The BLM plan/report to Congress is another step in achieving the goals set by the Summit of the Wild Horse held in Utah in 2017.
This agenda has taken many forms and has been carried into the revolving door of BLM Deputy Directors, acting with the authority of director. This administration has had no director of the BLM since it took control, not one. (more here)
Multiple Offices of the Inspector General (OIG) investigations have simply been handed to the agency to “police itself.” The OIG is supposed to operate as an independent watchdog serving the public interest. Over the last three years any OIG that actually makes an attempt to serve the public interest has lost a job. Public participation in efforts to hold federal agencies accountable is more important than ever.
The 2020 BLM “report” is almost a year late, only 33 pages and is intended to serve as a key to unlock the additional $21 million dollars set aside for the BLM program. The last report, a 25-page data-poor list (essentially crafted at the summit and then used as a baseline for the corporate lobby document “Path Forward”) was rejected in 2019 as inadequate to justify the outlined “plan.” The 2020 is a sloppy document with mathematical errors and misleading photos that fail to link to any actual range assessment to justify the claims. The 33-page report should be rejected for many of the same reasons as the 2018 predecessor.
With your help the last report was set aside and no funding was directed toward fulfilling this agenda. An additional $21 million was set aside pending a new report from the BLM and a sixty-day scrutiny period. With your help we can turn this debacle toward actual management and not the scapegoat game of corruption we have been dealt the last 50 years since the Act was passed.
This week we will be presenting a series of articles addressing this report section by section so you have more information moving forward. But we need you to speak, now.
The clock is ticking.
The report has a 60-day window for Congressional scrutiny to determine whether Congress will reject or adopt this corporate wish list. The document was, apparently, released in the same way it was crafted- the backdoor channel hidden from the public. On May 8th the report was released to a select group, only those that attended the summits. There has been no official release of the report to media or the public as of the writing of this piece. We are sure BLM will use May 8th as the start date of the countdown clock.
You can read text of the 2020 report here: https://wildhorseeducation.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Report.pdf
Please take action.
In addition, we ask that you find your legislators, even if they are not on the committee and call the local office nearest you. Find your legislator here and then click their websites to locate your legislator’s local office. http://govtrack.us
If your legislator is on the committee, ask them to reject the plan. If they are not, ask them to put pressure on the committee to reject the report.
Sample script below:
I would like to register my views on the report by BLM on the Wild Horse and Burro program sent to Congress on May 8, 2020.
The plan, if adopted, would release an additional $21 million to BLM under the 2020 Appropriations bill.
I ask that you work relentlessly to ensure the plan outlined in the report is rejected.
I ask that only a portion of the pending funding, $6 million, be released to the agency and an actual management report be mandated prior to any changes in programmatic funding for 2021/22.
$6 million, of the pending $21 million, be released and be designated as follows:
- $4 million for BLM to complete actual Herd Management Area Plans (HMAP). The HMAP is the foundation for all other management decisions. In the report BLM misleads Congress into believing these need “updating.” In fact, there are hardly any of these plans in existence; BLM has omitted them in practice. BLM manages 177 HMAs and only 7 west-wide have an HMAP. This egregious deficit has lead to overcrowding of industry on the land set aside for inclusion of wild horses and a continual corruption of the intention of law.
- Without this baseline all other decisions are arbitrary, inconsistent, and at the will of political pressure, not balanced and fair management of wild horses. The HMAP is intended to streamline NEPA, inform Land Use Plans, outline potential mitigation measures, identify critical habitat. BLM’s failure not only corrupts the concept of management, it complicates ongoing NEPA. BLM should not be allowed to skirt this critical step.
- $2 million to ensure that in emergency situations BLM would have the budget to remove wild horses and burros in dire circumstances as they rectify deficits in HMAP creation.
- Continue to ban sales without limits (slaughter)
- Prohibit surgical sterilization
- Prohibit BLM from large removals (15% of the existing population or greater) or any action (sex-skewing, gelding, GonaCon) in any HMA that does not have an HMAP.
Our country has a national health criss to deal with. The BLM should not be given any additional funding except what it needs to fix the lack of actual HMAPs (management documents) and not be rewarded with critical funding to keep running a severely broken system. Our country has urgent needs for funding with the health crisis. Limit the release of funds.
(If the person wants to continue the conversation, an example of how to expand what you are asking for is written below)
The report is not comprehensive and does not supply justifications for its demands. In fact, the report points to the backwards approach taken by BLM that has caused the issues of today and BLM is now requesting Congress approve the release of funding to accelerate the collapse of the system.
In the plan presented to Congress BLM outlines 10 points of management. They list them in the order in which BLM has prioritized them in this program. Roundups are always BLM’s first line and the framework; the HMAP is last or ignored. BLM is not mandated to remove; they are mandated to manage. Removal should be the last tool of management.
Congress must create an incentive for the agency to begin to address the framework of management and complete HMAPs. Otherwise, BLM will continue to ignore the mandate to actually manage and simply accelerate the removal machine until the system collapses. The result of the collapse is foreseen in the planning documents presented by BLM as noted in their request to revisit regulatory changes to the sales program in their conclusory statement. The conclusion will be selling wild horses to slaughter.
Please force BLM to begin to preserve wild horse herds and their habitat through creation of HMAPs prior to any additional increases in funding.
Please limit the funding released only to provide for the creation of HMAPs and removals in emergency situations.
A video explaining why the “HMAP” is the very first step in actual management. BLM does not even take that first step in the vast majority of cases and the program has been extremely vulnerable to corruption as a result. HERE.
Ask for the name of the person you are speaking with and for follow up on any actions your reps take. Be sure to thank them for their time.
We are working on our rebuttal to the plan and will be submitting it later this week to key members of Congress.
Please, speak now.
We have also created a fast “click and send” letter that will go directly to your legislators. You can find the letter here: https://whe.salsalabs.org/rejectblmfundinguse/index.html
As the week progresses we will provide you with additional action items and a breakdown, section by section, on the BLM 2020 plan.
Get those phones ringing!
We are up against a very well funded machine. Can you help us continue to fight back?