Scroll down for info on how to listen live.
On 6/27 Wild Horse Education members tagged along for the “educational” tour of the Blue Wing Complex given by BLM for the Advisory Board.
The public was told ahead of time NOT to join in discussion as this was for BLM to educate the board to the specific issues in the complex. In our opinion, if the tour was for the purpose of informing the board the public would be able to engage the board. We video tapped and will share with you as soon as we edit down a very long day.
This is an area we know well and are currently involved in active litigation for the complex addressing a severe lack of transparency, data and actual management planning.
In a nutshell: During the tour BLM provided minimal information (about as much as they have on their website) and the vast majority of the time the speaker was a member of the Advisory Board proselytizing his position (including considerable time spent promoting domestic livestock grazing as restoration, a conservation strategy. We assume his emotion and consistent insistence is due to the new proposed conservation rule.)
Proposed New Rule: Livestock lobby groups have been very active trying to tank the new rule that elevates conservation values a bit toward equal footing with industries, like livestock. You can still comment on the new rule through July 5. More info HERE.
During the tour (post roundup of 2022) we saw only two true paint burros out of approximately 35 burros documented during the tour. At no time did BLM talk about the paint burros that were once so prevalent in the complex, how they were obviously absent during the tour and how they consider management strategies and objectives for burros. In fact, BLM simply uses modeling and practices they use for wild horses on burros… and burros are not horses.
No horses were seen.
BLM simply continues to answer any question related to actual management planning by discussing removals.
It should be noted that in previous years large groups of pronghorn are seen on every outing (as well as horses) no pronghorn or sign of large groups was seen. Even though there was a very wet winter and a very large roundup of burros and horses last year (and one in 2020) we do not see any demonstrated improvement in “Thriving Natural Ecological Balance.” In fact, we see fewer living wild beings on the ranges where the same livestock management practices (using water shutoffs to move cows to the north or south of the largest contiguous grazing allotment in the West) have continued for over a decade… and even more halogeton and cheat grass spanning out from cattle drop/water locations.
Recreation activity has increased considerably in the last 6 years in the complex and has had massive impacts not considered in the current BLM EA for Blue Wing and the impacts were not discussed during the tour. However, when the group stopped for lunch it should be mentioned that there were burros waiting to come in to water (the only true stable source in the area as the trough was turned off to keep burros off the seeding area) and were approached by a board member apparently in an attempt to get them to leave. The tour stopped for lunch at the key water source in the area. It makes you wonder just how often burros are chased off the water by people stopping for lunch.
We have team members at the meeting that will run June 27-30 at the Whitney Peaks Hotel in Reno and is open to the public.
The public portions of the meeting will be broadcast live at BLM.gov/live
You can find the agenda HERE to see when BLM will be broadcasting and you can watch at home.
If you have never seen a meeting we urge you to tune in to watch an hour or two so you can understand how the board functions (or does not function). It is important to remember that law and regulation require the existence of such a board, hand-picked by the BLM. But the law does not give the board and authority beyond crafting recommendations that BLM is not required to follow.
Written comments submitted at least 3 days prior to the meeting are supposed to be considered during the meeting. However, you can submit comments to the board all year. Written comments should be submitted to the Advisory Board at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for keeping us in the fight.
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Categories: Wild Horse Education