Cross-posted from Sonora News
Written by PATRICIA HAIGHT PhD
The report opens with:
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently gathered and removed from their homes near Yuma an anticipated one hundred wild burros. The fate of wild horses and burros is tragic. My attorneys and I recently reviewed several thousand documents provided by the Arizona Game and Fish Department under the Arizona Public Records Law.
Of the records we reviewed, we are obtaining copies that provide evidence of the following:
- The United States Forest Service (USFS) in Apache Sitgreaves National Forests failed to honor its commitment in a stipulated agreement in the US Federal Court to work cooperatively with plaintiffs, including myself, in preparing a management strategy for protected wild horses found in the Forests. The USFS has, however, worked very closely with the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD) on this issue even though the AGFD has only very limited authority under cooperative agreements with the USFS. The only agency who has Federal authority is the USFS
- AGFD is pushing to obtain even more autonomous control over removal of wild horses and burros in areas where Game and Fish feels the BLM is moving too slowly, even though the AGFD has no jurisdiction under the federal Wild Horse and Burro Act and only limited input under cooperative agreements with federal agencies.
- The Director of AGFD used his position and time paid by Arizona taxpayers to lobby to get a person appointed to the national Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Counsel who is notoriously anti-wild horse and burro and used his position and time to enlist others to write letters of support for this person.
- A company owned by a man who was indicted by a federal grand jury on a felony for hunting wild horses from the air has been active gathering wild burros in Arizona. This person was indicted on a felony but was allowed to plead guilty to a lesser misdemeanor thus allowing the man’s company to continue to work for the BLM and other federal agencies. Pictures of helicopters very close to wild horses and burros they are gathering are available at the following link:
The report later mentions:
The historical documents indicate that there was a very peaceful co-existence of wild horses and burros with everyone else until the early 1930’s when federal agencies took over grazing rights and “management” of wild horses and burros.
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Patricia Haight, Ph.D., The Conquistador Equine Rescue and Advocacy Program and guardian of four Peruvian horses