Bureau of Land Management Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board Meeting on September 11, 2013 – Ben Shelly Navajo Nation President

26 Oct

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.

– Braketed italicized text [ ] correction by me.

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


Navajo Nation President President, Ben Shelly

Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly

>> KATHIE LIBBY: We’re very pleased to have with us the president of the nav know nation, president Ben Shelly, we invite you up, sir.

..BEN SHELLY: This is the hot seat. I’m used to that. They call me all kinds of names right now because of federal horses. Add another comment. I’d like to say it’s almost noon so I’m just going to say good morning the advisory board. And thank you for listening to us on problems on the Indian reservation, let me make it clear I think they’re talking about BLM at this point. BLM they do have horses and burros, we’re talking about earlier sometime today I believe one of my recommend testifies of tiffs did a PowerPoint for you on feral horses.

The difference is feral horses and wild horses know how to survive in the world just like the elk and dears, but fer el horses are once owned by an owner. They were just let go and they don’t — they’re Morrisly wandering around because animals peculiar just like you and me, we tend to go back by natural instinct that we have. So these feral horses are born on the reservation. They’ll stay around there until they die and and I will probably do the same thing. We’re mammals just like they are. We reproduce,

I want to bring your attention to a growing problem on the Navajo nations. The problem with feral horse presents an increase in drainage of our finance and natural resource. And risk damaging violable trust asset. Navajo nation is currently spending over $200,000 a year to address the damage these horses caused to the Navajo nation Department of Agriculture estimates the feral horses population at about 75,000. I think it’s more than that. It’s growing, the potential damage caused by addressing these problems is coping with the animals, experience have bought a Navajo nation to ask you to find a solution to the feral horses.

These horses are not wild horse that many think symbolize the west, these are only domestic animals that have been set free he by owners can no longer afort upkeep. Feral horses are one of the biggest concerns facing the Navajo community. So over this overpopulation contributed to rangeland depletion. Water source damage through urinating, contamination so on. Death and property discussion due to highway accident competing for natural resources used by domestic livestock and people the pain and suffering of feral horses due to starvation, di hydration, and disease. Impact of feral horses due to severe drought is significant. A single feral horse consume 5 gallons per day or 1 that he out 45 gallons per year  [THIS ISN’T WHAT HE SAID ABOUT GALLONS PER YEAR – THE CAPTIONING SYSTEM  USED ON THE LIVE-STREAM DIDN’T CAPTURE THE AMOUNT CORRECTLY] and 18 pounds of forage per day is 6,570 pounds per year.
Even if these feral horses are captured, the Navajo nation faces many challenges to remove these horses from the nation’s will not return to the nation. We ask you to help the Navajo nation deal with this problem and protect the natural resource. But let me go put a P.S. on what my statement was. As you know, these Navajo nation relies on pretty large land and we’re bigger than three states in the union. Navajo nation is a pretty good of land that we sit on.

I want to bring to your attention talking about nation. The responsibility we’re all talking about this morning, he want to let you know that it is the federal government responsibility let me tell you why. 1800s, Congressmen and senators passed laws through the president. And one of those Indian policy laws livestock reduction 1934. What happens in that period Navajo people abandoned animals. So federal government tame in and said well you — you’re overgrazing the land, the resource is depleting. So what they did is attached a policy they call it Indian policy with livestock reduction. And what they came, the government came and they wiped out, they took a lot of animals. From us at that time.

The basic reason for the livestock reduction to put in policy which that policy still exists now is on the shoulder of the federal government yet what did they do? They’re supposed to regulate animals on these lands like reservations. They’ve done away with the funding. So there was nobody out there regulating. Over growth population horses. So this is the reason why we’re in this predicament. Again let me reiterate. This is the responsibility of the federal government. They have a policy that existed.

Now my argument is why many he subsidizing these feral horses out of my own general fund to meet the needs of taking care of those horses? Now, the federal government is standing there looking at us. So I’m really advocating to say to the federal government it’s their responsibility to fund this. 75,000 I believe there’s a PowerPoint you have this morning only talks about 900 roundup. 75,000 versus 900. We’re running out of money already. General funds that we subsidize. So what did we accomplish. A little here and probably newborns are coming, I’ve seen a lot of colts. Small little colts. It’s going to be back up there again if we run out of money and quit working on it.
Again, let me say this, what’s the answer? Sometimes you’re always looking for an answer. One is that governments need to take responsibility and start funding this so that we can take care of the problem. Second major one that I’m very in full support of is veterinarian. We don’t have veterinary school on the reservation and it’s something that needs to be beefed up, the veterinarian part of it so that we control and regulate our self, the government can’t do it. They can give us fund to do that veterinary school and so on teach our kids to be veterinarians, that would be the answer to our problem here. So I’d just like to bring that forth. But again summarize everything, we’re not talking about BLM land here, we’re talking about Navajo nation and we’re also talking about government responsibility.

It’s not — it’s their responsibility because the endan policy day passes livestock reduction, they call it. It still exists, it’s still here. I’m just asking that those and the other is veterinarian we’d like to see that on the reservation so that we can control and regulate animals. With that comment I’d like to close with that and again thank you for listening to me. The advisory board is here. We do have burros on the ground but they’re not that many. So apparently the BLM land they might have one. No, I don’t need them. Again, they’re tough animals so again we’re talking about two things here, I I just want you to realize it. But again, explain to you what’s going on on the reservation so again, thank you.

>> DR. BOYD SPRATLING: Your presentation this morning was excellent. I realize you weren’t here but it was very informative. The BLM as an authority probably doesn’t even come on to the reservation lands of the Navajo nation. So I’m not sure what we’d actually have to do with that.

>> Thank you, president Shelly, I’m ed Roberson the designated official for this advisory committee. And the committee does advise BLM Secretary of Interior and agriculture on issues related to wild horses and burros. And we can take back about the challenges outbars feral horses and — they’ll be in our minutes and the message has been relayed over the Internet to folks. So this is a forum to both educate and inform. And we appreciate it.

>> Yes, this will be in the news, responsibility the government is supposed to do and they neglect to do it. So again I’ve been asked a lot about that. I want to come here and tell you that up front about the government responsibility and the policy and so on. So it will be addressed in public now and again, I hope that this is — talking to my staff, Washington staff here, they were telling me this is the first part of the hearing. I’m hoping to see more action taken out in the second part of your hearing. Actions be coming out of this. I do see some recommendation going on on the comments you make on the PowerPoint here or statement you’re making but when I’m reading the statement I wonder if it pertains to the BLM part of it or wild horses.

Ours is a little different. Make sure you know that. Sours on the reservation and it has its policy, Indian policies. Responsibility of the government and we are the government, but again, what can I say? It’s something that needs to be dressed and it’s already there. There’s not too much discussion who is responsible for this. Support each other on that. We can do that manpower and we just need to find it and continue to do what we’re doing right now.

>> Thank you, thank you very much.


4 Responses to “Bureau of Land Management Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board Meeting on September 11, 2013 – Ben Shelly Navajo Nation President”


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