Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary, BLM, burros, clean water, Dayton Hyde, dirty nuclear energy, mineral rights, mining public land, nuclear energy, Public Lands, uranium mining, US BLM, US Public Lands, wild horse adoptions, Wild Horses
Why has a US BLM Advisory Board just recommended slaughter of much of America’s Wild Horse and Burro population? Although the US BLM claims they will not follow the advice, they have left open a loop-hole to kill sick and elderly horses. And, they have already sold horses for slaughter and consumption.
Above: Palomino Wild Horse in holding pen.
Below: US Border Guards Put Wild Horses to Work
Read here: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2016/09/16/tough-alert-mustangs-wild-horses-bring-special-skill-to-us-border-patrol
Under the 1872 Mining Act, companies, even foreign companies don’t pay royalties for uranium, gold, and silver taken from public land and public mineral rights on private land. A Canadian Mining Co., Energy Fuels, is even trying to mine uranium near the Grand Canyon. Much of the uranium mined by Energy Fuels goes to South Korea. It is the second largest uranium miner after Canada’s Cameco. Even Russia now owns US uranium mines. Wild Horses are probably more disruptive to the many oil and gas sites, too, than placid, bucolic, cattle.
According to Robert C. Bauer, Biologist, and apparently based on the earlier NAS (National Academy of Science) report, first year mortality rates for wild horses is approximately 14 to 50%. Annual adult mortality is 5% to 25%. Thus, he concludes that “in any given year, equine mortality on the range lands would be anywhere between 19% and 75% of the total population of wild horses.” This is due to predators, environmental and weather factors. He further concludes that wild horses and burros are probably close to extinction in the wild. Please read his excellent article, “A Biologist’s Response to the BLM’s Wild Horse Problem”, here: http://www.habitatforhorses.org/a-biologists-response-to-the-blms-wild-horse-problem/ The more recent NAS report appears to contradict itself by on the one hand saying that the population is growing, and on the other hand, saying that the BLM doesn’t count them correctly. Horses aren’t like mice. Horses have a long gestation period (11 months), and usually give birth to only one. Twins are rare.
The off-range care fee given by the BLM appears grossly overinflated. According to the U. Minn Extension Service, the minimum is $6,400 per year for keeping one healthy (pet) horse: http://www.extension.umn.edu/agriculture/horse/care/the-cost-of-horse-ownership/ For 46,000 off-range wild horses this would be $294 Million and not the $1 Billion claimed by the BLM. The cost of hay and supplements is around $60 to $100 per month. Pasture boarding is as little as $100 per month or $1200 per year. See http://www.equine.com/horse-cost.aspx for more details. This would be $4.6 million for 46,000 off-range horses. Since the US BLM has 2,765 acres per horse and burro, they could easily leave them on range and supplement food, if necessary, but this apparently conflicts with mining companies, oil and gas drilling, and private ranchers.
The BLM allege costs of $50,000 of care per horse. Is this for a lifetime? Or, are they so grossly overpaying contractors? https://web.archive.org/web/20160916114055/http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/whbprogram/history_and_facts/from_the_public.html
Compare the $1 Billion of off-range care, cited below, to the almost $2 billion per year that the US DOE uses to dump radioactive waste upon the United States falsely claiming it is about nuclear non-proliferation. This includes from such “terrorist” countries as Switzerland and Sweden. They did, indeed, help arm Hitler in the run-up to WWII, and they helped keep him going. However, they are not widely considered terrorist countries. They also are not unstable. Nonetheless, Switzerland recently sent its SWISS MADE old, useless, Americium-Plutonium mix to the Savannah River Nuclear Site, where it is supposed to go (once diluted) to the New Mexico WIPP facility, still closed due to a nuclear waste explosion.
The old SWISS MADE plutonium was well-stored in vaults, probably in an underground bunker. It is widely believed (by Swiss) that this plutonium was originally intended for a Swiss nuclear bomb. However, after 50 years the plutonium is a useless, more dangerous, mix of Americium and Plutonium. Other foreign nuclear waste, such as that which the German government is currently still trying to send, will be diluted with other stuff and buried in Utah or West Texas. Is Germany a terrorist country, too? Most frighteningly, only German environmentalists and a few German politicians appear very concerned. Americans are mostly silent. These western sites could have been appropriate for Wild Horses, whatever their formal status. There is no room for Wild Horses and Burros in the United States, only nuclear waste, mining companies (often foreign), oil and gas companies.
According to Robert Bauer’s article, wild horses have a high natural mortality rate in the wild, meaning that the population wouldn’t be expanding, as alleged. The recent National Academy of Sciences study criticizes BLM (Bureau of Land Management) methodology. Thus, one may fairly conclude that their estimates of horses on public land are likely wrong at best, and made up at worst.
“BLM seeks to expand initiatives to address problems with new legislative authority
* 46,000 Horses Already Being Cared for Off-Range
* Off-Range Care of Unadopted Horses Would Exceed $1 Billion
* Necessary Horse Gathers Exceed Available Space and Funding
The Bureau of Land Management announced today that as of March 1, 2016, more than 67,000 wild horses and burros are roaming Western public rangelands – a 15 percent increase over the estimated 2015 population.” https://web.archive.org/web/20160916091441/http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/info/newsroom/2016/may/whbonpublicrangelands.html
Is the public land horse increase even real? These are estimates of fast-moving animals, probably chased by helicopters. It may also be based on density. Density will increase due to increasing amounts of land moved to mining, oil and gas, and cattle. The recent NAS study says that the counts are not reliably done.
The humane society suggests humane birth control. They have long been at the forefront of much needed birth control for dogs and house cats: http://blog.humanesociety.org/wayne/2016/09/advisory-board-recommends-euthanasia-45000-wild-horses.html?credit=mr_091316_web_id762324842
http://humanesociety.org/news/press_releases/2016/09/blm-recommendation-090916.html Human birth control needs to be required, as well. Two children is replacement, and the planet is already overpopulated. It will take time for the benefits of a replacement (2 children) policy to kick in, unfortunately, due to human longevity. China canceled their one child policy before the benefits kicked in. They were criticized as violating human rights. But, what about everyone else’s and everything else’s rights! Overpopulation by people and house pets is not a human right! It should be replacement only.
Mining company overpopulation, especially Canadian Penny Stocks, needs to be controlled most urgently.
The information below is based on a late 2014 post: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2014/08/18/uranium-mining-endangers-wild-horse-sanctuary-while-us-seeks-homes-for-wild-horses , but apparently little has changed since, other than more than 2,000 horses are no longer in short-term corrals and pastures under care. Some were apparently eaten by humans or dogs, of which there ARE too many, though it is not politically correct to point this out. The world population of humans has more than doubled since man went to the moon. And, it is very noticeable if you are older than that! (Some of us never saw a need to be environmentalists because our environment was intact, before this doubling occurred and massive influx of migrants from overpopulated overseas countries was allowed). https://www.doioig.gov/reports/investigative-report-bureau-land-management-wild-horse-buyer The horses sell for almost nothing meaning that mega-profits are made. Apparently they are sold as organic (bio) meat in Europe.
The US government has (an estimated) 88,605 wild horses and burros, which they are supposed to be caring for and protecting: Free-roaming there are estimated to be 40,605 and in short-term corrals and pastures there are more than 48,000 (as of 2016 only 46,000). Their free-roaming estimates must be questioned. They are all supposed to be protected by the US Bureau of Land Management under a 1971 law.
Now, this sounds like a lot of horses and burros until you consider that the US government through the BLM only “manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency“. The BLM “also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation.” Where the government owns the sub-surface they actually own the land for it can be taken for mining, oil and gas, in ways which destroy the surface. (Really this “public land” belongs to the American Indians.)
It can quickly be seen that this just doesn’t add up to being too many horses on public land. That is 2,765 acres per horse and burro if one counts 88,605 on 245 million acres. Much more if we count the subsurface rights, which are often turned over to mining companies. That would be an additional 7,900 acres per horse and burro or a total of 10,665 acres per horse and burro. (One acre is 0.4 hectares)
How much pasture does a horse need? “If a horse is kept in a pasture, the amount of land needed for basic maintenance varies with climate, an animal needs more land for grazing in a dry climate than in a moist one. However, an average of between one and 3 acres (12,000 m2) of land per horse will provide adequate forage in much of the world, though feed may have to be supplemented in winter or during periods of drought.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horse_care The government could surely provide supplementary feed for cheaper than keeping the horses in holding pens.
Even if one considers that much of the land is arid there appears to still be much more land than required.
The real issue seems to be the competition of mining and cattle interests for these lands, and almost certainly oil and gas, as well. Mining guzzles a lot more water than a horse and most of these lands are semi-arid and arid, many under drought.
Wild Horses Running in Wyoming; probably being chased by helicopter, BLM.
Over a quarter of a century ago, Dayton Hyde left his home in Oregon with the dream of finding a large acreage where he “could give freedom to captured wild horses“. Today the Institute of Range and American Mustang (IRAM), a 501c3 non-profit organization and its Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary is home to more than 600 wild horses, as well as other animals on 13,000 acres of private range in South Dakota – some owned and some leased from the Oglala Sioux Tribe, who are also opposing the uranium mining.
He elaborates: “Now the dream of providing a Sanctuary for unadoptable wild horses, preserving the undomesticated land and holding sacred the Native American Ceremonial Sites may become a nightmare due to the attempt by certain companies to revive uranium mining in neighboring areas and even on the Sanctuary itself. Water is a precious commodity in this area. Our eleven thousand acres” [now 13,000] “are watered by five wells and several miles of the Cheyenne River. Part of the Inyan Kara aquifer flows through the Sanctuary and beyond. The mining companies propose to drill a series of wells into the uranium deposits located in the underground aquifers, pump down thousands of gallons of water, and pump up uranium water to be processed for mineral content, then flush the resulting water back down into the wells. The land here is highly fractured and there is no way the mining companies can guarantee that the Inyan Kara, the Madison, and the other major aquifers will not become polluted and unusable to Man and animals. Our horses and cattle can sicken and die, along with the people. This whole area could become a cancer ridden death zone.”
“The Cheyenne River, which flows through the Wild Horse Sanctuary, is the primary water source for the wild horses, domestic horses, cattle and wildlife protected on our land…. If this water becomes contaminated, we will have no way to water the horses and the land will become useless as one of America’s greatest private wilderness areas and wild horse sanctuaries.” From Dayton Hyde’s affidavit to the NRC, in February of 2010 and comments on the SEIS submitted in December of 2012. (The Wild Horse Sanctuary apparently adopted (or gave birth) to more horses and rented more land for them, over the almost 3 years between testimony. They mostly separate male and female horses to minimize births.)
From National Research Council-National Academy of Sciences, “Using Science to Improve the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program A Way Forward“:
“Population Growth Rates
The earlier National Research Council committee questioned claims of population growth rates in free-ranging horses on western rangelands exceeding 5-10 percent (NRC, 1980), but adequate studies conducted since then have clearly demonstrated that growth rates approaching 20 percent or even higher are realized in many horse populations.” [BUT THEY THEN SAY THERE IS NO RELIABLE POPULATION DATA!] “That conclusion is corroborated by studies of survival and fecundity rates and reinforced by population models that integrated these estimates to project growth rates. It is more difficult to estimate the typical or average population growth rate in western horse populations” [AREN’T WE TALKING MOSTLY ABOUT WESTERN HORSES?] “inasmuch as such an assessment would require estimating growth rates in an adequate representative sample drawn from all horse populations managed by BLM. Although the literature provides a relatively large number of growth-rate estimates, the studied populations constitute a sample of convenience in that they were selected simply because data for estimating growth rates were available or there was specific scientific or management interest in particular populations. Those studies collectively demonstrate that growth rates vary substantially from one population to another and may also vary from one period to another in the same population.” [IN OTHER WORDS, NO RELIABLE WILD HORSE-BURRO POPULATION DATA] https://wildhorseeducation.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/13511.pdf
Many thanks to Ronald Wederfoort for pointing out the dire plight of these horses: https://ronaldwederfoort.wordpress.com/2016/09/14/board-just-voted-to-kill-all-44000-wild-horses-in-holding-please-help/
Lots of info and petitions; explanations of the BLM’s tricks; difficulties encountered when trying to adopt, and the need to keep up public pressure to save the horses and more, by a hard working wild horse advocate found here: http://protectmustangs.org
Advocacy Group: http://www.wildhorsepreservation.org
BLM Horse videos
From the BLM:
“Question: What is the BLM’s response to the recommendation made by the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board on September 9, 2016, to sell without limitation” [this means to sell to go to slaughter for human or pet food.] “or humanely euthanize excess horses and burros in BLM’s off-range corrals and pastures that are deemed “unadoptable”?
Answer: The National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board is an independent panel comprised of members of the public that make recommendations to the Bureau of Land Management regarding its management of wild horses and burros. The BLM is committed to having healthy horses on healthy rangelands. We will continue to care for and seek good homes for animals that have been removed from the range. The BLM does not and will not euthanize healthy animals“. [Note the loophole. If these are elderly or animals deemed unhealthy they may be in trouble.] “The agency continues to seek new and better tools for managing the nation’s quickly expanding population of wild horses. There are nearly 70,000 wild horses and burros on public lands in the West — three times the recommended level — and nearly 50,000 additional horses and burros that have been removed from the range and are available for adoption” [Note the huge roundup of numbers; Who recommends the numbers and why?; Plus they don’t know how many there are]. “The cost of caring for each animal that goes unadopted can be nearly $50,000” [And? Apparently for a lifetime and horses are long-lived]. We encourage those who might be interested in adopting one of these incredible animals to call 1-866-4MUSTANGS. https://web.archive.org/web/20160916114055/http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/whbprogram/history_and_facts/from_the_public.html
Those recommending mass Wild Horse slaughter, with one exception
Horses sell for a pittance.
While one blogger has complained that these prices are too high for those who want to save them, these low prices encourage slaughter of the horses to sell as meat for big profits.
Photos are all US BLM photos with the exception of the US Border Control photo.