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OpEd: Interior chief let down horses 

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RGJ.com, August 18. 2013, Steven Rose

Jewell receives blessing of Salazar. The tradition continues

Jewell receives blessing of Salazar. The tradition continues

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell said she would look at the National Academy of Sciences’ two-year study of the Bureau of Land Management’s wild horse program and make changes to improve it.

This is the program that cost the BLM $1.2 million. It was labeled “an expensive failure” that did not meet any of its goals. So, what has Jewell and her team at the BLM done? Nothing, just like her predecessor. Her spokesperson stated that “there is no timeline for changes.” So, guess what they did next?

They have scheduled ongoing wild-horse roundups, ignoring all of the facts in the study that they asked for — so let the abuse and killing begin again. Their arrogance and ignorance is offensive to the millions of us who are trying to save these icons of America.

They continue to spend $77 million per year for this failed program that keeps 49,000 wild horses in pens — and yearly ask for increases of about $2 million.

No one in the BLM cares about our horses or is held accountable for the deplorable handling of this program. There are now more wild horses in BLM pens than there are on the open range, where they belong.

Why? That’s an easy one. Because it is more important to them to sell cattle-grazing leases, more than 15,000 of them, oil-drilling leases and mining leases for the cash.

Yes, it is the land of the dollar bill and they think more of the money than they do about the humane treatment of our wild horses. They have come up with every excuse in the book to continue to remove them.

The latest quotes are, “They are starving due to the drought” and, “They are a public safety issue” and, “There is no room for them on the ranges.”

Pure and simple lies. Nevada on its own has more than 70 million acres of land. If you gave every wild horse out there 20 acres of land, they would only be using about 1 million acres — but there is no room, right?

In Carson City, we could put a few on the hundreds of acres right next to the BLM office, where they park the more than 100 cars and trucks for the 70 people that work there. Oops, my mistake; we had 11 horses there, and they rounded them up due to “public safety.”

They are still going to use helicopters and quads and shock prods to gather them and don’t care if a few dozen die along the way.

Thousands of horses have died while under their “care” and no one is listening or caring about how unethical the BLM is, how they bend every rule and do not follow the federal law from The Free Roaming Wild Horse and Burro act of 1971.

Wild Horse Annie got helicopters banned and now the government has butchered the law and is about to start butchering the horses once again.

It is just more of the same and Jewell is ignoring it and has just become another person turning a blind eye on a inhumane program handled by irresponsible government dictators.

Steven Rose is a Vietnam veteran and businessman who lives in Carson City.

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