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Craig Downer Responds to Pancake Complex PEA

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on October 24, 2011

Our friend, Craig Downer, has graciously passed on his comments in response to the Pancake Complex Preliminary Environmental Assessment. For those of you who know Craig, you will find that he has once again outdone himself. For those of you who are not familiar with Craig’s work, you’re in for a real treat! For reference, please see Pancake Complex Preliminary Environmental Assessment. ~T

October 21, 2011
BLM Ely District Office
HC 33 Box 33500
Ely, NV 89301
Email: PancakeComplex@blm.govrthompson@blm.gov
Attn.: Gary W. Medlyn, Egan Field Manager

Subject: Objection to proposed wild horse roundups in Pancake Complex: Pancake HMA, Sand Springs West HMA, Jake’s Wash HMA (proposal to zero out), and Monte Cristo Wild Horse Territory (USFS)

Dear Mr. Medlyn:

Thank you for providing me with this opportunity to comment.  I have reviewed the Pancake Complex Preliminary Environmental Assessment and am very disturbed by its negatively tendentious plans and questionable justifications toward this vast, 1,259,739-acre area’s wild horses.  The proposed action is not at all fair to this national heritage and North American returned native species nor to the individual wild horses who have proven their survivability and ability to fit into the natural ecosystem in question, nor does it accord with the chief tenets of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971.  At its 40th anniversary, we Americans should now be celebrating this noble act’s true realization rather than lamenting its subversion.  Unfortunately your proposed plan for these horses falls within the latter category.

My analysis of some of your tables reveals a true egregiousness.  To cut to the chase, Table 1: Herd Management Area, Acres, AML, Estimated Population, and Estimated Numbers for Removal reveals that as of May 2011 what you term to be an over-populated herd within the four legal areas actually had 571 legal acres per remaining individual horse. This included 517 legal acres per individual horse in the 855,000-acre Pancake HMA, 1,029 legal acres per individual horse in the 157,436-acre Sand Springs West HMA, 1,164 legal acres per individual horse in the 153,663-acre Jake’s Wash HMA, and 347 legal acres per individual horse in the 93,640-acre Monte Cristo Wild Horse Territory.  Regardless of how many times you state otherwise, this is not an over-population, but rather an under-population from any fair and objective point-of-view.  A couple hundred acres per horse would not be an over-population in this area provided you exercised your legitimate authority to secure an adequate water supply for the wild horses.  America needs true defenders of its wild horses, not officials who all-too-willingly abrogate their responsibility to defend the rights of these wonderful animals and the General Public who support them.

The crux of the problem concerns your (BLM’s & USFS’s) over-allocation of forage to livestock, principally domestic cattle and sheep grazing within the legal wild horse areas.  Examining your EA’s section 4.5: Livestock Grazing and particularly Tables 3, 4, & 5, your Animal Unit Month (AUM) figures reveal the following year-round equivalent of cattle grazing within the four wild horse areas, taken both separately and as a composite.  In the Pancake HMA, current permitted livestock use equals 1,826 cattle.  In the Jake’s Wash Herd Area (HA, so named because you have decided to zero it out), current permitted livestock use equals 696 cattle.  In the Sand Springs West HMA, the current permitted livestock use equals 40 cattle. Excluding permitted livestock use in USFS’s Monte Cristo Wild Horse Territory, which would add considerably, the minimal grand total for year-round livestock usage is 2,562 cattle.  We conclude that there are more cattle grazing just in the three BLM HMAs than there are year-round wild horses in the four legal areas which, according to Table 1, sum to 2,208 horses – and the latter is likely to be an exaggerated number that includes the 2011 foals but does not adequately account for mortality factors.  Though the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act clearly states that the resources of the legal Herd Areas (BLM) and Territories (USFS) are to be “devoted principally” for the wild horses or burros upon their legal grounds, such is clearly not occurring at present what with 54% of the grazing resource going to domestic livestock and 46% of the grazing resource going to wild horses.  This wild horse population should be left alone. It is in the process of filling its ecological niche and attaining natural self-stabilization of its numbers – if we people would only allow it to do so.

If the drastic and grossly unfair Pancake Complex roundup proceeds as planned and taking the mid-point Appropriate Management Level of 499 wild horses, there will remain only 19% of total forage allocation for the wild horses (499 divided by 2,562).  This is a clear violation of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, as the wild horses’ presence is being marginalized and minimized even within its legal areas – which taken as a whole only represent a small fraction of the public lands. Their restoration to principal presence within their legal areas would constitute true “multiple use” as opposed to the status quo of monopolistic use on the public lands by especially livestock.  Additionally, BLM is planning to zero out, or eliminate, all wild horses from Jake’s Wash Herd Area. This HA contains a sizeable 153,663 acres; and though the 132 currently surviving wild horses here clearly disprove BLM officials’ claim that the area is unsuitable for wild horses, these officials persist in listing inadequate habitat components such as water, forage, shelter, etc., though the chief missing factor is their willingness to defend the wild horses’ rightful water, forage, shelter, and other survival requirements!

Alternative F, the No Action Alternative is the more fair and only reasonable and legal alternative of those presented by the E.A., yet it is discredited even in the E.A. as being invalid.  –Talk about tendentiousness against wild horses in the wild!

In addition to the above, I have the following complaints:

Page 18: You make light of the “Remove or Reduce Livestock within the HMA,” yet it is the only truly fair and legal option here.  You evade your responsibility to reduce or eliminate livestock, yet you are clearly willing to do this and in drastic measure to the wild horses themselves!  (The wild horses, by the way, have a right to live here, while livestock permittees only have a cancelable privilege to graze their livestock here.)  You refer to the 2008 Ely Record of Decision and Resource Management Plan and to the Tonopah Resource Management Plan, but fail to honestly criticize these in light of the actual law protecting the wild horses and establishing their rights to live their free-roaming life at healthy, viable population levels upon certain areas of the public lands.

Page 19. Your clear abrogation of responsibility is indicated on this page when you claim that the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 4710.5 is only for emergencies “and not for the general management of wild horses or burros.”  This is simply not true by any reasonable interpretation of this code and again reveals your prejudiced attitude toward the wild horses.

Page 22. I question your statement that fences do not restrain wild horse movements within their legal areas, given the fact that they are open-ended.  Much of this would depend upon how long they are and where they are located.  Your least and last consideration seems to be for the wild horses themselves.

You make no intelligent comparison of relative livestock, big game, and other conflicting or potentially conflicting interests including ORVs and mining operations in relation to the wild horses and how this affects their well being in the wild.

You go out of your way to state that the Pancake Complex has not been designated as a wild horse “range” and point out the four in the U.S. that have.  Yet all the original wild horse and burro areas should be considered as “ranges” according to any fair interpretation of the Act.  Again you give more importance to regulations than to the federal law itself!

Pages 22-23: Your discussion of available water sources says nothing about how you could take steps to secure or improve water availability for fairer numbers of wild horses.  You seem to be grasping for excuses to justify your miserable treatment of the wild horses.  The utilization trends and consumption rates you quote do not in fact reveal a dire situation caused by wild horses, though your implied conclusion indicates just this.  Your justification for zeroing out Jake’s Wash HMA is very arbitrary, and you make not even the feeblest attempt to do something to keep the horses here.  As stated above, the 132 surviving wild horses disprove your contrived case against them.  It is obvious they are your targets.  By fomenting cooperative agreements with other entities as enabled under Section 6 of the Act, BLM officials could, in fact, secure year-round water, forage, etc., for the spirited Jake’s Wash wild horses, whom I have had the rare privilege to observe since 1980.

Page 24: Again, objectively viewed, your presentation of facts for Sand Springs West HMA is unconvincing as a case against the current number of wild horses.  And I find it revealing how you avoid bringing livestock into consideration in regard to those areas that are being over-utilized.  I also suspect that existing fences within the two HMAs, one HA and one Territory could be preventing a more extensive and natural rest rotation – or equitable distribution of grazing pressure.

Pages 26-27: I very much object to the creation of an one-third non-breeding segment of the wild horse population, and as a wildlife ecologist, predict that this would result in a dysfunctional herd lacking the true vitality that is required for long-term survival.  This is very much contrary to the true intent of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971.  For the same reason, I disfavor the 60% male to 40% female sex ratio and view this as very disruptive to the social structure of individual bands and to the herd as a whole.  It has been abundantly proven that mature bands of long standing naturally limit the wild horses’ growth rate when the wild horses are allowed to fill their ecological niche without excessive interference by people.

Page 29: I also note that you plan on administering PZP to all released mares and again caution against the adverse effects PZP could cause both to individual wild horses, e.g. stress, pain, dysfunction within horse society, ostracism, and to the social structure of the harem-band as well as to the whole herd.  As you may have heard, I am proposing Reserve Design as a much better solution to the wild horse challenge, but this will require letting the horses be the principal presences and letting them realize their ecological niche within adequately sized and composed habitats and cutting back on livestock and other monopolistic uses.  This would result in natural self-stabilization by intact social units and is true to the noble intent of the Act.  In this same regard, I am entirely opposed to the gelding of stallions. Even your statement that up to 5% of castrated stallions may die as a consequence should be enough to cancel this cruel proposal that is so thoughtless of the horses themselves.

Page 33: Your frequent tampering with the wild horse population prevents the establishment of a harmonious wild-horse-containing ecosystem, one that is enhanced overall as to biodiversity, soil richness, food chain/web, seeding dispersal, etc., since the horse is a true returned “keystone” species here in North America.

Page 34: You make light of the kicking and biting that occurs immediately after capture when the horses are first penned – and this occurs among both the stallions and the mares, not just the stallions.  I have observed this on several roundups and it both can and frequently does result in serious injury and even death of the wild horses so traumatized and unnaturally crowded together.  Our goal should be to leave these wonderful animals alone in their rightful legal and ancestral lands and to let them be born, live out their lives, and pass on naturally contributing their remains rather than to be subject to this unnatural and terrifying chasing by helicopter, violent capture and manipulation and a life of confinement, or a cruel trip to the slaughter plant, e.g. in Mexico or Canada.  This is clearly wrong and not what the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act intended.

Page 49 ff: You imply that wild horse reduction would improve wilderness values thus ignoring the many positive contributions wild horses make to the ecosystem.  In fact, they greatly restore the North American ecosystem, as they are not a ruminant digester like nearly all other large and more recently arrived grazers, but a post-gastric digester and thus help build soils and disperse seeds of a greater variety of plants and to a much greater degree than the ruminants.  They restore North America’s naturalness and they also greatly bolster the food chain or web both through their droppings and by contributing their mortal remains.

Page 48: Finally, wild horses are very inspiring to people, to the General Public as a whole.  Their presence in the wild is a healing one, both to the natural life community and to those economically disinterested people who come from near and far too just experience their presence.  Ask the thousands of wild horse advocates in this nation of ours and throughout the world what I am talking about.  It is high time that as public officials and servants sworn to uphold all the laws of the land you listen to us rather than just to those vested interests who for one greedy reason or another have targeted these returned North American natives for discrediting and elimination.

Sincerely yours,

Craig C. Downer
Wildlife Ecologist, Author on wild horses and burros, etc., board: The Cloud Foundation
P.O. Box 456
Minden, NV 89423-0456
T. 775-901-2094
Email: ccdowner@yahoo.com

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts, Ely FO, FY2011, Jakes Wash, Monte Cristo Wild Horse Territory, Pancake Complex, Pancake HMA, Sand Springs HMA, USFS | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Tentative Gather Schedule as of October 1, 2011 (Color Coded)

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on October 8, 2011

The Tentative Gather Schedule as of October 1, 2011 has been released. To make reading the schedule easier, we have color coded it and put it into a pdf format for you to download. It is also available as the jpeg image below. National Wild Horse and Burro Tentative Gather Schedule October 1, 2011 (Color Coded by TMP) (pdf)

 

 

 

Posted in Antelope HMA, BLM, Daily Posts, Elko DO, Ely FO, FY2011 | 3 Comments »

BLM Seeks Public Comment on Proposed Pancake Complex Wild Horse Gather

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on October 3, 2011

BLM Seeks Public Comment on Proposed Pancake Complex Wild Horse Gather

Ely, Nev. – The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Battle Mountain District, Tonopah Field Office and BLM Ely District, Egan Field Office are soliciting public comment on the Pancake Complex Wild Horse Gather Preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA), which analyzes several management alternatives including the Proposed Action which is a pilot management alternative.  The newly proposed method calls for a phased-in approach to reach the appropriate management level over a six to 10 year period by reducing removals, implementing fertility control, adjusting sex ratios and  managing a non-breeding population of geldings.  The BLM will accept comments until Friday, Oct. 28, 2011.

The proposed gather area is located in south-central Nevada approximately 30 miles west of Ely and 80 miles northeast of Tonopah, Nev.  The proposed gather is tentatively scheduled to begin in January 2012. The proposed gather is needed to remove excess wild horses to help prevent further deterioration of the range, reduce population growth rates, achieve and maintain a thriving natural ecological balance and maintain healthy wild horse populations.   

The Pancake Complex consists of the Sand Springs West and Pancake Herd Management Areas (HMAs), Jakes Wash Herd Area (HA) and Monte Cristo Wild Horse Territory (WHT).  The BLM Battle Mountain District, Tonopah Field Office administers the Sand Springs West HMA.  The BLM Ely District Office administers the Pancake HMA and Jakes Wash HA.  The Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, Ely Ranger District administers the Monte Cristo WHT.

Written comments may be submitted to the BLM Ely District Office, HC 33 Box 33500, Ely, NV 89301, attn: Gary W. Medlyn, Egan Field Manager, or by email to PancakeComplex@blm.gov.  Email comments sent to any other email address will not be considered.

The Pancake Complex Wild Horse Gather Preliminary Environmental Assessment is available online at http://www.blm.gov/nv/.  Click on the Ely District map and then click on the EA listed “In the Spotlight.”  Printed copies are available at the BLM Tonopah Field Office, 1553 South Main Street, in Tonopah; and the BLM Ely District Office, 702 North Industrial Way, in Ely.

-BLM-

 

Pancake Complex Wild Horse Gather: Progress as of Sep 28, 2011 Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts, Ely FO | 7 Comments »

BLM Press Release: BLM to Begin Triple B, Maverick-Medicine, and Antelope Valley Herd Management Areas Wild Horse Gather

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on June 28, 2011

BLM to Begin Triple B, Maverick-Medicine, and Antelope Valley Herd Management Areas Wild Horse Gather
Public encouraged to attend, especially on Saturdays
Ely, Nev. – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Elko District, Wells Field Office; and BLM Ely District, Egan Field Office will initiate the Triple B, Maverick-Medicine, and Antelope Valley Herd Management Areas (HMAs) Wild Horse Gather on or about Thursday, July 7, 2011, to gather and remove approximately 1,726 excess wild horses from in and around the HMAs, and the Cherry Springs Wild Horse Territory (WHT), located about 30 miles northwest of Ely and 70 miles southeast of Elko, Nev.
Any horses gathered above targeted removal numbers will be released back to the HMAs and WHT so that the remaining population is within appropriate management level (AML).  The AML for the Triple B HMA is 250-518 wild horses; the AML for the Maverick-Medicine HMA is 166-276 wild horses; the AML for the Antelope Valley HMA west of U.S. Highway 93 is 16-27 wild horses; and the AML for the Cherry Springs WHT is 40-68 wild horses.
Any gathered mares released back to the range will be vaccinated with the PZP-22 (Porcine Zona Pellucida) fertility control vaccine. Additionally, sex ratios of gathered animals to be returned to the HMAs may be adjusted to achieve an approximately 60 percent male/40 percent female ratio. The gather, removal and fertility control are intended to slow wild horse population growth, maintain population size within the appropriate management levels necessary to achieve a thriving natural ecological balance on the public lands and to extend the time before another gather to remove excess wild horses would be needed.
There will be no closure of the public lands and therefore, public lands within the HMAs and WHT will be open to the public during the gather operations, subject to necessary safety restrictions.  The public is welcome to attend the gather, and is encouraged to attend on Saturdays, when the media and public will have additional interpretive opportunities and can interact with staff.  The BLM has tentatively scheduled the dates of July 9, 16, 23 and 30; and Aug. 6, 13 and 20.  The dates are subject to change depending upon weather and gather operations, and the public is encouraged to check the gather hotline nightly (775-289-1880) for changes in the schedule.  For more information or to sign up, call Tiffany Trodahl, BLM Egan Field Office resource assistant, at (775) 289-1892.  The BLM will also regularly post gather information on its Website at: www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/ely_field_office.html.
The gather will be conducted in close coordination with the Nevada Department of Agriculture’s (NDOA) Brands Division.  The NDOA brand inspectors will verify that all gathered animals are wild horses and burros as defined by the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971.  Once verified, the brand inspector will provide the BLM a certificate to transport the animals. Without this cooperation and coordination, the BLM would not be able to remove the excess wild horses and burros which, if not removed in a timely manner, would result in degradation of our native rangelands.  The NDOA also may take jurisdiction of any estray, branded or abandoned domestic horse(s) under the State of Nevada estray laws.
The gathered animals will be transported to either the National Wild Horse and Burro Center at Palomino Valley (PVC), in Reno, Nev.;Gunnison Correctional Facility in Gunnison, Utah; or the Delta Wild Horse Corrals in Delta City, Utah, where they will be prepared for the BLM adoption program or for long-term holding. Wild horses for which there is no adoption demand will be placed in long-term pastures where they will be humanely cared for and retain their “wild” status and protection under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.  The BLM does not sell or send any horses to slaughter. For more information, contact Chris Hanefeld, BLM Ely District public affairs specialist, at (775) 289-1842 or chanefel@blm.gov. Chris Hanefeld, 775-289-1842 Ely District Office public affairs

Posted in Antelope HMA, BLM, Chokecherry, Daily Posts, Ely FO, FY2011 | Leave a Comment »

Grazing Info for the Ely District of Nevada, August 27, 2010

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on August 27, 2010

The following information is just about anything and everything I could find today on the Ely District’s Grazing on public lands. The information, links and documents below range from Allotment Master Reports and Operator information to the Range Improvements of 2008. Ely FO has been a sore spot of sorts for me for quite some time as it seems they are bound and determined to rid the public lands of their jurisdiction of all wild horses and burros. Historically, they have done just that. Oh, and don’t forget to check out the land planning documents of the Ely FO… Interesting reads… Record of Decision and Approved Resource Management Plan 

Wild Horse Gathers 2010

FYI: Ely District Field Office’s Contact Info:

Bureau of Land Management Ely Field Office
702 North Industrial Way, HC 33 Box 33500
Ely, Nevada 89301
775-289-1800

Term Permit Renewal Environmental Assessments 

Grazing Permit Renewal Summaries for 2010

Posted in BLM, Chokecherry, Daily Posts, Eagle, Eagle Gather Feb 2010, Ely FO, Moriah HMA, Mt. Elinore, Paymaster / Montezuma HMA Gather, Silver King HMA Gather | 2 Comments »

BLM News Release: Wild/Feral Horse Population Data Collected

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on July 9, 2010

Release Date: 07/09/10
Contacts: JoLynn Worley, 775-861-6515, jolynn_worley@blm.gov
News Release No. 2010-022

Wild/Feral Horse Population Data Collected

Reno, Nev. — Preliminary data from an aerial population survey conducted by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) of northwest Nevada and southern Oregon indicates there is a minimum of 4,200 wild/feral horses within this area, which contains 13 wild horse herd management areas (HMAs), including the five Calico Mountains Complex HMAs, 3 wild horse herd areas (HAs), and two national wildlife refuges.

The BLM and FWS concluded the inventory on June 28 after nine days and approximately 60 hours of flight time using a fixed-wing airplane, which will provide a scientifically-based estimate of the wild/feral horse population. The project area encompasses approximately four million acres of private and Federally-managed public lands.

This improved population survey methodology was developed by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) with the assistance of BLM wild horse specialists. The methodology, called Simultaneous Double-Count with Sightability Bias Correction, used three observers to independently observe and record data on groups of individual horses. The methodology incorporates peer-reviewed techniques that have been used for decades to estimate wildlife populations around the world.

A statistician cooperating with USGS will analyze the preliminary data obtained during the inventory flights to provide population estimates with a 95 percent confidence interval. Inventory information relies on the ability of the aerial observers to see horse groups and is strongly dependent on the skill of the individual observer, size of the horse group, and vegetation cover.

The modeling and analysis to be completed will make adjustments to the preliminary data to account for animals not observed during the flight. The simultaneous double-count/sightability bias correction technique will provide more valid population estimates than the standard uncorrected aerial inventory method.

While the BLM does not have a date for the release of the final results of the inventory and necessary modeling work, preliminary data, which represent the minimum number of horses in each area, are shown below. The BLM/FWS will release the results of the analysis to the public when it comes available. The following numbers shown are direct counts of animals seen during the flight and include observed foals of the year.

Bureau of Land Management administered areas:

State/Herd Management Area (HMA) or Herd Area (HA) Direct Count
Nevada Calico Complex 5 HMAs
   Black Rock East HMA
   Black Rock West HMA
   Calico Mountain HMA
   Warm Springs Canyon HMA
   Granite Mountain HMA
NV/non-HMA areas
                                                     NV sub-total
69
140
436
342
154
136
1,277
   
OR/Beaty’s Butte HMA
OR/Pueblo-Lone Mountain HA
OR/South Catlow HA
OR/non-HMA areas
                                                     OR sub-total
377
19
0
4_
400
   
CA/Bitner HMA
CA/Carter Reservoir HMA
CA/Fox Hog HMA 
CA/High Rock Canyon HMA
CA/Massacre Lakes HMA
CA/Nut Mountain HMA
CA/Wall Canyon HMA
CA/New Years Lake HA
CA/non-HMA areas
                                                     CA sub-total
47
6
172
300
148
3
87
100
430
1,293
   
US Fish and Wildlife Service administered area:
USFWS/Sheldon-Hart Mountain
1,247
   
                                                  Inventory total 4,217

This cooperative effort will establish a base line population count and animal distribution in this large area. Past population surveys and gather operations have shown that wild/feral horses may move among a number of HMAs and the Sheldon and Hart Mountain National Wildlife Refuges.

This population survey represents a point in time and that because of the free-roaming nature of the animals their movement between HMAs is normal and expected. While the total number of animals is expected to remain stable until next year’s foaling season, the numbers within each HMA will vary over time.

Pre-determined transects spaced 1 ½ miles apart were flown at an altitude of approximately 500 feet above ground level and speeds ranging between 95 and 110 nautical mph. Data collected included the number of horses per group, type of topography, plant cover, activity of the horses, and other parameters that will be used to develop population estimates. All observed horse groups also had their locations recorded via GPS.

BLM and FWS are planning to return to the area later this fall for a second survey that will provide information on the herd movement and how that can affect population counts in the individual areas.

Map of survey area and locations where horses were observed.

The BLM manages more land – more than 245 million acres – than any other Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The Bureau, with a budget of about $1 billion, also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands.

–BLM–

Nevada State Office   1340 Financial Blvd., Reno NV 89502

Posted in BLM, Calico Complex Gather 2009-2010, Daily Posts, Eagle Gather Feb 2010, Ely FO, McGavin Peak Gather, Ruby Pipeline, LLC, Tonopah Field Office, Tuscarora Wild Horse Gather | 6 Comments »

The Declaration of Independence – From a Wild Horse & Burro Point of View

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on July 4, 2010

How many of those among us have actually read and understood the document now known as the Declaration of Independence? Any of us who have made it through middle school grade levels know what the text of the document is; most of us had to memorize the first few paragraphs for a test grade. But how many of us actually understand the text and words?

I began this post early this morning. Needless to say, I got a little bit sidetracked. However, following the white rabbit down the bunny trail has led me to a new and awe-inspiring understanding of this great document.

I wonder now if Thomas Jefferson knew then while he sat by candle light with a quill and ink pot just how much his humble and yet powerful words on a piece of parchment paper would affect the American people. Certainly, he did not know then what I know now of how it so accurately applies to the plight of the American Wild Mustang and Burro.

It has been said that Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration in a format that was intended to be performed, as in acted out. After coming upon this discovery today, I would have to agree with this wholeheartedly.

I ask that you follow with me on a trip to the imagination: As you listen to the following reading, think of the Colonial Americans… Then think of them as the American Wild Mustang. Don’t stop paying attention once you hear the first few paragraphs that we’ve all heard a million times. The truths come after them.

As I stated, I started this post early this morning in order to pull a few more resources together for a slide show / video showcasing the Equine contributions to the American Military. It is greatly shadowed by the light of the video above but I like it LOL.

Posted in BLM, Calico Complex Gather 2009-2010, Daily Posts, Eagle Gather Feb 2010, Ely FO, McGavin Peak Gather, Ruby Pipeline, LLC, Tonopah Field Office, Tuscarora Wild Horse Gather, You Be the Judge Series | 4 Comments »

Upcoming Wild Horse & Burro Gathers, Summer 2010, Updated List 06/22/2010

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on July 3, 2010

The following are wild horse and burro gathers that are proposed to be conducted this summer. This list is up to date through June 22, 2010.

State Agency HMA Complex Start Date End Date # To Be Gathered # To Be Removed Horses/Burros
NV BLM Eagle (outside) *   3/10/10 9/29/10 50 50 Horses
NM BLM Bordo   7/7/10 7/17/10 107 50 Horses
OR FS Murderers Creek   7/1/10 9/30/10 50 50 Horses
OR FS Big Summit   7/1/10 9/30/10 50 50 Horses
OR BLM Ligget Table   7/1/10 9/30/10 40 40 Horses
NV BLM Owyhee Owyhee Complex 7/9/10 8/1/10 660 595 Horses
NV BLM Rock Creek (outside) Owyhee Complex 7/9/10 8/1/10 358 358 Horses
NV BLM Rock Creek  Owyhee Complex 7/9/10 8/1/10 250 50 Horses
NV BLM Little Humbolt Owyhee Complex 7/9/10 8/1/10 80 30 Horses
OR BLM Cold Springs   7/11/10 7/16/10 187 112 Horses
OR BLM Murderers Creek   7/18/10 7/23/10 100 100 Horses
NV BLM Moriah   8/10/10 8/12/10 72 72 Horses
UT BLM Confusion Conger 8/14/10 8/25/10 300 250 Horses
UT BLM Conger Conger 8/14/10 8/25/10 260 230 Horses
CA BLM Twin Peaks   8/9/10 9/23/20 2301 1853 Horses
OR FS Stinking Water   8/18/10 8/23/10 215 175 Horses
CO BLM Piceance/East Douglas HMA   8/25/10 9/3/10 380 340 Horses
NV BLM Reveille   9/4/10 9/8/10 235 195 Horses
NV BLM Montezuma   9/9/10 9/13/10 155 155 Burros/Horses
UT BLM Winter Ridge HA   9/15/10 9/23/10 200 200 Horses
NV BLM Paymaster   9/14/10 9/16/10 45 45 Horses
NV BLM Silver King   9/18/10 9/30/10 600 500 Horses
CA BLM Twin Peaks   8/9/10 9/23/10 302 205 Burros
NV BLM Reveille   9/4/10 9/8/10 235 195 Burros
NV BLM Montezuma   9/9/10 9/13/10 155 155 Burros/Horses
AZ BLM Cibola   9/25/10 9/30/10 100 100 Burros
*Will Continue thru September as they are found outside the HMA. Total Horses Planned to be Gathered 6,645    
Total Burros Planned to be Gathered 792    
     These totals are for the summer months of 2010 only. Total Horses Planned to be Removed 5,450    
      Total Burros Planned to be Removed 655    

Posted in BLM, Calico Complex Gather 2009-2010, Daily Posts, Eagle Gather Feb 2010, Ely FO, McGavin Peak Gather, Tonopah Field Office, Tuscarora Wild Horse Gather | 13 Comments »

Silver King Herd Management Area Wild Horse Gather w/ Grazing Allotment Info…

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on June 23, 2010

Silver King Herd Management Area Wild Horse Gather

The BLM Ely District, Schell Field Office is seeking public comment on the Silver King Herd Management Area Wild Horse Gather Preliminary Environmental Assessment, which addresses the need to remove approximately 445 excess wild horses from in and around the Silver King Herd Management Area (HMA), to bring the number of wild horses in the HMA to the appropriate management level of about 60 animals.  The HMA is located approximately 70 miles south of Ely.  The proposed gather is scheduled to begin in September 2010.  The BLM will accept comments until July 16, 2010.

Appropriate management level for the Silver King HMA is 60-128 wild horses, but there are currently more than 500 wild horses within the HMA.  The proposed gather is needed to remove excess wild horses to help prevent further deterioration of the range, achieve and maintain a thriving natural ecological balance and achieve and maintain healthy, viable wild horse populations.  If more than 445 wild horses are gathered, selective removal criteria would be used to return horses to the range.  Of the horses remaining on the range, BLM would conduct fertility control measures on mares and/or adjust the sex ratios of the gathered animals to be returned to the HMA to 60 percent male/40 percent female ratios.

Please address written comments to:

BLM Ely District Office
Attn: Mary D’Aversa, Schell Field Manager
HC 33 Box 33500
Ely, NV 89301 

Comments may be submitted electronically to silverkinghma@blm.gov.  Comments need to be post marked (if mailed), faxed, or emailed to silverkinghma@blm.gov no later than 7-16-2010. 

The only email comments that will be considered are emails sent to silverkinghma@blm.gov. Email comments sent to any other email address WILL NOT be considered.

For more information, contact Ben Noyes, BLM Ely District wild horse and burro specialist, at (775) 289-1800.

Grazing Allotment Information

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts, Ely FO | 42 Comments »

Moriah Herd Area Wild Horse Gather

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on May 15, 2010

Moriah Herd Area Wild Horse Gather

The BLM Ely District, Schell Field Office is seeking public comment on the Moriah Herd Area Wild Horse Gather Preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA), which addresses the need to remove approximately 72 excess wild horses from in and around the Moriah Herd Area (HA), approximately 48 miles northeast of Ely, beginning in August 2010.  The BLM will accept comments until June 18, 2010.

The BLM Ely District is implementing the Ely Resource Management Plan that was signed in August 2008.  Through the planning process, a decision was made to remove wild horses and drop Herd Management Area (HMA) status on those areas that do not provide sufficient habitat resources to sustain healthy (wild horse) populations, i.e., forage, water, space, cover and reproductive viability.   As a result, 12 HMAs reverted to HA status, including the Moriah HMA.

Please address written comments to the BLM Ely District Office, HC 33 Box 33500, Ely, NV 89301 attn: Mary D’Aversa, Schell Field Manager.  Comments may be submitted electronically to MoriahHA@blm.gov.

For more information, contact Chris Hanefeld, BLM Ely District public affairs specialist, at (775) 289-1842 or chris_hanefeld@blm.gov.

Ely Approved Resource Management Plan and Record Of Decision (August 2008)

Other Environmental Documents from the Ely District:

From the BLM Ely Field Office Webpage:

Wild Horses & Burros – Ely District

The BLM protects, manages, and controls wild horses and burros under the authority of the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act to ensure that healthy herds thrive on healthy rangelands. The BLM manages these living symbols of the Western spirit as part of its multiple-use mission under the 1976 Federal Land Policy and Management Act

The BLM bases its decisions regarding the management of wild horses and burros as well as other resources and activities on public lands through the development of land use plans, i.e. Resource Management Plans, or RMPs, and activity plans, i.e. gather plans and herd management area plans.   Land-use planning and activity planning are public, collaborative process through the National Environmental Policy Act.

The BLM Ely District in August 2008 signed the Record of Decision for the new Ely RMP and is currently implementing the decisions that are located within the management decisions section.  The Ely District made the decision to manage for 810-1,695 wild horses in six wild horse Herd Management Areas, or HMAs, that vary in size from 19,000 acres to 1,225,000 acres.

 

News and Other Tidbits Pertaining to Ely District…

BLM’s Wild Horse Elimination Plan Angers Ecologist ELY, Nevada, July 7, 2009

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts, Ely FO | 27 Comments »