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

Posts Tagged ‘Nevada’

Meeting Notice: Virginia Range Horses

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on October 25, 2011

I have just been informed that the Stagecoach Advisory Board has placed the Virginia Range horse removal issue on its agenda for its November 2nd meeting. Former horse program manager Mike Holmes indicated that he would attend, and if asked, would discuss the history of horses in this area, what the issues really are, what the Department of Ag seems to be doing and what needs to be done. (I’m trying to be objective with this announcement so I’m avoiding suggesting who has done what to create the present problem.)
Interested citizens are encouraged to attend. Mike Holmes is our best source of knowledge about this horse issue and he has a history of telling it like it is.
We all know that this is an emotional issue. The Stagecoach Advisory Board has a history of being liberal when it comes to allowing the audience to speak, ask questions and discuss town matters. Furthermore the Board has no authority over these horses and is empowered only to make recommendations to the County Commission on matters of concern to our residents. So please be orderly and respectful during the meeting so that the Board, if it makes a recommendation, can accurately represent the position of our citizens.

What:   Stagecoach Town Advisory Board meeting
When:  7:00 PM, Wednesday November 2nd
Where: Stagecoach Community Center, 8204 US-50 West (next to the old fire station just west of Shetland St.)

For further information please contact the Citizen Advisory Board Liaison:

Maureen Willis, t.775-463-6531, mailto:mwilliss@lyon-county.org

The Community Center is accessible to persons with disabilities.

~Willis

Posted in Daily Posts, Virginia Range | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 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 »

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 »

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  
 

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

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, 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 »