Free-Roaming Horses Native to North America?

Watch how quickly the focus shifts to free-roaming horses on public rangelands—just 20 seconds into the video.  Would their story differ from that of horses in other areas?

In this film about science, did they use scientific methods to collect the data and present their findings?

Where in the North American fossil record do cattle and sheep appear?  Are they working on a video for that?

This is not science, it is agenda-driven information intended to confuse or mislead, also known as propaganda.

Be very skeptical when you see statements such as “management of these animals informed by independent science,” which was added to the text of AJR-5 in California.

One thought on “Free-Roaming Horses Native to North America?

  1. Dear Editor,

    In May 2003 Proposed Nevada Test and Training Range RMP and Final EIS Comment 87, BLM Responded, “As to their special status, BLM states “The issue of a wild horse as an invasive species is moot since the 1971 WHBA gave wild free-roaming horses *”special” status* based on their heritage of assisting man settle the “west.”

    Subsequently, In Defense of Animals, v. U.S. Dept. Interior, #12-17804, May 12, 2014) t*he U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals also recognized wild horses as native species*, explaining that BLM “establishes Appropriate Management Levels(AMLs)for populations of native species – including wild horses, burros, and other wildlife – *and introduced animals*, such as livestock.”

    The court in Mt. States v Hodel found that “In structure and purpose, the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act is nothing more than a land-use regulation enacted by Congress to ensure the survival of a particular species of wildlife.”

    Therefore, Amendments to Resource management plans (RMPs) are necessary and imperative to correct habitat deficiencies, maintain and rewild herds.* This is a basic process of redistribution and rewilding of warehoused wildlife. *

    Most succinctly on the issue of management in her MEMORANDUM OPINION ROSEMARY M. COLLYER , District Judge stated:

    “BLM’s authority to “manage” wild free-roaming horses and burros is expressly made subject to “the provisions of this chapter[,]” 16 U.S.C. § 1333(a) , including the provision that “[i]t is the policy of Congress that wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture….” *Id.*§ 1331 . It would be anomalous to infer that by authorizing the custodian of the wild free-roaming horses and burros to “manage” them, Congress intended to permit the animals’ *custodian to subvert the primary policy of the statute by capturing and removing from the wild the very animals that Congress sought to protect from being captured and removed from the wild. It is difficult to think of a “management activity” that is farther from a “minimal feasible level” than removal.*

    The 1976 Supreme Court (Kleppe v New Mexico) wildlife decision confirmed the wildlife horse/burro status. The Court orderd the *RETURN of wild burros to the range*. Chief Justice Thurgood Marshall stated the importance of the government’s interest in preserving herds IN THEIR NATURAL HABITAT, yet BLM did not and still will refuses to add the known inventory all ranges, or the basic migratory nature of FREE ROAMING WILD HORSE AND BURRO HERDS. Yet forty five years following the Kleppe wildlife decision, the Secretary of DOI continually neglects to implement Congressional mandates to amend Resource Management Plans to increase and sustain/maintain grazing ranges or restore and re-wild heritage herd INVENTORIES. This cumulative affect is fatally flawed.

    Omitted from Resource Management plans is compliance with BLM and ESA special status species regulations, As a protected native special status species Wild horses and burros should have the same ESA available habitats for relocation, and, designated HMAs as Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC), managed by the Bureau of Land Management under FLPMA. ** *,*

    * On Sep 28, 2011 (See Craters AR at 16698. Memorandum Decision & Order) The court addresses “sensitive” species pursuant to BLM’s 2001 Special Status Species Policy. This Policy requires that “sensitive” species be afforded, at a minimum, the same protections as candidate species for listing under the ESA. It called on BLM managers to “obtain and use the best available information deemed necessary to evaluate the status of special status species in areas affected by land use.*

    CRS Report: 95-778 – Habitat Modification and the Endangered Species Act: Land also may be acquired under section 5 of the ESA to prevent “modification of land that is not yet but may in the future become habitat for an endangered or threatened species.” (case law: Sweet Home Chapter)

    In achieving Standards for Rangeland Health, BLM must consider the numbers of *all forage dependent wildlife as a priority* substantiated by the Endangered Species Act. Refer to BLM manual Section which provides policy and procedural guidance on the identification, evaluation, and designation of areas of critical environmental concern (ACEC ‘s)in the development, revision, and amendment of resource management plans (RMP’s)and amendments of management framework plans *not yet replaced by RMP’s*. The materials are formerly found at .8 in Manual Section 1617. Annual Status Reports are required.

    Herd areas were reservations/withdrawals of public land defined by FLPMA that provide critical habitat for special status species. Similar purposes are provided by ACECs.

    Distinct population segments and/or evolutionarily significant units (ESU) What are CUs and why are they important? .

    “Broadly speaking, CUs are population units identified within species that are used to help guide management and conservation efforts. Identifying CUs is an essential first step in conservation so that managers and policymakers know the boundaries of the population units that they are trying to conserve.

    The two most commonly discussed conservation units are evolutionarily significant units (ESUs) and management units (MUs). Moreover, major intraspecific units, such as ESUs, are granted legal protection in many countries, including the USA (under the Endangered Species Act), Canada (Species at Risk Act), and Australia (Endangered Species Protection Act).”

    Robin S. Waples codified the ESU in the administrative context in 1991, defining it as a population unit that, first, “[i]s substantially reproductively isolated from other conspecific population units,” and, second, “[r]epresents an important component in the evolutionary legacy of the species.”” Though the biological literature has elaborated the ESU into several related concepts, Waples’s 1991 definition has remained in force at NMFS National Marine Fisheries Service.

    Genetically unique and isolated populations represent independent evolutionary units that contribute important diversity to the species as a whole and thus merit individual protection. Genetic data plainly underlie the ESU; such information can simultaneously estimate the degree of reproductive isolation and evolutionary distinctiveness. *Genetic data are not, however, a prerequisite for ESU identification. If direct observation or geographic separation indicates reproductive isolation and evolutionary distinctiveness, for example, the agency can designate an ESU with no genetic data at all.*

    In Mar of 2016 stated “ When and if available scientific information convinces the experts that determine the checklist of native species to North America that Equus caballus should be considered as an indigenous species, they will make the change in the next revision to the list.” YET to date, all responsible agencies have blatantly ignored the widely published mitochondrial DNA evidence of origin and geographic distinctions i.e.

    * Consultation* is the primary purpose of NEPA, a process that is systematically circumvented in major capture actions. Consultation and application of Programmatic Agreements are necessary and imperative to prevent the costly fatally flawed Resource Management plans. The following information from the BLM Federal Preservation Officer Ranel Stephenson Capron, Washington DC Office:

    “ Ms. Hayden, You may find the document on our webpage here: under the National Programmatic Agreement link. The 2012 document was signed by Robert Abbey, the BLM Director at the time.”

    Compare the cumulative cost of extraction, and warehousing of captured wild horses & burros vs re-wilding/relocation to MAINTAIN existing INVENTORIES as required by law.

    Respectfully submitted,

    Kathleen Hayden

    On Tue, Jul 13, 2021 at 6:30 AM Western Horse Watchers Association wrote:

    > Western Horse Watchers posted: “Watch how quickly the focus shifts to > free-roaming horses on public rangelands—just 20 seconds into the video. > Would their story differ from that of horses in other areas? In this film > about science, did they use scientific methods to collect the data a” >

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