Forest Service: You Adopt, We Haul Devil’s Garden Horses

The Forest Service will ship ten unadopted horses at the Double Devil Corrals to your ranch if you’ll take them, according to a report posted this evening by Action News Now of Chico, CA.

These animals were forced off their home range last October in a roundup at the Devil’s Garden Plateau WHT.  Another gather will occur this fall.

RELATED: Horses at Double Devil Corrals Now ‘Three Strikers’, Ranchers Encouraged by Devil’s Garden Roundup.

Comments Invited on Targeted Grazing Project in Nevada

BLM announced on Friday the opening of a comment period on the scope of a program that would “…manage invasive annual grasses that intensify wildland fire behavior and diminish ecological integrity using a variety of livestock grazing practices.”

A ‘Targeted Grazing Scoping Letter’ was issued on 07/03/19, according to the news release, but no link was provided and a newspaper of record was not cited.

The project area includes several BLM districts in the northern half of the state.

All are inhabited by free-roaming horses.  Some have burros.

What will be the impact on those animals as forage is removed?  Will the public-lands ranchers be charged for the ‘service?’  Will the practice occur outside of established grazing allotments?

The casual observer may wonder if this is just another attempt to cram more privately owned cattle, sheep and goats onto public lands in the western U.S. at the expense of America’s wild horses and burros.

RELATED: Ranchers Want it Both Ways, BLM news release dated 06/21/19.

Public Lands at Risk Because of America’s Wild Horses?

That’s what Ethan Lane, executive director of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Public Lands Council, told a Senate Subcommittee on 07/16/19.  Refer to this story in the Natural Resource Report.

He said public lands in the western U.S. can only support 26,000 wild horses and burros, compared to the current population of 88,000 animals.

If that’s true, how do you explain the millions of privately owned cattle and sheep on those same lands?

There is no wild horse population crisis on western rangelands, only deceit and greed of the public-lands ranchers, their cheerleaders and political allies.

RELATED: Executive Summary of Senate Hearing on WHB Program.

Does the Livestock Grazing Fee Reflect Market Conditions?

If $1.35 per AUM (4.5¢ per day) is a fair price to charge the public-lands ranchers, why is the BLM paying $60 per AUM ($2 per day) for horses in long-term holding?

Probably because $60 represents the market rate, which means the ranchers are getting a sweetheart deal.  That needs to change because many of those horses were forced off the range to pacify the ranchers.

Given that roughly nine million AUMs are sold to the ranchers annually, the additional revenue—at a fee of $60 per AUM—would amount to $528 million per year, a nice offset to the costs of the WHB program.

RELATED: 2019 Grazing Fee Announced.

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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.