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

Nevada Passes SJR5… Why YOU Should Care & What YOU Can Do…

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on March 12, 2011

I’m forwarding this message in behalf of an out of state concerned advocate.
The issue is what can folks from outside Nevada can do to help stop the public lands ranchers’ push to stop WHB Program reforms, address their efforts to attribute livestock damage to horses to “justify” excessive removals, and stop such nonsense as the “rope a horse” proposal.  The suggested strategy is for each recipient of this message to send three messages (one each) to the people listed below and ask five fellow advocates to do the same.  If a continuous daisy chain can be developed where each person sends messages and asks five additional people to send messages and continue the chain, then it is conceivable that the Governor and key legislators might receive 5,000 messages next week.  That could be a real game changer.
The concept involves sending clear, polite but firm messages to the following people.
Senator Mark Manendo
Assemblywoman Maggie Carlton
Governor Brian Sandoval
The subject can be Wild Horses, SJR-5 or anything relevant.
Messages should come from the perspective that the writer is a taxpayer whose taxes subsidize public lands in Nevada and is a tourist.  It is important that messages don’t come off like form letters or they get degraded to “opinion poll” status rather than be taken as individual comments.  Letters need to be in the writer’s own words however the recurrent themes should include:  (Alternate terms appear in paremphases.)
1.  We taxpayers from across the country pay for the services and subsidies that allow for public lands grazing at discount (or below market) fees.  We have the right to tell Congress what we want to see happen on OUR public lands that WE pay for.
2.  Federal and state wild horse and burro programs need reforms.  If Nevada wants to obstruct these reforms, you can do battle with the rest of the country on this.  It’s your call.
3.  The American public in general wants wild horses and burros to be protected, but we also recognize that any practical management strategy (approach, effort) has to also preserve healthy rangelands.  We want to rationally address this issue.  Why doesn’t the State of Nevada?
4.  There are public documents that show that the public lands ranchers claim that increased grazing is what is needed to protect our public lands.  We will be taking up those absurd suggestions with Congress and we will make our feelings known in the marketplace when we make our food purchases.
5.  If the Nevada government and its agencies are so anti-horse, then I’ll choose to spend my vacation money in another state.
6.  Do you want reforms and a better horse program or another horse war that will hurt the state financially?
7.  Dump Senate Joint Resolution 5 and those people who would have you start a range war.  We have you outnumbered.
– – –
Please note that the three recipients of these letters aren’t the troublemakers themselves.  All three are new in their positions and need to be encouraged to take this matter seriously.  So letters should be firm, relatively polite and writers should stick to verifiable facts since the other side is propped up by lies.
If you have free long distance and prefer to make phone calls, here are some numbers.
Senator Mark Manendo  775-684-6503
Assemblywoman Leslie Carlton  775-684-8597
Governor Brian Sandoval  775-684-5670
– – –
If you daisy chain this message, please copy and paste the content of this message into your new message rather than forward it.  The idea here is to avoid building up pages of forwarded email addresses.  Thanks!

(Original Post)

Nevada Legislature’s New Assault on Wild Horses?

Issue: Legislative Committee for Public Lands goes after wild horses

Priority: Medium (at this point)

Status: Working Incident

Date: February 11, 2011

In the list of bill drafts for Nevada’s 76th (2011) Legislative Session, a rather innocuous and misleading entry appears in relation to Request No. 215 (SJR5). “SJR: Expresses support for rangeland health in Nevada.” (SJR stands for Senate Joint Resolution.)

The premise here seems simple enough. However if one is to actually read the proposed resolution it becomes clear that it has little if anything to do with rangeland health but instead is a frontal assault on BLM and its attempts to modernize its Wild Horse and Burro Program.

The resolution starts out reciting a number of arguments, some factual and some dubious. Then it goes on to attack some of the options that BLM is considering in order to more proactively manage wild horse herds. It also offers no specific plan to actually advance “rangeland health,” the purpose of the resolution that was advertised to the public and Legislature.

(You can read the actual resolution in a new window by clicking here and the rebuttal by AOWHA here.)

There are several problems that relate to the convoluted logic expressed by this Committee.

First, Nevada has sadly established a reputation for a lack of scientific integrity when it comes to rangelands and public lands issues. Recently the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) blasted the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners and its Mule Deer Restoration Committee for its lack of scientific understanding or factual basis for bizarre recommendations such as “Dramatic increases in upland AUM (level of permitted grazing) for both cattle and domestic sheep” as a means to restore mule deer habitat, and what we could only consider to be outright lies by claiming that studies done in other states “clearly show that carrying capacity is far larger than most methods of calculation demonstrate.”

It is not our intent to debate or refute these and many similar “findings.” The AWFWA response speaks for itself and was prepared by a group that is comprised of experts from wildlife agencies of 23 states and Canadian provinces.

You can read the AWFWA comments in a new window by clicking here.

What appears obvious is an agenda at work that has no interest in actually preserving our ranges and public lands, but is designed to rationalize increased public lands grazing at all costs, whether it be to blame wild horses for livestock damage or to attack BLM when it actually tries to develop some solutions that address horse populations on public lands.

Here is where AOWHA considers such conduct to produce a tragic injustice to Nevada.

  • The content of the resolution was grossly misrepresented in the Bill Draft Request List. We have to ask why?
  • The resolution is confrontational. It does nothing to materially improve the health of our public rangelands. Those opposed to the resolution’s language believe that the application of sound scientific management principles could actually demonstrate that improved management of both domestic livestock and wild horses would be necessary to restore rangeland health. As evidenced in the WAFWA report, the people behind the kind of language that appears in this resolution seem to ignore such facts.
  • The Committee suggests that BLM is going to increase horse populations in Nevada. This is nonsense. The horses are already here. However the populations need to be more proactively managed and some fresh ideas being suggested by BLM do involve relocating horses.
  • Nevada’s economy is significantly driven by tourism and Nevada has the highest unemployment in the country – recorded as 14.6 percent at the end of last year. Assaulting what a large number of potential tourists consider to be American icons can impact tourist destination decisions.
  • Some of the individuals involved in the cattle vs. horse debate would have us all believe that any adjustment in horse management on the part of BLM would have the west overrun with horses, a patently false premise.
  • Some of the options being considered by the BLM that the Committee broadly opposes would actually bring more cash into Nevada by redirecting funds presently being spent in other states and by bringing private funds to the table.
  • Some of the options being considered by the BLM would present opportunities through coordination and other established methods for funds to be spent on range improvement projects.

We understand how people can be skeptical of BLM actually managing for a thriving ecological balance if they were to relocate horses to areas that they determine are more appropriate. However more can be achieved for Nevada with less likelihood of an adverse impact on other important sectors such as tourism if any resolution considered by the Legislature focused on holding BLM’s feet to the fire to manage for healthy rangelands rather than by creating a perception among the national population that Nevada is uncooperative and obstructive.

The Nevada State Legislature can either pick fights or work toward sustainable solutions. The State, its citizens, its ranges and its horses would be better served if SJR-5 is given a hasty burial and Nevada’s legislators focus on solving the State’s problems rather than to create new ones.

Most people would agree that BLM could do a better job managing our public lands and horse herds. We need to stay focused on that objective. Reminding BLM that it has an obligation to manage for multiple uses and a thriving ecological balance is appropriate. Creating some new confrontation among the stakeholders is foolhardy.

Please note: This resolution contains language that originated from the Legislative Committee on Public Lands. It may not necessarily represent the views of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources or the Nevada State Legislature as a whole. The following list of SCPL members was screen captured from the State Archives that appears to represent the members responsible for this resolution.

You can view the Committee’s web page in a new window by clicking here.

Additional Note: You may have noticed in the snapshot of the list of draft bills (above) that preceding SJR5 is a resolution relating to the Greater Sage Grouse. This is an issue that should be of significant interest to anyone concerned about thriving ecological balance and various uses on our public lands. A copy of this resolution can be viewed here.

Get involved with legislative activities. Constructive interaction with legislators helps produce beneficial legislation. The Nevada State Legislature has a useful web site that can be visited by clicking here.

Please continue to WHAT YOU CAN DO!


4 Responses to “Nevada Passes SJR5… Why YOU Should Care & What YOU Can Do…”

  1. sandra longley said

    excelent, will follow up

  2. I will follow up on this…

  3. sandra longley said

    OK but lets just realise this is a meaningless piece of paper-its not a law, its just the nev. leg who would be sending this to the ‘real congress” like a petition..they are just gnashing their teeth because WWP and the federal courts have been ripping millions of acres away from them for destroying the rangelands and grouse habitat..LOL..The state of Nevada has no control what so ever over public lands and the idea they will sue to try and force the government to remove the horses could just turn into the battle WWP is looking for, a chance to prove on the national stage it is the cattle..get congress to revamp multiple use to put cattle at the bottom on HMAs and horses on the top..go ahead..we have all the proof we need with dozens of lawsuits won just this year..WWP is challenging in court the legality of 34 RMP decisions as illegal..we should have the opportunity to re do all of the RMPs if they are judged illegal..and my money is on WWP

  4. […] other states containing wild horses. We’ve seen this disturbing trend many times over. (See Nevada Passes SJR5… Why YOU Should Care & What YOU Can Do…).  For the back story to this issue, see the following links […]

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