Lead

What Do YOU Want? (How YOU can get it)

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Youngster running in to get a fast drink with her family before another band comes in to challenge his father over mares.

UPDATED June 18, 2020:

As wild horse advocates we face many challenges. Wild horses live in our system of public lands where they share the range with other wild things. However, our public lands are overrun by industry that is rapidly destroying the ability of any wild thing to truly live unencumbered. Our wild things are trying to adapt to shrinking water tables, more fence lines, roads for mining trucks, roads for ATV and dirt bike races, on and on. The regulations that govern this industrial playground are complex and rapidly changing.

As a wild horse advocate we try to find the focal issue we want to change and then look for the specific area that we can work to make that change we seek a reality. In simplistic terms: you would not go to a shoe store to buy a bag of oranges.

Action item at both the top and bottom of this entry. We really hope you take the time to read the entire article. The release of the additional $21 million will be determined very soon. Please, do not put off taking action. The article explains why we ask you to take this action.

Do you really want to throw a monkey wrench into the cogs of the machine rolling over our wild horses? Get Congress to mandate a management plan. BLM will need to stop the madness planned in the roundup schedule and take those plans into actual management, not just removal. Take action today! 

Pick up the phone. Send the letter. Tell your reps BLM must be restricted from using any funding in an HMA where they have not created a management plan (HMAP). 

If your reps send you back a form letter that simply talks about fertility control? Send them another letter and ask them if they even read your first one. Restate: BLM needs to be restricted from using any funding where they have not created a management plan first. Roundup EAs are not management plans, they simply analyze the removal. BLM must be mandated to create the HMAP as outlined in the BLM handbook. They have failed the public, and the public resource, for far too long. Congress must restrict funding to ensure this travesty does not continue.

You can find your reps HERE: http://govtrack.us

Our easy click and send letter can be found HERE. 

The proposed budget for 2021, and the release of an additional $21 million to fuel this broken machine, fulfills the wish list of corporate lobby interests. This so-called “plan” released by the BLM skirts responsibility to the public resource and the public interest. It is based on a document released on May 8. BLM expects Congress to release that funding and continue the influx into 2021.

Last night (June 17) our founder did a live event on social media. We are including the documents mentioned HERE (if you have Facebook you can watch by clicking here.)

If you want to learn more about the “HMAP” and the BLM plan: https://wildhorseeducation.org/2020/05/20/blm-plan-and-the-hmap/

May 8 BLM “Report to Congress” Report

BLM Wild Horse and Burro Handbook (find the HMAP HERE) handbook

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Wild Horse Education is the only org in history to take issues of inhumane treatment into a courtroom to force, not only policy change, but the creation of a framework to take that fight further. We have a long way to go to stop all abuse. But the frame has been built to do it.  Finding the issue we want to change, looking for where that issue sits in law and then going forward is critical to any fight. Click image for more info on the fight against abuse.

What changes do you seek in wild horse management? 

Stocking levels (AML) of wild horses raised? Greater forage allocations? Less fences? Water improvements on range? Genetic preservation? Fire fuels being used to calculate stocking level? Family band identification and preservation of family lines? No sterilization for a herd? Fertility control darting as a preferred management option?

All of those things would (should) be determined in what is referenced as a Herd Management Area Plan, the HMAP. They would also be repeated in the Land Use Plan (LUP, RMP) after the HMAP is created.

For decades BLM has not created management planning. Instead BLM creates removal assessments and lumps in much of the documentation that would belong in a management plan to give the appearance of  “public process in decision making.” That process has been limited to removals, not management. So “that comment is not relevant” becomes a common response to the public when they reference things like changes to forage allocations on a roundup plan. This creates a very frustrated public and perpetuates the “remove and stockpile” of wild horses to satisfy the industries BLM prioritizes. That’s not management.

BLM has avoided this critical step in management for decades for many reasons. If we actually have a conversation about preserving habitat and herds? we could impede BLM from taking the easy, lazy, inept, way out when it comes to contention with industry. So BLM does not talk much about HMAPs, LUPs and RMPs. If the public remains ignorant and simply focused on finding ways to get social media hits instead? BLM can just continue to slide wild horse advocates into a “they mean well, but they do not understand” category and play media and legislators to help them perpetuate the broken system they have used for decades, even if that system collapses. They can just continue to “blame the horse,” that tagline has worked for such a long time, many simply accept it as a fact now.

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Every roundup makes creates an orphan. Some roundups orphan dozens. Between now and Oct 7 BLM plans to remove over 5000 wild horses from the range using the pending $21 million additional dollars in from the 2020 budget. Click image to read more about the proposed schedule.

How do you get the changes you seek?

The first step in creating any change is to identify the area it exists in. The second is to create the “battlefield.” The last step is to fight the battle, and it may need to be fought in many stages. Just look at any change: it does not happen overnight.

Right now? Congress must mandate the HMAP in the budget. Just like Congress places a restriction so that “no funds are utilized for sales without limits” to stop open sales to slaughter, we can get Congress to mandate that “funding for removals, fertility control, and proposed action can only occur in a herd where BLM has created an HMAP.”

That may be the only way to get BLM to create actual management planning.

In the US we have 177 herds designated for “managing populations” or Herd Management Areas (HMAs). Only 7 of them have any underlying planning document, HMAP. The state of Nevada manages 83 HMAs, only 1 has an HMAP. In states like Nevada? what we are seeing in recent years is BLM taking the tact of making assertions of planning documents larger and less specific (like lumping Antelope and Triple B into one roundup EA covering more than 4,000 square miles. A project greater in scope than a mine that requires intensive analysis. Unfortunately, this was not the tact of the groups that tried to litigate it, they went for the animal welfare argument against gelding as the scope. In truth it was the size that would have gained them the legal leg up. They lost that case. Digression, but it is placed here to help gain understanding that the thing that upsets us the most may not be the language needed to win that battle). In another tactic BLM has released a few HMAPs for comment in conjunction with a removal assessment (EA); this is causing comments on the EA and not the HMAP that should be a stand alone with a scoping period before drafting (where the public would provide input). This is not how the process is intended, it is how to “smoke and mirror” the process.

We know it is tempting to call your representatives and go into all of the specific “wrongs” done to our wild horses. But your representative has no avenue to address those issues on any site-by-site, grievance-by-grievance, action in the spending bill.

Grazing lease retirement parameters? that can not be determined in a spending bill for the wild horse program. The budget debate is a different process and the release of the additional funding for 2020 spending is to fund things like the roundup schedule. The Grazing retirement Act is a distinct bill, H.R. 5737, sitting in Congress. You can call to ask your reps to support that bill. We urge you to do just that (HERE). 

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How many times have we seen wild horses removed because mining roads go right through critical habitat, they are cut off from water or BLM just approved a pipeline? How many herds have absurdly low population levels that sit under basic genetic viability? Many of those issues exist because there is no planning document to preserve and protect a wild horse herd because BLM has simply failed to create them. A failure that has existed for decades.

But if you want a chance to change how AML is evaluated, forage allocations, what fertility control method is appropriate, what habitat is critical, etc.? We need to fight for that in an actual management plan and BLM has denied the public the ability to do just that for decades.

An HMAP will be as strong or as weak as the effort of the public to engage. However, we need the ability to engage before any of the changes we seek are an actual possibility.

Pick up the phone. Send the letter. Tell your reps BLM must be restricted from using any funding in an HMA where they have not created a management plan (HMAP). 

If your reps send you back a form letter that simply talks about fertility control? Send them another letter and ask them if they even read your first one. Restate: BLM needs to be restricted from using any funding where they have not created a management plan first. Roundup EAs are not management plans, they simply analyze the removal. BLM must be mandated to create the HMAP as outlined in the BLM handbook. They have failed the public, and the public resource, for far too long. Congress must restrict funding to ensure this travesty does not continue.

You can find your reps HERE: http://govtrack.us

Our easy click and send letter can be found HERE. 

More on the BLM Plan and the HMAP : https://wildhorseeducation.org/2020/05/20/blm-plan-and-the-hmap/

If that funding is released? Over 5000 will lose freedom from now until Oct 7. The vast majority of them will just be removed with no management plan, just a removal document tiered to the planning for industries.

Please take action today. 

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We are up against a very well funded machine. Can you help us continue to fight back? 

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Categories: Lead, Wild Horse Education