‘Path Forward’ in the News

Refer to this report by the Washington Post, published yesterday.  Includes a link to the wild horse and burro management plan announced on 04-22-19.

The plan was negotiated by ranching interests and animal welfare groups.  Wild horse advocates were omitted from the process.

The story includes some photos and anecdotes from the Triple B roundup in July, and, as expected, gives the ranchers and their allies in government a pass.

RELATED: Liberals Will Never Condemn Public-Lands Ranching.

UPDATE: Added video.

How Wild Horses and Burros Should be Managed

The American Farm Bureau Federation issued this pronouncement today:

“Wild horses and burros are to be managed according to the Wild and Free-Roaming Horse & Burro Act of 1971, which not only specifies where wild horses and burros can occupy public lands but that they shall be managed in a manner that produces a thriving natural ecological balance.”

Couldn’t agree more.  Of course, the WHB Act of 1971 no longer exists—it was revamped by Congress at the behest of the public-lands ranchers.

So the first step would be to roll back the changes, restoring the Act to its original form.

Wild horses and burros are to occupy lands on which they were found when the bill was signed into law.  This will nearly double the amount of land they inhabit today.

As for the thriving ecological balance, Congress ordered the Secretaries of Interior and Agriculture to confer with state agencies to ensure that wildlife, especially endangered species, are not adversely affected by the horses and burros.

There was no provision for domestic livestock, which leads to the second step: Ending public-lands ranching and its 100-year reign of terror in the American west.

The third step is a thorough house cleaning of federal agencies involved with public lands: Anyone with a ranching background or ties to the ranching industry is gone.

RELATED: The Land Can Only Support 27,000 Wild Horses and Burros.

Bullfrog Gather in Progress

BLM said on 09-06-19 that approximately 600 excess wild burros would be removed from the Bullfrog HMA, starting the next day.  As of today, 302 animals have been captured, with no deaths reported.

The burros are a nuisance in the town of Beatty and a safety risk along U.S. highway 95, according to the news release.  The size of the herd had already been reduced by about 400 head in a roundup conducted in 2018.

The HMA covers 157,180 acres in southern Nevada and has an AML of 91, for an aimed-at population density of 0.6 animals per thousand acres.

Bullfrog-HMA-Map-1

The gather employs bait traps to remove the burros from their home range, so it is not open to public observation.  Captured animals are being taken to the off-range corrals in Axtell, UT.

The HMA intersects one grazing allotment, but only a portion of one pasture (about 12,000 acres) is currently active, according to Section 3.3 of the 2012 Environmental Assessment.  See Figure 3 on page 33 of the EA.

IMG_9729

Fish Creek Roundup Complete

BLM said today that operations concluded on 09-15-19, with 558 wild horses gathered from the Fish Creek HMA in central Nevada.  Five deaths were reported (0.9%) and twenty horses were returned to the range, for a population reduction of 538 animals.

The seven mares allowed to rejoin the herd were treated with contraceptives, according to the news release.

The process reduced forage consumption on the HMA by 6,456 AUMs per year, some of which may be picked up by ‘other authorized users.’

The announcement said the roundup complied with Section 1333(b) of the 1971 WHB Act, except there is no Section 1333(b) in the 1971 Act.  The reference should be to the WHB Act of 1976/1978/2004.

The original statute was ‘reshaped’ by the political allies of the public-lands ranchers.

RELATED: Fish Creek Roundup Starts Next Week, Fish Creek Horses Get Short End of Stick, Livestock Grazing in Nevada.