Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond is revealed as 23rd largest landowner in US with 433,000 acres – and the government paid her family $23.9 MILLION in rent over the past decade

Not only has the Bureau of Land Management paid Drummond Land and Cattle Co. almost $24 million to warehouse our wild horses on their long term holding pasture, but Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond has used photos of wild horses on most of her Pioneer Woman product packaging and on her blog and has used video of wild horses in the trailer for her Pioneer Woman cooking show.  – Debbie

Source:  dailymail.co.uk

Land barons: In its annual list of America’s 100 largest landowners, The Land Report reveals that as of 2016 the Drummond Family owns an astonishing 433,000 acres of property

Ladd Drummond’s family cattle ranch has earned them the 23rd spot on the list of the 100 largest landowners in the United States
  • He lives on the family’s massive estate, which is 433,000 acres or just over 675 square miles, with his wife Ree Drummomnd and their four children
  • Ree has turned her life on the ranch into a multimillion dollar empire thanks to her work as the Pioneer Woman
  • The family has also made $24 million in the past decade renting land to the US government  

Ree Drummond may present herself as a modern day Laura Ingalls Wilder or Willa Cather on her Pioneer Woman blog and TV show, but the self-made entrepreneur has far more in common with the Queen of England than her prairie home companions.

In its annual list of America’s 100 largest landowners, The Land Report reveals that as of 2016 the Drummond Family owns an astonishing 433,000 acres of property.

Drummond, her husband Ladd and their four teenage children make their home just two hours down the road from Oklahoma City in Pawhuska, which is where her husband Ladd’s family put down roots four generations ago.

Ladd is now a key player at Drummond Land & Cattle Co, the notoriously private family-held company that Frederick Drummond started after arriving in this country from Scotland in the late 19th century.

In addition to the money they bring in from their cattle and horse endeavors, Drummond Land also manages to clean up thanks to one deep-pocketed tenant – the US government. 

In addition to the money they bring in from their cattle and horse endeavors, Drummond Land also manages to clean up thanks to the US government

Dr. Ann Marini to discuss the drugs that the BLM gives to wild horses & burros (Wed., Nov. 8, on Wild Horse & Burro Radio)

painy

Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_LogoJoin us for Wild Horse Wednesdays®, this Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017

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

This radio show was hacked.  Our apologies to people who were unable to listen to the show.

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.

Our guest tonight is Ann Marini, Ph.D., M.D. and she will be talking about the drugs that the Bureau of Land Management gives to wild horses and burros.  We compiled a list of drugs from information on FOIA requests and from verification by BLM staff.

Dr Marini earned both her Ph.D. degree from the Department of Biochemistry, 1978, and her medical degree from the Georgetown School of Medicine in 1980.  She completed a residencies in medicine at UMASS Worcester, Massachusetts; 1980-1983; and in Neurology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York, 1983-1986.  She was a Senior Staff Fellow at NINDS/NIMH, 1986-1993.  Her research interests include neuropharmacology, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, Mechanisms of Neuronal Cell Death and Neuronal Intrinsic Survival Pathways.  Dr. Marini’s group published the peer-review article: Association of phenylbutazone usage with horses bought for slaughter: A public health risk authored by Nicholas Dodman, Nicolas Blondeau and Ann M. Marini and this manuscript was published in the peer-review journal Food and Chemical Toxicology in 2010.

This show will be hosted by Debbie Coffey (V.P. and Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs) of Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

To contact us: ppj1@hush.com

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

To find out more about Wild Horse Freedom Federation and our work to keep wild horses and burros wild and free on our public lands visit www.WildHorseFreedomFederation.org

Donate Here: http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/donate/

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Livestock grazing extremists obscure real-world solutions

by Debbie Coffey

In my opinion…

We need to find a fix for the unhealthy populations of non-native, domestic cattle and sheep on public lands.

Imagine a proposal to introduce privately owned livestock onto the public lands of the American West.  The owners of the privately owned livestock would successfully gain use of 229 million acres of public lands in the West.   The livestock would be owned by a politically powerful industry that attracted a passionate following — people who love using public lands for their private profit so much that they influence the federal management of their privately owned animals so that they would rarely, if ever, be restricted by law.  Some of them would be so passionate that they would take over and occupy government buildings for 41 days, and end up costing taxpayers at least $9 million, including $2.3 million on federal law enforcement and $1.7 million to replace damaged or stolen property.

The downside of these privately owned livestock would be that they destroy native vegetation, damage soils and stream banks, and contaminate waterways with fecal waste.  After decades of livestock grazing, once-lush streams and riparian forests have been reduced to flat, dry wastelands; once-rich topsoil has been turned to dust, causing soil erosion, stream sedimentation and wholesale elimination of some aquatic habitats; overgrazing of native fire-carrying grasses has starved some western forests of fire, making them overly dense and prone to unnaturally severe fires.  Not to mention that predators like the grizzly and Mexican gray wolf were driven extinct in southwestern ecosystems by “predator control” programs designed to protect the livestock industry.

Livestock grazing of privately owned livestock on public lands is promoted, protected and subsidized by federal agencies.  A new analysis  finds U.S. taxpayers have lost more than $1 billion over the past decade on a program that allows cows and sheep to graze on public land.  Last year alone taxpayers lost $125 million in grazing subsidies on federal land.  Had the federal government charged fees similar to grazing rates on non-irrigated private land, the program would have made $261 million a year on average rather than operate at a staggering loss, the analysis finds.

Costs and Consequences: The Real Price of Livestock Grazing on America’s Public Lands

Just imagine what would happen if this livestock industry continued to thrive while all other natural resources were exhausted and while wildlife starved, died of thirst or became extinct.

Clearly, this is a difficult scenario to support.  Congress needs to overhaul the outdated livestock grazing program and reign in the use of livestock grazing on public lands.  These “welfare ranchers” treat public lands as if they are their own private lands and don’t want to share public lands with wildlife (unless that wildlife can be hunted).  The Bureau of Land Management is supposed to to “maintain a thriving natural ecological balance and multiple use relationship” but it heavily favors the livestock grazing industry, even though livestock grazing has damaged 80 percent of the streams and riparian ecosystems in the West.

There are currently very powerful lobbying efforts using misinformation to convince Congress to “euthanize” (kill) or sterilize over 46,000 wild horses and burros in BLM holding facilities, and tens of thousands more on public lands.  But what about the millions of privately owned cattle and sheep on public lands?

There was recently a secretive meeting (closed to the public) in Salt Lake City, Utah, called the National Wild Horse & Burro Summit.  The only groups invited were special interest groups that promote livestock grazing, and academia/universities who rely on money from these special interest groups and government agencies who favor these special interest groups.  The Summit focused on the supposed damage done by wild horses and burros on public lands, while ignoring the real source of the widespread and well documented damage to water and rangeland ecosystems:  domestically owned livestock.   Since they talked about killing our wild horses and burros, this conference was aptly dubbed the “Slaughter Summit.”

Cattle slurping up water in the West (photo: EPA)

Go to the websites of the livestock industry, and you’ll notice that there’s no mention that millions of domestically owned livestock graze on public lands and overgraze or harm wildlife species.  There is no mention that cattle and sheep are not native to North America, since they arrived on Spanish and English ships about 500 years ago.

These extremists try to justify their interests by claiming they grow food, but only 3% of beef grown in the U.S. is grazed on public lands.  Most privately owned livestock graze on privately owned land.

The wild horse & burro population estimates used by these special interest groups are compiled by the BLM and have been found to be scientifically impossible, since the BLM, per its own population estimates, has claimed some wild horse herds increased by as much as 750% or 1250% in only one year.

Fringe “cowboys” have been effective at lobbying for the slaughter of old, unadoptable – or really any – horses.  The BLM has taken away over 22 million acres from Herd Areas, which were supposed to be the federally protected areas for wild horses and burros, and allows livestock grazing on most of the remaining, smaller Herd Management Areas (in addition to millions of other acres on public lands).

It’s easy for people in the other 40 states to be swayed by the livestock grazing extremists.  They look like real cowboys.  But many “ranchers” are large corporations.  Their efforts are responsible for the current situation, in which taxpayers support their private businesses of grazing millions of privately owned livestock on public lands, leaving us with no end in sight, not in numbers, not in funding, not in ecological damage.  What is a real-world solution?

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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THE TRUTH #11 – The BLM authorized the adoption of a wild horse to a woman who was later charged with animal cruelty. Although the wild horse survived, the fact that this horse was subjected to animal cruelty illustrates what happens when the BLM fails to do adequate, if any, compliance checks

Wild Horse Freedom Federation issues THE TRUTH to share Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) documents and information with the public. Be sure to subscribe HERE to Wild Horse Freedom Federation, so that you can receive email alerts.

THE TRUTH #11 – The BLM authorized the adoption of a wild horse to a woman who was later charged with animal cruelty.  Although the wild horse survived, the fact that this horse was subjected to animal cruelty illustrates what happens when the BLM fails to do adequate, if any, compliance checks.

When looking at FOIA records regarding the fate of wild horses born in BLM holding facilities, we came across a horse (Freezemark #10183695) that the BLM approved for a Private Care and Maintenance Agreement (PMACA) adoption to someone in Loxahatchee, FL. This caught our eye because of the investigations by Richard Cuoto of Animal Rescue Mission that exposed illegal slaughter farms in Loxahatchee, FL, including Medina Farm. Luckily, this wild horse didn’t end up on Medina Farm, but we found out that the adopter, Janet Greene, was charged with animal cruelty. We have provided links to two newspaper articles, a timeline of events and BLM FOIA documents below.

Horse owner formally charged with animal cruelty (Read this article HERE.)

Janet Greene (photo: Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office)

“Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control seized 14 horses Nov. 7

…Janet E. Greene, 47, of Port St. Lucie, is charged with 13 counts of felony cruelty to animals and one misdemeanor count of unlawful abandonment or confinement of animal.

Feed bills show that 16 horses were being fed a total of 51 pounds of hay per day, well below the recommended amount of 320 pounds of hay, according a statement from Animal Care and Control Sgt. Max Sharpe.”

And we saw this article:

Woman charged with 13 counts of animal cruelty in Loxahatchee Groves horse-death case (Read this article HERE.)

“…the county’s top animal investigators said that in the span of two months, one sick horse ended up becoming two dead horses and 13 sick ones, and they placed that blame squarely on Janet Greene, the horse’s owner of record.”

Veterinary assistant Nancy Rogero, left, and animal care specialist Rosemary MacDougal care for one of 14 emaciated horses that were brought to Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control.

In reviewing the FOIA records regarding the PMACA (Private Maintenance and Care Agreement) adoption and timeline of events after the BLM turned over the horse to Janet Greene, it looks like this:

10/9/11 – Janet E. Greene fills out a BLM Application for Adoption of Wild Horse(s) or Burro(s) (undated) and on 10/9/11, BLM’s John D. Parsons authorized a Private Maintenance and Care Agreement for Wild Horse(s) or Burro(s).

11/7/12 – About thirteen months later, Janet E. Greene is arrested for animal cruelty.

3/15/13 – Over seventeen months after the adoption, the BLM case file log shows that BLM sent a title application to Janet Greene, but it was returned as undeliverable. It also notes “Talked to Mr. Green, got new address and re-mailed title app

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE HERE.

 

Be sure to subscribe HERE to Wild Horse Freedom Federation, so that you can receive email alerts.

Read all of THE TRUTH and see other FOIA documentation HERE.

Donate Here: http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/donate/

Public comments needed to make sure wild horses & burros are protected in amendments to BLM’s Land Use Plans in CA and NV

(photo:  Carol Walker)

Your comments are needed to make sure wild horses and burros are protected in possible amendments to very important BLM Land Use Plans (LUPs) in California and Nevada.  You can cite this report: https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-front-office/projects/lup/90121/123510/150623/SO3353-report.pdf   (wild horses are noted on page 37, the second box from the bottom).  Tell the BLM you want our wild horse & burro herds to be maintained in viable numbers.  Per the equine geneticist hired by the BLM, Dr. Gus Cothran, the minimum wild horse and burro herd size should be 150-200 animals. Within a herd containing this number, about 100 animals would be of breeding age.  Of those 100, approximately 50 horses or burros would comprise the genetic effective population size.  Dr. Cothran has stated that 50 is a minimum number.  A higher number would decrease the chances for inbreeding.  (A decreased genetic effective population size leads to both inbreeding and the loss of alleles by genetic drift, increasing the probability of population extinction.)   Also, if the BLM skews the sex ratio to favor males, the number should be higher.

Members of the public can convey comments to the BLM via a website and via email.

For more information please contact Matt Magaletti, BLM Nevada State Office, at 775-861-6472

Source:  Elko Daily Free Press

RENO – The Bureau of Land Management announced opportunities for the public to comment and share issues on the agency’s consideration of potential amendments to its Nevada and California land use plans, specifically elements of land use plans that address greater sage-grouse conservation. Meetings cover Northern Nevada, including one slated for Elko on Nov. 8.

On Oct. 5, the Department of the Interior announced its intention to revisit land use plans in 10 western states to improve greater sage-grouse conservation and to strengthen communication and coordination between western states and the federal government. The existing plans, which were amended in 2015, provide guidance and direction to BLM managers in Nevada for the management of greater sage-grouse habitat.

The public scoping meetings will be held in Reno, Elko and Ely to provide venues in areas covered by the sage grouse plan. BLM staff will be on hand to gather information about potential issues to be considered related to any plan amendments.

Meeting Locations:

Reno

Location: The Nugget, Sierra Room 1, 1100 Nugget Ave., Sparks

Date and Time: Tuesday, Nov. 7, 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Elko

Location: Elko Convention Center, 700 Moren Way, Elko

Date and Time: Wednesday, Nov. 8, 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Ely

Location: Bristle Cone Convention Center, 150 W. Sixth St., Ely

Date and Time: Thursday, Nov. 9, 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Members of the public can also convey comments to the BLM via a website and via email.

For more information please contact Matt Magaletti, BLM Nevada State Office, at 775-861-6472.

How much forage does the BLM allow livestock to eat on public lands vs. what they allow for our wild horses & burros?

Fax this to your Congressional Representatives:

SOURCE:  Animal Welfare Institute

“of the total number of livestock and wild horses and/or burros known or authorized to graze within HMAs and their associated grazing allotments, 1.8 percent are wild horses, 0.4 percent are wild burros and the remaining 97.8 percent are livestock.”

We encourage all people interested in public lands issues to be sure to read the Animal Welfare Institute report (2012) Overview of the Management of Wild Horses & Burros.  AWI presented this to the National Academy of Science.  Although this report was issued in 2012, the issues are all current.  This report gives an excellent overview of wild horse & burro issues and the mismanagement of the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse & Burro Program.  We will be pulling out a few excerpts for some articles, since this report counters all of the false information by sources at the recent National Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board meeting, by the livestock grazing activists and in the media.

AUM is Animal Unit Month – The BLM has defined this as the amount of forage needed to sustain one cow and her calf, one horse, or five sheep or goats for a month. (AML is Appropriate Management Level)

Pages 145-149 of this AWI report indicate the following:

 Figure National – 7

For the ten western states occupied by wild horses and/or burros, BLM data reveals that the total number of authorized AUMs for 2011… included actual AUM use of 8,297,403 for cattle, yearlings and domestic bison, 53,119 for domestic horses and burros, and 708,280 for domestic sheep and goats.  The 2011 estimated combined population size for wild horses and burros within HMAs was 33,805, while the combined high AML for wild horses and burros was 26,576.
 
These figures correspond to AUMs of 31,537 (for the estimated population) and 25,225 (based on combined high AML). Consequently, the number of AUMs for livestock within the ten western states in which wild horses and/or burros are found are 287 times the AUMs based on estimated wild horse and burro population size and 359 times the AUMs for wild horses and burros based on high AML.  It is worth noting that, in a number of instances, the permitted use AUMs designated by the BLM were well in excess of the active AUM level (amount of use that could be allowed); a discrepancy that could not be explained by a BLM official.
Figure National -8
According to the BLMs Rangeland Administration database (accessed in September 2012), a total of 4,565,208 livestock (i.e., cattle and yearlings, domestic bison, domestic sheep, domestic horses and burros, and goats) have be en grazed on the estimated 669
allotments found entirely or partially within HMA boundaries within the past BLM billing cycle. This equates to 4,286,252 permitted use AUMs. When adjusted to compensate for the percentage of each allotment found within or outside of HMA boundaries, the total number of stock grazed is 1,302,259, which correlates to 1,626,450 seasonal/annual permitted use AUMs. When compared to the combined high AML for wild horses and burros for 2012, which corresponds to 299,562 annual AUM s, total livestock AUMs on HMAs is 5.4 times higher than the AUMs for wild horses and burros.
 
This is only an estimate since livestock use is not consistent across an allotment. This is because the animals tend to utilize those portions of an allotment that are most suitable in regard to water, forage, shelter, and other requirements. For the purpose of this analysis, the number of AUMs and individual livestock obtained from various BLM data sets was multiplied by the percentage of the allotment found within each HMA. Due to the lack of equal distribution of livestock a cross an allotment, these figures may under-or over-estimate actual use.
Livestock authorization and stocking rates are not static, but frequently change over time as a consequence of rangeland condition, economics, environmental factors (such as prolonged drought), changes to allotment permit conditions, changes in the type of
livestock grazed, and other factors. For the ten states that harbor wild horses and burros, livestock AUMs are highly variable. For example, based on BLM data, total livestock AUMs were 9,708,638 in 1996, declining to 9,058,802 in 2011.
In sum, based on the BLM data referenced above, 1,302,259 livestock are authorized to graze within HMAs occupied by an
estimated 24,264 wild horses and 5,017 wild burros as of February 2012. Therefore, of the total number of livestock and wild horses and/or burros known or authorized to graze within HMAs and their associated grazing allotments, 1.8 percent are wild horses, 0.4 percent are wild burros and the remaining 97.8 percent are livestock. At the state, individual HMA, or HMA complex level, these
statistics differ. Regardless of the geographic scale of the analysis, however, the number of livestock grazing on HMAs is far in
excess of the number of wild horses and/or burros.

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

(Photo: BLM)

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

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

To: blm_ut_cedarmt_onaqui@blm.gov

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

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

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

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

The 22.2 million acres of Herd Areas that the BLM took away from wild horses & burros

SOURCE:  Animal Welfare Institute

AWI has repeatedly questioned the decisions to permanently remove all wild horses and burros from the range – decisions that continue to be made – without an area-by-area analysis it is impossible to verify the scientific, land use, legal, or other evidence relied on by the BLM to support its decisions.

We encourage all advocates, both new advocates and longtime advocates, to be sure to read this Animal Welfare Institute report (2012) Overview of the Management of Wild Horses & Burros.  AWI presented this to the National Academy of Science.  Although this report was issued in 2012, the issues are all current.  This report gives an excellent overview of wild horse & burro issues and the mismanagement of the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse & Burro Program.  We will be pulling out a few excerpts for some articles, since this report counters all of the false information by sources at the recent National Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board meeting, by the livestock grazing activists and in the media.

As the BLM and the livestock grazing activists complain about the “overpopulation” of wild horses and burros on public lands, lets take a closer look at the 22.2 million acres that have been taken away from the wild horses & burros.

We’re hoping that other wild horse & burro advocacy groups and advocates will join us in focusing on, and fighting for, this “tool in the toolbox” that isn’t mentioned by the BLM:

Instead of killing all of our wild horses & burros that are currently in BLM holding facilities, put them back on our public lands.

Herd Areas and Herd Management Areas:

HERD AREA (HA)Upon passage of the WFRHBA, the federal government surveyed wild horse and burro populations to identify those areas where, as Congress directed, they were to be protected and managed. These areas were designated as HAs. It is not clear exactly when each area was surveyed and whether such surveys were conducted once or multiple times over the course of a year or two. Hence, it is not known if the areas originally designated as HAs for wild horses and burros encompassed sufficient range to meet the needs of the animals throughout the year. At that time, very few studies had been undertaken to understand wild horse and/or burro biology, ecology, behaviors, or habitat needs. It is probable, therefore, that the efforts made to establish wild horse and burro range were ill-informed as to the biological and ecological needs of the species.

HERD MANAGEMENT AREA (HMA)HMAs were not designated in the 1971 law. It is not clear how the BLM delineates the boundaries of HMAs. Presumably it considers geography, topography, presence of private lands, land use patterns, water availability, forage production, space, cover, and economic and political factors when establishing such boundaries. In some cases, adjoining HMAs are considered as an HMA complex and managed accordingly. Each HMA, as articulated in the BLM Handbook, is to have a Herd Management Area Plan (HMAP) to provide additional guidance on how each HMA is to be managed. It is not clear how many HMAs have corresponding HMAPs at present.

This excerpt is from pages 143-145 of the AWI report:

Since 1971 for all ten western states that provide habitat for wild horses and burros, HMA acreage represents only 58.8 percent of total HA acreage, reflecting a loss of 22,181,755 acres of potential wild horse and/or burro range.

The nearly 22.2 million acres lost to wild horses and burros includes the land lost to wild horses and/or burros as a result of decisions to “zero-out” the herds or permanently close HAs to their use.

The number of HAs affected, 172 according to 2012 data, encompass a total of 24,898,923 acres (including 19,514,123 BLM acres). Due to the net increase of 2,716,808 HMA acres compared to HA acres in the ten states, the net loss of lands is adjusted to approximately 22.2 million acres. This means that of the 245 million acres managed by the BLM and of the 157 million acres managed for grazing, only 13 and 20 percent, respectively, is available for use by wild horses and burros combined (with a much smaller percentage managed for wild burros).

Even within HMAs, however, the total land area utilized by wild horses and burros is much less, as topographic, geologic, and other factors reduce the amount of land suitable for wild horses and/or burros.

The BLM justifies the loss of the over 22 million acres of wild horse and burro habitat claiming that of the 15.5 million acres under BLM management:

  • 48.6 percent (7,522,100 acres) were closed due to a checkerboard land pattern that made management infeasible;
  • 13.5 percent (2,091,709 acres) were transferred from the BLM through legislation or exchange;
  • 10.6 percent (1,645,758 acres) had substantial conflicts with other resource values;
  • 9.7 percent (1,512,179 acres) were lands removed from wild horse and burro use as a result of court decision, urban expansion, habitat fragmentation, and land withdrawals;
  • 9.6 percent (1,485,068 acres) were lands where no wild horses or burros were present when the WFRHBA was passed in 1971 or where all animals were claimed as private property;
  • 8.0 percent (1,240,894 acres) were lands where a critical habitat component was missing, making the land unsuitable for wild horse or burro use or where too few animals existed to permit effective management.

 The remaining 6.7 million acres were never under BLM management. See Figure National 6.  Though AWI has repeatedly questioned the decisions to permanently remove all wild horses and burros from the range – decisions that continue to be made – without an area-by-area analysis it is impossible to verify the scientific, land use, legal, or other evidence relied on by the BLM to support its decisions.

The number of HAs has been variable over time. While the number of original HAs is not known, since 2005 the number of HAs has been reported by the BLM to range from a low of 134 in 2005 to 347 in 2012. However, the BLM’s own data is confusing. For example, in 2005 while reporting a total of 134 HAs the BLM separately reports a total of 317 HAs along with another 106 “HAs with no acres in HMAs.” Similarly, from 2006 through 2008, the BLM reports either 105 or 106 HAs “remaining undesignated,” though it is unclear what this means.

The number of HMAs has varied over time. While an annual record of the number of HMAs was not available, as recently as 2008 there were a total of 199 HMAs (GAO 2008). Over the past seven years, the number of HMAs has ranged from 201 in 2005 to 179 today. In some cases, HAs or HMAs were combined, contributing to a smaller number of HMAs while, in other cases, when HAs were permanently closed to wild horses and burros, a number of HMAs were lost.

 

Feel Good Sunday: Dewey Bunnell of “America” speaks out for wild horses

Each and every person can make a difference.   Each and every one of you are the voices for the wild horses and burros.  Stay strong.

This video, produced by Dewey Bunnell of the classic rock band “America” was shared by our friend Jetara Sehart, of Love Wild Horses