July 28, 2013
Just for fun, let’s imagine that your company, henceforth known as the REALLY BIG COMPANY (“RB”) has a very serious financial and PR problem (So maybe you don’t have a company, but this is pretend, so play along). Naturally, You try all sorts of gimmicks to make the public think you really care, like “public comment periods” and “information gathering sessions.” But you’re REALLY BIG, so management doesn’t have to listen to all the little complainers. Then you classify every human that complains as, “Tree hugging, tofu eating animal activists,” that have no idea what they are talking about.
But time catches up to you, the study is released and the #%@* scientists agree with the public. What then? — IGNORE IT, right?
What? You disagree? Wrong answer, and it’s obvious that you will never qualify to be a part of the BLM management team.
Suzanne Roy, who writes a blog for the Huffington Post, explains it as only she can….
BLM Continues “Business as Usual” for Wild Horse Program 50 Days After Independent Report Urges New Course, Suzanne Roy, Huffington Post Blog
Last Friday at 5:33 p.m. ET, as thousands of captured wild horses sweltered in punishing heat in government holding pens, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued a press release announcing plans to round up 1,300 more wild horses from the West over the next eight weeks.
In the pubic relations world, late Friday afternoon is the time to release bad news. And the BLM’s announcement is bad news indeed for wild horses and American taxpayers.
Why? Because it continues the federal government’s “business as usual” approach to wild horse management, which just last month, an independent scientific panel at the National Academies (NAS) characterized as “expensive and unproductive for the BLM and the public it serves.”
Wild horses are national symbols of freedom, and the irony of stockpiling more mustangs in government holding facilities (50,000) than remain free in the wild (32,000) was not lost on the NAS panel. Dr. Guy Palmer, panel chair, told the Associated Press, “No one really wants to see more horses in long-term holding just from an economic viewpoint. Secondly, this is not the vision that is associated with what the public wants to see with the horses on these wild lands.”
After a nearly two-year review that the BLM itself commissioned and funded, the NAS recommended against further roundups and in favor of managing wild horses on the range with fertility control. Despite this, the BLM is galloping ahead with more roundups, as the agency’s carefully timed Friday afternoon press release revealed.
In May, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell told The Denver Post that she would look to the NAS report to guide her approach to reforming the BLM program. Today — 50 days after the release of the NAS report — she is still reviewing the NAS findings, according to her recent Congressional testimony.
But, as the BLM’s summer roundup schedule reveals, Secretary Jewell is fiddling while Rome burns. While she is “reviewing” the report, the BLM will bring 1,300 more wild horses into a holding system that is at already at capacity and — at a daily cost to American taxpayers of $120,000 a day — threatening fiscal collapse.
Savvy to the PR implications, the BLM is spinning the new roundup schedule as an “emergency” response to drought conditions in the West. But the agency’s own handbook classifies droughts not as emergencies, but as events that “can be detected in advance and are managed through the normal planning process.” CONTINUED – and you REALLY should read the rest of the story – CLICK HERE
Wayne Pacelle, HSUS
Those of you who regularly watch our good friend Jane Velez-Mitchell’s show on HLN may haveseen me last Thursday in a brief segment talking about a potentially dangerous situation for 1,800 captive wild horses at a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) facility near Reno, Nev.
At that site, temperatures have been reaching record highs this month, exceeding 100 degrees. Despite the fact that the BLM requires individuals who adopt wild horses from the agency to provide adequate shelter, there is no shelter for the horses at the Palomino Valley National Adoption Center (PVC). After several wild-horse advocates brought this matter to our attention, The HSUS wrote a letter to the BLM, urging the agency to develop a shelter to provide some protection from the sun at Palomino Valley.
The HSUS request is hardly unprecedented, since the BLM has installed shelters at other facilities, like one in Ridgecrest, Calif. Thus far, the BLM has installed a sprinkler system, but no shelter. Newly confirmed Interior Secretary Sally Jewell can take action to show she’s serious about reform of this program.
While an important welfare issue for the horses, the situation unfolding at Palomino Valley is yet another symptom of a broken horse and burro program. The central problem is that the BLM continues to round up and remove thousands of wild horses and to aggregate more horses than it can responsibly care for at short-term and long-term holding facilities, all at an enormous expense to taxpayers and to horses — and in defiance of the spirit of the federal law designed to protect them. CONTINUED – Click HERE
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