Tag Archives: Bureau of Land Management

Shaving Livestock Grazing’s Carbon Hoofprint

Giant BLM Bovine Mowing Machine ~ photo by Terry Fitch.

Complaints Target BLM Neutral Stance on Livestock Grazing Climate Impacts

By: Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER)

Washington, DC April 11, 2016 – Even as President Obama touts steps to address climate change, his U.S. Bureau of Land Management appears not to have gotten the message, according to a pair of complaints filed today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Despite ample evidence to the contrary, BLM continues to insist that commercial livestock grazing has no impact on climate change or its effects.

This climate change blind spot is no small matter as BLM oversees 21,000 grazing allotments covering 155 million acres of federal rangelands spread across 11 Western states. In complaints filed today with both the White House and Interior Department, PEER documents how BLM steadfastly refuses to even consider, let alone mitigate, climate impacts from its vast grazing program.

“Improbably, Obama’s BLM is a climate denier when it comes to cattle,” remarked PEER Advocacy Director Kirsten Stade who filed today’s complaints. “Most BLM grazing environmental assessments make no mention of climate change whatsoever, while the remainder say that impacts are unknowable and therefore will not be analyzed.”

The PEER complaints cite recent federal orders and policies directing agencies to respond to climate change in their official planning. Yet BLM never even acknowledges grazing’s climate impacts, such as:

– Grazing dramatically reduces soil sequestration of carbon, releasing an estimated 11 million additional tons of carbon annually;
– The livestock sector generates more than one third of all human-induced methane – a gas with global warming potential 25 times that of carbon dioxide; and
– Public lands grazing is the most significant contributor to change in landscape conditions across a vast area of the American West, worsening adverse climate impacts of spreading desertification, degrading vital riparian areas and facilitating introduction of invasive species.

These adverse effects are magnified if grazing is not well managed, and a large portion of allotments fails to meet BLM’s own range health standards. In the last decade as more land has been assessed, estimates of damaged lands have doubled where BLM conducts major livestock grazing.

“For an agency with the words ‘land management’ in its title, the BLM does little to effectively manage this program or prevent overgrazing,” added Stade. “These damaged landscapes create a feedback loop that further aggravates other negative impacts of climate change.”

In its filings, PEER asks the White House Council on Environmental Quality to ensure that all BLM eco-planning include assessments of grazing climate impacts, as required under the National Environmental Policy Act. The group also urges Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to make BLM begin complying with directives that it mitigate climate effects and adopt policies to promote climate-resilient lands in its grazing program.

Source:  Yubanet.com

Colorado Rancher Illegally Kills 1,794 Wild Horses

Last October, a report surfaced which shows that a Colorado rancher and livestock hauler purchased 1,794 wild horses and willingly and illegally sold each of these magnificent wild animals to suffer a brutal death at slaughterhouses in Mexico.

The rancher, Tom Davis, bought the horses through the Wild Horse and Burro Program, administered by the Bureau of Land Management. This government agency spent more than $140,000 to transport wild horses to Davis between 2008 and 2012. This means that $140,000 of taxpayers’ money has been spent toward illegal horse killings.

The Bureau has responded, stating, “Both the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado and the State of Colorado Conejos County District Attorney’s Office have declined civil and criminal prosecution.” They also add: “Accordingly there is no further action that the BLM may take specific to Mr. Davis.”

The BLM is attempting to wash its hands clean of the blood of thousands of wild horses. Justice must be obtained for the victims of this mass slaughter.

The Department of the Interior and the US Department of Justice have given little response so far. We must show them that horse killers like Davis must be prosecuted.

Click here to take action.

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

Update: Defund and Stop the Wild Horse & Burro Roundups

Jun 15, 2015 — Why does France TV 2 report mostly from the side of BLM and pro-slaughter advocates?

The overpopulation myth is dangerous

Recently France TV 2 came to the American West to report on the “problems” caused by the “overpopulation” of wild horses. Someone either fed them the story or they did a little research on Google about American mustangs and found the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) authoritative spin, vast website and their new America’s Mustang campaign to get their overpopulation message out, couched with pretty pictures and enticing video footage of huge herds running, helicopter roundups, etc. making news reporting easy. What foreign journalists would think the BLM is lying about wild horses chasing cows away from water sources when they have so much “factual” material out there to back up their position that there are too many wild horses?

France TV reports:

From: http://www.francetvinfo.fr/monde/usa/video-les-chevaux-sauvages-se-reproduisent-trop-vite-un-probleme-pour-l-ouest-americain_949025.html

Synopsis Translation:

Wild horses reproduce too fast, a problem for the American West

The United States prohibits mustang slaughter but the same authorities want to limit their number to 25,000 although there are already 50,000 on the land.

Mustangs are no longer welcome in the American West. Federal authorities ring the alarm for the overpopulation of wild horses on the land. There will be 150,000 in five years if nothing is done to stop their expansion. A bigger problem than the horses reproducing quickly and devouring everything on their path, according to the administration, is what is creating conflicts with certain ranchers.

2,000 horses were removed in 2015, an insufficient number

The Unites States prohibits slaughtering mustangs, but the same authorities want to limit their number to 25,000 but 50,000 mustangs are on the land. The ranchers who share the land with the wild horses won’t tolerate limited access to water sources in areas invaded by wild horses. The mustangs chase off their livestock.

In total, 2,000 chevaux were gathered in 2015, an insufficient number to reach the fixed objective, but the animal defenders call the process barbaric. Different methods have been launched without results, and that’s pushing the federal authorities to propose an award of one and a half million dollars to find a long lasting solution for the wild horse problem.

BLM’s spin dominates news report

Sadly the myths reported as truth in the France TV news report were not countered effectively and the good counter points ended up in the trash. The journalists interviewed BLM staff on the range. They met with ranchers who push the overpopulation myth and are pro-slaughter — including Callie Hendricksen. They interviewed Carol Walker, photographer, legal plaintiff and board member of Wild Horse Freedom Federation at a watering hole with a lot of mustangs. The journalists reported on training at a prison program with failed adoptions being the undertone. France TV 2 seems to have heard from all sides of the issue to be fair but who were their handlers? Was it Callie Hendrickson or BLM’s staff over at their America’s Mustang campaign? The news editor crafted the story from the materials shot in the field resulting in the BLM and pro-slaughter viewpoint out in front. The whole story focused on the alleged overpopulation of wild horses in a country that prohibits slaughter with the feds offering $1.5 million to whoever find the lasting solution for population control. Sounds like the BLM pitched this story to push their heinous agenda.

The French report shows the advocacy where we are losing the battle… We are split… A portion of the advocacy is supporting the overpopulation myth and offering solutions to the false problem. Are there really too many native wild horses left in the wild?

Overpopulation must exist to justify radical zero growth fertility control measures such as PZP, castration, field spaying and slaughter.

When wild horse groups support BLM’s overpopulation myth — with advocates pushing PZP as the “solution” to the “problem” — the overpopulation myth gets stronger and is eventually seen as truth. Reporting on myths as truth is a tactic used to sway public opinion — the second largest super power according to the President of the United States.

If we don’t all stand up to disprove the overpopulation myth then slaughter, sterilization and cruel roundups will be the end result.

PZP, made from slaughterhouse pig ovaries, is used for slow extermination because science proves it sterilizes after multiple use while the general public doesn’t notice. It’s a way to manage them to extinction, period. Proponents of the one foal only policy are jeopardizing survival of the species. What happens when the mare is sterilized through PZP applications and her “one foal” dies in the wild?

Overpopulation is necessary to justify fertility control, castration and field spaying. BLM has no accurate head counts of wild horses. The National Academy of Sciences stated in their 2013 report that there is “no evidence” of overpopulation, period.

Time to stand together

It’s time for all advocates to come together to protect wild horses. Together we are a mighty force for the wild ones.

I challenge all group leaders and advocates to put aside personal differences, break their contracts with BLM and agree to fight together to protect America’s wild horses for once and for all. Together we can do this.

Many blessings,
Anne Novak
Executive Director

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

Upcoming Appeal Hearing for the Twin Peaks Wild Horses and Burros

For the first time in the history of the Wild Horse Act, an Appeals Court will determine whether the BLM’s interpretation of the Act is consistent with Congress’s intent to protect these living symbols of the West over 40 years ago. The Twin Peaks roundup resulted in the permanent removal of more than 1,500 wild horses and 160 burros from the range. Fifteen more were killed and 54 mares were injected with immuno-contraceptives before being released. As of August 2012, 977 of the wild horses removed from the range are still incarcerated and 158 more have died. The BLM failed to consider current data regarding ecological resources in the herd management area, and also illegally harassed and captured horses that were not even considered “excess” by their own inappropriate standards. Don’t miss this important hearing – please fill the courtroom and show your support for the Twin Peaks wild horses and burros.

If you are able to be in Southern California in late August, please help plaintiffs IDA and Dream Catcher Wild Horse and Burro Sanctuary fill the courtroom to show your support for the Twin Peaks wild horses and burros! An appeal hearing on the groundbreaking Twin Peaks wild horse lawsuit is scheduled for August 29th at 2 p.m. at the Ninth Circuit Courthouse in Pasadena, California.

What: Appeal Hearing for the Twin Peaks Wild Horses and Burros

When: Thursday, August 29, 2 pm – please arrive no later than 1:30 pm

Where: Ninth Circuit Courthouse, 125 South Grand Ave., Pasadena, CA

No recording devices, cameras, cell phones or electronic devices are allowed in the courtroom. We suggest not bringing any such devices into the courthouse. Photo identification is required to get into the courthouse. If you are planning to attend, RSVP by sending an e-mail to nicolem@idausa.org.

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

New Report Shines a Harsh Spotlight on the Government’s Wild Horse and Burro Program

The National Academy of Science (NAS) recently released a report on the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Wild Horse and Burro program and determined that the program can’t continue “business as usual.” The report provided numerous suggestions for improvement and found that the BLM has not used scientifically rigorous methods to estimate population, model effects of management actions, or to assess forage on rangelands. Further, the report found that the current practice of rounding up and removing wild horses actually leads to higher rates of population growth, rather than curbing it. Please click here for more information and to join IDA in asking Sec. Jewell to carefully consider NAS recommendations and immediately stop all roundups.

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

National Academy Report Finds Serious Fault with BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Management Program

Wednesday, June 5, 2013 – Washington, DC – The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) welcomes a new report by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) that clearly indicates the need for a major overhaul in the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) wild horse and burro management program. The report, entitled “Using Science to Improve the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program: A Way Forward,” is the culmination of a 2-year independent scientific study by the NAS. AWI contributed input to the committee charged with conducting the study, and many of the report’s recommendations mirror reforms long called for by AWI.

The report faults the BLM for its lack of transparency, and dismisses the unscientific and haphazard ways in which the BLM estimates populations of wild horses and determines carrying capacity on the range. The report lends credence to accusations by AWI and others that the BLM has been ignoring science and grossly mismanaging the wild equines, and further that the BLM pursues policies that favor corporate livestock grazing interests over the interests of the wild horses and burros — in direct contradiction to established federal law: the Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971.

AWI strongly endorses, as it has for years, the NAS recommendation that immunocontraception be used as a principal tool to humanely reduce wild horse and burro population growth rates where and when necessary. The NAS identifies immunocontraception (i.e., Porzine Zona Pellucida and GonaCon) as a technology that is effective and immediately available for use on wild horses and burros. Currently, the BLM relies instead on an endless series of brutal and destabilizing roundups to remove horses it deems in excess of capacity.

“The NAS report should be a wake-up call to the BLM, as it clearly and comprehensively identified substantive flaws in the agency’s management of wild horses and burros,” says D. J. Schubert, AWI’s wildlife biologist. “The BLM must fix these deficiencies in its management program to benefit wild horses and burros and the public by maximizing the management of wild horses and burros on the range, reducing if not eliminating roundups, and improving the transparency and accountability of its management efforts.”

AWI will continue to analyze the NAS report and will work with Congress and the administration to ensure that immediate changes are made to the wild horse and burro management program.

Media Contact:
D. J. Schubert, 609-601-2875, dj@awionline.org

Deputy Director
Government and Legal Affairs

900 Pennsylvania Ave., SE
Washington, DC 20003
T: (202) 446-2142 ~ F: (202) 446-2131
www.awionline.org ~ www.compassionindex.org
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Take Action to Preserve Wyoming’s Wild Horses!

Wild horses in Adobe Town. Photo by Carol Walker

BLM is planning another destructive roundup of Wyoming’s wild horses. This time the agency has set its sights on the Adobe Town and Salt Wells herds in the southwestern section of the state — some of the largest remaining in the West.

In addition, BLM plans to sell oil and gas development leases within the herd areas without any analysis as to how it will impact the wild horses.

For the second time in three years these two herds would be forced to endure a helicopter stampede. The reason? Livestock. The Rock Springs Grazing Association (RGSA) leases the private and public portions of the checkerboard lands (1 square mile public, 1 square mile private) along the I-80 corridor. RSGA filed a lawsuit last year demanding removal of all the wild horses in the checkerboard lands. This would result in wiping out the vast majority of Wyoming’s wild horses, including many Adobe Town horses and nearly all of the Salt Wells bands.

Continue reading Take Action to Preserve Wyoming’s Wild Horses!

International Equine Conference Press Event to Be Held at UNLV Campus

September 14, 2012 – Chicago (EWA) – The Equine Welfare Alliance (EWA) and Respect4Horses are holding a press conference that will feature sponsors and presenters from the International Equine Conference (IEC). The press conference will be held at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) campus in the Stan Fulton Bldg. on Friday, September 21, 2012 at 11 A.M.

Current issues surrounding the BLM roundups of our wild horses and burros and horse slaughter for human consumption in the United States and its social and environmental impacts will be discussed at the press conference. The general public as well as students and faculty of the university are invited to attend. Refreshments will be served at the press conference.

The conference will be held on Saturday and Sunday, September 22 & 23, 2012, at the UNLV campus Stan Fulton Bldg. Current initiatives, legislative issues and progress addressing the care and futures of domestic and wild horses and burros in this country will be covered by an impressive and diverse panel of experts.

Continue reading International Equine Conference Press Event to Be Held at UNLV Campus

BLM Selects Mustang Monument Wild Horse Eco-Preserve Proposal

Photo Courtesy of Jo Danehy

Dear Friends and Supporters,
We are elated to share the announcement from the Bureau of Land management that they are prepared to move forward with the wild horse eco-sanctuary that I have proposed in Elko County, Nevada. I want to personally thank the thousands upon thousands of supporters of Saving America’s Mustangs that have weighed in with their support over the past few years and for sticking with us through throughout this journey. We could not have done it without each of you.

I also want to thank the BLM and the multitude of their great staff that have worked diligently on this project over the past few years. Their support and the many hours they put into that effort is sincerely appreciated. While we may not have always agreed on every fine point during our early work, I think we always knew we were breaking new ground and moving in the direction of new horizons where the care and management of the Nation’s wild horses are concerned. Nothing of this magnitude is ever accomplished without a difference of opinion and our ability to persevere and work together is essential to the success of this project. And it is important to point out that there is so much hard work left to do and maintaining a good working relationship will ultimately determine how successful we are in moving forward and setting the stage for future successes.

Continue reading BLM Selects Mustang Monument Wild Horse Eco-Preserve Proposal