Debbie Coffey     © 2012 All rights reserved

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Confusion at BLM over sage grouse and horses…they can’t tell the difference!

In a Freedom of Information Act response that includes resumes of the crew of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) contractor Sun J Livestock, Inc., whose actions sparked a notorious internal investigation (AKA cover-up), it seems the BLM’s contractor hired a sub-contractor that is grossly under-qualified.

After numerous complaints since October, 2010 about BLM’s round up contractor, Sun J Livestock, Inc., and their sub-contracted helicopter pilot, the BLM started an internal investigation in January, 2011, and issued a report in February, 2011 stating:

“Experience of the Contractor”

The gather contract solicitation requires that all proposals demonstrate a minimum of 1,500 hours of flying experience in similar projects for the proposed primary and secondary helicopter pilots.  To be considered for a contract award, the contractor needs overall experience of humanely capturing a minimum of 3,000 wild horses and/or burros while using helicopter- drive trapping.  The contractor and proposed key personnel needed this overall experience in similar projects during the time from 2007 to the present.  Sun J Livestock met all of the above criteria and qualified to have a contract awarded to it.  Overall, the contractor has gathered over 40,000 wild horses…” (emphasis mine)

BLM’s interpretation (once again) borders on wild fantasy.  First of all, I added up the numbers of wild horses that the people sending in their resumes claimed to have rounded up, and the total came to 24,473.  (Once again, it seems BLM is almost doubling their numbers).  Not only that, if you’ve been to a roundup, you’d know that Jody Holmes, as the BLM’s Wild Horse & Burro Specialist, didn’t go out and there and round up those horses herself.  She watched. More