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Wild Horse Freedom Federation joins fight to save historic wild herd from extinction, again

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Wild-Horse-Freedom-FederationPO Box 390, Pinehurst Texas 77362

For Immediate Release: August 24, 2015

Wild Horse Freedom Federation Partners with The Cloud Foundation to Block BLM’s Plan to Zero Out Colorado’s Unique West Douglas Herd

Pinehurst, TX – Since 2010 wild equine advocacy groups Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF) and The Cloud Foundation (TCF) have consistently worked together in a unified effort to thwart the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) attempts to totally remove Colorado’s West Douglas herd from their rightful range for the exclusive benefit of “Welfare” ranchers and special interest groups.

Although this legal battle has been ongoing for almost 20 years the BLM has, as of late, accelerated their efforts to destroy this federally protected, historic herd so that private cattle owners and extraction interests can declare the public land to be their own.

Citing that the wild horses are damaging the range due to over grazing the BLM has failed to acknowledge that the number of horses pale compared to the sizable herd of private, “welfare” cattle that are allowed to graze on the public land for the bulk of the year at mere pennies a day.

“Using the BLM’s own statistics, the wild horses are out numbered by a minimum of 4 to 1 by the welfare cattle allowed to graze on the horse’s range.” states R.T. Fitch, President and cofounder of WHFF, “The concept of the Federal Government destroying this herd to line the pockets of a few of their bedfellows ought to spark outrage in each and every American’s heart and soul. Enough is enough and we are making a stand.”

Renowned equine photographer and Director of Field Documentation for WHFF, Carol Walker agrees; “The BLM must not be allowed to zero out this herd simply because it is ‘inconvenient’ to manage, or because it is pandering to cattle ranchers and extraction companies. This would set a very damaging precedent for our few remaining wild horses and burros.”

The BLM intends to commence with their removal operation next month.

Links of interest:

History of WHFF’s legal Battle with BLM for West Douglas Horses
http://rtfitchauthor.com/?s=West+Douglas&submit=Search

BLM Press Release
http://www.blm.gov/style/medialib/blm/co/field_offices/white_river_field/wild_horse_documents.Par.18152.File.dat/Press%20Release%20WRFO%20Gather%207.29.15.pdf

West Douglas Herd Area Final EA
http://www.blm.gov/style/medialib/blm/co/field_offices/white_river_field/wild_horse_documents.Par.92698.File.dat/Final%20EA%20WDHA%2020150023_7.27.15_withappendices.pdf

Wild Horse Freedom Federation
http://www.wildhorsefreedomfederation.org

Contact:

R.T. Fitch
Wild Horse Freedom Federation
1-800-974-3684

Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF) is a registered, Texas non-profit corporation with 501c(3) status in all 50 states. WHFF puts people between America’s wild equids and extinction through targeted litigation against governmental agencies whose documented agendas include the eradication of wild horse and burros from public, federal and state lands. WHFF is funded exclusively through the generosity of the American public.

Update on Forest Service plans to annihilate the famous Salt River wild horses in Arizona on Wild Horse & Burro Radio (Fri., 8/7/15)

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painy

Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_LogoJoin us on August 7, 2015

5:00 pm PST … 6:00 pm MST … 7:00 pm CST … 8:00 pm EST

Listen to the live show HERE!

You can also listen to the show on your phone by calling (917) 388-4520.

You can call in with questions during the 2nd half hour, by dialing (917) 388-4520, then pressing 1.

This is a 1 hour show.  It will be archived so you can listen to it anytime.

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Tonight’s show is hosted by Debbie Coffey, V.P. and Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

To contact us: ppj1@hush.com, or call 320-281-0585

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Add your 2 cents against leasing public lands for as little as $2 an acre for oil & gas

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Please submit a comment to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in your own words, asking that the minimum rate per acre for oil and gas leasing be MUCH higher than $2 an acre, and ask the BLM to remove caps established by current regulations on civil penalties that may be assessed under the Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Management Act.

Most importantly, be sure to demand that the BLM NOT approve any more land for oil & gas development/leasing on Wild Horse & Burro Herd Management Areas (HMAs) (since there supposedly isn’t enough water and forage for wild horses and burros on their federally protected HMAs).

wis.Par.69820.Image.200.135.1  (photo:  BLM)
BLM Extends Public Comment Period to June 19, 2015 on Oil and Gas Royalty Rulemaking

SOURCE: goldrushcam.com

May 29, 2015- WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced today that it is extending the public comment period on its Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) to seek public comment on potential updates to BLM rules governing oil and gas royalty rates, rental payments, lease sale minimum bids, civil penalty caps and financial assurances.

Notice of the two-week extension, which extends the comment period deadline to June 19, 2015, will be published in the Federal Register on June 3, 2015.

Modernizing the BLM’s royalty rate structures can provide greater flexibility, especially given the dramatic growth of oil development on public and tribal lands, where production has increased in each of the past six years, and combined production was up 81 percent in 2014 versus 2008. Potential changes to BLM’s regulations would also respond to concerns expressed by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), Interior’s Office of Inspector General, and others that the BLM’s existing rules lack flexibility and could be causing the United States to forgo significant revenue to the detriment of taxpayers.

The GAO has repeatedly concluded that the BLM’s regulations do not provide a reasonable assurance that the public is getting appropriate fair share of the revenue from these resources. The BLM’s current rules lack the flexibility to offer new competitive leases at higher royalty rates.

The ANPR also addresses the value of these resources by inviting comment on how the BLM might update its rules regarding the minimum acceptable bid that must be paid by parties seeking a lease at auction, and the annual rental payments that are due after a lease is obtained. The current minimum acceptable auction bid is $2 per acre, which is well below the rate at which most parcels sell, suggesting that the rate could be higher. After obtaining a lease, a lessee is currently required to make annual rental payments until the lease starts producing oil or gas. These rental rates currently are $1.50 per acre for the first five years and $2 for years five through 10. The ANPR invites comment on how rental payments might be better structured to incentivize diligent development of leased areas.

The BLM encourages the public to be actively engaged in this process by submitting comments on the revised proposed rule before June 19 in one of the following ways:

Mail: U.S. Department of the Interior, Director (630), Bureau of Land Management, Mail Stop 2134 LM, 1849 C St. NW, Washington, DC, 20240, Attention: 1004-AE41.

Personal or messenger delivery: Bureau of Land Management, 20 M. St. SE, Room 2134 LM, Attention: Regulatory Affairs, Washington, DC 20003.

Online at the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments at this Website.

To read the original advance notice of public rulemaking go to: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-04-21/pdf/2015-09033.pdf

Marjorie Farabee & Simone Netherlands warn of loss of Black Mountain HMA wild burros in Arizona on Wild Horse & Burro Radio (Wed., 5/6/15)

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painy

Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_LogoJoin us on Wild Horse Wednesday (*SM) , May 6, 2015

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Western Wild Horses Under Siege, details by Carol Walker on Wild Horse & Burro Radio (Wed., 4/15)

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painy

Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_LogoJoin us on Wild Horse Wednesday (*SM) , April 15, 2015

6:00 pm PST … 7:00 pm MST … 8:00 pm CST … 9:00 pm EST

Listen to the live show Here!

This is a 1 hour show.  Call in with questions during the 2nd half hour.  

Call in # (917) 388-4520

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 image

Our guest is Carol Walker, Dir. of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation who will talk about BLM’s plans to sterilize wild horses, the many deaths of the recently captured Wyoming “checkerboard” wild horses, the BLM’s plans that could, in essence, destroy the Pryor Mountains wild horse herds, and an update on the wild horses at the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary. (photo above: wild horses in winter in Adobe Town, by Carol Walker)

4boyscarol-1958-editcc5x7 Carol Walker

Carol is a plaintiff in the lawsuit that has been attempting to stop the BLM from removing over 800 wild horses from Adobe Town, Salt Wells Creek, and Great Divide Basin in Wyoming.

Carol’s website is http://www.wildhoofbeats.com/ and you can see her photography of wild horses at http://www.livingimagescjw.com/

Carol’s website is http://www.wildhoofbeats.com/ and you can see her photography of wild horses at http://www.livingimagescjw.com/

Tonight’s radio show will be hosted by Debbie Coffey, V.P. & Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs, Wild Horse Freedom Federation

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BLM unaware oil company was using pipeline

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new-logo25Debbie Coffey

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How could the BLM be “unaware” that a company is using a pipeline?  (Another reason to wonder how closely the BLM actually monitors the range.)  According to True Oil (True Companies), “Belle Fourche Pipeline is a liquids pipeline operator that gathers and transports crude oil in the Williston Basin of western North Dakota and the Powder River Basin of Wyoming.”  To see a map of this pipeline in Wyoming, click HERE.  According to an article in the Casper Star Tribune, True Companies have had many pipeline spills.

True Companies also owns 7 True Ranches (ADA Ranch, Double Four Ranch, LAK Ranch, Rock River Ranch, Chalk Bluffs Ranch, HU Ranch, VR Ranch), 2 feedlots (LAK Feedlot, Wheatland Feedlot) and 2 Farms (LAK Farm, Wheatland Farm) in Wyoming.          –  Debbie

cows  True Ranches’ cattle (photo:  True Companies)

SOURCE:  Buffalo Bulletin

Almost a decade after Belle Fourche Pipeline Co., a True Oil company, told the Bureau of Land Management it was no longer using a pipeline 44 miles southeast of Buffalo, the pipeline leaked 25,200 gallons of crude oil onto public lands.

The company terminated its right of way permit in writing in 2006. At some point, without the knowledge of the federal agency, the company illegally resumed use of the pipeline, said Christian Venhuizen, BLM public affairs specialist.

Why and when the company continued to use the pipeline remains unanswered. Bob Dundas, environmental coordinator for Belle Fourche and Bridger pipelines, said he would forward the Buffalo Bulletin’s request for information and comment to someone who could answer questions related to permitting.

On May 20, 2014, Belle Fourche reported the oil spill to the BLM, after workers noticed oil seeping up from the ground, Dundas said. The BLM determined that Belle Fourche was in trespass, Venhuizen said, and fined Bridger Pipeline, a sister company, also owned by True Oil.

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Proposed Collection of Information on Wild Horses & Burros; BLM Requests Comments

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The BLM is now planning to do a “knowledge and values study” on wild horses & burros using focus groups.  The focus groups are to include the usual special interest groups (the same ones that are so vocal against wild horses & burros on the BLM Resource Advisory Councils/RACs).

Most of us aren’t perusing the Federal Register on a daily basis, but an advocate alerted us to the notice below.  We should all ask WHO will APPOINT/SELECT the people who will take part in these focus groups.  The BLM proposes to have “guides” (a prepared agenda) for the groups, presumably to limit the topics you can talk about.  The questions/discussions will then likely be designed to lead you to whatever predetermined outcome the BLM wants.  Read HERE about the BLM and use of the Delphi Technique.

This is not free speech.  Will the topics include the delay of the issuance of the investigation report of the 1,700 wild horses Tom Davis bought?  Will the focus groups be updated on the current number of deaths of wild horses at the BLM’s Scott City, Kansas feedlot?  Will the participants be able to review any vet reports or necropsy reports from the Scott City feedlot?

This undemocratic process seems to be a way for the BLM to feign interest in listening to the public,  while in reality, it continues its efforts to contrive what could seem to the public to be some sort of a consensus.

I wonder if the BLM will ever have focus groups or advisory councils on wild horse & burro issues that are composed ONLY of real wild horse & burro advocates, who all care about the welfare of the wild horses and burros (instead of special interest “stakeholders” who focus on how to get rid of them).  The comment period for this proposed focus group farce ends May 11, 2015.  This is destined to be another unscientific “study” as the BLM continues to operate like a dog chasing its tail.  –  Debbie Coffey


This document has a comment period that ends in 58 days (05/11/2015) How To Comment

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Carol Walker, Dir. of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation, with an update on the Wyoming wild horse checkerbcourt case and the captured wild horses (Wed., 3/4/15)

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painy

Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_LogoJoin us on Wild Horse Wednesday (*SM) , March 4, 2015 More

Janine Blaeloch, Dir. of Western Lands Project, on BLM & Forest Service Land Swaps and Industrial Solar, on Wild Horse & Burro Radio (Wed., 2/25)

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painy

Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_LogoJoin us on Wild Horse Wednesday (*SM) , February 25, 2015 More

Sustainable Cowboys or Welfare Ranchers of the American West?

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Source:  THE DAILY PITCHFORK

Report analyzes taxpayer bailout of U.S. public lands ranching [Part II of a series on ranchers]

by Vickery Eckhoff

Cliven-Bundy-on-Horseback-e1423775080754-620x264 Public lands livestock operators each cost taxpayers nearly a quarter of a million dollars in subsidies over the last decade. (AP Photo/Las Vegas Review-Journal, John Locher)

Five hundred million dollars[1]. That’s what 21,000[2] ranchers who graze their livestock on America’s iconic western rangelands are estimated to have cost US taxpayers in 2014 — and every year for the past decade. This averages out to an annual taxpayer subsidy of $23,809 per rancher — approximately a quarter of a million dollars each since 2005. So why does this small subset, representing just 2.7% of US livestock producers, protest the “welfare rancher” label?

 The public lands grazing program is welfare.

That $23,809 — and it’s a lowball figure — is a form of public assistance similar to other welfare programs. The only difference is, it doesn’t arrive as a check in the mail. It instead represents a loss covered by taxpayers: the very large difference between what public lands ranchers pay in fees to the US government and what public lands grazing costs taxpayers every year. But it’s still a subsidy, as a newly updated economic analysis, Costs and Consequences: The Real Price of Livestock Grazing on America’s Public Lands, makes clear. And the recipients aren’t low income; a large number are millionaires and some are billionaires and multi-billion dollar corporations. Cattle barons, if you will.

Public lands ranching costs western ecosystems, wildlife and taxpayers.

“Several federal agencies permit livestock grazing on public lands in the United States, the largest being the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Department of Agriculture’s United States Forest Service (USFS).

The vast majority of livestock grazing on BLM and USFS rangelands occurs in the 11 western states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

Rangelands are non-irrigated and generally have vegetation that consists mostly of grasses, herbs and/or shrubs. They are different from pastureland, which may periodically be planted, fertilized, mowed or irrigated.”

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE HERE.

The PZP Debate (with Ginger Kathrens) on Wild Horse & Burro Radio (Wed., 2/11/15)

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painy

Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_LogoJoin us on Wild Horse Wednesday (*SM) , February 11, 2015 More

The Media Adores Ranchers. Here’s Why They Shouldn’t. [Part I]

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SOURCE:  The Daily Pitchfork

by Vickery Eckhoff

rancher-1a-620x264

The US livestock industry has enormous economic and political clout. But news reports consistently highlight a small segment of it — ranchers grazing livestock on federally-managed western grasslands — as news sources, granting them undue influence on policy issues in which they have a large economic stake.

This bias has occurred despite a decade’s worth of empirical evidence showing that public-lands ranchers — who rely on hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies but represent only 2.7 percent of the nation’s total livestock operators — fleece US taxpayers, public lands and protected species in order to graze livestock (mostly cattle) on the cheap.

The media bias seems endemic. Whether discussing wild horses, bison, predator species (wolves, coyote, cougars and bears), sage grouse or desert tortoises, livestock operators and lawmakers from western states are consistently allowed to present themselves in news reports as stewards of 230 million acres of grasslands, forest and wildlife habitat that nearly everyone agrees have been compromised.

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE HERE.

Dept. of Justice refuses to take any action against Spur Livestock, BLM contractors who sold wild horses to a kill buyer

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In this case, there was NO justice.  Wild Horse Freedom Federation did an investigation and found that a BLM long term holding contractor, Spur Livestock, sold wild horses to well known kill buyer Joe Simon.  R.T. Fitch, President of Wild Horse Freedom Federation, publicly presented an official government document with proof of this to the National Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board at their meeting.  Joan Guilfoyle, Division Chief of the BLM’s Wild Horse & Burro Program, was present.

However, the Department of Justice (DoJ) only issued a letter of declination.  A declination decision is generally viewed to mean that the DoJ , in the exercise of its prosecutorial discretion, declines to prosecute or bring an enforcement action.  

So, the issue of a current BLM contractor selling wild horses to a kill buyer, most likely for slaughter, was just swept under the rug. More

Study: Livestock Grazing on Public Lands Cost Taxpayers $1 Billion Over Past Decade

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Information supplied by The Center for Biological Diversity

BLM’s Welfare Ranching Bedfellows come with a huge price tag…

WASHINGTON— A new analysis  finds U.S. taxpayers have lost more than $1 billion over the past decade on a program that allows cows and sheep to graze on public land. Last year alone taxpayers lost $125 million in grazing subsidies on federal land. Had the federal government charged fees similar to grazing rates on non-irrigated private land, the program would have made $261 million a year on average rather than operate at a staggering loss, the analysis finds.

Click Image to Download Full Report

Click Image to Download Full Report

The study, Costs and Consequences: The Real Price of Livestock Grazing on America’s Public Lands, comes as the Obama administration prepares Friday to announce grazing fees for the upcoming year on 229 million acres of publicly owned land, most of it in the West. The report was prepared by economists on behalf of the Center for Biological Diversity.

“Public lands grazing has been a billion-dollar boondoggle over the past decade and hasn’t come close to paying for itself,” said Randi Spivak with the Center for Biological Diversity. More

Kill Buyer Ole Olson trucks 224 stallions to Dennis Chavez, likely into the slaughter pipeline

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SOURCE:  ANIMALS ANGELS
Shipment of Stallions to Dennis Chavez 1/15/15
Olson_NMLB Inspection_1_15_2015
Well known Nevada Kill Buyer ships 224 Stallions to Dennis Chavez!

Animals’ Angels has received confirmation that on January 15, 2015, Ole Olson transported 224 stallions to the New Mexico’s largest and most notorious kill buyer Dennis Chavez.  Records obtained from the New Mexico Livestock Board indicate that the agency inspected the 224 stallions and 64 mares at the Los Lunas Feedlot.
While it cannot be confirmed that these horses are indeed a part of the Dann Sister herd, it is possible.  However, regardless of the origin of these horses, it is important to question how these stallions were shipped. The Commercial Transport of Equines to Slaughter Regulations require that every stallion is segregated inside the trailer to avoid fighting and the risk of injuries. Given the fact that Olson shipped 224 stallions, it is unlikely that this requirement has been met.
One can only imagine the chaos inside the trailers with so many stallions packed together fighting for dominance. The risks for injury during slaughter horse transport is always great but given the sheer number of stallions Olson was transporting, the danger for grave and debilitating injuries, not to mention the horrific distress, would have been tremendous.According to the New Mexico Livestock Board’s inspection form, the horses were consigned to Dennis Chavez – we’re all too familiar with his operation, so we know where these horses are potentially headed and the conditions under which they may suffer at his feedlot. While the horses may be sold at his auction, it is also possible that they will end up in Mexico.  It remains to be seen if Chavez will trouble himself with gelding the stallions (a requirement if he wanted to export them as slaughter horses), or if he will ship them straight to Mexico labeled as “work horses”.AA investigators have seen the sad results of Chavez’ clumsy gelding procedures during previous feedlot visits; yet another reason our heart goes out to these poor souls caught in the pipeline. While we continue to keep an eye on Dennis Chavez and his Southwest Livestock Auction for abuses that can be reported to the authorities, we are also going to take measures to hold Ole Olson accountable for the recent shipments. Animals’ Angels has filed a complaint with the USDA and has urged IES to launch an investigation into the true purpose of these transports and the final destination for these stallions.

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