TCF Comments on Proposed CA Twin Peaks Roundup

Our apologies to be late in posting (comments were due on March 5th) but please click Twin Peaks Comments if you would like to read The Cloud Foundation’s response to the proposed Twin Peaks Roundup in N. California of 1800 mustangs and 180 burros. The Cloud Foundation opposes this proposed roundup.

Twin Peaks Wild Horses- BLM photo

Some key points:

  1. The “appropriate management levels” (AML) for both wild horses and burros are incredibly low given the thousands of head of livestock permitted to graze on these public lands contained within the Twin Peaks Herd Management Area (HMA). Removing burros down to the high AML of 116 still leaves them far short of genetic viability, for which a base level of 150 has been established as a minimal number to insure the herd’s future survival without inbreeding.
  2. 10,460 cattle and up to 22,000 sheep are permitted to graze on the whole of the Twin Peaks area (78% of which is the HMA), while a maximum of only 874 wild horses and burros are permitted on the bulk of that same public land.  Most scientists and range managers agree that wild horses do no more damage than cattle to public lands and in fact, far less.
  3. The last census of the Twin Peaks HMA was completed in 2008. The reported herd size in Twin Peaks on February 29, 2008, as reported by the National BLM office, was 1,122 wild horses and 169 burros. According to the current estimated population numbers in the scoping letter (2,300 wild horses and 250 burros) the horses have managed to double their population in two years and the burros have increased by over 20% year.  Although the National BLM’s standard methods of calculating the current population by applying a 20% per year increase, are not accurate, the population increase in Twin Peaks is biologically impossible for horses with a nearly one-year gestation period and low level of twinning. Population estimates in general by the BLM ignore the fact that wild horse herds do not increase by 20% per year (an attrition rate of 10-12% is more accurate but varies from year to year and herd to herd of course). Also, mountain lion predation and natural death are rarely, if ever, taken into account when estimating population. (Complete Scoping Letter Comments)
Captured Twin Peaks Mustang- BLM Photo

Captured Twin Peaks Mustangs (BLM photo)

To be added to the Twin Peaks mailing list in order to receive notices of public comment periods and plans please contact the Eagle Lake Field Office by email or phone: (530) 257-0456. We will also post documents here as they become available. This roundup is proposed to begin on August 11th according to the most recent Roundup_Schedule. You can see a map of the small number of Herd Management Areas left in California here.

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20 Responses to “TCF Comments on Proposed CA Twin Peaks Roundup”

  1. Nora Morbeck Says:

    These comments are succinct and “bulleted” wonderfully! This is exactly what decision makers need to see, and I will send them along to my congress people, etc.
    Also, thank you for mentioning the fact that mortality rate is seldom (if ever) discussed. Not only does the BLM have this herd multiplying by 50% since 2008, but once born, these horses NEVER DIE!
    I’m aware, of course, that they are amazing animals, but little did I know that they are immortal miracles of nature! 🙂

  2. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    HOW CAN WE ALL GET TOGETHER ON THIS ONE–LIKE ON THE PETITION? ANYONE GOT SOME IDEAS?

  3. Debra Whitmore Says:

    I noticed the water hole and land surrounding sure looks good without damage. If it were cows it would be a muddy baren mess.

  4. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    THIS IS ON THE AMERICAN WILD HORSE PRESERVATION CAMPAIGN SITE. IT IS FROM CRAIG DOWNER–AN EXCERPT FROM A LONGER PIECE:
    Concerning both Herd Areas and Herd Management Areas, it would be entirely fair to approach the relatively small number of permittees involved with these with the proposal that they reduce or even eliminate their livestock within the legal wild horses and burro areas. This would enable the establishment of truly long-term viable and stable populations in these areas as is consistent with the original intent of the Act.
    It would also be fair-minded to offer these persons priority treatment for wild horse/burro public tour franchises and population monitoring or habitat enhancing enterprises that are consistent with the purposes of the Act. Also worth our serious consideration is the suggestion by the late Nancy Whittaker who worked for the Animal Protection Institute. Her idea was that the government issue conservation permits in lieu of grazing permits in the legal wild horse/burro herd areas as in other land categories such as wilderness, and that the wild equid-supporting public be permitted to bid on these with the aim of freeing the herd areas of competing livestock, especially where in excess, among other conflictive interests. This seems entirely fair and I suggest her insightful proposal be pursued by regulatory and, if necessary, Congressional means.

  5. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    HERE IS ANOTHER GROUP TO CONTACT:
    Animal Rights Mobilization

    P.O Box 805859
    Chicago, IL 60680

    web: http://www.animalrts.org
    e-mail : kayarm@earthlink.net
    telephone: 773-381-1181
    fax: 773-381-1182

    Animal Rights Mobilization (ARM!), formerly Transpecies Unlimited, has been in the Chicago area for 12 years. We are an all-volunteer local group that works to educate the public about the many forms of animal abuse and exploitation in order to bring about lasting change for the animals

  6. Michael J Ahles Says:

    Help free the mustangs, Boycott Beef!

    =
    MJA

  7. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    I FOUND ANIMAL RIGHTS MOBILIZATION ON THE SITE THAT TELLS OF THE HERDS IN LAS PLACITAS–THEY HELPED–I THINK WITH THE FENCES TO KEEP THE WILD HORSES OFF OF THE INTERSTATE.

  8. Linda Says:

    Louie, I posted a lot of information on the Placitas Horses somewhere out in the Blogosphere. This is a brief synopsis of WHOANM info I had at that time (please see UPDATE!!! below).

    Longtime residents of Placitas consider their Wild Horses no only a local treasure, but also a major tourist attraction. They put pressure on Sandoval County, the State of NM, and the BLM, and FOR THE MOMENT, the horses, as well as other wildlife, are safe.

    For a variety of reasons, Sandoval/NM wants to build a corridor connecting I-25 to Rte. 44 on the Eastern side of the Sandias. Developers want to build 2,300 NEW HOMES in the Placitas area. The residents of Placitas have been up-in-arms about both issues. They feel this will ruin the character of their community, and they’re right. If these plans go through, Placitas will become just another “bedroom” for Albuquerque and Santa Fe.

    Governor Bill Richardson supports a Wild Horse Sanctuary in the area, but there are no funds to buy land in light of our current economic fiasco. Also, this will be his last term, so we don’t know what his successor’s position will be. I believe he did authorize a committee to explore the Sanctuary approach.

    UPDATE!!! This is the latest from WHOANM.
    http://www.whoanm.org/LoopRd/LoopRd.htm

    The future’s looking pretty bleak for the horses, the supposedly-protected wildlife, and the concerned citizens of Placitas. Evidently rights-of-way have been granted THROUGH BLM LAND. They even had the B*LLS to name a 2-lane-blacktop North Mustang Highway!!! Eventually, the ROWs will increase and connect, and the deed will be done.

    Pay particular attention to the 2/26/09 Placitas Area Plan P&Z entry. More evidence of how the corrupt BLM machine operates.

    Read it and weep. I did. I’m subscribing to the WHOANM site as soon as I finish this so I won’t miss any more. One more place our wild ones are in peril!

  9. Linda Says:

    That should have been “Rte. 14”, the wonderfully scenic Turquoise Trail. If you’ve never driven it, do so soon. It may not be “scenic” much longer!

    • Marilyn Wargo Says:

      We drove it late March last year and it was beautiful. Madrid is a wonderful art colony very distinct from Santa Fe and Taos. People were in the streets and yards and there was a festive atmosphere. mar

  10. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    LINDA, I BELIEVE THAT THIS IS WHY WE HAVE TO GO RIGHT TO THE TOP. ALL OF THESE PLANS ARE UNDER THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR.

  11. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    LINDA, I’M SURE THAT IT WAS YOUR COMMENT THAT I SAW THAT TOOK ME TO THAT WEBSITE. I WOULD NOT HAVE OTHERWISE EVEN KNOWN ABOUT IT. I FOUND ANOTHER PETITION THERE, ALSO.

  12. Susan McCauley Says:

    Animal World USA will be posting this information to support Cloud’s work. I have just posted on my facebook also. We deeply appreciate all that you do and all the wonderful, open-hearted supporters.

  13. KA Schaaf(kasohio) Says:

    Beautiful, happy horses. Is there any way to determine how long horses really do live in the wild? Other than Cloud’s herd are there any others being monitored?

  14. Janet Ferguson Says:

    Thank you for a great letter, TCF!

    Maybe the Energy and Natural Resources Committee as well as the appropriations subcommittee need to be receiving, on a regular basis, all of our letters to BLM regarding all their “proposed” gathers.

  15. jan Says:

    saw on c-span today – 3/18 – that after health care bill vote there will be meetings on land and water bills – does this include anything to do with blm – just wondered

  16. jan Says:

    maybe you can put a petition on that care website dont know the full name of it and on the humane society website – they had a general petition against blm rounding up anymore horses and how about the in defense of animals and i am sure you could contact some of the mustang websites to put a petition – it would just have to link from cloud group

  17. jan Says:

    after watching c-span the last few days with the debate over the health care bill that pelosi and others are determined to ram down the throats of americans whether we want it or not – i feel that salazar, along with all his henchmen and his boss, the president, feel the same way about the horses – if they want them gone, they will do it and we the americans who want them saved, have no say in it. unless people like madeline pickens can buy a few breeding bands and turn loose on her property, thereby saving a few

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