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Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Interior Department Wants to Bury Its Wild Horse Mistakes: question Sec. Zinke's alt-facts tomorrow
Don't be hoodwinked when Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke comes to Capitol Hill, tomorrow.
For decades, the Department of Interior has taken America's wild horses off public lands to "restore the range." Know why that doesn't work? Wild horses aren't to blame, but Secretary Zinke may neglect to mention the impacts of livestock and extractive industries on the environment.
calls for killing all wild horses and burros in Bureau of Land
Management holding pens. That's about 44,000 equines according to BLM,
and the roundups continue, this month. BLM records show more mustangs "gathered" in the
first three months of 2017
than were captured in all of 2016.
Few voters want wild horses killed, but they’re bombarded by myths
which infer there's no choice.
Myth 1 : There are no natural predators to
control wild horse population
Wild horses still have
but the U.S Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services works hard to
change that. In 2016 the agency placated commercial livestock interests
by killing 76,963 adult coyotes, destroyed 430 coyote dens containing
uncounted pups, 3,791 foxes and 128 pup dens, 997 bobcats, 415 gray
wolves, 407 black bears and 334 mountain
Source: Sources are many, varying from L.A. Times to Ag
Myth 2: Wild Horses damage the range unlike livestock whose grazing is controlled
Wild horses’ digestive systems don't process seeds. The seed-bearing food they eat is replanted in their droppings. Fertilizer + seeds = inadvertent
farmers. Because mustangs are nomadic, they do their own rotational
grazing, moving where their food is in bloom. In theory, livestock is
rotated, but ranchers
whose livestock grazes public lands are often allowed to “self monitor."
restoration by wild horses is recognized in places outside the U.S.
Patagonia's reintroduction of wild horses has slowed and sometimes even
equine behavior is easier on riparian areas than that of livestock. As prey
animals, wild horses normally drink from the edge instead of wading in and
defecating in bodies of water. http://newprairiepress.org/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1129&context=sfh
Myth 3: Wild horses overpopulate public lands
vary (National Academy of
Sciences criticized Bureau of Land Management's sketchy data-gathering),
but BLM admits commercial livestock outnumbers wild horses on public
lands by at least 30-1.
horses that aren't removed have been pushed from historic territories
into limited public lands habitat. In the last 5 decades, other uses --
including corporate ranching, gas, oil and mining -- have claimed 22.2
million acres. https://www.blm.gov/programs/wild-horse-and-burro/about-the-program/myths-and-facts
Myth 4: Wild Horses are not native to North America
Modern science, especially DNA
testing, contradicts this myth. Paleolithic horses and modern
equines share the same DNA. BLM’s website encourages acceptance of old
science, claiming "horses disappearance from the Western Hemisphere
for over 10,000 years," despite facts that prove the window of "gone time" has narrowed to 7,000 years.
Myth 5: Wild
Horse Management by BLM is humane
Permalink to this blog post
Department websites have recently been data cleansed, but 2010
helicopter round-ups in the Calico Mountains of Nevada were
well-documented. BLM reported 113 deaths from broken pelvic bones,
necks,skulls and spines, ruptured eyeballs, hoof slough, and birthing
“accidents” in which 40 mares suffered spontaneous miscarriages and bore
BLM claims not to sell captured mustangs to slaughter, but the Office of
the Inspector General found 1700 wild horses were sold to a single
kill-buyer 2008-2012. https://www.doioig.gov/reports/investigative-report-bureau-land-management-wild-horse-buyer%201700
Terri Farley @ 11:59 AM