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Another round (up): BLM and it's horses.

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  • Another round (up): BLM and it's horses.

    http://openchannel.nbcnews.com/_news...id=msnhp&pos=1

    Of course a wee bit slanted again. But relatively neutral.

    (hate to see the pinto go a$$ over teakettle, but the picture does show pretty much that the place is not good grazing....or the sage shrubs would be lower than knee high.)
    Originally posted by BigMama1
    Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
    GNU Terry Prachett

  • #2
    Not really quite so neutral, very anthropocentric, really.
    "Breaking families"?

    Those horses pose a problem to manage and it is those people that won't let the range managers do their job, interfering at every turn and bringing on lawsuits, while using that to ask for donations, of course.

    You think the public would eventually catch on, do you, but no, they keep sending them money to what, keep interfering and in the end hurting the horses they profess to want to help.

    Here is a very good book for those that are really interested in what all goes on there, written by some right on the trenches:

    Oregon's Living Legends

    www.oregonslivinglegends.com/‎

    ---"I've been a volunteer for the Oregon BLM Wild Horse and Burro program for several years, along with my husband. I've seen the good and the bad with the ... "---

    Comment


    • #3
      The whole thing is very upsetting. Why on earth round up 50k mustangs and let them sit in pens. Its such a waste of money. There better off gelding the stallions and then letting them go.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by Bluey View Post
        Not really quite so neutral, very anthropocentric, really.
        "Breaking families"?

        Those horses pose a problem to manage and it is those people that won't let the range managers do their job, interfering at every turn and bringing on lawsuits, while using that to ask for donations, of course.

        You think the public would eventually catch on, do you, but no, they keep sending them money to what, keep interfering and in the end hurting the horses they profess to want to help.

        Here is a very good book for those that are really interested in what all goes on there, written by some right on the trenches:

        Oregon's Living Legends

        www.oregonslivinglegends.com/‎

        ---"I've been a volunteer for the Oregon BLM Wild Horse and Burro program for several years, along with my husband. I've seen the good and the bad with the ... "---

        LOL, yeah, that's why I said 'relatively'. They at least asked two pro BLM people.....
        Originally posted by BigMama1
        Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
        GNU Terry Prachett

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by PonyGirl15 View Post
          The whole thing is very upsetting. Why on earth round up 50k mustangs and let them sit in pens. Its such a waste of money. There better off gelding the stallions and then letting them go.
          The reason that would not work is because, well, that is the reason they are removing a certain percentage, because they are too many out there already, for the carrying capacity of the ranges designated for them.

          If it was a private rancher running so many of his horses in those areas and so letting them starve in the droughts and also by collateral damage the real native species there, we would never heard the last of it, as we should.

          Why expect the BLM to do just that?

          No, those horses, as the domestic animals they are, should be kept at the proper numbers so they don't overstock their designated ranges and starve.

          How to go about that?
          Well, that is another kettle of fish.

          At least those horses in BLM pens are not "free", but they sure are well cared for, better than many in private hands out there and better than starving in their overstocked ranges.

          Yes, that is not the best use of our taxes, but what else can the BLM do?
          They can't send them to slaughter, already try to adopt or place in private preserves as many as they can.
          There are way too many horses reproducing too fast and altering that has been a hard problem to solve.

          If you want feral horses living in the wild, you want the right situation for them and mares that keep coming in heat and not getting bred and adding geldings to the mix makes them fight much more, more injuries and alters the herds into a not very natural situation.
          Well, can't have it both ways, want them to live as nature intended or not.

          For those that will now want to bring the evil rancher and his cattle, remember, the cattle permits in those ranges are for A FEW WEEKS a year and very regulated.
          In the droughts lately many permits have been sitting empty for some years now, too dry to have any cattle there.
          That management is not possible with feral horses, they are there every year, year around.

          Difficult situation we humans have placed those horses in.

          I know one solution, place those herds in the East public lands, where there is more to eat for them, no ongoing droughts and on fragile soils, as those in the West are.

          Wonder how that would go over, when those with horses there now would have feral horses coming up to visit their horses across their fences.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Alagirl View Post
            http://openchannel.nbcnews.com/_news...id=msnhp&pos=1

            Of course a wee bit slanted again. But relatively neutral.

            (hate to see the pinto go a$$ over teakettle, but the picture does show pretty much that the place is not good grazing....or the sage shrubs would be lower than knee high.)
            The MFHA just forwarded the Wild Horse and Burro Coalition's reasponse to the NBC news broadcast.

            FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

            Contact: Terra Rentz, NHBRMC Chair

            Phone: 301-897-9770 x309 / E-mail: horseandrange@gmail.com

            Horse and Burro Coalition Statement on NBC's Wild Horse Stories

            Washington, DC (May 15, 2013) - The National Horse & Burro Rangeland Management Coalition issues the following statement in response to two stories released by NBC News today on wild horses:

            "Recent stories by NBC News (Today Show: Wild horses: Endangered animals or menace, and Cruel or necessary? and NBCNews.com: The true cost of wild horse roundups) portray only select facts and a narrow part of the reality surrounding wild horses and burros on the western range.

            While regarded by many as icons of the American West, free-roaming horses and burros are in fact non-native species that threaten rangelands and native plant and animal species. But managed at appropriate population levels, wild horses and burros are not a "menace," even to those with whom the range is shared. Nor is it accurate in any way to call wild horses and burros "endangered." In fact, the problem is an overpopulation of horses and burros in and beyond many herd management areas. It is inaccurate for these reports to depict only healthy horses or rangelands. While this exists, so do unhealthy horses and degraded range. Finally, considering the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Federal agency tasked with managing most of the wild horses and burros in the West, has gathered tens of thousands of horses over the past decades, it is an unfair portrayal of those gathers to focus on a few instances of potentially inappropriate gather methods. While not perfect, the BLM works hard to maintain humane gather methods.

            The BLM faces a daunting task. Current herd sizes, which greatly exceed manageable levels, stand to jeopardize other multiple uses called for by law; they do so by trampling vegetation, hardpacking the soil, and over-grazing. Current overpopulation of horses and burros on the range results in great suffering for the animals, many of which are dying of thirst or starvation. Other multiple uses that depend on healthy rangelands are suffering as well. Despite protection under the law, for example, BLM reports that since horses and burros became protected in 1971, ranching families have seen livestock grazing decline by 30 percent on BLM lands. Meanwhile, the horse population is 42 percent above the scientifically-determined Appropriate Management Level (AML) - which is the population size that BLM can graze without causing ecological damage to rangeland resources. More than 37,000 wild horses currently reside on the range, over 11,000 more than the west-wide AML of 26,500 individuals. Without management, horse and burro herds can double in size every four to five years.

            The Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 was enacted to protect "wild, free-roaming" horses and burros, as well as guide their management as part of the natural system on BLM and U.S. Forest Service lands in the western United States. The Act requires those agencies to maintain a "thriving natural ecological balance" and protect existing rights on those lands, based on the principle of multiple-use. The Act, as amended, also authorizes the agencies to use or contract for the use of helicopters and motorized vehicles for the purpose of managing horses and burros. This aids BLM to reach AML. When AML is not reached, the animals and other multiple uses, such as wildlife habitat and livestock grazing, are negatively impacted.

            Appropriate, scientifically sound management of wild horses and burros on the range is in the interests of all those who care about the health of the animals, the sustainability of the range and the well-being of the rural communities in the west. The NBC stories unfortunately neglect to address these legitimate issues and provide an incomplete picture of the challenges facing policymakers, ranchers, and the conservation community.


            Well put, I'd say.
            http://www.foxhuntingfriesian.blogspot.com
            http://www.isherwoodstudios.blogspot.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Unfortunately more money will be sent as a result of this video, I'm sure, since some people will have only seen this for the first time.

              The horses need to be off govt. payroll. Whatever it takes to get them there....sadly. Roaming "free" is NOT in their best interest and it akes me sick that people can't see what a pathetic existence they have on BLM land.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Daatje View Post
                The MFHA just forwarded the Wild Horse and Burro Coalition's reasponse to the NBC news broadcast.

                FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

                Contact: Terra Rentz, NHBRMC Chair

                Phone: 301-897-9770 x309 / E-mail: horseandrange@gmail.com

                Horse and Burro Coalition Statement on NBC's Wild Horse Stories

                Washington, DC (May 15, 2013) - The National Horse & Burro Rangeland Management Coalition issues the following statement in response to two stories released by NBC News today on wild horses:

                "Recent stories by NBC News (Today Show: Wild horses: Endangered animals or menace, and Cruel or necessary? and NBCNews.com: The true cost of wild horse roundups) portray only select facts and a narrow part of the reality surrounding wild horses and burros on the western range.

                While regarded by many as icons of the American West, free-roaming horses and burros are in fact non-native species that threaten rangelands and native plant and animal species. But managed at appropriate population levels, wild horses and burros are not a "menace," even to those with whom the range is shared. Nor is it accurate in any way to call wild horses and burros "endangered." In fact, the problem is an overpopulation of horses and burros in and beyond many herd management areas. It is inaccurate for these reports to depict only healthy horses or rangelands. While this exists, so do unhealthy horses and degraded range. Finally, considering the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Federal agency tasked with managing most of the wild horses and burros in the West, has gathered tens of thousands of horses over the past decades, it is an unfair portrayal of those gathers to focus on a few instances of potentially inappropriate gather methods. While not perfect, the BLM works hard to maintain humane gather methods.

                The BLM faces a daunting task. Current herd sizes, which greatly exceed manageable levels, stand to jeopardize other multiple uses called for by law; they do so by trampling vegetation, hardpacking the soil, and over-grazing. Current overpopulation of horses and burros on the range results in great suffering for the animals, many of which are dying of thirst or starvation. Other multiple uses that depend on healthy rangelands are suffering as well. Despite protection under the law, for example, BLM reports that since horses and burros became protected in 1971, ranching families have seen livestock grazing decline by 30 percent on BLM lands. Meanwhile, the horse population is 42 percent above the scientifically-determined Appropriate Management Level (AML) - which is the population size that BLM can graze without causing ecological damage to rangeland resources. More than 37,000 wild horses currently reside on the range, over 11,000 more than the west-wide AML of 26,500 individuals. Without management, horse and burro herds can double in size every four to five years.

                The Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 was enacted to protect "wild, free-roaming" horses and burros, as well as guide their management as part of the natural system on BLM and U.S. Forest Service lands in the western United States. The Act requires those agencies to maintain a "thriving natural ecological balance" and protect existing rights on those lands, based on the principle of multiple-use. The Act, as amended, also authorizes the agencies to use or contract for the use of helicopters and motorized vehicles for the purpose of managing horses and burros. This aids BLM to reach AML. When AML is not reached, the animals and other multiple uses, such as wildlife habitat and livestock grazing, are negatively impacted.

                Appropriate, scientifically sound management of wild horses and burros on the range is in the interests of all those who care about the health of the animals, the sustainability of the range and the well-being of the rural communities in the west. The NBC stories unfortunately neglect to address these legitimate issues and provide an incomplete picture of the challenges facing policymakers, ranchers, and the conservation community.


                Well put, I'd say.
                Thank you.

                Comment


                • #9
                  You are most welcome.
                  http://www.foxhuntingfriesian.blogspot.com
                  http://www.isherwoodstudios.blogspot.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I'm glad that someone brought this up. A trainer friend of mine has been doing the Mustang Makeover competition for the past few years. I believe that the first horse she did the competition with was this black gelding. Let me just say that this horse never should have been taken out of the wild and away from his herd. The horse was obviously a lead stallion of a herd and after a particular incident, this horse cannot be ridden anymore due to his stallion like tendencies. He belonged in the wild and its a real shame since he is a really nice horse.

                    That being said:

                    The footage on that NBC report was pretty gruesome; I could not even watch it the whole way through. The BLM obviously is lacking in the amount of care of these animals. They could care less about what happens to these animals, and the stallions that are obviously lead stallions or older stallions should not be allowed to be adopted. My knowledge of the BLM's management practices is pretty basic, but I think that after seeing the news report that i've seen all they need to. They either need to get more funding for these mustangs and update their facilities, or just take these horses off of the government payroll. Call me a RARA, but in my opinion, it would be so much better for them to be out in the wild roaming free than being rounded up like cattle and subjected to the BLM's BS.

                    ETA: Tell me if i'm being silly though, by all means.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by MonterStables View Post
                      I'm glad that someone brought this up. A trainer friend of mine has been doing the Mustang Makeover competition for the past few years. I believe that the first horse she did the competition with was this black gelding. Let me just say that this horse never should have been taken out of the wild and away from his herd. The horse was obviously a lead stallion of a herd and after a particular incident, this horse cannot be ridden anymore due to his stallion like tendencies. He belonged in the wild and its a real shame since he is a really nice horse.

                      That being said:

                      The footage on that NBC report was pretty gruesome; I could not even watch it the whole way through. The BLM obviously is lacking in the amount of care of these animals. They could care less about what happens to these animals, and the stallions that are obviously lead stallions or older stallions should not be allowed to be adopted. My knowledge of the BLM's management practices is pretty basic, but I think that after seeing the news report that i've seen all they need to. They either need to get more funding for these mustangs and update their facilities, or just take these horses off of the government payroll. Call me a RARA, but in my opinion, it would be so much better for them to be out in the wild roaming free than being rounded up like cattle and subjected to the BLM's BS.

                      ETA: Tell me if i'm being silly though, by all means.
                      No, you are not being silly.
                      I have not seen the footage, but as everything we do, a good editing can make you look like a saint or the devil.

                      But the point is, you just can't throw the 80 thousand horses out on the range.
                      Aside from the horses starving, it would destroy the habitat. For everybody!

                      But this regulation has made the US the biggest horse owner, probably in the world. even the Sheik does not have to feed 50 thousand horses (even though he probably spends more on his string )

                      But the horse management skills are basic. It's all they need to be: throw food in front of them, keep them contained. Basic vet care. Let's not forget these horses are not handled, they get stressed.
                      And the adoption criteria I am quiet certain does not send older stallions out. The age range is very limited, when you look at the adoption catalogs.

                      I would like to know how the funding is for prisons that gentle Mustangs then make them available for purchase. I think one offered them for 800 a pop, quiet reasonable for the amount of training going into it, producing a decent trail mount.
                      Originally posted by BigMama1
                      Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
                      GNU Terry Prachett

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I watched only 4 minutes of the video . . . hitting a horse with a helicopter is wrong! There is no justification for this. Cattle prodding a wild, frightened horse into a stock trailer, especially when the animal is against a fence is inhumane, the horse is going to get hurt.
                        "You gave your life to become the person you are right now. Was it worth it?" Richard Bach

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MonterStables View Post
                          I'm glad that someone brought this up. A trainer friend of mine has been doing the Mustang Makeover competition for the past few years. I believe that the first horse she did the competition with was this black gelding. Let me just say that this horse never should have been taken out of the wild and away from his herd. The horse was obviously a lead stallion of a herd and after a particular incident, this horse cannot be ridden anymore due to his stallion like tendencies. He belonged in the wild and its a real shame since he is a really nice horse.

                          That being said:

                          The footage on that NBC report was pretty gruesome; I could not even watch it the whole way through. The BLM obviously is lacking in the amount of care of these animals. They could care less about what happens to these animals, and the stallions that are obviously lead stallions or older stallions should not be allowed to be adopted. My knowledge of the BLM's management practices is pretty basic, but I think that after seeing the news report that i've seen all they need to. They either need to get more funding for these mustangs and update their facilities, or just take these horses off of the government payroll. Call me a RARA, but in my opinion, it would be so much better for them to be out in the wild roaming free than being rounded up like cattle and subjected to the BLM's BS.

                          ETA: Tell me if i'm being silly though, by all means.
                          One of our best ranch horses was a feral horse caught in a Nevada herd as a five year old stallion.
                          He was a dominant one and made one of our best horses all around, to ride, handle and live with others.
                          He was the boss of the geldings and a very good boss, never even pinned his ears, they just did what he wanted without question and were glad to.
                          He kept them all in line, there was no fighting.

                          That same horse had, as per our vets, probably been a yearling thru two year old, during a drought and with poor nutrition his knees never finished developing properly, so he always had funky knees.
                          We rode him sparingly and had to retire him early because of his bad knees and euthanize him at 20, when he had trouble getting around.
                          Otherwise he could have been sound and healthy for some more years.

                          So, to your story of a horse with a bad temperament, here is one of one of those with an excellent disposition.

                          I would not put much count on any one horse being difficult because of being raised feral or in the best hands, as much on just being innate, some are good horses, some not so good.
                          That trainer happen to pick a rank one, that's all, many others are not.
                          We have to take each one horse as they are.

                          Here he is Trailer, as by Trailer, from Nevada, an old cowboy joke:
                          Attached Files

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I think the whole situation is so tangled and unnecessary it's disgusting. This video there seems to be scarce eating, yes. Other videos I've seen the horses are quite plump and healthy-looking.

                            Why are humans so against wild animals? Those horses have been there hundreds of years now, figure each one lives to about 15 in the wild (kind of guessing), there's a lot of generations of wild animal. Yes, many can be retrained but many cannot and will never be able to be. This isn't just in america with the wild horses, it seems to be everywhere that humans want to control all animals in the world, breed them in zoos and say "oh look at how wild these fenced and caged animals are". That's a side tangent but it really irritates me. Animals need some free will, too.

                            That being said, I understand we want to help the horses because their population is too big for the supply of food. Cool. Why can't we get HORSE people to do round ups in a civilized and understanding manner? Most of the people in the video don't seem to know enough to show any understanding to the poor horses. Running them off their feet, slamming them into such cramped corrals? Common... Why the mass numbers too? Is it necessary really to keep THAT many wild horses in pens? Or do farmers and oil diggers just want more land?

                            Not to mention the money. America is in trillions of dollars of debt, and we just paid that helicopter to hit a horse too exhausted to even run anymore. I bet it was supposed to be a full days work that he crammed into a few hours to make more money for himself. I've worked for the government before, and with the people I've seen and what they've done, that wouldn't surprise me at all.

                            We need to find homes for or put down the penned horses, get rid of the corruption, get knowledgeable staff working the round ups, and for goodness sake keep some "wild land" out in the planet for animals to live on
                            Last edited by kmmoran; May. 16, 2013, 01:13 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Canada issues permits on our feral horses to keep numbers in check. we also have healthy predator numbers. Of course ours number in the 100s and don't live on cattle range lands.

                              The BLM did a report in 2011 that it is working to implement to help resolve the handling issues. It covers the legitimate concerns that have been brought up over the years, including the helicopter pilots experience. It will take time to put all policies into place though, as they have to honour existing contracts, and training takes time.

                              Helicopters have to be used as that is what was put into legislation to save money. This is something that was voted on and passed. It was not the BLMs decision, they are just forced to follow it.

                              I could not tell those were cattle prods. I thought they were just paddles with plastic bags. I do not take the videographers word on that.

                              the interview where she talks about the horses being happier starving with their families rather than being in pens made me ill. She has likely not seen the video of the mustang starving to death and being eaten alive by carrion eaters while its "family" was long gone trying to not suffer the same fate.
                              Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                a few thousand horses do not do the damage that MILLIONS of sheep and cattle do. If they can survive out there and reach market weight then a few thousand horses can also survive. Don't forget these are designated HORSE MANAGEMENT AREAS. They were never intended to be managed to clear them of horses. And in fact if you watch the round ups and look at the animals afterwards almost all of them are of good weight. Very few are thin and only in very marginal areas (horses stay in marginal areas because they are fenced out of good ones) and usually coming out of winter. Left alone they manage themselves quite well.
                                Every mighty oak was once a nut that stood its ground.

                                Proud Closet Canterer! Member Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Research has shown that horses do have strong family ties as do zebras (anyone watch PBS last night?). Often "captured" mares will wait and sneak away from the capturing stallion to return to their old one. But of course they have emotional connections, anyone who has ever taken a buddy away from another can tell you that.
                                  Every mighty oak was once a nut that stood its ground.

                                  Proud Closet Canterer! Member Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I think the term "family" was used for non-horsemen. Horses absolutely become attached to their herd mates and the images in the footage are horrifying to good horse keepers.

                                    But the horses still need to be privatized, rather than being supported by the public - most of who have no clue these horses exist, let alone how horrible the BLM is handling them.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by summerhorse View Post
                                      a few thousand horses do not do the damage that MILLIONS of sheep and cattle do. If they can survive out there and reach market weight then a few thousand horses can also survive. Don't forget these are designated HORSE MANAGEMENT AREAS. They were never intended to be managed to clear them of horses. And in fact if you watch the round ups and look at the animals afterwards almost all of them are of good weight. Very few are thin and only in very marginal areas (horses stay in marginal areas because they are fenced out of good ones) and usually coming out of winter. Left alone they manage themselves quite well.
                                      You know that because you have been there and seen it, or is it from reading about it?

                                      The reason I ask, there is so much more to that than you seem to know, like being aware that so much of that land in not all federal land, but checkerboard private land and federal land permits to those living there.

                                      Yes, the private land was homesteaded in the good land, the valleys with water, of course and the federal lands is much that is not that good land and doesn't has much water and is at the higher altitudes, where it is covered with snow much of the year.

                                      The "millions" of livestock there are in private lands most of the year, using the permits as designated by the BLM rangers, for A FEW WEEKS a year at most, lately for some years some permits have not been open at all, because of the drought.

                                      If those lands were private, there still would not have been any livestock there, there is nothing growing.

                                      Do get that book I put a link to, read it and then come back to tell us how that rather difficult situation should be handled, please.

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                                      • #20
                                        These round up are on public lands, land which is also used for public grazing. It's all public record and no shortage of info. on the web. Google is your friend. Yes there is private land in there but that is not the issue. These horses are being rounded up from designated HMAs.
                                        Every mighty oak was once a nut that stood its ground.

                                        Proud Closet Canterer! Member Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.

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