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  • Bureau of Land Management held hostage by Iron County Commissioners
    by Paula Todd King, thecloudfoundation.org
    Published - 04/08/14 - 09:04 AM | 5 5 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Wild Horses
    Wild Horses
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    (COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.) - The Cloud Foundation (TCF), a national wild horse advocacy organization, is shocked at the BLM’s apparent agreement to comply with Iron County Commissioner’s ultimatum: "Remove Wild Horses from Public Lands or we will."" TCF urges BLM to fulfill their legal responsibilities to enforce the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, (the Act). Any roundup and removal of legally protected wild horses from public lands by Iron County is a violation of the Law. Any BLM participation places them in violation as well.

    TCF Board Member, Lisa Friday spoke with Iron County Commissioner, David Miller who told her that wild horses have devastated drought stricken public lands. There was no mention by Miller of the ongoing damage to public lands owned by the American people caused by federally subsidized privately owned livestock. Compared to the state’s 3500 wild horses, 108,000 head of privately owned livestock are reported to graze on Utah’s public lands.

    And while the Iron County Commissioners say that the wild horse herd management areas (HMA’s) are extremely over-populated, BLM population counts in March 2012 show that only one of the HMA’s, Bible Springs, has a population that would insure their genetic viability (150-200 adult horses). Tilley Creek has 55 horses on 37,000 acres; Bible Springs 290 horses on 56,588 acres; 4 Mile, 71 horses on 61,273 acres. Only 518 wild horses are reported in these HMA’s – not 1200 as reported by Iron County Commissioners.

    “Allowing one rogue livestock permittee to dictate BLM actions sets a dangerous precedent not only in Iron County but throughout the West,” said Ginger Kathrens, Founder and Executive Director of TCF. “Livestock grazing on public land is a privilege which BLM has discretion to reduce. Every head of livestock on public lands is subsidized by the American taxpayer and is a privilege not a right.

    BLM is mandated to protect wild horses and burros. BLM capitulating to a rancher issued ultimatum shows blatant disregard of their duties to protect American wild horses on their designated ranges.

    The BLM cannot proceed with a roundup of federally-protected wild horses without fulfilling requirements not only of the Act but also the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) which require full disclosure and analysis before any wild horse can be legally removed from designated herd management areas.

    However, this morning’s Salt Lake Tribune announcement of an upcoming BLM adoption on May 16-17 which states, “horses gathered as part of an emergency Iron County roundup, if it occurs could be available,” indicates that the BLM may proceed in violation of the very Act they are charged with upholding.

    “Rather than lying down to Iron County Commissioners, the BLM should be on the ground in full force as they are in Nevada, to insure that the wild horses are not harmed,” stated Paula Todd King, Communications Director for TCF. “Public lands must be managed not only for federally subsidized privately owned ranchers but for all taxpaying citizens.”

    Comments
    (5)
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    Susan Humphrey
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    April 08, 2014
    The BLM is supposed to manage the horses and they haven't been doing it. According to the Wild Horse and Burro Act, excess horses are to be taken off the range. If the BLM can't afford to do their job, or their hand are tied up in lawsuits by wild horse advocates, the county needs to implement their legal right to protect the land.
    Grant OX
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    April 08, 2014
    oh and those numbers of horses on these lands is far incorrect! I can take anyone of you out and show you double those numbers on any of the aforementioned hma's 4 mile alone has more than 70 horses on one burn that is 5000 acres! sorry but this is a complete lie! we live and work these lands and those numbers are so far off its laughable!
    Grant Ox
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    April 08, 2014
    HELD HOSTAGE! WOW! That is abrupt. First off Iron county is doing everything they can to fix a problem the BLM is ignoring. Because of the feral horse advocacy groups who are more like terrorists threatening ranchers if anything is done to removed EXCESS horses they will face legal problems. Ranchers are stuck between doing the right thing( having EXCESS FERAL HORSES REMOVED) or following an unconstituional law that breaks the 1971 horse and burro act.Which states excess horses oer the AML are to be removed and if not adopted out after 3 tries they will be removed in the most cost effective humane manner. The terrorists that claim they are for the good of the horses, are allowing them to starve to death on ranges horses are severely over grazing. One ranch I personally know of has over 300 head of horses on BLM YEAR round while only 200 cattle can use it for 5-6 months. A horse is considered 1.25 aum while a cow is 1 aum so basically when feed is brought into consideration the horses equal 375 cows now cows can only be on the land for half that time! so double that and it equates to running 750 cows year round on the land. Considering this rancher can only run 200 head of cattle on that land for 6 months there is nearly 4 times the forage being eaten by the feral horses on just one given allotment! Hows that for being held hostage! Id say the ranchers are eing held hostage. The numbers in year past have been cut in half by the blm for ranchers and now they are asking the ranchers to cut in half again. You wanna change your mind about who is being held hostage yet? ALso let me throw in the fact that the ranchers OWN the majority of the water up in these areas. So not only are the horses getting the majority of feed but also STEALING THE MAJORITY OF WATER FROM RANCHERS. WOuld you be mad about that considering these ranchers bought and paid for these grazing rights!
    Susan Newton
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    April 08, 2014
    Welfare ranchers....... My husband pays far more than these permittees are paying. $1.35 per cow calf pair. Talk about milking the system. You would think these ranchers would want to get off welfare, next they will be accepting a free cell phone!!
    Karen Carpenter
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    April 08, 2014
    Mr. OX - You are misinformed. The WH&B 1971 Act does not say they can be removed if not adopted after three tries. You perhaps read the law too quickly and have put two sentences together. Your quote doesn't even make sense. How can you adopt while they are still on the range? You are terribly confused. If you are going to quote a law, at least understand it.
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