The long awaited National Academy of Sciences Report on the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) wild horse and burro program has been released today. This very expensive, two million dollar report, is an analysis of the program with recommendations for reform. Since the parameters of the report were controlled so strictly by BLM, our expectation for any positive language was slim.
A quick overview of the document reveals that far from being the final “death knell” for wild horses and burros, it is the exact opposite. The NAS report may just be a a doorway to a future that protects wild horses and burros using the truth of their situation rather than propped up fiction.
What the report says about AML:
” In general, the handbook lacks clear protocols for evaluating habitat components other than forage availability. That is critical because without clear protocols specific enough to ensure repeatability, the monitoring organization cannot determine whether observed change is due to changes in condition or to changes in methods. Protocols should also include establishment of controls when the goal is to distinguish treatment or management effects from other causes of change.”
FINDING: On the basis of the information provided to the committee, the statistics on the
national population size cannot be considered scientifically rigorous.
FINDING: Management of free-ranging horses and burros is not based on rigorous
FINDING: Management practices are facilitating high horse population growth rates.
The document notes (and validates) what we have been saying all along.
Wild Horse Education (WHE) will bring you an in depth analysis shortly, but we wanted to make sure that the document was available to all in an easy to find location.
Press Release WHE, 6/5/2013
BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program in Need of Serious, Immediate Reform
(Reno, NV) The long-awaited National Academy of Sciences Report on the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) wild horse and burro program has been released today. This very expensive, two million dollar report is an analysis of the BLM program and has recommendations for reforms.
The advocate group, Wild Horse Education (WHE), that has been investigating and documenting BLM actions at roundups and with the wild herds in captivity, is calling for an immediate halt to any further wild horse and burro removals. The current removal schedule is now under discussion because space in holding has become almost non-existent.
“The program was pushed to the breaking point by BLM’s shear obstinacy at recognizing any wrong doing, ” stated Laura Leigh, President of Wild Horse Education (WHE) and Plaintiff in three active Federal court cases the organization has against BLM. “Now there is no excuse for anyone to keep ‘living the lie’ and pretending BLM is right.”
Constantly referred to by BLM as “overly emotional, though well-meaning,” advocates for wild horses and burros have been continually minimized as they point out serious flaws in the BLM wild horse and burro program. From lack of data to support any assertions about populations, to lack of comprehension of wild herd migratory patterns, and even a failure to implement a humane care standard, the Bureau of Land Management has removed more than 40,000 wild horses in just the last four years leaving most populations vulnerable to extinction.
“In light of this report and the pending litigation against BLM by Wild Horse Education, the time has never been more ripe to come to the table and have a real conversation.” stated Leigh. “We stand ready to assist in any way possible to create a management plan based on the truth.” ~~~
WildHorseEducation.org is a Nevada non-profit carrying three active federal cases against the BLM.