Tag Archives: BLM

BLM Wild Horse & Burro Meeting: CANCELLED

The BLM has officially cancelled their National Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board meeting, scheduled for March 27-28 in Salt Lake City.

The BLM failed to give proper notice in the Federal Register, in direct violation of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). At their last meeting in Grand Junction, CO, the Advisory Board voted unanimously to meet next in Washington, D.C. Instead, the last-minute meeting was slated for Salt Lake City, Utah, home turf of pro-horse-slaughter Congressman Chris Stewart. The meeting was cancelled after an attorney representing TCF and AWHC sent a letter to BLM charging that the Agency had violated FACA.

Read Our Press Release

Ginger Kathrens
Executive Director
The Cloud Foundation
107 South 7th St
Colorado Springs, CO 80905
www.thecloudfoundation.org

TCF & AWHC Threatening Legal Action over Upcoming BLM Meeting

An attorney representing The Cloud Foundation and the American Wild Horse Campaign sent a formal letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, Acting Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Deputy Director Brian Steed, and Fred Woehl, Chair of the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board, threatening legal action over an illegally scheduled National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board meeting.

The March 27-28 meeting clearly violates the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) requiring 30 days of public notice prior to public meetings.

Read the Press Release & Letter

We are hopeful you will share this information with your networks. As always, we will inform you of any updates regarding this situation. If the meeting does proceed in spite of this obvious violation of FACA, we hope that you will consider attending or tuning in to the livestream. You can learn more about the meeting schedule and attending here.

Ginger Kathrens
Executive Director
The Cloud Foundation
107 South 7th St
Colorado Springs, CO 80905
www.thecloudfoundation.org

Upcoming Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board Meeting Violates Federal Law

The BLM has announced an upcoming National Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board meeting, scheduled for March 27-28th. The problem is that this announcement is in clear violation of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) which states meetings must be placed in the Federal Register 30 days in advance. Even if the meeting is regarding an urgent matter, it must be announced 15 days in advance, a deadline the BLM also failed to meet.

Read our press release here.

If the meeting proceeds despite this obvious violation, we hope that you will plan to attend this meeting if possible or tune into the livestream. The meeting will be held in Salt Lake City, UT. You can find out more information about the meeting on the BLM’s website here.

Ginger Kathrens
Executive Director
The Cloud Foundation
107 South 7th St
Colorado Springs, CO 80905
www.thecloudfoundation.org

BLM Plans to Destroy and Slaughter Three Herds of Wild Horses in the Wyoming Checkerboard

Source:  wildhoofbeats.com

It is a very familiar and unwelcome feeling that I have, writing about the BLM’s plans to round up and remove over 55% of the wild horses in the Wyoming Checkerboard. It seems like just yesterday I was writing about this plan that affects wild horses on 2.4 million acres in Adobe Town, Salt Wells Creek and Great Divide Basin. The last roundup was in 2014 when 1263 wild horses were removed from their homes and lands. 14 died during the roundup and over 100 died in short term holding facilities in the four months following the roundup.

This time, however, the situation facing the wild horses in Adobe Town, Salt Wells Creek and Greek Divide Basin is much more dire. The consequences of being rounded up and removed from public lands could not be more serious because right now the BLM is asking Congress to lift the restrictions on killing and slaughtering wild horses, and every one of the 1560 wild horses that the BLM is planning to remove is facing imminent death. The BLM does not consider in its Environmental Assessments what will happen to the wild horses that are removed according to their Proposed Actions. They do not care about the suffering, illnesses and deaths of the horses and they do not care about you and me, the taxpayers, funding a lifetime of each horse being kept in pens, in captivity. It is a wasteful, cruel and insane policy that favors overwhelmingly corrupt livestock interests who get to graze and overgraze their private livestock on our lands, losing millions of dollars on this program each year.

In this Proposed Action, the BLM is pandering to the Rock Springs Grazing Association, which only has 24 members, and whose grazing rights on public land are a privilege, not a right – but they don’t see it that way. Land swaps could have easily solved the problem of the checkerboard of public and private lands, but it is not in their interests to cooperate. They want to control all the land. And they want the horses gone at any cost. But 70% of the land, of the 2.4 million acres in Adobe Town, Salt Wells Creek and Great Divide Basin is public land. It should not be managed as if it was all private land, but it is. We stopped the 2016 Checkerboard Roundup because we won an appeal which said that the BLM cannot manage all these lands as if they were private.

This time, we need your help to speak up, write the BLM and demand that they select Alternative C – no roundup or removal.

The BLM should not be allowed to move forward with this roundup only on the basis of an Environmental Assessment.

Read the rest of this article HERE.

By Carol Walker, Dir. of Field Documentation, Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Renowned Wild Horse Advocate Finally Appointed to BLM Board

Ginger filming Cloud and Family, May 2014 ~ photo by R. T. Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

“It’s a first and a long time in coming.  Internationally acclaimed cinematographer and wild horse advocate Ginger Kathrens has finally been appointed to sit on the BLM’s Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board.  Ginger and other advocates have attempted to be a voice for the wild horses and burros in the past but have been inexplicably passed over, but not this round.  The BoD of Wild Horse Freedom Federation would like to express their congratulations to Ginger and sincerely hope that her sage advice will be listened to and acted upon by the other members of the board.  Job well done.”
~ R. T. Fitch

The BLM: Failure at Its Finest

Simple Math

$50,000 per Horse
X 100,000 Horses
——————————
$5,000,000,000 Taxpayer Dollars

The BLM manages to waste $5 billion in taxpayer money managing the Wild Horse and Burro Program while doing absolutely nothing new to manage the program. How much longer can Members of Congress and the American public sit idly by while the BLM turns its back on those who bring real solutions to the table to help solve the outlandish problems presented by the current management of our Wild Horse and Burro Program?

As you may recall from our recent announcement, unfortunately we will not be able to open our eco-resort, Mustang Monument, this year due to the interference of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and other government entities that effectively preclude us from obtaining the necessary permits. On the heels of our announcement, the BLM sent out its own press release containing two very revealing numbers; first it indicated that the current Wild Horse and Burro Program was spending $50,000 per horse for horses kept in holding for their natural lifetime, and second, they currently had 100,000 horses that fell under the umbrella of this financial responsibility. Simple math informs all of us that the BLM will spend $5 billion dollars of taxpayer money supporting a program that by their own admission is a failure.

In recent testimony before a House Committee just last week, the BLM Director, Neil Kornze, advised members of Congress that 60% of the BLM’s budget for wild horse management was being consumed by care for horses in captivity, up from 46% in 2000. This number staggers the mind when you consider that the BLM has been advised for years from experts on all sides of the issue to find more innovative ways to manage wild horses on the range, rather than to continue to gather and stockpile horses in holding pens. In the same hearing, Congressman Calvert, the Subcommittee Chairman, advised Kornze to “keep the agency driving for a solution that allows the BLM to spay and neuter wild horses on a permanent and broader scale,” in the interest of keeping more horses where they are.

As you know, I started our eco-resort with the specific intention of giving these mustangs a place to live free and wild. I went to Washington, D.C. and explained my plan to Senator Harry Reid and Senator Diane Feinstein. Both of them encouraged me to go buy the land and stated if I did, they would support the project. I put my own money up to purchase the land and to improve it so that it could support the mustangs and other wildlife, rather than being dedicated to continuous cattle grazing. Again, I did so only after to speaking to countless elected officials, who assured me that they recognized the benefits, on both the financial and moral side of the equation. I can’t help but ask where they are now.

The ranch I purchased has the ability to keep thousands of mustangs on it, manage them in a way that allows them to remain there instead of being placed in holding pens at $50,000 per horse, and save the BLM and taxpayers millions and millions of dollars. What I have presented is the classic opportunity to leverage private dollars against federal dollars to accomplish a goal everyone states they are seeking in the wild horse and burro management arena, yet I find myself stymied at every turn by the BLM finding ways to delay or outright stop the project. This is because the BLM is NOT truly committed to finding new management solutions to managing wild horses; the only thing they understand is gathering and holding horses in pens. The BLM argues that there are 60,000 wild horses on the range today. That number is not supported by any accurate census modeling and, in fact, totally ignores the fact that there is a natural attrition rate of 20-25% per year. Of course, this attrition rate is reduced significantly when the horses are placed in domestic holding pens, another argument for keeping more horses on the range through creative management solutions.

As a taxpayer and an American, it is time for you to speak. It is time for you to call to account those who waste your money and who seek to destroy the great example that these mustangs represent.

Take action now.

Contact your elected officials and let them know that this waste should not be permitted. Let them know that you support the right of the mustangs to live free as great symbols of America. Take action today by writing to any or all of the names listed below. Ask Senators Reid and Feinstein why they have abandoned support for the Mustang Monument project.

Nevada Senator Harry Reid
Washington DC Office
522 Hart Senate Office Bldg
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-3542
Fax: 202-224-7327

California Senator Dianne Feinstein
Washington DC Office
331 Hart Senate Office Bldg
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-3841
Fax: 202-228-3954

Secretary Jewell, Department of Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20240
Phone: 202-208-3100
Email: feedback@ios.doi.gov

Madeleine Pickens
SavingAmericasMustangs.org

Saving America’s Mustangs, 2683 Via De La Valle, G 313, Del Mar, CA 92014

Help Save the White Mountain and Little Colorado Wild Horse Herds!

Photo: Ginger Kathrens and Lisa Friday.

Comment on BLM’s Plan to Sterilize Mares! Deadline: Thursday, January 14th

Dear Friends of our Wyoming Wild Horses,
BLM is planning to sterilize the mares in the White Mountain Herd Management Area… unless we can stop them. White Mountain is the most visible, most photographed, most approachable wild horse herd in Southern Wyoming with a driving loop and signage to facilitate the viewing experience. The White Mountain Herd is the biggest tourist attraction in the immediate Rock Springs area, and the herd is also within the BLM’s “Appropriate Management Level of 205-300 horses.

Despite all these facts, the BLM proposes to use the White Mountain mustangs in a mare spaying research experiment to be conducted with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The adjacent Little Colorado Herd would serve as the control group.

BLM proposes to conduct helicopter roundups, removing all wild horses over the “Appropriate Management Level” on over 1 million acres of mostly public lands. Currently, BLM estimates 268 wild horses in White Mountain. Little Colorado numbers are estimated to be 330 with an AML of only 69-100 on over 600,000 acres of federally owned land. This amounts to one wild horse allowed for every 6,000 acres!

Once rounded up, approximately 300 horses would be permanently removed. In White Mountain 30-50 mares would be fitted with radio collars and stallions would have tracker tags placed in their tails. One year later the horses would again be rounded up with helicopters and mares would be spayed using surgical techniques as yet unspecified and then tracked to determine changes in behavior/band fidelity/mortality in comparison to the control group in Little Colorado.

The bands would be destroyed in both herds as the stallions will be separated from the mares after capture so the band fidelity and behavior data will be useless. We don’t want to think about the mortality rate as we know horses will be killed during and after the helicopter stampedes and may die as a result of the collaring and subsequent operations.

Politely express your outrage! We suggest the following talking points:

  1. Conduct field research to determine the habits and natural behaviors of the White Mountain-Little Colorado using non-invasive techniques (i.e. ground observations/photographs/GPS recorded locations, etc.)
  2. Conduct behavioral research while field darting with the reversible vaccine PZP. Over 50 mares in these HMAs received PZP-22 in 2011 and will only require a booster shot to render them infertile for 1 to 2 years.
  3. Conduct any removals in the late winter/spring months using bait or water trapping. Do not chase them with helicopters! Keep traps in place for several weeks to recapture for boostering young mares that did not receive PZP-22 and are not dartable (most, if not all, mares in White Mountain can be field darted). Mares in a trap can be darted without touching them.
  4. Do not put collars on mares or tail tracker tags on stallions. This is not necessary in the White Mountain HMA. It will require capture and will result in the shattering of the bands just to put on the collars and tail tags.
  5. Do not operate on the mares. Sterilized wild horses are no longer wild horses!
  6. Raise the AML of 79-100 in Little Colorado to a genetically viable number of 150-200 adult animals. Reduce livestock grazing. There are 6,000 cows with potentially 6,000 calves or 30,000 head of sheep in the two legally designated wild horse herd management areas!
  7. Collaborate with interested organizations and individuals to conduct the above field darting and record-keeping. (Data sheets are already compiled for over 200 of the White Mountain wild horses!)
  8. Save millions of taxpayer dollars and manage the herds on the range, living in freedom with their families.

Send your comments to:
Wild Horse and Burro Specialist
BLM Rock Springs Field Office
280 Highway 191 North
Rock Springs, Wyoming 82901
Fax: (307) 352-0329

Electronic comments must be sent to the following email address to be considered:
BLM _WY_ whitemtn _littleco _ hma@blm.gov
(Include “White Mountain & Little Colorado EA Comments” in the subject line.)

Here are the links to the BLM Scoping Letter and Documents.

http://www.blm.gov/style/medialib/blm/wy/information/NEPA/rsfodocs/whitemtn_littlecolo/FY16.Par.25386.File.dat/ScopingLetter.pdf

http://www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/info/news_room/2015/december/16-wh-wmlc.html

Please do what you can! This is nothing more than a wild horse extermination plan dressed up as a research project. Time is short – send your comments by day’s end Thursday, January 14. Thanks!

Happy Trails!
Ginger

The Cloud Foundation
info@thecloudfoundation.org

Proposed Removal of over 1700 Wild Horses in Red Desert Complex in Wyoming

2011 roundup in Antelope Hills HMA. Photos by Carol Walker.

Wyoming is on a campaign to wipe out its wild horses.

The BLM is currently accepting public comments on a plan to remove 1700 wild horses from Wyoming’s Red Desert Complex, which includes the following herds: Lost Creek, Stewart Creek, Green Mountain, Crooks Mountain and Antelope Hills.

Initially, when the BLM released their Scoping Document for public comment in February, the proposed action was to treat the mares with a birth control drug, PZP-22, then release them. Now the BLM has changed course and despite the thousands of comments from the public against this action, and requesting bait and water trapping rather than the cruel and inhumane method of using helicopters to chase and drive the horses, has stated that Alternative 2 which includes removing 1700 horses, 45% of all the horses left in Wyoming, and only giving fertility control to 23 mares is now the proposed action.

Alternative 1 is to remove all wild horses outside of HMA boundaries and utilize fertility control on mares to be released back to the HMA. In this alternative, 482 wild horses outside the boundaries of the HMAs would be removed and 713 mares would be treated with PZP fertility control and released along with 607 stallions. This alternative is preferable to the proposed action, but rather than removing the horses outside of the boundaries of the HMA, they should be returned to the HMA.

Read the EA here:
http://www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/info/NEPA/documents/rfo/red-desert.html.

Please comment by 4pm Mountain Time on October 8 to this email address:
RedDesertComplex_HMA_WY@blm.gov

Personalized comments work the best, so I am going to give you some items to cover, but please use your own words:

Alternative 1 should be used. Removals of wild horses from their homes must be avoided – there is no place to put them and already 50,000 wild horses filling holding facilities to capacity. Use of PZP fertility control to control the population of these herd areas should be used instead of removal.

Alternative 1 should be modified in one respect – the horses outside the HMAs should be returned to the HMAs rather than being removed.

Three of the five herds have AMLs too low to insure genetic diversity of these horses. Removal of wild horses to the low end of AML in these Herd Management Areas will jeopardize the health of these herds.

Antelope Hills wild horses running from the helicopter
Antelope Hills wild horses running from the helicopter

During the roundup, horses should be kept in their family bands, and they should definitely be kept within the HMAs that they came from. Horses have a complex social and family structure and should not be treated like livestock.

The public should be given 14 days’ notice of start date of the roundups so that interested citizens have adequate time to arrange to observe the roundups.

Land Use Plans should be revised to allow AMLs to be raised for all of these Herd Management Areas, and livestock grazing should be reduced. Wild Horses should be managed as the principle species where they are found, according to the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971.

Again, please comment by 4pm Mountain Time on October 8:
RedDesertComplex_HMA_WY@blm.gov

and here:

Benjamin Smith, Wild Horse & Burro Specialist
BLM Rawlins Field Office
1300 N. 3rd Street
Rawlins, WY 82301
(307) 328-4200
Email: reddesertcomplex_hma_wy@blm.gov

Jeremie Artery, Wild Horse & Burro Specialist (Acting)
BLM Lander Field Office
1335 Main Street
Lander, WY 82520
(307) 332-8400
Email: reddesertcomplex_hma_wy@blm.gov

#FightingForFreedom

By Carol Walker, Director of Field Documentation, Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Carol Walker is the Director of Field Documentation on the Board of Directors for Wild Horse Freedom Federation, which is dedicated to stopping the roundups and keeping our wild horses wild and free. Carol’s websites are: wildhoofbeats.com and Living Images by Carol Walker.

Defend Wild Horses from the BLM

The wild horses of Water Canyon in Nevada need your help! Please stand up for them and make your voice heard by commenting before the looming June 15 deadline regarding the wild horses in the Water Canyon area of the Antelope Herb Management Area (HMA) of Nevada. Their lives are at stake!

America’s wild horses are continually under threat and their numbers dwindle yearly. Many of us have seen the photos and videos of the helicopters chasing down these majestic horses in order to round them up and gather them into long-term holding pens. This practice is inhumane and terrifying for the horses who are chased until they can barely stand. Countless horses flee in desperate fear, many of whom become severely injured or killed in the horrific process… and all so that the land they need to survive can be used instead for livestock ranchers and the big business that is the meat industry.

As the number of wild horses continues to diminish, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Ely, Nevada District Office would have the public believe that a “fertility control pilot program” for the horses in the Water Canyon area is of necessity, while the true intent is to remove even more horses from the area in lieu of grazing for sheep.

Under the guise of this program, the BLM’s proposal would only allow 25 wild horses to remain in the area. Those 25 horses would be on the same public lands as Hank Vogler’s “Need More Sheep Company” and his more than 6,000 livestock. The livestock would be left and allowed to graze at embarrassingly low taxpayer-subsidized rates. Unfair? You bet it is!

The BLM and the ranchers would have wild horses eradicated from public lands in favor of sheep and cattle grazing. This grazing is for the sole purpose of fattening up the unfortunate cows and sheep who are then brutally slaughtered and finally consumed. The direct link between cattle and sheep ranching with wild horse roundups is real and will continue until we humans take responsibility for our palates and refuse to financially support the industry. Horse roundups would not be deemed “necessary” if not for sheep and cattle ranchers whose meat businesses bring in the money that allows them to influence policies that are corrupt.

This plan is unacceptable for the wild horses and the public who care for them. The BLM is again outwardly showing preferential treatment for commercial livestock industries while the fate of our wild horses continues to hang in the balance.

Tell the BLM you do not support this program and you want the BLM to discontinue its use of helicopters to capture horses and to only use bait trapping to capture horses or remote darting for application of a humane program using PZP birth control as an alternative to removal, as removal is unacceptable. No additional horses should be removed and relocated to holding facilities where many wild horses languish for years with no hope of adoption.

The BLM must institute the reduction of livestock grazing so that the wild horse population in the area is accommodated equally without removing horses under the guise of a fertility program. American wild horses have just as much right to be on these public lands. Let the BLM know that removing our wild horses in lieu of grazing sheep for the livestock industry is not acceptable!

Thanks to American Wildhorse Preservation Campaign for contributing to this alert.

Click here to read more and to take action.

In Defense of Animals
3010 Kerner, San Rafael, CA 94901
Tel. (415) 448-0048 Fax (415) 454-1031
idainfo@idausa.org