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  • New Legislation to Roll Back Federal Wild Horse & Burro Protections
    by wildhorsepreservation.org
    Published - 07/15/14 - 01:51 PM | 13 13 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    New Legislation to Roll Back Federal Wild Horse & Burro Protections
    New Legislation to Roll Back Federal Wild Horse & Burro Protections
    slideshow
    (WASHINGTON, D.C.) - The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC), a national coalition, responded today to the introduction on Thursday of the “Wild Horse Oversight Act” by stating that the new legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives aims to bypass a Congressional prohibition on the sale of wild horses and burros for slaughter. According to AWHPC, the bill places federally-protected wild horses and burros in the crosshairs of the latest showdown between Western anti-federal government extremists and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

    The bill was introduced by U.S. Representative Chris Stewart (R-UT) on behalf of ranchers and their local representatives, including the Iron County Board of Commissioners, whose members have been emboldened by outlaw rancher Cliven Bundy and have threatened to kill or illegally round up federally-protected wild horses from BLM lands.

    “This bill advances the agenda of an extremist minority and represents an end run around Congress and the American people. It aims to overturn the Congressional prohibition on the slaughter of America’s cherished wild horses and burros,” said Suzanne Roy, AWHPC Director.

    “Putting states and tribes in charge of managing federally-protected wild horses and burros would turn back the clock four decades to a time when these animals were brutally rounded up and sold for slaughter,” she continued, noting that the abhorrent treatment of wild horses in the 1950’s and 1960’s, as accurately portrayed in the famous film The Misfits, sparked national outrage and resulted in the passage of the 1971 Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act.

    “This legislation has been introduced on behalf of ranchers who want unfettered access to our public lands and who view wild horses as competition for cheap, taxpayer-subsidized grazing,” said Deniz Bolbol, AWHPC communications director. “Ranchers already receive nearly 80 percent of the forage allocations in designated wild horse habitat areas. This new attack is fueled by greed and callous disregard for the wishes of the American people, who strongly support protecting and preserving America’s wild horses and burros on our federal lands.”

    According to AWHPC, 72% of Americans support protecting and preserving wild horses on public land and 80 percent oppose horse slaughter, while just 29% of Americans want public lands used for livestock grazing.

    The coalition charges that wild horses are being scapegoated for damage caused by livestock grazing, which occurs on 155 million acres of BLM land, while wild horses graze on just 26.9 million acres of BLM land.

    In Utah, 22 million acres of BLM land is grazed by livestock, while wild horses inhabit just 10 percent – or 2.2 million -- of those acres.

    Recently, the BLM revealed that in designated wild horse and burro Herd Management Areas 77% of forage is allocated to livestock, leaving less than a quarter of forage resources for federally protected wild horses and burros.

    AWHPC said that instead of this extremist legislation designed to hijack federal authority and the will of the American public, Congress should be focused on policies to:

    • Implement the reforms recommended in the June 2013 National Academy of Sciences "Using Science to Reform the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program: A Way Forward" to make the program sustainable, scientifically-based and reflective of the will of the American people.

    • Promote tolerance and equity in resource allocation in Herd Management Areas.

    • Explore grazing buyouts, voluntary retirement of grazing permits, allotment swaps and tax credits to alleviate conflicts between ranchers and wild horses on the small amount of BLM land that is designated as HMAs.

    The Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act declares that "wild free-roaming horses and burros are living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West; that they contribute to the diversity of life forms within the Nation and enrich the lives of the American people; and that these horses and burros are fast disappearing from the American scene. It is the policy of Congress that wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death; and to accomplish this they are to be considered in the area where presently found, as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands."

    At the time of its passage, Congress received more mail in favor of protecting wild horses and burros than it did on any other issue at the time besides the Vietnam War.

    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. AWHPC was founded by Return to Freedom, a national non-profit dedicated to wild horse preservation through sanctuary, education and conservation. RTF operates the American Wild Horse Sanctuary in Lompoc, CA and is AWHPC’s parent organization.

    Comments
    (13)
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    carti41
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    July 16, 2014
    Really crypto prove your point. I see slaughter house sues friends still a round. I live in Wyoming we have a far share of Welfare ranchers here too.
    crypto666
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    July 17, 2014
    Prove that people lie with statistics?

    Prove that people can make a survey say what ever they want?

    Well, rather than prove things that are obvious to most people. I will just share with you what scientists and land managers think of your feral horses. This will also answer your request to list the horse as an endangered species.

    http://www.fws.gov/sheldonhartmtn/sheldon/horseburro.html
    Susan Humphrey
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    July 16, 2014
    The people who live in the western states, including those of the scientific community who actually live there and see it first hand, should make the decisions on how to manage that land. It affects their communities directly and that makes for a greater incentive to take good care of it for future generation.

    BLM land is "managed land" and the horses are't being managed properly. It would be better if all the horses were moved to HMA's that didn't have any livestock competition, but that were set up to distribute birth control as needed. Rather than multiple scattered HMA"s, there could be 10 HMA"s with 2500 horses each...that would keep the horses from getting inbred. If proper fencing was installed there could be a wolf pack in each HMA to keep the horse numbers in check naturally and weed out the weak.

    The current WH&B Act isn't working. It needs to be restructured using the knowledge gained over the last 43 years.
    Shane Destry
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    July 16, 2014
    since public land by definition belongs to the American people not the welfare cattlemen who live in the Western states and since the BLM is obliged by law to manage those public lands to protect them, including wild horses, Congress can not cede the management of them to the states. It is irrelevant what Susan Humphrey, a long time disciple of Sue Wallis and promoter of horse slaughter considers who should be managing public lands and wild horses. Congress does not have the power to cede management to them by the states. Period.
    sue Carter
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    July 16, 2014
    People like Cliven Bundy, should make decisions on how to manage that land. He had Grazing permits (which he hadn't paid) for a 150 aums. In his effort to affect his community and take good care for future Bundys, he allowed those 150 cows to increase to 900 and swarm the landscape including the Lake Mead Recreation Area.

    But, you are finally beginning to get the picture. The horses, indeed, need "herd management areas" or RANGELAND, devoid of cows. Yes, 10 Rangelands with adequate natural water sources and no fences, would be a good start,

    Yes, if these Rangelands DEVOID of Cattle were large enough, the wolves would be welcome.

    Nice to see you finally coming around Susan Humphrey.

    anonymous
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    July 16, 2014
    Gee Susan Humphrey, you are right again. The WFRHBA is not working. Because the BLM is nor working it. Had they not harrassed, captured, trapped, corralled the horses, it could have. Instead, they have forced the horses into smaller and smaller areas, which, they then, overwhelmed with Cattle in the guise of "multiple-use." Multiple-use can mean wildlife ad human recreation use, not only Cattle grazing. BLM, run by Cattlemen, such as Boyd Spratling on the Advisory Board are unabashedly, pro-cattle, anti-horse.

    crypto666
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    July 16, 2014
    This goes without saying, but the statistics used by horse advocates are completely imaginary. I could show a survey of people that proves 99.7% of people would rather see wildlife in the wilderness instead of horses (barnyard animals.)

    Morgans says there are only 1000 ranchers in the west. Do you really think this person has any grip on reality? Should this person be making any kind of recommendations regarding laws of management? Should this person's thoughts even be considered?

    Not unless you want to be directed by a complete failure of mental health.
    Shane Destry
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    July 16, 2014
    to crypto 666 - you could show such a survey? then drop a link you speak of a "totally imaginary person connecting with a feral horse industry" (that doesn't exist) with a straight face. Is crypto 6666 or Western Ecos the name on your birth certificate? Consider the absurdity of your allegation in light of that !
    crypto666
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    July 16, 2014
    Ha! Barbara leonard, being an imaginary person created by a feral horse activist with an internent problem, is totally clueless in that she thinks she is in the right.

    What more do you need to know about feral horse activist other than they want to eliminate rural western America, and its people, so they can have more room for their stupid damned animals that serve no purpose other than destroying land.
    Barbara Leonard
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    July 17, 2014
    I assure you, crypto666, that I am very much real. And, yes, the welfare ranchers have caused taxpayers to just plain HATE them. Leave our wild horses & burros alone....get your damn welfare cattle/sheep & fracking off OUR (taxpyers) public lands. The public lands that welfare cattle/sheep are destroying with over-grazing. What's the ratio? Forget but it's something like a million welfare cattle for every wild horse. Welfare ranchers think we owe them something.....we do not....I'd like to see every one of them bankrupt.
    Barbara Leonard
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    July 15, 2014
    Just another example of the hold welfare ranchers have over this government. Time for war, folks....all-out war against the BLM and against welfare ranchers. Stop eating beef and see how long these idiot welfare ranchers will last. Oh, wait...how silly of me...then this stupid government would just give these welfare queens more money. Time for words has stopped.....taxpayers wage war on welfare ranchers NOW!
    Jennifer Webb
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    July 18, 2014
    I'm with you it's a War to Save our symbols of Freedom. The welfare rancher's stand for greed, corruptions and ignorant power. America loves our Native Wild Horses they were here before the cattle. The BLM needs to start a program of Rounding up cattle. No more free loading non-sense on tax payers hard earned money. All those cattle are destroying the public land at least that is what the ranchers are trying say the horses are doing... Millions of cattle over grazing, polluting the air, pollution the water ways at the expense of the public. No more this is war.
    |
    July 15, 2014
    It looks as though Representative Chris Stewart has forgotten how to be a Republican, because this is not fiscally responsible. We have about 1,000 "Welfare Ranchers" in the U.S. who think they can have whatever they want, and what they want are zero wild horses and burros. These 1,000 people are costing U.S. taxpayers and estimated $500,000.00 to $1,000,000.00 each per year in taxpayer subsidies:

    http://www.sagebrushsea.org/pdf/factsheet_Grazing_Fiscal_Costs.pdf

    "Considering the additional direct and indirect costs not included in the GAO report,

    economists have estimated that the federal public lands grazing on only BLM and Forest

    Service lands may cost as much as $500 million to $1 billion annually.3"

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