Remember what we are fighting for; the wild horse.
It’s another busy week in advocacy (the week beginning July 29)
Roundups are in the planning stages as final approvals and contracts are being awarded for the remainder of the fiscal year (through Oct 1) schedule. New EAs and comment periods are cropping up.
This week we have some active removal operations that have begun, or are beginning, this week:
The Pine Nut roundup of 250 wild horses begins (an operation that is completing the February operation stopped due to weather). This roundup is being done with the use of helicopters.
Burros are being removed via bait trap: 125 from Twin Peaks (CA), 80 from Big Sandy (AZ) and 350 in Black Mountain (AZ), Gold Butte, Cerbat and Trigo (AZ) are targeted for 265.
The Caliente Complex (NV) is trapping 100 wild horses.
Perhaps the largest bait trap of wild horses under BLM management begins in the Antelope Complex (NV) targeting 1250.
2420 wild horses and burros are targeted to be removed in operations active, or beginning, the week of July 29; 820 of them are burros. Most of the time you see a total for a single operation. We thought it might be a good idea to add up all the active bait trapping with the one helicopter operation target totals.
There are always a few things that make the public sphere, yet much never does. The removal operations this week are a good illustration of that fact.
It is the same with management that involves many layers. Some make the media, most do not.
Your Congressional Reps are in their home offices for the next few weeks. This is a good time for you to call, or make an appointment to visit, your House and Senate Representatives. The Appropriations process is continuing through the Senate committees; it has moved through the House Committees. Both bills in the House and Senate will need a full floor vote to pass, and aides do talk in the halls to those on committee, so even if your reps do nor sit on the committees it is a good time to get to know them and have your voice heard.
A couple of EAs of note:
The Range Creek HMA (UT) has an active EA on a removal operation slated to begin October 1. This small HMA is 55,000 acres of mixed federal, state and private property, has an AML set at 75-125 wild horses. BLM estimates a population of 282 horses, which they say will increase to about 338 horses as a result of foals born in 2019, this year. BLM plans to remove 200. YOU can find the EA that proposes the removal, and changes to the HMAP, HERE. (comments are due Aug 12)
Murderers Creek (OR) is an area jointly managed by USFS and BLM. Forest Service is planning an HMAP and removal operation. (more HERE)
There are many active EAs and EISs that will effect wild horses and burros. Many involve habitat loss through mining, more fencing for livestock, etc. The two above, however, are good places for advocates to express their voices on management. The two above involve changes to the Herd Management Area Plans (HMAP) that give you a chance to talk about management, not just removals.
We are receiving questions about the BLM spay EA in Oregon, “when will BLM release a decision?”
BLM must fully respond to comments received. If the response is absent, or inadequate, BLM can be litigated. BLM received a lot of comments.
In addition, we believe, the “spay experiment” has deep ties to the BLM Report to Congress. Congress rejected the 2018 report and requested a new one be prepared for 2019. Because of the late date of the ratification of the Appropriations bill for fiscal 2019, the due date of that report from BLM for fiscal 2020 is not for two more weeks. The BLM Report will be another step to try to create a legal frame to actualize the spay experiment. We believe that the Decision Record (DR) on the spaying in Oregon will drop the same week at the BLM Report to Congress.
In other words, very soon.
It’s a busy week. Remember wild horses and burros are being removed in many states as you read this; 1600 of them targeted in active operations just this week. Paper-pushing politics is moving that does not contain the reality of the range and is set to create more politics, that will further deteriorate the reality of the wild.
Our field teams are busy bringing first hand documentation of how BLM’s stated policies fail, are not enforced and are manipulated, to members of Congress.
Categories: Wild Horse Education