The ~Texas~ Mustang Project's Blog

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

Posts Tagged ‘WH&B’

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 »

Advertisements

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.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 »

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, “But that won’t happen to me,” or something along the lines of, “That would never happen here.” 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:

“They took him! They took him and I couldn’t stop them! They took Mouse!”

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 “missed” by that tragedy’s 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 othersWith Jaime’s story, others – possibly in the same position with horses at a boarder – 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 “inevitable” 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 “good home”, 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’t a show horse, a racehorse, a mare that produced wonderful foals and she never won any trophies. She was also not an “inevitable” 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 »

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.
“The 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’t happen, as wild horse and burro populations have grown substantially and are not in any danger of being eliminated,” 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 “BLM Director Seeks Input for New Direction in National Wild Horse and Burro Program.” 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 – 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 »