Wild Horse Education

What Are You Supporting? (budget debate)

At this moment federal government funding is running under a temporary bill through Nov 21. We are hearing that there will likely be another temporary measure. At this time it is unclear from all the chatter if that bill will take federal programs through Dec or to the end of January.

This year the normally chaotic debate for funding the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Wild Horse and Burro program has gone into realms of a “shell game” that moves at a dizzying speed and is difficult for the public to track.

Signing petitions, using predetermined scripts sent to you by multiple orgs, sharing social media, is at a fever pitch. But do you know what you are supporting?

Our action item is at the bottom of this piece. It is placed there because you need to understand our item and the other action items you are seeing. You need to understand what you are supporting before you decide that you actually support it. 

This is our stand. If you agree? take the action.

If you do not have time to call or craft a letter? You can use our “click and send.” HERE.

But we urge you to call your reps, even if you sent the letter above. We are coming into an election cycle and your voice carries more power than you know. Light up the phones. (find your reps HERE)

Speak out, clearly, before it is too late. 

Sample script:

No new funding or changes to the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program. The BLM Report to Congress is 3 months late and impeding appropriate debate and scrutiny. 

The BLM Report to Congress likely contains serious ethics regulation violations. The delay, under current BLM Deputy Director Pendley, deserves serious scrutiny and is the subject of an OIG probe. 

The BLM Wild Horse and Burro program must be held to the “status quo” in the 2019 Appropriations bill. No new funding, programs or authorities until Congress, and the public, have opportunity to scrutinize the BLM Report and the OIG releases findings on the investigation into ethics violations by acting BLM Chief William Pendley. 

 

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Take it from this stallion, a lot of it stinks

Fast Background

This years debate is a carry over of last years debate. “Ten Years to AML,” or the “Path Forward,” or whatever name it has this week, was used in the BLM Report to Congress last year. The report noted HSUS et al by name in the report as in agreement on sterilization, large removals, etc. These orgs denied it vehemently as they sent mailers asking you to “help them” fight for wild horses. Since 2016 they have been involved in their “collaborative” with livestock. This year? they ran point in public relations campaigns since April claiming ownership of the work and calling it “brave.”

The breakdown of last years report and “Ten Years to AML,” HERE. 

The “wild horse public” understands this betrayal at face value. The general public does not. Most Congressmen do not understand it ether because the groups involved have a lot of money and the ear of Congressional aides. 

However, with your help, the BLM Report to Congress was not adopted for the 2019 budget and a new report was requested. In addition the language to maintain a ban on using BLM funds to sell without limits (direct to slaughter) was maintained.

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Broken Arrow (Indian Lakes) BLM holding facility

Where the bill stands

The House passed a version of the spending bill giving BLM $6 million in additional funding to begin the “fix.”

The Senate passed a version of the spending bill giving BLM $35 million in additional funding to begin the “fix.”

What you need to understand is none of this funding “fixes” anything. The concepts being forwarded are about as innovative as flint is to fire. This is an acceleration of all that is broken with the brutality and stupidity of sterilization (spaying is not appropriate for mares, geldings and vasectomies increase on range aggression and create artificial impact to grazing land) as well as large scale removals that will increase reproduction creating more wild horses faster. This increase in budget without any fix in the historic data game? the system of holding will collapse in 3 years increasing the call “send to slaughter.”

Both bills are based on corporate lobby efforts (even if they are on the payroll of an advocacy org). This is a path backwards, gives livestock everything they want done on the range and sets up a lobby group as a funnel for tens of millions of dollars in holding contracts.

The bills must be consolidated before signing. The temporary budget will run through Nov 21. We are likely to have another extension. But do not wait to have your voice heard!

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Fish Creek 2019. Not only was the largest temporary fertility control/data program in the nation destroyed, because the county wanted it that way, the roundup, number removed and even which handful of wild horses could be returned was also controlled by the county. This is “Path Forward” in practice.

Use your voice. But be careful what you support.

When this broke into the public sphere (this has been going on since 2016, yet denied by HSUS et al until 2019) the House was crafting their version of the spending bill for the BLM program.

Several orgs asked you to sign on to a letter. Some of the letters supported a $6 million dollar version of a bill. The House passed that bill. They were shocked at the massive opposition that arose. Aides said to us, “But we passed the version advocates said they wanted!” Uh, not what WHE asked for.

From day one in this debate WHE has stated that there should be no change to budget or authorities until BLM releases the Report to Congress and the report receives appropriate scrutiny. Kinda like buying more 737’s when you know there is a problem but have been given no report that identifies it. It is simply not “good business” or responsible to the public. In addition it is steeped in deep corruption and multiple ethics violations.

Only after the report is released, and scrutinized, should any changes be made to funding or authorities. After the report is released, then we can address issues like spaying, gelding, mass removals, inaccurate AML, fences, critical habitat. Addressing it now? That validates the agenda document.

Simply no negotiation until appropriate scrutiny occurs. Putting this cart before the horse? no common sense at all. (Hope that makes sense. It also weakens arguments about the lack of public process when orgs crow that they “represent” the public. It adds another layer we simply do not need now.)

But what did you use your voice to support in the first round? Do you remember? This round it is even more vital to be crystal clear to your legislators.

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At Owyhee BLM pushed a 2 million acre project area down to less than 534 wild horses using “collaboratives” on livestock, sage grouse and fire to grab funding to decimate these herds.

What do you support, now? 

If you support the Cattlemen’s Ass’n, Public Lands Council, HSUS, ASPCA, RTF, etc. you should be thrilled by the Senate version that amps up the broken machine by infusing an additional $35 million of taxpayer dollars to remove 15-20K every year and funnel a huge chunk of the holding budget into a lobby group… and collapse the wild and the holding budget.

Do you support the $6 million version that will accelerate removals, allow funding for sterilization, money into the lobby funnel etc.? Is your only issue “spaying is cruel to mares!” and you want designated funding for a few areas to be darted with PZP? If it is your position then you can say that clearly (a few orgs are saying just that to Congress). It is important to read each action item before you take it.

If you feel that no changes should happen until we get that report and can address the report line by line (now 3 months late)? Say that clearly. note: Can you imagine gutting National Monuments without an agency report to base the debate on? That is what is happening now with wild horses and burros. 

Since this debate began our position has not wavered. We have asked you to call, write and “keep it simple.” 

We have underscored our call by filing multiple complaints against BLM Deputy Directors (DD). We have had a revolving door of DD’s in this administration that have had “acting authority of the Director.” We have not had one BLM Director, that has to pass Senate scrutiny, under this administration. 

WHE filed against John Ruhs, he is now in Idaho as State director after getting shuffled from the deputy chair.

WHE filed against Brian Steed, former chief of staff for Chris Stewart (R-UT), that had a litany of ethics violations. Steed is now working in the private sector.

WHE has now filed against BLM chief William Perry Pendly. This agenda forwards the direct interests of his former clients as an attorney for the Mountain States Legal Foundation (all on his recusal list). 

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Wild horses getting the short end of the stick in the resource war on public lands. This budget debate? It will beat the wild horse with that stick at an accelerated rate.

Do you stand with us? 

If you agree with our position you need to be crystal clear with your legislators.

We can not “negotiate” a bill written by lobbyists for the personal gain of their clients. We must be given opportunity to read and review an agency report. It is irresponsible of Congress, and not in the best interests of the taxpayer that will foot this bill, to pass either version.

BLM must be held to current budget and authorities until any change proposed, or current program protocol change, can be appropriately evaluated. Doing anything else is simply not logical, moral or responsible. 

Our action item is clear. If you agree? Take the action now, before it is too late.

If you do not have time to call or craft a letter? You can use our “click and send.” HERE.

But we urge you to call your reps, even if you sent the letter above. We are coming into an election cycle and your voice carries more power than you know. Light up the phones. (find your reps HERE)

Speak out, clearly, before it is too late. 

Sample script:

No new funding or changes to the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program. The BLM Report to Congress is 3 months late and impeding appropriate debate and scrutiny. 

The BLM Report to Congress likely contains serious ethics regulation violations. The delay, under current BLM Deputy Director Pendley, deserves serious scrutiny and is the subject of an OIG probe. 

The BLM Wild Horse and Burro program must be held to the “status quo” in the 2019 Appropriations bill. No new funding, programs or authorities until Congress, and the public, have opportunity to scrutinize the BLM Report and the OIG releases findings on the investigation into ethics violations by acting BLM Chief William Pendley. 

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Help us stay in the fight! All of our work is possible because of your support. Thank you! 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Wild Horse Education