Feds and Contractor Caught Conducting Covert Wild Horse Stampede

As you read this, please keep in mind that this is all TRUE and DOCUMENTED. The BLM and the Cattoors are now not only conducting covert removals of hundreds of horses, they actually threatened the life of an advocate on PUBLIC LAND!

Now, President Obama and members of Congress - What do you intend to do about this? Are you actually going to ignore an attack on a tax paying American citizen on public land by one of your Agencies and their henchmen? Do the citizens of the United States of America have ANY rights left at all?

Amplify’d from rtfitch.wordpress.com
September 26, 2010

Feds and Contractor Caught Conducting Covert Wild Horse Stampede

(The News as We See It) by R.T. Fitch ~ Documentation supplied by GrassRootsHorse
BLM/Cattors covertly loading and shipping wild horses from Sheldon ~ Photo by Leslie Peeples
While law makers and the American public had their eyes concentrated on the much contested Silver King round up in Nevada the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) along with helicopter contractor David Cattoor where conducting an unpublished and unannounced secret wild horse gather at the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge (Sheldon).
Plaintiff in several suits against the BLM for lack of transparency and violation of First Amendment Rights, Laura Leigh of GrassRootsHorse, was tipped off that there was illicit activity taking place at Sheldon as many roads were closed due to a “wild horse gather”.
On September 22, 2010 Ms. Leigh discussed this situation with wild horse advocate Leslie Peeples, who was already on the road to visit another wild horse herd, and Ms. Peeples immediately changed plans and headed to Sheldon to investigate as no such “gather” was indicated in any public records.
On the morning of Sept. 23, 2010 Ms. Peeples phoned the Lakeview office of the USFWS and when asked if a wild horse gather was being conducted she was told, “yes”.
Cattoor Truck at Sheldon ~ Photo by Leslie Peeples
Ms. Peeples headed out to Sheldon on back roads when she encountered an oncoming semi-truck with a livestock trailer being towed behind it at a reasonable speed.  Ms. Peeples intended to ask the driver where the stampede was taking place so she pulled her car over to the side of the road and stepped out into her lane of traffic to flag the driver down for information.  Upon seeing this, according to filed court documents, the truck driver aimed for the center of the road, speeded up and missed running over Ms. Peoples by only inches.
Read more at rtfitch.wordpress.com
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Press Release From Grass Roots Horse - September 24, 2010

Velma Bronn Johnston "Wild Horse Annie&qu... 
Velma Johnston 
September 24, 2010


Maureen VanDerStad
Contact: Info@grassrootshorse.com

A Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order was filed at 5 a.m. PT September 24, 2010 in Nevada. The action was brought by Laura Leigh, photojournalist and videographer who is supported by Grass Roots Horse in this matter.

The motion asks for an immediate cessation of all helicopter roundups and all related activities regarding any and all aspects of any actions related to wild horse movement, gathering or rounding up as well as any actions involving all horses in short or long term holding.

This motion is about accountability, access, and transparency. “This is about the horses, each and every horse. Every individual life that leaves the range matters and is important to the American public. This is not about some bulk inventory and it is about time that the government recognizes that fact. We are not going away. The wild horses and burros are living beings mandated to be managed humanely.” said Maureen VanDerStad of Grass Roots Horse, a nonprofit group based in grass roots activism.

This battle for humane treatment and proper management of the wild horses and burros has been going on for decades and is still going on. It began on a grass roots level when Velma Johnston first sought to stop the killing and abuse of the wild horses and burros six decades ago. That effort resulted in the Free Roaming Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971, which mandated, among many other things, the humane treatment of these symbols of our American heritage and pioneer spirit. The Bureau of Land Management and the Department of Interior have steadily and secretly chipped away at those mandates and protections over the years resulting in the abominable situation we have now. Anything to do with the wild horse and burro program or the animals themselves, even their location, is shrouded in secrecy and hidden under layers of excessive bureaucracy.

Copy of the filed motion: Link

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Press Release From Grass Roots Horse - September 23, 2010

September 23, 2010

Maureen VanDerStad

Contact: Info@grassrootshorse.com

A Complaint seeking Declaratory and Injunctive Relief was filed September 22, 2010 in regard to the proposed Silver King Wild Horse roundup to be conducted in Nevada by the Bureau of Land Management. The action is brought by Laura Leigh, a credentialed photojournalist and videographer who had been among other members of the press who were singled-out during previous wild horse roundups, which the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) euphemistically calls “gathers.”
She was precluded access to areas where other media or press, who were hand-selected by BLM, were permitted unfettered access to observe and to report. In addition, access that would allow press and public to observe the health and well-being of the horses after they were captured was either denied or severely limited.

“Without a free press able to operate as intended by our First Amendment Rights, our system of democracy fails. And it is failing now. This agency (BLM) is doing everything it can to impede the process of informing the public of its actions and all activities. From the necessity to FOIA documents (filing a request for information through Freedom of Information Act) to actual activities on the ground, the BLM goes through tremendous gymnastics to control content of what the public knows and can see. “That’s not democracy, this is something else.” said Plaintiff Laura Leigh.

These recurring actions and conduct by BLM in regard to allowing public access as well as not openly accounting for the handling of the horses from the point of their capture to their ultimate disposition, have been consistent and well documented and are the basis for the complaint filed yesterday, which seeks to ask the court’s help in ensuring it does not happen again, and that a system of transparency and accountability is put in place and enforced. A jury trial has been requested.

The BLM and the Department of Interior published their intent to close public lands for the duration of the Silver King wild horse roundup, and that they would allow only two public observation days, both to be on Tuesdays, throughout the entire three week operation. The Hon. Larry R. Hicks recently ruled that closing public lands during roundup operations and limiting public and press access were prior restraint’s on First Amendment Rights.

“The Press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of the government and inform the people. Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government. And paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people” Justice Hugo Black, 1971

This legal action is supported by Grass Roots Horse, a nonprofit equine welfare charity with a focus on citizen action and grass roots level involvement. “This legal action has needed to happen for a long time, said Lisa Owen of Grass Roots Horse. “Sunshine is the best disinfectant and the public has every right to ensure the welfare of the wild horses and burros at all times and to demand that accurate records on each and every horse or burro be maintained throughout. The public must have unquestionable assurance that the care and treatment of the wild horses and burros are based with the best interests and welfare of the horses and burros in mind, especially since taxpayers are footing the bill for it. We have more than a vested interest in not only the fate of the wild horses and burros from capture onward, but throughout their lives. It is only fitting that a jury trial has been requested.”

The legal filings can be viewed at grassrootshorse.com
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BLM to continue castrating wild horses using disputed anesthesia protocol

Succinylcholine is a neuromuscular blocking agent and has NO anesthetic properties. This is the same drug that Dr. Richard Sanford used for castration at the Broken Arrow holding facility in Fallon, Nevada, causing the deaths of several geldings by pulmonary hemorrhage.

Why in the world would the BLM continue to use this dangerous and outdated drug? Well, why not? If you don't give a damn about the suffering and/or death you inflict on an innocent, gentle, intelligent Being who's only crime is existing, you can do whatever you want.

I won't write out what I would LIKE to do to these heartless zombies because I try to maintain a G rating for my blog, but I'm sure I can leave it to your own imagination to fill in the blanks.

Truly, words fail me. I'm coming to believe there is NOTHING these people will not stoop to in order to remove these magnificent creatures from the land that is theirs as native wildlife and by mandate of law. Whatever the reason they think they have for these atrocities, in reality this is nothing but mindless madness.

To those in power who have done NOTHING despite the endless pleas, I say to you that you're not fit for the position you hold, and, if it is within my power, you will not keep it. One of the many incredible things about horses is that they do not hold grudges. I however, do.
Amplify’d from www.examiner.com

Maureen Harmonay

BLM to continue castrating wild horses using disputed anesthesia protocol

Two stallions at the BLM's Indian Lakes Road holding facility in Fallon, Nevada

Photo: Copyright Cat Kindsfather. No use without express written permission.

It's official.  The BLM intends to disregard HSUS veterinarian Dr. Eric Davis's "serious concerns" about the use of the paralytic drug, succinycholine, as an anesthesia agent during wild horse castrations.  It doesn't matter that succinylcholine has already caused the deaths of several geldings castrated by Dr. Richard Sanford at the Broken Arrow holding facility in Fallon, Nevada.  And apparently, it doesn't matter that the drug routinely causes potentially fatal respiratory difficulties that are best addressed by pressurized oxygen equipment that is not even available at BLM facilities.

No, it doesn't matter what anyone says:  the BLM and its veterinarians make their own rules, often without regard for what is in the best interests of the wild horses they purportedly manage.  In response to inquiries from Leslie Peeples about the BLM's continued use of succinylcholine during castrations, BLM Public Affairs Officer Jeff Fontana furnished a statement from the agency which claims that "complications and side effects are rare."
Read more at www.examiner.com
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Why the war on America's wild horses?

Why indeed. Partly, it's what it's always been - public lands ranchers seem to forget that they are on PUBLIC LAND and begrudge the horses any of what is theirs by law.

These days though, there's more to it. Even the ranchers are starting to feel a cold wind up their backs, and well they should. Big Energy is coming to take this land. There's money in them thar hills, and Big Energy is planning to make the most of it.

They'll dig more open pit mines and pollute more atmosphere and ground water; they will build more pipelines like Ruby to carry more BP gas. All of these things take WATER - millions of gallons of WATER, and there's even more money to be made in water rights.

Secretary Salazar has said he wants to "industrialize" the West. And they are planning to do just that - until they pump dry the aquifers that took thousands of years to fill. After that, they will leave, looking for new conquests.

Not only will the horses be gone, so will everything else.
Amplify’d from www.examiner.com

Maureen Harmonay

Why the war on America's wild horses?

BLM says the 178,000-acre Montezuma Peak & Paymaster HMAs can only support 3 horses

Photo: Pam Nickoles Photography, www.NickolesPhotography.com

It seems that hardly a day goes by without the BLM announcing that it intends to round up most of the members of yet another wild herd and put them behind bars forever.  After weeks and months of this, we have to ask:  why the rush to sweep America's free-roaming mustangs from their designated homelands?

The BLM's language belies their true intent.  They no longer talk about "gathers," but are now bluntly describing their missions with a word that reveals how they really view what they're doing to wild horses:  "removals."  As if these horses are a form of vermin that must be eradicated because they pose a threat, or don't belong.

BLM has gotten pretty good at smooth-talking the rationales behind the forced removals of the wild horses, never admitting that cattle interests, or mineral interests, or gas interests, or industrial interests are the true forces behind the dizzying efforts to create vast wild horse-free zones where herds have roamed for decades, if not for centuries.  Instead, they talk about the lack of suitable habitat, water sources, and forage, making it seem that they are doing the wild horses a favor by wrenching them from their families and from the only homes they have ever known.
Read more at www.examiner.com
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The BLM AgreesTo Support Madeleine Pickens’ Wild Horse Eco-Sanctuary

I can only hope that this isn't too good to be true. I would love to know what made the BLM turn around. I'm sure it wasn't for the good of the horses, but it might be for the good of themselves. That seems to be the only reason the BLM does anything.

Whatever, if this really does mean that the poor horses in Long Term Holding will finally get their freedom back, I don't CARE what the BLM's reasons are.


“A Dream Come True!” The BLM Agrees to Support Madeleine Pickens’ Wild Horse Eco-Sanctuary

We are SO excited to FINALLY announce the best news we have had to share with you in over 2 1/2 years!
Over the past three days, I have been to meetings in Sacramento and again in Washington, DC.  I’ve met with BLM Director, Bob Abbey, Deputy Director, Mike Pool, along with the Wild Horse and Burro team. The BLM has officially agreed to support going forward with the development of the wild horse Eco- sanctuary for the horses in holding! Also in DC, I met with Congressman, Jim Moran, who had already given his blessing, but is submitting legislation to members of Congress on behalf of these wild mustangs. We are so thankful to him and his staff for their efforts on the wild horse and burro issue. All the meetings were fabulous and we could not be happier about the news!
This final acceptance by the BLM this week was the hurdle we had yet to get over. We are so thankful for the opportunity to start our Pilot Program with 1,000 horses, and we aim to get all 36,000+ horses in holding soon after. This action by the BLM shows great leadership on the part of Bob Abbey and Mike Pool for taking a stand for our beautiful mustangs and accepting the solution we have offered. Saving America’s Mustangs gives our sincerest thanks for the monumental cooperation on the part of the BLM for an alternative to the holding pens.
This is a truly a dream come true and I’m thrilled to share this news with all of you!! Let the rejoicing begin!!
Very Sincerely,
Madeleine Pickens and the (*cheering) Mustangs
See more at www.savingamericasmustangs.org
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BLM Investigated About Horses At Slaughter Auction

The BLM says they can tell a Mustang from an escaped domestic horse (estray) just by looking at them. Do you believe this for a New York minute? Neither do I. But it's SO convenient for the BLM because, while they can't legally sell federally protected wild horses to slaughter. However, estray horses aren't protected and can therefore be sold without limitation - that is, for slaughter.

Wild horses can morph into estray horses if the BLM just gets tired of messing with them. Does this infuriate you as much as it does me?
Amplify’d from www.care2.com
BLM Investigated About Horses At Slaughter Auction

posted by: Sharon Seltzer 2 days ago
BLM Investigated About Horses At Slaughter Auction
Wild horses are federally protected and cannot be sold in slaughter auctions.  Feral domestic horses are not covered by the same laws. The two groups can look identical. 
Animal advocates and Congress want the Bureau of Land Management to explain the criteria they use to determine which horse gets to live and which horse will die.
BLM’s policy came under fire after 172 mustangs from the 2010 Nevada roundups were sent to a slaughter auction in July.  The auction was attended by buyers from slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico.  Animal advocates say the horses are federally protected mustangs.
Read more at www.care2.com
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BLM Memo From Bob Abbery To Wyoming State Director Don Simpson 9/4/2010

This memo, below, from BLM Director Bob Abbey to state director Don Simpson on “Cooperator Meetings when formulating Resource Management Plans” was provided by BLM under the Freedom of Information Act. Every line in the three-page memo was blacked out.

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Horse Advocates Pull for Underdog in Roundups

After seeing this video, with Dave Cattoor talking about killing and hiding any horses that are injured during the “gather,” this article is somewhat anticlimactic.

Still, I wanted to include it to demonstrate how, even though the author surely knew what Cattoor had said, it’s not included here, as the article - as with most articles in our “major” news sources these days - goes for “balance” instead of the ugly truth.

If our major news papers/networks were privy to an argument between God and Satin I’m quite sure they would do their best to make it balanced, so as not to show any favoritism to good over evil. Taking a stand these is SO un-PC after all. Plus, the unvarnished Truth is rather out of favor these days, with fence-straddling being the most sought after goal.

Nevertheless, there are a few good quotes from people like Simone Netherlands and Deniz Bolbol here, as well as that oft quoted, ridiculous misstatement from Bob Abbey about our wanting to do away with ANY management of the horses. There are quotes from the ever gabby Dave Cattoor as well.

In my humble opinion, after what Cattoor said in the video, he might want to keep his mouth shut.
Amplify’d from www.nytimes.com

Horse Advocates Pull for Underdog in Roundups

Jim Wilson/The New York Times
More than 1,200 wild horses have been captured during the current roundup.
Published: September 5, 2010
OUTSIDE RAVENDALE, Calif. — It is horse versus helicopter here in the high desert.
The New York Times
The current roundup in northeastern California and neighboring Nevada has been going on for a month.
On one side are nearly 40,000 horses spread over 10 states, whose presence on the range is a last vestige of the Old West. On the other is a group of crusty cowboys whose chosen method of roundup involves rotors more than wrangling, using high-tech helicopters to drive galloping mustangs into low-tech traps.
“When they get in here, they know something’s going on,” said Dave Cattoor, 68, a straight-talking roundup expert who has been herding horses since he was 12. “The chips are down.”
Over the last month, Mr. Cattoor and his feral quarry have been doing battle under the dry, horizon-to-horizon skies of northeastern California and a neighboring Nevada county, with humans the inevitable victor.
Jim Wilson/The New York Times
Dave Cattoor says the current method of rounding up wild horses is “the best we can do.”
More than 1,200 horses have been captured during the current roundup, much to the chagrin of people like Simone Netherlands, an animal rights advocate who says that the roundups — part of a nationwide push to take some 12,000 horses off public lands — are cruel, expensive and unnecessary.
“They’re running at full speed for miles and miles for hours, with babies, little babies, and they don’t let up on them,” Ms. Netherlands said. “They’re stressing them out to the max.”
The Bureau of Land Management, which is overseeing the roundup, disputes that, saying that the roundups are humane and that it must reduce the wild horse population to more sustainable levels, both for their health and for that of the other animals that live in this harsh terrain.
“Some advocate groups would like us to leave the horses out there and let nature take its course,” said Bob Abbey, director of the bureau. “We don’t believe that’s a sound option.”
The debate over roundups dates back decades, to the passage of the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act, a federal law that protected what was then a faltering wild horse population and made it illegal for cowboys like Mr. Cattoor to round up horses on their own for sport or profit.
“A cowboy really wasn’t a cowboy if you didn’t rope a wild horse,” Mr. Cattoor said. “But they stopped that. They stopped the maintenance, which costs nothing, and turned it into a multimillion-dollar deal. It’s crazy.”
Questions about the roundups have intensified in recent years as costs have mounted, both in dollars and in dead horses. Seven horses have died in the current operation, and last winter, a roundup in Nevada resulted in over 100 horse deaths, prompting more than 50 members of Congress to ask Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to look for independent analysis of the bureau’s Wild Horse and Burro Program. Late last month, the bureau did just that, asking the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a technical review of the program.
Jim Wilson/The New York Times
Animal advocates like Denise Constantinide think the roundups are cruel, expensive and unnecessary.
Horses that are captured are offered for adoption, but with demand for horses low and the cost of feed high, the government often ends up quartering them on large private ranches, primarily in Kansas and Oklahoma. In 2009, about 70 percent of the entire program’s $40.6 million budget was spent holding 34,500 horses and burros, a system that the Government Accountability Office has concluded will “overwhelm the program” if not controlled.
“They are a symbol of the American West,” said Nathaniel Messer, a professor of veterinary medicine at the University of Missouri and a former member of the federal Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Committee. “But do we need 35,000 symbols of the American West?”
For critics like Deniz Bolbol, the pattern of roundup, removal and stockpiling is an example of the bureau’s catering to private interests on public lands, namely by favoring livestock ranchers — who pay the government for the right to graze and who can sell their animals — over wild horses, which cannot be sold for slaughter.
“We remove wild horses from the public lands so private livestock can graze, and then we ship the wild horses to private ranchers in the Midwest where we stockpile them and pay private ranchers,” said Ms. Bolbol, a spokeswoman for the group In Defense of Animals, which has sued to stop the roundups. “This is what you call a racket.”
Jim Wilson/The New York Times
The aim of the roundups is to reduce the horse population to more sustainable levels.
And while Mr. Cattoor calls Ms. Bolbol and other protesters “fanatics,” he does not think the government’s reliance on big, periodic roundups makes much sense either, saying the bureau needs more steady maintenance of the wild herds, which can double in size every four years.
Perhaps the only other thing the two sides can agree on is that the horses — whose estimated populations range from about 120 in New Mexico to more than 17,000 in Nevada — are magnificent. Art DiGrazia, the operations chief for one of the bureau’s wild horse and burro offices in California, said that some of the mustangs on the range were descended from Army cavalry horses, which were bred for size, speed and strength and left here or given to ranchers.
“They have the intelligence and endurance to work out in this country,” said Mr. DiGrazia, a bearded New Jersey native who speaks in a hoarse whisper. “They’ll know before you know that there’s something out there going on.”
The method of capture is simple: horses are located from helicopters, which have been used in roundups since the mid-1970s, and pushed toward the trap site, essentially a funnel shaped by two netted walls that lead into a temporary corral. Once the herd runs into the funnel, Mr. Cattoor lets loose a so-called Judas horse, which is trained to lead the rest into the trap, where — uncombed, unshod and often stomping and biting — they slowly settle into their new lives as kept animals.
All of which is more humane than the old days, said Mr. Cattoor, who recalls cowboys using rope and brawn to bring in a herd, often injuring horses and horsemen alike.
“You have to really put the pound on them,” he said. “You’d have to get them sore footed and tired, and there’s a lot of problems with getting them really tired. Today, at this point, this is the best we can do.”
One recent morning, Mr. Cattoor and his team conducted several successful runs — 10 horses in one, a handful in another — before a small herd of four horses, their black manes and wild tails flying, came running full-tilt across the desert. The helicopter was close on their heels, whipping up curlicues of dust in the horses’ wake.
They were headed straight for the trap, when suddenly the herd broke, with three horses escaping across a field, while a single stallion — the leader — galloped in another direction. The pilot, perhaps 50 feet up, chose to follow the larger group, but horse sense had its way; the three headed into a patch of trees, where helicopters cannot pursue. The stallion, meanwhile, disappeared up a ridge and back into the wild.
Mr. Cattoor watched it all, standing near his Judas horse with a resigned smile, as roundup opponents watched happily from a public viewing station several hundred feet away.
“These wild horse advocates love it when the horse beats the helicopter,” Mr. Cattoor said. “And they do sometimes win.”
A version of this article appeared in print on September 6, 2010, on page A9 of the New York edition.
Read more at www.nytimes.com

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More Roundups Planned Despite Pleas from Congress

This is it, people. If the BLM is allowed to continue the roundups scheduled for this year, it will mark the end of the line for America’s Wild Horses. In the unprecedentedly aggressive roundups so far this year, the BLM has taken has taken every herd they’ve “gathered” below the level of genetic viability - in short, they left so few horses that the gene pools in the herds are too small for long term survival.

Craig Downer, the famed wildlife ecologist, has warned of this for years, and here it is. The BLM knows exactly what it is doing - make no mistake. They want the horses off the range. ALL of them. Then they can expand existing mining operations, start new mining on pristine land and start blasting the way for the Ruby pipeline - carrying BP gas, among others - across five states.

If the BLM is not stopped - NOW - our Wild Horses will be extinct. And we will have paid for it with OUR taxes. Is this really what America has come to?
Amplify’d from www.8newsnow.com

Chief Investigative Reporter George Knapp and Chief Photojournalist Matt Adams

I-Team: More Roundups Planned Despite Pleas from Congress

I-Team: More Roundups Planned Despite Pleas from Congress

LAS VEGAS -- Government contractors have fired up their helicopters for yet another roundup of Nevada wild horses. The latest gather targets a remote area north of Ely, Nevada.
Four more roundup operations are on the schedule in our state this year. They will not only thin the herds, but wipe them out altogether.
2010 already ranks as one of the most aggressive in the history of Bureau of Land Management horse roundups, with a lot more to come. Operations which proved deadly for the herds have already scooped up thousands of mustangs from public ranges, but with no commensurate reduction in the number of private cattle allowed to stay.
The next round seems are designed to wipe out the horses altogether.
See more at www.8newsnow.com
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The National Academy of Science Field Studies-Environmental Effects of Wild Horses

Now the BLM is asking for an "independent study" on their management practices by the National Academy of Science, supposedly to start on January 1, 2011. Well, why not. After the BLM finishes their blitz on the horses this year, there won't be enough horses left in the wild to worry about. 

Even if the NAS were to tell the BLM to cease and desist rounding up these horses, suggest an on-the-range-management plan, and the BLM actually implements such a plan-which I'll believe when I see it-are enough herds left that are genetically viable enough to secure these horses' future? Not if the BLM can possibly prevent it, no there will not be enough left with large enough gene pools to survive long term. This was the whole idea after all. If it weren't, the BLM would STOP the roundups until the study was completed. Instead, they are moving at an ever increasing pace to eradicate the horses before someone steps up and stops them.

The NAS can criticize the BLM's management practices for the last 40 years to their hearts' content, and it won't bother the BLM at all. If the horses are gone, they're gone, and not all the hindsight in the world will bring them back.

So, I have a question. The report below has been around for quite a while, and I want to know why it seems to have been completely ignored by the BLM, and everyone else for that matter. Why wasn't this enough to at least consider stepping back-just temporarily!-to look at the other options that have always been at the BLM's discretion.

Shall I answer my own question or is there any need?

 This area of "Wild Horses" is reserved for posting research papers or reference materials that have been approved by the administrators. Please add any comments about this information to Wild Horses' "Wall" rather than this "Notes" section. Thank you!
Wild Horses -- National Academy of Science field studies do not support the majority of claims that wild horses damage the environment. Responsible advocates understand that areas suffering from verified overpopulation are a different matter. Alberta's wild horses endure a relatively low survival rate among foals. The climate is challenging and predators are abundant.

Cows have no upper front teeth, only a thick pad: they graze by wrapping their long tongues around grass and pulling on it. If the ground is wet, they will pull out the grass by the roots, preventing it from growing back. Horses have both upper and lower incisors and graze by "clipping the grass," similar to a lawn mower, allowing the grass to easily grow back.

In addition, the horse’s digestive system does not thoroughly degrade the vegetation it eats. As a result, it tends to “replant” its own forage with the diverse seeds that pass through its system undegraded. This unique digestive system greatly aids in the building up of the absorptive, nutrient-rich humus component of soils. This, in turn, helps the soil absorb and retain water upon which many diverse plants and animals depend. In this way, the wild horse is also of great value in reducing dry inflammable vegetation in fire-prone areas. Back in the 1950s, it was primarily out of concern over brush fires that Storey County, Nevada, passed the first wild horse protection law in the United States.

Rangeland Management: Improvements Needed in Federal Wild Horse Program RCED-90-110 August 20, 1990

Public Land Management: Observations on Management of Federal Wild Horse Program T-RCED-91-71 June 20, 1991

Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros: Final Report. Committee on Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros, Board on Agriculture and Renewable Resources, National Research Council, National Academy Press, Washington D.C., 1982


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"From my earliest memories, I have loved horses with a longing beyond words." ~ Robert Vavra