Lander-area ranch to be a BLM Wild Horse Ecosanctuary
While the best scenario would be to leave the wild horses..wild, an eco-sanctuary is better than some over crowded holding facility as long as it is properly maintained. Of course, it is obvious that is simply another way for cattle ranchers with access to cheap government land leases to get rid of the wild horses who were already there. ~ HfH
From: County 10 NewsLander-area ranch to be a BLM Wild Horse Ecosanctuary; Double D Ranch is on the Reservation
(Lander,Wyo.) – The third wild horse ecosanctuary in the United States for off-range care of excess wild horses and burros will be located seven miles north of Lander, the Bureau of Land Management announced today. The new ecosanctuary would be operated on the 900-acre Double D Ranch, located seven miles north of Lander and would initially hold up to 100 horses, with the first horses arriving as early as the spring of 2015. The ranch is within the Wind River Indian Reservation.
The ranch is located to the east of U.S. Highway 287 and east and south the Blue Sky Highway (WYO 132) between Plunkett Road and the Ethete intersection.
The BLM’s Lander Field Office issued a Decision Record, resulting from an Environmental Assessment under the National Environmental Policy Act, that addresses comments from the public and adjacent landowners. The Environmental Assessment can be accessed at www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/info/NEPA/documents/lfo/ecosanctuary.html. The Decision Record, which finds no significant environmental impacts from the ecosanctuary, initiates a 30-day appeal period during which the public may express comments.
The ecosanctuary would be run by Dwayne and Denise Oldham, who own and lease portions of the Double D Ranch. It would be the second BLM-private ecosanctuary to be located in Wyoming; a 290-horse ranch is already operated by Richard and Jana Wilson on the 4,000-acre Deerwood Ranch near Centennial, Wyoming. A third ecosanctuary, known as the Mowdy Ranch, operated by Clay and Kit Mowdy, holds 153 horses on 1,280 acres and is located 12 miles northeast of Coalgate, Oklahoma, in the southeastern part of the state.
“This advances our efforts to improve the BLM’s management of and care for America’s wild horses and burros,” said BLM Director Neil Kornze. “Although the challenges facing our Wild Horse and Burro Program remain formidable, every step forward moves us closer to our goal of more effective and efficient stewardship of wild horses and burros, both on and off the range.”
“The Lander Field Office has worked closely with the Oldhams to ensure that proper care will be provided for the wild horses and to address the concerns of neighboring landowners,” said BLM Lander Field Manager Rick Vander Voet. “We look forward to a long, successful partnership with the Double D Ranch.”
Are wild horses really wild if they live on a sanctuary?
BLM is trying to whitewash its image. The eco-sanctuary is a step in the right direction but it will be useless if BLM stops wipping out the wild herds to further special interests’ agendas. Their land use policy should be rebuilt completely with an emphasis in managing primarily for wild horses as directed by the WFHBA and limiting cattle grazing permits on an income-basis (so as to make sure only those who really can’t afford land leases access public lands). Similarly, a sound contraception program needs to be put in place but, unlike right now, it should be used to control population growth and not to reduce their numbers below genetical viability, which is simply a way to destroy them without the public ever noticing it.
The article sets the tone with the term “excess horses”. It appears that the BLM has found another way to disguise their ambition to clear the range of horses to provide income from alternative sources.
In essence,I suspect, the horses will be rounded up, sterilized and put in a pen until attrition finally eliminates the “excess”. I do appreciate those ranchers who will provide land for the horses, but in some cases the ratio of one horse per acre, more of less, is a far cry from the life the horses will leave behind. This action appears to be another debacle disguised as something it is not. (Just one horse lover’s opinion.)
I read the “eco-sanctuaries” have only mustangs of the same sex. So in essence yes they will at least not live in a holding center but it is the end of the line as far as propagating. Also from what I have read, once they are captured stallions are gelded. So with the so-called “managed” PZP contraception, practically non-viable herd populations left on many BLM ranges mustang lineage at least for Wyoming, Nevada, California and
possibly Colorado (don’t know about Washington, Oregon, Montana and Idaho) will be gone.
And the worst part is that people will buy BLM’s whitewash thinking that, BLM since horses will be sent to a sanctuary it is OK for BLM to keep wipping out wild horses.
Keep in mind as well, these ‘ranches’ are not ‘donating’ this land for the welfare of preserving our nations iconic legends…they are getting paid a nice grazing fee to hold ‘once wild’ horses on these lands. As for the ‘wild’ aspect…untouched by human hand, but the social and family dynamics of these so called ‘eco sanctuaries’ (long term holding facilities) do not promote the wild life that promotes and preserves the life we call wild…with all geldings, or all mares held in these facilities, the dynamic of family structure is lost forever. It is a mockery of wild, and the general public is being fooled into thinking otherwise. A disgrace to a historic part of our nation who has and continues to give and give…