Saturday, September 10, 2016
Wild Horse Science vs Feral Horse $cience in the American West
|After wasting millions of dollars and thousands of lives, BLM's end game is clear : wilderness belongs to those who can pay for it, then destroy it (Melissa Farlow photo from Wild at Heart: Mustangs) |
If you're interested in decisions being made with your money for your wild horses, Elko, isn't a convenient venue.
Not to worry, says BLM. Meetings are (sorta) streamed online and the Wild Horse Advisory board includes folks to speak for all "...from advocacy
groups, wild horse and burro research institutions, veterinarians,
natural resource organizations, humane advocacy groups, wildlife
associations, and livestock organizations."
I'd assume by his email address that "cowdoc75" represents veterinary or livestock interests, but no. He's the Natural Resources expert. This board is clearly skewed toward cash cows and what they can do for ranchers, not what they can do to the environment. For that, they blame wild horses.
The vote to kill mustangs was 7-1. Ginger Kathrens, Humane representative, was the lone vote for life.
These horses belong to all Americans and this vote doesn't represent them.
My letter to the Board and BLM follows. Please use the email addresses to convey your opinions.
September 9, 2016: Bureau of Land Management advisory board meets in Elko, Nevada, votes to kill the 44,000+ American wild horses confined in government corrals.
CC: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Advisory Board Members:
BLM was once so valuable
to me as a writer that I included staffers in dedications to my PHANTOM
STALLION book series. I even named a main character after BLM's Bryan Fuell of
Elko because he was so helpful.
BLM employees used to meet advocates at Bruno's for coffee before round-ups. We
often disagreed, but we asked and answered questions and listened to each
other. Now, advocates are met in the same Gerlach parking lot by armed rangers.
And, when I asked questions for my non-fiction book on wild horses, BLM
stonewalled for over 13 months, until my publisher finally sent the book to
press without updated comments from the Interior Department.
After 20 years of observing BLM, I thought I was beyond shock over wild horse
I was wrong. The
advisory board's choice of wild horse slaughter, based on willful ignorance of
science and finances, sucker-punched me.
BLM has wasted millions of dollars on rounding up and warehousing wild horses
despite the availability of cheap on-range solutions to man-made problems. In
fact, the Humane Society of the United States' analysis of BLM's budget
documents indicated that the more money Congress appropriated to BLM's
"reform," the more expensive the wild horse programs became.
Only one thing changes from year to year: money going to independent
contractors. BLM’s job is to protect and manage wild horses and the range, but
BLM's Don Glen and Dean Bolstad made it clear at 2009 Wild Horse Advisory Board
meetings that another priority was "keeping our contractors
happy." And have they ever, with ever-increasing amounts of tax
As an author for young readers, I know many students use the Interior
Department's websites to search for factual information. The dissemination of
'70s era science skewed toward merchandisers of Western resources amounts to
malpractice of the sleaziest kind -- lying to kids for political gain.
Board members, I urge you to retract this emotional response
to BLM's cry for more money for further mismanagement. Instead, listen to
non-vested scientists who've proven the environment's been turned upside down
by man's replacement of native species (including equines; check the fossil
record) with livestock. Listen to those with no financial stake in destroying
Years from now, will you have helped save the last wild places? Or will every
book and Google search list you as an accomplice to the death of West?
Labels: BLM, BLM adoption, BLM Advisory Board, BLM round ups, Bruno's, cattle, contractors, Dean Bolstad, Elko, Gerlach, Ginger Kathrens, long-term holding, mustangs, Neil Kornze, Nevada, slaughter, wild horses
Permalink to this blog post
Terri Farley @ 11:47 PM
Did it make a difference? Your letter that is. Did any one of them answer or even acknowledge your letter and its contents?