The ~Texas~ Mustang Project's Blog

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

Erroneous Reports Coming Out of Thursday’s National Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board Meeting…

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on March 11, 2011


There are some erroneous reports coming out of Thursday’s National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board that stated that BLM was canceling this summer’s roundups.  It’s one of those things that is kind of true but the conclusions drawn by readers could easily be incorrect.

First, after checking I was informed that BLM only had two summer gathers scheduled and they were for burros.  Both gathers ran into technical problems and had to be postponed.

Representatives from BLM did say that if the Senate didn’t restore some funds and that unless those funds made it through the Conference Committee’s reconciliation of the Senate and House versions of the appropriations bill, that BLM had exhausted its budget for gathers for FY-2011 (ending in October) and couldn’t perform gathers for either removals or fertility control this fall.  Practical observers concluded that while this statement might be true, it could also be a pressure play designed to scare Congress into restoring funds.

Right now the game seems to be set to produce an all or nothing result – either the Conference Committee will not accept the Senate’s budget and all the roundups will be shut down or the Senate’s financing will go through, allowing BLM to continue business as usual.  Given that a relatively well organized effort is being advanced by BLM and the livestock camp to keep an outright moratorium of roundups from occurring, the percentages are decreasing that Congress will ultimately stick to the House’s plan.  Conversely the percentages are increasing that Congress will ultimately fund roundups.

One strategy to consider would be to try to convince Senators who oppose a total moratorium on roundups to consider placing limitations on appropriations so that BLM would be limited to gather operations for fertility control and for humane reasons during emergency conditions such as loss of habitat due to wide area wildlfires and/or rain failure.  A fall back if that idea doesn’t sell could be for Congress to not allow BLM to reduce the overall herd below present populations until the National Academy of Sciences releases its report.  Our supporting arguments are that this is what the public wants and rounding up and holding horses indefinitely is prohibitively expensive.

The advocacy effort clearly needs voters to contact their Senators in support of maintaining horse populations on public lands and reducing the overall cost burden associated with the WHB program.  Requiring BLM to invest in strategies alternative to accumulating more horses in long term holding is a significant first step.  We need to refine our arguments so that we create the greatest chances for success.  Therefore our arguments need to make sense to lawmakers not intimately familiar with wild horse issues, but who are concerned about the costs and the direction in which this program is going.

We don’t have much time to get an effective play moving forward on this.

“:O) Willis

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12 Responses to “Erroneous Reports Coming Out of Thursday’s National Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board Meeting…”

  1. puller9 said

    This is BLMs version of holding their breath and threatening to turn blue if they don’t get ALL of their funding. Sigh….when what they need is a good spanking and told to do their job and be thankful they have one.

  2. puller9 said

    “. . .so that BLM would be limited to gather operations for fertility control and for humane reasons during emergency conditions such as loss of habitat due to wide area wildlfires and/or rain failure. ”

    Or poor planning on the part of BLM as in the San Pedro River region of AZ….where development, business and an Army base are busy draining the aquifers that feed this ORIGINAL Riparian district. Where are those conservation groups that spoke to the WH Advisory Committee today, to protest this???

  3. sandra longley said

    Amen Puller..However I think the most important move is to INSIST that an accurate census count be conducted-with oversight, not under BLM control-before anymore PZP or actions can occur..I know too many people who spend considerable more time on the HMAs than the BLM personell who are convinced the numbers of horses left out there are NOT near the numbers as “estimated by BLM” To gather and PZP-22 these mares before those true numbers are established is to AGAIN spit in the face of scientific management..we have 2 organizations here-BLM and HSUS that have an agenda..not driven by the best interests of the land, WH’s or science..or their personal knowledge or understanding..but driven by dollars and death chambers..and for those that think I am exaggerating..I give you the alternative management documents..again brought up this year -to spay mares in the field..and again what does HSUS do???spay neuter and kill.What does HSUS know about wild horses otherwise known as wildlife..not a fricking thing..they still have this idea that they are runaway domestic horses.

  4. sandra longley said

    While we are continuing to call our senators and congressmen-lets also ask them to take a second look at the budgets for the NFS,wildlife refuges and the department of Ag..What was again done at sheldon last year was a prime example of what is wrong with these government agencies, and BLM has found yet another “end around” move to go with its “interpetation of the land use planning called ‘multiple Use doctrine” which in reality-turned HMAs into CMAs –and that aint the country music awards…

    • sandra longley said

      And just to round off my rant…until BLM can figure out how to round up burros without trying to spear them with the skids of a helicopter, or bang them around like a pinata or pull them up by their ears..you cannot remove them..see if NASA can provide you with some rocket science on how to catch burros..I am truly sorry they are smarter than you are.

  5. sandra longley said

    http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/info/newsroom/2011/march/federal_managers_sign.html
    This document is how they are going to get around having their funding denied..this joint agreement allows them to use funding from these other budgets..and just who agreed to turn over our wild horses to the 3 as a “joint” management..isn’t that the purview of congress, as it was an act of congress that made the BLM overseerer or trustee for the WH..fish and game and FS we are coming after YOU..

  6. Marybeth said

    At the Board meeting, BLM staff said that, as it stands now, the summer roundups are canceled even for PZP treatment … but that they stand ready to conduct gathers upon request and with funding from another entity. Anti-horse board members worried whether BLM has a “back-up plan” should AMLs be exceeded. They further expressed concern about a population “expansion” during the announced hiatus. One insisted on inserting language recommending that reproduction in herds be limited to the “excess” number that “society has the capacity to absorb.”

    Instead of applying the funding cuts exclusively to roundup-and-removals, as was the intent of Congress, BLM is distributing them across all operations. This means, for instance, that the Mustang Heritage Foundation, which sponsors the Mustang Makeover events, will get only 75 percent of its expected funding. Other successful programs will be similarly affected. The good programs are being held hostage in the hope, it would seem, of coercing Congress into giving BLM its full or increased funding.

    It is crucial to remember that the CR is good only through March 18. Funding could be restored in a flash. Now is the time to keep reminding Senators and Congressional Reps to de-fund the roundups.

    As for PZP, guest speaker Veterinarian Al Kane twice referenced that it can be used for long-lasting contraception or permanent sterilization. We would do well to remember that, given the lack of safety precautions in BLM’s procedures for PZP — no warnings against using it in fillies under age two or for more than four consecutive years in any mare — there is the possibility/probability of many sterilizations. In a field trial of PZP in McCullough Peak, either Dr. Kane or staff said, the mares haven’t returned to fertility. Dr. Kane mentioned GonaCon, which is also an immuno-contraceptive that has the advantage of suppressing estrus, thus eliminating the behavioral disruptions of PZP. Board member Dr. Spratling opined that this feature was a good thing. There are, evidently, all kinds of “studies” being funded by BLM in conjunction with USGS and APHIS on various ways to administer contraception to wild horses. Yet BLM is plowing forward with PZP before the studies are completed and the genetic implications are known. BLM is also seeking to pursue methods of spaying.

    • Lisa LeBlanc said

      This is the same line of logic which has facilitated the misuse of the WinEquus population model, which resulted in at least three recent (and still coatly) round up cancellations because the massive populations predicted simply weren’t there.
      The Triple B/Maverick-Medicine/Antelope Preliminary EA is predicting a 260% increase (including foals that haven’t been born yet) or a 52% per annum foaling rate since 2006 – one long, continuous line of flawless gestation, a completely successful birth rate and precocious sexual maturity – producing magical animals that never die.
      I’m all for the modernization of BLM methods – anything that might help avoid expensive & destructive roundups – but what use are good tools if they aren’t used properly?

  7. […] […]

  8. sandra longley said

    Senate adds the 12 million back to the budget for roundups. Sign the petition to go to your senators- be sure to add the first paragraph..your own thoughts on the subject..and then pass it on..my senators ears are burning.

    http://www.care2.com/news/member/193692282/2742726

    • sandra longley said

      just heard, Dick Durbin and 5 other senators 3 dems and 3 repubs are working on a compamise agreement-keep harry reid out of it!

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