Wild Horse Education

Week of 5.21.2018_Update

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Spring has finally arrived in the wild places of Nevada. Beautiful young medicine hat (red roaning) stands with a bachelor band watching band stallions snake their mares across the valley floor to water.

This is always a very busy time at Wild Horse Education (WHE). Often the work we do at this time of year gets lost under the noise of the yearly fight in Appropriations, large “celebrity herd” type rescues and the propaganda spewed by those that engage public land and wild horses from a paper pushing perspective.

In years past we have tried hard to get an understanding into the deeper mechanisms of land management (wild horses ARE land management, not rescue. Rescue is after failures in land management). The effort to explain, not the effort that goes into the work itself, has become a yearly exercise in frustration.

When you see in a news outlet “advocates say,” and then some absurd quote that fails to come from a place of rangeland management knowledge, it might be great “click bait” for a “news” outlet but anyone engaged, from the field level to the Congressional level, simply shakes their heads and repeats the phrase, “Advocates mean well but they have no understanding.” It makes it really hard to “get in the room.” This hamster wheel of absurdity creates massive roadblocks in the effort to gain the changes in the land management framework that will stop the “crisis management” of wild horses; federal land management agencies and advocacy itself.

WHE is continuing to do what we always do; gather information and then look for the openings to present, engage and/or litigate. Without having the first hand documentation any effort to engage is just more noise. Over the last 14 months we have been bringing site specific information into government oversight agencies, including conversations at the Congressional level. Before those conversations reach a juncture where they are actually meaningful countless hours are spent addressing layers of mythology; all sides.

If you are feeling frustrated that it appears nothing changes, or feeling burned out in the constant escalation of social media frenzy, just take a breath. The cycles repeat each year and are often reinforced in the political games that create the faulty framework, instead of fixing a faulty frame, to enable the exploitability of this system.

The commitment to advocacy for the “wild” wild horse is not one that will ever have a single point of completion. Wild horses are part of the process of land management, there will always be a political and physical evolution of the conversation; it will have highs and lows. Wild horse advocacy is not like a rescue that involves three phases; danger, save and continued responsibility of care. Wild horse advocacy for the “wild” is a never ending conversation that must engage multiple moving layers of law and changes in the physical landscape.

This week:

WHE is gathering data, revising our report to Congress, tracking multiple documents through the NEPA process for wild horse captures and industrial encroachment into habitat.

The public should be aware of two processes right now that involve funding for actions that may/may not occur in federal land management.

WHE will cover the conversation of the bill introduced each year that funds the federal government, “Appropriations.” Please take the time to understand this yearly process; it will save you some fatigue as you navigate the “crisis memes” that you see online. The page will update with new information as the conversation for federal spending in fiscal year 2019 moves forward. Bookmark the page as a resource and check back if you feel  impending doom or feel frantic. This is a process that has ways to address it during the debate phase and to address any action that may come from this process.   https://wildhorseeducation.org/2018/05/15/thumbnail-2018-part-one-appropriations/

The BLM report to Congress on wild horses was created because Congress requested the report to use in the federal spending debate. Much of what you hear about this report, all sides, lacks substantive data to back up any assertion. The BLM report essentially outlines actions they want to take without substantive justification. Petitions and response letters you may see also lack substantive data and boil down to simply stating actions BLM can not take because of an objection in opinion (that in truth is usually not based on knowledge of process; example, how BLM does/has done inventory). WHE is also working to address that lack of information. This is where the vast majority of the conversations we are having become 90% addressing layers of myth before we can even begin discussion anything that resembles reality.   https://wildhorseeducation.org/2018/04/27/blm-report-to-congress/

Multiple EAs have been completed for wild horse removals without much discussion in the social media many of you watch or newsletters you receive. Many of these have laid a framework to utilize many layers of language that can lead to spaying and/or the transfer of management tasks over in a “private/public partnership” dance as a new subsidy to livestock permittees (volunteerism is not the same as a “public/private partnership” in legal language; language surrounding the use of the second term involves many distinct processes that outline disbursement of funding). Any parameters to fund those actions will be determined by the terms of the release of funds through Appropriations. Those actions will find funding through multiple provisions in the DOI budget; not just those labelled “wild horses.” We know that if we continue this discussion openly there is a high probability that it will not be understood, taken out of context and then we will have yet another layer of “things we need to explain,” before we can reach any level of meaningful discussion with oversight and legislators. WHE are creating our own framework to address these issues, best we can. When the issues involved become apparent, in site specific direction, we will update you.

We are on the range monitoring multiple HMAs; herd health, range health and water. This information is being used to prepare to address any potential escalating issues in those HMAs and updating our engagement with oversight and Congress.

Until next week… onward.



Further reading:

Wild Horses and the Public Land Seizure Movement:   https://wildhorseeducation.org/wild-wild-horses-and-the-public-land-seizure-movement/

Editorial: The Sad Truth of Alt Truth: https://wildhorseeducation.org/2018/04/12/politics-rule-the-sad-truth-of-alt-truth/

As an advocate, don’t get caught in the deadly traps of “wild horse” debates:  https://wildhorseeducation.org/2017/08/02/deadly-traps-dont-get-caught-2/

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Mom and brand new baby in the cool air of a spring rain

Categories: Wild Horse Education