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  • Advocates Warn Ranchers and BLM: Removal of Wild Horses Violates Federal Laws
    by wildhorsepreservation.org
    Published - 04/07/14 - 08:53 AM | 7 7 comments | 31 31 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Wild Horses
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    (HILLSBOROUGH, NC) -The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC), a national coalition and its founding organization, Return to Freedom (RTF), today warned the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Iron County Commissioners that any removal of wild horses from federal lands would be in violation of federal laws. The warning came in response to a threat and ultimatum made by the Iron County Board of Commissioners to the BLM that local officials would roundup federally-protected wild horses if the BLM did not.

    At the same time, wild horse advocates have released BLM-based data that shows that wild horses are greatly outnumbered by livestock on public lands in Utah and Nevada.

    “We fully expect the BLM to uphold the federal laws that protect wild horses and require the withdrawal of trespass livestock on public lands,” said Suzanne Roy, campaign director of AWHPC. “The Utah BLM director appears to be ready to appease the ranchers at the expense of federally-protected wild horses. This will not be tolerated by the American public, which strongly supports wild horse preservation and opposes the BLM’s preferential treatment of private ranchers. Our public lands belong to all Americans, not to a handful of commercial ranchers who believe they are entitled to graze their livestock on our public lands at tax-subsidized rates.”

    “The threat by Iron County to illegally remove wild horses from our public lands is yet another example of commercial ranchers and their allies perpetuating propaganda that wild horses are responsible for range damage caused by livestock,” said Neda DeMayo, president of RTF and founder of the AWHPC. “In reality, the small number of federally-protected wild horses on public lands in Utah is dwarfed by hundreds of thousands of privately-owned cattle and sheep that graze Utah’s public lands.”

    DeMayo continued, “Further roundups of wild horses from our public lands are fiscally irresponsible and unjustified. As recommended by the National Academy of Sciences last year, the focus should be on the immediate implementation of available and proven fertility control that is a viable alternative to expensive and traumatic roundups.”

    AWHPC and RTF released the following data contradicting the claim that wild horses are overpopulating the range:

    • In Utah, wild horses are restricted to just 2.1 million acres of BLM land, whereas livestock graze on 22 million acres. Fewer than 3,500 wild horses are estimated to live in the state, while hundreds of thousands of livestock graze on the public rangelands. In fact, the BLM authorizes 55 times more forage to privately-owned livestock than to federally-protected wild horses in the state. (Sources: BLM HA/HMA data 2013; BLM Utah grazing data)

    • In Nevada, wild horses and burros are restricted to 14 million acres of BLM land while livestock graze on 45 million acres. The estimated population of wild horses is 20,000, or one horse per 700 acres. The BLM allocates at least 7 times more forage to livestock than to wild horses in the state. (Sources: BLM HA/HMA data 2013; BLM Nevada grazing data; BLM Nevada grazing AUMs 2010)

    Meanwhile, national public opinion polls demonstrate that the vast majority of Americans support protecting wild horses on public lands, while just 29 percent of the public wants to ensure that public lands are available for livestock grazing.

    The Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act (Public Law 92-195) protects wild horses from “capture, branding, harassment or death.” The BLM cannot conduct a roundup of federally-protected wild horses in the absence of full legal disclosure and analysis required under the Wild Horse Act and National Environmental Policy Act. Under the Wild Horse Act, the BLM is mandated to protect wild horses, while livestock grazing on public lands is authorized entirely at the discretion of the Interior Department pursuant to the Taylor Grazing Act.

    The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC) is a coalition of more than 60 horse advocacy, public interest, and conservation organizations dedicated to preserving the American wild horse in viable, free-roaming herds for generations to come, as part of our national heritage.

    Return to Freedom (RTF), is the founding and parent organization for the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign. RTF is a national non-profit dedicated to wild horse preservation through sanctuary, education and conservation, and also operates the American Wild Horse Sanctuary in Lompoc, CA.

    Comments
    (7)
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    CH1145
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    April 10, 2014
    HATE TO TELL YOU FELLAS BUT GRANT IS RIGHT AND HIS ARGUMENT CANT BE BROKEN AND YOU LEFTIES ALWAYS FORGET TO LEAVE OUT THE IMPORTANT PART OF THE LAW , WILD HORSE AND BURRO ACT 1971 SAYS IF AN AREA IS OVER POPULATED AND CAUSING DAMAGE TO OTHER WILDLIFE AND THE ECOSYSTEM AROUND THEM THEN THE SECERATARY OF INTERIOR MUST REMOVE THE HORSES IMMEDIATLEY TO PREVENT ANY FURTHER DAMAGE . IF THE BLM WOULD MANAGE THEM AND KEEP THEM AT THERE AML NO ONE WOULD HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THEM SO BLAME THE BLM NOT THE RANCHER WHO CARES FOR THE LAND YOU ALL CALL YOUR OWN AND DOES IT WITH HIS OWN DOLLAR AND TRUST ME ITS UASUALLY PENNYS HES SCRAPED TOGETHER TO MAKE IT WORK YOU ALL SHOULD GET OFF THE COUCH AND TAKE YOURSELVES A FIELD TRIP GO HELP THEM RANCHERS TAKE CARE OF THEM HORSES FIX SOME FENCE FIX SOME WATER LINES MIGHT BE MORE PRODUCTIVE THAN JUST COMPLAINING ALL THE TIME . THANKS TO IRON COUNTY COMMISIONERS FOR HAVING THE BACK BONE TO STAND UP FOR WHATS RIGHT
    Janwindsong
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    April 08, 2014
    I want to see armed Federal Marshalls on the borders of the HMAs where the protected wild horses and burros live and protect their lives. The ranting I have seen recently makes one think they are not above shooting the innocents. BLM puts armed guards at every roundup. This is where our buck will count. Use them to protect the horses!!
    GMK
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    April 08, 2014
    BLM manages 245 MILLION acres. There are only 55 thousand wild horses. Ranchers want the horses gone. Is there something wrong with this equation. How many cattle and sheep are on BLM land? Millions. Now tell me which animal is doing the damage. The millions of privately owned livestock or the 55 thousand wild horses? If the ranchers weren't so greedy and in time of drought reduced their herd size we wouldn't be going through this. The wild horses belong and the private livestock needs to be placed on privately owned land. The taxpayers shouldn't be subsidizing the livestock trade at the wild horses expense and the taxpayers millions of $.
    Mr. Shepherd
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    April 08, 2014
    Anti-horse Commenters-Lies? Did you not see that the source of this data is the BLM? You should read the report from the National Academy of Science, which concurs. You should get up to date with genetic research that shows the horse is native to North America. And no one is suggesting not managing them. The issue is using birth control and on-the-range management as opposed to unsustainable and cruel removal and warehousing of America's wild horses, who the majority of Americans cherish.
    Western Ecos
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    April 07, 2014
    I still cannot believe these people are given press time. Everything they spew is a lie, which is obvious to anyone who spends a minute reading any scientific opinion on horse impacts, or the origins of the modern horse. For a condensed article read what the Wildlife Society says about horses; feral horses destroy vast amounts of wildlife habitat if left unmanaged. The truth is horses don't fit in any ecosystem in North America.
    Grant925
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    April 08, 2014
    Come out west and we will show you who cause damage! The horses! The ranchers cattle are out numbered by feral horses on these lands regardless what you guys think. Kick ranchers off and there will be no water for the feral horses as the ranchers own and maintain the majority of water on these lands. Watch the horses choke to death and starve to death because your to ignorant to realize the horses

    Are way to o ver populated. Then we will see who really cared about the horses and the rangelands!
    Janwindsong
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    April 08, 2014
    Western Ecos and Grant925 - you are both either uninformed or intentionally portraying the you are fighting a losing battle. Say that to the FArm Bill that you are more than likely hooked into as producers. The truth is - you producers have allowed the ranges to be overgrazed, despite the Taylor Grazing Act and have lived fat and sassy hinging your family's wealth on the value of the public land allotted to your parcel. Of course, this scheme only works when you have cattle or sheep actually grazing. So to have your allotment reduced, time on, animals on - is a signal that your easy street way of living is coming to a close. I am pretty sure you would wish the public not to realize how badly you have degraded the resources we have allowed you to use and so better to put the blame on the VERY FEW horses still on the ranges. Yes, it is sad, but the law has been broken by our own government and caught up in the modern mustanger as he lives a feral life draining the public coffers for his disasters, his livestock deaths, his crop failures, his storm damage, fence damage, water lines replaced (and all of these are part and parcel co-pays by the ferals for their use of the public land). There is nothing they have done for themselves that needs to be undone if they leave. The horses lived there before 1971 and if the feral humans would leave them alone, they will live there for our future generations. For a scientific 4report, read the National Academy of Sciences report on BLM management of the wild horses and burros (they were not allowed to assess the grazing program affecting the land the horses and burros live on.) Yes, read that. We paid for it - a couple of million dollars. Read it and then send a note to your Senators and Representatives - why are the recommendations not being put into place?
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