The ~Texas~ Mustang Project's Blog

Working for better management options and cohabitation through compromise and communication for the American Wild Mustang

“We need a solution to too many wild horses”

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on July 2, 2010


This is just too much! Take a gander at this and decide for yourself… MF*T*

We need a solution to too many wild horses  Essay – July 02, 2010 by Jodi Peterson

We’re still throwing horses overboard   Essay – July 01, 2010 by Deanne Stillman – pay special attention to the comments…

Utah vs. the United States of America: The Beehive state challenges the feds   Op-Ed – June 22, 2010 by Ed Quillen

What about Watt?  Robyn Morrison | Jun 15, 2010 12:12 PM

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40 Responses to ““We need a solution to too many wild horses””

  1. Morgan Griffith said

    I note that there is no area to comment so that other readers can be educated about the obvious errors in this “essay”. Is essay just another word for making things up on the fly with real research a remote option?

  2. LOUIE COCROFT said

    SOMETIMES I WONDER WHETHER THESE ARE JUST TO GET US OFF THE TRACK. WE HAVE SEVERAL EAs TO COMMENT ON RIGHT NOW, AND THAT IS TAKING ALL OF OUR COLLECTIVE FOCUS.

  3. O… K…
    The reasons I have re-posted these articles and the article following this post are very simple.
    “We need a solution to too many wild horses” was to show all of us what exactly the “mentality” and mindset of the ones who are not in support of our plight is currently. YES, we have to comment on all of these EAs. Why would we not want to have all the information possible to be the most effective with our comments?
    “We’re still throwing horses overboard” – I think the content and name of this article is pretty self-explanatory as to why I re-posting it especially in light of the several EAs and PEAs we are currently needing comments on.
    “Utah vs. the United States of America: The Beehive state challenges the feds” and “What about Watt?” are for informational purposes with possible ideas for possible solutions.
    I’m just trying to give everyone some of the resources that I am currently using to form my own personal comments and opinions on these next few months of commenting, but at the same trying not to lose sight of still trying to come up with some sort of viable solution to this whole mess.
    And of course, the re-posting of “Wild Sex in Nevada Leads to Free Birth Control” was just too much of a good punch line to pass up. While we are all so stressed out and ready to scream at the top of our lungs from the workloads we are carrying, a little bit of comic relief is absolutely necessary to maintain some sort of sanity!
    Step back for a minute, take a breath, get a good laugh at the puns and irony, un-cross your eyes from staring at the computer screen for too long, and come back to the task at hand refreshed and with your best foot forward. We have no choice in the matter. We have to be as effective and efficient as we possibly can be at this point in time. We have no room for error. But we also cannot expect ourselves to perform to this high standard without taking care of ourselves mentally at the same time.
    Hope that you all are safe and dry. Don’t forget to breath.
    T.

  4. LOUIE COCROFT said

    I REMEMBER “HIGH COUNTRY”. SANDRA POSTED THE LINK AND AN ARTICLE. CRAIG TOOK ON ANOTHER “WILDLIFE ECOLOGIST” WHO CLAIMED THAT THE HORSES WERE CONTRIBUTING TO DEGRADATION OF THE RANGE. I WONDERED WHETHER HE WORKED FOR BLM.

  5. It’s good to be aware of this stuff but not get too caught up in it since most of it is spin. Where we are making headway is staying focused on the end game and using logical, supportable arguments to illustrate where BLM is making mistakes and at the same time bringing forward some actually achievable alternatives.

    There are people on the other side of the horse issue who will take situations and spin them out of context. Well guess what, we have a few people on our side doing the same thing. So the only sensible strategy that I can see is to stay the course, keep doing our homework and make common sense horse advocacy the most visible segment of our camp.

    We have some unimpeachable arguments and we need to focus on sustaining them and pointing BLM in new directions.

    1. The American public is not going to stand for the elimination of wild horses on public lands. Poll after poll has demonstrated this resolve and politicians are aware of it.

    2. BLM’s present course of action is unsustainable.

    3. A string of administrative decisions and a handful of laws have created “wag the dog,” where public lands permittees and lessees get to dictate the terms.

    4. Even a growing number of ranchers agree that the system needs to be fixed and they would like to find some middle ground that leaves room for everyone (including horses) to be successful. (Actually some ranchers have been incredibly helpful, but they naturally have to stay below the radar.)

    We need to stay committed to our idealism, but guide our strategies and actions with practicality and some pragmatism. Our best approach is to be convincingly knowledgeable, practical and willing to find some sustainable middle ground. There are millions of acres out here. We mainly need to achieve some adjustment in how range resources are prioritized so that they are fairly allocated.

  6. LOUIE COCROFT said

    I HAVE GOTTEN INTO SOME OF THOSE ONLINE DEBATES, AND BEFORE I KNOW IT, I’VE USED ALL OF MY TIME, AND STILL HAVE 3 OR 4 LETTERS TO WRITE. IT’S KIND OF FUN, BUT YOU HAVE TO BE CAREFUL NOT TO GET SIDETRACKED. YOU CAN WASTE TOO MUCH TIME.

  7. LOUIE COCROFT said

    I HAVE FOUND, THAT IN MY AREA, THERE ARE SMALL RANCHERS WHO HAVE HAVE A GREAT DEAL OF DISDAIN FOR THE BLM. THEY, TOO, HAVE BEEN PUSHED AROUND. FOREST SERVICE AND FISH AND GAME ARE NOT VERY POPULAR, EITHER.

    • This is an excellent point to bring up… There are always going to be those amongst the ones you think are “all one group” who really aren’t part of that group. Stereotyping, basically. Once you open up a little bit and listen to what they have to say, you realize that you have more in common that you originally thought, and hey, just maybe, they have some information that could seriously help you out.
      There are those amongst the WH&B Advocates that have made it clear they want all ranchers and their livestock off the Western ranges completely. (No, not many still think this way but there are always bad apples in any bushel.) Then there are those who only want some gone. Even more don’t want any of them gone.
      My humble opinion states that I don’t think any of the ranchers who have abided by the rules and laws should be tossed out on their preverbial bums just to prove a point. I also don’t think this grazing situation is hopeless. I do however believe that there will be a lot of ranchers would prefer to have a sore bum rather than do what is necessary to have cohabitation with the WH&Bs.
      Again, my very humble opinion is that all situations can have a peaceful and equally beneficial outcome for all parties involved. It is only a matter of how far those parties are willing to go in order to achieve this outcome; what are they willing to give up and what are they willing to take. People are very habitual creatures. Changing their routines and lifestyles is not an easily facilitated transition. But it is possible.
      T.

  8. R. Thompson said

    Too many horse? Or not enough of the 1971 mandated land available for horse? It keeps shrinking.

    Let me re-post my comment from the FBI Investigation thread….

    Maybe the FBI can find out where the “missing” 19 Million management acres disappeared to and why?

    Maybe the FBI can figure out how of the remaining 32 Million acres, 26 Million are for “livestock”…e.g., husbandry of cattle, with a scant 6 Million apparently available for horses?

    Mixed use…yeah, I know. Who determines the mix and what is it?

    Maybe I’m just confused or math deprived. However, any time I see BLM senior executives joining hands with Fish & Wildlife senior types, I go looking for my apple rake & a towed spreader wagon to handle the output.

    Actually, all considered we might want to be grateful the wild horses are only herded with aircraft…some other species get executed (read gut shot more often than not) from aircraft with no never-mind from Dept of Interior or Fish & Wildlife.

    Yeah, I am in a bad mood lately.

    Remind me to tell you the story of how the agency I worked for was sued in Federal Court by Fish & Wildlife, alleging we destroyed a compete bird nesting area, overngiht, in the dark, secretly with bulldozers, etc. You’ll love the part about how much of YOUR money was spent prosecuting this case and defedning it as well. BTW…we (my agency) won the case…after 5 years of litigation. F & W was full of bullocks. Probably didn’t help that a few of us sarcastic wags started a local rumor that the brown colored eggs you find in markets were actually the eggs we stole from the refuge and marketed ourselves. A lot of people actually believed it…that is the scary part.

    Have a great 4th of July everyone.

  9. LOUIE COCROFT said

    THIS IS WHAT GIVES ME A RAY OF SUNSHINE. THOSE THAT ARE WORKING WITHIN THE AGENCIES THAT DETEST THE CORRUPTION AS MUCH AS THE REST OF US. I SEE THIS AS OUR CIVIL OBLIGATION TO INSIST THAT OUR PUBLIC SERVANTS FOLLOW AND OBEY THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE.

    • R. Thompson said

      As “T” has mentioned before, there are good people trying to do a good honest and apolitical job within most agencies. Trust me, if you will, that this is true, and this is why what “T” and “Nevada Willis” have said is workable. Becoming part of a solution, instead of the problem, helps those in the middle, so to speak, achieve their goals and ours. The right approach can “make a friend” on the “inside” who can help, even if it just to not impede change, or even pro-actively assist it.

      The “dolts” within agencies who react to and with spin and political whim are mostly in the senior levels, all above the civil service grades for the most part, and are all “appointees” (read “players”)…many of which remain administration to administration in a layer of institutional executive lard below the secretarial level. Most have no hands on field experience, or have conveniently forgotten what they did have….yet they are the ones who really set policy and procedure. Some of these men and women, too, can be realigned if they see gain in it, albeit for themselves, and some even out of renewed conscience and honest integrity.

      I have endeavored to keep my “other” wildlife involvements off these pages because they are even more volatile and I am far, far more vindictive and angry over the situations that exist… which includes dealing with layers of senior executive lard within the very organizations working to defend wildlife… people who’ve developed a strict agenda and will not entertain middle ground reason. They, too, become part of the problem. On the government side in these other areas of my concern there are too many political types solely vested in husbandry of certain animals (ungulates usually) for the “substance” hunters…a euphemism for the few substance hunters out there and the many, many more sport hunters. They like to play on myth and public hysteria and take all or nothing positions. They are in effect in the hunting tourist business. With your money and on your land, so to speak. So, yeah, it makes me a little crazy. I try to keep that “crazy” out of here. From what I’ve read and seen, this effort is making progress not apparent in my other pursuit areas.

      Boundary areas where wildlife (and I consider wild horses wildlife, even if some folks don’t) and humans and domestic husbandry co-exist are problematic. There are solutions that require both sides to give a little to get a little. As a line from “Jurassic Park” (the movie) says: “Life finds a way” holds true in boundary areas and there has to be some management control, especially if the issue is predators versus humans or livestock on private lands. Polyanna has no place on either side of that debate. All species will try to colonize one way or another. The difference here is that horses aren’t likely to try to eat you, even in myth.

      Can horses and cattle co-exist on ranges? Yes. I know I’ve seen it even on private lands in remote rural ranching areas, bordering truly wild places, where remudas and cattle share pasture space even though not assimilation per se. In wilderness border zones there can be predator issues, especially as seasonal or year round purely personal habitat development expands squeezing the wilderness borders, which brings another party of interest to the table. I was an alpine ski racer in high school and college and love the sport to this day. I do not love the Aspen, et al., of today versus my youth.

      I am amused as coyotes move in to cities and colonize park lands to the hysterical response of residents (wait until cougars, bears and wolves do it)… I live in an urban area now and there are coyotes within short distance from my house. My dogs can deal with any coyote group, they’re bred to do so, but someone’s Shi Tzu or Toy Poodle running loose not so much. Even then, my dogs are never out of my sight. Hoping my fence is a poor idea… I might not get to you in time to prevent a nibble or two if you’re acting all stupid. Yet, I find situational awareness lacking among those owners of small animals…. while at the same time I know people in wilderness Montana who have carefully designed safe habitat for their house cats and upland game gun dogs that prevent predation by larger predators. Larger predators who become persistent need to be removed… civilization has its price. I can live with that. That generally is not an issue with wild horses. Even moose can get close, coming in to lick salt off a vehicle bumper at times. I recommend you just leave the moose alone. Haze it and it can mess you up even if it doesn’t really want to do so. If you live where moose are, get used to the idea of sharing the space.

      In areas where I’ve seen horses and cattle together on grazing land, the horse areas seem far less torn up than the cattle areas… but that’s not a scientific observation. Horses can be destructive of habitat if confined to small areas, definitely if that area is no more than 1 acre per horse.

      Back to the topic of the comment… I know there are people in BLM who want to be helpful, and I think “T” has proven that to be the case. Those are the people we need to support at the same time we debate the policy makers. No substantial policy is made at the civil service grade level. I know because I still occasionally “consult” with my old organization and yes, they can still make me nuts at the policy making level.

  10. LOUIE COCROFT said

    THERE ARE A WHOLE LOT MORE OF US THAN THERE ARE OF THEM AND WE HAVE RIGHT ON OUR SIDE.

  11. LOUIE COCROFT said

    FOR OUR 4TH OF JULY CELEBRATION–LET’S GET OUR THE BILL OF RIGHTS AND DUST IT OFF.

    • R. Thompson said

      Louie….I think your messages would be better received if you ceased the “flaming” (all caps) font, and organized them in to one or two complete messages.

      I’m not trying to be anal or picky, just that in internut protocols, all caps is “shouting” while your audience here is quite capable of listening normally. You’ve put a good point or two up in fact.

      Most of us want to be part of a solution, not start or continue an emotional fight, even if we are emotional about it personally. The BLM has spun this in to a “too many horses” issue (whihc I believe is nonsense and too conveniently self fulfilling), but that “spin” comes from the Senior Executive (SES) levels and above (appointed one and all), not the worker bee civil service grade levels…where policy is carried out, not set. I’ve been a “Fed” in a military agency and have the tee shirt, so obviously, I hope, the “shout” isn’t necessary with me.

      I boils down to this: If one of the worker bee civil servants who are actually in contact with thehorses happens to read posts here, and see’s all caps…he/she will perceive it as shouting, pointing and shreiking.

      I don’t believe that is your intent and I know it isn’t ours generally.

  12. LOUIE COCROFT said

    BOTTOM LINE–PEOPLE ARE THE PROBLEM

  13. Tom Mosher said

    OK. So the only conclusion I can reach is there must be a contest going on somewhere to prove who be the the biggest retard on this freakin planet capable of getting online.

    • sandra longley said

      OK, I confess….I won the contest!

      I want to remind everyone this debate about cattle on the land and their destructive grazing habits has been ongoing since the 1800s..There are literaly volumes of material online if you google public ranching.. and this information has been provided by people who have put alot more study into this than we have..The idea that there are too many horses on the land..only works if you don’t recognise or accept the fact that is the over grazing of cattle that is causing the horses to be removed..not in fact that there are too many horses..If you buy into BLMs stated posistion…then we have to compramise and remove the horses or birth control their very existence..I personally do NOT buy into BLMs theory its a horse problem…as Thompson said..give the horses the land back you stole..and you don’t need to have massive removals..it is the cattle grazing program that needs revamping and removals..so NO-I am NOT willing to compramise..and I have volumes of evidence by people better educated on this subject who are not horse advocates to back me up…thats like asking someone to plead guilty to a crime they did not commit..just so they can get a lessor sentence.

      • sandra longley said

        And in case anyone is confused…It is not the “law” that cattle have a right to graze on public lands..it is considered a “privledge”..and that can be revoked. They can scream and cry and then go out and buy land like the rest of us do. Or better yet give all americans the right to graze on that land..we can have a Nevada land rush we can all participate in ..Then we can go to the bank and borrow thousands using allotments we do not have title to..just permits for 10 years..tell me ..what does a bank do when they default on that loan?????

    • R. Thompson said

      Oh, my…Sandra copping a plea and Tom being nanny goat grumpy.

      Yo, Tom…I’ll not be out there until September or so…too much going on here at the moment, some good some not so much. I’ll email soon.

      • sandra longley said

        Having just come from Tom’s place i can swear under oath-none of the goats were grumpy..a little horny maybe..i would have loved to goat-nap the little one with the bad leg..but Tom would have hunted me down..don’t ever insult a mans dog or goat if you are headed to Montana..and I am sorry to say you missed the bathtub full of boiling buffalo heads..its now a reoccurring nightmare of mine..

        • R. Thompson said

          Trust me, I’ve enjoyed the tub ‘O skulls visage before.

          I’ve seen worse. I gather “Dubs”, the yard boss, was in good form.

          • sandra longley said

            Dubs was a sweetheart but a bit under the weather..the man of steel was running from the goats to the dog with a syringe of pink stuff.I tried to act pretty perky so that he didn’t attack me with it…you gotta love a man that loves his animals…

  14. LOUIE COCROFT said

    TOM–GRUMPY GOATS–BATHTUBS FULL OF WHAT? I MUST HAVE MISSED A TURN IN THE ROAD ON THE WAY TO MONTANA.

    • LOL that’s a loooooonnnnggg story!
      T.

    • sandra longley said

      actually, Tom is a true artistic talent and sculptor in steel..and if you are ever on hiway 89 heading to Yellowstone Park, you must stop at The MillCreek trading post and gallery..plus he is a kick in the pants..just don’t believe him if he sends you off looking for Mastedons..we call that a “snipe hunt” in Oregon.

    • R. Thompson said

      For more about Tom, goats, old timey bath tubs on blocks over hard wood flames full of skulls, etc…see the link on the left side bar “Tom Mosher-Native American Steel Artwork” under “T’s personal Fav’s…” He had considerable to do with facilitating the establishment of this blog effort. His place is definitely worth a visit if you’re ever in Montana.

  15. LOUIE COCROFT said

    R.Thompson–just saw your post–I stand corrected. I just started out that way as it was easier for me to see and faster to type.
    This is my first dip into blogging. I will probably make more mistakes. If I do, I will try to correct them. Everyone on the Cloud Foundation said that it was OK with them, so I didn’t think anyone here would mind here.

    • Louie,
      What’s funny about your all-caps comments is that if I am scanning the blog or any other blog for that matter trying to find you I know just to look for the caps! LOL
      I think it’s kind of your “signature” in a way… We’ve all come to recognize you as the all-caps and we know you’re not shouting at us.
      T.

  16. LOUIE COCROFT said

    See what I mean? I already make a mistake.

  17. LOUIE COCROFT said

    I do like short and quick. That is what makes blogging different from essays and letters. For those of us who don’t have much time,it gets the exchange of ideas going. That is my main thrust. I save the letters and complete sentences for environmental assessments and letters to my senators. I also know that those people aren’t going to spend a lot of time reading, so I try to make my point in as few words as possible.

    • Yea, I think that a lot of us do that. I’m the world’s worst about putting up 3-5 paragraph replies to comments… Maybe I should take a lesson LOL… But in my own defense, I usually have good points to my ramblings 😛
      T.

  18. LOUIE COCROFT said

    R. Thompson, you do sound a bit grouchy. We probably would be better to not nip at each other on the blog. That could be perceived as dissention by any civil servant worker bees who might decide to grade our essays.

    • R. Thompson said

      Louie…you’re over reacting…I wasn’t snipping, just suggesting. My time as a “Fed”…and how we took “flaming” messages (scroll over material)…is the basis for my comment, not you personally. I’m glad you’re here and appreciate your input. I agree snippy dissention has no place here. *T* has already shown, in her response to you, that she’s far more diplomatic than me. (Most of the time…ask her where the occasionally used “MF*T*” moniker comes from 🙂

      I will say that the brevity and one liners on the internet blogs are overdone now. Everyone thinks they’re Hemingway it seems. Several serious and substantial important blogs have been destroyed by it.

      Finally, yep, I cop to it…I am most likely the grouchiest soul on this board. Again, ferderal service in and out of the military can do that to you. I’ve told *T*, however, that her writing and style is the only kind we ever took seriously and she’s the only kind of person we ever tended to listen to on important matters….e.g., she brings something to the table we need. We didn’t “grade essays,” we read them and took away the helpful when offered.

  19. LOUIE COCROFT said

    R. Thompson, I have always seen this blog as a place to relax, connect, and find comradarie, not a place to display my writing skills. I will leave that to others. What I have most enjoyed is the free flow of thought shared by kindred spirits. I save bureaucratic formality for environmental assessments or other similar formats. I have had more than enough of those, already.

    • Wow… Thank you so much Louie… I am so happy that… Wow LOL I can’t believe it… I’m speechless! LMAO!
      T.

    • R. Thompson said

      Louie….Delighted you find TMP a social locus.

      I need to re-think my view of it and my involvement with it. Minimal as my participation has been, I never thought of it as a social venue or appropriate for serial one liners. My bad.

      Since I seem to irritate you, and generate spontaneous lectures on your purview, I can fix that.

  20. LOUIE COCROFT said

    R. Thompson, you belong here. I have no issue with you. I just think that corrections, even when constructive, can be a bit destructive. It seems to me that there is room for all forms of participation. We all have the same goal. I think that blogs disinigrate when people are afraid of being ridiculed. They might have some great ideas, but they are too timid to present them. They either drop out altogether or go somewhere else. When that happens, everyone loses. This is where we build momentum, I think. Tracie’s blog is popular. She is so very gracious and kind, not to mention her astounding ability to research information for all of us. I think everyone has always felt safe and welcome here.

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