The ~Texas~ Mustang Project's Blog

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

Posts Tagged ‘Mustang’

New Scheme to Auction Off Virginia Range Horses & Already a Horse Trap Found In Stagecoach

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on October 24, 2011

My phone didn’t stop ringing yesterday afternoon with people calling who were concerned about the following press release. (The concerns that people raised follow the copy of the press release.) ~Willis

The NV Department of Ag, Office of the Attorney General, the Nevada Department of Corrections, the Governor’s Office,& HORSE POWER

by Horse Power on Friday, October 21, 2011 at 4:16pm

Nevada Department of Agriculture to Begin Collection of Nuisance Estray/Feral Horses near Highways

Sparks, NV 10-21-2011 – The Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA) will begin trapping nuisance Virginia Range estray/feral horses near highways today. This action is a result of over 30 horses being hit on highways 50 and 95 by vehicles over a period of less than two months.

“We planned to begin this collection of nuisance estray/feral horses two weeks ago but needed private property owner’s permission to set up the panel traps,” said Ed Foster, NDA spokesperson. “We finalized that agreement with property owners today,” he added.

The Virginia Range horses fall under the jurisdiction of Nevada estray/feral laws. The NDA is responsible for carrying out those laws.

This estray/feral horse collection does not have a time limit. Captures will be compared to equine/vehicular interaction data on a daily basis.

This collection will strictly follow Nevada estray/feral law (NRS 569). After capture, the horses will be transported to the Stewart Facility in Carson City and held there until they are photographed, branded and advertised per statute. Through a special agreement with the Nevada Department of Corrections, these horses will be auctioned off to the highest bidder at the Stewart facility rather than Fallon livestock auction yards. Notice will be given as to when this event will occur. This change in practice will reduce operational costs as well as staff time resulting in increased efficiency.

This agreement is a collaborative effort by the Nevada Department of Agriculture, Office of the Attorney General, the Nevada Department of Corrections, the Governor’s Office, the horse advocacy group HORSE POWER, and concerned private property owners.

( Working together for the Horses )

So here are the concerns being raised.
NDoA appears to be using Horsepower and NDoC’s Stewart Conservation Camp as a means to “sanitize” the auctioning of Virginia Range horses.  NDoA has apparently found a way to cut out the middleman (the auction yard) and the kill buyers will simply go to Carson City instead of Fallon to acquire their horses.  Historically, given the numbers of horses NDoA says that they will be bringing in, the kill buyers will be interested.
I’ve had people ask me if this means that their wild horse license plate money might be used to facilitate the sale of horses to kill buyers and/or have asked, “What is my license plate money being used for?”  I’d prefer not to speculate on that so I’d suggest that you ask Horsepower.
Here are the problems that I have with this scheme:
If NDoA and Horsepower wanted to prevent the horses from being vulnerable to the kill buyers, the law allows NDoA to enter into a cooperative agreement with Horsepower wherein Horsepower could be responsible for the placement of horses.  Under the old agreements, the cooperators facilitated and monitored adoptions, and brand clearances (equivalent to titles) weren’t issued for a year and after adopters proved good care.  The law doesn’t presently allow NDoA to write adoptions and set adoption requirements.  That authority is delegated to cooperators.
If Horsepower wants to get into the horse auction business, that’s their decision.  However I have concerns over what might happen to the inmate saddle horse training program if the kill buyers come to the same facility that the BLM horses use and remove Virginia Range horses.  Much of the public does not distinguish between Virginia Range and BLM horses and such “auctions” could have a significant adverse public relations impact on BLM and the prison training program.  (In my opinion the prison training program is our greatest asset with respect to horse placement in this region and its image needs protection.)
The law allows for the Nevada Department of Corrections to be the legal “cooperator” and establish adoption requirements, monitor adoptions and certify compliance.  However Horsepower’s announcement simply discusses the horses being “auctioned off.”  Also, historically back when Virginia Range horses went through the prison training program, one of the non-profit cooperators was legally responsible for facilitating the adoptions, not NDoC.
If there are some legally enforceable controls established to ensure that all Virginia Range horses removed from the range will not be at risk of being bought by the kill buyers or by a handful of private citizens who buy horses to turn over to the kill buyers, then this proposal could be a step forward.  However if such protections are not part of the design of this scheme, I have to agree that it’s little more than a sanitizing operation.
Hopefully some clarifications will be forthcoming.
Willis

Sunday, October 23, 2011: Although the Nevada Dept. of Agriculture has stated that it is after “problem” horses that constitute highway hazards in Mound House, Silver Springs and Fernley, a horse trap has been reported by residents near Roy’s Road in central Stagecoach and Daryl Peterson was spotted looking over the horses behind Iron Mountain Estates. 

It might pay for everyone to report any traps discovered so that we can keep track of what’s going on.
Willis

Horse Trap in Stagecoach, NV October 24, 2011

Map of Horse Trap in Stagecoach, NV October 24, 2011

Advertisements

Posted in Daily Posts, Virginia Range | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

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 »

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—The 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. 

“Animals removed from the Winter Ridge Herd Area will be available for adoption through the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program,” 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 “wild” 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. – 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.

“We 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,” 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. — 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 “presently found” 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. 

“The 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’s 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 »

trueCowboy Magazine, featuring Mighty Mouse the Mustang, August 2011 Edition

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on August 7, 2011

Click here ( www.truecowboymagazine.com ) to download August issue featuring our Buckle Bunny Jessica Jean Tourino.

  • My Path to the Wild Mustangs…Tom Doody
  • Sergeant Reckless…Robin Hutton
  • Mighty Mouse the Mustang…Tracie Lynn Thompson

and more!  Click on the lower right hand corners of right pages to turn…ENJOY! Saddle Up & subscribe at www.truecowboymagazine.com and show your support of our mission to save our wild mustangs!

 

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts, Mighty Mouse the Mustang | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Judge Hicks Rejects TRO Allowing BLM to Reinitiate Tuscarora Emergency Rescue Gather

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on July 16, 2010

BLM Nevada News  

BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT NEVADA STATE OFFICE No. 2010-026                                             

For immediate release: Friday, July 16, 2010
Contact:  Doran Sanchez, 775-722-9796, doran_sanchez@blm.gov, or
Heather Emmons, 775-384-7966, heather_emmons@blm.gov

Judge Hicks Rejects TRO Allowing BLM to Reinitiate Tuscarora Emergency Rescue Gather

Reno, Nev. — Today U.S. District Court Judge, Larry R. Hicks, Reno, Nev. issued a decision ruling in favor of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and rescinding a temporary restraining order imposed on Wednesday, July 14.  This ruling allows BLM to move forward with the Tuscarora wild horse gather, which has become an emergency rescue gather operation following the determination that wild horses herds on the range are currently suffering from water starvation/dehydration due to a lack of water.  

Judge Hicks held a hearing Thursday afternoon to hear final arguments regarding a motion filed to stop the Tuscarora gather.  In addition to ruling that the gather could go forward, Judge Hicks ruled that BLM’s current temporary closure of the public lands during the gather is too broad, but held that BLM had a responsibility to protect the health and safety of the public, its employees and agents, and the horses during the gather, and that BLM could impose a reasonable closure. 

“The BLM is pleased that the decision of the court that will allow us to move forward with the Tuscarora emergency rescue gather, which is necessary to prevent the mortality of the wild horses that are currently suffering from water starvation and dehydration.” said Ron Wenker, BLM Nevada State Director.  

After the ruling, the BLM gather contractor initiated operations and brought in 54 wild horses which are suffering from water starvation/dehydration. 

The Government also submitted an interim report to Judge Hicks during the hearing that was prepared by a review team composed of BLM and independent experts brought together at the request of BLM Director Bob Abbey.  The Report provided the following recommendations to the Director: 

  • Re-initiate emergency rescue gather operations as soon as possible to save as many animals as possible; 
  • Gather all the wild horses in the Star Ridge and Dry Creek pasture that are not showing obvious signs of water starvation, bring them to the existing pens, treat and care for them in the pens until stable and ship them to other holding facilities.
  • For those horses on the range that are showing obvious signs of distress from water dehydration and in too weakened a condition to gather, they would not be trailed into the gather pens and would be left on the range, likely to experience a high degree of natural mortality. 
  • For horses that are already down and unable to be trailed and are not responding to the helicopter, the BLM would attempt to humanely euthanize those animals.

Team members include Mike Mottice, BLM Oregon/Washington Associate State Director (Team Leader); Tom Pogacnik, BLM California Deputy State Director, Natural Resources; Dr. Boyd Spratling DVM & BLM’s National Wild Horse Advisory Board; Eric Reid,Wild Horse/Burro Specialist, Fillmore, Utah; Dr. Klell Ekins, Equine DVM; and Robin Lohnes, American Horse Protection Association & BLM National Wild Horse Advisory Board. 

BLM field staff and specialists reported on Friday that the condition of the wild horses within the Owyhee Herd Management Area is critical and continues to decline rapidly.  The BLM Nevada will implement the Team’s recommendations, which may require the BLM to start humanely euthanizing suffering consistent with Bureau policy. 

The Tuscarora gather area encompasses the Owyhee, Rock Creek, and Little Humboldt Herd Management Areas (HMAs) located in northern Elko County, Nev.  The BLM initiated gather operations within the Owyhee HMA on Saturday, July 10, and gathered 228 excess wild horses, but suspended operations on Sunday after it discovered that the wild horses had been suffering from a lack of water prior to being gathered. 

The BLM gather contractor conducted an aerial flyover of the Owyhee HMA on the morning of Tuesday, July 13, and located two large groups of wild horses: the Dry Creek group that consists of about 125 wild horses; and the Star Ridge group that consists of approximately 400 animals. 

The Star Ridge group is located around a dry reservoir and has made no attempt to move to the nearest water source located approximately 10 miles away at the South Fork Owyhee River.  The BLM installed six water troughs with a combined capacity of 3,000 gallons near and around a reservoir located within one-fourth to one-half mile of horses within the Star Ridge pasture, and used a water tanker to fill the troughs and the reservoir. The BLM has hauled 12,000 gallons of water to the North Owyhee horses, yet only a small group have watered (probably less than 15) based on tracks in the mud.  However, the BLM will continue to haul water.  

From Saturday evening through Wednesday 12 horses died from complications unrelated to the gather, as a result of pre-existing water starvation/dehydration or subsequent water intoxication.  Based on necropsies of the dead horses by the on-site veterinarian, the BLM has determined the mortalities were a direct result of a lack of water in the immediate areas occupied by the horses before they were gathered.  One horse was euthanized shortly after being gathered due to a fractured leg that occurred in the temporary holding corrals. 

As more information becomes available it will be posted at the website:  http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/elko_field_office.html.  For further comments and questions, the public may call 1-866-468-7826. 

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts, Tuscarora Wild Horse Gather | Tagged: , , , , | 12 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 (“the Bureau”), from implementing a plan to capture or gather approximately 2,700 wild horses located in western Nevada (“gather plan”).  The Bureau wanted to corral the horses to bring the horse population under control so that it might protect the “ecological balance” 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. §§ 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 (“Wild Horse Act”), 16 U.S.C. §§ 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 »

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’s State Offices.

“As our country’s 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’s 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’s 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’s 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 »

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.

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments »

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 “infamous” 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’d be willing to bet that you haven’t heard at least a few of ‘em from below. The topics I discussed with Mr. Neill included deeper exploration into:

  • The Colts with Hoof Sloughing
  • Calico Daily Gather Updates – Deciphered
  • The Miscarriages
  • The Calico / Fallon “Orphaned Foal”: 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 – or lack of communications – between BLM personnel and the public. Now, I am not in Nevada, nor am I an “observer” 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 “clues” throughout this edition –just for those who pick up on ‘em – as a reply to the questions of “what are my issues with this whole situation” and “sneak peaks” at my proposal for better management options. Best I can do at the moment, but of course – more to come later. And don’t 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 – 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 “their feet run off” as some advocates have charged? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts, You Be the Judge Series | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

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:    

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts, You Be the Judge Series | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »