In this battle for public land and our wild horses the landscape has a seasonal climate and one effected by geological shifting.
Media season and political legislative season arrive together. Just as rain can take the form of a drizzle or a downpour as the temperature drop and it turns to snow, politics and media work much the same.
A new addition looks like this; “In 1971 we did all we could to protect vanishing wild horses. But they have recovered so well that we have to consider other options in management, like euthanasia.”
We do need to address new management. But the management needs to begin with grazing reform, not continue to blame the horse. This is not about horses, it’s about control.
First, euthanasia means slaughter. The fancy pink bow is wrapped around a wild horse on a truck to Mexico to be stabbed to death. This image of an old wild horse being carefully “put down” is simply a political tool that represents something akin to Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors. (Strange images do come to mind when dealing with politics).
“Someone planted something in Congress and it wants blood; hibernating bears, bald eagles dying of lead poisoning, health care failure and American Mustangs on a slaughter truck. Little agendas across the country fed this thing and it grew with a bizarre system of connected roots. Those that feed it need to really be careful it doesn’t eat them too.”
The next piece of propaganda is rather slick, “We did such a good job protecting wild horses and now populations are out of control.”
The first part of that sentence is simply absurd. The entire program received a failing grade by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in June of 2013. The parameters and central information were controlled by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). If the NAS were left unfettered would the report actually have been more critical? In a nutshell the report states the BLM bases management on myth, not fact.
The myth in the new spin is that populations are somehow so far out of the ballpark of what they were in the 70’s. It’s not the truth. We address the flawed mathematics of holding a new inventory method to the same standard as the old HERE. This theory relies on simply convincing people that likely failed algebra in fifth grade and/or those that will simply accept anything because they really don’t care about truth, just agenda.
Fast illustration: If we claim we had a survey done and somehow came up with an acceptable number of 27,000 we MUST factor in the claiming period. As an example nearly 17,000 were claimed in Nevada alone, essentially mustanging continued from 1971-1976 in a loophole that many fail to recognize when we play the math game. If we play back conservatively in a west wide illustration we could say we “had” 45,000. W could change that number using the survey mathematical adjustments currently “accepted” in 2017 in “new methodology” and tack on the NAS mathematics of “undercounted” by 20-30% historically. We could then make a reasonably logical calculation of abut 60-65,000 wild horses on range at some point between 1971-1975.
“A numbers game? I have always loved math, I’ll play but it’s just a game. Is it really relevant at this juncture to appropriately integrating wild horses into a sustainable, multiple use, common sense, management plan for public land? No, it is simply one more place drama and prejudice thrive. If we can not remove the burden of historic prejudicial and nonsensical politics off the back of the wild horse they are going to buckle under that weight and land on the dying landscape. The conversation is not about the horse, it’s about the land. That conversation is much larger and it is not the horse causing the problem, it’s the politics of control.”
Control is a theme this year more than any other in recent memory. We have witnessed that particular game in “full colors” under the massive land use planning revision process under sage grouse.
These “flakey facts” are used in a game of control and have very little to do with he subject at hand. A need for reform in land management has been desperately needed since the 1930’s. That reform has never happened because it involves power and money, not the reality of managing public land for sustained multiple use.
The sage grouse plans are not about the sage grouse. Wild horse management is not about the wild horse. That is a hard fact.
Over the last three years we have witnessed the sage grouse show in the planning 2.0 process. The gamesmanship played showed the true colors of every player. In Nevada livestock controlled the room, the agencies and the politicians. The “salesmen” of 2.0 employed by the government revealed their tactics to control anything that got in the way of them handing the control to livestock. In no way, shape or form did anyone other than big money control the stage.
But the control offered in 2.0 was not enough. There were some mechanisms available to include voices that get run over and bullied at the local level. Those voices (like wild horses) knew 2.0 represented much of the same inequity we have always faced, but there would still be litigation.
So 2.0 was shot down by the “hitmen” in Congress that feed the monster of control for profit, regardless of the cost to the physical environment or the cost to basic concepts of “public land for multiple use.” The “greater good” just means the next contribution to their campaign or the job waiting in the private sector.
“Nevadans — not Washington bureaucrats — know how to best protect the sage grouse,” Nevada Senator Dean Heller said in support of the Endangered Species Management Self-Determination Act first introduced in 2013 and again in 2015.
The selective manner in which Heller addresses and represents Nevadans is legendary. Senator Heller will even assist those that break the law and endanger those that don’t, all Nevadans. Heller is not taking about “including” local voices in any of the policies in debate today, he is talking about maintaining the local control of voices in process without the scrutiny that 2.0 would have afforded the larger American public interest and the voices at the local level that can be bullied or ignored.
These two bills represent one of the core objectives of the “Audrey II” that resides in Congress. These bills are a power and land grab, nothing more.
House bill, H527: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/527
Senate bill, S273: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/273
Find your representative and tell them “no” on both these bills. https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members
We will be writing more soon about this power grab.
We hope that people find one of the articles that we write to motivate them. This is not a time to leave it to someone else… we all need to act.
We MUST be able to fight back. Help us today.
Categories: Wild Horse Education