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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.

How the BLM is ruining America’s public lands

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SOURCE: counterpunch.org

Savagery in the Great Basin

The Bureau of Land Management has spent the pandemic churning out rapacious public land projects at breakneck speed. This includes egregious grazing decisions drastically increasing livestock numbers for powerful ranchers. After complaints, Idaho BLM Director John Ruhs responded that ranching was an essential service.

At the same time, an avalanche of BLM deforestation projects hit. Ely BLM’s Long and Ruby Valley Watershed Restoration EA decision arrived by certified mail, authorizing more grotesque pinyon-juniper carnage and smashed roller-beaten sagebrush across 136,000 acres of public land. That’s 213 square miles laid to waste within a nearly half million-acre landscape, plus blanket tree removal around all springs.

It’s the latest in a dismal series of cookie cutter projects tearing apart the Great Basin. BLM’s 2008 land use plan (the Ely RMP) is based on radical deforestation and sagebrush reduction. At that time, sage-grouse were not the primary excuse for these projects. Hazardous fuels reduction was all the rage. Nowadays, both are knotted together. The RMP has served as a springboard for watershed-by-watershed decimation of native forests and sage communities, and their migratory bird and other wildlife inhabitants across the District’s 12 million acres.

The Modeling Con: Restoration = Plant Community Destruction = Livestock Forage Grass

BLM concocts models of supposed historical plant communities using inputs that ignore actual historical accounts of sagebrush and pinyon-juniper occurrence and characteristics. The models are acronym laden, confusing, and help facilitate destruction of woody plants that ranchers don’t like. Short fire return intervals and sketchy fuels assumptions from the Landfire website are plugged in to the models.

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has been deeply involved in pushing this dubious forest and sage dooming methodology. Once armed with voodoo vegetation models, BLM claims trees should not be growing where they are found across Nevada’s mountain ranges, because the models predict frequent fires would have kept forests from persisting. BLM also adds in a scheme based on arbitrary “phases” (amounts of canopy cover) to justify clearing away trees. Anything to keep a forest from being a forest. This has long been the playbook for obliterating trees in Nevada.

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE HERE.

Katie Fite is a biologist and Public Lands Director with WildLands Defense.

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.

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

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Source:  Los Angeles Times

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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Alberta’s Free Roaming Horses Society takes legal action to save Canada’s wild horses (wildies)

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Source:  Alberta’s Free Roaming Horses Society

Alberta’s Free Roaming Horses Society and have just begun legal action against the Alberta Provincial Government for, what appears to be, a violation of their Statutes and Regulations with regards to capturing and removing the wild horses from Public Lands.  They have been gathering documentation from Freedom of Information Requests for 4 years.  The Action was filed on August 31st, and they are waiting for a response.

The Originating Application and the Affidavit and Exhibits are HERE.   

Originating Application – Filed August 31, 2018

Affidavit of Alberta’s Free Roaming Horses Society – Filed August 31, 2018

The story below briefly summarizes what occurred over those 4 years:

Our Battle with he Alberta Provincial Government – Part 11

“The Past Was Erased, The Erasure Was Forgotten, The Lie Became the Truth.”  (George Orwell – 1984)

by Alberta’s Free Roaming Horses Society More

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

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

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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.

Environmental Activist Sued for Libel Over Facebook Comment About Oil and Gas Company

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SOURCE: desmogblog

By Simon Davis-Cohen

On November 17, 2016, a Colorado environmental activist named Pete Kolbenschlag used Facebook to leave a comment on a local newspaper article, the kind of thing more than a billion people do every day.

However, most people don’t get sued for libel over their Facebook comments. (Although some do.)

The Post Independent story that Kolbenschlag commented on was about oil and gas extraction on federal lands near his home, in western Colorado’s North Fork Valley. It announced that the Obama administration’s Bureau of Land Management was canceling all oil and gas leases on the iconic Thompson Divide, a large, rugged swath of Forest Service land.

In retaliation, the article reported, a Texas-based oil and gas company called SG Interests (SGI), which owned 18 leases in the Thompson Divide area, was planning legal action against the federal government. The decision to cancel Thompson Divide leases was one of Obama’s last while in office.

SGI claimed it had obtained documents that “clearly show” that the decision to cancel the leases “was a predetermined political decision from the Obama administration taking orders from environmental groups.”

Kolbenschlag, who has opposed drilling in the region and engaged in environmental advocacy for some 20 years, responded to SGI’s allegations by posting the following comment:

While SGI alleges “collusion” let us recall that it, SGI, was actually fined for colluding (with GEC) to rig bid prices and rip off American taxpayers. Yes, these two companies owned by billionaires thought it appropriate to pad their portfolios at the expense of you and I and every other hard-working American.”

Shortly thereafter, SGI sued Kolbenschlag for libel (which generally refers to defamatory written statements).

SGI Investigation and Settlement

Kolbenschlag’s comment was in reference to a settlement SGI and Gunnison Energy Company (GEC), another oil and gas firm active on federal lands in the region, signed with the U.S. Department of Justice in 2012.

According to court documents filed by SGI, the settlement followed a two-year investigation into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two oil and gas companies in which “SGI would bid on certain federal oil and gas leases … and … SGI would assign GEC a 50 percent interest in any leases for which it was the successful bidder.” In other words, rather than compete in the bidding process, SGI would do the bidding, and then give GEC half of the mineral rights.

According to these court documents, the Justice Department’s two-year investigation led it to determine “that SGI’s and GEC’s agreement to bid jointly pursuant to the MOU constituted a per se violation of Section 1 of the Sherman [Antitrust] Act.”

The original settlement “required” the companies to pay $550,000 for “antitrust and False Claims Act violations.” It was the first time the federal government challenged an “anticompetitive bidding agreement for mineral rights leases.” That settlement, however, was later rejected by a federal judge, who approved a new settlement of $1 million and did not require the companies to admit to wrongdoing.

Libel or Retaliation?

SGI argues that Kolbenschlag’s statement that the company was fined for colluding with GEC is libelous because it is “contrary to the true facts, and reasonable persons … reading … the statement would be likely to think significantly less favorably about [SGI] than they would if they knew the true facts.”

The company argues that it was never convicted of or admitted to wrongdoing, and the settlement agreement did not require it. SGI further argues that it was not “fined,” but rather agreed to pay the government money to settle the case.

Moreover, SGI claims that “agreements such as the ones entered into between SGI and GEC are common place in the oil and gas industry.” And therefore, presumably, there’s nothing wrong with what they did.

Kolbenschlag’s attorney not only argues that his client’s comment was “substantially true” in the eyes of ordinary readers, but also that SGI’s lawsuit against him is in retaliation against his environmental activism. In legal briefs, his attorney writes that “this lawsuit is SGI’s transparent and blatant effort to punish Mr. Kolbenschlag for his public speech and advocacy that are not to SGI’s liking.”

For example, Kolbenschlag was part of a group called Citizens for a Healthy Community that focused on BLM rulemaking related to hydraulic fracturing (fracking) on federal lands. “SGI is misusing the judicial system as the means to silence its critics,” claimed Kolbenschlag’s attorney.

READ the rest of this article HERE.

Erik Molvar, Exec. Dir. of Western Watersheds Project, on Wild Horse & Burro Radio (Fri., 1/19/18)

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Please sign petition to rectify the heavy impact of livestock grazing on public lands

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photo: Western Watersheds Project

PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION HERE.

SOURCE: Petitions.whitehouse.gov

We the people ask the federal government to Call on Congress to act on an issue:

Livestock Grazing on Public Lands Rectify the Heavy Impact

Created by T.B. on November 23, 2017

Reductions will address ecological problems caused by commercial livestock grazing such as:

● displacement of wildlife, reduction of wildlife populations;
● degradation is occurring to the land;
● transmission of pathogens;
● degradation is occurring to plant communities;
● native wildlife are killed to advance the interests of public lands ranchers;
● livestock are damaging to sensitive wetlands or riparian areas; or
● Ruminant grazing contributes to the nitrogen load in streams as well as nitrous oxide gasses also
a greenhouse gas.

Livestock grazing extremists obscure real-world solutions

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by Debbie Coffey

In my opinion…

We need to find a fix for the unhealthy populations of non-native, domestic cattle and sheep on public lands.

Imagine a proposal to introduce privately owned livestock onto the public lands of the American West. The owners of the privately owned livestock would successfully gain use of 229 million acres of public lands in the West. The livestock would be owned by a politically powerful industry that attracted a passionate following — people who love using public lands for their private profit so much that they influence the federal management of their privately owned animals so that they would rarely, if ever, be restricted by law. Some of them would be so passionate that they would take over and occupy government buildings for 41 days, and end up costing taxpayers at least $9 million, including $2.3 million on federal law enforcement and $1.7 million to replace damaged or stolen property.

The downside of these privately owned livestock would be that they destroy native vegetation, damage soils and stream banks, and contaminate waterways with fecal waste. After decades of livestock grazing, once-lush streams and riparian forests have been reduced to flat, dry wastelands; once-rich topsoil has been turned to dust, causing soil erosion, stream sedimentation and wholesale elimination of some aquatic habitats; overgrazing of native fire-carrying grasses has starved some western forests of fire, making them overly dense and prone to unnaturally severe fires. Not to mention that predators like the grizzly and Mexican gray wolf were driven extinct in southwestern ecosystems by “predator control” programs designed to protect the livestock industry. More

George Wuerthner, author & Exec. Dir. of Public Lands Media, to talk about the impacts of the livestock industry on the West (Wed., 11/1/17 on Wild Horse & Burro Radio)

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Big Cattle, Big Gulp: Cowboys and cows are soaking the American West dry

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Source: New Republic

“Every stream on public lands grazed by livestock is polluted and shows a huge surge in E. coli bacterial contamination during the grazing season,” says Marvel. “No wonder we can’t drink the water.”

Marvel, who retired from WWP last year, spent two decades haranguing and suing the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the government bodies that are supposed to regulate ranching on the public domain. “Forest Service and BLM staffers see their job as the protection and enabling of ranchers. They are the epitome of what is meant by agency capture.”

by Christopher Ketcham More

Carol Walker (Dir. of Field Documentation, Wild Horse Freedom Federation) with updates on BLM’s round up of wild horses & foals in the Checkerboard area of Wyoming (Sunday, 10/1/17 on Wild Horse & Burro Radio)

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Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_LogoJoin us for a special extra show this Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017

6:00 p.m. PST … 7:00 p.m. MST … 8:00 p.m. CST … 9:00 p.m. EST

Listen Live (HERE!)

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

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

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

This is a wild family in Salt Wells Creek that has no idea what is going to happen to them.

Our guest tonight is Carol Walker, Dir. of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation.  Carol has been at the Bureau of Land Management’s roundups of wild horses in the Checkerboard area of Wyoming.  This roundup will result in the devastation of the three largest remaining herds in Wyoming.

Carol has an important update for the public.  The BLM is not giving the public accurate numbers in reports.

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. More

Stephen Nash, author of “Grand Canyon for Sale,” on special interests controlling public lands that belong to all Americans.

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Wild horses vs cattle: who will win the watering hole?

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Source: Heber Wild Horses

Public lands ranchers, in their effort to convince Forest Service and others that the wild horses need to be removed from the Sitgreaves National Forest, often fall back on their old propaganda spiel that the horses guard the waterholes and won’t let the cattle drink. So we uploaded this little video showing what really takes place at a waterhole on a regular basis when cattle and wild horses wind up at the same waterhole at the same time. Observe the drama unfold as you watch this action packed video of wild horses picking on poor little cows…see the terrified looks on the faces of the cattle as the horses plot against them! LOL

Laird Lucas (Exec. Dir.) and Talasi Brooks (Staff Attorney) of Advocates for the West, on Wild Horse & Burro Radio (Wed., 9/28/16)

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Jonathan Ratner of Western Watersheds Project on Wild Horse & Burro Radio (Wed., Feb. 10th)

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Stop the Frack Attack National Summit

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Activists from all across the nation are converging in Denver, Colorado this October for the Stop the Frack Attack National Summit. At the summit, anti-fracking activists and  front line communities will come together to build our movement and discuss how we are going to put an end to fracking nationwide. There will be numerous workshops on organizing, outreach, non-violent direct action, community rights building, fundraising, and much more.

The Stop the Frack Attack National Summit is being held in Denver, Colorado from October 3rd – 5th. For more information and to RSVP, please visit: http://bitly.com/FrackingSummit


This summit will also be the first non-violent direct action training opportunity for Californians who have taken the Pledge of Resistance. If you haven’t already taken the pledge to resist extreme oil & gas extraction in California, please sign on here: http://bitly.com/ResistFracking.

There are scholarships still available for folks who can’t afford some of the costs, so if you are free during the first weekend of October, please consider joining us in Colorado! If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at damienluzzo33@gmail.com.

RSVP for the summit here: http://bitly.com/FrackingSummit

Erik Molvar of WildEarth Guardians on livestock grazing, oil & gas issues and more, on Wild Horse & Burro Radio (Wed., 4/8/15)

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Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_LogoJoin us on Wild Horse Wednesday (*SM) , April 8, 2015

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

Listen To The Archived Show Here!

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

Call in # (917) 388-4520

_____________________________________________

Erik Molvar Headshot

Our guest tonight is Erik Molvar, M.S., Sagebrush Sea Campaign Director for WildEarth Guardians.

Erik Molvar joined WildEarth Guardians in 2013 as their Sagebrush Sea Campaign Director.  He received a M. Sc. in Wildlife Management at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where he authored a number of scientific studies on the evolutionary biology, population dynamics, and ecology of Alaskan moose.

Erik spent 13 years as Wildlife Biologist and later Executive Director for Biodiversity Conservation Alliance in Wyoming, where he specialized in sage grouse conservation and oil and gas issues.  He served four years on the Laramie City Council, where he moved a national resolution on hydraulic fracking through the National League of Cities.

WildEarth Guardians states “Between the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada exists a vast legacy of boundless and untamed lands: we call it the Sagebrush Sea and much of it belongs to every American. Decisive conservation action on nearly 80 million acres of this landscape has long been delayed and denied.”

Key objectives of the Sagebrush Sea Campaign are to retire livestock grazing from millions of acres by offering ranchers an equitable exit strategy and to secure federal legislation that authorizes voluntary and permanent grazing permit retirement.  WildEarth Guardians also works at saving prairie dogs and sage grouse.

one_bird_page_graphic

Erik is also a professional writer and photographer, and has authored 16 guidebooks to national parks and wilderness areas across the West.

Read Erik’s 25th Anniversary Story “How the West Was Won“.  To read many interesting reports by WildEarth Guardians, click HERE.

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

________________________________________

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

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Sustainable Cowboys or Welfare Ranchers of the American West?

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Source:  THE DAILY PITCHFORK

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

by Vickery Eckhoff

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

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

 The public lands grazing program is welfare.

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

Public lands ranching costs western ecosystems, wildlife and taxpayers.

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

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

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

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE HERE.

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

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SOURCE:  The Daily Pitchfork

by Vickery Eckhoff

rancher-1a-620x264

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

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

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

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE HERE.

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

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Information supplied by The Center for Biological Diversity

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

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

Click Image to Download Full Report

Click Image to Download Full Report

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

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

Center for Food Safety backs up concerns about 2,4-D, an “approved” herbicide BLM uses on public lands

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by Debbie Coffey, V.P. & Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs, Wild Horse Freedom Federation Copyright 2014 All Rights Reserved.

I made a public comment and posted an open letter to the BLM pointing out some possible risks of the use of the herbicide 2,4-D in the BLM’s Environmental Assessment for the “Desatoya Mountains Habitat Resiliency, Health, and Restoration Project” in Nevada (2012).  Recently, the Center for Food Safety has also voiced concerns about the possible risks of 2,4-D.

The Center for Food Safety recently wrote this:

Over a hundred million additional pounds of toxic pesticides associated with cancers and birth defects are coming to a field near you. UNLESS YOU STOP IT! More

Public Lands are not “Federal or State” lands

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new-logo25An Open Letter and Comment form Grandma Gregg

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Who actually owns “public land”?

DSC_0084As an American citizen, environmental researcher and a life-long visitor to the state of Utah, I appreciate the opportunity to provide input on the proposed Bible Springs Complex environmental assessment. The federal government does not own land in the West. These are not “state lands” and not “federal lands” and not even “government lands”.” They are public lands. The American people own the public lands in the West and they are administered on our behalf by the national government under laws and regulations. This land belongs to all citizens of the United States, not the federal government. More

The Occupation of America

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new-logo25Marti Oakley   © copyright 2014 All rights reserved

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In essence, this Act formed the corporation known as THE UNITED STATES. Note the capitalization, because it is important. This corporation, owned by foreign interests, moved right in and shoved the original “organic” version of the Constitution into a dusty corner. With the “Act of 1871,” our Constitution was defaced in the sense that the title was block-capitalized and the word “for” was changed to the word “of” in the title. The original Constitution drafted by the Founding Fathers, was written in this manner:

“The Constitution for the united states of America”.

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ababaaThe people of the United States of America are the subject of massive domestic terroristic activities perpetrated by the federal government and its agencies which have, in most cases, been militarized against us.

The Constitution limits the type of property the federal government can own and occupy. And, if our Constitution was in force, and the federal government had not been incorporated in 1871, the Bureau of Land (mis)Management and other federal sub-corporations would not be an armed and occupying force within the geographical boundaries of the states.

  • The wild horses and burros would not be illegally rounded up and slaughtered,
  • our forests would not be allowed to deteriorate and then to burn,
  • our water would not be contaminated with industrialized chemicals, fracking chemicals, drilling residuals,
  • our public lands within the states would be far better managed and maintained locally,
  • Desperately needed revenues from state assets would remain in the states and would not be funneled to the federal government via its corporate agencies.

Instead, our state legislatures have, in the past, contracted with the federal corporations to allow them to establish and implement their business plans, taking land, water and resources at the expense of the public. Even today, state legislatures continually enter into agreements with federal corporations that adversely affect the people. Everything is for sale, including “we the people”.

Now, under Obama’s promise of constructing an massive inland police force, federal agencies are assembling military style forces for use inside the geographical boundaries of the states and have begun attacking private citizens and businesses. The FDA and USDA have “swat teams” that include tanks, grenade launchers, AK-47‘s, military helicopters and “troops” the size of military battalions. The recent stand-off with rancher Clive Bundy revealed a threatening display of agency “military” force. These forces were constructed to by-pass local law enforcement and state laws.

We are no longer a free country

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Bureau of Land Management Ignores the Laws of United States AND Nature

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new-logo25Guest OpEd by Grandma Gregg

Straight from the Horses Heart

GRAPHIC: Rain Horse courtesy of Lydia Rose

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“BLM also considers themselves as being “above” Mother Nature too…”

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) publicly published the statement that they are above the law and rain_horse_by_lydia888the 1971 Congressional Wild Horse and Burro protection LAW DOES NOT PERTAIN TO THEM! BLM stated: “The … [Congressional] Act … is not pertinent to the overall management of the wild horse and burro populations by the BLM and USFS. In general, it protects the wild horses and burros from such actions by the general populous.”

Well … apparently the BLM also considers themselves as being “above” Mother Nature too because they insist wild horses must be removed from their legally designated land (our public land) because of current widespread “drought” and BLM has been pushing this same drought agenda for at least three years. Basically these “emergency” roundups are just a front/excuse to round up as many wild horses and burros as they want, when they want and behind the public’s back with no accountability by using bait/water trapping. Read this trapping article:

In order for anything to be considered normal or average there must be ups and downs. In 2011 the precipitation in Elko (mid-Nevada) was 125% of normal, 2012 was 63% of normal and as of April 2013 Elko had 78% of normal precipitation and since then [May] it has had another almost half-inch of rain and today’s forecast states, “BRIEF HEAVY RAIN” and “MODERATE TO LOCALLY HEAVY RAIN IS CURRENTLY FALLING” and “RAINFALL RATES OF ONE-QUARTER TO ONE-HALF INCH PER HOUR IS POSSIBLE IN THIS [storm] BAND”. More

TS Radio: Equine Welfare Press Conference and Rally live coverage

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painy

Join us live at 11:30 a.m. on March 4th 2013 as we cover the conference and rally in Oklahoma City! More

Madeleine Pickens’ $1,200 (per night) Teepees

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ppjg-4815Debbie Coffey   PPJ Investigative Reporter

Director of Wild Horse Affairs, Wild Horse Freedom Federation             

Copyright 2013       All Rights Reserved.

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Madeleine Pickens (whose organization is called Saving America’s Mustangs) plans an “eco-resort” called Mustang Monument, as part of a Bureau of Land mopManagement (BLM) eco-sanctuary plan to put wild horse geldings (a non-reproducing herd), which were rounded up and warehoused on a BLM holding facility, onto another fenced in area (with a more glamorous title).
While Madeleine’s idea included putting horses on a grazing allotment on public land, the BLM’s plan will likely eradicate 3 federally protected wild horse Herd Management Areas (HMAs). The BLM will likely roundup the remaining family bands of wild horses currently on these 3 HMAs, ship the wild horses to short term holding, then to same sex, long term holding pastures on private property for the rest of their lives. (Which may not be very long, but that’s another story.)

In this particular public-private partnership, approximately 14,000 acres are private land, and a whopping 508,000 acres are public land. But who will benefit the most? More

H.R. 3432: And now they come for the cows

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 Marti Oakley (c)copyright 2011 All rights Reserved

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We know from history that when a country loses its ability to feed its own population, its demise is soon to follow.  As a nation we are being systematically, incrementally and intentionally driven to the point where we cannot feed our own people.  The quickest way to collapse the economic viability of a nation is to destroy its agricultural sector.  It isn’t gold or silver, global investments and markets, or multi-national corporations and illegal agreements that sustain economies.  What does sustain and support a vibrant economy is a strong independent agricultural sector.   

The underlying backbone to every economic model is agriculture.  And that model is not predicated upon anything other than local, hands on, food production in all its forms.  Key to undermining and destroying that model is the intentional destruction of the right to engage in agricultural activity using arbitrary regulations, laws, rules and agency police state enforcement actions perpetrated against independent and/or family owned agricultural operations.  Creating barriers to entry into agriculture is key to collapsing an independent agricultural sector which is what got us the fake food safety bill passed by “Dirty Harry” Reid, and his merry band of corporate hiney-hugging, US senators. 

While these operations may be small financially, in comparison to big Ag industrialized activities, the independent sector comprises the bulk of our food supply.  It is this supply that our own government is determined to eradicate in favor of global corporate stakeholders. 

And now they come for the cows…….. More

You Can Now See Our Wild Horses In Long Term Holding!

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Debbie Coffey  Copyright 2011  All Rights Reserved.

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Photo by Kurt Golgart

Ree Drummond, who writes the popular “The Pioneer Woman” blog, is married to Ladd Drummond (whom she calls “Marlboro Man”), one of the partners of Drummond Land and Cattle, which has a BLM contract for Long Term Holding pastures for our wild horses.

While watching the Food Network the other night, I saw an ad for a new show called “The Pioneer Woman,” starring Ree Drummond (premiering Aug. 27th).  Ree is a blogger/photographer/cookbook author who blogs about her life on the ranch inOklahoma.

Last year (Nov. 9, 2010) the BLM had a tour of the Drummond long term holding pasture, but only allowed credentialed media.

About those roundups

Terry Fitch, a photographer for Horseback Magazine who has been to the BLM roundups of our wild horses, went on this BLM tour and wrote:

“The Drummond family (according to The Land Report) owns approximately 120,000 acres which, according to Debbie Collins of the BLM, 24,292 of those acres are dedicated to the approximately 3400 wild horses living out their lives on this land.

If I didn’t know the first thing about wild horses, I would say that this is a paradise for the horses; however, I do know a little something about wild horses.  

All in all, it’s the perfect place for domestic horses, not wild horses that are ripped from their family bands, separated by gender, and living their days out.”  More

The BLM’s big “fire sale” of our land

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 Debbie Coffey (c)copyright 2011 All Rights Reserved

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 A Six-Point Plan to Avert a Global Crisis” and the 2010 National Geographic’s special issue cover story was “WATER: Our Thirsty World.”   Would it be too much to hope that Dept. of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar or BLM Director Bob Abbey might have read these and consider water issues?  (Oh wait a sec, the Gulf Oil Spill happened under their watchful eyes.)  Or that as leaders of U.S. land management agencies, they’d be concerned with vanishing supplies of uncontaminated water? 

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The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is selling YOUR land right out from under you.  Concurrently, the BLM is blitzing the media with PR spin to justify removing all of our publicly owned wild horses off of our public lands.  If you want to see what has really been happening to our wild horses at recent roundups, go to http://blog.grassrootshorse.com/

Do you know how many acres of your public lands are being sold off in each state?  This is a policy being pushed by your President, your Congress, Ken Salazar (Secretary of the Dept. of the Interior) and Bob Abbey (BLM Director).  Your state and local governments have their hands out to receive part of the profits.  Your “public agencies” (like the Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Land Management) are actually corporations and their priority is to make money. 

Each BLM office is required to have quarterly “lease sales” of your public lands.  The BLM is making their money off of you and the remains of your United States of America. 

To keep this simple, we’ll just look at one state’s lease/sales of our public lands to oil and gas companies.

Wyoming, as it turns out, is going gung ho on oil and gas “leasing.”  The BLM calls giving the use of our public lands to extractive industries for as little as $2 an acre a “lease sale.”  These are 10 year leases and they can be renewed.  Oil and gas companies can ask for certain parcels of public property to be leased. 

However, unless you’ve ever heard of an oil pipeline being ripped out after it was installed, I’d call this a “permanent” use of our public lands.   An oil or gas (or mining) company will extract all of the oil/gas/ore.  They often contaminate water, land and air.  They use a LOT of our water from aquifers in their extracting process.  More

AFTERWORD for “The Bone Trail” by Nell Walton

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Debbie Coffey     Copyright  2011         All Rights Reserved.

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“If indeed the pumping is draining the bedrock in the Cortez mountains, that means many springs and creeks are at risk and that their computer model was fatally flawed.  Of course this would be inconvenient information for Cortez so it is no surprise that they aren’t looking for the answers.” 

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Mount Tenabo, is a sacred mountain for the Western Shoshone people.  It is located within the territory of the Western Shoshone Nation in Nevada, about  20 miles south and a little west of the city of Crescent Valley, NV. 

The Shoshone consider Mount Tenabo a source of power and life, and it is central in their stories of creation and world renewal.  The Shoshone use the top of the mountain for prayer and meditation, and they gather medicinal and food plants from the mountain.  These plants also feed the wildlife.  

In June, 2010, the Te-Moak tribe of the Shoshone, along with co-plaintiffs the Western Shoshone Defense Project (WSDP) and Great Basin Mine Watch, lost a legal battle that was waged for several years to stop the Department of Barrick Gold Mines

Interior, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and Barrick Gold (a Canadian mining company based in Toronto) from expanding Barrick’s Cortez Gold Mine at Mount Tenabo.   More

BLM Employee “Animal Abuser” Issues Email from BLM.gov

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 “Animal Abuser” Issues Email from BLM.gov

(In My Humble Opinion) by R.T. Fitch ~ author of “Straight from the Horse’s Heart

“These are the sort of psychotic individuals that have been entrusted to protect and nurture the symbol of our American heritage yet they are illegally ripping them from our public lands against the will of the people of the United States.  This is the mindset, this is the perversity and this is our current state of affairs.” More

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