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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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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

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

Top Dem Puts Hold On Trump Interior Nominee, Requests DOJ Perjury Probe

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Source:  Huffington Post

Daniel Jorjani, the nominee to serve as the Interior Department’s top lawyer, appears before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on May 2.

Sen. Ron Wyden said Daniel Jorjani, who has been nominated to be the agency’s top lawyer, may have lied to Congress.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) on Wednesday announced that he has placed a hold on the nomination of Daniel Jorjani to serve as the Interior Department’s top lawyer, citing concerns that the political appointee possibly lied to lawmakers about his role in reviewing public information requests submitted to the agency.

Wyden also called on the Department of Justice to investigate whether Jorjani perjured himself during his May confirmation hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The Interior’s FOIA policy is already the subject of an inquiry by the department’s internal ethics watchdog, the Office of Inspector General, The New York Times reported last week.

“I believe Department documents made public through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) show Mr. Jorjani may have knowingly misled members of the Committee about the Department’s adherence to laws meant to ensure transparency and accountability in government,” Wyden wrote Tuesday in a letter to the acting head of the DOJ’s public integrity division.

Jorjani, a former adviser for fossil fuel moguls Charles and David Koch, has served as Interior’s principal deputy solicitor since May 2017. Late last year, then-Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke signed an order that put Jorjani in charge of overseeing the agency’s FOIA program. The move stripped transparency authority from the agency’s chief information officer and handed it over to a political appointee who once told colleagues that “at the end of the day, our job is to protect the Secretary” from ethics probes and bad press. READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE HERE.

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

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Source:  Los Angeles Times

Amid Government Shutdown, Trump’s Interior Department Rolls Back Transparency

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Source:  Wildearthguardians.org

Rule Changes Meant to Stymie Public Interest Groups, Undermine Right to Know, Condone Government Secrecy

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UPDATE (12/28/2018):  Interior’s proposed rule was published in today’s Federal Register, you can access it here >>

Although Interior is asking for public comment until January 28, 2019, the agency is not actually capable of receiving and processing comments due to the government shutdown.

Despite a government shutdown, the U.S. Department of the Interior is proposing changes to its transparency regulations that threaten to make it more difficult for Americans to request and obtain records from the federal government.

In a proposed rule slated to be published tomorrow, Interior is calling for sweeping rule changes in order to, in its words, respond to “the unprecedented surge in FOIA [Freedom of Information Act] requests and litigation.”

Click here to view our annotated version of the most insidious provisions of the proposed rollbacks and how they completely undermine our federal transparency laws.

The proposal is a blatant attack on our democratic right to know.  The Freedom of Information Act is our nation’s bedrock transparency law and it’s meant to ensure Americans have the ability to know what their government is up to.

WildEarth Guardians uses the Freedom of Information Act extensively as we watchdog the Interior Department and other government agencies.  In fact, we post all records we obtain on our website so all Americans have access to information that would otherwise be unavailable.

It’s undeniable there has been a surge in Freedom of Information Act requests and litigation in response to the Trump Administration’s assault on transparency and the public interest.  In fact, the number of lawsuits filed under the Freedom of Information Act has hit record highs under Trump….

Yet Interior’s claim that this is a problem is belied by the fact that the Department utterly flouts the Freedom of Information Act and actively promotes a culture of secrecy, opaqueness, and unaccountability to the American public.

In our experience in dealing with the Interior Department under the Freedom of Information Act, we’ve found the agency regularly ignores deadlines, consistently finds ways to deny access to government records, purposefully drags its feet in responding to requests for information, and refuses to provide the resources and staffing needed to meet its legal obligations under federal transparency law.

To boot, among federal agencies, Interior is one of the worst in terms of making information available online.

It’s no wonder the Department gets sued. Yet rather than truly address the underlying lack of legal compliance and disrespect for transparency, Interior is instead proposing to change the rules.

Without a doubt, the proposed regulatory changes are an assault on transparency. Among the more insidious changes:

Currently, agencies have to honor all records requests, regardless of the amount of times and resources required to search for records. This reflects the fact that the Freedom of Information Act mandates full transparency and does not allow agencies to selectively censor information simply because they believe it would be “hard” to provide records.

This proposal would effectively condone footdragging and deny access to government information. The change would allow agencies to impose baseless “quotas” on information requests.

The Freedom of Information Act requires agencies provide records at no cost to organizations intending to use information to advance the public interest. Although the law requires fee waivers be granted liberally, Interior’s proposed changes would effectively turn the tables on public interest groups.

The new wording would set higher and nearly unattainable criteria, provide more discretion to deny fee waivers, and allow the Department to second-guess claims that information would serve a public interest.

For example, the proposal would allow Interior to deny fee waivers if it deems a request does not “concern discrete, identifiable agency activities, operations, or programs with a connection that is direct and clear, not remote or attenuated.”

This essentially lets the federal government deny fee waivers simply because it believes the requested information isn’t relevant.

Overall, the proposed rule aims to add more subjectivity into the Interior Department’s transparency regulations, clearly intending to give agencies more discretion to deny access to information and to deny fee waivers.

Overall, the changes appear to be blatantly contrary to the Freedom of Information Act. Click here to see our annotated version of the Department’s proposed rule with our comments on how it runs afoul of federal law.

Read the entire 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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Opposition Builds To Interior Department Records Purge

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SOURCE:  dcreport.org

Group Says Documents Reveal Efforts to Kill Wild Horses, Land Grabs and Other Outrages

A nonprofit advocating for wild horses, one of the groups opposing a massive proposed document purge at Trump’s Interior Department, said record requests helped the nonprofit learn about a plan to send thousands of wild horses to a tiger refuge in Russia.

“These records are especially important for oversight now that large numbers of wild horses and burros are being ‘adopted’ in larger numbers, and to organizations and to overseas destinations,” wrote Debbie Coffey, vice president of the Wild Horse Freedom Federation. “We will need to access these records in order to ensure that wild horses and burros are not being adopted or sold and ending up in the slaughter pipeline.”

The Trump administration wants to bury science and hide how mining, drilling and logging on public lands devastate our precious natural spaces.

The proposed document purge includes records about endangered species, oil and gas leases, timber sales, dams and land purchases.

The National Archives has said that getting rid of records is standard and has been going on for decades. The schedule’s language gives broad authority to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to destroy records documenting government efforts to protect endangered species and public lands.

“The Trump administration wants to bury science and hide how mining, drilling and logging on public lands devastate our precious natural spaces,” said Meg Townsend, an attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity.

The federation learned from a document request that the Bureau of Land Management in 2011 under former President Barack Obama considered shipping wild horses to a sanctuary in Siberia where they could be killed and eaten by leopards and tigers.

“Would we pay for shipping to Vladivostok or allow horses to be placed on a sanctuary with known heavy predator population?” asked Karla Bird, an acting division chief.

BLM ultimately decided against sending our nation’s wild horses to Russia to be eaten by tigers.

But in 2017, the bureau again was looking at sending horses to Russia and also to Guyana in South America.

Under the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, passed by Congress in 1971 when Republican Richard Nixon was president, the federal government is supposed to manage and protect the herds. Almost 82,000  wild horses and burros roam our nation’s public lands. More than 50,000 others are corralled.

The Trump administration proposed euthanizing or selling “excess animals” in 2017, but Congress kept a ban on slaughtering the animals.

_________________

ACTION BOX/What You Can Do About It

The comment period about the proposal to destroy Interior Department records has ended.

Contact Secretary Ryan Zinke about concerns about keeping records. Call him at 202-208-3100, reach out to him on FacebookTwitter or send an email.

Write: Department of the Interior / 1849 C St., NW / Washington, D.C. 20240

Wild Horse Freedom Foundation can be contacted online.

_________________

You can read articles on dcreport.org HERE.

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

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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.

 

Update from the Field: Largest Buffalo Safe Zone Sold, Zinke Aims to Drive Down Buffalo Population

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Source: Buffalo Field Campaign

Buffalo Safe Zone Sold

Montana’s largest Buffalo Safe Zone has been sold. The former Galanis property, about 700 acres of lush green grass and rolling hills, was recently bought, and while we don’t know exactly how the new owners feel about the buffalo, the large “Bison Safe Zone” sign has been removed. The caretaker has contacted us to say that we are no longer welcome there, and we fear that this may mean the same for the buffalo. This is *critical* habitat that the buffalo from the imperiled Central herd use winter and spring, one place they are safe from any harm, and they are devoted to this land which is part of their calving grounds. The Galanis family — incredible champions of the buffalo — are devastated that they have had to let this land go. It’s a heavy blow to all of us. But, we still don’t know for sure how things may or may not change. Perhaps the new owners will understand the tremendous support and fierce loyalty the buffalo have from all the surrounding neighbors and others throughout the West Yellowstone community, and keep things as they are.

Wenk Forced out by Secretary of Interior Zinke

On the federal level, Yellowstone’s superintendent, Dan Wenk, has been ousted by Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. Though wrongfully touted by some “green” groups as a “bison protector”, Wenk had, apparently, been in dispute with Zinke over the number of wild buffalo — the country’s national mammal — who should exist in the Park. The controversial Interagency Bison Management Plan, crafted in the interests of ranchers, places a political cap of 3,000 on the buffalo population. A number not supported by science, ecology, or any form of logic. Yellowstone National Park alone can sustain upwards of 6,500 buffalo, while the surrounding lands of the Greater Yellowstone country could support at least 20,000. For a population who once existed in the tens of millions, this is still a minuscule population size. Yet, Zinke — a Montana cattleman — wants to drive the endangered population down to a mere 2,000.

Zinke, a corrupt Trump appointee, is a known enemy of the earth, a strong champion of industry and corporations who has oil & gas, timber, mining, and ranching advocates salivating. It’s no surprise that, being from Montana, his attention would turn to the wild buffalo of Yellowstone with an aim to cause them greater harm.

For nearly 30 years Park Superintendents have played a lead role in slaughtering buffalo inside Yellowstone National Park. Some have expressed regret, like Mike Finley. Wenk is just the most recent of several superintendents behind the National Park Service’s ongoing slaughter of our last wild buffalo.

That being said, the reality is, Wenk has hardly been a champion of the buffalo. Thousands of the country’s last wild buffalo — the beloved Yellowstone herds — have been shipped to slaughter from within Yellowstone, brutally treated, hazed, domesticated, and otherwise harmed with Wenk standing as Yellowstone’s superintendent. For all the years he’s been in office, he has bent over backwards to serve Montana’s livestock industry, destroying imperiled wild buffalo. It has only been in recent months — after Yellowstone’s trap was attacked four times — and public pressure against the buffalo slaughter has been mounting — that he has started to come out advocating for wild buffalo to be managed as wildlife, and that the livestock industry should not be the ones to dictate how buffalo live or die.

Too little, too late. Actions speak much louder than words, and Wenk’s hands are covered in buffalo blood no different than Zinke’s aim to be. Not only that, but a 50-year wild buffalo domestication / commercialization program has been approved under Wenk’s “protective” leadership, which has already resulted in dozens of buffalo being slaughtered or confined for life.

Will it be worse without him as Superintendent? We simply need to grasp that this whole system is broken and we must stand in solidarity and fight back harder. Zinke has made it clear that the war against the country’s last wild buffalo — our national mammal — is escalating. With our sites aimed straight and true, we stand up even stronger for the wild.

WILD IS THE WAY ~ ROAM FREE!

http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/bfc-news/updates-2017-2018/update-from-the-field-largest-buffalo-safe-zone-sold-zinke-aims-to-drive-down-buffalo-population

Stephany Seay, Media Coordinator for Buffalo Field Campaign, on the fight to protect the last, genetically pure wild buffalo in Yellowstone National Park (Wild Horse & Burro Radio, Wed., 3/28/18)

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Join us March 27, 2018 at 7:00 pm CST!

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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.

Kirsten Stade, Advocacy Director for Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), on Wild Horse & Burro Radio (Wed., 3/21/18)

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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.

Sec. of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, withholds info from lawmakers while launching massive overhaul of the Department of the Interior

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Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz and Rep. Donald McEachin, D-Va., “sent Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke a letter on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018, accusing Zinke of withholding key information from lawmakers while launching a massive overhaul of his department. The letter demanded that Zinke freeze the reorganization until he provides more information to Congress, which has the final say over the plan.”

Source:  bradenton.com

FILE–In this Feb. 9, 2018, file photo,U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke speaks during an conservation announcement at the Western Conservation and Hunting Expo Friday in Salt Lake City. On Monday, Feb. 12, 2018, the Interior Department released budget documents showing Zinke plans to press ahead with a massive overhaul of his department, including a plan to relocate some officials from Washington to the West and creating a new organizational map that mostly ignores state boundaries. Rick Bowmer, file AP Photo
Interior to implement massive overhaul despite criticism
READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE HERE.

TEMPORARY INTERIOR DEPARTMENT DIRECTORS ILLEGAL

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Brian Steed, Bureau of Land Management’s Acting Director

“Federal agencies are not supposed to be run like a temp service.” – PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch

Source: Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER)

For Immediate Release: Feb 12, 2018
Contact: Kirsten Stade (202) 265-7337

TEMPORARY INTERIOR DEPARTMENT DIRECTORS ILLEGAL

All Decisions by Acting Park Service, BLM, and Fish & Wildlife Heads Legally Void


Washington, DC — President Trump’s record tardiness in nominating agency leaders may undo months of work inside the Department of Interior, according to a complaint filed today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). The way the Trump administration has filled agency leadership slots with temporary or acting directors violates a law enacted to prevent a president from circumventing the U.S. Senate’s constitutional advice and consent power.

The PEER complaint filed with Interior’s Office of Inspector General charges that the acting directors of the National Park Service (NPS), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) are in blatant violation of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act. Under that act, any action taken by a noncompliant official “shall have no force or effect” nor may it be later “ratified.”

“The law prevents a president from installing acting directors for long periods and completely bypassing Senate confirmation,” argued PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, noting that President Trump has not nominated or even announced an intention to nominate, persons to fil the NPS, BLM, or FWS vacancies.
“Federal agencies are not supposed to be run like a temp service.”

The complaint recounts Vacancies Reform Act violations invalidating the appointments of –

  • NPS Acting Director P. Daniel Smith, who did not serve in a senior position for 90 days during the prior year, as the Act requires. Nor did Trump appoint him, another requirement of the act;
  • BLM Acting Director Brian Steed, who also did not serve in a senior position for 90 days and Interior Secretary Zinke, not Trump, appointed him.
  • FWS Acting Director Greg Sheehan, who not only suffers from these same deficiencies but also now exceeds the 210-day limit the act imposes.

Read the rest of this press release HERE.

 

 

 

TS Radio: “Voices Carry for Animals #154”- R.T. Fitch (Pres.) and Debbie Coffey (V.P.) of Wild Horse Freedom Federation, on Dept. of Interior’s plans to kill 46,000 wild horses & burros in BLM holding facilities, and tens of thousands more on public lands (Tues., 10/3/17)

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***Tune In Tuesday*** On Oct.  3rd, 2017 at 7:00 pm CST

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Fighting Wildlife Crime amid Bureaucracy and Solutions

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Sam Jojola

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Background

“This article was originally published for World Animal News in November, 2015 and titled “Wildlife Crimes: Why Is It So Difficult to Enforce Laws”. This is an updated version that includes reference to a 2016 GAO report detailing the shortcomings and successes of combating wildlife trafficking. It often seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same. There are some positive changes, but they are slow.”

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Global Anti-Poaching Act of 2015

The passage of the Global Anti-Poaching Act (H.R. 2494) through the House on June 25, 2015 was long overdue and very encouraging news for wildlife law enforcement. It will greatly assist in addressing the rapid expansion of wildlife criminal syndicates and terrorist groups globally. Finally, after decades of “paralysis by analysis” there is some political motivation in the U.S. to deal with the exponential growth of wildlife crime here and around the world. Why has it taken so long?

The most recent GAO report dated September, 2016 titled Combating Wildlife Trafficking: Agencies are taking a range of actions but the task force lacks performance targets for assessing progress: http://www.gao.gov/assets/680/679968.pdf

Perhaps there will be another GAO report this year to show measurable progress.

Layers of bureaucracy and political meddling

When one examines the primary agency responsible for investigating wildlife crimes on the federal level, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement (USFWS/OLE) has been and is the lead entity to do so. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is primarily a biological entity under the umbrella of the Department of the Interior that oversees a host of at least nine (9) agencies, like the U.S. Park Service (USPS), the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to name a few. The USFWS/OLE is just one of fifteen (15) National programs managed by USFWS. In essence many layers of government within the Department of the Interior which is not a law enforcement entity like the Department of Justice. Other law enforcement agencies like the FBI, DEA, ATF, ICE, and the Secret Service, are not under the umbrella of a non-law enforcement entity that can sometimes run political interference and impede wildlife investigations and protection. More

Best Selling Author Terri Farley and Susan Wagner (Pres. of Equine Advocates) on the threat of BLM killing over 46,000 wild horses & burros, Utah’s “horse killer” Summit, and more, on Wild Horse & Burro Radio (Wed., 8/23/17)

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painy

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Wild Horse Freedom Federation’s White Paper offers new evidence on BLM’s Wild Horse & Burro Program never seen by Congress or the public

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photo by Carol Walker

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

Wild Horse Freedom Federation issued a White Paper that has taken years of research, and offers new evidence on the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse & Burro Program that has never been seen by Congress or the public.

The Secretary of the Department of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, wants to cut the fat from the 2018 Budget by killing up to 46,000 wild horses and burros in BLM holding facilities due to “costs,” and to kill many thousands more on public lands because of a supposed “excess.”

However, Wild Horse Freedom Federation has done on-the-ground investigations of many BLM Long Term Holding facilities, with photos, videos and other evidence, proving that less than half of the horses that the BLM contractors, and the BLM, claimed were on long term holding facilities, were actually there.

One long term holding “pasture” contained a residential development. More

Saturday (7/8/17) Wild Horse & Burro Radio with Ginger Kathrens (Exec Dir., The Cloud Foundation), John Holland (Pres. Equine Welfare Alliance), Katlin Kraska (lobbyist, ASPCA), Cory Golden (Advocacy Coordinator, Return to Freedom) and R.T. Fitch (Pres. Wild Horse Freedom Federation) on saving wild horses & burros from slaughter

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painy

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Are wild horses and burros being categorized for slaughter?

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Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation at Palomino Valley

SOURCE: The Cloud Foundation

Press Release:  For immediate release
 
Are Wild Horses being Categorized for Slaughter?
Interior Secretary orders and inventory of wild horses in holding
On Friday morning, June 30, The Cloud Foundation (TCF) received an anonymous tip that Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and/or top Bureau of Land Management (BLM) officials have ordered all wild horses currently in short-term holding facilities be categorized by weight and age in anticipation of the approval of the federal budget.  The current recommendation for this budget would allow for “sale without limitation” of many or most of the wild horses currently in holding.
This, of course, could eventually lead to the barbaric slaughter of our iconic wild horses.  The tipster stated that this categorization was to ensure the BLM was ready to “ship out” horses older than five years of age.  The only place to “ship out” these horses would likely be to slaughter.  The caller stated that the shipping would start with the smaller facilities so that wild horse advocates would not be able to impose an injunction before the plan was already started.  The caller also told TCF that direction has been given to one of the government’s top transportation officials to prepare for shipping. 
Ginger Kathrens, Volunteer Executive Director of TCF said, “Surely Secretary Zinke would not allow for this devious, clandestine and under-the-radar ploy to destroy wild horses when 80% of Americans are against horse slaughter.  If only Secretary Zinke and other DOI and BLM officials would have implemented tried and proven on-the-range-management ideas as we have requested for over a decade, we would not be where we are today.” Ms. Kathrens states, “Options such repatriation of older horses in holding to the millions of acres that were designated ranges for these animals is a much more human solution.”
“There are nearly 50,000 wild horses that have been rounded up, torn apart from their families, and corralled at the taxpayer expense because on-the-range-management has not been implemented. Hundreds of thousands of cattle and sheep graze at little or no cost,” says Lisa Friday, volunteer Vice President of The Cloud Foundation.  “Our indigenous American icons deserve better.”
Media Contacts:
Lisa Anne Friday
804-883-6576 (o), 804-389-8218  (c)
info@thecloudfoundation.orgL isa_Friday@chs.net

 

 

Neda DeMayo (Founder & Pres.) and Cory Golden (Advocacy Coordinator) of Return to Freedom, to tell you about the action needed to save tens of thousand of wild horses and burros from slaughter, Wild Horse & Burro Radio (Wed., 6/28/17)

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painy

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