Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board Meeting, September 10 (part 4 of 4) last session of the day

16 Sep

Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board Meeting, September 10, 2013

(part 4 of 4) last session of the day

Many people have sent the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board comments prior to this meeting. What follows below is the text I captured from the live-streaming meeting.  If you would like to share the comments you sent in before this meeting took place, please add them to the comments.  I think it helps us all to know what was sent to the advisory board.

Additionally, if you have screen shots from the live-stream or video of the live-stream (I’ve seen some floating around facebook over the last few days), please post a comment below the appropriate session’s blog post with a link to your video or screen shot.

For this last session of the meeting on September 10, I lost all the text I had captured; several of my friends knew what I was doing and sent me the text they had captured. Nancy Canarelli Watson had by far more than any of others who captured text that was  sent to me.  I also want to thank Diane Bozarth and Sonya Malaecky Spaziani and Pam York who tried to help me and sent me captured text from the last session on September 10, 2013

Note to my readers:

   AS I watched the live-stream and the captured text, I noticed various problems with the captioning. It is evident to me that voice recognition software was used to capture the text from the speakers instead of a professional transcriber like a court reporter.

 There are many words here that are not spelled correctly. When trying to read this captured text, and the word is unintelligible, trying saying the word out loud phonetically. I hesitated to change any text or make corrections as I did not want to be accused of modifying it to suit any particular persons benefit or detriment. Please consider this not as an essay, but more as notes and a guide for further conversations.

–  When you see this: >>   it means theres a change of speaker. Sometimes the live-stream captioning added the names of the speakers and sometimes it did not.

–  The multiple dash – means that live captioning dropped some text.

–  Sometimes the live captioning repeated the beginning of a sentence and sometimes whole sentences were dropped.

–  I added double stars  **  when I believe the speaker changed

–  Occasionally, Ive added bracketed text for clarification purposes

This text is as it came from the captioning feature on the live-stream; no edits, spell checks or grammar was corrected — no editing except I broke the text into smaller paragraphs to make it more readable.  

[missing captured text] … use every available tool to reduce the feral numbers down to 26,677 population objectives and maintain the population at that level.

If you have any questions, or seek Rocky Mountain elk foundation’s assistance, I am happy to provide you with Mr. Henning’s contact information upon follow-up. Thank you very much.

>> KATHIE LIBBY: Thank you very much. I can do this without my glasses, yes, I can. Robin Warren from YEA! Youth’s equine equine alliance..

As you know, I’m robin Warren also known as nesting robin. I watched the roundup along with my mother, Denise deLucia. We saw people working in the sun and risking lives to capture these beautiful horses, while the BLM officials were in the shade talking eating and sleeping. The BLM officials are getting more money that the the people who are really working. They rounded up a few bands and a couple foals. They did catch a mare in a bad condition, they said she will have to die. She also said to do that they’ll have to shoot her in the head.

I was disgusted that they would round up an innocent foal and kill a mare with a bullet. On the last two days of the roundup, when we were going to the corrals, I found and kept an object. I found a 22 bullet shell which means that the bullet had already been fired. Right — let me get it out here. Right here. Also one of the officials picked up a piece of lasso rope that was ripped off the ground. It was on the ground. And that means that it broke from tension because it wasn’t cut. It was cut. It was tension.
The stuff that we know happens at the roundups are cruel but the bullet and lasso rope makes me wonder if there’s more. Thank you for taking the time to listen to me.

>> KATHIE LIBBY: Thank you, robin. Next we have sandy Cattoor also from the Cattoor livestock roundup.

>> Wow. This is a hard one to follow. I might have bullets come at me. There’s a lot of misrepresentation here against my family and I take it personal.
Because oh, I don’t even know if I can read this. My family is Cattoor livestock roundup and they’ve spent a lot of years doing very humane justice. To these animals out on the range. I take it very personal. For the dishonest enacts have been presented today and I’m sure there will be more.

I’m here to represent Dave who is on a round upright now. Because it didn’t get shut down, I guess.

I’m sorry for my nerves but — so I’m reading some of his thoughts as if he was here.
As most of you probably know, I own and operate Cattoor livestock roundup. We’ve been doing Wild Horse and Burro roundups for the BLM since 1975. So I guess you could say I have been in the wild horse and burro program probably longer than anyone still in the program today. During these 38 years, I have seen many changes in the program. Now all the holding facilities are full and only emergency gathers are being schedule but there are still too many animals out on the range so because of the numbers and the drought in the west, many animals out on the range are suffering.

Almost everyone thinks more contraceptives are the answer. We have seen different kinds of contraceptives tried since 1985. In small HMAs where the wild horses are no longer wild, it seems to be working to hold the numbers down. But in most of the other areas, it hasn’t made much impact, maybe even increases the reproduction rate when you catch and release, it destroys the herds and Mother Nature kicks in to protect the species.

This catch and release also makes the animals much more difficult to capture a second or third time because in order to be at all effective, the contraceptive must be reapplied every couple of years. Humane gathers where animals have been released often are very difficult because the animals are not yet banded up. Often one stud, are mare and maybe a foal in a band and a stud tends to want to keep his mare even from the helicopter. It is difficult for the pilots to want to dry the wild horses humanely because they won’t bunch and they want to run. I can tell you what was done in the beginning after the law was passed and it worked to get the animals down to AML and even more important it was a lot more humane for the wild horses out on the rank.

We need to go back and do what was done in the ’70s and ’80s if an HMA is over in numbers say the number of animal in the area was estimated to be over 500 and the low male was 200, the Wild Horse and Burro specialist to scheduled a gather and the crew could go in and catch the first 300 head. The gathers were scheduled when the animals were still healthy and in good shape. This quote the area down to AML once the BLM started releasing some organizations back it became very difficult in most areas to catch enough of the animals to be at AML following the gather and release.

This was very humane for the animals. The wild horses remaining on the range were still in bands should have pleased the advocates who object to breaking up bands. But they are right. It is good to have the band in structure intact out on the range for a lot of reasons, the herd was not stimulated by breaking up and by releasing horses back so the reproduction rate did not increase. I do not have so-called scientific evidence but I am pretty sure the reproduction rates on most herds back then was 16% and I know later after herds have been gathered and bands broken apart and animals released back the reproduction rate went up 20%. My own records show that.


>> Is that enough.

>> Yeah, thank you.

>> Sorry.

>> KATHIE LIBBY: I am trying to give the one minute signal but often times you’re not seeing me. So I apologize for that. But — thank you. Now we have Suzanne Roy. Suzanne is with the American wild horse preservation campaign.

>> Suzanne Roy.

>> Good afternoon. Thanks for the opportunity to address you today. We’ve heard a lot of good science today but we have distanced around the elephant in the room. Tim said the elephant in the room was long term holding but I would venture to say that it’s actually the allocation of resources on the rank. What’s going on on the ground. — on the range. And when you look at that, you get a real clear picture.

The BLM manages 245 million acres of public land. Livestock grazing is allowed on 160 million acres and wild horses are restrict 26.9 million acres. That’s 11% of BLM lands. Yet even on that small amount of land that’s allocated to horses, the majority of forage is given to livestock. And we took a look at 50 HMAs where the allocation data was given by the BLM through environmental assessment and when you look at that data you come up with a figure of 82.5% of the forage in HMAs is designated for livestock and 17.5% is dedicated to wild horses.

So the AML has nothing to do with carrying capacity. It has to do with the number of horses the BLM has decided to allow to live out there after giving away most of the forage to livestock. You heard today from some of the scientists saying that the public has to have a stronger role in BLM policy making and I couldn’t agree with that more. I think we know very clearly that the public sentiment is on the side of a fairer allocation of resources. We know that from the possibilities that have been received over the past several years. Tens of thousands of possibilities urging the BLM to reform, et cetera policies and give wild horses a fairer share of resources.

And we know that from public opinion poles. We recently, the American wild horse preservation campaign recently commissioned a poll that found that 70% of Americans know that wild horses are out there which they thought was interesting, we didn’t know it would be that high. 73% of Americans support protecting wild horses as part of our national heritage. 66% believe that the current approach that the BLM undertakes is not an efficient use of our tax dollars and then we have the polls showing strongly that 80% of Americans oppose horse shrewder. So the public sentiment is clear but the question remains after a million dollars and National Academy of Sciences report is the problem listening and as Tim said earlier, actions speak louder than words and if you look at it from that perspective, the signs are not very encouraging.

From the point of a pro slaughter advocate to represent the public which is overwhelmingly opposed to slaughter on this advisory board to the Reese win mum aRMP should we receive 50,000 possibilities urging increase in AMLs with the wild horses throughout and adjusting livestock grazing accordingly and yet the RMP proposes no such adjustments to the PMR offensive that the which is propagating the myth that wild horses are overpopulating the west and when you look aat what’s happening on the ground which I just described, it just not supported by facts. It’s pure propaganda. I would posit to say this is no longer acceptable to this agency. There’s a bright light sunshine on program and it’s long past time for this agency to involve from a livestock agency to a true multiple use agency. The horses are broad public support and the program has just got to change.

Thank you, Suzanne. Next we have Dick loper, he’s from the Wyoming state grazing board. Public lands couns

>> Had you for this opportunity to speak to you we’d like to thank you for your service on this board. It’s a challenging task and we support the meetings you have and we appreciate your attendance and your work on it.

>> I’m Dick loper speaking on behalf Wyoming state grading board. I’m wild horse and were 0 technical community chair. Ranchers play a vital role in keeping the west economically and ecologically healthy and vibrant which benefits ranchers and horses alike.

As such we support NAS findings and we believe that range managers and wild horse specialists should use them to inform their management actions and decisions specifically we support the following findings:

One, business as usual cannot be sustained. Without control of horse populations and mechanisms for the placement of excess horses, the wild horse and burro program will soon collapse on itself.

2: Resource limited population control or self-regulation would result in starvation of horses and unacceptable impacts to rangeland ecosystem and other multiple uses. Given this finding,NAS points out adverse impacts on horses in the health of the land and self-regulation is a viable nonviable action for management. We would agree. Wild horses populations on the range are underestimated by adds much as 60%. And BLM is underestimating the annual growth rate of these wild horse herds meanwhile NAS finds that adoption in sale rates are far outpaced by reproduction levels and far too many wild horses on the range and in holding facilities to support the health of the land.

PLC and the rest of us recommend that in order to alleviate the resulting population pressures, BLM used fertility control as a tool to reduce wild horse brother rates. The total wild horse population on the range must be reduced to the point where the public can absorb by adoption or purchase the annual foal crop percentage. Meanwhile, BLM must continue to remove excess horses in order to prevent horse damage or horse starvation,

4: We agree with the NAS finding that the BLM handbook does not now provide the field offices the detail or specific direction needed to produce consistency and procedures to determine AML or monitor the land or health of the land an influence of horses and other multiple uses on the resource,

5, finally, we agree with NAS that BLM should rely an an outside engrated team such as yourself the Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board to help them develop different approaches to horse management. Thank you for considering these remarks, finding solution to the Wild Horse and Burro challenges will help ensure that the managers continue with the west and providing the world with abundant food and fiber. Thank you very much.

>> KATHIE LIBBY: Thank you, sir. Next we have ask begin ger Kathrens from the cloud foundation.

>> Ginger X Kathrens: Thanks, everyone for providing time for public comment. I think this is great and I enjoy participating. I’m ginger Kathrens. I’m from cloud found aches and eke Quine alliance, rescue, the Colorado wild horse and better 0 coalition and thousands of supporters across the United States and abroad. We also thank the NAS for doing what I think is an excellent report and ranges ranges to BLM for requesting that NAS do that report.

Unfortunately, we think that the elephant in the room was not analyzed. And I think it’s too bad that livestock grazing was not part of the NAS consideration because that’s the major herbivores that roam on our public lands. Not analyzing I think is an important thing not to have eliminated. I believe that the goal should be — and if I sound like Don Glen long ago, managing healthy horses on healthy range land.

An aspect of horse health that I’d like to talk about just briefly is genetic health. Just a few weeks ago good Gus coming ran returned his report on the prior mustang range on the very excellent managers of this range and I know personally the population statistics of the last 20 years and Dr. Cathran for over 20 years. During that time the population has been 135-210 animals range somewhere in between. Dr. Cothran concludes that the variability of the herd is decline due to population size in recent years, it could indicate the beginning of inbreeding. Gus recommended the population size range conditions allow. That’s difficult in Pryor because there’s no livestock grazing so you can’t manipulate the numbers.

But else where on 99% of the ranges we can manipulate AUM. I’d like to address the fact most vast majority have heard they’re far lower so we have a crisis of underpopulation on wild horse herd. 61.3% of the herds, 108 are under 150 horses. 72.1% or 127 herds are under 200 horses. The effective number, which is the number of effective adult breeders needs to be at least 50. Dr. Cothran says that’s one third of the herd and says the population should be 150 to 200.

So how do we move forward and knowing this information? I’m suggesting that we review livestock AUM and that we decrease them by 10% to allow these herds to rise to genetic viable numbers. If the BLM does not want to be accused to managing wild horses to exception, they must do that, they must analyze AUMs, as Suzanne points out wild horses live very few acres of public lands. On those lands should they not be required to be genetically healthy? I believe they should. I’m open to a discussion with all of you. I volunteer for BLM in the Pryors proudly. Working with a great management team at BLM. I’d certainly like to work with all of you and all the BLM offices to make these goals achievable. Thanks so much.

>> KATHIE LIBBY: Thank you, ginger. Next we have Chad Bigler with the –

** [Ginger Kathrens]: yeah, my time is up.

** [Kathy Libby]: Tax with the hospital her roundup service. Home gather title. Welcome.

>> Yeah, I’m Chad Bigler I’ve been a gather pilot for the past 10 years or so. Given this opportunity, I’ve seen almost every ATMA there is. Because I’m in the air I get to see things from a lot different perspective. That’s what I wanted to come today to let people know kind of what I see and how it goes.

I wanted to share two problems that I see from being in the field from the horses. I do understand we have problems with all the excess horses that can’t be adopted and are op sanctuaries. My concern is the problems you have on the range and also managing the horses on the range in a humane and cost effect of way. I wanted to talk about the fertility control and catch treatment and release program that’s been going on. I noticed some problems in what I would call a real unhealthy social life for the horses. Catch and release horses and especially large percentages of stallions, you lose the herd structure and to me, you have no more family bands. The stud horse is able to keep his band and mare settled, so to speak, which makes a quieter more suitable livestock for the horses.

So for example, I see three or four stud horses on a mare. Lots more fighting than normal. I see colts being born at the wrong time of the year. And there’s no uniform to the colts at all. So I don’t know, I teak a take a lot of pride in these horses and what I do and I like to see them healthy and utilize the country in a better way, I guess.

The other thing I’d like to talk about is this also we’re losing our ability to keep gathering these horses. When horses are healthy and in good bands, the helicopter is such a useful, efficient tool. And with the PZP going on, we’re losing that tool. I’ve been flying horses for 10 years, I ride horses, my family rides horses. I love horses. So I treat horses just the same in the air as I do on the ground. I just wanted people to know that because it’s a huge be controversy and I understand that. Close things up, I don’t really think the PZP shot is the answer. Very little if any population control it’s helping with, it’s making a tough lifestyle for the horses and we’re going to lose our ability to keep managing them.
That’s all I got.

**Kathie Libby, thank you, Chad. Next we have Rosalyn Morrison with the animal welfare institute.

>> Rosalyn Morrison: Thank you. Thank you, panel for this opportunity to speak to you.
My name is Rosalyn Morrison and I work with the the animal welfare institute or AWI. AWI welcomes the National Academy of Sciences report on BLM’s management of wild horses and burros and thanks the advisory board for making the NAS report a focus of, et cetera presentation. The report clearly identifies a number of deficiencies the both scientific and procedural and the current management approach.

I would like to folks on several issues identify by the NAS committee fundamentally there are significant problems with the management of wild horses and burros, there are far too many wild horses and long-term considerable expense to the BLM and ultimately the taxpayer, this is a product of the BLM’s preference to manage wild horses and burros on nonscientific evidence. Since the NEPA documents do not contain relevant scientific data, it is questionable whether credible scientific evidence suggests to justify such removals. If it does, it has not been disclosed to the public.

It is imperative that the BLM immediately turns this into a management paradigm that emphasizes management of wild horses and burros on the range. This should be in the form of immunocontraception to achieve herd stablization while allowing some production and obtaining them on the range. The BLM has experimented with contraception but has yet to embrace this technology as the tools to effectively manage wild horses and burros while managing or eliminating the need for removals.

It is critically important for the agency to improve the ability of size of wild horse number and populations, determine how many animals including wild horses and burros and wildlife that range can support and allocated among the different animal groups. Consequently, AWI strongly supports the ongoing collaboration between the BLM and United States geological service to develop, implement and improve techniques.

In addition, as is clear from the NAS report and the presentations this morning, there is a fundamental needs to revise and improve the wild horse and burro management handbook to comprehensively delineate all aspects of AML establishment and to clarify how the BLM allocates the different animal groups that occupy BLM land. This is a fundamental need that cannot be overlooked.

Finally, AWI strongly supports the need for greater transparency by the BLM and all areas of wild horses and burros management. There’s little secret that secrecy breeds suspicion while transparency leads to rust. BLM has been managing the wild horses and burros without sufficient transparency with disclosure of information and open and constructive outreach to the public. This must change. The public including all the stakeholders interested in wild horses and burro management must have an opportunity equal opportunity to creating a paradigm.

AWI is prepared to work with the BLM to achieve a new paradigm for management of these iconic animals but the question is the BLM prepared to work with AWI to conclude they strongly encourage advisory board to develop a set of recommendations for the BLM to ensure that it immediately comprehensively recommendations identified in the NAS report. Thank you for your time.

>> KATHIE LIBBY: Thank you very. Next we have Jamie Dodson from LMP.

>> Jamie Dodson. How are you guys doing today. Thank you for allowing public comment. I think it’s crucial to help us try to solve problems. I’m not necessarily on a side. I don’t like hearing that there’s sides. But I want to tell you a little bit about my journey which is pretty different than most. Some people question it. I’m used to being with horses so forgive me if I lack the words to figure out how to explain what I’ve experienced.

I start by telling you that I spent five years in federal law enforcement right here in D.C. protecting American icons. Dignity Terry protection. I understand government, I understand GOPs, I understand SOPs, I understand chain of commands and a lot of times the problems that that creates and I understand that sometimes hands are tied. 8 es not necessarily the workers that are making decisions, I came in this as a trainer who adopted two mustangs. So I experienced that first experience at adoption and wanted to help but got turned down. I experienced and participated in a government program that helps horses, again with BLM.

I’ve been a trainer and have two other trainers that are with me involved in a program affect over 60s in the few years and that just ended and still we go on — 60 horses. We’ve had horses go to the makeover competition and have enso get good and very ugh ly involved in it. So I started there. And last year I had an opportunity to put on my taxpayer hat and make it out west.

And actually get — forgive me, I didn’t understand, I didn’t understand the people. I didn’t understand the anger I went up no those mountains and I saw green grass and I saw a fence and I saw a land and I didn’t understand it. I still don’t pretend to understand. What I do know Callie, you asked an awesome question about how do we get trust because being in the middle is really awkward for me, too. How to get trust is not a scientific approach. It’s a choice.

Somebody has to make the first step. And you need to work together. The starting point is, woulding together on something we all agree on is there is a lot of horses would need a lot of help period. Keep the science going until we can decrease the number that have to come into the adoption pipeline. I’m not a scientist. I do not have a clue how to even start and do not engy going down that route.

How can you help me? I can tell you, we have this row man image of who is going to give these horses their first touch. We realize we’re the ones who are having to undo the first touch of the human experience.

We are having to come in and have to erase ought the stress that’s been put on. And there’s got to be consistencies. Mr. Harvey, you made it blank. The inconsistency is what creates the lack of trust, kind of like horse training. I have seen good people in the BLM. Jared has the most gentle hands that I’ve ever seen work with a horse. And he needs to be rewarded for that. Again, it’s not our responsibility to give them the first touch. There’s so many things I’d like to share ideas. Time’s run out? But I’m here there’s a lot of people here who are doing what we’re doing. And if you just listen to us, we might have some ideas that we can all work together on.


>> KATHIE LIBBY: Thank you so much. Next we have Stephanie Boyles griffen from HSUS.

>> Stephanie Boyles Griffen: Good afternoon, everyone. My name is Stephanie Boyles g Griffen and I’m senior director of the humane society of the United States. And I’m here today to let the board know about a new grant that was restly awarded to the HSUS that focuses solely on helping our wild burros, the Platera project is a 5 year $760,000 grant aimed at increasing adoption rates of captive borrows while using fertility control to suppress the borrow population growth rate on the range. As part of this project the HSUS is launching a burro training program similar to the TIP program.

The HSUS is committed to finding homes for the 1300 burros, currently in the BLM holding corrals over the next five years, for anyone interested in participating in the training program please contact Heidi hop continues at hhopkins@humane society.org or see me after the meeting today for more information.

The HSUS is, woulding with sanctuaries to get sale authority. Research proposal to study how PZP could be used to manage wild burro on the range. It is successful in an adoption program is coupled with population growth suppression method on the range. Sustainable program cannot be maintained without implementing effective population growth suppression program that focuses on the use of fore tilt control to manage burroings on the range.

I would add as Dr. Asa pointed out earlier today that it’s essential for research dollars to be plugged into research on fertility control programs. Even though $760,000 is a lot of money, we’re going to need help from BLM in order to make the Platero project a success. And when I say help, I mean financial support. We appreciate the BLM’s support for the project and are excited about it and invite the Wild Horse and Burro board’s thoughts and ideas on how to make the project a success. Thank you.

>> KATHIE LIBBY: Thank you, next we have Megan Bman from the wildlife society.

>> Megan Berman: The wildlife society is founded in 1937 and is a nonprofit scientific and educational association representing 22,000 professional wildlife biologists, managers and affiliates dedicated to excellence in wildlife stewardship through science and education. Our mission is to represent professional community of scientists, managers, educators, technicians, planners and others who work to study, manage, conserve wildlife and habitats worldwide. Larger member of diverse coalition, the national horse and burro management range coalition. It’s becoming a founding member in 2012, T continue to be ab advocate of feral horses and burros, some consider horses and burros, iconic species of western North America damage habitat and horses and burros are invasive nonnative species that threaten native wildlife populations because they override ecosystems. Research in the great base inrecord that range lands of high densities and and more envasive weeds. These degrade the land, limit water resources and lower fative species, healthy populations of small reptiles, emperiled grassland birds and prong horn an bighorn sheep are crit components of range ecosystems and are financed many awill in maintaining thriving balance.

The NAS report discusses using signs as a tool for managing feral horse and burro populations but does not mention the effects of competition on native wildlife, euthanasia as a population control mechanism or side bars based on BLM by federal policies and mandates. The report does mention the vague terminology included in the BLM policies but does not provide recommendations for interpretations. These are important factors to consider when discussing management of horses and burros and while they’re not evaluated in the report, they’re still a viable concern and should be taken into account.

BLM is required to manage for healthy horses and healthy range while uploading multiple use mandates a goal that is difficult to achieve with extreme overpopulation. GWS believes sound scientifically based management practices should be employed to the semi arid eco says temps of the west, policy is to place primary emphasis on habitat needs and native wildlife and plants, encourage BLM to eliminate herd areas that have sufficient habitat resources and recommend financial agencies to identify impact of feral horses and burros on wildlife populations, habitats and other natural resources.

Additionally TWS supports the use of roundups to remove feral horses and burros from range lands as well as euthanasia for old ailing unadopted horses and burros, we Royce that adoption program are a successful method for dealing with excess animals but should not be the only method and no management plan should depend solely on fertility control. Educating the public and key decision-makers about the ecological role of horses and burros an implants on vegetation is vital to ensure the sec says of the program.
The wildlife sow sizes thanks the advisory board and looks forward to working with the board in the future to address this growing problem. Thank you.

>> KATHIE LIBBY: Thank you. Earlier Neda deMayo had asked to be deferred. I’d like to ask you join us now.

**[ Neda deMayo] Thank you for having this forum. And I’m — I actually am very inspired by the fact that we’re even talking about on the range management. Return to freedom about 15 years ago to explore minimally invasive alternatives to wild horse management. We’ve been successfully implementing the use of PZP, native PZP on the horses at the sanctuary for about 15 years now and our efficacy rate has been 85 to 90% effective. So I’d hate to lose ground at this point. I think that we have started, just begun to create a culture really roll up our sleeves and get to work, start, woulding on solutions together. I think that there’s technology that although it would be nice if we had a 3 year vaccine and work with educational programs, find solutions where the public can be actually engaged with, have a role in implementing this both with herd observation, identifying herds. As well as a range stewardship and working on water restoration project and things like that that will benefit all wildlife including the horse herds that live there.

One of the things that does — that is a concern for me after sitting through the last, you know, yesterday and today, is that the study really only focused on the wild horse and burro program. And I think for — this isn’t a horse problem. You know, this is a — this is a land use issue. This is natural resource allocation issue and to really get to the truth of this and to get to a real holistic management program to really work on solution together, I think we have to address populations that are impacting resources out there.

I do think there are population issues. On the range. I do. I don’t agree that it is just the horses. And I think to really work together we have to be willing to — with — just looking at the herd management areas and the herd areas, look at how do we how do we work with the livestock stakeholders and other stakeholders on the range to address AML I think if we’re not doing that, I don’t know how this would work. So I would like to — I’m available to work on solutionment I’m very inspired by the fact as I said that we’re having this conversation. This is — we’ve come a long way to be talking about on the range management. So I look forward to working with people for solutions on the ground creating pilot programs, how to integrate educational volunteerism, Ike 0 tourism, educational platforms that we can work with academia, use students to implement I’m excited by things like that. I think that the time is now, we have to take action, it’s now, we’re there. Thank you.

We’re look c

**Kathie Libby we’re looking for Joe pines, Cine focus and media productions. That’s you. You get to come out from behind the camera..

>> Joe pines: Time’s up already, huh? All right. Good afternoon everyone. I don’t have any papers prepared or anything like that. And didn’t even know I was going to talk today. But after being here two days — well first of all, as she said, I’m a filmmaker and we’re working on a documentary film about wild horses. And as a fill being maker, what the subject of the horses, I feel as though I an obligation and I’ll explain that.

But I herd a lot of stuff here. Especially today. And yesterday also. And it’s real simple. I hear a lot of solutions, I hear a lot of good things coming off there. I hear a lot of good things coming from back here. And my think of it is it’s common sense. These are all tools. I’m looking around I see nothing but tools here. And what do tools do. They fix thing or build things. So I’m thinking I don’t know who it was but they brought up the subject of trust. That say big thing. I’m saying use those tools, builds this because it’s obvious there’s a huge problem with the horses arange and it’s obvious the BLM has a huge job to do. It’s obvious you have a whole lot of people that want to help. I just heard that today. So basically if you use them, maybe we can get something together and make it work or start to work. That’s all. Oh, yeah, if anyone wants to know about the many film, you can see us afterwar

>> KATHIE LIBBY: Thank you, sir. Let’s see. Laura wood Peterson with NHBRC.

>> Good afternoon I’m Laura Peterson with the national horse and burro management coalition and we are look for promotion of healthy wildlife and range lapped for future generations so we’re very broad-based coalition of not just scientific interests and industryes are and wildlife interests and I’m also on behalf of the national association of conservation district a member organization. The other organizations or American farm bureau federation, masters of fox hounds mule deer foundation, national cattlemen’s beef association, National Rifle Association, national refuge association, public lands foundation, RockyMountain elk foundation, society for range management and wildlife society. On behalf of all of us we want to thank you for your work together and we’re all doing.

We submitted August 30 comments but just to highlight out of those, we recommend that you not pursue a policy of self-limitation and actively pursue other alternate they’re more humane and better for the range and fish and wild live that share the rank. Looking at the bigger picture that others before have hinted on and we support your effort for facility control methods but it should be noted that this alone will not meet the population objective and additional management actions should be considered.

So I think the primary finding in the NAS report that we generally support is the active and continued management is going to be key here. We also have concern your 10 year plan to remove excess horses based on conditions on the resources as well as multiple drought years or endangered species considerations that might have to be taken into account.

The coalition is suppressing that BLM should manage rangeland use for multiple use on AMLs and we think is a primary opportunity for BLM to look at how it determines appropriate management levels using sound range land science and input from local stakeholders.

I guess our final ask is to consider management efforts for native species and species of those — of concern in some landscape skill initiatives that many of us are engaged in such as south grouse. We appreciate your time here and again we’ve submitted more extensive RIT encomments. Thank you — written comments. Thank y

>> KATHIE LIBBY: Thanks a lot and now we have Diane Kazi. Okay. Also with Cinefocus and media productions.

>> Diane Kazi: Thank you. I’m also a taxpayer. I had the opportunity in the past 60 days to go out west to go to peak and the Pryor mountains and I’ve travels many times over the years out west and it wasn’t until this past year that I knew or found out there were still wild horses out west. Having the opportunity to go out there and see wild horses and see how they’re living out their and going on the Pryro mountains and seeing the fence that is walking them from the greens, grasses and just seeing them up there on the hill where it’s just brown, it’s like they’re just like put away, we’re sticking them away.

And it’s not a spot for either place, Mikol peak or the Pryor mountains where the general public can go and see them any time. But one place we did see a lot of horses is rock springs holding facility and when I’ve seen all those horses and we’re well over 500 horses there, they had no shade, I’ve seen a bunch of colts running around without mothers and I just think we need to give this land back to the horses and let them run and be free again.

I mean, I don’t live too far from down Chesapeake where they have the horses out there and I — yes, they run them down the beach and they’re happy and that’s the only place I’ve ever known wild horses. But it really touched me to see the wild horses out west and to see them living and now I’d like to see them keep going for my grandchildren and my grandchildren’s children. Thank you.

>> KATHIE LIBBY: Thank you, Diane. And now we have Doug burden. Doug is with the safari club international.

>> Doug Burden: Members of the Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board, thank you for this opportunity to address the 2013NAS report. I’m Doug Burden on behalf of safari club international. SCI generally supports many of the findings in the NAS report as further spelled out in the written oral comments of the national horse and burro rangeland management coalition, SCI is an international hunting and conservation organization with approximately 51,000 members worldwide including many who hunt and recreate on lands occupied by wild horses and burros in the western United States.

Although I use the term wild horses in statute, SCI continues the horses at issue to be feral. SCI is interested in this it issue as wild horses and burros share the range with other wildlife including game species. If not properly managed, these horses will harm the range to the detriment of other wildlife. These lands must be managed for multiple use including the pursuit of recreational activities like hunting. SCI has supported and defended the BLM and gathering and disposing of excess wild horses in both administrative proceedings and before the courts.

I’d like to address I consider to be the three legs of wild horse management, science, policy and the law. The science, the NAS report is — represents a look at the science of wild horse management. SCI supports the call to improve the science behind the horse management but notes there’s another side to this science issue. That’s the on the ground experience and the expertise of the BLM officials in the district offices, regional offices where these lands are. Although sometimes hard to quantify or qualify this expertise and experience is an important part of managing these dynamic resources.

On the policy, the goals and aspirations of the wild horse program also heavily factor into the action and decisions of the BLM in managing these lands. These objectives derive from the wild horse’s act. From the federal land policy and management act, the evening Endangered Species Act and other federal laws. These policies also again arise from the experiences and expertise of the BLM in managing these resources for multiple uses over decades.

Finally turning to the law. The BLM and advisory board must consider — when considering the information and recommendations in the NAS report, the legal framework within which the BLM must wait at this very moment the federal courts are addressing many of the legal questions surrounding the gathering and disposing of excess wild horses.

In fact, the Ninth Circuit heard argument last Thursday on the case involving the twin peeks risk management area. That court and other courts will determine whether sun current practices are lawful and likely will determine whether future new approaches are legal. Advisory board and BLM as you move forward in addressing issues surrounding and identified in the NAS report and else where, you must consider the science, the policies and the legal framework surrounding the management of wild horses, other wildlife and range. Thank you very mu

>> KATHIE LIBBY: Thank you, Doug. Next we have Daryl Smoliak from the equine welfa alliance.

>> Daryl Smoliak: Thank you for allowing me to speak today. I had a little speech I was going to make. Listening to all this, it’s pretty fluid. I’m hearing things from both sides. The common thread that I’m hearing is let’s cooperate. To me there’s a fundamental question here. Where do we begin in cooperation? So I’m going to give you a quote from a very, very powerful man at the end.

Right now, I want to kind of start on what I had in my mind. And that is let’s look at what our species has done. I’m sure everybody here has been in an airplane. And if you’re fortunate enough to sit over the wing, you get to lock out and see how the flaps work. And an airplane weighing tons and tops can get alost aloft and stay aloft. That’s incredible technology. We are cell phones where we can text somebody around the world in a half a second. Our species is capable of wonders. Look awhat we’ve done with medicine, science, languages, and I can go on. We are an incredible species. But here’s where we fail. We fail in relationships. We fail to continue to have good solid relationships within our species and those that we share this planet with.

I’m here it talk about humane treatment. Let’s go back about a month at Falen. That was a situation, lost their lives and we all know what that’s about. How about the shade? Few months ago, maybe even a little longer now, people have to be around to put shade out for horses housed in 115, 120°. That makes it very difficulttor for people to handle and I know for a fact people called BLM and said I’ve got ma’am hammer, I’ve got nails and I’m ready to go up there and put up shades at no cost to the taxpayers.

So those are just two examples of lack of humane treatment and I think that’s where we really, really need to start. So starting this way when can all put our tips in the back politics in our back pocket. Best qualities of our human species. Sit done and refigure out humane treatment as a group. We work together for humane treatment. That’s all I’m asking her. One minute, ok

So in 2007 I then Senator Barack Obama. I was in D.C. lobby willing are to the anti-horse slater bill. At that time it was S311 in the Senate. When I left at the very end of that meeting, Mr. Obama shook my hand and he said, “I’m going to be a cosponsor.”
And then he said, “America’s horses deserve the most humane treatment possible.”

And I have an email from Mera his agriculture you’re aid, the day after Mr. Obama got elected president and here’s what that says. He said, the President-Elect used the mustangs as part of our national heritage and believe they deserve the most humane treatment possible. I’m ed Mera rubble President-Elect, Barack Obama I’m asking you to listen to your best and I’m asking Mr. Obama to please follow through on those words. Thank you for allowing me to spe

>> KATHIE LIBBY: Thank you so much. Next we have Dr. Lester Castro Friedlander with citizens against equine slaughter.

>> Less certificate Castro Friedlander.

>> Good afternoon. Thank you very much for having me this afternoon to speak in front of you. Is that good? I’m sorry. I’m not used to this.

My name is Dr. Lester Castro, I’m president of set Zens against equine slaughter. Dear board members I returned from an extensive trip to observe wild horses and burros in their natural environment as well as in captivity at the founding of our national adoption center, I’m officially requesting shade and shelter be provided to all captive wild horses and burros of. After traveling hundreds of miles in Nevada, the pine nuts range and California on the twin peaks range I would like to know what all the overpopulation hype is about. I saw one band of four horses including one foal in the pine nuts range and 10 mild horses in the twin peaks range. Out of the 10 wild horses I saw only two foals.

Would Lige to see all your data for herd management areas. I’d like to know where all the wild horses and burros are. As vice president of protect mustangs, I’m here to call for a moratorium of roundups and for the government to conduct population evidence. We need population evidence not sketchy data and not skewed binger rate statistics featuring a National Academy of Sciences report shows no evidence that justified BLM’s overpopulation claims. It is time for real science and real data.

I spent two days at the Palomino valley national adoption center, first of all, there was a fire last year and the Wild Horse and Burros are with breathing the smoke. Imagine if the center told me there was no evacuation plan to remove the wild horses and burros in case of catastrophe. An evacuation plan has to be in place for every facility. The it el phone number on the wall goes to Oklahoma. For every facility there should be a local number people can dial in case of emergency. Thirdly, instead of driving the truck to check on sick or dead animals, a 2-story observation tower should be erected and use binoculars to scan the crowd. This is a cost saving measure that is used for counseling at all facilities. Thank you very much. I appreciate it.

>> KATHIE LIBBY: Thank you, sir. And last but totally not least is Paul Schlegel with the American farm bureau foundation.

>> Paul Schlegel: Thank you. I guess my name is Paul Schlegel with the policy staff of the American farm bureau foundation, farm bureau federation. Thank you very much. I appreciate all the work that members of the committee and BLM are doing on this issue. As mentioned earlier, American farm bureau was a founding member of the national coalition the national horse and burro range coalition, they’ve submitted a statement committee and this he endorsed that statement. They are the largest general farm organization in the nation, they represent approximately 6 million members. This is enormous issue to the members.

We commend the work of the national acanned academy of sciences and we do believe that it underscores the urgency of this problem. The wild horse population is probably undercounted while the population is growing rapidly, federal agency resourcees are constrained and adoptions are declining. All of these developments point to the urgent need for an effective solution that’s based on science, sound science. Follows the established principle of respecting multiple use for public land and provides farmers and rangers to people I represent the certainty that federal agencies will remain account will for obligations under the law for managing these herds.

For many members, these are not academic questions, they’re challengings they face on day-to-day lives. They expect federal agencies to meet and carry out their obligations but in so many instances they feel that is not being done. The result is that range resources are either being damaged or increased risk of damage. NAS study presents a number of important findings and helps provide a roadmap for the future and our members believe strongly agencies should use the tools they have today to manage wild horse populations as effectively as they can.

We have annual meetings every year, this year in January we reaffirmed our policy and I’d like to share a couple points with the members of the committee.

Number one: Wild Horse and Burro populations should be managed in clients with agency resource management plan with the goal of maintaining a thriving natural ecological balance on the raving for all multiple uses.

Effective and efficient fertility control practices should be utilized including sterilizations to minimize population growth and to reduce the cost of gathers.

Thirdly title of wild horses should be transferred immediately upon adoption. Mentioned earlier the NAS has studied many respect but American farm bureau does not want federal agencies to suspend efforts that should being taken today while proposals emanating from NAS are under consideration. Fertility control will be an important control but will not reduce herd levels today.

The challenge to our board members is to get the appropriate management levels of herds to get to the levels as expeditiously as possible. Agencies should do all they can within the law to responsibly manage herds. They’re putting tremendous stress on the land on natural resources out west, we commend all members of the committee, members of BLM. Staff at BLM for the work they’re doing and ready to work with you in any appropriate manner and we appreciate the opportunity to submit our comments. Thank you.

>> KATHIE LIBBY: We thank you all. Dr. Spratling, that concludes the public comment period and I turn it over to you.

>> DR. BOYD SPRATLING: I’d like to thank everybody for participate, we’ve also received a lot of written comments from people not in attendance and that’s an important part of this program. With that, we’ll — unless Joan do you have anything more to say? We’ll go ahead and reconvene this tomorrow morn at 8 — (off mic).

>> We’re a little ahead of schedule, right.

>> TIM HARVEY: Yeah, I just wanted — when I was correcting on using the word earlier today of priority, I pulled the law because I wanted to look at the language. And I misspoke when I used the word priority. But I want to read this sentence, a couple sentences out of the law because the law has been referred to here by a lot of people sitting there in regards to AML, feral horses, there’s a lot of things they want to mention the horses there’s two levels in the act and one is the letter of the law and spirit of the law and both need to be looked at in maybe a consensus reach done and how those issues should be addressed.

It is the policy of Congress that while free roaming horses and burros, should be protected from capture, branding harassment and death and to accomplish this they’re to be considered in the areas presently found as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands. It doesn’t say they’re feral. It says they’re to be considered as a natural part of the system. So therefore, I this I that parents that they’ve got a right to be interest and I think that that’s why we’re sitting here..

But I think some of the folks that want to look at them as feral kind of gets rid of that argument as far as I’m concerned. Congress said they’re to be considered as a natural part of the land.

And the other place where I was corrected about using the word priority was in describing their ranges. And basically, what it says is that they’re not to exceed their known territorial limits and which is devoted principally but not necessarily exclusively to their welfare and keeping with thement many use concept management of the public lands.

There’s a subjective quality to that. The fact that it says not necessarily exclusively means there is a priority. The fact it says it’s to be devoted principally but not necessarily exclusively absolutely says there should be priority given to these horses in my opinion. That in these herd management areas.


That we do have to give these horses a priority. And so I think that it at times when we’re considering what we should be doing in these horses in herd management areas especially considering that they’re on so few greatly reduced amount of acreage than first laid out we do need to consider that prioritizing of the existing HMAs that are good places to manage horses. BLM’s decision-making processes. So that’s — I just I just needed to say that, thanks.

>> DR. BOYD SPRATLING: Okay, we’re in a policy of responding. We have one more response.

>> CALLIE HENDRICKSON: Tim, if I could, I totally agree as I read the law, there’s different ways of interpreting some of that language and there will probably be a court to — I mean, there is a court — there’s A case before the court at this time that I think will probably decide some of those.

But I also have another as you’re quoting the law. This comes from the actual — and I never know what it’s calmed. But what the Senate goes through as they pass the laws. What’s that called? So their — so the report language. And this comes directly out of that, the U.S. Senate report 1971 page 3 and it reads the principle goal of this legislation is to provide for the protection of the animals from man and not the single use management of areas for the benefit of wild free roaming horses and burros, it is the intent of the committee that wild horses and burros be specifically incorporated as component of the multiple use plans governing the use of the public lands. There again the courts may make that final determination that am may — again, I wasn’t there in ’71 that this may — as they call it the spirit of the law.

>> TIM HARVEY: I’m not saying it should be an exclusive — that the horses should have exclusivity here. I’m not saying it’s. But I think if one of the statistics that was put out by somebody here in one of the speakers is that in the AUM allocation and HMAs, 82% of the AMUs are given to livestock. If that is accurate, then that certainly doesn’t — does not address the spirit principally but not necessarily to the horse and to the burros. I think if it was a principle allocation, it should — that’s so weighted one way or the other that that would be unfair if it were the other way around in my opinion. 6040 horses would be accurate. That’s something I’d like to get an answer, definitely want an answer to but, if that is accurate, that doesn’t even come close to devoted principally.

>> I think there will be people wearing black robes making that decision.

>> I can go buy a black robe.

>> Okay, you probably want to be apointed or elected.

>> DR. BOYD SPRATLING: We’re going to — tomorrow on the agenda, I’ve let us go at it T. —

>> But we’re not over time.

>> DR. BOYD SPRATLING: No, but the agenda still stands. Our comments and views and recommendations will come tomorrow at 10:00. 9:00. And with that — and I’ll make my comment tomorrow. Keeping with the agenda. Okay. .

>> We start at 9:00 so that there’s no interpretation. It begins at 8 but the recommendations from the board begins at 9 after the BLM’s chance to give their response. Appreciate everybody’s participation today. Anything else? We’ll reconvene tomorrow morning at 8:00. (Session concluded at 4:48 p.m. ET.

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6 Responses to “Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board Meeting, September 10 (part 4 of 4) last session of the day”

  1. grandmagregg September 17, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

    Thank you very much … and may I assume you will post the following day also … when you have time? I appreciate this very much.
    By the way, BLM’s Debbie Collins said that the [video] meeting would not be posted online for the public because the government doesn’t have enough “storage” but the written minutes of the meeting would be posted but she implied it would be many months. So anyone that was at work or otherwise occupied those meeting days would not have a chance to know what really happened. Thanks again.


    • WestDeltaGirl September 18, 2013 at 11:21 am #

      I sure will…but need a few days to recover – it took a lot of time to just put it into a format that is readable and I felt I had to add a lot of tags so the subjects discussed could easily be found.
      If you submitted comments before the meeting, please add them as a comment.
      I think it’s very important for people to know what was sent so we will all know what the BLM and Advisory Board has rejected.


      • grandmagregg September 18, 2013 at 11:33 am #

        Again … thank you!


    • WestDeltaGirl September 18, 2013 at 11:21 am #

      I sure will…but need a few days to recover – it took a lot of time to just put it into a format that is readable and I felt I had to add a lot of tags so the subjects discussed could easily be found.

      If you submitted comments before the meeting, please add them as a comment. I think it’s very important for people to know what was sent so we will all know what the BLM and Advisory Board has rejected.


  2. Adahy Linda September 18, 2013 at 6:59 pm #



  3. WestDeltaGirl March 4, 2014 at 11:30 am #


    The BLM Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board has made public all the materials from their meeting in September 2013. It has all the text printed out, the videos and presentations:



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