Many of our readers are upset by the “status quo political pandering of propaganda” storm that arises every spring as the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) creates the list of areas to be targeted on the next “gather schedule.” (Yes. this article was edited to add a lot more).
It should be noted that it is the fourth year of a deceleration in removal numbers that was forced by BLM running a broken program into the ground by relying on removals (that increase reproductive rates) and stockpiling wild horses into holding facilities. That statement is CONFIRMED by the 1.5 million dollar BLM commissioned study (where BLM controlled all the data reviewed) done by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).
It should also be noted that since the findings of the study were released no mandate, memo, mention, effort has been made to correct the massive deficits outlined in the study, we just keep incorporating the old paradigm into every plan and method.
The deceleration in roundups also coincided with drought in the Western US that saw very little in the way of livestock reductions. Livestock producers that did face restrictions could be compensated through a USDA program. (our 2015 HMA “drought monitor” HERE)
Many people do not understand why large scale roundups are wrong. They increase reproductive rates effectively “shooting” any assertion of managing wild horses on the range in the head as the numbers of horses on, and off, range increase. Again this was confirmed by the NAS, it is NOT an opinion. Roundups, by their nature, are dangerous to both humans and wild horses. If you have never seen a roundup you can click HERE. Our work to gain a humane handing policy can be seen HERE.
It should also be noted (if you clicked on the link) that the number of wild horses treated with temporary fertility control rose from 400 animals in 2015, to a planned 496 in fiscal 2016. Nearly 100 wild horse mares treated in 2015 (the largest fertility control operation in the nation) at Fish Creek were not retreated in 2016 as livestock interests fight the continuation of the program and push for removal, and even slaughter, in legal action.
If you look at the fertility control programs on the list (planned ongoing use of PZP), not ONE is in the state of Nevada. Nevada just cancelled a very small PZP program in Fish Springs (Pine Nut) because they did not do their paperwork right. Nevada has more wild horses than all other states combined. Why is NV so far behind? (to learn more about Nevada click HERE)
We answer the cycle of news releases. You can read the Opinion piece in the Reno Gazette Journal in its entirety HERE. The piece will appear in the Sunday print edition.
Excerpt: “It’s unfortunate that BLM has allowed Nevada’s situation to devolve into a public relations storm that’s resulted in politicians calling for everything from state takeover of public land to (illegal) slaughtering of wild horses. The situation – BLM, livestock interests and wild horse advocates alike – is unlikely to improve.”
Many people are really unaware of the history of the West and todays reality on the range. Tag lines and soundbites rule a landscape where fictions are perpetuated by both extreme viewpoints that do NOT reflect any practical conversation to address any issue according to the law or the truth.
This unfortunate layer we have to dig through applies to many that want wild horses protected, as well as those that want to see them removed and slaughtered. Practices that once served our nation in history, but are outdated and damaging to our landscape, also need to be ended. This tragic aspect of public land management practices and engagement leaves our wild ones in a very bad place that never seems to change.
We are working on real change in the real world. Update soon.
To support the work of WHE you can click HERE.
Categories: Wild Horse Education