898e-imageThe sale had been set with Phillip Livestock in Phillip SD on Dec. 20th, 2016. It had not been determined the exact date that the horses will be loaded out to go to the sale at this time. The sale barn and the wrangler we have hired will arrange that date depending on weather and foreseen problems.

Also we got word that the road had not been cleared and a loader from the Ziebach County Highway Dept will be over at about 0700 tomorrow morning to clear the road for access to the property.

Also I plan on making a trip to the property tomorrow to see what else is needed as we near the end of the adoptions and transition to the sale. Please keep in mind that this is a very large impoundment with many complicated issues and we are all doing the best we can to get through this. If there is a problem we can fix, we will, but some things we just cannot help or fix.

Also I have seen some injuries that have occurred at the ranch and I remind everyone that safety is first and that you must think safety as we work to get through this.

The Most Shocking 1.5 Min Video the World Must See!

by COWSPIRACY: the sustainability secret

“Just imagine what this does, in the form of welfare ranching, to our public lands and it’s effect on wild horses, burros and all other wildlife, let alone ourselves!” ~ R.T.

Craig Downer, author and wildlife ecologist, on Wild Horse & Burro Radio (Wed. 11/2/16)

painy

Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_LogoJoin us on Wild Horse Wednesdays®, Nov. 2, 2016

5:00 pm PST … 6:00 pm MST … 7:00 pm CST … 8:00 pm EST

Listen to the archived show (HERE!)

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

You can call in with questions during the 2nd half hour, by dialing (917) 388-4520, then pressing 1.

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

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Craig Downer (photo by Rona Aguilar)

Our guest tonight is Craig Downer, wildlife ecologist and author of the book “The Wild Horse Conspiracy.”  Craig is the Founder of The Andean Tapir Fund, the Wild Horse & Burro Fund, and has a website called The Wild Horse Conspiracy.  Craig will be talking about his observations of Herd Management Areas, the Brumbies (wild horses in Australia), the Wildies (wild horses in Canada), the fertility drug PZP and many interesting stories about the history of wild horses in the American West.

This show will be hosted by Debbie Coffey, V.P. of Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

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

Continue reading

Hilary Wood, Pres. of Front Range Equine Rescue and Bruce Wagman (partner, Schiff Hardin law firm) on Wild Horse & Burro Radio (Wed., 10/26/16)

painy

Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_LogoJoin us on Wild Horse Wednesdays®, Oct. 26, 2016

5:00 pm PST … 6:00 pm MST … 7:00 pm CST … 8:00 pm EST

Listen to the archived show  (HERE!)

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

You can call in with questions during the 2nd half hour, by dialing (917) 388-4520, then pressing 1.

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

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Hilary Wood is the President and Founder of Front Range Equine Rescue (FRER) and works as the Director of Programs and Operations.  Front Range Equine Rescue, founded in 1997, is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization working to prevent the abuse and neglect of horses through rescue and education.  In 2005, Front Range Equine Rescue launched its “Save the Wild Horses” campaign in direct response to the Burns Amendment.

Recently, Front Range Equine Rescue filed a lawsuit to stop the BLM’s plans to conduct surgical sterilization experiments on 225 wild horses, many in various stages of pregnancy, and potentially thousands of more horses over time.  FRER’s lawsuit contended that the BLM’s intended sterilizations would cause harm and suffering and were in violation of federal law.  Six weeks later, the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management withdrew its program to perform experimental sterilization of wild mares in Oregon.

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Bruce Wagman is a partner with Schiff Hardin law firm in San Francisco, and has represented FRER in all of its legal horse work. Bruce has an almost exclusive animal law focus, involving litigation, education, legislative counseling, and consultation.  Bruce’s clients include numerous animal protection organizations and private individuals.  He is a co-editor of the casebook Animal Law, and coauthor of A Worldview of Animal Law.  He has been teaching Animal Law since 1996 and currently teaches at three Bay Area law schools.  In the past five years, Bruce has focused much of his time on issues involving wild horses, horse abuse cases, and the slaughter of American horses for food.

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This show will be hosted by R.T. Fitch, President of Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

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

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/marti-oakley/2016/10/27/whb-radio-hilary-wood-pres-of-front-range-equine-rescue-and-bruce-wagman

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

1/20/16 – Carol Walker, Dir. of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation, on BLM’s plans to sterilize wild horse and burros. Listen HERE.

1/27/16 – Marjorie Farabee, Dir. of Wild Burro Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation, on threats to shoot wild burros in Arizona. Listen HERE.

2/8/16 – Representatives of 4 major wild horse & burro advocacy groups and advocates speak out against BLM’s plans for barbaric sterilization experiments on wild mares. Listen HERE.

2/10/16 – Jonathan Ratner, Western Watersheds Project’s Director for Wyoming, Utah and Colorado, talks about the environmental toll of privately owned livestock grazing on public lands. Listen HERE.

2/24/16 – Kirsten Stade, Advocacy Director for Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), on BLM’s skewed data minimizing the effects of livestock grazing on public lands. Listen HERE.

3/2/16 – Marjorie Farabee, Dir. of Wild Burro Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation, Equine Mgr. of Todd Mission Ranch (TMR Rescue) & founder of Wild Burro Protection League, joined by local wild burro advocates fighting to save the wild burros of the Black Mountain Herd Management Area in Arizona. Listen HERE.

3/23/16 – Carol Walker, Dir. of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation interviews Susan W. Watt, Executive Director, Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary, located in South Dakota. Listen HERE.

5/4/16 – Gail A. Eisnitz, author of the book “Slaughterhouse” and Chief Investigator for the Humane Farming Association (HFA). Listen HERE.

6/22/16 – Charlotte Roe, Founder of Wild Equid League of Colorado, on BLM’s cruel experiments on wild horses and burros, including sterilization of pregnant wild mares, that are a launching pad for widespread use as “population suppression.” Listen HERE.

8/3/16 – Marjorie Farabee, Dir. of Wild Burro Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation, Equine Mgr. of Todd Mission Ranch (TMR Rescue) & founder of Wild Burro Protection League with guests. Listen HERE.

8/10/16 – Gene Baur, Pres. & Co-Founder of Farm Sanctuary, on factory farming and the Farm Sanctuary. Listen HERE.

8/17/16 – Advocates Carla Bowers and Bonnie Kohleriter on why 83% of wild horse and burro herds are on the brink of collapse. Listen HERE.

8/31/16 – Steve Hindi (President and Founder) and Janet Enoch (Investigator) of SHowing Animals Respect & Kindness (SHARK) on rodeo cruelty and more. You can see all of SHARK’s rodeo exposés on YouTube by clicking here. Listen HERE.

9/7/16 – Carol Walker, Dir. of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation , on BLM plans to remove all wild horses from three of the largest remaining herds in Wyoming. Listen HERE.

9/14/16 – Susan Wagner, Pres. & Founder of Equine Advocates, on how the upcoming Presidential election can affect the fate of wild and domestic equines and horse slaughter. PLEASE SIGN EQUINE ADVOCATES’ PETITION HERE. Listen HERE.

9/21/16 – Mae Lee Sun, co-author of “Brumby: A celebration of Australia’s wild horses” and Craig Downer, wildlife ecologist and the author of the book “The Wild Horse Conspiracy” on the culling of the brumbies (wild horses) of the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales. Listen HERE.

9/28/16 – Laird Lucas (Executive Director) and Talasi Brooks (Staff Attorney) of Advocates for the West, a public interest, nonprofit environmental law firm with an 85% record of legal success protecting the wildlife and wild places of the American West. Listen HERE.

10/5/16 – Marjorie Farabee, Dir. of Wild Burro Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation, Equine Mgr. of Todd Mission Ranch (TMR Rescue) & founder of Wild Burro Protection League reports on the 2016 Donkey Welfare Symposium. Listen HERE.

10/12/16 – Nancy Watson, President of SAFE Food SAFE Horses Coalition, has been raising worldwide awareness to the loopholes in U.S. legislation that allows U.S. equines (horses, donkeys, mules and burros) which are laden with pharmaceuticals, into the global food supply. Listen HERE.

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R.T. Fitch on Voices Carry for Animals Radio Show on Tuesday night

TS RAdio
JOIN US on Tuesday, August 30th, 2016 at 7:00 pm CST
DEBS LOGA
5:00 pm PST … 6:00 pm MST … 7:00 pm CST … 8:00 pm EST

LISTEN LIVE (HERE!)

Call In (917) 388-4520 press 1 to speak

Hosted By Debbie Dahmer

_______________________________________________________________

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Guest will be: R.T. Fitch- President of  Wild Horse Freedom Federation
 WILD HORSE FREEDOM FEDERATION
“Putting People between Wild Equines and Extinction.”
Wild Horse Freedom Federation advances the power of individuals to take informed and compassionate action to ensure the safety, welfare and lawful disposition of free roaming wild horses and burros.  Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF) is an organization particularly focused on wild equine protection, research and education.  They do so by monitoring wild equine habitat conservation, advocating awareness for the environment and conditions as they relate to wild horses and burros, non-invasive research programs, legal intervention and more.
RT’s blog:  Straight from the Horse’s Heart    https://rtfitchauthor.com/
“Voices Carry for Animals” 2nd Year Anniversary! Special Thank You goes out to Marti Oakley, All former guests, and All Listeners for making this show a total success. The more voices and actions takers the stronger we become to get positive changes made for the animals in need. They so well deserve. All Lives Matter and All Ages Matter including all the animals. Put a little love in your heart and do your part. Help the voiceless, helpless, innocent, and defenseless. All animals should live in Peace, Comfort, Love, & Freedom. It’s up to all of us to make it happen. Thank You ALL So Very much! – Debbie Dahmer

Continue reading

Advocates Carla Bowers & Bonnie Kohleriter on 83% of wild horse & burro herds set to collapse, on Wild Horse & Burro Radio (Wed., 8/17/16)

painy

Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_Logo

Join us on Wild Horse Wednesdays®, Aug. 17, 2016

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

Listen to the archived show (HERE!)

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

You can call in with questions during the 2nd half hour, by dialing (917) 388-4520, then pressing 1.

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

________________________________________

WHB_Par_8416_Image_-1_-1_1

Wild horses from the Carter Reservoir Herd Management Area on the California/Nevada border. (photo: BLM)

Our guests tonight are Carla Bowers and Bonnie Kohleriter (retired science teacher), who are wild horse and burro advocates and two of the best researchers in the advocacy.  They will tell you why 83% of wild horse and burro herds are on the brink of collapse, and explain the real numbers and genetics, not the fuzzy math and inaccurate information that the BLM doles out to the public.

These women each personify the meaning of the phrase “one person can make a difference.”  After attending helicopter roundups of wild horses in the Twin Peaks Herd Management Area (HMA) in northeastern California about 6 years ago, and seeing the reality of the actions of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Carla and Bonnie each got involved and started to go to BLM meetings, travel to HMAs around the West, and dig for answers.

This show will be hosted by Debbie Coffey, V.P. & Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

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

Burros to be removed in Spring Mountain Ranch State Park

See the news video HERE.

By Caroline Bleakley | cbleakley@8newsnow.com, Vanessa Murphy | vmurphy@8newsnow.com

Burros who have made their home in the Spring Mountain Ranch State Park are being captured by the Bureau of Land Management and will soon be transported to California for adoption.

According to the BLM, the burros are being gathered because they pose safety hazards on the park’s roadways and are damaging the park’s restoration efforts. Currently, there are from 90 to 108 burros in the park.
In the past, moving the burros has been controversial.  A BLM spokeswoman says it’s out of the public’s view to make sure the process runs smoothly.

She explained corrals are set up for bait and trap, so the animals go to an area to eat or drink; a gate closes behind them, and she calls this process “low stress” for the burros.

Alan Levinson who co-owns Bonnie Springs Ranch next to the park says he is concerned about the heat and the affect it can have on the younger and older burros.  Levinson says he believes the BLM should be more transparent with the process.

“Anything in the government these days is such a problem that I think that if they’re rounding them up — if they’re baiting some corrals in the area — the news crews should at least be able to go in and get video of what’s going on and check it out so they can make the public feel at ease,” Levinson said.  “That it is being done humanely, nobody is being chased around with helicopters which has happened in the past.”

Approximately 40 will be gathered using a bait and water trap method to lure them into temporary corrals. No helicopters will be used.

You can call (702) 515-5095 for an update on the burro gather or visit:  http://on.doi.gov/2aUTacxRead the rest of this article HERE.

 

New Government Report on Trespass Livestock

Source:  Western Watersheds Project

“For decades our wild horses and burros have been scapegoated as the primary reason for ecological destruction on our western public lands while in reality, the documented destruction has come from private, welfare livestock allowed to graze our land at subsidized prices while far out numbering the federally protected wild equines. 

This may come as a bit of a shock (tongue in cheek) but several of our federal agencies (BLM and USFS for example) are critically ate up with collusion and cronyism leading to a system of ‘good ole boy’ favoritism towards federally subsidized welfare grazing with little or no control YET the agencies, along with their welfare ranching buddies, point fingers at the wild horses and burros for grazing damage while they hold actual research at bay that verifies it is their private cows and sheep that are doing the damage and NOT the wild horses and burros.

Instead of reducing or eliminated grazing permits the BLM and USFS spend tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to attack, harass, capture, abuse, torture, experiment upon, warehouse and even sell horses and burros off to slaughter AGAINST the will of American taxpayers and  politicians.

Although today’s installment does not address wild horses and burros specifically it speaks to the problem that is used as an excuse for the corrupt agencies to illegally remove the protected equines from public lands while welfare cattle and sheep run amok.  It is all so screwed up that it is difficult for a sane mind to wrap itself around, but for the sake of the wild horses and burros we need to “get it” and continue to fight and speak on their behalf.  Become conversant on the subject, please, and ensure that all who you know are equally aware as it is only through the force of numbers will we be able to win this war.  Keep the faith my friends and keep on keeping on.” ~ R.T.


July 29, 2016
Online Messenger #335

photo by Jonathan Ratner

photo by Jonathan Ratner

A recently released report from the Government Accountability Office conclusively found what many WWP members already suspected: 1) Trespass livestock grazing is a pervasive problem; 2) It causes widespread ecological damage on public lands; 3) Land management agencies don’t adequately document these violations; and 4) Forest Service trespass fees are too low to serve as a deterrent. These facts add up to a very grim picture about illegal grazing activities on the lands owned and cherished by all of us.

WWP has been documenting trespass livestock grazing for years, reporting observations of cows and sheep in the wrong pastures, staying too long on an allotment, and on sensitive areas that are supposed to be protected from damaging hooves. These types of reports don’t get taken seriously and the agencies – despite BLM regulations requiring them to take action – often just deal with permittees through a casual conversation rather than formal documentation.

The GAO report verifies that the agencies are intimidated by dealing with high-profile repeat offenders and anti-government protestors, leading to a cycle of increased trespass grazing. The GAO found that even when the agencies do deal with trespassers, the penalties assessed are often too low to act as a deterrent.  This is especially true for the Forest Service where the penalty for trespass grazing may be even less than the cost of permitted grazing elsewhere!  Some ranchers consider these penalties “the cost of doing business” – within a business model that already steals value from our public trust lands.

As if these findings weren’t bad enough, add them to the fact that the GAO found much the same thing in 1990. The agencies largely ignored the government’s recommendations then; will they pay any heed now?

The report is a useful update on the general status of this overlooked issue, and it is due to the hard work of WWP staff in D.C. that this report was requested by Representative Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Committee.

Congressman Grijalva released his own press statement on the GAO findings. Grijalva stated “federal agencies’ first responsibility is to ensure the public receives a fair return for the use of public land. Right-wing anti-government rhetoric should not prevent agencies from enforcing laws written to protect the environment and economy of Western states.”

Thank you, Congressman Grijalva. We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.