Emery County joins group protesting wild horse and burro over-population

Joel Hatch addresses the commission on the wild horse and burro problem.

More misinformation to the public – the few thousand horses, donkeys and burros in the Western US are NOT causing the problem of over grazing… the millions of cattle are. Cattle are ill suited to the environment whereas horses, who lived here long ago, are well adapted. ~ HfH

From: Emery County Progress
By: Patsy Stoddard

Joel Hatch addresses the commission on the wild horse and burro problem.

Joel Hatch addresses the commission on the wild horse and burro problem.

Joel Hatch approached the Emery County Commissioners to ask for their support of the newly formed Western Rangelands Conservation Association Inc. This association is preparing to take the Bureau of Land Management to court for their lack of management of the wild horse and burro population.
The overpopulation is especially problematic in Kane and Iron counties. Iron County has determined they will take upon themselves to round up the horses and take them to a holding center.

Hatch told the commissioners she runs cattle in Iron and Beaver counties. Last season the BLM asked the grazers to take a voluntary 40 percent reduction in numbers. This reduction was asked for because the rangeland cannot support the overpopulation of wild horses and burros and the cattle. One of the reasons the BLM lists as why they can’t do anything with the wild horses and burros is lack of funding.

But, Hatch told the commissioners how does the BLM have enough money to round up Cliven Bundy’s cattle in Nevada which is very expensive and not have enough money to take care of the wild horse and burro overpopulation.

“We need to hold the BLM accountable for the overpopulation of wild horse and burros just as we are accountable for our cows. The horses double in population every four years. This is our livelihood. We feed the world,” said Hatch.

Hatch went on to ask Emery County to lead out on this problem and join the fight.

Commissioner James Nelson said he attended one of the meetings of the Rangeland group. Of the 30 in attendance seven of the people were from Emery County and Dustin Huntington from Castle Dale is on the board.

It was mentioned the Price Field Office reports the San Rafael is 300 animals over the Acceptable Management Level.

Commissioner Jeff Horrocks wondered if the group has approached the state for help. They have received $5,000 from the farm bureau and $2,000 from SITLA, but they haven’t asked for any state funding at this time.

Ray Petersen from the Emery County Public Lands asked what exactly they were litigating. He said the litigation should state the BLM must manage according to the levels listed in each of their resource management plans. Each field office has their own RMP.

Commissioner Ethan Migliori suggested they get the Emery County Public Lands Council involved. Their next meeting is May 6. Petersen said the lands council has asked the Price BLM about the horse and burro problem and they don’t have any answers.

The commission determined Commissioner Nelson will write a letter to the BLM expressing the concerns of the county and asking them to abide by their own rules. Also in the letter they will voice their opposition of the gathering of the cattle in Nevada and request they not be brought into Utah to be sold.

Sheriff Greg Funk said the gathering of the cows is a Nevada issue, but they shouldn’t bring Utah into it, by trying to cross statelines with the cows. Sheriff Funk is concerned that the SITLA land in the Swell will be swapped out for other lands and then they will lose SITLA as a partner in fighting the BLM. In Wyoming the BLM was forced to take care of their wild horse problem because the horses were congregating on private land and they had to move them out.

Commissioner Migliori asked Senator David Hinkins what the governors office thinks of the issue. He said he hasn’t discussed the issue with the governor but he has talked to the Lt. governor about it.

SITLA is willing to help get the money appropriated to remove the animals from SITLA grounds.

Sen. Hinkins said he is opposed to trading out lands on the Swell because all of the resources there haven’t been explored and its unwise to tie them up.

The commissioners approved $1,000 for a membership in the Western Rangelands Conservation Association. The next meeting of that association is April 25 at 4 p.m. in Beaver.

Other commission business included Treasurer Steve Barton asking the commissioners for permission to work with a tax payer to keep his property off the May tax sale.

The commission approved the communication lease agreement with River Canyon Wireless.

All-Star property management was approved for lawn care for the libraries.

Ross Huntington the chairman of the Emery County Care and Rehab board presented a plan to the commissioners to help with some of the debt service owed the Local Building Authority. There is a new subsidy program from the state of Utah for non-state owned nursing facilities.

The county needs to contribute $181,000 to the state fund by April 15 and the care center will receive back $550,000. They will be able to pay their debt service, pay their vendors and have some left over.

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AUTHOR: Amber Barnes
  • All monies used to round up mustangs is wasted , there is no overpopulation of mustangs !!!!! BLM wastes over $70 million taxpayers money, who are paying to Preserve and Protect the Mustangs , that is the only Tragedy here……………….

    April 16, 2014
  • vickysecho

    Somebody do a count of cattle and compare it to what is allowed. Bundy claimed he had 500 head and they gathered almost 1100. It would probably be a real eye opener.

    April 16, 2014
  • Sue

    “Iron County has determined they will take upon themselves to round up the horses and take them to a holding center.”

    OMG! This absolutely MUST be stopped. These people will be going out there will rifles and slaughtering all the wild ones! Remember what happened with wolves.

    April 16, 2014
  • Lisa

    omg. They are never at a loss for dis-information. I think ALL rancher privileges should be suspended. Public land is NOT for SALE –I am so tired of the cattle barons insisting 50 thousand mustangs cause more damage then 12 MILLION cattle grazing public lands. They need a reality check.

    April 16, 2014
  • Susan carter

    Give the horses their HMA land , as promised in the Wild Horse and Burro Act of 71. For the horses only, no cattle. Let’s see which species is harder on the land.

    April 16, 2014
  • Debbie

    To me it doesn’t matter even if they had all the data staring them in the face, that there is NOT an over population issue with the horses, THEY WANT THEM GONE,, no matter what…

    April 16, 2014
  • Everyone with a brain knows it is about greed, power, money, it has been that way from the beginning. Mankind is always lying, breaking treaties, cheating, all in the name of money. No shame, no guilt, no intergrity. Nothing will change, if left to the powerful.. We all have got to get our shit together and make things right on this earth. We must speak for the horses….

    April 17, 2014
  • Kim

    Tell the ranchers that to graze any livestock on public lands they have to share it with the Native Wildlife that was there long before them. And that the ranchers have to use rest and rotation methods with their herds. Grasslands benefit and handle natural methods best, the livestock needs to be moved often, like a migrating herd, allowing the land to rest from grazing while the herd is in another area. This allows the grasses to re-seed bare areas and for the grass growth to get a head start on its growth before it is grazed.

    April 27, 2014