Tag Archives: Bureau of Land Management

BLM’s Massive Roundups Underway

One of the largest roundups of the past ten years concluded last month. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) reported that 1,825 wild horses and burros were removed from the Shawave Mountains Herd Management Area (HMA) northeast of Reno, NV.

Eleven horses and one burro were killed during the roundup. Five of these were senior horses, and three of those were killed for “missing an eye.”

Next week, BLM will start another major roundup to remove over 1,100 horses in the Diamond Complex just north of Eureka, NV. If the BLM 2020 Roundup Plan is fully implemented, 2020 will rank as the year with the highest number of wild horses and burros captured in the last 19 years.

Read the Shawave report here.

Sept. Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board Meeting

The BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board is holding their next meeting on September 23-24, 2020 via Zoom. Register by September 17 (first come, first served) to give public comments.

While this Board is stacked with anti-wild horse folks who support massive roundups and voted to send horses to slaughter, it’s important they hear from the American people they are supposed to represent.

You can also send an email to whbadvisoryboard@blm.gov calling on the Advisory Board to protect natural wild horse behaviors and to give our wild horses and burros their fair share of AUMs (forage) on the range. For more information, or to register for public comments, click here.

Congressional Update

The Senate Appropriations Committee has not yet acted on FY2021 funding for the federal government. Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) is threatening to not allow Committee markup of the funding bills. Markup is the process by which committees debate, amend, and rewrite proposed legislation.

It’s looking more unlikely that the FY2021 budget will be passed by Congress before the Fiscal Year (FY) ends on September 30th. This means Congress will likely pass a Continuing Resolution (CR) which will carry over the same funding from the last budget.

We will continue to keep you informed on the status of the Wild Horse and Burro Program funding. In the meantime, please continue to make your voice heard!

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

Wild Horses under Attack in DC & NV

Bad News from Washington DC: Take Action

Sadly, our elected representatives in Washington DC are pushing forward with full funding for the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Wild Horse Disaster Plan which details massive roundups and includes the agenda to kill the “wild” in our wild horses through controversial surgical sterilization.

On Friday, the House Appropriations Committee passed the Fiscal Year 2021 budget of $122.6 million for the BLM Wild Horse and Burro program, despite the agency not having a “well-defined action plan.” This is more than a 25% budget increase from FY20. While the bill includes a prohibition on killing healthy horses, there is no guarantee that horses will not continue to end up at slaughter auctions. FY21 Appropriations now heads to the Senate.

We must convince the Senate to protect the “wild” in our wild horses and ensure that the extra money is dedicated to humane on-the-range management. Please take quick action today to speak up for these iconic animals.

Oppose BLM Elimination Plan for Moriah Herd in Nevada

The BLM is working fast & furious to wipe out America’s wild horses from the landscape of our public lands. Now the BLM Ely District, in eastern Nevada, is proposing to eliminate, or zero-out, all wild horses in the Moriah Herd Area – more than 700 wild horses are set to lose their homes, freedom, and families. Based on BLM’s history, at least some of these horses will end up in the slaughter pipeline down the road. Of course, true to their usual form, the BLM will continue to allow livestock grazing on these same public lands.

It only takes a minute; please raise your voice for our cherished wild horses now.

TAKE ACTION

The Cloud Foundation
www.thecloudfoundation.org

Ginger Discusses Nomination of Controversial Anti-Public Lands Candidate as BLM Director

Photo credit: BLM.

The nomination of William Perry Pendley as Director of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is rife with controversy and inconsistency. If this self-proclaimed “sagebrush rebel” has his way, we may no longer have federal public lands – making our wild horses and burros effectively homeless.

Pendley is well known for espousing the idea that our treasured public lands should be sold off. He has called man-made climate change “fiction” despite the ample support of scientific evidence and decried the origin of the Black Lives Matter movement as “a lie that spread like cancer.”

For the senators who now face the process of confirming Pendley’s nomination, the decision should be a simple one. If they represent the belief that public lands belong to every American, they must vote against Pendley. But, for the Republican-dominated Senate in our highly charged, politically-polarized nation, the decision is weighing heavily on some.

To watch Ginger’s take on Pendley’s nomination and what it could mean for our cherished wild herds, click here. Watch the video and then please take decisive action. It only takes a minute, and your impact may very well make history.

The Cloud Foundation
www.thecloudfoundation.org

BLM Plans Roundup in Nevada Wild Horse Range

Sadly, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) seems hell-bent on destroying our few remaining wild horse and burro herds.

The agency now proposes to round up and remove the majority of wild horses and ALL the wild burros in the Nevada Wild Horse Range (NWHR) on Nellis Air Force Base in southern Nevada – 1 of only 4 designated sanctuaries for wild equids in the country.

This 10-year destruction-plan spells out the capture of 500-600 horses and burros, destruction of natural wild behaviors and the use of dangerous surgical fertility control. To add insult to injury, the local BLM has failed year after year to develop sufficient, year-round water sources for the horses and burros living on this rugged desert range.

Please, take just a moment to raise your voice. Tell the BLM they MUST listen to Americans who want their wild herds humanely managed and protected on the range where they belong!

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

Stop BLM’s Plans to Wipe Out 40% of Wyoming’s Wild Horses

The BLM wants to remove 4,000 wild horses from four Herd Management Areas in Wyoming, which would mean removing 40% of all of the wild horses in Wyoming.

Please comment on a new Wyoming Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Resource Management Plan Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for proposed changes to the management of four wild horse Herd Management Areas (HMAs) in Wyoming: Adobe Town, Salt Wells Creek, Great Divide Basin, and White Mountain.

Please urge the BLM to select Alternative A, which would manage wild horses in their respective 4 herds at the current Appropriate Management Levels (AMLs) for each herd with a total AML 1481-2065.  Wild horses are already currently far outnumbered by privately owned livestock on public lands on these Herd Management Areas.

The BLM certainly seems to be violating the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA) by favoring some “uses” (livestock grazing) over other “uses” (wild horses).  FLPMA stipulates that the BLM take into account the “coordinated management of the various resources without permanent impairment of the productivity of the land and the quality of the environment with consideration being given to the relative values of the resources and not necessarily to the combination of uses that will give the greatest economic return or the greatest unit output.”

If the BLM even took this into account, they ignored it.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) issued “Livestock’s Long Shadow,” a report that is an in-depth assessment of the various significant impacts of the world’s livestock sector on the environment.

The Center for Biological Diversity has noted that “Cattle 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.”

The BLM’s “Preferred Alternative” would be to remove 4000 wild horses from the four Herd Management Areas, and to reduce the AML for Adobe Town HMA to only 259-536 wild horses (while allowing over 13,000 privately owned sheep to graze many months of the year), and then to use barbaric and archaic procedures for the spaying of wild mares, gelding of stallions, skewing of sex ratios, helicopter roundups, and other cruel methods on the remaining wild horses.

Apparently, the BLM is good with the high numbers of privately owned livestock grazing on these public lands, and plans to continue to let cattle and sheep run rampant.

As it is, the BLM can’t find enough good homes for the wild horses that it has already removed public lands and holds in captivity, so many of these Wyoming wild horses will most likely eventually end up in the slaughter pipeline.

Please request that the BLM select Alternative A.  Use your own words.  You might suggest that the BLM prepare an EIS to reduce livestock grazing on Wyoming HMAs.  If you sign onto a comment form instead of commenting yourself, 2000 comments just get read as only 1 comment.  It only takes a few minutes to get onto the BLM site and submit comments online.  Your comments will make a difference.  Thank you for caring about our wild horses.

Here is the link to submit your comments by April 30th, 2020:

https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-front-office/eplanning/planAndProjectSite.do?methodName=dispatchToPatternPage&currentPageId=23512

Click on the link above, and look down to the first line that says “Wild Horse Amendment” – on the right there is a button that says “Comment on Document.”  Press this and you will go to the online comment form. You do not need to fill in the “Chapter Reference” or “Section Reference” fields. If you have trouble submitting your comments, contact the Rock Springs Field Office Manager, Kimberlee Foster: kfoster@blm.gov 307-352-0201.

by Debbie Coffey
Wild Hoofbeats

We’re In; Are You?

It was difficult to keep my mouth shut as a first-time attendee at last week’s BLM Advisory Board meeting in Washington, D.C. Thankfully, Ginger was there to hold me in my seat during the usual ‘party line’ rhetoric.

We heard that our “wild horses are overpopulated and starving,” that “PZP doesn’t work,” and perhaps the crowning jewel of ignorance and anti-democratic sentiment came from Acting BLM Director Pendley, as he referred to the required NEPA process as a “terrible burden” (a process which allows the public to have a voice in governmental actions, and requires that environmental impacts be assessed). Sadly, I believe he was sincere when he made that statement.

With this comment, Pendley displayed his gross disregard for the democratic process and the preservation of America’s cultural and natural resources. After observing the new Advisory Board in D.C., it was painfully obvious they’re toeing the party line.

It is clear the Department of the Interior is stacking the deck, and in such an overt way that it could come back to bite them in the long run.

They sent a clear message with their highly unusual move not to reappoint Ginger Kathrens, a board member more than willing to serve a second term. Their message was: we do not entertain opposition, and the “humane advocate” role is only a nominal title.

We have only to look at Ginger’s replacement on the Advisory Board to see the truth of this. She has some domestic equestrian experience, but has no evident experience with wild horses and burros at all, according to her own BLM bio. Compared with Ginger’s more than 25 years of observing and documenting these animals in their natural environment, we can draw no other conclusion than that they don’t want real advocates with real experience voicing real facts about what’s happening on the range.

As you know, The Cloud Foundation has always prided itself as being a voice of reason, not reaction. And yet, we must concede the writing is on the wall this time.

Our wild herds face an unprecedented attack and a smear campaign that was highly organized by people spouting livestock lobby rhetoric – from the old “non-native” nonsense to the claim that wild horses are overrunning our western rangelands (laughable when they only exist on 12% of BLM lands to begin with).

Make no mistake, this is a marketing campaign with one objective: to sell Congress and the persuadable public a story, one that vilifies our horses and romanticizes the tiny percentage of mom-and-pop livestock permittees, while deliberately obscuring the damage to public lands from livestock grazing and energy development.

Sadly, two of the nation’s largest domestic animal welfare groups – ASPCA and HSUS – along with a once-respected wild horse sanctuary – Return to Freedom – have fallen prey to this anti-wild horse PR campaign. They have joined with a coalition of private livestock interests to launch a “plan” whereby 130,000 wild horses and burros could be removed from our public lands in the next 10 years and warehoused at taxpayer expense – a cost of “5 billion dollars over 15 years,” according to Acting BLM Director Pendley.

Is there a more sinister objective lurking behind the scenes? Our wild horses and burros are the only wildlife species that is defined by the land on which they live. The 1971 Act protected them “where presently found” – remove them from the land, and the land could be vulnerable. In a political climate where the Acting Director of the Bureau of Land Management doesn’t even believe federal public lands should exist – well, the danger is clear, and it is present.

Now is the time to act. Now is the time to speak up.

While in D.C., Ginger and I, along with other advocates, spent days meeting with Congressional and Senatorial staff members – the real people on the ground who wanted to know what the real issues are.

What we heard time and again was encouraging:

1) Your letters, your emails, and most of all, your calls DO matter! So many times, we heard that “whenever wild horse issues come up our phones are ringing off the hook” – they said THIS more than anything made them sit up and pay attention. So NEVER feel that your efforts are in vain. Your voices are heard. You ARE making a difference.

2) “They don’t have a plan.” The staffers we spoke with are understanding the message – they’ve been given bogus information. They no longer trust BLM or the lobbyists from ASPCA and HSUS pushing the misguided idea for massive removals. They are seeing through the fake news that wild horses are overpopulated. One conservative congressman’s aid threw up his hands and exclaimed, “They’re asking for millions of dollars and they don’t even have a plan!”

Things often look darkest before the dawn, so this is not the time to give up. This is the time to raise our flags, mount our metaphorical steeds, and charge.

The Cloud Foundation will be hard at work with other advocates and organizations in the days ahead. We’re educating the people who matter and we’re offering alternative solutions.

We need your help! No matter who you are or where you live, your voice can make a difference. Call the offices of your legislators today. Find their phone numbers here: https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials.

  • Let them know you want America’s – YOUR – wild horses protected from mass roundups and surgical sterilization.
  • Tell them it’s unacceptable to commit billions of YOUR tax dollars to a failed system that does not work.

We always urge you to call, as this action makes the biggest impact.

But here’s another option, an amazing organization that gets your voice heard: they’re called the Herd on the Hill (we have to smile at the ‘herd’ pun!). They will hand-deliver your letters or other materials to your representatives, help you schedule calls with relevant staff, or even set up in-person meetings if you’re in the D.C. area.

Whatever you choose to do, we urge you NOT to remain silent. We need every voice in this fight to combat the misinformation out there. We need to let government know we care. We need to take back the power of our representative republic. This government of the people, by the people, for the people needs to serve the people once again.

And the people – 80% of them – want America’s wild horses protected, living wild and free as symbols of the spirit of this nation.

Find your senators here: https://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm.

Find your member of congress here: https://www.house.gov/representatives.

Dana Zarrello, Deputy Director
The Cloud Foundation
107 South 7th St
Colorado Springs, CO 80905
www.thecloudfoundation.org

Stop BLM Plan for Ovariectomy

Photo credit: Ginger Kathrens, Sandwash Basin.

Despite three successful lawsuits stopping this procedure, two universities pulling out, and enormous public outcry, BLM still plans on moving forward with its plans to rip the ovaries out of mares.

Please stand with us to tell BLM “NO!” Send the linked sign-on letter to your veterinarian. Most have an email address listed on their website. The more signatures we have, the more influence.

No caring person wants to see these mares go through this torturous procedure with little in the way of aftercare. Together, we can tell BLM that scores of licensed veterinarians do NOT endorse this cruel procedure.

CLICK HERE, copy the link into an email, and send to your veterinarian. We’ve provided sample text for your email below to make it as easy as possible for you.

We have 47 signatures already; our goal is to have 100 by Oct. 25th. We will then present it to the BLM Advisory Board in Washington, D.C. On October 30th.

Thank you for your efforts to save our wild horses and burros from human cruelty.

You can read more about “The Case against Ovariectomy” here.

For details of the latest on-going legal action, click here.

Sample Text:

Dear Dr. XX,

I’m a client of your practice; you might remember my pets (insert names here). I’m also an advocate for America’s wild horses and burros.

You might not be aware, but the Bureau of Land Management is preparing to perform a sterilization procedure on wild mares, with the intent of eventually taking it into the field. Many reputable equine veterinarians advise strongly against this procedure due to the non-sterile environment, risk of infection, colic, and even evisceration.

I’m asking you to please take a moment to read the letter linked HERE and add your name to the long list of veterinarians who opposed this procedure.  

Thank you for your time,
(Your Name)

Dana Zarrello, Deputy Director
The Cloud Foundation
107 South 7th St
Colorado Springs, CO 80905
www.thecloudfoundation.org

Cloud Foundation Calls for Hearings on Dangerous New BLM Management Plan

(June 11, 2019) Last week, The Cloud Foundation (TCF), a Colorado-based nonprofit organization, sent a letter to the Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee (Click here for letter), voicing opposition to a dangerous and ill-conceived management plan that could result in the roundup of over 50,000 horses. The letter calls on the Committee’s Chairman, Rep. Raul Grijalva, to hold hearings regarding the failure of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to effectively manage the Wild Horse and Burro program. The Colorado nonprofit also urges the committee to provide oversight and benchmark requirements for a BLM pilot program, embedded in the fiscal year 2020 appropriations bill.

The legislation, as passed by the House Appropriations Committee on May 22, 2019 and headed to the House floor this week, “lacks safeguards, assurances, and oversight,” said Ginger Kathrens, Director of The Cloud Foundation. (Click here for legislative text and report language.)

“We believe the appropriations language gives the agency far too much latitude on issues where there is disagreement between BLM and the wild horse and burro community. The Cloud Foundation recommends that this pilot program be developed with the oversight and guidance of the House Natural Resources Committee and that the committee initiate a series of hearings to oversee the development of a sound and balanced management plan that holds BLM accountable for implementing humane, reversible fertility control programs.”

The management plan, submitted to Congress earlier this year by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) et al. would double the number of horses in off-range holding at enormous cost to the American tax-payer. “While perhaps seen as a compromise, these groups are bargaining with the lives and potential deaths of 50,000 horses,” says TCF Director of Communications, Lisa Friday. “Unless funds are allocated to support those horses in holding for the rest of their natural lives, it is not hard to imagine that slaughter will be their eventual fate.”

TCF has advocated for wild horses and burros since its inception in 2005, and Kathrens has documented these animals in the wild for over 25 years.

“BLM never wanted the job of managing a wildlife species, particularly one that competes with one of their major clients, the livestock industry,” Kathrens states. “We cannot trust that BLM will implement reversible fertility control if we simply ask nicely, as called for in this plan. BLM must spend the money where it is allocated – and we must allocate the majority of funds to humane, reversible on-range management. We believe one way to hold BLM to account is to build oversight into any pilot program.”

Click HERE for TCF’s full response to new “multi-stakeholder” management plan.

Click HERE for the Unified Statement, a plan for humane management of America’s Wild Horses and Burros signed by over 100 wild horse and animal advocacy groups.

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

Comments Needed on BLM Experiment to Spay Wild Mares

The Cloud Foundation and other wild horse advocate groups are once again fighting to protect the Warm Springs mares. Despite having been stopped time and time again by our legal actions, the Bureau of Land Management has again revived its abhorrent plan to carry out cruel experimentation on the mares rounded up from the Warm Springs HMA.

Your comments are needed, and the deadline to submit is June 12th. BLM had originally scheduled the deadline for Memorial Day. This was an underhanded tactic that allowed for only 9 business days to comment. Thankfully our legal team filed a motion and we were able to get that unreasonable time frame extended.

The link to TCF’s comments is here. We know passions run high on this issue, ours included, but as always, we ask you to remain professional and courteous in your comments.

A step-by-step guide for submitting your comments:

1) Enter a title for your comments.
2) Ignore “Chapter Reference” & “Section Reference”
3) You can enter your comments in the space provided and/or as an attached document.
4) Click “Next” and enter the required personal information on the following page.
5) Click “Next”, agree to the disclaimers on the final page, and click “Submit”.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

Read the details of the BLM ovariectomy plan here.

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

Mustangs’ Insides Viciously Ripped Out: Stop the BLM!

The Bureau of Land Management is once again callously planning to permanently sterilize wild horse mares using a gruesome procedure so deadly and inhumane that many veterinarians refuse to perform it. Don’t let the BLM rip out the ovaries of wild mares!

The proposed surgery, called ovariectomy via colpotomy, is controversial even for domestic mares who are used to human handling and given normal surgical protections such as sterile conditions, anesthesia, and complete long-term aftercare. The situation at the Burns Corral in Oregon, where the deadly experiments are slated to take place, is not conducive to any of those conditions which makes the already risky procedure all the more dangerous and life-threatening.

This is the third time that the Bureau has tried to perform this barbaric experiment on defenseless wild horse mares, under the guise of a “study.” After two major universities dropped out, lawsuits were filed, and massive public outcry occurred, the first two attempts were abandoned by the Bureau. Many thousands of In Defense of Animals supporters wrote to both of the universities initially involved, and also to the BLM in protest of this vile procedure from its past attempts.

Take action on this issue.

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