The draft of the House Appropriations bill for 2021 is out. You can access the entire Interior 2021 draft HERE.
Under this draft the BLM will be awarded $102,620,000 for the wild horse and burro program. This is simply $42 million over 2019 levels to accelerate the status quo. Removal numbers in 2021 are likely to hit the highest levels since the 1971 Act was passed.
Congress, in the draft, did not expressly forbid funding for sterilization. Congress did not mandate any increase in temporary fertility control or forbid funding in areas where BLM has not created a management plan (HMAP).
The provision prohibiting funding to be used for open sales to slaughter, and killing healthy wild horses in holding, was maintained.
The markup hearing is tomorrow at 11 am Eastern time. You can watch live at 11 am eastern, 8 am pacific.
Update: The hearing has now ended. You can watch the hearing on the video below.
The bill, as written, has left committee. The “nod” of authorship and work on this bill was given to Chris Stewart (R-UT) and Mark Amodei (R-NV). Remember them on election day.
The bill will now head for a full vote in the House before going to the Senate.
You can find you rep in the House here http://govtrack.us
You can ask that they propose an amendment to the bill to prohibit funding to be used for sterilization and inform them that BLM is skipping actual management planning for our herds as outlined in the handbook mandated by law. Congress needs to add that no funding should be spent on Herd Management Areas where BLM has no Herd Management Area Plan (HMAP).
We did see that the establishment of holding facilities is included (page 65)
The section most of our readers are looking for begins on page 147. The provision against funding being utilized for sales to slaughter remains.
The provision against killing any wild horse, even if deemed unadoptable, remains in the language.
The bill does not include any reference to mandating increasing (temporary) fertility control, or to mandating funding to create Herd Management Area Plans (HMAP), prior to any removal.
HMAP is the actual document where actual management is supposed to be determined: herd size, critical habitat, bench marks for re-evaluating herd size, what kind of fertility control, etc. (learn more here)
You can watch the “mark-up” hearing to see any changes in this first round of the open debate before this bill passes out of committee to a full floor vote in the House.
After the House vote, the bill will head to the Senate.
There is always mass confusion over Appropriations. Please, remember bills go through drafts, hearings, changes and the same version must be passed by both House and Senate. There is a long way to go. We will try to explain each stage as it arises.
We encourage you to watch the mark-up hearing.
FY 2021 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee Markup
You can take action to help protect our wild horses that remain free! BLM is mandated to manage, they are not mandated to remove. Help us push this machine toward range management HERE.
We are still watching the regulatory review in the published White House Unified Agenda. There could be push back on the authority of Congress to defund provisions of law and open sales to slaughter. HERE.
Categories: Wild Horse Education