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Rancher Kevin Borba & Eureka County Commissioners try to pull wool over public’s eyes

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

CORRECTION:  When this article originally posted, the incorrect information that Kevin Borba owned 330,000 acres was quoted from the Elko Daily Free Press (Thomas Mitchell).  However, according to newly obtained information from the Eureka County Assessor, Kevin Borba owns 1,339.55 acres.  This article has been updated to include this correction. ____________________________________________________

Fish Creek HMA roundup (photo:  Bureau of Land Management)

Fish Creek HMA roundup (photo: Bureau of Land Management)

Rancher Kevin Borba and Eureka County Commissioners filed the appeal with the Interior Board of Land Appeals on Friday, opposing the return of any of the 424 wild horses recently rounded up to the Fish Creek Herd Management Area (HMA) near Eureka, Nevada.

The BLM planned to return 104 mares treated with fertility control (PZP) and 82 studs to the Fish Creek Herd Management Area (HMA) near Eureka on Friday. More

Sustainable Cowboys or Welfare Ranchers of the American West?

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Source:  THE DAILY PITCHFORK

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

by Vickery Eckhoff

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

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

 The public lands grazing program is welfare.

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

Public lands ranching costs western ecosystems, wildlife and taxpayers.

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

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

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

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE HERE.

BLM omits facts and uses fuzzy math to roundup wild horses in Pine Nut Herd Management Area in Nevada

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strip banner  new-logo25Debbie Coffey

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Some interesting background before you read the news article below:  It seems that if we even just look at one grazing allotment on the Pine Nut HMA, the Buckeye Allotment, BLM allows about 375 cattle (and don’t forget that cow-calf pairs only count as one in BLM fuzzy math, so this number could be doubled) to dine on public lands for about 5 1/2 months out of the year.

The Buckeye Grazing Allotment permittee is Bently Family Ltd. Partnership (with the 7th highest taxpayer assessment in Douglas County in 2013-2014, at $12,385,310).  The President & Director of Bently Ranch is businessman Christopher Bently, who’s also the CEO of Bently Holdings, and is on the Board of Directors of The Burning Man Project.  He was CEO of Bently Biofuels, but just sold it.  He’s also CEO of Bently Enterprises.  His father was billionaire Don Bently.

Also, in BLM’s Oct. 2010 Environmental Assessment to roundup wild horses in the Pine Nut HMA in Nevada, the BLM claimed there were 148 horses within the Pine Nut HMA and they were going to treat 45 mares with PZP.  So, that would leave about 103 wild horses without fertility control in Oct. 2010.  So even if ALL STALLIONS GAVE BIRTH, and using BLM’s questionable estimate of a 25% increase per year for wild horse herds, that would mean in 2011 there could’ve been 129 horses, in 2012 there could’ve been 162 horses, in 2013 there could’ve been 203 horses and in 2014 there could’ve been 254 horses.  (But only IF ALL of the stallions also gave birth.  And only IF no horses died.) More

BLM & some “nuisance” ranchers deceive American Taxpayers

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strip bannernew-logo25Debbie Coffey V.P. and Director of Wild Horse Affairs, Wild Horse Freedom Federation                                                         

Copyright 2014  All Rights Reserved.

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On October, 16, 2014, the Bureau of Land Management Ely District in Nevada issued a news release announcing that in early November, it would begin a roundup to remove “approximately 120 excess wild horses from in and around the Triple B and Silver King Herd Management Areas (HMAs) in eastern Nevada.” And “The helicopter gathers are necessary to prevent further damage to private property and provide for public and animal safety.” 

For one thing, per BLM’s website, “Nevada is an open range state.  It is the responsibility of the private land owner to build a legal fence to keep livestock off private land.” 

Let’s take a closer look at what this news release did and didn’t say.

Silver King HMA

The BLM stated this:  “The District will remove up to 50 excess wild horses from in and around the Silver King HMA.  The horses to be gathered are located about 120 miles south of Ely.  They are a safety concern on U.S. Highway 93 and are damaging private property, resulting in property owner complaints.  AML for the Silver King HMA is 60-128 wild horses.  The current population is 452 wild horses.”

The BLM omitted informing the public of the excessive numbers of livestock in the Silver King HMA, which is shown in the chart below.

The information on the 2 graphs below was taken directly from information on BLM’s Rangeland Administration System database.

Silver King

 Triple B HMA

The BLM stated this: “The District will remove about 70 excess wild horses from the Triple B HMA, located about 30 miles northwest of Ely, that are damaging private property, and harassing and breeding domestic stock resulting in landowner complaints.  Appropriate Management Level (AML) for the Triple B HMA is 215-250 wild horses.  The current population is 1,311 wild horses.”

Again, the BLM omitted informing the public of the number of livestock on this federally protected HMA for wild horses. More

Ranchers Want our Public Lands for their Livestock, and want the Govt. to Stick It to Wild Horses and Taxpayers

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By Vickery Eckhoff as published on AlterNet

Ranchers who graze their cows on federal lands are hellbent on taking wildlife and the public along with them for the ride.

What prompted them was a BLM request seeking voluntary reductions in livestock on public land suffering damage during the long drought. Faced with the loss of cheap forage for their cattle and sheep, the ranchers found a way to deflect the blame and economic burden.

Wild horses make an easy target; but that’s only as long as the BLM’s and the ranchers’ case for removal goes unexamined. The news media so far has done little probing into the issue—not in Utah, nor elsewhere ranchers lobby to get rid of wild horses.

Instead, the ranchers and BLM simply assert that the mustangs—and not privately owned livestock—are “overpopulating” and “overgrazing.” This claim is made without any scientific proof. Overgrazing as compared to what, exactly? Cattle and sheep? Neither the BLM nor the ranchers will provide data.

What is known is that the ranchers have nearly two million acres of grazing allotments in Iron and Beaver counties that overlap eight herd management areas (HMAs) where wild horses are protected. The four HMAs making up the Bible Springs Complex are just a fraction of the more than half-million acres where the wild horses (and private livestock) graze together under “multiple use” land policies. Another nearly million and a half acres of public lands provide further forage exclusively for cattle and sheep…(CONTINUED)

Click (HERE) to read the rest of the story on AlterNet

Wild Horse Numbers

Click on Graphic to Enlarge

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BLM Digs Deeper Into Man-Made Drought

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new-logo25Debbie Coffey           Copyright 2013         All Rights Reserved.

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During a proclaimed drought across much of the West, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in the Ely District of Nevada is offering up 399,873 acres of public lands for oil & gas lease sales.

This is being done even though “Fracking requires enormous quantities of water. Estimates put water usage at between 3 and 5 million gallons per fracking of a single well, and each well can be fracked several times.” 

The BLM issued an Environmental Assessment (EA) to lease these 399,873 acres June 28, 2013, only a month after issuing an EA to remove wild horses because “there is insufficient vegetation or water to maintain the wild horses’ health and well being.”

If there isn’t enough water for wild horses, how can there possibly be enough water for oil & gas exploration and development?  Where is the water going to come from?

The map below shows the oil & gas lease sale parcel areas in red, and some of the wild horse Herd Management Areas (HMAs), including Triple B (Buck-Bald & Butte), Antelope, Maverick-Medicine and Antelope Valley (which includes the Dolly Varden Range).

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Now, take a look at these same HMAs below, with the red oil & gas lease sale area, including some of the groundwater basins in blue.

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(Even though the red area may look small, there is a potential for a water drawdown and risk of water contamination over the area of the entire groundwater basin.  And, there is inter-flow between basins.)

The map below shows a Grazing Allotment map, along with an outline of the wild horse HMAs and the oil & gas lease areas in red. 

Scan_Pic0082 

Scientific American published an article regarding fracking wastewater wells, stating “Over the past several decades, U.S. industries have injected more than 30 trillion gallons of toxic liquid deep into the earth, using broad expanses of the nation’s geology as an invisible dumping ground.”  More

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