ACTION ALERT – Please call TODAY!

Place a call into Representative Nita Lowey, the House Chair of the Appropriations Committee and a supporter of wild horse protection, at (202) 225-6506 and say:

“Please reject the request for appropriations language to require the BLM to remove 15,000-20,000 wild horses & burros from our public lands.  Please make sure America’s wild horses & burros are allowed to maintain viable herd numbers on public lands. “

Place a call to your own Representative at 202-225-3121 using the script above.

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DANGEROUS, SIMPLISTIC, UNREALISTIC

A REBUTTAL TO A PROPOSAL TO CONGRESS BY INEXPERIENCED AND UNKNOWLEDGEABLE NON-PROFIT GROUPS AND RANCHERS

by Bonnie Kohleriter

AUTHORS OF THIS PROPOSAL:

The ASPCA, HSUS, Return to Freedom (RTF), American Mustang Foundation (AMF) as well as ranching  groups are authors of this proposal.  It is known the public land ranchers want as few horses as possible on our public lands because of the competition for forage, but the ASPCA and HSUS are well known animal rights groups, supposedly supportive of wild horses.*

However, the ASPCA has been mainly involved with cats, dogs, and domestic horses with no experience in BLM wild horse corrals and pasture operations, no experience with on the ground PZP programs, no experience with on the ground adoption-purchase transactions, and no experience in operating sanctuaries.

Likewise, the HSUS is comparatively the same in no experience as the ASPCA though they have participated in two failed large herd sized PZP delivery operations… the Sand Wash herd and the Cedar Mtn. herd…and they have two sanctuaries holding various animals, not exclusively mustangs.

Return to Freedom is just one of the nation’s horse sanctuaries in Lompoc, California, is full, doesn’t have room for one California wild horse or burro, and operates in the red according to Guidestar.  The American Mustang Foundation is a new organization supposedly a lobbying organization about whose activities little is known to date and shows no known experience in housing wild horses.

In spite of their lack of any or of any successful experience with the solutions proposed for the wild horses and burros, these groups want to speak with authority as to what should be done economic, humane and feasible wise after quickly removing 50,000 animals from 27 M acres of our public lands.  There’s no cost analysis in this report, humane is dubious for both those left on the range and those off the range, and feasible, providing no substantive evidence of proof and with providing already failed trials, presents an invalidation of much of the usefulness of this report as a way forward.

OBJECTIVES OF THIS PROPOSAL

The objectives of this proposal are to develop an economically viable, humane, and feasible long-term management plan for the BLMs wild horse and burro program.

PRESENCE OF WILD HORSES AND BURROS ON OUR PUBLIC LANDS

This report appears to accept the following:

  • 27,000 wild horses and burros are only able to be on 27 M acres of our public lands called AML or Appropriate Management Levels.
  • 87,885 animals are currently on those public lands as of 2018. (updated from 2017)
  • To return to 27,000, a three or ten year plan of removals is endorsed…3 years of 20,000 and 5 years of 12,000.

The 27,000 number is an arbitrary number.  The 1971 law did not specify an allowable number.  No recorded evidence of 27,000 wild horses and burros allowed is recorded around 1971.  The BLM says it uses “scientific principles of rangeland management” to determine the population of wild horses and burros that the habitat can sustain.

In chapter 7, Using Science to Improve the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program, the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences debunks the idea scientific principles are used to determine populations and suggests it has more to do with values and politics.

The BLM claims it has 177 HMAs or Herd Management Areas.  A closer look reveals some HMAs have no horses or burros in them, some are double counted, some have been combined, and some are not managed by the BLM.  The BLM actually appears to have only 160 HMAs. (See addendum)

Dr. Gus Cothran of Texas A & M, the retained geneticist for the BLM, has said 150-200 wild horses with 50 effective breeding animals need to be in a herd for genetic variance and diversity and for viability over some time. (See BLM Handbook)  Some herds have only horses or burros in them and others have both.

138 horse herds exist with only with only “38” of them having AMLs above 150 and 30 burro herds exist with only “3” of them having AMLs above 150. (See Addendum 2)  So if the numbers are brought down to 27,000, 78% of the horse herds and 90% of the burro herds will be at risk for loss of fecundity, at risk for anomalies or deformities, and at risk of ultimate extirpation.

Add to the removals the use of suggested PZP on all the mares, sterilization of some of the mares  and sex ratioing of 70% stallions to 30% mares.  That  will lower even more the number of breeding animals heightening even more the threat of the continuance of the herds. Is this acceptance of numbers on the range and the use of PZP on all of the mares, sterilization and sex ratioing “humane” knowing the risk to extirpation as a herd or extinction as a group of herds.  A loss of 78% and 90% and more isn’t feasible long term management. It is devastation of the herds.

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE HERE.