Ranchers, activists at odds over mustang roundup

Reno Article needs corrections & comments— please read and comment below or send a letter to the Editor here (200 words max) Read the article here online.

Willie Nelson calls for a stop to the roundups– FOX posting.

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31 Responses to “Ranchers, activists at odds over mustang roundup”

  1. Janet Ferguson Says:

    Here’s a source of Wild Horse Facts: (in Q&A format)

    http://www.wildmustangcoalition.org/id44.html

  2. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    SENT A COMMENT TO THE EDITOR BUT DON’T KNOW THAT THEY WILL POST IT.

  3. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    JANET–GOOD FIND!

  4. Marilyn Wargo Says:

    Yes, I signed their guest book and thanked them. I like the statistic; National Academy of Sciences Study found that cattle consumed 70% of grazing resources
    on Public Land as compared to less than 5% by horses and burros. And population increases less than 10% per year for horses not the 20% or more that BLM sites. Mar

  5. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    DID YOU SEE THE ANTI-MUSTANG COMMENTS IN THE RENO PAPER? PRETTY VICIOUS.

  6. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    IS IT POSSIBLE THAT ONLY THE INFLAMMATORY COMMENTS ARE POSTED–THAT’S ALL I SEE, EXCEPT FOR A FEW. I STILL DON’T SEE MY COMMENT.

  7. Kathleen Says:

    Here is another page of facts on mustangs:
    http://www.mustangfoundation.org/issues/numbers/numbers.htm

    There is also interesting statistical info on the adverse impact of grazing via BLM’s livestock grazing here:
    http://www.sagebrushsea.org/ under the THREATS tab.

    And there is a good illustrative 49 page report with dozens of pie charts of data by C.R. MacDonald called “The Thriving Natural Ecological Balance” at this website: americanherds.blogspot.com — scroll down to the REPORTS link on the left column (quite far down the page – would post but the link is far too long to post here)

  8. kas0859ohio Says:

    A friend of mine just returned from Reno & Carson City. After talking with (some) locals, he said the wild horses are a “terrible” problem. “They try to get in peoples barns for food, eat their lawns and get out into traffic.” (re: Tragedy on the highway-Virginia City News). I needed to explained a few things…
    the horse that was hit on the highway was lured there by a man feeding hay. The fences designed to keep all types of wildlife away from that highway are badly in need of repair. The horses ‘causing trouble’ in neighborhoods may very well be domestic horses someone has turned out, Wild horses do not try to get into barns. I told him if people would NOT feed the wild horses (its akin to feeding wild bears), repair fences, and NOT abuse domestic horses by setting them free, there probably would NOT be any horses ‘causing trouble’ in neighborhoods. If the BLM took care of ‘problem horses’ instead of the ones up in the mountains NOT causing problems, advocates would not be protesting that type of “round-up”.

  9. kas0859ohio Says:

    JF- Well put. I do understand the need for grazing on public lands. Once upon a time the little guy needed the help of the government just to survive “out there”. The new found demand for “grass fed beef” shows that people (who can afford it) are eating healthier these days. I have been doing research on various BLM sites, cattlemen sites, on who the grazing permit holders are. Just trying to find out how many HMAs allow livestock grazing within the ranges is tough. I did find the Forest Service sites are a lot easier to find this out. So far I’ve found the overwhelming majority USFS lands DO allow livestock grazing within the HMAs. This research is proving to be a much bigger project and taking up a lot more of my time then I thought it would. I do think it will be worth it when I get it done. I will make my “report” available as soon as I can. I did find Agri Beef Co. holds grazing permits and is a HUGE operation, you can tell just by their website how powerful this organization is. They pride themselves on how they care for the environment and how well they humanely manage their stock.

  10. Janet Ferguson Says:

    Bison are considered a “keystone species.” Here is what some advocates were able to accomplish for bisons: a winter corridor as they pass from Yellowstone Park into Montana for winter forage:

    “Threats
    Cross breeding with cattle threatens the genetic purity of bison. The few remaining genetically pure wild bison must be conserved separate from cross-bred bison to protect pure bison genes.

    Today, the bison of Yellowstone National Park also face the threat of slaughter when they cross park boundaries and enter the state of Montana. The Montana Department of Agriculture fears the contamination of cattle by bison carrying the disease brucellosis, although there are no known cases of brucellosis passed by bison to domestic cattle in the wild.

    Reasons For Hope
    In April 2008, more than 50,000 Defenders activists wrote messages to Montana tourism officials expressing outrage over this senseless slaughter. In response, Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer announced a deal with Yellowstone National Park to create a much-needed winter corridor outside the park for these icons of the American West. This agreement – although not an ultimate solution – means that at least some bison will finally be able to leave the park when they need food to survive the winter.”

    Notice, 50,000 letters went to tourism officials. This is from a website.

    • Marilyn Wargo Says:

      Yep, I worked on that one. I hope this is done. They are still shooting bison on private land even when owners tell them they want the bison left alone. Much work to do. mar

  11. Kathleen Says:

    jas-ohio and Janet, these are EXCELLENT reference resources which all advocates can and should use in making our point. Thank you for sharing them. I also posted yesterday 3 good data links I’ve used but it looks like my comment is still waiting moderation. Not sure why…. hope this one goes through.

  12. Kathleen Says:

    Janet, thanks so much on the bison background. In sharing that struggle to keep them from being exterminated and the turning point, this is the key point we might need to focus on for the wild horses:

    “Notice, 50,000 letters went to TOURISM officials.”

    I have long thought that all the little wild horse tour operators, motel owners, ranchers who do ranch tourism, horse/cattle drives, etc. are being terribly adversely impacted by taking out the horse herds. I have even pointed this out in letters I’ve sent, phone calls and comments I’ve made. Of course no one has ever answered me…. 😦

    But thinking more broadly, I suppose the other (non-wild horse oriented) parks, attractions, hotels, casinos, etc. also suffer if people quit coming because there are no longer horses to view. If there is nothing to see, tourists won’t come, they make no money, the entire local economies around these herd areas suffer. I know for a fact (I know some of these people!) there are many in Europe who come to the Western US mainly to see the “cowboy culture” including wild horses and every romantic notion that goes with that.

    But the hurdle is, how do we identify those local economies at risk, reach them, educate them on this very real risk, mobilize them, etc.? I don’t live in a herd area but it seems like local advocates from wild horse areas need to marry up with the local tourism folks to make sure all the tourism businesses in that area realize their livelihoods are on the chopping block too.

    I’m sure many of these purely wild horse oriented outfits (tours, etc.) are truly small businesses, so they are not so much on the radar except to wild horse oriented locals in those areas. Maybe if those little wild horse businesses realized that not only them but also all the restaurants, B&Bs, hotels, casinos, etc. in their area will be suffering too, maybe they would preach the word to those outside the wild horse world, get them active on demanding that the government put a focus on the value of this part of the economy. Not exactly sure how to approach mobilizing that population segment but it sure seems like a good idea to consider this as part of overall strategy.

    I also wonder how to get the economic statistics to use to support this – I’m sure it’s out there. Here in AZ, the U of A has done a statewide economic impact study on the equine industry that has been updated a couple times over the past decade. It’s a $1 billion+ industry but it does include ALL equine related businesses and I don’t think it segregates or even includes wild horse related economic impacts. But I would think someone somewhere in some school or agency has this data on wild horse economic impact. Where to find it, is the question….

  13. Kathleen Says:

    Thanks for the tip about the links, Janet.

    Here is one reference site I use for data on wild horses:

    http://www.mustangfoundation.org/issues/numbers/numbers.htm

    • Janet Ferguson Says:

      The Board of Directors (at least two of them) on this website (Mustang Foundation) would seem to be people who could help you with your economic statistical information. I am sure there are statistics out there that are not in favor of wild horses and burros. I wonder if Chambers of Commerce or some kind of national organization might have info. The tourist boards in the states? There seem to be lots of people coming from Europe and around the world to see the wild horses. There are some places, like The Pryor Mountain Mustang Center (and similar outposts near these herds in other areas) which may be able to assist you to locate sources of info — maybe they keep statistics on visitors.
      I am sure that the State Tourist Boards or Authorities keep marketing statistics of some kind. Just thoughts.

      PS The Mustang Foundation doesn’t post the following on their website:
      Values and Beliefs (none listed)

      Strategic Partners and Sponsors (none listed)

      Sponsorship (check back soon)

      But I don’t want to look a “gift horse-organization website” in the mouth! lol

      their link has so much great info on it.

  14. Kathleen Says:

    Here is another good reference –

    There is also interesting statistical info on the adverse impact of grazing via BLM’s livestock grazing here:

    http://www.sagebrushsea.org/

    under the THREATS tab. These folks at sagebrushsea have done a lot of study on raneglands and generally support lots of the little native animals that live there. But they also supported wild horses in a statement earlier this year, so I found them that way. Real treasure trove of info.

    • Janet Ferguson Says:

      They list several species that,

      “These Sagebrush Sea species have all been petitioned for listing under the federal Endangered Species Act. All suffer from habitat degradation and loss from human activities on both private and public lands.”

      Do you know if the wild horses and burros have been petitioned for listing under the federal Endangered Species Act? Who would do that and how would it be done?

  15. Kathleen Says:

    One more…

    There is a good illustrative 49 page report with dozens of pie charts of data by C.R. MacDonald called “The Thriving Natural Ecological Balance” at this website:

    http://americanherds.blogspot.com

    — scroll down to the REPORTS link on the left column, then select this report

    (this link is quite far down the page – I’d post but the link is far too long to post here)

  16. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    THERE APPEAR TO BE AN AWFUL LOT OF NATURAL RESOURCES ON SOME OF THESE PUBLIC LANDS. COULD THE CATTLE JUST BE A WAY OF HOLDING SPACE–SORT OF LIKE ON A CHESS BOARD. KEEP THINKING ABOUT THOSE “LAND SWAPS”.

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