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Misrepresenting Wild Horses At The New York Times

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Rated: F

Article Review:

"As Wild Horses Overrun the West, Ranchers Fear Land Will Be Gobbled Up"

New York Times  -  Sep 30, 2014

How much disclosure does the media owe its readers? Two New York Times articles illuminate the complexity of this timely question: “Hidden Interests, Closer to Home,” by Public Editor Margaret Sullivan (Sept. 20, 2014), and “As Wild Horses Overrun the West, Ranchers Fear Land Will Be Gobbled Up,” by Times staff writer, Dave Philipps (Sept. 30, 2014).

Sullivan’s and Philipps’ articles bookend a discussion about think tanks exploiting op-ed pieces (or other articles) to advance policies in a way that obscures conflicts of interest. Sullivan’s article clarifies the Times’ position on this issue. She writes, “For [Times’] readers to evaluate ideas, they need to know where they’re coming from — and who might be paying for them.” A related corollary is that to evaluate ideas, readers also need access to accurate data and context.

But Philipps’ story, which appeared ten days after Sullivan’s essay, accomplishes neither of these objectives. In fact, it repeatedly violates them, despite Sullivan’s presentation of them as essential to the Times’ editorial mission.

The relevant policy under examination is the federal government’s Wild Horses and Burros program. Philipps suggests that reducing costly roundups and slaughtering horses held in captivity would fix the problem by lowering the expense of long-term holding facilities, where close to 50,000 horses now languish.

There’s just one problem: both Congress and the U.S. public oppose that “solution.”

Rather than address the concerns of Congress, Philipps quotes a couple of self-interested Utah ranchers who predictably claim that an over-abundance of wild horses are eating their cattle out of house and home, threatening the horses’ and ranchers’ existence, and costing taxpayers a bundle. He adds the perspective of a sympathetic wildlife biologist and a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) manager for support.

An overpopulation story—especially one exposing federal spending that goes against the public’s interest as expressed through their elected officials—is essentially a numbers story. Philipps’ story, however, doesn’t provide a proper accounting.

The population numbers he uses—48,000 wild horses roaming free compared to a maximum sustainable herd size (called Appropriate Management Level) of just 26,000—aren’t reliable. These figures are BLM estimates. They are estimates, moreover, that the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) sharply criticized as inaccurate in a 398-page, 2013 report (“Using Science to Improve the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program: A Way Forward”).

The BLM itself commissioned the NAS report, but Philipps, in failing to mention the study, neglects the NAS finding that BLM roundups increase horse populations (p. 5-6)that the BLM underutilizes fertility control (p. 303); and that conducting “business as usual” is unproductive (p. 14).

These omissions are only the tip of an iceberg of confusion. Philipps did not provide Times readers with the relevant context. For example, readers should have known that of the 155 million acres of western rangeland that the BLM oversees for public grazing, 83 percent has no wild horses on it at all—just privately owned cattle and sheep. The remaining 17 percent is designated as wild horse habitat, but horses share it, yet again, with privately owned livestock, which are allocated 77 percent of the forage there, according to Zachary Reichold, BLM senior wild horse and burro specialist.

The BLM doesn’t explicitly provide the number of privately owned livestock on public lands, but those numbers can be gleaned by visiting its Rangeland Administration System (RAS) database, where public grazing allotments are tracked. There you can learn that, in Utah’s Beaver and Iron Counties—where the ranchers Phillips interviews blame the horses for compromising the rangeland’s health—it would be a physical impossibility for horses to overrun the landscape. Notably, the RAS shows cattle and sheep there outnumbering wild horses by almost 11:1.

Nationally, cattle outnumber wild horses 50:1 on BLM-managed lands, contradicting the Times claims of wild horses “overrunning the West,” “gobbling up land,” “causing long-term damage,” and fleecing taxpayers. It’s true that public rangelands have deteriorated from overgrazing. But there’s no evidence that wild horses are to blame.

But there is evidence that livestock are. Damage caused by private livestock grazing is confirmed by watchdog groups such as Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) and Western Watersheds—and that’s without even analyzing the immense cost to taxpayers of the federal grazing program. The issue is analyzed here.

Philipps also neglects to mention the massive gas development deal announced back in 2012 on 1.1 million acres of mixed federal, state and private land in Carbon and Sweetwater counties. This land is the Wyoming “checkerboard” from which the BLM has just finished removing 1,263 horses—a roundup that Philipps attended as a reporter.

The BLM states that the Wyoming roundup was carried out at the request of private land owners and had nothing to do with horses eating too much or being in danger of starvation. Who made that request has not been made clear. A FOIA request sent to the BLM back in April seeking that information has still not received a response (as of today).

In her September 20 article, Ms. Sullivan, The New York Times Public Editor, notes disclosure lapses in several recent Times op-ed pieces and articles, quoting a reader who complains: “the NYT may be unwittingly aiding and abetting the very manipulations of public opinion and government policies that it publicly deplores.” This claim could easily be made about Dave Philipps’ fact-challenged, selectively reported, and lopsided article.

Editor’s note: Both Ms. Sullivan and Mr. Philipps were asked, via e-mail, to comment on the claims in this article. They never responded. The New York Times corrections desk did not respond to the editors’ request for corrections either. 

 

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About Vickery Eckhoff (10 Articles)
Vickery Eckhoff is the co-founder and executive editor of The Daily Pitchfork. Her articles on wild horses, public lands grazing and the meat industry have been published in Forbes, the Huffington Post, Newsweek/The Daily Beast, Alternet and Salon.
Contact: Website

36 Comments on Misrepresenting Wild Horses At The New York Times

  1. Philipps definitely misconstrude every aspect of the wild horse problem in the west. That problem being, not the horses themselves, but corruption within the BLM and their bias that favors welfare ranching to the job they are payed to do. Of course there is, alledgedly, money being slipped under the table by these ranchers lobbyists as well as with extaraction interests. There is no need for fertility control as there is a gross under population of wild horses now.This is the beginning of the end for our Idigenous wild horses and burros. One just needs to read the Salazar Plan to see what is going to happen.

  2. Where do you people get your info.
    Horse’s are not crowding out livestock. Horse’s are eco friendly they spread seeds. Horse’s don’t digest seeds so want goes in one end comes out the other. Cows and Sheep don’t spread seeds they gobble everything. Horse’s are picky eaters and they don’t eat to the ground.
    Also gas,oil drilling and mining companies are destroying are environment and public land’s.

    Horse’s we’re there first and I am sick and tired of livestock ranchers crying and complaining. Who gives them the right to dictate who uses public land’s.
    The American taxpayer’s who have have been paying taxes on public land’s for decades. Public land’s and these horse’s belong to the American taxpayer’s.
    Cattemen’s Association and Big Business has endorsed and funded campaign’s for individuals who are working to their advantage.
    Horse’s are not to blame. Livestock out number horse’s 10 to 1.
    So do homework and get the facts right.

  3. Don’t change my comment these are facts and the truth. Go online and see for yoursolves.

    • Hi Jane,

      Thanks for writing. I am presuming your criticism is directed toward The New York Times for its misrepresentation of the wild horse issue, and not the Daily Pitchfork, which is exposing it.

      Thanks,

      The Editor

  4. Patricia Austin // January 6, 2015 at 1:04 pm // Reply

    Excellent, thank you. Having a fact driven counterpoint site is a necessary tool in response to today’s fact challenged media.

  5. Monika Courtney // January 6, 2015 at 1:20 pm // Reply

    Good job Vickery, thank you for exposing the NY Times’ shady “integrity” and the lopsided reporting by Dave Phillips of last September, on wild horses….
    When the public is manipulated with twisted reports, there is a problem. This article here sheds light onto the root of this “gobbling” thriller… and why it must be exposed. Below is my note to Phillips, one of many inquiries questioning his integrity and lack of accuracy – yet even the Assistant Senior Editor for Standards, Mr. Louis Lucero II, seems to carry an antigen of distaste for reporting truth and refused to reply to most of us. The “Standard” of the NY Times … when it comes to wild horses, reflects an ideological enmity fueled by the conspirators of self-gaining agendas and those who carry out the witch hunts against America’s last wild horses and burros.
    Monika Courtney
    http://www.habitatforhorses.org/us-land-gobbling-ny-times-article-by-dave-philipps/

  6. Thank you Vickery and James, good to see the corrections. Maybe the NYT will take notice and start to correct their mistakes.

  7. Gail Clifton // January 6, 2015 at 2:06 pm // Reply

    As always, an excellent article by Vickery Eckhoff full of facts and clarity. Too bad the folks at the NY Times don’t care about facts or clarity anymore…

  8. Congrtulations!!! Well done. I’ll be following and sharing your excellent website

  9. Sadly, there is so much mis-information, that anyone willing and interested in knowing the truth, must do the resesrch. I know the facts. I also know that due to politics and money, sadly our wild horses and burros, are, and have been paying the price for YEARS. The government, BLM, congress, state legislatures, ranchers, etc. are the reason for all of this, and it will not stop, until those that make the ultimate decisions, aree willing to read and accept the facts that are laid out in front of them, and make overdue and due change happen immediately, or there will be great havoc and consequences, not just for our American icons (that are supposed to be protected and humanely treated), but for people too. I’m ready for absolute change and democracy for these animals at once. Thank you for posting your article. I hope people will take the time to read it, and to be concerned enough to continue to follow up on various resources and do their research.

  10. Monika Courtney // January 6, 2015 at 2:12 pm // Reply

    When the public is manipulated with twisted reports, there is a problem. The above link sheds light onto the root of this “gobbling” thriller… and why it must be exposed. Below is my note to Phillips, one of many inquiries questioning his integrity and lack of accuracy – yet even the Assistant Senior Editor for Standards, Mr. Louis Lucero II, seems to carry an antigen of distaste for reporting truth (scroll down) and refused to reply to most of us. The “Standard” of the NY Times … when it comes to wild horses, reflects an ideological enmity fueled by the conspirators of self-gaining agendas and those who carry out the witch hunts against America’s last wild horses and burros. Taking “data” from those who machinate the war on horses, as a criterion for a story ?

    Factual error is what “inspired the level of passion”, Mr. Lucero – attempting to move people with sketchy information, skimpy research lacking honest truth leaving it a matter of conjecture…much based on heavy structure of imagination seasoned with a pinch of unprovable and distorted “facts”.

  11. morgansinkc // January 6, 2015 at 2:14 pm // Reply

    Thank you, Vickery!

  12. Monika Courtney // January 6, 2015 at 2:14 pm // Reply

    From: “Courtney, Monika”
    To: senioreditor@nytimes.com
    Cc:Sent: Tuesday, October 7, 2014 1:53:27 PM
    Subject: Reply: Re​: Dave Phillips 9/30 NYT Article on Wild Horses and the West
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/01/us/as-wild-horses-overrun-the-west-ranchers-fear-land-will-be-gobbled-up.html?smid=fb-share
    Dear Mr. Lucero,
    Factual correction is indeed warranted for the NYT article by Dave Phillips. Such error publication based on pseudo research posted on the BLM website is not deemed reliable. The Bureau does not apply modern science nor accurate census methods in their “estimates” to justify their numbers. The BLM has not used drones, nor taken truth indicating photos/videos on their aerial population flights because they know exaggerating the numbers justifies more roundups. BLM CANNOT PROVE THEIR NUMBERS. Drones should be used and mandated to account for verifiable and accurate census. BLM data is not outdated as you state below, but inaccurate.
    Mr. Philipps ought to research other sources besides the Bureau’s, who are not affiliated with the special interests / New Energy Frontier propaganda having deceived the public since the 1971 WFRHB Act was instated. I sent a letter to Mr. Philipps in regards to the “renewable energy” era and its impact on wild horses but I have not heard back.
    BLM refutes applicable science in all regards but those that further their agendas and has played down any negative publicity with pretentious PR gigs. The national scandal last year over lack of shelter in holding is a prime example. After it appeared on Nat’l TV how horses die from lack of protection from elements, BLM scrambled to do a “workshop” with the public – which resulted in a delphy style event with a biased, bought out University Ph.D., solely geared to dismiss the issue with a meager “shade trial” applied to discredit the minimal welfare needs in holding and again, to propagate away from the core issue. http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/355910 You must understand, Mr. Lucero, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Perhaps you live on the East Coast, where most folks have no inkling on the truth that dooms over our wild horses and burros, as few media / publication outlets have the courage and integrity to report the truth.
    You may also not realize how complex this issue is and just how the public has been mislead with clever postings such as the one Mr. Philipps used. BLM claims are not reliable – as to census- actual numbers on range / holding, fatalities and welfare/improper and inhumane standards. The ongoing cruelty in round ups has been documented and is disturbing. This has nothing to do with emotions Mr. Lucero. The level of passion the article generated is due to the piecemeal reporting based on biased sources, now obviously infiltrating the New York Times’ esteem.
    You may also not realize that this issue has been shadowed by a decade long conspiracy that led to the current crisis. Those in office and within the agency responsible have not disclosed truth, but propaganda tactics. Truth is what matters. In order to compile truth, it would serve Mr. Philipps and the NYT well to do research from all angles, not the one having mislead the funding public for decades.
    Please take a look at the following links. There are experts available to confirm more realistic statistics as to how many horses are left. They have flown over HMA’s, done honest research, and applied ethical commitment to their work, not self-serving propaganda as the agency has, which misled Mr. Philipps’ piece to inaccurate reporting. To document the truth is top prerogative of any highly esteemed publication. Taking numbers from a government agency who has for decades mislead the public is not deemed reliable reporting.

    The extensive call from the American public for a higher investigation by Congress to the current “management”, misleading records, inhumane handling/round ups, lack of comprehensive animal welfare standards/procedures, un balanced budget expenditures and mostly: the lack of transparency and reform by a Bureau who has milked the taxpayers in furthering their fraudulent tactics – has not come overnight, Mr. Lucero.
    It reflects the dire need for publications such as yours to investigate and report the truth, and nothing but.
    Respectfully,
    Monika Courtney, Colorado
    file:///C:/Users/Barbara/Documents/Setup%20for%20Extinction,%20Save%20Our%20Horses.htm
    http://www.AmericanHerds/blogspot.com/ and look for the report to Congress.
    https://awionline.org/sites/default/files/uploads/documents/FinalWildHorseandBurroReportWithStateMaps10-26-12.pdf
    http://rtfitchauthor.com/2014/04/28/report-wild-horse-population-growth/

  13. Good article, Vickery! Concise and forthright concerning how the corrupt estalishment has been and continues to obnoxiously scapegoat the wild horses and burros of America. Rather then come clean, accept responsibility, and set about taking intelligent and honest steps to restore balance and fairness for the wild horses and burros, who are returned native species in North America, too many just mire more deeply in their own dark pool of obfuscation and evasion. This situation must end and I recommend that those interested read my newly updated book The Wild Horse Conspiracy, available through the website of the same name thewildhorseconspiracy dot org along with a number of illuminating articles, letters and information including taking on BLM’s own Facts and Myths assertions. A team of wonderful volunteers have aided me in putting this together. I am also anxious to give talks and spread the light along with you. I am a wildlife ecologist. Happy and Progressive New Year!

  14. Many may not realize that Anadarko Oil is a key player in the WY Checkerboard case.

    anadarko amicus curiae 2003 Wyoming RSGA

  15. Debra Tracy // January 6, 2015 at 3:45 pm // Reply

    YOU Dear Lady will tell us the truth on all the issues that have been drowned with false information……THANK GOODNESS your back!! Honest straight up journalism…which we are so lacking….even if some of what you post might not be exactly what we want to hear maybe sometimes??? It will always be factually the truth…. Thank YOU VICKERY ….

  16. Gail Kenney // January 6, 2015 at 4:36 pm // Reply

    Thank you so much for exposing some for the hidden facts about the plight of the wild horses. I so appreciate what you are doing. Keep up the good work. The more that see what is really happening the better chance the wild horses have. So many don’t even know this is happening. What is needed is to reduce the privately owned livestock numbers off our public lands. We need to get those 50,000 wild horses out of unsheltered pens and out of the slaughter pipeline. Our wild horses need to be free running on our public lands. Where we once had over 3 million wild horses we now have fewer than 30 thousand left free. What we do have is about 4 MILLION head of privately owned livestock on public lands and those are the numbers that need to be reduced!!!

  17. Shane Destry // January 6, 2015 at 4:42 pm // Reply

    Thank you Vickery as always for reminding everyone what journalism is supposed to be – fact checking and referencing objective statistics as opposed to what can only be called biased propaganda by the Times based only on heresay. Without you the general public would know very little about the reality of the plight of our wild horses being harried into extinction in order to cater to the interests of corporate profiteers.

  18. Cheryl Bowe // January 6, 2015 at 7:03 pm // Reply

    Thank you, Vickery! Our horses deserve the truth to be told. The American people need to know why our wild horses and burros are being removed from our public lands…The horses are not “overpopulated”, they are simply in the way of big energy and cattle. Portions of our public land were set aside by an Act of Congress in 1971 to be primarily used by our wild horses and burros. The protections set forth for our wild horses also protect our land and it’s uses….The wild horses and burros are currently protecting our land from future “massive gas development deals” and destruction. A fight to save our wild horses is a fight to save our public land.

  19. Excellent article that calls out the inaccuracies of the NYT article by Phillipps. It is noteworthy that I sent a couple of messages to them about the poor crafting of that article by Phillipps but NEVER received a reply from the New York Times editor or staff. So much for the so-called integrity and honesty of journalism at that newspaper.

  20. susan sutherland // January 6, 2015 at 9:40 pm // Reply

    Awesome job Vickery! Thank you.

  21. Great print! If people only knew the truth….. and you have it spelled out plainly.

  22. Thank you Vickery for exposing the truth on the plight of America’s wild horses. It’s imperative the public be made aware of the real challenge we face of losing them forever, if responsible, reasonable and humane actions are not taken. We must preserve these national icons for generations to come and the time is now!

  23. Julia Rosenstein // January 7, 2015 at 1:30 pm // Reply

    Great article. My thoughts also went to Philipps and Sullivan. I took a journalism class where the emphasis was on honesty and the truth. I can’t help but wonder if Philipps and Sullivan still have jobs. Personally, I hope they were fired, but that is a vengeful thought. I hope at least they learned their lesson about falsifying information. More importantly, who read the correction and did it influence them at all?

  24. Maggie Frazier // January 7, 2015 at 2:01 pm // Reply

    As always, Vickery – right on the money!! Too bad most of the money being spent is by the lobbyists and cattlemen organizations – but I believe more & more people are becoming aware of the TRUE story.
    Keep on telling it like it is.

  25. Jean Molnar // January 7, 2015 at 2:34 pm // Reply

    Thank you, Ms. Eckhoff! I am glad to see you back in print. Thank you for doing real research and putting the truths out there in print wherever and whenever you can. How can we help you publish it everywhere? I’m serious. Contact me if I can be of any help.

  26. Sue Ellen Barnard // January 7, 2015 at 3:55 pm // Reply

    Congratulations again, Vickery, on exposing the truth behind the wild horse debate. Great article! I am forwarding it to all my horse loving friends.

  27. Thanks so very much, Vickery for your excellent article exposing the facts behind the wild horse debate and holding the New York Times accountable. I am circulating your article to all my friends. Many thanks for your diligent pursuit of justice for all animals.

  28. First off I would like to say great blog!
    I had a quick question that I’d like to ask
    if you don’t mind. I was curious to find out how you
    center yourself and clear your head prior to writing.
    I have had a hard time clearing my thoughts in getting my ideas out there.
    I truly do take pleasure in writing however it just seems like the first
    10 to 15 minutes are usually wasted just trying to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or hints?
    Appreciate it!

    • Hi Hildegarde,

      If you only waste 10 to 15 minutes before writing, I’d say you are in good shape. I often spend several days figuring out how to begin, then I take a nap and generally, I get woken out of sleep by an idea of how to do it.

      Not a patented method, but it works for me.

      Best,

      Vickery

  29. I believe that the article by Dave Phillipps on the Wild Horse issue demonstrates a new low ebb in reporting by the New York Times that should have much higher standards. It is shocking how so many inaccuracies were allowed to go unchecked. Sadly, this has been the devastating progression of events in journalism, dating back to when the late Dorothy Schiff sold the New York Post to Rupert Murdoch in 1976. The Post was once a great paper when owned and operated by Schiff. Rather than objective reporting, there appear to be hidden agendas and special interests that slant the way many stories focusing on equine-related issues are written. This is especially true when it comes to the coverage of horse slaughter and the plight of Wild Horses & Burros. This also goes way beyond the media, but is occurring on a grand scale within our own government. For example, the GAO Report on Horse Slaughter (#11-228), issued in 2011, was proved to be fraudulent in a study by John Holland of the Equine Welfare Alliance and Laura Allen of the Animal Law Coalition. Holland and Allen clearly documented the misinformation withing the report that was used to try to somehow justify a need to bring about the return of horse slaughter to the United States. We and many others believe this was done to satisfy special interests who want horse slaughter as a quick and easy way to get rid of their inconvenient equines quickly and for a profit, as well as Wild Equines who are also labeled as “inconvenient” by those who want them gone. Today, we know that slaughtering horses for food pose serious human health and food safety risks. However, imagine how many times bad and/or biased information is getting out to the public by supposedly “reliable” sources! It has never been more apparent that big business and special interests are using all their influence to control all aspects of the media and the government. Social media may now be our only hope in getting the real story out about equine issues and the news, in general. Susan Wagner, President, Equine Advocates

  30. Thanks for this article. YET, it is actually far worse tan this in reality. BM is a predator of our wild ones. They need peace and 10 Year Moratorium to study and create holistic management. We have lost so many wonderful individuals; hundreds of thousands. We are bleeding wild horses. Right now. Help us save them from BLM and bad representation and worse management.

  31. Thank you for this fine article. Many years ago I watched the movie “Misfits” which had Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable in it. This movie was a wrenching drama of how the wild horses were slaughtered for dog food back in the 50’s. It tore me apart and ever since I saw it I have become more and more interested in the plight and (government/cattle industry) propaganda involving the wild horses. There is one fact that I would like to dispute. I don’t consider the wild horses as “native” since they have only been in North America since the days of the European explorers–say 4 or 500 years. This small fact should be corrected. However, I do believe that the horses are a part of the West’s history and heritage and definitely need legal protection. Thank you for all you do to help them and all the other animals that are crueley exploited in this world. Linda

  32. It is the Ranchers’ livestock cattle and sheep that are destroying the land and they should be rounded up and kicked off of the horses land our land and make the ranchers pay for their damages and no more government handouts to them either!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  33. Elaine Cummings // August 11, 2015 at 1:29 am // Reply

    I just read this counter-story to the “Tale of Errors,” regarding our wild horses, and earlier published by the NY TIMES. Better late, than never? Sad to say, even an earnest ‘retraction’ NEVER covers the damage done by original first impressions. The NY TIMES is now part of a near-fatal blow to our wild horses. It has given credence to falsehoods woven by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and a cadre of ‘welfare ranchers,’ power-brokers, Congressional/federal offices, and others that share sinister interests. By perpetuating the ‘spin story’ of over-population in wild horse herds … fiction drafted for the sole purpose of removing wild horses and burros from legally assigned range lands and for the promotion of horse slaughter … the NY TIMES cast a dark web of damage across its wide circulation, the ripples of which are still being felt. Readers from all walks of life have ‘respected’ the journalism of the NY TIMES. How far can WE now spread the truth to correct this damage? Will the TRUTH, the ‘flip side of this bad penny,’ ever reach those who absorbed the initial story? What about those in high places of responsibility, the senators and representatives serving in Congress, who still hold falsehoods as facts?

    For years, the NATIONAL media has failed citizens of this country on many levels; but, none worse than the absence of the real story of horse slaughter. Add to that, the inhumane cruelty to and desecration of our national heritage… interwoven forever with wild horses … by the very federal agency charged by 1971 LAW with their ‘protection and management.’

    I have worked for “Freedom for the Wild Horses” since the late 1960s. I lived in NJ and NYS when Velma Johnson (“Wild Horse Annie”) led a national crusade to a unanimous YES from Congress on the Bill signed by Pres. Nixon that became 1971 LAW: “Protect and Manage the Free-roaming Wild Horses and Burros of this Country.” Sad. An assignment-by-law to the then-created Bureau of Land Management within the U.S. Dept. of Interior has fallen far short of the duty to ‘federally protect’ wild horses and burros.

    Without public notice or input, the original 1971 law has been ‘altered’ over the years. It now includes the infamous BURNS Amendment, which continues to wreak havoc as a ‘loophole’ through which BLM can play “3 Strikes and Out” with captive wild horses in a sinister sale-or-slaughter game. As well, BURNS permits the release of wild horses to known kill-buyer auctions. The BURNS Amendment was illegal. Period. It should have been rescinded the same day it was discovered! BURNS was secretly inspired, drafted, placed, and found … ‘within’ a big budget bill … AFTER that bill had PASSED. Why was BURNS even permitted to continue? and, by whom? This is cheating. One more game played fast and loose by too many elected to Congressional offices by us, their constituents.

    It is past ‘high time’ for BLM to be stopped. It is ‘High Noon!’ BLM personnel are OUR employees! WE pay their salaries! WE underwrite Interior and BLM with TAX dollars. Without so much as a ‘by your leave,’ WE shelled out $2 Million for a BLM commissioned two-year study of their own agency by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). BUt, when BLM took a hit in the study, the 2013 Report was ‘ignored upon receipt’ by Interior Sec. Sally Jewell. Seriously? WE send some $20,000.00 a DAY to BLM for the express purpose of ‘caring for captive wild horses’ imprisoned in holding pens likened to Nazi concentration camps. NO shelter, not enough water, inadequate feed, no equine-qualified personnel on site. THREE years ago, Reno NV, media reported drastic conditions at BLM Palomino Valley site; and, Rep. Raul Grijalva (AZ) held a press conference there to investigate. Three years have passed with empty promises. Wild horses continue to languish with no relief in blistering desert summer heat. Some 1,500 animals with no shelter, not enough water or feed. Two weeks ago a mare struggled amid contractions, trying to birth a foal. She died right up against a fence near the hay barns, but no one there was aware of the problem. When it was discovered (photos were provided by a visitor), BLM issued two or three false stories of the event, before the truth was divulged. There is NO excuse for this inhumanity! There is NO excuse for this ignorance of proper equine management. There is NO excuse (given the receipt of thousands of dollars daily) to improperly care for wild horses rounded up and imprisoned for NO scientific reason. These wild horses belong back on our PUBLIC lands.

    The Bureau of Land Management is in dereliction of duty by virtue of the 1971 LAW under which they received their specific assignment: “Protect and Manage the Free-roaming Wild Horses and Burros of this Country.”
    There is no enforcement of the law. Why? Where is the Attorney General’s office? Justice Department? Office of Management & Budget? If we are a “Nation of Laws,” why is there no effort to enforce this LAW?

    Congress must PASS the S.A.F.E. Act. Now. There is no alternative and mass murder is not the solution. Killing is never a solution. Obstruction of the S.A.F.E. Act must stop! That was last year’s end game. No more.
    Someone in a highest position of government MUST step up to over-rule Interior Sec. Sally Jewell and Head of BLM, Neil Kornze. Their involvement in this continuing travesty is kin to criminal in nature.

    I have been fighting for the wild horses since I was 35 years old. I am now 84. I have raised, owned, managed and handled horses for all of my adilt life … back east, in the state of Washington, and here in Arizona. I fought in the early days against wild-cat ‘mustangers’ killing wild horses for dog food. Now, I am fighting my own government for the same freedom I helped win in 1971.
    What is wrong with this picture? What is wrong with all of us?

  34. VIC KARIAN // April 28, 2016 at 1:02 am // Reply

    WHEN SOMEONE LIES TO ME I WILL NOT HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH THEM. THE BLM AND THE RANCHERS THAT PAY THEM OFF ARE A BUNCH OF UNTRUSTWORTHY SCUM THAT NEED TO BE INVESTIGATED.

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