Ryan Zinke’s meeting with Protect the Harvest’s Forrest Lucas & Dave Duquette included execs from Proof Research, the Montana gun company that Zinke owns shares in

Source:  Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Then Congressman from Montana, Ryan Zinke, and Senator Steve Daines at the Safari Club International Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada. From left to right Ryan Zinke, Mike Degerness, Monty Howe, Scott Campbell, Dennis Hickman, John Clements and Steve Daines. (2/6/16)

by Debbie Coffey, V.P. and Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs, Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Records below indicate that on April 11, 2017, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke spent half an hour with billionaire Forrest Lucas, owner of Lucas Oil, who is also the Founder and Executive Director of Protect the Harvest, a non-profit that is pushing for horse slaughter to be reinstated in the U.S.

Dave Duquette, an employee of Protect the Harvest, and Ramona Hage Morrison, a “property rights” advocate, were listed as “consultants” for Forrest Lucas.  Ramona Hage Morrison is the daughter of the late Wayne Hage, a leader of the “Sagebrush Rebellion” in Nevada.

Other attendees included Larry Murphy (CEO), KK Jense (President & Founder), John Clements (Dir. of Research & Development) of Proof Research, a company that manufactures and sells firearms, that was established in Zinke’s hometown of Whitefish, MT.  Also attending was Brian Kelly of BK Strategies, Proof Research’s registered lobbyist in Washington, D.C.

In a Huffington Post article titled “Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke Held Onto Undisclosed Shares in a Gun Company,” it states:

“PROOF Research Inc. was first established in 2011 in Zinke’s hometown of Whitefish, Montana, under the name Extreme Precision Armaments Inc., according to state of Montana business records.”

“Zinke provided consulting services for the company in 2012, according to local Montana news reports and a disclosure he filed as a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives two years later listing $16,975 in compensation.”


Sunshine Laws and BLM’s news release on the upcoming National Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board meeting

A BLM “News Release” is below.  There will be a live stream of this meeting, and we will post the link so you can listen.  I’d like to call your attention to the last sentence of the news release:  “In Fiscal Year 2013, the BLM generated $4.7 billion in receipts from public lands.”  I wonder how much the BLM got from selling off our public lands in 2014.


And just a quick reminder, there are both state and Federal government transparency “Sunshine Laws.”  You can read the text of the U.S. Government in the Sunshine Act (5 U.S.C. 552b)  HERE.   The subject matter (agenda) must be made available for the public ahead of the meeting.  You are allowed to audio and video record meetings.   If meetings are “closed” to the public, you can obtain transcripts of the closed meetings.  Also check the state laws where the meeting is taking place, because they will also specify what you can do (like carry big signs into the meeting room).  If you are unable to drive to your local BLM Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) and subcommittee meetings, call the BLM and ask them to use a cell phone so you can listen and comment during the public comment time.

“The open meeting requirement of the Act mandates that, except as provided in the Act’s 10 exemptions, “every portion of every meeting of an agency shall be open to public observation.”



Release Date: 03/23/15
Contacts: Tom Gorey , 202-912-7420

BLM Sets Meeting of National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board for April 22-23 in Columbus, Ohio

The Bureau of Land Management’s National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board will meet on April 22-23 in Columbus, Ohio, to discuss issues relating to the management and protection of wild horses and burros on Western public rangelands. The two-day meeting will take place on Wednesday, April 22, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Thursday, April 23, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (The meeting times are local time; Columbus is in the Eastern Time Zone.)
The upcoming Advisory Board meeting will be held at the Hyatt Regency Columbus, 350 N. High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215; phone number: 614-463-1234. The meeting will be live-streamed (at http://www.blm.gov/live).  The agenda of the meeting can be found in the March 23, 2015, Federal Register (at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-03-23/pdf/2015-06517.pdf).
The Advisory Board provides input and advice to the BLM as it carries out its responsibilities under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. The law mandates the protection and management of these free-roaming animals in a manner that ensures healthy herds at levels consistent with the land’s capacity to support them.  According to the BLM’s latest official estimate, approximately 49,200 wild horses and burros roam on BLM-managed rangelands in 10 Western states.
The public may address the Advisory Board on Wednesday, April 22, from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., local time. Individuals who want to make a statement at Wednesday’s meeting should register in person with the BLM by 2 p.m., local time, on that same day at the meeting site.  Depending on the number of speakers, the Board may limit the length of presentations, set at three minutes for previous meetings.
Speakers should submit a written copy of their statement to the BLM at the addresses below or bring a copy to the meeting.  There may be a Webcam present during the entire meeting and individual comments may be recorded.  Those who would like to comment but are unable to attend may submit a written statement to: National Wild Horse and Burro Program, WO-260, Attention: Ramona DeLorme, 1340 Financial Boulevard, Reno, Nevada, 89502-7147. Comments may also be e-mailed to the BLM (atwildhorse@blm.gov); please include “Advisory Board Comment” in the subject line of the e-mail.
For additional information regarding the meeting, please contact Ms. DeLorme, Wild Horse and Burro Administrative Assistant, at 775-861-6583.  Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may reach Ms. DeLorme during normal business hours by calling the Federal Information Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339.
The Advisory Board generally meets twice a year and the BLM Director may call additional meetings when necessary.  Members serve without salary, but are reimbursed for travel and per diem expenses according to government travel regulations.

In its management of wild horses and burros under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, the BLM is implementing recommendations made by a June 2013 report of the National Academy of Sciences. For instance, the BLM is taking actions to increase the use of population growth-suppression measures on overpopulated herds roaming Western public rangelands and implementing methods developed by the U.S. Geological Survey for more accurate population estimates.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2013, the BLM generated $4.7 billion in receipts from public lands.



Upcoming National Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board meeting

From the Federal Register:

SUMMARY: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announces that the Wild 
Horse and Burro Advisory Board will conduct a meeting on matters 
pertaining to management and protection of wild, free-roaming horses 
and burros on the Nation's public lands.

DATES: The Advisory Board will meet on Wednesday April 22, 2015, from 8 
a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Time and Thursday April 23, 2015, from 8:00 a.m. 
to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. This will be a two day meeting.

ADDRESSES: This Advisory Board meeting will take place in Columbus, 
Ohio at the Hyatt Regency Columbus, 350 North High Street, Columbus, OH 
43215, telephone 614-463-1234.
    Written comments pertaining to the April 22-23, 2015, Advisory 
Board meeting can be mailed to National Wild Horse and Burro 
Program,WO-260, Attention: Ramona DeLorme, 1340 Financial Boulevard, 
Reno, NV 89502-7147, or sent electronically to wildhorse@blm.gov. 
Please include ``Advisory Board Comment'' in the subject line of the 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ramona DeLorme, Wild Horse and Burro 
Administrative Assistant, at 775-861-6583. Persons who use a 
telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal 
Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to contact the above 
individual during normal business hours. The FIRS is available 24 hours 
a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with the above 
individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board 
advises the Secretary of the Interior, the BLM Director, the Secretary 
of Agriculture, and the Chief of the Forest Service on matters 
pertaining to the management and protection of wild, free-roaming 
horses and burros on the Nation's public lands. The Wild Horse and 
Burro Advisory Board operates under the authority of 43 CFR 1784. The 
tentative agenda for the meeting is:

I. Advisory Board Public Meeting

Wednesday, April 22, 2015 (8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.)

8:00 a.m. Welcome, Introductions, and Agenda Review
8:50 a.m. Approval of August 2014 Minutes
9:10 a.m. BLM Response to Advisory Board Recommendations
9:30 a.m. Wild Horse and Burro Program Update
12:00 p.m. Lunch
1:15 p.m. Program Update continued
3:00 p.m. Public Comment Period Begins
4:30 p.m. Public Comment Period Ends
5:00 p.m. Adjourn

Thursday, April 23, 2015 (8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.)

8:00 a.m. Program Update continued
12:00 p.m. Lunch
1:15 p.m. Working Group Reports
2:45 p.m. Advisory Board Discussion and Recommendations to the BLM
5:00 p.m. Adjourn


Proposed Collection of Information on Wild Horses and Burros; BLM Requests Comments

The BLM is now planning to do a “knowledge and values study” on wild horses & burros using focus groups.  The focus groups are to include the usual special interest groups (the same ones that are so vocal against wild horses & burros on the BLM Resource Advisory Councils/RACs).

Most of us aren’t perusing the Federal Register on a daily basis, but an advocate alerted us to the notice below.  We should all ask WHO will APPOINT/SELECT the people who will take part in these focus groups.  The BLM proposes to have “guides” (a prepared agenda) for the groups, presumably to limit the topics you can talk about.  The questions/discussions will then likely be designed to lead you to whatever predetermined outcome the BLM wants.  Read HERE about the BLM and use of the Delphi Technique.

This is not free speech.  Will the topics include the delay of the issuance of the investigation report of the 1,700 wild horses Tom Davis bought?  Will the focus groups be updated on the current number of deaths of wild horses at the BLM’s Scott City, Kansas feedlot?  Will the participants be able to review any vet reports or necropsy reports from the Scott City feedlot?

This undemocratic process seems to be a way for the BLM to feign interest in listening to the public,  while in reality, it continues its efforts to contrive what could seem to the public to be some sort of a consensus.

I wonder if the BLM will ever have focus groups or advisory councils on wild horse & burro issues that are composed ONLY of real wild horse & burro advocates, who all care about the welfare of the wild horses and burros (instead of special interest “stakeholders” who focus on how to get rid of them).  The comment period for this proposed focus group farce ends May 11, 2015.  This is destined to be another unscientific “study” as the BLM continues to operate like a dog chasing its tail. – Debbie Coffey

This document has a comment period that ends in 58 days (05/11/2015) How To Comment


60 Day Notice And Request For Comments.


In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will ask the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to approve the information collection (IC) described below, and invites public comments on the proposed IC.

Table of Contents


Please submit comments on the proposed information collection by May 11, 2015.


Comments may be submitted by mail, fax, or electronic mail. Mail: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, 1849 C Street NW., Room 2134LM, Attention: Jean Sonneman, Washington, DC 20240. Fax: to Jean Sonneman at 202-245-0050. Electronic mail: Jean_Sonneman@blm.gov. Please indicate “Attn: 1004-NEW” regardless of the form of your comments.


Sarah Bohl at (202) 912-7263. Persons who use a telecommunication device for the deaf may call the Federal Information Relay Service on 1-800-877-8339, to contact Ms. Bohl. You may contact Ms. Bohl to obtain a copy, at no cost, of the draft discussion guides for the focus groups and in-depth interviews described in this 60-day notice. You may also contact Ms. Bohl to obtain a copy, at no cost, of the regulations that authorize this collection of information.


I. Proposed Information Collection

Title: Knowledge and Values Study Regarding the Management of Wild Horses and Burros.

OMB Control Number: 1004-NEW.

Frequency: On occasion.

Respondents’ obligation: Voluntary.

Abstract: The BLM protects and manages wild horses and burros that roam Western public rangelands, under the authority of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act (Act), 16 U.S.C. 1331-1340. The Act requires that wild horses and burros be managed in a manner that is designed to achieve and maintain a thriving natural ecological balance on the public lands. 16 U.S.C. 1333(a). Stakeholders and the general public hold a variety of views on how wild horses and burros should be managed. The BLM has determined that conducting focus groups, in-depth interviews, and a national survey will lead to a better understanding of public perceptions, values, and preferences regarding the management of wild horses and burros on public rangelands.

After reviewing public comments and making appropriate revisions, the BLM will include the discussion guides in a request for OMB approval. Upon receiving OMB approval, the BLM will conduct the focus groups and in-depth interviews. The results of focus groups and in-depth interviews will be used to help design a national survey, which will be the second and final phase of the research.

The BLM will prepare a draft of the national survey and publish a second 60-day notice and invite public comments on the draft national survey. After reviewing public comments and making appropriate revisions, the BLM will include the national survey in a request for OMB approval. Upon receiving OMB approval, the BLM will conduct the national survey.

Need and Proposed Use: The proposed research was recommended by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences in a 2013 report, Using Science to Improve the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program: A Way Forward. Conducting the focus groups and in-depth interviews will enable the researchers to characterize the range of preferences that exist for wild horse and burro management. The national survey will then assess the distribution of these preferences across the larger population. The research results will assist the BLM to more effectively manage wild horses and burros by providing information to:

  • Help evaluate the benefits and costs of competing rangeland uses and various management options;
  • Help identify areas of common ground and opportunities for collaboration with stakeholder groups; and
  • Communicate more effectively with the public and with stakeholder groups.

Description of Respondents: The BLM intends to survey a variety of respondents for this project by conducting focus groups, in-depth interviews, and a nationally representative survey. For the focus groups and in-depth interviews, the primary respondents will be individuals belonging to a variety of organizations that have previously lobbied, commented on program policy or activities, or have otherwise sought influence with the BLM in regard to its wild horse and burro program. Representatives of wild horse and burro advocacy groups, domestic horse owners, wild horse adopters, the Western livestock grazing community, environmental conservationists, hunters, and public land managers will be included. Nine focus groups across three locations around the country and up to 12 in-depth interviews will be conducted with individuals from these groups. Focus group participants will be recruited by BLM’s research contractor through a variety of approaches tailored to the communities participating in the discussions. In addition, four focus groups (spread across two locations) will be conducted with the general public to explore public understanding of various terms and issues involved in wild horse and burro management so that the questionnaire for the national survey can effectively communicate the relevant topics.

II. Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping Burden

The estimated reporting burden for this collection is 142 responses and 272 hours. There will be no non-hour burdens. The following table details the individual components and estimated hour burdens of this collection.

Activity Estimated number of respondents Estimated number of responses per respondent Completion time per response Total burden hours
Focus Groups 130 (13 groups) 1 120 mins 15,600 mins/260 hrs.
In-depth Interviews 12 1 60 mins 720 mins/12 hrs.
Totals 142 272 hrs.

III. Request for Comments

OMB regulations at 5 CFR 1320, which implement provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501-3521), require that interested members of the public and affected agencies be provided an opportunity to comment on information collection and recordkeeping activities (see 5 CFR 1320.8(d) and 1320.12(a)). The BLM will request that the OMB approve this information collection activity for a 3-year term.

Comments are invited on: (1) The need for the collection of information for the performance of the functions of the agency; (2) the accuracy of the agency’s burden estimates; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information collection; and (4) ways to minimize the information collection burden on respondents, such as use of automated means of collection of the information. A summary of the public comments will accompany the BLM’s submission of the information collection requests to OMB.

Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

 Jean Sonneman,

Information Collection Clearance Officer, Bureau of Land Management.

[FR Doc. 2015-05623 Filed 3-11-15; 8:45 am]


Wild horses in Nevada catch a break on more man-made drought

Since I’ve written about the power of Nevada’s one state water engineer in my past articles, I was glad to see that Senior Judge Robert Estes of the Seventh Judicial Court of Nevada declared that the Nevada State Engineer’s decision favoring the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) water grab which was to pipeline water from northern Nevada to Las Vegas was “subjective, unscientific, arbitrary and capricious,’ and ‘unfair to following generations of Nevadans’ and ‘not in the public interest.‘”

Wild horse advocates also need to stay on top of BLM’s approval of “other uses” on public lands that are using more than a fair share of water, especially during “droughts.”  If the BLM claims they need to remove a few wild horses because of “drought,” but then approve other uses that use huge amounts of water, the BLM is mismanaging public lands.  This mismanagement does not create a thriving ecological balance – but instead destroys it.  –  Debbie Coffey

SOURCE:  Great Basin Water Network

News Release            December 11, 2013

For Immediate Release

Contact:  Abby Johnson 775/885-0612  Simeon Herskovits 575-770-3438



Baker, Nevada – A Nevada court today resoundingly rejected the Nevada State Engineer’s allocation of some 84,000 acre feet per year of groundwater in four rural valleys that the Southern Nevada Water Authority planned to pump and pipe to Las Vegas.

In a strong, well-grounded decision, Senior Judge Robert Estes of the Seventh Judicial Court of Nevada declared the State Engineer’s decision “subjective, unscientific, arbitrary and capricious,” and “unfair to following generations of Nevadans” and “not in the public interest.”

Estes’ ruling requires the State Engineer to recalculate and reassess the water available for appropriation from Spring Valley to assure that “the basin will reach equilibrium between discharge and recharge within a reasonable time,” and to “recalculate the appropriations for Cave, Dry Lake, and Delamar Valleys to avoid over appropriations or conflicts with down-gradient, existing water rights.”

The Court also required that the State Engineer add Millard and Juab counties, Utah in the mitigation plans for the groundwater development project because they will be affected by the proposed pumping from Spring Valley.  Estes was highly critical of the project monitoring, management and mitigation plans, finding that the Engineer had, in effect, “relinquished his responsibilities” to SNWA.  Noting the lack of triggers in the plan requiring actions to minimize damages from groundwater drawdown, Estes wrote “if there is insubstantial evidence and it is premature to set triggers and thresholds, it is premature to grant water rights.”

Steve Erickson, Utah Coordinator for the Great Basin Water Network, a lead plaintiff in the case, called the ruling “a huge victory for the families and communities of these rural valleys in Nevada and Utah, and a vindication of our collective efforts to resist a massively misguided and destructive project.”   “This ruling affirms our long-held positions that groundwater withdrawals of this huge scale are not sustainable and can’t be effectively managed or mitigated, will pre-empt existing water rights, and will cause permanent, widespread damage to the environment, the economy, the health, and the quality of life in the Great Basin,” Erickson said.

Abby Johnson, president of the Baker, Nevada-based Network said, “this decision should send a clear message to SNWA and Nevada leaders that this project is doomed to fail and should be cancelled now in order to save Las Vegas ratepayers and Nevada taxpayers billions of wasted dollars.”

Craig Downer & Bob Bauer on Wild Horse & Burro radio tonight!


7:00 pm PST8:00 pm MST 9:00 pm CST10:00 pm EST

Listen Live Here!

Call in # 917-388-4520

You can call in to the live show with questions!

The shows will be archived, so you can listen anytime.


Tonight’s guests are:

Craig Downer, wildlife ecologist and a member of the
Board of Directors of the Cloud Foundation. Craig is the author of the
book “The Wild Horse Conspiracy” and has a website http://thewildhorseconspiracy.org/. (photo below of Craig Downer)


and Robert Bauer, Wildlife Biologist


(photo of Bob Bauer)

Bob and Craig will debunk the Bureau of Land Management’s unscientific “myths” about wild horses & burros.

Wild Horse & Burro Radio is co-hosted by Debbie Coffey, Director of Wild Horse Affairs at Wild Horse Freedom Federation and Marti Oakley, PPJ Gazette. This series of radio shows will feature upcoming guests including Elizabeth Lovegrove of Wild Horses Kimberly in Australia and Ginger Kathrens of The Cloud Foundation. _______________________________________________________________________________                                                    To contact us: ppj1@hush.com, or call 320-281-0585


11/6/13 – John Holland, President of Equine Welfare Alliance discussing the latest in horse slaughter issues. Click HERE.

11/13/13 – Marjorie Farabee, Director of Wild Burro Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation and founder of Wild Burro Protection League (under Todd Mission Rescue) and Carl Mrozak, videographer (Eagle Eye Media), with work appearing on CBS, PBS, the Discovery Channel, the Weather Channel and other networks. Click HERE.

11/20/13 – Simone Netherlands, Natural Horsemanship Trainer, founder of respect 4 horses Organization, and director & producer of the documentary “America’s Wild Horses.” Click HERE.

11/27/13 – R.T. Fitch, President of Wild Horse Freedom Federation and author of the much acclaimed book “Straight from the Horse’s Heart: A Spiritual Ride through Love, Loss and Hope.R.T. also runs the blog “Straight from the Horse’s Heart,” which posts current news and information and gives a comprehensive education to the public on issues in connection with wild horses & burros and public lands. Also, Ginger Kathrens, Director of the Cloud Foundation, joined in on the show to talk about the Salt Wells & Adobe Town roundups. Click HERE.

Sally Jewell to Testify on Dept. of Interior at Oversight Hearing

Let’s hope Sally Jewell answers questions about the mismanagement of the BLM Wild Horse & Burro Program and comes up with plans for immediate reform.  Below is a video of Sally Jewell addressing employees of the Dept. of Interior.  Let’s hope she remembers she works for the American public.    – Debbie

SOURCE:  Committee on Natural Resources

Full Committee Hearing To Examine Interior Department’s Operations, Management, Rulemaking
Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to Testify

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 9, 2013 – The House Natural Resources Committee will hold an oversight hearing on Wednesday, July 17th entitled, “The Department of the Interior Operations, Management, and Rulemakings.” Interior Secretary Sally Jewell will be the sole witness testifying at this hearing. This will be Secretary Jewell’s first appearance before the Committee.

“Oversight of the actions of the Interior Department is a priority for the Committee and this hearing will allow the opportunity for both Republicans and Democrats to ask questions of Secretary Jewell. We look forward to her first visit to the House Natural Resources Committee,” said Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04).

WHAT: Full Committee Oversight Hearing on “The Department of the Interior Operations, Management, and Rulemakings”

The Honorable Sally Jewell
Secretary, U.S. Department of the Interior

WHEN: Wednesday, July 17, 2013
10:00 AM

WHERE: 1324 Hearing Room in the Longworth House Office Building

Visit the Committee Calendar for additional information, once it is made available. The meeting is open to the public and a live video stream will be broadcast at http://naturalresources.house.gov/live.

2013 International Equine Conference

2013 International Equine Conference
When Friday September 27, 2013 at 11:00 AM CDT -to- Sunday September 29, 2013 at 5:00 PM CDT Add to Calendar

Kentucky Horse Park 4089 Iron Works Parkway Lexington, KY 40511 Driving Directions

You are invited to attend our Third Annual International Equine Conference at The Kentucky Horse Park. Our past two conferences were a huge success because of our presenters and attendees and we’re hoping you become part of this years’ magic!


Preceding the two packed days of expert presenters on September 28 & 29, we will be holding a press conference at Old Friends Kentucky Thoroughbred Retirement Facility on Friday, September 27 followed by a private tour of the facility. There will be a second tour on Friday as well as an evening event that we will be hosting at the Kentucky Horse Park.

As in past conferences we’ll be discussing the latest information and news on domestic equines, wild horses and burros as well as sharing an insider’s view of what has been happening behind the scenes this year on the legislative front.


We hope to see you at the Kentucky Horse Park!
Register Now!
I can’t make it

Please direct all inquiries to iec@equinewelfarealliance.org.


John Holland | Vicki Tobin | Jeff Hudson | Jo-Claire Corcoran | Valerie James-Patton
Equine Welfare Alliance

New BLM LTH Contractor Wants Horse Slaughter

Comment by Debbie Coffey on this article on JournalStar.com


BLM's documented "Vision" for our Wild Horses and Burros

BLM’s documented “Vision” for our Wild Horses and Burros

In an article on JournalStar.com written by Art Hovey (link above, and copy of the entire article at the bottom of this comment), a new BLM Long Term Holding Pasture contractor (Stan Dobrovolny) in Atkinson, Nebraska, made a public comment advocating the re-opening horse slaughter plants.

STAN DOBROVOLNY statements include:

“Up to now, he sees ‘a lack of understanding from the public and false solutions coming from far left wing environmental nut cases’.”

Stan also stated “The best control would be to open the kill plants and let the people who like horse meat eat horse meat.”

Your tax dollars are paying this guy.

How does the BLM chose people to care for our wild horses?  Does the BLM just look for a chunk of land that is suitable?

Did the BLM personnel who interviewed Stan have bad judgement, or do they share his callous attitude?   This attitude seems to start at the top and trickle down to the BLM condoning a reckless helicopter pilot like Josh Hellyer (used by Sun J at roundups), to putting wild horses on the private property of a rancher who thinks it’s a good idea to slaughter horses.

There needs to be a radical attitude change from top to bottom in the BLM’s  Wild Horse & Burro Program, which actually has a mandate to PROTECT the wild horses and burros.  When the BLM places horses on the property of a person who believes in slaughtering them, one would naturally question the care the horses might receive.  Even if the horses are on a pasture, they are loaded and unloaded, may require supplemental feeding, etc.

It is important for all advocates to read the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971.

Some important points in this Act are:

The Secretary is authorized and directed to protect and manage wild free-roaming horses and burros” (notice the word protect).

It is the policy of Congress that wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death; and to accomplish this they are to be considered in the area where presently found, as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands.”

So many aspects of the BLM’s Wild Horse & Burro Program indicate both a lack of caring and incompetence, that there should be a Congressional Investigation into EVERY aspect of the program.  As we know, there is a lack of PROOF of an excess of wild horses and burros (photos and videos of the wild horses and burros taken during inventory flights to validate the raw data), to even justify removing them from their federally protected Herd Management Areas.

Here’s the entire article:

Nebraska rancher puts wild horses out to pasture

2013-06-18T06:00:00Z Nebraska rancher puts wild horses out to pastureBy ART HOVEY/lLincoln Journal Star JournalStar.com

June 18, 2013 6:00 am  •  By ART HOVEY/lLincoln Journal Star

The numbers at the Wild Horse and Burro Center at Elm Creek have been holding steady at between 430 and 500 for the past decade.

Nonetheless, the population of horses relocated to Nebraska from over-populated federal ranges in western states has more than doubled in recent months because of an Atkinson rancher’s decision to offer a long-term holding pasture for 800 mustangs.

“I was born and raised with a horse between my knees,” said Stan Dobrovolny, “so nobody likes to see horses starve to death like that.”

Dobrovolny’s entry on the wild horse scene occurred over several months last winter, he said Monday. It comes to light as the National Academy of Sciences recommends sterilization to the Bureau of Land Management as a correction strategy for what many see as a failed management policy.

Recent estimates put the wild horse population as high as 50,000 and climbing and the annual cost of management at $75 million and rising.

Tom Gorey of the BLM office in Washington declined to react to a June report that the agency asked the academy to provide.

“We want to let the report speak for itself,” Gorey said Monday. “We don’t want to characterize it.”

Joe Stratton, facility manager at Elm Creek for the past 15 years, also steered clear of a detailed reaction to the National Academy findings. But Stratton acknowledged efforts to find people willing to adopt horses brought to a site about 160 miles west of Lincoln had been going backwards lately.

“The last couple years, we’ve been averaging right about 50 animals adopted a year out of our facility,” he said. “So it’s gone down a significant amount.” He blamed the trend on “high hay prices, drought, the economy, you name it.”

The weakening response has brought an end to periodic efforts to truck adoption candidates to events scheduled for that purpose in more populous parts of the state. “We haven’t really done adoptions off site much, because the productivity of that has not been there.”

Meanwhile, the breeding and birth cycle puts pressure on the supply side at the rate of 20 percent more horses in 2012 than there were in 2011.

“That’s about 7,600 babies every year,” Stratton said, “so if you don’t catch that many a year, you’re losing ground.”

Elsewhere in its report, the National Academy found fault with capture and removal. That’s because, according to the study’s authors, it creates a self-perpetuating problem in which removal makes room for more horses to survive in an area that otherwise would be overgrazed.

Past suggestions that captured horses be sent to slaughter plants produced a huge outcry from those who wanted what they viewed as a more humane solution. Sterilization is not a new idea either, although it’s new coming from the academy.

Dobrovolny said he wants to read the report rather than rely on media portrayals. Up to now, he sees “a lack of understanding” from the public and false solutions coming from “far left environmental nut cases.”

He sees merit in the slaughter idea, even though killing the horses is a crime that dates to the Nixon administration and even though a slaughter plant operated at North Platte is among many that closed.

“The best control would be to open the kill plants and let the people who like horse meat eat horse meat,” he said. “Obviously, that’s my opinion.”

France has been one popular export destination.

In the absence of more effective controls on horse numbers, Dobrovolny is in the business of custom grazing for mustangs relocated to his ranch.

No, he said, he’s not doing it for free.

“Actually, if you’re in the ranching business, everything you do has to have some profit to it or you can’t afford to do it.”

Reach Art Hovey at 402-473-7223 or  ahovey@journalstar.com.

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Lawmakers Urge Action Over Wild Horses

Source:  Horsetalk.co.nz

Lawmakers urge action over wild horses

Raúl Grijalva

Raúl Grijalva

A letter from 30 lawmakers is urging US Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to reform the Bureau of Land Management’s controversial wild horse and burro management program.

It follows a recent National Academy of Sciences (NAS) review, which criticised the bureau’s program as being costly, unsustainable, and employing strategies which encouraged high population growth among wild horses across the western rangelands.

Arizona representative Raúl Grijalva wrote the letter, co-signed by a bipartisan group of 29 other House members, asking Jewell to make the reforms a priority.

An identical letter signed by more than 30,000 Americans, including celebrities such as Robert Redford, Carole King, Ali MacGraw, Viggo Mortensen, Ed Harris, Noah Wylie, Wendie Malick, Betty White and Valerie Bertinelli, has also been sent to Jewell.

“I’ve been asking for changes for years, and NAS has confirmed that we can save taxpayer money and horses’ lives at the same time by improving this program,” Grijalva said. “We have the information we need. Now it’s time to do something with it.”

Grijalva, the ranking Democrat on the House Natural Resources subcommittee on public lands and environmental regulation, said Jewell had shown a true commitment to the conservation of America’s unique natural heritage, and he hoped she would give America’s wild horses the attention they deserved.

“Congress had the wisdom to pass the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act in 1971. We can’t let mismanagement and waste be the only legacy of that far-sighted decision.”

Grijalva wrote that the bureau had pursued an unsustainable and highly controversial approach to wild horse management.

“In fact, the US Government today maintains more wild horses in captivity than remain free in the wild.

“This is an untenable situation, both for America’s wild horses and for American taxpayers.

“Since 2009, the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program budget has doubled as the agency escalated its unsustainable roundup-remove-and-stockpile approach to wild horse management.

“Meanwhile, the BLM has grossly underutilized proven, cost-effective and humane alternatives, such as fertility control, that keep wild horses on the range and avert the need for roundups and removals.

“We are hopeful that your appreciation of the outdoors will lead you to embrace and appreciate the iconic wild horses and burros of the American West and share the commitment of the majority of Americans to protecting them.

“This is a solvable problem, but it requires a commitment to fixing what is not working,” he wrote.

Florida Representative C.W. Bill Young, a member of the House Appropriations Committee, was the only Republican to sign the letter.

The full letter can be read here.