Surprise Valley Horses Ignore HMA Boundaries

Filmed near Cedarville, CA, not far from the Nevada border, these wild horses roam in an area between Round Mountain HMA and Carter Reservoir HMA.

Cedarville CA Map-1

The Round Mountain HMA is the BLM-managed portion of the Devil’s Garden WHT, most of which lies to the west of Round Mountain (above Alturas).

Surprise Valley, which includes the town of Cedarville, is on the western side of the Great Basin, home to many of the nation’s wild horses and burros.

New Mexico Ranchers Pay $43 Per AUM for McGregor Range

Yesterday the BLM announced that local ranchers bid $35 to $43 per AUM to graze eight parcels on withdrawn lands in southern New Mexico.

The McGregor Range covers 606,000 acres on the west side of Otero Mesa, between Alamogordo, NM and El Paso, TX, according to the news release.  It was a part of Fort Bliss and supported live fire exercises with new missile systems.

McGregor Range Map-1

Pick the mid point.  If $40 per AUM is the going rate for livestock grazing on public lands, why are the ranchers who graze HMAs and WHTs allowed to pay just $1.35?

Title I of FLPMA says the U.S. [shall] receive fair market value of the use of the public lands and their resources unless otherwise provided for by statute (item 9, page 8).

How does $1.35 meet that requirement?  It doesn’t.  How do those endeavors return the maximum benefit to the American people?  They don’t.  (Refer to Title IV on page 31 for remarks about grazing fees.  Page 34 has the infamous helicopter roundup provision that was added to the WHB Act.)

Public-lands ranching is a gravy train.  That’s what groups like Protect the Harvest and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association are trying to defend—and expand.

It’s the driver of the despicable ‘Path Forward.’

Raising the grazing fee to $60 per AUM—in line with the cost of warehousing excess wild horses and burros in off-range pastures—would be a nice down payment on the goal of erasing public-lands ranching from the American landscape.

The U.S. would receive an additional $528 million annually, at least for a while, until the ranchers throw in the towel, because paying market rates just plain spoils the party.

NEPA Workshop Next Month

The National Environmental Policy Act requires federal agencies (like the BLM) to assess the environmental effects of proposed actions, such as wild horse roundups, before making a decision.

Public participation is part of the process.

The four hour class in Burns, OR is open to anyone interested in NEPA and will focus on comment writing and review.

The news release did not indicate if the event would be live-streamed.

Example: Comments Invited on Range Creek Gather Plan.