The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) held a meeting of the Resource Advisory Council (RAC). The meeting is referenced as a “Tri-RAC” as it incorporates all of the RAC’s in the state. Very few advocates were in attendance even though Nevada manages more wild horses in some single districts than many western states. Wild horses were an agenda item with a public comment period immediately afterwards. Announcement and agenda can be viewed here: http://wildhorseeducation.org/2013/01/21/nevada-state-wide-tri-rac-meeting-131-21/
Notes (Leigh): Many subjects were discussed at the RAC. The primary focus being “long term” holding. This is the first meeting I have attended where “slaughter” was not suggested as an option by a member of the RAC, or anyone else (makes you wonder how high the heat got after the Tom Davis/Salazar debacle was exposed).
There was considerable misinformation given to the RAC and WHE will create an outline to provide appropriate figures as RAC’s are creating suggestions to various BLM districts on new land use plans. Land use plans (RMP’s) will create the framework for all environmental assessments for the next decade (think roundups) and this is no time to create an opportunity for more faulty management to occur.
One of the most interesting pieces of misinformation came from Joan Guilfoyle, BLM cheif of the wild horse and burro program.When asked about the cost of holding the 50,000 animals that the agency has taken off the range (about 44 million dollars) Guilfoyle did not know the answer and had to email someone not present. With all of the interest focused on holding you would think that would be a figure she could pull out of the air. Anyway she quoted the figure to disbelief from the RAC and then stated that included the cost of removals. It doesn’t. The actual “cost” of feeding or caring for the animals is not broken down in an easy to locate format. However it does not take 44 million to feed horses BLM claims are in “lush pastures.” The costs do include INITIAL feezemarking, vaccines and wormers and transportation. It also includes the fees to “administer” the holding program (I think the colloquial term is “fat”). Removals, or roundups, have their own “piece of the pie.”
I was not planning to speak, just document, but the conversation got so far away from the actual core of the program that I had to talk. Will file a full report soon.
WHE will prepare a document to send on to the individual RAC’s and we will share it here. Right now we have another answer due in the Owyhee case, more prep on the hearing on Feb 19th in the press freedoms case and prep work on the Triple B (Jackson Mountain) case as well as other investigations and documentation to attend to first.
Below is a video posted by WHE to youtube of Leigh’s fast comment to the RAC.