This is part 1 of a series of how ideas from a “team” of 10 BLM employees go from conference calls and an Alternate Management Options plan (the background in this article), to the Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board, to becoming Ken Salazar’s “new plan” for our wild horses.

Debbie Coffey(c) copyright 2010 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

BLM “team” conference calls and Alternate Management Options were obtained by the Freedom of Information Act by The Conquistador Program, a non-profit equine welfare organization in Phoenix, AZ (link below). This article consists of direct quotes of BLM team conference call notes and quotes from the Alternate Management Options (italicized). My comments are (in red).

PART 1: THE BLM IS COLLUDING AND CONSPIRING AGAINST WILD HORSES, AND YOU

By Debbie Coffey

The Bureau of Land Management is deceiving the American public with their plan to eliminate all of our publicly owned wild horses off of our publicly owned lands. And, they want your taxpayer dollars to pay for “counseling for employees and contractors that have to euthanize healthy horses because it is very stressful”! (boohoo)

Would taxpayer money be better spent prosecuting the BLM “team” employees (listed below) for collusion and conspiracy? You be the judge.

At the beginning of the BLM “team” notes: “All correspondence that is generated by this team” will not be “for the public”. (Why? Our tax dollars pay their salaries. What do they have to hide?)

The BLM “team” players are:

MAKING PLANS TO KILL OUR WILD HORSES

  • If large numbers of animals become eligible for euthanasia at one time or at one location…euthanasia could be performed on- or off-site.

  • Under this option, any facility could become a focal point for public, media or Congressional attention. Increased levels of security would be needed at all locations, or the activity may need to be moved off-site to a more appropriate and secure facility. Increased support from public relations and management staff would also be needed to insulate those doing the actual work from public, media and Congressional scrutiny/criticism. (They need to “insulate” themselves from Congressional attention, scrutiny and criticism?)

  • All facilities would need to expand their capacities if large numbers of animals were euthanized in a short period of time. Euthanizing healthy animals creates emotional stress which can lead to compassion fatigue for those involved in the process.

  • 20 year old horses would be euthanized at the trap site (preferred) or preparation facility. (Who, exactly, would prefer this?)

  • John Neill talked with Reno Rendering plant and they said we could take as many as we want to take there.

  • How many could be euthanized during a gather without having NEPA?

  • Having people that are willing to put down healthy horses at gather sites could be a problem.

  • Having vets putting down healthy horses at preparation facility could also be a problem.

 MAKING PLANS TO SELL OUR WILD HORSES FOR SLAUGHTER

  • Don Glenn said: “Sally had an e-mail from a person in Canada who wants 10,000 horses that he would slaughter the horses and send them to a third world country. Don is going to send the e-mail.

  • Jim said he has a demand for horses going to Denmark, but they are having a problem with getting titled horses.

  • Policy change could make as many as 12,000 sale-eligible wild horses age 11 years and older available for sale without limitation to buyers within the United States as well as other countries.

  • Large, negotiated sales would be coordinated by the National Point of Contact.

REMOVING HERDS FROM PROTECTED HERD MANAGEMENT AREAS

  • John Neill will “talk to Nevada on how they can justify zeroing out a herd”. (“Zeroing out” means removing ALL wild horses off of a federally protected herd management area. Yes, John, please tell us how you can justify this.)

CREATING NON-REPRODUCING HERDS

  • If proven to be permanent, SpayVac could be used to create non-reproducing herds of mares. (Using foresight, does “non-reproducing” lead to extinction in your mind? Or is it just me?)

ADJUSTING THE SEX RATIOS OF HERDS

  • Adjusting sex ratios of herds “Does it affect behavior and do we care?…Since we do not have any evidence this is bad, the BLM should be allowed to do this on a large scale.” (“and do we care?”…it’s your job to “protect” the wild horses.)

EXPERIMENTING ON OUR WILD HORSES WITH UNAPPROVED DRUGS AND USING THEM FOR RESEARCH

  • Al Kane, a USDA APHIS veterinarian, would be sending info on SpayVac and GonaCon. (It’s noted that SpayVac is “not commercially available; barely available as a research project; Indications it may be permanent in horses; It is unclear whether we can get it in the country. Alan Shepard will be working on this with Al Kane.

  • SpayVac has not been approved by the EPA or FDA for investigational use.

  • A single vaccination of SpayVac…could be permanent…Based on the Nevada estray horse trials…

  • The use of PZP under an investigational exemption…the products are technically challenging to mix and administer and their safety has not been confirmed by the FDA or EPA.

  • The National Park Service is planning a field trial with wild horses to investigate the efficacy of GonaCon.

  • GonaCon is…immunocontraceptive vaccine developed by the scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture‘s (USDA) Wildlife Services’ (WS) National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC)…with the Nevada estray horse trials.

(The BLM and USDA are very aware that the wild horses are being experimented on. How did they grant themselves the right to use our wild horses for research?)

TRYING TO GET AROUND THE LAW

  • Under the 1971 Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act, BLM is not authorized “to relocate wild free-roaming horses and burros to areas of the public lands where they do no exist.” However, a solicitor’s interpretation concludes BLM is not prohibited from moving excess wild horses to LTH (Long Term Holding) areas on public lands because no case law implies such a prohibition. (Well, MY interpretation of the 1971 Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act is that the BLM is NOT authorized to “relocate wild free-roaming horses and burros to areas of the public lands where they do not exist.” Period.)

  • Don Glenn on non-reproducing herds: The solicitor sent their comments on putting horses on public lands that they did not exist in 1971, they feel we could do that, but we may be challenged in court. Because they would be non-reproducing herd the intent of the law would be followed. The horses would still be considered as wild free-roaming wild horses.

  • Euthanizing horses: How many could be euthanized during a gather without having NEPA?(This must be why the BLM limits public viewing of the gathers to only some, not all, days and only a few hours out of the day. Does the BLM euthanize some horses at the end of the day?)

  • They mention Richard Sewing horses are adopted, so he has a domestic horse permit, so the (wild) horses are not considered wild horses by law.

RUNNING A BUSINESS

  • Bud Cribley: There has to be a better way to run this program, than reprogramming an additional 20 million from other BLM programs. Bud does not know what the answers are, but there will have to be a comfort level all the way up to the Secretary level.(God forbid that Bud Cribley and Salazar would divert money or land away from foreign mining and energy companies that are grabbing up our public lands.)

  • Euthanizing wild horses: Savings would average $3.50 per head per day that animals are not held in STH (Short Term Holding) and $1.30 per head per day in LTH (Long Term Holding). Millions of dollars in potential savings would result over the short and long term. (Read my lips…if the BLM would leave our wild horses on their federally protected Herd Management Areas, it wouldn’t cost taxpayers a penny.)

POINTING A FINGER IN THE WRONG DIRECTION

  • Security at facilities and at gathers would need to be increased to combat eco-terrorism.

  • Question: Is the BLM going to guard against ITSELF?

Collusion is a secretive agreement between two or more parties for a fraudulent, illegal or deceitful purpose. Conspiracy is an agreement by two or more individuals to commit a crime or to commit an unlawful act by unlawful means. Is the BLM crossing the line?

Team” members listed on the Implementation Team Conference Calls are:

Don Glenn – Division Chief, BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program

John Neill – manager of Palomino Valley Wild Horse and Burro Center in Reno, NV

Alan Shepard – lead BLM officer for state of Nevada

Joe Stratton – manager of the Elm Creek holding facility in Nebraska. Monsanto featured Joe Stratton on a video it did about wild horses: View here

Rob Jeffers – Project manager lead in Modoc National Forest (Forest Service) in northeastern CA, and former head of the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program in Susanville, CA

Al Kane – USDA APHIS veterinarian

Jim Johnson – deceased

Lili Thomas – National Wild Horse and Burro Specialist

Gus Warr – Utah BLM Wild Horse and Burro lead

Bud Cribley – BLM Deputy Asst. Director, Resources and Planning

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Sources:

www.conquistadorprogram.com (Implementation Team Conference Calls and Alternative Management Options documents are available on this website)

An excellent analysis of the documents above, titled “BLM’s Final Solution for the Wild Horses and Burros” was done by the Animal Law Coalition.

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