As the BLM Advisory Board meets in WY the public is crafting letters and attending the meeting hoping for a dialogue that will create changes intended to protect and preserve wild horses and burros on our pubic land. You can read our article here and find info on how to submit your comments and the link to watch the meeting live here: http://wildhorseeducation.org/2014/04/13/whe-comments-to-the-advisory-board/
Wild Horse Education is NOT in attendance. We submitted written comments but resources are very slim and we felt our time was better utilized on the ground. We are meeting in several districts this week and continuing to work gathering data and addressing things on the roundup schedule.
We understand the frustration and sense of NOT being heard at these meetings. A supporter asked if we would publish her comments… these are what public comments reflect, a complete lack of confidence in the BLM Advisory Board.
AND THE PROPAGANDA AWARD OF THE YEAR GOES TO…
Bonnie Kohleriter, WHE supporter
WHO? A select group of public lands cattle ranchers, pleasure seeking hunters, profit motivated Indian tribes, and more…
They call themselves “United Horsemen” and the “National Horse and Burro Rangeland Management Coalition.” Yet there is not a single equine group among them except for the quarter horse groups who want to breed the ‘best of show’ and have an easy, but profitable way to dump the rest.
Their agenda is to sterilize and to remove and slaughter or harvest and slaughter the wild horses and burros on our public lands. Equally their agenda is to slaughter domestic horses.
They have made a mockery of the mandate for diversity on our National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board now prevailing as the majority of the Board with 5 out of 9 of them having cattle ranching interests. They are Boyd Spratling, Callie Hendrickson, John Falen, Robert Cope, and Rick Danvir. They are a scam and a sham on our Advisory Board promoting the idea of what is best for the cattle and the hunted but pretending to talk to what is best for the wild horses and burros.
They want to dismiss wild horse and burro advocates saying they just exude “emotions.” On the other hand, they maintain they , the ranchers, hunters, tribal leaders and more speak reason and WOW! science. Yet they produce no scientific methods or studies.
They parade out pictures of dying horses supposedly on the range. Yet they provide no GPS locations for the horses and no timing of events.
They maintain the wild horses and burros are “overpopulated” on our public lands.
Yet they have no validated means by which all the wild horses and burros have been counted on our public lands. Even the employees of the Wild Horse and Burro Program say they are trying to work with the USGS to accomplish a more informed count.
They estimate 40,000 or “PULL IT OUT OF YOUR HAT” 100,000. Let’s see: 40,000 horses and burros, 245 M acres the BLM currently manages…That would be 1 horse/burro per 6,125 acres. OVERPOPULATED?
But wait, wild horses and burros are only allowed on 31.6 M acres of our BLM managed lands. So that would mean 1 horse/burro per 790 acres. Again, OVERPOPULATED?
Estimated is there are 40,000 wild horses/burros versus 720,000- 2.9 M sheep/cattle on BLM managed lands or 40,000 wild horses/burros versus 120,000-480,000 livestock on BLM-WHB (wild horse and burro) managed areas. WHO IS
Then estimated is there are 20 M deer, 1M elk, 700,000 pronghorns, and 70,000 big horns on Federal, state, and private lands. AGAIN, WHO IS OVERPOPULATED IF YOU WANT TO PLAY THAT GAME?
8) The ranchers, hunters, tribal leaders solution to this propagated idea of overpopulation is genocide, and how to accomplish this idea without inciting the public’s outrage. The methods of genocide they are pushing include the following:
a) Sterilize the horses…vasectomies or geldings for the stallions and ovarectomies for the mares…
b) Gather and remove the horses and burros in the 166 BLM HMAs (Herd Managed Areas) down to low AML(the non-scientifically established appropriate management levels). Gus Cothran, the retained geneticist for the BLM has made different statements at different times. From time to time he has said a very minimum of 150-200 horses or burros is needed in a herd to maintain diversity and viability, to prevent inbreeding and anomalies, and to obviate the death of the herd. Of the total 165 herds, 105 herds have low AMLs of less than 100, 26 have low AMLs of 100-150, 14 have low AMLs of 150-200, and 14 have low AMLs of over 200. So according to Cothran, if the 165 herds are brought down to low AML, 131 of the herds out of 165 will, in time, become unhealthy and unsustainable and only 28 will remain intact and healthy.
c) The WHB Program will tell you the HMAs are clustered together with horses/burros moving among them so that the low AMLs are higher if viewed as clusters. However, the program has no scientific studies to verify this thinking.
d) The WHB program will also tell you Gus Cothran said,’ just import horses/burros from other herds, and the horses/burros will be just fine.’ However, the horses are supposed to be where found to maintain their genetic uniqueness, not moved around.
e) Of course, bringing down the HMAs to low AML will result in aggressive gathering, removing and corralling which will be costly. Temporary corralling doesn’t keep up with adoptions. The taxpayer is already paying $80 M for the WHB program with a majority of this amount invested in corralling the horses. That’s an outrageous amount of dollars insists Callie Henrickson, member of the Advisory Board, and just can’t be.. Then Callie and the public land cattle ranchers
don’t talk about the $ 120 M and much more the government is investing in subsidizing the public land cattle ranchers.
f) The answer to avoidance of this high cost of corralling the horses/burros is slaughter. Of course, an alternative idea is the ranchers can harvest wild horses and slaughter them for a profit. After all, profit is down for cattle consumption in the United States as more and more people are moving away from a meat based diet and wild horses may provide a good supplemental cash crop.
9) So sterilization, harvesting for slaughter, or just removing down to the low AMLs and slaughtering is the answer to the fabricated idea of “overpopulation,”and presents as genocide. Following the ranchers and hunters then will have more public land to do as they wish, and the ranchers may even increase their profits with harvesting and slaughtering. It is not just the wild horses and burros that are in jeopardy on our public lands today because of the ranchers and hunters, but it is also the bison, the wolves, and the carnivores such as the coyotes, the lions, the bears, and more.
10) Building a case and executing a devious plan against a minority and the voiceless so that the profit and killer motivated can gain more is unconscionable.
a) It is time to honor our living cultural and historical treasures.
b) It is time to put our resources into providing for adequate space, forage, water, and appropriate, sustainable healthy numbers of horses and burros on our public lands.
c) It is time to push back on the special interest cattle ranchers and hunters who are pillaging our public lands and are destroying the animals who call this place home. It is time to re-devote our public lands to the American public with a multiple use mission.
d) It is time to get rid of the Spratlings, the Henricksons, the Falens, the Copes and the Danvirs, and to put biologists, geneticists, equine veterinarians, and equine behaviorists on the Advisory Board who can advise in the best interests of the wild horses and burros, not in the best interests of cattle and herbivores who the hunters want for the kill.
e) It is time to move now before this genocide of our wild horse and burros is complete.
The wild horses are a part of our American evolution and a part of our living cultural and historical heritage. Americans want them on our public lands for our grandchildren
to appreciate. It is important for them to remain on our public lands and to overcome the lying, narcissism, and greed of the ranchers and hunters who seek to destroy them for their own self invested interest.
Bonnie Kohleriter, Former scientist focused on teaching and applying scientific methodology and owner of three, three year old Mustangs brought directly from the range in the Tonopah, Nevada, area at 5 months.
Wild Horse Education is devoted to gaining protection from abuse, slaughter and extinction for our wild horses and burros. YOU can read about our work here: Http://WildHorseEducation.org
An example of Boyd Spratling speaking in his position on the Nevada Department of Agriculture below