One Reply to “Messmer823001”

  1. I am from Citizens Against Equine Slaughter (CAES). We tried to pay to attend the summit and were denied. Looking at the groups that were attending per the flyer there was not one group there that advocates for the wild horses. Those that claim they do in this group of attendees do not advocate for the best solution for wild horses. That would be a simple birth control vaccine. The statement that it is too expensive is not true. You are talking $27 per dart per horse, and it can be done from a helicopter as was explained to many members of the meeting and to the press who interviewed Patience O’Dowd at this summit.

    Patience is one of the CAES delegates who was there and was unable to gain admittance to the summit. Our 2 people who were there were also independent, national media outlet, ActivateNow’s, 2 Women in a Car news team. They were not only kept out of the meeting, but were not allowed to attend the media press conference. They were told by security at the Delta holding facility that security was tight due to fears that ranchers, some who live in the area, such as one who had been at the Cliven Bundy armed stand-off at Bunkerville, who lived in the area, would clash with wild horse advocates that they feared would show up to protest the meeting. This also tells me that they clearly knew they were not representing the wild horse advocacy if they felt we would show up to protest the meeting.

    The meeting was geared toward “how” to implement all tools in the 1971 Wild Free Roaming Horses & Burros Act in anticipation of the Stewart amendment passing, in the FY 2018 Department of the Interior budget bill. Representative Chris Stewart, who was represented at this meeting by senior staff, introduced an amendment to the Interior budget bill that would lift restrictions that have been in place for many years now. Those restrictions have placed a ban on any funds being used for the purpose of the destruction of any healthy or unadoptable wild horses or burros. When Representative Stewart introduced the amendment, to lift these restrictions. he made it very clear that it was not a slaughter amendment rather a humane euthanasia amendment.

    Representative Stewart made claims for a second year that we have thousands of starving horses out there and that they are destroying the range. A fact we have and still can prove is false information. We have no doubt that the scientists they chose are those that agree with these theories. The same ones that BLM uses when they want to justify removing horses from the range. What we found is that if you do some checking into the authors of these ‘studies’ you find ties to the livestock industry, and many have floated through different Government public land or forestry agencies before being contracted through BLM to do a research study, and we can almost always tell you what the outcome will be. For instance, the WY Adobetown radio-collaring research, going on now. We fought to stop this, and failed, even though the entire study will be invalid.

    The study is being done, supposedly to study the ‘natural’ movement of the wild horses and to evaluate what plants they eat, and what damage they do to sensitive areas, such as riparian areas. The reason it will be invalid is two-fold. One is that they are only studying horses, there are many other species who graze the same plants and use the same sensitive water sources, including cattle. There will be no way to determine what animal ate a plant, or destroyed an area.

    The second failing of the study is the claim to study natural movement. When the proposed research was put out for public comment originally, it ended up needing to be changed. The original stated that the horses were to be collared during a gather and removal. The roundup was cancelled after a lawsuit in which the court ruled that BLM’s arbitrary AML (the number of horses they allow in a specific area) did not in itself prove excess. So the new plan was to gather horses anyway to do the collaring. A huge waste of taxpayer money when studies of this nature have been done, and the whole thing will be invalid. Now…it was announced last month they are in fact going to gather the horses to remove some of them, which also nullifies the natural movement of the horses.

    As with this summit, we already new the result of the ‘study’ will be to further propagate BLM rhetoric that the wild horses are eating all the forage and doing all the damage. When the very simple and glaring truth is not being discussed as a solution to heal these ranges that are so depleted. That solutions is to remove some of the millions of livestock, and manage the 100,000 horses on the range with PZP birth control vaccines, which would be so much more fiscally sound.

    We have done the cost analysis, we have sent it to various BLM officials, to various elected officials, but it seems they have all chosen to have selective hearing, and only hear special interest groups. This kind of a situation and the threat of euthanizing 50,000 wild horses in holding, and another 30,000 on the range to drop the wild horse population to the mere 27,000 BLM wants, seems to leave advocates with no other options but lawsuits to force BLM to do their job. That job, as far as horses and burros go, was to manage these horses, where they were in 1971, and to manage them in a healthy thriving way. These herds have lost 41% of those lands designated for them by the law, and are only allowed in small parts of the remaining 59%, and even those small areas the must give space to livestock and any other special interest that wants to use the land. Now with all of the removals, and BLM clearly not managing for the health of the herds 80% of the herds are under genetic viability levels.

    BLM feels they can augment genetics by moving horses from one herd to another. This is unnatural selection and it disrupts family units which are extremely important to the horses and burros. It also has diluted herds where a specific trait was found and is effectively making them all the same, genetically speaking.

    BLM has failed for 40 some years, and now they just continually bend to the livestock industry. Wild horse advocates have truly had enough. And this meeting was just par for the course of closed door meetings and lack of transparency effectively keeping the public uninformed and leaving advocates angry and distrustful, so again…our only recourse left is litigation.

    Thank you for covering this and allowing true advocates like Jen Howe and Lorri Burdett have a voice, They are members of CAES, and a NM partner of ours, Wild Horse Observers Association. For more information please feel free to contact our media outreach person, Val Cecama=Hogsett at 541.315.6650. We will also have videos and interviews from several people during the summit available on our website some time this week.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *