“Nietzsche says, ‘Man is the sick animal.’ Man is the animal that doesn’t know what to do with itself. The mind has many possibilities, but we can live no more than one life. What are we going to do with ourselves?” ― Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth
Allow me to take a few minutes of your time and write about The Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, (Public Law 92-195). The following is my perception as well as that of several Federal Circuit Court Attorneys; so not only a common sense approach to this act is discussed, but the jurisprudence of the Law itself is also placed into a common and understandable perception.
First, and very applicable within this context is the fact I am an American, a Vietnam Veteran, a Horseman, an outdoorsman, and a concerned citizen. I believe protecting America’s Heritage, the Wild Horses’ currently on our Public Lands, as well as those being abusively placed in storage by the Bureau of Land Management personnel, and many sent to slaughter illegally, is of significance, and within the context of this paper as well.
The Basis of the WFRH&B Act of 1971
Getting through the basics of the situation — the fully amended reference is from January 6, 2006 and Amended Act at that time, and referenced here. It was downloaded from a BLM Internet site that outlined the HMA (Horse Management Areas) in both Oregon and Washington.
The basis for the WFRH&B Act of 1971 being established, was due to the ongoing abuse of the Wild Horse Herds located on Public Lands. The psychotic abuse of animals from what is termed Welfare Rancher’s and slaughter house contractor’s, noted today as KB’s or Kill Buyers, many seen as inhumane and unwanted behavior within a modern society. American’s stepped forward and demanded action, essentially to stop the abuse and the arrogant, and often tragic consequences of such behavior.
The government decided to take action, to resolve such a bad circumstance, taking the overall responsibility of “protecting” America’s Wild Horses; the Wild Horses remain one of America’s significant Historical Icons of the Old West, of a Heritage no one wants to see become extinct.
We should not fool ourselves here, as there exists no other Icons from the west — our wild horses are the last of the Old West Icons — the last of a Western Heritage what so ever. Odd, isn’t it, that those who want to make money on our Public Land’s, the Welfare Rancher’s in America, claim a similar Heritage; but in reality are not even close to the Old Western style rancher’s — The Old Western Rancher’s had a work-ethic, the new Welfare Rancher’s have an Entitlement-Pathos, where subsidies from taxpayer money exists. Ethics non-existent from these modern rancher’s of today.
America’s Wild and Free Roaming Horses is what’s left, and the same people, for the same reasons stemmed from ignorance and profits, that turned everything else of the old west into a shamble’s, is now doing the same to America’s Wild Horse Herds.
The items discussed in this paper, are the more significant situations, and ironically the same elements that the BLM and other government agencies have forgotten and arrogantly ignore continuously. Either way the BLM and DOI remain breaking the Law, and snub in total America’s political and legislative process to enact laws and the reasoning to do so. . .
§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.
This captivates the very reasoning to legally defend Wild Horses. It indeed captures the overall understanding and meaning and reasoning in establishing the Law itself. This begins the actual language, the thesis if you will allow, for the preponderance of responsibility.
The factors outlined within this thesis also proclaim protection — meaning our government in America takes full responsibility to protect this significant resource of historical and of our heritage values. This was, and remains today, that modernization and corporations did not coexist with such wildlife as the Wild Horse Herds on Public Lands – meaning this Law was meant to “protect” them from the very things that inhibit and destroy them currently – for some reason this is being ignored by both government agencies and legislator’s alike. . .
Horse Management Areas were also established, and considered significant areas for America’s Wild Horses to roam freely, without being harassed, captured, branded, or sent to slaughter. This also ignored by BLM today. . .
Legally, the remainder of the Law turned into something arbitrary, and distant from the beginning and reasoning for it to become Law. In the beginning the Law passed unanimously in America’s legislative process in 1971.
I might add here it passed also with blessings from many, many American’s at the time. The confidence of American’s who felt and believed, at that time, that the Wild Horse Herds were then “protected” and the belief in Law was paramount, and that it did mean something of significance, something of importance — unlike today.
This Law also created a calm within the controversy. Many also felt that changes, adaptation or Amendments, made to this Law could not be attempted or confirmed without the opinion of not only legislator’s, but the citizen’s of America. It was, at that time, a Law passed for American’s, as the Law had to do with America’s History and the common folks that build this land. Then in come the Corporations and government agencies that did not understand this situation or reasoning for such a Law.
After all, it was a favored Law by America’s majority – but within history we find the shenanigan’s of ruthless and even criminal legislator’s with Special Interest Groups who indeed steal not only tax money, but everything else from the common folks of America! Oddly, these people feel entitled to do so!
So two Senator’s, Burn’s and Reid, placed into an Appropriations Amendment Bill the night before being signed by the President, (in the 1980’s, and did not comply with Jurisdiction Entry or Confirmation – see the Burns and Reid Interview on http://www.veteran-journapist.com ) and the Law changed.
Also acknowledged here is the Fact that the Burn’s Amendment, due to not being discussed, Confirmed or Ratified by either Congress or the Senate, in truth was attached as an illegal trailer. The fact is this trailer can be nullified immediately and for several reasons; although, it has not been done or even questioned. The Burn’s Amendment was dealt with as if it was legal, but it is not.
Unless, of course, a few Senator’s and Congressmen unofficially Ratified the Burns Amendment. But the Senate and Congressional Ethics Committee would have Jurisdiction over that situation. So once again we find the DOI and BLM conducting business on myth rather than Law.
As used in this Act-
(b) “wild free-roaming horses and burros” means all unbranded and unclaimed horses and burros on public lands of the United States;
(1) which have been removed from an area by the Secretary pursuant to application law or,
(2) which must be removed from an area in order to preserve and maintain a thriving natural ecological balance and multiple-use relationship in that area.
For every law there exists definitions. Once again we find the legal “terms” and the management of the Wild Horse Herds not abiding by the terms installed in the Law. The terms put an end to any confusion, or someone “making up” a term and using it as Law. The best examples here are the terms “Feral Horse” the BLM and Department of the Interior (DOI) expect the legal community to accept – but indeed do not, as the term is non-existent within this particular Law. The case simple, the terms are not included within this legislative law, at least up to this point, and for very good reasoning – Wild Horses Roam, so what was acknowledged, referenced from points made by knowledgeable legislators when the law written. At the time they felt no need to enhance this definition, as common sense, so they believed, would take its course and many would obey the preponderance of the Law and of the situation as well.
Note: It is the “Assumptions” of this Law which make it weak, when government agencies twist and turn the meaning toward something abstract or confusing – that is why we abide by the Laws as written, and follow them as written, as there exist too many perceptions when dealing with abstraction of terms and words.
So we find, in accord with the Federal Law, that Wild Horses and Burros can be not only wild and roam into non-federal lands and remain protected, but we find horses can be, indeed, released into the wild and become, under this law, “Protected” from all the “Protection” given to Wild Horses and Burros! (Legal point by Federal Circuit Attorney given here) Understanding this is important, both of the above, as we continue within this document.
§1333. Powers and duties of Secretary
(a) Jurisdiction; management; ranges; ecological balance objectives; scientific recommendations; forage allocations adjustments.
. . . The Secretary shall manage wild free-roaming horses and burros in a manner that is designed to achieve and maintain a thriving natural ecological balance on the public lands. He shall consider the recommendations of qualified scientists in the field of biology and ecology, some of whom shall be independent of both Federal and State agencies and may include members of the Advisory Board established in section 1337 of this Act. All management activities shall be at the minimal feasible level and shall be carried out in consultation with the wildlife agency of the State wherein such lands are located in order to protect the natural ecological balance of all wildlife species which inhabit such lands, particularly endangered wildlife species. Any adjustments in forage allocations on any such lands shall take into consideration the needs of other wildlife species which inhabit such lands.
When checking with the reference material for this particular section, it was the Legislator’s belief that “. . . a single government agency staff, alone, would not be reliable or thoroughly depended upon, to conduct reasonable occurrence of appropriate decision making, which would and will become problematic to include illegal activity. . . often perused when there exists no chain of responsibility or reporting to a superior, supervisor, or Director. . .” – yes, even then the DOI and BLM were under scrutiny and not to be trusted.
The fact is — to conduct decisions when, for example, cattle have been taken out of the process and data gathering entirely, then the science becomes of no use what so ever. Yes, again we find illegal activity in regard to the overall assumption and power of this particular Law, being ignored in total – ironically, being accomplished by a government agency, who under the jurisdiction of Federal Administrative and Management Laws, are and remain in contempt of these Laws as well.
Up to this point the WFRH&B Act of 1971 has obviously been and continues to be violated by BLM and DOI. . . One could write a book about all of this, but this will be continued within Article 2 of 3. We have all found it hard to believe the Justice Department, American’s also, would allow, upon any type of lightweight scrutiny of the BLM, to allow our Heritage, and such animals and Icons as the Wild Horses’, be destroyed.
Many American’s stand back and just shake their heads – sadly – waiting for our Justice System to take action upon this rogue government agency. . .
Right now I will leave you with this:
The American wild horse has long been considered a cultural icon and an integral part of the ecosystem. In recognition of the need for wild horse protection, Congress enacted the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act in 1971. Although the Act instructs Congress to manage the wild horse population by removing “excess” wild horses from public lands, it does not explicitly provide for the use of short- or long-term holding facilities as a means for removal.
In considering the legality of the use of holding facilities in the service of wild horse removal programs that the plaintiffs deplore, two district courts have come to opposite conclusions on the standing issue of how directly the plaintiffs’ injury must be linked to the particular action being challenged. This Note argues that if the wild horse dispute comes before the Supreme Court in the form of a circuit split, the Court should hear the case to resolve lingering ambiguities in standing causation. Specifically, the Court should apply proximate cause analysis to the standing causation inquiry, as this would promote many of standing’s underlying functions and also benefit advocates. (i.e. Nadia Aksentijevich, An American Icon in Limbo: How Clarifying the Standing Doctrine Could Free Wild Horses and Empower Advocates, 41 B.C. Envtl. Aff. L. Rev. 399 (2014), http://lawdigitalcommons.bc.edu/ealr/vol41/iss2/4
On the Internet: AN AMERICAN ICON IN LIMBO: HOW CLARIFYING THE STANDING DOCTRINE COULD FREE WILD HORSES AND EMPOWER ADVOCATES,
April 25, 2014 at 3:58 am
Well researched and well said and thank you.
Speaking of special interest groups including domestic livestock ranchers and their belief of entitlement of our public land … you should have heard the Northeast California “Experimental Stewardship Program Steering Committee Meeting” today when a member of the public spoke out against the wild horses. I think this open letter sent today to Ms. Dumas, the CA BLM wild horse program manager gives an example and will explain their attitude …
Are you aware that at today’s NE CA ESPSC meeting that one of the members asked why they could not just shoot the wild horses and that not a single BLM employee even bothered to speak up and explain that it was a federal offence?
In addition, at the last meeting a speaker suggested that there were plenty of big isolated canyons out in Nevada where they could “take care of” the wild horse problem.
Both of these comments were heard by members of the meeting and members of the public.
I know that this kind of illegal activity is commonly discussed and is sometimes activated but I do not believe that any BLM employee who is paid to uphold the federal law should sit by and not speak up and explain that these proposed activities are against the law – especially in a public meeting.
I knew you would want to become aware of this problem and I am sure you will take the appropriate corrective action. Thank you.
May 6, 2014 at 12:07 pm
Reblogged this on Pass the SAFE Act!.