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The Devastating Wild Horse Roundup Continues in the Red Desert Complex of Wyoming

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Stallions to be released

Published by Carol Walker at November 6, 2020

Across the road, behind our observation point, we cannot see the trap or the run up to the trap from here at the Red Desert Complex Roundup. This is not meaningful observation. Two days ago we were here and could see the horses moving at a great distance then around the hill and that was it. We are in Crooks Mountain Herd Management Area. It is 36 degrees right now but when the wind picks up it gets bitter. We are waiting for the helicopters to bring in the first group of wild horses and will be watching them as best we can for the short time they are in view.

The trap – I cannot see it from where I am supposed to observe

The helicopter pilot just brought in a small family. There were 6 horses one sorrel stallion peeled off and is moving slowly away and the other 5 were driven around the corner and I assume into the trap since I cannot see it. They were very far away.

They have just stopped rounding up horses in Crooks Mountain for the day – the wind really picked up. I saw a group with a gray mare, a pinto mare and foal, bays, and a bay stallion and another darker group came in. Meanwhile three horses turned around and headed the opposite direction on the ridge. All of the 20-25 or so horses captured today have looked very tired, like they have been run a very long way. This group finally got close enough to identify a small family – dark mare, bay stallion and bay foal with blaze tucked in between them. The helicopter went back for them after driving the colorful family in. They were clearly tired. It was painful to watch. The helicopter hung way back but they had to go a long way before going out of site behind the hill. I did not see them go into the trap of course because it is behind me across the road.

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE HERE: https://www.wildhoofbeats.com/blog/the-devastating-wild-horse-roundup-continues-in-the-red-desert-complex-of-wyoming

The Bureau of Land Management Does Not Allow the Public to See Wild Horses Being Driven into Traps with Helicopters

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The Bureau of Land Management Does Not Allow the Public to See Wild Horses Being Driven into Traps with Helicopters

Published by Carol Walker at November 4, 2020 Categories Tags

I am at the observation point for the helicopter roundup at Crooks Mountain Herd Management Area in the Red Desert Complex. It is 37 degrees. I am the only member of the public here today.

Well my hope was unfounded – we not only have no view of the trap that the horses will be driven into, we cannot even see the wings of the jute funneling them in. Supposedly they will drive the horses by the hill we are allowed to sit on. I would not call this “meaningful observation.”

This is the stubborn hill that I wish I could have super powers to see through – between me and the trap where the wild horses are being driven in with a helicopter. In Crooks Mountain HMA this morning about 35 horses just got captured. Mostly bays with a couple of dappled gray stallions and one pure white older stallion. They were trotting and galloping, we saw them over on a ridge then they disappeared from sight we cannot see the trap or even the lead up to the trap from this location. This is not acceptable public observation. I am not here to take pretty pictures I am here to see how the horses are doing, if anything happens to them and I am unable to do that in this location.

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE HERE: https://www.wildhoofbeats.com/blog/the-bureau-of-land-management-does-not-allow-the-public-to-see-wild-horses-being-driven-into-traps-with-helicopters

Only a Tiny Amount of Wild Horses Will Remain in Antelope Hills Herd Management Area in Wyoming

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Only a Tiny Amount of Wild Horses Will Remain in Antelope Hills Herd Management Area in Wyoming

Published by Carol Walker at November 2, 2020

I am at the viewing site for the Red Desert roundup – it will be the last day for this area in Antelope Hills. It is a balmy 31 degrees this morning. Yesterday they captured 107 wild horses and I thought they were done here. They only plan to leave 60 horses in this HMA of 159,000 acres. They will release 25 horses.

I saw a colorful family run on top of the hill near the trap. They came down followed by a group of four black horses who waited on the hill while the helicopter went after a big group of about 12 pintos buckskins, grullas and bays who looked so tired – moving slowly, I am not sure how far they had been pushed. It took a while for the helicopter to get the four blacks to meet up with the big group and get pushed in. They are using only one trap for this area which is absolutely huge. More

Only 90 Wild Horses Released Back into the Red Desert Complex During the Largest Removal in WY History

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Published by Carol Walker at October 18, 2020

A gorgeous and proud buckskin stallion runs as fast as he can, away

Yesterday, 20 wild stallions and 46 wild mares were released back into Stewart Creek in the Red Desert Complex in Wyoming. The day before 24 stallions had been released.

Yesterday morning we drove 2 hours to the trap site, hiked and set up our gear and then were told that they cancelled the roundup for the day because of high winds. Of course the forecast had said that last night and this am, so it should not have come as a surprise. One more day of freedom for the wild horses of Arapahoe Creek.

The 20 stallions

We rushed back to temporary holding hoping we could see the stallions being released.

A very happy varnish roan

I watched 20 wild stallions being released back into Stewart Creek Herd Management Area in Wyoming. As the trailers drove up I was struck by the wildly proud posture of a stunning buckskin stallion in the front of the trailer. He did not look like a good candidate for captivity, so it is a very good thing that he has been included with the stallions to be released back into Stewart Creek.

The proud buckskin in the trailer

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE HERE: https://www.wildhoofbeats.com/blog/only-90-wild-horses-released-back-into-the-red-desert-complex-during-the-largest-removal-in-wy-history

The Devastation of the Red Desert Complex Wild Horse Roundup Continues

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by Carol Walker

On day 5 we had a day off due to wind – I of course spent it with the horses, and saw a rainboy behind a family that I knew. I hoped it would be a sign.

There is another beautiful sunrise as I wait for the helicopters to chase the horses into the trap 1 mile away in the Red Desert Complex Roundup in Wyoming. We are at a location about a mile from the trap site. The winds are calm and it is 21 degrees this morning. More

The Red Desert Complex Wild Horse Roundup Continues Despite the Winds

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Published by Carol Walker October 14, 2020

The family that got away

It is another morning a mile from the trap site waiting for the helicopter to chase the wild horses in Stewart Creek Wyoming. Yesterday 84 horses were captured, no injuries or deaths. We hope that continues today. The wind is not bad right now but is forecast to pick up this afternoon.

The two helicopters went out and we saw a big black stallion circle around and go right by us – I stopped breathing as he paused and looked at us, then kept trotting our of sight into Lost Creek. There will be at least another day of freedom for him.

The black stallion
He stands and looks before heading out

Then several groups came in together, silhouetted by the sun directly in our eyes, the two helicopters worked together and brought them in. At least 40-50 horses. They headed out again as the contractor is loading horses into stock trailers – we were told then they load them into the big semis to take them to temporary holding.

Next three small groups come in and the helicopters head out again. The wind is starting to pick up but it is not nearly as bad as yesterday so far. I saw several stock trailers head toward temporary holding, the babies in the back. We will most likely have a chance today to go see the horses that have been captured today several hours after the helicopters stop.

In the stock trailer

I watched 3 more groups of wild horses being driven in using two helicopters, but once again a small family of 5 colorful horses ran away right toward us to Lost Creek. I am using an 800mm lens but it is still very far away and hard to see. From what I can tell they have gone through a barbed wire fence, which is being used as one of the boundaries of the lead up to the trap. Even though there are some pink flags, a barbed wire fence should not be the side of what they are driving the horses into – there is too much possibility for an injury to the horses. The stunning big pinto stallion brought up the rear of his little family – he looked at us as they trotted by but was not concerned about us. As they got closer I could see the sweat streaking down their bodies from running. He let them walk at one point until he heard the helicopter and then they started running away. They have a reprieve at least for today.

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE HERE: https://www.wildhoofbeats.com/blog/the-red-desert-complex-wild-horse-roundup-continues-despite-the-winds

The Red Desert Complex Wild Horse Roundup – Freedom’s End

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Looking Glass, Leopard Appaloosa stallion

By Carol Walker

On Day 2 of the roundup, the wind was so severe that the helicopters could not fly. So I headed out to see the horses one last time. It was bittersweet. It was wonderful as always to see the families i knew so well. First I saw Leopard Appaloosa stallion Looking Glass and his family. I continued to a water tank, and saw blue roan stallion Blue Zeus and his family who were on the move, so it was a quick look.

Blue Zeus on the move

Then I encountered a very colorful family I had never sen before with lots of pintos including a handsome palomino pinto stallion. It was a hello and a goodbye. Then the last family I saw was a beautiful wild mare, stallion and foal. They had no idea what was coming for them.

What a time to meet a new family!
The last little family I saw

This morning when I arrived at the trap site for the second day of the round up I had thought maybe the high winds would ground the helicopters today but so far it is a go. We are in Stewart Creek this morning, about a mile from the trap.

Looking into the sun

I watched over 30 I think wild horses (I am not the best at counting) be driven by two helicopters working in coordination into the trap. The winds are pretty fierce so I was surprised that the helicopters are able to fly. They came in in several large groups. But one very colorful family with pintos and buckskins evaded the helicopters, running straight into Lost Creek and they are still running, I am not sure if they are going to go after them today, they may have won a temporary reprieve.

They got away, for now

One large group of about 40 horses ran right through the jute and away from the trap at full speed. Then another group of about 20 horses was driven into the trap. For the last hour they had been pushing the group that got away and were bringing half of them around to the trap and the horses ran away again. Once the helicopter moved off they slowed to a trot then a walk clearly exhausted, but then made their way past us into Lost Creek. Mostly bays and some grays. One stallion is lagging way behind. He stops.

Going right through the jute

Read the rest of this article HERE: https://www.wildhoofbeats.com/blog/the-red-desert-complex-wild-horse-roundup-freedoms-end

TS Radio Network: Whistleblowers! Abandoned Mines

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Join us live Thursday September 10, 2020 at 7:00 pm CST!

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Despite the Pandemic, the Bureau of Land Management Will Continue Wiping out the Wild Horses in the Red Desert Complex of Wyoming

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on Wild Hoofbeats

Wild stallion Hermes’ colorful family

In August of 2018 the Bureau of Land Management began a roundup in the Red Desert Complex of Wyoming. The Herd Management Areas in the Complex are Green Mountain, Stewart Creek, Lost Creek, Crooks Mountain and Antelope Hills. They were planning to remove 2670 wild horses in total, and the last roundup had been in 2011. The BLM stopped about halfway through on August 17 because they had nowhere else to put the rest of the horses they proposed to remove. So 1444 wild horses were rounded up, 25 were released back into Green Mountain including 12 mares who were given PZP birth control. The bulk of the horses removed were from Green Mountain, with about 300 from Stewart Creek. Ten wild horses died during this roundup, including some foals who were literally run to death in the heat.

Bachelor Stallions

Now the Bureau of Land Management is planning to continue this roundup. Because it was paused they do not need to do any more Environmental Assessment, any more public comment. They can just start at their convenience, which turns out to be some time in October of this year. They plan to remove over 1000 wild horses – likely over 1500.

Just to state the obvious, come on people, wake up, there is a Pandemic! You are going to ignore that and pretend that chasing wild horses with a helicopter and separating them from their families and homes, killing some, sending most of them to be warehoused for the rest of their lives in a feedlot situation for millions of taxpayer dollars is a priority? Surely millions of dollars being squandered in wild horse roundups happening now in Utah and Nevada and soon in Wyoming could be better used helping people who are at risk people who are losing their jobs, their homes and their lives?

Apollo, Hera and their new colt

Of course, our government will say this money has been allocated to remove the horses. Yes and that is a problem – it is not a priority! These horses who are on public lands currently are not posing a threat to anything except the cattle ranchers’ greed to put more and more livestock on our public lands. And surely it has occurred to someone that what a great time to remove these horses – when most people are staying at home and trying to stay safe.

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The Bureau of Land Management’s nefarious, brutal plan for wild horses

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photo by Carol Walker

SOURCE:  washingtonexaminer.com

“Subsidized livestock already outnumber wild horses and burros by over 37 to 1, yet livestock overgrazing is a top cause of damage to federal rangelands.”

By Ginger Kathrens & Charlotte Roe

Environmental travesties are on the rise, many obscured by the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the biggest ones will soon be taken up by Congress.

In its long-overdue report to Congress, the Bureau of Land Management proposes capturing and removing 220,000 wild horses and burros over 10 years to achieve its unsupported, arbitrary “appropriate management level” of 26,690 — a near-extinction population level.

It will cost American taxpayers $1 billion to expel these animals from the dedicated rangelands where they currently live at no cost to taxpayers. Thousands of wild mares could be subjected to ovariectomy, a discredited, brutal form of sterilization. In the end, hundreds of thousands of once-wild animals will languish in crowded holding pens — and taxpayers will be footing the bill.

Wild horses are federally protected animals. The 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act established their ranges as dedicated habitat to be “managed principally ” for their welfare. Flouting this law, the BLM has removed wild equids from nearly half of their designated 52 million acres. Now, government machinery is accelerating to remove most of the rest.

The BLM plans to wipe out three herd management areas in Wyoming’s famed Checkerboard and sterilize an entire herd in a fourth — “zeroing out” 2.5 million acres of their habitat for continual use by privately owned livestock.

In Nevada, the BLM intends to eliminate six herds in the Caliente Complex, imprisoning 1,700 wild horses at taxpayer expense. They will also take 1,800 wild horses from Oregon’s Barren Valley, proposing sterilization as “management,” killing off the “wild” in these wild horses.

Read the rest of this article HERE.

America’s Rangelands Deeply Damaged by Overgrazing

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photo: BLM

SOURCE:  PEER.org

Figures Show Vast Areas Failing BLM’s Own Rangeland Health Standards

Washington, DC — The Bureau of Land Management’s most recent data on the health of federal rangelands reveal extensive damage from excessive commercial livestock grazing, according to figures posted today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).  Last month, BLM announced its intent to rewrite its grazing rules without specifying the measures it is considering.

BLM’s Standards for Rangeland Health prescribe the minimum quality of water, vegetation and soils, as well as the ability to support wildlife, required by the agency for permitting livestock grazing.  The most recent (2018) rangeland health report on BLM grazing allotments across 150 million acres in 13 Western states shows –

  • Of total acres assessed, 42% fail to meet BLM Standards for Rangeland Health, totaling nearly 40 million acres, approximately the area of Washington State;
  • The largest portion (70%) of range health failure is due to livestock overgrazing in allotments covering nearly 28 million acres, an area the size of Pennsylvania; and
  • These figures are underestimates because nearly 40 percent of these federal rangelands – nearly 59 million acres or an area about the size of Oregon – have never been assessed.

“By its own yardstick, BLM is a poor steward of our federal rangeland,” stated PEER Advocacy Director Kristen Stade…

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE HERE.

A Guy Named Craig May Soon Have Control Over a Large Swath of Utah

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SOURCE:  The New Yorker

“the B.L.M. has scheduled nearly twenty oil-and-gas-lease sales on federal land nationwide through the end of 2020, and the Administration has shrunk the size of wildernesses and national monuments, paving the way for more drilling… It is a classic land rush.”

Even if you’ve never been to the vast red-rock desert country around Moab, Utah, you’ve been there—its mesas and buttes, its towering arches, have been the backdrop for a thousand movies (and even more S.U.V. commercials). It’s what we think about when we think about “the West,” a truly mythic place. Some of it has been protected in national monuments and parks: Arches and Canyonlands. But the fate of a large swath of it, though nominally belonging to the American people, may soon fall to a guy named Craig Larson.

Here’s the story so far. Under a long-standing law known as the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920, anyone can “nominate” a parcel of federal land for oil-and-gas development—it doesn’t cost a thing. The rules are so lax that you don’t even have to supply your name if you want to nominate a piece of land, but Prairie Hills Oil & Gas did provide at least that much context when it asked the federal Bureau of Land Management to set aside land between Arches and Canyonlands. Prairie Hills Oil & Gas, of North Dakota, it turns out, is headquartered at a home that Larson, an attorney, co-owns in Big Lake, Minnesota, about forty miles northwest of Minneapolis. After the land is nominated, and certain review processes are completed, the B.L.M. moves to set up a lease auction, which, in the case of Larson and Utah, is scheduled for September. (Although Larson has nominated the parcels, anyone, in fact, could be the ultimate winning bidder.)

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE HERE.

BLM again releases fraudulent population statistics for wild horses & burros

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by Grandma Gregg

“BLM states biologically impossible annual wild horse population rates…”

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently posted their annual Wild Horse and Burro Herd Statistics. As in previous years, BLM’s report is full of obviously false, biologically impossible population growth data.

WHY is it important to expose this fraud? Because BLM uses the phony figures to convince everyone (but especially, the Congress) that an overpopulation crisis exists. Given the “crisis,” BLM requests millions of dollars in funding to capture and remove thousands of wild horses and burros from the range or, alternatively, to sterilize them. The fraudulent figures reflect BLM’s corruption. Yet, the Agency is granted deference, as if it were providing true data.

BLM’s falsified population figures affect not only specific herds (by triggering unwarranted, excessive roundups) but also misrepresent the total wild horse and burro population. The astronomically-high numbers for certain herds significantly inflate the summary data, making it seem as if all herds grow at a high rate.

Here are just a few of the many false figures that BLM is alleging for the reporting-year beginning March 1st 2019 and ending February 29th 2020:

WARM SPRINGS Herd Management Area (HMA) a 497% increase in ONE year (a herd of 30 horses produced 149 successful foals in one year which would require that every single horse – including the stallions! – have more than four surviving foals in one year. Biologically impossible

TOBIN RANGE Herd Management Area (HMA) a 377% increase in ONE year (a herd of 30 horses produced 113 successful foals in one year which would require that every single horse – including the stallions! – have more than three surviving foals in one year. Biologically impossible

HARDTRIGGER Herd Management Area (HMA) a 371% increase in ONE year (a herd of 14 horses produced 52 successful foals in one year which would require that every single horse – including the stallions! – have more than three surviving foals in one year. Biologically impossible

SNOWSTORM Mts. Herd Management Area (HMA) a 252% increase in ONE year (a herd of 90 horses produced 227 successful foals in one year which would require that every single horse – including the stallions! – have more than two surviving foals in one year. Biologically impossible

DIAMOND HILLS SOUTH Herd Management Area (HMA) a 187% increase in ONE year (a herd of 216 horses produced 404 successful foals in one year which would require that every single horse – including the stallions! – have more than one surviving foal in one year. Biologically impossible

DIAMOND HILLS NORTH Herd Management Area (HMA) a 129% increase in ONE year (a herd of 271 horses produced 349 successful foals in one year which would require that every single horse – including the stallions! – have more than one surviving foal in one year. Biologically impossible

Not only are these false statements misleading to Congress and to the public but the perpetrators (BLM) of these fraudulent population increases are in violation of Title 18 (18 U.S.C. § 1001). Making false statements (18 U.S.C. § 1001) is the common name for the United States federal CRIME laid out in Section 1001 of Title 18 of the United States Code, which prohibits making false or fraudulent statements, in “any matter within the jurisdiction” of the federal government of the United States, 18 U.S. Code § 1519. Whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, violates this federal crime shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years.

Horses and burros have an approximate 11-month gestation period but as shown above and in their statistics, BLM continually gives biologically impossible annual herd increases. A recent study of 5,859 wild horses showed that although the average annual birth rate was about 20%, the survival to the age of yearling was only half of those – therefore a maximum herd increase of only 10%. In addition, adult mortality must be factored which therefore reduces the average herd increase to less than 10% annually. The National Academy of Science report cited two chief criticisms of the Wild Horse and Burro Program: unsubstantiated population estimates in herd management areas (HMA), and management decisions that are not based in science (NAS, 2013). The BLM’s biologically-impossible and scientifically-indefensible population-growth rates constitute dishonest and distorted data, which the BLM uses to mislead Congress and the American people. These false population statements are a federal crime punishable by prison and a fraudulent action against the American public in addition to being a travesty against our wild horses and burros.

WHY is this so important? Because these are the statistics that BLM gives to Congress when requesting funding for wild horse and burro capture and management plans, including the recent BLM $1-Billion Wild Horse Disaster Plan that pushes for massive roundups and the destruction of wild horse social behaviors through surgical and chemical sterilization for both mares and stallions.

*** Click (HERE) for a complete mathematical analysis of BLM’s fraudulent and deceptive population statistics.

References: https://www.blm.gov/programs/wild-horse-and-burro/herd-management/herd-management-areas

For further details on BLM population estimates: https://www.blm.gov/sites/blm.gov/files/wildhorse_2020_HAHMA_Stats_508.pdf

How Sarah Thompson of Lead Stories failed to fact check

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Opinion by Debbie Coffey

Sarah Thompson, who started a blog a few years ago, and then in December 2019 became a “Social Media Authenticity Analyst” at Lead Stories, just wrote an article titled Fact Check:  BLM Did NOT Release a Plan to Annihilate America’s Wild Horse And Burro Herds

Unfortunately, Thompson seems to NOT have fact checked her own article, which is filled with omissions and errors.  And, how does this uninformed person, call a real expert a “HOAX?”

While citing an article by Carol Walker on wildhoofbeats.com, Thompson states that Carol Walker “serves as the Director of Field Documentation for the non-profit Wild Horse Freedom Federation.”

FACT:  Carol Walker has not been the Director of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation since early November, 2019, and has not been listed on Wild Horse Freedom Federation’s Board of Directors on their website since that date.

Thompson then goes on to claim that BLM’s plan “to ‘annihilate”’ the herds is a claim not supported by facts.”

FACT:  Almost every wild horse advocacy organization in the U.S. (with experts who have been researching and following every aspect of wild horse & burro issues for many years) has spoken out against this BLM plan.

American Wild Horse Campaign wrote thisBreaking It Down:  BLM’s Path to Destruction for America’s Wild Herds 

And this:  Q & A On the Dangerous Plan for Wild Horses & Burros

The Cloud Foundation wrote this:  The BLM’s Billion Dollar Disaster Plan

In fact, dozens of advocacy groups have spoken out against a very similar “path forward” plan.

It certainly seems that this “Fact Checker” did not do much research before “fact checking” or writing her opinion.

Thompson only cites sentences from the BLM’s plan, and obviously has an extremely narrow knowledge of this topic.  Thompson seems to have blinders on since her only source of “fact checking” is what the BLM wrote.

Many members of the public know that in 2016, the BLM’s Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board urged the BLM to euthanize all of the wild horses in holding facilities.  Many members of the public, who have been researching all aspects of wild horses and studying genetic analysis reports, also realize that the BLM’s plans for removal and sterilizations WILL annihilate America’s wild horse herds.

Thompson, from Vevay, Indiana, is listed as the President of American Heritage Carriage Company, but this does not qualify her as an expert on wild horses.

Lead Stories claims to be “an innovative fact checking and debunking website” but with Thompson’s article, it seems that their “fact checking” has set an extremely low bar.  In my opinion, Thompson’s article deserves the “hoax alert” and Lead Stories has, unfortunately, promoted disinformation.

Please comment to stop the BLM’s plan to wipe out 40% of wild horses in Wyoming (so that privately owned livestock can run roughshod over public lands)

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by Debbie Coffey

The BLM wants to remove 4,000 wild horses from four Herd Management Areas in Wyoming, which would mean removing 40% of all of the wild horses in Wyoming.

Please comment on a new Wyoming Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Resource Management Plan Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for proposed changes to the management of four wild horse Herd Management Areas (HMAs) in Wyoming: Adobe Town, Salt Wells Creek, Great Divide Basin and White Mountain.

Please urge the BLM to select Alternative A, which would manage wild horses in their respective 4 herds at the current Appropriate Management Levels (AMLs) for each herd with a total AML 1481-2065.  As you can see on the graphs below, wild horses are already currently far outnumbered by privately owned livestock on public lands on these Herd Management Areas.

The BLM certainly seems to be violating the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA) by favoring some “uses” (livestock grazing) over other “uses” (wild horses).  FLPMA stipulates that the BLM take into account the “coordinated management of the various resources without permanent impairment of the productivity of the land and the quality of the environment with consideration being given to the relative values of the resources and not necessarily to the combination of uses that will give the greatest economic return or the greatest unit output.”

If the BLM even took this into account, they ignored it. More

Please Comment Against the Destruction of 40% of Wyoming’s Wild Horse Herds

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The Bureau of Land Management is developing a new Resource Management Plan in Wyoming and has an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for proposed changes to the management of four wild horse herds in Wyoming: Adobe Town, Salt Wells Creek, Great Divide Basin and White Mountain. The BLM’s proposed actions in their “Preferred Alternative” would zero out the Great Divide Basin Herd, zero out the Salt Wells Creek Herd and the White Mountain Herd and cut the Adobe Town Appropriate Management Level by half. Comments are due on this plan by April 30.

Salt Wells Creek, Great Divide Basin, Adobe Town and White Mountain encompass 2,811,401acres, 70 percent of which is federally managed public land and 30% is mostly private lands with some state owned lands.

At issue here is the Checkerboard – a mix of public and private lands 20 miles wide that was set up in the 1870s, when the government was selling private land plots to raise money for the railroad. The private land, about 891,807 acres, is owned by Occidental, the parent company of Anadarko, and the Rock Springs Grazing Association, an association of 24 families. The Rock Springs Grazing Association has been working very hard over the last 8 years to get all of the horses removed from the Checkerboard area even though it is not all private land – it is a mix of private and public land. They have been involved in 4 lawsuits regarding the status of wild horses on federally protected public lands and this proposal is the latest, most sweeping and devastating attempt to have all the wild horses removed. RSGA and the BLM have been attempting to manage the Checkerboard as if it were all private land but it is not, and that is illegal.

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NY Times writer gets it wrong: What we’ve really got is a “livestock crisis” looming in the West

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by Debbie Coffey

David Philipps’ New York Times article “A Mustang Crisis Looms in the West” (3/22/20) requires correction for falsely blaming degradation of public lands in the West on wild horses, in both the headline and the body of the article.

Data and maps from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) conclusively show private livestock, not wild horses, are overwhelming public lands in the West, both in grazing territory and sheer numbers (relative to wild horses).

BLM Grazing Allotments                                     Wild Horse Herd Management Areas
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Whistleblower puts Nevada’s BLM chummy industry relationships in the spotlight

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BLM’s Battle Mountain District Manager Doug Furtado (photo:  Elkodaily.com)

Source:  The Nevada Independent

“BLM is far too close to the industries it’s supposed to be watching. “These are not merely probable breaches of law by private persons,” the complaint alleges, “but a pervasive pattern of lawlessness which BLM has taken affirmative steps to further and encourage.”

by John L. Smith

As an environmental protection specialist in the Bureau of Land Management’s enormous Battle Mountain District, Dan Patterson was accustomed to working under difficult conditions.

When you’re one of a handful of BLM ecologists in an area that stretches over five Nevada counties and covers 10.5 million acres, you often toil alone and can find yourself a long way from his home office in Tonopah.

But these days Patterson finds himself even further from his supervisors after filing a withering whistleblower complaint with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel and Department of Interior Office of Inspector General alleging “illegalities and wrongdoing” by managers at the BLM’s Nevada state office and Battle Mountain district. Patterson’s complaint takes dead aim at the management style and decision-making of BLM Battle Mountain District Manager Doug Furtado and accuses him of abusing his authority by fast-tracking mining and oil and gas drilling projects and playing politics with enforcement, in the process violating laws and regulations meant to protect public lands. “As an Environmental Protection Specialist, Mr. Patterson’s professional responsibilities are in conflict with the objectives of District Manager Furtado,” the whistleblower’s attorney Kevin H. Bell of the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) asserts in a 13-page complaint.

Read the rest of this article HERE.

BLM’s Final Solution for One Third of Wyoming’s Wild Horses – Sign the Petition Today

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Source:  Wild Hoofbeats

Mares and Foals in Salt Wells Creek

By Carol J. Walker

The Bureau of Land Management just announced plans to destroy three wild herds of horses in the Checkerboard Area of Wyoming’s Red Desert. These wild horses are federally protected and living on 2 million acres in southeastern Wyoming.

The proposed Resource Management Plan would zero out the Salt Wells Creek Herd, the Great Divide Basin Herd, and roundup up and surgically sterilize the entire White Mountain, meaning within a few years this herd will be gone as well. All three of these iconic herds have large sections of “checkerboard” of public and private lands throughout much of the area, which since 2011 has led to several lawsuits. The Rock Springs Grazing Association, the most powerful grazing association in the country wants all of the wild horses removed. Instead of participating in land swaps that would allow consolidation of the public lands that wild horses roam on, they want all of the land, private AND public for grazing their livestock and the wild horses removed completely even though America’s public lands  are “mixed-use” by definition.

The Adobe Town Herd Management Area, which has only a small fraction of Checkerboard and over 478,000 acres will have its Appropriate Management Level (which is the range from low to high of wild horses allowed in the area) cut almost in half, from 610-800 to 225-450.

The plan will result in the removal of over 4000 wild horses from their homes and families and freedom, and 40% of wild horses habitat gone forever.

Changing the Land Use plans as a vehicle for wiping out entire populations of wild horses defies their federally protected status. And the issue here is bigger than wild horses in Wyoming – this may very well serve as BLM’s new template for eradicating all of America’s treasured wild horses.    Read the rest of this article HERE.

Here is the link to the petition:

https://www.change.org/p/trump-administration-don-t-let-the-blm-destroy-wyoming-s-iconic-wild-horses?

Bureau of Land Management Plots the Absolute Destruction of 5 Wild Horse Herds in Wyoming

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Source:  Wild Hoofbeats

Adobe Town Family

Stop the BLM from Destroying 5 Wild Horse Herds in Wyoming

By Carol J. Walker

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has released a Scoping Document with a 30 day public comment period on 5 of the largest wild horse herds in Wyoming:

Adobe Town, Salt Wells Creek, Great Divide Basin, White Mountain and Little Colorado.

I have been visiting, observing and photographing the wild horses in these 5 herds since 2004.

The BLM claims that these herds are “overpopulated” even though they completed a roundup of three herds, Adobe Town, Salt Wells Creek and Great Divide Basin only 2 years ago. The last roundup and removal in White Mountain and Little Colorado was in 2011. More

William Perry Pendley (not wild horses) may be the biggest threat to public lands

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Source:  The Hill

Trump administration calls wild horses biggest threat to public lands — here are the real threats

“The livestock industry continues to run roughshod over the vast majority of our Western public lands, causing a cascade of major environmental problems.”

BY ERIK MOLVAR, OPINION CONTRIBUTOR

Acting BLM Director William Perry Pendley told the Society of Environmental Journalists in Colorado on Friday that wild horses were the biggest problem facing federal public lands in the West.

The silliness of this statement becomes obvious when one considers that wild horses don’t exist on more than 85 percent of BLM lands, and where they do occur, they have to share the range with domestic livestock which typically have an even bigger impact on the land.

Pendley’s misstatement would be funny if it weren’t so dishonest and is symptomatic of major problems stemming from placing one of the nation’s most vitriolic opponents of environmental conservation in charge of our biggest land management agency.

Let’s examine some of the real problems facing the Bureau of Land Management, from the standpoint of an environmental professional, to put Pendley’s claims in some context.

Read the rest of this article HERE.

Erik Molvar is a wildlife biologist and executive director with Western Watersheds Project, an environmental conservation group dedicated to protecting and restoring watersheds and wildlife throughout the West.

Wild Horse Freedom Federation finds out the truth about America’s wild horses & burros

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Source: Wild Horse Freedom Federation

   

Letter from USDA’s Forest Service informing us that they had no records of the Devil’s Garden wild horses for almost a 4 month period of time (Click on each page to enlarge or print)

by Debbie Coffey, V.P. & Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs, Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Wild Horse Freedom Federation has been working diligently, over many years, trying to find out the truth about what is happening to America’s wild horses & burros.

We currently have 9 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits filed for violations of FOIA law by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). More

Op-Ed: Pushing the BLM out of Washington puts our public lands in peril

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Source:  Los Angeles Times

Clare Staples of Skydog Sanctuary on trying to save the lives of wild horses with special needs (Wild Horse & Burro Radio, Sat., 6/1/19)

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Return to Freedom continues its boondoggle with proposal to drive wild horses & burros to the brink of extinction

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Source:  Straight from the Horse’s Heart

by Debbie Coffey, V.P. & Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs, Wild Horse Freedom Federation

In my humble opinion:

Return to Freedom (RTF) continues to add insult to injury in their efforts to boondoggle the American public with a controversial proposal, by recently claiming “We understand that there has been considerable misinformation spread online about this proposal to Congress.  If you wish to delve deeper, please contact us to schedule a call.  We’re also planning a webinar for RTF supporters.” 

If you are one of their supporters, you should ask them direct questions, like “What, specifically, is the supposed misinformation?”

Every other major wild horse & burro advocacy organization, along with many knowledgeable advocates, have come out against their proposal.  All of these organizations have been very specific in the disastrous aspects of this proposal and have backed their concerns with facts.

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE HERE.

Debbie Coffey & Carol Walker of Wild Horse Freedom Federation detail Bureau of Land Management’s lack of transparency

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Join us this evening, December 6, 2018 at 7:00 pm CST!

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5th Anniversary of Wild Horse & Burro Radio show with many friends and past guests! (Wed., 11/7/18)

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Malicious prosecution in San Juan County

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Source:  Nobullsheet.net

Officials in San Juan County are conducting a case of political and malicious criminal prosecution against Mark Franklin and Rose Chilcoat. The case, over a year old now and not yet even in the trial phase, is already a blow against Mark and Rose and a black eye for San Juan County. They saw a nefarious way to seek revenge against Rose, who is a successful, effective conservationist, and they are getting it. Mark and Rose have accumulated over $100,000 in related legal bills defending themselves against trumped up charges for an utterly insignificant event. They suffer the stress of being falsely accused of crimes that could incur substantial fines and decades in prison. It is a travesty that court proceedings have been allowed to grind on to this point. There is, alas, more legal grinding yet to go. More

Fracking Wastewater Spikes 1,440% in Half Decade, Adding to Dry Regions’ Water Woes

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Source:  desmogblog

Shale drilling and fracking often occurs in areas already suffering from water stress. Credit: Duke University.

By Sharon Kelly 

Between 2011 and 2016, fracked oil and gas wells in the U.S. pumped out record-breaking amounts of wastewater, which is laced with toxic and radioactive materials, a new Duke University study concludes. The amount of wastewater from fracking rose 1,440 percent during that period.

Over the same time, the total amount of water used for fracking rose roughly half as much, 770 percent, according to the paper published today in the journal Science Advances.

Previous studies suggested hydraulic fracturing does not use significantly more water than other energy sources, but those findings were based only on aggregated data from the early years of fracking,” Avner Vengosh, professor of geochemistry and water quality at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment, said in a statement. “After more than a decade of fracking operation, we now have more years of data to draw upon from multiple verifiable sources.”

The researchers predict that spike in water use will continue to climb.

And over the next dozen years, they say the amount of water used could grow up to 50 times higher when fracking for shale gas and 20 times higher when fracking for oil — should prices rise. The paper, titled “The Intensification of the Water Footprint of Hydraulic Fracturing,” was based on a study conducted with funding from the National Science Foundation.

Even if prices and drilling rates remain at current levels, our models still predict a large increase by 2030 in both water use and wastewater production,” said Andrew J. Kondash, a PhD student in Vengosh’s lab who was lead author of the paper.

More Water than Oil

The shale industry has been heavily focused on amping up the amount of fossil fuels it can pump per well by drilling longer horizontal well bores and using more sand, water, and chemicals when fracking (which raises the costs per well and, as DeSmog recently reported, raises risks of water pollution).

But the water use and wastewater production per well have been growing even faster than the per-well fossil fuel production, the researchers found, labeling the water demand and wastewater growth “much higher” than the oil or gas increases.

The researchers studied data from over 12,000 oil and gas wells representing each of the major shale-producing regions in the U.S.

Their findings are particularly troubling news for arid areas like the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico, where underground water supplies are already taxed by residential and agricultural demand, and where fights over water use are brewing.

On average, a Permian Basin well used 10.3 million gallons of water in 2016, according to a San Antonio Express-News investigation earlier this year — more than double the average per-well demand just a few years ago.

A Waterfall of Waste

The wastewater problem has attracted the eye of industry analysts, particularly in the Permian.

One of the biggest risks facing operators today is the issue of produced water,” wrote Ryan Duman, a Wood Mackenzie senior energy analyst, describing how in parts of Texas and New Mexico, wells can produce up to 10 gallons of wastewater for every gallon of crude oil. “The sheer volume of water is unprecedented.”  READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE HERE.

James Kleinert and co-writer Kurt Brungardt on their new wild horse documentary (Wed., 8/22/18, on Wild Horse & Burro Radio)

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Carol Walker (Wild Horse Freedom Federation) and Charlotte Roe (Wild Equid League of Colorado) on BLM’s plans to sell wild horses & burros by the truckload, and continuing plans to sterilize wild horses (Wed. 8/15/18, on Wild Horse & Burro Radio)

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BLM shamelessly blames the deaths of 2 foals during roundups on “capture shock”

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This is a wild family in the Green Mountain Herd in Wyoming. For the past three days the BLM has been chasing hundreds of horses with helicopters and rounding them up and yesterday two foals died of what the contractor calls “capture shock.” 

Here’s the BLM’s story in their Gather Reports:  “Summary: BLM euthanized a captured horse with a pre-existing condition. Two colts were treated for capture shock during sorting at the holding corral. One colt died shortly after being treated and the other died while being transferred to the veterinary hospital in Lander”

Here’s our opinion:  It was very hot.  These foals likely ran as hard as they could to keep up with their mothers while being chased by a helicopter.  The BLM ran them to death.  So while the BLM attempts to put lipstick on a pig by blaming the deaths of the foals on “capture shock,” we place the blame directly where it belongs – on the BLM.
If the foals were treated, where are the vet reports?   

This is so cruel and unnecessary – the forage and water is in great shape in Wyoming.

 

Carol Walker on BLM’s wild horse holding facility (feedlot) in Axtell, Utah and more (Wild Horse & Burro Radio on Wed., 7/18/18)

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painy

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Carol Walker on actions you can take to save wild horses in Sand Wash Basin in Colorado (Tuesday, 7/3/18 on Wild Horse & Burro Radio)

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Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_LogoJoin us for a special show this Tuesday, July 3, 2018

6:00 p.m. PST7:00 p.m. MST8:00 p.m. CST9:00 p.m. EST

Listen Live (HERE!)

You can also listen to the show on your phone by calling (917) 388-4520, or call in to ask questions during the second half hour of the show, by calling (917) 388-4520, and then pressing the number 1

This show will be archived so you can listen to it anytime.

A main water source in the southern part of Sand Wash – Corona and family drinking 2 weeks ago – now dry

Our guest tonight is Carol Walker, Dir. of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation.  In just a couple of days, public comments are due for a 10 year plan by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) that will result in the removal of 580 wild horses from the Sand Wash Basin Herd Management Area (HMA) in Colorado.  The original Environmental Assessment (EA) was written in 2016, and instead of doing a proper revised EA or new Scoping, the BLM is only issuing a “Decision of NEPA Adequacy.”  This is likely a violation of the NEPA process.  The horses would be safer left in their HMA and managed there while Congress is deciding the fate of all wild horses and burros.

Also, the terrible drought has dried up much of the water in the Sand Wash Basin, so a volunteer group has raised money and is prepared to haul water to the horses.  At first the BLM said the Colorado state office had to approve this, but now it is being kicked to the Washington DC office.  While the bureaucratic wheels grind slowly, the wild horses will suffer.  Carol will talk about the actions you can take to help save these wild horses.

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

This show will be hosted by Debbie Coffey (V.P. and Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs) of Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

To contact us: ppj1@hush.com

TO LISTEN TO ALL ARCHIVED WILD HORSE & BURRO RADIO SHOWS, CLICK HERE.

To find out more about Wild Horse Freedom Federation and our work to keep wild horses and burros wild and free on our public lands visit www.WildHorseFreedomFederation.org

Donate Here: http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/donate/ More

Craig C. Downer (Wildlife Ecologist), Jesica Johnston (Environmental Scientist) & Marybeth Devlin (researcher) on the plight of America’s wild horses & burros (Wed., 6/20/18 on Wild Horse & Burro Radio)

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BLM is considering shipping America’s wild horses to Guyana to an area with jaguars, and to a Siberian tiger refuge in Russia to be used as prey

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A couple of notes to preface the Huffington Post article below:

Regarding Russian-American company OOO Rancho Khasan: “On Nov. 1, Anatoli Lebedev, the organization’s co-founder, wrote: ‘[F]or marketing we need a very clear picture ― how are we able to extract some horses for meat from the whole herd … without hurting hearts of animal rights activists, who trusted us?’”

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Susan Wagner, Pres. of Equine Advocates & Carol Walker, Dir. of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation, on BLM’s new plan to kill, to sterilize and to ship wild horses & burros overseas (Wed., 5/9/18)

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Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_LogoJoin us for Wild Horse Wednesdays®, Wednesday, May 9, 2018
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BLM employees ordered to wear propaganda badges

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Source:  Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility

New Uniform “Vision Cards” Display Images of Oil Rig and Livestock Grazing

Washington, DC — U.S. Bureau of Land Management employees are now under orders to wear “Vision Cards” on their uniforms displaying official maxims, according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).  These cards are little message boards with aphoristic statements about vision, mission, values, and guiding principles of the BLM.

Vision card grazing   image card

“The person of federal employees should not be used for political messaging,” stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, noting the Vison Cards’ similarity to propaganda placards used by totalitarian regimes. “This is supposed to be the Bureau of Land Management not Mao’s Red Guard.”

The two Vision Cards for uniform wear repeat language from the agency website.  The cards –

  • Display the image of an oil rig and what appears to be livestock grazing, in contrast to the official BLM logo which shows a tree, river, and mountain;
  • Reference serving “stakeholders” and “customers” but do not mention serving the public; and
  • Declare that the purpose of improving “the health and productivity of the land” is “to support the BLM multiple-use mission.”

It is not clear from where the order to wear the Vison Cards emanates.  BLM has no permanent director nor has the Trump White House even named a nominee.  During the past year, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and a small band of political appointees in DC have dictated BLM policy.  While reports of the mandatory card display have reached PEER from the West, the organization is still trying to determine whether the order is national in scope.

Read the rest of this news release HERE.

Uranium Mining Claims Near Grand Canyon Could Surge if Supreme Court Reverses Ban

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Source:  Environmental Working Group (EWG)

Contact:
(202) 667-6982
alex@ewg.org
For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, March 13, 2018
  • Colorado River Drinking Water Source for 40 Million
  • 2018: 831 Active Uranium Mining Claims Near Grand Canyon
  • 2011: Before Ban, 3,500 Claims

WASHINGTON – If the Supreme Court lifts the moratorium on uranium mining near the Grand Canyon, the expected surge in active claims would endanger not only a cherished national landmark, but also the drinking water for 40 million Americans, according to the Environmental Working Group and Earthworks.

Between the current leanings of the Supreme Court and the Trump administration being in power, the mining industry clearly sees an opportunity to open up uranium extraction along the canyon rim for the first time in a decade. There are currently fewer than 900 active uranium claims near the canyon, compared to almost 3,500 before the ban.

In November the Trump administration announced plans to reconsider the ban on uranium mining as part of its agenda to prop up dirty and dangerous domestic energy sources.

Last week two mining industry lobbying groups petitioned the Supreme Court to overturn the 20-year moratorium for uranium mining on more than 1 million acres of land along the canyon rim, put in place in 2012 by then-Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. The mining groups are seeking reversal of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ December ruling to leave the ban in place.

“If the Supreme Court decides in favor of the uranium industry, it could permanently scar a sacred landscape that is the jewel in the crown of America’s natural heritage, and threaten the drinking water of 40 million Americans from Los Angeles to Las Vegas,” said EWG President Ken Cook. “President Trump has shown total disregard for preserving natural resources and protecting public health, and if the court overturns the ban, the Grand Canyon could soon fall victim to his radical agenda.” More

Activists: Government plan to kill wild horses is all a profit scheme

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photo: Carol Walker

“To destroy them so that oil, gas, livestock, hunting and mining interests can deplete the land without any horses or burros standing in the way is bad for the environment and frankly, un-American.”

Source: Salon.com

Activists: Government plan to kill wild horses is all a profit scheme

Trump’s Interior Secretary has some ugly plans for America’s wild animals

by Matthew Rozsa

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has raised red flags for a number of reasons during his short tenure. He seems to care less about protecting America’s national monuments than allowing them to be exploited by special interest groups and has been caught up in one corruption scandal after another. You would think that it’d be difficult for a man like that to do anything else that could make people who don’t bleed money-green to despise him.

Unfortunately, the lives of 50,000 wild horses and burros are in Zinke’s hands, because Congress is preparing to negotiate appropriations for the Interior Department and whether to allow for the unlimited slaughter of wild horses and burros.

It all stems back to the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 a bill that offered protections to the horses and burros that roam the United States — and, of course, was immediately opposed by special interests in Big Agriculture who were determined to erode its protections. The interests’ first major success in doing so occurred in 2004 after Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont., attached a provision to an omnibus bill that removed most of the legal protections established in 1971 and privatized the animals themselves.

That’s where Zinke comes into play. In 2009, the Montana State House introduce a bill to build a horse slaughterhouse in the state at a time the country had been two years without one.

Zinke wanted to bring slaughter back so ranchers and others in the horse business could dispose of their unwanted, unhealthy or inconvenient horses quickly and for a profit,” Susan Wagner of Equine Advocates and Debbie Coffey of Wild Horse Freedom Federation told Salon by email.The [Montana] bill did not pass but fast forward to today, and now all these animals are facing extinction. The Interior Department’s budget being slashed by more than $1 billion also doesn’t help.”

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE HERE.

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