Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board Meeting, Arlington VA- Sept. 28, 2009

*live stream of meeting failed due to technical difficulties but the  expert film crew had two cameras running for the entirety of the meeting and Horse Power hopes that it will be online this Friday (or Monday at  the latest). We will let you know when it is up– you will be astounded by the absolute lack of accountability that the vast  majority of the board shows not only to the wild horses and burros (no change there) but to the  public – whom they are supposed to represent. People from age eight – 80 traveled from around the country, at  least 15 states were represented.

BLM Director Bob Abbey was scheduled to speak but never showed up and  was replaced in the schedule by Sylvia Baca of the DOI. I know of only two people from the advocate groups who have been able to get a word with Director Abbey, despite thousands and thousands and thousands of calls, letters, faxes and e-mails.

At these meetings there is never any discussion of how BLM might  manage wild horses and burros in a responsible way that follows the  wild horse and burro act of 1971 ( ie self-sustaining herds, least  feasible management, recognition of the mustangs and burros rightful  and protected place in the American west). Instead the board focused  on how to get rid of horses. They discussed ways to contracept the  mares: 3-year infertility drugs, lifelong contraceptive drugs and  external-entry removal of mares’ ovaries (oophorectomy). For the  stallions they suggested gelding and again, having entire gelding herds on the range. BLM sidestepped the question of projected removal numbers for the  upcoming fiscal year (10/1/09- 9/30/09) but board member Robin Lohnes referenced numbers that 12,000 wild horses and burros will be removed  in the next fiscal year. That is over 32 million dollars in roundup/processing costs and will take up nearly HALF of the BLM’s 2010 fiscal year budget. (it costs $2600/horse prepared for holding and  well over $3000/horse who enters the adoption program – that would be  $32,800,000 if 2000 horses (about 17% were adopted). The BLM wild  horse budget is $68,000,000. So the BLM proposes killing horses in  holding because they can’t afford to feed them – and we assume in part  that this is an effort to get their budget increased-their program  budget is doubled and then they spend all additional allocated monies  on roundups. This is a cruel waste of equine lives and a misuse of  taxpayer dollars.

BLM was given $1,000,000 for National Adoption Day but only 400 horses were adopted (the goal was $1000). 53 horses were adopted from the Pryors. 21 of those adoptions were directly because of the Cloud Foundation’s work. Can you imagine the possibilities of what all of us could do if we weren’t needing to spend all our time fighting to keep horses in the wild? 

Helicopter rounds up Bo's Band

Later in the day the BLM called the Pryors Roundup “a model gather”.  If this poorly done, non-transparent, cruel roundup that was done too  early in the year and in which ten horses, age 11-21, were removed at a cost of $30,000 and foals were so sore they could barely walk and one mare tied up and another colicked and at least 4 horses on the mountain top (Cloud included are still lame) and decisions were made not in the best interest of a safe and effective roundup for the horses. And the Pryors is really the icing in terms of the roundup cake:1000 horses are to be removed from WY alone in October. The removal of the remaining 270 horses still left in the herd areas around Ely, Nevada is to begin Oct. 1. 650 horses zeroed out off of over 1.5 million acres. We’ve just found out that several adjacent herds that are not being zeroed out are having their ranges slashed by as much as 60,000 acres (the Pryor range where Cloud lives is only 39,000 acres to put that number in perspective).

There were 30 members of the public who spoke to the Board– 2 approved of the BLM’s actions, 28 vehemently opposed them. Our comments were mostly ignored by the majority of the board but did influence BLM Wild Horse and Burro Chief, Don Glenn, to address the public and told us that he heard very few recommendations, just ‘the same ‘ol thing’ – he discounted people who had driven all night to be there. 

In response to Mr. Glenn one advocate from Texas wrote:

BLM and BLM Advisory Board: We only had 2 minutes to speak. So how were we expected to give our solutions? Give us more time in this conversation, question and answer and we will offer viable solutions. But don’t criticize us for repeating the same thing. You don’t hear us when we speak once- so we say it again. We expect you to respect us during these meetings as you expect us to respect you.  If you wanted solutions/suggestions give us the time to give them. Give us a chance- we have plans for a solution to manage horses, not merely to exterminate them. We have spent our time, energy and our money- not just on your salaries but to do what you have not done adequately and to come here to tell you about it. We request an amount of time that will be sufficient for proper presentation of what we as the pubic of what we as the public believe to be more viable and more ethical solutions and management options for the American wild mustangs and burros.

Cloud is off as he walks to water 9-10-09

A note: We apologize for not responding to blog posts – not enough  minutes in the day. There are some excellent ideas and comments in  response to all the recent news- please take action! The work and efforts need to be focused on government, media, and the caring but  not well-informed public.  I think it is easy to spend a bit too much time writing to  one another when we really need to be reaching out, letting people know that:

a) have wild horses and burros on our western PUBLIC  lands

b) they are being eradicated by the BLM and

c) we will lose them if we don’t act now.  

If we can each inform a few more  people each day we can better work to save our wild equids. Write letters to your editor- even if you aren’t conversant in the finer  details you can still express your concern over this agency’s actions!  Write op-eds! If the New York times got a thousand letters they might  publish some and get a reporter on the subject.  Thanks everyone for  your incredible commitment to our mustangs and wild burros. Keep  writing your senators too!   Thank you!

Admiral band + judas horse

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24 Responses to “Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board Meeting, Arlington VA- Sept. 28, 2009”

  1. Becky Says:

    For those wanting to write letters, a great website to check for statistical facts is: http://www.mustangs4us.com. I have found that the political leaders in Wyoming are very close minded about wild horses. My husband and I work on a ranch in southern Wyoming and constantly see over grazing, mis-use, etc of the BLM lands by area cattle ranchers. The BLM is very quick to document and remove horses when the wild horses over graze, but a cattle producer can go for years without being questioned about overgrazing!! I know there is a heard of wild horses that is naturally managed (by predators) and was wondering if anyone can help with the name of the HMA? It is in California I think. I just can’t remember which area. Keep up the fight!!!

  2. Marilyn Wargo Says:

    I think this is our central clearing place; share info and ask questions. Of each other, if you guys are busy.. mar

  3. Barbara Steele Says:

    Agree Mar,
    I have learned so much in a very short period of time through this blog and from those of you that post and are more aware of all the issues.
    Maybe this blog could add a message board so people could stay in touch? I do realize that the BLM probably reads this blog also. That is why they tried to do ” damage control”concerning helicopters and holding pens at the Advisory meeting.

  4. Marilyn Wargo Says:

    I do not know how to do a message board, but if it helps screen people yet allow those who are involved to keep in touch, it sounds good. I do assume that there is someone who reads us and has to report any actions we may be contemplating. They do not take us seriously and they have no respect for anyone. The arrogance I read in the actions and attitudes of the agency in general is very paranoid. If they worry about us, then we are a danger to them.
    I just wish we already had more information so we could be lining up to take action in more ways. Mar

  5. Louie Cocroft Says:

    How are the people selected for this board? How much are they paid? Why are there not people like Ginger Kathrens, Dr Gus Cothran, or Madeleine Pickens on this board? People who have our wild horses’ and burros’ best interests at heart as well as skills in the science of equine management should be on this board.

  6. Ronnie Says:

    I would be so helpful if there was a web site for up-to-date information. It seems like the information is decreasing since the Cloud round-up. For example, we know Cloud and others from his herd are injured. Any action being taken? The BLM continues on its round-up frenzy. Like our hands are tied. But NOT.

    That said, I presume, I hope, plans and actions are being taken behind the scenes for the wild horses/burros that the public cannot know about. Privacy and discretion are needed.

    But still waiting for the Sept. 28, 09 BL Advisory Board meeting to come up to watch and hear.

    Thank you all.

  7. Eileen O'Connor Says:

    First the BLM creates a “problem” of “too many horses.” Then, the BLM challenges people to come up with recommendations to solve the problem that is not a problem.

    The only problem is an unaccountable, overspending, out-of-touch federal agency. The solution is for the Congress and the Secretary of the Interior to eliminate the BLM’s funding for Wild Horse and Burro management, and transfer the responsibility to another agency. Trying to talk sense to these bureaucrats is a losing game.

    • Roxy Says:

      Then to add insult to injury – watch the BLM Advisory Board Meetings – they don’t take recommendations at all – pretty much treat the public commenters with disdain.

  8. Eileen O'Connor Says:

    I meant to say the BLM “invented” a problem. There is no problem of “too many horses” on public lands. There is a problem of too many taxpayer dollars going to an agency that has demonstrated poor fiscal management time and again.

    If you calculated the cost of one cheeseburger produced from public lands beef, the American taxpayer would be out approximately $300 per burger. And it’s not even Kobe.

  9. Bert Hayes Says:

    Send when you can. Yahoo reports my website broken link. Otherwise it wa http://www.berthayes.com . Thnks for all you do. Love those wild horses

  10. Roxy Says:

    A MUST READ – the WHOLE article, about Salazar, just copied parts (hope I was allowed to do this) from Denver Westword News, April 01, 2009 by Alan Prendergast:

    …the Colorado senator’s own speedy confirmation as Secretary of the Interior. He’d expected a cordial reception, but nothing quite like this.…There were “literally thousands of people” lined up to greet him, he recalls, bunching up along the grand staircase at the entrance and forming a gauntlet along the muraled corridors. They clapped and cheered and reached out to shake his hand. It was like a scene from one of the Rocky movies or the frenetic climax of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington — the put-upon workers welcoming a new champion, a liberator…The emotion of the moment wasn’t lost on Salazar. These people, he told himself, are ready for a change…he’d vowed during his confirmation hearing to “clean up the mess” and restore integrity to the department…
    “We are no longer doing business as usual,” he declared. “There’s a new sheriff in town.”…
    … What better means to present the new Secretary as a man of gumption and grit, ready to chase the varmints out of town?…
    …The Secretary of the Interior has long been one of the least scrutinized cabinet positions, even though it amounts to being king of an empire of riches…
    …But as Salazar seeks to strike his own version of balance, former DOI officials and veteran employees say that his greatest task will be to reform the toxic culture inside the sprawling bureaucracy. The department has long been subject to internecine feuding and inertia, they say, and the Bush administration only compounded the problem with its mania for secrecy and covert efforts to ignore or manipulate science in its push for energy development…
    …”Eight years of secrecy has really changed things. Even without it, every step takes so much time — and we’re dealing with species that are going down rapidly.”
    … budgets shrank and scientific papers were re-evaluated and re-interpreted to say exactly the opposite of what they really meant. The focus had shifted from science-based enforcement of the Endangered Species Act to all-out efforts to take species off the endangered list that were interfering with timber, grazing, energy and development interests. …A 2005 survey of FWS scientists revealed that more than half the respondents knew of instances in which their findings …
    …Baca … He has some advice for Salazar: “After eight years, the state directors at BLM are probably ready to go. They should be carefully looked at. That’s part of the culture that really has to change.”…

    Sorry for length, but couldn’t decide out of an 8 page article how to convey how important this is to read.

    I’m copying this onto my next writings to Obama, Biden, Michelle Obama, and Salazar.

    • Janet Ferguson Says:

      NPR Radio had the Salazar announcement thingie of today on their 3p.m. “headlines”.

      Denver reporter named Jeff Brady

  11. Roxy Says:

    Opps forgot my closing line:

    “Where’s the new Sheriff?”

  12. Marilyn Wargo Says:

    Well, I saw him come in on his white horse and he just disappeared once he got inside that building. I waited for him to clean house. He didn’t. He messed with the Endangered Species Act and is being sued for that now. I think he knew where he was, once he got inside, he knew before his appointment. No cattleman wants to be trumped by a wild horse. mar

    • Janet Ferguson Says:

      I decided you need to find an editor somewhere who will pay your traveling expenses to go out there and cover those roundups.

  13. Marilyn Wargo Says:

    Thanks Roxy, this is what we are fighting. That man and that place. mar

  14. GreenLantern Says:

    Do you ever use blogs for guidance on hotel bookings?

    I ran across this hotel blog and wasn’t sure what to think.

    Should I trust it, or do you recommend any other sites?

  15. guirtieft Says:

    I Want to Buy That
    A blonde goes into a nearby store and asks a clerk if she can buy the TV in the corner.
    The clerk looks at her and says that he doesn’t serve blondes, so she goes back home and dyes her hair black. The next day she returns to the store and asks the same thing, and again, the clerk said he doesn’t serve blondes. Frustrated, the blonde goes home and dyes her hair yet again, to a shade of red. Sure that a clerk would sell her the TV this time, she returns and asks a different clerk this time. To her astonishment, this clerk also says that she doesn’t serve blondes. The blonde asks the clerk, “How in the world do you know I am a blonde?” The clerk looks at her disgustedly and says, “That’s not a TV — it’s a microwave!”

  16. Zula Vicent Says:

    Hands down, IVF and ICSI fertility treatments win by a mile. It’s a big undertaking with all types of responsibility vs a rather solo life with many distractions, especially in the area of paenting, but I’m not sure I’d want to be a part of the future if this aspect is important to you. The in vitro procedure is a much better choice in that case.

  17. Farmville Says:

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  18. Cialis Says:

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  19. Pawsalaps Says:

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