Red Desert Band of Wild Horses

Feds unnecessarily round up wild horses, complain about costs, recommend slaughter

Wild Horses Feeding in Long Term Holding. Image/Elyse Gardner.
After ridding Western lands of thousands of wild mustangs at the request of corporate interests, the Bureau of Land Management now is worried about the price of its programs, says Andrew Cohen.

ANDREW COHEN reporting for The Atlantic writes about appointee Joan Guilfoyle:

It surely cannot be easy these days being Joan Guilfoyle, the (relatively) new director of the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse and Burro Program. On the one hand she works for a federal agency, the Interior Department, which is largely beholden to the powerful industries it is supposed to regulate. And on the other hand, she is responsible, under federal law and policy, for ensuring the survival and management of the nation’s wild horses at a time when relentless political and economic forces threaten to decimate the herds.

“It’s tricky, and it’s hard,” Guilfoyle said last fall in an interview shortly after she assumed her post. “There are a lot of emotions around it, a lot of different opinions.” Indeed, there are. The ranchers and farmers and miners and oilmen see the wild horses as feral pests that should be gone from public and private land. Wild horse advocates see the herds as victims of faulty science, special interests, and spineless federal and state officials. There is, they say, plenty of public land out West where the horses could freely, and safely, roam.

The article continues with this:

Does Guilfoyle have what it takes? More broadly, can an Interior Department led by an unrepentant rancher, Ken Salazar, ever be an honest broker here? Not bloody likely. Having implemented a policy that has driven tens of thousands of horses from their native ranges to grim holding pens, having enabled “welfare ranching” by creating “welfare horses” by shifting the cost of the wild horses from land owners to the general public, Guilfoyle last week said, “Where are we going to put these animals? We only have so much money.”

The wild-horse-and-burro-destroying Obama Administration and his merry band of equine cutthroats should have thought about this a bit more, huh? Considering the amount of spending cuts it has made from programs necessary to a large segment of the American population, waste and stupidity like this is unforgivable. Plus they are robbing America of a majestic symbol of spirit and freedom to do it, and one that is protected by federal law. And you are funding this nightmare every time you pay your federal taxes.

What is their answer, yet again? Cohen reports this from the pro death Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board which met last week in Reno, Nevada.

The other big news was the renewed push by livestock advocates to resume the slaughter of wild horses. The argument goes something like this: Since the BLM now has “stockpiled” nearly 50,000 wild horses, and since the federal government is responsible for housing these horses at public expense, the prudent course is to get rid of the “excess” horses by selling them “without limitation” to the highest bidder. “Without limitation” is a deadly euphemism for slaughter. The sold horses would quickly end up at rendering plants.

I suppose the dastardly BLM will turn around and spend the money they rake in from selling wild horses to slaughterhouse buyers to eradicate the rest of America’s wild equine population.

I have arrived at the sad and tragic conclusion this nation doesn’t gives two figs about its iconic wild horses and burros.

Americans just don’t know? Sorry that doesn’t wash. So much work has been done by wild horse and burro advocates, that plenty know.

The truth is, there are enough Americans who know about our disappearing wild horses and burros that an immediate halt to this monstrous abuse and annihilation should have stopped years ago.

Read more of Cohen’s report. I am going to soak my head in a tub to cool down.

17 thoughts on “Feds unnecessarily round up wild horses, complain about costs, recommend slaughter”

  1. “It’s tricky, and it’s hard,” Guilfoyle said last fall in an interview shortly after she assumed her post. “There are a lot of emotions around it, a lot of different opinions.” Indeed, there are. – Not so tricky if the LAWS were obeyed. The Free Roaming Wild Horse/Burro Act clearly states : It is the policy of Congress that wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death; and to accomplish this they are to be considered in the area where presently found, as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands. The law has been broken, ignored, circumvented (along with NEPA laws!) and these welfare ranchers, and other corporate interests that are decimating OUR PUBLIC lands forget that these lands belong to the American people, not them. These horses are not overpopulated, they don’t have years to be political pawns, they ARE IN DANGER OF GENETIC VIABILITY. NOAA precipitation data proves this talk of “drought” in Nevada is a lie and if the mustangs weren’t cut off from THEIR water sources on THEIR legal domain there would be no water problem. DOI/BLM’s mission is genocide and the justice department turns a blind eye. The American people are being robbed of their PUBLIC lands and heritage species. Fossil evidence proves these horses are native species, they were here forever, nurturing the land and roaming free. Salazar needs to be fired not only for this genocide but his complicity in the Deepwater Horizon disaster and the BLM needs to be dismantled, investigated, and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law – they are in violation of their mandate and worse. The future of these wild horses/burros needs to be turned over to qualified advocates that come from scientific background not a bunch of pro-slaughter rancher mouthpieces and Salazar’s puppets. 7 million welfare cattle (only 1.5-3% of nation’s beef supply)/sheep grazing and destroying OUR PUBLIC lands (GAO reports prove this) are taxpayer subsidized to the tune of $500 million annually, along with BLM’s 1.1 billion dollar budget is ludacris ($41 million on fertility control for an endangered species!). It’s hard alright. Hard to swallow the squandering of our tax dollars used for genocide and prospering of special interests raping our PUBLIC lands. Wild horses/burros in the wild cost the taxpayer zero and PUBLIC LAW 92-195 says that’s were they are supposed to be!

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    1. I don’t think it helps that 80 percent of Nevada is owned by the U.S. Government and feel they can do whatever they want with it.

      You have hidden bunkers and airports and unmarked planes that fly spewing chemtrails over our land to control the weather. Have a hair analysis done on your horse or yourself for that matter and just see how much aluminum is in your body.

      If you don’t know what chemtrails are just google it.

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  2. Our Govt., has lost it, so currupt, money, money, money,i have no trust in them and never will, the slaughtering of horses is not beleiveable by me, and i know its really going on, ive tried to putit out of my mind and just love and enjoy my two horses, and i do candice with my special needs kids, but it haunts me daily. Ken salzar, a rancher, i dont think so. im ashamed of him. i live in colorado, and bad things are going here as well.

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  3. I could not agree more. I recall the BLM being an issue in the late 1960’s- early1970’s when I, like a lot of other kids, helped advocate for Wild Horse Annie. We hoped then that despite slaughter, wild horses might be somewhat safer.

    The BLM is still an issue and we still have wealthy ranch owners using our taxpayer supported grazing lands in western states. The recent move to evict these wealthy squatters was largely ignored by the press, I guess. I don’t think many people even heard about it yet.

    In my very humble opinion, these wealthy ranch owners need to be evicted immediately. The horses are using only 11% of the land, apparently. This is not a new issue and it is past time it changed.

    We taxpayers lose 123 million a year to this longtime scam from ranch owners, which has never been taken care of. Why can’t the state(s) in which these ranchers use grazing lands mount a protest and pressure the administration and Congress to move these squatters off this land more quickly?

    I have never understood why we do not hear more about this. Residents have a right to be heard and since this has been going on for many years, it is time that taxpayers and residents had relief. The horses need to be able to use those lands.

    As to why this has been going on for so many years, I can’t even imagine. This is not about the horses. This is about greed, just as the Ag Committee’s removal of defunding language was. To those people, the horses are just more pawns to use in political games. They will go on playing games and pointing at everybody else, as always.

    We are going to have to continue to pressure all of our elected officials to respond to our concerns and persist in doing so. If we want change and enforcement, constituents have to act consistently and persist. If we all don’t act, this will simply continue. That is the only avenue I see open right now.

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    1. Actually welfare ranchers are subsidized to the tune of $500 million annually and this number is 2 years old so it may be more $ now. One of the welfare ranchers on the long list is Barrick Gold.

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  4. Remember that BLM advisory board meeting last year?? “We love those horses–we really, really do love them.” Yeah- sure–BLM loves them to death! This is criminal– In so many ways ! I do not want my tax dollar used to fund a BLM slaughter plan!

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  5. The cattle ranchers have always been socialists and accept a wealth of subsidies all the while clamoring for the ” gubbamint to git offa my back and outta my pocket “. yeah, right.

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  6. GRAZING
    The ecological costs of livestock grazing exceed that of any other western land use. In the arid Southwest, livestock grazing is the most widespread cause of species endangerment. By destroying vegetation, damaging wildlife habitats and disrupting natural processes, livestock grazing wreaks ecological havoc on riparian areas, rivers, deserts, grasslands and forests alike — causing significant harm to species and the ecosystems on which they depend.

    Despite these costs, livestock grazing continues on state and federal lands throughout the arid West. Livestock grazing is promoted, protected and subsidized by federal agencies on 270 million acres of public land in the 11 western states. Federal-lands livestock grazing enjoys $100 million annually in direct subsidy; indirect subsidies may be three times that. On the Tonto National Forest in Arizona in 2004 and 2005, ranchers were subsidized under just one federal program to the tune of $3.5 million for “range improvements.”

    ECOLOGICAL COSTS
    Cattle destroy native vegetation, damage soils and stream banks, and contaminate waterways with fecal waste. After decades of livestock grazing, once-lush streams and riparian forests have been reduced to flat, dry wastelands; once-rich topsoil has been turned to dust, causing soil erosion, stream sedimentation and wholesale elimination of some aquatic habitats; overgrazing of fire-carrying grasses has starved some western forests of fire, making them overly dense and prone to unnaturally severe fires.

    Keystone predators like the grizzly and Mexican gray wolf were driven extinct in southwestern ecosystems by “predator control” programs designed to protect the livestock industry. Adding insult to injury — and flying in the face of modern conservation science — the livestock industry remains the leading stodgy opponent to otherwise popular efforts to reintroduce species like the Mexican gray wolf in Arizona and New Mexico.

    ECONOMIC COSTS
    It isn’t simply the direct subsidies and federal assistance programs that public lands livestock operators rely on. The federal grazing fee is unreasonably low, creating a de facto subsidy for cattle owners. The western livestock industry would evaporate as suddenly as fur trapping if it had to pay market rates for the services it acquires free of charge from the federal government.

    Private, unirrigated rangeland in the West rents out for an average of $11.90, while monthly grazing fees on federal lands are currently set at a paltry $1.35 per cow and calf. Despite the extreme damage done, western federal rangelands account for less than 3 percent of all forage fed to livestock in the United States. If all livestock were removed from public lands in the West, in fact, beef prices would be unaffected.

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  7. Here is the Ruse , WHAAAAAAAAA Cattlemen We dont have enough land for our cattle whaaaaaaaaaaa crying to the BLM , ???? Oh wow heres are chance we will get The US tax payers to foot the Bill with their money (heheheh snickering to them selves) for unnessary round-ups, we dont have to worry how we treat the horses they cant talk!!!!!! We will inhumanely round them up any old way we want !!!!! they cant talk !!!!! Then heres the kicker , then we will whine we cant take care of them and we will sell them to Slaughter and make more mega bucks for our selves, We give the cattlemen what they want and charge the the tax payers who think their money is going to preserve and protect the Mustangs………………………… thats the BLM………….

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  8. This is what they had in mind all along ,isnt it I see the writing on the waLL, GREEDY HIPOCRATES THE WHOLE LOT OF THEM………………………….

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  9. Hey SLAUGHTER-CZAR, you worthless S.O.B!!!! Stop rounding the horses up and there won’t be more added to the feed lines!!! You have managed to overmanage the horses and even tho us TAXPAYERS ULTIMATELY FOOT THE BILL, you and the feds have the balls to bitch about the cost to maintain these animals??? WHY have you not gone with the many reserves set up to house them instead of your choices which seem to cost you but you refuse to stop using even with a better way to go…. How ignorant are you there in Washington???? Your lack of horse knowledge is blatently obvious and for you to say all you do in blaming the mustangs for the damages to the ranges when you KNOW that the cattle you allow on them and the many different projects that are ongoing …drilling, solar plants…..THIS ALL is the actual reason for damages ..NOT the horses. Go to hell and stay there and leave MY HORSES alone. As a taxpayer I can claim them and tell you to go to hell. You have no desire to properly manage anything but what money you can put into YOUR pockets, and I am HIGHLY PISSED that this is the only way you think!!!! Mrs. Pickins would gladly house the mustangs yet you constantly avoid even talking to her and she has more than complied to the demands of the BLM to set up her place to care for them…. yet you won’t do it… WHY??? You ALL need to be removed from these jobs and put into the real world working for minimum wage like the rest of us. You damn sure don’t deserve the paychecks you are now drawing, let alone the many other benefits you see. I can only hope and pray the day will come that will see all of you getting your just rewards and soon if you send any more of these mustangs to slaughter!!!!!

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  10. These people are CRAZY….(CRAZY FOR KICK BACKS THAT IS)…MONEY IN THE POCKET IS ALL THEY CARE ABOUT. THEY DO NOT THINK ABOUT THE HORSES AT ALL.

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