Legislation...Politics...Wild Horses...Public Lands

Above, Reno NV,  was one of two billboards displayed in Nevada in June 1992 by Michael Blake, author of "Dances with Wolves".

BLM (Bureau of Land Management), controlled by politically powerful public lands ranching-livestock industry, aka in the west as the sagebrush rebellion, thru the media managed to discredit Michael Blake, author/screen play of "Dances with Wolves", in his effort to preserve and protect America's wild horses & burros on public lands thru a legitimate and much needed campaign to bring public awareness to the plight of America's wild horses & burros.  Mr. Blake was simply attempting to get BLM to do a credible wild horse & burro count and for BLM to follow the federal laws in their decisions to remove "excess" free-roaming wild horses. 

Political Plight of America's Wild Horses...in a nutshell!!! Click here.
  • See "Law Suit" against BLM..."Animal Protection Groups File Suit over Bureau of Land Management's Plan to Manage Wild Horses and Burros to Extinction." "...for failing to prepare an environmental study (EIS) of its strategy to remove one half of all wild horses and burros from public lands by 2005. Under the guise of restoring threatened watersheds, BLM plans to drastically reduce the wild horse and burro populations to a mere 27,000 and 2,700 respectively (Nationwide)."
  • See "Feral Horse" issue...“Feral horse” is their (powerful western livestock interests) propaganda slogan put forth to undermine the protection law. "BLM is racing to take the wild horse populations down to nonviable numbers in an eradication program that only Congress can stop." "Ranchers and land developers hate the very idea of land held by the federal government for the public good and not in private hands as private property and individual wealth which equates to ruling power.  Wild, free-roaming horses are at the very heart of this range war."  The Southeast Horse Report "Wild and Free"...Vol. III No.11 November 1999 Wild Horses: the Feral Animal Label by Nancy Whitaker.
  •  NEW...See 3-2-2005 Wild Horses as Native North American Wildlife...Scientific document (meta-analysis) & statement for the 109th U.S. Congress (1st Session) in support of H.R. 297..."To restore the prohibition on the commercial sale and slaughter of wild free-roaming horses and burros." Clearly, E. caballus originated here in North American as a species.  Presented by Jay F. Kirkpatrick, Ph.D. and Patricia M. Fazio, Ph.D.  

  • See "Wild Horses, First Target"..."Nevada State Senator Dean Rhoads’ Legislative Committee on Public Lands (and also regarded as the father of the Sagebrush Rebellion and is a public lands permittee and rancher) is wasting no time after Nevada's 1996 November’s elections to eliminate or cripple the state’s role in protecting the wild horses on public lands in Nevada."    
  • See "Banking On Cattle"..."America's public lands are in hock, mortgaged to the hilt by ranchers who use public lands like private property".
  • See " Native Species" issue..."The wild horse is native to North America, living in its native habitat.  It is not an exotic.  It is not a feral animal."  
  • See Stress of BLM captures, photos below. 

  • February 27, 2002

    Regarding an email received stating, "My concern is  that BLM is going to continue to legitimize the removal of wild horses and burros by using artificial numbers, like they have set with this national "AML" instead of using science and the law to determine "excess".

    Below, are "tid-bits" of historical information regarding ongoing political activities and legislation of the public lands ranching industry (sagebrush rebels)...their war on America's wild horses and ongoing war to take on America's public lands as their own private lands under state's rights, etc. They continue to push forward with their objectives using taxpayer moneys.  You will find some of the information below interesting and educational.

    February 5, 1999

    OPPOSITIONAL RESPONSES TO THE SIX ITEMS  IN AJR No. 2  (Nevada public lands ranching bill)  that "urges U.S. Congress to amend provisions of Wild Free-Roaming Horses & Burros Act (of 1971) to require population of wild horses to be maintained at certain level". (AML's)
      Improving the condition of ranges used by wildhorses: 

    Oppositional Response:  Livestock are the main "users", not wild horses.  Ranges are homes for wild horses and other wildlife.  Predictably, when wild horses are removed "to maintain a thriving natural ecological balance" on public lands, livestock remain untouched and are even increased.  Conditions that are felt severe enough to remove wild horses from public lands can not be separated from the impact of livestock on the targets areas. Continue below.  (Also please see 1990 GAO study: August 1990 - Rangeland Management, Improvements Needed in Federal Wild Horse Program.  CALL -202-275-6241 -GAO# in Washington, D.C. WHICH SUPPORTS THAT LlVESTOCK GRAZING IS THE PROBLEM NOT WILD HORSES.

    2.  Increase population and improve habitat of deer, antelope and other species of wildlife living on those ranges:

    Oppositional Response: Historically and currently wild horses co-exist in harmony with other wildlife and rarely compete for the same forage. Removal of wild horses has little relationship with #2 statement. Cows eat everything.  Continue below.

    3.  Allow increased use of the public lands for grazing (livestock) & the development of native flora & vegetation:

    Oppositional Response: Ratio of wild horses to livestock are at least 1:50 on public lands, more like 1:100 to 1:200. Removing one horse and leaving 50 cows will have little impact, if any,  to maintain a thriving natural ecological balance on public lands nor enhance the development of native flora & vegetation. During the 1997 Nevada Legislative Session, a public lands rancher testified that 500 wild horses were degrading his public lands allotment, but his 10,000 cows were not a problem to him. Livestock grazing is the number ONE CAUSE of degradation of public lands, not the relative infinitesimal population of wild horses that reportedly remains. (See 1990 GAO study: August 1990 - Rangeland Management, Improvements Needed in Federal Wild Horse Program)

    Wild horses behave as wildlife, when allowed migration without livestock fencing, biting off the tops of plants then moving on migrating over large areas as do other wildlife. Digestive systems of wild horses are anatomically & physiologically different than cows. Many seeds pass undigested through the horse’s GI system (post-gastric digestion) re-seeding the lands for regrowth of vegetation. The anatomical make up of their hoofs are instrumental in pushing the seeding into the ground. Cow’s digestive tracts (pre-gastric digestion) that metabolize virtually everything they eat contributing very little to re-seeding of lands. Livestock are "squatters" and eat essentially all vegetation. If not physically moved, they will denude the lands leaving little for wildlife. A water source must be provided to livestock within a ½ to 1 mile radius of their grazing area. Horses browse up to a 10 to 20 miles radius of a single water source. Cows are low-landers and prefer to "squat" in the riparian areas close to water, destroying environmentally sensitive areas. In contrast wild horses are high-landers away from these areas.

    Designated herd management areas or herd areas are massively fenced for easier management of livestock which drastically affects wild horses by significantly their reducing access to their legal federally allocated grazing and water habitats.  On paper, herd areas for wild horses appear to include thousands of acres, but in reality, fencing for livestock has isolated and significantly reduced wild horse accessibility to their rightful grazing and water.  Obviously, horses that are confined to smaller areas as result of livestock fencing will not do well, nor does the vegetation.  Disturbingly, this scenario of cross fencing public lands for livestock management is a major problem used against wild horses, a setup created by humans as an excuse to remove wild horses.

    4.  Improve conditions for hunting and other outdoor sports:

    Oppositional Response: Not credible to suggest that wild horse removal will improve such ongoing activities.  Public lands ranchers will force people from public lands on the premise that America's public lands are "their" private lands for their livestock.   Public lands ranching is the culprit if, indeed,  #4 is a problem. (This language was added by the industry under the pretense that wild horses are blocking these activities only to gain support of people who enjoy these activities.)

    5.  Reduce the amount of money required to shelter, feed & prepare wild horses for adoption:

     Oppositional Response: During a BLM Board Advisory meeting, it was stated that the Wild Horse & Burro Program costs taxpayers approximately $12 millions a year for this program.  However, the current pro-ranching federal administration increased this budget to $16 million in 2001, with the blessing of the public lands ranching industry for the sole purpose of removing wild horses. See below the cost to taxpayers to maintain the public lands livestock industry.)

    Total and indirect cost to taxpayers to sustain public lands ranching was assembled by Lynn Jacobs in his book, "The Waste of the West", where he estimated the costs of public lands ranching to taxpayers at over $2 billion dollars a year. Competitive Enterprise Institute, a Washington D.C. "Think Tank" developed an estimate of about $500 million dollars a year to American taxpayers.  National Wildlife Federation's estimated direct cost over the amount received in grazing fees by the Forest Service or BLM amounts to about $75 million dollars a year.

     The cost of the Wild Horse and Burro program is relatively "peanuts" when compared to the taxpayers to maintain the public lands ranchers lifestyle.

    6.  Reduce the risk of deaths of wild horses because of freezing & starvation during the winter:

    Oppositional Response: The purpose of # 6 is to appease concerned Nevadans by expressing pseudo-compassion for wild horses if they remain on public lands.  Ironically, AJR No. 2 which endorses drastic removals of horses would ultimately result in a long, grueling & cruel journey for the majority of wild horses via the BLM adoption program to horse slaughterhouses.  If wild horses are allowed access to their entire allotted HMA (herd areas) and to freely migrate unrestricted by livestock cross fencing that manages livestock as explained in #3, No. 6 is not a credible problem. Extremely harsh winters affects, all wildlife, including wild horses, irregardless of populations levels.  Natural selection and population balance by Mother Nature is expected. (Wild horses break thru frozen water and snow that allow other wildlife to drink and eat who would otherwise die).

    UNFORTUNATELY, Nevada Assembly Joint Resolution No. 2  was passed into law by Nevada legislators because of the powerful politically persuasive livestock industry.  It does NOT benefit Nevadans, the public lands, the American people, nor its natural inhabitants and habitat and is only a continued public land grab by powerful special interest groups...public lands ranching industry, or aka sagebrush rebels.  America's wild horses are the rebel's  "first target" in accomplishing their greedy objectives. 

    February 4, 1999
    (Appropriate Management Levels) for wild horses must be based upon scientific CURRENT and appropriate MONITORING and INVENTORYING of range conditions for ALL users to maintain a thriving natural ecological balance on public lands.  AML’s are being artificially created for wild horses and used by public lands livestock industry and BLM in all states as a method to "get rid of wild horses".  Livestock grazing remains essentially unchanged or are frequently increased on these areas. With the 1:50 ratio of horses to cows on public lands (realistically the ratio is 1:100 or greater), it makes little sense when BLM states they are maintaining a "thriving natural ecological balance" on public ranges by (only) removing horses. Environmental assessments (EA) must include the impact (EIS) by BOTH livestock and fences upon targeted ranges before removal of wild horses is proposed and MUST include specific information regarding prior, current and future grazing by domestic livestock in these areas.

    May 18, 1999

    Nevada S.B. 310, with amendments, provides a method whereby information can be disseminated...sort of a "public relations" bill for the livestock industry to promote a "positive" image to the public. 

    Information was disseminated at the work session that BLM estimates 2,306,665 AUM's within Nevada, the Forest Service estimates slightly fewer.  (An email from a Nevada Legislative member.) (This info with BLM's estimated population of 23,000 wild horses in Nevada, supports a ratio 1:100 of  one wild horse to 100 mother cows and when these mother cows calve the ratio increases to 1:200.  Beware that a mother cow and her calf is counted as ONE while a mare and her foal are counted as TWO.  The pregnancy for a horse is 11 months+ and for a cow is only 9 months.)  

    November 5, 1996 - Nevada Sample Ballot Election Day:

    Question No. 4–amendment to the Ordinance of the Nevada Constitution –(Nevada) Senate Joint Resolution No. 27 (Actually became SJR No. 26) in the 67th Nevada Session. 

    CONDENSATION –ballot question:
       Shall the Territorial Ordinance of the Nevada Constitution be amended to remove the disclaimer of the state’s interest in the unappropriated public lands?

    Introduced by the sagebrush rebels to Nevada voters, Question 4 was passed by Nevada voters on 11-5-1996.  The sagebrush rebels boasted that they could pass any measures through Nevada voters by putting it into "a positive perspective".  This amendment is one of the first steps in America's public lands "land grab" by Nevada Public lands ranching industry, aka sagebrush rebellion. 

     May 7, 1997  (1997 Nevada legislative session) Testimony by BLM to Nevada Senate Committee on Natural Resources, chaired by NV Senator Dean Rhoads (chairperson on this committee year after year) and is a BLM activist permittee rancher from R-Tuscarora, Nevada. 
  • TERRY WOOSLEY (BLM):  We’re estimating 14,500 (artificially created AUMs) for Nevada.  We don’t have the data for about 25 of our Nevada HMAs yet, but it looks like that is what it will come down to is about 14,500 (wild horses).

  •  SENATOR JACOBSEN (R-wild horse adversary):  I’m talking about numbers of animals.  How many wild horses, how many livestock?

  •  TERRY WOOSLEY:  I don’t know.  I can’t say.  We don’t keep track of numbers of livestock.  We keep primarily track of the animal unit months (AUM)(issued).  Because of the shifting of and the part of the time they spend on it that year, and the variation for that, we don’t keep track of numbers (of livestock), only how much we’ve authorized, how many units we’ve authorized for grazing, and I can’t respond or compare those two right now. 

  • 11-22-96  MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE Nevada INTERIM LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC LANDS, (chaired year after year by NV Senator Dean Rhoads) (Nevada Revised Statutes 218.5363)
    November 22, 1996, Carson City, Nevada
     COMMITTEE MEMBERS PRESENT:  Senator Dean A. Rhoads, Chairman; Assemblyman John W. Marvel, Vice Chairman, Senator Lawrence E. Jacobsen, Senator Dina Titus, Assemblyman John C. Carpenter (Alternate), Assemblywoman Marcia de Braga (Alternate), Assemblyman P.M. Roy Neighbors, R. Llee Chapman, Elko County Commissioner.
  •  Ray H. Williams, Jr., a member of the Lander County Public Lands Advisory Commission and "People for the West", encouraged members of the committee to recommend to Nevada’s Congressional Delegation that the Wild Horse and Burro Act be repealed.   (As Williams was leaving the testimony table, NV Senator Dean Rhoads quietly commented, “We’re working on it”.)  He also pointed out that Lander County citizens support the transfer of federal lands to the state (public lands land grab by the rebels). 

     July 13, 1998 held at Washoe County Commissioners Chambers, Reno, Nevada
    U.S. House Resources Subcommittee of National Parks & Public Lands Field Hearing on the federal
     (Free Roaming) Wild Horse & Burro Act of 1971.
    U.S. (R-Utah) Rep. Jim Hansen, chairman; U.S. (R-Nevada) Rep. Jim Gibbons; U.S. (R-Nevada) Rep. John Ensign (Currently U.S. Nevada Senator);. U.S. (California) Poma; U.S. (R-Idaho) Rep. Helen Chenoweth (married Wayne Hage, a Tonopah rancher & private-property rights activist in July 99, & author of “Storm Over Rangelands” 1989 in which he argued that ranchers have private-property rights on federal lands; U.S. (D-Samoa) Rep. Faleomavega (sp?) was the only committee member to speak FOR the 1971 Act. All other committee members spoke against the Act.
    Testifiers included NV Senator Dean Rhoads, public lands rancher & NV Assemblyman John Carpenter, rancher and others.  All testifiers were invited by the subcommittee.
    (NV Senator Dean Rhoads, R-Tuscarora and public lands rancher, during his testimony mentioned that the appropriate population (AML) for Nevada be set at about 12,000 wild horses.  This testimony supported that AML's had already been (artificially) set by the public lands ranching industry (sagebrush rebels) at that time without respect to the mandated federal laws that State AML's be "based upon CURRENT and appropriate MONITORING and INVENTORYING of range conditions for ALL users to maintain a thriving natural ecological balance on public lands".



    QUESTION:  Stop BLM's plan to reduce herds of wild horses?
    Polls Closed on: MARCH 26, 2002
    RESULTS:   TOTAL VOTES:  2,885....62% YES and 38% NO.

    The current Bush administration is reducing America's wild horse & burros populations by 50% by 2005, ignoring the legal federal laws.  BLM's counts are not credible and BLM is removing massive numbers, flooding the market, to appease the Public Lands Ranching Industry.  Law Suit

    This link ran the poll:   http://www.vote.com/vote/42592907/index.phtml

    Wild Horse Spirit Ltd.
    25 Lewers Creek Road
    Carson City, NV 89704 
    (775) 883-5488

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