To say the Wild Horse and Burro Program, a controversial Bureau of Land Management Program, fulfills any needs toward ecological enhancement, or makes anything at all “Better” within range management is simply false. Overwhelming evidence has come forth showing taxpayer money not only stolen, but wasted on this program. Roundups have become abusive and on many different levels, due to mismanagement and payoffs. Theft of public property, the wild horses, is prominent and continuous, and profitable to many.
Follow the Money
The term “Follow the Money” exists here and without a doubt is a well “honed and oiled” organized criminal situation. Truthfully, it has gone on so long, without legal or political intrusion, it’s become a matter of routine, but still illegal. Situations similar to this are termed criminal, then defined under “The RICO Act” in order to outright attack an organized criminal situation. When used appropriately, this enhances the ability for law enforcement to put a stop to even Government crimes.
This program involves Government employees, private Government contractors, ranchers, and yes politicians, “All” make a tremendous amount of money. Ranchers, energy and oil interests, make up the other portion of profiteers, obtaining or leasing America’s land far cheaper than the going prices. All the while the BLM centers their priority toward land management, and clears barriers, within the scope of a few private interests, for larger profits. Taxpayer’s money is used to not only invest in this profiteering situation, but as a guaranteed profit base for the continuing illegal activities.
This situation provides a landscape of questionable data, horse-counts, and especially illegal activity, which bears repeating, and lack of ethics that many wild horse’s “life and death decisions” are based upon.
A previous investigation, a few years ago, led to indictments and then to Grand Jury involvement, with trial dates not far off. Overnight this all was canceled. The entire action ceased. Why? No one in Government answers this obvious question; and more obvious is the fact only the few involved know. The paperwork and indictments covered up.
Certainly, and quite obvious to all involved, someone within a high Government office stopped the entire situation. This must be investigated by our Government, as their credibility lacks because of this type of manipulation and coverup.
Wild Horse Herd Theft – Interview with a government private contractor
The illegal activity continues to this day. Below is one of many questions answered by an informant, questioned by one of very few honest BLM Agents. This particular discussion outlines how the BLM’s Private Contractors steal horses, in this portion the Agent asks the informant who is involved in the illegal activity:
“Agent: Is this a pretty good organization? This sounds like something that’s pretty well planned out, it’s a big organization.
Informant: Well, its very well set up, you know. There’s nobody that participates in it that isn’t well known and don’t know what’s going on.
Agent: Do you feel like there’s people inside the BLM that know about this practice, that are a part of this practice?
Informant: Sure. We can’t operate unless they’re standing there.”
(For the entire informative packet and interview see Horses Led To Slaughter, Anatomy of a Cover Up in the Wild Horse and Burro Program, PEER White Paper, Number 14, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, Washington D.C. 20009-1125, http://www.peer.org/pubs/whitepapers/1997_horses_to_slaughter.pdf , 1997.
We now jump to a piece of legislation that indeed compromised the Wild Horse and Burro program. The WHBP indeed provided a safety-net for America’s Wild Horse Herds, and established them as a priority to coexist in wilderness areas with ranchers and other domestic land interests. The piece of legislation questioned here, took the priority away, leaving the Wild Horse open for slaughter, among other negative attributes.
It was called the Burns Amendment. Senator Burns, Montana, and Senator Reid, Nevada, wrote the Amendment the night before approval (approximate 2004/2005) of a Congressional Budget Amendment. The “Budget Amendment was signed the following morning by President Bush. Without scrutiny or votes or discussion by Congress or the Senate, these two legislators attached this “Amendment to the 1971 Horse and Burro Act” onto this other piece of legislation.
The Burns Amendment
In an “An Interview with Former Sen. Conrad Burns,” he admits collusion with Senator Reid, Nevada, and yet no investigation or criminal charges in regard to irresponsible conduct filed by Congress, or the Ethics Committee.
It has been shown their “stated” motivation toward doing this Amendment to be simply untrue, an excuse, the real reason being more profit and covering up illegal activity. The Burns Amendment provided them an open-door situation to provide a semblance of protection, to friends and other coordinators, to carry-on illegal operations, horse stealing, and profiteering from Federal Lands, all of America’s lands, Our Lands not theirs. Ethical and conflict of interest abounds here, to include misuse of their positions as well. They had access, then usurped their positions within the Senate for self-profit.
This Interview was conducted by Horseback Magazine:
“Burns: Well, [Senator] Harry Reid came to me and said, ‘I’ve got a problem in Nevada.’ And I said ‘What kind of problem? Because we don’t have a problem up in Montana.’
Horseback: So what happened then?
Burns: So he and I, up in his office, got together and we crafted that amendment because they’ve . . .’
Horseback: It was actually Reid’s idea, huh?
Burns: Yeah, well it was his problem. I just helped him solve it, that’s all.”
(An Interview with Former Sen. Conrad Burns, http://www.animallawcoalition.com/wild-horses-and-burros/article/1052, Posted Sep 17, 2009.)
Senator Burns lost the following election, primarily due to Montana’s voter’s perception of the very callus and sneaky way Burns and Reid generated such an abusive and dishonest piece of legislation, and then attached this Amendment to another piece of legislation. And then got away with it! The Senate Ethics Committee evidently overlooked this irresponsible as well as reprehensible conduct.
“The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals today announced in a newly released poll conducted by Lake Research Partners that 80 percent of American voters are opposed to the slaughter of U.S. horses for human consumption. The nation wide survey reveals that Americans oppose horse slaughter overwhelmingly regardless of their gender, political affiliation, whether they live in an urban or rural area, or their geographic location. Further, it confirms that a vast majority of horse owners are also against the slaughtering of our nation’s equines. (ASPCA Releases Landmark Study on Voter Attitudes Across All Demographic Segments – 80 Percent Opposed to Horse Processing, ASPCA urges public support for the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, Horseback Online, http://horsebackmagazine.com/hb/archives/13886, Feb. 2012.)”
The BLM continues to lead the American public down the track of deception, or profiteering for a small group of ranchers and narrow-interest land-use groups, while ruining our Public Lands, land owned by us, the American Public, and Wild Horse Herds owned by us, the American Public. It is time for us all to step forward and “Take-Back what is Ours,” and put a stop to the spending of tax dollars, simply going to small groups of people, to include the cover up of illegal activity and fraud, with nothing in return but the slaughter of our wild horses.
Contact your Legislator and tell them enough is enough – Laws are designed for us “ALL” in America, and not to exclude Government employees or politicians”. Also tell them we want this situation abolished, and our lands managed by either an honest organization, or another organization that can resolve the issues honestly and without profiteering and catering to a select few of private interests. Transparency in this situation is also required.
This Journalist, just as many other Americans and the actual owners of Wild Horse Herds, would like this situation investigated in a thorough and uncompromising manner, as our Government needs to be honest, uphold integrity and ethics, while representing our interests in a responsible manner.
THIS WAS WRITTEN IN 2012 — NO THOROUGH INVESTIGATION HAS TAKEN PLACE, AND IT IS NOW 2022! WHY IS THIS? IT IS BEYOND TIME! — Article by John Cox, Cascade Mountains