Article John Cox, Cascade Mountains
“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” ― Plato
Currently a government agency, the Bureau of Land Management, is liquidating America’s Wild Horse Herds at an unprecedented rate. Within Oregon State, for example, we find the Bureau of Land Management improperly and illegally liquidating Wild Horse Herds in total.
The BLM is, in fact, managing America’s horse herds illegally — nation wide. The BLM Staff is also allowed to generate false information to the public about their approach to wild horse herd management and care. It does not take much investigation into this matter to reference and see for oneself that their management situation is in direct opposition to the several mandated Federal Laws that governs and regulates their activity. The BLM ignores these Federal Laws often.
One of the outstanding facts that remains more obvious is the Environmental Assessments distributed by the BLM. The fact is, as present Federal Court rulings show as well, that the Environmental Assessments are not done within a current time-frame, but simply copied most often from other EA’s from years past — so they got-away with a false premise to an Environmental Assessment, so within the BLM’s employees mind-set, they can get away with misinfoprmation again and again. . . and why not, nobody checks, until now that is! FRIENDS OF ANIMALS, and PROTECT MUSTANGS, Plaintiffs, v. THE UNITED STATES BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT, an agency of the United States, Defendant. THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT, DISTRICT OF NEVADA — 3:15-CV-0057-LRH-WGC . . .
Rather than have Range Managers or Biologists and Researchers lead the BLM, we have business people and politician’s directly involved in placing the leadership. So why would it be surprising that criminal activity transpires, and then ignored by today’s politicians.
“And not only the pride of intellect, but the stupidity of intellect. And, above all, the dishonesty, yes, the dishonesty of intellect. Yes, indeed, the dishonesty and trickery of intellect.” ― Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
Across the United States there exist much more BLM controversy, with ongoing questionable, abusive, and illegal wild horse management situations. Within the scope of this particular discussion, we are using a micro area of BLM horse management activity. None the less, the legal boundaries prescribed by Law remain, and perusing the Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971 (i.e. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wild_and_Free-Roaming_Horses_and_Burros_Act_of_1971), among others, will more than show proof of BLM’s constant violations.
Of note: The act was challenged in court for being unconstitutionally vague and unconstitutionally overbroad. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld the act in all regards in United States v. Johnson, 685 F.2d 337 (9th Cir. 1982). See: Iraola, p. 1072 . . . The “premise” of which states clearly, in summation here, that the BLM must show either destruction of Public Lands by the Wild Horses, or outright safety violations of the Wild Horses in order to conduct a Wild Horse Herd Roundup — but this simply does not happen, and one can attest to the fact that all Roundups up to this point are and have been illegal, and not in accord with the Wild Horse and Burro Act what so ever; as well, as many sections of FLPMA, NEPA, and the Taylor Grazing Act — But awkwardly ignored by not only upper BLM management, but politician’s as well — and the concern toward Conflict of Interests remain quite burdensome — similar to Rome right before it failing . . .
You can also peruse other regulatory and legal situations that the BLM also is in conflict and abusing: FLPMA (i.e. http://www.blm.gov/flpma/FLPMA.pdf ), The Taylor Grazing Act (i.e. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taylor_Grazing_Act_of_1934 ), and prescribed by law the Environmental Impact Statements required, abused, and even accomplished within a fraudulent and illegal manner on many occasions.
Questionable and Illegal Activity at Best
Keep in mind the BLM (i.e. and the Department of the Interior) receives an outstanding amount of tax payer dollars, or budget, for the care and management of these herds, specifically within what is termed HMA (Horse Management Areas). The BLM’s budget the past couple of years has developed into well over $1.5 billion dollars, and they lose money every year, despite their stating they make a profit (i.e. G.A.O. findings of notable fact). These Public Lands are set aside for the care and security of these wild horse herds and by Law.
The “outcropping” of situations on these Public Lands shared with the wild horse herds, such as Welfare Ranching, which exceeds in administrative costs alone, i.e. tax payer money, of $490 million dollars per year, according to current G.A.O. figures, remains contrary at best to the safety of America’s wild horse herds on these HMA’s.
**Here are current Horse Management Areas in the State of Oregon. Numbers ambiguous at best, and counts unspecific in accord with the Taylor Grazing Act, FLIPMA, Environmental Impact Statements, or any other Legal situation pertaining to the management of these areas — Especially the Wild Horse and Burro Act in regard to sound management principles’ and actions. . . (Enlarge to peruse)
In Oregon, for example, these Welfare Ranchers are allowed to collect and sell (by BLM administrators and supervisors) wild horses form the HMA’s abundantly, and when they supposedly need cash. Their situation is called a “Stakeholder Paradigm” by BLM staff, and these same ranchers allowed to run slip-shod on the Oregon HMA’s by BLM supervisors. This precise activity is illegal, and mentioned within the WH&BA as undisputable fact being illegal (outlined below).
Within the past few months no assigned HMA roundup was designated within the Pokegama HMA area, although we have witnesses attesting to a roundup situation. Was it ranchers grazing their cattle on Public Lands (i.e. our lands) or BLM staff selling horses to kill-buyers for slaughter?
“I seen them loading a livestock trailer with horses. I was hunting in the area, stopped and asked what was going on. A fellow in a brown BLM shirt and hat told me to move on, and that they were just thinning the wild horses out in the area so we could have more deer around for hunting,” Steve Connolly stated, while his hunting partner nodding in agreement – Mike Smith, Oregon residents, among others who witnessed the occasion.
While having lunch in a local restaurant, I also spoke with a Keno, Or. resident about the wild horse herds on the HMA. later I went and seen for myself the freeze-brands from the BLM. “Oh sure,” he stated, “. . . we just go out and take what the ranchers have left when they do a gather. Kind of keeps us quiet about their situation, I guess. I culled three horses over the past couple of years. I break them for the trail, and they are damn good horses,” remains Anonymous until called upon.
BLM Cannot Provide Accurate Data for Roundup Requirements
The Bureau of Land Management is restricted in regard how they manage America’s Wild Horse Herds, and by strict Laws. BLM ignores these laws.
The law is covered in the “Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971” (i.e. discussed and defined here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wild_and_Free-Roaming_Horses_and_Burros_Act_of_1971) with proper citation and Federal Court Rulings. With this in mind, the HMA’s have horses disappearing or rounded up, and no legitimate reasoning as to why.
** These areas were zeroed-out, in Oregon, with no excuse as to why and given by BLM Management within these area. Ambiguity exists, but what is known is the fact BLM within these areas, conjecture at this point via many statements by those who live and work in the surrounding areas, state clearly the ranchers in these areas had free-reign to take wild horses from these areas whenever they wanted to do so (Enlarge to peruse).
The Law is quite clear, yet nothing reported in regard to not only where the horses disappeared to, from the zeroed-out HMA’s, or the false numbers within the current managed HMA’s, but obviously false and improper reasoning and excuses given as well for the discrepancies. The BLM attitude toward the public is notable over the years as “bad” to “arrogantly abusive” toward tax payers in general. The truth about roundups and wild horses BLM staff passes to the public, nation wide, are always in error, misinformation, or simply lies, at best. When questioned they simply hide behind the shroud of government agency compliance.
WH&BA-1971 Specifically, 1338. Criminal provisions (a) Violations; penalties; trial Any person who–
(1) willfully removes or attempts to remove a wild free-roaming horse or burro from the public lands, without authority from the Secretary, or
(2) converts a wild free-roaming horse or burro to private use, without authority from the Secretary, or
(3) maliciously causes the death or harassment of any wild free-roaming horse or burro, or
(4) processes or permits to be processed into commercial products the remains of a wild free-roaming horse or burro, or
(5) sells, directly or indirectly, a wild free-roaming horse or burro maintained on private or leased land pursuant to section 1334 of this title, or the remains thereof.” http://www.animallaw.info/statutes/stusfd16usc1331_1340.htm#§ 1338 . . .
Questions With No Answers From the BLM
The question remains, are Stakeholders, in this case welfare ranchers, given the right to complete a gather or roundup of wild horses? Absolutely not, and is illegal, and the BLM staff is obligated to take to task, arrest those who violate this situation — IT IS A LAW! And yet —
Are BLM staff allowed to gather horses from the HMA, randomly? Absolutely not, this is covered by the Wild Horse and Burro Act, A LAW, and truthful purpose derived from truthful data must be given in regard as to why the gather or roundup will take place. Yet another anomaly, and BLM does not give truthful data or reasoning even within the best of circumstances.
“We have a guy from the BLM who drinks here often. He comes in and let’s us know when the ranchers or the BLM is doing a gather, so we can get a horse or two. They just take them to slaughter anyway.” Anonymous until required to testify.
Keep in mind the charts above simply outline the counts within HMA’s in the State of Oregon. Many other states have similar graphs and counts, and not so ironic, the BLM counts are also just as inaccurate, when checked, as those included here. Consistency in illegal and fraudulent activity (Fraud — is used here to describe obtaining tax payer dollars within an illegal manner and illegal context).
The resolution to such behavior? The BLM needs to stop doing things illegally, and the only way that will come about is by arresting those involved. They have taken advantage of taxpayer money often, within a fraudulent manner as prescribed by law, and indeed wasted taxpayer money often. Their system is corrupt and has been for quite some time.
This particular discussion will end by giving the Congressional reasoning for the Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971, as well as the reasoning for establishing HMA’s across the United States.
You decide whether the BLM is conducting legitimate management of America’s Wild Horse Herds, or simply conducting and allowing criminal activity to develop progressively more so on America’s Public Lands! At the heart of it all, the termination of America’s Wild Horse Herds — this is too much to sacrifice for blatant criminal behavior in a government agency:
“1331. Congressional findings and declaration of policy”
“Congress finds and declares that wild free-roaming horses and burros are living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West; that they contribute to the diversity of life forms within the Nation and enrich the lives of the American people; and that these horses and burros are fast disappearing from the American scene. 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.” http://www.animallaw.info/statutes/stusfd16usc1331_1340.htm#§ 1331
For more discussion or reference:
- Evans, J. Warren. Horses: A Guide to Selection, Care, and Enjoyment. New York: W.H. Freeman/Owl Book, 2002.
- Flores, Dan Louie. Horizontal Yellow: Nature and History in the Near Southwest. Albuquerque, N.M.: University of New. Mexico Press, 1999.
- Glover, Kristen H. “Managing Wild Horses on Public Lands: Congressional Action and Agency Response.” North Carolina Law Review. 79:1108 (May 2001).
- Government Accountability Office. Bureau of Land Management: Effective Long-Term Options Needed to Manage Unadoptable Wild Horses. GAO-09-77. Washington, D.C. Government Accountability Office, October 2008.
- Iraola, Roberto. “The Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971.” Environmental Law. 35:1049 (Fall 2005).
- Lynghaug, Fran. The Official Horse Breeds Standards Guide. Minneapolis: Voyageur Press, 2009.
- Pitt, Kenneth. “The Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act: A Western Melodrama.” Environmental Law. 15:503 (Spring 1985).
April 11, 2013 at 12:38 pm
Excellent article by the noted John Cox
April 12, 2013 at 10:59 pm
This is a great article, but I am left wondering why the “man in the Keno, OR cafe” would readily accept wild horses obtained through illegal conduct on the part of the BLM. Why didn’t the hunters who happened upon this BLM employee, who was probably accepting money from the welfare ranchers for this illegal gather not reported? At the least, have pictures taken of this illegal activity.
Photographer and Journalist
April 12, 2013 at 11:16 pm
At the time he or any of the others believed it was illegal — as a BLM employee and field Supervisor were conducting the operation and roundups — so who would know what the truth is? The same with the hunters who watched the horses being loaded — how would they know it was being conducted within an illegal premise? We found out only by contacting BLM’s field office, and only then simply asking about any roundups taking place. Reporting horse theft to BLM is unacceptable with BLM staff, and would not be followed up, and if followed up would be eventually buried. Google wild horse herd roundups for more information on the BLM and their conduct and criminal activities.
April 15, 2013 at 3:48 am
Thank you Mr “Photographer and Journalist” … who ever you are. You are correct.
I have information about the Oregon Murderers Creek HMA capture that I would be willing to share with you. It is a BLM/USFS “behind the public’s back” operation. Contact me if you are interested and I will send it to you. In the meantime, this will explain the BLM/USFS plan and what they are currently doing to rid our land of our WH&B: