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Posts Tagged ‘BLM’

NAS Committee Tasked with Reviewing the BLM’s WH&B Management Program… Get To Know The Members & Their Questions

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on October 24, 2011

 

The National Academies of Science will be conducting a meeting on October 27 and 28, 2011 in Reno, NV to determine whether the BLM is using the best science available in managing wild horses and burros on Western range lands. The agenda also includes hearing from BLM and a panel of Wild Horse & Burro genetics and population experts. For more information on this committee and the scope of the project, see below. Thanks, The TMP Team

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

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.gov; rthompson@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‚Äôs & USFS‚Äôs) over-allocation of forage to livestock, principally domestic cattle and sheep grazing within the legal wild horse areas.¬†¬†Examining your EA‚Äôs 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‚Äôs 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‚Äôs 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 ‚Äď 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 ‚Äúdevoted principally‚ÄĚ 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 ‚Äď 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‚Äô presence is being marginalized and minimized even within its legal areas ‚Äď 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 ‚Äúmultiple use‚ÄĚ 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‚Äôs Wash Herd Area.¬†This HA contains a sizeable 153,663 acres; and though the 132 currently surviving wild horses here clearly disprove BLM officials‚Äô 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‚Äô 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 ‚ÄúRemove or Reduce Livestock within the HMA,‚ÄĚ 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 ‚Äúand not for the general management of wild horses or burros.‚Ä̬†¬†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 ‚Äúrange‚ÄĚ and point out the four in the U.S. that have.¬†¬†Yet all the original wild horse and burro areas should be considered as ‚Äúranges‚ÄĚ 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 ‚Äď 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 ‚Äúkeystone‚ÄĚ 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 ‚Äď 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 »

Nightmare and Reality

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on October 17, 2011

If anyone is undecided about whether or not they are anti- or pro- horse slaughter, I beg of you to read on. I am truly begging anyone that has not yet made up their minds to please read the information and stories presented in this post. PLEASE! You owe it to yourself to know the full story. ~TL

My friends, it is with a heavy heart that I write to you this day. While following up on a research project, I came across a story about a horse named Rhapsody Rhose. Her human was Jaime Cowan. As I read Jaime and Rhapsody’s story, I realized that their story was quite literally my nightmare come true. After speaking via email with Jaime, it seemed prudent to share with you all this experience.

Anyone reading this could easily say to themselves, ‚ÄúBut that won‚Äôt happen to me,‚ÄĚ or something along the lines of, ‚ÄúThat would never happen here.‚ÄĚ My friends, this is sadly the worst possible assumption anyone could make.

The following is an account of just how hard their story has been driven home to us here at TMP. Please, do not interpret this as an attempt to strike fear into your hearts and minds. We simply wish to convey the gravity of the situation so that you may also take preventative steps to avoid a similar outcome. At the end of this post, there are links to websites and organizations that combat horse theft. Please, take a few moments to look over some of their suggestions. There are also links showing what you can do should you ever have to face the same situation as Jaime.

Many thanks in advance, and as always, stay safe. ~The TMP Team

P.S. Of particular interest in the video “Part 1” was his confession of how he trapped Wild Mustangs when he couldn’t get enough domesticated horses bought to make a load to slaughter.¬†

The Nightmare

About a month ago, I awoke in the middle of the night screaming and throwing punches. Clate woke up as well and immediately ducked to miss a punch I had thrown into the air at an invisible assailant. Luckily, he was able to wake me from the nightmare before I seriously injured him or myself. He tried to calm me, and tried unsuccessfully to understand the incoherent words I was crying. When he was finally able to comprehend my words, he also understood my fear and violent reaction:

‚ÄúThey took him! They took him and I couldn‚Äôt stop them! They took Mouse!‚ÄĚ

I had been having a nightmare.

Someone elusive and evil had stolen Mighty Mouse away from our pastures in the dead of night. They had taken him to Mexico, and through my dream vision, I saw him standing in the death line. My dream vision flashed back to our home, with Clate and I sitting in the living room, and the phone rang. It was someone telling me of Mouse’s situation. My disbelief was quickly replaced with an awful fear and dread as I raced to the barn only to discover he was indeed gone.

My dream vision then flashed to the cab of our truck as we raced down the highway headed for the border. Texas is a huge state, and we live on the Eastern border. Mouse was across the Western border. Chevrolet makes an awesome truck, but even our big V8 Silverado couldn’t drive fast enough to get there in time.

Again, my dream vision flashed back to Mouse standing in that line, unknowingly awaiting his death. He looked back as though I were standing right there with him. The look on his face was one of confusion and curiosity. Mouse, forever the curious one, was totally unaware of what fate lay ahead of him. Suddenly, fear replaced curiosity’s position alongside confusion as the horse already inside the chute screamed. Mouse jerked his head towards the scream, and then frantically back at me.

Even though it was only a dream, I literally felt my heart breaking inside of my chest. The pain was immense. My beloved Mustang had no idea what was going on, and had no idea where I was, or why I wasn’t there. And try as I did, I couldn’t get there!

Flash back to the truck. My fingers furiously dialed number after number to reach every contact I had in the Texas Department of Public Safety’s State Troopers Offices, the Texas Attorney General’s Office, then on to the Texas Courts System. I called every last friend and ally I had as fast as I could, all the while my vision flashing me back and forth to Mouse standing there in that line. All of my contacts assured me they would do whatever they could to stop this horrible atrocity from taking place. But they should not have made those assurances, for such a thing was not in their power. Mouse was already across the border. He was no longer inside any of their jurisdictions.

I was too late.

As my dream vision flashed back to Mouse, he was now next in the death line. I screamed. I fought. It wasn’t enough. My boy stepped through the opening of the chute. The knife was raised, and just before it came down, I awoke from the nightmare.

The Reality

My nightmare was just that: a dream that sent the deepest fear I’ve ever felt through my entire being. A desperate sprint to the barn confirmed that Mighty Mouse was indeed still safe here at home and not in the clutches of an unspeakable horror. I must have stood there in the barn for what seemed like forever making sure that the dream was in fact just a dream, and that I was really touching his mane.

Relief doesn’t even begin to describe what I felt.

The nightmare had been so incredibly real that I still had a pain deep in my chest, one that persisted until the following afternoon. Breathing did not come quite as easily as it should have. Hot tears still flowed down my face. Anger, intense and furious, welled up inside of my body. As I stood there in his stall rubbing his neck and smelling his mane, Mouse was aware of my emotional state. He responded as a comforter, as my friend, and almost in a reassuring manner as if to say, Mom, I’m ok. I’m here, safe and sound.

But Rhapsody Rhose was in fact not safe and sound, and Jaime was in fact living my nightmare on an even grander scale that I could ever possibly dream or would ever want to.

I’ve spent the last month in a state of heightened awareness, wary of those who slow down even a little in front of our pastures, wary of any noises I hear in the middle of the night, and constantly checking to make sure of the horses’ safety. India is my son’s mare, and is much bigger than Mouse, so I fear for them both.

This fear is very strange to me. I am not the type of person that fears many things, and I am certainly not afraid to defend those whom I care for and love with whatever means are necessary. However, I am finding through this fear that even though I am fully prepared and capable of such a defense, I cannot be everywhere at once. And there are those amongst us who are not afraid of consequences to their actions. Indeed, they do not care about said consequences.

Where I live and where I was raised, we haven’t always locked our doors. In the past, we’ve often left for days on end with the front and back doors left unlocked and even open, especially in the summertime. Now, we are sure to lock every door and window before going on a five minute trip to town and back. Jaime lives in a place much the same as we do, and likely much the same as many of you do as well.

My point is simply this: We as the American People have taken for granted the safety and security of our homes, barns, and pastures for far too long. We who have not been affected by such tragedies as the Cowan family has should count ourselves extremely lucky that we have been but merely ‚Äúmissed‚ÄĚ by that tragedy‚Äôs aim thus far.

If Jaime and Rhapsody’s story proves but one thing to us all, it is that we must be vigilant. Rhapsody Rhose was taken by someone the Cowan family trusted. This trust was given to this person with no cause to doubt it. And yet, Rhapsody is still gone.

We cannot allow this to happen to others.¬†With Jaime‚Äôs story, others ‚Äď possibly in the same position with horses at a boarder ‚Äď can put measures in place to help prevent the same outcome.

(FYI: Under Texas Penal Code Chapter 31, Sec. 31.03(e)(5)(A), horse theft is a third degree felony if you steal less than ten horses and a first degree felony to steal ten or more horses. Both are state jail offenses. Contrary to what many have believed for years, horse theft is not a hanging offense in Texas. At least, it’s not legally.)

Many pro-slaughter advocates would have the American public believe that slaughter is a necessary means to dispose of horses that inevitably will be among any horse population. These ‚Äúinevitable‚ÄĚ horses include those who are lame, sick, old, or those with severe behavioral problems that cause them to become a danger to humans.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Most horses that end up in slaughter are in fact robust, healthy animals. Many are highly trained and certainly capable of continuing life in the service of humans as companions and/or laborers. Even higher populations of these horses were sold under the pretense that they would go to a ‚Äúgood home‚ÄĚ, some owners even being promised that their beloved Equine would be the new companion of a small child.

But this isn’t always the case. There are no solid statistics yet available, but it is believed that between 40,000 to 55,000 horses are stolen each year. It is relatively easy to take a horse, put it in a trailer, haul it to an auction and make a quick dollar. Sadly, many horses that go through an auction end up at a slaughterhouse.

Rhapsody Rhose was a Purebred Polish Russian Arabian Mare born April 9, 1989. Rhapsody was never bred. She was raised and trained for pleasure riding only, as was her mother, Romantica Rose, who still survives. Rhapsody’s bloodline contained several patron lines. She was the granddaughter of National Grand Champion Marsianin and daughter of Borexpo. She was valued between $5000- $25,000. She was sold to the kill buyer for $65. She wasn‚Äôt a show horse, a racehorse, a mare that produced wonderful foals and she never won any trophies. She was also not an ‚Äúinevitable‚ÄĚ horse.

Rhapsody was not bad. She did nothing wrong. She was not old and she had no lameness.  Her trot was amazing; her canter was breathtaking. She was not ugly.  She did no harm and did not disappoint. 

Click here for Jaime Cowan’s Story, The Story of Rhapsody Rose

Links:

WARNING: The following videos give first hand accounts from a “kill buyer”. He is graphic in his detailing of events that he and his fellow “kill buyers” committed and witnessed.¬†Viewer¬†discretion is advised.

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments »

BLM Approves the Winter Ridge Herd Area Wild Horse Gather and Removal Plan EA

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on August 8, 2011

Release Date: 07/29/11Contacts: Guss Warr, (801) 824-1632

BLM Approves the Winter Ridge Herd Area Wild Horse Gather and Removal Plan Environmental Assessment

Vernal, Utah‚ÄĒThe Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Vernal Field Office approved the Winter Ridge Herd Area (HA) Wild Horse Gather and Removal Plan Environmental Assessment (EA) on July 26, 2011.

This EA was prepared to analyze the BLM’s proposed gather and removal of approximately 150 excess wild horses from the Winter Ridge Herd Area vicinity beginning in September 2011. As outlined in the 2008 Vernal Resource Management Plan, all wild horses gathered in this area will be permanently removed from the HA.  Public comments were solicited from July 26-August 26, 2010 and were considered prior to the finalization of the EA. The EA describes the potential environmental impacts from implementing the proposed project and includes related information and a map of the project area.  The BLM will also provide updates and information on line on a regular basis throughout the course of the gather.

The EA and Decision Record are available on line at: http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/fo/vernal/planning/nepa_.html

Updates and information will be available at: http://www.blm.gov/ut on a regular basis throughout the course of the gather.

Members of the public are welcome to view the gather operations daily once they begin, so long as the safety of the animals, staff, and observers is not jeopardized, and operations are not disrupted. During the public observation days the interested public may participate in an escorted tour and will meet at 5:30 a.m. at the Pelican Café in Ouray, Utah (tentative plan). Current plans call for the Winter Ridge gather to operate September 10, through September 14, 2011, although weather conditions and available resources may affect the projected schedule. Participants must provide their own transportation, water and lunches. The BLM recommends that the public dress for harsh field conditions. Binoculars as well as four wheel drive vehicles are strongly recommended. For information on participating in public observation days, please contact Lisa Reid, Public Affairs Specialist, at (435) 435-743-3128. 

‚ÄúAnimals removed from the Winter Ridge Herd Area will be available for adoption through the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program,‚ÄĚ according to Dusty Carpenter, Wild Horse Specialist. Horses removed from the Winter Ridge HA will be shipped to Salt Lake Wild Horse and Burro Center short-term holding and preparation facility. ¬†Animals that are not adopted will be cared for in long-term pastures, where they retain their ‚Äúwild‚ÄĚ status and protection under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. The BLM does not send any horses to slaughter.¬†

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts, Winter Ridge HA | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

BLM Issues Decision for Spring Creek Wild Horse Gather (Updated EA)

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on August 8, 2011

Release Date: 08/02/11

Contacts: Shannon Borders, Public Affairs Specialist, (970) 240-5399

BLM Issues Decision for Spring Creek Wild Horse Gather

NORWOOD, Colo. ‚Äď The Bureau of Land Management issued the final environmental assessment and decision record for its gather plan for the wild horse population in the Spring Creek Basin Herd Management Area southwest of Norwood, Colo.

Beginning about Thursday, September 15, BLM will gather approximately 60 wild horses in the Herd Management Area, which is a 21,932 acre area managed for a healthy wild horse herd that is in balance with other resources and uses. The current estimated population of wild horses in the HMA is about 90. This number is based on ground survey completed in May 2011 by volunteers with the Four Corners Backcountry Horsemen and includes the 2011 foal crop. 

The appropriate management level identified for the population in this HMA is between 35 to 65 wild horses.  Up to 10 of the captured adult horses will be released to maintain herd population within the established appropriate management level.   The application of the contraceptive porcine zona pellucida will be administered to mares released back into the HMA.

Wild horse numbers have increased an average of 23 percent per year since the HMA was gathered in 2007, thereby reducing the frequency of gathers.

About 25 of the wild horses gathered will be available for adoption through BLM’s wild horse and burro program.  The adoption will be held at the Montezuma County Fairgrounds on Saturday, September 24 at 9 a.m. in Cortez. Individuals interested in adopting a horse must meet corral and shelter requirements.  These standards are at https://www.blm.gov/adoptahorse/requirements.php. The wild horses not adopted will be placed in long-term pastures.

‚ÄúWe are dedicated to managing a healthy wild horse herd in the Dolores Field Office that is in balance with other public land uses and resources,‚ÄĚ said Tom Rice, BLM Associate Field Manager.

Copies of the environmental assessment and decision record are available at http://www.blm.gov/co/st/en/fo/sjplc/wild_horses.html or by contacting the Dolores Field Office at (970) 882-6843.

Under the authority of the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, BLM manages, protects, and controls wild horses and burros as part of its overall multiple-use mission.  The Bureau works to ensure that population levels are in balance with rangeland resources and other uses of the public lands. Wild horses have virtually no predators and can double in population about every four years if not managed.

BLM manages four Herd Management Areas in western Colorado for wild horse herds: the Piceance-East Douglas Herd west of Meeker, the Little Bookcliffs Herd northeast of Grand Junction, the Sand Wash Herd west of Craig and the Spring Creek Herd southwest of Norwood. BLM encourages those who are interested in providing good homes to wild horses or burros to visit http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/wild_horse_and_burro.html for information about adoptions or sales.

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts, Spring Creek HMA | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Piceance-East Douglas EA Comments ***DUE TODAY*** by Close of Business, August 08, 2011

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on August 8, 2011

Release Date: 07/11/11 Contacts: James Roberts at 970-878-3873 or Melissa Kindall at 970-878-3842 or Tom Alvarez, Public Affairs Specialist, (970) 244-3097                                                                  

Environmental Assessment for Piceance-East Douglas Wild Horse Gather Available for Public Comment

Meeker, Colo. ‚ÄĒ The Bureau of Land Management, Northwest District, White River Field Office (WRFO) is releasing a preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Piceance-East Douglas Herd Management Area Wild Horse Gather Plan for public review and comment. The gather is needed to help balance wild horse populations with other resources, restrict wild horses from areas where they were not ‚Äúpresently found‚ÄĚ at the passage of the Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act and to manage wild horses within the area designated for long-term wild horse management.¬†¬†¬†

The WRFO manages wild horses within the 190,130 acre Piceance-East Douglas Herd Management Area (HMA), located in Rio Blanco County, Colorado. The Appropriate Management Level (AML) in the HMA is 135-235 wild horses. The Proposed Action analyzes the impacts of gathering the current estimated population of 382 wild horses from inside and 78 wild horses from outside the HMA; to implement fertility control, sex ratio adjustments, and a selective removal of excess wild horses. If the Proposed Action is fully successful, the HMA will consist of approximately 135 wild horses; the lower range of the appropriate management level of 135 to 235 wild horses. The BLM would select the 135 wild horses to maintain a diverse age structure, herd character, body type (conformation) and implement a sex ratio adjustment of 60 percent studs to 40 percent mares.  All mares, over two years of age, released back to the HMA would be treated with Porcine Zona Pellucida (PZP) immunocontraception (fertility) drugs.  In addition, the BLM has fully analyzed three additional alternatives to the Proposed Action to address issues and concerns brought forward during the initial scoping process. 

‚ÄúThe Bureau of Land Management is tasked with managing our rangelands for a variety of uses. Providing management for a healthy wild horse herd within the HMA so the thriving natural ecological balance is maintained for all plant and animal species on that range, in conjunction with all other resource uses, it is one of our most important responsibilities to the American public and public land users. The public‚Äôs participation in this analysis process is vital to the decision making process,” said Kent Walter, Field Manager for the White River Field Office.

The gather EA can be found on the BLM WRFO website at¬†http://www.blm.gov/co/st/en/fo/wrfo/piceance_-_east_douglas.html, and selecting Preliminary Environmental Assessment DOI-BLM-CO-110-2011-0058-EA.¬†All comments must be submitted in writing and received by the WRFO by the close of business on August 8, 2011.¬†Comments may be sent via e-mail to¬†mkindall@blm.gov¬† with “Wild Horse Removal Plan” in the subject line of the email. Comments can also be sent by regular mail to the Bureau of Land Management, White River Field Office: attention Melissa Kindall, 220 East Market Street, Meeker, CO. 81641. For additional questions or information please contact James Roberts at 970-878-3873 or Melissa Kindall at 970-878-3842.

White River Field Office Home Page
Piceance-East Douglas Herd Management Area Wild Horse Gather

Environmental Assessments
Previous Environmental Assessments
Reference Documents

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts, Piceance East Douglas | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Updated Sept 20th: Twin Peaks WH&B Gather BLM Progess Updates & Other Links

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on August 15, 2010

The following are the BLM progress updates and BLM links pertaining to the Twin Peaks Wild Horse and Burro Gather of August 2010. They are posted here on TMP as a reference and for informational purposes only and copied directly from the BLM California webpage setup for the Twin Peaks gather. Please remember: TMP is not now, nor has it ever been run, operated, or affiliated with the BLM, WH&B Program, or the FWS. It is a place for open views & open discussions, as well as a place for information distribution. Thanks, the TMP Team

Twin Peaks Wild Horse and Burro Roundup

Gather Updates… (Facility Updates Below…) Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts, Twin Peaks HMA Gather | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 50 Comments »

Arizona GFDept. vs. Wild Horses and Burros, June 25, 2010

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on June 25, 2010

I recieved the following news story in one of my news alerts by email this morning. At first, I didn’t think that much of it simply because of the title; we’ve all heard it before. But when I clicked on the link anyway I found that there was¬†a whole lot more to it that just the same old song and dance. The links in the supplemental story are just… well… I let you decide… T.

From the SonoranNews.com, The Conservative Voice of Arizona

Horse and burro management must be balanced with wildlife and other natural resource needs

JUNE 23, 2010 DENVER – Arizona Game and Fish Department Director Larry Voyles this week told the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board that federal proposals to change how wild horses and burros are managed must have a goal of ensuring a thriving ecological balance between horses and burros and wildlife, and include the involvement of state wildlife agencies.
Speaking on behalf of the Arizona Game and Fish Department in collaboration with the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) at the board’s public meeting in Denver, Voyles stated that the proposals should ensure the existence of horses and burros as intended in the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, but cannot allow them to greatly expand their presence and create disastrous impacts on habitat and native wildlife across the West.
‚ÄúThe Wild Horse and Burro Act was initiated when horses and burros were in danger of disappearing from the western landscape. The Act and the Bureau of Land Management have essentially done their jobs to ensure this doesn‚Äôt happen, as wild horse and burro populations have grown substantially and are not in any danger of being eliminated,‚ÄĚ said Voyles.
Voyles agreed that the current implementation approach to horse and burro management isn’t sustainable and that changes are needed, but he said he would expect any new federal initiative to fix the program, not grow it; and he expressed support for Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar’s efforts to build solutions within the existing body of law and regulation.
Voyles stressed the importance of managing horse and burro herds, pointing out that under the current protections provided by the Act, horse and burro populations have proven to be very prolific, and only very active management prevents over-population in many areas.
The National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board provides input and advice to the BLM as it carries out its responsibilities under the Wild and Free-roaming Horses and Burros Act.
The advisory board conducted the June 14-15 Denver workshop and meeting to provide the public with an opportunity to express their views and comments regarding Secretary Salazar’s Wild Horse and Burro Initiative, which he and BLM Director Bob Abbey announced last October.
The public has the opportunity to provide comment on the strategy development document implementing the Wild Horse and Burro Initiative. To access the document and provide the BLM with comment, visit http://www.blm.gov and click on the link titled ‚ÄúBLM Director Seeks Input for New Direction in National Wild Horse and Burro Program.‚ÄĚ Comments must be submitted by Aug. 3, 2010.
For more information on wild horse and burro management as it relates to wildlife conservation, visit
www.azgfd.gov/inside_azgfd /WildHorseBurro.shtml (See story below…)

From the Arizona Game and Wildlife Department:

Commission Opposes Wild Horse and Burro Amendments

The Arizona Game and Fish Commission OPPOSES passage of either the House or Senate versions of the Restore Our American Mustangs Act (ROAM), because of their potential adverse impacts to wildlife and habitat.

Watch the video presentation on wild horse and burros in Arizona given at the Jan. 13. 2010 webcast/seminar.

The U.S. Senate is currently considering the Restore Our American Mustangs Act (ROAM), which would amend the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971. An amended version of this bill (H.R. 1018) passed the U.S. House of Representatives on July 17, 2009 and was sent to the Senate. Both the versions of the legislation (H.R. 1018 and S.1579) are currently assigned to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and await possible consideration.

The Arizona Game and Fish Commission voted at its Sept. 11 meeting to OPPOSE both the House and Senate versions of this bill because provisions in the bill would expand wild horse and burro populations to all public land and greatly complicate management of wild horse and burro herds. Expanding management of free-roaming horses and burros to all public lands will have devastating impacts to the long-term sustainability of the public’s wildlife resources and habitat.

In a Sept. 30 letter to Senators John McCain and Jon Kyl, the commission expressed concerns about the following provisions in the bill:

  1. Removing the restriction on limiting wild horses and burros to areas where they were found in 1971. This would lead to a massive range expansion with widespread direct and cumulative impacts to wildlife resources. Currently, the Wild Horse and Burro Program is underfunded and understaffed. Any significant increase of acreage or animals would limit personnel and funding solely for purposes of crisis management ‚Äď such as responding to lawsuits for damage to wildlife habitat. Under this scenario, wild horse and burro populations, costs, and resource impacts would spiral out of control.
  2. Requiring that the acreage available for wild and free-roaming horses and burros shall never be less than the acreage where they were found when the Act was passed in 1971. Due to resource conflicts, many of the areas where wild horses and burros were found in 1971 were not designated as Herd Management Areas and were managed for a zero population level. This provision of ROAM alone would instantly increase the acreage available for wild horses and burros by more than 13.7 million acres.
  3. Requiring the BLM and United States Forest Service (USFS) to exhaust all practicable options before capturing and removing wild horses and burros. This would delay necessary removal operations, slowing down an already cumbersome removal approving process. Also, managers may be reluctant to push for removals until resource damage is obvious. With a population growth rate of 15-20%, wild horse and burro populations can double in 4-5 years. In our fragile southwestern habitats, an overpopulation of horses and burros can quickly lead to habitat and watershed degradation.
  4. Limiting the amount of time captured burros and horses can be held in corrals and holding facilities to 6 months. Due to inadequate adoption demand, and with few other options available, many wild horses removed from the Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts | Tagged: , , , , | 35 Comments »

The Bordo Altravesado HMA, Comments Due: This Friday, May 14th

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on May 10, 2010

Info courtesy of Linda…

T., this is off-topic to Calico, but I hope you won’t mind if I post it here.

The Bordo Altravesado HMA is one of only two extremely small BLM HMAs in New Mexico. Soon there may be none. COMMENTS DUE THIS FRIDAY, May 14th. I’m still working on mine, and I’m hoping to send them by Thursday.Please email your comments to: NM_Bordo_EA@blm.gov.  This is the link to the EA:
http://www.blm.gov/pgdata/etc/medialib/blm/nm/field_offices/socorro/socorro_planning/socorr_eas.Par.4361.File.dat/DOI-BLM-NM-A020-2010-07-EA.pdf

This post was posted by admin with information courtesy of Linda. T.

–¬†– –

The following are links to information about the BLM Socorro District in New Mexico:

Socorro Field Office
Bureau of Land Management
901 S. Highway 85
Socorro, NM 87801-4168
(575) 835-0412
(575) 835-0223 FAX
Directory
Also see¬†comments by¬†Donna Hummel, Deputy Chief, BLM Office of External Affairs and further¬†comments by Linda…

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts | Tagged: , , , , | 39 Comments »

Re-Posting A Tidbit for Your Thoughts: “Cattle can help with fire risk in Colorado”

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on April 30, 2010

This one just caught my attention right quick… A reposting of some interesting¬†op-ed… On WordPress, there is an app called a ‚Äútag surfer‚ÄĚ. It basically scans its blogs posted recently that match the tags you attach to your own posts. This one came across this evening, and quite frankly I don‚Äôt think it could‚Äôve have come across at a more appropriate time. (Updated with a few comments of my own at the end…)

Community Agriculture Alliance: Cattle can help with fire risk in Colorado

5 hours ago ago by csuile. Spam? Tags: Uncategorized, Beef, Economics, Environment, Colorado, grazing, sustainability, cattle, BLM, USFS, Western Governors Association, Fire

[Source: Op-ed by Brita Horn, Routt County CattleWoman for Steamboat Today]

Cows can be the first line of defense in fighting wildland fires this season. No, do not expect our local cattle to don a yellow Nomex shirt, green brush pants and wildland boots. Do not anticipate seeing bovines eagerly trying to carry a Pulaski tool, a backpack water pump and their fire shelter belted around their waist. However, if we try to work together with the forestry management groups and the local ranchers, we might be able to get some mitigation of reducing flashy fuel loads (grass) growing below our tree lines and reduce the ladder fuels (shrub, brush) carry that fire to the tops of trees and devastate the forest.

Last year was an outstanding year for moisture and minimal wildland fires. It gave yet one more year for the needles to fall off the beetle-kill trees, which will reduce the heat intensity of a fire in most areas. The intensity of the fires is what is different about wildland fires since the past. Fire was always a part of our western heritage. Ignited by lightning and even ‚Äúprescribed burns‚ÄĚ by Native Americans, our western land has seen generations of surface fires that have reduced the dense fuels that are under the tree canopies that were only stopped by a right mix of rain, weather and topography. The natural burning of the lands started to make expected firebreaks and created a variety of landscapes and a habitat for wildlife and livestock to thrive on.

We still have controlled burns in spring and fall and lightning strikes throughout the summer, however, the landscape has changed. Now, we have urban sprawl, subdivisions surrounding public lands and communities nestled in and around tree lines. These communities bring paved highways, power lines, fences and bike trails to the mix. Colorado communities are beginning to identify the areas that have fuel buildup that is surrounding homes, and that creates the urban-interface model.

Now, with the suppression of fires in the forest since they are too close to homes and communities, our forests are not as healthy as in the past. The forests now are filled to capacity: too much vegetation, downed trees, and new seedlings and standing trees. What the frequent natural fires once cleaned out to make open healthy tree stands without disease and insects now are riddled with overcrowding of trees, creating a prescription for higher-intensity fires when Mother Nature strikes. The pine-beetle-killed trees are in various stages of danger: highly intense heated fuel loads with dead and downed trees that will make it nearly impossible to mitigate.

According to the 2002 report, ‚ÄúA Collaborative Approach for Reducing Wildland Fire Risks to Communities and the Environment: 10-Year Compre¬≠¬≠hensive Strategy, Implementation Plan,‚ÄĚ by the Western Governor‚Äôs Association, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, and others, ‚ÄúThe 2000 fire season was one of the worst in 50 years, with nearly 123,000 fires burning 8.4 million acres. More than $2 billion in federal dollars and countless dollars from state and local funds were spent to suppress these wildland fires. The average acreage burned nationally has remained high with 2006 surpassing the devastation of 2000, and fire risk continues to mount. Much of this increased fire risk has resulted from community growth in the wildland-urban interface, build-up of forest and woodland fuel loads from years of fire suppression, and fire-prone ecosystems created by the invasion of exotic plants like cheat grass.‚ÄĚ

Since the cheat grass is now on the floor of our forest, it is a perfect time to implement target grazing to reduce these fuels. Target grazing typically tackles four fire fuel types: grass (flashy fuels), shrub, slash and timber.

‚ÄúGrazing by cattle has been applied to forestlands around the world to reduce fire risk,‚ÄĚ (Gold, M.A. and J.W. Hanover. ‚ÄúAgro forestry systems for the temperate zone.‚ÄĚ Agroforestry Systems).

The livestock becomes active participants in forestry systems designed to reduce the overcrowding of plants and trees and reduce the likelihood of wildfire. Grazing also can trim ladder fuels and copies the fire pruning effect created by the frequent surface fires that historically burned naturally below the forest canopy. Livestock grazing can clearly adjust the fuel characteristics of forests, though grazing alone does not reduce fire risk. Target grazing allows for the local livestock producers to work with the forest managers to identify the fuel characteristics and develop a strategy to reduce the fuel load and optimize the feed potential.

The strategy would need to include more prescribed burns to fully complement the natural fires of the past that kept the forests healthy. It would take monitoring and flexible procedures to form a successful plan. In order to reduce the fuel loading, integrating grazing and prescribed burns would be the most successful blueprint for our county.

Putting together a line of attack for using grazing livestock as a fire line attack is a complex process. It takes a great deal of cooperation between the forest managers, livestock owners and the public. Using livestock to manage the forest is an ongoing and dynamic process that will take time and persistence to be successful. It will take a great deal of education and training to understand plant and fire characteristics, grazing management and a focus on the goal to reduce fuel loading from all parties. This type of cooperation of all the valued participants could be a cost-effective business model that is a win-win for all involved. For the most part, these relationships already have been forged, and tabletop discussions would be the first step in the right direction for our community. We now have all the tools in the toolbox; now, let’s get to work and hammer out a plan for the future health of our forests.

Well, I went to the websites shown as hyperlinks and I was able to find some of the documentation referenced. However, the links to some of these were “no longer active pages”. So¬†in order to get the rest of the documentation, I had to do¬†a little digging and of course, I¬†found them anyway!

Archive – Wildland Fire Leadership Council News and Accomplishments: A Collaborative Approach for Reducing Wildland Fire Risks to Communities and the Environment, Monitoring and Performance Report DRAFT Briefing Paper (PDF, 1.9 MB) and DRAFT Executive Summary 2007 (PDF, 3.5 MB)

Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity (MTBS)

Large Fire Suppression Costs: Strategies for Cost Management (PDF 1.2 MB) – A Report to the Wildland Fire Leadership Council from the Strategic Issues Panel on Fire Suppression Costs

Now, maybe I’m wrong, but maybe I’m right… It just seems to me that if there were… I don’t know… say… wild horses and wild bison¬†grazing those lands in the same exact ways that they have been for however many centuries (not in the mood to argue that point right now) Well, it just seems to me that they would be accomplishing the same exact thing that the cattle would be accomplishing… Only differences here lie in the two sides of a coin: heads – the wild horses and wild bison are gathered / hazed and removed from the lands they call home and the cattle come in a replace them at a nice shiny pricetag for most all involved; tails – leave the wild ones there to do what Mother Earth intended them to do in the first place!

But that’s just my “op-ed”…

And this same blog has the audacity to go after the wolves! Wolf-pack report raises doubts,¬†fears March 2, 2010 This is just too much! I’m sorry if you guys think I’m being abrasive or rude, maybe even a little bit of ignorance because I haven’t reserched¬†all of this as much as I normally would… But tough titty said the kitty when the milk ran dry! I’ve just about had enough of all of this. It’s time.

MF*T*

Posted in BLM, Calico Complex Gather 2009-2010, Daily Posts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments »

More “Pigeon Fever” Info & Re-Feeding Syndrome Info From UCDavis… April 04, 2010

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on April 4, 2010

The following are copied email texts from ‚ÄúJane Doe‚ÄĚ to Dr. Irwin Liu and Dr. Sharon Spier at UC Davis. ‚ÄúJane Doe‚ÄĚ is being used for this information to be distributed ‚Äď obviously to protect the privacy of this individual. She had originally contacted Dr. Liu to inquire about birth control for wild horses earlier in the year. This email was directed at the Pigeon Fever infections and the re-feeding of the wild horses that had been underweight.

Dr. Spier and I have been corresponding over the course of this past week concerning the infections and other issues the wild horses are currently facing. She was gracious enough to forward this correspondence to me and to give permission for it to be posted for you all as well.

The information contained in these emails is actually very interesting and may answer a couple of your questions. Also, see the end of this post for several links to references regarding both “Pigeon Fever” and re-feeding syndrome, as well as articles regarding the care and health of horses.¬†

The figures used by ‚ÄúJane Doe‚ÄĚ have not been verified. Her opinions are her own and are in no way a reflection of the opinions of myself, Dr. Liu, or Dr. Spier unless specifically stated otherwise.

T.

Unknown when this email originated…

Hello Dr. Liu,
This is ‚ÄúJane Doe‚ÄĚ again in Any Town, USA. with a question regarding Wild Horses.¬† I have asked for your help regarding birth control for the wild horses earlier this year.
The BLM has rounded up over 1900 Horses from the Calico herd and the horses are now in the Fallon, Nevada holding pen. Over 119 have died. This includes approx. 40 foals that the mares have miscarried following the 14 mile chase. Others are still dying of metabolic syndrome, or change in feed. 2 foals died from their hooves falling off from the harsh helicopter chase.
I have read they are feeding them 50 % alfalfa, which I would think is far too rich for a horse having eaten forage all of its life.
My question is, now many horses there in Fallon have Pigeon Fever. The public is allowed to visit only on Sundays from Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in BLM, Calico Complex Gather 2009-2010, Daily Posts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 106 Comments »

Adobe Town & Salt Wells Wild Horse Removal 2010 – UPDATED

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on April 2, 2010

In light of new information received today, I pulled this post earlier until said information could be researched and verified.¬†Now I am¬†re-posting the original¬†information along with this new information with a word of caution…

The Adobe Town / Salt Wells HMA Gather is a very unique situation. Some of you may already know the history, but for those who don’t, allow me to explain. And please remember, this is for informational purposes only, but I do ask each of you to consider your opinions of this gather very carefully before proceeding with comments and petitions.

In 1979, the Rock Springs Grazing Association (RSGA)¬†entered into an agreement with the¬†BLM.¬†In accordance¬†with the 1971 WFRH&BAct, BLM¬†is required to maintain the multiple use¬†purposes of public lands. If¬†BLM kept up their end of this deal efficiently and effectively, in return¬†the RSGA would allow the wild horses to Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 89 Comments »

WH&B Articles from the Toiyabe Chapter of the Sierra Club…

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on March 22, 2010

Some of these are repeats, but some are new. Figured I’d put all of ’em¬†here for you guys to check out. Some of these are actually pretty interesting. Give it a shot, you might be surprised.

Posted in BLM, Calico Complex Gather 2009-2010, Daily Posts, Ruby Pipeline, LLC | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments »

BLM Rangeland Inventory, Monitoring, & Evaluation Reports

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on March 21, 2010

Rangeland Inventory, Monitoring, & Evaluation Reports 

Each fiscal year since 1989, the Bureau of Land Management has compiled a national, BLM-wide Rangeland Inventory, Monitoring, and Evaluation Report. This report contains 7 tables and has undergone various modifications through time. Tables 1, 2, and 3 contain results on the BLM’s vegetation inventories and trend. Tables 1 through 3 are presented to satisfy Section 201(a) of The Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) of 1976, as amended, and the Public Rangelands Improvement Act (PRIA) of 1978, both of which affirm¬†Congress’s intent to have BLM prepare and maintain on a continuing basis an inventory of public rangeland conditions and trends. Table 4 reports how livestock grazing allotments are categorized. Tables 5 and 6 report on monitoring activities and plans implemented on allotments. Table 7 reports on results of evaluations of Standards for Rangeland Health.

This report is generated by the BLM National Operations Center in Denver, Colorado.

Contact Mike “Sherm” Karl at sherm_karl@blm.gov or at 303-236-0166 for more detail.

PDF versions of the reports are listed below for Fiscal Years since 1989. Click on the year to download the report.

Current Year (Fiscal Year 2009)

Previous Years
1989 1993 1997 2001 2005
1990 1994 1998 2002 2006
1991 1995 1999 2003 2007
1992 1996 2000 2004 2008

 Content Manager: Sherm Karl, sherm_karl@blm.gov

Posted in BLM, Calico Complex Gather 2009-2010, Daily Posts, Eagle Gather Feb 2010, McGavin Peak Gather, Ruby Pipeline, LLC, You Be the Judge Series | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

IDA v. Salazar, from Animal Legal & Historical Ctr…

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on March 18, 2010

Specifically, Section III DISCUSSION, Sub-Section B. Placement of Excess Horses in Long-Term Holding Facilities, 1. The Merits…
 
March 18, 2010, From Animal Legal & Historical Center:
Case Details: IN DEFENSE OF ANIMALS, et al., Plaintiffs, v. Ken SALAZAR, et al., Defendants
Court Date: 12/23/2009
Court Citation:
Docket Number: Civil Action No. 09-2222 (PLF)
Judges: PAUL L. FRIEDMAN, District Judge
Attorneys: William James Spriggs, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, Pc, Washington, DC, for Plaintiffs. John B. Grosko, U.S. Department of Justice, Environment and Natural Resource, Washington, DC, for Defendants
Appealed From:
Appealed To:
Affirmed:
Reversed:

United States District Court, District of Columbia
In Defense of Animals v. Salazar
United States
— F.Supp.2d —-, 2009 WL 4981172 (D.D.C.)Summary:

In this case, the Plaintiffs, In Defense of Animals, Craig C. Downer, and Terri Farley, attempted to obtain a preliminary injunction that would stop the defendants, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and representatives of the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (‚Äúthe Bureau‚ÄĚ), from implementing a plan to capture or gather approximately 2,700 wild horses located in western Nevada (‚Äúgather plan‚ÄĚ).¬† The Bureau wanted to corral the horses to bring the horse population under control so that it might protect the ‚Äúecological balance‚ÄĚ of the area.¬† The plaintiffs contended that the gather plan had to be set aside pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. ¬ß¬ß 551 et seq., because the Bureau did not have the statutory authority to carry out the gather plan, and because the plan did not comply with the terms of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act (‚ÄúWild Horse Act‚ÄĚ), 16 U.S.C. ¬ß¬ß 1331 et seq.¬† The Court denied the Plaintiffs request for an injunction.¬†

The Court held that in order to warrant preliminary injunctive relief, the moving parties had to show: (1) that there was a substantial Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in BLM, Calico Complex Gather 2009-2010, Daily Posts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

Two Pershing Co Men Charged in Nov 2009 Wild Horse Shootings…

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on March 16, 2010

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE NEWS RELEASE

Two Pershing, County Nevada men were charged in federal court today with killing five wild horses on federally-managed lands in northern Nevada, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.

Todd Davis, 44, and Joshua Keathley, 36, both of Lovelock, Nevada, are charged in a criminal information with causing the death of wild horses. According to the information, on November 28, 2009, in the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Buckhorn Horse Management Area of Northern Washoe County, Nevada, Davis and Keathley maliciously caused the death and harassment of five wild free-roaming horses by shooting them.  Davis is employed by the Pershing County Water Conservation District in Lovelock. Keathley’s employment is unknown.

Davis and Keathley are scheduled to make initial appearances in court on the charges on April 27, 2010, at 3:00 p.m.  If convicted, they face up to one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

The investigation is being conducted by BLM’s Office of Law Enforcement and Security California State Office in Redding, California, with the assistance of the Lovelock Police Department, the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office, the Washoe County Forensic Services Division, the Nevada Department of Wildlife, and the California Department of Fish and Game.  The Humane Society of the United States and the State of Nevada Commission for the Preservation of Wild Horses also contributed to the investigation.

The public is reminded that a criminal information contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt.  The defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

News Release: BLM Realigns Law Enforcement Program to Enhance Operations

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on March 16, 2010

Release Date: 03/15/10

Contacts: Melodie Lloyd, 202-912-7412

BLM Realigns Law Enforcement Program to Enhance Operations

Link to Map of BLM Law Enforcement Management Regions

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Bureau of Land Management today announced the realignment of its Office of Law Enforcement and Security (OLES) headquartered in Washington, D.C. The OLES¬†program has remained largely unchanged since its inception nearly 40 years ago, and the realignment, effective immediately, is designed to improve program efficiency and effectiveness bureauwide by realigning jurisdictions and responsibilities formerly carried out by 11 Special Agents-in-Charge (SAC) located across the country. The realignment is consistent with the Department of the Interior policy and does not affect program operations for Rangers stationed in the field and managed by the BLM‚Äôs State Offices.

“As our country‚Äôs population grows and the use of public lands has risen, we have seen a significant increase in serious criminal activity on the National System of Public Lands,” said Mike Pool, BLM Deputy Director of Operations. “The BLM‚Äôs Office of Law Enforcement and Security is faced with growing challenges in its attempt to support not only public and employee safety and health, but also the protection of natural, cultural, and historic resources.”

Through the realignment, there are now five regions with one SAC based in each of the regions — Sacramento, Calif. (Region 1); Portland, Ore. (Region 2); Salt Lake City, Utah (Region 3); Denver, Colo. (Region 4); and Santa Fe, New Mex. (Region 5). The realignment provides for 12 first-line supervisory Assistants to Special Agents-in-Charge (ASACs), who work under the SACs and greatly expand the BLM‚Äôs investigative capacity. ASACs also assist SACs with managing an increasingly complex program by supervising a growing number of field agents and acting as investigative liaison to BLM State Directors. Additionally, Chief Rangers, formerly known as State Staff Rangers, now have expanded leadership roles and increased ability to address issues they face as technical experts and liaisons with other uniformed law enforcement agencies.

“All of these changes are intended to benefit the nation‚Äôs public lands,” said William Woody, Director of the OLES. “This streamlining not only facilitates multi-jurisdictional law enforcement efforts, but most importantly, provides a way for us to develop personnel seeking to grow their skills and careers in the OLES program.”

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Austin/Tonopah FS Ranger District, Comments due by March 19, 2010

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on March 12, 2010

February 24, 2010 – Notice of Proposed Action and Opportunity to Comment:
“The Austin and Tonopah¬†Ranger Districts of the Humboldt-Toiyabe¬†National Forest welcomes your comments on the Wild Horse and Burro Appropriate Management Levels (AMLs) Project. The purpose of this project is to update or establish AMLs¬†and set general management direction for the Wild Horse and Burro territories (WHTs) on the Monitor, Hot Creek, and Toquima Mountain Ranges. We would like your thoughts on the scope of issues to be addressed in the environmental analysis (EA) and your comments on the proposed action.”
“Territory¬†management plans for joint FS/BLM management and monitoring of the wild horse resource¬†are nonexistent or outdated.”¬†
Battle Mountain Field Office and Tonopah Field Station, Wild Horse and Burro Population Tables
 *The 11 WHTs that are affected by this proposed action are located in the Monitor, Hot Creek, & Toquima Mountain Ranges. Because these WHTs are adjacent to BLM administered public lands in these areas, BLM and FS would collaborate on proposed actions regarding wild horses and burros affected. Within the eleven WHTs, there are 21 cattle allotments administered by the FS (14 active and 7 vacant). (See pdf document, page 6, Table 1 for grazing information.) Monitor Wild Horse Territory РHistory & Info from the FS
 
WHTs Kelly Creek, Butler Basin, Dobbin Summit, Sevenmile, Little Fish Lake, Monitor North, Stone Cabin, and Monitor South (located within the Monitor and Hot Creek Mountain Ranges). Hickison Burro, Northumberland, and Toquima (located within the Toquima Mountain Range). All are under the jurisdiction of the Austin/Tonopah Ranger Districts of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. Contact: District Ranger, P.O. Box 130, Austin, NV 89310, (775)964-2671
 
HMAs РSaulsbury, Antelope, Hot Creek, and Willow Creek. These are under the jurisdiction of the BLM Battle Mountain District Field Offices РTonopah & Mount Lewis.
 
Battle Mountain District Office, (Employee Directory)
50 Bastian Road, Battle Mountain, NV 89820, Phone: 775-635-4000 , Fax: 775-635-4034, Email:
bmfoweb@nv.blm.gov, District Manager: Gerald Smith
 
Tonopah Field Office, 1553 South Main Street, P.O. Box 911, Tonopah, NV 89049, Phone: 775-482-7800, Fax: 775-482-7810, Field Manager: Tom Seley
 
Mount Lewis Field Office, 50 Bastian Road, Battle Mountain, NV 89820, Phone: 775-635-4000, Field Manager: Doug Furtado  
 

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“True Grit” Article of Interest Re: Cattle & Their Toll on the Lands…

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on March 7, 2010

I got this link from a friend today… I wasn’t sure what all it entailed at first, but as I read further, I realized that Mr. Marvel (or AB’72) and I would probably get along just fine were we to ever meet. LOL I especially like the “pink pacifier”! T.

True grit

In a heated showdown with Western cattlemen, Idaho environmentalist Jon Marvel, AB’72, tries to outlaw livestock grazing on public lands.

By Lydialyle Gibson
Photography by Dan Dry



It’s Jon Marvel, AB’72, vs. cattlemen in a fight over public lands. View the slide show.

He can‚Äôt help looking. Even though Jon Marvel knows there‚Äôs probably no bluebunch wheatgrass here, that its numbers in this field have been declining for years, so that a person could walk a mile through the sagebrush‚ÄĒand Marvel has‚ÄĒwithout seeing a single delicate blond seedhead, he can‚Äôt help searching the ground for one. In central Idaho‚Äôs dry sage-steppe grasslands, bluebunch wheatgrass is a key native species, year-round forage for elk, deer, and antelope. It‚Äôs part of what keeps the ecosystem whole.

‚ÄúLet‚Äôs just take a walk and see,‚ÄĚ Marvel says, setting off through the sloping expanse, with sagebrush slapping at his knees and the Lost River Mountains climbing the sky in front of him. He traces a wide circle halfway around Swensen Butte, a high-shouldered mound of dirt and rock on the edge of the Sawtooth National Forest. After half an hour, he‚Äôs turned up a few… more

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BLM is Investigating the Helicopter Fly-over at Wild Horse Holding Corrals

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on March 2, 2010

BLM is investigating the helicopter fly-over at Broken Arrow USA / Fallon Facility. A private helicopter flew over and hovered for a few minutes above the Indian Lakes Road Short-term Holding Facility on Sunday, Feb. 14.  The next day a healthy stallion was found dead in the pen by a damaged corral panel. The death is attributed to a fractured neck that resulted from collision with the corral panel caused by the presence of the helicopter. 

Law enforcement rangers with the Bureau of Land Management are investigating the incident. If anyone has information about the incident, please call Mike Marquart at 775-861-6621.

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Check Your Local Listings…

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on February 27, 2010

New Videos from ParelliTube

These are some great TV shows  for information on Cattle Grazing in the US, with highlights on legislation, daily/weekly/monthly/quarterly reports, and a ton of other important Land Use information. Check your local listings for channels & times. (Mine is RFDTV early in the mornings.) T.
“This Week in AgriBusiness”¬†¬†¬†¬† “Cattleman to Cattleman”¬†¬†¬†¬† “U.S. Farm Report”

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Twin Peaks Proposed Gather Info & Eagle Lake RMP Documents

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on February 25, 2010

 BLM Seeks Public Input on Proposed Horse Gather Release Date: 02/04/10 * Contacts: Jeff Fontana, (530) 252-5332 * News Release No. CA-NC-10-33

Who  BLM Eagle Lake FO
What  Seeking public input on a proposed gather/removal of wild horses & burros
Where  Twin Peaks HMA, northeast of Susanville, Calif.    (Twin Peaks HMA, CA-242)
How Many  1,800 wild horses and 180 burros
When  August and September 2010
Comment Period  February 5 and ends March 5, 2010
For What  Identify issues to be addressed in an EA
EA Release Date  about May 1, 2010
Current AML  448-758 horses and 72-116 burros
Current Est. Pop  2,300 horses and 250 burros
Birth Control Plans ¬†Most mares not removed ‚Äď PZP; Herd adjustment ‚Äď Male:Female ratio with more studs than mares.

Comments can be sent to Eagle Lake Field Office, Attn: Twin Peaks Wild Horse Gather, 2950 Riverside Dr., Susanville, CA 96130. Comments may also be sent via email to twinpeaks@ca.blm.gov. Public Meeting was held on Wednesday, Sept. 2, at 7 p.m., at the BLM Eagle Lake Field Office, 2950 Riverside Dr., Susanville. News Release No. CA-N-09-78

Links of Interest:

Bureau of Land Management
Eagle Lake Field Office
2950 Riverside Drive
Susanville, CA 96130
Phone: (530) 257-0456
Fax: (530) 257-4831
Office Hours: 7:45 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., M-F
Contact us by Email

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You Be the Judge, 10th Edition, February 18, 2010 – Q&A w/ John Neill, Mgr of the Fallon Facility…

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on February 18, 2010

You Be the Judge

10th Edition

February 18, 2010

By: Tracie Lynn Thompson

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†On February 08, 2010 I spoke with Mr. John Neill, Manager at the now ‚Äúinfamous‚ÄĚ Fallon Facility in Fallon, NV (AKA Indian Lakes Rd Facility or Broken Arrow USA) following the end of the 2009-2010 Calico Wild Horse Gather. Some of these answers you may have heard before, but I‚Äôd be willing to bet that you haven‚Äôt heard at least a few of ‚Äėem from below. The topics I discussed with Mr. Neill included deeper exploration into:

  • The Colts with Hoof Sloughing
  • Calico Daily Gather Updates ‚Äď Deciphered
  • The Miscarriages
  • The Calico / Fallon ‚ÄúOrphaned Foal‚ÄĚ: Status Update
  • The Windbreaks
  • Dietary Concerns & Sorting Concerns

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†I requested this conversation with Mr. Neill for a few reasons (curiosity mostly) but more so in response to the many comments and concerns about the communications ‚Äď or lack of communications ‚Äď between BLM personnel and the public. Now, I am not in Nevada, nor am I an ‚Äúobserver‚ÄĚ of the gather from on site. But I am an observer nonetheless and I am a member of the public.

         For those not familiar with YBTJ Q&A format, these are very candid conversations from both me as the author and from the individual being questioned. I ask questions as pointedly and as bluntly as I can, and I report the answers as they are given to me, albeit checked for spelling and grammar. Mr. Neill proved true to YBTJ form and answered just as candidly as I was asking the questions.

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†By the way, I left a few little ‚Äúclues‚ÄĚ throughout this edition ‚Äďjust for those who pick up on ‚Äėem ‚Äď as a reply to the questions of ‚Äúwhat are my issues with this whole situation‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúsneak peaks‚ÄĚ at my proposal for better management options. Best I can do at the moment, but of course ‚Äď more to come later. And don‚Äôt forget to check out the great list of references and links at the end!

The Colts with Hoof Sloughing:

T: Medically speaking there is a correlation between nutritional deficiencies and a resultant inflammation ‚Äď the inflammation being a precursor to the hoof sloughing. Could that be a possibility with these two cases?¬†(1)¬†(2)

Mr. Neill: That did not happen here.

T: Ok. What exactly did happen to these colts that would’ve caused sloughing of their hooves?

Mr. Neill: Extreme trauma to the foot / feet due to traveling too far over rocky terrain, that’s what’s happening there. It isn’t related to a diet change issue or anything nutritionally related. These two colts that have this trauma came in with poor body condition prior to the gather. The gather had nothing to do with their poor condition. The gather did have most likely everything to do with the trauma to their feet.

T: Just so I know that I have this correct, are you saying that the colts had in fact had ‚Äútheir feet run off‚ÄĚ as some advocates have charged? Read the rest of this entry »

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You Be the Judge, 9th Edition, Supporting Documentation

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on February 13, 2010

Some of the supporting documentation for You Be the Judge, 9th Edition – The Ruby Conflict. Just for information and to download if you don’t have them already.Part 1:¬†¬†¬†¬†

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How do you *lose* 19 Million Acres???

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on February 11, 2010

So how do you lose 19 million acres of land? Did ya forget it at home? Or maybe it’s in the bottom of your purse! All I can say is you better go to the closest hardware store – quick – and get some super glue ’cause you got some slippery hands!

Ok, so enough with the jokes (for now). I have received¬†some questions following the last post of “Links, Links and More Links” about the public lands, grazing permits, etc. There was some confusion about what constituted an HA and an HMA, and where the approximately 19 million+ acres has gone. Hopefully, the information in this post will clear some of this up. Please let me know if there are any questions about all of this. There are links embedded in the information, and as well links to further informational sites at the end.

HA = Herd Area = the area in which the wild free-roaming horses and burros were found when the 1971 act was passed.

HMA = Herd Management Area = the area in which these equines are now managed by the BLM.

The difference in the total acreage of the HAs and HMAs comes to around 19 million+. That is to say, there are around 19 million+ acres less in the HMAs than there are in the HAs. The reasoning for this is due to Рoddly enough Рthe railroad.

¬†From Wikipedia: ‚ÄúThe First Transcontinental Railroad (known originally as the Pacific Railroad and later as the Overland Route), built in the United States between 1863 and 1869 by the Central Pacific Railroad of California and Union Pacific Railroad, connected Council Bluffs, Iowa/Omaha, Nebraska (via Ogden, Utah and Sacramento, California) to Alameda, California. By linking with the existing railway network of the Eastern United States, the road thus connected the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the United States by rail for the first time. Opened for through traffic on May 10, 1869, with the driving of the “Last Spike” at Promontory Summit, Utah, the road established a mechanized transcontinental transportation network that revolutionized the population and economy of the American West. Authorized by the Pacific Railroad Acts of 1862 and 1864¬†during the American Civil War and supported by 30-year U.S. government bonds and extensive land grants of government owned¬†land, it was the culmination of a decades-long movement to build such a line and was one of the crowning achievements labor in the crossing of plains and high mountains westward by the Union Pacific and eastward by the Central Pacific.‚ÄĚ

¬†Congress wanted to “entice” the railroad companies to build a rail line from coast to coast, so they used plots of land as incentive.

From the Pacific Railroad Act, July 01, 1862: “Section 3 ¬†And be it further enacted, {Land grants; alternate sections.}¬†That there be, and is hereby, granted to the said company, for¬†the purpose of¬†aiding in the construction of said railroad and telegraph line, and to secure the safe and speedy, transportation of the mails, troops, munitions of war, and public stores thereon, every alternate section of public land, designated by odd numbers, {Changed to ten by Sec. 4, 1864, and grant to twenty miles.} to the amount of five alternate sections per mile on each side of said railroad, on the line thereof, and within the limits of ten miles on each side of said road, not sold, reserved, or otherwise disposed of by the United States, and to which a preemption¬†or homestead claim may not have attached, at the time the line of said road is definitely fixed: {Minerals and timber; Sec. 4, 1864.}¬†Provided that all mineral lands shall be excepted from the operation of¬†this act; but where the same shall contain timber, the timber thereon is hereby granted to said company. And all such lands so granted by this section which shall not be sold or disposed of by said company within three years after the entire road shall have been completed, shall be subject to settlement and pre-emption like other lands, at a price not exceeding one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre, to be paid to said company.

(This is just the first of many amendments and further legislation that would follow, known as the Pacific Railroad Acts.)

BLM came into existence in the 1950s when the Grazing Service was combined¬†with the Federal Land Office. The Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA) is BLM’s primary authorizing act, with the Taylor Grazing Act 1934 and the Public Rangelands Improvement Act 1978 among other governing legislation (as amended).

By this time, much of the original 19+ million acres consisted of state or private land that would not be controlled by the BLM.¬†There came¬†to be a ‚Äúcheckerboard‚ÄĚ land pattern¬†with lands transferred to other agencies through legislation, hence¬†federal management of wild horses on¬†these lands¬†is just not feasible.¬† There are other reasons as well. An approximate breakdown of the percentage of the 19 million+ acres and the reasons it was removed¬†from wild horse or burro management are listed below.

  1. Land or Water not Controlled by BLM = 66%
  2. Unsuitable habitat = 12%
  3. Other reasons such as development, court orders, feasibility of managing very small isolated populations = 3%
  4. Horses claimed as private property during the claiming period authorized by the 1971 Act = 6%
  5. Resource conflicts such as T&E species = 10%
  6. Equine infectious anemia (Coggins) indigenous to the herd area = 3%

The following maps show how the checkerboard land affected the HMAs.¬† The first map just shows an example of what the checkerboard land is ‚Äď the white sections are private lands and the yellow sections are federal land.¬†¬†This patterning of the lands – one parcel private, the next public, private, public and so on – makes it impossible to manage wild horses in these areas without an agreement from the private landowner.¬† The next map shows the herd areas. The 3rd map shows the herd management areas, and how horses are not managed in these checkerboard areas except for a few in Wyoming where the BLM has agreements with the private landowner.
(Maps Courtesy of the National Wild Horse and Burro Program.)

Checkerboard Patterned Lands in Humboldt County, Nevada

Original Herd Areas in 1971

Herd Management Areas Where Horses are Managed Today

Coxrail: Railroad Land Grants

Library of Congress: Railroad Land Grants

Railroad Land Grant Chronology by George Draffan

 

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