The Horse Forum banner

Public Land Use

  • Wild Horses and Burros

    Votes: 5 38.5%
  • Private Livestock

    Votes: 2 15.4%
  • Indigenous Native Species

    Votes: 9 69.2%
1 - 20 of 779 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
437 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)

·
Registered
Joined
·
437 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
BLM Public Forum Summary (each received 5 minutes to speak)

AML = Appropriate Management Levels of free-ranging horses and burros within multiple-use, including wildlife, livestock, wilderness, and recreation. https://www.nap.edu/read/13511/chapter/9

HMA = Herd Management Areas https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Bureau_of_Land_Management_Herd_Management_Areas

The public 5 minutes:
1. Bonnie:
1.a. concerned about herd levels in relationship to healthy generic reproduction pools
1.b. horses and burros vs. private livestock on public land

2. Sandra:
2.a. additional "extra value" fees are added, such as training and corral pickup, to purchase price of a wild horse
2.b. professional trainers are discouraging purchasers from approaching their horse initially

3. Debbie:
3.a. requested more research and marketing "knowledge and value."
3.b. BLM has been sued (my questions why? and by whom?)

4. Peggy:
4.a. Concerned with "fake" AML numbers
4.b. Ted Talk? Elephants in the Sky? "Think About It"
4.c. Concerned sterilization of horses
4.d. Fences that prohibit horses access to water

5. Charlotte:
5.a. 50million from congress to incarcerate wild horses
5.b. social disruption, dangerous surgery,
5.c. their range went from 53 million to 27 million
5.d. concerned about AML distribution and numbers in each herd
5.e. crisscrossing fencing and shared land with livestock
5.f. The U.S. House of Appropriation and Full Accounting of Land

6. Ginny:
6.a. overgrazing of private domestic livestock on public land
6.b. ratio of stallions to mares
6.c. helicopter round up costs (millions of dollars)

7. Delong:
7.a. approves of euthanization of the wild horses and burros
7.b. even with the 11,000 removed the population has increased by 7%
7.c. darting and sterilization is not practical
7.d. that no actual count of the wild horses and burros exist
7.e. the number of wild horses is a lot higher than the target

8. Jim:
8.a. lives next to public land and has had issues with wild horses "mixing" with his domestic horses
8.b. he thinks the herds are being "emotionally" managed
8.c. he is for the slaughtering of the wild horses

9. Christine:
9.a. knows of 4 HMAs at AML of zero (0)
9.b. there is a lack of AML scientific date
9.c. special interest parties controlling fencing for domestic private livestock
9.d. BLM Accountability Office ... before cattle and special interests (sorry not sure)

10. Brenda:
10.a. livestock is her interest and handling grazing permits
10.b. issue with wild horses "mixing" with domestic horses

11. Camryn's proposed solutions:
11.a. census, science, repatriate to 22 million (decrease of 41%), AML levels for generics, ratio horses to livestock (23% to 77% respectively), wild horses principle (main) resident, grazing permits retirement, reintroduce predators, and composition (?)

12. The Big Hat Man:
12.a. for disposal of these animals (burdon on taxpayers)

13. Pamala (too emotional):

14. Jerry:
14.a. is for disposal of excess wild horses
14.b. horses have 365-day grazing and cattle have limited grazing
14.c. The University of Idaho completed an impact of grazing research study

15. Sean:
15.a. is pro spaying fillies https://protecttheharvest.com/initiatives/wild-spayed-filly-futurity/
15.b. The BLM has been entrusted with the wild horse management, and the Act is not being adhered to, and they are devaluing these horses(?)

16. Kelly:
16.a. the northwest Colorada HMA has a max of 235 but currently has an unstainable 1,000
16.b. needs excess horses removed
16.c. recommends 10,000 to 15,000 per year be removed to reduce numbers
16.d. the ecosystems need relief
16.e. last month 90 organizations met and created a shared statement that will be published soon
16.f. agreement: reduce, long-term funding, fertility options, and need an action for a non-lethal alternative

17: Joanne:
17.a. she mentioned that there is a report that lists AMLs by state and by HMA (sorry I didn't catch the name of the report)
17.b. 27,000 horses in the wild are not enough for generic viability
17.c. concerned with the ratio of wild horses to livestock
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
12,552 Posts
FWIW, grazing permits are for very specific time periods. They tell you the date you can move animals on, how many, and when you must leave. You buy the permit, but the government can change it at any time for the government's convenience. A friend nearly went under some years back when he paid $100,000 and the following year the government cut the numbers he could graze by 90%. And they did so without any regard for the actual land. The directive came from Washington DC to cut all the allotments in that area without regard for actual range conditions.

I'm told a rancher also is expected to pay out of pocket to make improvements at the government's "request". The same friend paid $20,000 to build ponds at the government's request and a couple of years later was kicked off the allotment entirely. Again without anyone actually going TO the allotment to see what was going on.

My friend now considers government allotments as the last choice for grazing. Still has some but is always looking for other options.

The idea that it is either / or, choose between X & Y bothers me. There is NO requirement to do so. Many years ago, I was a data collector on a study in Utah showing heavy grazing at the right time would INCREASE food for wildlife. Think of it as pruning for better growth. The standard idea that a rancher puts a thousand cattle in a valley and leaves them there until the ground is barren just doesn't happen. Not unless the federal manager is utterly stupid.

The one exception, though, is with mustangs. The manager gets to manage livestock and wildlife, hopefully including tourists, ATVs, timber, hunting, recreation, etc all into the mix. But once mustangs are there, no one manages them. The government is blocked from managing them, so they increase until they eat everything.

I strongly object to the idea that mustangs should be given absolute priority over bighorn sheep, antelope, deer & elk.

Also: In a drought, the government can ban all domestic animals, or cut their numbers by as much as they want, immediately. Can't do that with deer, and certainly cannot do that with mustangs. That is because someone OWNS the sheep and cattle.

I cannot think of a single good reason why we are not allowed to manage mustangs.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
12,552 Posts
I want to point out another factor. It is the concept of the limiting factor. Suppose, for example, a deer population is limited by the amount of protein in its diet between January & March. That is the bottleneck the population must squeeze through. Doubling the feed available in summer won't change the bottleneck and won't increase the deer herd.

In that scenario, one can graze cattle in the summer without any harm to the deer population. The limiting factors are what you need to identify. In the Intermountain West, surviving winter is usually the big challenge. So a rancher may feed his cattle on the mountainsides all summer, while baling hay crops. Then bring the herd down and feed them on his own property during the winter, all without harming the deer in any way.

That is a simplistic example, but I think it illustrates how a manager would approach the problem. Of course, lobbying groups can't raise money promoting a win-win approach. You bring in $$$ by presenting an evil opponent who must be beaten back - and will, if the listener gives you money and votes the way you want. Politics! I get more cynical every passing decade. :evil:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
971 Posts
^ 1,000 times like the above and it is sooooo true on the improvements. The guy I drove cattle for earlier this year onto a co-op lease had his cattle on a BLM lease the year before and they made him fence in a HUGE stretch of stream bank on both sides because they said cows being near it would raise the temp 1 degree and it wouldn't support brook trout. There are no brook trout in that stream and never have been. They just wanted new fencing at his expense. It cost thousands of dollars to fence and he lost most all of the money he would have made by grazing his cattle there but it was too late to back out as they mandated it after he had the cattle on there through the summer. This year he is on a co-op lease and I would bet he never touches another BLM lease with a 10 foot pole. Which is a shame because cattle are the only thing that you can seasonally put up there to knock down ladder fuel without harming the habitat for deer and elk etc.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
9,648 Posts
@bsms and @AndyTheCornbread speak the truth.

Another thing to consider is that on forest service leases the rancher is to minimize the amount of time livestock spends in the treed parts. That seems backwards to most people and I hear about it. Backwards because there is more grass/forage in the open.

But keeping the cows out of the trees gives the wildlife more room in there. Protection from the sun and heat. Relief from biting insects. The cows have to be moved around on the lease so they don't overgraze an area which saves feed (that cures well) for fall and winter.

And to add to what @bsms said about the length of time that was agreed to being changed... The rancher still has to pay the full amount. Because it was contractual.

I won't do a government lease.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
12,552 Posts
Leasing land is not buying it. Leasing land for oil exploration is not the same as buying it, nor would it mean the company is certain to make a profit. Leasing land for a timber sale is also not buying it. Leasing it for grazing is not buying it. And a lease does not prevent the land from being used for many other things as well. All depends on the terms of the lease.

I do not know the specifics of the case the linked article discusses, but the terms of its discussion are fraudulent. There is nothing contradictory about moving a herd due to drought while allowing exploration for gas or oil. I don't deny government is sometimes corrupt. I'm certain it is. But the article is just a bunch of mixed facts with a lot of hysteria thrown in.

Also, it is no use to discuss grazing by horses or sheep or cattle and total land somewhere. The state land I often ride on is leased to cattle grazers. For a few weeks a year, and IIRC at a rate of 1 cow a square mile. That is because the actual area grazed is just a tiny fraction of the total land - ribbons of grass surrounded by desert the cattle won't use. I think they are there for 2 weeks and I suspect it is used to control vegetation to prevent fires.

People raise money by accusing federal managers of lying and raping and stealing without bothering to ask if there are reasons WHY the managers are doing X. I did a year with the US Forest Service in 1980. We were looking at timber sales. Cheap. Why? Overgrowth and dead wood could cause dangerous, massive fires. If we sold the good timber cheap, the company would also remove a lot of dead, worthless timber and build roads that would improve recreational access and support fighting fires.

I don't know the outcome. Moved a little while later. But someone writing about it, raising donations, might have claimed we were going to rape the land because we had sold out to "Big Timber", when in reality we were trying to prevent forest fires and getting private companies to foot the bill. I'm SOOOO glad YouTube didn't exist back then!
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
35,687 Posts
MOD NOTE
This thread is being left open but will be watched closely
We don’t want to put a halt on these discussions because this is a very real problem that isn’t going to go away
It would be good to think that constructive comments from our members could help in some way
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
437 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Individual States and Community Colleges - contact next?

Individuals and organizations contacted about resolving America's wild horses and burros that are currently in holding pens and proposed possibly establishing dedicated credited vocational schools for each HMA:

WildHorse BLM
dbooth BLM
Wild Horses Advisors BLM
PBS’ viewers mail
Elizabeth Warren
Ben Masters from Fin & Fur Films
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Kamala Harris
Berrie Sanders
Trevor Noah
Best Friends
Mayor Pete Buttigieg
University of Wyoming
Colorado State University
Oregon State University
University of Nevada Rino
Jimmy Kimmel
Jimmy Fallon
WildHorse Education Advocates
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
437 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
BLM's October 30-31, 2019 Meeting in Washington, D.C.

BLM Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board Meeting July 10-11, 2019 Recommendations

https://www.blm.gov/sites/blm.gov/files/wildhorse_advbrd_boisemtg_brdrecs.pdf

#7.

The Advisory Board is forming a working group to include key BLM staff to analyze modern, state-of- the-art, low stress, stock-handling approaches to gathering and handling of wild horses and burros with a report to be presented at the October meeting. We recommend BLM appoint this staff and fund any meetings necessary.

If you have a suggestion(s), please make sure to let the Board know ASAP.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
437 Posts
Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Heart-Wrenching - the Wild Horses' Federal Acts

Horses are like dogs we LOVE them! Making hard decisions is never easy; that's why they are hard. Inaction is not a humane solution. Someone must think of something Americans can do.

BLM Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board Meeting July 10-11, 2019 Recommendations
https://www.blm.gov/sites/blm.gov/files/wildhorse_advbrd_boisemtg_brdrecs.pdf

#8.

The BLM Advisory Board requested that the BLM and the USDA Forest Service review and update “Management of Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros” acts where needed:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/43/part-4700

https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/36/part-222/subpart-D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
437 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
“Greater public participation” - NAP 2013 recommendation

NAP: Using Science to Improve the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program

The National Research Council of the National Academies, Washington, D.C. Copyright 2013
https://www.nap.edu/read/13511/chapter/1#xii

Chapters of NAP's Report to the BLM:
1. FREE-RANGING HORSES AND BURROS IN THE WESTERN UNITED STATES
2. Estimating Population Size and Growth Rates
3. Population Processes
4. Methods and Effects of Fertility Management
5. GENETIC DIVERSITY IN FREE-RANGING HORSE AND BURRO POPULATIONS
6. POPULATION MODELS AND EVALUATION OF MODELS
7. ESTABLISHING AND ADJUSTING APPROPRIATE MANAGEMENT LEVELS
8. SOCIAL CONSIDERATIONS IN MANAGING FREE-RANGING HORSES AND BURROS

"The committee encourages BLM to develop new ways to engage the public in the management of free-ranging horses and burros." - NAP 2013
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
437 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Contacted the Following with "Save the Date" Oct 30, 2019

Washington State
Colorado State
Univ. of Missouri
Montana State
Univ. of California Berkeley
Michigan State
Univ. of Montana
Univ. of Florida Gainesville
Brigham Young
Princeton Univ.

Sunni Brown - The Doodle Revolution
Robert Reich - Economics
NAS staff members
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
35,687 Posts
A bit off track to pertinent since there are no slaughter yards in the US that would take surplus mustangs in a cull - legislation was introduced last month to ban all transport of horses leaving the US to go to slaughter houses in other countries.
I read it in a UK horse magazine but have heard nothing about it here
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
437 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Fyi

The Safeguard American Food Exports or SAFE Act would permanently ban horse slaughter in the U.S. and end the export of horses for slaughter abroad. The bill was introduced on February 4, 2019 as H.R.961 by*Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and Vern Buchanan (R-FL).

On March 1, 2019 the bill was referred to the Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture by the Committee on Agriculture.

On June 27, 2019, the John Stringer Rainey SAFE Act (S.2006) was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ). Currently there are 3 co-sponsors, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Sen. Susan M. Collins (R-ME).

The SAFE Act (H.R.961) has a total of 160 co-sponsors.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
437 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Freakonomics Radio - episode on horse slaughter - VERY INTERESTING

Freakonomics’ “Trojan Horse Slaughter” by James McWilliams April 17, 2013.
Trojan Horse Slaughter - Freakonomics Freakonomics

Lots of good hard facts:

“…a niche business that profited from a product that American taxpayers financially supported (through USDA inspection of horse slaughterhouses) but were loathe to consume (plus, it’s illegal to sell horsemeat in the U.S.).*..."

The good news:

"Nearly 90 percent of U.S. horses die of natural causes or are euthanized at home."

“…for the overwhelming majority of horses. They die the way our pets die—more often than not with quiet dignity.”
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
761 Posts
I will try to make it clear that I do not eat horse meat. I have owned horses most of my life. But it was better when we had horse slaughter is the US. Now buyers are packing them on trucks, no food or water, and mostly no stops. They mostly are taken to Mexico where they face a slow process of dying. We had laws in place for the protection of hoses being transported for slaughter. But they don't appy, as they are not transported for sale to Mexico. The bottom line is they are still being slaughtered. And people are still breeding horses in their back yards, hoping for a great baby, when most are not even good stock.
Most of the law against horse slaughter come from law makers in the east. Most never rode and took care of horses in their life. They look at them as pets(dogs) with no regard as to how big the problem has become. I talk every week or so of someone that wants to buy a pony for their kid to grow up with. They don't even know how long they will live. They think they live about 10 years, like a dog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
437 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
American needs to be EDUCATED!

MRED you are spot-on! Why are Lindsey Graham and Susan Collins lead lawmakers on a significant west and midwest problem? Seriously why are either of them even involved in our government?

America needs to take an in-depth, realistic, and honest hard look at this problem and address it head-on. Americans must do right by our horses and be as compassionate to them during their lives and as humane as possible in their deaths.

Hard fact is that a large percentage of Americans don't even know this problem exists.
 
1 - 20 of 779 Posts
Top