BLM Works the Media


August 27, 2013

imagesStatements made by the inner circle at the BLM have left no doubt that their goal is to “humanely euthanize” (pronounced “slaughter”) a large number of America’s wild horses. The recent push of stories into the media of budgetary crisis, emergency roundups and overcrowded holding facilities are ending with a sentence or two of the same conclusion – slaughter may be the only answer.

Of course that’s not true, but it’s a way to manipulate public thinking and designed to lead the public into agreeing. Just like the “unwanted and starving” horses that the pro-slaughter folks have long pushed on us, the PR pros want the American public to see the looming crisis as one not of the BLM’s making, but as a public service agency being forced into making the decision to slaughter.

The Washington Post came out with this story yesterday, “The West is on the brink of a wild horse apocalypse. (No, really.)” Within that story are some amazing BLM supplied “facts” such as, “There are currently some 33,000 wild horses roaming freely on public lands…”

Horse advocates estimate that there might be as few as 20,000 left. We know of roundups that have been cancelled because the BLM could not find any wild horses. Part of several lawsuits, one in which Habitat for Horses became involved, disputed their counting methods completely.

“Congress has largely restricted the slaughter of healthy horses.” Actually false. Thanks to Senator Burns, who stuck in the Burns Amendment in the middle of the night to an appropriations bill, any captured horse over 10 years of age or that has been up for adoption 3 times is available for immediate sale.

The article then discusses long tern “retirement” facilities and says, “There are now 45,000 horses in these facilities…” Probably wrong again, but we don’t know, thanks to the BLM’s transparency, which is about equal to a lead wall. The public is not allow on these ranches, so while payments are being made, we have no way of accounting for those horses other than simply accepting what the BLM says.

“BLM has announced that it will remove fewer horses from public lands. At the same time, the wild horses keep breeding, with unmanaged herds able to triple in size in just six to eight years.” – Please, and I keep asking, would someone tell me how a herd of 100 horses will turn into 300 in six years? That would happen only if every foal was born alive, no horses died and no predators existed. The BLM keeps chanting that herds double every four years. The National Academy of Science says if the BLM would simply leave them alone, herd size would stabilize in a very short time.

It makes one wonder how we have avoided being overtaken with sage grouse, big horn sheep and prairie dogs. Through some form of magic, nature has a way of managing species population – provided humans with all our wisdom don’t get involved, but that’s another story.

The article goes on to quote Robert Garret and Madan Oli of the University of Florida (Is this the new center for wild horse research?) who tell us of the looming disaster. “But what do we do when animals are destroying rangeland, competing with livestock and other wildlife and dying due to starvation and drought?” ask Garret.

cows-grazing-in-wild-horse-area-kimmerleee-curylWait… Competing with livestock? Isn’t this land that was designated for the wild horses in 1971 in the Wild Horse and Burro Act? Did I miss something about welfare ranchers being far more important than horses? Once again, the beef industry pokes up it’s ugly head.

Then comes the contraceptive concept. Stick every mare on the range with PZP every few years. “But contraception by itself, they note, is insufficient. BLM would also need to remove many of the existing wild horses from public lands to bring the base population down to around 23,622.”

Now that, America, is being scientific! Exactly 23, 622 horses. No plus or minus a few, but exactly that number. I am totally and completely amazed, as I know you are. However, once again I feel forced to point out that there is no true or accurate accounting of the numbers of existing wild horses. 

Now comes the zinger – “Or — and this is a grislier possibility — the government could kill off thousands of healthy horses.”

Giving credit to the writer of the article, Brad Plumer, for adding this to his article later:

“Here’s an additional point from the American Wild Horse Preservation Center. Using BLM figures, the center estimated that about 82.5 percent of the forage in wild horse herd management areas is actually reserved for livestock grazing, while just 17.5 percent of the forage is allocated to the horses themselves. So another possible option to alleviate overcrowding could be to scale back livestock grazing on public lands. That’s likely to be controversial among ranchers, but it’s worth noting.”

There is a place for comments on this article at the Washington Post, and I hope you make your thoughts known. CLICK HERE

Then if you REALLY want to make a statement, take a PLEDGE in the face of the beef industry and let them know that not another ounce of their product will cross your lips until they stop supporting slaughter. This article makes it clear that the welfare ranchers, meaning the beef industry, want the land for themselves and want the horses gone forever. Why put another dollar in their pocket when they are fighting the S.A.F.E Act? CLICK HERE to read about the PLEDGE and HERE to sign the PLEDGE and let your voice be heard.

AUTHOR: Jerry Finch
  • Please, it’s not enough to comment on these articles. You have to write to editors and corrections lines if you want any misleading or false information countered/corrected. Otherwise, you are just wasting words that editors do not read or care about.

    August 27, 2013
  • sherriey

    ….signed sealed and delivered….i hope!

    August 27, 2013
  • Jan Schultz

    I read this and acknowledge it is one of many coming out that are preparing the ill informed and mis informed American stupefied public for a slaughter order.

    August 27, 2013
  • susan rudnicki

    Mr Blumer—
    Are you a reputable reporter of ethical purpose when you consign the years-long scientific study of this issue by the National Academy of Sciences to a FOOTNOTE?
    Or, is it inconvenient for your BLM sources(who lobbied for said study) and yourself to mention one of the most salient statements— “The Wild Horse and Burro Program has not used scientifically rigorous methods to estimate the population sizes of horses and burros, to model the effects of management actions on the animals, or to assess the availability and use of forage on rangelands.”
    There are some really poor reporting practices going on here in your shilling for the BLM and buddies at Science magazine. I doubt these two professors have ever studied or read any documents save the ones serving their purposes for writing this piece.

    August 27, 2013
    • Arlene

      Well said Susan !!!!!!! no need to further comment you said it all !!!!!!1 BRAVO!

      August 27, 2013
  • jes

    The blm does not round up the sick and starving. they roynd-up the healthy to make a profit. dismantle this uneducated, mafioso now!

    August 27, 2013
  • Nancy Albin

    first of all thank you Jerry Finch for making us all aware of what is going on with the Wild Horses. I know there is a special place in heavon for you. Now I feel so helpless I have a video i want you to see & maybe you can put it out there as well, It’s from ACE Animal Cruelty Exposed on my fb page I can’t send it to you for some reason. I hope you can take a minute & watch it & show it to as many people as possible because it shows exactly what & how they are treating the horses at slaughter they will see how inhumane this truelly is! It’s worse case of barbaric cruelty I have ever ever fathomed on this planet by a human being “these are Serial killers” doing this. I don’t know what could of made these people like this? It is to where how can we live in our country knowing we are allowing this to happen to our horses just to feed other countries poison, how can we get this to a vote for the american people because congress is not interrpeting what the american people want? Because once it gets to a voteing issue most of american people (80%) who are not aware of this treatment & the media will have to give it more coverage for publics awareness

    August 27, 2013
  • Monika Courtney

    To authors:
    The American public is increasingly misled by bought out parties, the latest of which you represent. False reporting is to lose credibility and reflects an opinion. Your article reeks of self-inserted segments lacking depth and core truth to make you a credible reporter. Furthermore, your opinion is misleading at best, as you are not covering the real issue, but a propaganda to serve agendas to which you allegedly chose to cater. As you omit the corporate greed, special interests and deceptive tactics of BLM which led to this mes and the continued demonizing of our wild horses, your audacity to circumvent the key factors shows your unprofessionalism and non-discerning of the allover situation. Investigating fully before spreading false truths reflects integrity, which you have none covering this area. Fraudulent schemes have infested the main stream media and few have the courage to showcase the issue unbiased. You as a reporter/editor have demonstrated here that you are not a steward of integral reporting, a quality that most spineless or bought out wonders in the media world have lost. The reality is not what you depict here. Decades of accommodating to special interests while mocking the tax paying public and the 1971 Act is what you ought to report on. In that regards, I recommend you read Craig Downer’s book “The Wild Horse Conspiracy” to get up to speed. It is a study of decades of BLM mismanagement, cold hard facts, not the dramatized fluff techniques you use to manipulate your readership. Your opinion piece is inaccurate, self-garnished and an insult as it denies the reality of the topic at hand. Taking underhanded information serving the brass within an agency that has lied to the American public makes you no better than a deceptive Chameleon not to be taken serious. I hope your readership gets a clue.

    August 28, 2013
    • Cheryl Gall

      Thank you Monika for speaking the whole truth. It’s all about greed.

      September 1, 2013
    • Arlene

      Thank You Monika, You said it all also Magnificent counter to a story filled with flaws and deception !!!!!!!

      September 2, 2013
  • Ziggy Pope

    Would love to know why our own federal employees have turned into shilling for the welfare ranchers and extractors and not defending the rest of us? WE pay their salaries, not the ranchers. WE pay their benefits. NOT the ranchers.

    That Sally Jewell, Dept of Interior and manager of this fiscally inept BLM, and Forestry departments is NOT defending US, is a perfect example of government gone awry!!!

    The cattlemen receive yearly money for subsidies AND they use and abuse OUR land to save their own. In other words, they are double dipping the taxpayers, and if you count that, now, you and I pay for the horses the ranchers had removed, they are TRIPLE dipping into our pockets!!!

    Get them off our land, and out of our pockets and set the horses free!!!

    It is that simple.

    August 31, 2013
  • Robert C. Bauer

    The BLM constantly assert that they are striving to maintain, concerning the wild horses and burros, a thriving natural ecological balance, yet every aspect of the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program is opposed to the very concept of thriving, ecological, or balance, let alone natural. The National academy of sciences did a study on the wild horses and burros, establishing that mortality rates for the first year in wild equids was between 14% and 50% annually. After this mortality rates for adults averaged between 5% and 25%, this being a function of predatory and environmental factors ( density independent inhibition),and competitive grazers ( density dependent inhibition). Couple this with the aggressive use of PZP, gelding males and releasing them, adjusting ratios of males to females,( in nature about 55% female and 45% male),the fact that not every female will drop a foal, that females usually don’t breed until about 2 and that not every foal that drops is a female able to breed, and the unbridled roundups, reproductive rates will never recover the numbers out there. Using the BLM’s own numbers and doing simple mathematics factoring in all of these variables, the numbers of wild horses and burros out in the wild have to be in the very very low teens, if that. Truthfully, they are most likely down to a few thousand regardless of the lies that the BLM broadcast. Nature is dynamic not static, constantly changing, constantly adjusting, according to its own mechanisms. Mankind in his arrogance continuously believes he can manage nature better than nature herself who has been doing it successfully for thousands of years. The moment an effort is made to adjust nature artificially is the moment the system begins to start breaking down. Increased adjustment by mankind will accelerate that breakdown. Nature, therefore, including the wild horses and burros, needs to be left alone, untouched, for true balance to exist. The Wild Horse and Burro Program of the BLM is only designed to bring about elimination of these beautiful creatures. In the wild is where they belong , free lives according to natures mechanisms, no matter how harsh or how mild. This is their life. This is what they are and this is the beauty of their existance, the fact they they live their lives according to natures mechanism, unhindered by man. If BLM’s restrictions of fencing, PZP, adjustment of sex ratios, gelding practises, isolation of water sites and barriers restricting free movement of the wild horses and burros to and from winter and summer grazing, the numbers of wild horses would return back to where nature wants them to be, in the thousands upon thousands. After the Calico Mountain roundup of 2009 into 2010, I with two others went out to document what was left. I got out of the truck and walked to an outlook point and looked over the emptiness, with nothing but the sound of the wind in my ears. My heart ached inside to see a land void of wild horses and burros. A dead range was all that was left. When observing the wild horses and burros in the wild one sees a zest for life, a nuturing of family band members for each other, a love of being unbridled, as they race across the rangelands as though they could fly without wings. Isn’t this what we as humans reach for, yet every practise of the BLM has resulted in once wild horses and burros, wasting away in holding facilities, dead inside, as dead as the rangelands that were left after the horses were removed. When will mankind learn to leave his hands off. The wild horses are just this, wild and this is the beauty of what they are, not in fenced confinement, but out on the rangelands of the west unhindered by man’s devices. T

    September 5, 2013