Comments Invited on Murderer’s Creek Management Plan

The Forest Service announced yesterday the opening of a comment period on the scope of a proposed management plan for the Murderer’s Creek WHT in eastern Oregon.

Refer to the scoping document for details.  Map is on page 13.

The WHT overlays ten livestock grazing allotments administered by the BLM and five grazing allotments administered by the USFS, according to the document.  All of them contain livestock (privately owned).

Therefore, the proposed plan should (1) include charts and figures showing how the resources will be allocated among the various consumers, (2) demonstrate clearly that the WHT will be managed principally but not necessarily exclusively for wild horses, and (3) list the steps that must be taken to achieve that result, including, but not limited to, AUM curtailments and permit retirements.

Executive Summary of Senate Hearing on WHB Program

Several Palestinian delegates were invited to speak before the Subcommittee about the future of the Jewish state.  They recommended the following actions:

  1. Get the occupiers off the disputed territory.
  2. Give their land to us.
  3. Declare the Resolution of 1971 null and void.

Jewish delegates were excluded from the hearing.  Rebuttals were not allowed and policies that benefit the Palestinians were not discussed.

Where’s the thriving ecological balance and multiple-use relationship?

How many senators will fall on their swords to advance the Palestinian cause?

A better option from a political viewpoint—one that may win more voter support—is to put the Palestinians out of business: End public-lands ranching.

RELATED: Senate Hearing Today on Future of WHB Program.

BLM Ends Triple B Roundup

BLM said today that the gather was complete, with 804 wild horses removed from their home range.  Sixteen deaths (2.0%) were reported over the nine day period.

Captured animals were taken to the Palomino Valley Wild Horse and Burro Corrals, according to the news release, where they will be prepared for adoption or sale.

UPDATE: The original announcement said 802 horses removed and 14 deaths.

RELATED: Triple B Gather Starts Next Week, Triple B Horses Get Short End of Stick.

Senate Hearing Today on Future of WHB Program

The Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests and Mining will meet at 2:30 PM EDT to consider options for long-term management of wild horses and burros on public lands in the western U.S.

Proceedings will be livestreamed on the committee’s web site, starting at approximately 2:15 PM, according to the announcement.

The witness list suggests that testimony will be heard mostly from representatives of the public-lands ranchers and individuals with sympathies thereto.

A fine example of government catering to a special interest against the wishes of the American people.

UPDATE: The archived webcast can be found on this page, hearing begins at 17:25.

Cattle Grazing on Hill-1

NPS Releases Shackleford Stats

The Park Service said in a news release dated 07/11/19 that, at the end of 2018, there were 116 wild horses on Shackleford Banks, with 62% females and 38% males.

Other statistics include:

  • Horses over 20 years of age: 3 males and 17 females
  • Deaths in 2018: 11
  • Average lifespan for all horses: 11 years

The oldest mare, aged 34 years, died in 2018 according to the report.

The range of variation attributable to natural causes, for the proportion of males (or females) in a herd this size, is 36% to 64%.  (Refer to the statistical formulas on this page, where n = 116 and p = .50.)

Thus, unlike the Assateague herd, the reported proportions fall within the limits and searching for an assignable cause—to explain the observed difference between males and females—would be a waste of time.

The news release did not indicate if any of the deaths were associated with the arrival of Hurricane Florence in September 2018.

RELATED: Update on Shackleford Horses.

Adoption Incentive and the IRS

On Day 2 of the WHBAB meeting in Boise (07/10/19), one of the Board members asked “If I were to take a couple of these horses, is that $2,000 taxable income?  Or how is it viewed by the IRS?”  Answer: “It is taxable.”

Other Income-1

Depending on your location, the state may want a piece of the action too.

Financial incentives shift the motivation from intrinsic to extrinsic: Do it for the money.

Then, when the reward goes away, so does the behavior.

Latest Census Says ‘Search for Trouble’ in Assateague Herd

NPS said there were 22 stallions and 55 mares on the island in July, according to a report posted yesterday by WBOC News of Salisbury, MD.  A herd of 77 should have between 26 and 51 males (or females) if left to natural causes.

Why is the sex ratio skewed?  The calculation says ‘Look for an assignable cause.’

RELATED: Latest Census Shows Major Problems in Assateague Herd.

Triple B Update

Five hundred and one wild horses have been forced off their home range during the first week of the roundup, according to today’s report, liberating approximately 6,000 AUMs per year for the public-lands ranchers.

The government can expect to receive an additional $8,000 per year in grazing fees in exchange for the roughly two hundred thousand of dollars it has spent so far on the operation, for a simple payout of 25 years.

Given that most of them won’t be adopted, the added cost of off-range holding means there is no payout at all.

The answer is clear: Leave them on the range, end public-lands ranching.

RELATED: Triple B Horses Get Short End of Stick, Economics of Wild Horse Gathers.

Entrance Exam for WHB Program

On Day 3 of the WHBAB meeting in Boise (07/11/19), Fred Woehl, Jr. (Chair) suggested that anyone interested in working with the wild horse program should be able to answer three questions.  If they can, sign them up:

  • Which end of the horse gets up first?
  • How many teeth does a horse have?
  • Where is the frog located on the horse?

The following video by hea art will answer the first one.  Filmed on the Virginia Range, a few miles south of Virginia City, NV.

WHBAB Day 3: Unbridgeable Gulf

The meeting concluded today.  In a nutshell, the task before the Board was to solve the Arab-Israeli conflict by only sanctioning the Israelis.

Public comments were heard after lunch.  Notably absent were representatives of oil, mining and timber companies.

  • There were no hikers or campers complaining about wild stallions coming into their camps to steal mares
  • There were were no roughnecks or pipefitters demanding that wild horse numbers be reduced to AML immediately
  • There were no backhoe operators and truck drivers suggesting that ovaries be ripped out of mares to control herd size
  • There were no riggers and loggers pushing for alternatives to nonlethal methods if population control is not achieved in a reasonable timeframe

But shills for the public-lands ranchers did all of those things.

Where’s the common ground, the two-state solution?

There isn’t any.

RELATED: WHBAB Day 2: Faulty Premise.

WHBAB Day 2: Faulty Premise

Much of the discussion today focused on getting wild horses and burros off western rangelands and what to do with them once they’re gone: Achieving AML, adoptions, sales, off-range holding, training, partnerships, volunteering.

Nobody wanted to talk about the driver of these things, namely, public-lands ranching, as if it was a given, self evident, unchanging.

Figures were presented on the land available to wild horses and burros and the number of them that it can support, but nobody could provide the number of AUMs allocated to domestic livestock on those same lands.

You can’t have a conversation about wild horses and burros on public lands without having a conversation about privately owned cattle and sheep.

This is the problem with the WHB program: Too many administrators have bought into the overpopulation narrative, not because it’s true but because they believe land set aside for horses and burros should be managed primarily for cattle and sheep.

RELATED: WHBAB Meeting Starts Today.

UPDATE: This syndicated report by AP News shows what’s being fed to the public.