BLM has announced an annual Motorized Vehicle Hearing to be held on May 24, from 3-5 Mountain Time.
On April 18, we published an article to answer questions about the lagging information from BLM concerning the roundup schedule. Since the article published BLM has released the information and, finally, scheduled the required hearing on the use of motorized vehicles.
- The roundup schedule will hit over 7000 wild horses and burros before the end of the fiscal year (October).
- The 2023 Population Statistics Report uses much of the same data as the 2022 report. In fact, so much of the same info that we could use sections of our 2022 analysis to to address it.
Last year, BLM stopped doing a state-by-state hearing and began using one meeting to umbrella all states. We do not know how BLM came to the conclusion that one programmatic hearing fulfills the requirement and looking into it.
Because BLM did not do public review or open policy process on the Comprehensive Animal Welfare Policy (CAWP), it is unclear if they made some type of determination that CAWP created site-specific oversight or simply decided it was easier to do one Zoom call and say they comply with law. (We will have more soon on this problem for you)
BLM is required to hold these hearings after motorized vehicle use was reinstated under law in 1976 (after the initial ban in the original 1971 Act). Before helicopters or motorized vehicles can be used, a public hearing is required in order to comply with Section 404 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA, 1976).
If the law requires a hearing, it requires it for a reason. There was expectation that there would be issues. The hearing was intended to address them. BLM literally ignores comments and rubber stamps business as usual after each hearing.
Every Ten Year Gather-EA BLM does notes the annual hearing (the year the EA is done) as compliance with the law for the next decade. One hearing does not create a decade of compliance. We are looking into ways to launch a challenge in the courts.
Since the hearing on motorized vehicle use last year our teams documented: BLM ignoring trailer floor height limits when loading at trap, using rough roads that cause horses to fall in moving trailers, tying a foal to the back of an ATV, overloading of trailers, excessively long helicopter pursuits lasting over an hour (during actual foaling season), a helicopter crash due to the pilot flying too low at rapid speed (a common occurrence), and more.
These hearings cannot be allowed to continue in the deteriorated format BLM uses today to assert compliance with the law. The hearings are intended to address a basic premise in the law. If the hearings are not complying with the law and addressing the issues. Simply running a Zoom call does not represent compliance.
We urge you to sign up and speak out. Click HERE
BLM has failed to address a single concern. We must fight back against abuse.
Our team is crafting a legal challenge as we write this post. We need your support.
Categories: Wild Horse Education